Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blog swap! Lit from Within and Gorgeous Nail Art

Today, another blogger and I decided to swap blogs for the day!  If you haven't followed Nidia from Lit from Within, you really should.  She does gorgeous nail art that's easy to recreate without needing to be very artistic.  So, without further ado, meet Nidia!

Hi, I'm Nidia, and I run a little blog called Lit From Within.  I love doing nail art, but I don't have a creative bone in my body, so I'm always looking for inspiration.  One of my fave things to do is take looks from other nail artists and change it up to give it my own twist.  I found this look from Tartofraises that I really liked and wanted to put my spin on it.
I Love Nail Polish Touch of Mint.  This is pretty, but it's supposed to be a scattered holo.  I know that the light colors have a subtle holo, but, well, this is REALLY subtle.  As in, I couldn't see it.
I took a striper brush and Mode Starry Night, a shiny forest green, and drew the leaf pattern.  I then dabbed a little A England Morgan Le Fay on the top half of my nail, which added a lovely silvery, subtle shimmer.  I used a dotting tool to apply some Finger Paints Santa's Magic to the corner for that *bling*
This is a pretty easy pattern that doesn't have to be perfect - the shimmer and glitter camouflage mistakes! Subterfuge! *evil laugh*
Bottle shot:  I Love Nail Polish A Touch of Mint, A-England Morgan Le Fay, Finger Paints Santa's Magic, and Mode Starry Night.
If you'd like more information about I Love Nail Polish, you can find them on Facebook, and their webstore. A-England can be found on Facebook.  Currently, they can only deliver within the UK, but they have a list of worldwide distributors. Mode Cosmetics is a value Australian brand.  I got this in a blog sale, but if you'd like more information about them, here's Mode's Facebook page. And, finally, if you'd like to follow me and my beauty blogging, You can find Lit From Within on Facebook, and my blog.  If you try this look, please show me on my Facebook page! Many thanks to Julie for this most excellent post swap!  Don't forget to check out her comparison post on my blog!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Phoning it In: Dollish Polish

I'm working on making furniture tonight, but I wanted to make sure I got at least something up for you guys tonight.  Tonight, we're going to take a look at Dollish Polish A Peachy Princess from Dolly's Super Mario Brothers Collection that she released last fall.

*I was not financially compensated for this post.  All items in this review were purchased by me for my own use.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy in the tab above.*

Color: Light pink jelly with holo and matte pink squares and hexes.
Finish: Glitter Jelly – glitter in a colored jelly base.
Bottle / Brush: Skinny round bottle – long cap with standard size wand.  Some of these brushes come bent.  Average application with standard non-bent brush.  Picks up glitter decently, but it isn’t the best.

Opacity: Medium – achieves opacity at three to four coats.  Here, I've worn it with one very thick coat over OPI DS Opulence.
Glitter Application: Hard – difficult to dig the glitters out of the bottle, spreads well with the dab method, but pools at the cuticles and bubbles when dry.
Consistency: Thick – thick or it can be clumpy, but is easily remedied with some polish thinner.

Overall Ease of Application: Difficult – pools at the cuticles.  Drags and clumps, streaks, or is bald in spots.  Does not spread well without massive manipulation.
Stampability: Not designed for stamping. 
Dry Time: Long – dry to the touch with minimal smudging in over 8 minutes.  It felt like this polish would never dry.  It was insane!  

Overall Thoughts:  This was a pretty decent combo, but the application was such a pain.  It took the dab method to get it on my nail, but it slid around and pooled ta my cuticles.  It took FOR.EV.ER. to dry.  

I didn't even get to wear it for long because they started popping off left and right!  Talk about frustrating.  It's such a pretty polish, though, so I'm going to keep trying.  Sadly, Dolly's Super Mario Brothers collection has been discontinued, but they do show up in swap groups and blog sales all the time.  If you're interested, definitely keep an eye out there.

You can purchase Dollish Polishes at her shop, Llarowe, and Overall Beauty.  Follow Dolly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news and updates on new collections.

Do you have any video game inspired polishes?

Friday, May 24, 2013

OPI DS Signature

I had wanted to make today Comparison Friday since I missed out on Comparison Thursday yesterday, but then I saw these pictures in my queue and instantly changed my mind.  The OPI DS collection used to be so awesome.  The polishes from that line now are nice, but, in my opinion, not worth the extra price.  If you are able to find some of the holo DS's, grab them as quickly as you can as they are no longer made.  In fact, OPI has stated via their Facebook page that they no longer have access to the pigment they previously used for their holos and, thus, will no longer make holo polishes.  It's such a shame.  They were my longstanding favorites.  However, the new Color Club Halo Hues have edged the DS's out of the top position with their over-the-top bling.  Even still, one of my favorite holos is OPI DS Signature.

*I was not financially compensated for this post.  All items in this review were purchased by me for my own use.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy in the tab above.*

Color: Deep rose / muted fuchsia holographic.

Finish: Holographic – pigment gives polish a rainbow in the sunshine.

Bottle / Brush: OPI bottle with the new wide brush – if you have small nail beds, this brush may be too large for you.  The wide brush tends to cause the polish to flood your cuticles, so you have to be very careful when applying.  Don't get too much polish on the brush when you're ready to apply it to the nail.  The wand length and cap are both standard OPI, and has a pretty average application.

Opacity: Medium – achieves opacity at three to four coats.
Glitter Application: N/A
Consistency: Fluid – thin but flows easily from the brush.

Overall Ease of Application: Medium – applies well with minimal pooling, dragging, streaking, or balding.  Spreads well without much manipulation.
Stampability: Not tested for stamping.

Dry Time: Medium – dry to the touch with minimal smudging in 3-8 minutes.

Overall Thoughts: Signature is probably one of my favorite holos.  It applies like a normal polish and isn't a massive pain in the butt like most holos.  The consistency is on the thin side, so you have to be careful with pooling, especially coupled with the wide brush.  Even though the layers are thin, coverage builds nicely in three coats.  It's so vivid, both in color and in rainbow, which is why it is one of my favorite holos.  The holo is more of a scattered-linear holo instead of a straight holo, but I almost like that better.  The holo particle OPI used for Signature is larger than the one used for straight holos like the new China Glaze Hologlam collection.  Overall, I love this polish.

Sadly, the holographic DS's are long discontinued.  I found mine at a local salon along with a few other DS's, and I grabbed them all as quickly as I could.  I was actually surprised when the salon owner sold them to me, and threw in DS Glamour for FREE.  I didn't tell him how much they were worth.  That was my little secret.  Heheheh.  You can purchase their new DS's at salons, Ulta, and other places where OPI are sold.

What's your favorite pink holo?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wear Test: Model City Polish Strawberry Jam

Wow, this has taken waaaaaaaaay too long to get up, but I finally hace my wear test for Model City Polish's Strawberry Jam to show you tonight!  Get prepped for some ridiculous picture spam.  Go and plug up that extra modem, you're going to need the extra processing power tonight, folks!

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of Model City Strawberry Jam for review purposes.  All other polishes in this review were purchased by me for my own use.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy in the tab above.* 

First, let's start with the last bit of the Q&A with Model City's maker, Nina!

3) What was your inspiration for the polishes you've chosen?

Strawberry Jam is inspired by one of my favorite foods, strawberries! I could live on them for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. Strawberry Jam was one of the first Jellies I ever created. When I first made it the base wasn't as dark because I wanted it to be a topper mostly but I quickly reformulated it to the richer base.

5) How did you become interested in creating your own polish line?

I have always been a lacquerista and use to have to hunt for unique blends, colors, and combos. With the boom of the indie market it opened my eyes to a whole new glorious glitter field world. With Model City this is my way to create blends I have always dreamed of and share with other fellow lacqueristas. 

6) Tell me 3 fun facts that people wouldn't ordinarily know about you.  (Hobbies, interests, history, etc)

  • I work in the automotive field so I deal with greasy dirty parts all day and my nails are always flawless, lol.
  • I am married to my high school sweetheart and we are the best of friends. We have been together for 15 years and he is a huge supporter of Model City and my polish obsession.
  • I am a huge neat freak and love cleaning and organizing things. Sometime I like to make a mess just so I have something to clean!

The photos used in the wear test portion, are of 1 coat of Strawberry Jam layered over China Glaze Merry Berry.  Other photos, however, are of 1 coat of Strawberry Jam layered over Zoya Pixie Dust Chyna, Zoya Storm, and then jelly sandwiched with Elevation Matsuda over the Chyna Jam combo.  I'll make sure to list which polishes I'm showing in the caption of each photo.

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of Model City Strawberry Jam for review purposes.

Color: Vivid berry red with red holographic hexes in two sizes.

Strawberry Jam and Zoya Pixie Dust Chyna
Finish: Glitter Jelly – glitter in a colored jelly base.

Bottle / Brush: Round mini bottle – wand and brush are just long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle.  Normally, the fact that it’s a mini makes application a little tricky.  However, I didn't have a single problem with application of Strawberry Jam with the mini bottle.

Opacity: Medium – achieves opacity at three to four coats.  However, I wore it almost exclusively layered over undies.

Strawberry Jam over Zoya Pixie Dust Chyna
Glitter Application: Easy – Spreads evenly without much manipulation.

Strawberry Jam over Zoya Storm
Consistency: Medium – applies easily and doesn’t flood the cuticles.
Overall Ease of Application: Easy – applies well without pooling, dragging, streaking, or balding.  Spreads evenly and smoothly.

Strawberry Jam over Zoya Storm
Stampability: Not designed for stamping.
Dry Time: Medium – dry to the touch with minimal smudging in 3-8 minutes.

Strawberry Jam over Zoya Chyna and sandwiched with Elevation Matsuda

Items Used for Wear Test:
I hadn't intended to wear Strawberry Jam as my wear test from Model City, but I ran short on time that week and wasn't able to change my polish for several days.  I'm pretty sure that this polish would've lasted longer than the 4 days had I worn my normal combo of Orly Bonder and a non-quick dry topper.
  • Alcohol to dehydrate nail bed and remove oils
  • Duri Rejuvacote
  • KBShimmer Clearly on Top

Day One:
Normally, I take photos right after I paint my nails, but I ran out of time the night I did this mani.  There was the slightest bit of wear on my thumb and index fingers after a full day of wear at work.  You know, lots of typing and all.  Otherwise, everything still looks great!

Day Two:
A little more wear on my thumb and index finger with additional wear on pinkie and ring fingers.  Although, I'm not sure that is so much wear as it appears to be shrinkage from my topcoat.  Otherwise, nothing has chipped or flaked off.

Day Three:
Significant tip wear on thumb and index finger.  The rest of mani had minimal tip wear on each finger.

Day Four:
Alas, my mani met its doom.  My thumb and index fingers flaked off in sheets.  The rest of the mani had a medium amount of tip wear.  It was time to take this beauty off.

Overall Thoughts: Strawberry Jam has made its way into my favorites list for sure.  Application was amazing, spreading easily without any problems.  At all.  The glitters are soooo bright, the base color is so vivid, and the sparkle from the glitters is just so bright.  Yes, I said that twice.  It's seriously gorgeous.  Plus, the holo gives this polish a beautiful depth that kept me staring at my fingers for days.  I got several compliments on it, as well, which is always nice.  If you're looking for a red glitter, this should be on your short list.

You can purchase Model City Polishes at Nina's Etsy store.  Follow Nina and Model City on Facebook and Instagram for news and updates on her collections.  She's about to release a holo line, y'all, and it looks AMAZING!!!!!

What's your favorite red glitter?

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of Model City Strawberry Jam for review purposes.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Celiac Awareness!

The move went...  well...  I guess.  We haven't gotten everything from our last house, and it's going to take some time finish getting the rest of it.  The worst part?  We don't really have furniture, and we haven't had time to run by Ikea to get the stuff we picked out.  We're living out of boxes and trash bags and sleeping on our sleeper sofa.  Honestly, though, I don't mind at all!  I am absolutely smitten with our new place!

Tonight, we're going to talk about something near and dear to me, Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance.  I'm going to pepper this post with photos of my mani to break things up a bit, but I'll save the info on the polishes I used until a little later.  Also, since we're in a new place, I'm having to deal with new lighting for my photos.  I apologize if they aren't as vivid.  I'm hoping once we get everything unpacked and moved like we want, my photos will be back to normal.

While I don't suffer from Celiac Disease, I am gluten intolerant, which makes eating certain foods quite tricky.  In 2008, I came down with Salmonella poisoning while visiting my parents in Florida.  Needless to say, I refuse to eat turkey burgers from anyone other than my family.  After that incident, I have had problems digesting foods with gluten and lactose.  I started having serious upset stomach issues, and for a few years, I had no idea what was happening.  I read about gluten intolerance, and thought, why not cut out gluten and see what happens?  So I did.  And my world has been forever changed.  

When I cheat and eat gluten, I feel horrible for a couple of days and retain water like mad.  That's even just ONE piece of bread.  It's especially hard because I have a serious love affair with craft beer.  I still drink it, which is stupid, but I enjoy it and put up with the symptoms.  I was really good about not cheating for several months and felt so much better, which is how I discovered that I had an intolerance.  I need to be better about my eating, but I've been soooo lazy with my shopping and my weight loss and menu planning lately.

Here's a little info about Celiac Disease from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Medical ImageCeliac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten.
Do you have celiac disease?
Take our celiac disease symptoms checklist »
Celiac disease is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the finger-like villi of the small intestine. When the villi become damaged, the body is unable to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to malnourishment.
Left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and cancer.
Interestingly, I also suffer from Hashimotos Thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune thyroid disease.  To find out more about Celiac Disease, examples of symptoms, and what you can do if you think you may be suffering from Celiac or gluten intolerance, check out the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

The official colors for Celiac Awareness are green and yellow, so naturally I had to use my favorite yellow and green polishes from one of my favorite makers, Pam of Girly Bits.  The mani I've been showing off is a gradient of Girly Bits Glo Worm and Banana Hammock.  Since they are both jellies and sheer, I decided to do the gradient over two layers of OPI Alpine Snow, a nice white creme.  Although, I think I should've let it dry a bit longer as I messed up the white layers a little bit.  I used a makeup sponge to create my gradient by following this tutorial from Lissa's Polish Addiction.

Next, I topped it with a creation I made for myself last night with Celiac Awareness in mind, Self Satisfied.  I went heavy on the yellow and green neon, which, as I mentioned above, are the official colors of Celiac Awareness.  

Self Satisfied is a glitter topper with green and iridescent shimmers, matte neon glitters in yellow, blue, pink, purple, and green, satin hot pink hearts, matte neon green stars, large fuchsia dots, teal holo moons, and silver holo butterflies.

I felt that this would be a good pairing with the green and yellow gradient.  I'm not going to lie, I felt like I was wearing a parrot on my fingers all day today.

You can purchase Girly Bits at her store, Llarowe, Overall Beauty, and Mei Mei's Signatures.  Follow the lovely Pam on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news and updates on additions to her line of gorgeous polishes.

Do you suffer from Celiac or gluten intolerance?