Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fantasy Fire comparisons

So, I have been sadly saving my teeny tiny bottle of Fantasy Fire.  I know--life is short, so wear the good stuff!  I think this needs to be my new motto.  Why spend money on polish just to have it to look at in the bottle?  What's the point in that?  I have just decided, right now, to wear this sucker and enjoy every sparkly moment of it!
BUT, because it is so small and hard to get in the US (hi international readers!  If you want to work out a swap in place of some outrageous prices this goes for, talk to me!) I have been looking for dupes/similar polishes.  There is one more that I want to nab (I just can't tell you yet because pay day is far off and I NEED this bad boy!  Once I have a bottle I'll let you know and then you can buy all you want!).  I do have a couple of polishes to show you now, though, that might satisfy a craving for this beauty!
Warning: there are a lot of pictures in this one.  I personally recommend that you keep going, but I'm putting in a page break in case you are tired of hearing about Fantasy Fire (but I can't image that's possible).  These are a bit messy because I was way too excited for clean up before my pictures in the little bit of sun coming through my window, but you really should click on the pictures for a bigger look at these lovelies!

Here's what I've got for you.  Can you guess which polishes these are?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fall into Winter

My Thanksgiving mani was showing some decent tip-wear (Black Friday can be rough on those of us who work retail!) so I looked for a quick change tonight.  There are still some colors that I wanted to use this Fall but never got around to, and this one by Spoiled is a good transition from the warm tones of November into the cool and crisp Christmas ones that are coming!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Spoiled I Got So Plastered
*2 coats e.l.f. Golden Goddess
*1 coat Seche Vite

I picked up I Got So Plastered (sidenote: I am really not okay with a number of the Spoiled names.  There are little girls who like to paint their nails that don't need that!) at with a buy two get one promo.  This shimmery rose gold is more sheer than I thought, but so pretty!  It really has a metallic/foil finish on the nail with all the tiny shimmer.  It's a bit cooler in real life than in the pictures and so pretty!

This was my first e.l.f. polish that I found randomly in Target one day.  I couldn't find any others and thought it was really pretty, so I snagged it.  It is a clear base with really fine gold glitter mixed in with some larger gold holo hexes.  I used two coats because it's sparkly, but not super-dense--a great glitter for layering and letting the base show through.

So what polish mode are you in?  Still loving fall/Thanksgiving colors, or moving into the winter/Christmas shades?  Have you tried either of these and found good combos for them? 

With Thanksgiving fresh on our minds, I want to give a couple of huge "Thank you!" mentions!  First off, in less than 2 weeks I have added another 500 views to my blog!  Than YOU, reading this right now, for stopping by!  Much of this is due to the wonderful ladies who are contributing to my Movember movement, which means more than you can know.  Your manis are amazing and the awareness and love that you bring is humbling and inspiring. 
Finally, I want to give a huge thanks to Mandy at Chameleon Stampede Nail Blog.  She is such a sweetheart and talented "nailista."  She featured me this past week in her "Featuring YOU!" post (which is such a cool series that she does).  Check out her awesome work and send a little love her way if you have a chance--she is one cool chickadee!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Capitol Autumn

It's getting closer to Christmas time, so I need to get all of my fall colors in to satisfy my deep love of autumn (that seems to be hiding from me this year).  I am really in love with the colors I got from the China Glaze Capitol Colors collection from this spring for the release of The Hunger Games.  I figured that this is a perfect time to pull some out!

Look at all that shimmery goodness!  I used 2 coats of Fast Track, an amazing nude/beige with tons of golden shimmer.  It actually covers quite well.  I knew I was going to add to the tips, so I didn't opt for a third coat (plus, they're short now because I broke some nails today between ripping into a package from Llarowe, refusing to make more than one trip into the apartment with my groceries, and lugging 7 loads of laundry to the laundry room...).  I never get tired of this beauty!

I tried the polka dot nails again that I used for my tutorial and final Go Pink manis.  I went a lot faster this time, trying to beat the fan that I just couldn't turn off (really--it's 77 in my apartment right now.  Where is fall?!).  They're not as artistic and neat as I would have liked, but the amazing colors TOTALLY make up for it!  Riveting is an amazing orange with a fiery shimmer.  This builds easily, too, if you were curious, but I just dotted it on in single coats.

Lastly, I added on Harvest Moon.  This copper is so warm and beautiful!  Again, it is packed with shimmer.  I love that these colors are gorgeous, and really do represent the Districts they were named for, and they're cohesive.  I didn't get all of the colors in this collection, but China Glaze did an amazing job making a true collection that worked together.  All of the ones I did get really belong together.

The dots almost remind me of falling leaves.  You know, when you don't live around palm trees.  Don't you just love those colors together?  Have you found some really good combos for them?  Let me know because I really don't get tired of using them!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Classic Fozzie

In the spirit of fall (which you can feel every once in a while in San Diego) I have been really into my deep colors, especially browns and purples.  I was really excited to give Warm and Fozzie a try, but then I saw this combination over at Adventures in Beauty and knew I had to hold off until I picked up OPI DS Classic at Ulta (with a $5 off coupon!). 

Autumn love!

Of course, DS Classic applied liked a dream!  It really could have been 1 careful coat if my nails were shorter.  I used 2 coats to make sure that nail lines wouldn't show through, but there really wasn't much of a color difference between one and two coats.  A-mazing!

Ahhh!  Look at that sparkle!  I am a sucker for glitter, shimmer, sparkle and anything else that catches the light.  This micro silver holo is unbelievable!  There is a lot of hype (and a decent price tag) on these DS polishes, but I have yet to be disappointed in them.  Classic is a warm beige (it looks more golden here than it does in real life because of my flash) and it is so packed with holo that it almost looks like a linear holo in the sun instead of a scattered one.  The soft color is understated on the nail, especially indoors, and is one I would venture to say may even be work-appropriate. 

Warm and Fozzie is from the Muppets collection OPI put out last Christmas.  My mom got me most of the glitters last year (isn't she rad?) and this one was included.  I was surprised by it when I applied the polish.  It is almost a super-dense glitter.  The base is tinted brown, but very sheer and LOADED with metallic glitter.

The previous picture helps show the colors of glitter in this one.  It is predominantly a warm, coppery-brown, but there are plenty of red-pink ones and golden ones in there too.  The tiny particles give a metallic, foiled look on the nail, sparkling copper with flashes of red.  The color combo is so pretty on the nail, but very sheer.  I used 3 coats, but might do a 4th in the future.  The color is so rich that I didn't want to risk it not translating from the bottle!

Just look at the colors in that that sparkle!

So there they are!  The danger with gorgeous polishes like this is that I can't take my eyes off of my hands!  I look at them way too much when I'm walking around because they are so pretty in the sun!  Do you own either of these?  Have you found any creative ways to pair or use them?  I can't wait to try Classic again in the summer--it looks like a sandy beach and I think it will be gorgeous with a bright blue!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A little mocha

I wanted something cozy and fall-y, so I pulled out all of my browns and coppers. I decided to give pretty little Essie Mochacino a try. We sell Essie where I work and I saw this come through one day and had to track it down. 

This "greige"--a brown that tends toward gray--is packed with silver shimmer.  It sort of reminds me of hot cocoa as it cools, with that light layer forming on the top. 

The polish is really sheer.  I used 3 coats here and wish I had used a fourth.  You can still see my nail lines, especially on my index finger in the photos.  They were really thin coats that dried quickly, though, so adding one more won't be a big inconvenience in the future to enjoy that shimmer!


I wanted to add a little something so I layered 2 coats of Spoiled Jewelry Heist on my ring finger.  This glitter is gorgeous!  There are large hex pieces that are a rose gold color, with smaller iridescent pieces.  It's a really pretty glitter and covers nicely--not much placement needed at all!  It is a little funny on Mochacino, though.  They're slightly different tones, with Mochacino being much cooler than Jewelry Heist, but the rose gold almost looks like iridescent glitter against the brown background. 

Neither of these were quite what I was expecting, but they are both really pretty polishes!  What are you wearing to feel the fall season?  Have you found any cool combos for either of these two?

**On an un-related note, My Lucid Bubble was so sweet and mentioned me in her most recent Blog Love: Sharing is Caring post!  I am so humbled and honored--I love what you do and you are so kind to mention me!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Why I'm a Sista

As we near the middle of Movember, I have been so touched by all of your manicures, comments, and stories!  This week, I am showing my Mo Sista pride!

I support the men in my life because I need them healthy.  I'm a Mo Sista because my dad is healthy and looking at a long life after cancer because he was aware and informed.  I don't know what my world would be without him, and don't want to.  That's why I promote and support Movember.

I'm a Sista because I'm a sister.  I have two brothers whom I love more than they can ever know and never want to see them fight a battle against prostate or testicular cancer (or any other, for that matter) and want to support research.  I need people who sit up late watching Family Guy with me so that I don't feel so guilty.  I need to see them become the men that that they were born to be. 


I probably could have planned this mani a bit better.  I used a coat of Sinful Colors Snow Me White with 2 coats of Sinful Colors Pearl Harbor over the top.  I got this pretty blue iridescent glitter at Rite Aid for 49 cents this week!  I'm bummed that it doesn't really show up blue on the nail in these photos, but it does in real life.  I used my Holo Black Striper by Color Club to write and another awesome mustache decal from RLR Creations Nail Art's Etsy shop to cross my "t."  I probably should have made my thumb the "a" to make positioning my hand easier for photos.  Oh well!

The bottom line is that I love too many men to let their health go unnoticed.  I have too many friends, too many family members, too many people who have impacted my life not to care.  You have heard my story and the facts, but the reality is that I am a girl that loves guys and needs them around for a very long time.  Just as openly and strongly as we have demanded attention for breast cancer, I want us to say that these treatable cancers, when detected early, get no more lives.  They've had their share, and now we get to win.  We get to keep the men we love.  A sista needs her brother!  And father!  And friends!

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Oktoberfest (a little late)

I needed a quick color change to replace by chipping moustaches, so I went with this new beauty from the OPI Germany Collection that I found for a pretty reasonable price on Amazon.  Every Month (really!) Is Oktoberfest!

Look at that plum sparkle!  Gorgeous!

I wanted something deep and fall-ish, so I figured I'd try this one out.  I used 2 coats, plus a base and top coat, for my initial mani.  That provided great coverage.  I think 1 coat was a bit too thin, but 2 was perfect.

I wore this to work before I could snap some pictures and had some tip wear, so I added a third coat on top before I took pictures to clean up my little mess.  What's really interesting is that, in this macro setting, you can see it!  That faint purple tip is not the polish's fault--that's just where it went over my nekkid little nail!

I can't get enough of that shimmer!  This polish is so pretty outside in the sun.  Inside, it is a dark prune color, almost a black or brown purple.  A lady told me it looked like chocolate inside.  Not that I have anything against chocolate, but...

This was meant for the sunny spotlight!  What do you think of this beauty?  Do you own it?  Have you found a good way to showcase that shimmer even indoors?  Let me know, because I'm a little in love with it!

On a semi-polish related note, on Halloween I was so excited that I had reached 700 views.  In the 10 days since then, I have blown past 1,000!  Thank YOU (yes, you sitting there reading these words right now!) for stopping by and showing me so much love!  It means so much, especially when I see the posts that you are viewing the most--my breast cancer awareness Wednesdays, my Movember manis, and my memorial nails for my uncle.  I cannot tell you how much that means.  THANK YOU!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Berry Big Problem

I realized, earlier this week, that I have a problem.  Perhaps it is excitement over fall and the upcoming holiday season.  Perhaps it is forgetfulness.  Perhaps these are excuses.  I have a new addiction to berry colored polish with holo sparkles.  I decided to compare the 4 that I could find (my Sinful Colors magnetic is tragic!).  In the bottle, they look very similar.  On the nail...only mostly similar...

Here's the line up!  These cover a pretty broad range of prices, from $1.99 for the Pure Ice to a retail of $12.50 for the OPI (but not with my Ulta coupons!) and different availabilities.

Left to right: OPI DS Extravagance, Zoya Blaze, Ulta Material Girl and Pure Ice Super Star.  For comparison, I used 2 coats of color over 1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener and under 1 coat of Out the Door.

Extravagance.  How gorgeous is that?!?  This one applies like a dream.  This is one of the darker shades, a deep berry or wine shade.  The silver holo particles are small and super-dense.  This dries with a smooth, shiny finish, but I always add a top coat.  Totally worth the cost (especially if you can get it discounted)!

Blaze.  This is one of my picks from the new Ornate collection and amazing!  Like Zoya polishes in general, this is also an amazing application, easy and smooth.  The color on this one is lighter and brighter than Extravagance, more cranberry.  Like Extravagance, the holo pieces in this are very fine, though not as dense.  Another nice, shiny finish, even without a top coat.

Material Girl.  This one is darker berry, like Extravagance.  There are a couple of key differences, aside from the price (regularly $6, unless you get it on sale, which is pretty easy to do).  The holo pieces in this one are larger, more like glitter than shimmer.  They are quite dense, and reflect a bit differently because of their size.  Also, because of the size of the glitter, the application is a big uglier with a little dragging.  This is the only one of the three that dried gritty and really needed a top coat for a glossy finish.  ALL of that being said, this is a gorgeous polish and a great alternative if you cannot find the OPI.


Super Star.  This was a lighter, brighter berry like Blaze, but not quite the same shade.  It's almost a little bit purple in tint.  When I saw this at Walmart with the new Pure Ices, I fell in love.  When I got home I realized that this same reaction had happened too many times before... This one has an easy application and good coverage for such an inexpensive polish.  The holo is much less visible on the nail than in the bottle and than the other three.  It's almost more of a golden-red glitter than a true holo.  Of the 5, I think that this is the only one I really regret nabbing, which is ironic since it's the cheapest of the bunch!

This out of focus shot helps show off the density and appearance of the holo for each.  You can see that the colors of Extravagance and Material Girl (index and ring) are really close in color.

So there they are.  What do you think?  Do these make you think of fall and winter coziness?  Do you own any?  Have you discovered any of your own little addictions like this--let me know because it could be contagious!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Movember: In the Know

Here's another installment of my Movember series that started last week.  This also coincides with Polly Polish's Polish Days theme for this month!  The more awareness and support, the better!  Make sure that you check out all of the awesome ladies putting their time into this cause.

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Zoya Skylar--light blue is the color of prostate cancer awareness
*2 coats Zoya Tru--"orchid" is the color of testicular cancer awareness
*1 coat Seche Vite

This week I wanted to represent both sides of the Movember movement.  Tru, the pretty purple flecked with golden shimmer, is my accent nail with another rad moustache from RLR Creations Nail Art for testicular cancer.  Here is some information from, provided by the American Cancer Society:

*There are estimated to be 8,590 new cases diagnosed in 2012
*360 men will die from testicular cancer
*This cancer is not as common as many others out there, but 1 in 270 men will develop it and 1 in 5,000 will die from it.  That is still too much.

 Skylar, a dusty light blue with silver shimmer, is for prostate cancer.

*There are estimated to be 241,740 new cases diagnosed in 2012.
*In 2012, 28,170 men will die from this.
*In their lifetime, 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.  It is the second deadliest cancer for men behind lung cancer.
*More than 2.5 million men are living as survivors in the US today.
*Detection saves lives!  When found as "local" cancer (only in the prostate) or "regional" (nearby areas, non-lymph nodes) survival is nearly 100%!
*"Distant" cases where the cancer spreads to other areas, bones, or distant lymph nodes have about a 29% survival rate.
*The 15 year survival rate for men diagnosed is 91%.
The numbers really do say it all.  For prostate cancer, which can be caught in annual exams and PSA tests, early detection can be treated.  Testicular cancer can be harder to catch, and is less common, but can be noticed through self-exams.  The sooner you know what is going on in your body, the more options you have for treatment. It may be uncomfortable, embarrassing or scary, but regular exams save lives!  This may not be a "young man's" disease, but my dad is well below the average age of men (67, according to  On the other hand, the median age for testicular cancer is 33!  Listen to your doctors, but also feel empowered to speak up if you feel that something is not quite right.  You know you better than anyone!  While the odds may be a bit scary for facing this in your life, the statistics of survival are really hopeful--this can be beaten!
I'll be posting a bit more this moth, and would LOVE it if you would like to add to the mo-vement!  Do a mani, tell a story, spread the word!  Please link up your work to my gallery below (and the Polish Days one!) so that I can see and show off your work!  You are also more than welcome to grab the link and add it to your post!

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Giveaway Roundup!

It's been a little while, but here are some current giveaway that are being generously offered!

*Girly Bits: This wonderful giveaway gives you a chance to win Smurf Dance that everyone raves about!
This is open internationally and closes 11/15.

*Polish Fixation: This awesome giveaway has 8 prizes, including some beautiful indies!
This is open internationally and closes 11/14.

*Glitter Obsession: This one has the a-mazing Color Club Halo Hues up for wins!
This is open internationally and closes 11/21.

*Set In Lacquer: This is a massive 30 prize giveaway that includes the Gilty Trio Zoya polish set!
This is open internationally and closes 11/24.

*Manicure Addict: This big celebration for her 2 year blogaversary has 5 gorgeous prizes!
This is open and closes 11/25.

*Sassy Shelly: There are some cool indie Halloween polishes in this giveaway, but hurry because it ends tonight at midnight!

*Naked Without Polish: This 1200 likes/600 followers giveaway is HUGE and there are a TON of awesome indies up for wins.  There are separate US and international giveaways, so make sure that you use the right Rafflecopter!
This is open internationally or in the US and closes 11/30.

*Kansas Nail Grafitti: This generous offer is for a one-of-a-kind polish by Kawaii Nail Lacquer!
This is open to the US and ends on 11/10.

*Oh Three Oh Four: This is a great celebration for 1000 Facebook likes!  There are 5 awesome prizes for wins.
This is open internationally and closes 11/16.

*Makeup By Elysa: To get into the holiday spirit, this is a great giveaway for a set of the China Glaze All That Glitters collection!
This closes 11/29.

*Nail of This Week: This little giveaway is for one of two gorgeous bottles of Butter London Bluey!
This is open internationally and closes on 11/30.

*Holly and Polish: This wonderful giveaway has the whole OPI Skyfall collection up for wins!
This is open internationally and ends 11/21.

*Polished Criminals: To celebrate 2000 followers and a year of blogging, there are a ton of awesome indies that Polished criminals is offering!
This is open internationally and closes 12/20.

There are so many amazing prizes in these giveaways, so get on over and show these ladies some love!  Thank you all so much for your generosity!

As always, "May the odds be ever in your favor!"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Glitter Goblin

I think that the 31 Day Challenge ruined me! I used to be pretty good about getting a post up once a week, and really lucky if I got 2 in. It's only been one day between my last post and this one and I'm itching to change my polish and get back to writing!
I've had a lot of work to do lately and not much sleep, so I'm rocking my little moustaches still, but I have this little beauty that I used last month and never posted. I was so excited to find the China Glaze Wicked collection at a Sally's near me. I had to make some hard choices and force myself to show some self-control, so I only picked up Make a Spectacle and Glitter Goblin. Love them!
I needed something simple and Halloween-y after a few challenge manis, so I went with this beauty over Black Out.

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out
*1 coat China Glaze Glitter Goblin
*1 coat Seche Vite

It's it a beauty?  This is just one average coat--not thick, not thin.  This clear base is full of orange and silver holo glitters.  As you can see, it's pretty dense, but not so much that you can't layer it.  I wish I had a good place to take outdoor photos because this is awesome in the sun! 


Ugh, that delightful red stain is from Danke-shiny, so ignore that and just look at that glittery goodness!  I like how dramatic it looks with the cream finish of Black Out for contrast.

This one shows off the holo on my nail better.  Did you grab this polish?  Are you as impressed as I am?  What have you paired it with that looked cool?  I'm pretty convinced that this isn't really a "Halloween" glitter, but an "I can still wear it because it's fall-ish" glitter.  Expect to see it again!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Movember story

Today is November first, the beginning of Movember.  This is a very personal month and cause for me.  If you don't know the purpose of Movember, I really recommend that you take a minute to check out their website.  In a nutshell, it is a month of bringing awareness and funding to men's health, specifically prostate and testicular cancers, by growing a mustache.  It's all about getting the conversation and research going.

On Valentine's Day in 2011 my dad called me.  I was working night shifts and incredibly disoriented when he let me know that they had been seeing his doctor who had diagnosed him with early-stage prostate cancer.  The rest of that day was a haze.  He told me it was early and slow-growing, but all I could hear was cancer and I wasn't sure why I had such an insane dream that I couldn't pull out of.  I couldn't really wrap my mind around my dad having cancer.  Cancer.
My dad was a champ.  He was brave and honest.  We are fortunate to live near world-class medical centers. When he went to see a specialist, his biggest news was "I think I have Lance Armstrong's doc."  That's my dad!
After a lot of testing, discussion, prayer and thought, he decided to undergo surgery this past March.  Again, I spent a day in a haze.  I've always been a daddy's girl, his only daughter, the night owl who stayed up far into the night listening to stories and talking with him.  When I talked with my mom that night and heard that things went perfectly, literally THE best case scenario, I could only cry.
My dad has had months of recovery and working to get back into life as a conqueror of cancer.  Just a few days ago he received the all-clear from his specialist to simply check in with his personal doctor every six months as a cancer survivor!
We were so blessed and fortunate to have had amazing doctors and wonderful research that gave him back his health.  An important part of that is due to early detection.

Enter the mustache.

This month is about promoting men's health and talking about these cancers.  We have been so open to talking about breast cancer and women's health, which is empowering and so important, but men tend to avoid this subject.  Cue Movember.  As I mentioned in one of my Go Pink posts, a cure for one cancer is hope for all.  I'm committed to being a Mo Sista, spreading awareness because the men in my life are important to me.  Like my dad, knowing their bodies and their PSA numbers can save their lives.  I want to help make this as easy and natural to talk about as "Save the ta-tas" has become. 

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Color Club Take Me To Your Chateau
*1 coat Pure Ice Oh Baby!
*1 coat Out the Door (2 on accent nail)

That awesome little mustache is a nail decal from RLR Creations Nail Art on Etsy.  They are super inexpensive and easy to use, and much neater than my nail art!  Love it!

I used Take Me To Your Chateau, a pale blue cream, for prostate cancer awareness.  It is really opaque, but streaked a bit, so I added Oh Baby! over the top to camouflage the brush strokes.  This is a gorgeous, fine blue shimmer (you can really see it in the photo above). 

So this month is about bringing awareness to men and their health because it is personal, even for a girl.  I'll be posting some more manis about this subject, and would LOVE it if you would join me.  If you do, let me see your work!  Add onto the gallery below with your own story, your own ideas, your own Movember movement! 

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