Thursday, March 21, 2013

A's Birthday Giveaway!

One month from today, my oldest turns 4. FOUR! I can't believe it's been 4 years already! She's growing up so fast. Anyway, since we celebrated B turning 1, back in November, with a giveaway, it's only fair to do the same for A's birthday!

For this one, the lovely and talented Laura of Ruby White Tips has donated four of her polishes to give away to one lucky reader!

You are entering to win Ruby White Tips "The Polish With No Name, Only A Number" "Seven", Mermaid Dreams, Custom Made, and Fly to the Moon.

The Rules:
                 US and Canada only, so International ladies :(
                 You must be 18 to enter.
                 The first four entries MUST be completed, or ALL of your entries will be voided - I will be verifying, so be honest!
                 Ends on A's birthday, Sunday April 21 at midnight EST
                 Winner will be emailed and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Body by Mersado Body Butter

Hey everyone, welcome back! Today I have for you a review I meant to do a few weeks ago, but with everyone being so sick that I didn't get around to blogging at all, so here it is. Better late than never!

I don't know about you, but winter has been brutal on my skin! Coupled with the fact that I don't drink nearly enough water, so much so that I border on dehydration most of the time, my skin is dry. And itchy. I have not found a single commercial lotion that keeps my skin hydrated and itch-free, and I generally do not like body butters as I can't handle feeling greasy. Finally, one day, at the end of my rope, I asked a group of fabulous beauty bloggers for suggestions of good lotions to help my dry skin because I was tired of wasting money on stuff that just didn't work! That's when the lovely Mercedes, the blogger behind Beyond Beauty Lounge offered to whip me up a sample of her body butter from her Body By Mersado line.

Here is what I received. (Note: I'm not showing the packaging, because it is a sample container, not what you would be getting when you buy from her). Let me tell you, I am loving this body butter! I have been using it for a few weeks now, and it really does last all day! In fact, when I hop into the shower, the NEXT morning, once the water hits my body, there is a burst of fragrance from the moisturizer, so I know it's still on my skin.

Okay, details! First, this body butter has only six ingredients. Six! No need for all the chemicals and such that is put into commercial moisturizers. I love that I can recognize every ingredient in there, so I know it's healthy for my skin. This body butter contains shea butter, olive oil, sweet almond oil, castor oil, beeswax, and fragrance. That's it!

Second, miraculously, this body butter does not leave my skin feeling the slightest bit greasy. In fact, I just rubbed some into my hands about 10 minutes ago, and there is no trace of oiliness on my keyboard right now. When I touch my skin, all I feel is soft silky skin.

This body butter is a butter, not a whipped creamy lotion, it's fairly solid-ish, and, as you can see in the pictures, it's a little...not gritty, but it does have a texture to it, and I know from my soap-making days, that this is perfectly normal when using solid oils such as shea butter. It's from the oils heating and cooling, not just in the cooking process, but also if it gets warm in your mailbox, or in your steamy bathroom. Here's how I apply it:

First, I dig out a small amount of body butter. A little goes a long way with this, so start small. I use about this much.

Then, I rub my hands together vigorously until it's all melted (doesn't take long). My hands then look like this:

Then rub my hands wherever I want to put the moisturizer. I do this four times. Once for each leg (I'm 6 feet tall, it's a lot of leg), once for mid-section, once for my arms.

Viola! Done!

I do need to mention that my particular sample is very heavily scented, I can smell myself all day, though A says I smell really good, and my mom assures me she can barely smell me. Anyway, I have spoken with Mercedes about this, and she has assured me that future batches would be less heavily fragranced, she happened to be trying out a new fragrance oils from a new supplier.

If you would like to purchase some Body by Mersado for yourself, visit her shop here. She also carries cuticle butters, whipped hand cream, and a nail growth serum, so check it out. I highly recommend the body butter, I will be purchasing more in the future for sure!

Til next time!

Product was sent to me for review, all opinions are my own

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Swatch Spam

Hey everyone, I'm sorry for the lack of blog posts lately, between midterms and one by one each of us getting sick, it's been a struggle to get anything done. So, as usual when I take a bit of a blog break, I'm back with some swatch spam for you! I hope you enjoy!

First up, we have Rock Me Amadeus by Nostalgic Nail Lacquer. This one is from their New Wave Winter Collection, so I don't believe it's available anymore. It's a beautiful white crelly packed with purple, maroon, aqua and black squares and hexes. Have I mentioned how much I love square glitter?  A lot. That's how much. This polish became an instant favorite. I believe this was 3 coats, no undies. The formula is fantastic, and, as you can see, so is the glitter payoff.

Next is a beautiful polish from one of my favorite Indie brands. Say hello to Baby Girl by Lacquerhead. You may have noticed, I don't do much pink. I love pink on other people, but it just never seems to look right on me with my skin tone. But this? This is a pink I can do! Baby Girl is a light pink crelly with pink and purple hexes of various sizes. This is 2 coats, no undies.

Next is Burrrberry from Jindie Nail's Winter Chic collection. Similar to Rock Me Amadeus (apparently, I have a type?), Burrrberry is a white crelly with several sizes of "berry colored" (ie raspberry, blueberry, blackberry - according to Jindie's listing). I can't remember if this is 2 or 3 coats, no undies. As you can see, the glitter payoff is good, I didn't do any fishing for the larger glitters. This is a gorgeous polish.

This beauty is NailNation3000 Vincenzo, hands down, my favorite of all of my holos! This picture is taken indoors in artificial light - no flash! 2 easy coats, no topcoat. Check out those rainbows!

And yet, more Laquerheads! I LOVE this polish, and I apologize for not getting it on the blog before Valentines Day, it would have been perfect, but alas, I didn't. So, yeah. Moving on. This is Lacquerhead's Bless Your Heart, a simple beauty, BYH is a white crelly with various sizes of red hexes and red hearts. Gorgeous! No, I love this polish as is, but I couldn't help but add my beloved Lacquerhead jellies to it... this is Bless Your Heart topped with Orange You Jelly, Cherry Bomb, Plum Crazy, and Blueberry Yum-Yum. I love love love these jellies! After sharing this photo on Lacquerhead's facebook page, she was inspired to continue the rainbow and make a green jelly she named Green Apple. Amazingly, I was able to snag one of the very few bottles she made, but in a tragic turn of events, the same day it arrived, my cat knocked it off the shelf and Green Apple shattered all over the floor. A moment of silence for a fallen beauty...

And finally, this is one of my most recent acquisitions, Smitten Polish Pink Goes Good With Green. From the moment I saw this, I knew it had to be mine. Pink Goes Good With Green is a gorgeous milky green crelly with various sizes of light green, light pink, and a pinky-purple glitters. I love this polish, and I got tons of complements on it the day I wore it to school, it's definitely unique to my collection, which it gets extra bonus points for! Application was a breeze, and this was two coats, no undies.

I hope you enjoyed this Saturday Swatch Spam, and I hope the multitude of pretties makes up for my absence. We all seem to be well again, and I'm feeling confidant I will be able to dive right back into blogging regularly!

Til next time!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

EN&M Day 8 Polka Dots

Hey everyone, today is Day 8 of Erica's Nails & More February Nail Art Challenge, and we're doing Polka Dots! Can I just tell you how much I LOVE "dotticures"? To the moon and back! Love them!

So, here is what I came up with:

For this "dotticure", I started with Julep Eileen. Some nails are one coat, some required a second coat. When that was dry, I used a couple of different sized dotting tools to add Sinful Colors Unicorn and Sweet Tooth, and topped it all off with a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Clear

Be sure to check out what the other girls have come up with for their Polka Dot manis, you can do so below.

Also, the BIG GIVEAWAY ends at midnight EST, so hurry and enter :)

Til next time!

Monday, February 18, 2013

EN&M Day 7: Inspired by a Tutorial

Welcome back lovers of lacquer! I apologize for needing to post a short one again today, but my midterm is tomorrow, and I really need to be cramming studying.

We are on Day 7 of Erica's Nails & More February Nail Art Challenge : Inspired by a Tutorial. This one had me at a loss for a long time, then this evening, I accidentally stumbled upon one I wanted to try. Gotta love Pinterest! Anyway, I came across this picture tutorial for an interlocking manicure, which I have been wanting to try for a while, so I thought: "perfect!". You can see the tutorial here - give it a try, it was super easy :)

Anyway, on to the photos!

For this look, I used Julep Laura and Julep Ginger and my trust dotting tool, all topped with Seche Vite

Make sure you enter my GIVEAWAY, it ends Sunday!

Wish me luck on my midterm!
Til next time!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

EN&M Day 6: Gradient

Hey everyone, today I have Day 6 of Erica's Nails & More February Nail Art Challenge: Gradients! Let me tell you, I LOVE gradients, they make me melt, but do I love doing gradients? Not a chance! They are so hard for me, it just doesn't "click". Last time I had to do a gradient, I believe I re-did them 10 times! You may have noticed that until today, I had not attempted them again. For good reason!

And, so, this is what I came up with

This is two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lightening sponged with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lickety-Split Lime coated with Insta-Dri Clear.

And now I look forward to putting the cosmetic sponges away and not even thinking about them until the next challenge!

Did you know our GIVEAWAY ends in a week? If you haven't entered, you can do so here

Til next time!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jaded Nail Co Anti-Valentines

Welcome back, I hope you are all well. I was supposed to have had my midterm today, but the teacher cancelled class at the last minute, so I get to stress about it until Tuesday! Yay! In other news, A is mad at me, because it didn't occur to me to get her a Valentine today, so after this post, I will be off to make a bunch of construction paper hearts to put up all over her door for a nice surprise in the morning.

In the meantime, I have two lovely Indie glitters to show you from Jaded Nail Co's Anti-Valentines Collection. Let's dive in, shall we?

First up is Owner of A Broken Heart, which is black shard glitter, multiple sizes and shapes of red glitter, and gold holographic heart. I've worn Owner of A Broken Heart over Julep Eileen, and topped it with Seche Vite. Unfortunately, the Seche Vite seriously dulled the holographic hearts, so they didn't color shift much. I did have a lot of trouble fishing out the hearts, but I have a mini bottle, and I always seem to have difficulty fishing out of mini bottles. I'm not a huge fan of glitter bombs, but I enjoyed wearing this a lot, the red glitter and black shards make a perfect anti-Valentine mani!

Next up is Love Stinks - multiple sizes and shades of pink glitter, with iridescent glitter and white hearts. I wore Love Stinks over Illamasqua Serenity and topped with Seche Vite. I think the blue makes the pink really pop! Again with this one, I had difficulty fishing out the heart glitter, but, again, mini bottles always give me trouble. Love Stinks is a much more traditional Valentines glitter, and this glitter makes a lovely jelly sandwich when used with a white or pale pink jelly!

Jaded Nail Co are all handmade, and can be found on Facebook.

Which V-Day glitter do you prefer? Traditional, or anti?

Til next time!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

EN&M Day 5: Valentine's Day Nails

Welcome back to Erica's Nails and More February Nail Art Challenge Day 5: Valentine's Day Nails. I'm super swamped with school work right now, and have to cram for midterms tomorrow, so this is going to be a quick one.

For this, I used a base of  3 coats of Tough As Nails Magdalene's Laundry Service, then I painted the hearts on with Zoya Mia. Unfortunately, the contrast wasn't strong enough, so I used my dotting tool to add the white - Julep Eileen.

Til next time!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

EN&M Day 4: Inspired by a Pattern

Welcome to Erica's Nails and More February Nail Art Challenge Day 4: Inspired by a Pattern! I had a difficult time choosing what to do for this challenge, I felt like everything totally clashed with my henna, until the brilliant Samantha B suggested I use the henna as my pattern! Thanks Samantha!

So here it is, my Inspired by... my henna!

For this I used two coats of Essence Nude Glam in Iced Strawberry Cream and hand painted the designs in OPI Warm & Fozzie - both previously untried polishes, bonus points!

I'm not sure why the henna and the lighting makes my hands look so wrinkly - I swear they're not! I'm in my 20s!

Day 5 is going to be a Valentines Day mani! So stay tuned.

Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY, we have added another prize and some more entries, so check that out!
Til next time!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ruby White Tips Peekaboo

Hey everyone, I just wanted to take a short break from the nail art challenges to show you a beautiful polish for a good cause. I actually wore this a couple of weeks ago, but I never got around to posting.

This is Peekaboo by Ruby White Tips, a sheer pinky purpley color packed with holographic micro glitter. I had a difficult time photographing the sparkle, but it's there in real life.

This polish has a fantastic formula. Somehow, even as packed with glitter as it is, it is not gloopy at all! It is a bit sheer, I used 3 coats, but that makes it great for layering over other colors, too!

Closeups to show the sparkle a little better.

Peekaboo is a beautiful polish for a cause that I love. HALF of all profits made from this polish are donated to help save the bats, specifically going to Batworld Sanctuary. You probably don't know this about me, but I LOVE bats, they one of my favorite animals (a close second to my favorite animal - the giraffe), they are just go cute and sweet, and snuggle each other when they sleep *awww*.

Ruby White Tips are all 3-free, and completely cruelty free. Be sure to check out Ruby White Tips for Peekaboo and all of her other gorgeous polishes (more swatches and reviews coming soon!) on Etsy and Facebook

Til next time!

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Glitter Loaded Nails

Welcome back to the February Nail Art Challenge. I'm caught. I did a few manis ahead of schedule to have a stockpile for these challenges because I have midterms next week and knew I'd have less time for nail art. So, yeah, the lack of henna kinda gave that away, huh? Oops!

Anyway, today's challenge is Glitter Loaded Nails, and I knew immediately what I wanted to use.

Jindie Nails
This is Jindie Nails Pretty Penny. This polish is ridiculous in the very best way. There is so much going on here! This is 3 coats on it's own, and I am crazy for this rose gold sparkle!

Pretty Penny

Jindie Nails Pretty Penny
Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY! An 11th prize has been added, as well as the opportunity to earn more entries! Check it out, and good luck :)

Til next time!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

...and now for something completely different

Hey everyone, today's post is not about nails, but about instead to inform you of some changes you will notice over the next month in my nail art photos. Can you guess? If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you probably know, but for the rest of you, here it is!

My good friend Ana is a fabulous henna artist (check her work out at Blooming Lotus Henna), and she asked me to model some bridal henna for her, and of course I said yes! She does amazing work and I've received tons of complements on it already.

Here are some pictures of the completed project. These pics are taken from my phone, so the color and quality are off, but you can see the design.

Anyway, enjoy :)

 Sorry this next one is sideways...I can't get it to flip!

And here is the finished stain today!

So as you can see, a bit of this henna will be creeping into my nail art photos over the next few weeks, and now you know the story!

In case you are wondering ^^^ this is Manglaze ILF

Til next time!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Laid-Back 31DC - Gold

Hey everyone1 I know that Day 3 of Crumpet's Nail Tarts Laid-Back 31 Day Challenge isn't due for a few more days, but I am swamped with schoolwork right now and may not have the opportunity to post this later, so I'm going to go ahead and submit this now - hope you don't mind! Day 3 of the Laid-Back 31DC is Gold. Now, gold is not really my color. It just looks strange with my skin-tone, so I wanted to add another color to break it up a little bit. This is what I came up with. Enjoy!

For this look I started with a base of two coats of Essie Good As Gold. When that was completely dry, I taped off half of the nails and added a coat of Butter London Artful Dodger.

I hope you enjoyed this look! Til next time!

Laid-Back Challenge Day 2: Silver

Welcome back to Crumpet's Nail Tarts Laid-Back Challenge Day 2: Silver!

As soon as I saw the theme for today was silver, I knew immediately that I wanted to use a silver holographic polish! For this one I used two coats of  Color Club Harp On It, and used Bundle Monster plate BM-312 and Konad special black stamping polish for the cloud images.

I rarely wear linear holo polishes, but this one absolutely blew me away! Check out that double rainbow!

Next up for this challenge is gold!
Til next time!

Half Moons

Welcome to Day 2 of Erica's Nails and More February Nail Art Challenge! Today's mani is my favorite style to do, I am just in love with the way these look: Half Moons!

For this look I used Julep Eileen, my new go-to white polish, and topped with one coat of A-England Saint George - a previously untried polish. I am so in love with Saint George! This is a dark teal/green packed with scattered holo. I could not stop staring at my nails! Absolutely lovely.

Til next time!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup

Friday, February 1, 2013

Galaxy Nails!

Welcome to Erica's Nails And More February Nail Art Challenge Day 1! Today we are doing Galaxy Nails! I was super excited for this one because I have never tried one, and they look so cool and easy! Here's what I came up with!

For this mani I used a base of Zoya Storm, sponged on some Pure Ice First Time and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Posh Plum, then a coat of Revlon Scandalous, all topped with Seche Vite.

I really like this, up until I added the Posh Plum.  It was just too bright for this, but oh well, live and learn, right?

So, that's my Galaxy Nails! I hope you enjoyed them, and maybe are inspired to try your own galaxy mani! Next up is Half Moons - one of my favorite manis!


Be sure to check out the what the other ladies have come up with, and don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!

Til next time!