Thursday, November 29, 2012

Birthday Countdown: Breakfast at Elena's

Who doesn't like presents? My inspiration for my latest birthday themed nail are those wonderful blue Tiffany & Co. boxes. I remember when it was the rage to wear the "Return to Tiffany & Co." tag bracelets. ( Lots of nostalgia lately, huh?)

Also, I really just felt like using Essie's Turquoise & Caicos. Love this shade. That being said, it doesn't really self level and needs 3 coats to reach opacity. ( It doesn't keep me from wanting Essie's Mojito Madness and Mint Candy Apple.)


I then added my bow detail with Stripe Rite in White and added a coat of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Disco Ball. I topped the entire mani with Sephora by OPI's matte top coat. Loves it.

I want to share my exciting nail mail today. I recently ordered from Whimsical Ideas by Pam. This was my first time ordering from her and it won't be the last. Her new Eight Whimsical Nights collection is awesome! I can't wait for you to see the shades I ordered during the 12 Days of Christmas Nail Art Challenge. Nail Art Challenge, you say? We would love to have you join in. Please contact Kelly at Tuxarina to throw your hat into the ring. It will be a lot of fun!

Stay tuned for more birthday countdown...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Birthday Countdown: Harajuku Cupcakes

Other than Halloween, the time of year that really does it for me is something I call Birthday Season. Starting from the week before ( the actual date being December 4th- I accept all gifts nail until New Year's Eve, I celebrate. One would think that the older I get I wouldn't want to focus on "getting a year older". Absolutely not. It's fun and each year is truly a gift.

This year since I have this awesome new blog, I thought I would lead up to my birthday with some themed nails- call it a self- imposed Birthday Challenge. I think cupcake imagery is super cute ( or Kawaii in Japanese) and I have loved the turn towards this baked confection. Brides opting for cupcake towers, many (many) shows on Food Network dedicated to cupcakes, and various cupcake-only establishments are just a few of the ways that this baked good is just taking over.

So to a mind already filled with Birthday and cupcakes, I added some inspiration of Japanese deco nails and the Lime Crime Les Desserts d'Antoinette Collection. ( I have been going back and forth on buying any- any opinions?) I hit the pulse button on the mixer and came up with this...

I started with a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Petal Pusher ( a peach creme). I then added a coat of Wet N Wild Party of Five Glitters. I then added a coat of Mary Kay Pink Sand ( a sheer soft pink). Instant jelly sandwich- love that look. With Stripe Rite in White, I added the lines for the baking cup. 

I then added the frosting with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mint Sorbet and outlined it in white. I dabbed Nicole by OPI's Rainbow in the S-Kylie on as sprinkles and used a dash of Julep's Julia for the rich background shade.

I hope you find them as tasty as I did... 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The woman with the golden gun: OPI's Goldeneye & On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Bond. James Bond. How iconic is this character? The name that was chosen by Ian Fleming was supposed to be the most boring and dull name he could devise. Instead it is synonymous with intrigue, suspense, action, and a large dose of sensuality. 

In order to celebrate 50 years of Bond and the release of the latest film, Skyfall, OPI centered its holiday release around all things Bond. Overall the entire collection is a knockout and captures the essence of each film it represents.

I have to say I am sooo happy that OPI stuck to the basics and named the colors after the films. Those cutesy b.s. shade names don't do anything for me. 

For the record, I am completely obsessed with the trigger mani. It's more than you basic accent nail and it allows you to wear two shades at once. Score, and double score. So I present to you On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Goldeneye in OPI gelcolor. 

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a stunning shade that I really overlooked until I saw it up close. It is a stunning purple-hematite shade chock full of micro glitter in gold, blue, purple, teal and copper. Movie fun fact, this is the only film where James Bond was married.  

Goldeneye is a straight up warm gold micro glitter. Please note that this is three coats. I probably could have gone to five, easy. Movie fun fact, Goldeneye is the name of the estate in Jamaica where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond series. 

I truly think the gel formulation keeps these from being streaky. Also the gel finish tends to make the colors a bit more vibrant in my opinion. 

As you can tell I am a lover of all things Bond, and I think this collection has been added to my list...

(PS- that killer wrap bracelet in the second photo is the Stella & Dot Zoe Lariat. This is a necklace that can be worn three ways in addition to a fourth way as a bracelet. It is an amazing piece!)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Introducing Spy Princess: Moneypenny

I am concluding my introduction to Spy Princess with the lacquer inspired by the quintessential Bond girl- Moneypenny. At first she seems steadfast and predicable, but a firecracker lurks underneath. The firecracker spirit is captured perfectly in this hue. 

I will only say this once. This is not an "pumpkin glitter bomb" reserved for Halloween or some random school spirit fest. This is a whimsical yet sexy shade that is perfect to go from day to night. I do have to say the color was a bit difficult to capture in the photo. I kept saying to Jes, "This is just so much more in the natural light!" Oh, why don't you just get a bottle and see for yourself? 

The polish like her entire premiere collection consists of 3-Free suspension base, high-quality pigments and solvent-resistant glitters. Orange micro-glitter, copper hex glitter, holographic micro glitter and iridescent square glitter dance in a orange jelly base. In the right light flashes of blush, mint, and lilac wink through the juicy copper. It is so luscious. 

In order to not have my natural nail color interfere, I "neutralized" it with a base coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Petal Pusher (an ultra-light peach). I applied two coats of Moneypenny over it. This is a color that you can look at over and over and notice something new.

I look forward to reviewing more from Christina and Spy Princess Nail Lacquer! She is an amazing talent and it seems like a lot of you are noticing. My blog received 50 hits within an hour of the Coronation post last night!!! Thank you for the love!

As always the details... Spy Princess is available at Etsy for $8.50 per bottle. Please go and support Christina. Also, show some love and follow her on Twitter @spyprincessnail. 

I am going to leave you with an exciting bit from the source herself as tweeted here:

Things are happening, creativity is flowing! New shades in the works, plus more exciting stuff before the end of the year!


The spy theme continues with the mainstream's contribution to the mix. Skyfall, anyone?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Introducing Spy Princess: Coronation

All hail the Queen! Queen Coronation that is... This polish is a stunner. I shed a tear for all of you lovelies that have spent major coin on 18k and 24k gold top coats. Coronation's variety and sparkle makes all other gold top coats look like brass. 

This is another handcrafted lacquer using 3-Free suspension base, high-quality pigments and solvent-resistant glitters. This is an absolute golden glitter bomb! It is a cacophony of a variety of gold hexes, microglitters and glitter shreds. It also features some lovely golden tinged holographic hexes and shreds.

The design that I am featuring Coronation on ups the intrigue factor- the trigger mani. Nothing says sassy and classy like a trigger. I wanted to show the versatility of the shade by featuring it over Julep's Otte and Gayle. This is going to be a go to look for me this holiday season. I love it!

Once again the details... Spy Princess is available at Etsy for $8.50 per bottle. Please go and support Christina. She is a lacquer genius! Also, show some love and follow her on Twitter @spyprincessnail. 

The excitement continues one more shade left to premiere...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Introducing Spy Princess: Cloak & Dagger

Let's take a moment. You are about to experience something you haven't seen on any other blog before, and it is AMAZING! 

Your mission if you choose to accept it is to experience the fabulous world of Spy Princess Nails. Created by a talented artisan named Christina from Los Angeles, Spy Princess is for the "girly-girl or bad-ass in all of us." ( Oh, hell yeah it is! )

All of Christina's products are handmade in small batches and are crafted from 3-Free suspension base, high-quality pigments and solvent-resistant glitters. The colors have a ton of depth, texture, and presence. Each hue truly tells a story.

I also have to note that the Spy Princess shop is run like a well-oiled machine. Great response time on questions, fast shipping, and wonderful customer service.

I was so impressed by this collection that I am dedicating three posts to it. First up is Cloak & Dagger, a moody and sultry navy/ cobalt duochrome shimmer. The polish also includes small black hex glitter and silver microbar glitter. Easy application and all of the glitter lays flat. 

I have to say that this polish made me feel super nostalgic. I wore Chanel Ciel du Nuit for my high school junior prom (yes, waaaay back in '97) and I have loved me some sparkly navy since then. I have been searching for something that would come close with no luck. I have to say that this is no longer the case, Cloak & Dagger's complexity and lusciousness actually surpasses it for me.

So the details... Spy Princess is available at Etsy for $8.50 per bottle. Please go and support Christina, I know I will continue to!


Stay tuned, I have two more amazing shades that I will be premiering over the next few days.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Soaking in the FL Sun with Caribongo UV Color Change Polishes

Another visit to Florida is over. I can't believe how fast time goes when you are having fun! It was great to see Mom and Dad and enjoy a bit more 80 degree weather before the cold NH winter kicks in.

Gorgeous sunset at Cane Garden CC, The Villages, FL

I missed blogging more than I thought I would. I made sure to stay in the loop by searching Etsy for new finds and reading all of the other amazing blogs out there. I have also been given an opportunity to lend a hand to Kelly at Tuxarina to guest post while she works out some computer issues. ( Send some good mojo and sassy tech wishes in her direction. A girl needs her computer you know, lol)

So I made a promise that I would have something new for you from my travels. I have to be honest, I said that not knowing if I could find something new. Well, I shouldn't underestimate the power of the polish.

Caribongo is a store exclusive to Florida that features clothing and accessories that change color when exposed to sunlight. ( For all you children of the eighties think Generra's Hypercolor shirts.)  Along with the t-shirts, sweatshirts, hair clips, and whatnots - there it was - nail polish. Color-changing nail polish. FUN!

Putting on the Glitz (l) & Cloud Nine (r)

I ended up purchasing two: Cloud Nine, an iridescent glitter in a clear base that shifts to a glittery soft pink and Putting on the Glitz, a silver holographic micro glitter that shifts to a hot pink. Awesome coverage in two coats and decent wear.

Once exposed to the sun the color change is dramatic and immediate. These are super vacation polishes. They are cute and whimsical for the beach, shopping, and all other day time activities.  Then at night they are just the right amount of glitz and glam for dinner or drinks.

Putting on the Glitz indoors

Putting on the Glitz outdoors
So there you have it the first of two exclusives that I am thrilled to bring to you this month. Oh, you noticed that I said the first of two... I have three words for you. NEW INDIE POLISH! Never before swatched on a nail blog and coming direct from California. Stay tuned, you will be amazed!!!

( And oh yeah... excuse my hands- too much time in the hot

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Delaunay, Daphne, & Otte crowded on a velvet cushion (DIY Velvet Manicure)

I know what you are going to say, didn't you just mention textured manicures this morning? I did. Though it didn't sound like I was too enthusiastic about them, I really do like the concept. First and foremost, these are one night only manis. Don't think this is lasting you the week, or even the weekend. Any extended time wearing these would look like the manicure version of the "walk of shame".

I skipped over caviar (I want to find a superfine micro bead) and went right to velvet. I was lucky enough to get 12 tubes of flocking powder for $4.00 on sale at my local craft store. I figured I would start small and velvet-ize my It Girl swatches, I just happened to have the perfect colors. 

Velvet skittles, velvet ombres, velvet trigger manis, oh my!

I went a different route than most when it came to application. First, I applied two coats of color and let them dry. (I photographed my nail for my last post.) Then, I applied a thick layer of cheap clear top coat. I then sprinkled an even layer of flocking powder on the nail and patted it down. I cleaned it up by gently brushing around and on the nail with an old makeup brush.

Delaunay drinks a carrot smoothie
A cold frost chills Daphne
Otte skips in a field of sunflowers

I have to say, I like how it came out and I have some pretty sweet nail art ideas for the holiday season incorporating velvet manicures and sequin manicures. 

I'll be on a brief hiatus visiting my parents and will be on the lookout for nail trends and possible a few new shades. Feel free leave to feedback, I'll be checking in to answer...

Mojo interviews the It Girls of Julep: Otte, Delaunay, & Daphne

I heard so many people talk about how excited they were to get Julep Maven boxes each month I had to look into it. I love nail polish, I love getting packages in the mail- sounded good to me.

The concept is fairly simple. To sign up, you take a quiz that determines your style type: Bombshell, American Beauty, It Girl, or Classic with a Twist. Shockingly (not really), I came out to be an "It Girl".  From there it's $19.95 a month to receive 3 free products and a special treat in a nicely packaged black box. Typically you can find a code to get your first box virtually free. ( I used PENNY, you can also use MAVENINTRO.)

So within four days of my order, I received the It Girl intro box. In addition to three polishes, I also got two glitter pots in red and white. (More thoughts on that later...)

  First up is Delaunay. It's a rich chili-pepper red creme that requires two coats. This is a Trina Turk Fall 2012 collaboration color. It goes on pretty smooth and evenly. Now don't be shocked- this is another red that I like. (I have said many times that red doesn't do it for me, now in the last month Julep has made a liar out of me with Demi and Delaunay.) I really feel that this might be a cousin of OPI's Cajun Shrimp. 

  The second color I received was Daphne. This color was a surprise, on the website it read as more minty. Definitely the wrong herb- think sage, not mint. More specifically, it's a muted light blue-sage creme. It's about three or four shades darker than Essie's Turquoise and Caicos. I think I might just have to do a ruffian with T&C and Daphne- it would be stellar.

  Finally, we have Otte, another Trina Turk collabo. I wasn't particularly excited to get this color. Oh what a foolish thought! Mojo decided that this is his new signature color since it's his shade. That made me take a second look. This is actually a super sexy neutral that looks awesome on my olive skin tone. It's a great butterscotch creme with one coat coverage. It has more of a yellow tint than Revlon Graceful with none of the grey. 

Here are some thoughts on the glitter pots. The glitter is finer than the latest craft store rip off trend from the brand that starts with C. ( First, caviar, then velvet, now sequin- what next fur?) I am going to save these for a Christmas challenge.

Mojo's final thoughts were, if he were a girl and not a hamster he would paint his nails with Otte. The other girls were just too much for him. 

On the other hand, I think I am loving all three colors. I can also see a trigger mani with Otte and Delaunay in my future. Oh the possibilities...

Continued thoughts and well wishes go out to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy, especially Jennifer at Little J's Nail Corner.