Monday, December 30, 2013

ABC Challenge Wrap-Up!

**all items purchased by me

I thought it would be a good idea to do a wrap-up of all my ABC polish challenge posts since I spread them out over so many months.  Under each picture, there is a direct link to the appropriate post.  Enjoy all the pretty pictures!

Wet 'n Wild Quartz of Course (over Ebony Hates Chris & Gray's Anatomy)
Icing Urban Affair (over OPI The World is Not Enough)

China Glaze Winter Holly with OPI Which is Witch? (over Wet 'n Wild Craze Morbid)

Now, let's see how many polishes I managed to use for this challenge.  47!!  The majority were untrieds with just a few exceptions (mostly where needed as base colors or layering undies for sheers).  

For curiosity's sake, let's break down how creative I was with designs:
  • Gradients: 5
  • Double Accent: 3
  • Diagonal Color-Block: 3
  • Dots: 1
  • Plain: 5
  • French Tips: 1
  • Chevron Tips: 2
  • Full Glitter Nails: 4
  • Other: 1
  • Texture: 1
I honestly thought I did more of the diagonal color-blocking... I wish I had done more with dots, diagonal color-blocking and chevron tips.  I do think I need to expand a bit more with my mani styles.

Do you have a favorite mani look from my challenge?  I'd love to know!

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not affiliated/sponsored

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Stash Sharing - Dots Polishes

**all items purchased by me

It's time for the final Sunday Stash Sharing post of the year!  I can't believe how quickly the time has zoomed by.  But don't worry.  I've got plenty more polishes to continue on with this series for next year.  Maybe that's a indication I should stop purchasing polishes....nah!  Polish makes me happy. :-)  Maybe I'll at least to try to not buy as much - stick to truly original polishes that I don't have something just like already.  We'll see.  I think I said that at the beginning of the year, as well as at various other times during the year and that plan just never stuck.

Anyway, on to the polish!  Since the last 2 weeks I did my Color Club collection, I decided today I would share the 3 I purchased from Dots.  I actually store them in the same section of my drawers as the Color Clubs so that made sense to me.
Metallic Bronze 
(this one was actually made by the Forsythe Cosmetic Group, which is who makes Color Club)
~to me, this one looks like it could be similar to Color Club Wild and Willing (post from Vampy Varnish)
green jelly glitter and purple & blue glitter topper
~both made by Blue Cross Beauty - same as the Snowmen and Pumpkin polishes, so of course no names~

It's actually been quite a while since I've been inside of Dots; I might have to go visit them sometime to see what's new.  But for now, I need to go plan the rest of my outfit and what to put on my nails for New Year's Eve - we're actually going to go do something special out of the house!

Have you ever gotten any polishes from Dots?  Planning anything fun for New Year's?  And as always, do let me know if you'd like to see any of these on my nails soon!

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Zuza got Zapped

**all items purchased by me

It's my final letter in the ABC polish challenge!  Yay!  There will be a wrap-up post with links to all the manis coming soon (it's actually most of the way done already).  For my last day, I ended up revisiting a polish that I have worn before and then combined it with an untried.
As has been my custom, I started off with a base of Bridge the Ridge then did 2 coats of Zoya Zuza.  I believe I topped this off with China Glaze Fast Forward.
I seem to remember polishing slower/waiting longer between coats with this color as the first time I wore it I had issues with application.  It applied much better this time, but I might have added a couple drops of thinner since last time I wore it it seemed thick/fluffy.  Zuza's a pretty turquoise/teal that has some tonal shimmer when the sun catches it just right.
I wanted to end my challenge using 2 polishes, so I searched through my collection for another Z polish and came across Salon Perfect Zapped.  I applied a nice coat of it (maybe it was 2 thin ones?) on my ring fingers and thumbs.  No bottle shot next to my thumb nail with it on - I seem to have neglected getting those shots.
Zapped has some matte turquoise/teal glitters in it that are pretty much the same shade as Zuza which is what I think helped make the combination work.  Of course, it has much more of the matte yellow-lime glitters.  It's showing up a lot brighter on the nails than in the bottle shots, but different lighting conditions.  I think I actually took the above picture in the car (early for an appointment) and never got any taken at home.
I wasn't sure about the combination, but after trying it out on some scrap paper I decided just to go with it. It made for an interesting pop of color that I haven't worn before (or since, even though I do have the entire collection that Zapped came in).  I do like this combination, I just think it might have been a bit more ummm...seasonally appropriate...during the summer time rather than the middle of November.  Oh well.  I guess I was feeling bright that day.

Look for my wrap-up post very soon!  I'm happy that I managed to complete the challenge...although maybe wearing each mani until it chipped (typically 2-3 days) made it less of a challenge since I didn't do it as a new manicure every day.  If I do the ABC challenge again, maybe I should try to complete it quicker.

Do you reserve your neon colors for the summer?  Or do you wear them all year?  Have you attempted a challenge like this (or another one that helped you get through your untrieds)?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Friday, December 27, 2013

Spotted, Hauled, & Swatched - Maybelline Polka Dots Polishes

**all items purchased by me

~~Please don't mind that this post has been in the draft folder for quite a while (months) and I'm just now getting it up.  I really wanted to get it up before the new Maybelline polishes really start hitting the shelves (I will have an upcoming post of a different glitter collection from Maybelline...hopefully soon).  I'm not sure about the drugstores yet, but at Bed, Bath & Beyond I noticed the majority of the core line was on clearance to make room for new shades (link goes to Nouveau Cheap's post).~~

I was so excited when I came across these in Walgreens, and then in Giant Eagle!  I was thinking, I really need to get this post up since as far as I knew (at that time) they were limited edition.  BUT I've since spotted them in the regular core line up at Walmart so this post kept getting pushed behind other, truly limited edition Spotted, Hauled & Swatched posts.

So even though it's way past time of seeing this collection in it's special displays, I'm still sharing those pictures.
left was the drugstore display, center (and upper right) was part of the display at Giant Eagle, lower right corner is at Walmart that even though the display's pretty much empty, they all have a spot on the wall

Haul picture (I believe I purchased from Walgreens):
~I ended up purchasing the 5th color a week or so later but never got it in a haul picture~

Label and bottle shots:
 (Clearly Spotted pictures are courtesy of some cropping of pictures from taking shots of the swatch wheel)

And swatches:
Drops of Jade, Dotty, Blue Marks the Spot, Pretty in Polka, Clearly Spotted
~the above picture is a bit more color accurate~
~Clearly Spotted is about 2 coats
~the rest are about 3 coats to get even coverage for both the base color and glitter
~all are black and white glitter in various sizes
~1 coat of top coat will most likely take care of any slight bumpiness of the glitters

I have to say, that many times Maybelline gets me with their polishes.  I've purchased quite a few limited edition polishes from before they changed formulas/bottles and I've bought many, many of the pretty new ones.  If it has glitter, yes please.  So it was no surprise that I wanted these - even though it turns out I didn't need to be in a rush to purchase them all quickly.  I do have to say, though, that I am passing on the new "holographic" line that is in reality, a duochrome (and from what I've read, not that good either).

Are you planning on getting any of the Polka Dot polishes?  Have you already?  If you want them, I'd advise getting them from Walmart (maybe Target) where the prices are better.

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Spotted, Hauled & Swatched - Maybelline Gilded in Gold Brocades Collection

**all items purchased by me

Yay a new Spotted, Hauled & Swatched post!  Today I've got the Maybelline Gilded in Gold Brocades collection, which has been out for a couple of months now, but depending on your location you might still stumble across it in the drugstores.  When I first came across it at Bed Bath & Beyond, I saw the display that just had 2 shades along with some makeup items, but then I saw the full polish display at Giant Eagle and Rite Aid.  I can't remember if I saw it at Walgreens or not (all the CVS's have been stuffed with holiday gift sets so I haven't seen anything new there lately).

I actually ended up purchasing the collection in 3 groups.
display at Bed, Bath & Beyond with the makeup (I spotted it after a lot was sold out) on left
right is Giant Eagle with the other 8 colors

The first 2 I purchased from the Brocades collection (purchased from Bed, Bath & Beyond):
Crushed Crimson and Silver Swank
The next 4 I purchased from Rite Aid:
Beaming Blue, Gilded Rose, Amethyst Couture, Lavishly Lilac
Then I bought the final 4 from Giant Eagle (they were on sale/extra fuel perks that week):
Ruby Refined, Emerald Elegance, Embellished Blues, Black n Mirrors
Swatch time!:
Lavishly Lilac, Embellished Blues, Gilded Rose, Amethyst Couture, Silver Swank, Crushed Crimson, Black n Mirrors, Beaming Blue, Emerald Elegance, Ruby Refined
~I believe these are all 2 coats, but I seem to have lost the piece of paper I wrote my notes on.  Luckily I figured out that I had swatched them in numerical order

I have worn one of these - super pretty!  BUT the wear time was, unfortunately, crap.  Less than 24 hours and half my nails were chipped (didn't do any housework or anything)...and then it took forever to properly remove with remover.  I actually didn't get pictures of it on before it started chipping so I'll have to put it back on to get pictures.  I'm planning on trying the "glue base coat" method when I've got the time to sit down and properly do my nails.  I've also got a list of polishes or combinations of polishes I've worn that I want to put back on for a bit so I can actually get pictures of the looks.

Did you get any of the Maybelline Gilded in Gold Brocade polishes?  Are they similar to any others from other brands that might have better formulas?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

November Beauty Supply Polish Haul - Mostly Zoya Jellies and Matte Velvets

**all items purchased by me

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas holiday (if you celebrated), otherwise hope you had a nice Wednesday.  I'm really struggling with managing my time right now - the Mister expects me to entertain the new kitten all day, both while he's at work and when he gets home - and still be able to get things done around the home and on my blog (if I didn't need sleep I would be all set).  So far, I haven't managed to find a schedule that works...if I could get all of my pictures edited on the desktop computer then I could write the posts from my Surface Pro, but since I can't get a whole day to edit that plan probably won't happen (and I still struggle with inserting links using a touch screen).

Anyway, I really need to get posts up more regularly.  I can just see myself starting off the year by still playing catch up from the current one.  So I decided that today I would do a November beauty supply collective haul from 3 different trips.

First up, the store advertised that they had gotten in a limited number of the Zoya Matte Velvet polishes, so of course I had to go get them.  I also ended up picking up a new Essie polish as well.
~Essie Lots of Luxe looks like a mini compared to the Zoya boxes, but it is a full size bottle (paid around $5.50, also a much better price than if you find it at the drugstore)
~Matte Velvets in: Dovima, Veruschka, Posh, Savita
~the Zoya polishes were $5.95 each - much better price than ordering straight from Zoya's site
 Essie Lots of Luxe - textured
Zoya Matte Velvet in Dovima, Veruschka, Posh, Savita

Next up, the store was supposed to be doing some specials leading up to Black Friday (but only after 5 each evening).  I only made it there once the whole time and it was on a day that they weren't doing a special.  I still got a couple of things, though. 
Boyd's Original Brush Cleaner - I wanted for spot cleaning brushes.  Unfortunately I think I may be allergic to an ingredient in it and didn't figure it out until past the return period.
Orly Bonder - my new favorite base coat.  Depending on what polish I'm wearing, I may add a coat of ridge filler over Bonder (like for matte polishes)

And finally, on Black Friday a few of the brands they carry were on sale (except for specialty finish/texture polishes) so I grabbed the Zoya jelly finish trio that I had been thinking about for a while as well as the last China Glaze glitter I needed to finish the Glitz Bitz 'n Pieces collection from early 2013.  The China Glaze and Zoyas were all $2.99 each that day.
China Glaze Razzle Me Dazzle Me
Zoya Jelly polishes in Paloma, Frida and Katherine
~I can't wait to start playing around with "jelly sandwich" manis~
I'm way behind in my Spotted, Hauled & Swatched posts as well as general hauls.  It's also most of the way through December and I never got my Project "Finish This Stuff" update for November done (I might end up with November and December as back-to-back posts).  Last year/beginning of this year I did a "year of firsts" post, and I'd like to do another of those since I've gotten into more new brands this year.  I hope I'll be able to get a bit of a schedule established, or maybe even get a little ahead so I've always got something going up.

Did you manage to get your hands on Zoya's Matte Velvet polishes if you wanted them?  How about the Jellies?  How do you spot clean your makeup brushes?  Or do you just deep clean?

**all items purchased by me
**opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Stash Sharing - Color Club Take Wing, Glitter Vixen & More

**all items purchased by me

It's been an interesting weekend of trying to acclimate our new kitten to a home that has an adult cat as well as 2 bunnies.  Basically, unless he's asleep there has to be one person in the room with him at all times or else his "siren" starts.  Today he's done better and had nose-to-nose contact with all the other pets.  Hopefully as Kitty gets used to the new guy and they spend time together, we won't be as tied down to him as now...  Maybe he'll even look to the bunnies for company.

Anyway, on to today's post.  Today is the rest of my Color Club polishes.  These ones are all full size, but the majority are from older collections.  As usual, if I've worn any of the polishes as manis I've linked to the appropriate post (although one link goes to wheel swatches).

First up, the 2 newest from the Fall 2013 Girl About Town collection (2 of 6):
Williamsburg and The Uptown (wheel swatches only)
Now for my other pair from the Holiday 2011 Beyond the Mistletoe collection (2 of 6):
Jingle Jangle and Sugarplum Fairy
On to the first of the full collections I have, Fall 2008 Glitter Vixen (7 of 7):
 Art of Seduction, Object of Envy, Sultry, Tru Passion, Sex Symbol, Sexy Siren, Magic Attraction
And the other full collection, Summer 2012 Take Wing (6 of 6):
Fly With Me, Metamorphosis, Sky High, Wing Fling, Sparkle and Soar, Daisy Does It

I thought I had worn more of these...maybe I've worn others and just never got it posted for some reason.  I keep thinking that if I see more of the polishes from the Beyond the Mistletoe collection, I might get them since the 2 I have are so pretty (you can see swatches of the full collection on The PolishAholic's post).

If you missed last week's Color Club group, then click here to see all my minis and a couple others.  This is all of the Color Club polishes I have, although I do have a couple more that look like they could be from the brand, just relabeled for sale at Dots...maybe next week I'll do those ones since I store them in the same section of my drawers.

Have you gotten any Color Club polishes recently?  What's your favorite color by them?  And of course, if you'd like to see any of these on my nails soon, do let me know!

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Yodel Me On My Cell that Your Present Required

**all items purchased by me

I totally didn't mean to miss yesterday's post, but I got carried away with assembling most (3 of the 4) of the "melmer" drawer units I bought from Michaels on Thanksgiving/Black Friday and then really got carried away filling them up with polishes, rearranging polishes, then rearranging makeup over and over.  I've also really been trying to get things put away in preparation for the new kitten that the Mister decided he wanted.  Most of today was spent shopping - I needed a new pair of dress pants, which I found!, and getting new kitty toys and supplies.  No promises on tomorrow's post since we're supposed to be picking up the new furball tomorrow and we'll have to make introductions.  Who knows...maybe tomorrow's post will be the new kitten's debut??

I had to take a short typing intermission to play with Kitty; if you follow me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook then you've seen his pictures.  So now that he's tuckered out - that happened fairly quick, the lazy boy -  it's time to get back to my post.  I thought today I would post another letter in the ABC polish challenge (almost done!):
For my Y polish, I pulled out OPI's Yodel Me On My Cell and applied 2 coats over Bridge the Ridge.  I most likely used a coat of Out the Door to speed things up.  I'm pretty sure I've worn this before (might have been pre-blogging days?) but I wanted to wear it again.  I like it that much.
Yodel Me On My Cell tends to look a slightly different shade depending on the angle and the light source.  Some shots it looks more blue, while in others more of its green undertone came out to play.  Either way, it's a gorgeous shimmery teal blue.  I needed very little clean up since OPI's brush is so well behaved.  I actually ended up wearing this about for the first half of November.  I seem to remember taking it off then putting it right back on.  Maybe I wore this by itself first until it chipped (or it peeled off when I did dishes) and then I redid it and added the glitter.  I feel like this might have been the very first OPI that I bought and wore and doing the same thing then, too (just no glitter).
Now to jazz up the OPI, I pulled out China Glaze's Your Present Required, which is from the latest holiday collection.  I just did a glitter gradient from the cuticles using the polish brush and dabbed it around for where I wanted the glitter to be.  I feel like I added another coat of Out the Door to seal everything in and speed up drying time.
 Your Present Required is a gorgeous multi-colored glitter topper.  It's got matte white hexes in multiple sizes, including large; it's also got shiny lilac purple, bright blue, copper, gold and maybe silver in at least 2 different size hex glitters.  The large white glitter did not come out of the bottle to play at all, so those will require fishing if you really want them on your nails.  The clear base was just right for doing the gradient - not too much, not too thick or thin.
I feel like I used to do gradients like this all the time, then got away from it for quite a while.  I was happy to bring it back (I actually have a glitter gradient on my nails as I'm typing this...just different polishes).  I just have one more letter to post and then the wrap-up.  Since I actually wore the final manicure just over a month ago, I've been enjoying wearing whatever polish has grabbed my eye so I think it will be a while before I start over on the challenge.

Do you do glitter gradients often?  Did you get anything from the 2013 holiday collections?  What else would you layer Your Present Required over?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated