Sunday, March 25, 2012

NOTD: Hits Mari Moon "Dreamy"

After my gigantic swatch fail in this post, I had to  do something to make up for the awfulness of that paint-job. I feel like I didn't do the Hits Mari Moon polishes justice with my swatchtastrophie (I MADE A WORD), and I was smitten with know what happened..........

Check out that color shift! Note: the black stripes on my thumbnail are the reflection of my window bars on the surface of my nail. Yes, I live in the hood.


I can not stop staring at my hands in the sunlight! The color shift in Dreamy is very obvious -- not to mention freakin' gorgeous! I took this picture just for fun -- Instragram App (normal filter with "sunlight" adjustment). I love how shimmery and deep it looks! Don't mind the stray cat hair..........

L to R: Cat hair, manicure

And one last shot of the purple aspect of the color shift -- weird angle, but you get the idea!

I really Dreamy for a solo mani -- not often do I wear just one color (wait till you see some of my posts on layering!!!) but with shifty shades like the Mari Moon collection, one is enough (for once!).

Get these gorgeous shifty beauties at Llarowe while you can! She's always adding new products - I can't keep up!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Polish Peep Show: Hits Mari Moon "Modern" Set + Why I Don't Do Swatches (On My Own Hands)

YAAY NAIL MAIL! I've been so busy creating polishes for my Etsy shop that I've barely done anything with this blog! Thankfully now I'm on a break while awaiting supplies so I can get caught up on all the sparklies I've acquired recently. Today I have part of an order from Llarowe, one of the best US sellers of hard to find and international brands. Hits is a Brazilian company, and I'm sure without Llarowe procuring it for us American chickies, we would have a hard time finding it in the states!

I picked up a 4 pack of the Hits "Mari Moon" polishes -- my first purchase of any Hits polishes since I passed on the holo ones (am I the only person who's not super thrilled with linear holos? I like them, but........meh). The set ("Modern") included Cool, Trendy, Dreamy and Cutie Pie. For some reason, I'm a sucker for cosmetics sets, so of course I picked this instead of just one or two polishes to test out.

The packaging is super cute! I've come to realized that in addition to being a sucker for "sets", I'm a sucker for cute packaging! I've bought all kinds of stupid things just because the packaging was pretty or sparkly. I love the heart-shaped window at the front. See?

L to R: Cool, Dreamy, Trendy, Cutie Pie

And the bottles are cute -- I dig the cylindrical bottle, and the cartoonish font is something I'm always drawn to! Here are the bottles alone, and you can already see the color shift!!!

L to R: Cool, Dreamy, Trendy, Cutie Pie 

Cool is olive that shifts to a dark green, Dreamy is blue purple to red purple, Trendy is a light green/gold to.......not much of anything (in my opinion), and Cutie Pie is a teal blue to purple.

I am awful at describing things.

This shot of the bottles was taken indoors, natural light with the "sunlight" filter on iPhone's Instagram app. Not really true to life (see above) but pretty!!

L to R: Cool, Dreamy, Trendy, Cutie Pie 

The color shift in these babies is INSANEEEEEEEEEEE! Im really digging all of them, but I have to say that Trendy has the least color shift of the bunch. And in accordance with my decision that Polish Peep Show posts need swatches, I present to you some swatches. Please also note that I am impatient and sloppy when I'm exicted, so these swatches are a *perfect* example of why I HATE doing swatches on my own hands *taps feet impatiently and waits for swatch sticks*.

Oh, did I mention I'm getting swatch sticks? From now on, all swatches on those little guys. Stupid shaky hands, stupid putting top coat on too early, stupid can't pose for shots because my joints hate me!

Enough complaining, on to the pretty! Well, pretty colors, at least. First here's all 4, natural direct sunlight:

L to R: Cool, Dreamy, Trendy, Cutie Pie 

The color shift on Dreamy and Cutie Pie is very obvious. Cool shows a bit around the right side (from this perspective). And as you can also see, Trendy took the most damage with my impatience to put on top coat and take pictures. Seche Vite will drag your polish if it's too wet. Moral of the story? PATIENCE CHILDREN.

Here's another shot of all four (and I'm cringing at my work.................)

You've gotten through the worst! Now I'll reward you with some nicer shots of the color shift (as best as I could capture it):

Dreamy, blue purple to red purple shift!

Another angle of Dreamy's shiftyness

The best shot I could get of Cutie Pie's shift from blue to purple

Overall, the formula is very easy to work with -- 2 easy coats and I had opaque coverage (hooray!). The brushes on the Mari Moon polishes are notorious for being wonky, but mine were just fine. No problems with application whatsoever.

As for the colors, I'm partial to Dreamy and Cutie Pie because I loooooooooooove purple. Trendy is my least favorite, most because it's a weird shade that's not really "me".  I think it might be good for stamping over, but not as a plain mani.

Did anyone notice my nubs are growing???? Julep Nail Therapy is working really well!!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

NOTD: Sinful "Cinderella" with OPI "Super Bass Shatter" (AKA: Resuscitated Fail Mani)

I admit, I'm not usually one to follow trends when it comes to fashion or hairstyles. But, when it comes to cosmetics, I tend to follow the pack in terms of what's hot. Sinful's "Cinderella" has been getting love all over forums and blogs, so after seeing 1,234,201,382 swatches I decided I had to get it.

Unfortunately for me, it looked TERRIBLE on my nails. So sheer that even after 4 fairly thick coats I still had VNL -- and it looked awfulllllllllllllllll. Side note on VNL, I really only like seeing it with the occasional nude or pink shade. To me, Cinderella is NOT a shade I want to see VNL with.

I won't even torture you with the pictures. It looks like I have no idea how to paint my nails. Instead, I'll show you how I tried to save the mani -- by adding a shatter topcoat! OPI "Super Bass Shatter", part of the Nicki Minaj collection, is a pretty red based purple crackle topcoat -- WITH SHIMMER. Im never opposed to anything purple, or with shimmer. So on it went, and here's the result:

With flash

Crappy cleanup (again) :/



I think the contrast of the sky blue and the purple is nice! Also, kinda springy (I guess) -- boyfriend was helping me pick a mani when I chose Cinderella, and his suggestion was a robins-egg blue (you know, for spring) stamped over with white. Too bad I owned ONE pale blue (Cinderella) and no white polishes for stamping (I know, I know, what the hell?!?!?). Cinderella fit the bill for a pale blue, but i really just hated the formula. Plus, on its own it gave me super lobster hands (makes my skin look red). Pale blue is NOT a good color for me.

Whatcha think about this color combo?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Drugstore Score: Wet N Wild "Bejeweled" Collection

I have a slight problem with drugstores. I can't walk in one without buying polish! Yesterday I ran some errands and stopped at Duane Reade before I went home. All I needed was a pack of smokes (bad, yes I know) but then these beauties caught my eye.............

L to R: Born Into Privilege, Jewels For Your Highness, Bow In My Presence, Speak When Spoken To

The Wet N Wild "Bejeweled" Collection! I've heard that these are dupes for some of the China Glaze Prismatic collection, but I don't have that one yet to compare. Just to give a bit more info, here are some shade descriptions (by me, so of course they will be filled with made up words.......)

Born Into Privilege: Gold glitter base with pink duochrome effect, multi glitter specks

Jewels For Your Highness: Pink glitter base with green duochrome effect, multi glitter specks

Bow In My Presence:  Green glitter base with pinky-red duochrome effect, multi glitter specks

Speak When Spoken To: Blue glitter base with greenish duochrome effect, multi glitter specks

Its so hard to describe these! I haven't had a chance to swatch on my nails yet, just on paper (I sometimes use a coated paper plate to do quick swatches, the coating on the paper will keep the polish from being absorbed into the paper plate and lets you get a rough idea of color). I missed one color, The Crown Is Mine, but I'm pretty sure I'll wind up stalking Duane Reade until I get my hands on it!

Here's another picture with flash (colors messed with to give a better idea of the shades):

Gorgeous! I haven't seen them anywhere but Duane Reade as of yet, and they were $2.99 each -- not bad, but keep in mind the bottles are only 9ml as opposed to the standard 15ml bottles. So a little pricey, but SUPER PRETTY!

Now off to get ready for a pedicure and shopping with my BFF :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Review: Julep Maven Program

And I'm back! My frankening is on hold while I wait for more supplies, so time to get some posts done! NOTD's, Polish Peep Shows and reviews coming up soon :)

Today I have a quick review of Julep's Maven program and my experience thus far. For those of you who don't know, Julep Maven is a program that allows you to receive a customized monthly shipment of polish and other mani goodies. Monthly the price is $20.00, and you receive over $60 of product including 2 polishes.

I had previously ordered the Julep Valentine's Day Mystery Box, which was the same value as the Maven monthly box. Mystery Boxes are supposed to have the potential for up to $200 of product, but I wasn't that lucky. My experience with ordering and receiving my box was easy, and I loved the colors (Blake, a yellow creme, and a purple shade I cannot for the life of me remember at the moment!).

After hearing so much about the Maven program and already liking Julep's polish, I just had to sign up. I took their style quiz and wound up with "Boho Glam", which is pretty accurate I suppose (I'm some kind of weird reincarnated 70's hippie). The shipping was free, which of course everyone likes!

I received my March Boho Glam Box in 4 days via USPS, and immediately tore into it. Here's what the package looks like upon opening:

Pretty packaging! I also like that they ship in an appropriate sized package -- once I ordered a nail polish from Nordie's and they shipped it in a box big enough for a pair of boots. Very wasteful and just dumb.

The polishes themselves are GOOOOOOOOOOOORGEOUS! Boho Glam came complete with Alicia, a coral creme, and Portia, a blue jelly with iridescent sparkles. Here they are:

I quickly swatched both but I don't dare show you my hands right now! They are so beat up from mixing and pouring frankens :( Let's just say both shades have great formula and superb color! Anyways, this review is for the Maven program, not Julep polishes themselves (that's coming later!!).

Also in the March Boho Glam box is a full sized Glycolic Hand Scrub and a nail file. The Julep website says that the March box is supposed to come with Elixir, a Moroccan Argan Oil that I would have loved to try! I did email Julep to ask about this but have not heard back yet (just sent that out a few minutes ago). Standard  squeeze tube, 3 ounces of product. I tested that out too -- my hands feel so smooth! I can always use more nail files, so added the Julep logo one to the pile! For the record, I still use regular files because I can NOT stand the feeling and sound of using glass or "crystal" files. Like nails on a chalkboard!

So here's the whole contents of the box:

Overall, I feel like this is a really good deal. The polishes retail for $18.00 each on the website, so right there it's a great deal at $20 a month for 2 polishes. The scrub retails for $35.00 on the website alone -- the box really seems to be a steal! I'm happy with the service thus far -- speedy shipping and no missing components or weird charges on my credit card. They do have a referral program (every 2 referrals is a free month), so if you like the Maven program and would like to try it please feel free to use my referral link and help me get some free months! Once you sign up, be sure to get your friends to sign up via your link and you can earn free months as well. Who doesn't want free polish???

I just ordered Julep's St. Patricks Day Mystery Box for $20 as well -- the same deal as the V-day box (anywhere from $60 to $200 of product inside) so keeping my fingers crossed I get a good one this time.

If you like what you see here, go to my Julep referral link, take their brief style quiz and get started!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My brain and myself are having creative differences. Also, cameras hate me.

I can't seem to think straight. Every time I think I have a plan laid out for posting, it all goes to hell. I don't want to copy other bloggers (meaning their formats). I don't want to post in a formula -- not the same things all the time, like clockwork. I want to do something different, something interesting.

I'm just afraid I'm not that interesting :(

But, I'm doing my best. Right now I'm working on coming up with some solid post categories and formats. The biggest problem is that I HATE doing swatches. Im totally impatient, I wind up rushing and painting all over my cuticles, and then the swatches look like crap. But I feel like at the very least "Polish Peep Show" should have swatches to go with the bottle shots. So tonight I'll be practicing my swatching skills on some frankens that I made, and then trying to properly photograph them.

Speaking of bottle shots, boyfriend got a new camera and macro lens setup so I'm busy trying to figure out how to take decent pictures! Seriously, I am the least gifted photographer in the universe. My hands shake, I'm impatient, I have no idea what I'm doing...........but, I'm determined to make it work!

Check out some interesting macro shots I took over the last week:

Dollish Polish "Random Dancing" (used in a ring sold in my Etsy shop):

And here's one of my frankens, "Shamrock" (also for sale in my Etsy shop!):

And a classic, Deborah Lippmann's "Across The Universe" (another ring in my Etsy shop!):

Have also been taking random photos around the house to test out the lighting and settings on the camera. The poor dogs are my usual subjects -- first up is Dottie, just checkin out the camera:

Then there's Scooter, just bein' a dude:

I also have 2 cats, but since the dogs moved in they are seldom seen outside the kitchen (where their food and water is). But here's one of them (Rainbows, her sister Christmas is busy sleeping in my lightbox......) hanging out in the kitty condo my boyfriend got for the kitties, with her buddy Dottie napping below (yes that is a potty patch in the lower right corner, they are AWESOME for dogs that need to "go" frequently):

And even though this last one was taken with my Iphone, it's too cute not to share:

Muppets have taken over my bed.

So there's some pictures. Now bear with me while I reformat, do some swatching and photo taking, and tend to my Etsy shop. It's franken city over here!!