Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kelara Lacquers - Saturn

When the owners of Kelara Lacquers contacted me to review some of their polishes, I was pretty stoked.  I've been in a few Facebook groups with Tara, so I knew she's a pretty cool chick.  Plus, Tara and Kellen have a lot in common with yours truly.  We all love BBC shows (hell yeah Top Gear!) and we're all beer geeks!  They've been to some brewpubs I'm dying to go to and live in a pretty beer-happening area.  They're a super sweet couple who work hard to come up with unique and gorgeous polishes.  If you take a look at their polishes, I think you'd have a hard time not loading up your cart.  Tonight, I'm going to show you a polish from their Planetary collection called Saturn.

Color: Golden yellow with pink micro glitters

Finish: Shimmer – a polish that shimmers in the light from both the pigment and the pink micro glitters.

Closeup - check out those pink micro glitters!

Bottle / Brush:  TKB hexagon brush – lid is tapered at the bottom and larger at the top, which helps with application.  The wand is an average length.  The brush is thin but long, so you have to make sure you don’t load up on polish on your brush otherwise it may pool up on your cuticles.

Bottle and brush shot

Opacity: High – opaque at one coat!

Glitter Application: N/A

Consistency: Thick – thick but is easily remedied with some polish thinner.

Overall Ease of Application: Easy – Spreads evenly without much manipulation.

Full sun

Stampability: Not tested for stamping.

Dry Time: Quick – dry to the touch without smudging in under 3 minutes.

Overall Thoughts: Saturn is a gorgeous polish that was a little thick when I first opened it.  I added some thinner, shook it up, and then let it sit for a little bit.  Once it had simmered down, I went ahead and applied it.  After thinning it, the polish applied really well.  I only needed one coat for full opacity, but I used two for photos.  I wore this polish for a few days, and I only removed it because I have a short attention span when it comes to polishes.  The pink shimmer in this polish is absolutely gorgeous and made this polish tops for me.  I've said before that I'm not usually a yellow person, but I really love this polish.  I think it's because it is gold and not too bright.

Full sun at an angle so you can see the pink micro glitters better.

Kelara has some amazing color shifting polishes that I can't wait to get my hands on.  I have Mercury, which I'll show you guys soon, but I'm jonesin for the rest from the Planetary collection.

You can buy Kelara Lacquers at their Etsy store.  Also, follow their Facebook page for news and updates on restocks.

What's your favorite yellow polish?

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Today is my family's day to celebrate Christmas, so we're spending time watching movies, opening gifts, and eating tasty foods.  I'm taking a break from gluten free eating today, so I can partake in some tasty cheese cake and amazing (aged) beer.  Our holiday traditions are a bit crazy.  First, we have "Little Santa Claus" who comes to fill our stockings on Christmas Eve Eve.  We get together early Christmas Eve morning and tear into our stockings.  Then, we open one gift every hour until we run out of time and have to open them more frequently.  The person who screams "Christmas Eve Gift" first to every member of the family gets to open the first gift and choose which one it will be.  We eat tasty food that's usually homemade finger foods and then a super tasty steak dinner.  We watch movies that are either our Christmas favorites, like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, or we'll watch movies that we received as gifts.  We'll play board games.  We just spend the day having a great time with one another.  Then, Santa Claus comes Christmas Eve night.  We wake up early and check out what Santa has brought us.  Even though we're all adults, Santa still comes to visit.  It's truly special to be able to spend such quality time with my family.  We're a very tight knit crew, so it's one of my favorite times of year!

I'm going to attempt to do something a little different starting from today.  I'm going to try to tweak my reviews a bit so you can get the best bang for your buck.  Usually, I just give it a brief overview, but since I show so many indies, I want you to know exactly what you're getting into with these before you commit.  If you don't like the way I set this up, PLEASE let me know.  I don't mind and welcome constructive criticism.  Also, if there's something you ever want me to add in to my reviews, just leave it in the comments, and I'll endeavor to add it to my little template.

In honor of Christmas, today, I'm going to show you my candy cane manicure. I have three polishes to show you today, so we'll briefly talk about each one in turn.  

OPI Don't Touch my Tutu, Dollish I Can't Put My Arms Down, Dollish 1-Up 

OPI Don't Touch My Tutu

(I'm missing a shot of this one, sorry!!)

Color: White
Finish: Jelly - a squishy and translucent finish that reminds me of jelly shoes.
Bottle / Brush: OPI bottle with the new wide brush - if you have small nail beds, this brush may be too large for you.  The wide brush tends to cause the polish to flood your cuticles, so you have to be very careful when applying.  Don't get too much polish on the brush when you're ready to apply it to the nail.  The brush length and cap are both the standard that OPI uses, and has a pretty average application.
Opacity: Low - it requires several coats for opacity, but you'll never really get rid of visible nail line.
Glitter: N/A

Overall Ease of Application: Medium – applies well with minimal pooling, dragging, or balding.  Spreads well without much manipulation.
Stampability: Not designed for stamping.
Dry Time: Medium – dry to the touch with minimal smudging in 3-8 minutes.
Overall Thoughts: It's the perfect white jelly for me.  It isn't streaky like Essie Marshmallow.  It's bright enough that you can tell it's white, but it's also transparent enough that you can still see through it if you decide to use it in a jelly sandwich.

Dollish Polish 1-Up

Color: Green and white
Finish: Glitter Top Coat – glitter in a clear base to be worn as a top coat.
Bottle / Brush: Tall skinny round bottle brush – long cap with standard size wand.  Some of these brushes come bent.  Average application with standard non-bent brush.  Picks up glitter decently, but it isn't the best.
Opacity: Glitter topcoat – not designed for full opacity.
Glitter Application: Hard – difficult to dig the glitters out of the bottle, spreads well with the dab method, but pools at the cuticles and bubbles when dry.
Overall Ease of Application: Difficult – applies with some pooling, dragging, streaking, or balding.  Spreads well with manipulation.
Stampability: N/A
Dry Time: Long – dry to the touch with minimal smudging in over 8 minutes.
Overall Thoughts: 1-Up is a unique polish, but it's a bit of a pain to apply.  To get the amount of glitter I wanted, it required quite a bit of polish.  I wanted to only apply one coat, but it pooled on the sides making the polish uneven.  I would've done better had I applied two thin coats instead.  Further, it took a very long time to dry.  It worked alright in a jelly sandwich, but I'm still not a huge fan.  This is definitely one that will end up on my blog sale at the end of the month.

Dollish Polish I Can't Put My Arms Down

Color: Red
Finish: Shimmer – shimmers in the light from micro glitters.
Brush: Round bottle with average brush – standard width and length.  Easy to control and manipulate.
Opacity: Medium – achieves opacity at three to four coats.
Glitter Application: Easy – Spreads evenly without much manipulation.
Overall Ease of Application: Medium – applies well with minimal pooling, dragging, streaking, or balding.  Spreads well without much manipulation.
Stampability: Not designed for stamping.
Dry Time: Medium – dry to the touch with minimal smudging in 3-8 minutes.
Overall Thoughts: It's a beautiful orange-y red with gorgeous micro shimmer.  It applies really well, but it's not very unique.  It didn't stain when I removed it like so many reds, so that's definitely one thing going in it's favor.  While it's a very pretty color, I'll probably sell it simply because I have way too many polishes, especially too many reds.

For my candy cane mani, I did a jelly sandwich with Don't Touch my Tutu and 1-Up.  Then, I striped on I Can't Put My Arms Down with my thin art brush.  I topped it with two coats of Seche Vite.

You can purchase Dollish at her store (which is down for maintenance right now), Llarowe, and Overall Beauty.  You can purchase OPI where OPI's are sold (salons and supply stores like Ulta).  Unfortunately, all of these polishes are limited editions, so they're a bit harder to find.

What's your favorite Christmas / Hanukkah / Festivus / Kwanzaa / Long Weekend in December tradition?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Nail Art: Wintry Christmas Tree Scene

Well, for some reason, my internet is working tonight.  It's like there's no rhyme or reason for when it chooses to work, but I won't complain.  Just a few little housekeeping issues to discuss before we can get to the good stuff.  Firstly, you'll probably notice that I have been changing my watermark a bit.  I don't think that my photos are great enough to be stolen by anyone, but I'm trying to make sure I'll be covered (for the most part) in case that does happen.  Secondly, I'm hoping to start doing more in depth reviews.  I usually do a more cursory overview, but I think I need to be more detailed.  What kinds of things do you think I should definitely include?  As an example, I'm thinking of adding in a photo of the bottle with the brush and a little blurb about the brush shape and ease of use.  Let me know in the comments what else you'd like to see in my reviews.

Tonight, I'm going to show you a look I was sporting a few weeks ago.  My left hand was a winter Christmas scene, and I tried to make my right hand more Hanukkah-y.  I celebrate Christmas, so I wasn't really sure what to do for Hanukkah nail art that would make sense but also not be too contrite.  I hope you like my feeble attempt!  I like how this mani came out.  Here are the eight million polishes I used for this manicure.

Bottom row: Kiss White, Sonnetarium Snowfall, GB 8 Crazy Nights, CC Gift of Sparkle, Dollish Space the Final Frontier, Dollish You'll Shoot Yer Eye Out, GB Eggnogaholic, Essie Blue Rhapsody
Top row: CG Riveting, CC Berry & Bright, SH Jumping Jade, GB Banana Hammock, and CG Spontaneous
On my left hand, I used Color Club Gift of Sparkle on four of my nails and Dollish Polish Space, the Final Frontier as my accent nail base color.  I haven't done a full mani with Space, so I can't really comment much about its application.  I can say that it's a black jelly with blue micro shimmers that tint the polish navy blue when it's by itself.  I topped Space with Sonnetarium Snowfall, which is a clear based polish with three sizes of white hexes and iridescent hexes.  Snowfall is a bit goopy, so you'll definitely need the dab method to make sure it spreads evenly. I then used Essie Blue Rhapsody, Kiss White, and Kiss Silver Glitter for the snowflakes.  I added a snow bank on my ring finger with Girly Bits Eggnogaholic, topped it with Sally Hansen Jumping Jade as a tree, and ornaments and lights with Girly Bits Banana Hammock, China Glaze Riveting and Spontaneous, and Color Club Berry & Bright.

On my right hand, I again used Gift of Sparkle and Space as the base colors.  I topped my thumb, ring, and pinkie fingers with Girly Bits Eight Crazy Nights.  I used Dollish Polish You'll Shoot Yer Eye Out, Kid on my middle finger over Space.  I then drew snowflakes on my pointer finger with Kiss White and Silver Glitter.

I'm not the artistic type, really, so I was quite pleased by this design.  You can purchase Girly Bits at her store, Llarowe, Overall Beauty, Harlow & Co, and Mei Mei's Signatures.  You can purchase Dollish Polish at her store, Llarowe, and Overall Beauty.  You can purchase Sonnetarium at her store.  I purchased the Color Club Winter Affair polishes and the China Glazes at Sally's Beauty Supply.  Lastly, I purchased the Kiss nail art polishes at Kroger.

What type of information are you most interested in when you read a polish review?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Comparison Thursday: Purple Flakies

Well... Comcast came and determined that we need a whole bunch of crap to fix our low signal. Thus, I'm still without Internet and TV. I'll go ahead and get this posted, but I'm sure I'll have to fix the formatting when I get to work tomorrow. Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll do it in the order I upload them?! Doubtful. Here we go!

Tonight's Comparison Thursday includes OPI Merry Midnight and Cult Nails Seduction. Both are purple with green, blue, red, and orange flakies. Check out the bottle shots below.

Merry Midnight is in a base that is actually more maroon than purple. Think Clarins 230, but with shifting flakies instead of shifting pigments. The flakies are pretty, but they aren't very bright. It applied easily enough with the flakes spreading without much work. It was a bit goopy, though, because it's a pretty old polish, but that's remedied with a drop or two of thinner. This is three coats. Merry Midnight has been discontinued, but you can sometimes find a used one at salons.

Seduction has much more vivid flakies in a brighter purple, leaning almost indigo, base. The flakes are so vibrant and remind me of Essie Shine of the Times, SH Hidden Treasure, Color Club Snow Flakes, a Layla Ceramic Effects whose name I can't recall (and that I put down just before checking out at Ulta on Tuesday), and Nfu Oh 51. The purple base is about the same color as Max Factor Fantasy Fire. It applied well, but was a bit patchy. You can see how the Seche Vit pulled it back at the tips- probably because I had to use four coats to get full opacity... It's a much cheaper and more easily obtainable option than Merry Midnight. You can purchase Cult Nails at Overall Beauty and a few other Etailers. It's too hard to search on my phone, so I'll update this with links in the morning.

Take a look at the difference in the color shift between the two.  Both are gorgeous for different reasons.

(Indoor lighting)


I'm going to leave you with a haul pic! I may've posted some of these before, so I apologize for any redundancy! I've been on a buying spree, but that will end as soon as it hits January. I'll also be slogging through my stash for more things to sell. I pretty much got rid of all of my drug store brands, so I'll only have salon and indies for sale. I'll let you guys know when I've added it all to my sales page.

Haul front row: BL Black Knight, Elevation Colline du Charf, Zoya Storm, Zoya Blaze, Zoya Aurora, Elevation Elbrus (soon to be discontinued!!)
Haul second row: Glacier Bay Blues, Mrs O'Leary's BBQ, MPJ brown scattered holo, "Have You Seen My Limo?" (this has holographic particles in it, so I think it may be a salon franken), Standing Room Only, "Done Out in Deco" (again, I think they mixed something into it), and "Hey! get in Lime!" (again, it looks like a salon franken...)
Haul third row: Kelara Saturn, Mother Earth, Dragon Scales, Daydream, and Mercury, Amy's Nail Boutique ECOPLO and Silent Night, NVL Joker
Haul fourth row: Lynnderella Magic Fairy Stars, The Glittering Crowd, Mysterious Ways, Candy Wrapper, Spumoni, New Year's Eve Eve, Angel Food, and Happy Holodaze.

Which of the two comparison polishes would you rather have?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I hate Comcast

Ugh... I'm without internet, phone, and TV for the second time this year. I'm posting this via the horrible blogger app on my phone, but I wanted to make sure I got something up for you guys since I missed yesterday. Luckily, we have someone coming out in the morning to fix it, hopefully, so I should have Internet by tomorrow night.

Tonight, I'm going to do mostly picture spam. I'm choosing nail art since I've already reviewed most of the polishes I used. I used Dollish Polish Be Sure to Drink Your Ovaltine as my base color, and then I used Kiss black to make the rope. Next, I dotted on a few Color Club colors for the lights: Almost Famous, Glitter Wonderland, Gift of Sparkle, Berry & Bright, and Wham! Pow! After that, I tinseled the tree with Dollish Polish Fra-Gee-Lay, It Must be Italian. Without further ado, I present my Christmas tree mani! What do you think?

(PS I apologize for the ridiculous photo formatting. No matter how many times I tried, I couldn't get these damn pics in order. Ugh. I hate the Blogger app.)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Holidays Giveaway: Prize Four

Ok, guys!  Only one more day left before I announce the winners for the Happy Holiday Giveaway!!!!!!  Get your entries in stat, and spread the word!  I'm so excited for you guys to get your hands on these polishes because I have fallen in love with each and every one of them.  Let's take a look at prize number four!  As always, click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Let's start with Girly Bits Eight Crazy Nights.  Eight Crazy Nights is a clear based glitter topper with blue and silver holo hexes and squares, and silver holo diamonds.  This polish is absolutely gorgeous in person.  My photos just can't do this polish any justice.  Here, I have it pictured with one coat over Color Club Gift of Sparkle with an accent of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On.  I've also mattified my middle finger so you can see what that looks like as well.

I ended up wearing this polish for three days on my right hand with some snow flake nail art, which I'll show you next week, and I couldn't stop staring at my fingers.  It's seriously one of those polishes that distracts you when you look down.

Here it is a little blurry so you can see the holo effect.

Next up is Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Skating in the Snow.  Skating in the snow is a white based polish packed with iridescent glitters in three sizes, lavender hexes, baby blue squares, sky blue holo squares, fine aqua hexes, and holo fuchsia and teal circle glitters.  My bottle had way too much glitter, so it required thinning and dried a little lumpy.  The winner's bottle has a much better consistency.  This is three coats.

Here's a closer shot so you can see the iridescent glitters.

Here's a macro so you can see all of the colors and shapes.

I'm so excited about this next polish, you guys just don't understand.  Or maybe you do.  I don't know.  Either way, I'm so stoked that I am able to giveaway a brand spankin new bottle of OPI's Paris Couture for Sure.  Paris Couture for Sure is from OPI's 2005 Shopping Around the World collection and has long been discontinued.  This polish is a super rare find, but I managed to find a salon with several new bottles and snatched them all up.  PCFS is a silver scattered holo that says it is a top coat, but it's way too opaque to be a true top coat.  I tried to layer it over a bright color, and it looked really bad.  I'm sure you could layer it over white or silver and it would look fine, though.  Here, I've given it three coats for full coverage.

The rainbow effect is just gorgeous.  I'm so exceedingly happy I found this bottle for you guys!  It's such a hard to find polish that you rarely see it anywhere even online!

Lastly, I have Color Club Gift of Sparkle for your drooling, ahem, I mean, viewing pleasure.  This blue is so highly pigmented that I only needed one coat for full coverage.  I used two coats here for the photos, though.  It is a blue foil with a silver undertone that gives it an almost bright denim look.  I will warn you, this polish stains like a mother.  It's gorgeous and wears for a long time, so I think I can forgive the staining.  Just be prepared with a little extra time when you're ready to remove it.  I tried to stamp with it, but it didn't transfer as darkly as I thought it would.  It did pick up the image, but it didn't go well over another bright polish.  Although, I'm sure it would work fine over white.

There you have it - the final prize of the giveaway!!  You can purchase the Color Club Winter Affair collection and the snowman at Sally's Beauty Supply.  You can purchase Girl Bits here, here, here, here, and here.  Lastly, you can purchase OPI's where OPI's are sold (i.e. salons and Ulta), but Paris Couture for Sure will most likely have to come from a salon.

What polish are you most hoping you get as a gift this holiday season?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy Holidays Giveaway: Prize Three

Wow!  Sorry about last night.  I got caught up doing some work, and then my computer decided to die...  Then my printer decided to be a pain in the ass.  Yeah.  I was about to go Office Space on their asses.

Then, tonight, the hubs and I decided we should probably go get our tree.  We usually get our Christmas tree from the baseball team of the high school nearby.  This year, though, we waited too long, so we went to Pike Nurseries instead.  They had some pretty gorgeous trees for only $30, so I think that it worked out alright.  We try to usually shop locally instead of through chains, but it just couldn't be helped this year.  We drug the tree in and put it up.  Now our kitten, who has never seen a tree before, is going bananas trying to figure out what it is and how he can play with it.  I'm afraid we're going to have this situation going on before the holiday is over...

Anyway, enough about my crazy week, let's talk shop.  Tonight we're going to talk about the Holiday Giveaway prize number three!  

First, let's take a look at Soflajo Yule Tidings.  Yule Tidings is an olive green based shimmer polish full of holographic micro glitters in red, silver, gold, and green and giant gold hexes.  Application was great!  Everything came out of the bottle easily and spread on my nail without any extra effort on my part.  This was two coats with one coat of NYC Grand Central Station.

Check it out blurry so you can see how awesome the holo glitters are.

Here's a closeup so you can actually see the colors better.

Next up is Girly Bits Long Winter's Nap, which is a grey creme base that leans a little toward dusty purple.  It is filled with periwinkle, bright blue, and gunmetal hexes of varying sizes.  Like all Girly Bits polishes, I had no problems with application.  This is a jelly, but it's more opaque than normal jelly glitters, which means you only need a few coats for full coverage.

This is the perfect polish to wear on a chilly winter day.

Color Club Snow Flakes from the Winter Affair collection is pretty much a dupe of Essie Shine of the Times.  I don't think the combo I used here does Snow Flakes any justice.  It really is a pretty polish, it applies well, and the scent isn't too bad.  However, it doesn't really look very good over Ho Ho Holiday.

Maybe the green interfered too much with the color shift, but the macro is lackluster.

Orly Miss Conduct is an absolutely gorgeous bright pink scattered holo!!  It is extremely pigmented, so it didn't take much for full coverage.  The holo came out to play even with indoor lights.  The only down side - it stained my nails even though I was wearing my Rejuvacote base coat.  So my nails are little pinkish orange now.  Womp womp!

I don't know, though.  I think it's worth it.

I mean, look at that holo!

Lastly, I present to you Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer the Man Who Makes the Toys.  MWMtT is a red jelly with green and red shimmer, red and green hexes, iridescent hexes that shift from blue to green, and holo gold stars.  The polish builds up easily in two coats, but I used three for the photos.  The stars aren't as difficult to get out as they are in other polishes, which was a pleasant surprise!

You can purchase Soflajo from Jody's site and her Etsy store. You can purchase Girly Bits here, here, here, here, and here.  Lastly, you can purchase Orly and the Color Club scented Winter Affair collection at Sally's Beauty Supply.

Ok, you've seen 3/4 of the prizes so far.  Have you picked your favorite prize pack yet, or are you waiting for number four to make your decision?