Monday, November 30, 2009

NOTD: French Tip Marble Matte-ified

Before we get to pics, I must say that drawers & door-handles are the bane of my existence ... mere days after posting my nice & fairly even naked nails, I nearly snapped one off today opening my file drawer at work. It broke pretty low, but hung on by a thread & since it made it until I got home, I'm going to patch it until it grows out past my fingertip, but I'm honestly not too happy about it.

Anyway, whining & ranting aside, here is the french tip marble with a coat of China Glaze Matte Magic:

Thanks for reading =)


Product Review: Skin MD Natural - Shielding Lotion

I was recently contacted by Skin MD Natural & asked if I would like a free sample of their product for review. Well, you guys know I certainly can't pass up an offer like that! (If it's something I'm actually interested in & blogging about. Stupid semi-hassling product reps for things that have never been so much as mentioned on this blog, you know who you are.)

I received the lotion in the mail last week, and have been using it since. It's not just your normal lotion, it's a new "shielding" lotion - so, in layman's terms, what this lotion does is not only moisturize, but trap the moisture into your skin so it doesn't get dry again so quickly. In more technical terms, and to quote from the Skin MD Natural website:

"A shielding lotion does much more than just treat dry skin – it’s a new kind of skin care product that makes a real difference to all skin types.

Skin MD Natural™ utilizes the finest effective natural ingredients for dry skin treatment along with the latest advances in technology to hydrate and protect the skin.

This is an entirely new concept in skin care requiring a new classification: "Shielding Lotion". A shielding lotion keeps moisture-robbing irritants away from the skin while the proprietary "super" humectants hydrate the skin throughout the day.

Skin MD Natural™ is promptly absorbed, without the slightest hint of any greasy or oily feeling or residue, transforming the outer layer of skin into a hydrating invisible shield.

Glycerin has been the standard against which all humectants are measured. Until now no other humectant drew in as much moisture from the air as glycerin. But the proprietary formulation in Skin MD Natural has a moisturizing factor of at least 6 times greater than glycerin. Combined with its protective properties and natural ingredients, this makes Skin MD Natural a truly unique product.

An accumulated effect of Skin MD Natural is fully realized after only a few days of daily use. Depending on how dry your skin is the first few days may require reapplications after only a few hours. Usually, after a few days of continuous use, only one or two daily applications are necessary to see the improvement."

Now, I don't consider myself to have horribly dry skin, so I didn't get the drastic results that can be seen in some of the dramatic before & after pictures on their site. But overall I did like this lotion, it definitely kept my hands from feeling chapped or dry all day long, and lived up to the claims that it absorbed quickly with no residue.

The only thing I didn't like was the scent - although since the lotion is absorbed so quickly, it doesn't smell for long. My mom identified it as lanolin - it reminds me of baby wipes =( It's faint, but I have a sensitive nose. For me, particularly, a scent that I don't like is a deal-breaker.

The last thing that may be considered a downside is the price - on their website for a hefty (to me) $18 for a 4 oz. bottle. It looks like it's also available in many stores and pharmacies, and I'm assuming the price there would be comparable, although you'd be able to avoid shipping charges.

Overall, while I liked this product, I don't think I'd pay the price to continue using it. For now at least, my skin is healthy enough to get by with "normal" (& normally priced) lotion. However, after reading some of the reviews on their site, I think I will give the remainder of the bottle to my mom to try, since she suffers from Rosacea & there was testimonial that it really helped with that condition. If I have time & remember to do so, I may post a follow-up with her results.

Have any of you had experience with this product? Feel free to add your 2 cents in the comments =) Thanks for reading.


20% Off Sale at Barielle!

Just in time for "Cyber Monday," Barielle is having a 20% off sale! It doesn't look like there's a special code or anything, just head on over & start filling your shopping cart =)

I am a Barielle affiliate, so if you click my links in the post or in the sidebar to the right, you can help me out with the expenses of running a blog & being a polish fiend =)

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

NOTD: OPI Ponce De Lilac w/ French Tip Marble + Tutorial

As you know, I wasn't 100% satisfied with the half-moon marble tutorial, because the colors didn't really have a lot of contrast, so I decided to do another mani & tutorial with better colors. This is the result - base color of OPI Ponce De Lilac, and marbling also done with OPIs; Pompeii Purple, Virgin Island Velvet & Russian Navy:

& here's the tutorial:

Don't get too spoiled here now, I don't plan on doing 2 tutorials most weeks, maybe 1 a week if that, but as you probably know by now, when I have something I think could have been done better, I usually have to rectify it as soon as possible. Plus I was lucky enough that I got Friday off as well as Thanksgiving Day, so I could stay up past midnight dorking around with my camera without having to worry about when I needed to wake up LOL.

Thanks for reading.


Naked Nails (11-27-09)

I don't think there is any possible way that I can wear my preferred length during the winter. Between the cold & dry air making them brittle, and then the unfortunate need to be able to fit my hands inside gloves, I just don't think it's practical. But this shorter length is kind of growing on me:

You can see the split on the side of my left thumb, and also some of the peeling on my right thumb - I've patched both of those. Compared to the amount of patches I've had previously just having 2 to maintain is no sweat LOL. And I seem to be really rough on my thumbs, they've always been hardest to grow.

I've got another tutorial that I'll be posting shortly =) Until then, thanks for reading.


TOTD: Crimson Sparkle

So, you may remember my claims that I was going to keep doing my pedis throughout the winter, so that my feet weren't in such sad shape as they were last spring once the snow melts this time ... and may also have noticed that since that proclamation there have been exactly ZERO TOTD posts ... mainly because I get too cold to sit around with bare feet long enough to do a pedi.

But! I picked up a pair of very cute pink pedi socks (basically socks with no toes) with my 8ty8 order, so I finally got around to painting my toes. This is from Revlon's Color Illusion collection, Crimson Sparkle:

Even if the only time I'll get to see them is while I'm doing my yoga LOL. Still is nice to know they're pretty underneath the socks =)

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving NOTD: ChG Cruisin' Half-Moon Marble w/ Free Love & Drive In + Tutorial

Man,that seems like a giant title LOL. I almost did not do a tutorial on this, because the colors didn't stand out as much on the nail as they did in the bottle, but I wanted to get another video up & even though the colors are so similar I think the video still shows the technique well enough that you get the idea.

So, I pretty much said it all in the title but I'll say it again here; my base color is China Glaze Cruisin', and the marbling is done with Free Love & Drive In. All 3 of these colors are from the Retro Diva collection. Even though this is not my favorite version of this technique ever - I definitely liked the version that I did in purple much better - I don't think the pics do it justice either. But here they are:

Excuse the lighting in this video, I really could have had either my lamp or my bottles of polish positioned better so that I didn't get so much shadowing every time I reached for something, but everything else went smoothly so I kept it. Here's the tutorial:

On a random side note, since I mentioned Seche in the tutorial, I wanted to make sure I was saying it correctly. So I went to the Seche website, and found this little note on the bottom:

Seche Vite, U.S. PATENT #5,130,125; we say 'Sesh Veet'.
The company is called Seche and we do not use an accent over the last "e," but we still say "se-shay"."

So I guess it's "sesh" if you're talking about the polish, and "se-shay" if you're talking about the brand. Which is kind of weird, but whatever.

Now I'm off to grandma's for Thanksgiving - I hope you all have a safe & happy one, whether it's at your own home or a friend or family member's. Thanks for reading.


Guest NOTD: Mom Wearing Green!

WOOHOO! I finally got my mom to wear green polish =D This is Barielle Polished Princess, which I used as one of the colors in my Fall-toned water marble the other day:

She's loving this, and I am refraining from telling her "I told you so" too often LOL.

Thanks for reading.


Haul From 8ty8

'Tis the season ... for hauls. It just seems like I have a lot of stuff I want to buy right now, so I'm calling it early Christmas, since I usually buy myself the best presents =) It started with the tripod of course, and I have plans to place a Zoya order with their Black (Green) Friday code, and I've also got a Transdesign haul I'd like to make. But I started off with 8ty8 & a few polishes that I've been wanting from China Glaze & Color Club, with a DS thrown in for good measure:

Top row: Electric Lilac, Meteor Shower, Cosmic & Mahoganie. Middle row: the rest of the Khrome collection (since I already have Millennium & Metallic Muse), Sci-Fi, 2030, Hi-Tek & Robotika. Bottom row: OPI DS Sapphire, Color Club Wild at Heart, Love 'em Leave 'em, & On the Wild Side (from the Wild at Heart collection ... which I'll probably end up going back for the other 3 colors eventually but I was attempting moderation), and a couple of basics, black & white, because Color Club has such a good formula - Black & French Tip.

So, do you buy your own Christmas presents? If you do I bet they involve polish LOL. Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Black Friday Polish Deals

So, I read over at Babbling Brooke about Zoya's Green Friday, which is basically 6 FREE green polishes when you spend over $20.00. The code (GREENFRIDAY) will be good 5pm (EST) on Thanksgiving through 5pm on Friday.

Now I'm thinking, there are probably other deals out there, and I'm wondering what they are - so if you know of any, leave a comment or drop an email, and I'll update this post later tonight with more deals & we can all have a happy polish-filled shopping spree on Friday =D I've already picked which Zoya polishes I'll be getting to take advantage of their deal ... I think. Kind of hard to pick only 3, they have such a wide range of colors & I don't have ANY (yet).

EDIT: So I didn't find any more polish-specific deals, but I did find this cool website:, which lets you view Black Friday ads online before you get them in the paper.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NOTD: Fall-toned Water Marble w/ Barielles & DS

I realize I forgot to mention, last post, that I did cut my right hand down a bit. The patch on my middle finger finally grew out past the tip of my finger, and I decided to get rid of it & hack the others to match. It's almost even with my left now, although they're both a little lopsided. I'll be doing another naked nails post soon ... I don't exactly like them this short, but they are really healthy right now.

I tried something a little different with this marble, rather than go with a black base for my colors, I decided I wanted to play up one of the colors in the marble, so I used a couple coats of that as a base. From the All Lacquered Up collection, Barielle Polished Princess:

If I were wearing it alone, I would probably do another coat, since there was still some visible nail line.

Now, I know some of you don't really understand why I wasn't pleased with yesterday's marble - & it's not that there was anything wrong with it. I just know that marbles can be SUPER impressive, like I think this one is. Marbling done with Polished Princess, Two Timing - which is another Barielle - and OPI DS Desire:

I think if my nails were at my preferred length, this really would have turned out exactly as in my head, but I'm still very happy. This is the same basic technique & design as I showed in my tutorial. The marbling "recipe" for this was 4 drops each alternating between PP & TT, then 2 drops of Desire in the middle. I particularly like the thumbs so here's a close up on them:

I think this will tide me over for a while with water marbling LOL. Thanks for reading.


Monday, November 23, 2009

NOTD: Purplish Marble

When I do one marble, it always makes me want to do another with other colors. So I gave in to the urge. I could see these 3 colors sitting next to each other in one of my unworn shoe boxes (everything gets put away properly in the Helmers after I use it), and it wasn't until I actually pulled them out that I realized it's actually only two colors. Observe:

The Jean-Michelle polish on the left (which I've never heard of this brand before my mom picked this bottle up for me at the thrift store) is called Cassis. The 2 NYCs are both labelled as #239 (no name), but you can see they're obviously different. Either mislabelled or part of very poor quality control between batches.

The marble actually did not turn out great in my opinion, but wonderful thing about marbles is that doesn't matter too much LOL, they're always cool even when not what intended. Unfortunately, I was quite a clutz, and got quite a few dings into this before I managed to get pics, so I do apologize but that's why I didn't take that many pics, just enough to show the pattern. This is over a base of China Glaze Liquid Leather:

I now feel the need to redeem myself with a SUPER COOL marble, so I think I'll see what I can come up with =) Thanks for reading.


Small Ulta Haul

Just a few, but a good few. Ulta has buy 2 get 1 free OPI right now, and I also had a coupon that was either $3.50 off, or a free level-1 reward, which I guess includes Ulta polish. So I ended up saving almost as much as I spent LOL, only having to pay for 2 of these:

The top row are the OPI Holiday 2009 Ulta Exclusive colors: Dazzled by Gold, Dreaming of Red, & Visions of Sugarplum. The one on the bottom is Ulta Green With Envy, which I had a little lemming for after seeing it on Scrangie - this was the last bottle out, so apparently I'm not the only one who fell in love at first sight.

Trying to get back on track after not much posting last week, got some pics to edit & then I'll post up my current NOTD. Thanks for reading.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

NOTD: TTYL & DV8 Marble Matte-ified

Just to give myself a little something different to look at while I'm out & about today =) Topcoat is China Glaze Matte Magic:

Thanks for reading =)


Guest NOTD: OPI DS Illuminate

It was too long ago that I posted this color as my NOTD (HERE), but I wanted to post a few pics of it on my Mom. She wanted to wear it after seeing it on me & it is her first holo, even if it is a pretty subtle one =) From the Designer Series, OPI Illuminate:

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

NOTD: Water Marble w/ TTYL & DV8 + Tutorial

Yes, I said the "T" word, and I have my first (& very amateur) tutorial up. Remember, you all promised to be gentle with me while I work the learning curve. But I honestly don't think it turned out too badly for my first time.

First off, here are the pics, which I think do better justice to the finished manicure than some of the out-of-focus shots in the video. I didn't really think I needed a new camera until I started learning what mine's capabilities - or maybe I should say limitations -are when it comes to video. To quote directly from the manual "The focus & zoom settings remain the values selected for the first frame." Which means no zooming in or refocusing midway through, which I'm already severely irritated with.

My left hand is still pretty short (especially since I cut down my ring & pinky to be more even), but I guess I must be used to it at this point because it looks more normal & I don't feel bad to let it start making a comeback. Especially as this mani deserves to be appreciated in many pictures, and I have several in most of my lighting. So, here's the finished product; China Glaze Liquid Leather as base color, and for the marbling from the OMG collection, TTYL & DV8:

And (drumroll please!!!), here is the tutorial =) Enjoy:

Like I said, amateurish, but I'm happy with it. I even managed to get a title & stuff added in with Windows Movie Maker - which prior to this I hadn't ever worked with. There will be more to come. Thanks for reading ... and watching =)

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