Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Artsy Wednesday: View from your window

I put birdseed out on our deck every day, specifically so I can watch the birds while I work from home.  I love love love seeing the different species that drop by, including bluejays, carolina chickadees, carolina wrens, house finches, dark eyed juncos, striped sparrows, brown headed cowbirds, cardinals and even a raven or two!  I think birds are absolutely beautiful, and will always love watching them through my window :)

This week's Artsy Wednesday is a bit of a punt; I had the opportunity to go out with some friends I haven't seen in weeks last night, so my fingernails are currently super boring.  So, I bring you a previous manicure that WAS inspired by the view from my window, bluejay nails!

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

UPDATED: I Survived 12/21/12 Giveaway: Now with 40 prizes!!

Rules and Regulations:

1. US only. Non US residents will be disqualified and entries will be deleted.
2. Must be 18 years of age or older.
3. Fraudulent entries will be deleted and cheaters will be disqualified.
4. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If, after 48 hours, 
    no response is received that winner will have forfeited their prize and another winner 
    will be chosen for that prize.
5. All prizes were purchased by the blogs or donated by the shops specified.
6. Blogs/Shops shipping the prizes are not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen product.
7. The giveaway will run from 12:00 am on 1/1/2013 until 11:59 pm on 1/31/2013.
8. You MUST follow all the entries accordingly. Anywhere you need to follow a blog, do so
    PUBLICLY so we can verify your entries. Any anonymous followers WILL be disqualified 
    because we can not verify the entries.
9. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook. 

Now that that is taken care of onto the prizes!!

Zoya Ornate Holos (Aurora, Blaze and Storm)
Zoya Ornate spoons
Cameo Colours Lacquer - Darling Nikki
ULTA - Pinata-Yada-Yada

China Glaze Holiday Charms set
Salon Express Nail Art Stamping Kit

Cina 3D nail art
Pomegranate Nail Lacquer - Beach House
Pomegranate Nail Lacquer - Sizzling Sweet
Essence - Breaking Dawn Part 2 - Edward's Love
China Glaze - Ruby Pumps mini

Prize #4
Kiss nail art decals
Pomegranate Nail Lacquer - Blue Screen of Death
Pomegranate Nail Lacquer - Princess of Persia
ULTA - Jaded

Layla - Hologram Effect - Mercury Twilight
Layla nail file
Milani - 3D Holographic - Hi-Res
Northern Lights - Holo top coat

Prize #6
Color Club - Winter Affair
Color Club - Glitter Wonderland
Color Club - Gift of Sparkle

Milani - 3D Holographic - HD
Revlon - Top Speed - Royal
Finger Paints - Gourd or Bad

Sally Hansen - Salon Effects Polish Strips - Blue Ice
SinfulColors - Winter Wonderland
Petites - Color Fever - Wizard

PolishTBH - $tackz
Tipsy Turvy Nails - Kimberlee
Tipsy Turvy Nails - Christmas Eve

Glitter Me This - green glitter top coat
Glitter Me This - green, red and gold glitter top coat
Glitter Me This - black with holo dust and multi-colored bar glitter mini
China Glaze - Winter Berry
Essie - Decadent Dish
10 bags of assorted loose glitter

Twee & Honey - Laarz
Twee & Honey - Fashionably Lateas...

Twee & Honey - Ring Around the Rosy
Twee & Honey - Sphagnum Moss
Twee & Honey - Disagreen

4 China Glaze crackle polishes

press on nails
compact mirror
nail glue
pedicure set
lip gloss

press on nails
compact mirror
nail glue
pedicure set
lip gloss

Sally Hansen - Salon Effects Polish Strips
mini pedi kit
Contrary Polish - Santorini

Sally Hansen - Salon Effects Nail Strips
OPI - The Color of Minnie
Glisten & Glow - HK Girl fast drying & super shiny top coat

Perception Nail Lacquer - Snow White
Perception Nail Lacquer - Indian Summer

Hits - Mari Moon - Dreamer
Impala - Disco - Sex Appeal
Lorena - HD Ritmos - Rumba

OPI - DS Mystery
Finger Paints - Special Effects - Flashy

Essie - Dive Bar
Essie - Wild Thing
Essie - Luxeffects - As Gold As It Gets

Anise - Smoldering Eyes
Revlon - Whimsical

Color Club - Wild and Willing
Julep - Sienna
Zoya - Trixie

Anise - Some Kind of Kiss
Hard Candy - Beetle
Julep - Morgan

Color Club - Love 'em Leave 'em
Milani - 3D Holographic - Digital
Color Club - Revvvolution

Essence - Colour & Go - Can't Cheat On Me
ManGlaze - ILF
Essence - Colour & Go - Choose Me!

Julep - Jordan
Hits - No Olimpo - Apolo
nail polish remover pen

Essie mini
Petites - Epic!
Ciate mini
2 pots of caviar beads

Color Club
Wet n Wild - Megalast

Lacquer Convention - Galinda
Lacquer Convention - Pop Tart
Revlon - Scented - Watermelon Fizz

China Glaze - Magnetix - Attraction
China Glaze - Magnetix - Drawn To You
Angry Bird nail decals

Burt's Bees kit
Revlon - Girly
Glimmer by Erica - Snow Day mini

3 e.l.f. polishes
eos pomegranate balm ball
foot cream
moisturizing socks

OPI - Servin' Up Sparkle
OPI - Merry Midnight

Sephora lipgloss - Sugar Coat
Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm
Kellett moisturizing gel sample
Happy Me skin pore and fine line perfecter and primer sample
pink nail art striper
SinfulColors - I Miss you
Pure Ice - Absolutely Marvelous
Wet n Wild - Wild Shine - Eggplant Frost
Barielle - Amber Sparkler

L.A. Colors - Razzle
Nicole by OPI - Kendall On The Katwalk
L.A. Colors - Cobalt

Femme Fatale Lacquer - Punk Rock Valentine
Femme Fatale Lacquer - Midnight Lighting
Femme Fatale Lacquer - Too Teal To Handle mini

Make Up Your Face

Make Up Your Face - Pastel Lover's Paradise
Make Up Your Face - Daffodil Dust mini
Make Up Your Face - Cloud Blossom mini
Make Up Your Face - Lilac Lace mini

Lydia's Nails

Mash nail stamping plates 26-50

Polish Me Crazy

Polish Me Crazy - Confetti mini
Polish Me Crazy - Mini Easter Eggs mini
Polish Me Crazy - Ice Age mini
Polish Me Crazy - Little Mermaid mini

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Artsy Wednesday: Earthquake or Seismograph mani!

This kind of nail art, I like.  I can do it all with brushes in the bottles of my polish, it's simple, and people will probably ooh and ah when I go to the bank or grocery store, which is always a fun little ego boost!

I used two Pretty & Polished colors as my base; Olgite, a shimmering, duochromey blue with pale purpley-pink at certain angles, and Concoction, a deep purple jelly with holo glitter and iridescent flakies and small glitter (I KNOW, IT'S AMAZING).

Here, I have 2 coats of Olgite:
This polish is a nice opacity, and dries quickly to a satiny finish.  It's not matte, but it's not a full shine, probably due to the pigmentation.  I like it!  I did notice that my second coat needed to be a little thick to prevent dragging the first coat and creating bald patches; the polish wasn't hard to work with, it's just worth noting that a thicker second coat is worth it.  Plus, Olgite dries quickly, so no problemo!

Next, I put 2 coats of Concoction on half of each nail:

This polish is sheerer than Olgite, but two coats still provided good coverage (at least of the color of Olgite). This polish is pretty darn gorgeous, these pictures don't do it justice.  It's got a great depth, and the smidgeon of flakies in the polish give it a special twist!  I'll do lone swatches of Concoction soon, so you can really see how it pops!

Finally, paint a wiggly line down the center of your nail.  You can do this a few ways; add strips using the brush of the polish, add strips using a nail art brush, add a wavy line with a nail art brush, add zig-zags.  As long as it kind of looks like a seismograph, you've done your job!
I used GOSH Holographic Hero; I figured my nails were too dark to use black.  These turned out a little more Flash Gordon than Seismograph, but I really like them anyway!

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Disclaimer: The Pretty & Polished polishes featured in this blog entry were provided for review.  All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: Pretty & Polished Sin City Hand and Body Cream

I was given the opportunity to review Pretty & Polished's new hand and body cream, in the scent (or should I say flavor?) Sin City.  Sin City is a dark chocolate scented body cream that Pretty & Polished is releasing as a Valentines Day product.  I'm going to be doing this initial review, and will be "road testing" the hand cream for the next few weeks by using it exclusively, to see how it does long-term as a moisturizer!

First impressions: I had two of them.  The first was the packaging; I was sent this for review, meaning that my focus was going to be on the product, but Pretty & Polished packed my tester sample in a totally charming box with cheerful tissue paper to boot!  I really appreciate companies that add touches like that.

Second first impression: When I smelled the creme, I believe I actually said "Oh my GODDD"; the richness of the scent is phenomenal!  It takes the chocolatey scent of cocoa butter and amps it up to something beyond delicious-smelling.  I'm getting undertones of baked-goods as well as the chocolate, giving the scent in the jar a nice depth.  I also really appreciate that the scent isn't insanely strong; really strong scents for lotions drive me batty, and this cream has a very nice balance of enjoyable scent without being overpowering.

Here are my nails after removing polish; slightly stained, dry, slightly raggedy cuticles.

Here are the same nails after using the hand cream; a definite improvement in skin and cuticle moisture!

Impressions of the cream after use:
First off, scent on the skin.  When you apply the creme, there's a burst of that sweet baked-good smell, and then the lotion settles into a much more subtle scent and settle into a slightly chocolatey, slightly sweet, light fragrance.  I even got hints of coffee after the initial application, though that also mellowed into the final fragrance.  This one's complex!  I like it though; not a punch-in-the-face of tastiness, but there was just a breeze in the room from a door I left open for the cat, and I got a nice waft of scent from my hands on the keyboard, meaning the fragrance is there when you want it!

Second, the cream itself: you can see little flecks of cocoa butter in the cream, which is a pale pinkish color and a fairly fluid consistency.  It's not ultra thick like a Body Shop body cream, but isn't as thin as most lotions that come with a pump; somewhere in-between.  It absorbs in really quickly, and isn't greasy.  You can tell you recently put on hand cream, but I can type on my keyboard immediately after applying without getting little lotion spots on the keys (ah, the modern benchmark for hand cream quality!).

Final impressions: I like this cream; my hands are well moisturized without being greasy, and smell delish without being so overpowering that I get a headache.  Overall, I approve!

Sin City Hand and Body Cream will be released on January 16th, and can be found on Pretty & Polished's website HERE.

Sin City Hand and Body Cream Ingredients: 
Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Water (Aqua), Isopropyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, PEG-100 Stearate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Triethanolamine, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Carbomer, Methylisothiazolinone, Tocopherol (Antioxidant Vitamin E), Phenoxyethanol, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Coffea Arabica Seed Oil (and) Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Root Starch, Illite (Valley Mauve Natural Clay), Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol (Preservative).

Disclaimer: These products were sent to me for review; all opinions are honest and my own and have no external input or influence.