Saturday, March 31, 2012

Julep Maven :: April It Girl Box

i'm excited to be sharing with you all what i received in my April Julep Maven It Girl box! it's so exciting to open up these packages, even when i know most of what will be in them! i have five polishes this month because i took advantage of their deal which allowed you to pick two things from other boxes for $5 a piece.

this first photo shows everything in my official April box... three polishes, toe separators, makeup bag, and some lovely eggs for Easter! i love little extra touches like this :)

the makeup bag was added because this was my first month ordering as a regular Maven at full price! it's cute, i love the tulip detailing. it's made out of paper cloth, (it's what lots of reusable shopping totes are made of) so i'm not sure how long it will last... i'll add an update if it tears up. the little zipper fob might be the best part!

these are the extra polishes i chose! (they just came in a small box with a little black crinkle paper... but the eggs make the picture so much more cute)

here are all the polishes... left to right we have :: Susie, Renee, Niecy, Jessica, Penelope. 

reviews for all these are coming up! these pastels look gorgeous... and WOO HOO for a hot pink! Ria :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Orly Blue Collar

glad to be back from my hometown... it was a hard day helping my grandmother, who does not want to be helped. unfortunately, some terrible driver rammed my friend's car and pushed it 17 feet!!... luckily, she wasn't in the car and he called the police on himself, so she will be able to use his insurance to pay for the damage. the wonderful thing about the day is that i got to see all three of my best friends :D

today's polish is Orly Blue Collar, a stunning turquoise blue cream. the name is a little off to me, when i think of blue collar 'blue collar workers' springs to mind; especially 1950's female factory workers... and they traditionally wore a light, non-saturated blue. this color is BRIGHT and very saturated... i'm madly in love with it! it's not quite neon, but it's noticeable and sassy... always a plus :) the formula was awesome, almost opaque at one coat and perfect at two. it dried quite shiny on its own; with one coat of Seche Vite it has that perfect thick look i adore so much!

one coat Seche Clear, two coats Blue Collar, one coat Seche Vite.

have an outstanding weekend, everyone!! Ria :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Revlon Extravagant

i had a busy day today! luckily, it involved shopping so it was fun busy. i have to go to where i grew up tomorrow... that makes two road trips in a week! goodness.

Revlon Extravagant is the polish we're taking a look at today... it's a pretty pink frost with purple undertones. the formula was lovely, two easy coats... and after the dry down, the brushstrokes aren't very noticeable (you can seem them a lot more in the photo than in real life)! it did dry dull and a coat of Seche Vite didn't give it a glossy shine like it does most things. however, the effect of this polish super chic!

one coat Seche Clear, two coats Extravagant, one coat Seche Vite.

i'm hoping the road trip won't take too long, my apartment complex is having a karaoke party! i doubt i'll actually sing, but it's fun to hang out and have snacks... Ria :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Orly Sapphire Silk

today's a swatchie day! i've also got to get our housing locked in for our move to Cali... we leave in less than two months! the mind boggles.

today's polish is Orly Sapphire Silk, a lovely medium toned dusty blue cream with green undertones. the formula was okay, i used three coats to get the perfect evenness i like... but i think part of the patchiness was my fault, i didn't have enough polish on the brush for most nails. the Orly brush just isn't my fave. however, i love the color!

one coat Seche Clear, three coats SS, one coat Seche Vite.

i've got to get a bunch of posts done because i just found out i might be taking yet another trip which won't allow me to be swatching and posting! the most time consuming part is definitely getting the right picture editted... everythings fall together after that. Happy Wednesday! Ria :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

L'oreal Jet Set To Paris under Zoya Maisie

longggg road trip today... i traveled so much when i was younger that i don't really like it all now! the great part of the journey was finding an awesome little arts and crafts store and an Italian restaurant with Bruschetta to die for :)

today's mani features L'oreal Jet Set To Paris under Zoya Maisie. flakies and blue polish? j'adore!

JSTP is a medium blue cream, not nearly dark enough to be confused with navy. it's got lovely warm undertones and a great formula that stands up to its more expensive competition... i'm super impressed! i used two easy coats, you might be able to get away with one thick coat! it is very similar to Essie Mesmerize, Maisie just has a warmer undertone. while it did dry shiny, i went with a coat of Seche Vite to bring it up a notch.

Maisie is part of the 2012 Zoya Fleck Effect collection... does anyone else have trouble pronouncing that?! Maisie is a traditional flakie whose flakes shift from green to blue. it has a great amount of flakies, they weren't sparse, but also didn't cover up the entire nail (like Essie Shine Of The Times). like all flakies, i topped this off with two coats of Seche Vite to showcase the polish to its fullest extent!

one coat Seche Clear, two coats JSTP, one coat Seche Vite.

one coat Maisie, two coats Seche Vite.

it's nice to have a fun mani to look at when you're stuck in the car for hours, especially one that changes colors! Ria :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nicole by OPI Prized Possession Purple

i'm having some sort of major memory issue... every time i go to a store to buy one specific thing... i buy loads of stuff EXCEPT the one thing i needed! apparently today my brain thought a new yoga mat was much more interesting than cotton rounds... well, at least that's true! :D

today we are checking out Nicole by OPI Prized Possession Purple... it's very similar to Rimmel Violet Metal. it's the same type of purple, but lacks the awesome duochrome of VM. PPP is a nice royal purple with a blurple shimmer that looks lovely on the nail. my major complaint is my usual with Nicole polishes... the formula is just too sheer! this is three coats, it is touching the line of full opacity... but if light hits under the nail it's glaringly obvious.

one coat Seche Clear, three coats PPP, one coat Seche Vite.

i do really love the color of this polish, i wish Nicole would thicken up their formula! hope everybody's week has gotten off to a great start, Ria :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

China Glaze Full Spectrum

the storm held off this morning so our trail ride was really fun... the sounds the horses' hooves made going through the mud was hilarious! i was up late last night with my dog, she's terrified of thunder... of course, my husband slept through the whole thing. i'm hoping we don't repeat that tonight!

today's review is the final polish of the 2012 China Glaze Prismatic Chroma Glitters collection, Full Spectrum. this duochrome is a light lavender microglitter with a warm purple flash and lots of large multicolored glitter pieces. the microglitter also has different colors in it, but they aren't noticeable... the best thing is that the duochrome flash is quite strong, you can even see a bit of it in the swatchie! i used three thick coats, i could've gotten away with two, but adding the third really 'polished' it off (what a bad pun!). this one is the chicest of the collection, it's certainly appropriate for a fancy party or dinner.

one coat Seche Clear, one coat OPI Black Onyx, three coats FS, one coat Seche Vite.

this polish is another huge win for the collection! as a whole, i really like the collection and recommend picking it up... just be prepared for some disappointment with the amount the duochrome shows up on the nail. Happy Sunday! Ria :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

China Glaze Optical Illusion

i hope everyone is having a great weekend! my husband is happy because his watch got cancelled for today, so he ended up having a two day weekend after all :) i'm hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow like the forecast is saying... we're signed up to go horseback riding again and riding in the rain doesn't sound fun!

China Glaze Optical Illusion is the teal microglitter of the 2012 Prismatic Chroma Glitter collection... it's lovely! it's very similar to China Glaze Liquid Crystal (the blue from the same collection) only Optical Illusion is missing the strong pink duochrome... it's pretty obvious in the bottle, but very slight on the nail. it does have quite a lot of multicolored large glitter pieces and it also has different colors of microglitter... it's a gorgeous polish! i used two thick coats over black for full opacity, pretty much the same formulation as the rest of the collection.

one coat Seche Clear, one coat OPI Black Onyx, two coats Optical Illusion, one coat Seche Vite.

i'm just majorly bummed about how little the duochrome effects of this collection transfer to the nails... the bottles are such a tease! even without the duochrome quality, this polish is a stunner, i heartily recommend it! Ria :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

China Glaze Ray-Diant

i am seriously irritated with myself... the whole reason i went to Ulta yesterday was to buy a new bottle of Seche Base... and i forgot! grrrrrrr. so i'll just be using Seche Clear for the moment because i don't feel like heading out there again... i hate it when i do stuff like that!

today's 2012 China Glaze Prismatic Chroma Glitters collection polish is Ray-Diant. it's a yellow toned greenmicroglitter with a more blue toned green duochromatic flash. it also has larger multicolored glitter pieces, giving that added dimension. this glitter is green, but it gives a very gold vibe on my skin (light, light gold), it also seems to have so many different colors in it that it gives a rainbowish effect... it's hard to describe! this is one is worth picking up, it isn't much of a looker in the bottle... but on the nails, BAM! the sad thing is that the flash isn't more noticeable... it wasn't super strong in the bottle, but it's even more faint on the nail. bums :( the formula is just like the other Prismatics, i tried a different method of applying the glitter (patting instead of brushing) and it didn't work for me... which is why three of the fingers have four coats!

one coat Seche Clear, one coat OPI Black Onyx, three coats Ray-Diant on pinky/four on the rest, one coat Seche Vite.

while i am disappointed in the duochrome in this glitter, i still love it... but glitter nail polish is a huge weakness of mine, so that's not entirely surprising... Ria :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

China Glaze Liquid Crystal

i'm so glad i went to Ulta today, they have loads of polish on clearance! you can also use the $3.50 off $10.00 coupon from their website, get it here. combining all that with the added money off from being a member of their rewards club, i saved tons... and that is always the goal :)

we are looking at my favorite of the 2012 China Glaze Prismatic Chroma Glitters collection today, Liquid Crystal. it's a duochrome microglitter that flashes from blue to pink (gorgeous!) with lots of multicolored large glitter pieces. the pink is very shy in some lighting and was impossible to photograph, you can see it best on the edges of the nail! i went ahead with three coats of LC and am very happy with the coverage that gives. with just the one coat of topcoat there is some roughness... it's not scratchy, just textured. i know that really bothers some people, so if you want it completely smooth be aware that these polishes eat topcoat like crazy!

one coat Seche Clear, one coat OPI Black Onyx, three coats LC, one coat Seche Vite.

blue and pink are my favorite nail colors... so, this polish is absolutely divine in my book!  Ria :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

China Glaze Polarized

i have yoga tonight... i don't really feel like going, but i will anyway. it's so good for you! plus, i think i provide a little comic relief because i am soooo inflexible... i'm always falling over or rolling around trying to grab onto my feet or some such nonsense :)

today's 2012 China Glaze Prismatic Chroma Glitters polish is Polarized. this one to me is the least exciting of the collection, if you are going to skip one, i'd suggest this. i do like it, but it doesn't have the duochrome in the microglitters that make the other polishes even more fab. this is one is a silver microglitter base (it does have pink and maybe green microglitter, but silver is by far the dominant color) with larger multicolored glitter. the larger pieces are pretty sparse, just glancing at the mani gives the effect of a simple silver glitter... with that little extra depth to make it special. i used two coats over black, i think i should have gone for three with this one, or used thicker coats... the black wasn't noticeable in person but i feel it would have looked slightly more finished with just a touch more coverage.

one coat Seche Clear, one coat OPI Black Onyx, two coats Polarized, one coat Seche Vite.

i do think this one is worth picking up, it's certainly a new take on your basic silver glitter! Ria :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Basically... OPI Black Onyx

hi, everyone! the ocean was bizarre today, it was pea soup foggy at the oceanfront! it didn't stretch past the first row of hotels that back up to the beach... i've never seen anything like it the entire time i've lived here (about five years). it was really surreal to walk along the boardwalk and not be able to see the ocean, which was about fifty to a hundred feet away. strange, right?

 i'm starting a series that i will add to every once in awhile; i want to review basic colors that every one needs in their collection. i had originally entitled this series 'Back to Basics' but i saw that loads of other people had used the same name, so i came up with 'Basically...' instead :)

we're starting the journey with OPI Black Onyx, a perfect pitch black cream. it takes two coats to bring it to full opacity. the first coat just does not give enough coverage, a second coat is vital. best part? it doesn't need a topcoat! i didn't add one for the purpose of this review, but if i were to wear it by itself i'd slap on one coat of Seche Vite... it just makes every mani look more chic and expensive.

one coat Seche Base, two coats Black Onyx.

if you are in the market for a basic black polish, this is an excellent option. tomorrow i'm excited to start up the swatches of the China Glaze Prismatic Chroma Glitters collection... i was lucky enough to stumble across a Sally's that had put them out early! Ria :)

China Glaze Prism

woo hoo, i'm so happy today! Dr. G Medical Examiner is on OWN... i was SO mad when the Oprah Winfrey Network took over Discovery Health and i couldn't watch Dr. G anymore. so, of course, i'm glued to the tv right now!

we're starting up the reviews of the 2012 China Glaze Prismatic Chroma Glitters collection today with Prism. it is a gorgeous glitter that is unlike anything i've ever seen... the whole collection is so amazing and unusual! Prism is comprised of multicolored glitter pieces set into a duochrome micro-glitter base. the base color shifts from a light silvery blue to a pinky purple... it's just awesome! i used two coats over a base of OPI Black Onyx. this glitter is very opaque, so one coat over a base will give you quite a bit of coverage... it's not the usual sparse glitter topcoat. i did use two coats of SV hoping to get that polished glass finish, but this polish ate up the topcoat, for the rest of this collection i'll just be using one coat. 

one coat Seche Base, two coats OPI Black Onyx, two coats Prism, two coats Seche Vite.

hope you love this collection as much as i do! it's supposed to be available starting in April, but my Sally's already had it out so it's worth the call to your local Sally's... you might be able to pick up these beauties early! Ria :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

China Glaze Smoke And Ashes under China Glaze Luxe And Lush

we went horseback riding this morning! it was really awesome :) i'm thinking we'll just be doing these trail rides every weekend until we move because it doesn't look like they'll start up a beginner class in time. i might check out another barn, but this one is really close to where we live, which is great.

today's review is of the last two polishes i purchased from the China Glaze 2012 Hunger Games collection... the others just didn't blow my skirt up :) the base color is Smoke And Ashes, a deep green with a subtle green shimmer (with the slightest bit of gold). the shimmers are not super prominent, but they add depth to the polish and in the sun they are absolutely stunning. the best thing about this one is... one coat for full opacity! i did add two coats of Seche Vite to really show off the sparkle.

Luxe And Lush is a great flakie of the mylar flake variety. it's divine!! check out the difference between this and a traditional flakie here. it flashes gold and green and pink and champagne... if you like flakies, you'll LOVE this one.

one coat Seche Base, one coat Smoke And Ashes, two coats Seche Vite.

one coat Luxe And Lush, two coats Seche Vite.

i don't think this is the perfect combo because the beauty of SAS is completely hidden under LAL... a cream black or blackened color (such as Orly Le Chateau) would give the same effect... and those are always available! Ria :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Zoya Rina

Happy St. Patrick's Day! my siblings are visiting the beach, so i got spend some time with them today.... so wonderful! that's why my post is super late :)

my St. Patty's manicure is... green glitter! I used two thick coats of Zoya Rina (which was all i needed to give the effect of full opacity!) ..... over OPI Jade Is The New Black. Zoya is comprised of lots of green micro- green with some green bar glitter and tiny smattering of holo bar glittering. i am a little disappointed because the holo bars were more noticeable in the bottle. the color is a saturated, warm kelly green (makes you think of the lush grass in Ireland).... it's beyond perfect for a party day mani! the only downer is that parts of the polish dried rough because of the bar glitter. as with all bar glitter i've used, parts of it hung off the nail tips, despite my best efforts to push it back. After two coats of Seche Vite, most of it was smooth, but i did have a couple nails that had slightly jagged tips. as always, this glitter cannot be done justice in a photograph!

one coat Seche Base, one coat OPI Jade Is The New Black, two coats Rina, two coats Seche Vite.

tomorrow my husband and i are going horseback riding, i can't wait! do any of you have big plans for tonight? drinking any green need? Ria :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

China Glaze Electrify

today was a little bit of a buzz kill! i've been super excited for the past couple weeks waiting for the craft show at the conference center here in Virginia Beach... it was not so great. there wasn't that many vendors and there wasn't any food. what's a craft show with no funnel cakes?! i did get some great jewelry, so all was not lost... but i was hoping for much more. especially with a cover charge of six bucks. there were so many booths selling clothes to fit American Girl dolls, are those becoming popular again? i still have my Felicity doll, she lives in our living room. she was one of the best presents i ever received as a child... one that whenever i think back on opening i still smile like a little kid :)

today we are checking out China Glaze Electrify from the 2012 Hunger Games collection. it's a gorgeous glitter with tiny gold and large red hexagonal pieces. i was able to achieve complete opacity in three coats! the formula is a bit thick so you do have to allow for some dry time... while the top dries really quickly the middle wants to stay squooshy. the good news is it dried smooth so there was no need for a top coat!

one coat Seche Base, three coats Electrify.

sparkles! :D

i'm a huge fan of total glitter manis, so this polish is a big win for me. having nails that sparkle and grab attention are worth the annoyance of glitter that wants to take up permanent residence in your cuticles! Ria :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

China Glaze Harvest Moon

eeeeek there's a guy on tv with the ability to turn his head 180 degrees! it's extremely creepy looking... and the video was taken in a grocery store! i sincerely hope i never come across him while shopping... i hate buying groceries enough as it is... that is just yucky. *shiver*

Harvest Moon from the 2012 China Glaze Hunger Games collection is a sneaky stunner. in the bottle it doesn't look like much, and while inside (even on the nails) it's pretty but nothing special, your run of the mill copper. when you go outside it transforms into this gorgeous, shimmering, metallic dream! i'm so glad i decided to try it out, once i got it home i was completely fooled by how boring it looks in the bottle. it has a great formula, two coats that almost applied themselves... if you did a super thick first coat, you could probably get away with just the one.

two coats Harvest Moon, two coats Seche Vite (to bring out as much shimmer as possible)

while i don't like this one quite as much as China Glaze Riveting, it's close... definitely another must buy from the collection. it's not your average copper, the amount of sparkle it has outside is mouthwatering. don't judge this one from the looks of the bottle inside a store! Happy Thursday, Ria :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

China Glaze Hook And Line

i have finally decided to take horseback riding lessons... after being horse crazy my entire life it seems a little silly that i have waited this long to actually learn how to ride. better late than never, right?

today we are checking out the frost from the 2012 China Glaze Hunger Games collection, Hook And Line. i thought i'd like this one more, but honestly, it's nothing special. it's your run of the mill, traditional silver frost. it doesn't even have sparkles! it is pretty brushstrokey and it's it's difficult to keep the strokes even; you can see a couple wobblers in the swatchie. the good news is that the color is a gorgeous silver and it is opaque in two super easy coats, zero complaints in that corner!

one coat Seche Base, two coats H&L, one coat Seche Vite.

i'm pretty sure most of you ladies will want to skip this one, it's super traditional... the only modern thing about this polish is the color! i'm going to hang on to it because i don't mind frosts and i LOVE silver, but it's certainly not going to be my most reached for polish. more Hunger Games tomorrow... Ria :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

China Glaze Riveting

i'm having a boring day, cleaning and catching up on Tivo! i'm loving the new Bravo show, Shahs of Sunset... most of them lead such a fabulous lifestyle. it was highly amusing when one girl got angry because she was accused of wearing H&M... the mind boggles.

today we are looking at another 2012 China Glaze Hunger Games polish, Riveted. this one is delicious! it's a shimmery, saturated metallic orange; i have to say it's my pick from the collection. to find a color this vibrant and opaque in two coats is a huge win! i have some colors similar to this, but they are all glazes that would take eleventybillion coats to achieve opacity. outside it becomes this sparkling orange fire, it's a polish that will get noticed and complimented!

one coat Seche Base, two coats Riveting, one coat Seche Vite.

this color screams SUMMER! i can't believe that by this summer i will have changed coasts, moving from Virginia to California... i'm so excited!!! Ria :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

China Glaze Fast Track

does anyone else occasionally get in a brawl at Walmart? i had to buy a new sonic toothbrush and my mom noticed that the sticker on the bottom of the box was marked $25 LESS than the scanned price. this started a whole production which finally culminated in the store manager getting mad at the department head... the sticker  had the same SKU as the product, so it was clearly not a mistake. one employee even tried to pick the sticker off! i about lost it >.< why can't things just ring up correctly!?

i have a couple of the China Glaze 2012 Hunger Games polishes that i will be showing you guys over the next few days... i thought i'd be much more in love with the collection than i am, so i didn't purchase too much of the collection. today's polish is Fast Track, a beigey nude with gold shimmers. the shimmers reflect SLIGHTLY green and orange, it's really a gorgeous polish! it's not quite light enough to be mannequin hands, which makes it a good alternative for people who can't quite stomach that trend. the formula was great, two coats. i made the second coat fairly thick to make sure there was no visible nail line... as i'm sure you've noticed, that makes me want to puke (ladylike, i know).

two coats FT, one coat Seche Vite.

this is such a chic color... you can't go wrong with colors like this. it's not the most special or original color, but it's definitely in the family that i will always pick up from collections. hope your Monday is a happy one! Ria :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Julep Jodie

i've gotten sucked into watching 'Finding Bigfoot'... there is a marathon on today that i want to watch. my poor husband! the people act so silly, it's mind blowing. they never find any actual evidence... and even if there was evidence to find, everybody runs around stopping through the forest and being REALLY loud. they have a guy named Bobo (BOBO?!) who always pretends to be a Bigfoot (Wood Booger, Sasquatch, etc...), he's quite the goober. i also don't understand why they use their personal physical capabilities as a litmus test... Navy Seals, Army Rangers, athletes, movie stuntmen are far more agile and strong than these people! also, wolf sightings in the wild are rare, they don't want to interact with people... however, they do get seen and documented! i find it hard to believe there is something that large that there is no documented evidence to support, BUT, i am the first to admit i could be wrong :) at least these guys don't get scared, there is one ghost hunter that gets terrified and hot foots it out of scary places... you need a new job, buddy! i don't watch the ghost ones usually... i tend freak myself out (geek, right?).

last up of the Juleps for this month is Jodie... and she is a beauty! a rosey pink shimmer (you can see some brushstrokes, but i feel most shimmers have those) with warm undertones. outside it is absolutely stunning, there is absolutely no justice done in viewing this polish inside... my swatchie can't do it justice either. it's like the shimmer in the photo is on steroids in the sunshine! i think i'm finally getting used to the Julep formula, this is one easy peasy coat!

one coat Seche Base, one coat Jodie, one coat Seche Vite.

sorry about the giant Bigfoot ramble... anyone else have any opinions? seen anything weird? at a previous job i spent a lot of time alone in a mansion used as an American Civil War hospital... let me know if you want to hear about my experiences! Ria :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Julep Charlotte under Julep Melissa

i got my March box from Julep today! the topcoat i used for today's mani is what locked me into buying the box... it's so delicious. this box came like the usual boxes, large with crinkly paper and the polishes wrapped in paper and ribbon. the treatie that came with the polishes is a nail file, i will probably just give it away because i only use the big fat Revlon file (can't remember the actual name)... i'll have to do a review on it!

the colors i used for the mani are Julep Charlotte under Julep Melissa. Charlotte is a pretty warm lilac cream with some greY undertones (it's a little more greYed out than the swatchie shows)... it's probably a very dupe-able color, but the formula is a winner! it's another one coater with a weird formula, it does take a few strokes to even everything out... but this one didn't want to bubble like some Juleps! i think it's a great polish, if you are looking for a medium toned purple cream this one's a good option. the polish finish was far more shiny than it looks in the picture, i put Vaseline cocoa butter gel body oil on my cuticles and it matted down the finish. i hate it when that happens!

Melissa is an outstanding duochrome that flashes from light teal to purple, adding it over Charlotte really amps up the visibility of the purple flash. some people won't want this one because is it does have a frosty finish with some brushstrokeyness... but it is a true duochrome! i'm always drawn to these colors, they are just so beautiful.

one coat Seche Base, one coat Charlotte, one coat Seche Vite.

one coat Melissa, finish the whole mani off with one coat Seche Vite.

the teal is the more visible color, i wanted the swatchie to show the purple that you get from different angles. this is one where i love to just sit and stare at my nails! if you love duochromes, i think it's worth giving this polish
 a shot to see if you can get past the frost finish. i hope everyone is having a great weekend... my husband is super happy because his Saturday and Sunday night watches got cancelled! Ria :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Julep Megan

Tivo told me to watch this gymnastics movie called 'Stick It'... and i actually like it. *gasp* i generally hate girly movies, but this is pretty good... and the tricks are freaking awesome! if you like 'Bring It On' (shockingly, one of my favorite movies) give this one a try.

today we're back with Julep Megan. out of all the shades i bought, this is definitely the most me. it's similar (but not a dupe) to loads of polishes i already own, it's definitely something i would have picked out at the store. Megan is not going to be for everyone as it is quite frosty... and wanted to bubble on me. the color, however, is gorg. it's a light tealy blue (which can look much green toned than the swatchie in certain lighting) that makes me think of the Caribbean... not that i've ever been there! from different angles the color looks darker and lighter... i love it. if you're going to buy one frost this year, i recommend this one! i used two coats to even out all of the patchiness. i think it wouldn't have bubbled as badly if my hands hadn't been shaky yesterday... no idea what was up with that. you can see a bit of bubbling in the swatchie, sorries!!

one coat Seche Base, two coats Megan, one coat Seche Vite.

i really love this color! i know it's definitely not going to be hugely popular... but, it's my second favorite of the six, Julep Leah still reigning at the top of the pack! which was your fave out of these? i can't for my next three Juleps to arrive... Happy Friday! Ria :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

China Glaze Flying Dragon (Neon)

mall day! i had to get an eye exam... good news is i don't need a new prescription! money in the bank, baby :D if you've got kids or collect Build A Bears, they have their shamrock bear (Lucky Plaid Teddy 2012) on sale for $10! being Irish, i'm a little partial to St. Patty's :)

a break from our previously scheduled programming since i spent all day at the mall... Julep tomorrow! i also ordered the March 'It Girl' box because i thought i would be receiving it automatically, not realizing that my regular boxes will start up with the April box.

China Glaze Flying Dragon (Neon) is a warm purple neon cream... with purple and blue micro glitter thrown in. i really like this polish, it's super unusual! the name is bizarre to me, when i think dragons, i think green. i suppose there could be some purple flying dragons wandering around out there, though :) this polish was SO close to only needing two coats, but it definitely had to have the third coat to completely cover up the slight patchiness. it was much easier to apply than China Glaze Celtic Sun (Neon), which wanted to be super streaky. the polish dries completely matte, but the micro glitter particles are visible when you look closely.

after adding two coats of Seche Vite, this polish comes into its own! all those glitters come alive and sparkle and make this one of my favorite purples of all time! i love that it's a warm, plummy purple... it's perfect for a neon, and is different than most of the purples in my stash. i have no idea why i keep buying bluey purples, they are not my favorite colors of polish at all! what can i say, i'm strange :)

one coat Seche Base, three coats Flying Dragon.

two coats Seche Vite added over original manicure.

the SV did shrink back the polish from the nail tips, as you can clearly see in the swatchie. that is the only bummer about this mani... and i still LOVE it! Ria :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Julep Rachel

grocery day... ewwww. luckily i only needed about half of what i usually buy so i got out of there in record time! such a beautiful day to spend inside a grocery store.

today we're checking out Julep Rachel, a gorgeous coppery frost. i think the best description of this polish is russet... it's copper with a huge amount of red undertones... reminiscent of a slightly dirty American penny. it is a true frost so some brushstrokes are visible... but not as bad as some. outside in the sun it's so sparkly and amazing! it only needed one coat of Seche Vite to bring out all the glimmer... and the best part... tuh tuh tuh tut tuh TAH... it's a one coater! even my OCD little mind knew that one coat brought out the best in this baby.

one coat Seche Base, one coat Rachel, one coat Seche Vite.

i really love how this one looks on my skin tone; plus it's definitely a break from my usual blues and purples. tomorrow is the last of the Juleps i currently have... i saved the sea green for last! Ria :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Julep Hayden

back to beautiful weather here at the beach! i didn't make it to the oceanfront today, maybe tomorrow... hopefully :)

today we are looking at Julep Hayden, a light orangey peach cream. this color is not a true neon, but it is super bright! my first thought was... orange sherbert! (which immediately led to being depressed about not having any orange sherbert) it looks a little weird on me, but that's okay, i'm sure i'll wear it anyway. i'm thinking this polish will look its absolute best on really dark skin tones... it gives my super fair skin a yellow cast (but again... that's never stopped me from wearing something i like before!). to give you an idea of my skin tone, i always have to buy the lightest foundation a brand makes, and many (even high end companies) don't make anything even close to being light enough, which is why i use Lancome. (a little plug for my favorite makeup brand!) Hayden's formula is just like the previous Juleps, two coats for full opacity... but a weird formula. it's somehow thick and runny at the same time... not sure how that's possible. while Juleps dry fairly shiny on their own, the polishes' best friend is Seche Vite... anything the slightest bit uneven is smoothed over and given a delicious mirror shine.

one coat Seche Base, two coats Hayden, one coat Seche Vite.

i hope you are all having a great week! Ria :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Julep Leah

all of Virginia is in full panic mode over snow... not one flake has fallen here in Virginia Beach! i'm not a huge fan of snow, but i do love to watch it fall. and it IS beautiful to look at covering everything. my problem is when it lingers and is a gross, icy mess for a week or more. plus, the puppies freeze their little paw pads! being Southern dogs, they are quite confused by snow :)

today's polish is what i received after ordering the January Julep box... it didn't come all fancy like the monthly Maven box, just a small white box with black crinkle paper in it. obviously, that is not an issue... in fact, i like it because it saves just little more resources.

the polish itself is Leah, a gorgeous tree frog green with shimmers. from the website pictures, i didn't think this would be be my favorite of the bunch... but it's so divine and unlike anything else i have, i'm calling it best out of six! i'm not a green girl, but... this is a drooler. again with the weird formula and application... and my craziness. the swatchie you see has three-four coats on each nail. i don't know why i got so psychotic, my left hand has two solid coats on each nail and looks exactly the same! grrrr >.< if you are considering buying a Julep polish, this one is a beauty!! to get the most out of the polish, i used two coats of Seche Vite... i do that with a lot of shimmers as i find this pulls the shimmer to its full, fabulous potential!

one coat Seche Base, three-four coats Leah, two coats Seche Vite.

i'm listening to Debra Arlyn as i'm typing, i got some of her songs free when i was a teenager and just never bought her albums... i'm rectifying that now! if you're into female singer/songwriters (j'adore!), give her a listen. you can buy four of her albums on amazon mp3 here. she has a new album coming out in April 2012, i'm excited! have any of you ever heard of her? what do you think? Ria :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Julep Meryl under Julep Oscar

went to visit family yesterday, two and a half hours each way is such a pain in the rump! i used to love car trips, but now they drive me nuts. so good to be with everyone again, though :)

today starts off Julep polish reviews, first up is Meryl and Oscar! since i got a greY and a glitter in my first box, i had to try those first (of course!!). Meryl is a gorgeous medium toned greY cream... effortlessly chic. it's a color i think of as elephant greY... like the color of the crayon you'd use to color an elephant in a coloring book! i was hoping to need only one coat, but the formula was much more suited to using two thin/medium coats. the formula is a little bizarre... at first you think you don't have much polish on the brush, but as you swipe the brush more appears (i guess it slides down from the top). it was a bit prone to bubbling, but this could have been more from my utter lack of comprehension of the formula (one coat of Seche Vite evened everything out, no bubbles to be seen)! the brush is super similar to a China Glaze brush, quite long and thin. since i'm a big fan of the short fat brushes, i was a bit disappointed. however, upon thinking about the brush versus bottle ratio, it completely makes sense... you need a long brush to be able to reach the bottom of the bottle!

layered over Meryl is Oscar, a super dense gold glitter. for this manicure i used two medium coats of Oscar over my base of Meryl. i think three coats would make this opaque on it's own... in the pictures you can see a touch of Meryl showing through, but in person you really can't see Meryl at all. putting it over a darker color added a lot of depth to the mani, especially since this glitter had chunky look by itself. surprisingly, it dried pretty smooth! i (as always) added a topping of Seche Vite, just to really bring out all the shinies :) i love manicures comprised of complete glitter, and this one was no let down! personally, i wear stuff like this all the time, but it'd be a great look to wear to a ball or formal dance... adds that extra bit of zing.

one coat Seche Base, two coats Meryl, one coat Seche Vite.

two coats Oscar, finished off with one coat SV.

i'm looking forward to trying the other four polishes i got, i'm hoping that there aren't any letdowns. while i wasn't blown away by the formula or colors, these are solid polishes that i'm glad to add to my collection. plus, i think the bottles are so pretty! i generally only display my OPI bottles, but i think i might make my top shelf a Julep shelf. hope you've all had amazing weekends! Ria :)

(ps, please excuse the spelling of Juelp in the url... i had already published the post and locked in the url before i realized i had make such a goober boo boo!)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Julep Maven :: First Impressions

i'm so excited to be giving everyone my first impressions of the Julep Maven program today! i've been hemming and hawing over whether or not to try it... so finally i just went for it. i have heard other people saying how much they disliked the company and the program for various reasons... but all my impressions will be based on my personal experiences!! starting off with shameless personal promotion, my referral link is if you refer two people who become Mavens, you will receive a free month! once you've signed up, you'll get your own individual link which you can then share with your friends! i got my box for a $1 using the code OSCARINTRO, i'm not sure how long it will be valid. you can only use the code for your initial joining (first box) of the Maven program... not much to invest to give the program a go!

the premise of the Maven program is that for $19.99 a month you receive a box with over $40 worth of product inside. one reason i hesitated to begin the program is i thought that you could not choose the box to receive each month, but customer service let me know that between the 20th and 24th of each month you can log in to choose a different box if you aren't feeling the box they picked for you. after subscribing to the service, during those same days you can also choose to skip the month, send the box to a friend as a gift, or cancel your subscription completely.

to determine which box they feel will best match your needs/likes/wants they have you take a 'Style Quiz', which is a short multiple choice survey. the survey simply has you select nail colors, clothing, and hair that you feel best represents your personal style. every time i took the survey, i received the result 'American Beauty'. i chose to become an 'It Girl' because the colors are generally more vibrant and it seems to always come with three polishes, as opposed to the others which come with two polishes and some type of nail cream/treatment/etc. all boxes come with a surprise extra treaty... but you can assume that this will be a small sample!!

i'm sure you all will have loads more questions, check out their FAQ here.

i was really impressed with their email support, i quickly received friendly, informative responses both times i had questions. however, i called them with a question and that call was never returned... i emailed the question later that day and got a response within an hour. i find it frustrating they didn't call back, but since i got my answer i didn't feel the need to pursue the issue.

i do feel the polishes are quite spendy at $14 a bottle for .27 fluid ounces (OPI, China Glaze, etc. are .5 fluid ounces). another benefit to being a Maven is receiving 20% off and free shipping on all purchases. if you get the 'It Girl' box with three polishes for $19.99 it brings down the cost to under $7... pricey, but much more manageable!

here's my photos of what you'll receive in terms of packaging and appearance!

 the polishes i received are Meryl, Oscar, and Rachel; the extra treaty is a hand cream sample... reviews on all coming up, of course!

i'm such a sucker, i love the packaging! i automatically like the program better because the presentation has shiny, crinkly paper and a red ribbon. i went ahead and ordered the January box since i only paid $1 for the initial box. after the current months boxes are shipped, the leftovers are available for purchase for $19.99. the next few days will be filled with swatchies and reviews of Julep polish! Ria :)

Essie Mesmerize

hey, everyone! hit up Sally's today, got some of the new China Glaze Hunger Games collection... the polishes are beautiful... but the books/movie are definitely not my cuppa :) those swatchies will be coming up next week!

today we have Essie Mesmerize, a dusty blue cream. i was a little shocked by the formula, Essie is usually so consistent! this one took three coats because at the second there was still patchiness. boo! it is a lovely blue, but it's a little darker and a little less royal blue than this swatchie appears.

one coat Seche Base, three coats Mesmerize, one coat Seche Vite.

as a an avid blue collector, this one is not one of my favorites. it's pretty, but not spectacular. i would probably still re-buy this polish, though... what can i say, blue polish is my crack! starting tomorrow i will give my first impressions of the Julep Maven program and then have a series of Julep polish reviews! i LOVE getting packages in the mail, so right there it makes it more fun, Ria :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Revlon Top Speed Cherry

hey, everyone! i'm watching World's Dumbest... hardly surprising, i just watch the same episodes over and over :) it's SO FUNNY!

i just bought this beauty today, Revlon Top Speed Cherry.  i love the clearance section at Target! the color is this gorgeous deep red cream with cool undertones. it does not really look cherry to me, though... i think of cherry as being a bit lighter and brighter. i realized after i took the photos that there is a little VNL (eeeeek!) but it's not noticeable in real life... in most lighting. i would definitely add a third coat if today wasn't just a swatchie day! both coats were easy to apply and dried fast, my disappoint is the opacity. just a little more coverage would make this a perfect red! i think a good red is always appropriate, no matter the occasiona... completely classic AND classy.

two coats Cherry, one coat Seche Vite... shiny, shiny!!

 i am mad for maraschino cherries, who's with me?? yum, yum, Ria :)