Friday, November 30, 2012

Vote for the Best of 2012!

 I did the "Best of" poll last year, and everyone really enjoyed it, so I'm doing it again!

-I tried to condense this as best as possible. It would of be impossible for me to include all the indies, and every collection released, so I tried to pick what I felt were the most popular.

-The "Best Handmade Indie Brand Nails Polish in 2012" list was comprised of the 6 most mentioned brands from the Handmade Indie Poll I had up last month.

-Please do not over think this.You do not have to own these collections to be able to vote. Please just make a selection even if you don't have an absolute favorite.... pick the next best thing. This is all for fun!

-The last question about "What is your favorite nail polish released in 2012?", I have left optional. You are not required to answer this question. I know it's hard, but if you can, please try and name one. I will be making a list of the Top 10 polishes with the most mentions when I calculate the results for the rest of the poll.

-Please share poll with your friends if you can!

You have until Tuesday, December 18th to vote. You may only vote once. On Monday,  December 31st, I will post the results of this poll along with my personal picks from the year.

Have fun!!!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hare Oceans of Alloys

I was so psyched recently when I saw Hare release it's newest collections. I admit I did stalk Llarowe, and was reasonable and only picked up two Hare polishes. (Seriously you all I am embarrassed at the amount of indie polish I've purchased this month. I've some how rationalized in my head that buying 2-3 at a time every 5-7 days doesn't look as bad as buying 10 at one time.) Back on topic, this is one of the polishes I picked out.

Oceans of Alloys

Oceans of Alloys is a light teal jelly mixed with copper and gold hex and square glitters and a subtle blue shimmer.


You know those polishes you love when you buy them, and when you put them on you're not really sure what to say/think about them? They don't move you the way you thought they would? They're not speaking to you like you had imagined? I think this is the case here.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this polish. I was attracted to it when I purchased it. The color combination is my absolutely favorites. I love cool colors mixed with warm metallics, it is nail polish perfection. Personally, this just maybe a little too much glitter for me.



I love glitter, but I find the jelly base too cluttered with the glitter. This was a polish I was hoping to wear as a full mani, but for my personal tastes this is something I'd wear as an accent nail. This is just a little too much glitter for a full mani for me. I don't dislike it. Personally, I wish there was half the amount of glitter in there, so the base could shine too. I'm not going to get rid of it, and I will wear it, it's just not what I built it up to be. 

Like I said before, there is nothing wrong with this polish. My letdown with it is clearly based on aesthetics and my personal opinion. The formula was nice and it applied well. So, please don't let me my disappointment dissuade you from liking this or wanting if it appeals to you. I just have to be honest, and I'm sure many of you can relate to this type of a reaction with a polish. :) 

I got this polish on llarowe for $11.00. 

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ulta Lav-ish

Some of the most difficult color families for me of nail polish are of the greige, taupe, and granvender variety. There is something about these colors that can be described as "muddy" that do not work well with my skin tone. They make me hands look dirty and red. The problem I find with this is these types of colors are very on trend, chic, and I like the way they look. I spotted Ulta Lav-ish, and was instantly attracted to it, but I had that thought in the back of my head that this color may just not work well on me. Thankfully, I was wrong and found this shade of "gravender" to be a more forgiving shade. 


Lav-ish is a dusty muted lavender with a subtle golden shimmer.

That's not so bad! I actually love it! Phew! I think what makes this work for me, is that it leans more to the lavender side than the gray. It also has more of a dusty and soft appearance than a muddy one. The golden shimmer helps it too. It's certainly nice to find a color like this that I can confidently wear and feel good about. If you have trouble with the types of shades I mentioned above I'd really recommend checking out Lav-ish, I think it maybe what you've been looking for. I also really cannot think of color out there quite like it. The formula was nice, and it applied well. The Ulta brand polishes go on sale frequently, so it also affordable and easy to find. :)

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Talk it Out Tuesday: Blogger Identity

Who are you as a blogger? What are your goals for your blog? What type of relationship do you want with with your readers? Do you want to be more than just a blogger? Where do you stand as far as other bloggers blogging on the same topic?

These are questions that have honestly plagued me over the past few months. I struggle with finding my blogger identity. I even wonder if there is such thing or if it's some type of standard I've created in my head?
There are some things I know for sure... I will not change my blogging style, content, or anything about my blog that makes it what it is now. It is also clear to me that my blog is very different from many other bloggers.

I love the Central Florida Beauty Bloggers group I belong to, but I can't help but feel out of place at times. I know many of the bloggers there who are very successful, professional, passionate and have amazing long-term goals to really be that go-between person between the consumer and the beauty industry. They're amazing bloggers who I really see becoming successful figures in not only the blogging community,  but the beauty industry too. Heck, they're already successful in that!

That's not me though. That's not what I want. I know I have the respect from my readers. You all are amazingly supportive of me, and continue to inspire and motivate me to keep doing what I'm doing. I am thankful for that. I often feel while I connect with my readers, that I do not fit in with other bloggers. I do not feel that other bloggers really see me as serious or really understand me as a blogger.  It is 100% possible I do this to myself. Perhaps I alienate myself on purpose from other bloggers because I assume they don't think I'm worthy or good enough because I have a different style of blogging? I don't know, but I feel very outside of the blogger world.

I see myself as a casual blogger. I hate using the word casual sometimes, because I'm scared that maybe translated as lazy or uncommitted. I work very hard on my blog, and dedicate a lot of my time to it. It maybe casual as far as content, and how I relate to my readers, but I do take it seriously. My favorite thing about my blog is the freedom I feel to be myself. I see my ability to connect with people and relate to people on a level I never could imagine. I've said it before, but I could be blogging about caterpillars and it is all the same to me. It's just nail polish is how I found a way to connect with you all--a very beautiful, colorful, and sparkly way! I love nail polish, and honestly I can't see myself blogging about something else.

What are my goals? I have a hard time defining this, and it needs work. I really would like to continue to use this medium of nail polish and combine it with what moves me which is relating, sharing, and connecting with people. This blog in many cases is therapeutic for me. It's been a way for me to share my insecurities and struggles with you all, and in turn find peace and healing for myself. It has been a place where many of you have been able to find some strength and healing for yourselves. When I get comments, emails, and message from you all saying that my posts have helped you or made you feel better about yourself that means the world to me. That's my goal, as someone who has felt insecure and alone for a good portion of my life, to know that I helped someone feel a little more understood or appreciated is the biggest reward this blog has given me.

I'd like to merge the beauty world with empowerment, self esteem, and confidence for the average woman being myself an average woman. I know there are many authority figures or companies who do the same thing, but I'm an average Joe. I'm not sure what this will look like for my blog in the future. I'm not sure how to get it there either. That's up to me to figure out. What does that make me as a blogger? I don't know I know I'm different, but I also want to be. I chose to be. I still get tripped up on my identity as blogger, and I wonder if I'm respected or appreciated by other bloggers? I wonder if other bloggers get me, my mission, and my passion?

Just through writing this post I'm beginning to see that this idea of a blogger identity is just another form of self sabotage. It's another thing that probably myself, and other bloggers out there put upon ourselves that make us feel inferior and insecure. It keeps us stuck and  makes us question ourselves. Does this mean it won't bother me again? No, it will. It's real, and as strong as I am, I still get tripped up by the same things over and over. It honestly takes me writing and sharing these thoughts to be able to process it and start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am a different blogger. I may not fit in with other beauty bloggers as far as their goals for their blog. That's ok though, and honestly I'd never want to be anything else than who I am. It's conflicting wanting to feel a part of something, but wanting your independence too isn't it? I'll figure it out though. I always seem to manage.

Have you struggled with the idea of your "blogger identity" or if you're not a blogger have experienced similar identity struggles? 

Share your experiences in the comments. 

Happy Tuesday

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sindie Pop! Lacquer- Velvet Darkness

Today, I have my most used and favorite indie polish for this fall. This one is by Sindie Pop Lacquer. I blogged about her other polishes Golden Raspberries and Sea of Dreams recently. I purchased this next polish along with those 2 others that were a part of her fall collection.

Velvet Darkness

Velvet Darkness is a deep purple base with micro silver holo glitters, silver hex glitters, and fuchsia hex glitters.

This is amazing! If this makes sense, I'm a big fan of non-traditional seasonal colors. You know the ones that  read as holiday or fall, but are not literal representations? This is completely a perfect fall color without it being the traditional orange, red, yellow, etc type of color. The deep purple base is the highlight of this color. It is unexpected, and it reads as a deep purple on the nail, not as a black. The glitter is great addition.  I love how you can see the previous coats of glitter layered under the jelly, it's a cool effect. Can you tell I love it? The formula as nice on this one too. It was easy to apply. 

I purchased this one from Sindie Pop Lacquer's website. Sindie Pop is having a special for Cyber Monday where all of her polishes are $7 for today only! If you'e a fan of indie polish or jelly glitter, I highly recommend you pick this one up!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Share With You Sunday: 11/18/12-11/25/12

Posts I'm Loving:
PackAPunchPolish shows us her Neon Striped Water Marble nails.
brikasia shares with us her Green Candy Apple eye look.
Glitter and Nails shows us her "Baby It's Cold Outside" nails.
Polish Obsession shares with us her snow inspired nails.
hotpinkaurora shows us wintry nails using snowflake stickers.
Frazzle and Aniploish shares with us Black Friday nail displays.
Globe & Nail shows us her Sugar Plum Fairy nails.

Posts You're Loving:
Polished Crazed shows us her striping tape mani using Sinful Colors Cream Pink.
Life in Color! shares with us her "A little bit of Bombay and Switzerland" mani.

You can submit your links for Sunday posts here

Reader Manis of the Week:

Name: Beah
Location: California
Manicure Description: I used WnW Black Creme as the base color. Then I used earplugs (don't worry they were new) as my sponge because I couldn't find any sponges. I sponged on Orly's Sweet Peacock, Ulta's Sweetheart, and CG's Secret Periwinkle. At the end, I added some sparkles to create stars by putting on OPI's Servin' Up Sparkle and WnW's Kaleidoscope.
Favorite Polishes: Essie Fiji, OPI Mrs. O'leary's BBQ, Orly Rage, and China Glaze Re-fresh mint
Instagram: beahnce

Name: Liesl
Location: Keizer, OR
Manicure Description: Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Scarlet Ruby, aka No. 21
Favorite Polishes: Butter London Come to Bed Red & Union Jack Black, OPI You Callin Me A Lyre, Rescue Beauty Lounge Cuprum, NARS Storm Bird, Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Burgundy Orchid

I need manis for next week and the rest of December! You can find information on how to submit your manicures for Sunday posts here

Happy Sunday!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pretty Jelly Polishes: Swatches & Review

Pretty Jelly is new indie polish brand on the block brought to you by Liz behind the blog Liquid Jelly. Liz asked me if I would be willing to review some of brand new polishes for my blog, and I gladly agreed. These first 2 polishes are currently available now in her Etsy shop. These polishes are part of her Holiday 2012 collection, and are $9.00 each.

Confetti Countdown over Cult Nails Nevermore

Confetti Coundown is a mixture of a micro holo silver glitter, medium blue hexes, medium gold squares, medium silver holo squares, and larger silver holo star glitters in a clear base.

This is a playful and fun glitter. It is clearly perfect for New Years or another holiday celebration. It really is like confetti on the nails! The formula on this was easy to work with and applied evenly. I used 2 coats of it here.

Sugar Cookie over Milani White on the Spot

 Sugar Cookie is a mixture of small white, red, and green matte glitters in a clear base.

This is a perfect name for this polish. It looks exactly like the sprinkles on Christmas cookies. I love it! This polish like Confetti Countdown was easy to use and applied well. I used 3 coats here.


The next polish I'm going to show you has not been released yet, but Liz wanted me to test it out. Liz is working on a releasing line of holos for her shop. She says these holos will have a scattered-linear hybrid finish. She plans on a selling the minis (6ml) for $8, and the full size (15ml) for $16. The holo I have to show you today is a test version of a teal holo.

Diamond S-teal-er

 Diamond S-teal-er is a soft teal holo.

This is a super sparkly and bright holo polish! I love the color, and it applied nicely. I used 2 coats.

I'm all around pleased with Pretty Jelly polishes. The holiday glitters were well made, easy to apply, and fun polishes. I'm looking forward to the release holos because there can never be enough holos out there!

Confetti Countdown, Sugar Cookie, and 3 other holiday polishes not seen here (Berry X-Mas, Secret Santa Affair, and Skate Date) are available for purchase now on Pretty Jelly's etsy shop for $9.00 each. The holos will be released in the near future. The minis will be $8 each and the full size will be $16 each.

Pretty Jelly is also running a special for her grand opening. You can get 10% off your purchase if you use the discount code NEWSHOP10 (expires 11/24). 

* I received these polishes for my honest review by Pretty Jelly

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

China Glaze Cirque du Soleil (Pic Heavy)

*This is going to be probably one of the most comprehensive posts I've ever done here, so be prepared for information overload!

I have not been impressed with China Glaze the past few years. There collections have not moved me, and if I do pick up something new from them it's usually months after the fact. When I started seeing bottle pics of the Cirque du Soleil collection I got really excited. I loved the combination of colors. It was bright, fun, and whimsical. I heard a lot of people say these were dupey colors. I had a feeling they might of been, but I still wanted them. This collection just spoke to did! I ordered 9 of the 12 from an Victoria Nail Supply on Tuesday, and I received them by Friday! The polishes I did not pick up were Whirled Away, Def Defying, and Get Carried Away. I know some of these were standouts to you all, but I did not see myself using them. The rest of the colors I did purchase.

This is how this post is going to work--(lol I'm dorky and have an agenda!)
1. Swatches and review
2. Color comparisons on nail wheels
3. Finals thoughts

Swatches and Review:

Bend Over Backwards

Bend Over Backwards is glowing slightly orange-toned red shimmer.

This is beautiful shimmer. It really glows. The application was smooth and easy to apply. I used 2 coats here. 

It's a Trap-eze

It's a Trap-eze is a white cream base with muilt-colored glitter mixed in.

I found this a bit tricky to work with. This was 3 coats. I felt that the base was heavier than the glitter, this made it difficult to get an even application between coats because the glitter sat up higher than the base. (I hope that makes sense!) 

Surreal Appeal

Surreal Appeal is a bright pink-toned coral creme.

This is a beautiful color and a great coral. The application was good on this one too. 

Hanging in the Balance

Hanging in the Balance is a bright cerulean blue creme.

I had difficulty photographing this one. It a little darker than is shown here. This a very saturated blue. The formula on this was somewhat thin, and I found it flooded my cuticles easily if I was not careful.

Igniting Love

Igniting Love is a bright slightly orange-toned red creme.

Great rich bright red color with this one. The formula was perfect on it!

Running in Circles

Running in Circles is super sparkly bright green glass fleck.

Stunning. Gorgeous. You need this one, it sparkles and shimmers so brightly!

Escaping Reality

Escaping Reality is a neon raspberry creme.

A great neon shade. I wouldn't classify it as like highlighter neon, if you know what I mean, it's not eye blaring bright. The formula on this was good.

Water You Waiting For

Water You Waiting For is a mixture of micro aqua, medium blue, and indigo glitter in sheer blue base.

This is another beauty. I love the combination of the cool colored glitters. This was 3 coats and the formula was easy to work with.

Creative Fantasy

Creative Fantasy is a neon grape jelly.

The color is awesome, but this formula is one of the worst I've come across in a polish. It is sheer, uneven, and very very messy. This took 4 coats, and 5 coats on my ring finger and index finger to reach opacity. It's ridiculous. It does dry matte, I don't care for that so I added top coat.


These comparisons are done on nail wheels using colors I found in my collection that looked either similar or dupey to the colors in the collection. These are just the polishes I have, if you do not see something you think is similar that doesn't mean it isn't similar, it's just I do not have it.

Bend Over Backwards

China Glaze Riveting, China Glaze Bend over Backwards, and Sinful Colors Serena & Chloe

There are no dupes or similarities among these three. Bend Over Backwards is more red-toned and has a condensed shimmer.

Escaping Reality

Sinful Colors Cream Pink & China Glaze Escaping Reality

SC Cream Pink was the closest color I had in my collection to Escaping Reality. The difference here is Cream Pink has a shimmer, while Escaping Reality is a creme. I would say that this color is probably easily dupeable, I just don't have a comparable color in my collection.

Surreal Appeal

China Glaze Sugar High, China Glaze Surreal Appeal, Avon Coral Reef

China Glaze Sugar High is more pink than Surreal Appeal. I think Avon Coral Reef and Surreal Appeal are dupes, but the China Glaze formula was easier to work with, and would probably be easier to find.

Water You Waiting For

Nicole by OPI Kendall on the Katwalk & China Glaze Water You Waiting For 

The only difference between these two is the darkest glitter in NOPI Kendall on the Katwalk is slightly more purple than the darkest color in Water You Waiting For which is more blue. The only way I noticed this is if I practically had my nose up to this polish, from a distance I could not tell a difference between the two.

Creative Fantasy

Urban Outfitters Bandeau, China Glaze Creative Fantasy, and L.A. Girl Disco Brites Hustle

Urban Outfitters Bandeau and L.A. Girl Hustle are both a tinge darker than Creative Fantasy. The formulas on the Urban Outfitters and the L.A. Girl are FAR FAR superior to the China Glaze. I'd recommend purchasing the Urban Outfitters or the L.A. Girl (you can find it on Cherry Culture) instead of Creative Fantasy if you like this color.

Hanging in the Balance

Color Club Chelsea Girl, China Glaze Hanging in the Balance, and OPI Ogre the Top Blue

Again, these were hard to photograph. OPI Ogre the Top Blue is a tinge lighter than Hanging in the Balance, but at a distance I was not able to tell a difference at all. Color Club Chelsea blue is lighter is more neon than the others.

Running in Circles

Zoya Ivanka & China Glaze Running in Circles

Zoya Ivanka is more sheer and more of a blue-toned green. China Glaze Running in Circles is not sheer and is more of a true green.

Igniting Love

Sinful Colors Energetic Red, China Glaze Igniting Love, and Essie Too Too Hot

Honestly, in real life I could not tell the difference at all between these 3. If you have either the Sinful Colors the Essie, or even a color you think is similar you do not need Igniting Love.

Final Thoughts: 

Clearly, many of your suspicions about these being dupey colors were correct. The only color you did not see a comparison of was It's a Trap-eze simply because I have nothing remotely similar.

  • I'd say out of the ones I reviewed I'd be comfortable telling you to get Running in Circles and It's a Trap-eze for sure. 
  • I'd say maybe on Surreal Appeal and Bend Over Backwards because while I do not have (I'm not counting the Avon because it's not as easily accessible) exact dupes, I'm not convinced these are really unique.
  •  I'd say if you love Creative Fantasy if at all possible try to find the Urban Outfitters or L.A. Girl color instead because you will be happier with the formula.
  • If you already have NOPI Kendall on the Katwalk you can pass on Water You Waiting For
  • Escaping Reality, Hanging in the Balance, Igniting Love are really dupeable, if you have a ton of nail polish you probably already have colors like these. You can pass on them. 

Am I disappointed I got these in hindsight? No not really. I really like this as a cohesive collection, and despite the bad formula on Creative Fantasy I liked the formula on the others. Most likely, I'd get rid of the dupey counterparts and keep this China Glaze ones. It was really fun doing a post like this, but really time consuming!!! I hope you all liked this post, and it helped saved you money!

You can find more comparisons on The PolishAholic, she also has the colors I did not purchase.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Maybelline Color Show Sequins

When I first saw a press release of these I knew I instantly wanted them. I also knew, that since this collection was limited edition I'd probably never find it! My sweet dad actually found these for me at the grocery store Albertsons. I know people have spotted these at other grocery store chains, Rite Aid, and Walmart. I'm hoping these will be at other drugstores soon so you can find them!

I will start out by saying I had difficulty with the formula in these. I immediately added a few drops of thinner to ALL of them. In my review, I will be layering these over other polishes. I found while some of these could reach opacity on their own, if I used 2+ coats (which I think is what would be needed to get full coverage) the formula got really difficult to work with and looked really chunky and uneven on the nail. These preformed better using 1 to 2 coats layered over a base. Despite my difficulty, with the formula I'm a glitter junkie so I enjoy these. It's nice to see glitter bombs in drugstore format.

Gold's Night Out over ChG Midnight Kiss

Gold's Night is a mixture of micro gold glitter, small gold hex glitter, and medium gold hex glitters in a clear base.

This is a nice combination of different size glitters and holo glitter. The formula on this is chunky and thick.

Cocktail Dress over Cult Nails Nevermore

Cocktail Dress is a mixture of black and charcoal micro glitters with small red-orange hex glitters in a clear base.

This is a pretty glitter. I found this formula one of the easier ones to work with in comparison to the rest of the collection. I like the color combination. 

Lavender Sparks over Cult Nails Nevermore

Lavender Sparks is a mixture of micro lavender glitter, small lavender hex glitter, and medium holo lavender glitters in a clear base.

This is a chunky dunky yucky formula. Absolutely terrible. It was better with thinner, but I do not recommend using more than 2 coats as it gets really thick and chunky the more coats you use. Pretty color glitter though, and nice layered using less coats.

Ruby Rhinestones over Revlon Raven Red

Ruby Rhinestones is a sheer red base mixed with red micro glitter, black micro glitter, and medium red hex glitters.

The formula on this was OK. It wasn't the worst, but it wasn't the best. I like the combination of red and black.

Sea-Quins over Cult Nails Nevermore

Sea-Quins is a mixture of micro teal glitter, small teal hex glitters, and medium teal hex glitters in a clear base.

The most beautiful of the bunch in my opinion. The formula on this was also decent, and easier to work with than the others.

Silver Gleam over Zoya Trixie

Silver Gleam is a mixture of micro silver glitters, small sliver hex glitters, and medium silver holo glitters in a clear base. 

This was significantly less chunky than a Gold's Night Out. It was one of the easier formulas to work with.

Rose Bling over Cult Nails Nevermore

Rose Bling is a mixture of small rose hex glitters, medium rose hex glitters, and medium dark pinkhex glitters in a clear base.

This is another chunky dunky yucky mess. It is worse than Lavender Sparks. This is what nail polish application nightmares are made of. I wouldn't even attempt doing more than 2 coats of will have a bad time. The glitter color is pretty though, and is decent layered. 

Sapphire Masquerade over Cult Nails Nevermore

Sapphire Masquerade is a sheer blue base with micro blurple glitters, small blurple hex glitters, and medium fuschia hex glitters.

The formula on this was thick. It was decent after thinner. You maybe successful with this in 3 coats without a base if you add thinner to it. This one is very pretty. 

Final Thoughts: 
I'm sure you noticed I commented on the formula on every one of these. They are truly pretty awful. I honestly don't think you could use these with much success with out nail polish thinner. As much as I trash the formula, and I know that is a deal breaker for many of you, I can't help but like some of these glitters. I like the colors, and being a glitter junkie the extra effort is OK by me. That's the only case I'd recommend these in. If you love glitters or if any of these catch you eye, go for it, but keep in mind what I said about the formula. If these don't do much for you or you're on the fence I'd pass. If you had me choose favorites I'd go with Sea-Quins, Cocktail Dress, Sapphire Masquerade, and Lavender Sparks (simply because I have not seen lavender holo glitter before). 

Price wise I believe these are in the $3-$4 range. 

Happy Monday!