Saturday, December 31, 2011

NE Ohio lacqueristas!

Get to your nearest Discount Drug Mart, because Broadway Stick-On nail polish strips are $4.99 for an 18-pack, and they have a ton of amazing choices!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Yule a Day: Diable en Boite 2011

BPAL's description: "There are few things more disturbing than a Jack in the Box. A strangely sinister, unnerving holiday scent: redwood, bitter clove, tonka, hemp accord, and tobacco with peach blossom, black currant, and red musk."

My reaction: This is interesting, but not one I'll be reaching for often, if at all. I can smell the tobacco, wood and musk, but they combine to quite literally smell like a sweaty roll in the hay!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Yule a Day: Yule 2011

BPAL's description: "It is Yule, and the Holly King has slain the Oak: blood red holly berry, mistletoe, wild thyme, verbena, cinquefoil, hemp, winter rose, evergreen, frankincense, juniper, and myrrh."

My reaction: This starts out as spicy evergreen with hints of moss and juniper, but then my wretched skin amps the wretched rose and it winds up, as almost all rose scents do, smelling like mosquito repellant on me. :(

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Yule a Day: Woods in Winter 2011

BPAL's description: "Wild hemlock and juniper berries scattered in the snow beneath leafless trees bedecked with glittering icicles."

My reaction: This is so gorgeous--the hemlock reads as a rich pine note and the juniper berries are stinging and spicy and there's a hint of wood and ozone, but not so much as to overpower the hemlock and juniper. This is definitely on my bottle list!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Yule a Day: Colder and Colder

Colder and Colder is from the Frankenstein section of this year's Yule scents, and BPAL's website describes it as "Peppermint, spearmint, white musk, and elemi settling into a deepening darkness."

I'm still on the fence about whether or not I need it. It's not nearly as dark as the description suggests, instead it's a very soft, slightly sweet, slightly floral mint on me, and while I do like it, I've got other BPAL mint blends that I adore. On the other hand, the elemi gives a lovely resinous hint to this, so I'm very tempted.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Yule a Day: A Blot Upon the Earth

My BPAL Yule decants have arrived, yay! And frankly, my nails are a mess thanks to wrapping Christmas presents and washing my hands about a zillion times in the last four days, so this week is going to be all about the BPAL.

A Blot Upon the Earth is from the Frankenstein section of this year's Yule scents. It's definitely not on my bottle list, because while it's evocative, like all of Beth's blends, it's not me.

BPAL's description: "A blot upon the earth: black plum, Spanish moss, opoponax, davana, vetiver, and opium poppy."

My reaction: I can smell the plum at first, but then the oakmoss takes over. Finally, there's a hint of poppy, but mostly it's floral oakmoss.

Happy Boxing Day!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Festive Week Day Five: Orly Au Champagne and friends

Au Champagne is the only polish I bought from Orly's holiday collection this year and it's a stunner. It's a delicate, soft white shimmer, very pretty, opaque in 2 coats and it has a matte finish, but not the quick dry time or the chipping endemic to matte polishes.

Yes, I have found Mr. Right White at laaaaaaaaaaaast! All of the others are up for grabs, so if you want a bottle of China Glaze White on White, Misa Sugar Daddy or Zoya Gaia, leave me a comment and I'll e-mail you for an address. :)

With flash:

Without flash:

And if that's not enough, I managed nail art that doesn't look awful!

I stamped on some blue snowflakes using the Orly Sno-Cone, Fauxnad blue polish and Fauxnad plate m59 I got from the Born Pretty Store.

With flash:

Without flash:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

BPAL & a book review!

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Even before reading it, I knew I was going to like this book because it was inspired by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and the amazing scents Beth Barrial creates.

Within three pages, I was sucked into the world of the book, and it's a place I wanted to stay. The novel is full of well-drawn characters, intriguing alternate history, sights and sounds and tastes and textures, a captivating plot and a really marvelous circus I want to visit!

Ms. Barrial does an incredible job of translating words into scents and Ms. Morgenstern performs the same magic in reverse. While I would like more in this particular universe from Ms. Morganstern, I'll be happy with being able to read anything else from her in the (hopefully very near) future!

View all my reviews.

Festive Week Day Four: Sally Hansen Big Money

Big Money is from the Gem Crush collection, and it's a mix of fine gold glitter and larger purply-pink glitter. It has the horrible brush that I hate, but the formula is easy to work with. It wasn't quite opaque in two coats as shown below, but would probably be opaque in three. Swatches are indoor light.

With flash:

Without flash:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Festive Week Day Three: LA Colors Jewel Tone vs. Color Club Very Merry Berry

This post is probably more to convince me that I needed both of these polishes than to compare them for anyone else. Sorry for being selfish! Jewel Tone and Very Merry Berry are both blue and fuchsia glitter in a clear base, and both are better for layering than for use on their own, but they're also very different.

is a sparse amount of very fine round glitter, and adds just a hint of color and sparkle to a manicure. Very Merry Berry is berry-scented, with big chunky hex glitter, and needs to be shoved around a bit so the glitter doesn't clump up. I love them both, and am glad I have them both.

Two coats of each polish, LA on pinkie and middle, Merry Berry on ring and index.

With flash:

Without flash"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Festive Week Day Two: Wet n Wild It's All in the Cut

I was not going to buy this polish until I saw Hauly's swatches, which are gorgeous. I'm glad I caved on this pink and lavender beauty, because this is glitzy enough to be festive and light enough to be delicate. Both swatches are two coats in indoor lighting.

Without flash:

With flash:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Festive Week Day One: Sally Hansen Showgirl Chic

Showgirl Chic is from the Sally Hansen Gem Crush collection. It's a clear base with small silver glitter and larger royal blue glitter. It has the stupid push-broom brush that I hate, but it covers well in just two coats or thinly enough in one coat for layering. There are some bald spots in my pictures, but they don't show in real life. All pictures are indoors, thanks to the fact that it's snowing in NE Ohio!

With flash:

Without flash:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Green Week Day Five: Color Club Kiss Me Mistletoe

This is a gorgeous polish! It's a smooth pale green foil, reaches bottle color in two easy coats, doesn't stain and smells like pine trees! I've spent the whole day in thoughtful poses, with my chin propped on one hand or the other, just so I could sniff my nails and not look weird. :)

Here it is on its gorgeous lonesome, and please note that the lumpiness is not the fault of the polish, it's because I was on the phone with my mom while I was doing my nails, and my dog hates not to have my attention, so she was trying to jump into my lap!

Inside, with flash:

Inside without flash:

Layered with Zoya Twila:

Inside, with flash:

Inside without flash:

I adore this blue & green combo! And if Kiss Me Mistletoe hasn't disappeared from your local Sally Beauty, grab a bottle quick!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Green Week Day Four: Models Own Emerald Black

Models Own Emerald Black is a gorgeous duochrome in black and bluish emerald green from the Beetlejuice Collection. Sadly, I didn't get any sunshine pictures, and that's when the green really shows. You can see hints of the green in the flash picture, but without flash, it just looks black. All pictures are two coats over one coat of Nubar Ridge Filler and topped by one coat of Nubar Diamont.

Indoors, with flash:

Indoors, without flash:

After a day I got bored, so I added a coat of Color Club Sugar Plum Yum from the Scent-sual collection which is exclusive to Sally Beauty. It's a lovely combo of small green hex glitter and larger purple hex glitter in a clear base. Like all of the collection, it's scented, but the scent of this one didn't do much for me--it's fruity bubblegum to my nose, and so strong the scent muscled its way past the Altoids I was munching! At least it's pretty. This is one coat of Sugar Plum Yum over the Emerald Black Manicure.

Inside, with flash:

Inside, without flash:

Models Own polishes are available on their website, and they are now taking Paypal AND shipping to the US!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Green Week Day Three: Jelly Sandwich with Sally Hansen Fog and Zoya Rina

I swatched Rina with the other Zoya Gems and Jewels I got, but I wanted to try a jelly sandwich. Please be kind, this was my first effort and it's laughable!

Sally Hansen Smooth & Perfect Fog is a white, pearlized jelly with the same horrible brush as the Sally Hansen Insta-Dry polishes.

I hate these brushes, it feels as though I'm polishing my nails with a push broom. Anyway, Fog is a soft white pearl jelly which makes me think of something that would make this post NSFW. ;) These pictures are three coats, and it's very pretty:

Inside without flash:

Inside with flash:

In the sun:

Then I had to go and put Rina on top of it and then put another coat of Fog over that:

And I wasted four coats of Fog and one coat of Rina. Bad Jammies! Please learn from me, children--less color contrast might have made this a very pretty sandwich!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Green Week Day Two: Orly Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

I love this polish and have since I got it a year ago, when it came out as part of Orly's 2010 Holiday collection. I got a pleasant surprise today, though, because as much as I've worn it over the last year, I hadn't seen it in the sun until today. In artificial light or cloudy daylight, it's a rich green on the blue end of the spectrum, full of pretty glitter in green and gold. It takes three thin or two thick coats to be opaque, and the dry time is a little slow but not horrible. It's a great winter green for me, because I am not fond of yellow-toned greens.

Imagine my surprise when I saw it in the sunshine and discovered that in full sun, it's a greenish blue! I was staggered and fell in love all over again.

Behold the beauty:

In the sun:

With flash, looking blue-green:

Without flash, looking green:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Green Week Day One: Zoya Holly and some friends

I swatched Holly as soon as I got it, and then Hauly over at Haul of Fame mentioned that she was tempted to layer Barielle Buddha-ful over an emerald green, but she didn't think it would work. Um, yeah, she was completely correct! Pictures of that particular failicure are at the bottom of this post. After removing the non-beautiful Buddha-ful Holly from my nails, I started again with one coat of Orly Ridge-filler, two coats of Holly and one coat of Color Club Covered in Diamonds. Much better! I took pictures before putting on two coats of Nubar Diamont, because Covered in Diamonds has lumpy flakies in a clear base.

In the sunshine:

In shade:


Sunday, December 11, 2011

End of Red Week, Beginning of Green Week: China Glaze Party Hearty vs. China Glaze Twinkle Lights

I don't know why I even thought from promo photos that these two beauties would be near-dupes! I could have taken out my bottle of Party Hearty and looked!

They're both red, green and gold glitters in a clear base, but that's where the similarity ends. Twinkle Lights is much more gold, with the red and green as accents, all three colors are the same size glitter and it could be made opaque in four coats. Party Hearty combines small gold glitter, medium green glitter and large red glitter. The green is the most dominant, and it would take an awful lot of coats to make this one opaque. The swatches below are of three coats of each on a nail wheel.

In sun:

Indoors with flash:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lilypad Body Glow Soft Scrub in Yule Magic

The Body Glow Soft Scrub is in between the Sugared Shea Scrub and the Sugar Whip in terms of moisturizing. I'd say they're all comparable in terms of degree of exfoliation, which is medium. The Sugared Shea Scrub leaves a noticeable film of oil after use, the Sugar Whip rinses clean and the Body Glow Soft Scrub leaves a very light film of oil which disappears shortly after I pat my skin dry. It's not quite intense enough for Leezard Woman (me) but would be nice for someone who has less severe dry skin.

As for the scent, Lilypad describes Yule Magic as "Inviting scent of sitting by the fire during the holidays. Mulling spices, mistletoe, cranberries, a hint of the decorated tree, and a whiff of the glowing embers from the fire."

I get an initial hit of tart cranberries, then a drydown of mistletoe and pine. The scent lingers just a bit--I have to sniff my skin to find it, but it's there. Another lovely holiday scent from Lilypad Bathworks.

A sample of this product was sent to me for review.

Inque Holiday Sale!

Sorry I didn't post this earlier, I just found it in my spam folder:

Thank you so much for a great year with Inque Nails! We have had great success with Inque Nails and hopefully you had fun with your Inque Nails when you received them!

As a thank you for your business, we are offering a holiday special so that you can dress up those nails for your holiday gatherings.

Between now and Saturday, December 10th at 11:59 pm CST, take an additional 30% off your order. This is an amazing deal that you don't want to miss! There are plenty of holiday patterns to choose from, or don't forget, you can create your own.

If you miss this deal, don't worry! After Saturday, December 10th at midnight CST until Saturday the 17th at 11:59 pm CST, enjoy 20% off your entire order.

Don't forget, it's always free shipping over $30 orders and you can also take advantage of our referral program to get extra products!

To get the discounts, be sure to type in CHRISTMAS for the coupon code.

Thank you again for a great year of business! We hope you have a great holiday season!


The Inque team

Friday, December 9, 2011

Red Week Day Five: Color Club Santa's Cinnamon and Barielle Elle's Spell

Santa's Cinnamon is a red jelly with red glitter from the Scent-sual collection that was exclusive to Sally Beauty. I have other red-jelly-n-glitter polishes, of course, but this one smells like red hots candy! It covered very nicely in one coat, no bald spots, but the color wasn't quite deep enough, so I added a second. It dried almost matte and was slightly gritty, but before I added top coat, I added one coat of Barielle Elle's Spell, which is red glitter in a wine jelly. It deepened the whole look, shot the bling factor up to 11, smoothed out the grit and shined up the matte. It's going to be hard to take this off!

One coat of Elle's Spell over two coats of Santa's Cinnamon, inside with flash:

One coat of Elle's Spell over two coats of Santa's Cinnamon, inside without flash:

Two coats of Santa's Cinnamon, inside with flash:

Two coats of Santa's Cinnamon, inside without flash:

Even with Elle's Spell and a coat of Nubar Diamont over it, I still get the candy scent when my hands are near my face. Altogether, I think this is a gorgeous and holiday-appropriate mani!

I really wanted to see this as a matte, so I grabbed my bottle of China Glaze Matte Magic. CGMM does magic things to glittery, glitzy nail polishes, but I can't really recommend it, because my bottle dried up terribly and it took a huge amount of thinner to return it to usable. I'm stubborn, though, so when I got this revived, I used it. This is Friday's mani with a coat of CGMM:

Inside, with flash:

In the sun:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Red Week Day Four: Sally Hansen Cherry Smash

I adore this mani! This is one coat of Sally Hansen Cherry Smash crackle over two coats of FingerPaints Holly Good Time. Because Cherry Smash is jelly-like in its consistency, the glitter of the FingerPaints shows through and my nails look from a distance like a solid glitter polish. It's only up close that I can see the crackle.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lilypad Sugared Shea Scrub in Winter Stroll

When I posted my Lilypad haul, I included a picture of the three adorable little scrub samples Eva sent me. I tried out the Sugared Shea Scrub in Winter Stroll this morning.

Sugared Shea Scrub is one of my favorite Lilypad products. It's strongly exfoliating, absolutely packed with sugar, and leaves a light film of oil on my skin that is absorbed before I get dressed. I have pretty dry skin year-round but I verge on leezard skin in the winter, so I don't know how I'd survive without my oily scrubs!

The Lilypad description of Winter Stroll is "Crisp alpine air, fresh snow, pine trees, and a hint of wood smoke." Oddly, while I was using this I got a strong spicy scent, mostly clove but with a bare hint of pine. After my shower, my skin smelled lightly of clean air and powder. By the time I had gotten dressed, the scent was gone and I could wear a scented body lotion without clashing. I'm not crazy enough about the scent to buy this in leave-in products, but if you were looking for a very light, clean, airy scent, this would be a good one to try, and you can't go wrong with the Sugared Shea Scrub.

Red Week Day Three: Snowman Snowflake Chunky Glitter

I have heard but not verified that Blue Cross makes these adorable little snowman polishes. G at Nouveau Cheap has some great pictures of the display, and although she states that they don't have names, I found the name "Snowflake Chunky Glitter" above the tiny UPC code on my bottle, so that's what I'm calling this guy!

This is two coats of Snowflake Chunky Glitter over Glitter Gal Red Holo, sparkling in the sun:

Looking lovely indoors without flash:

And looking just as lovely with flash, although blurry to show off the sparkly:

This wasn't a typical stroke-and-wear polish, the clear is fairly thick and the red and green glitter comes out in clumps, so you have to push it around a little bit to get it to cover evenly. Because this was over an existing mani, I was more concerned with covering the worn tips than total opacity, but I think you could get there in four coats. The top hat makes for a rather stubby handle and the shaft is short, but the brush is quite long and flexible, and not overly narrow. Dry time wasn't great but wasn't bad. Overall, if any of these are left in your area, check out the display and see if there's anything unique to you--you won't regret spending $2!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Red Week Day Two: Glitter Gal Red 3D Holo

I got this beauty from Llarowe, and first of all, I'd like to say that the customer service, shipping, turnaround time and shipping cost are all amazing from this etailer, as is the depth and breadth of her inventory! The polish itself is pricy but worth it--a true red linear holo. It's a thin but buildable blue-based red. Formula-wise, it tried to pool at my cuticles a time or two, and took three coats to get to bottle color, but it's completely gorgeous. I only wish I'd had some sunlight for pictures! Oh, and topcoat did not dim the holo at all. I had pretty bad tipwear after three days, but I have polish ADD anyway. *grin*

Glowing in the sun:

Inside with flash: