Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pretty and Polished Heist

Hello!  I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  Today I'll be bringing you the final Pretty and Polished polish I received in my surprise grab bag I purchased back at the beginning of December.  I have already swatched Scorpion and the Sea and Phoenix.  Today's polish is Heist, a gold flake topcoat - one of this season's hottest trends.


I chose to layer Heist of Sally Hanson Complete Salon Manicure Navy Baby.  Navy Baby is my go-to dark blue.  Such a rich shade!  Each nail has one coat of Heist, with the exception of the ring finger, which has two coats.


I love the subtlty of Heist over blue, as well as on it's own.  I probably wouldn't wear it on it's own, but I would over a nude or a baby pink.  Like the the shade of pink that is typically used in a french manicure.



Unlike most of the other more common gold flake topcoats available this season (i.e. Zoya Gilty, OPI The Man with a Golden Gun, Sephore by OPI It's Real, etc.), Heist contains much finer gold flakies than the commercial polishes.  In the above photo, you can see the much smaller flakes on the nail.


As with Phoenix, while this polish is not one I would have selected for myself, I am glad to have it in my collection, as I have nothing else like it.  It creates a unique finish, that is very fashion forward for the season.





And finally, here are the two polishes used in the swatches: the mini polish of Heist on the left, and Navy Baby on the right.


I hope everyone has enjoyed my swatches of the lovely polishes by Pretty and Polished!  My next post will hopefully feature the lovely polish-related gifts I received for Christmas!  (I asked for polish and boy did I get polish!)  I hope you all have a Happy New Year and I'll see you in 2013!

--
Sarah

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pretty and Polished Phoenix

Today I have another Pretty and Polished polish from the grab bag I ordered a few weeks ago!  Today's featured polish is Phoenix.  I was excited to see that this was one of the polishes I received, just because I know it was one of her early popular polishes.  While it wasn't something I would necessarily have purchased for myself, I was excited to have it.


I chose to swatch Phoenix over Sinful Colors Cloud 9.  I did one coat of Phoenix on each nail, with the exception of the ring finger, which is three coats with no underwear.  I used two coats of Cloud 9 for the base of each of the other nails.


Pretty and Polished describes Phoenix as "A phoenix is a mythical bird with colorful plumage. It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again.  The base is an orange tint and it is packed with small orange, yellow, and red glitters as well as medium red hexes."


Overall, application was quite easy.  I didn't need to place any glitter, but I didn't pick up very many of the larger red pieces.  You can see two red hexes between the five nails, so I suppose that isn't too bad.  Because I work in an office, I probably wouldn't wear this one to work, or I may try it out with different underwear or in a jelly sandwich to make it more work appropriate!


I had trouble deciding what color to use as my base color.  I only have one yellow polish, and I didn't think it would look very good since it's a pastel and I didn't want the red glitter pieces to get lost on a red polish.  So I went with the yellow-leaning orange of Cloud 9 (aka "nasty Tennessee orange").


I think my favorite part of Phoenix is the small metallic red glitters.  They really make polish pop in my opinion.  I'm not a big fan of the polish on its own, but I do like it layered over orange.  I really look forward to layering it over a few other polishes, maybe even white.  Though then I'd be afraid I'd lose the white matte glitter...maybe a nude or a brown!





And I'll be back sometime later this week with the last Pretty and Polished I received, Heist!  So check back in a few days!

--
Sarah

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pretty and Polished Scorpion and the Sea

Hello!  So sorry it's been so long since I posted.  Now that the challenge is over, I have been painting my nails more like 1-2 times per week instead of 3-4.  And I just simply have not had the time to blog because of a lot of things going on in my personal life right now.  But, I did swatch all of my Pretty and Polished polishes from my grab bag I bought a few weeks ago!  So I will bring you those in the next few days!


Today, I have Pretty and Polished Scorpion and the Sea to show you!  The P&P description is as follows: "This is a Sea Blue polish filled with red glitters. I once read a quote about Scorpios that rings very true IMO. 'They are like the volcano not far under the surface of a calm sea, it may burst into eruption at any moment.'"  My mom is a Scorpio, but I'm not sure that description fits her, lol.


Here is a macro bottle shot.  Scorpion and the Sea is a teal-leaning blue jelly with blue/silver shimmer and various sizes of red hexes and bar glitter.  It is such a gorgeous polish in the bottle and definitely translates to the nail.


In my pictures, I used three coats for opacity.  You can see a bit of VNL in a few pictures, but for the most part it's not noticeable in person.  Application was a breeze.  I did have to fill in a couple bald spots, but when I added topcoat everything evened out.


Yay for awkward hand angles!  This picture shows the color of the polish really well.  It's such a gorgeous color!  It reminds me of clear, blue tropical waters!


This is my first indie that is build-able.  I'm not sure if that's "official" terminology, but it's what I consider a polish with a colored base that you can build up to opaque.  The other indies I have are all glitters in clear bases, so this was a nice change.  My preferences in glitter polishes have changed in the last few months and indies with colored bases are my current favorites.


I wore Scorpion and the Sea for five days and there was very little tip wear or chips before day four.  So it definitely stands up to some abuse!




I apologize for the swatch spam, but I LOVE this polish!  I am truly in love with Scorpion and the Sea, and my favorite of the three grab bag polishes I received from Pretty and Polished.  I would certainly have picked this one out for myself.  It also subtly reminds me butterLONDON Two Fingered Salute, which is a polish I have been lusting after for awhile.  Two Fingered Salute has copper colored micro-glitter, but the base color looks similar.


Anywho, I look forward to bringing you two more Pretty and Polished polishes in the coming days.  I will leave you with one final bottle shot of Scorpion and the Sea.  Hope ya'll have a great weekend!

--
Sarah

Monday, December 3, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge Recap!

I have decided to do a single post highlighting each of my manicures from Erica's Nails and More November Nail Art Challenge I participated in last month.  Each mani will include a link to the original post, so if you want to read more you can. :)  I may go back and do this for the September Nail Art Challenge (also hosted by Erica) as well.


As a recap, here are the prompts for each day.  They due dates were spaced out, every three days, which really helped me out.  Since I'm a procrastinator. :)










Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Liebster Award 2.0

Yes, I blatantly stole the name of this post from Erica, who also received a nomination this week for the Libester Award (again).  I actually received this award the first time, back in August.  But because I enjoy doing these get-to-know-you posts I decided to do it again (was anyone else obsessed with doing MySpace questionnaires back in the day?).

I was nominated by Kat of Kat Stays Polished and Kat's Nail Polish and Designs (her Facebook), Janet of Janet Planet Nails, Carrie of Polish Insomnia, and Melissa of Polish Gone Crazy  Thank y'all so much!  I truly am honored to be recognized and I definitely want to share the love <3.


And just for a little about the Liebster Award, in case you aren't familiar with it, the Liebster Award looks to recognize new bloggers with less than 200 followers and help them get discovered.  I think it's a great motivational tool, and I am just as excited to be bestowed this honor now as I was in August. :)

The rules are, you must post 11 random facts about yourself, then answer the 11 questions the other person asked.  Then come up with 11 new questions and tag 11 new blogs with less than 200 followers. So first, I will list 11 random facts about myself (and they'll be different from the ones in August!).

1. I can literally talk myself out of buying anything.  Want an example?  I can't bring myself to spend $14 on the ButterLondon polish (Two Fingered Salute) I don't know if I can live without.  But have I ordered it???? NOPE.
2. I consider myself relatively tech savvy, yet all my watermarks are done in Paint, because I can't find a way I like better to do them.  Yes, I'm that low-tech.
3. I'm the oldest of two kids, I have a younger brother who is two years younger than me.
4. I have virgin hair.  I have never-ever colored my hair.  I'm actually kind of afraid to because I'm afraid I won't get my original hair color back.  I have dirty blonde hair (though some people try to tell me I'm a strawberry blonde, I don't see it) with natural highlights, so I've never had the urge to even get highlights.  I wouldn't mind having that dark red colored hair, but it would NOT look good with my complexion.
5. I am currently biding my time as a secretary while I wait for my boyfriend to graduate college so that I can go find a job in my field - meteorology!
6. Until today, my boyfriend's younger sister was the only friend/family member who knew about my blog/Facebook page.  Somehow my brother' girlfriend found the Facebook page...and now I'm sure everyone knows about it. ;)
7. Sometimes I miss college, just because I'm sick of this real-life bull crap!  Though I definitely would not have had time for a polish addiction while in college...
8. I love going on trips with my boyfriend (I mean who doesn't?).  But we always have a really good time.  So far we've been to St. Augustine (FL), St. George Island (FL), Biloxi (MS), and Nashville (TN), to name the highlights.  We've also done lots of driving tours of Florida and been to the theme parks and the beach and stuff. :)
9. I am a native Floridian, born and raised in a small town outside of Orlando.  I went to college in Melbourne and now live in Gainesville.
10. I HATE Disney.  When you grew up near Disney, and all you ever hear about is Disney, and know the negative affects of them coming to Central Florida, you tend to not like them.  Ask anyone who is native to where I'm from and they'll agree.  (On a side note, I don't pay to go to Disney, I only go when people I know who work there can get me in free lol.)
11. My dad is an award-winning competition barbeque cook.  He isn't world famous or anything, but he has competed throughout the state.  He went through a phase where he wasn't cooking for awhile, so he judged instead.  Because of that I dissect any bbq that I eat and can tell you what's good and bad about it as well as what they used to season it, what's in the sauce, and how it was prepared.  Therefore I will only eat bbq at mom and pop restaurants or anywhere where I can actually SEE the cooker (no chain restaurants who dabble in bbq).

Kat's Questions:
1. Do you remember what your FIRST polish was?
I don't necessarily remember what my first polish was, but when I was a kid I had a lot of the little Bon Bons polishes.  I actually had a lot of them still when I moved last year, but I threw them out since most were dried up.
2. Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
I'm going to go with milk chocolate.  Just because I could eat milk chocolate ANYTIME.  I love dark chocolate too, but I don't want it all the time, just because it isn't as sweet. :)
3. Coffee or tea?
Well, I absolutely abhor hot tea.  I won't touch it, even if I'm sick.  However, being the good southerner that I am, I LOVE SWEET TEA.  I like regular iced tea too...but sweet tea if definitely a guilty pleasure.  I only like coffee if its like a latte or a mocha or something.
4. Coke or Pepsi?
I am a Coca-Cola girl all the way!  I will drink the occasional Pepsi if that's the only thing, but I won't even touch a Diet Pepsi.
5. Do you send out Christmas cards to family?
Ever since I graduated high school, I always sent my close friends Christmas cards.  Even though last year was my first Christmas not living at home, I didn't send cards to my family.  I'm thinking about sending them to some extended family that I don't see as much and my boyfriend's family we won't see this Christmas.
6. What was the best vacation you ever went on?
Hmmm...this is a tough one.  With my family it would have to be when went to the Grand Canyon when I was 12.  With Jason (my boyfriend), it would probably be when we went to St. Augustine.  He and I are known for our "Sarah and Jason Fails" - something always goes wrong whenever we plan anything out.  And other than him having a stomach virus and not being able to eat anything the first two days we were gone, it was a great trip (no, that is not the worst luck we have ever had).
7. Where would you love to have your ultimate dream vacation?
I would like to visit all 50 states, and because I'm a loser, I would like to go to every NASCAR race in a season someday.  I also would like to go to Australia.
8. If you have kids, how many do you have? If you don't currently have kids, how many do you want?
I don't have kids yet.  Ideally I'd like two, a boy and a girl, though I'd be ok with three.
9. Does your husband/boyfriend/partner have an influence on your blog?
Nope, he doesn't even know it exists!  Though I'm sure he has a hunch, since he knows I take pictures of my nails and polishes all the time...  I do ask for his opinion a lot though, and after a lot of whining, he usually gives it to me.
10. Is polish your life?
While polish does currently play a major role in my life, it isn't ruling my life.  Jason is my life, followed in a close second is my cat, Addy, and my family.
11. What will be your New Year's resolution?
I gave up on resolutions about seven years ago since I never kept any of them (not even fun ones).

Carrie's Questions:
1. What is your giulty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is definitely the show Ridiculousness on MTV.  It's basically America's Funniest Home Videos for adults (without the off-color humor of Tosh.O)
2. What is one thing you cannot live without?
Music - there is no way I could live without it.
3. What is your favorite TV show?
Currently my favorite show is Revenge, on ABC.  Of all time, it would probably be the Andy Griffith Show. :)
4. If you could do anything, what would be your dream job? Why?
I would be a meteorologist.  I've always had a passion for it since I was young, and my degree is in meterology.  I'm just biding my time until my boyfriend graduates college till I can find a job in my field.
5. What is your favorite beverage?
Sweet tea!  And it's definitely gotta be brewed, not instant!
6. What is one thing you want to do before you die?
I would really like to go skydiving one day...
7. What is the best concert you've been to?
DEFINITELY when I saw Muse in 2010.  I drove all the way from Orlando, FL to Nashville, TN (the nearest concert venue) to see them!  And they didn't disappoint!
8. What are some goals you have for 2013?
I would really like to get back into better shape and start eating healthier again. 
9. What's your dream vacation?
See above :)
10. Are you cooking dinner at home or going out for dinner? (On a regular basis)
We eat at home most nights, and usually my boyfriend cooks, since he is much better at it then I am.
11. Would you rather...have your personality change every day or have your looks change every day?
I'd rather have my looks change.

Janet's Questions:
1. What is your favorite color polish?
I tend to lean towards blues and pinks - I wear blue the most though!
2. What is your favorite Holiday Polish Collection?
Probably KBShimmer's holiday collection.  There are three polishes I want from that collection...
3. What polish brand do you own the most of?
Hmm...I own a lot of Spoiled and LA Colors, I'm not sure which I have the most of though
4. What was your first indie?
My first indies were Tropical Tide and Grapefruit Sorbet from Polished Perfection (who fell off the face of the earth shortly after I bought those...) 
5. To glitter or not to glitter? (Are you a glitter fan)
I'm a bit picky about my glitter...especially glitter polish.  I think it's slightly funny how my glitter tastes have changed since I started my polish obsession though.
6. If you had to choose one polish as your most favorite, which one would it be?
Wow, I have no idea...my favorite that I own is probably either CG Flip Flop Fantasy or Zoya Lana.
7. If you could create your own polish what would you use in it colors, glitter?
I would probably make one of those white-based polishes and put orange and blue circle glitter in it!
8. What is your least favorite/never use again brand?
Hmmm...I don't really have one.  I had a bad experience with the only OPI I've ever owned, but it's not enough to make me not buy them again (on sale lol).
9. Do you match your mani to your pedi?
Not right now they don't.  Whenever I redo my toes, I tend to do them to match my mani, but since I change my mani multiple times a week, they end up not matching rather quickly.
10. What are you currently wearing on your nails?
I am currently wearing Pretty and Polished Scorpion and the Sea :)
11. Did you make sure to come follow my blog? Sorry I had too lol
Yep (though I thought I already was following! lol)

Melissa's Questions:
1. How many siblings do you have?
I have one, younger brother
2. Do you prefer mani or pedi and do you you do your own pedis or let someone else do it for you?
I've actually never had my nails professionally done, but I would rather do it myself because I don't see the point in paying for something that I can do myself.  Not to say that I would turn down the chance to get a mani/pedi for free. :)
3. How many bottles of nail polish do you have?
I counted a few weeks ago, and I believe it was around 120, counting top/basecoats and nail art striper polishes.
4. Do you prefer long or short nails, and what shape?
I have relatively short nails...they are very brittle when they grow out and so often break.  Ideally, I'd like to have them a little longer (consistently) and either square or squoval shaped.
5. What polish brand do you have the most of?
Probably LA Colors, but its a toss up between LA Colors and Spoiled
6. Would you prefer a rack/shelf or drawers for polish storage?
I had a rack that my boyfriend built...but while he was trying to create his own design, it ended up not being structurally sound...and two of the shelves gave out :( (there were no polish casualities though!)
7. Do you use striping tape and what do you think of it?
I really want to get striping tape, but so far I've never used it.
8. Do you own dotting tools or do you make your own?
I have one double-ended dotting tool that doesn't make very big dots.  I really like it though.
9. Do you do manis for random world days that no one else knows about?
Hmm...somewhat, but I mean, I usually find out about them from the nail polish community (or are at least inspired because of  it), so I guess people know about it.
10. Do you have a significant other, and what do they think of your polish addiction?
My boyfriend knows I'm addicted...and he's not super enthusiastic about it, but he doesn't complain too much. He also doesn't know I blog. :)
11. What made you decide to start blogging?
I was reading lots of nail blogs, and decided I wanted to document my progress with nail art and share it with anyone who cared enough to read it lol.

 My questions for the nominated blogs:
1. Is your favorite polish your favorite color too?
2. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?
3. What is your favorite part about the holidays?
4. Who was your biggest influence to start your own blog?
5. Have you ever left the country you live in?
6. Would you rather read the book or watch the movie?
7. What is your preferred genre of music?
8. What is your least favorite part of your current job (or school)?
9. What is your go-to polish when you can't decide what color you want to paint your nails?
10. What name(s) would you NEVER name your children?
11. What was the last embarassing thing that happened to you?

My nominees:
1. An Accent Nail
2. Color the World With Polish
3. Missy's Manis
4. Breezy the Nail Polish Lover
5. Enchanted Nails and Fluffy Dog Tails
6. Painted Nubbs
7. Hand-y Feats and Other Treats
8. HelloLacquer
9. Get Polished Up
10. Nail Junkie
11. Never Gonna Give You Up

--
Sarah

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 10

Alas!  It is the final day of Erica's Nails and More November 10-Day Nail Art Challenge!  It's been so much fun, even though the month of November ended up being wayyyy busier for me than I thought.  But I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and had a lot of fun seeing what all the other lovely ladies had created for each day's theme as well.  I definitely look forward to more challenges in 2013.  I just won't be able to do any in December, due to the holidays.  But definitely keep an eye out for holiday nail art from me.  I've got a few ideas semi-planned out, that I hope will be able to come to fruition.  And I PROMISE I will post regularly, or as regularly as I can, even though I'm not doing a nail art challenge! :)

On to the nails!  The theme for Day 10 is "Recreate your favorite."  One of my favorite manis of the challenge was Erica's polka dot manicure on Day 2.  She used one of my current favorite polishes: China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy, which was also a selling point that I needed to recreate this mani!


For the alternating polka dots, I used Sally Hansen Hard As Nails White Tip for the white dots, and Maybelline Denim Dash for the blue dots.  On a side note, I can't wait to do a full mani with Denim Dash!  It's a gorgeous dusty blue with lots of silver shimmer.  In a few of the shots, you can actually see a bit of the shimmer in the blue dots.


For some reason, my camera didn't really want to pick up of the true neon goodness of Flip Flop Fantasy.  It came out sort of peachy is most of my pictures.  You will note that in some pictures, like the ones above and below, the brighter neon color is more evident.





In my opinion, I actually had a lot of good shots of this manicure, unlike some of my more recent ones, so there are a lot of pictures.  I think the next one down is my favorite though. :)




Yay!  I have completed my second nail art challenge.  I'm so glad I'm participating in these challenges because it's forcing me to try and learn the techniques that I'm sometimes too scared to try.  Or have failed horribly at and don't want to try again (like water marbling).  Anywho, make sure to check out what everyone else did for today's challenge!

--
Sarah

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 9

I can't believe it's Day 9 of Erica's Nails and More November Nail Art Challenge!  We only have one more day!?!  I'm glad it's winding down, though I have had a lot of fun doing it.  I just wish I had more time to devote to my nails.  I dedicate almost 13 hours a day to work and getting ready for work.  And I try to get seven hours of sleep a night, and there just isn't enough time for anything else!  Maybe in the Spring I'll have more time to work on my nails since football season will be over!  Because that takes up most weekends in the fall. :)

Anywho, so today's challenge was water marbles.  Well, I attempted to water marble back around the Fourth of July, and let's just say it did not end well...  I ended up doing a gradient which can be seen here.  I since have not attempted another water marble.  But when I started this challenge, I knew that the water marble would be the most difficult thing for me on the list.  So after much trepidation (yay big word!), I attempted another water marble.


I decided to use neon colors for my marble.  Little did I realize at the time, neons dry faster than some other types of polish, as Erica reminded me after the fact. ;)  So, I'm sure that caused some of the problems I had.  The colors I used were China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy (my first CG!), LA Colors Tangerine, and Sally Hansen White Tip.  I had planned on using LA Colors Sea Foam as well, but for some reason I just couldn't get it to spread out in the water.  So I just went with the pink/orange/white combination.


The colors are not true to life in the above picture, but you can really see the detail the best in this one.  My favorites were the ring and pinkie fingers.  I actually only had to redo two nails the whole time, though I wasn't particularly pleased with how the ring finger came out, but I decided to go with it.  The thumb is actually sort of interesting, so it doesn't show up well in most of the pictures, in the tip part above the white line there is actually a pink-orange-pink gradient going on, which looked pretty neat.
 

Unfortunately, I never could really get the polish to do what I wanted in the water, so most of the time I just tried to pull it apart and separate the colors so that it looked sort of marbled.  But I figure with practice I may be able to get a bit better at marbling.  I also want to try out the plastic bag technique where you place a baggie over the polish in the water to collect the design, and then after it dries you can cut it up and apply it to your nails.  I know I've seen a tutorial for this method, but you'll probably just have to google it.





I'm actually sort of eager to try to marble again.  Because though it was extremely tedious, I enjoyed the process a lot more than I thought I would.  I also want to try more colors!  And using my Milani holos to marble!  Maybe I'll marble again for my Day 10 nails, but we'll see.

--
Sarah
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