How To Revive Any Polish by Emi of Project Stash

Friday, December 28, 2012
Hi folks! Sorry for the absence.  I had a bit of technical difficulty with Disqus but everything is back to normal now. Today I have another guest post for you. Emi from Project Swatch (which by the way, has REALLY great pictures and in depth reviews. You simply must follow her) graciously wrote a very helpful post about restoring nail polish. I'm always shocked to hear when other people throw away old polish!

Nail polish doesn’t go bad – ever. It can separate, but shaking it up will mix it back together. It can thicken, but you can thin it out with nail polish thinner (never use acetone or nail polish remover, as it will eventually destroy the polish). Nail polish can dry up completely, but even then, it can be revived.

A friend of mine recently received a dried up bottle of Illamasqua Harsh nail polish in the mail. She preferred to get a replacement, and she gave me the bottle of dried up polish to revive! As you can see, it is completely dried up and the polish doesn’t move at all. However, the polish was still soft enough that I was able to easily pull out the brush, which is step one.

 Next, I took my bottle of nail polish thinner, and poured quite a lot – enough to almost fill up the bottle, but leaving about half a centimeter of room at the top, to more easily be able to mix it up. If you’re not sure how much thinner to use, err on the side of using less – you can always add more later. I use Orly nail polish thinner, but any almost nail polish thinner should work just fine; make sure it doesn’t contain acetone – a couple of the cheaper thinners do, and the acetone can eventually harm the polish.

I then used a toothpick to stir the thinner into the polish. Once it was somewhat mixed in, I shook it for a while. The polish became useable immediately, but I actually found that it was a better consistency the next day (after re-shaking) – perhaps because after sitting, any remaining lumps had dissolved in the thinner. 

 As you can see, Harsh has been fully restored. It’s on the thin side for a glitter, though it’s still a bit thicker than most crèmes, and it’s very easy to use. If you use multiple coats, it does dry on the slow side – I’m not sure if that’s because it has dried out and been restored, or if it’s just a slow-drying glitter. It’s mostly opaque in two coats, but I prefer it as a one-coat glitter topper.

Here is one coat of Harsh swatched over a black crème:

And here are two coats on a swatch stick:


Thanks Emi for that great post! You really should check out her blog- Project Swatch.

Informative, no? On a personal note, I find myself preferring ethyl acetate and butyl acetate thinners like Zoya Renew and Orly Lacquer Thinner for my Big 3 free polishes. For Seche Vite, I like using Seche Restore which has toluene. So now you know! Don't ever toss those precious old bottles of polish away. Some vintage polishes are so unique in color, it'd be shame to just throw them away.

Have you ever thrown away a bottle of polish simply because it was dried up?

Sunset Manicure by Anneke of Pinpoint Polish

Saturday, December 22, 2012
Hi folks!
So I'm on holiday vacation/moving this week so I conned some blogger friends into doing the work for me convinced some of my favorite bloggers to do guests for me this week! Today, one of my favorite nail bloggers ever, Anneke from Pinpoint Polish! helped me out.

I'm so excited to be doing my first guest post and most importantly, I'm so excited that I'm doing it for Mimi. One of the things I love the very most about blogging is the people that I have been able to get to know along the way. Mimi has been so supportive of me and my little blog, including feeding my obsession and saving me from the exorbitant prices of polish in New Zealand.

One thing I struggle with is getting ideas for what to paint on my nails, but something that never ceases to inspire me with its beauty is a sunset. So for todays post, I have taken inspiration from this recent sunset...

This is the view from our apartment. Spot the red and green Christmas colours on the Sky Tower there :)

To create this look, I used a makeup sponge and painted the polish directly onto the sponge, then dabbed it on to my nails. The polishes I used are listed below. I'm on such a big stud kick at the moment. I love how versatile they are and I really like the way this spiral of studs came out on my accent nail.

Polishes used:
Sally Hansen 'White On', OPI 'The "It" Color' and 'I Eat Mainely Lobster', Cult Nails 'Princess' & Essie 'Smooth Sailing'. On top of the gradient is one coat of Chi Chi 'Disco Diva'.

So there you have it, my sunset inspired nails. Thanks so much Mimi for having me on your wonderful blog!

Whoa! What a fantastic view! I wish my apartment looked out to something half as beautiful! 

Thank you so much Anneke for this guest post. You should really check out her blog, she has so many beautiful manicures, all of which are so colorful and put my nails to shame!

$150 to Replace Your Stash?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ok. So hypothetical situation. Your beloved makeup stash has gone missing. Say someone stole it and you have $150 to start replacing the items. What would you buy and why? (Of course, I would just use the $150 to hire a thug to beat up the person who stole my stuff... but... you know). I saw this post over at Project Swatch (and in turn, from Temptalia) and had to give it a go.

This was pretty hard for me since a few of my HGs are high end and that ate up a lot of my budget. Not only that, but I never, ever buy drugstore makeup at full retail price but I figured in this imaginary situation, it would be confusing to factor in sale prices and coupons. So after some head scratching, this is what I came up with.

Black Radiance Complexion Perfection $6
Make Up Forever HD Foundation $42

NYX HD Eye Shadow Base $7
La Femme Eye Liner Sealer $3 (turns everything into eyeliner!)
Laura Mercier Artist Palette $48

Bite Beauty Lipstick Discovery Kit $25

1/8th Loew Cornell Angular Brush $4 (as eyeliner brush)
EcoTools Set $10
e.l.f. flat top Powder Brush $3


I'm actually one two dollars under budget. You'll notice that I don't have any blushes, I figured my Bite Beauty lipsticks could double as cream blushes. Not ideal, but on a budget it gets the job done. I prefer things that can offer a range of looks (hence the pricier Laura Mercier palette that takes up quite a bit of my budget) but I think it is well worth it. My next few picks would probably be NARS Douceur ($26) blush to sculpt my cheeks and Sephora Matifying Compact Foundation ($20).

What would you buy with $150?

Laquerlicious Brand Swatches & Review

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hi folks!
Whew, finals are finally behind me! For over the past week I've been doing this sleep for four hours/cram for 10 hours/eat for one hour/panic for 1 hour rotation. Now, it's finally behind me and I can spend more time blogging!

Tonight, I have a REALLY awesome line of indie polishes to introduce to you. Laquerlicious by Michelle has some really gorgeous creations. They are highly complex glitter polishes- we're not talking two colors of glitters slapped together with cream base, we're talking about beautiful creations of glitter. Without further ado, let's take a look at some of them!

Ember Glow. A red jelly jam packed with red and holo glitter in all shapes and sizes. It twinkles like a bottle of ruby chips. Worn here, two coats over one coat of Essie Lollipop.

Christmas Snowfall. A white based polish with various hues of blue glitter. Also featured a tiny bit of microscopic bar glitter, but they don't stand out. It reminds me of Icebreaker mints! Two coats here, over one coat of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. I think if you applied just one coat, the blue would pop more.

Tart Taffy. This one is just utterly delightful. A clear base with various square and ROUND! (not hex, truly round!) glitter in various metallic hues. Also has various shapes and sizes of matte white glitter. As far as rainbow glitter mixes go, this one is just... just so pretty. One coat over Wet'n'Wild Black Creme.

Salt Water. Another clear base, with a plethora of different kinds of teal glitter and white glitter. I wanted to wear this densely, so I applied two coats over one coat of OCC Tattoo.

Night Watch. A black jelly with color shifting glitter and holo squares and bars, as well as sparkle. The color shifting glitter goes from blue to green! I wore one coat here over Wet'n'Wild Black Creme.

Grape Soda. A clear base with various purple, pink, fuchsia and silver glitter. If you're a purple lover... well, I can't see how you won't fall in love with this! I wore one coat over L.A. Girls Hustle.

Fancy Concrete. A grey jelly base with pink, white, silver, fuchsia and black glitter. A really complex glitter sandwich in a bottle. Worn here, three coats by itself.

I like that these polishes are complex. Michelle uses a wonderful array of glitter, yet each polish feels cohesive. I also like that all the polishes I tried were not topcoat hungry, with a generous layer of topcoat they were gorgeously glossy. They are also quite dense with glitter and stay suspended (sinking sparse glitter just really happens to be a pet peeve of mine). I didn't fish any glitter out of any of them, though I did apply each coat slowly and carefully. I do have to mention that Ember Glow is a bit stronger smelling than the others.

These polishes are $8.50 for full sized bottles but you can also buy them in minis like I have. The best part is that some of the holiday polishes are on sale right now for $6.50, including Christmas Snowfall! Best news you've heard all day or what?

So head on over, check out the Laquerlicious Etsy page!

Which one of these catches your eye?

Products featured were sent to me for review. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Urban Outfitters Mystic

Monday, December 17, 2012

Last month over Thanksgiving weekend I stopped in at Urban Outfitters in Sacramento. I was sort of looking for their holos but my eye was drawn immediately to this flaked polish.

"RAY OF LIGHT!?" screamed my brain. Indeed, it did remind me an awful lot of the Deborah Lippman polish. Alas, I don't have it so I can't compare. But I'm very happy with this $5 polish (2 for $10, if I recall correctly).

A squishy purple jelly with your standard flakies- the kind in Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure, Nubar 2010, Essie Shine of the Times... etc... It's not an uncommon, but I never get tired of it. I used three coats here but you could probably just do one or two on top of another shade. I bet it'd look nice over L.A. Girls Hustle or Revlon Royal.

Are you as blown away by the pretty rainbow-in-a-bottle as I was?

Product featured was purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 

Essie Armed And Ready (+ CND Copper Shimmer)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

There was once a polish called Estee Lauder Metallic Sage. I wanted (still do) more than you could believe. My friend Anneke over at Pinpoint Polish even tried to send me a bottle but unfortunately the NZ post confiscated it (curses!). When I recently saw Essie Armed and Ready I thought to myself, that looks pretty familiar. A dusty olive grey with copper shimmer? I'll bite. Plus I had a $5 reward to spend at CVS so Armed and Ready went home with me.

Bitter disappointment followed. Armed and Ready has some nice soft bronzey-copper shimmer in the bottle, I figured it would be quite subtle on the nail. It it almost invisible. I really have to look rather hard at it in order to see it. It's more grey than olive grey. This was two coats, the formula was pretty nice and fluid.

In the end, I put CND Copper Shimmer on top of it to spruce it up a bit. I like this much, much better.

Sigh. Estee Lauder Metallic Sage lemming- still not slayed :(

How about you? Do you have a long term lemming that just refuses to go away?

Product featured was purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 

FOTD: Navy Smokey Eyes

Friday, December 14, 2012
Just a quick FOTD post. I absolutely love, love, love my Sephora + Pantone Shades of Nature Palette. I've done 1409483 different looks with it already, every time I open it up another combination of colors leaps out at me. Today I did something really simple, just smokey navy eye shadow paired with soft, almost nude lips.

Brows: NARS Bali mixed with LORAC Cappucino shadows
Eyes: NYX HD Eye Shadow Base, Sephora + Pantone Shades of Nature Palette (most of the blue/grey column), NYX Provacteur Mascara
Face: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, MUFE HD Foundation, Chanel Notorious, Guerlain Meteorites Emilio Pucci Edition
Lips: Dior Addict Urban

Do you have a piece of makeup that you just keep reaching for over and over again lately?

Velvet Flocked Nails from Born Pretty Store

Thursday, December 13, 2012
Hi folks!

Recently had the chance to review some new cool things from Born Pretty Store, your ones stop for nail art supplies. This time, it was flocking powder, for velvet nails! Yes! This trend has really grown on me. I picked Brown Red, a rich burgundy color.

The kit came with tweezers, a huge vial of powder and a brush. It's a very simple process- I'm sure you've seen a tutorial elsewhere. Paint your nails your first coat, and individually paint the second coat. While it's still wet, use the tweezers to dump powder into the wet lacquer. Carefully press the flocking powder into the nail and use the brush to dust off your fingers. Voila, fuzzy nails!

I really love the burgundy color. It felt so perfect for this cold weather here in MN. Like warm finger sweaters? Hah! This jar is so huge, I could easily do another 50 velvet manicures, I think. Don't forget, you can use my code to get 10% off as well!

FAQs about velvet nails: 

What happens when you wash your hands?
It gets wet. Even if you use soap, it rinses clean. It takes longer to dry than the rest of your hands but will pretty much survive normal hand washings.

How long does this manicure last?
That really depends on your normal wear and tear. I like changing my polish daily, so I didn't really worry about it. But it can start to look worn on the edges if you're hard on your nails (like any manicure, really). Bald spots may appear if there is a certain part of your nail that rubs against things a lot, but if you are careful, you can still get good mileage out of this manicure.

Have you tried this fuzzy manicure yet?

Products featured were sent to me for review. Links and codes in this post are not affiliate links. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.