The beginning

I found this today and just had to share - I "got obsessed" with nail polish in the summer of 2009, and I found my first "stash" photo. All China Glaze, my first love.

I was so proud of myself.

Glitter Daze Summer Sprinkles

Glitter Daze [Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | tumblr]  is an indie line from my home state in Texas. I cannot believe I missed meeting the creator while at Cosmoprof North America Las Vegas this year but she made sure to shoot me an email and asked if she could send me a few bottles. As you know, I'm still learning about indies and while I have my favorites, I do like finding new brands.

Glitter Daze features two size options for her polishes - a full size 15 mL for $11-11.50 & mini 4 mL (shown above) for $5.00. I'm very impressed with her business. Not only does she offer two different sizes, but she also has her own base coat, her own top coat, her own cuticle sticks and a Subscription Box with 3 different levels and including only a 100 run Limited Edition full size polish.  Oh wait, there's more... she has apple blossom scented polish remover and hand "fizzies"! And she has international shipping available through stockists AND she has a rewards program on her website.  Deep breath.

I used a base coat of NYC Clear, 1 coat of polish and topped it with Digital Nails Ain't Nobody Got Time For That. On my ring finger, I used Golden Rose 38 to show this over a color.

Okay, so this is a glitter polish that has multicolored neon glitter with black and white microglitter all in a clear base. It looks like a super blended fruit salad which is suoer fun.

This is just one coat! I love that it's a clear base, no issues with bleeding.

I didn't have any issues with the glitter being curled or raised with just one top coat, so that's fab too.  This is like an awesome glitter bomb that I have no problems wearing far into winter. What cracks me up is that I would have never picked this normally in the bottle but I LOVE it on. So don't judge a polish by its bottle!  Truth!

Glitter Daze [Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | tumblr features two size options for her polishes - a full size 15 mL for $11-11.50 & mini 4 mL (shown above) for $5.00.

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

Zoya Carter

I'm falling behind on the #31DC2013 but I hope to get back at it. Meanwhile, I wanted to share Zoya Carter from the Fall 2013 PixieDust collection. Texture polish has been the RAGE for 2013 and I have greatly enjoyed the polishes from Zoya. 

I used a base coat of Cult Nails Get It On, and 2 coats of Carter. I did not use a top coat in order to keep the texture consistency. 

It reminds me of lava - except purple.

The shade and the sun look the same, crazy huh?  So, make sure you wrap your tips with this polish because it can have quite a bit of tip wear since there isn't a top coat to protect it. I wore this manicure over the weekend and then spruced it up for my Purple Nails in the #31DC2013

Zoya [Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube] can be purchased on their website for $9/bottle. (Normally, $8/bottle but all PixieDust polishes are $1 more.)

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

Beautisol Summer Glow Dark Self-Tanning Lotion for Body

Image courtesy of Beautisol

I had the pleasure of meeting Sinead Norenius in 2012 at Cosmoprof North America after missing her in 2011 and boy, am I glad I did. For starters, she's beautiful - and a true believer in her product. A native of South Africa, Sinead has very pale blue-tinted skin, and wanted a self tanning product that would change the way everyone looked at self tanners. I truly believe she did it.

Before getting into my experience, I have to rave that Beautisol is paraben free, propylene glycol free, sodium laureth/laurel sulfate free, cruelty free (PETA certified), vegan and gluten free. Sinead is a licensed aesthetician and used to work as the Director of Education - North America for St. Tropez Tan.

Now, I am pretty much anti-sun. As a teenager, I had a couple of bad sunburns that left me very miserable and as a 20-something, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and the medications I have been taking leave me very sun sensitive. (Just this past Labor Day, I burned my face terribly in just an hour - didn't realize it until my eyelids were peeling!)  On top of that, I don't like self-tanners because I don't want to end up orange, I HATE the smell and I'm pretty lazy when it comes to do something "all the way."  I once tried to give myself highlights and ended up with leopard print spots of bleach in my hair because I was too lazy to do it the right way.

So you can imagine how much hesitation I had going into Beautisol. Sinead tried to send me some for free, but I kept avoiding it because I didn't want to HAVE to do it, and HAVE to write about it and all that jazz. Plus what if it was horrible? I really hate writing negative reviews, but I'll do it when I have a bad product.

You're probably wondering why I bought it then. Well, on my husband's birthday this May, he wanted to go to a theme park and it was blistering hot. I didn't really think ahead and long story short, I burned pretty badly. This left me with tan lines that I was really irritated about having because this summer I had a lot of traveling plans going on.  When it came time to figure out what I was going to where for Cosmoprof North America 2013, I had settled on several skirts/short dresses and then realized not only do I have terrible tan lines up top, but my legs are pasty white. Even though I live in South Texas where we have months of triple digits temperatures, I tend to stay inside and pretty much always wear jeans.  I don't go to the beach or tanning so my legs were as pale as can be.

One night, after seeing that Sinead would be on HSN, I decided to tune in and watch. I was really shocked to see normally tanned Sinead with only one tanned arm and leg, and the other was her natural skin! It literally motivated me to buy.

Now, the special on HSN was pretty fantastic, but it wasn't for the Summer Glow Dark Self-Tanning Lotion for body, so I went straight to the Beautisol website and picked the Summer Glow One Time Purchase which is $39 for the 8 oz bottle and 2 packs of latex gloves (for each application), but then I also added in the Hammam Deep Exfoliating Mitt ($12) and another application mitt ($8). I had received their e-newsletter which had a coupon code for $15 off so over all it was $55.35 with shipping.

I did have a little slip up with shipping. I was using my iPhone to purchase everything and their website is not mobile optimized and I hit a 404 error after purchasing. However, I reached out over social media and it was corrected and sent out in time for my trip.  

I was really nervous about the claim of "Pure Scent Odor Eliminating Technology" but spoiler alert - I knew it couldn't smell THAT bad because I had tried the Beautisol Wash-Off Body Bronzer with Tea Extracts before thanks to an iFabbo Shop perk that I had received and my husband asked me what my new perfume was because he loved it. I am not making that up. I laughed for a few minutes after that one especially because he didn't believe that I was wearing self tanner!

Back to the process. First I showered and used the Hammam Deep Exfoliating Mitt which, she's not kidding when she says that it really does work. You look at it and think "Eh, whatever" but then you scrub and it's powerful. After my shower, I decided to use the latex gloves instead of my application mitt, and following the application guide that is included with all kits, I put a big blob on my leg.

So far so good. Make sure you rub it in completely - the tint of product shows you exactly where you have applied product.

I had put a bit much on my thigh but I was able to rub it in.

I finished both legs and took a quick picture.
The difference is slightly there but this is also RIGHT after application. For best results, you are supposed to let the product set in for 8 hours, so this is preferably done at night, which I did. I slept in yoga pants and an oversized t-shirt to protect my bed and didn't have any issues of product transfer.

I also used the product on my arms, stomach, back, neck, feet and chest.

After the first day, I was happy but I wanted to be EVEN DARKER (lol), so I did a second application of Beautisol. I decided to do a before and after that really blew me away.  On the left is no product at all. On the right is after 2 applications that have been set in (so 8+ hours after application).

Are you convinced now? Because I am. I didn't have any side effects and the tan slowly faded over the next several weeks as I did not want to take it on vacation with me. You should apply one a week to keep the tan consistent.

Overall, I'm really glad I ordered. This product did exactly what I needed, when I needed, with no issues whatsoever in smell, or application. I'm a very happy customer.

Beautisol is available on their website, through retail partners and in online stores. You can also purchase through HSN.  For more Beautisol, you can follow them on Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and like them on Facebook.

Digital Nails Ain't Nobody Got Time For That

Did you hear that some photography I did ended up in Nail It magazine? And one of those photos was a bottle of Digital Nails polish? Well, now you know. And it made me feel like a rockstar.

Prior to that, I decided to place another order from Digital Nails and she added in a bottle of Ain't nobody got time for that, her new ultra fast drying top coat. This is a big 3 free top coat that also doubles as a glitter smoother - it's not as thick as Lynnderella Glitter Tamer, but thicker than Seche Vite.

I used it over my Essie Sunday Funday manicure but have also used it over other manicures and I'm happy to report that it does dry fast - not as fast as Cult Nails Wicked Fast but faster than Seche Vite. And I haven't had any problems with shrinkage.

Digital Nails is currently restocking Ain't nobody got time for that but there are a few bottles in her Etsy shop now. You really need to buy this because HELLO IT WORKS and more so because the cost?!  It's only $6 for a 13mL bottle.  SIX DOLLARS. Uh, I have time for that.  If you miss out on this stock, more will be coming on Friday, 9/13. (I ended up buying another bottle... and uh 4 more polishes from Digital Nails last night.)

Digital Nails [Facebook | Twitter] is sold exclusively on Etsy

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

Essie Sunday Funday

Ever since Essie went retail in November 2010, I've been itching to pick up bottles here and there. When the Summer 2013 Naughty Nautical collection was announced, I couldn't help but pick them all up. While playing "pick a random bottle of nail polish to wear" in July, I grabbed Sunday Funday, a coral polish with microglitter silver shimmer to it.

I used a base coat of Cult Nails Get It On, 2 coats of polish and a top of Digital Nails Ain't Nobody Got Time For That.  The polish wore well, no pooling or streaking.

Here it is in the sun. I'm slightly sad that you can't see the microglitter/shimmer at all but it's there, I promise.

In the shade you can see the microglitter/shimmer in the bottle but it just gets completely lost on the nail. Additionally, you can start to see VNL on my nails - especially my pinkie. A third coat would hopefully fix that right up.

Overall I wasn't in love with this polish but I couldn't bring myself to give it away either.

You can purchase essie in a number of locations for $8 a bottle; check out their website for more.  You can also like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Tumblr, follow them on Instagram and follow them on Pinterest.

#31DC2013 Day 7: B&W Nails

It's been really awesome to see people participating in the #31DC2013 on Instagram - people are just so creative! For today's challenge - B&W - I didn't know what I wanted but I knew I wanted to break out my Konad... which has literally been collecting dust since I bought them back in 2010. Shame, I know.

I started with a base of Cult Nails Get It On, one coat of Cult Nails Fetish (a wax finish black) and then for my stamping polish, I used Cult Nails Temptest. For stamping plate, I used the full designs on Konad plate m65. I didn't stamp my pinkie finger and used the ORLY Instant Artist in Crisp White to make my little triangle.

I stamped my ring finger first and it went okay but I didn't let it dry enough and so it smudged when I added Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat.  Next I stamped my middle finger but didn't line my stamper up right so only 3/4ths of the nail was stamped. On my pointer I pretty much got it down!

Either way, I'm happy with my attempts and look forward to the rest of the challenges as they come!

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

#31DC2013 Day 6: Violet Nails

I was probably most happy to get to Day 6 - Violet Nails. I absolutely love wearing purple polish.  I had a base coat of Cult Nails Get It On before decided to wear the new Zoya PixieDust in Carter and then decided to take some striping tape to my ring finger and add a coat of Zoya PixieDust in Stevie. I was really happy with the results. I didn't use top coat for this manicure except on my accent nail but it was a thin layer to keep the PixieDust effect.

I'm in love.

I'm also in love with my CND Special Edition SolarOil. It was released last year and it has hints of vanilla and golden amber. I found out that they are releasing it this year as well and have already purchased a bottle.

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

#31DC2013 Day 5: Blue Nails

I told you I'd catch up! Challenge #5 is Blue Nails - and I was worried about staining so I decided to go with a lighter blue.

I used a base coat of Seche Natural for a matte finish, 2 coats of China Glaze Sci-Fly By which is from the Hologlam collection and then attempted The Nailasaurus waterfall manicure using ORLY Instant Artist in Crisp White, Jet Black and True Blue.

I don't think I totally nailed it, but I'm excited about how simple this was! The stripers on the ORLY Instant Artist are the perfect size for small lines like this - although I think I need to make my lines closer in size and maybe just make more lines in general.  I had tried a few weeks ago and it wasn't really a win.

But hey, it's a learning experience and I'm learning!

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

#31DC2013 Day 4: Green Nails

Day 4 means green nails - one of my least favorite of the polish colors. I started with a base of Cult Nails Get It On followed by 2 coats of Zoya Meg, a shimmery apple green polish. Next I added dots using Ruby Wing Birdie and outlined them with ORLY Instant Artist striper in Jet Black. I did not add a top coat but voila - we have instant cheetah print... in wild colors.

Simple - not overly complicated! The toughest part was outlining the dots as my hand isn't as steady as I'd like but I think it went over okay!

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

Ciaté Corrupted Neon & Suncatcher

Ciaté had fallen off my radar after they were picked up at Sephora but I'm back on the ball and wanted to share 2 new collections with you. You may have seen them already at your local Sephora.

The first is Corrupted Neon.
This kit contains a Ciaté Matte Neon Paint Pot, Ciaté Loose Neon Glitter and the Ciaté Mini Corrupted UV Top Coat and come in 4 different kits
-Club Tropicana (orange colors)
-Foam Party (blue colors)
-Mega Foam (yellow colors)
-Shout Out (pink colors)

The Ciaté Corrupted Neon Manicure set is available for $25.

The second collection is the Suncatcher Summer Collection that also has an "Afterglow Topcoat" which transforms your manicure into an after-dark neon glow.

The Ciaté Suncatcher Collection paint pots are $15 each.

#HePicksMyPolish Julep Diane

Not too long ago, there was a popular video tag on YouTube of "Boyfriend Does My Makeup" where the lovely ladies handed over control to the guy in their life. Most were pretty disastrous but funny to watch no matter what.

Recently, on Facebook, the blogger Sparkle Queen allowed her fiance to pick her polish and long story short, #HePicksMyPolish was born. Much like the #31DC2013 Challenge, there aren't any REAL rules on this - just have fun!  You can read more about the #HePicksMyPolish tag here and check out this graphic from Sparkle Queen. (Click for full size.)

So when I told my husband that I needed him to pick a polish for me, he got way too excited to run to my stash. What I didn't realize was that he was picking "his favorite color" (this is news to me) which is also probably my least favorite color I own... dark forest green.

In the sake of challenges, I give you Julep Diane.  I used a base coat of Duri Rejuvacote, 3 thin coats of polish and a top of Cult Nails Wicked Fast. This polish is super dark so don't be too upset if all you can see is black - there is green under there, promise.

See - green. Definitely one of my least favorite colors I own. I got this as a part of the November 2011 "Polish Lover Option" Julep Maven box.

I'd like to let him pick more often but I think I may have to get my son to pick (he's 6) for some more fun in my posts.

Julep is available on their website for $14 a bottle.  You can like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Be apart of #HePicksMyPolish

China Glaze Liquid Crystal

Press Sample

In July (don't judge) I decided to close my eyes and randomly grab a bottle of polish to swatch. I came up with China Glaze Liquid Crystal from the 2012 Prismatic Chroma collection. When I first heard about these, i was really excited. The official release stated "bright blue holographic with purple tint dusted with silver, gold, green, pink and orange.  Hello.

I started with a base of Cult Nails Get It On, 2 coats of polish and a top coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast. I know others have found this polish to be gloopy or thick but mine applied well without any real issues. It did eat top coat though, so you may want to add a second layer.

In full sun, this looks more like turquoise polish with glitters, although in the bottle, you can see hints of purple around the edges.

In the shade, the purple starts to peek out and you can see that the "dusted" parts are actually glitters. This combo of glitters was pretty popular last year and I've seen it in a few polishes this year as well.

Indoors with indirect light you start to see the color shift but sadly, no holographic properties here.

And just as I was about to call it a day, I was able to get full on purple tint from this little fiend. Thanks Liquid Crystal!

China Glaze [Website] [Facebook] [Twittercan be found online through several etailers, including my favorite Head2Toe BeautySally's Beauty Supply as well as TransDesign.

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

#31DC2013 Day 3: Yellow Nails

Cutting it close today, I know. But I had a glorious 3 hour nap as it rained, so sorry, not sorry.

Today's challenge was yellow nails, and this was a challenge for me because I typically HATE yellow polish.  Like really hate.  First I thought about glitter, then cremes, then golds and then I just got distracted.

When I was searching my boxes, I immediately came across Color Club Daisy Does It, which is a yellow microglitter shimmer in a slightly yellow base. However, it was just too sheer so then I found my Ruby Wing Birdie and put down 2 coats of that.  (I started my manicure with Cult Nails Get It On.) Then I added 2 coats of Daisy Does It. But I didn't feel complete so on my ring finger, I added one coat of Sation Twinkle, Twinkle Big Star and one more coat of Daisy Does It to make the glitter look more yellow than gold.  Add Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat and DONE.

I actually really, REALLY liked this manicure! I didn't get as much glitter as I hoped out of my Sation bottle. The larger rainbow reflective pieces sank towards the sides of my nails and all that really stood out was the red glitter, but I can't wait to layer it over white and see it all pop out. I even considered wearing this look to work! It's just the right touch of glamour.

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

#31DC2013 Day 2: Orange Nails

Happy Labor Day to all my USA friends! I literally spent the day doing labor, but what can you do.  Today's challenge was "orange nails" and I had a hard time finding an orange in my stash that I wanted to wear today!

I ended up going with the Jesse's Girl JulieG Beauty Guru as my base. This was part of the original JulieG launch before they got their own bottles.  I started with Cult Nails Get It on for my base coat, 2 coats of polish and Cult Nails Wicked Fast as my top coat.  Then I tried to get overly ambitious with my ORLY Instant Artist water-based paints in Crisp White. I'm one of the new Nail Art Society Nail Art Gurus and these ORLY Instant Artist water-based paints will be in the new box that is coming out. I promise to write more about that later - but I have to say it was really easy to use.

Day 2.

Trying to use my new point-and-shoot camera. It's a Canon PowerShot A4000. I bought this to replace my beloved PowerShot A2000 which broke on the bottom earlier this year.

I think every thing went well until I got to my pointer finger and then I got crazy and it was bad.  But hey, working on it just means I have somewhere to go up!

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.

#31DC2013 Day 1: Red Nails

Let me start by saying I got overambitious.

The first of the #31DC2013 is "Red Nails." I was thinking "Hey, I'll be cool - just paint my nails red." I'm still weaning into nail art, trying to stay cool about it all. But then I just got overly excited and was like "DO ALL THINGS."

I started with a base of Cult Nails Get It On. I always wear base coat, even if I'm wearing nothing else that day.  It helps protect my nails and they always look healthy.  (Note I said look, hah.)

Then I put on one coat of Layla Softouch 7 Queen Bourdeaux. This is a lovely firey red that dries to a matte look but as with all Layla Softouch polishes, a top coat will not make it shiny.

But then I was like - I need nail art. I grabbed my striping tape and made a couple of lines, and then a couple more and was like "HAH I made a hashtag."  I painted over my nail with Zoya Bobbi and then pulled the tape off.

Mistake #1: Not waiting long enough to pull the tape off.

So a little came off with the tape and then I realize my hashtag was off centered of the nail.  I used my top coat from Digital Nails hilariously nailed "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That" and looked back at my hands and said...


Back when I was really interested in making a custom rhinestone iPod case (ahem), I figured out that I could buy tons of rhinestones super cheap on eBay. So I did. And they have sat on my desk ever since.  I have literally only used them once

So back to the beginning. I got overambitious.  I also am using my really big DSLR to take photos, and since I haven't been blogging lately, it felt really bulky in my hands and then I couldn't get the right lighting.

Have you figured out that I'm stalling before showing you pictures? Then again, most people skip the writing and go straight FOR the pictures so without any more rambling.

Day 1.

Ta da. Or something. Well - challenges are all about improvement, so here's to improvement!

Disclosure: The product[s] in this post was [were] provided to me by the company for consideration.  For more information, please read this post.