Gold and Green: days 2 and 3 of the advent challenge!

Post number two for today to get current:  I've got my manicures for "gold" AND "green" to share with you!  Are you excited yet?  First up is day two's challenge, "gold".  Now, I'm not much of a gold person but I have been wanting to do something using pigment powders I have inspired by something I saw on pinterest.  

 I used my brand new Nubar "Indigo Illusion" as the base...two coats of this magical, shifting polish that I received from a birthday club I joined this year.   As soon as I saw it, I knew it needed to be on my hands.
I'm sure you can see why:

For the gold effect, I placed a very small amount of gold pigment powder at my cuticles, and blew it onto the second coat of wet polish.  Then, it was just a matter of sealing the whole thing with topcoat!  If you're on the lookout for this combo, I'll show you what you're keeping your eyes out for.

And here's one more shot of this combo, at another light angle to show off the magic shift of this polish!

Now, onto "green", our theme for day 3.  I chose another new one from my birthday group, Hare Polish's "Asteroid Turf".  This polish is Christmas in a Seussian way, a grinchy green with some "Whoville" purples thrown in.  How fun is that?

I hope you and yours are finding joy this season! 


Red: Day 1 of Hap Hap Happy Hands' Advent challenge

Hi all!   I'll be playing catch up today, because I've decided to participate in Hap Hap Happy Hands' Advent Calendar challenge.   I actually did the first day ahead of time, but I haven't had time to post until now.

Day 1 is red.   I knew as soon as I saw this that I wanted to use one of my favorite reds that I haven't touched since last winter, Sinful Colors "Sugar Sugar".  It's a gorgeous bright winter red, with a unique sparkle shimmer within.  I also knew that my "red" manicure would be inspired by one of my favorite red holiday things...the holiday cups at Starbucks!     Here's a peek...

For the white, I used Zoya Christinna.  In hindsight, I need to try using acrylic paints instead, because it was too sheer and the red bled a bit into it, making it slightly pink as opposed to the stark white I was aiming for.  But, overall, I like it!  Here's the plan for the rest of this series:

 I am so excited to participate in this challenge, and I hope you enjoy following along!  Here's a few more shots of my "Day 1" nails!

Stormy Sparkles

Today I have a Pacific Northwest friendly fall manicure.   Zoya's moody "Kelly" puts on some sparkle with Rainbow Honey's "The Worst Possible Thing" to get in the celebratory mood that this time of year always brings me.  I love the storm clouds, the fall drinks and treats.  I feel like it's Christmas as soon as the rainy season moves in, so the holo glitter wonder here mixed with the deep grey is just perfect.

 Bottle Love!   Rainbow Honey "The Worst Possible Thing", Zoya "Kelly"

In the shade, Kelly deepens, but the sparkles still shine.
There you have it!   Do you love Autumn as much as I do? 
What are your favorite holiday treats?


Paisley proof of life...

I'm alive!   It's been a while since I've posted anything - a lot has changed in my life.  We moved to the country, and got pregnant!  I'm actually about 16 weeks along now, and finally felt up to doing some half decent nail art.  Are you as excited as I am?
This is the final result (left hand pictured) of my hard work.  Not perfection, but whimsical and fun and therapeutic.  I'm pretty stoked about the thumb and pointer on this hand, and I'll definitely be doing this again.  (Sorry about the crappy cuticles and formatting here)

I'll even share the right hand with you...feeling special yet?

(Right Thumb)

OK, one more look at the "good" hand.  TTFN!


Blog sale!

Including OPI Black Spotted, Zoya's, some silver capped OPI's and more! 
Click here to check it out!


Water marble win!

Water Marble win!

Hi polish lovers!  I HAD to share one of my favorite, and most successful manicures to date!   If you're unfamiliar with water marbling, but want to try, I suggest you tubing a video before you begin. 
For this one, I used a base color of Color Club's "Sweet Pea" from the blossoming collection released this spring.  The turquiose is Zoya's "Wednesday", also from this Spring, and the blue is Barry M "Indigo". 

The real win here is the accent dots, in my opinion.  I first saw this in a facebook group called "Polish-aholics Anonymous".    I couldn't find the original, but this just elevates the look so much.   I will probably almost always dot my marbles from now on. 

Thanks for reading!

OPI Black Spotted - three ways

If you aren't an avid nail blog stalker, chances are you don't know about this little beauty.   Originally only released in France (though now appearing in some Holland Sephora stores), Black Spotted replaced the crackle polish that came out with OPI's Spiderman collection.   My friend Candice in France was kind enough to snag one for me, and I am obsessed, to say the least.   

Let me show you why:
This is OPI Black Spotted over Zoya Poppy.   
Like "shatter" or "crackle" effect nail polishes, it is meant to be applied in a single, quick layer over completely dry polish.  The spotted effect is random and mesmerizing.   Black Spotted paints out almost like a watercolor, not like traditional nail polish, and a very thin coat is suggested. 

This one is pretty addictive, so of course I had to explore other layerings.  I googled, and couldn't find a single image of OPI Black Spotted over glitter.   So I dug out a really sparkly one - Color Club Beyond the Mistletoe.   It took four coats to get good coverage of that one alone, but the effects were worth it.  
 (Sorry, my camera likes to be cruel.  "Oh, you thought your cuticles were moisturized and that you did a good clean up job?   Suckaaah!)

The most recent way I've worn it, though, is over a good duochrome.  I'd love to have painted it out over OPI's green Just Spotted the Lizard, but I don't have it.  So I pulled out one of my precious favorites, Sally Hansen Nail Prisms in Amber Ruby.   This polish shifts depending on the light, from a golden saffron to a crimson fuschia color.  


I painted in different directions on my left hand, to see if altering the brush stroke would change the spotty effect.   It did, but not enough to warrant the mess it made IMO.  But, if you'd like to try, here are the results - with arrows indicating the direction of the brush stroke.

I hope that OPI chooses to release this in the US, and that they release it in more colors as well.   Do you love it?  Which layering is your favorite?  Thanks for reading!

Dear Africa...

Hey friends!   Just wanted to share something fun I got to do recently - our church has a longstanding relationship with the churches in Sierra Leone, our pastor usually visits at least once a year.  This last month, we were blessed by a visit from one of the pastors we have had relationship as a church with.  

He shared a lot about what is going on in their country, and I felt compelled to send something home to him and the ladies in his family - so I gathered a few of my favorites and some that seemed destined to live in a place with more sun that Oregon gets, and here was the final result:
Sinful Colors Kismet Elated, Zoya Reva, Julep Diane and Chloe (hidden underneath), Color Club Age of Aquarius, Finger Paints Tiffany Imposter, Sinful Colors Cinderella, Loreal Owl's Night, Zoya Tru, Pure Ice Oh Baby, Essence Glorious Aquarius.

I guess that they will be equally as excited to recieve the box I packaged them in (which I did for safe traveling), according to my pastor's wife.   She said that sometimes they bring bubbles, and everyone wants the box that the bubbles came in - the things you don't know until you experience them yourself, lol.   If it goes over well, I may try to send more the next time that they head over (*probably this fall). 


Grab your towel, the seas are shimmering!

I layered OPI DS Sapphire over yesterday's manicure, and the results are stunning!  I think you'll have to agree.   Really stunning, especially in the sun!

I also picked up some flocking powder, so here is my first flocked manicure.  Kinda like a beach towel, don't you think?


Pool Party!

It's sunny in Oregon!   Now, while it's only warm enough for the pool about a month and a half out of the year here, the sunshine is certainly inspiring.  My latest manicure totally reminds me of a pool party.  Or a tropical beach right before a shark attack.  Take your pick!

The base color is two coats of FingerPaints "Tiffany Imposter", new to my collection.  It's just a teeny bit dustier than it appears on camera, but this is a pretty close color representation!   Sponged down from the tips is Lynderella's discontinued "The Glittering Crowd".  I just might see what it looks like with a layer of the lovely OPI "DS Sapphire" tomorrow!!


The girl and the poet

Hello friends!   Today, I've got a lovely little combo for you with a short life expectancy.  China Glaze Poetic meets my favorite, Zoya Harlow.   This is two coats of Poetic, striping tape and then a thick coat of Harlow.  Peel off the striping tape and you've got a stunner!   Hope you love it!


Swirling spring

Hi friends!   I've got something brewing today - it's all the colors of spring, and tons of fun!   You've seen some water marbles I've done before, and I'll admit this one took doing and re-doing to get right, but I'm SO pleased with the results.  Here's the players:
 Zoya Keiko, Shawn, Happi, and Kendal
(Please excuse the mess, the girls got a bit messy playing today...)

 Here's my left hand - doesn't this just scream "SPRINGTIME!" to you?
The ever elusive right hand makes an appearance - say hello!
And here's something special - Happi has microglitter in it that really shines through if you find the right light.  It's light green and compliments Shawn oh so well.   I'd give you a better picture, but the sun is a rare visitor here in Oregon.  I'll post an update picture if I can get one!

Pin the night sky fingers, luxury is in the simple things.

 This is Barry M "Indigo" with Lynnderella "Shapeshifter" over it.   The blue of the Barry M polish is so hard to capture, but this is close.  It's a bit deeper in person, more of a navy than shown here - but the splendor of the holographic shaped glitters paired with the color keeps me staring at my fingers.


When indie rockstars collide...

Indie polish goddesses of the polish world:   Pam at Girly Bits, Jody at Soflajo,  Jayna at Huemorista, Lynn of Lynnderella available at Llarowe, Jenna at Lacquistry, Ashley at Polished Components...just a few of the amazing polish makers I am currently in love with.  There are more, to be sure - but I bring them up because two of these have caused the wonder that is my current manicure.  

I bring you Huemorista's "Midnight Invite" coupled with Lynderella "The Glittering Crowd".   Pure wonder.   The deep jelly blue and exotic glitter mix of Midnight invite rests blissfully below the gem like wonder of The Glittering Crowd.   I imagine the Lady of the Lake would approve.
I've had my Huemorista polishes about six months now, and unfortunately the glitter has settled pretty badly.   I had to do some serious shaking to get it mixed in, and a large portion of it is still stuck in the same spot it was.   I do LOVE this color, as well as "unzipped".  The Lynnderella's apply like a dream so far.

Blood and Diamonds...

Thanks my amazing friend Yezenia from my birthday club, I got a hold of some of the mythical "Lynnderella" polishes - "Mercurial", "Shapeshifter", and "The Glittering Crowd". 

I layered two coats of "Shapeshifter" over Zoya "Stacy".  I love the randomocity of Lynnderella polishes, which results from the number of different glitters she mixes to create her lacquers. 
Photo spam time!!!!!!

I'm so nice, I let my sister play too!   This is one coat of "Mercurial" over DS Sapphire.
(BTW look at "Shapeshifter" in the background - STUNNING!)

Keep an eye out for a post on "The Glittering Crowd" soon!
 There's a lot of controversy surrounding these polishes lately, and those who have duplicated them.   I can understand having hurt feelings about people profiting from recreating your original concepts, but business is business.   I'm sure there will be those working on creating frankening bases due to the current demand also - but where there is demand, it will be met one way or another.

St. Patty's Day Mystery Box by Julep

A good Irish girl loves a bit of mystery - and I've got a fair amount of Irish blood in my (evidenced by my lily white skin that burns and then turns right back to "twilight vampire white").  So how could I resist a chance to get one of Julep's fabulous mystery boxes?  As a maven, I got this for 19.99.  I'll tell you more about the maven program in a minute, but first, the box - I am pretty happy with the results!

 Let's take a closer look, shall we?
This box included 1 oz of Julep's Glycolic Hand Scrub, 1 oz of their Age Defying Hand Brightener, Base coat (the transluscent pinkish bottle you see), a crystal nail file, and three of their colors - two from the March box, if I'm not mistaken - Melissa, Sofia, and Hayden.  I had to skip my March box but I was wishing for Hayden and Melissa, so I'm thrilled.  The box also contained five "chocolate coins", but the girls at Julep must have been curious, because one arrived unwrapped - ew!  That's not such a big deal since I was in it for the polish, but it's enough to make me not eat any of them...

HAYDEN is a bright, happy apricot color.  This one is such a beautiful, modern, springtime color.
SOFIA is like easter grass - a cheerful green bordering on pastel, with fun iridescent blue green glitter of a medium size in it.  Super fun.
MELISSA is a unique, white based polish with a flashy aqua sheen in it.   You can find an excellent example of this one on a recent post by my good friend, Mommy Does Her Nails (keep an eye out for HER mystery box too!)

The Maven program is a subscription service where you get to receive a box every month with new nail polishes.   You begin with a survey of your beauty tastes, and it suggests a box for you - you may opt into a different box if you're not crazy about the contents of yours.   It's a fabulous way to get new colors in your collection.  While not always unique, I fall for every single color I put on - but I generally don't love them on the website until I see them in person.   They are 3 free (safer for your nails than traditional polishes have been) and the box usually includes some other items - nail care products, other beauty things, etc.  

There are most often 2-3 colors of polish per box.  You also have the option to skip months, which is nice - AND you get a preview of your, and other boxes BEFORE they ship, with plenty of time to swap boxes or skip the month.   You also earn referral credits for friends who sign up - every two people who sign up with your referral link earns you a free month's box.  I've earned one free month this way.   Otherwise, the cost is 19.99 per month.

This cost gets you your box, shipped - which is a retail value of 40.00 of product.  It also gives you the benefit of 20% off Julep store purchases, free shipping on their product, and access to deals like the mystery box I received here.

If you want to take the quiz just for fun, or sign up to be a maven, you can click here to use my referral link.  Now, excuse me while I strip off my manicure and get to using these GORGEOUS polishes!
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