Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Artsy Wednesday: Color Block Manicure

I want it to be spring!  So I busted out some springy colors (China Glaze For Audrey and Secret Peri-wink-le over Milani's White on the Spot) and created a refreshing color block manicure.

Here's a quick how-to video that shows you my process; I love the clean white lines in this one!

Do you have requests for tutorials I could film?

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Zoya Pixie Dust Review

I bought four of the Zoya Pixie Dust polishes  the second they went on presale; they looked like wonderful soft colors (I got Godiva, Vespa, Nyx and London), and the texture effect was intriguing.   They arrived at my house a few days ago, and have been staring at me, tempting me with their shimmery silver goodness.

These polishes are designed to dry to a textured, slightly gritty texture, a matte finish, with sparkle.  The texture is much like the fine-grit side of an emery board.  They require no basecoat or topcoat, and that's how I swatched them.  They can be topcoated to add a shiny finish and cover up the texture, if that isn't your thing.  Removal was a breeze, way way easier than any other glittery polish I've ever owned.

I love these; I wasn't entirely sure I would, but they're tugging at my rock-loving heartstrings.  They look like little geodes on your nails, and have a subtle, shimmery, crystalline beauty that I am in love with.  Application is a hair tricky, but with a smidgeon more patience than a creme might take, they work just fine.  Their dry-time is pretty quick; not Seche Vite quick, but you won't dent your mani within about 10-ish minutes.

First off, London; a deep foggy grey polish, it dries a touch darker than the bottle color.
The application with this color was flawless, and I used just two coats.  I do recommend wrapping your tips with these polishes, as their base is sheer enough that the white nailtip might stand out a bit, like it does on my ring finger.

Next, Godiva, a pale nude (nice reference, Zoya!):
The sparkle doesn't photograph well with this one, but trust me, it's there.  For this one, I had to add a third coat just to my nailtips, as I had visible nail line with two coats.  I was able to apply the polish just to the top third of my nails, and it blended seamlessly with the rest of the polish, so I bet chips would be easy to touch up with these polishes too!

Third, I have Vespa, a lovely retro sagey green:

This polish applied the best of the four, with two easy breezy coats, one thin, one thicker.  This one is also the sparkliest of the four I bought.  I think it's my favorite shade from this collection, as it's hard for me to find sagey greens that mesh well with my skintone, and Vespa is really flattering.

Finally, Nyx, a faboo periwinkle blue:

I really love this soft blue; I think it compliments my skin fabulously, and is a change of pace from the typical creme finish for periwinkle polishes.  This one is also fairly glittery, like Vespa was.  I did have to watch for bald spots with this one, but this polish is so manipulable that a few extra swipes of my brush didn't damage the manicure at all.

My overall verdict is that as long as you watch your application, these polishes are really something special; unusual in their matte, textured sparkliness, and unique in the burgeoning textured polish market in that they're softer shades instead of the ultra-bright texture polishes you might see from other companies.  I have enough bright glitters, these are a change of pace for my collection that make me really, really glad I bought these!

Disclaimer: I purchased these products with my own money, and all opinions are my own.

Artsy Wednesday: Valentines

I used a tape stencil for today's manicure, and even managed to film a quick how-to video!  I went pretty simple with this one, just a heart accent nail, but the tape stencil makes it way, way easier to get an even heart.  I'm definitely no pioneer with this technique, but I do think it's worth showing off!

While I could've gone frou frou fancy with the colors, I stuck to fresh, almost neons, because I am just yearning for some warmer weather.
Check it out:

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Swatchathon: Pretty & Polished Olgite and Concoction

I have to apologize to my readers; my time has been mostly taken up by painting our new house, and so nail polish hasn't been very feasible lately.  It's depressing me to look at all my pretty polish and know if I put it on it'll just be wrecked by housepaint!

First off, an update on how my hands are holding up after using solely the  Pretty and Polished Sin City Hand and Body Creme for around 3 weeks; note that I've used no other moisturizing ANYTHING, no cuticle oil, no lotion, no balm, no salve, nothing, and I've spent my time either painting our house, spackling, or working in a lab with suffocating polyurethane gloves on:
Not too bad, huh??  I have enjoyed this hand creme way more than I thought I would; I figured it'd be nice, but I didn't think it'd keep my cuticles and hand skin in such good shape!  Plus, my boyfriend comments on how good it smells every time I put it on.

So far, I give the Sin City Hand and Body Creme an A+.  I'm going to keep using my sample until it's gone, so I'll update you in a few more weeks as to how it does for over a month as my sole moisturizer.

That said, I have a few swatches to share with you today, and hope to post a bit more regularly in the coming future.  Today, I'm featuring two polishes that were sent to me, along with the Pretty and Polished Sin City Hand and Body Creme.  They're part of the Pretty and Polished permanent line, and are some truly beautiful polishes.

First off, some bottle shots; Concoction is on the left, and Olgite on the right:

Concoction is a stunner; a royal purple jelly with flakies, iridescent glitter and a little bit of scattered holo to top it off?  Fabulous!  It's been raining here, so I couldn't get a sun picture to show off the holo, but the flakies and iridescent glitter both shine in this picture:
This is two coats, with a fantastic level of coverage for a jelly.  The color indoors is typically a royal purple, but it leans a little plummy in brighter lights.

Next, Olgite.  Olgite is a blue shimmer with a purpley-pink flash to it; if you look closely at the bottle shot above, you'll see a hint of it.  This polish dries semi-matte (satin, if you will), so if you prefer full gloss a topcoat will be a must.
Olgite is a lovely bluebird blue, and that purple/pink flash makes it a pretty special polish.  The coverage is good too; above is two coats, plus topcoat.

Olgite and Concoction can be purchased at Pretty and Polished's website.  As always, great formulas and great colors!

These products were sent to me for review; all opinions are my own and are not influenced by external sources.