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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

500 Followers!

I know this may seem like a silly post, but I just hit 500 followers and I am beyond happy. :)

Thank you so much to all of you that read my blog. I've been doing this for almost 2 years now, and there are days where I honestly want to call it quits. I oftentimes feel like my nails are too short, my cuticles are a mess, my swatches suck, and my dialog isn't witty enough. :P (okay, that's on a reeeeeally bad day. LOL).

In all seriousness, I had no idea just how hard blogging was, and sometimes I do think about closing shop. However, seeing all of your little avatars on the right side of my screen make me want to continue.

As you may know, I am currently offering a Holiday Giveaway. This is my second giveaway in a series of 4. I'm too lazy to find the post and hyperlink it into this post, but it should be the one beneath this post, or you can click on the link in the upper right corner.

Coming down the pike, I have 2 more holiday giveaways, as well as a sponsored giveaway.

Also, I will be adding more polishes to my blog sale within the next few days.

Thank you again to everyone that reads and follows my blog. Without you, I wouldn't be here. :D
Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Giveaway #2 11/30/10 - 12/7/10 - CLOSED

UPDATE 12/7/10 - Giveaway is now closed.  I will be selecting the winner soon.  Giveaway #3 will be posted shortly.

As my giveaway #1 is ending on 11/30/10, I figured I'd go on and open this one up to get the entries started. Heck, it's November 30th to some of you all... right? :)


















This is one of the mini sets from OPI's Holiday Burlesque collection. I chose this one specifically because it had three of my favorite colors from the collection, The Show Must Go On, Let Me Entertain You, and Ali's Big Break. It also has Tease-y Does It, which I know many of you LOVE. I've also added 2 OPI AvoJuice Juicies, Jasmine and Cran-Berry.

As always, giveaway is open to international readers.

To enter, please fill out the form below:

I apologize for the unpretty-ness of this form. It's huge and I can't figure out a way to make it fit better in the space (if you are good at html and can give me some pointers... point away). Everything should fill out just fine, though. If you are noticing errors, please let me know and I may have to resort to another entry method. UPDATE - I've managed to make the form look a bit better, but I had to change my margins so now some of my other stuff doesn't fit right. I'm sure this doesn't matter to anyone but me, but it's only temporary. :)


Color Club Partners with Amethyst Jeans

I just got this press release from Color Club and thought I'd pass it along. :)

Here's the text as it's a bit hard to read in the pic...


Enter to win on of 20 holiday totes given away over the next five weeks!
You and your BFF will each receive an Amethyst Jeans tote filled with a pair
of Amethyst Jeans, shimmery lip glosses and a holiday set nail polish set from
Color Club and a shampoo and conditioner set from Totally Texty!

Contest runs from November 29th through December 31st, 2010. Go to http://
www.facebook.com/amethystjeans to enter! Happy Holidays!







































Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nubar Sale Code

As I just reviewed Nubar's holiday collection, I went to their website to see if I could develop any lemmings and I discovered they are offering a 30% off sale through November 30th. The code is NOV3030, and it takes 30% off of your order of $30 or more. If you order $75+ after discounts, then you will get free shipping as well.

Nubar Holiday Jewel Basket

Nubar is a brand that I have never had the chance to try. I've thought about placing an order here and there and never got around to it. So, when I got the opportunity to try their new Holiday 2010 collection, Holiday Jewel Basket, I was more than a little excited.

Per Nubar's website and PR materials, Holiday Jewel Basket is their most discounted collection. The cost is $49.95. It contains nine total bottles, which breaks down to 1 creme, 4 glitters, 2 glitter/flake topcoats, and 2 treatments. That's $5.55 a bottle. The set also comes with an adorable wire and bead hinged basket, which would be perfect for holding cotton pads or q-tips. Unfortunately, mine was swiped by my 4-year daughter as a bed for her stuffed kitten, and I can't seem to find it, so I don't have a picture of it. BTW, it makes a great bed for a Beanie Baby. ;)

Normally when I post a collection, I post the colors in alphabetical order, as that's how I label the pictures. However, as this one has several distinct groupings, I'm going to break it up by finish.


















Competition Red - Pin-up red creme. The lone creme in the collection, this one is a classic red creme, but it's also got a touch of brown in the base. As it's pretty basic, there's not much to say. Formula was perfect. Pic is 2 coats.

Gold Glitter - Dense, fine, bright yellow-gold glitter in a clear base. I love the gold in this one. As I've been using the term "old gold" lately as a descriptor for several golden polishes, I almost wanted to use the term "new gold" for this one. The gold is very bright and clear. It doesn't work with my skin, however. Hence the redness around my nails. The application on this one was great. Because the glitter is so dense in the base, it only took 3 coats to reach opacity, and it was actually more like 2 coats and then a thin, third coat to cover a few bald spots.

Grass Green Glitter - Slightly-chunky green and gold glitter in a clear base. The application on this one was not as smooth as Gold Glitter. It took 4 coats to reach opacity, and on the last coat, I had to "place" the glitter in places. It was also a bit rougher in texture than Gold Glitter, and the 2 glitters to follow, but I evened it out pretty quickly with a coat of Nubar Diamont. All that said, I love this color. I know Emerald Sparkle is the holiday green glitter, but I have to say, if you want a brighter green for your holiday manicure, definitely check out Grass Green Glitter. Also, I absolutely love the pops of gold in this glitter. It makes me think of a field of grass scattered with dandelions.



Red Ruby Glitz - Fine red glitter in a red jelly base. This one just screams HOLIDAY to me. This is 3 coats, though in terms of opacity, I could have been okay with 2. However, the glitter in this one is very fine, so it "floats" in the jelly base, which means it adds dimension with each coat. Of all the 4 glitters in this collection, this one had the best application. If practically flowed on the nail.

Silver Glitter - Bright silver glitter in a clear base. This is the silver equivalent to Gold Glitter. It's very bright and has a ton of shine. Normally with silver glitter, I find it rather boring and flat, unless of course, it contains holo glitter. However, this was not the case with this polish. I was parrakeeting my nails like crazy. The formula and application were identical to Gold Glitter. Pic is 2+ coats (meaning 2 with a thin third coat in places to cover thin spots).




2010 - Thick clear base with red-based multi-chrome, rainbow flakes. I wanted to show you this one, and Pixie Dust (below) on naked nails, as well as on a dark base (but these are definitely meant for layering). This one, I had trouble coming up with a descriptor. I don't own many flakes, so I hope I did it justice. Basically, the flakes in this one change from red to orange to golden with a bit of green thrown in (much like the flakes in Barielle Elle's Spell). They almost look like flames. From what I gather, 2010 is a dupe to Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure (which I have yet to see in person, much less own). I liked before, and then I put it over the black base and... wow. It was beautiful. This is 2 coats on both the naked nails and the black nail.

Pixie Dust - Very fine, iridescent silver, blue, green, and purple shimmer suspended in a thick clear base. This is one of those polishes that you have to see in person to fully appreciate. There's something almost ethereal about it. In the bottle, it looks like swirls of fine snow and it's practically on mesmerizing. It's equally beautiful on the nail, and I think it would look amazing over any of colors in the shimmer particles (silver, blue, green, and purple). Pic is 2 coats on all nails.

This set also contained Diamont, a thick top coat, and Nubar's Foundation Nail Base Coat. In this review, I used Diamont over Grass Green Glitter and Silver Glitter. I have yet to use the Base Coat, as I like to give treatments a more thorough review. I plan on using the Base Coat over the next few days, along with Diamont, and I will report back in a separate post.

All in all, I must say I'm impressed with this gift set/collection, as well as with NubarNubar, but nonetheless, I love it. I've already created a small wishlist of Nubars I want to try in the future. :)

Nubar's Holiday Jewel Basket is available at their website, bynubar.com.

These were sent to me for review




Friday, November 26, 2010

Nicole by OPI Holiday Magic

Hi all, I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving (in the US) and a safe and happy Thursday (everywhere else).  :)

Today, I have for you the new Nicole by OPI Holiday collection, Holiday Magic, Like big sister, OPI, this holiday collection is half glitters.  No, they aren't the full on glitter-bombs (well one kinda is) of Burlesque, but I still approve.  :)  There are also 2 shimmers which are perfect for the holiday season.


Bring on the Tinsel - Blue, red, green, and silver glitter in a clear base.  Of the 2 glitters in this collection, Bring on the Tinsel, is the most Burlesque-glitter-bomb-y.  However, the glitter in this one seems much finer than the glitter used in the Burlesque glitters.  I love this one.  The colors are beautiful and they play so well together.  Plus, I was able to reach full coverage in 3 coats.  


Kiss Me at Midnight - Deep chocolate-cherry shimmer.  No, this one is not terribly unique.  In fact, there've been several similar colors released this year.  However, what sets this one apart, IMO, is the fact that this one looks blackened around the edges, very similar to Zoya Isla or ChG Thunderbird (though of course, those are much lighter reds).  The shine on this one is beautiful, and there is almost a velvety finish to it.  Formula was flawless.  Pic is 2 coats. 


Spark My Mistletoe - Small red and holo glitter and large hexagonal glitter in a clear base.  Unfortunately, the glitter in this one seems so fine that I don't think you could ever reach full opacity (like with Bring on the Tinsel).  Pic is 4 coats, and I think I could have done 4 more and it would never completely covered my nail.  However, As soon as I pulled this one out of the box, I knew it would make an amazing layering polish.  And I was right! It looks especially fantastic over OPI Ali's Big Break.  


Stuck in the Chimney - Faded, purple-based,  dusty red with golden shimmer.  In the bottle, the purple in this one is much more evident than on the nail (though it is still there).  Without doing a direct comparison, this one looked very similar to OPI Diva of Geneva, but in studying swatches, they are nowhere near dupes.  Diva of Geneva is lighter, more purple, and has more golden shimmer.  Also this one had the same blackened-around-the-edges affect, like Kiss Me at Midnight, that truly sets it a part.  This one had a perfect formula, though it was prone to faint brushstrokes.  Pic is 2 coats.

All in all, I think this is a great collection.  All 4 colors, even the shimmers, have something about them that makes them totally unique.  Nicole by OPI is available at big box and drugstores nationwide.

These were sent to me for review
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Zoya B1G2 Sale on Giftsets

I just wanted to a quick post to let you guys know of this great Zoya sale.  Through Monday, they are offering B1G2 on selected gift items (click to go to sale).  There's actually a really good selection of items, with some of them even being nail polish gift sets (including a nail polish and a lip gloss).  Faced with a multitude of teacher gifts, I picked up 9 Smart Spa sets with a bottle of Zoya Lauren for $61.  Not including the polish, which I mainly got to get me the free shipping, each gift was $6.  That's far less than other stuff I was looking at and comparable with making cookies or another homemade gift.  Plus, I get to be the "oh you shouldn't have" super-thoughtful mom!  Yay!

Sale ends 11/29/10 an there is no coupon code.  Discount is automatically applied.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Giveaway #1 - 11/23/10 - 11/30/10 - CLOSED

*UPDATE* - Giveaway #2 is now open. Thus, I am closing this giveaway and selecting a winner.

As I teased several days ago, I am hosting 4 giveaways over the holiday season. Today, I have for you my first giveaway. This is the only one of the 4 that is not expressly "holiday" themed, but I fell in love with it, nonetheless....



















This 3 mini OPI treatments, Chip Skip, Nail Envy, and Rapid Dry, as well as a 1 oz bottle of (my favorite) OPI Expert Touch remover, and a 25 ct pack of OPI nail wipes. Plus, it's all housed in this crazy cute case. I think the case is the main reason I gravitated towards this little gift set. Additionally, and this is because I couldn't handle a prize without a nail color... I am including one of my favorite colors for Fall/Winter 2010, Color Club Wild Orchid (yeah... I picked it because it matched the case. LOL).

My only entry requirement is that you be a follower of my blog. However, I realize that not everyone follows blogs through Google Friend Connect. If this is the case, please let me know when you fill out the entry form. If you do follow through GFC, just enter your follower name/email. New followers are always welcome!

I'm so sorry for the typo in the form. Perhaps I should go to bed. LOL



Don't forget to enter your valid contact email address. This is how I will let you know if you win.

Giveaway will close on 11/30/10 and winner will be notified within 2 days.

This is open internationally!

Thanks and good luck!
Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blog Sale Update

I added a bunch more polishes in my sale list today, so if you checked it before, you may want to check it again. :) 

If you've placed an order with me and we've finalized the details, your order is packed and ready to go and will ship out once I receive payment.  All new orders will be packed and shipped (upon payment) within 1-2 business days.  FYI... I am using a ton of bubble wrap.  These suckers will not be breaking.  LOL.

Once items ship, they will change from pending to sold.

Regarding shipping, if you are in the US and want to inquire about the possibility of me sending 1-2 polishes via a bubble mailer, please contact me.  I am willing to consider methods other than USPS Priority for US addresses only.  

If you are international, I am sorry, but I will only ship out polishes via USPS Priority in the small flat rate box.  The flat rate amount is $13.45.  I know this is really high if you want just 1-2 polishes, but at this time, I simply can't do it another way.

Thanks so much for checking out my sale!


Art Club GLAM Decals

I just got this in my inbox from Color Club/Art Club, and lemme tell you... I am beyond excited.

Art Club GLAM decals are self-stick decals that you lay right over your nail.  Apply a top coat and you are done.  You can also mix and match the patterns, embed them in gel or apply them over an existing manicure.

Here are 2 images I received from Color Club, though if you check on their website, they have tons more designs.  I can't wait to try these.






















Total Opulence

Mad for Plaid 

All images were provided by Color Club/Art Club's PR.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

OPI Ali's Big Break w/ Nicole by OPI Spark My Mistletoe

Yesterday, my sister Blackberry-messaged me from the nail salon where she was waffling about her color selection.  She was trying to decide between OPI Don't Toy With Me and OPI Ali's Big Break.  As much as I like Don't Toy With Me, from the 2008 Holiday collection... Ali's Big Break = LOVE.  So, I told her to go with that, but she was still undecided, and she'd added Let Me Entertain you to the mix.  A couple hours later, I messaged her back asking what she chose.  She, of course, said Ali's Big Break and added how much it rocked.    Yes, sister dear, yes it does.  :)

Once we got finished chatting, all that talk of Ali and her break made me want to put it on myself.  So I did.  And yes, it does rock.  It's probably the only polish in a year that I've worn for more than one mani.  But this morning, I was checking out all the polishes "in queue" on my desk and realized that Nicole by OPI Spark My Mistletoe would look fan-freaking-tastic over Ali's Big Break.

















Spark My Mistletoe is a clear base with small red glitter and large hexagonal holo glitter.  The hex glitter looks like mirrors.  I love this.  I can't stop staring at my nails.

Spark My Mistletoe is part of Nicole by OPI's Holiday 2010 collection.  I should have a full review within the next few days.

Both polishes used in this post were sent to me for review

Blogger Round Up

Sorry, girls... I meant to post this yesterday and then time got away from me.

Life of Lens and Beauty

Love. Varnish, chocolate and more...

Nail Crazy

Nail Art Creations

My Chihuahua Bites

Five new blogs this week.  As always, if you'd like to be mentioned in the next blogger round-up post, please reply in this post, or send me an email to apolishproblem@gmail.com.  If you contacted me, but don't see your blog listed above, please let me know, and I'll be happy to add you.
Friday, November 19, 2010

Simply Bags Review

Like a lot of you... I'm not just a nail polish junkie.  I'm also a make-up beauty products junkie (as proven by my recent VIB status upgrade at Sephora).  I just love them.  And, what comes with beauty products?  A need to house them.  I have 2 caboodles (one a train case and one a bubblegum pink retro one) and they are both stuffed.  I recently purchased a small traincase to hold all my essentials on my vanity, but I am continually looking for a travel bag.  As shameful as it is, on both of my recent vacations, my make-up has been tossed in a ziploc bag. 

So when I recently received an offer to review the embroidered cosmetic bags at Simply Bags.com.  I jumped at the chance.  I was hopeful I would finally find a good travel make-up bag.  Simply Bags provided me with a sample of one of their bags, the Monogrammed Make-Up Bag, which just so happens to be a set of 2 bags.  And I really like it and I think this set is perfect for travel.




Bag 1 - 12" x 7"x 3".  This one they can monogram




Bag 2 - 10" x 6"

Both bags are lined in fuchsia.


I think these bags are very functional, but on top of that, they also appeal to the side of me that will purchase stuff just because it's pretty.  The black and white damask print is very graphic and the fuchsia lining and embroidery are the perfect pop of color.  Plus, the part of me that loves anything monogrammed, loves these. 

When I go on vacation, I feel like I always bring half my bathroom, so I like the fact that there is a set of 2 bags.  One is perfect for the make up essentials while the other one can be used for other beauty products.  Or you can use the larger one for make up and the smaller one for nail polish. 

These are available at Simply Bags for $13.95.

Product in this post was sent to me for review


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blog Sale

I just posted my blog sale page.  You can view it by clicking the tab above or by following this link.  Like I mentioned in my post, I am still getting my ducks in a row, and by ducks, I mean getting shipping supplies.  I posted "PREVIEW" on my sale page, but there is something you want, please let me know.

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Purple Diamond

Like the Maybellines of last year, large amounts of Sally Hansen Nail Prisms have been showing up at Dollar Trees.  Unfortunately, the DT near me always has goose-egg in terms of nail products, and while you can find nail stuff at the next closest DT, it's always hit-or-miss.  So, a few weeks ago, when I happened to find a duo-pack of SH Nail Prisms White Diamond and Purple Diamond, I considered myself lucky.  No, they weren't the Nail Prisms that I would have chosen, given a choice, but I figured for a buck... why not.  However, the tops felt like they'd been welded shut, so, yesterday, I finally got them open and got around to trying one.

















This is Purple Diamond, a soft purple holo.  Honestly, it's just okay, and if I had to get it again, I probably wouldn't.  It's not a bad polish, per se, just kinda dupey.  Application was fine, but stank to high-heaven (gotta love pre-B3F polishes).  It chipped within a couple of hours, but due to a crazy day today, I was unable to remove and apply something else, and it's been super chippy the rest of the day, but I'm sure a basecoat would have helped with that.  Pic is 3 coats.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Black Friday Blues and a Coupon Code

I love Black Friday.  In fact, one of the best parts of Thanksgiving, for me, is opening up the paper and checking out all the ads.  It's the thrill of the hunt for me.  I love getting up at the crack of dawn and dragging my sleepy self all over town.  Pre-kids, I used to force Tim to go with me.  Nowadays, my sister is usually my partner in crime.  Unfortunately (for my shopping purposes), this year, she has a job.  So, there will be no Black Friday shopping/sisterly bonding for me this year.  I suppose I could go with my in-laws, but as I'm trying to curb spending this year, I think I'm going to have to bow out.  :(

However, that doesn't keep me from trying to find the best deals this season.  I love coupon codes, and I especially love good coupon codes.  Anything 25% and up gets my blood pumping.  I just love keying in that code in my cart or the checkout screen and see the totals go down.  :)

That's why I'm especially happy to offer you a coupon code from Apothica.com's sister company, SkinCareRx. Like Apothica.com, SkinCareRx is a comprehesive website offering many skincare brands, including La Roche-Posay, Go Smile, and Clinique Medical.  And, until 12/1/10, SkinCareRx is sharing their "Friends and Family" coupon, a code usually reserved for employees and loyal customers, with select nail bloggers and their readers.  The coupon code is FF25 and it's good for 25% off your total purchase.

OPI 100,000 Fan Giveaway

OPI is trying to reach 100,000 Facebook followers by the end of the December 2010.  To help with this goal, they are holding a contest in which 100 winners will get their hands on 6 of OPI's retired colors that will be "returning from the vault".



















In addition to the 3 colors listed on the press release info I received, which were Kinky In Helsinki, Smokin' in Havana, and Parlez-Vous OPI, the giveaway will also include HooDoo VooDoo, Cheyenne Pepper, and Sahara Sapphire.  Click here to go directly to OPI's giveaway; make sure you become a FB follow as well, as I don't know if they'll honor the giveaway if they don't get the 100,000 followers.  I encourage you to become a fan of OPI on Facebook.  I really appreciate it when a company has a strong presence on a social media site, and OPI is one of the major players.  I think this is a great giveaway, and I really appreciate OPI opening up the vault to 100 lucky winners, but...

and this is me just bitching...   Like last year's Colorcopia collection, which was made up of HTF re-releases (and just happened to include Kinky in Helsinki and Sahara Sapphire), the ones they are including are a little lackluster, IMO.  Don't get me wrong, Kinky In Helsinki and Parlez-Vous OPI are amazing and worth a re-release, but both of these are fairly easy to get on eBay (meaning not crazily inflated) and at etailers with a good stock of d/c'd OPIs.  You'd think they would have included more sought-after colors.  I mean... hell...  one bottle of La Boheme recently went for $80 on eBay.  Include that, OPI.  Or holo MPJ, or VSB or (my personal #1 OPI lemming) Hey Vito is My Car Red-Y.  Don't say "we are opening our fault" and then make it the gateway to snoresville, okay?  /bitching  :P
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Problem Nails

No real point to this, just a little bit of bitching.  :)

Yesterday, while I applying my RBL Dead Calm mani, I realized that I can't stand my index fingers.  They bother me on both hands, but my left hand is especially annoying.  The reason is that unlike the rest of my nails, these nails in particular, have a slope on the outside edge.  See below.






















See... isn't that maddening.  It just doesn't grow up like the rest of my nail.  It's most evident when my nails are longer, too, so I either live with super shorties or sloping indexes.  :P  Plus, this finger is the one that gives me the most trouble in the cuticle area (as you all may be able to tell in my pictures).  Grrrr.

So do you girls have any problem nails?  


RBL Dead Calm

















Wanna hear something funny?  I didn't purchase this in this year's RBL sale.  Nope.  I got Dead Calm in last year's sale.  You know... the one where I bought TEN (again, with the "I hate moderation" thing).  Why am I telling you this?  So you can call me stupid for keeping this in my untrieds for a year.  :O  LOL.

Now, I know the finish on this polish in the picture isn't the best.  RBLs and I sometimes don't play nice.  I think it's a body chemistry issue as I know just about everyone else and their mom has no problems w/ RBL's formula.  I usually have bubbles even before I add a TC.  Plus, my bottle of SH Insta-Dri is a thick mess, so I had to use Out the Door, which doesn't really get along with RBL, either.  Although, with my Qtica drops, I strong-armed it into dryness in about 5 minutes.  Love those drops.  :)  Aaaaand to add to the issues, when I took it off last night (I did some nail art on it that got old quickly) it gave me horrid Smurf hands.  Seriously.  It looked like I'd just killed one.

However, I can look past all of the yucky stuff because the color is so amazing.  It's a beautiful, almost jelly-ish, navy blue creme, meaning it has the squishy-ness of a jelly, but the color is completely opaque.  Also, it's a one-coater.  Woohoo!  Also, outside of the issues I have with my specific nails, application was great.  It practically flows on the nail.  That said, in terms of "awesome-formula" polishes, I think I prefer Illamasqua simply because I don't have the issues I can have with RBL.  Doesn't stop me from buying them though.  :P

RBL is available at rescuebeauty.com and also at online boutiques like Beauty Sak.  They are $18 each.
Monday, November 15, 2010

SpaRitual Review

I recently had the chance to review a few SpaRituals.  These polishes were from the Imagine and Kaleidoscope collections.  The colors are pretty straight-forward, and  I'm not feeling very wordy this morning, so I'm just going to do color descriptions on these.

Dreams Becoming Reality - Dusty teal creme.  2 coats.  Imagine collection.


Flashback - Bright red-orange neon jelly.  As it's a neon, this one dries slightly matte (which takes away from the jelly-nes.  To get it back, just apply TC).  2 coats.  Kaleidoscope collection.

Golden Gleam - Old gold metallic.  Leans slightly mustard.  2 coats.  Kaleidoscope collection.


Living in the Moment - Greige creme.  In real life, there was a slight lavender tone to this one that didn't translate in my pictures.  2 coats.  Imagine collection.

Unconditional Love - Soft rose gold metallic.  2 coats.  Imagine collection.

I found the formula on all these to be a tad on the watery side.  It wasn't hard to control, you just had to make sure you didn't have too much on your brush.  Also, I'm not a huge fan of the brush, as it seemed a little wimpy, but maybe that's me just being in a bitchy state of sleep deprivation.  :P

SpaRitual is made by the same company as Orly, though SpaRitual is their higher-priced, "boutique" line.  They have a very "body, mind, spirit" philosophy that I get, but I also think is a little hokey.  I know in some cases, SpaRitual polishes are rumored to be re-labeled Orlys (I say rumored, because I don't think there's any concrete proof on this), but in the case of the 5 I reviewed today, I think they are all unique, or at least, I don't have any Orly dupes in my collection.  

SpaRituals are available at online etailers like Apothica.com.  They are usually priced around $10.

EDITED as SpaRituals are not available for purchase on their website.

These were sent to me for review



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blogger Round-Up Requests

The lastest installment of my blogger round-up will post on 11/19/10.  If you would like to be included in the round-up, please reply in this post (with your URL), or you can email me.  Please be sure to include the word "round-up" in your subject line.   

Blogger round-ups are open to new blogs and new-to-me blogs (not on my blogroll).  Also, if you are already on my blogroll, but would simply like to be mentioned in my round-up post, that's okay, too.  :)  So... pretty much anyone that has a beauty/nail blog and wants to be mentioned is welcome.

OPI AvoJuice Mocha Mint Juicie

I'm always at a loss at how to post treatment pics, especially lotions and creams, as unlike polishes, they are often hard to see "in action", hence the boring bottle pic, but I loved this one too much not to share.  

OPI AvoJuice Mocha Mint Juicie is a fabulous lotion.  I feel like I'm always searching for the perfect lotion.  I rarely come across one that doesn't just sit on my skin.  But, this one doesn't.  Because this one contains Avocado and Aloe, it soaks in and makes you skin very soft to the touch.  It also seems to be working on my problem cuticles (YAY!).  Oh, and the best part???  It smells like mint chocolate chip ice cream.  For me... that = love!

AvoJuice Juicies are available in tons of scents and are actually pretty reasonable if purchased from an etailer. I got this from TD for $3.95, and I will definitely be purchasing the bigger bottle from them ($7.95) when this one runs out.  Also, there is someone listing this size for $15 + $6 shipping.  21 bucks for something you can get on TransDesign for $4???  Crazy. 
Saturday, November 13, 2010

Giveaway Sneak Peak

I love Christmas, and the holiday season in general.  I love the smells, I love the weather, and I love the feeling it gives me.  However, for the past few Christmases, with having the twins and dealing with Tim's lay-off and my son's issues, I haven't really been in the holiday mood.  Well, this year, I've decided to do something about it.  I'm putting myself in a different frame of mind in real life, and I thought it would be great to pass that on to my blog.  So I decided to have a giveaway, but not just one giveaway (as moderation and I have never been friends)... I decided to have FOUR giveaways!

Ten days from today, on November 23rd, I will open up the first giveaway (entry details to follow).  The giveaway will last for a week, closing on November 30th, with my next giveaway opening the same day.  This will continue every Tuesday until December 21st, when my final giveaway will close.  I consider each prize to be a little present from me to you, with all but one being holiday themed.

Here are the "presents" (just pics for now as I have to keep some secrets.  LOL)

Week 1


Week 2


Week 3


Week 4



















I can't wait to post the details!  I should have the first post up on November 22, and the giveaway will open on November 23.

And yes... it's open to international readers!
Thursday, November 11, 2010

OPI Burlesque Glitters

Here's the second part of the OPI Burlesque collection. The first half was a set of 6 shimmers/metallics and the second half is 6 glitters. Now, these are no normal glitter topcoats. I'm talking full-on, glitter bombs, identical in formulation to the glitters from the Alice in Wonderland collection, Mad as a Hatter, and Absolutely Alice. Six glitters??? Be still my glitter loving heart. As soon as I heard about this collection, I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. And they didn't disappoint.

Save for Sparkle-iscious, all of these glitters are pretty much variants on a theme. They each have the same core colors of purple, blue, gold, green and orange with different base colors. So in my descriptor for each color, I am simply going to list the base color and any colors that differ that particular polish from the rest of the Burlesque collection. Also, I used anywhere from 3-4 coats in each picture, simply depending on how the glitter dispersed on the nail.

Bring on the Bling - Gold. In this one the core glitter colors look like gems encrusted in a golden setting. The gold is a tad on the paler side, so it makes the core colors look somewhat pastel. This one would look great with a gold as a base, like Rising Star from this same collection.

Extra-va-vagnaza - Pumpkin orange. Because orange and blue are opposites on the color wheel, the core blue in this one really pops. I didn't think I would really like this one, yet when I put in on the nail, I fell in love. The combination of the spicy, pumpkin-y orange and the vibrant light blue is awesome. The other core colors are certainly still there, but they take a back seat in this one. The counterpart to this one in the shimmers half is Take the Stage, and Extra-va-vaganza would look awesome layered with it.


Glow up Already - Pale golden green. This one was rumored to be dupey of RBL Locavore. As I posted the other day, they aren't dupes, but if you are desperate for Locavore, Glow Up Already may be a good substitute until you are able to get your hands on the real thing. This one is similar to Bring on the Bling in that all the core colors seem to work harmoniously with the base color. There's not one that sticks out, but they all work well together.


Show It & Glow It - Magenta purple. This one would be the most similar to RBL Frugalista (if you are trying to kill some lemmings), though the base color on this one is much brighter, plus there is the addition of the other core glitter colors. Also in this one, is a silver glitter that I'm not really seeing in the other colors. It may be there, I'm just not able to pick it out. As for a complimentary color in the other half of the collection, Show It & Glow It would look great with both Let Me Entertain You and Tease-Y Does it.


Simmer & Shimmer - Turquoise Blue. I thought this one would be like OPI Reflecting Pool (a UK exclusive that I will probably never get my hands on), but it looks like Zoya Crystal has that covered. It's also not a dupe for OPI Absolutely Alice (sadly, not even close). The blue in this one is very serene. The pink in this one is the stand out color.

















Sparkle-iscious - Bright gold, blue, and magenta. Like I mentioned above, this one does not have the same core colors as the 5 others in this collection. Rather, this one is 3 colors... a bright gold, a piercing bright blue, and a magenta purple. If you were looking for a RBL equivalent, this one would be closest to Look Rich, Be Cheap, they really aren't that similar aside from the gold and purple glitter in each. The golden base in Sparkle-iscious is definitely deeper, like an old gold, and the purple is much more red. Plus, this one has a blue that is not in Look Rich, Be Cheap.

Okay, so I am a sucker for a good glitter-bomb and these really fit the bill. I kinda wish that rather than using the same core colors for 5 of the polishes, they'd been a little more original. If I had to pick favorites, I'd say Extra-va-vaganza, Bring on the Bling, and Sparkle-iscious, though they are all great for the glitter lover. Like with all glitters, removal is a pain, but that's standard for this finish.

Burlesque is available at salons, brick and mortar beauty supply stores and online e-tailers. OPI retails for $8.50 a bottle.

These were sent to me for review

RBL Ani

















Apologies for the crappy picture.  My index finger cuticle was being a complete PITA, so I did some creative picture-taking.  :P

Okay, I don't know what has gotten into me?  First I like Zoya Megan and now I'm liking another skin-tone neutral, RBL Ani.  Maybe my husband should start looking for the pod.  :P

For some reason, Ani was one of the 3 RBLs I was lemming the most when the sale rolled around.  Ani is a warm pearlescent beige, that looks slightly darker in the bottle than it does on the nail.  I was a little nervous when I pulled it out of the box, but on the nail, I liked it much, much more.  This is one coat of Ani, and it's still a bit sheer.  It covers the nail nicely, but you can still see nail lines.  This isn't something that bothers me with Ani, because the goal all along in purchasing it was to get a sheer-ish neutral.  And in that regard, Ani is a success.  If you are someone that can't stand the look of sheers and nail lines, and applies many coats of Ani to reach opacity, you may be disappointed, as due the heavily pearlescent finish, Ani can look very frosty past one coat.  That said, I really like this worn slightly sheer.  I don't love it, but I do like it.

I know in the past, Ji has mentioned on FB that Ani was being discontinued, and in fact, Ani was one of the polishes included in the "clearance" sale earlier in the year.  However, I get the feeling that it's being kept around for good.  Ani seems to have quite the following.

Ani is available at rescuebeauty.com for $18.  You can also find it at Beauty Sak.  It's the same price as on Rescue Beauty Lounge's website, but Beauty Sak offers free shipping at $50, rather than at $100.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hair Straightener Reviews

I have board straight hair, so I've never really concerned myself with flat irons.  However, I've been seeing a few posts regarding flat irons over the past few months, so that got me curious.  Plus, I recently learned that you can use a flat iron to actually curl your hair.  Considering a curling iron/hot rollers and I don't mix, I've been considering picking one up, especially to curl my daughter's hair.  Of course, as a total novice on the subject, I had no idea where to start.  

The other day, I happened to be in Sally Beauty and saw a girl pondering over the curling iron/hair dryer/straightener section.  When an employee asked her if she needed help, she answered "I'm looking for a flat iron, but I don't know where to start".  Because I had just thought the same thing a few days prior, that got me to wondering how many times they hear that on a daily basis, and more so... how many people actually think the same thing on a daily basis.

I know, personally, if I'm looking to purchase an expensive beauty item, I research the heck out of it.  I'll spend hours pouring over reviews and comparing products.  If you are one of those people and you are searching for the perfect right-for-you flat iron, you may want to check out a site a recently discovered, Hair Straightener Reviews.  If you are searching for the best straighteners, this is a great place to start, especially if you are looking for specific types of flat irons, like ceramic  hair straighteners.

With the holidays coming up, I know many of us are searching for flat irons, both for gifts and for ourselves help us in getting ready for those holiday parties.  If you are on the market for a hair straightener, I think this will be a great resource for you.


Sponsored post.  Sponsorship will never affect content.  Experiences, opinions, and words are 100% my own.   


Monday, November 8, 2010

OPI Burlesque Shimmers

Better late than never... here are the shimmers from OPI's Holiday 2010 collection, inspired by the movie Burlesque.


Ali's Big Break - bright pinkish-red jelly with golden and red shimmer.  This is one almost exactly the color of candy apples, though it seems a tad pinker.  The irregular shimmer is large and, due to the jelly base, it doesn't get lost.  I found myself moving my fingers all around and staring at my nails.  3 coats.


Let Me Entertain You - Bright fuchsia with golden and pink shimmer.  Like Ali's Big Break, this one has the same golden shimmer.  However, in Let Me Entertain You, because it's not a jelly, it gives the polish more of a metallic finish.  3 coats.

Rising Star - Coppery-gold metallic.  One of the more metallic colors in the collection.  At first, I thought it might be dupey to OPI Bling Dynasty, but I was wrong.  Rising Star is definitely more of a copper-gold, and doesn't have the pink and green shimmer of Bling Dynasty.  Like all golds, I loved this one in the bottle, loved the color as I was applying it, but didn't really like it with my pink skin.  2 coats.

Take the Stage - Rusty copper metallic.  Like Rising Star, this one is of the more metallic colors.  This one also has a fair amount of pink it it, as it looks like a happy marriage between a rose-gold and a reddish-copper.  3 coats.

Tease-y Does It - Smoky plummy-brown shimmer with dark pink and golden shimmer particles.  Unlike Let Me Entertain You, the shimmer in this one is very fine.  I also find that it as a tendency to get lost in the base, unless you are in direct light.  In the bottle, this one looks like it would a duochrome, but sadly, that doesn't translate to the nail.  I know this is a favorite of many nail bloggers and MUA members, and I really tried to like it, but there is something about it that makes me not love it.  3 coats.


















The Show Must Go On - Deep orange-pink/golden-slightly-coppery duochrome metallic.  This one is most like Rising Star and Take the Stage in finish, with the only difference being the duochrome.  Supposedly, it's similar to MAC Bad Fairy, but evidentially they aren't dupes.  I wasn't able to snag Bad Fairy, as I was on vacation, but after seeing swatches, I think I prefer The Show Must Go On.  I wore it as a full mani and couldn't stop staring at my hands.  It's probably my favorite of this part of the collection.  3 coats.  

I know much of the buzz surrounding this collection was focused on the glitters, and yes, they are beautiful, but this part of the collection is no less awesome.  For me, The Show Must Go On, Ali's Big Break, and Let Me Entertain You were real stand-outs, though I fully admit I'm probably broken for not liking Tease-y Does It.  As for the formula, you'll notice that most of these were 3 coats.  As someone that loves 2-coaters, polishes that require 3 coats to reach opacity make me a little nervous.  That said, the formula on these was as such that 3 coats was not a problem, and you will probably want to do 3 coats in order to reach full depth of color and shimmer.  

This collection is now available at salons, brick and mortar beauty supply shops, and online e-tailers.  OPI retails for $8.50.  

Hopefully, I will have the glitter part of the collection up for you within the next few days.  

These were sent to me for review.

Giveaway Reminder #2

Just a little reminder that my Apothica.com giveaway ends tonight.  If you have yet to do so and would like to enter, please click the link at the top of the page.  
Sunday, November 7, 2010

Zoya Megan

As you all probably know, Zoya offered a BOGO sale last week.  Due to this sale, I decided I'd finally pick up Zoya Megan, a polish I'd long wanted (simply for the name), but never purchased, as it looked so boring.  I'd seen no pictures of it, and Zoya has yet to offer a spoon, so I expected it to be a thin, streaky mess.  However, I must say... I'm pleasantly surprised. 


















Zoya Megan is a pale, creamy ivory with a milky finish.  This is 3 coats of Megan, and it's still a bit sheer, though it's not at all streaky.  Okay, so it's not my normal color, but it's a good neutral and would make a great work-safe color.  It was also make a pretty base for a konad.
Friday, November 5, 2010

Blogger Round-Up

I know I said the next blogger round-up was going to be in 2 weeks, but I had quite a few replies to the last round-up post, and I wanted to share these with you sooner rather than later.  :)

Let Them Have Polish

Nails, Tales, and Trivial Things

Sunday, Maniday, Happy Days!

Diava's Lacquer Box

What Laura Loves

Nail York City

Six new blogs to check out! 

As always, if you'd like me to mention you in my next blogger round up, please reply to this post.  I try to do round-ups every 2 weeks, but sometimes, they can be sooner or a little later.

Fun with Crackle Polish

Once again, I have 2 more looks for you using the products I received for Born Pretty Store. 

Today, I am showing you 2 uses of the crackle polish.


















This is one coat of green crackle over one coat of ChG Snow.  I then topped it with a free-hand french in OPI Alpine Snow Matte.


















This one is my favorite of the 2.  Be sure to enlarge it to see the detail, as I think this was a really cool effect.  This is 3 thin coats of CC Hocus Pocus, from the new Halloween mini set, as the base.  I then topped it with one coat of blue crackle.  I absolutely love the way the glitter peeks through the cracks, and how it shines through the jelly-ness of the crackle polish.  And then, because I have no "enough" meter, I randomly added light blue rhinestones.  There is also 2 coats of TC, one before and one after the rhinestones.

All of the nail art products used in these looks can be found at Born Pretty Store.  I hope I'm not driving you all nuts with the nail art looks.  I just love coming up with all these ideas.  I think I have one, possibly 2 more, in my head (one using dried flowers).  

Nail art products from Born Pretty Store and CC Hocus Pocus were sent to me for review.

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You can reach me at megan@apolishproblem.com.

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