Monday, December 31, 2012

Favorites of 2012/The Year in Review

Hey everyone - it's that time of year again. Time to read everyone's "best of" posts for the year! I actually love these kinds of lists because I feel like they remind me of things I totally forgot about. Here's my list of the things that (I think) mattered most in the nail world.

Indies. 2012 was by far and away the year of the indie brands! I remember searching Etsy for polish a year or so ago and I found only one or two, and now you have hundreds of pages of results. My personal favorites are Lynnderella (yes, still!), Candy Lacquer, JENsations (best bottle shape), Darling Diva Polish, I Love Nail Polish (best packaging), and Black Cat Lacquer. Of course, there's dozens of brands I haven't even tried yet but these proved to be my favorites and will be the ones I absolutely return to in 2013. Here's a handy collage of 9 of my indie manis this year:

Nail art, which suddenly became huge this year! I know when I first became interested in polish a few years ago, my friends were astonished by stamping. Now, I see even Facebook friends trying their hand at nail art, and the amount of nail blogs has gone through the roof! I really loved the trends of chevron, kitchen sink manis, and dots, but the creativity I've seen has been spectacular.

This leads to my next point, where did all this come from? Social media. Pinterest, especially, which introduced even the "layman" to nail polish, nail art, and nail blogs. What would have required searching through google and blogs now is easily found through a Pinterest search. Since most of us are visual, it's much easier to search for a tutorial in a graphic than to try finding written instructions somewhere. YouTube was big for tutorials as well and Twitter was big in getting lots of us together to chat about nail polishes. Instagram blew up as a way to share manicures and even just everyday photos, which reminded all of us - oh! hey! Those huge bloggers we follow have lives beyond nail polish, and now I have photographic evidence.

You may have also noticed, glitter made a huge leap onto the scene this year! YAY! Indies helped us become familiar with glitter beyond clear bases or single colors or shapes or sizes and into realms of creativity: matte glitter, shapes of glitter, rainbows of glitter, shimmers incorporated with glitter, etc. Now, the mainstream polish brands are starting to take notice, as evidenced by China Glaze's recent Cirque du Soleil collection which featured a black and white matte glitter as well as a multicolored glitter in a white base.

Pets seemed to make a huge leap into our lives this year.  I don't recall hearing about each other's pets and animals so much before this year of blogging but now I know who has what pets, their names, even some of the pets' preferences! This is probably because of social media but I love that this community seems to have a stereotype: we are all animal-crazed ladies and gentlemen!

Speaking of gentlemen... male bloggers! This still isn't as common as females polishing their nails, but more and more men are making the leap into nail polish, which I think is a great thing. We all have our comfort zones, expectations, etc. and it's great to challenge our minds not to consider nail polish as feminine, but as a form of expression for anyone. It's weird to us because it's unknown, and the more we see of it, the less strange it becomes in society.

Swaps and, by extension, random acts of kindness. With polish becoming so much more "mainstream" and popular, it seems like everyone had polish to swap or trade or talk about with friends and try out together. I know more than ever I've found people in my life interested in how I did my nails or what was on them, and as a result, more people wanted to share in this passion. This year I had so many swaps with people and especially RAOKs from people around the world who sent me polish just because they knew I'd like it or couldn't find it myself. I can't even mention them all here because I know I'll leave someone out - there were that many! It really renewed my faith in humanity (I know this seems like a huge exaggeration but seriously) and this community because...

Drama seemed to be a big thing this year. It's really easy on the internet to misconstrue people's words because there's no body language or tone to accompany it. I admit, even I am guilty to jumping to conclusions because of how I read something and not how the person intended it. There was also plenty of brand-related drama, such as Ciate trademarking techniques started by bloggers, companies using bloggers' photos without permission or credit, copycatting left and right, you get the idea. I've done my best to ignore most of this because negativity does absolutely nothing but complicate my life and, in blogging and in my "real life", I've cut out a lot of unnecessary attention to drama. Easier said than done for most of us, but in order to keep this passion alive, I can't let every little thing bring me down. I encourage each of us to remember the sense of community we have in the best and worst of times, and to see things through other lenses, because sometimes we can misread or misinterpret something innocent. Respectful conversation is what it's all about.

Here's to more trends, more creativity, more love, and more glitter in 2013.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pink Wednesday & Hello Kitty!

Hey everyone, happy belated Christmas and happy Kwanzaa and happy festivus! Christmas Eve and Day were so busy for me I completely forgot about posting, oops! I did show you my Christmas nails if you follow me on Instagram, though... not a total fail. (Ok, it still is.)

To make it up to you, I have some more of the Hello Kitty collection from Hits. I'm pretty much obsessed with these and if they ever release another trio I'll certainly buy it. One of my swatches is also a pink base so that TOTALLY counts for Pink Wednesday, right?! (See, sometimes being late is awesome.)

First up is Blueberry, a nice periwinkle-blue creme. This was 1-2 coats (I forgot, ahhhhh!) and it applied really easily, like all the cremes in this collection.

Next up, I used Julep Reese for the base:

And did a gradient of Hits Fizzy on top, which was the only glitter of the HK collection. I always do my gradients using Orly Smudge Fixer... basically I dab the glitter on the tip and use Smudge Fixer to "smudge" the glitter across the nail, like you see here :)

So Hello Kitty? Win. Hits? Win. Glitter and awesome cremes? Win win win! Now go check out some other winners for their glitter swatches from yesterday, Amanda and Madeline!


Friday, December 21, 2012

We Survived The End of the World!

TGIF! I'm off work until January 2nd after today at 2 so I'm pretty psyched. Also...we seem to have survived the apocalypse if you're reading this. Win/win!

Today I have two lovely polishes in a lovely layering combination. The base is Maybelline Pink Sombrero which I got from Amanda's blog sale, so obviously it's close to my heart <3

The glitter on top is from Lynnderella's Halloween collection, Ghost of a Chance. It's iridescent glitter with sparse pastel glitters. I absolutely LOVE this.

Sorry for the dry cuticles... but not sorry at how much I love this. Happy Friday!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chaos & Crocodiles & A Jelly Sandwich!

I'm officially out of greetings. Let's jump right in.

I don't know how I found this brand or what possessed me to buy ANOTHER rainbow glitter, but I did. Sorry I'm not sorry. This is Chaos & Crocodiles and the glitter is called Rainbows All Around, which I layered over white. It was fairly chaotic in a good way, I think!

Here's the bottle, just because!

Then I decided to play with my new jelly polish, Colorama Espuma to tone it down and make a white jelly sandwich, which I loved! I forget how much I love jelly sandwiches sometimes because I love glitter on its own too... it's a hard knock life.

What do you think? Sorry for my silly cleanup on my pinky, didn't catch it until just now *sigh* Go check out Amanda and Madeline!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Candy Lacquer Modern Love & Rarity

Blaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hi. I don't have any energy to blog lately so I tend to do like 10 posts all at once and schedule them. I'm determined to be on schedule for the Glitter Challenge with Amanda and Madeline!

I ordered some Candy Lacquers back in the day and my bottle of Modern Love had a funky formula. Just really thick and no glitter came out... so I emailed Sandra and she offered to refund me or send me another polish while she reformulated it. I really just wanted ML, so I asked if she'd just send me a reformulated bottle, which she did, plus a bonus bottle of my choice! Now THAT'S customer service. I know I've said this a bazillion times, but Candy Lacquer is one of my top 3 favorite indie brands, right up there with Lynnderella.  SO ANYWAY.

This is the reformulated Modern Love over Orly Decades of Dysfunction. As you can see, it was awesomesauce. But then again, I love heart glitter. I HEART heart glitter, as a matter of fact!

Rarity is the polish I chose as my freebie and, let me tell you, it was so hard to narrow down but this was a great choice! I'll be honest and tell you I have no idea what this base is because I spilled acetone on my notepad specifying it, but I'm willing to say probably Essie French Affair? Sorry about that.

What do you think? I'm pretty satisfied with my choices, if I do say so myself!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Belated Untried Challenge: JENsations Swatches

Hello again... today's post is to make up for Tuesday's post I forgot about. Amanda remembered and Madeline might need some reminding! haha However, when I'm making up for my wrongdoings, I make up really well and today I have some fantastic glitters from JENsations!

First up I have Pinata which I layered over Hits Hello Kitty Candy. I included a swatch of that one alone first:

Then Pinata! This was two coats, really easy application. Pushed around a little bit but it leveled itself out really well. I loved that these glitters seem almost translucent and not so in-your-face like some rainbow glitters (though we all know I love those, too!).

Here's a bottle shot: these star bottles are by far my favorite!

Next up is Wild One, which is part of her Bachelorette collection. I'd love this one just for the name because it reminds me of Flo Rida's song of that name and that was the song I remember playing on the radio a lot when I first started dating my boyfriend <3 Anywho... this is 1 dabby coat over Barry M Lemon Ice Cream.

Finally, Key to My Heart! This one is one of my favorites and this swatch actually became a NOTD! This is 1 easy coat over Barry M Berry Ice Cream. I loved this one so much I had Jen create a purple, black, and white one I named Locket so I  could do a mix and match mani with lavender/pink nails and opposite glitters :) (she's in my swatch bin!)

There you have it! Jen's polishes are available on Etsy for $8 and the bottles alone make them worthwhile! She does a great job making sure the polishes are high quality and with her customs she ensures they're exactly what you're looking for. I've had her make two customs for me already and she's my go-to shop! Check it out :) /end plug ;)


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lynnderella Pentimento

Hey there! Oops! I kind of forgot to blog this week... I usually write all of them up over the weekend and schedule them and I guess I got lazy and/or forgot. Sorry! I'll catch up tonight and tomorrow :)

Today's post is part of my challenge with Amanda and Madeline. This is another I've been saving for a rainy day in my folders but I love it! I wore this around Halloween. I love Lynnderella bottles, they're so classic in my mind with the original indies I owned.

I haven't a clue what this base color is, apologies. It's not the star of the show anyway, it doesn't really matter ;) I looked through my mad scientist notebook of recent manis and I never wrote this down so who knows at this rate! lol

I love this polish. I love all my Lynnderellas, actually. Don't hate!


Monday, December 10, 2012 Santee

Hello again! Somebody's got a case of the Mondays ;) We're inching closer and closer to the holidays (Hanukkah just began a couple days ago, so Happy Hanukkah for those who celebrate!) and I'm realizing just how unprepared I am this year! Oops!

Today is my final installment of reviews for It was really fun reviewing for them and I can say for sure their customer service was quick and easy.

In today's review you will see one of the bottles was damaged in shipping. Please note that this isn't common with their shipping method, but that their polishes are usually packaged in 6 and when they separated them for reviews, they didn't wrap as they usually would have for protection. I specifically asked about this when I received mine and David from My Wholesale Fashion assured me this was unusual and he'd pass the message along to their shipping department for future reference. All my polishes were still useable so it wasn't really a problem anyway.

Anyway! The final brand is Santee which is one I had seen on eBay but never ordered. The colors I picked were Flame Heart, Love Season (which is the sparkly pink topcoat in the final picture), Beach Blue, Aqua, and Perfect Silver.

 Here's two coats of the cremes, no top coat. I really think blue and gray go well together and this would make such a perfect combo for an accent nail mani!

And here is Love Season (such a cute name btw) over Flame Heart.

Finally, the list of ingredients, again, not B3F but this one didn't seem to smell very much which is either because it was the last one I swatched or maybe it just doesn't smell very chemically ;) 

There you have it! What do you think of My Wholesale Fashion? I'm definitely interested in some of the jewelry and things they have too, especially since they seem to be really trendy (I spy lots of owls and mustaches!) Have you bought anything? Do you plan to? Let me know what you thought of the brands!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nail Art Giveaway!

Hey everyone - I've been planning this FOREVER but have been too lazy to take photos so it's just going up now. It begins today and ends 12/22/12 at midnight EST (call this the "proof the world didn't end giveaway haha!) Rules are in the widget, please email me with any questions.

Prize 1: Art Club set with 2 stripers, nail decals, and gems with 10 loose bar glitters.

Prize 2: Stamper, Scraper, and 6 stamping plates (they appear scratched but still have protective covering which is what is actually scratched!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!
Amanda Kleancolor

Hey, happy Sunday! I'm dreading work again tomorrow, my weekends seem to fly by! Anyway, I'm back today continuing my review for

Today I have Kleancolor, which I've purchased before but haven't tried any of their cremes. Here are the colors I picked: Barbie Pink, Pastel Orange, Pastel Teal, and Plum.

These swatches are two coats of each in the same order as above:

Kleancolor is not as smelly as Nabi was, but isn't big 3 free either. Here's the ingredients if you want to check them out. I didn't find the scent overpowering but not pleasant exactly either. I would definitely wear these again, though, if that's any measure.

I really loved this pink in particular, but I loved all the colors. I'm glad I picked up Plum because I am usually so opposed to dark/vampy colors and I loved this color on me!


Saturday, December 8, 2012 Nabi

Hi everyone - I'm really excited to say that as of writing this post, I have over 350 followers! Wow, I can't believe there's that many people interested in what I have to say ;) Thank you all so much! <3

Today I have a review for a company called They are based out of Los Angeles and specialize in wholesale amounts of products, including nail polish. Generally, they sell nail polish in groups of 6, which makes it perfect if you want to buy them as gifts for a shower or something like that, but for my purposes they sent me my pick of 12 polishes from their brands to show what they have to offer.

The first brand I have is Nabi, which I've seen on eBay but never sold in any etailers before. These are the three from this brand that I picked: Neon Light Pink, Angel Peach, and Matte White (which is actually matte top coat).

I applied two coats of each on alternating fingers and then added the matte TC to the ring and pinky to show you how it worked over those two. It seems like it makes kind of a satin finish but I really liked it!

Here's my only qualm about this brand: the smell. I instantly knew that this couldn't be B3F and after checking the ingredients, I was right. It was pretty strong but I was also painting in my poorly ventilated room which probably didn't help. Anyway, I thought some of you might be curious to see what they list for ingredients to decide for yourself:

I love these colors! I apparently was on some sort of hot pink kick when I requested my colors because I got a hot pink from each brand, so you'll see two others I picked as well! What do you think? If you want to check out My Wholesale Fashion, click their logo below! They also sell jewelry and other things besides polish so it's worth taking a peek ;)


Friday, December 7, 2012

Black Cat Halloween Collection

Hey everyone. No, my post isn't a typo - I am really this late posting the Black Cat Lacquer mini collection I bought for Halloween. The swatches have been in my folders but I was so busy between the Lazy 15 and my November Untrieds, I never got to posting them. However, they're beautiful and I didn't want to blow them off... so here we are. Happy Halloween in December! ;)

First up is Trick or Treat which I loved for being really un-Halloweeny. I layered this over Hits Plum from the Hello Kitty collection which is absolute perfection. I own all 9 of these polishes now and you'll see them randomly throughout this month. First picture is Plum alone then with 1-2 dabby coats of Trick or Treat. It was really easy to use, I just had to do the typical pushing around to get placement as I wanted.

Next up I layered Six Feet Under (pointer and pinky) and Death Becomes Her (middle and ring) over Zoya Dove.

Everyday is Halloween was the last one and this was the most Halloween of the bunch. I kept mixing up this one with Trick or Treat because I felt like the names should be flipped (Halloween = Trick or Treat, one that would work for everyday use, not just Halloween = Everyday is Halloween...) but it's gorgeous nonetheless. I even managed to get a silver moon on one of my nails and you can see it's a really fun Halloween one that applied really easily.

I added matte top coat because I'm just addicted to doing this. Don't ask me any questions.

There's actually one more but for some reason I didn't swatch it on this particular day (I wore it as an NOTD prior to these swatches, so that's probably why) but here's a quick nail wheel swatch of all 5 plus a picture of them in the dark to show how much Paranormal glows!

Left to right: Everyday is Halloween, Six Feet Under, Paranormal, Trick or Treat, Death Becomes Her

There you have it, a lovely collection! These are actually still available in full size at Black Cat Lacquer's etsy shop!