21 April 2013

Something Different... Growth and Practice

Nothing To Disclose

I was really into nail polish in 2005. I worked at Osco Pharmacy and always got dibs on clearance items and  bought all of the new drugstore collections. Little did I know that were other brands out there.. OPI, China Glaze, Essie.. just to name a few. Or that there was nail art! I painted my nails one color at a time and that was it. 

Then last year, a friend on FB posted a link to a nail polish giveaway, so I entered the giveaway, and that opened the door to a whole new nail polish world. I was taken to a place were there were even more nail polish brands I've never heard of, indie companies, nail art, a huge community.. and that was the end for me! I was sucked in! Last year in July, I had 86 bottles of nail polish and I thought that was a lot. Now, my collection is probably at the 500-mark and still growing!

Yesterday, as I was updating a group document for Blog Birthdays, I had to go find my first ever post to find my blog's birthday, and decided to read every post on my blog, to see how far I have come in almost a year. It's amazing what growth and practice can do, even in such a short amount of time!

Here's a picture from my very first picture of a manicure.. way before I knew about clean up, camera/macro settings, light boxes, hand poses (LOL).

And here's a comparison picture for the same nail art.. cherry blossoms! The one on top is my most recent attempt, and the bottom is my first try. Very different in a matter of a couple of months! Execution is a lot better, the photography is better (I think!).

I think this just goes to show that it doesn't necessarily have to take a long time to get where you want to be. Practice goes a long way! Frustration happens! I've gone through a few points where I was just beyond irritated because nothing was happening the way I planned it, nail polish wasn't applying correctly, nail art was a huge fail, stuff that looked awesome in my mind didn't translate well to nails. I read a ton of blogs on an almost-daily basis, and I take a lot of ideas from some of my favorite bloggers.. nail art techniques, photography, hand poses, and try to use those to come up with my own techniques and I think it may be paying off. Even if I don't get any comments on posts, I know that for me, I have come a long way and it makes me happy :D

18 April 2013

ABC Challenge - C Is For... Cherry Blossoms!

Nothing To Disclose

Happy Thursday!! Less than 2 days closer to the weekend!! :D

I somehow managed to skip "B" of Erica's Nails and More ABC Nail Art Challenge.. probably because I've been so busy and stressing and freaking out. At some point, I'll get to it, though!

This week's letter is "C" and I immediately knew what I wanted to do! Cherry Blossoms! <3 These are so easy to do! I used 2-3 coats of Orly Gumdrop as my base color, Orly Decades of Dysfunction for the petals, Sinful Colors Sugar and Spice for the center of the blossoms, and a Milani black nail art striper. I think my black branches are a bit on the thick side, but I still loved how it turned out :D I think it may be better than the first time I did these!

See you next week for "D"!!

14 April 2013

Literary Lacquers Review and Swatches - Picture Heavy

Provided For Review

Good morning!! I'm trying to get rid of this cold/bronchitis/whatever it is I have, drinking coffee, while my 6 year old is still sleeping and my 2 year old is on the other computer watching Wonder Pets.

I recently stumbled upon Literary Lacquers and fell immediately in love! <3 Amy is an absolute genius! Books and polish?? Polish with names based on characters from books?? YES, PLEASE!! So course, I contacted Amy about reviewing her polish and she sent me two from The Good Parts Collection! :D

11 April 2013

Ruby White Tips Review and Swatches

Provided For Review

Almost close to the weekend! Yay!! The ever-so-amazing Laura at Ruby White Tips sent me three polishes to review, and OMG!!! They are gorgeous!! I was sent Libra, Kim, and OMG...I...Die.

Libra is a purple-orangey rust duo chrome. I found it very hard to describe what this polish is! It is very sheer on it's own, so I layered two coats over Milani Black Swift. Application was amazing. I do suggest waiting for the first coat to dry so there is no balding or patchy areas.

RWT Libra over Milani Black Swift - no flash

RWT Libra over Milani Black Swift - flash

OMG...I...Die is a beautiful raspberry jelly with round teal glitter, orange irridescent square glitter, and micro holo glitters and is inspired by Rachel Zoe :D I used 3 coats. My only issue with application is that it was on the thick side. The thickness is tolerable and it's still beautiful! I love squishy jelly polishes!!

And lastly, my absolute favorite! Kim is a custom-made polish. It is a beautiful light pink/nude holo. I used 2 coats and applied HK Girl Top Coat, not knowing you weren't supposed to! Application was flawless <3 This was the first one I swatched and I didn't want to take it off!

Isn't it just beautiful??

Ruby White Tips are available for purchase on Etsy, Polishes are 3-Free and $8.75 for a .45fl oz bottle. Also, 50% of sales of the Bat World Sanctuary Collection will go towards the rescue of bats! How awesome is that?! Be sure to follow on Facebook and check out the website!

And that's not all!! Laura is really, really awesome and is giving you, my readers, 15% off your order! (not including the Bat World Sanctuary Collection or mystery bags). Use the code FACEBOOK at checkout :D

Products in this post were provided for review. All opinions are my own. See disclosure.

10 April 2013

ABC Challenge - A Is For... After Party and Aqua!

Nothing To Disclose Purchased By Me

Happy Hump Day!! I'm at home sick (again!!).. I have so much sinus pressure when I stand up, my head feels like it's going to explode! Figured I would take today to rest and work on some posts and reviews and whatnot :)

I'm *trying* to do Erica's Nails and More ABC Nail Art Challenge, but I've been so busy working and being Mom and sick and exhausted that I'm going to be behind for a bit!

The challenge actually started on March 31st, and now it's April 10th.. I have a lot of catching up to do! I thought "A" was a huge challenge and I could not think of anything! Except argyle and I really didn't have time to do something time-consuming :( 

Nicole at Dipped in Lacquer posted this beautiful Autism Awareness mani on Julep's Facebook page and I was trying to think of ways to replicate it using polish I already have, and wouldn't you know.. Julep Carly is pretty darn close to Sinful Colors After Party. The only difference is After Party has bigger turquoise/teal hex glitter in it. Score! :D

I used Sinful Colors Endless Blue as my base color and did a gradient of Sinful Colors After Party. Then I matte-d with NYC Matte Me Crazy.. Seriously, only two fingers were matte! I had to use Hard Candy Matte-ly In Love to get the rest of my nails matte :\ Pinky and ring have NYC and the rest have HC.

Have a great rest of the week! See you soon!! <3

07 April 2013

NerdLacquer I Think You Call Me... Sexy

Purchased By Me

Hellloooo fellow Whovians!! Did anyone catch last night's episode of Doctor Who? I DVRed it because I'm still trying to get caught up.. the good news is I'm on season 7 now! So in honor of the return of Doctor Who (and Matt Smith.. hello!!), I decided to pull out NerdLacquer I Think You Call Me... Sexy. I was lucky enough to snag this on Amanda's first restock since she came back. Since it was Doctor Who, I had to have it, even if I didn't know what the name referenced! :P (Now I do, though!)

I Think You Call Me... Sexy is a royal blue jelly with silver hex glitters (silver because I think they bled!) and silver holographic and blue micro glitters. It's difficult to give an accurate description because after doing some searching, my bottle is clearly different than the rest I've seen :\ My base color leans more toward a navy blue. I used 3 coats, the first and second coats were troublesome, with a lot of balding areas. This is one of those polishes where you should probably make sure each coat is dry because applying the next one. The third coat pretty much evened everything out. I'm really not sure how I feel about this polish. I was a bit disappointed when I was putting it on.

Be sure to follow NerdLacquer on Google+ to get the latest information on new collections, restocks, and other updates. You can purchase NerdLacquer here (when the restocks are live), Harlow and Co, and Ninja Polish (also when restocks are live). Just a helpful hint! You have to be quick because NLs sell out in just minutes!

 Until next time!!