Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas Manicure: Dior Apparat

Merry Christmas everybody! Did you all wake up early to open your presents?  My Christmas has been filled with cookie baking, decorating, and lots of  present wrapping. I love the holidays, getting together with family, making tons of fabulous food, and seeing friends. There's just something so heartwarming about being with the people who love you most.

Here's my Christmas mani, I've picked Dior Apparat this year to dress up my tips. Apparat was a holiday color from last year, and it's a beautiful, opulent red base with fine red and gold glitter.

I am in love with this color, it's perfect for the holidays, rich and luxurious. Fantastic for a Christmas party with friends or family.

This is two coats to make opaque coverage. I found this polish difficult to work with, as it was quite thick and became even more so as I continued painting my nails. I had a hard time keeing the manicure clean, and it definitely didn't apply evenly, but that was nothing a good coat of Seche Vite couldn't fix. 

 Overall, I'm happy with the result of the manicure, but the process could have been easier with a smoother formula. What have all of you been sporting on your nails this holiday season?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

An Early Christmas Present & Ciaté: Cupcake Queen Review

Good evening everyone! For all of you college students, let's celebrate the end of a fantastic semester! If you've been following my site for a while, you know that I've been a little MIA lately, business school will do that to you! Now I'm back home with my family for the next couple of weeks to relax and prepare for another intense few months of school. I'm hoping to switch up some of the upcoming posts, I hope you guys will like them!

Yesterday I was surprised with an amazing early Christmas present from my boyfriend, who I won't be able to see until New Years Eve. We both exchanged gifts early so that we could celebrate some holiday cheer together. I was so excited to see something that I was sad I had missed out on as I unwrapped his present... the Ciaté Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar.

The advent calendar features 21 mini Ciaté nail colors as well as three bottles of micro beads for a total of 24 days of polish. I opened up all but the 24th color, and there's an impressive variety of colors and types. I just think this is such a cool idea, seriously, one nail polish a day? You can sign me up for that anytime. I'm a big sucker for packaging, and Ciaté has excelled in this department with a beautiful box and adorable bows on each bottle. I decided to wear the first nail polish Cupcake Queen, a hot pink with subtle blue shimmer, on my nails today. It looks like I have candy on my nails! 

Consistency was great, I was able to get full opacity with two thin coats. Very even and easy to work with. One thing I do think could be improved is the shape of these tiny bottles. They're quite skinny and easily knocked over. I'm not familiar with the full sized bottle, so this may just be a problem for these minis.

two coats accompanied by Seche Vite top coat

Overall, I think a nail polish advent calendar is a fantastic idea and a wonderful gift. This is my first experience with any of Ciaté's products and I'm impressed so far! I hope more of these show up next holiday season. I hope every one's holiday is going splendidly!

Friday, November 30, 2012

OPI: DS Extravagance

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all have been keeping relaxed and healthy in these chilly days.  I have been extremely busy with school work and I am working on an exciting project for the blog that I think you guys will really enjoy!  Today though, I'm going to review OPI DS (Designer Series) Extravagance, which is a color I think you guys will love.  Please let me know what you think of it! 

This has to be one of my all time favorites, the color is so rich and saturated, and the holographic glitter is sure to get you noticed.  When I wear this color I feel extra confident and beautiful, and when a product makes you feel like that, you know you've found a winner!  Some people have shoes or a dress, I have nail polish!  As you can see this is a deep fuchsia with a good amount of holographic glitter.  Consistency is very smooth, which allowed me to have concise control of where the paint flowed onto the nail.

These close up images really show the complexity and depth of this polish.  Are you falling in love with this polish just as much as I have?

Please let me know what you guys think of this polish and review!  I am so interested in hearing your feedback, my mission is to provide you with quality reviews and am always open to constructive criticism. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chanel: Paradoxal

Today I have a fantastic color to share with you!  I have finally made it home and I admittedly don't really know what to do with myself.  No homework, no projects, no exams, and everyone has gone to work and school for the day at my house.  My plan is to do laundry and hopefully meet up with a friend for coffee before family comes over and preparations for the big feast begins. 

Anyways, on to the polish!  Chanel Paradoxal is a dark grey/mauve based color with finely milled purple shimmer.  The shimmer is most evident in the bottle, and becomes subtle once painted on the nails.  I find Paradoxal to be a bit of a chameleon, in sunlight the purple is more evident and looks very warm, yet in shade or artificial lighting it looks like a cool grey.  It's one of those colors that's a little hard to describe, but I think it would look great on any skin tone!

What do you guys think of this polish?  I personally like it a lot.  It's not a color that's in your face or that people will stop you in the streets to comment on, but it's oh so sophisticated and grown up.

Is anyone planning to do something for black Friday?  This year our mall opens at midnight, which means I am not getting any sleep that night. Are you shopping for anything specific? Any great deals you can't pass up? Let me know! Happy holidays!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Butter London: Wallis

Happy Monday everyone!  I trust all of your weekends went well, and that your upcoming thanksgiving weeks will be great!  I cannot wait to go home soon, I'm definitely in need of a break! I think everyone needs to see their families sometimes, I wish I could see mine more often.  Here's a polish I think you guys will love, I know I fell in love with it when I first saw it.  This little number goes by the name Wallis, and I think you'll fall head over heels when you see her too.

Isn't she so pretty?  A gorgeous, vibrant army-olive green that's rich at the same time.  Wallis isn't a new color, but you can still find it at your local Ulta.  I find that a lot of olives tend to be dusty, but this one glows from within!  I find this polish so elegant and edgy.

What do you guys think of this color?  Do you already own it?  I think this is so stunning for fall.  This is two coats, with one layer of Seche Vite on top.  Great consistency, and easily removed as well.

I hope you enjoyed the review!  What are you guys doing this thanksgiving break?  Let me know!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Over-worked and Overwhelmed

My past week was probably one of the most stressful weeks I've had in a long time. I had three exams this week and a few papers due, which made this week intense! We all experience moments when it seems as though there isn't enough time in the day. I want to share with you some things that got me through my stress:

Some beautiful flowers from my fantastic boyfriend. I love fresh flowers, especially when the days turn chilly and dim.

I love the way trees look without their leaves. There's just something so macabre and beautiful about seeing these dormant "skeletons" everywhere.

Delicious candied violet petals from Ladurée. I picked these up in NYC and have been slowly munching away at them this week. I love the subtle floral-ness, and it's a perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth!

These are the things the helped me survive my week, what do you enjoy when feeling overwhelmed? 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NARS: Night Rider

How are all of you doing? I hope your weekends have been great! Only two more weeks until Thanksgiving and it can't come sooner! My up-coming week is full of presentations and exams, not so fun, but that's life isn't it? Anyways, I have a swatch to share with you today, NARS Night Rider. Night Rider is a glass-fleck polish that has a plum base with lighter, lilac/silver shimmer.

It has nice consistency, and was totally opaque in three coats. Unfortunately I don't think this polish looks very good on my skin tone, which is sad because I really do like the color in the bottle. This is three coats with one of Seche Vite over top.

I think this color would look really nice with as one coat or layered over something. What do you guys think? We're still having cloudy weather over here, but tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, so I'm planning on getting some good swatching in tomorrow! Have a fantastic Sunday guys, hope you enjoyed the swatches!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

OPI: Midnight In Moscow

Drudgy, rainy weather and homework up to my chin make me feel so overwhelmed, but I have some really exciting things coming up, which seem to be the light at the end of this very cold, damp tunnel. What has been keeping me sane through all of this you ask? Some simple pleasures and procrastination: chai tea latte's, keeping up on my favorite blogs, involving myself in some really exciting activities, and painting my nails beautiful colors. There is truly no greater feeling than having pristine and primped little fingers; OK, maybe I haven't been able to shower in two days, but my nails are gorgeous.

Here's a color that I think you guys will all love and it really fits the broody mood mother nature seems to be in lately. I've been loving dark vampy colors this fall season, and this one is definitely a winner! You may recognize it, since it's been around for a while, it's from the OPI Russian Collection. It was one of my very first OPIs, even before I fell in love with polish! Midnight In Moscow is what I'm showing you today.

Here's a close-up of the polish. Unfortunately, since it's been cloudy and I prefer to only use natural lighting, these pictures didn't come out as crisp as I would have liked, but I still think you can see a good amount of detail. You can see that the polish is a very dark red. The base is actually black, and the red is from very fine shimmer. This is probably one of my darkest colors, since the red is very subtle.

So how do you like this polish? Would you consider checking it out? I think it's definitely going to become a color I reach to a lot this upcoming winter! Hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beautiful Scenery and an Update

Hey everyone! I'm sorry I've been MIA for so long. School has become unbearably crazy and busy. I barely have any time to anything for myself! Today we've been experiencing some strong winds from hurricane Sandy, look at those gorgeous waves! All the way over here in Wisconsin we've been experiencing the effects of the big storm. My heart goes out to all of the victims of Sandy, and I hope all of those displaced may find warm homes soon.

Some things that I've been up to: taking part in All Hallows Eve festivities, recovering from a terrible hair color, and a recent trip up north.

I can't wait to post some more soon, I've finally borrowed back the camera for a while so expect some great things to come! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

NARS: Orgasm

Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a fabulous week! I am so excited for the weekend! It's my little sister's fourteenth birthday and I'm traveling to rural Illinois to go to an apple orchard. Here I come apple cider, maple fudge, and cake doughnuts! Fall is here and I couldn't be happier. Today I chose the "must have" color, Orgasm by NARS. It's universally flattering (just like the iconic blush of the same name) and timeless.

Orgasm is a gorgeous peach based polish with warn gold shimmer. This polish is a little bit sheer, even with three coats there's some visible nail line. I love that this color is bright, and in a way, subtle at the same time. This had a great consistency, and was very even. I have one coat of Seche Vite top coat on as well.

So what do you guys think about this color? Would you consider this a "must have?" Have a fantastic week and remember to cherish the beautiful weather before it's gone!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Deborah Lippmann: On the Beach & Mermaid's Dream

I hope every one's week is going well! School has made me really busy, but I'll always have time for my nails. Deborah Lippmann is my favorite polish brand ever. The designer always creates new and innovative colors. This duo was my 20th year birthday gift, and I was so ecstatic when I received it. These are such bright and happy colors!

Here's On the Beach, a gorgeous turquoise reminiscent of Mediterranean beaches. This is definitely a summery color that would brighten anyones mood! Anyways, this is three coats for complete opacity, and dries with a glossy finish. Great consistency as well, very smooth and self leveling.

Mermaid's Dream, oh my oh my. I'm sure you've heard of this polish, there was so much hype when it came out, and for good reason! This polish is one of my all time favorites, and I treat it like a precious little gem. This lacquer consists of medium dark blue hex glitter as well as very fine green and blue particles to make up the sea-foam green base. There's some very subtle holographic particles as well! This polish reminds me of crushed up gems and sea shells. This is three coats with some visible nail line peeking through.

So what do you guys think of this duo? I personally really like it, and had nothing similar to either of these colors. These both have a coat of Seche Vite. Have any of you tried these colors out? I hope everyone enjoys this review and I would love to hear your feedback! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dior: New World Purple / Aztec Chocolate 886

Fall is almost here! The coming season is my absolute favorite time of year. Chilly breezes, chai latés, and falling leaves make me so happy and excited for the coming winter months. I love winter, which is something that most people think is crazy, but who doesn't love to bundle up?

I decided to paint my nails to get myself in the mood for cooler days now that school is in full throttle. New World Purple is one of the first Dior lacquers I ever bought. This purchase was actually a total accident, as I meant to get another color, but this one ended up in my bag. They were really similar colors, and you know how department store lighting can be, so I pointed to the wrong bottle. Oops! As first I was like, no! But once I tried it on I was happy and I figured it must have been fate, so it stayed.

New World Purple is a raisin based lacquer with an abundance of golden brown shimmer.  This polish really shows it's true beauty in direct sunlight! Fantastic formula typical to Dior, this is two coats to make for complete opacity. This is such a warm beautiful color and has great lasting power on the nails.

I hope you liked these swatches! These are the first few pictures I've taken in my new apartment so I'm still getting used to the lighting in here. I think they turned out pretty well though. What do you guys think of this color? Love it or leave it? 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Estée Lauder: Chaos & Smashed

Hey everyone! Things here are finally beginning to settle down. With school starting in a few days, I'm so relieved I'm finally 100% moved in and ready for classes and have a little more time on my hands for swatching! As you may know I recently took a trip to New York City. My trip was a blast as I made sure to visit some places I'd been dying to see. Besides adventures to some the fantastic bakeries and cafés (Magnolia Bakery, Ladurée, Dean & Deluca) I had to take a trip to Madison Avenue and find myself something to bring home. I purchased my first Estée Lauder nail polish in Chaos & Smashed, don't you love those names?!

This is Chaos, the first Estée Lauder color I ever tried on. This is the color that made me fall in love with the brand, I will always think of the glamour and sophistication of NYC when I wear this! Chaos is a liquid-like pewter. In sunlight, hints of lavender and periwinkle show through in the bottle.

two coats, direct sunlight, Seche Vite top coat

The next color I had to have is Smashed, it's an absolutely fantastic and seductive color. This is definitely my favorite of the two! It's truly the most perfect purple I own, an ideal balance between light and dark, moody and luminous. A true keeper in my book!

three coats, direct sunlight, Seche Vite top coat
click original size for serious gorgeousness!!
With beautiful color and great, even consistency, what isn't there to love. What do you think of these colors? Do they scream NYC to you? I know that I will always love these colors, they are so timeless, and will always remind me of my amazing trip to the big apple.