Friday, June 28, 2013

Nail Art Using the Zoya Summer Instagram Mini Trio Colors

Recently Zoya had everyone on instagram vote for their favorite colors from the Stunning and Irresistible Collections. The three polishes with the highest number of votes would be put together as a mini trio and given away for FREE with any $10 Zoya purchase. The votes came in and the following three lovelies won...
Tinsley, Rocky, and Hazel received the most votes! If you would like to snag your own mini trio put at least $10 of Zoya merchandise (but no color spoons) in your cart and then put 3SUM in the code box. Details here.

Here is a cute manicure that you could create when you get these three beauties:
And in reality, the possibilities are endless! You could purchase any other colors when you get these making the combinations and designs you could create infinite! If you don't already have these I highly recommend taking this opportunity to get these three for free with your $10 purchase:)

*My polishes are full size in all photos, the trio includes mini polishes*

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Barielle Brilliant Colors

This "smart" collection is full of vibrant creme finish polishes. It is a collection that has a bunch of fun summer staples within it. Many of the colors may seem familiar as they are quite popular this year:)
WARNING: short nails ahead (these were taken right after moving & chopping off my tips). Also no swatches are shown with topcoat.


High Marks Purple is a "rich, creamy, neon purple." This bright, plummy purple applied like a dream in 1 even coat. I applied an extra coat for taking pictures. I could tell from the start that this would be a favorite.


Smarty Pants Pink has an inaccurate descriptor on the Barielle website. Despite the website using the same descriptor as High Marks Purple, this is a bright, cool, Barbie pink. The formula was a bit thick but it all evened out in two easy coats.


Straight A Coral is called a green on the website, which I think was a result of copy/paste efforts. This polish is a bright, hot pink/red. This was almost a one coater, but it is two for photographing. It applied smooth and creamy. Many have compared this to Fifth Avenue Boutique, declaring them dupes. I gave Fifth Avenue Boutique to a friend who raved about it every time I'd wear it, or I'd do a comparison post. Maybe I'll see if I can borrow it for you:)


Head of the Class Green is described as "rich, creamy, neon green." This bright, sea green was also almost a one coater. Two coats were used for this thick polish. This polish had a rather stiff brush, which made the first coat difficult to apply. ALSO this polish stains:-\


Magna Cum Laude Turquoise is called a "creamy, light, neon turquoise." Another thick polish with a stiff brush. It took 2 coats to even out this bright blue kissed turquoise. This polish also stained, but barely. It stained less than Head of the Class Green.


The Verdict:
The names are cute & perfect! Excellent timing for graduation season. Aside from two colors that stained, the others were creamy and smooth to apply. There were a few stiff brushes in the mix which made application more difficult. Another frustration was the laziness in description of these on the website. They all basically were copy/pasted with the last word changed. Additionally, it would have been less obvious if a red/coral wasn't described as a green. That aside, the colors are fun and vibrant, perfect for summer! My favorites are High Marks Purple and Head of the Class Green and Magna Cum Laude Turquoise (despite the horrid staining). 

This collection can be found at the Barielle website and retails for $25.00.  You can also purchase the polishes individually for $8.00.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

5 Tips for "Nubbins"

It's happened to everyone. You're finally happy with your nail length and they peel, crack, or break. Some people choose to trim/file that one nail down or patch it. I prefer my nails to all be the same length so they all get chopped/filed. I recently returned to "nubbins" as many like to call them. Moving and cleaning was very stressful on my nails and I've spent the better part of the month avoiding showing you my shorties. Here they are...


Here are 5 helpful tips when you have no tips:)
1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Take care of those shorties! Many times when I have to make the cut it is because my nails got dried out and broke. Moisturizing your nails, cuticles, and hands makes your hands and nails look healthy no matter their length. It will also help to prevent further breakage on your already short nails.
Some of my favorites: Sally Hansen Vitamin E Cuticle Oil, Barielle Nail Strengthening Cream and Professional Protective Hand Cream


 2. File your edge. Yes this one sounds counter intuitive but having smooth tips prevents them from cracking and catching on things. I also find it helpful to shape my nails while they're short. It prevents them from weakening after shaping when they're long.
My favorite crystal files: ULTA  and Cult Nails (which seems to have been lost in the move:-\)


3. Treat yourself well. Use a base coat or nail treatment that will strengthen, moisturize, or stimulate your nail growth. I always think that this is the perfect excuse to try something new.
My go-to treatments: Barielle Nail Rebuilding Protein, Nail Tek III Protection Plus


4. Wear flattering colors. Just because you have short nails does not mean that you need to avoid a manicure. I find the most flattering colors on my short nails to be metallics, nudes, and pastels. Metallic polishes create an optical illusion of an elongated nail bed, nudes camouflage your nails and make your fingers seem longer and leaner, and pastels add a slight pop of color without overwhelming your nails. I find that dark colors make my nails look obscenely small and saturated brights overwhelm my nails making them look wider not longer. To remedy this if you MUST wear darks or brights, make sure they have shimmer!
My most worn "nubbins" polishes: Sally Hansen Gilty Party, L'Oreal Sweet Nothings, Zoya Jules, Revlon Grey Suede, Barielle Lilac Jelly Bean and Banana Drop


5. Give yourself a hand massage. Relax. In the grand scheme of things short nails are not that big of a deal (despite how bad it may feel). A hand massage will relax you and increase your circulation in your hands. Also it's a perfect excuse to get a mani/pedi or go to a spa with a friend. If money or time are tight then massage your own hands (helpful video here).

Although my nails are never very long, super short nails are not my favorite on my short nail beds. These tips help me enjoy having shorter nails. What do you do and wear when your nails are short?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Black and Blue Sea Manicure?

I have spent the greater portion of the past two weeks at the beach. The rest of the time was spent unpacking after the move. Moving took its toll on my lovely hands and nails. My nails ended up uber short, my hands dry and scraped up. In lieu of my recovering hands and nails, which are nearly recovered yet still make occasional appearances on instagram, I will share a picture taken this spring...
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Please Sea Me and Black and Blue looked like a match made in heaven when their bulbous bottles stood next to one another. I chose to use Black and Blue as a tone-on-tone accent nail. I think this paired well together, however I think it is more fitting for a late summer/early autumn manicure. It would also look fabulous the opposite way.

What do you think?

ALSO you only have a few days left to enter my giveaway!
ADDITIONALLY...google reader will no longer work starting July 1. Please find a new way to follow my blog:) TIP: Bloglovin and Feedly import your google reader info automatically!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

NCLA Nail Wraps in It Don't Matter (& a brief tutorial)

I was contacted by NailPolishCanada.com to test and review NCLA Nail Wraps. I was so excited to try out another brand of nail wraps/polish strips. Everyone is pressed for time in this day and age and NCLA Nail Wraps are a saving grace. When you want to have killer nail art but either don't have the time or skill to execute it, NCLA Nail Wraps come to the rescue.

Here is a brief tutorial on how to apply the NCLA Nail Wraps:
Each kit comes with 2 sheets of 22 wraps (good for 3-4 applications), a NCLA nail file, easy-to-follow directions. 
This kit is called It Don't Matter and features a variety of black and white geometric designs. The images below match the instructions described below.
1. Apply a base coat to clean nails.
2. Choose the size and design that you would like to wear. Peel the chosen strip off of the backing.
3. Line the curved side up with your cuticle. Stretch the strip and smooth out the bubbles.
4. File off the excess in a downward motion using the included file.
5. Apply a top coat to seal and protect your nail wrap.

The result...

The Verdict:
These are a time saver. They are quite durable. These are beautiful without the painstaking work of creating these designs as nail art. NCLA Nail Wraps can be worn as a full manicure or as accent nails. The wraps come in a variety of sizes. I have VERY small fingers so it made it somewhat difficult to wear this as a full mani. I don't know if there are strips small enough for my pinkies. That being said, these can be cut so they can be the appropriate size.  I would definitely recommend these to anyone and everyone. Go pick some out today!

There are 29 different designs to choose from on NailPolishCanada.com and they retail for $16.00 for one set.

Polishes used: Barielle Nail Rebuilding Protein (base coat), Barielle Ultra Speed Dry Manicure Extender (top coat), essie Barefoot in Blue

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Barielle Summer Brights COMPARISONS

When Barielle released their Summer Brights collection, there were many who speculated that these were newly named past polishes. Additionally, I received a few emails about a comparison post to show the differences between these polishes and past collections. Below you will find comparisons between Barielle polishes except for Blue Capri, which I had no comparable Barielle polish.

To see the original swatches of the Summer Brights collection check out this post.

Sweet Addiction vs. Central Park (New York Style Collection)
L-R: Sweet Addition, Central Park, Sweet Addiction, Central Park
The similarities: Both are dusty, creme greens with a touch of blue, they were both easy to apply and very pigmented
The differences: Central Park is darker


Lemon Drops vs. Banana Drop vs. Sunshine
L-R: Sunshine, Banana Drop, Lemon Drops
The similarities: Well, they're all yellow...
The differences: Sunshine is a cool-toned bright yellow with shimmer, Banana Drops is a pastel creme, and Lemon Drops is a bright yelllow with a touch of warmth. Lemon Drops is the friendliest to apply (although, none of these are exceedingly difficult).


Pink Flip-Flops vs. Allie's Lace Cover Up vs. Pink Quartz
L-R: Pink Quartz, Allie's Lace Cover Up, Pink Flip-Flops
The similarities: They're all creme pinks.
The differences: Pink Quartz has a touch of orange, Allie's Lace Cover Up leans lavender, and Pink Flip-Flops has a distinct brightness reminiscent of Barbie. Allie's Lace Cover Up and Pink Flip-Flops are definitely more cool-toned than Pink Quartz. Choosing between these is a matter of preference and skin-tone.


Cosmic Kiss vs. Eli's Magic vs. Life of the Party
L-R: Life of the Party, Eli's Magic, Cosmic Kiss
The similarities: They all qualify as pigmented, easy to apply, bright pink, creme polishes.
The differences: Eli's Magic is what I would call a true bright pink. It's probably the color most think of when they think of a neutral hot pink. Life of the Party is still very vibrant but it has more coral (warm) undertones. Cosmic Kiss is the coolest of the three.


The only comparison that is not exclusively Barielle, Blue Capri vs. essie Butler Please
The similarities: Both are an on-trend bright, electric periwinkle blue. They both have a glossy creme finish.
The differences: Blue Capri is dustier and a touch darker than Butler Please. Blue Capri is a touch thicker and more pigmented, making application faster and easier.


The Verdict:
There are no duplicate polishes here! However, it is not completely necessary to own ALL of these. It's a matter of deciding which ones fit your skin-tone best.  Everyone has their own preferences so pick whichever one works best for you. Some do have better formulation than others making for easier application. If I HAD to pick I would choose: Central Park, Banana Drop (but maybe Lemon Drop), Allie's Lace Cover Up, Life of the Party, and Blue Capri.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Zoya Godiva

After trying the other PixieDust nail polishes by Zoya, I ran out to Ulta to snatch up more of these polishes. Many of you know that I am a sucker for neutral polishes, so it should be no surprise that I picked up Zoya Godiva. I also bought Vespa and Dahlia, which I will share at a later date:)

Here she is in 2 glorious coats...

The Verdict:
I LOVE the sparkle and texture in this pale cool-toned neutral polish. This is work appropriate, on-trend, and VERY durable. I love this an recommend this to anyone who wants to try the textured trend but still be in the "safe" zone. The only problem that I have with this nail polish is that it is too cool toned for my already uber cool, pale skin. It almost makes Godiva appear slightly greyed on my nails. However, Zoya has a special tip if you run into a similar problem:

INSIDER PRO MANICURE TIP: If you would like to customize Godiva to perfectly match your skin tone, it’s easy. Simply add a drop or two of another Zoya PixieDustTM color, usually Chyna, as desired to the bottle and blend by gently stirring the two shades together. Wearing the color as a semi-sheer single coat also allows your natural skin tone to show through for subtle “naked nail” look that works beautifully with any light or dark skin pigmentation.

Zoya nail polish is available for purchase through their website. PixieDust polishes retail for $9.00 each.  Sign up for a Zoya account today and receive points that can be redeemed for promotions and discounts.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Zoya PixieDust FALL Edition Press Release

MAGIC AND WONDER INFUSED TEXTURED PIXIEDUSTTM COLOR FOR FALL

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JNBPLwkWpro/UakYteb5FnI/AAAAAAAAMxo/9ztSzc7-w8Y/s1600/ZP_Chita_TOMOKO_HANDSHOT_RGB_SmCrop.jpg

The best-selling, revolutionary matte, textured, sparkling Zoya PixieDustTM formula returns for Fall with six spot-on trend colors for the season.

ZOYA PIXIEDUST- FALL EDITION
  • ZP698 - Tomoko: Glowing Silver. Exclusive Zoya PixieDustTM - Textured Matte Sparkle formula.
  • ZP699 - Chita: Emerald Green. Exclusive Zoya PixieDustTM - Textured Matte Sparkle formula.
  • ZP700 - Sunshine: Van Gogh Blue Exclusive Zoya PixieDustTM - Textured Matte Sparkle formula.
  • ZP701 - Carter: Regal Purple. Exclusive Zoya PixieDustTM - Textured Matte Sparkle formula.
  • ZP702 - Arabella: Rich Fuchsia. Exclusive Zoya PixieDustTM - Textured Matte Sparkle formula.
  • ZP703 - Dhara: Dazzling Copper. Exclusive Zoya PixieDustTM - Textured Matte Sparkle formula.



Ultra long-wearing, nail lacquers by Zoya are BIG5FREE - all formulas are completely free of harmful industrial chemicals such as toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) that are known to cause cancer and birth defects.

PixieDust Application:
For BEST RESULTS apply 1-3 (for full coverage) thin coats of polish. Allow product to dry completely for full effect. No base coat and top coat required. Zoya Get Even base coat can be used if desired.
Find over 300 stunning Zoya colors on www.zoya.com. Each and every color has a name as unique as the women who inspired it.

ZOYA IS THE NEW COLOR OF FASHION! 


$9.00 ea. (US)
Available on Zoya.com