Saturday, July 26, 2014

Enter All the Widgets!! The Great Polish Giveaway 2014: List of Participants

Hi there!  I've spent the morning compiling a list of links for NPC's Great Polish Giveaway of 2014 and I thought it might be of interest to all of you.  Each participant of this giveaway has their own widget where you can earn up to three extra entries in addition to the widget on NPC's page.  In case you've missed it, this giveaway allows bloggers to nominate a polish for the grand prize, up to 200 polishes to one winner!  There are some great polishes included in this prize so I highly suggest you all enter, enter, enter!  The prize is currently sitting at 148 polishes...everything from Cirque and NCLA to Orly and China Glaze.  If you have a blog and want to get in on the nomination action, you can find out about it here.

I wasn't able to find a comprehensive list of each participant and a link to their widget, so I decided to make my own!  I did my best to include everyone but I was unable to find links for some of the folks listed on the prize list, so if you don't see your name and would like to be included, please let me know!  The list starts below, in no particular order.  This is also a great way to find new blogs...there are so many folks participating that I didn't know so I'm thrilled to have some new people to follow :) Thanks so much for reading and I hope this is helpful!

1. Over the Top Coat
2. Polish Obsession 
3. Notes and Nails
4. Dividing by Zero
5. Domestic Vixen
6. Canadian Nail Fanatic
7. Ditch the Mittens
8. Lauryn Andrade
9. Simply Nailogical
10. A Little Polish
11. Me and My Nail Polish
12. Classy on the Run
13. Chantal's Corner
14. Mani-Addicted
15. Blacklace Cosmetics
16. Of Knit and Nails
17. Mom's Makeup Stash
18. Subscription Box-Oholic
19. Ivory Avenue
20. Melanie's Fancies
21. Quenne
22. In Jenn's Bag
23. The RNY Life
24. I Know All the Words
25. Seriously Swatched
26. My Lacquer Cabinet
27. We Didn't Miss It
28. Crafty Lady Abby
29. Beauty Fiends
30. Beyond Blush
31. Pink & Polished
32. Mom & Pop's Business Cents
33. Autumn-Rain
34. My Starlight Blessings
35. Wacky Laki
36. The Happy Sloths
37. A.M. Polishes
38. Gel-Luv
39. TLC Shopping
40. My Domestic Dish
41. Life and Polish
42. Einalem_Og
43. Intense Polish Therapy
44. Delight In Nails
45. Southern Sparkle Nail Art
46. Mario, Shut Up
47. Varnished Valkyrie
48. Globe and Nail
49. In Jeeb We Trust
50. Lace & Lacquers
51. Procrastinails
52. Chit Chat Nails
53. Polished & Glittered
54. Kelsie's Nail Files
55. Pretty Nails and Tea
56. Copycat Claws
57. Blushing Noir
58. Swatcher, Polish Ranger
59. A Girl & Her Polish
60. The Polished Mommy
61. Workaday Ramblings
62. Nailing It
63. Beaded Embellishments
64. MelSimLi Nails
65. Ruby Sprinkles
66. Crystal Pistol
67. The Nail Snail
68. PJ's and Polish
69. Nail Polish Mom
70. Awesome Possum Blogorium
71. The Super Secret Nail Blog
72. Claw of Cthulhu
73. Gee, Your Nails are Terrific
74. Beauty-Intel
75. As Samantha Sees It
76. Baubles & Bubbles
77. Darling Magpie
78. Manis and Makeovers
79. A Girl and Her Chicken Named Betty
80. Writing Whimsy 
81. Lady Maid Nails
82. Dagadelic
83. Storm and Stars
84. Polished to Precision
85. Dee's Polish
86. Will Paint Nails For Food
87. My Life In Turquoise
88. Sou-Douzaine
89. Hey Darling Polish
90. Miss DeVious Diva
91. Chameleon Souls
92. The Lazy Laquerista
93. Oh My Swatch
94. Good Lack, Nail
95. Sparkled Beauty
96. My Corner of the Forest
97. Olivia Frescura
98. Crafty Nail
99. PolishNV
100. Swatch and Review
101. Teen Polish Junkie
102. Rebecca Likes Nails
103. Manicurator
104. Beauty Infinitum
105. ChrissyAI
106. Ria Loves Pawlish
107. Let's Talk Makeup & Beauty
108. The Nail Never Stops
109. Colors Frenzy
110. Writing Beauty
111. Sassy Shelly
112. On a Chalkboard 
113. My Glittery Obsessions
114. Jeanne Melanson 
115. China Glaze Favs
116. Super Nails
117. Wendy's Contests Galore 
118. Everything Pretty 
119. Painted Pretty 
120. Jenn
121. Kitties and Polish Forever 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Great Polish Giveaway 2014~Cirque Colors Fascination Street

"What's this?" you say?  Two giveaways in one week?  That's crazy talk!  But, crazy as it might be, it's also pretty freakin' awesome!  In addition to my Two Year Birthdanniversary Giveaway that I'm currently hosting, I'm also taking part in the Great Polish Giveaway 2014 which is hosted by, Cirque Colors, NCLA, & Picture Polish.

This giveaway is offering one lucky person a chance to win up to 200 nail polishes!  Currently the number stands at 83 91, which is amazing all by itself especially when you check out the list and see exactly which polishes are up for grabs!  Basically, had this great idea for a giveaway and wanted to get bloggers involved.  Each blogger nominates a polish to be won in the giveaway and then promotes the giveaway on their blog.  You can enter separately on each participating bloggers' posts to gain more entries...pretty sweet deal!  I'm excited to participate, especially since I got to nominate one of my very favoritest polishes ever, Cirque's Fascination Street!  FS was the very first indie I ever bought and it instilled the righteous love of holographic polish into my very being!  You can check out my swatches of it below and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post! (If you have a blog and would like to nominate a shade for the giveaway, follow this link to sign up.) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Two Year Birthdanniversary Giveaway!

Hello, Polish Fans!  As I mentioned on Facebook a little bit ago, I have completely forgotten my blogiversary (again!)...April 17th was the second anniversary of my very first blog post, which is just amazing to think about!  I managed to forget my first blogiversary last year and decided to combine it with my birthday (July 17th) and just do one big giveaway.  It seems to be becoming a tradition as that's what I've planned for this year as well.  I put the call out to the nail polish/blogging/indie universe and was able to round up some pretty great prizes for you all!  I'm very grateful and honored that all these fabulous people were willing to share in this giveaway with me!  Shall we check them out? ;)

From Sunshine Nails, we have one full size bottle each of Finger Paints Mistful Thinking and Shower With Flowers and one mini bottle of China Glaze Travel In Colour.

From Paint Shop Polish, one full size bottle of Under the Sea, a scattered holographic blue polish from her mermaid-inspired collection.

From Designs by Zazzles, one custom fit, rose gold and silver enameled copper, Celtic Wings chain mail bracelet.  This bracelet will be made to order to fit your wrist so may take a little extra time for shipping.

From Gothic Gala Lacquers,  2 full size bottles of the winner's choice.

From LynBDesigns, 3 full size polishes of winner's choice

From Shirley Ann Nail Lacquer, 2 full size bottles from an upcoming (and thus far, unnamed) collection.

From Leah at My Nail Polish Is Poppin!, 1 bottle each of Color club Sparkle and Soar and Essie Jamaica Me Crazy and some groovy nail files :)

From Panacea at My Nail Polish is Poppin', a flat rate box of mystery polish. 
(Doncha just love surprises?!)

From A Mani Maniac, six 7ml bottles from Polish Addict's summer Neon collection plus one 7ml bottle each of a holographic topcoat and a neon glitter topper.

From Dana Reed Designs, one Beaded Karma necklace (sterling silver and 14kt gold filled, 16-18"length).

From Hand Picked Words, one month's free subscription for a weekly mini-cookbook.  " This is a weekly mini e-cookbook that floats gently into your inbox every Saturday night, pages crackling with beautiful pictures and easy-to-follow descriptions of fun, delicious meals. Each one is centered around a fascinating theme. It could be a whirlwind culinary tour of Indonesia, or a time-traveling look at the world’s oldest recorded recipes."

 From Hand Picked Words, one month's free subscription for an Ebook Box. "A feast of delicious poems, short stories, art, books, and more will flow into your inbox every month. Each box includes TWO fascinating, fun-to-read books and four exciting shorter pieces."

From Over the Top Coat, Prize Pack 1~1 Bottle Each of butter London Scuppered (sorry about the label damage, but it is a brand new bottle!) and Pimms, Sally Hansen Triple Shine Twinkled Pink and Sugar Shimmer Work of Tart, and Mentality Curiousity

From Over the Top Coat, Prize Pack 2~1 Bottle Each of butter London Sozzled, OPI Divine Swine, China Glaze Don't Be a Flake, Sugar Shimmer Berried Under, and Chick Polish Hipster Chick

From Color Me So Crazy (International where available), a $20 Starbucks gift card.

From Over the Top Coat, International winner's choice of a $25 gift certificate to Harlow & Co, PayPal, or Llarowe

There's some pretty awesome stuff in there to win, isn't there??  So exciting!  And now for the rules:

1. Must be 18 years or older or have a parent/guardian's permission to enter.

2. There are 14 U.S. only prizes and 2 International prizes.  International entrants may win U.S. prizes if they have a U.S. shipping address.

3. Once prizes are shipped, the shipper bears no responsibility for lost or damaged items.  Items are packed with care, but the shipper is not responsible for how USPS handles the package.

4. One winner for each prize pack will be drawn randomly using Rafflecopter.  Winners will be contacted by the donor of the prize they've won and they will have 48 hours to claim their prize.  If  a response is not received within 48 hours, I will redraw a new winner for that prize.

5. All mandatory entries must be completed for valid entry in the giveaway.  The rest are optional, more entries increase your chances of winning.

6. The giveaway is open for entries beginning Monday, July 14th, 2014 at 12 AM CST and closes on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 at 12 AM CST.

I think that just about sums it up!  Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Holographic Stamped Manicure

Hi there!  I'm trying to get back into the swing of things here and I wanted to show off my newest manicure.  I'm doing my best to get the hang of stamping and I had a good night of it.  My bf even commented that it must have gone well because the process wasn't accompanied with the customary swearing and throwing I have a temper, sue me!  lol

I started with 2 coats of FingerPaints Dream I Can Fly, a turquoise-y blue (that's got a touch more green than my pics show) as a base.  I was a little disappointed with this polish as my bottle is quite gloppy and streaky.  It did even out in two coats, but it was kind of a mess to get there. Fortunately, the color is beautiful!

Using Colors by Llarowe's Smooth Criminal, which I recently snagged from a blog sale, and Pueen 65, which I received as a gift from my friend Liz at A Mani Maniac, I stamped some swirly bits over top.   I'm loving the way this turned out and I can't wait to see it in the sunlight (stay tuned for an Instagram pic of that)! 

My best stamping tips so far are to work quickly and make sure to rough up your stamper head!  Mine wouldn't pick up the image at all until I buffed it lightly with an emery it works great!  I'd love to hear any tips you guys have for can be a tricky business ;)

Thanks so much for reading!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Alcohol Inks Tutorial

Hi everyone!  I've been a terrible blogger because I haven't been around much lately, I know.  Summer time is crazy at work and I've had to work several weekends, so my rare free time has been spent relaxing rather than blogging.  I hope you'll all forgive me!  Don't forget that you can follow me over on Instagram where I post pics of pretty much any manicure that doesn't make it into a blog post, so it's a great way to keep tabs on what's going on with my nails :)

To make up for my absence, I have a tutorial for you today...yay!  Many of you will have heard of an awesome new manicure technique called lead lighting.  Taking its name from a stained glass technique, lead lighting manicures feature stamping with black or a dark color over a white/light base.  Then the stamped design is filled in using sheer jelly polishes, mimicking the look of stained glass.  You can create some truly gorgeous and unique manis this way.  

When searching out jellies to try lead lighting for myself, I discovered I actually don't own very many suitable polishes for this technique.  Browsing around on the web gave me the idea of using alcohol inks to lightly pigment clear polish, but those inks can get a little pricey.  Further research let me know I could make my own alcohol inks at home, with supplies I had around the house so I thought I'd give it a try!

There are several "recipes" for DIY alcohol inks floating around the web using anything from KoolAid to food coloring to markers for the color part.  For my initial experiments, I tried food coloring, marker ink, and acrylic paint.  Each of these made a great alcohol ink, but once I started mixing them with the clear polish I ran into issues.  The marker ink caused the polish to thicken and separate rendering it unusable and the food coloring faded color so badly it became grey.  So I've settled on acrylic paint for my polish alcohol inks.

This is one of the easiest tutorials you'll see.  The supplies you'll need are paper towels for clean up (this stuff can get messy!), Rubbing Alcohol (I used 70% because it's what I had at home, but I've seen sites that recommend using 90%), Acrylic Paint (I recommend the liquid-y kind rather than what you'll find in a tube. You're mixing it so if it's already liquid it just makes things easier), a small cup for mixing, a bottle or jar to store your ink in, and a bottle of clear nail polish (I used Wet 'n' Wild's Clear Nail Protector because it was on sale at Walgreen's for $0.69).  If you have a small funnel, it will come in handy but it's not necessary.  Also, acrylic paint is permanent!  If you're worried about staining, make sure to wear old clothes and cover your work surfaces.  You can also wear latex or rubber gloves to protect your hands.

To start, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol into your mixing cup and add a few drops of acrylic paint.  Mix it by either swishing your cup around or using a spoon or other mixing device.  Decant a bit of clear polish out of the bottle, you'll need room to add some of the ink once it's mixed up.

Once your paint is dissolved into the rubbing alcohol (and here's where the funnel would be  helpful), pour it into your storage bottle or jar.  I used an old Seche Vite bottle (cleaned with acetone) to store my inks.  The next step is to pour a small amount of the ink into your clear polish.  As you can see in the photo above, you'll have to shake it up to mix everything together.

But once it's all shaken up, it stays mixed with little to no settling.  They look a bit cloudy in the bottle, but that doesn't seem to be an issue once it's mixed with the polish and applied.

And here are two coats of the red color above and a yellow jelly I made over two coats of Sinful Colors Snow Me White.  My next step will be to try these with the leadlighting but I don't anticipate any problems with that...well, not with the polish anyway, the stamping might be another story!

If you don't want to go through the hassle of making your own inks, they are available for purchase at most craft stores, like Michael's and Joann's.  Joann's website has a nice selection of them, prices are regularly $4.99 for a 0.5 oz bottle and $9.99 for a pack of 3.  It does look like they're having a sale right now, making the single bottles $3.49 and the 3-packs $6.99, so it's a good time to buy if you're interested!

Have you tried any DIY alcohol ink recipes?  I'd love to hear about your results or see any pics of your lead lighted manis!  I hope this post was helpful and thanks so much for reading!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Similarities: My Floam went Kaboom and now I'm Flipping Out Hard!

*Nothing to disclose*

Hello everyone!  I'm so excited about today's post because it involves the nabbing of my #2 lemming of all time (#1 being Clarins 230 but short of a miracle or a lottery win, that shall remain a dream)!  I can't tell you what it is about Floam by Nail Venturous that caused me to jones so badly for it, but I've searched high and low for that little bottle with the yellow label.  I even bought it from a blog sale about a year ago, waited for three weeks, only to find out it had been lost in the mail.  This was a hard lesson I learned about international shipping :(  But my story has a happy ending because I found another blog sale (here in the States) and in that blog sale, I found another little bottle with a yellow label (for only $5 no less!) and this time, USPS did not fail me!  Thursday afternoon I unlocked my mailbox and there, to the tune of a choir of angels accompanied by rays of sunshine from Heaven itself, was my very own bottle of Floam!!  I know this seems dramatic, but as you're all polish people, I know you understand ;)

The very first thing I decided to do with my bottle of Floam (after I did a happy jig whilst holding it above my head in a triumphant manner) was a comparison post.  In my quest for Floam, I have tried several alleged dupes and am thrilled that I can finally compare them to the real deal!  Nail Pattern Boldness Flipping Out Hard and Salon Perfect Kaboom were two polishes that I picked up in hopes of quelling my Floam craving so I figured they'd make a great Sunday Similarities post!

I started with two coats of Sinful Colors Jungle Trail and then used two coats of each comparison polish; Floam on my index and pinky, Kaboom on my middle, and Flipping Out Hard on my ring finger.   I didn't use any top coat for these photos because each of these polishes purposely uses matte glitters.  That said, they do all look lovely with a top coat and you may prefer them with it because they will dry with some texture without it.  Flipping Out Hard is obviously the odd man out for color, having much more yellow and green glitters than the blue.  FOH is the most densely glittered polish of the bunch and I probably could have only used one coat with a little dabbing.  I have to say that as far as color and density go, Kaboom is pretty much a bang on dupe for Floam.  In the bottle, Floam comes off as a bit more blue but on the nail, that difference is less pronounced.  Kaboom is actually even a bit more dense in the glitter department than Floam.

If you'd like to purchase any of these beauties for yourselves, here's the low down.  Salon Perfect Kaboom can still be found in Walmart stores.  It retails for around $4 for a full size 14ml bottle, by far the most economical of the bunch.  Flipping Out Hard is available on the Nail Pattern Boldness site, retailing for $9 for a full size 15ml bottle.  Though not really a dupe for Floam, FOH is a gorgeous polish in its own right.  NPB just does a great polish, I have a couple and have yet to be disappointed! 

That brings us back to Floam which as you might expect is a little more difficult to get a hold of.  Ninja Polish, which took over Floam from Nail Venturous, is currently on hiatus.  I do not know when (or even if) she'll begin taking orders again. Your best bet is to stalk blog sales or Ebay, like I did.  I've seen Floam listed any where from $5 to $45 for the full size 15ml bottle.  Kaboom is by far the best dupe I've seen, so if you're less patient than I it's definitely a good option to get this look.  Especially with Ninja Polish being closed at the moment, I imagine Floam will become more difficult to find.

Thanks so much for reading, folks!  I hope you enjoyed the post and that it was helpful :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Indie Spotlight: No Blank Paper

*Nothing to disclose*

Hi everyone!  I've got the second set of polishes from No Blank Paper that I promised you all on Sunday, including my favorite of the bunch!  If you missed the first set, you check them out here.  I'm so excited about this bunch I say we just get right to the photos, how 'bout it?

Starting things off is Between Rage and Serenity, a blackened purple creme with fine blue and pink glitter and pink and lavender hexes.  Mysterious and dark, this polish is saved from murkiness by the glitter picking up the light and creating a lovely sparkle.

I'm showing 2 coats of Between Rage and Serenity and I did use one coat of Seche Vite with this as the polish has a slightly matte finish on its own.  It was slightly streaky on the first coat, but did even out nicely on the second.  Other than that, the formula was smooth and easy to work with.

Between Rage and Serenity will make a great Fall polish, or a sultry one for a night out.  A beautiful color with just the right amount of sparkle!

Spoilers, Sweetie is a dark teal shimmer with silver and blue hexes and a smattering of pink squares.   I love the color here!  The shimmer adds a lovely depth to this polish as well.

Another great formula, very smooth and easy to apply.  I'm showing just two coats here, with one coat of Seche Vite.  Spoilers, Sweetie does dry with a semi-matte finish so if you like a shine, you'll want a top coat.  I also think the shiny finish helps show off the shimmer in the polish.

I can't think of any real criticisms for this polish.  Beautiful color plus great formula equals an easy, gorgeous manicure!

And now we come to my favorite polish of the six, I Stole a Time Lord.  This midnight blue beauty is packed with all kinds of blue glitters and holographic sparkle.  It's like wearing a galaxy on your fingertips!

I'm showing 2 flawless coats here with one coat of Seche Vite.  Again, I think the top coat is called for here to bring out the depth of sparkle in this polish.  The formula was perfect, no dragging or streaking and I can't get over the color!  If you're a fan of blues and sparkle, you really want to grab this one!

Currently, all of Erin's polishes are offered in 5ml mini bottles that retail for $3 each.  Pretty much a steal if you ask me!  You can skip on over to her Etsy store to nab these and other lovelies.  To sweeten an already pretty sweet deal, Erin has generously offered a 15% discount to my readers with code: TOPCOAT15.  You might want to hurry though, the discount expires in a couple of weeks!

I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks so much for reading!