Nail Art: Glittery V-Day

I thought I'd give a heads-up for Valentine's Day with a mani. I don't know exactly what this is that I came up with, lol.
After two coats of Caronia Base Coat, I used FOF #48 pink glitter to do a gradient from tip to halfway down the nail.
Added a bright red gradient using Bobbie Cherry Blossom Glaze from cuticle upward to the smile line.
I then put a glitter heart & bubble (for want of better description) sticker over the red part. 
Finished with two coats of Elianto top coat.
Love is in the air!

BB Couture - Hands of Hope Collection Swatches

As promised, here are the swatches of the Hands of Hope Collection from BB Couture for nails. The collection consists of 6 shades all with names of places in Haiti. As I mentioned before, 25% of the sales from this collection is donated to the Salvation Army to aide the women and children affected by the earthquakes in Haiti.

Tortuga Island, Kyona Beach, Bassins Bleu

Paradise, Labadie Beach, Cap-Haïtien

Tortuga Island - Tortuga is an island off the northern coast of Haiti. Its name in Spanish (Isla Tortuga) and French means "Turtle Island" or "Tortoise Island". Tortuga Island the polish, is a pale, yellow-green with a lot of silver shimmer that gives it a bit of a frosty look. It reminds me of key lime pie. This swatch is three coats, as I thought the finish was a bit too thin with 2 coats. This is not a bad color, but it's not one of my favorites.

Kyona Beach - Kyona Beach is a gorgeous little beach on the western coast a little north of Port-au-Prince. Kyona Beach the polish is a very pretty robin's egg blue creme. I am calling it a creme but it does have a little hidden shimmer in it, but it is very hidden. This gave me a really bad application the first time I tried to swatch it. It was very uneven, even with Seche Vite. I don't know if it was the lack of a base coat or that it was too thick, but the next time I swatched it I did use a base coat, and I thinned it a bit and that make everything okay. The swatch is 2 coats.

Bassins Bleu - The Bassin Bleu in Haiti consists of a series of natural rock bassins arranged in cascade, successively pouring water into one another. That sounds amazing! Apparently Bassin Bleu is restricted to a minimal amount of tourists per day to preserve its environmental integrity. Bassins Bleu the polish is a blue sided, shamrock green creme. It looks to me like it has itty bitty black particles in it, but they are very sparse so I don’t know if it is contamination or intentional. Regardless, I like the color and application was great. This swatch is 2 coats.

Paradise – This is so awesome! When I first saw the pics for this collection, Paradise looked like a peach creme. It’s definitely not a peach creme. This is the color of putty. It is beautiful. I wore this for a few days and got many, many compliments on it. In some lights it looks like a pale mauve-purple from just a hint, to very mauve-purple. It’s awesome. In the swatch you can see that there is a lot of golden shimmer, which I am sure we can attribute with making this shade look peach, but it really doesn’t translate to the nail. This is my favorite of the bunch and this swatch is 2 coats.

Labadie Beach - Labadie is a strip of land on the secluded Pointe Honore near Cape Haïtien, Haiti. This beach is one of the world's best sandy beaches and it is protected by coral reefs. Labadie Beach the polish is a cool, medium pink with purple shimmer. Very pretty and has great application. This swatch is 2 coats.

Cap-Haïtien – Cap-Haïtien, Haiti is a city on the northern coast of the country. Cap-Haïtien the polish is a really awesome medium purple. I think it is much better in real life than in the swatch. In real life it is a bit darker/more saturated and just prettier, but in a way that I can’t seem to find words for. This is very stunning and not like any other purple I have. This is my 2nd favorite from the collection. It has a small amount of very fine red shimmer, but sadly it is pretty invisible on the nail. This was a dream to apply. I probably could have gotten away with one coat. This swatch is two coats.


The entire collection retails for $54, or $9 per bottle. If you can’t spring for all of them right now, it is okay. You can purchase them individually and still 25% of the sales will go to help the earthquake victims in Haiti. They can be purchased at Overall Beauty.com

Models Own Sale Now On

Just a little PSA for you:

Models Own sale Now On

Get 50% off all orders over £20 for 72 hours only – while stocks last.

Enter promo code: FIFTYFIFTY at the checkout for 50% off.

Visit http://www.modelsownit.com

I don't have any Models Own to share with you guys, but I thought I would pass this along. They do ship internationally!

Be back later with a "real" post.

-Elaine

BookReview: Unravelled

UNRAVELLED by Robyn Harding
Here's Beth Carruthers, a freelance writer who's recently out of a relationship with a commitment-phobic guy.
Her bff Angie suggests a knitting Stitch & Bitch Club so Angie can be up on the latest trend (she's a trendwatcher for a local tv show), and so they can meet new people. Though unsure of her crafting skills, the club was Beth's lifeline to recover from her failed relationship. Meeting with her newfound friends of three women and a man once a month gave her stability and fellowship that she badly needed.
She met a retired architect whom she interviewed in one of her magazine writing assignments. And though he was beyond the age she normally considered as date-worthy, she realized that an older man provides maturity and solidity that she required of a partner.
But the guy's secrets caused the unravelling of Beth's friendships, dreams, and recovery.
How she grew from the experience, and emerged a better, more mature, more sure person, able to gauge where her priorities lay and not caving with every setback, makes the book a fun read.
Quotes: "I’d learned that protecting your friendships and living your life with integrity were more important than snagging a man—not to mention, infinitely easier to do."
"Over the past few years I’ve spent way too much energy pining away for the life I’ve always dreamed of. After all that’s happened, I just want to be happy with the life I have now."
Too true!

Maybelline - Sunset Prisms

Happy Thursday Everyone! I am back in the city! I had to go a couple hours away to farm county, Illinois for work. But I am back today and it is !@#$% freezing! It was -10 this morning with the windchill! That is wildly unnecessary. Freezing temperatures I can take. Sub-zero arctic blast... that is a bit excessive.

Today's NOTD is a shade I picked up at a drugstore downstate yesterday. Yes I am that much of an addict I had to hunt for polish on a work trip! It is Maybelline - Sunset Prisms. At least that is what the bottle says. I don't believe it.

See, I have seen Sunset Prisms dozens of times. It is part of the core Maybelline display in drugstores and Ulta. Have you seen it? I look at it a lot and contemplate buying it but always decide against it because it looks just like one of my favorite colors: Color Club - Tangerine Scream. It's a bright orange with a green flashy, shimmer. Why intentionally buy a dupe? Well, this time I bought it. Because it is not an orange with a green flash. It is a bright pink with a very strong gold flash. Not the same. But the label still says "Sunset Prisms". I was baffled. I had to buy this oddity. There were even other bottles behind this odd bottle that were the "real" Sunset Prisms, and had the same label. So I thought this guy I bought must be from an off batch, or is really old before a color change, or it's a new color change, or it has the wrong label. I didn't know, but I liked it! But when I searched for swatches, all the swatches are of the pink with gold shimmer. So maybe all the bottles of orange with green shimmer are the weirdos! Now I have to go buy it too, don't I? Crap. Fine Maybelline, you win. I will buy the other Sunset Prisms and do a comparison for everyone. Happy?

In any rate, this version of Sunset Prisms is very pretty. I did three coats, it is very flashy and shimmery; even in low lights. I am very happy with it! It looks like a cousin to the Zoya - Reverie Collection.

When I get my hands on the other version I'll show them to you side by side.

Have a great day!
-Elaine

Beauty for Its Own Sake


A beauty queen and model dies from a botched butt job, and some people assume she did it because she wanted to be attractive to men. Not ‘men’ as in “goodwill to all men,” but men as in the male of the species. In this supposedly enlightened day and age, there still are many people who persist in thinking that women beautify themselves to attract men. Well, excuse me, men, but it’s not all about you.
Sure, there are women who wear (or not wear) makeup to please their significant others. But it’s never as simple as that. Each woman’s experience is different and we all seek to balance our needs versus others’ expectations. But for the most part, very few actually beautify themselves solely as a genetic means for the preservation of the species.
Woman seek beauty for its own sake. We were made by a Creator who delights in beauty, in uniqueness, in the sheer joy of creation. As we were created in His image, so we take our love for beauty from Him, so we take our need to create from Him. This creativity is expressed in various ways. Some create art, music, structures, performances. Some cook, some strategize, some keep a clean, organized home amidst the chaos of kids and daily life.
Some of us paint canvases; some, our faces; some, our nails; some, all surfaces (and with glitter!). We paint to express ourselves.
We take after our Creator.

I'm-Not-Really-Here Green SPAM

Hi everybody! I am on the road for work today so I have a fun, easy post: GREEN SPAM! Enjoy!

Amour - Ellis Green

Maybelline - Lime Aluminum

BB Couture - Laguna Lagoon

Sally Hansen - Make-a-Mint Frost

Barry M - Spring Green

Essence - All Access

Book: Remind Me Again Why I Need a Man

My apologies to the author, but this book took me so long to finish.
Amelia Lockwood is a successful career girl, a tv producer who's about to turn a popular soap around. She has a strong support network courtesy of The Lovely Girls -- one blissfully married, one a single-and-loving-it, and a gay actor. She's also bent on turning her (non-existent) romantic prospects around by enrolling in a night course that promises she will get married within a year's time.
The course requires her to contact all her past boyfriends to learn what mistakes she keep making over and over in her choice of men and in her relationships.
And it quickly got boring, for me. The flashbacks were annoying. The ex-boyfriends were stereotypes. I found myself waiting and wishing for something -- a revelation, an epiphany, a single quotable line -- that would make me realize something deep.
I was disappointed. And though I loved that the jerk of an ex got his comeuppance in the end, it was way too anti-climactic.
Of course, we don't always need a man in our lives in order to be happy. This is the whole point of the book. And it was really just... duh.

More Generosity

Koala's Life is having a giveaway to celebrate her 100th post. I can't believe that when she first offered this there weren't enough takers, when the prizes are quite good and there are first and second places!
See this:

and this:

Join now by clicking any of the images!

Nail Art: Not Violet, But Blue


Roses are red, This mani is blue.
Obviously, no?
I applied two layers of blue frosted no-name polish, topped with a slightly-diagonal french tip with another no-name white polish.
Embellished with a blue flower-shaped rhinestone that I bought for a very cheap P8.00 (US$0.17?) for thirty pieces or so.
And for the next few days that I had this mani on, I had to carefully watch that my flowers didn't peel off, lol. But this was fun.

Comparison: China Glaze - Four Leaf Clover vs. Color Club - Wild Child


Hello everyone! I have a quickie comparison for you all today. When looking at the new Up & Away colors from China Glaze, I was wondering how Four Leaf Clover compared to Color Club's Wild Child. I assume others would like to know too, so I made a comparison swatch. They are both mega-bright, borderline neon, shamrock greens, but very different.

Index and ring: Four Leaf Clover
Middle and Pinky: Wild Child

Note: The colors are probably just as bright as the swatch depicts, but they are a bit more saturated in color.

Wild Child is much lighter than Four Leaf Clover. Wild Child is also more of a jelly consistency and is thin and needed 3 coats. Four Leaf Clover is very opaque and creamy and needed two coats.

So, my personal opinion is that the shades are different enough to own both, but if I had to pick one, it would be Four Leaf Clover.

What do you think?

Babbling Brooke's Giveaway

Another wonderful contest here -- there is such an abundance of generosity and kindness all across the web, and those among beauty blogs just show how these ladies are beautiful inside and out. Brooke's giveaway, for example, has wonderful prizes and well worth the effort of joining.
Check this out:

Join now by clicking on the picture above!!!

Nail'd & Polish'd Giveaway

Nail'd & Polish'd is hosting a contest, and what a contest it is, with wonderful prizes to make a diehard nail art fan drool and go,  "I die"!!!
Because these products aren't available where I am, it's doubly desirable -- who doesn't want what one can't have, huh?

TCP #23: Scent of a Woman


ORDER IN THE COURT

I have several favorite courtroom drama movies, notably the superb "The Rainmaker," and including "The Firm, " "My Cousin Vinny," "Primal Fear," "A Few Good Men," and why not? "Legally Blonde." But my entry for today is not even a courtroom drama, "Scent of a Woman."
Here we have an idealistic, poor, but intelligent student (Charlie Simms, played by Chris O'Donnell) who works during school break for extra money. He ends up babysitting a retired and blind ex-soldier (Lt. Col. Frank Slade, played by Al Pacino) with a death wish. The first few scenes establishes both characters solidly, as Charlie shows himself to be smart, a man of character, and Frank is out-and-out obnoxious even -- or especially to -- his family. (Both actors are exceptional in this film! And the script is wonderful!) Slade brings Charlie to New York where he plans to have a last fling before he kills himself to end what he considers as a hopeless, pathetic existence.
While in New York, Frank lives it up; he pulls out all stops to make one major last hurrah. Charlie goes along and in the process, they bond, despite Franks irascible and insulting ways. There's a scene in a restaurant where Frank smells the perfume of a woman (Gabrielle Anwar, dropdead gorgeous). He asks Charlie for the coordinates of the ballroom, basically how much room there is for him to dance. Then he follows the woman's scent, goes to her, asks her to dance, and they tango. That scene alone is indelibly etched in my brain, and if only for that, this movie is worth watching.
But I'm voting it in because of the courtroom scene. Actually, there's no courtroom. Charlie is being tried before the school's board for a prank pulled by other students, which, to me, is similar to being tried in court. The administration knows that Charlie knows who did it, but he's not telling, and they're making him bleed to make him squeal. He's being threatened that his scholarship (without which he can't finish his studies) will be taken away if he doesn't tell.
Charlie won't tell because it's against his sense of honor to snitch. I don't agree with him there (so if you need to bury a body, you know whom not to call, lol). But Frank barges into the room and defends Charlie.Listen:
"Now I have come to the cross-roads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew, but I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the cross-roads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey."
And:
""I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong; I'm not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this: he won't sell anybody out to buy his future!"
Charlie is excused from further response. The movie ends on a hopeful note. Altogether a worthy film to see.
To join Thursday Couch Potatoes, click here.

A Very Merry Un-Birthday


Here is a little something I rocked over the weekend. I started with a base of NYX - Dancing Queen, then I did a glitter gradient of OPI - Mad As A Hatter and a gradient of Lippmann Collection - Happy Birthday. I call it "A Very Merry Un-Birthday"!

The gradient wasn't very difficult to do. I started at the base, and with less polish on the brush than I would need for the whole nail, I made a couple of swipes only on the bottom third of the nail. Then I pushed a little bit toward the tip to get those few loose looking pieces. I did this with both glitters. Once the glitter was where I wanted it, I added a top coat and viola!

NYX - Dancing Queen, OPI - Mad As A Hatter, Lippmann Collection - Happy Birthday

Have a great Monday!
-Elaine

Mani Monday: Orange and gold


My very first "nail art" -- does it qualify as nail art at all? I think I'll just call it nail 'do and leave it at that.
It's very simple, really. I applied 1 coat of sheer peach base (from No Name Nail Polish). Put on orange polish on half of the nails, diagonally. Then I applied nail sticker on the orange side. Topped with top coat twice to seal in the sticker.
p.s. I can't get over how jarring the orange looks against the pastel pink and blue of my theme, LOL. But it's not that far from the blogger logo. Maybe I should call this mani "I ♥ blogger", seeing as the stickers feature hearts, and the orange stands for blogger?

The Best Nail Tip Ever: Glitter Removal Made Easy. VERY EASY

In light of all the super dense glitter we have gotten recently, i.e. Nubar - Sparkles, Zoya - Ultra Glitter, OPI - Alice in Wonderland, I thought it was about time to post this tip for removing glitter. Some of you may be reluctant to wear glitter polish because you know what a headache it is to remove them. Well forget all that! You can rock the bling, and get it off in a snap. Sound too goo to be true? IT ISN'T!

This is the *BEST* tip I have ever gotten related to nails. It feels like you are a magician.

Necessary equipment:
  • aluminum foil
  • cotton balls
  • nail polish remover: acetone or non-acetone*
  • a clock/stopwatch
  • 10 nails full of glitter!
Step 1: Start out with a rock hard glitter mani. I chose to use my Mad As A Hatter mani for this tutorial when it came time to take it off. Get yourself 10 cotton balls, and 10 pieces of tin foil cut into little rectangles. They should be about 3 inches on each side, roughly.

Step 2: Take a cotton ball and soak it in remover. it doesn't have to be sopping wet. Just get as much as you would for usual removal. Place it on your nail.

Step 3: Take a piece of foil and wrap it around your finger tip in order to keep the cotton ball in place.

Repeat Step 2 and Step 3 for the remaining nails on that hand. I say this because I think it is easier to do one hand first and take them all off before doing the next. It you try to do the second hand with foil fingers, it's a bit tricky.



Step 4: Wait for 5 minutes. 5 is the magic number. I tried this with all different times. 1-3 minutes was not enough, 4 almost made it, but 5 for sure, was when things came right off.
*This is where the asterisk come in. I tried the foil method with non-acetone remover and it worked just fine, however I didn't test it for 5 minutes. It was probably on for 7ish minutes. It may have been just fine at 5, but I don't know for sure.

Step 5: Using a little pressure on the nail, pull the whole foil/cotton ball combo off in one swoop.

Step 6: Marvel at out clean your nail is! There is still some blue on the tip as you can see, but all the glitter is gone! Check it out:

It is all in the cotton ball!

Step 7: Repeat to the other hand.

So just to really drive the message home: this manicure was on for several days and it consisted of a base coat, 2 coats of Sally Hansen - Thinking Of Blue, 1 coat of Seche Vite, 2 coats of Mad As A Hatter, and yet another coat of Seche Vite. Seven coats including 2 of a super dense glitter, and this got it all off in. one. swoop. This is not a joke, ladies!! Try the foil method. It will change your life.

I hope this was helpful and will inspire you to wear more glitter polishes!
-Elaine

Yellow creme comparison featuring Up & Away

Hello all! It seems I have several yellow polishes! I thought it would be nice/helpful to do some comparisons of them. There are several other brands "featured" in this post, but I mention China Glaze Up & Away colors because they were the ones I was waiting for to do the comparisons. Also, there was a great discovery made about both the Up & Away yellows once I did the comparisons. First up is the banana yellows:

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Squarepants, Sally Hansen - Yellow Kitty, China Glaze - Lemon Fizz, BB Couture - Little Deuce Coupe

From left to right:
Squarepants - 4 coats
Yellow Kitty - 3 coats
Lemon Fizz - 2 coats
BB Couture - 2 coats

Squarepants is of course a jelly, and Yellow Kitty falls somewhere in between jelly and creme. Lemon Fizz is very creamy and opaque and applied like a dream, and Little Deuce Coupe is right behind. Lemon Fizz is clearly the brightest.

Next up is the sunshine yellows. This comparison was inspired by SalvagedExpression who asked about a comparison about over a month ago! Here it is girl!

Sally Hansen - Lightening, China Glaze - Happy Go Lucky, Diamond Cosmetics - Lemon Yellow Zest, OPI - The "It" Color

From Left to right:
Lightening
Happy Go Lucky
Lemon Yellow Zest
The "It" Color

All were 3 coats with the exception of The "It" Color at four. Happy Go Lucky was super close to being 2 coats. I was really rooting for it. It looked pretty good at 2, but I had to do three for the pic because it did have a slight streak to it. Too bad. I really wanted to report that it was a 2 coater like Lemon Fizz. Anyway, yet again, China Glaze is the brightest, Lightening is right behind, and Lemon Yellow Zest and The "It" Color step down respectively to darker/more orange.

So the discovery I spoke of was just that both of the China Glaze yellows were the brightest against their competitors. Also, they had phenomenal application. Lemon Fizz is an incredible 2 coater, and I think you could get Happy Go Lucky on in 2. It has the potential, I just missed it and had to go for 3.

This Up & Away Collection is really knocking my socks off!

Relapse

As of late I have been liking blue polish more. I think aside from colors like sheers and nudes, blue was lowest on the totem pole. Maybe brown and black were lower, but my feelings for blue were very odd because there were of course blues I loved and wore, but a lot of times blues that other people were drooling over, I was not, or when I bought blues I never wore them. Well for whatever reason that tendency is shifting. Out of all the Sally Hansen - Complete Salon Manicure colors I showed you, Thinking of Blue was the one that I wore first. And I didn't want to take it off!

The whole reason I say all this is because of a new lemming I found in myself for a discontinued blue: Lippmann Collection - Rehab. I saw it plenty and didn't want it, but for some reason lately I wanted it. I can't get it, so I made my own! I named it Relapse.

I used mostly clear, and equal amounts of both Wet n Wild - Nocturnal and China glaze - Liquid Leather. If I had to give measurements, I would say 4 parts clear, 1 part Nocturnal and 1 part Liquid Leather.

It is very translucent and needs 4 coats but that is what I wanted. i didn't want it too pigmented and looking like a nearly black creme. I wanted it to be obviously blue and obviously jelly. Check it out! >>>

Have a lovely weekend!