Twinsie Tuesday: Anniversary Post!

Today marks the 2 year anniversary of  beginning "Twinsie Tuesday", a group of fellow nail polish enthusiasts I've had the pleasure of getting to know and now consider my friends. (I started a few months after the group's origination). To celebrate, we are doing  a special Twinise post today! We were paired up and told to do a manicure inspired by another Twinsie's first post. I was paired with Anna and her's my take on her dark purple manicure she sported in her first post (entitled, "Franken Polish"). 

In this photo, I'm wearing Misa Well-Heeled Grey. Don't let the name fool you, this is actually a grey toned purple, and it's pretty awesome. This was 2 layers of polish:

Please be sure to visit the other ladies and see who they were paired up with! (Love you girls!!!XXOO)

Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined and Polished
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra


Duri Cosmetics Valentine's Day Nail Polishes! (Swatches, Pictures, & Nail Art)

Press Sample

Hi there!  I have some sweet Valentine's Day inspired nail polishes from Duri Cosmetics to share with you today! Duri is one of my favorite nail brands, and I love trying new colors from them- they never disappoint!

Love Me Tender- a shimmering mauve with hints of purple. (2 layers shown here):

Every Day Is A Valentine- an extremely striking, warm-toned, red jelly polish (3 layers):

Hot Date- a deep raspberry pink jelly/creme mix. (3 layers shown):

Cupid Rules- eeep! This is my jam right here...a deep bubblegum pink creme. Delicious! (2 layers):

 Romeo & Juliet- soft, shimmery light pink. (3 layers):

And here is some nail art I did using these shades and a few different sized dotting tools:

Some quick info from Duri:

Make Duri Cosmetics your perfect Valentine's Day match! Available nationwide at salons, spas and specialty stores, as well as online at www.duri.com. Individual bottles retail for only $6 each and Custom Gift Sets retail for only $24 each.
All Duri nail products, including the over 250 colors, are completely safe, environmentally-friendly and free from DBP, TOLUENE and FORMALDEHYDE.

Will you be scooping any of these up?


Twinsie Tuesday: Nail Care Routine

Hello there, my fellow manicure enthusiasts! Today's Twinsie theme is "Nail Care Routine", and in starting this post, I've realized I've never written one like this in all my years of blogging! How silly, right?  I'm typically blinded by all the glitter and shiny that is on my nails to actually sit down and write about what is a somewhat mundane topic for me. None the less, it's an important one. I've been a nail tech for over 15 years, and I've inevitably tried a plethora of nail care products in that time. Here are some that I keep going back too, and some newer additions to my routine as well:

First, let's talk Removal. I don't have much patience, and considering the sheer amount of polish changes I do on myself a week (roughly 4), I need a remover that is QUICK. Enter 100% acetone nail polish remover. The kicker with this is that, yes, it does the job well, but it's extremely harsh and drying to the skin around your nails. I combat that aspect by layering a thick amount of cuticle cream on my cuticles before starting the removal process (I've been really into this Burt's Bees lemon one for awhile now!). I typically use one single cotton round, ripped off into several, acetone soaked pieces to remove the polish from both hands. I let the cotton sit on my nail for a few seconds and the swipe everything right off:

Other Must Haves for me are the following:

A-Cuticle remover. Let this sit on your cuticles for a few minutes and then using an orange wood stick (D.), gently push back your cuticles.

B-A Gentle Brush. I use this children's toothbrush (came in a 4 pack from the dollar store) instead of an actual "nail brush" because it's super cheap. Also, it has a smiley face on it!

C. A Fine Grit Nail File. The finer, the better for natural nails. I also have a glass file that I enjoy using too!

D. Orange wood stick (see A, above!) You can also use this to clear fresh polish mistakes from the side of your nails.

E. A three way nail buffer. You should not use this every single day, but once every other week or so will help to clear off any uneven spots from your nail beds, giving you a nice smooth surface to polish.

F. Cuticle Nippers. LISTEN! DO NOT use these unless you have a hang nail type situation going on. NEVER, EVER nip at healthy cuticle skin. You end up getting a much better result if you continually push back your cuticles and use remover instead of physically cutting them off. With that said, in the right circumstance, these can be a life saver. The angled tip get hang nails off in a jiffy, without pulling more skin.

Next-Moisturize! It's so important! Here are my current favs:

Barielle Nail cream- this stuff is amazing. I put it on before bed and wake up still completely moisturized. It smells great and has a wonderful, dense texture without being greasy!

Cuticle Oil- this is a must. This Island Girl one smells delightful and has little flowers floating in it!

Hand Cream- duh. I love doing my cuticle oil first, then massaging everything together with hand cream. This Julep Rock Star one is light, yet effective and smells clean and fresh.

Cuticle Oil To Go- you need to be able to oil up at a moment's notice, so carry an oil pen (this one is from Nicole by OPI) in your bag.

Treatments, Base Coats, Top Coats:

Formula X Nail Cleanser- Use this right before you are about to polish to be sure all oils are cleansed from your nail bed. A dry nail = better polish staying power.

Nicole by OPI 3 in 1- although you can use this as a nail strengthener and top coat, I typically use this product as my base coat and LOVE it!

Barielle Nail Rebuilding Protein- I use this to keep my nails from getting weak. On days when I don't feel like wearing a color, I definitely have this on. I sometimes use it as a base coat as well!

Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat- I always try to find others that work as well as this, and I just can't. Super fast drying and SUPER shiny. I swear by it!

And, if you're into Seche Vite as well, you should track down the professional refill size...totally worth it:

So that is what my nail care routine looks like!  Be sure to check out the other Twinsie posts as well!

Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined and Polished
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra


Twinsie Tuesday: Seasonal Gradient

Hello there! Are you snowed in, like me right now?  I'm using this time to catch up on my nails!  Here's my look for today's Twinsie Tuesday theme, which is "seasonal gradient". My inspiration was Valentine's Day and I did a white base then some pink & red. I topped everything at first with the OPI glitter , Nothin' Mousie Bout It (it has little hearts!), but it did not show up that well against the pink and red. I went over that with another OPI, Minnie Style (red and white hex glitters) and this is how it came out:

 Please excuse the crappy lighting in this photo! I'm used to taking my pictures outside, during the day :)

Be sure to see what the other ladies posted today too!

Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined and Polished
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra


Dove Dark Chocolate & Nicole by OPI! 2 New Nail Polish Shades PLUS An Irresistible Sweepstakes!

Press Sample

The one thing that may excite me as much as nail polish is chocolate, so today's post is a match made in heaven to me!

Dove Dark chocolate and Nicole by OPI have launched a sweepstakes for the New Year called, "Discover Your Dark Side In The New Year" and 25,000 winners will receive Dove Dark Chocolate inspired nail polish kits!

Here are pictures of the 2 chocolate inspired polishes:

First, there's Better After Dark, a chocolaty shimmer with hints of burgundy! This was 3 layers of polish:

And here's a shot of Better After Dark with flash to further show that shimmer:

Then there's Promises In The Dark, a true dark chocolate creme that applied beautifully! (2 layers shown):

Let me tell you, my press sample also came with some Dove Dark Chocolate (including their new "seas salt caramel" flavor, and OMG. So heavenly. I'm a big Dove chocolate fan anyways, so this was just icing on the cake. There's nothing like the smooth texture of this chocolate!

Here's more info about how to enter this fun sweepstakes, straight from the press release:

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. (Jan. 3, 2014) – DOVE® Dark Chocolate and NICOLE by OPI® celebrate the New Year with the launch of the “Discover Your Dark Side in the New Year Sweepstakes.”  The Facebook-based promotion will randomly award 25,000 entrants with two exclusive NICOLE by OPI® nail lacquer shades inspired by DOVE® Dark Chocolate: “Better After Dark” and “Promises in the Dark.”
As the #1 solid dark chocolate on the market, the unique, silky-smooth taste of DOVE® Dark Chocolate lives up to people’s expectations of what chocolate should taste like. Available in four varieties, including new DOVE® Silky Smooth Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate, DOVE® uses carefully selected cocoa beans to deliver its signature taste and a special process that delivers the unique, silky-smooth texture.

“In 2014, we want to encourage people to discover the delicious taste of DOVE® Dark Chocolate, which offers a creamy taste experience that shatters the perception that dark chocolate tastes bitter,” said Roy Benin, Chief Consumer Officer, Mars Chocolate North America. “With this sweepstakes, we’re putting the silky-smooth taste of DOVE® Dark Chocolate at people’s fingertips with the always smooth nail polish experience from NICOLE by OPI®.”

Enter the “Discover Your Dark Side in the New Year Sweepstakes”
From now through February 5, 2014, DOVE® Chocolate Facebook fans can enter once per day for a chance to win one (1) of the 25,000 NICOLE by OPI® kits, which include:
§  A coupon for a free DOVE® Dark Chocolate Bar (1.34 oz. - 1.44 oz.)
§  Better After Dark NICOLE by OPI® Nail Lacquer Bottle
§  Promises in the Dark NICOLE by OPI® Nail Lacquer Bottle

To enter, simply “like” the DOVE® Chocolate Facebook page and click on the Sweepstakes tab (https://www.facebook.com/dovechocolate/app_548734081871225) to enter your name, email address, shipping address and date of birth.  The Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States who are age 13 or older on or before December 27, 2013. All winners will be selected at random by an independent agency in the week following the sweepstakes. 

For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/dovechocolate or www.facebook.com/nicolebyopi.


NEW! Limited Edition OPI Gwen Stefani Collection (Nail Polish Pictures and Review)

Press Sample

Ever since I caught wind that OPI had a Gwen Stefani collection in the works, I've been extremely psyched. They are finally here and as a long time Gwen fan, I'm so happy!

Let's start off by looking at the signature shade from the collection, Over And Over A-Gwen. This red jelly-creme beauty comes in it's own special box complete with Swarovski crystal accents and glue:

Next is Push & Shove. This is a true metallic silver. This one comes packaged with it's own special base coat (Lay Down That Base) and some interesting instructions saying that the polish is "intended for one night only wear". What the --? With that kind of warning, I expected this polish to flake off almost immediately.  But you know what? It's been 24 hrs since I put it on. In that time I've showered, applied makeup, dried my hair, did laundry and worked.  It's wearing fine. I'm baffled, but excited because this polish is a stunner. Like most metallic polishes, it magnifies any imperfections on your nail, but the Lay Down That Base basecoat definitey helps. Here's 2 layers of polish over 1 layer of the base coat:

Next is 4 In The Morning, a shimmery, dark gray polish that has a satin finish (2 layers):

Next is the holographic glitter named, In True Stefani Fashion. When I saw my friend Eugenia's post here about this polish, I knew I had to try to recreate it. Here is it (with 4 In The Morning as the base color):

Here's Hey Baby, a bright carnation pink creme. I was very excited about this one because it reminded me of a color that came in an OPI Halloween mini set from a few years back that was never available as a full size bottle. Here's 2 layers:

I Sing In Color is a vampy, raisin/burgundy creme that is just perfect. I love this one! (3 layers):

Love Angel Music Baby is a soft gold satin finish polish that is simply awesome. (2 layers):

And here's a quick nail art look I did using polishes from the collection:

What do you think of this collection? Will you be picking any of them up?? 

I'll leave you with some parting info from OPI:

Gwen Stefani by OPI nail lacquers contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and feature OPI’s exclusive ProWide Brush for the ultimate in application. This promotion will be available beginning January 2014 at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for  $9.00 ($10.95 CAN) suggested retail for each nail lacquer. The boxed set including Over & Over A-Gwen and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS will retail for $14.95 ($18.95 CAN).
For more information, please call 800-341-9999 or visit www.opi.com. Follow OPI on Twitter @OPI_PRODUCTS and become a Facebook fan!

Thanks for reading!

Twinsie Tuesday: Inspired by Family

Hi friends!

Today's Twinsie Tuesday theme is "nails inspired by a family member". I'm wearing Bliss from The Hungry Asian that the awesome Kelly from Tuxarina sent me for Christmas! The reason I chose this color is because one of my son's, Noah (6) is pretty much obsessed with the color yellow, and when he saw this one he told me it was "so pretty" :D

And Noah was right- this pale creamy yellow with matte orange glitter is gorgeous and unique (3 layers shown):

Thank you Kelly for this awesome polish!! I love it!

Be sure to stop by and visit the other Twinsies to see who inspired their nails today!

Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined and Polished
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra


NEW! Nicole By OPI: Carrie Underwood Collection (Nail Polish Pictures, Swatches, & Review)

Press Sample

We're rolling right into 2014 with an awesome new collection from Nicole By OPI! This Carrie Underwood inspired set of 14 nail lacquers has something for everyone, including great shades to transition us from Winter into Spring!

Love My Pups- a super pale, creamy pink (3 layers shown here):

Southern Charm- OMG. This nude taupe cream turned out to be one of my favorites! It compliments my skin tone so well. I was surprised, because in the bottle it leans on the brown side, but on the nail, it's just perfect nude-ness! (3 layers):

Sweet Daisy- a warm toned peachy-pink cream that is completely lovely. My Grandad used to call me 'Daisy', so I love the name! (3 layers of polish shown):

Carnival Cotton Candy- a super bright, cool toned pink creme! Exactly like sweet cotton candy (3 layers):

Color Me Country- a bright, warm hot pink cream that is another one of my favorites. I fall for this type of color all the time. I'm sure it's not completely original or groundbreaking, but it's just so pretty! (3 layers)

Some Hearts- rounding out the "pink" half of this collection, we have this pink-red, almost jelly shade that is super shiny. (3 layers):

American As Apple Pie- a perfect red with hidden shimmer flecks! (3 layers):

Backstage Pass- dark and vampy burgundy shimmer. I'm madly in love with this! (3 layers)

Lips Are Dripping Honey- a golden holographic glitter that flashes a ton of pink!  Here's one layer over Backstage Pass:

Goodbye Shoes- a slate/teal cream. So, so, so beautiful. I don't have many of these colors in my collection...I love it so much! (3 layers):

Party Bus- a silver holographic glitter top coat with hexes and flower shaped glitters!  1 layer shown on top of Goodbye Shoes:

Sing You Like A Bee- a white shimmer with a golden flash, this polish is on the sheer side but builds up coverage pretty well (I'm wearing 3 layers here):

Fisher Queen- a dark, royal purple shimmer (3 layers shown):

Last we have Carrie's signature shade, Carrie'd Away, a golden shimmer that is sheer, yet buildable (a lot like Sing You Like A Bee formula-wise). Here's 3 layers:

I did a super quick nail art look using nothing but Carrie'd Away and Fisher Queen. I had Fisher Queen on as the base, and then just using the brush from Carrie'd Away, I dabbed on some spots (kinda leopard-esque, no?). I LOVE purple & gold together...there's just something very regal about it!

There you have it! Starting the year off with a big, polish BANG!  Which 'Carrie' polish is your fav??

Some closing info from Nicole by OPI:

Nicole by OPI formulas are long-lasting, fast-drying, and salon-quality.  This limited edition collection will be in newly designed bottles featuring the NEW Nicole logo.  These shades will be available January 2014 for $7.99 each at retailers including select CVS, Duane Reade, HEB, Kroger, Kmart, Ulta, Walmart, Fred Meyer, Meijer, and Harmon locations.  In Canada, these shades will be available for $10.99 each at Shoppers Drug Mart, Target Canada, Walmart Canada, Jean Coutu, London Drug, and Loblaws.
For more information, visit nicolebyopi.com. Follow Nicole by OPI on Twitter @NicoleByOPI and become a Facebook fan!

About Nicole by OPI:
Nicole by OPI offers a salon-quality range of bold, fashion-forward nail lacquers. The brand’s heritage is based on OPI’s well-established foundation of excellence in both color and technology, providing premium products to a broad range of consumers looking for trendsetting nail lacquers.  Known for its celebrity collaborations and partnerships, the brand invites consumers to be creative and confident by expressing themselves through color. Currently, Nicole by OPI range boasts over 120 shades, including retailer-exclusive lacquers, and serves as the color authority for the younger demographic.

About Carrie Underwood:
Since releasing her debut album in 2005, Carrie has sold over 15 million albums and placed 17 #1 singles on the charts, 8 of which she co-wrote. Her current album, Blown Away, made history by debuting at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart, making Carrie only the second country artist in the 47-year history of the chart to have each of their first four albums debut at #1.  The now Platinum-selling Blown Away album also debuted at #1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, making Carrie only the second country artist in history to have three consecutive albums debut at #1.  She is a six-time GRAMMY® winner, a two-time Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, a three-time Country Music Association and ACM Female Vocalist winner, and a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry.