Thursday, May 31, 2012

Julep Essential Cuticle Oil

we found out today that our furniture won't get here for at least a week! O.o we decided to go ahead and buy a patio table and chairs, that way we will still have a use for them once the 'official' table chairs arrive :D i'm just going crazy waiting for the internet to get turned on... i'm writing this using the Android Blogger app... not sure how i feel about it yet!

today we are checking out Julep Essential Cuticle Oil. i've been using it off and on for a while now, and honestly... i'm not sure that it helps very much, I certainly haven't seen a large improvement. as cuticle oils go, this one is nice in that it has a fresh herbal/lavender scent and sports a roller ball applicator. it also isn't sticky or thick, it absorbs right into the skin! to get the most benefit from it, you need to be dedicated in your use... slapping it on every once in a while won't give you perfect cuticles! you can purchase it at it is quite spendy at $18 a bottle for .28oz!

let me know if you all have tried (or plan on trying!) this and what you think! Ria :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Zoya Tracie

great news... we have a home! we went and looked around the complex and finally chose our unit... we lucked out because a previous tenant had improved the fence, so now it's more dog friendly than the regular ones :D my dog Jasper is pretty unsure of the whole thing... he's had major, major changes in the last few weeks... but he is going to love his little piece of yard!

Zoya Tracie is today's review from the Beach collection! it's a light green shimmer with strong yellow undertones. the shimmer is very understated, it just gives a little extra life to polish in the sun :) the formula is good, but a little gloopy. i made a mistake on my ring finger, that one has three coats; all the rest have two for full opacity!

two coats Tracie (three on ring!), one coat Seche Vite.

my ring finger looks a little wonky still... i edited out the big lumps i had made at the side... i don't know how mani's can get so out of control sometimes! it still doesn't look quite right, but much more normal than it did! when i'm swatching, i don't want to redo the whole nail if i can fix the mistake in editing... anyone else do that? Ria :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 28, 2012 Ulta Haul!

we made it to Monterey today! we got in too late to get into our new place, so we're in a hotel for the night. it's one of the nicest ones we've stayed at, it's great to end the adventure on a happy note :)

today i'm sharing yesterday's haulage... everything but Arizona is clearance! i was excited to find a Barielle polish for $0 .99... the perfect price to test out a new (to me!) brand. i tried to take off the ugly orange stickers... but they are terrible ones that ripped off and left loads of sticky white paper behind... so i figured, what the heck, the orange at least reminds me i bought them on sale! and when polish is on sale, it hardly even counts as a purchase... right? :D

and, all by itself, the elusive Zoya Arizona!

well... i just remembered that the L'oreal (Silver Sparkle!) isn't clearance either, but it's a new collection so i just had to have it! you all know how that goes, right? Ria :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Civilian Nails Of The Week... Kacie!

hey, everyone! if things go as planned, we should be in our new place on Wednesday... i can't believe it! i'm so ready to be there :)

today is Monday... and time for our Civilian Nails Of The Week! this week's gorgeous nails belong to Kacie... and they are all natural!  she doesn't even need to do anything to them in order for them to be this fabulous... i'm awed and amazed :D Kacie isn't a big fan of polish, but occasionally will opt for a clear coat just to give them that extra shine... with nails that like this, polish is certainly nothing more than optional!

Kacie, thank you so much for sharing your lovely nails with us! your wedding set is seriously stunning, too :D

if any other nail civilians would like to share their nails with the nail blogging world, i'd love to showcase the photos! shoot me a quick email at 

tomorrow's post will be a haul... i found an Ulta in Salt Lake City, Utah and was able to pick up the MIA Zoya Arizona... and a slew of clearance polish! Ria :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Zoya Shelby

we chugged through Wyoming today... there is nothing in Wyoming! the only place we stopped was a very well advertised hotel called Little America... it has an adorable gift shop and ice cream for fifty cents... doesn't get better than that! i was really happy to arrive in Salt Lake City, Utah, though... it's nice to be back in 'civilization'. i'm definitely not a country girl, especially when the country is flat dirt and grass... with very few cows and horses to break up the monotony!

Shelby is today's polish from the Zoya Beach collection. it's a pretty bubblegum pink creme that is opaque in two coats. like others from this collection, it's not a unique color... but it's still super pretty and has a great formula!

two coats Shelby finished off with one coat of Seche Vite.

i can't believe i've been gone for over a week and still have yet to remember to cancel my cable! i hope i remember tomorrow... i feel like such a goober. hope you all have had a great weekend! Ria :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Zoya Reagan

we logged major miles today, plowing through Iowa, Nebraska, and finally stopping after we were well into Wyoming. we ate at a steak place... it's crazy to say this, but i actually got a better steak at the Texas Roadhouse we ate at in Indiana! that's not supposed to be how it works :D i'm bummed because we haven't found any places yet to buy Indian jewelry... hopefully we'll stumble across some soon... i LOVE their jewelry!

today we have a polish that is, in fact, from the Zoya Beach collection, Reagan. it's a beautiful berry creme that is opaque in two easy coats. it's not a super unique color by any stretch, but it's got a great formula and is a good choice if you're in the market for a berry! it dries nice and shiny, but i did add my obligatory coat of Seche Vite :)

i'm so very ready to be settled into my new home... we should be signing the paperwork on our townhouse after the long weekend... it will be nice to actually have an address! hope everyone's having a great weekend! Ria :) 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Zoya Jancyn

WELL! apparently, i ended up buying the wrong orange Zoya polish... Jancyn isn't from the Beach collection at all! i had already edited my swatchie so i decided to go ahead and post this orange... next beauty place i pass in my journey i'll try and pick up a bottle of Arizona... the REAL orange of the Beach collection!

Jancyn is a yellow toned orange creme that isn't quite as bright as it appears in the photo. the formula isn't my favorite, i used three coats... but, i might have been able to get by with two thick ones, though. in case you're wondering, Jancyn is from the Flash collection!

three coats Jancyn, one coat Seche Vite.

i'm so irritated with myself, i can't believe i bought the wrong polish! >.< i guess it gives me an excuse to shop! have any of you ever thought you bought the whole collection... only to find you bought the wrong thing? Happy Friday! Ria :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Zoya Wednesday

today was awesome! i was able to meet up with a friend that i met when i was park ranger, we worked at the same park together... i haven't seen her in years! we had a lovely meal at a Japanese steakhouse and then just hung out watching a little tv and chatting for hours :)

we are kicking off the Zoya Beach collection with Wednesday, a beautiful light teal creme that leans strongly blue. it is definitely reminiscent of Tiffany blue! the formula was great, could have been a one coater, but i felt better with two. it is a bit thick, but not too difficult to work with... and i love the coverage!

we are heading west tomorrow with no destination in mind... we are hoping to stumble across a gem. if any of you know of a great place to visit that's on or easily reached from I-80 in the US, place share below! Ria :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Preview Shot... Zoya Beach!

today was really tough... i can't even grasp that she's gone. i think of my Jemima constantly!

i did have the wonderful experience of going to Wolf Park in Indiana and meeting the wolf i sponsored... it's pretty amazing to kiss a wolf! i had to go through an hour long orientation before i could enter the enclosure... i was surprised by how differently wolves perceive behaviors than dogs do. i was really lucky and had a longer time with Dharma than most people get because she liked me :)

today i have a little preview shot of the Zoya Beach collection, the reviews of these six polishes should *hopefully* start up tomorrow!

i'm in LOVE with this collection, i can't wait to share the reviews with you all! Ria :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


today has been the hardest day of my life. my dog Jemima woke up sick, and by the end of the day she went into sudden renal failure. it was out of the blue, she was fine and playing and frolicking with her brother yesterday... the blessing is she didn't suffer and enjoyed life fully until the end. i plan to keep on posting daily, but please forgive me if it takes a little bit to get into the swing. i got Jemima from the pound when she was six weeks old and has been the joy of my life for twelve years... thank you so much for reading this post and your understanding! i leave you with my angel...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Civilian Nails Of The Week

travelling is going well, we are currently in Ohio! we were going to do a really long drive today... but then thought, why make ourselves miserable? so we cut the drive in half by doing two shorter days :D yesterday involved major trauma because we got off the bus from New York City at the wrong stop... so we were stuck somewhere in New Jersey that wasn't where our hotel was... and there weren't any buildings or anything to give us any sort of idea where to tell friends to come find us! i confess, i had a slight meltdown. the stress of moving to the opposite side of the country finally caught up with me, i guess. today was great, though, a nice drive and then we met up with my husband's aunt (whom i was meeting for the first time). she's an absolute doll who happens to have gorgeous fingernails! and that brings me to today's post...

seeing her beautiful nails inspired me to begin yet another series... however, despite the name, i doubt these will be weekly. i've decided to feature people with beautiful nails (natural, polished, nail art...) who don't blog or work in the nail industry (nail civilians!)... i meet so many ladies with amazing nails that are just screaming to be photographed for posterity! 

without further ado, here are her nails!

can you believe those babies are natural? not only that... she does nothing to them to encourage them to grow! she might just have my dream nails :D 

is this how you'd like your nails to grow naturally? if not, what would you prefer? Happy Monday! Ria :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

So, Ria... Why Do You Use Pure Acetone?

hey, everyone! i thought i'd start another series where i simply answer basic questions that spring to mind when i read other people's blogs... and So, Ria...? is born! if you have any questions you'd like me to answer, leave them below :)

so, why do i use pure acetone? the answer is super simple... i have no patience and pure acetone is the quickest way to remove any type of polish... INCLUDING GLITTER! i pour enough acetone into a bowl (i like to reuse the plastics tubs lunch meats come in) to cover all my nails on one hand, then put my nails in to soak. even glitter, which takes the longest to soak off, usually will easily rub off in under a minute! the issue with acetone, of course, is how harsh it is on your nails and skin. i counteract those effects by using Vaseline, cuticle creams and oils, and body lotion! making sure your skin and nails are moisturized are key parts towards insuring their health! dedication is also key... and i confess i sometimes slack pretty badly, and then my poor nails pay the price for my laziness.

i also use acetone to cleanup my cuticles after applying polish, it removes any oopsies without any effort on my part. i use a pointed eyeliner brush from Sonja Kashuk (check it out here, it's also my fave brush for gel/cream eyeliners!), but after seeing so many ladies using angled eyeliner brushes, i think i'm going to give those a go! just to be clear, the actual brush i use with acetone is ONLY used on my nails :D

what do you all think of the idea of this series? hope you've had a great weekend! Ria :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Peek In My Nail Essentials Bag!

i spent today in Washington DC with my mom, husband, and one of my brothers... we had the best time just wandering in museums and talking. i was also able to see my other brother and one of my sisters briefly, i'm so glad i got a chance to spend a little time with my family before heading off to the other side of the country!

here's a shot of what's in my nail essentials bag for this trip... let me know if you guys want to see everything in detail or if there's any specific product you'd like reviewed!

i hope you all had a great day, mine was wonderful! Ria :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Basically... Travelling With Polish

finally on our way to California! we got going about five hours later than we had planned on... but that's not completely unusual :D i'm super happy because we got to grab a pizza with one of my brothers that i thought i'd only get to see tomorrow! the internet at this hotel is bananas, i can't get the wireless to play nice with my laptop... >.< so i'm posting this technically a day late (i wanted to post every day for a year) but since i haven't gone to sleep yet, i can still count it... right?

i'm just going to do a quick post today and show you how i packed for the trip... as a blogger and avid polish enthusiast :D can't let two weeks go by without changing up my mani all the time... you guys might be the only ones who understand that is extremely necessary :) i brought...

cotton balls and acetone (the big jug, of course!).

a bag full of nail essentials... i think i'll go into this piece by piece tomorrow!

and, of course, loads of polish. i reuse shopping bags (Ulta's are great because they are heavy duty!) and sort by brand, and i'll use sandwich baggies for individual collections that i want to review as a whole... not fancy, but super easy to use!

not pictured is my lap tray... that didn't get brought into the hotel tonight, i'll probably edit a picture of it into this post after i get a chance to snap one!

once i get settled into my new place, i plan on doing some storage and collection posts... those are some of my favorites to read from other bloggers! Happy Weekend! Ria :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sally Hansen complete Salon Manicure Evening Fog

today has been a blur of errands and dinner with a friend... tomorrow we leave... and i have no idea how we're going to fit what stuff we've kept in our cars! eeeeek!

today we are checking out Sally Hansen complete Salon Manicure Evening Fog. the formula is what you'd expect from this line, two easy peasy coats for full coverage. i'm not sure why this one is called Evening Fog... it's a true khaki beige color in a creme finish. all the fog i've ever seen is greYish white... if you've seen other colors, please comment below, i'd love to hear about them! also, since fog is a mist, i think a pearly finish would be a better fit :) i topped it off with one coat of Seche Vite... i completely forgot to apply a base coat! i guess my brain is completely consumed with moving :D

i feel so awkward taking pictures of my right hand... i can't wait until my left hand grows out to the point i can use it. hopefully, that will be soon! have any of you bloggers busted off a nail on your swatching hand to the point where it's unusable? were you upset about having to use your *other* hand? Ria :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Layla Hologram Effect Mermaid Spell

well, the packers didn't finish today, so they're coming back tomorrow >.< ...  that's along with all the other eight million things i have to do to get ready to leave! i can't wait until we are off on our journey!!

today we have the final polish in Layla's Hologram Effect collection, Mermaid Spell. it's a beautiful light blue with a super strong linear holo. i used three coats for full opacity, but i am painting my right hand with my left hand so i'm not at my most dexterous. i didn't use a base coat at all, i think the polish definitely applies best that way! it's the smoothest when nail are thoroughly buffed before application, but since my nails are out of control i don't want to thin them out even more with a buffer!

one of the issues with these polishes is clearly illustrated on my index finger... any flaws are glaringly obvious!  you are easily able to see how badly the tip of that nail is peeling... such a bummer. would any of you like me to do a post that gives an overview of the whole collection (covering bases, application techniques, etc)? Happy Wednesday! Ria :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Layla Hologram Effect Mercury Twilight

today absolutely blew my mind... the packers' boss decided not to send them over until 3... so, they only packed for one hour! they are really going to have to hustle to get everything packed and loaded tomorrow... i'm freaking out a little o.O

today's Layla Hologram Effect is Mercury Twilight, a strong silver linear holo... yummy! i used one coat of Seche Vite as the base, it worked better than other bases i've used, but i did still experience some dragging. i think this polish is best worn without a basecoat, unless you have a base specifically designed for this type of polish (which i unfortunately don't currently possess). two thick coats should be enough for full opacity; however, i had to add another thin coat to cover up some bald spots on a couple nails.

i can't get over my nubbie nails (and this is my right hand, no less!)... i'm currently on the hunt for something to strengthen my nails, do you all have any suggestions? i'm not sure why they have gotten so frail and brittle all of the sudden... they've never been great, but they literally have just started shattering out of the blue! i confess i'm now afraid to have long nails, i never want to experience the giant chunk ripping off into the quick again... icky! 

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

Monday, May 14, 2012

Layla Hologram Effect Jade Groove

the packers are packing away and i'm in my mom's room with my dogs swatching! for the next month or so you will be seeing my unseen right hand... i reached down next to a wall last night and ripped off my middle fingernail on my left hand way down into the meaty part! >.< i can't tell you how mad i was! so, i'll be using my right hand because nobody wants to see nastiness like that in swatchie. this hand is more beat up (i'm extremely right hand dominant) and the cuticles are never going to look as good... so, i apologize!! i will get back to the official swatching hand as soon as possible :)

today's Layla Hologram Effect is Jade Groove. it's a very light minty green so i'm not sure why they chose to call it Jade! it's another beauty, none of this collection disappoints. i had to use three coats to get rid of all the bald spots... but that's because i used Orly Nailtrition as a base... don't do that! most of the nails did self level after awhile... it's going to be a waiting game to see if you need an extra coat. while Nailtrition is an awesome basecoat for normal polish, it caused horrible dragging, clumping, and balding with this holo... yuck.

i'm having trouble capturing the beauty of these holographic polishes when using my right hand as the model... they are much more beautiful than any picture can capture! Ria :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Layla Hologram Effect Retro Pink

the packers are coming in ten hours.... how can there be this much left to do?! i almost forgot to blog! that tells you how scattered i am :D

today's polish is Layla Hologram Effect Retro Pink... a gorgeous light rose with a strong linear holo. most people who see this polish compliment it... even if it's indoors and the holo isn't very strong! the color is beautiful and feminine, the added rainbows just make it amazing. i used Julep Basecoat for my base today... terrible choice! Retro Pink snagged and dragged on it, i needed three coats for full opacity. i'm not sure if i would have needed less if the base wasn't making the polish act up... but my gut says i would still have needed those three coats to make it fully opaque.

tomorrow i will be closed off with my dogs in one of the apartment rooms swatching away while the packers pack. hope all of your weeks get off to a great start! Ria :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Julep Kylie under Julep Ellie

the packers are coming Monday... and i'm still not ready! it seems like the more you do, the more you find that needs to be done. i can't believe that it's actually time to move, it's so surreal. at this time next week, i will be en route to Cali! woohoo! :D

today's review will be of my last two May Juleps, Kylie and Ellie. Kylie is the the magnetic polish from Julep... i've never used a magnetic polish before, so i don't have anything to compare it to! the formula is nice, i used one thin coat and then another thick coat to use with the magnet. the pattern doesn't seem very strong to me, but again, i really don't have a litmus test for that! i used the magnet straight across for my pinky and ring fingers and diagonal on my middle and pointer.

this is one coat Julep Basecoat, two coats Julep Kylie. it doesn't dry to a shiny finish on its own!

this is one coat of Seche Vite to finish everything off.

this is the magnet provided with Kylie, i held on to the square part rather than holding on to the handle. even though i waited awhile before applying the Seche Vite, the pattern was stilled pulled on and changed when SV dried!

Julep Ellie is a sheer pink glaze with a light green duochrome flash. it has perfect coverage in one thin coat! i used it over Kylie... i'm not a fan of this way, in some angles it almost makes the mani look lumpy! it does give enough coverage that you can't see that there is actually a pattern on the polish under Ellie. i'm so happy that the green reflect shows up on the sides of my nails in the swatchie! 

one coat Ellie, one coat Seche Vite.

you can't tell in the picture, but at some angles the light stripes in Kylie really show up. Julep describeds Ellie as 'Opalescent seashell pink with holographic shimmer.' i was really disappointed when i received the polish and there wasn't any holographic shimmer to be seen! it's still a gorgeous polish, though. what do you all think? Ria :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Packing, Swatching, Hospitals... Rough On The Nails!

hey, everyone! i decided to give a little update about my 'real' life... this post won't have any reviews, but i did go to the Ulta in my area today to see their clearance (which they didn't have!) and bought some Orly and the Zoya Surf collection; the photo will be at the end!

my life changed pretty dramatically last year because i was diagnosed with seizures and was no longer allowed to drive. since then, i've been seen by quite a few doctors who couldn't get the spells to stop... and i spent this past week as an inpatient on an epilepsy ward hooked up to EEG and video monitoring, waiting for a spell so that the doctors could actually 'see' one happening. here's what my nails looked like when i arrived at the hospital... pretty rough just from packing for my move across country!

i was lucky enough to have an amazing roommate, so we were able to have a good time, even though we were stuck in hospital beds! i used the time to do some swatching... not as much as i should have, though... chatting and watching tv was definitely more fun :) i finally did have a spell... but nothing showed up on the EEG, so the doctors concluded i was and am not having seizures and there is not an electrical problem in my brain. it's good news... but i'm so frustrated because they still have no idea what the spells are! i'm now cleared to drive, which is wonderful... but i sold my car last year because i wasn't allowed to drive legally because of the 'seizures'...  i'm so mad because they don't make that Mazda3 body type anymore! i know i'm wallowing a bit... i'll perk up and stick to the positive in a few days :) here's the current tragedy of my swatch hand!

after i finish getting swatches prepared for my trip, i think i'm going to have to nubbinize all my nails... HORRORS! however, after all the trauma they've been through lately, they need a fresh start. tomorrow i will be back to polish reviews, i'll finish off today with my new Ulta haul... hope you all have an outstanding weekend! Ria :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May 10, 2012 Ulta Haul!

today i just have a picture spam of my Ulta haul! i laid them out on top of my craft tray, the mess in the background is polish smears and nail guide stickers :D

i found all these beauties in the clearance section... WOOHOO on not paying retail! have any of you happened upon a polish stocked clearance aisle lately? for people interested in the OPI Texas collection, there were loads of those marked down... i bought a few when the collection first came out. if the prices drop a bit  more i will probably grab a few others. Happy Shopping! Ria :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Julep Fina

i was trying to start crocheting a bag today and i just couldn't get the pattern going... so frustrating. i'm currently on the hunt for a new pattern, i've got a mental block on this current one! my fave pattern source is Crochet Spot... they have loads of free patterns in addition to ones you can purchase :)

on to the nail polish! today we have Julep Fina... a blue with an AMAZING formula. it was one easy, easy coat for full opacity... the drawback for most ladies will be that Fina has a frost finish. it's an absolutely stunning icy blue, i've gotten lots of compliments on it! it does show some brushstrokes, but they aren't super noticeable like  in some frost polishes. it would make a great winter polish, it totally evokes thoughts of ice and cold.

one coat Julep Basecoat, one coat Fina, one coat Seche Vite.

is this a polish you'd try or would the visible brushstrokes completely turn you off? i love it, it almost seems to glow with all the light it reflects! Ria :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Julep Nessa

i was using my laptop for awhile without the fan pad... and it got so hot that it burnt my legs! i won't be making that mistake again... i had completely forgotten hot this thing can get!

today we've got Julep Nessa, a golden yellow shimmer. the formula is similar to Julep Ashley... i used two coats on this, but it was hard to control and wanted to bubble. i really wish the formula was better, i'd be grabbing for it more often... the color is really beautiful, it's like sunshine on your fingernails!

one coat Julep Basecoat, two coats Julep Nessa, one coat Seche Vite.

this mani really reminds me of lemon drops! what do you all think of these semi-sheer polishes? i'm still not a fan... Ria :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Julep Ashley

my major goal this week is to get loads of swatching and the bare bones of posts done... i have no idea how long we're going to be on the road from Virginia to California, and i know i won't have time to paint my nails everyday, much less actually blog about it! having posts somewhat pre-done will definitely help alleviate some of my stress... i do love to have a post per day :)

i'm going to take a break from reviewing the Layla Hologram Effect collection and instead go ahead and swatch my May Julep polishes. first up is Ashley, a beautiful warm orange shimmer. i used two thick coats for full opacity, but it did want to bubble... i think three thin coats would probably be best!

one coat Julep Basecoat, two coats Ashley, one coat Seche Vite.

i am trying out Julep Basecoat while i am on my swatching mission, review on that to follow i'm watching Ru  Paul's Drag Race right now... i loveeee Queens! Ria :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Julep Maven :: May 2012 It Girl Box

super quick post today, i'm packing like a fiend! here's a photo of the polishes i got in my May Julep It Girl box, plus the two i added on. the reviews for these babies will be coming next week :)

i hope you all have an awesome week! Ria :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Layla Hologram Effect Ultra Violet

i think the car is finally fixed! it turns out that the other garage didn't actually replace one of the parts and then didn't correctly seal another! unbelievable. hooray for awesome mechanics at home! :D

today's Layla Hologram Effect is Ultra Violet... and it's another gorgeous polish! it's lilac and the holo in it is super strong... definitely another winner. it only needs two coats for full opacity! i applied it without any base or topcoat :)

this is number four in the collection review, that means we're halfway through! i'm absolutely delighted with all the polishes i've tried thus far... Ria :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Layla Hologram Effect Coral Glam

the car saga continues! our friend drove it back here... but during the drive the check engine light came on! so, tomorrow it goes to our mechanic down here... hopefully, he'll take care of it. i'm wondering whether or not we should just buy a new car... but i hate to put a whole country's worth of miles on a new car! sheesh!

today's Layla Hologram Effect polish is Coral Glam... a nude holo! it's a gorgeous light peach with such a strong holographic flash... um, awesome! super exciting for me is that it really matches my skin tone and gives me mannequin hands :D this one is more sheer than the previous two i've reviewed, it took three coats to make this one fully opaque. i used the buffer alone and didn't use the shine side of the buffer or any type of base coat... i liked that i got a full day of wear out of Layla Flash Black using that method! i did have significant tip wear when i woke up, so one day is all you'll probably get out of this mani (at least using this method for the base!).

i have to say, i'm totally loving this collection... if only top coats didn't dull the amazing holo, the collection would be perfect!  Happy Friday!! Ria :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Layla Hologram Effect Flash Black

yesterday's car troubles have yet to be resolved... our friend picked up the car... but it soon did the exact same thing it did yesterday! so, back to the shop. the mechanic thinks he knows what's wrong now... but, somehow i'm not encouraged! *le sigh* it will all work out, i suppose!

today's Layla Hologram Effect is Flash Black, a gorgeous black holo. it really looks more steel greY than black, due to all the holo goodness! it's an amazing color, it really looks like spilled car engine oil when the sun hits it. the holographic element in these polishes do not show nearly as much indoors... which is a bummer. today i did not use any base coat, i just buffed my nails with a coarse buffer and didn't shine them at all. i'm happy to report i'm not experiencing all the chipping and peeling that i did with Seche Vite as a base. however, i also did not move furniture and dremel dogs' toenails today like i did yesterday... so i'm sure that's part of it! i do see a tiny bit of tip wear, but no chips! on to the swatchies :)

i can't tell you how happy i am that tomorrow is Friday... Fridays have to be good days, right? Ria :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Layla Hologram Effect Ocean Rush

today has been ridiculous! i went with my mom to visit my grandmother in the town where i grew up... nothing exciting happened there. but... we got to a stop light and i made a joke about accidentally rear ending our friend that was in front of us... worse timing EVER because the fuel pump then decided to give out. in the middle of the intersection. EMBARRASSING! so my mom and i hopped out to push, and a couple nice guys came and helped us push it to the side of the road. our friend came back after realizing we weren't following her anymore, and a really nice guy stopped and looked at the engine. he thought it was the fuel pump, and he was right! so my mom's car is in the shop there and we borrowed one of our friend's cars to get home to Virginia Beach... it's been crazy!

in other *good* news, today starts off reviews of the 2012 Layla Hologram Effect collection! i bought mine from Ulta for $15.50, they are available on their website here. you can find a coupon/coupon code on Ulta's homepage here.

we're kicking off with Ocean Rush, a gorgeous bright blue. after reading other ladies' reviews, i went ahead and buffed my nails really well and then used Seche Vite as a base coat. i was concerned with every little bump/flaw showing, so i went ahead with two coats of SV... that didn't work very well. i experienced patching and balding, i think the SV dried with a bit of texture, maybe almost mimicking a sticky finish. this polish dries FAST, you definitely don't want to keep going over the same area of nail. i was a repeat offender on that count, so i ended up with balding and lumps on some nails. the good thing is that since the polish is so fast drying AND dries very smooth, it's easy to add another coat to fix any issues. i used two coats for full opacity, but i didn't use my usual method of scraping one side of the brush inside the bottle to remove polish from half the brush. i tried that on the first couple nails and quickly realized i was barely getting any polish on the brush that way... from then on i just dipped the brush in and used everything on the brush on my nail. these brushes don't pick up a lot of product, that's for sure!

these are SO cool! unfortunately, the wear time with this choice of base is atrocious. it chipped almost immediately and then has been peeling off in chunks all day. i will be trying different methods throughout the week, hopefully one will improve the wear! if not, i still think these polishes are worth purchasing... but i'd use them as event polish (like date night, formal/ball, party...). the price tag is certainly hefty for polish that i won't be using everyday! how about you guys, will you be picking up any of this collection? Ria :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Orly Jealous, Much?

i'm SO excited! the Layla Hologram Effect collection *finally* arrived at my Ulta. i can't wait to wear these babies and start posting reviews :D

today's polish is Orly Jealous, Much?. it's a light mint green creme with a great formula... opaque in two thick coats! i was shocked that it only took two coats, it looked more thin in the bottle. my pinky nail does have three coats because i whacked it with the bracelets from my other arm... bizarre, but true!

one coat Seche Base, two coats Jealous, Much?, one coat Seche Vite.

for some reason, i'm having a bad hand day... my cuticles are dried out and one nail ended up almost squared off... i don't know what happened! hope you all are having great hand days, Ria :)