Monday, December 27, 2010

Barielle Shades: Holiday Hustle Collection

Shine on this holiday season with six new Barielle Shades that show off your festive tips. The Holiday Hustle Collection brings you new hues combined with flecks of sparkle and metallic shimmer to make you glisten brighter than tinsel.

Step under the mistletoe with Elle’s Spell—a jelly red with multi-colored foil flakes.

I should not have swatched this one last! Since it's a jelly, it was pretty transparent, and you can see the evidence of my long swatching session under my nail tips..... Pretty nonetheless!

Grab some luck with Gelt Me To The Party—a copper bronze metallic.

I did not think I would like this one, as bronze does not usually look good with my skintone, but I really love it!

Stay off the “naughty list” with Coalest Day Of The Year—a carbon gray with white pearls.

Fabulous coverage- almost perfect in one coat, but I did two for good measure.

Tie it in style with Wrap Me In Ribbon—a metallic raspberry with violet and copper pearl undertones.

This was not my favorite shade, but applied nicely.

Cheers to a new year with Jess’ Champagne Toast—a metallic violet with rose gold glitter.

I had the highest hopes for this one, and it didn't disappoint. Gorgeous in the sun.

Bundle up with Snow Day—an ice blue metallic with silver undertones.

Such a pretty silver! Would make a good NYE mani.

Formulated to provide nails with safe, healthy and long-lasting glossy color coverage, Shades by Barielle is free of formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl-phthalate. Women can also safely use Barielle products throughout pregnancy.

Size: .45 fl oz. / 13.3 ml

Suggested Retail Price: $6.00

Availability: Ulta Stores nationwide, and
Disclosure: I was sent this collection for review purposes.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NOTD: China Glaze Jolly Holly

China Glaze Jolly Holly

Funny story:
This was a brand new polish, and I had forgotten to open the bottle for the first time (you know that can sometimes be difficult) before I painted my base coat. So since I didn't want to mess up my mani before I even painted the color, I asked Mr. Sasha to open the bottle.

He looked at it, and said, "You know this is green?"

"Yup, I know."

"OK, just making sure....."

I guess he just doesn't "get" the non-traditional nail polish color trend! For some reason, he thinks all polish should be pink or red.

Personally, I think this color is perfect for the holidays!

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Diamond Cosmetics Winter Collection and Free Shipping

From the Diamond Cosmetics site:

FREE SHIPPING! 5pm Thursday December 16 through 5am Sunday December 19. ALL ORDERS WILL BE SHIPPED BY Tuesday December 21. Enter promo code HOLIDAY at checkout

I am going to order the fabulous holiday set above- such pretty colors!

Smoochiefrog and I have tried quite a few Diamond Cosmetics polishes and have been very pleased. You can click here to see the colors we have swatched.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NOTD: Avon Splendid Blue

Avon Splendid Blue

This polish is amazing- I got almost perfect coverage in one coat, but went ahead and did two to get longer-lasting wear.

Right now these are just $5 each. I order from my friend Valeri (email her at bucfanri {at} gmail {dot} com and she may have free shipping codes for you!)

And don't forget to go through Ebates for a percentage back- plus, if you have never used ebates before, you get $5, and I get $5.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NOTD: Avon Pink Radiance

Avon Pink Radiance

This is a shade pic since there was no sun. This is so pretty and the formula was fabulous- perfect coverage in just two coats.

This is one of the two new holiday shades from Avon. I'll have the other shade for you to see in the next few days.

Right now these are just $3.49 each. I order from my friend Valeri (email her at bucfanri {at} gmail {dot} com and she may have free shipping codes for you!)

And don't forget to go through Ebates for a percentage back- plus, if you have never used ebates before, you get $5, and I get $5.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Essie Winter Collection 2010

Smokin' Hot

Break the rules with this stone-cold fox gray that burns hotter than any flame

Masquerade Belle

Fascinating, mysterious and seductive, this black ruby sparks the imagination and inspires intense devotion

Silken Cord

You've got the world on a string with this stunning risqué red wrapped around your fingers

Hot Coco

Paint on this tawny sepia and channel the roaring '20s for a look that's timelessly flawless


Suit up in this deepest plum and boldly go where no man has gone before

Going Incognito

Your identity may be secret, but your style and panache are impossible to conceal with this deep emerald green

All swatches are two coats, although I think some could have used 3 coats for complete coverage. These are absolutely gorgeous shades for fall, and Hot Coco was definitely my favorite of the collection, followed by Smokin' Hot.

Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review purposes.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Favorite for Fall



I know it has been posted before, but I adore OPI's Lincoln Park At Midnight. A rich and classic color for this season.
{I painted two coats above and used Wet N Wild's Fast Dry top coat.}

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Monday, November 8, 2010

NOTD: China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses

China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses
from the 'Tis the Season to be Naughty and Nice collection

I am in love with this color. I'm normally not a green nail polish fan, but this is beyond fabulous. And I've had great wear with this shade- I painted my nails last Thursday night, took this pic on Friday afternoon, and it's now Monday morning and it still looks great!

I did two coats, topped with Nubar Diamont (old formula).

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Friday, November 5, 2010

NOTD: China Glaze Sugar Plums

China Glaze Sugar Plums
from the 'Tis the Season to be Naughty and Nice collection

I love purples and plums and figured I'd love this. While I did love the color, I found the finish to be somewhat bumpy, even with a topcoat. It's not enough to keep me from wearing the color, it was just a strange finish.

This is two coats, topped with Nubar Diamont.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

For the pirates ...

I rocked these two Sinful Colors for Halloween ... they went great with my pirate costume! While I myself am not into gold (or mustard-looking) polish, I got some great compliments on the color combo. Sinful Colors in Oledia with gold glitter top-coat (Paris, I believe is the name??).

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NOTD: China Glaze Mrs. Claus

China Glaze Mrs. Claus
from the 'Tis the Season to be Naughty and Nice collection

Very pretty! This leans pink on me rather than red, but I liked it. The glitter looked much more dense indoors than outdoors though.

This is three coats. Topped with Nubar Diamont, the mani lasted about 2 days until it started slightly chipping, which is pretty normal for dense giltters for me. (Painted Saturday night, started chipping Monday night).

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Monday, November 1, 2010

NOTD: China Glaze Mummy May I

When I saw China Glaze Mummy May I, I knew I needed to have it! Look at all that gorgeous purple glitter in the bottle!

And even though I didn't think the effect on the nail was the same as in the bottle, I still thought it was pretty.

What do you think?

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off and on and off again ...

I am getting to be a pro at removing acrylic nails, fo' sho'! I got a new job a few months back and was bummed that my natural nails (that I had kept up beautifully for 4 months) weren't holding up to some of my job duties. Ripping and tearing and splitting ... so frustrating and painful when they would peel from below the fingertip line. Bandaids weren't cutting it to protect them from further damage, so I put the solar nails back on.
And now they are off again.
I missed being able to paint my nails each week and the cost for upkeep was getting ridiculous (especially when the acrylic wasn't lasting as long as it should have).
So here is my quick tutorial to help you remove the acrylic without damaging your natural nails to much further:

You will need the following supplies (I purchased these at a local beauty supply store that is open to the public, costing a total of $21 for everything) ... nail clippers, 100% Acetone Remover, multiple nail file blocks in various levels of coarseness, cuticle oil, and a ridge filler (preferably one that also strengthens)
  • Cut off any remaining tips and shorten nails to desired length with nail clippers.

  • With a very coarse nail block (I used a medium), sand over the tops of your nails to remove any sealants or top coats.

  • Soak your nails for about a minute in a bowl of 100% Acetone.

  • The first layer of acrylic will start to get gummy ... scrape this layer off (I used my thumb nails to do this - you could also use a wood cuticle stick)

  • Soak again and repeat for several more layers.

  • Here's how I keep my nails from being absolutely ruined ... leave a thin layer of acrylic on your nails!!

  • Take your coarse file block and sand over the tops of your nails to smooth ... then use your finer sanding block ... then your finest block to buff your nails to a naturally smooth surface.

  • Your cuticles and fingertips will be very dry from the acetone treatment. Apply your cuticle oil and massage into skin. Push back cuticles at this time if needed.

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water, cleaning your nail surfaces thoroughly.

  • Buff nails again if needed and be sure you don't have any snags.

  • Apply one to two coats of the ridge filler as your base, and paint nails with desired color. Ridge fillers tend to be a natural color, so you can even get away with using just the filler and a top coat for shine.

This process took me about 20 minutes (without painting a color). Each time I give myself a manicure, I will continue to buff off the remaining acrylic until it is gone. This keeps a protective (but very thin) layer of strength over my nails until they have had time to strengthen on their own.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

20 Questions

A few months ago I answered 20 Questions for Helen at Just Nice Things, and she posted my answers on Friday!

So fun to see! Thanks for featuring my answers Helen!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010


Okay girls ... I am slightly embarrassed. I had a very brief moment of weakness after I got a new job a few months ago and I put solar nails back on.
Now I am taking them off again.
I know - what in the world was I thinking?!? I was having so many issues with my natural (and weak) nails breaking and tearing while doing what my job duties required, and I wanted reinforcement. I am so over all the maintenance (and cost!!) of the solar nails, so I went to the local beauty supply store and got the necessary products to remove the acrylic once again. I will post a step-by-step guide within the next 2 days on how I removed my nails with as little damage as possible. Stay tuned!!
In the meantime ... how gorgeous are the colors that Sasha and Smoochiefrog have been posting?!? I am loving the Orly Out Of This World, Essie's Aruba Blue, and Sally Hansen HD in DVD colors!!! The SpaRitual colors are so amazing for this fall and winter seasons and Zoya's Valerie is absolutely stunning!!

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NOTD: Orly Out of This World

Orly Out of This World

This is from the Cosmic collection and is described as "a deep purple base with shimmer flecks of violet purple and green gold".

My light was not all that great this morning when I took this shot before work, but I think you can still see how gorgeous this is. I don't think the "green gold" flecks are that apparent, but it is still beautiful.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

NOTD: Deborah Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers

Deborah Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers

Although the effect of this polish was gorgeous, I have to tell you first that removal of this, like Marquee Moon, was a big fat pain.

I used the scrubby tub that I usually use for glitters, and it got the base polish and smaller glitter off just fine.... but I was still left with large silver hex-glitter pieces stuck to my nails, and no amount of time in the scrubby tub would remove them.

I had to use my thumbnail and scrape them off. That can't be good!

Krystal at Polish Galore used a coat of black underneath, so that may be the way to go to make removal easier. Anyone else tried that and had good luck?

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

NOTD: OPI Chile O Caliente

OPI Chile O Caliente

This shade was my years-long HG pedi color, and I still love it! It's definitely one I reach for over and over during the summer.

I am still testing out Nubar Diamont as my topcoat, and it is a new love. I understand the formula was changed, then changed back. Anyone know how I can be assured I will get the oldest formula if I order?

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NOTD: Sally Hansen HD in DVD

Sally Hansen HD in DVD

This was absolutely gorg, especially in the sun, but it most likely needed 4 coats and I just did 3. Or at least I needed to do an additional coat on the tips in between full coats....

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Monday, October 11, 2010

SpaRitual Fall 2010: Imagine Collection

SpaRitual explores a dazzling realm of color with the NEW Imagine Collection for Fall 2010. Rich, atmospheric hues that are on trend for fall combine with transitional shades and unexpected foil effects to create a collection that is a true catalyst for creative expression.

I received three bottles from the new collection to review.

Living in the Moment - Cashmere Mauve Creme

A World of Compassion - Dusty Periwinkle Creme

Dreams Becoming Reality - Cool Blue Turquoise

This was my first experience with SpaRitual and I am so impressed! These colors applied like butter and were almost opaque in one coat, although I went ahead and applied two coats for swatching purposes.

I thought all three shades were absolutely gorgeous and as the press released stated, very on-trend. My favorite was World of Compassion, and I think the dusty periwinkle suits my yellow undertones so well.

Other shades in the collection:
Endless Possibilities - Midnight Plum Creme
Unconditional Love - Peach Shimmer
Health, Wealth, & Happiness - Huey Blue Shimmer

Practicing a philosophy that a beautiful environment inspires beauty, SpaRitual Nail Lacquers and Elixirs are Vegan and are free of DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde resin.

The Imagine Fall 2010 Collection lacquers are available for $10 each online at and
Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review purposes.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NOTD: L'oreal Femme Noir

L'oreal Femme Noir

This is one of the shades from the new limited edition L'Oreal Midnight Muse collection (Nouveau Cheap has pics of the full display). I recently purchased it at CVS.

This is gorgeous- hopefully you can see the deep wine shimmer- love it!

I also am trying out Nubar Diamont as my topcoat- I had a brand-new bottle that was about a year old, and I heard they recently switched their formula (and switched it back?), and I got curious since I had never tried it.

I painted my nails last night before bed, and did quite a bit of paper shuffling at work today, and I have the tiniest bit of tip wear on my middle finger- that's it!

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Borghese Holiday 2010 Collection

I was recently sent some of the shades from the Borghese 2010 Holiday Collection to try. These are quite pretty, and most are unique to my collection.

One thing to note: three of the shades in the collection dry matte, while the red, gold, and black from the collection dry shiny. I have all three mattes to show you, and the gold shiny shade.

You can click on the pics to enlarge them some and see the matte vs. shiny effect.

Ipnotico Gold (shiny finish)

Purple Confetti - matte finish, 2 coats, no top coat

Purple Confetti - 2 coats, with top coat

Vigneto Berry - matte finish, 2 coats, no top coat

Vigneto Berry - 2 coats, with top coat

Mediterraneo Sea - matte finish, 2 coats, no top coat

Mediterraneo Sea - 2 coats, with top coat

There was another shade that I was sent that was a casualty of shipping... it was a black base with silver glitter and looked lovely.

Disclosure: I was sent these for review purposes.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Target Introduces Holiday 2010 Collection from Sonia Kashuk

Reach for the Stars Nails Trio

Add a festive touch to your look with these glamorous holiday nail shades. Rich gold, burnished silver and sparkling ruby shades infused with subtle shimmer are perfect for celebrating the season.

The set, from Sonia Kashuk, will be available for $9.99 at Target.
The pretty shade, described as "rich gold", almost looks foil-like. I typically don't like golden shades with my skintone, but I thought this was quite wearable.

This shade is described as "burnished silver" and applied fabulously. The color reminded me of Zoya Loredana.

The last shade, described as "sparkling ruby" was also gorgeous. I thought this shade also was wearable for my warm skintone.

This was my first time to try Sonia Kashuk nail polish, and I was pleased. I thought the average price of $3.33 per bottle was a great value, and this set would be a good way to add some holiday colors to your collection.

Note that my bottles have no color names on them, so I referred to them as they were described in the press release.

Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review purposes.

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