Nerd Lacquer Nebula - First of several swatches

Saturday, June 30, 2012

An amazing friend sent me some Nerd Lacquer polishes. I had never tried the line before so when they came I couldn't wait to wear one. The hard part was deciding which one. Nebula just kind of jumped out at me.

Nerd Lacquer Nebula nail polish
Nerd Lacquer Nebula

Nebula is a glorious deep burgandy base with tons of multicolored glitter packed in it. The name fits the polish nicely. It looks as though all the stars were captured and corralled in this bottle. It applied wonderfully - even and smooth. It has a relatively quick dry time. One coat of Seche Vite Top Coat finished it off nicely. I was worried that it might be a thirsty polish and need a couple of coats of top coat. But one coat was all it needed. 

Nerd Lacquer is one of those indie polishes that caused an internet riot when it was available. Now its creator is taking a break from making polish making this polish even more sought after.

Here are the Nerd Lacquers you will see in future posts.

Vivid Lacquer - Indie polish review

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Today I have for you an Indie polish review - Vivid Lacquer.

Vivid Lacquer is an indie polish maker on She sent four polishes for me to review. (Well, she actually sent five but one is a prototype and I am sworn to secrecy.  ;)

The polish formulas were pretty good. They applied evenly (they were kind of thick but applied well) and dried quickly. I did have to fish for the larger glitter pieces but I think that is pretty common for some of these specialty glitters. The color combinations of the glitter were great. The polishes were a little on the thick side when applying - but again - pretty common for specialty glitters.

Let's get straight to the swatches!

The Harlequin's Adoration nail polish
The Harlequin's Adoration over Milani A Rose My Lady

The Harlequins Adoration is tons of multi-size and shape glitter. I applied it over Milani A Rose My Lady.  This polish makes me think of Alice in Wonderland. Hearts and diamond shaped glitter make up the main part of the polish. I did have to fish for some of the larger pieces but it wasn't too hard. It is a nice, pretty polish.

Here's a bottle shot of The Harlequin's Adoration.

The Harlequin's Adoration
The Harlequin's Adoration bottle shot

Next is Paint me Patriotic.  This is probably my favorite of the bunch. Multi-size and shape glitters. And of course it's red, white and blue. I put this over Milani White on the Spot. But that actually makes it hard to see the white glitter. It dried quickly and applied pretty evenly. This may have to be my 4th of July mani.

Paint me Patriotic over Milani White on the Spot
Paint me Patriotic over Milani White on the Spot
Here's a bottle shot of Paint me Patriotic.

Paint me Patriotic bottle shot
Next up is The Ice Queen's Lament. Multiple shades and shapes of blue glitter. Did I mention it's blue? I do love blue and this does look like something you would see on an Ice Queen's wall. Again, i had to fish for some of the larger pieces but I think too many of the large hearts would be too much. I applied the Ice Queen's Lament over Deborah Lippman Let's hear it for the boy. Very pretty and subtle.

The Ice Queen's Lament over Deborah Lippman Let's hear it for the boy
The Ice Queen's Lament over Deborah Lippman Let's hear it for the boy
Here's a bottle shot of The Ice Queen's Lament.

The Ice Queen's Lament bottle shot

And the last polish. I really like this one. It's Your Princess is in Another Castle. Lot's of small pink glitter with larger round pieces of glitter. This one can stand on it's own or over a base color. I started with it over Milani A Rose My Lady. I only used one coat on the first photo.

Your Princess is in Another Castle over Milani A Rose My Lady - One Coat.
Your Princess is in Another Castle over Milani A Rose My Lady - One Coat.

Here it is with two coats. The top nail has a base color of A Rose My Lady. The bottom is with no base color. It really can stand on its own.

Your Princess is in Another Castle
Your Princess is in Another Castle

And here's the bottle shot of  Your Princess is in Another Castle.

Your Princess is in Another Castle bottle shot

There has been a lot of debate on indie polishes and the testing they put their polishes through. So I asked her what kind of testing she conducted on her polish. Rather than sum it up for you I will put her response here in its entirety.

"The generalized version: Each glitter and pigment is tested within my base for at least 30 days before I consider it suitable to be used in polishes that I sell on my website.

More specifically: I test my glitters by soaking them in the base that I use for 30 days prior to using them in any polishes that I sell. I do not get rid of the soaked glitters after that point - I continue testing so that I can be aware the second that anything changes with the state of the glitter (bleeding, curling, melting, etc). I do the same with pigments, as well as testing them to be sure that they mix properly and stay suspended without separating from the base when sitting still. 

I only purchase my glitters from vendors who guarantee their stability in solvents, so essentially each glitter that I use is tested on 2-3 levels from the factory down to the supplier and finally when it reaches me.

Finally, every polish that I create is swatched to see how it reacts when drying, and the tester bottle is left for between two weeks and thirty days before the formula is duplicated for public sale."

Vivid Lacquer indie polishes can be purchased on for $9. You can find more updated information on her Facebook page at or Twitter by following @vividlacquer.

Bottom line: Vivid Lacquer polishes are a good Indie polish with a decent formula. Very pretty polishes and combinations. I think they are a little pricey at $9. If you like large, glitzy, glitter polishes you should give Vivid Lacquer a try. 

The products in this post were sent to me for review.  I was not paid for my review of this product and all opinions are my own.

Barielle swatches, cuticle minimizer and ridge filler - Oh my!

I received a lovely package from Barielle to review. Three gorgeous polishes, Extra Gentle Cuticle Minimizer and a Hydrating Ridge Filler.

Let me start with the cuticle minimizer. Nail maintenance is the unspoken part of nail care. It's the part that no one really likes to talk about. The polishes always get all the glory. While not glamorous it is an important part of a nail care routine. This minimizer applied wonderfully. I didn't have to work to put in on my cuticles. It was silky and smooth. and doesn't have an overwhelming odor as many nail products have.
Barielle Extra Gentle Cuticle Remover

I left the minimizer on my cuticles for about three minutes and then used an cuticle stick (one comes with the product) to push my cuticles back. Then I washed my hands with warm soapy water and used a nail brush to scrub any remnants away. It worked well to minimize my cuticles and will be a great addition to my nail care routine.

Extra Gentle Cuticle minimizer costs $10 and is available on Barielles website at www.

Now let's move on to nail ridges. I have horrible vertical ridges on my nails and I feel they distract from the look of a finished manicure. I have struggled to find a product that works well to minimize them. While buffing will remove the ridges it will also remove a layer of nail with it which will make the nail weaker.

Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler
Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler with silk fiber applied wonderfully and dried quickly. 

As for the results I am going to let the photos do the talking. 

I used one coat of Hydrating Ridge Filler on my pointer and middle finger and Seche Vite base coat on the others.

Then I painted all my nails with Barielle Surf's Up. The difference in the end result was amazing. I probably could have gotten away with one coat of polish if I had used it on all my nails. It worked well as a primer base for my nails while minimizing the ridges. 

Take a look! The nail on the left has the ridge filler. The one on the right has Seche Vite base coat. It's a noticeable difference.
Barielle Surf's up - Ridge filler comparison

This is after two coats. The pointer and middle finger have the ridge filler base and the others have Seche Vite base coat. Hydrating Ridge Filler with silk fiber is available at for $16.

Barielle Surf's up - Ridge filler comparison
Barielle Surf's Up

Barielle's polishes have a great formula, are easy to apply and dry quickly. The polish above is Surf's Up. It is a vibrant bright blue. And I have always leaned toward blue polishes. They are a weakness of mine. I love this color.

Berry Go Round is a bright, cheerful coral. Now that I have tried this I wonder why I don't wear coral colors more often. The bottle did have a mishap during transit and leaked.

Barielle Berry Go Round
Berry Go Round
Now, who doesn't like sparkle? I think we all do. I used Stardust as a top coat for Surf's Up. It is gorgeous. It applied evenly and it wasn't difficult at all to ensure my nails had an smooth even coat of glittery goodness. Small micro-sparkles abound in this polish.

Barielle Surf's Up with Stardust top coat
Surf's Up with Stardust top coat
Barielle polishes can be purchased at for $8.

Barielle has been around for more than 30 years and introduced "Nail Strengthener Cream" as the first nail care product of its kind. Originally formulated to condition the hooves of million-dollar thoroughbred racehorses, this legendary skin care product helps nails grow healthier and stronger while resisting splits, peels and breaks.

Bottom line: Barielle products are something I will add to my list. Affordable, quality products.
The products in this post were sent to me for review.  I was not paid for my review of this product and all opinions are my own.

2,500 "Likes" giveaway

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wow, I can't believe it. 2,500 "likes" on Facebook.

So to thank you -- after all YOU make the blog by your comments, posts, tips and wonderful photos -- I am having a giveaway.

One person will win Max Factor Fantasy Fire, one will win Deborah Lippmann Don't Tell Mama and one will win Deborah Lippmann Dream a Little Dream of Me.

To enter simply use the Rafflecopter widget below.

Now, the boring stuff... Rules: The giveaway ends at midnight Eastern time on  July 11, 2012. Giveaway is limited to US. Winners must respond to winning email notification within 48 hours at with their mailing address in order to claim their prize.

To follow by Google Friend Connect (GFC) look on the right of the blog. You will see a few rows of photos and a button that says "Join this site." Click the button and follow the instructions. It's pretty easy!

Narrow stripes with tape

I love doing Scotch tape manicures. Every once in a while I have to use the narrow striping tape too. I love the look of it. Especially with bright, bold colors. For this one I used Milani Fast Fuchsia and Yellow Whiz. 

I love these colors together. 

Tape striping nail art
Milani Fast Fuchsia and Yellow Whiz

I started off with a base color of Milani Yellow Whiz. Such a perfect, pure yellow.

Then I used the striping tape for the stripes. I will show exactly how I did that in the next few photos. This is the kind of tape I used. I got several rolls from eBay for just a few dollars. The hardest part of using it finding the loose end.

I tried it again with Wet 'n Wild Chrome colors on the base and Zoya Breezi as the top color. I don't like these colors together as I do the pink and yellow. But Zoya Breezi is one of my all time favorite blues though.

This is how I used the tape. You don't have to be exact. Then paint your top color and remove the tape quickly. It makes perfect stripes! Apply a top coat to protect and smooth and you are done.

I always use Seche Vite Fast Dry top coat. I started with a different top coat by Jessica this time and it smeared. You can see it on my pointer finger here. I love the Jessica top coat for its high gloss. But I think I will stick with Seche Vite - especially for nail art.

Pansies and glitter

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I usually go with full color on my nails. But I decided to go with french tips, glitter and dotting.

I actually like it! I had to go with purple today. I am not sure if you noticed but doesn't the blog look much cleaner? Thanks to the connections of the lovely lady behind Cosmetic Sanctuary I got a blog makeover too!

Purple nail art with pansies

I used Milani "Lavender Fizz" for the tip. It's a one coat glitter and it definitely provided good coverage.

Then for the flowers I used China Glaze "White on White" and Milani "Hipster Plum" and "Yellow Whiz."

Simple dots for the flowers with  a spray of dots under the glitter. I may just have to go with french tips more often.

Puzzled? Nail art - step-by-step guide

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A friend recently found this idea on Pinterest and promptly pinned it and said "Do it." I am not sure where the original idea came from but I like it.

I tried to make a step-by-step guide for you. As usual, I got wrapped up in the nail art and forgot to take a few photos. But I think you will get the idea.

You will need the following supplies:
  • Four colors of polish of your choice. I used OPI Fiercely Fiona, Fly, Hoodoo Voodoo and Sephora by OPI Eve-y on
  • Scotch tape
  • Dotting tool

Puzzle pieces nail art
Finished puzzle manicure

Start off with a base coat to protect your natural nail. Then apply the lightest of the colors you have chosen. I used OPI Fiercely Fiona.

Then wait for the polish to completely dry. I use Seche Vite (SV) Fast Dry top coat and it definitely speeds up the process.

I usually tear off a few pieces of scotch tape and stick them around my work area. Then take two pieces and stick them to the back of your hand. This gets a lot of the adhesive off and really helps prevent damaging your polish. Tape off a quarter of your nail and then simply paint one of your other polish colors over the untaped area. Take the tape off immediately after. Again, I usually apply SV to the area I just painted.

Let that dry and move on to another section of your nail and repeat the process with the Scotch tape.

This is what it will look like as you progress.

Finish the last section and let dry.

Take the colors you want to use for the connections and put a few dots on a piece of paper.

Use your dotting tool and dot the connections points of the puzzle.

Top off with a good top coat and you are done! It really is that easy. This mani is time consuming - but easy.

18KT gold flake topcoat by Sephora by OPI

Friday, June 22, 2012

I got this amazing topcoat for my birthday. Of course it probably helped that I emailed my husband the link. But hey, a girl has to do what a girl has to do! I can't believe I have real gold flakes on my nails.

I applied this amazing top coat over Illamasqua "Phallic" and I have to say I love the combination. The gold flakes applied evenly and there was no need to go "fishing for flakes."  It also had a fast dry time. There's not much more to say about this top coat. It is available from for $30. Pricey, but I think my husband got off relatively cheap!

Sephora By OPI 18kt Gold Flake Top Coat
Sephora By OPI 18kt Gold Flake Top Coat

Jelly in a jar? Princess Polish

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I love summer. It's full of picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, fairs... And when I think of a fair I can't help but think of all the homemade goodies - including jellies and jams.

I recently ordered polish from Princess Polish. They arrived today safe and sound. Princess Polish has made some amazing jelly holographic polishes. Jelly polishes take a bit to build up on your nail and several coats are needed. But they are delightful polishes to own and have a lot of depth to them. These polishes also took a bit to build up. It took at least three coats to get to an opacity I was happy with. But I usually layer my jelly polishes over another. It's personal preference.

The polishes applied wonderfully and had a relatively quick dry time.

Let's just get to the photos. I was hurrying because I wanted to make sure I could get photos in the sunlight. But unfortunately - even though the sun was trying its best to shine bright - the wildfires nearby are releasing a lot of smoke and that smoke causes quite a haze. So you can't quite see the holographic goodness. If anyone is close to the fires or has property being threatened I hope you are safe and well.

Blueberry Jam
Blueberry Jam is one of my favorites. But then I am partial to blue. This is a wonderful azure blue that reflects the light in an astounding fashion.

Grape Jelly
Grape Jelly is my favorite of the collection. A grape purple that isn't too bright, or too dark. It's like the perfect amethyst.

Mint Jelly
 Mint Jelly is the sheerest of the colors. This is four coats. This reminds me of lime Jello!

Orange Marmalade
 Orange Marmalade is a gorgeous, bright, neon orange.
Strawberry Jam
Strawberry Jam is a delightful color. It is a rose pink shade that is deep and rich.

Bottom Line: These are wonderful jelly polishes. The holographic sheen is obvious without being overpowering. This is a great new Indie polish line.

Princess polishes can be purchase for $5 each at

Summer roses - Step by Step

Monday, June 18, 2012

I've got a fun post for you today. I always say I am going to do a step by step guide and I never do. Or I forget to take a couple of pictures.

Well, I did forget to take a couple of photos of steps but I think it will still work.

I decided to do some fun summer roses. It is amazing how easy these really are. Although when I did my right hand I had to hold my tongue just right and point my foot while I was concentrating...

Roses for nail art

Start off with a good base coat to protect your natural nail. Then paint your nail with a nice white color until it is opaque. I used Milani "White on the Spot."

Then put a small amount of a light pink on a piece of paper. I used a white envelope as my palette. I am using a Color Club light pink. Sorry, it doesn't give the name. I am also using an inexpensive paint brush I got at Michaels.

Then simply paint small circles on your nails. They don't have to be perfect circles. I think they are better if they are a little different.

Then put white on your paper and using the same paint brush paint small white lines on the pink dots. You are just trying to add definition.

I forgot to take a photo. But put some red polish on your paper and then do the same with the red polish. You also want to outline some of the circles. Not all the way around, just partially.

Then I used a black striper to create stems and a green striper polish to add leaves. Finish up with a good top coat and you are done! It's actually very easy. The hardest part was finishing my right hand.

NOTD: Random Flowers

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I wanted to do something a little different that stripes or dots. I came up with tons of creative ideas only to realize that while I could do it on my left hand - my right hand would be a challenge.

So I decided to do random flowers. I started with a base color of Milani A Rose My Lady. Then using Wet n Wild Chrome polishes and a small paint brush I set off to paint those random flowers. Simple strokes with the brush made the flower petal. No need to be perfect. Then I put a daub of golden yellow in the center of each flower. I added one stem with a black striper and a couple of green leaves with the brush.

While I am not an artist - it didn't come out too bad. I do like the way the Chrome adds a multidimensional level to the look.

Cult Nails Fairy Tale collection swatches

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Once upon a time I ordered a magical set of polishes.

I am excited to show you the new Cult Nails Fairy Tale collection. The application was easy and smooth. The formula is silky smooth and some of them look as though they were sprinkled with fairy dust.

These polishes can be purchased at for $10 each.

Let's move on to the swatches!

 Charming is a delightful shade of light purple that will make you feel like the belle of the ball.

Evil Queen
 Evil queen is a bright shade of red. You might even call it a candy apple red.

Feeling Froggy
Feeling Froggy is a riveting (or should I say "ribbeting") shade of green with magical shimmer and shine.

Happy Ending
 Happy Ending is a wonderful top coat of multi size and shape foil glitters. I have it on over Charming.

Princess is a light powdery shade of blue with a sprinkling of shimmer throughout. Fairy dust anyone?

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