Friday, November 30, 2012

Fallen Flowers - China Glaze Cirque du Soleil Nail Art

Today I have some nail art to share with you, hooray! This is the second look that I've done using the China Glaze Cirque du Soleil collection. If you missed my first manicure, you can check it out here. I've called today's manicure fallen flowers because it ended up looking like flowers that had fallen off of a tree onto the grass below.

I started with a base of China Glaze Running In Circles, which is a ridiculously sparkly and gorgeous emerald fleck polish. If you were to pick only one Cirque du Soleil shade (oh the horror!), this is my recommendation for the "must have" color.  I wore it for a day by itself before I added the flowers.

I started the flowers by painting on some brushy petals in Surreal Appeal, the pretty coral shade. It wasn't fully opaque at the first pass, so I doubled up on the petals before moving on to the second polish color.

For the centers of the petals, I reached for the purple jelly -- Creative Fantasy. The semi-transparent finish actually worked really well for this purpose, because I could do one sheer layer of color, and then build up the center of the petals with a second layer. It's hard to explain in words; you can see what I mean best if you look at the flower on the tip of my ring finger. At any rate, it created a lovely and easy gradient-type effect.

All in all this was a pretty quick nail art design, and I was very pleased with the results.

Here's a photo of Running In Circles alone.

I also happened to have my SLR and macro lens out while I was wearing this color, so I snapped this delightful photo of its fleck finish.

I've also got one more bonus Instagram photo for you! I did the same flower technique on my friend Kelly last night. She is about to leave on vacation, so she wanted some fun nail art for the occasion. She saw me wearing this manicure and we ran with it, but in different colors. The base is China Glaze Four Leaf Clover.

The Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away Collection should be hitting shelves within the next week at salons and specialty beauty retailers nationwide, including Sally Beauty Supply and ULTA stores. Individual nail polish shades will retail for $7.

Products provided for review.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Hands Nail Polish - Holiday Collection

Are you ready for the second Happy Hands Nail Polish collection of the day? This is the Holiday Collection and it includes four lacquers. I ended up with three blue-themed photos and didn't realize it until it was too late, whoops! Hope you're in the mood for a Blue Christmas today... :)

One thing to note is that Happy Hands has used color additive drops in a few of these polishes that make them smell a little stinky. These drops are used to tint UV gel or acrylic polishes, and I remember a similar smell from when I used to go with my mom to her acrylic nail appointments. If you have questions about the drops, contact Kristi at or through Etsy.

First we have The New Year. This silver and white mix should help you ring it in with bling! It's positively packed with glitter. I've shown one coat over OPI Unfor-greta-bly Blue for a "midnight confetti in a chilly Times Square" type look. Well, that's how I imagine it, anyway!

Feliz Navidad is a pinky nude based polish with a heavy dose of pink and gold glitters. I dare you to not get the song stuck in your head while you're wearing it, it's impossible! This is billed as an "office appropriate glitter" and I have to say that I agree. I've shown three coats of this feminine and delicate polish below. This one has a bit of a strong smell to it.

Silent Night is a deep blue jelly base with blue and turquoise glitters. This one went on nicely and reached the opacity below at three coats. When I look at this polish, I envision myself calmly watching snow fall outside my window on the night of Christmas Eve. Living in the desert, I have never actually had the chance to do that, but it's a nice thought. This was the strongest smelling Happy Hands polish for me, so do take note if you are sensitive to that sort of thing.

What's This? is a sky blue, silver, and white glitter topper which is made super sparkly by the inclusion of holographic glitters. I've layered it over China Glaze Man Hunt. It applied very evenly and smoothly, no problems at all!

This collection is due to be released on Saturday, December 1st in the Happy Hands Etsy shop. They will be sold in the new tall square bottles with pretty kraft labels. You can also visit the brand on Facebook.

Products provided for review.

Happy Hands Nail Polish - Cult Favorites Collection

Hey guys! I have two Happy Hands Nail Polish collections to share with you today. Right now, we'll be looking at the Cult Favorites collection, and in a few hours I will have the Holiday Collection posted up.

This collection is inspired by some of Kristi and Nathan's favorite movies! I really like the little one-liners that are included with the polish descriptions, so I've included them in my text. There are some really fun polishes in here!

One thing to note is that Happy Hands has used color additive drops in a few of these polishes that make them smell a little stinky. These drops are used to tint UV gel or acrylic polishes, and I remember a similar smell from when I used to go with my mom to her acrylic nail appointments. If you have questions about the drops, contact Kristi at or through Etsy.

Black Mamba -  Revenge is a dish best served with great nails.
It's a bold red and yellow glitter topper accented by silver holographic bar glitters, or "swords" as they are described. Get it!? If you don't, you've probably never seen Kill Bill before. This polish is very dense. I used one coat over black below and had zero problems getting glitter out of the bottle.

El Duderino - This polish really ties the room together.
A red jelly base accented by gold shimmer, red, gold, and purpley glitters, Duderino reached the opacity below at 2 coats. I love the finished look of this polish; the heavy shimmer and dark glitter pieces really create a nice balance. Inspired by The Big Lebowski.

I Am Jack's Broken Heart - Well the first rule of... nevermind that.
This lovely polish is inspired by Fight Club (side note: I am a huge Palahniuk fan!). The main glitter colors in this are turquoise and purple, and they sit in a "bruise colored" base. How apropos! I've shown two coats of this polish. This is one of the ones with a rather strong smell.

Lady Goodman - I dig music.
I believe this polish is inspired by Almost Famous, though I'm ashamed to admit I can't recall ever having seen it! A lavender base sprinkled with holographic pink, purple, and gold glitters, this delicate beauty is shown below at two coats. This one has a moderately strong smell.

I love the look of these polishes. I think the Happy Hands team did a great job of creating polishes that are different but that still fit in together nicely. Which ones are your favorites?

This collection is currently sold in the Happy Hands Etsy shop. If you order soon, you can use the code "HOLIDAYS" to take 20% off of your order (see sale image), though I believe there will be a restock this weekend, too! These polishes are sold in the new tall square bottles (not too tall for a Helmer, though) with pretty kraft labels. You can also visit the brand on Facebook.

Products provided for review.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The I Love Nail Polish Winter Collection

Good morning folks! Have you heard of the brand I Love Nail Polish? It is sometimes shown as I <3 NP or I <3 Nail Polish. Today I'm sharing the I Love Nail Polish Winter Collection.

Christmas in Bordeaux is a fine glitter topper made up of red, green, and gold glitters. There are also some irregular goldish flakes, which you can probably see best on my middle finger. It was designed to be a refined Christmas glitter, and I think it definitely achieves that. I've shown one coat here over American Apparel Office.

Ginger Spice Latte is a copper and gold glitter mix in a clear base. It's fairly dense; you can see one coat below over Essie Yogaga. The polish in combination with its name definitely feels "spicy" to me, like I should be snacking on gingerbread cookies and cider. The glitters in this are small, so it isn't too in-your-face, but it does add a bit of warm sparkle to an otherwise plain manicure.

Once Upon a Starry Night is a glittery topcoat made up of dark blue and silver glitters, with star confetti glitters! The stars seemed small enough to work on my curvy nails which is a huge positive for me, and they were plentiful. I love the colors in this mix. Once Upon a Starry Night is shown here over American Apparel 7th and Alameda.

Something About Merry is a chunkier Christmas mix of green, red, and whites. In addition to the metallic greens, there are also translucent green glitters that make this one unique. I also love the red squares. I've shown it here over Essie Stylenomics.

Up to Snow Good is a tealy topper made of primarily white, translucent white, teal and aqua glitters. Again, I am loving the squares here, as well as the irregularly shaped white pieces. I've layered it over China Glaze Elephant Walk.

Babes In Toyland is a fun multicolor topper made of fuchsia, sea green, teal, and gold. The best part about this polish, in my opinion, is the inclusion of the small fuchsia circle glitters. I've not seen polish with circle glitters of this size; they are a really awesome and cute. I've shown it here layered over OPI Don't Touch My Tutu.

Of course, you guys know I had to add another layer of DTMTT over the glitter to see how Babes In Toyland looked sandwiched.

I was particularly impressed by the professionalism of this brand. Each polish comes in a gorgeous box (as shown below) and the polish labels, both front and bottom, are nicely designed and pleasing to the eye. The bottles feel hefty and the caps are rubberized. Each polish is 12ml and 3-free, though I should mention that they do smell a little different than most of the indies I've tried. Not better or worse, just different.

Overall I am really excited about this brand! I love the names of these polishes, and like I said above I was very impressed with the overall experience, including polish, packaging, application, presentation, etc.

You can buy I Love Nail Polish lacquers on Etsy. You can also find the brand on Facebook and on the I Love Nail Polish blog.

Products provided for review.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Pretty and Polished Mathematical! Collection

You guys know about my intense love for Adventure Time, right? Oh, you forgot? Well you can always refer to my Adventure Time nail art as a little refresher...

Anyway, I have Pretty and Polished's newest collection to share with you today, and it is the most excited I've gotten about specific indies in a while. The polishes in the collection are all based on Adventure Time characters! Not a fan of the show? Don't worry. These polishes are really really cool, even if you don't get the references.

First we have BMO Me Up! which is inspired by BMO. A dark grey flecky polish, BMO Me Up is similar to Zoya FeiFei but with a finer, smoother finish. I've used three coats here. Definitely great for winter. I love the little bits of blue here and there.

King of C-C-Cool is inspired by the Ice King. I love the look of this one, particularly the dark blue glitters in the light base. It is also accented by micro red, medium yellow hex, and white diamond glitters, perfectly capturing the Ice King. This is three coats.

My Lumps is inspired by my favorite Adventure Time character (and possibly animated character, period), Lumpy Space Princess! This one was a bit of a challenge to apply because of the amount of shards in it, but it's totally worth it in my opinion. I have nothing like this in my collection and it suits LSP so well. Because of the shards, you may need two coats of topcoat. I've shown three coats of My Lumps here, but you could also layer this over a creme for a less intense look.

Jake's polish is called I'm Not a Banana! and is amazing. This is two coats. This jelly is the orangey yellow color of Jake with black and white glitters added. It's not very opaque, rather kind of syrupy, and I love that about it. I think in this context it really works.

Peebles is the Princess Bubblegum inspired polish. It is a pink jelly with a pinky violet shimmer and pink and yellow glitters. It's a lovely shade of pink and the shimmer really shows up well. I used three coats for the depth below, but you could also layer this one over your favorite pink to spice it up a bit.

Rainy Day Lady is a multicolor glitter topper inspired by Lady Rainicorn. I love putting multicolor glitters over nudes, and Rainy Day Lady wasn't spared that fate -- I chose to layer two coats of it over OPI Did You Ear About Van Gogh. I found this polish to read mostly fuchsia and green, though there are many other colors included. There are also some fun shapes and sizes like blue diamonds, satin pink squares, and jumbo red hexes.

Inspired by Marceline, Vampire Sing-a-Long is a really unique glitter topper. Shown here over Sally Hansen Wet Cement, you can see that it has purple and red micro glitters, black micro bars, purple hexes, and big black dot glitters. I found the black dots sat surprisingly flat on me, despite having pretty curved nails. I did place the dots in this manicure, but didn't have any problems finding them in my bottle.

Last but not least is The Young Hero, inspired by Finn. This is a subtle white based polish with satin green and blue glitters, plus blue and yellow microglitters. I've shown three coats here.

Did Chelsea nail it or what? I think each of these polishes is a beautiful and fun representation of its character inspiration. I think these are some of the most exciting and wonderful Pretty & Polished polishes I've seen in a while, and are a reminder of why indie polishes are so great (psst... the reason is innovation).

This collection will be sold in the new Pretty & Polished screenprinted bottles on the new Pretty & Polished website! The website will be announced tomorrow so be sure to like Pretty & Polished on Facebook so you don't miss out. It will also be released on Etsy, but this will be the last collection to be released there. Once they sell out on Etsy, the Mathematical Collection will only be available on the new site.

Products provided for review.
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