Monday, December 31, 2012

NOTD: New Year's Eve Angel Nails

Even though all my husband and I ever do for New Year's Eve is heat up an assortment of frozen hors d'oeuvres while we watch the Doctor Who marathon, I still felt the need to at least dress up my nails for the occasion, especially as he was kind enough to provide me with such a selection of colors! I decided to go for an elegant reverse French Manicure, also known as a Ruffian manicure.
Max Factor Nailfinity Angel Nails topped with Zoya Codie
I can't believe I forgot to take a shot of Angel Nails all by itself, but I was so eager to try out the style that I immediately added Codie without thinking. Sorry! Angel Nails is almost a rose-gold shade of micro-glitter, which is great for me because it matches my wedding ring! (18K gold looks too brassy against my skin tone.) Unfortunately, it looks very close to my skin tone in the photo so you really have to look for the sparkle near the cuticle line.

I decided to use Zoya Codie for the contrast because I wanted a rich color that had a bit more depth than a straight black. Codie is one of my favorite dark browns and it always looks elegant (although one of my clients once made a comment about my being "goth" and I didn't know what he was talking about until I realized that he was referring to what he thought was my black nail polish!) The combination reminded me of an outfit I saw some celebrity wear on a Red Carpet lineup that was a gorgeous pink-champagne-colored satin with a long stole of the same fabric, lined with a dark brown velvet. I'd love to have an occasion to wear something like that, but for now my nails will have to do!

Happy New Year, everyone, and thank you so much for joining us this past year. Stay with us throughout 2013 for more nail goodness!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Max Factor Moon Dust

OK, so I just have to brag about my amazing husband and the awesome Christmas gift he got for me (and thought of all by himself!) I had told him about asking one of my students to look for Fantasy Fire for me when she went to England and showed him the gorgeous Odyssey Blue she brought back after she couldn't find Fantasy Fire. For some reason, I didn't think it odd that he was surprised that Max Factor was no longer available here in the USA and asked me all sorts of questions about it. Unbeknownst to me, he got in touch with a friend's relative in the UK and asked her to get every bottle of Max Factor Effects she could find. She got some bottles of Nailfinity while she was at it!
Look at all these polishes!!!
So the polish I've chosen to showcase from this treasure chest of color is Moon Dust, another one from the same collection that contained Fantasy Fire and Odyssey Blue. These are all glass flecked duochromes, with Moon Dust having purple flecks in a teal base and color shifts to gold and green. I couldn't capture all the amazing color shifts, but here are my best attempts.
At the left you can see a bit of the gold color shifting,
while the rest of the nails show the purple-teal range.
At the edge of the colors shifting from purple-teal to gold-green.

Sorry for the kitchen counter in that last photo, but the kitchen light was the only one that would let my camera even come close to grabbing the color shifts!

Is this an amazing gift or what? What a guy!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

China Glaze- Cirque du Soleil World's Away Collection

Today I have six of the twelve China Glaze polishes from their new Cirque du Soleil collection. This collection is so bright and fun. It may seem a bit weird to release a collection like this during the winter but it's here just in time for the new Cirque du Soleil movie and the bright colors are just what I needed to perk myself up this winter. 

So I don't end up repeating myself through the whole post, except for the glitters, each swatch below started with OPI Ridge Filler base coat, topped with two smooth and easy coats of polish and topped with HK Girl topcoat. The formulas for each polish was spot on.

Escaping Reality is a raspberry neon pink. Super bright against my skin but still really fun. This one is going to be great for some nail art. Maybe even a water marble with all of these bright colors!

Surreal Appeal is a rich coral creme. Definitely my favorite from the collection. Probably because this kind of coral looks great on me! I need more corals in my life.

I thought Surreal Appeal reminded me of Essie Camera. I was wrong. No dupes here! Here's the comparison anyway in case you were curious. Camera is much more red and darker.

 Def Defying is a lime green creme. I think this is a greener version of OPI Did It On Em from the Nicki Minaj collection but I sold that in my blog sale because I hated it. I don't hate Def Defying though. It manages to be fun and bright and not make me look like a total crazy person when I wear it.

 Running in Circles is a cilantro green shimmer. This baby is packed with goldish green glass flecks. Glass flecks are my favorite kind of shimmer and I love this green! It's so sparkly it confused my camera! It seems to be a bit different from the rest of the collection too, don't you think? Of course, I only have half of the collection so maybe it just seems different against these bright cremes.

It's a Trap-eze is definitely the winner from the collection. This kind of glitter combo is something most of us have only seem come from indie lines. It's so great to see a main stream salon brand listening and paying attention to what we want! The polish is LOADED with glitter making application a touch on the tricky side. I used three coats for the photos below only because I still had a few bald spots from the glitter pulling after two coats. Because there is just so much glitter in the milky base, I had to be careful with placement and I ended up with some stray glitters along my cuticle and at the tip of my nail. Nothing a little clean up brush and some acetone couldn't fix! I topped everything off with a coat of Gelous and a coat of HK Girl to smooth everything out and add some shine.

And last, but not lease, is Whirled Away. This polish is a clear base filled with different sized matte black and white glitters. A great topper for these bright colors! I didn't have any problems picking up the larger glitters with the brush but it's best to apply them to your nail with a dabbing motion instead of a usual brush stroke. That way they are much easier to place where you want them. Below is one dabbed coat of Whirled Away on an accent nail over each of the cremes and shimmers pictured above.

Pros- The formula for each of the cremes and shimmers was a DREAM to work with. 
Cons- I wasn't expecting the application issues I had with It's a Trap-eze for some reason. Looking back, I suppose it was to be expected with SO MUCH GLITTER.
Overall- It's nice to see a collection come out during the winter time with such a different feel to it. Definitely not for everyone though, so I think a collection like this works better in the summer. Of course, it wouldn't line up with the movie then!

**The products featured in this post were provided by the manufacturer for an unbiased review**

China Glaze Cirque do Soleil Press Release

China Glaze® and Ardell® Introduce Exclusive Collections Inspired by
Paramount Pictures’ new 3D Film, “Cirque du Soleil™:  Worlds Away”

LOS ANGELES (November 15, 2012)China Glaze® and Ardell® announced today their partnership with Paramount Pictures to offer exclusive collections of nail polishes and eyelashes inspired by the upcoming 3D film, “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” in theaters December 21st. 

From the big top to the big screen, visionary filmmaker James Cameron and writer/director Andrew Adamson invite you on an all new 3D adventure: “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away.”  A young couple who is separated must journey through the astonishing and dreamlike worlds of Cirque du Soleil® to find each other as audiences experience the immersive 3D technology that will allow them to leap, soar, swim and dance with the performers.

The new China Glaze® and Ardell® Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” inspired nail polish and eyelash collections will bring to life the wonderfully exotic artistry that is presented throughout the film. The China Glaze® nail polish collection combines rich crèmes, soft shimmers and bold glitters to create 12 limited edition shades including:

  • ·       Whirled Away – Black and white collage glitter
  • ·       It’s a Trap-eze – White cream base with multi glitter
  • ·       Escaping Reality – Neon raspberry pink
  • ·       Surreal Appeal – Rich coral crème
  • ·       Def Defying – Lime green crème
  • ·       Running in Circles – Cilantro green shimmer
  • ·       Hanging in the Balance – Cerulean blue crème
  • ·       Water You Waiting For – Shimmering blue green purple
  • ·       Creative Fantasy – Grape neon
  • ·       Bend Over Backwards – Pepper red shimmer
  • ·       Igniting Love – Hot tamale red crème
          • ·       Get Carried Away – Multi-sized black and red collage glitter with black crème

The “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” inspired collection from Ardell® consists of six attention-grabbing lash styles ranging from more natural styles to feathers and jewel embellished lash strips:
  • ·     Imagine
  • ·       Inspire
  • ·       Surreal
  • ·       Fantasy
  • ·       Mystical
  • ·       Daring

Both collections will be supported by a consumer and beauty trade marketing campaign which includes a billboard in Times Square, print ads, retail displays, a sweepstakes offer and social media efforts.

To coincide with the 3D release of “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,” in theatres December 21, 2012, the China Glaze® and Ardell® film-inspired collections will be available the first week of December 2012 at salons and specialty beauty retailers nationwide, including Sally Beauty Supply and ULTA stores. Individual nail polish shades will retail for $7; eyelash styles will retail for $6.

China Glaze® and Ardell® are divisions of American International Industries.

About American International Industries
For 42 years, AII has been the leading manufacturer and worldwide distributor of innovative, quality beauty and skin care products for men and women.  Our product lines include Andrea, Ardell, Body Drench, Bye Bye Blemish, Checi, China Glaze, Clean + Easy, Clubman/Pinaud, Duo, European Secrets, EzFlow, Fright Night, Gena, GiGi, Gypsy Lash, IBD, It’s So Easy, Jeris-Lustray, LASH BeLONG, Nail Tek, No Tweeze/Micro Tweeze, 'N Rage, Poshe, Prolinc, RAW, Seche, SuperNail, Surgi-Care, Waterworks, Winning Nails, Woltra, Woody’s, and Youthair. For more information, visit our website:

About Paramount Pictures Corporation 
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.
Whirled Away – Black and white collage glitter
 It’s a Trap-eze – White cream base with multi glitter
Escaping Reality – Neon raspberry pink
 Surreal Appeal – Rich coral crème
Def Defying – Lime green crème
Running in Circles – Cilantro green shimmer
Hanging in the Balance – Cerulean blue crème
Water You Waiting For – Shimmering blue green purple
Creative Fantasy – Grape neon
 Bend Over Backwards – Pepper red shimmer
 Igniting Love – Hot tamale red crème
Get Carried Away – Multi-sized black and red collage glitter with black crème

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sation Holiday Nails

Hello polish loving ladies! Anna here. I picked the best time of year to pick up my apartment and move across town with my fiance, the holidays! We've been working on getting settled (I've got my polish all put away, but still no proper place to paint my nails and take pictures for the blog) as well as preparing for the holidays (phew that's done!) and now we are spending our spare time with my fiance's daughter as we get ready to bring in the new year. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and if you don't celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful week and got to enjoy some time with the people you love :)

Today I'm going to show you a cute holiday design I did with two of the new Sation holiday colors. Erin and Robin posted some reviews of the other colors from this collection in the past few weeks (here, here, here and here) and I'm playing catch up! These pictures were taken before I chopped my nails down for the move. Look at those long lovelies! I miss them.

First I'll start with this smooth dreamy blue-toned red creme on its own. I Love Yule is a great red that went on like a dream in two coats. Sation describes it as a rich, velvety poinsettia red. Dead on description. I had very minimal staining along my cuticles too, very unusual for reds like this.

Pros: If you don't already have a blue toned red creme in your collection, I Love Yule would make a great addition.
Cons: As you can see on my ring finger, I missed a spot during clean up. User error, totally not Sation's fault. But still annoying.
Overall: This holiday collection was definitely interested and different from what we saw come from some other brands this season. So again, Sation is killing it!!


To add some holiday flair to I Love Yule, I used two coats of Feliz Navi-Doll to add some French tips to four of my nails. They ended up looking like Santa hats! I love it. I didn't want all of my nails to look like Santa hats so I used some striping tape to make a candy cane design on my ring finger as an accent. After I finished this mani, I gave the colors to Erin to review. I wish I held on to them to wear this on Christmas! But as you know, cousins share.

Did you wear any themed nail art for the holidays?? Share it with us on Twitter or Facebook!

To keep up with the new Sation collections online you can Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or purchase directly from their website or Transdesign. They are also now available at some Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and Winners (Canada) stores.

**This polish was provided by the manufacturer for an unbiased review.**

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Zoya Julie and Neely

On this wet, wintery day it's a joy to review some of the gorgeous new pastel polishes from the Zoya Lovely — Spring 2013 collection (available in January) which consists of three cremes and three glass flecks. Anna, Erin and I are splitting the collection up, each reviewing a creme and a glass fleck. I got first pick so I chose the lilac and the green. (Are you surprised?)

First up is Julie, a shimmering lilac that was a custom runway shade originally created for fashion designer Zang Toi. It reminds me of crocus petals!  The formula seemed thin at first and I was afraid that I'd have a lot of visible nail line, but it was completely opaque in two coats. It did seem to eat up top coat, however, and even with two coats the glass flecks still presented a bit of texture. But those glass flecks are what make it so magical, so I can't complain!
Zoya Julie
Doesn't this look just like a crocus petal?
Next up is Neely, a minty pastel green that was a custom runway shade created for fashion designer Peter Som. When I first saw the bottle I immediately thought of Bevin and planned to do a comparison, but it wasn't even close (so you definitely need them both!) The formula was also a bit thin with one coat, but opaque in two. I used no top coat for these photos.
Zoya Neely

Zoya retails for $8 and is available at and Ulta stores nationwide.

Click the link to create a new Zoya account and you'll get a coupon for a FREE Bottle of Zoya Nail Polish. TIP: If you use this coupon and add 2 more polishes to your order, you get free shipping too!The coupon will appear in the "My Coupons/ Promos" section of your "My Account" Page.

**These polished were provided by the manufacturer for an unbiased review**

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day Nails

Merry Christmas!  I've actually never done a holiday manicure because I'm just so horribly bad at nail art.  But when I saw Chelsea from The Nail Network's gorgeous holiday nails, I knew I needed to recreate them for my Christmas Day parties.  They are just so sweet and delicate.  I don't have the same polishes that she used but I did use Sation Feliz Navi-Doll (in place of RBL Bella), Orly Rockets Red Glare and Sinful Colors Call You Later (in place of China Glaze Party Hearty) and I loved the way mine turned out!  I did a simple dry brush reverse gradient layering Call You Later over Rockets Red Glare. 

What do you think?  Are you wearing a special holiday mani? 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Gingerbread Pirates mani

For Christmas Eve I'm excited to share a post by my dear friend, Kristin Kladstrup, author of several YA books, including The Gingerbread Pirates. I love her books and was inspired to try a Gingerbread Pirate mani for the holidays. I stamped a skull & crossbones design from Vivid Lacquers plate VL001 using Color Club Gingerbread Man over a base of China Glaze Holly Day, one of my all-time favorite greens. I had hoped to do the manicure on her own nails, but snow flurries and holiday traffic conspired against us so I did it on mine and sent her the pic. (Small consolation, I know...)
Color Club Gingerbread Man stamped over China Glaze Holly Day
Kristin's comments on the result:

Christmas, gingerbread, and pirates are three themes that come together in my picture book, The Gingerbread Pirates, illustrated by Matt Tavares. But when my friend Robin proposed doing a gingerbread pirates manicure for the holidays, I had to wonder how she could throw fingernail polish into the mix! What a wonderful surprise she had in store for me! I absolutely love the elegant look of the stamping and the evergreen color and, of course, the whimsical pirate theme.

I promised her that she would get her own special mani this spring in time for her new book, Garden Princess. That gives me plenty of time to think of something worthy!
Holly Day on its own, before stamping.
So, what about you? Anything special for the holidays?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

NOTD Zoya Rina

We're all supposed to wear something green at work today except I don't have any green clothes — but I do have loads of green nail polish! I decided to do a special mani layering a variety of Zoya polishes, starting with Ray and topping it with two coats of Rina, a green with little holo bar glitters and mini glitters. Then I dotted on "ornaments" using Ziv and Rekha. Doesn't it look like ornaments on a Christmas tree?
Pretty festive, don't you think?