Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Powder Perfect Scarab & Osiris

* I received the following products in exchange for my honest review.

I have new to me brand to show you today. I have been familiar with Powder Perfect for a little while but had not had the opportunity to try the brand until now. Powder Perfect was at the Cocktails & Colors party at Cosmoprof this past year and I was really happy to meet Jacinta the owner. I was also really impressed she made the trek all the way from Australia to be there!

I have two of the polishes from recently released Part III of th Egyptology Series to share with you today. This series has a unique formula that is a mixture of micro glitter polish and holographic polish. Let's get started.

Scarab is a a darkened teal with shades of a blue glitter and holographic sparkle.

Osiris is an emerald green holo with various shades of micro-glitters.

Collection: Powder Perfect Egyptology Series Part III 2016

Colors: I really like these two colors. What I like best about them is that they're not flat holos or glitters. They're a mix of both and that really adds some dimension to these polishes. Scarab is my favorite of the two. Just look at the blue!

Formula: I used 2 coats for both of these. I really like this formula because of the smoothness. The formula sheer on the first coat but builds up completely in the second. I appreciate this because I'd much rather have a sheerer thinner formula than a thick one. I find have more control over the application and formula when it is sheerer with glitters like these. When they're thicker they tend to clump up and drag. I did not have any issues like that with these polishes.

Price: These are $13.00 on the Powder Perfect website.

Overall: These are beautiful polishes with a great formula. I'm really happy I had the opportunity to try this brand because Powder Perfect definitely has a new customer! These colors are great and I appreciate the thoughtful formula done with glitters such as these.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Paint Splatters
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Talk It Out Tuesday: The Simpler Times in Nail Polish

My brain can only process so much information. I think it's because my brain is constantly in hyperdrive all the time. I'm already thinking about and processing so many things. My inner world is so complex I need my outer world to be a little simple so I can navigate it with some ounce of sanity. This includes nail polish which I have founder harder and harder to do over the past few years.

The indie movement has made my simpler nail polish outside world more like my complex inner world. There are so many brands, so many collections, so many boxes, so many brand Facebook groups, and my brain physically cannot process that amount of information overload. I have a difficulty navigating it. I sometimes yearn for the simplicity of the days of just OPI, Zoya, China Glaze, Essie, Orly, and Color Club. 
You only had to worry about your wallet burning holes on a few collections or a few colors. Everyone shopped at the same stores and there was an added element of "the hunt" for new nail polish at Ulta or drugstores. Everyone was also on the same page as far as nail polish discussion. I mean there were only a handful of brands to talk about, so it was easier to connect with people over the only few brands. There is just something so comfortable and nostalgic about all of that, that I miss. 

Mind you, I do not want this post to be misconstrued into I do not like indies and I resent them coming into the picture. That is not what I mean. I love indies and they have definitely reshaped the nail polish market and allowed for so much innovation and creativity we never could have imagined before. Not to mention, the indie market has become the bread and butter to many wonderful people in this community. It's just hard for me to keep up and sometimes I find it stressful.

The only way I've been able to semi-manage it is to just focus on brands I really enjoy and even that's hard. KBShimmer, Cupcake Polish, Different Dimension are tried and true favorites for me, but then I come across some others and then they have sales or involved with etailers with exclusives and have this box coming hurts my brain.

I honestly think part of it is guilt. I feel guilty because makers are just like myself they're not hot shot mult-million dollar brands. They're everyday people and I want to support them all, but I can't. Financially I can't and mentally I can't keep up with everything either.  I feel bad about that. I honest to goodness do. I know there are makers I'm friends with on Facebook or who are involved in Hobby Polish Bloggers that I've never purchased from or only did once. There are indies I met at Cosmoprof whose products I've eyed and loved, but I felt ashamed to tell them I never tried their product. 

I don't want to come off as self-important. I don't think indies are up at night crying because I Stephanie Merlin, haven't purchased from them, but I feel like as a blogger I'm not doing my job to help support the community I guess? As I'm writing this I feel like a lot of this ties into my previous "Talk It Out" posts of feeling like I need to follow sort unspoken nail blogger guideline. 

I'm sure that's why I get nostalgic and miss the simpler times of OPI and Zoya when I didn't have to worry about so many people and whose feelings I could potentially be hurting or whose toes I could be stepping on. I do kind of appreciate the distance between brands and consumers that you have with major brands. Boundaries are good, and some indies don't have boundaries with their customers and fans, so a lot of lines get blurred. I know that makes it harder for people to feel comfortable expressing opinions. Heck, there is even a Facebook group with ask anonymously feature so people can discuss issues with indies anonymously so they don't have to fear retaliation (from indies or their fans). You don't have to worry about that with OPI or Zoya. OPI and Zoya have millions of dollars and don't really care if you think their polish sucks. 

This is a whole other issue, though, but it's definitely part of the same whole. There just a lot of noise whether it be the onslaught of so many releases, brands, exclusives, and such or the social aspect of the nail community. It's a lot of for my brain to process and handle. I think for me it's figuring out how to navigate it without the noise, so I can still enjoy what's new without getting caught up in the hum of everything else around it. 

Does anyone else feel this way? 

Happy Tuesday! 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cupcake Polish Luau Collection (Partial)

* I received the following products in exchange for my honest review.

I have 3 of the 6 colors from Cupcake Polish's Luau Collection that was released yesterday! I'm definitely going to be needing the other 3 because this collection is gorgeous! I've been a fan of Cupcake Polish for awhile now and they definitely have some of my favorite holo polishes. Let's get started.

Here Today, Gone To Maui
Here Today, Gone To Maui is a grass green holographic with gold fleck shimmer.

Sand By Me
Sand By Me is a marigold orange holographic with pink fleck shimmer.

The Tiki To My Heart
The Tiki To My Heart is a magenta pink holographic with silver fleck shimmer.

Collection: Cupcake Polish Luau Collection Summer 2016

Colors: I love this bright and fun colors. I also love the theme of this collection. Cupcake Polish really has a magic touch with holos and these are no exception. They're vibrant  and have their own unique touch with added flecks and shimmers. My favorite of this lot is Here Today, Gone To Maui.

Formula: All of these had excellent smooth and easy to use formulas. I used 2 coats for each of these swatches.

Price: These are $13.00 individually on the Cupcake Polish website

Overall: This is a great collection that I will need to complete. The colors are rich and colorful. The holo effects are vibrant. The formulas are great. I don't have any complaints here. This is a solid collection.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 *Golden* Paint Splatters
Happy Monday! 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Weekly Wax Wrap Up: 8/21/16-8/28/16

I think I'm definitely a seasonal melter. Last year, after fall/winter season I couldn't stand any woodsy scents. I found them really off-putting. Now, I'm noticing I like them as well as some bakery scents. While right now, summery ocean or tropical scents sound repulsive. I'm guessing it's because I definitely overdo it with seasonal scents in their season to the point I get sick of them. Then I go 6 months without melting them and somehow something resets in my nose and I like them again.

Anyone else like this? 

On to this week's melts!
ScentSationals Vanilla Pumpkin Cream
Scent Description: Enjoy a smooth, creamy swirl of pumpkin and vanilla on a perfect autumn night. Baked with nutmeg and sprinkled with cinnamon, this scent is a flawless addition to any fall evening.
My Thoughts: I'm not bakery scent person usually, but I tend to warm up to them in fall. This really doesn't smell anything like vanilla or cream to me, though. This smells really buttery like a pumpkin flavored butter cookie. It's really scrumptious smelling and it's not really sweet which is probably why I like it. 
Scent Throw: 4/5
Where To Buy: ScentSationals

Ten Digit Creations Black Oak & Currant
Scent Description: lush black currants and rich forest woods are fused with amber, black pepper,geranium, clementine, and patchouli
My Thoughts: This is a really unique and sophisticated scent. It has a really dark, rich, and complex woodsy base balanced out with a tart currant. This is really high-end and luxury scent that reminds of something along the lines of Jo Malone or Tom Ford where you'd pay like $65-$110+ for a small candle of a scent like this one. I'm really impressed with it!
Scent Throw: 3.5/5
Where To Buy: Ten Digit Creations

ScentSationals Crimson
Scent Description: Cranberry & Oak
My Thoughts: This smells like a woodsy vanilla men's cologne. The woodsy notes are the most prominent. I don't really detect cranberry in this, but there is the tiniest hint of something fruity perhaps plum? This reminds me of B&BW's discontinued body care scent called Vanilla Noir. It's not a bakery or sugary vanilla note, but a rich and mature vanilla note. I really love this one!
Scent Throw: 4.5/5
Where To Buy: Walmart

Lake Providence Lodge White Tea
Scent Description: This is clean, fresh and floral. White tea leaves mingled with light florals. A very feminine and lovely scent.
My Thoughts: I'm not sure I can add much to the description because it is spot on. It's a nice blend of tea and florals that is clean and inviting. It's definitely a soothing scent for me even though it is fairly girly. The throw could be a bit stronger for me, though.
Scent Throw: 2.5/5
Where To Buy: Lake Providence Lodge

If you like to chat about retail wax be sure to join the Retail Wax FB group!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Throwbacks Week: L.A. Girl Idol

I'm starting to shop my stash for fall colors and this is one that I always reach for this season. It's an L.A. Girl Color Addict polish I've had for around 5 years. I actually think it was released around this time frame, but I don't think it's part of a special collection. You'll know why I love it so much when you see it.

Idol is a dusty denim blue with a golden-bronze micro-shimmer.

Collection: L.A. Girls Color Addict 2011(?).

Color: Yes, this has my favorite cool-toned base paired with a warm metal shimmer. I love this color combination, but I adore this base color. It's such a great fall muted blue and to be honest, I'm more of a fan of muted and dusty colors in fall than vampy ones. The shimmer in this provides a delicate touch of glitz.

Formula: The formula on this was great. I used 2 coats above. I found this formula to be creamy and opaque.

Price: Yes, you can still purchase this one! It's $4.00 on the L.A. Girl website.

Overall: This is an excellent polish for fall. The shade of the blue is gorgeous and that micro-shimmer makes this polish beautifully unique. It's definitely been a fall favorite of mine for many years.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 *Golden* Paint Splatters
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Throwbacks Week: Funky Fingers Jester

Remind me that I don't like photographing swatches with the Funky Fingers bottles? Geez Lousie, my fingers would not cooperate with holding this bottle. Anyways, I do have a Funky Fingers polish to share with you today. I believe this one was from 2010. I'm not sure if this came in a particular collection or what, but I do remember I won it in a giveaway long, long, ago!

Jester is a purple scattered holo.

Collection: Unknown, but released in 2010.

Color: You can't go wrong with a purple holo. I know today we have tons of purple holos, but this was a purple holo back when it was harder to get one. I'd say this is more of a true purple. I know lately we have a lot of red-toned purples, this does have a red undertone, but it's more of a purple than an orchid or fuchsia. I'm also a fan of the scattered holo. We don't get a lot of those anymore.

Formula: The formula on this was pretty good. It was 2 smooth coats and I didn't really notice any quality issues from the formula for it being so old.

Price: N/A. I don't think you can find this anymore unless you come across it in a blog sale.

Overall: This is a great solid purple holo. I love this shade of purple and the strongly scattered holo effect. I just hate Funky Fingers bottle shape!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Paint Splatters
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Throwbacks Week: Rimmel Mania

Last week was supposed to be Throwbacks Week since it was the 3rd week of the month, but my brain blanked out on that. We'll pretend it's the 3rd week of the month! Today, I have an oldie Rimmel polish to share with you. I got this in a swap a couple years ago so I'm not sure of its origin entirely. I did look it up online and the earliest post I saw on it was in 2009, but even that blogger said it was older than that.

Mania is a peacock green with golden-green color-shifting shimmer.

Collection: Unknown?

Color: It's really neat to come across such a magical polish from years ago. I love this deep blue-green base color. We all know it's that color-shifting shimmer that makes the polish so special. It really gives this polish that lit-from-within glow.

Formula: This formula was great. I used 2 coats above. The formula hasn't suffered any over the years. It applied smoothly and easily.

Price: This is available on eBay for $6.98!

Overall: This is a great Rimmel shade. If I remember correctly Rimmel used to make some really great shimmer polishes, and they don't really do that anymore. Granted, drugstore nail polish brands haven't really created unique polishes in a long time. Mania is a rare old gem that I'm definitely holding on to!

My Rating: 5 out of  5 *Golden* Paint Splatters
Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weekly Wax Wrap Up: 8/14/16-8/21/16

It was another pretty good week in wax for me. I think I also like knowing I'm not low on wax to review. I do have a handful of stuff for the future. I do wish my Walmart would get the entire selection of new wax from ScentSationals and Better Homes & Gardens, but I don't know if that will happen :(.

ScentSationals Pumpkin Spice
Scent Description: It's Pumpkin Time
My Thoughts: You know I'm not big on foodie scents, but I do enjoy some pumpkin scents. This is one I absolutely love! It's really just the perfect blend of straight up pumpkin and spice notes. There isn't anything cakey or sugary sweet which is where things can go awry for me. This scent is warm, cozy, and festive for fall. 
Scent Throw: 3.5/5
Where To Buy: Walmart

Better Homes & Gardens Bundled In Blankets (Cozy Winter Coat + Plush Fleece Mittens)
Scent Description: N/A
My Thoughts: This is another dual sided wax one. I melted these together. The Cozy Winter Coat Side has a warm cashmere linen scent with what I'm smelling as a slight coffee note. The Plush Fleece Mittens also has a cashmere linen note with some vanilla perhaps? This is a nice scent, but I think it's weak on throw and together it just kind of falls flat. I think it's because they're both so similar. I feel like it needs something to pop. 
Scent Throw: 1.5/5
Where To Buy: Walmart

Ten Digit Creations Blue Ridge Sunrise
Scent Description: fresh mountain air, dewdrops suspended from the tree leaves, and the rising sun in the distance
My Thoughts: This is a great fresh/clean nature scent. I really get a strong ozone airy note paired with fresh spring water. It's a very natural scent that makes you feel like you're outside in nature. The scent description is spot on with this scent. If you're a fan of clean airy scents you will want to try this one. 
Scent Throw: 3.5/5
Where To Buy: Ten Digit Creations

ScentSationals Yin & Yang
Scent Description: The relaxing scent of eucalyptus and mint
My Thoughts: I was curious about this one because ScentSationals also has a scent called Zen with a similar graphic and scent description. I'm pretty confident these scents are dupes of each other. This is basically Bath & Body Works Stress Relief. It's very a soothing scent. I will say one difference I notice is that Yin & Yang has a lighter throw than Zen. Zen you can easily get at Walmart whereas Yin & Yang you have to order from ScentSationals. Zen > Yin & Yang.
Scent Throw: 3/5
Where To Buy: ScentSationals 

If you're into wax be sure to check out the Retail Wax Facebook Group!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 19, 2016

KBShimmer Fall 2016 Collection (Partial)

*I received the following products in exchange for my honest review.

I have 10 of the 12 shades from the KBShimmer Fall 2016 collection to share with you. This collection has been released today, so you can stop on over the KBShimmer website to check them out and shop when you're done here! While supplies last, all fall collection orders will receive purple bat glitters that pair nicely with the polish Fright This Way.

Grin And Gerbera It
Grin and Gerbera It is a warm deep pink leaning color that has a kiss of red to it. (2 coats)

Poppy Kisses
Poppy Kisses is a bright, orange toned red, this linear holographic polish. (2 coats)

Turning Pointe
Turning Pointe is a new Mega Flame polish that is a soft peachy pink smooth holographic glitter. (2 coats)

Tiers of Joy
Tiers of Joys is a wedding cake inspired polish with a soft cake batter color base is filled with pops of gold holographic glitters and pink glitters, while nutmeg and micro holographic glitter adds a hint of spice. (2 coats)

Sage It Ain't So
Sage It Ain't So is a soft sage green with copper, lavender, and silver glitter with some holo dust. (2 coats)

Flake Me Home Tonight
 Flake Me Home Tonight is a minty metallic polish is loaded with silver flakes and holographic sparkle. (2 coats)

Little Boy Hue
Little Boy Hue is a soft “baby” blue  inspired by the 2016 Pantone color of the year Serenity. (2 coats)

The Best Mum Ever
The Best Mum Ever is a deepened lavender color polish loaded with a pinky red micro flakies. (2 coats)

Orchidding Me?
Orchidding Me? is inspired by the orchids of Christy’s mother, this polish has a warm purple base that leans fuchsia, amped up with some linear holographic pigment for a fantastic rainbow flame. (2 coats)

Fright This Way
Fright This Way is a deep black base and a scattering of holo dust and loads of purple glitter. (3 coats with Bat $#*! Crazy glitter accent)

Collection: KBShimmer Fall 2016

Colors: What struck me most about this collection is how original it is in comparison to other fall collections. This isn't a collection of jewel tones or vampy colors and I like that. There is a nice variety of muted, neutral, bold, and transitional shades in this collection. These are colors that really work for any occasion, but still are warm and cozy for fall. My favorites of the ones I have are Grin And Gerbera It (yes a fall pink!), Tiers of Joy, Flake Me Home Tonight, The Best Mum Ever, and Orchidding Me?

Formula: KBShimmer has always had nice formulas but these were especially so. I used 2 coats on all except I used 3 for Fright This Way. Honestly, if it weren't for photography reasons you can get away with one coat with Grin And Gerbera It and Little Boy Hue. I usually have to do 3 coats with crelly formulas and Tiers of Joy and Sage It Ain't So only needed two. Fright This Way was the only slightly tricky one to apply as it was a bit thicker and harder to control, but that's like comparing gold and silver medals. There wasn't a bad one in the bunch really.

Price: These are $9.25 each and can be found on KBShimmer's website.

Overall: I'm really impressed with this collection. I like these subdued colors and original take on a fall collection. There are a lot of winning colors here and per usual KBShimmer offers so much variety in finishes and shades. The formulas on these are probably the best I've had from KBShimmer and their formulas were great already. You'll definitely want to pick a few of these up!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 *Golden* Paint Splatters
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Girly Bits What Happens In Vegas Ends Up On Twitter

*I received the following product in exchange for my honest review.

I've had one of those rare "Why do birds suddenly appear everytime you are near" moments with nail polish. I love a lot of nail polish, but these days it takes a lot for my a nail polish to make my heart flutter. That's how I felt when I saw Girly Bits newest What Happens In Vegas... polishes. This is the 4th polish in this series as every year at Cosmoprof a new one is made. Thankfully, these are not entirely exclusive. You can purchase it yourself too until August 22nd then it's gone as it's a single pour release!

What Happens In Vegas Ends Up On Twitter
What Happens In Vegas Ends Up On Twitter is a is a mid-tone dusty denim blue holo, with a pink flash and a scattering of aqua holographic glitter.

Collection: What Happens in Vegas...2016

Color: This is the type of polish I love because I could have never thought something so amazing and beautiful could be bottled into a nail polish. This combination of the blue with that pink flash is stunning. There is so much dimension and depth in this one polish that you'll just get a kick out of looking at it in the bottle for a few minutes. Wow!

Formula: Excellent and smooth formula. I used 2 coats here.

Price: This is $12.73 on the Girly Bit's website, but remember it's only available until August 22nd!

Overall: This is a definite must have polish. Every polish lover needs this one in their collection. It's a stunning color that is complex and innovative. It's really rather mesmerizing. The formula was great and just go buy this one. You'll thank me!

My Rating: 5 out 5 *Golden* Paint Splatters

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Talk It Out Tuesday: Disconnecting

Talk It Out Tuesday used to be a weekly feature on my blog where I'd discuss topics and issues that came up for me in regards to nails or blogging. This fizzled out when I ran out of things to talk about. I'd like to revive this feature on my blog, but I don't think it will be a regular feature, just when something comes to mind.

A little over a week ago I posted this post in regards to feeling on the outside of the blogging community because I feel like I have a different blogging style than most. I wanted to use this post to share an update what I've done and how I've been feeling since then.
I think something I've always struggled with in life is fitting in. As an adult, I've grown out the idea of feeling a need to be popular or special, but I want to feel that sense of belonging. I mentioned in my last post that I don't feel like I really belong in this community. I have felt you have to make an effort to really be a part of the nail community, but I'm starting to realize I don't think that effort is worth it to me, and I don't think it's really needed for my sake.

I think a good way to get involved in the community is to be involved in Facebook groups. While I like indies I wouldn't say I'm really a fangirl over brands, so those groups while I'm in some to keep up with updates I'm not involved in otherwise. Then there are groups that are really focused on the going on's and gossip in the community. I think some of these topics in these groups are very useful and beneficial to the community. These groups do tend to get immersed with negativity though and that becomes the forefront.

There is nothing wrong with groups like this, but I think when it comes to a hobby I enjoy and want to do for fun, these groups can start to tarnish that experience for me. I have also felt conflicted because sometimes people in the community hold you to standard to be "in the know" and you can be viewed negatively if you're unknowingly supporting a brand that has some drama because you didn't make an effort to be in the know. There are so many unspoken rules it seems in this community and now it seems like there are daily multiple dramas and it's exhausting. It's draining and it has been killing my joy. Again, I'm not saying groups like this are bad, but right now I don't think they're very good for me.

I asked in Hobby Polish Bloggers last week if anyone else felt this way about negativity in the community, and I was truly surprised a number of people felt similarly. I've been so immersed in this idea that the entire nail community is representative of the people involved in certain groups and in order to belong you need to be involved as well. I felt some of the people regularly involved in these groups were setting the standard for the community based on their opinions as if they were their authority.  I felt intimated by a lot of people and worried if I openly expressed a different viewpoint I would be shunned or frowned upon. I don't think this is really how it is, but that's how it felt for me.  I learned this really isn't that case at all. There are many nail bloggers who stay out of groups and comfortably do their own thing. I felt very relieved and it dawned on me that I've been putting expectations on myself that were unnecessary and truly suffocating.

That's when I decided to disconnect. I will say I have not actually left some of these groups, but I removed them from my feed and from favorites. I haven't felt compelled to check them either. The reason I stay in them is because there may come a time when I feel differently and can navigate my own blog life separately from what I feel are the expectations of the nail community. That time may come and I may try to re-evaluate that experience again.

Right now, the only group I'm really following is Hobby Polish Bloggers. I've cut out the negativity in my blogging life. It's been a week now and it's honestly I've noticed an immense difference in my mood and my experience. I feel a lot better and feel energized about blogging again. Yes, I'm in my own little world alone outside the blogging community right now, but I feel more like myself than I have in a long time. I feel free from feeling like I need approval from others and feel free to be myself.

I'm a really sensitive person, and a lot of people see this as a weakness, but I don't. My blog is very personal to me, and going into it with the intentions I had I'm going to be sensitive to negativity and the competitiveness that I think comes along with some bloggers. I think competitiveness in this field and building up your blog is completely fine if that it is your goal, but it's not mine. I need to sometimes remove myself from environments that feel that way to me to continue on the path I always wanted for myself with my blog. This blog is my baby and I need to realize I can continue it on my own terms.

Thank you all for your support and love throughout these years.

Have any of you had a similar experience to mine about a hobby or passion you have in your life? What did you do to help you refocus yourself so you can enjoy it again? 

Happy Tuesday!