Friday, September 28, 2012

My Polishes

Normally at the end of the month I do a run down of all of the polishes I've gotten throughout the past month. Well, I realized the other day that I never officially shared the polishes I started out with when I started this blog. Monday October 1 is the 6 month anniversary of my blog, so I decided now would be a good time to do it. I'll do another post soon showing all of the polishes I've gotten since I started :) Speaking of anniversaries, on October 2 my boyfriend and I will have been together for 12 years! He has to work on our anniversary so today we're celebrating with completely home made french bread pizza - I'll be making the sauce and bread here in a little while. For dessert, we're having butter pecan ice cream topped with potato chips :) My grandfather loved eating vanilla ice cream and potato chips and a few weeks ago I got a craving for it, so my boyfriend suggested it for this weekend. Yum yum!

 Let's start with Cover Girl. I have two of their polishes, Amethyst Mist and Pink Twinkle. I swatched Amethyst Mist here and here. These are my spring chickens of my original stash. They're a few years old, but I purchased them sometime after 2000. I used Pink Twinkle here.

Next are my two Jane polishes which I've had for a very long time.. sometime in the 90s. These are Warpaint and Up All Night.

Here is my Loreal polish, Sangria. I kind of think this may have belonged to my mom.. It's another really old one, and in fact it's old enough that I don't remember where it came from or when I got it. Definitely from the 90s. I also used it in my water marble here.

I have this Loud! Music polish which does not have any kind of label on it whatsoever. I *think* I may have gotten this with a magazine promo in the 90s or something. I do have a few polishes which belonged to my sister at some point in time so this may be one of them, I can't remember. I used it with my black leopard manicure.

Next up are my 3 Nail Savvy polishes, again from the 90s. I have Purple Magic, Emerald Green and a brown with no sticker info. I used Purple Magic with my water marble. The brown is absolutely hideous and has been listed in my "ugly polish pile". I shouldn't blame the polish; I tried it out once and discovered I just don't like brown polish on me; it makes me feel like my nails are covered in chocolate or poo. I *might* consider selling it at some point in time but I have no clue what it's worth since it's so old. Emerald Green is definitely not green - in fact, I think it's almost a dupe of Zoya's Zuza! I used Purple Magic and Emerald Green in my first nail taping experiment manicure. You can see some more pictures of these 2 in the manicure I did to celebrate Pretty Face, Happy Bank's birthday :)

I haven't been to Sally's Beauty probably since the 90s so I was surprised to see Nina still makes polishes... the 2 I have are some more of my 90s antique polishes. Pewter and Silver Slipper. I really love these 2 polishes together; one of my favorite combinations as a teenager. I used Silver Slipper to add some glitter to my water marble.

Next up is my Revlon polish again from the 90s during my silver phase. I hope to swatch this one soon, I keep meaning to and forgetting about it! This is Street Wear Gunmetal.

Sally Hansen! Those I have a bunch of, as they're one of my favorite brands and have been for many years. First up is my Chrome polishes, Aquamarine and Royal Purple. I swatched them both here, back before I knew what I was doing with nail polish. Can you tell how much I've improved over the past few months? Here's some more photos of Royal Purple. I'll have to reswatch these sometime and get some better photos.

Next are my Sally Hansen Diamond Strength polishes. I'm wearing a couple of these right now so I'll have pictures to share soon! I have Diamonds, which looks pretty yellowed in the photo. It is a bit yellow but not as bad as what the picture looks. Next are Platinum, Lavender Marquis and Champagne Toast. I'm wearing these 3 right now. One of these, I think perhaps Lavender Marquis or Diamonds, was a Christmas present from my sister several years ago. I had it on my Christmas list not knowing it was discontinued, and she was awesome enough to find it for me :)

The next polish is Sally Hansen Confetti from the Hard as Nails collection. I love this polish and I'm so sad because it's almost gone! I think it's pretty much unusable at this point :( The picture isn't very good but it's a holo bar glitter polish. Regardless, I'm keeping the bottle just to remember how pretty this polish is, since I doubt I could find another bottle. I haven't seen any dupes of it, yet.

Nail Prisms! I wish I had more of these. The three I do have are gorgeous. I have Ruby Diamond, Diamond and Lavender Pearl. I'm currently also wearing Diamond and Lavender Pearl. WOW I forgot how beautiful Diamond is - who needs Jade and some of the other more expensive holos? (at least not in silver, I don't!) I will definitely be swatching all of these individually at some point. So pretty. Upon reflection, it might have been one of these which my sister bought for me for Christmas, I really can't recall! It does seem weird to have 2 Sally Hansen polishes called Diamond(s) - back in the day when I wasn't paying much attention I used to get the 2 mixed up all the time. Huge huge difference! Ruby Diamond I also used in my water marble.

Last of my Sally Hansen polishes is Teflon Tuff clear. This was my go to top coat before finding the Insta-Dri top coat.

Next up are my Space System polishes, again from the 90s. I think I got these at Marcs grocery store and they *might* have been made by Wet n' Wild but I'm not really sure. I have Earth and Pluto. My notes say I'm pretty much done for with Pluto; I'll see if I have enough to swatch it sometime.

My Wet n' Wild polishes... oh how I loved these when I was a teenager. I still curse myself for not keeping all of my old polishes, and I sure wish I had the black base rainbow glitter over coat I had. That was my favorite and I still haven't seen a dupe for it :(

I have Disco Inferno, Zealous,  and Excusez Moi. The last two are so old they only have numbers! 415A and 417E. I used Excusez Moi in my water marble. I do own Night Prowl and I think I'll have to compare these 2 sometime to see if they're similar at all. Zealous I used here. Here are some more photos of the much mentioned water marble. I used 415A with my 4th of July manicure and as far as I can remember I had no problems with it.

These next 2 are part of Halloween makeup kits my sister in law and her husband bought and just randomly left at my house. I have a huge tin of the stuff (which reminds me of an idea I had.....) The nail polish SUCKS. I guess it's good if you want it for Halloween. If you want to wear it for more than a day, it sucks. It's weird and peeled off like latex.

Last but not least are my set of generic polishes. My sister bought me these tins of polish many years ago as a Christmas present.

There's a fortifier which is surprisingly pretty good; base coat, a ceramic coat which I am also wearing at the moment and it pretty much looks like the color of my skin; and a top coat. I'm also wearing 3 of these polishes at the moment. The polish itself is pretty bad but some of the colors are amazingly pretty. I definitely need to find dupes of some of these in better quality polishes. See that sandy polish in the front? I hate neutral colors but I'm wearing that one right now and I was surprised at how much I love the color. I definitely need to find an alternative for it. I swatched one of these for Try it on Tuesdays. Again, love the color but hate the polish. I need to find a good dupe of it, also.

So that's it. I started this blog with 45 polishes and here 6 months later I've more than tripled my collection. I did have one more polish when I started - a periwinkle blue glitter which I can't remember the name of or even who made it but it was garbage so I had to toss it :(

Let me know if you want to see some swatches of any of these :)

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 21, 2012

short update

Hi everyone,

First of all thanks to all of my new followers! I never imagined I would gain followers while taking a hiatus, wow! Thanks to all of you who continue to support my blog. Thanks to all of you who wished me well, also! I do appreciate it, and I read each of your comments. I just didn't get a chance to respond to them all.

I'm hanging in here. My head is feeling better than what it was for the past few months for some reason and that alone is a big improvement. Last week I had a bit of a head cold or something. I've had this sore throat for almost 2 weeks now. So on top of things I've just been completely exhausted and haven't been doing much. I am starting to get my energy back, little by little.

So, while I mentally and physically am starting to feel better, and I'm starting to want to work on the blog again... there's the issue of my computer. I finally felt up to turning it on today, and I finally diagnosed the problem: bad RAM. I *think* I could just swap the RAM out of my boyfriend's old computer and try it out in mine but I haven't attempted that yet. I haven't talked to my boyfriend yet either so I'm not certain what he'll want to do about it :)

Anyway, I wanted to let you all know that because of the computer problems I still don't have access to my files so I won't be back posting giveaways for awhile. To be honest, since I've had this break I'm not really sure I want to continue posting the giveaways or not. I'm definitely going to keep doing polish and review posts but I'm just not sure. So we'll see.

(I do have one big giveaway post in mind... but I don't really know right now when or how I will do it. Just a heads up!)

Thanks for hanging with me!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Julep October Colors

I'm breaking the silence for a moment to share the Julep October colors with you. I'm really bummed because I won't be able to get these. I know a lot of people are unhappy about the crackles this month, but I for one love crackles. I also love Julep!

I'm torn between which box I like the most this month.. for once I actually love most of the colors! Oh well. Hopefully they have some good Winter colors because I should be able to splurge on one box then :)

If you haven't joined Julep yet, you can join now by using the code MAVENINTRO at checkout and you'll get your first box for only a penny! Plus, shipping is always free and you can cancel your subscription at any time. For only a penny, the deal is very well worth it! That's like getting over $40 worth of nail polish for free or at least close to it :)

Also, if you didn't see it already, Julep added another box selection for those who do not like crackles.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Break time!


I hate having to write this but I feel right now I need to take a break from this blog, for a couple of reasons. I have no idea how long this will be... but I will tell you I'll still be around on Facebook and I'll continue to share giveaways there as I see them.

Here's what's going on:

1. As you know, I've had many many computer issues this past year. I'm having issues again and I just don't feel like dealing with it right now. I can work from my boyfriend's computer, but all of my files are on my computer.

2. This is the big one: I really never feel well but the past month or so I've been going through what I think of as my "low energy periods": my headaches are typically worse - I'm often in enough pain that suicide comes to mind almost daily - not that I would ever do it, I'm just in enough pain that I want it to end and at times death seems the only option. It isn't an option though. Anyway, the pain aside, I'm so fatigued I barely have enough energy to do the dishes. On a good normal day, I'm fatigued enough that I have to wash the dishes a little bit at a time. There's only the two of us, so there really aren't that many dishes. That's when I'm feeling well. The past few weeks doing simple little things like this have been even harder, but I've been pushing myself to do them. To top it off, I've been working on the blog and adding to my stress load.

A couple of days ago a couple of friends mentioned they have Chronic Epstein Barr virus. This is the virus which causes Mono. From what I've read, an estimated 95% of adults carry the virus but not every one gets symptoms. Apparently you often get the virus as a child, but it's very possible to not even know you're sick or to mistake it for something else. Once you have the virus, it stays with you forever. In some individuals, the virus becomes chronic and they experience symptoms off and on throughout their lives.

Here are the symptoms: "aggression, allergies, anxiety, cold sweats, confusion, decreased alertness, decreased libido, reduced motor skills, minimized stress tolerance, depression, trouble concentrating, trouble completing mathematics or other reasoning tasks, trouble urinating, discomfort after sexual activity, dry cough, earaches, excessive worrying, severe fatigue, fever, headaches, hostility, hypersomnia, increased nasal congestion and dripping, irritability, insomnia, ringing of the ears, shingles, paranoia, sore throat, sore muscles, joint soreness, tremors, light sensitivity, mood swings, mild delusions and/or migraines."

Read more:

I have almost all of the symptoms that it's become chronic. I have no way to get to a specialist to get tested to confirm I have it, but considering my symptoms and the high estimation of individuals who carry the virus, I have to assume I do have it.

In short, this means I need to rest more. I strongly feel I need to take a break from the blog so I can give myself some time to unstress and rest. I really hate doing this because I'm already so limited in how much I can do... and it really makes me feel like I'm being lazy when I'm not being productive. However, I realize now just how important taking things slower and resting is if I really do have this virus. It can cause a LOT of other health problems when not taken care of.

I hope you'll understand when I say right now I feel my time would be better spent resting, and healing but also learning what more I can do to fight this.

With all of that being said, I have been feeling better this week. My headaches have been improving which is typically my first sign that I'm getting better with any sickness. I still have some of the bothersome symptoms though, so I'm definitely not completely over this. From what I've read it can last a few months. I'm not saying I'll be gone for months - I don't know how long it will be. I just need some space and air to breathe.

Thank you all for supporting me in the past and I hope you will continue to do so during my break. Here's hoping it's a speedy one :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

6 days?

I'm sitting here staring at my manicure and thinking about how I should have taken it off a few hours ago... but before I do I wanted to share a picture of it with you all. OK, actually I have 2 pictures.

I've been wearing this manicure for about 6 days now.

See those little chips on my middle and ring fingers? Those are my only 2 chips! That's it! I cannot believe how little this manicure has chipped.. I don't know if it's the combination of polishes I used or what but I'm just blown away. I'll definitely be testing out Red Planet & Chromasphere some more to see if they were the cause of this craziness.. that's the only thing I can guess! Seriously though, 6 days and only 2 small chips. I wish I knew exactly what I did so I could repeat this every time. My manicures usually look like this by days 2 - 4, sometimes worse.

Anyway, I just had to share :)

I'm off to remove this manicure in preparation for swatching my Sally Hansen HD polishes!

edit: I just finished removing my manicure and I have to tell you all - zero problems removing the glitter. I used acetone and it was really simple to remove. If only all glitters removed this easily! 1 more thumbs up for Monster Mixers & Elixirs!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Monster Mixers & Elixirs! Review

Today I'm going to show you two glitter top coats from Monster Mixers & Elixirs. If you didn't see my last post, I'm currently wearing Julep Kate and Sinful Colors Rich in Heart on alternating fingers, 2 coats each. Monster Mixers & Elixirs is a really cool store owned by Melissa at Be Someone Cute. She sells glitters and suspension base bottles specifically for your franken polish needs! Their glitter come in 4 different quantities: sample, 1 ounce, 15 grams and 3 grams. They also have top coats available, and each of their top coats is made with one of their glitters and their glitter suspension base.

Melissa provided me with 2 of her top coats for review. As always, all comments are my honest opinion!

I received Red Planet and Chromasphere.

Chromasphere is described as a "Ultrafine Opaque Hologram Glitter" and Red Planet is described as a "Chunky Opaque Hologram" glitter. They are both gorgeous!

I went to the store today and I could not stop staring at Chromasphere. This little polish has so much holo effect! Over top Rich in Heart, this is almost my dream polish! It's seriously packed with rainbow shine and looks stunning over the dark polish.

Red Planet doesn't have the same punch as Chromasphere but it's still a really pretty glitter in it's own right. I wouldn't call it red - it's more of a dusty dark pink. I really love how it looks over Kate. Although - I failed with this to some extent. I was looking through all of my polishes trying my hardest to find colors which would go together with these top coats, while trying to avoid the Christmas look. I failed. Miserably. Red Planet over a white polish will be PERFECT for Christmas - it reminds me of candy canes. The first thing my boyfriend said when he saw my manicure was it reminded him of sugar cookies! It definitely does :)

Polishwise, I had zero problems with either of these top coats. They each seemed to dry to the touch within minutes. I did not notice any curling or any of the other problems typically associated with glitters. I would definitely consider buying from Monster Mixers & Elixirs at some point in the future.

My single criticism if that these top coats are being sold as that - top coats - yet the instructions state to apply one layer of a shiny top coat over top of these. Yes, I know that's a minor thing but little things like that bother me.. I knew I was getting top coat, so I wasn't expecting to have to use my regular top coat over top of these. I did use Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri top coat.

That being said, it's been about 3 days since I did my nails and I have very little wear. This combination of polishes seems to be holding up really well so I'm impressed all around!

Red Planet is available in the shop as a top coat in addition to the glitter. The top coat is $4 for a mini which is 5 mL. The glitters by themselves sell for $1, $4.20, $10.50 and $19.60 by quantity. Some of the other glitters are a little cheaper :) She sells a glow in the dark glitter which I bet would be awesome for Halloween!

Anyway, I'm rambling, sorry about that! :b

Thank you to Melissa for allowing me to try out these awesome products! I look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

Now, here's some more photo spam!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nail Haul Brag

I don't normally brag because I don't think it's right.... but I just have to show you the awesome nail mail I got yesterday from Rebecca at Polish Etc.

I won 8 of the Sally Hansen HD polishes. I only swatched them on my toenails, but I will tell you now.. if you don't own any of these polishes, you have to go buy some as soon as you can! They are absolutely gorgeous! I cannot stop looking at DVD; it and Hue are my two favorites. They are just beautiful. Notice anything else in this picture? See that little mini in the right hand corner? That's a little gift she threw in just for a nice surprise! Wow was I surprised! I jumped on my computer immediately and sent her an email asking her about this little beautiful baby and guess what she said about it! Just guess!

It's a franken she made herself as a Fantasy Fire dupe!!

Yes!! I have a Fantasy Fire dupe!!!  I also have my first Franken, yay!!!

I'm so excited and I can barely contain myself.. I can't wait to swatch all of these for you. I would have done it immediately but I had the sponsored review to do and I decided to hold off on these. But I will definitely be swatching all 9 of these polishes next week!

Kate and Rich in Heart

In preparation for a sponsored review, my nails have been untouched now for well over a week and I've been going pretty insane having nothing on them. I finally got my polishes in the mail so I was able to do my manicure, yay! Before I show you the sponsored polishes, let me show you the manicure I'm wearing underneath. I purchased both of these polishes myself.

I had to use the flash on my camera so unfortunately you can't see much detail, but here we have Sinful Colors Rich in Heart and Julep Kate.

Rich in Heart is a gorgeous deep burgundy shimmer. At a distance, it looks black but when you get up close you can see tons of beautiful red sparkles. Kate is a white shimmer, which looks beautiful in the bottle.

Kate did not make me happy. It was drying too quickly; before I could even finish getting an even coat it was drying which made it really difficult to work with. I wound up having bubbles on each nail, too! Boo to bubbles! You can even see the bubbles in this photo, they were pretty bad.

 I'm keeping this pretty short in terms of pictures, but I'll be showing you lots more with my next post. Rich in Heart looks much more brown in this photo than it actually is, I don't know why. It definitely does NOT look brown in real life. I am not a fan of brown polishes... Rich in Heart, I love!

Here's a close up of the shimmer.. sorry it's so blurry. I think you can tell though from this photo how it looks so dark, but then up close at certain angles you can really see the shimmer. I think it's pretty.

Rich in Heart applied well; this is 2 thick coats. I probably could have gotten away with just 1 coat but it was thin in a few areas, so I applied a second coat. It dried slowly, which was my only concern.

So, 1 big thumbs up for Rich in Heart, 1 big thumbs down for Kate as far as application goes. I'm really disappointed by Kate because it does look so pretty in the bottle. On the nail, you can't even see the shimmer you can see in the bottle. As far as wear and tear goes, after 1 day Kate has chipped just in one small area and Rich in Heart is starting to wear on the tips. Overall, not bad for 1 day.

Monday, September 3, 2012

August Haul Roundup

After my splurge of $36.91 last month, I decided to really crack down on myself this month. Let's see how I did, shall we?

First up, I got my brushes and dotting tools which *gasp* I still haven't used yet, aside from clean up. I saved $10 on these with a gift card I got from Stupid messed up my order so I ended up having to pay shipping on it so my total came to $9.97 which I suppose isn't terrible.

My last big polish related buy of the month was at the Born Pretty Store, where I bought CH Nail #2. I saved 10% so I spent $4.49.

 Actually there's one more "buy" I almost forgot to sneak in here - Copious credit which was a gift to me from the most awesome Narmai. For just 60 cents, I got the Kleancolor What Girls Really Talk About Glitter Nail Lacquer Mini Collection.

That brings my total spending for the month to $15.06... but since I bought the brushes in July it was really only $5.09. Plus another 1 cent at Copious for the corduroy pants I bought... because I was good and bought something with my credit that I actually needed and not just polish :D

So that's my buys for this month.. I did good! My boyfriend can't complain about $5. There was a T-tapp special this month which I had to take advantage of because I got 3 new DVDs for like $65 which is a GREAT price for T-tapp. I had to agree not to buy anything else for a month though, so we'll see how this next (now less than a month!) goes.

Let's see how much I saved.
- I-say gift card $10, got for free
- applied the gift card, so that's like another $10 free
- CH Nail polish, saved 50 cents
- the Kleancolor polishes are hard to price.. seems to vary quite a bit but since I used $10 credit on them I'll go with that :b
- and I saved $9.53 on my pants.

so, basically I saved $40.03 and got $55.10 worth of stuff. yay!

Now, let's see what all I've won this month, shall we? :)

I normally do this by date but since I already posted the picture of China Glaze Marry a Millionaire above with my Kleancolor minis, I guess I'll start there. On August 8, I won Cool Polish, Bro's giveaway winning me this little pretty! My first China Glaze and I am now in love with this brand! Marry a Millionaire is gorgeous but I discovered it doesn't photograph well at least not with my camera. I'm definitely going to try it again and hopefully get some better pictures.

On July 31 I won Nail Polish Adventure's first giveaway and a TON of stuff:
  • Revlon Top Speed in Cloud
  • Revlon Top Speed in Guava
  • Kiss Nail Dress
  • Sally Hansen Salon Effects
  • Caviar/Fish Egg Beads
  • Ulta Lust in Lace mini set

Same day, I also won Me and My Nail Polish's Giveaway, winning me my first Indie polish! My prize was Custom Nail Art's Blue Diamonds.

I did my Julep review and got Eva, Renee, the Pedicreme and separators.

On August 15 I won Polish Hideout's giveaway, which meant I won Swedish nail polish not found in the US! Woohoo! I won Viva la Diva #48 and #112.

Lastly, I mentioned to Angel at Mega Nailattude that I was sad Julep did not send me a tote with my polishes for review when they seemed to be sending it to everyone else this month. She was sweet enough to give me hers, but what's even more awesome is she also gave me my first Color Club polish! The bottle isn't labeled so we weren't sure which polish it was but I posted on Color Club's Facebook wall and they agreed with me that it's definitely Gingerbread!

I also had the Noxicare review, and I won some other goodies at my local store's monopoly game including free pizza, coffee, pop tarts and rice. I also won Sabrina Supernova's Fabulous Summer Giveaway but I haven't gotten the prizes yet.. it's shipping from Austria so it could take awhile. Lastly, I won third place in Polish Etc.'s 100 Follower Giveaway! I should be getting the Sally Hansen HD Collection in the mail this Wednesday :) I'm also still expecting my polishes for review, hopefully soon!

So it's been a pretty awesome month of firsts for me... almost everything I got this month is a new brand. Lots of awesome stuff to try out soon, and I can't wait :)

I believe I ended July with 100 polishes in hand, and ended August with 121 polishes in hand and expecting 13 more, yay! How did you all do this month?