Lit from Within: March 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Stamping - Happy Easter

The theme for this week was Easter. 

Yesterday, I did a mani with different pastels.  Today, I wanted to focus on one color.  So I did a kinda-sorta ombre with purple.

From thumb to pinky (and left to right in the bottle shots) Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect Whisper, Rimmel London I Lilac You, Barry M Gelly Prickly Pear, Essence Oh My Glitter! and (front bottle) Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Orchid Express.

While looking through my stamps, I found one that just said Easter to me - the lily.  This stamp is from Bundle Monster 314, and I stamped with Finger Paints Paper Mache.

Per usual, these stamps look better on larger nails.  Or, at least it would be easier to tell what the picture is supposed to be! 

Are you celebrating today?  Did you do a festive mani?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Getting ready for Easter, and Spring - Butter Pastels

I am reminded of a scene in 'The Devil Wears Prada' where the fashion editor is sarcastically saying how flowers and pastels for Spring are so new.  They aren't new, but they are pervasive!  And, if something says Spring, it's the new collex from Butter London.

I found all of the colors in this collection to lack the signature creamy-ease-of-application most Butter Londons have.  Pastels are notoriously tricky to apply, and these were no exception.  You'll notice in many of my swatches that I had trouble with patchiness and leveling. 

Molly-Coddled.  Red-toned lilac creme.  Probably the easiest to apply, but needed 3 thin coats for opacity.

Kerfuffle.  Beautiful color, horrible clumpy mess.

Fiver.  Palest mint-green.  Mint greens are huge this year, and this one is the lightest I've seen.  A little troublesome, maybe, but I think it was worth the effort.

Cuppa.  A nude creme that oddly seems to fit with the pastels.  A great nude for my very light, still-winterized skin.  I used it as the base color for my Easter-ish nail art.

I took a makeup sponge and dabbed all of the other colors in different places all over Cuppa.  Topcoat is a necessity to make this kind of nail art look sufficiently blurred together.  I almost stopped here, but I ultimately couldn't resist adding a little more.

With a dotting tool, I made large dots in all the different colors all over the nail.  To get the depth and layering of colors, I went back over each nail at least twice with each color.

Pastel jumble!

Bottle shots.  I'm missing Jasper, the yellow, and Fruit Machine, the pink from this collection, if you're wondering if there's more to it.

Which do you like better - the watercolor look, or with the dots added?  Would you rather have dots on a skittles mani?  What are you doing for your Easter/Oestra/Spring Fling Thing mani?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ruby White Tips.. and Bats? And Bill?

The first polish I fell in love with when I visited Ruby White Tips was Poppy.

Isn't is a gorgeous scattered holo?  I love these pink/coral colors.   Poppy is named after the 'covergirl' bat at Batworld Sanctuary.  So, I decided to look at her page.   And I fell in love with her story, too.  A gentle giant among the other bats, she is timid.  Forced to do tricks and keep unnatural hours at her previous home, she acted out by biting.  Now, she enjoys toys and bits of melon, and the company of other bats at the sanctuary.

As much as I like the polish, I think it's only made better by her story.  50% of the proceeds of this polish go back to Batworld to support Poppy.  There are other polishes in the collection, all of which give 50% back to the sanctuary.

Another collection from Ruby White Tips is the Kill Bill Collection.  I saw all the movies, about a million years ago.  The name P. Wagon didn't mean anything to me, but I loved the color and the effect as a topcoat.

On my thumb is 2 coats of P. Wagon on its own.  On my index finger is Sinful Colors Dream On, a matte neon pink; Middle is OPI Manicurist of Seville, a blue-toned red; Ring is Revlon Royal, a jelly cobalt blue, and the pinky is Finger Paints Black Expressionism, a black creme.

Bottle shots of the undies:

Here they are again, with 2 more coats of P. Wagon.

Revlon Royal is usually my fave undies for almost anything, but I think the red OPI is actually better with P. Wagon!  They're all so pretty, though.

I took the same undies and re-painted as a base for Ruby White Tips Hartnett.  I am such a sucker for a flaky topcoat!

It doesn't do much over P. Wagon, but I like the different effects over the different colors.  Of course, you get the most differences over black, but there are some interesting colors popping in the red, blue, and even fuchsia. 

Does a charity link make a difference to you when you buy polish?  I'm not a huge fan of bats, but after learning more about them, I like them more, I definitely can see how important they are in our ecosystem.  Eat dem bugs!

If you'd like more information about Ruby White Tips, you can find her on Facebook.  If you're interested in Batworld, here's a link to her Batworld collection, and a link to the Batworld Sanctuary website.  All the other Ruby White Tips polishes are also on her Etsy store.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sweet, Hard Candy

Nail polish enthusiasts were all a'twitter when we heard that Hard Candy was revamping their cosmetic line and coming out with a bunch of new nail polishes!  At first, I wanted ALL of the pretties, but then I calmed down.  Today, I have two for you.

Crush On Lava.  A supposed dupe for Hard Candy Beetle (apparently it's close, but not a true dupe), it's the polish I most wanted.  I love a duochrome!  This one is pink and gold/orange.

It has large particle duochrome pigment, so it looks textured, but it's not.   I was inspired by this nail art I saw on Raggio di Luna and created my own version with a few rhinestones and a white striper.

Ah, duo-chromey goodness.

Piece of Papaya.  Another variation of pink and orange.  This one, unlike Crush On Lava, doesn't have the black undertones, it's pure metallic shiny lightness.

I love how it can be the same basic colors as Crush On Lava, and yet look completely different.  This is more pink with an orange shimmer, and a chrome/metallic feel to it. 

I wasn't a collector of the old Hard Candy, but I know some people still miss the rings that came on the bottle!  I like these new bottles, though.  Very current.  I liked both of the formulas, too.  Not bad for $4.

What do you think of the new Hard Candy line of cosmetics?  Will you be crushing on lava or getting a piece of papaya?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Matchy-Matchy Yum-Yum

When you're a *ahem* famous beauty blogger who specializes in nails, people expect fabulousness!  So, when I went out to celebrate a friend's birthday wearing this blue patterned shirt, I wanted - no, needed - nails to match.

I started with Lacquerhead Polish Blueberry Yum-Yum.  I am constantly fooled by polishes like this that look so dark in the bottle, but then need a million layers on the nail to achieve it.  After three, I generally give up.

As I'm usually running late, I didn't have time to start over, so I looked for a pattern that resembled my shirt, and stamped in black, which made it look a little darker, and also helped the holo to stand out more.

One nice thing about stamping is that it's generally easier to replicate on my right hand than freehand nail art.

As you might have guessed, no one really noticed, and the one person at the party I showed it to could not have cared less.  But I knew, deep inside, how fabulous I was, and that was all that mattered.

Do you like wearing matchy-matchy nails, or do you like your nail color to be complementary, or as wildly different from what you're wearing as possible?

If you'd like more information about Lacquerhead Polish, you can find her on Facebook, or her Etsy shop.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More, MOAR Model City!

Today, I have the last two polishes in the Model City Spring collex.  They are all very subtle pastel holos, and I've decided to show them all as-is, with a matte topcoat, and stamped.  If you're just tuning in now, I started this collex on Stamping Sunday, and in yesterday's post.

Pretty In Pink.  I know I'm not the only one who has to sing the name of this polish.   I'm noticing a trend in all my pix that my ring finger seems to have more VNL than the other nails.  Not sure why that is, but I really love stating the obvious, so there you go.

Love this with a matte topcoat.  So far, they all look amazeballs with a matte topcoat.

Stamped, again with the DRK-C plate, and Finger Paints Black Expressionism. Groovy, baby.

You Blue Me Away.  If there was one polish in the collex that didn't work for me, well, it's the notorious pastel blue.  I could not get this to level out on me.

Note to self:  If a polish has mistakes, do not use matte topcoat - it only makes the mistakes more noticeable.

Another stamp with DRK-C, and Kleancolor Metallic Green.  I was trying to camouflage my bad paint job... but I only made it worse.  I should have waited longer for the polish to dry.. note the new ding.  Another note to self:  when it's bad, just start over.  Sometimes, you just can't hide it!

Overall, I really liked this collex, and if you bought the whole thing like I did, you got a free bottle of her holo topcoat, Seize the Rainbow.  So, if you wanted more holo, you could DIY. 

Is this a pastel collex you'd like?  What was your fave - as-is, matte, or stamped?  Would you add more holo?

If you'd like more information about Model City Polish, you can find them on Facebook, and her store on Etsy

Monday, March 25, 2013

More Model City!

If you missed Sunday's Stamping post, I started the Model City spring collex with a floral stamp.  Today, I'd like to show you two more polishes from the collex, in the same vein - regular, matte, and stamped. 

I Lilac What You Did There.  If there's one great thing about spring, it's pastel purple, in lots of different permutations.  Love it! You can just see the tiniest scattering of holo; it's really more for dimension.

This is gorgeous with a matte topcoat.  Makes it look icy!

Purple elephants just brings out my inner child!  These are stamped with DRK-C and Maybelline Amethyst Ablaze.  No topcoat, which is why some of the elephants are peeling a tad.

Anti-Establish Mint.  I would love to see a comparison between this and Enchanted's Britney Spearmint.  I suspect they are similar - and the pix of the Enchanted don't seem to be very holo, either, though I suspect it might be more holo than this one.

It takes on a chalky look with a matte topcoat.

Stamped, again with DRK-C, and this time with Sinful Colors Moss Have.  This Sinful is horribly frosty as a mani, but stamps beautifully.  I love how this pattern evokes jade jewelry.  You have no idea how hard it was for me to try and center this stamp on each of my nails.  I'm going to pause for a proud moment.

Would you rather have plain pastel cremes, or do you like the hint of holo?  I have the remaining two colors in the collex for you tomorrow.

If you'd like more information about Model City Polish, you can find them on Facebook, and her store on Etsy

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Something Different Sunday: Hard Night/Good Morning!

When I started this blog, I never imagined I would also grow to enjoy doing beauty product reviews... but I'm really enjoying learning new things and trying different beauty products!  Of course, I also have an inspired mani to show you, too!

I was contacted by Hard Night/Good Morning to see if I was interested in reviewing their products, and I have to admit.. the name intrigued me!  The older I get, the harder it is to bounce back from my Girls' Nights Out!  I tried two products from their line.

Facial Cocktail Serum.  Apparently, this is their flagship product, but I didn't know this when I selected it.  I can see why it is, though.  I absolutely LOVE this.  I can honestly say that this product does exactly what the name Hard Night/Good Morning says. 

You know I loved it, because I did a mani inspired by the packaging!  I free-handed stripes using OPI Black Onyx and Cult Nails Tempest.

I first tried it out after a particularly margarita-filled Girls' Night Out.   I woke up dehydrated and droopy.  I just knew this product couldn't bring my 40-*cough*-something  face back to life.  I don't know if it was the aloe base, or the combo of the exotic ingredients, but wow, I felt amazing after just one use.  My skin felt rejuvenated.  The next night, I stayed up past my bedtime.. way past.. and woke up with similar droopiness.  Again, after using the serum, I looked better.  I've been using it every day since!

One unexpected side effect was how it really helped with my blemishes.  I am the only 40+ something I know who has more pimples than wrinkles.  I had a couple of blemishes near my hairline that just *wouldn't* heal up - they kept reforming.  After using this serum ONCE, they disappeared.  In an inspired moment, I used it on some reoccurring blemishes I get from my bras, and, while I still have some, I have less, and they are less angry-looking. To be honest, if I used it there every day, they'd probably be even better, but now I'm hoarding my bottle for my face because I really like it that much.

All Hard Night/Good Morning products are paraben, phosphate, sulfate and phthalate free, and safe for all skin types. The serum has a subtle scent, like grapefruit, I think.  It doesn't linger, though.  I'm not overly sensitive to scents, but I didn't think it was obnoxious.   The serum comes in a pump bottle that easily dispenses a small amount of product that is enough.  It looks thick, but it spreads really easily, like it just melts into your skin and is quickly absorbed.

If you'd like more information on their serum, or to purchase it for $69.99, please check out their website.  Through the end of March, they are offering free shipping on purchases over $125.

Detox Mineral Masque.

I haven't used a masque in YEARS. This one is a clay-based masque that looks like terracotta.  It went on easily.  The first time I used it, I had some rawness around my nose from blowing it, and I guess the masque irritated it because it stung!  So, be sure to avoid any raw skin if you're sensitive.  The second time I used it, my nose was healed, and there was no stinging, just a tightening feeling as the masque dries.

I didn't notice any changes after using the masque.  The second time, I even used it on those bra-induced blemishes I was telling you about.  Consulting their web page, I see that this is a product that needs to be used weekly to see results, and it will reduce blemishes if left on overnight.  I'm pretty sure I'd get orange stuff everywhere if I tried to leave this on overnight.

My skin did feel a little dry after using the masque, so I used a little of the serum, and that made it all better. The masque sells for $25.99, and if you purchase $125 worth of product in March, they are offering free shipping.

Hard Night/Good Morning was created by D'Andra Simmons, after she spent over 10 years in the beauty industry.  She wanted to create a full-service skin care line for men and women. There are only 8 products in the line, and she believes they are all you ever need to take care of your skin.  The line is aloe-based, and free from parabens, phosphates, sulfates and phthalates, and is 100% vegan. 

I can honestly say that I loved the serum, and if you aren't getting all the beauty sleep you need, this can help you look and feel better.  And, if you're like me and have aging skin but still get pimples, this may help you like it helped me.  I would love to hear from you if you've tried these products, or think you might!

If you'd like more information about Hard Night/Good Morning, please check out their Facebook page.  They also have lots of info and an online store on their webpage.

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