Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Leesha's Lacquer Halloween Collection

(The products in this post were provided for my honest review.)

Are you ready for some Halloween collections??!!

That's right, it's that time of year again...time for spookiness, scariness, silliness--and lots of orange, green, purple and black. :)

Today I have two polishes from Leesha's Lacquer's new Halloween collection, which releases tomorrow. :) But first, I have to show you the absolutely adorable goodie bag that she sent with the press samples:

Leesha's Lacquer goodie bag!

How cute is that?? Stickers, candy, an adorable Frankenstein bag, and a hand-written note in the shape of a bat. I think my favorite is the gravestone lollipop, and I don't think I'm going to be able to bring myself to eat it, I just want to look at it 'cause it's so awesome! This shows the love and attention that Leesha gives to her customers and her business. They say God is in the details--in this case, yummies are in the details, lol! :)

I know, I know, I know...get to the polish, woman!

Okay, fine. The first of the two she sent me is Monster Mash, a grape-purple jelly filled with black squares and lime green hexes. First I wanted to see what it would look like by itself, with no undies, to be sure it would build on its own:

Leesha's Lacquer Monster Mash, 3 generous coats, artificial light

I love the colors she chose for this polish--beautiful, strong contrast that pulls in my eye and makes it smile. :) This polish built to squishy jelly gorgeousness in 3 coats, applied generously; the formula was amazing, and this went on with absolutely no struggle at all. I didn't have to dab or fuss, just stroke on like any non-glitter polish. One of the aspects of this polish that I really enjoy is that when the polish is layered like this, the lowest layers of lime glitters take on a yellow-orange color that makes it more complex, and adds another Halloween color.

But, I'm a bit stingy with my specialty polishes, so I wanted to see if it would look equally good with some undies; here is one coat of Monster Mash over two coats of Zoya Keiko, a grape creme:

Leesha's Lacquer Monster Mash over Zoya Keiko, one coat, artificial light

I love this even more, and I wasn't sure that was possible. The undies allows the polish to still keep a little bit of the color change, but makes the glitters pop just as much, if not more. Again I just brushed on, didn't dab, so if you want a denser look, you can certainly go that route. I absolutely adore this--it's one of my all-time favorite Halloween polishes.

Next up is Cinnamon Sparkle, which is a mighty melange of orange hexes and black squares and hexes; cannonical Halloween colors in a clear base, perfect for all of your halloween glitter-topper needs:

Leesha's Lacquer Cinnamon Sparkle, three dabbed coats, artificial llight

These first pictures show three dabbed-on coats of the polish on its own, with no undies--the polish is so jam-packed with glitter I wanted to see if you can wear it on its own. I didn't have any problems with application, and it was really easy to get full coverage. The bottom picture looks like there are two pieces of blue glitter in there, but there are not--if you look at the above pics, you can see it's just a trick of the light. And the light was tricky!! There was so much sparkle on these nails that my camera wasn't quite sure what to do with them, lol.

As you know, I'm not normally a complete-glitter-coat sort of girl, so I also wanted to see what this would look like over undies. To keep a sexy pumpkin sort of look, I put it over two coats of Zoya Thandie, a pretty orange creme:

Leesha's Lacquer Cinnamon Sparkle, one coat, artificial light

In this case, I used one coat that was partially brushed and partially dabbed onto the nail. As you can see, the nails are still awash in glittery goodness, and will catch the light and they eye at all of your Halloween gatherings. I like that this glitter contains squares rather than just the typical hexes, and when it's on the nail over undies like this, I think that variation in shapes shows even more and gives a bit more fun to the polish. And, btw, how gorgeous would this look with brown undies, for a general fall look? I'll definitely be trying that out. :)

In addition to these two, her Halloween collection also features Freaky With Franky, a purple, green, and silver glitter topper, and Trick Or Treat, a topper with black, white, and orange glitters. All of these are fun, whimsical Halloween polishes, and I think any lover of the holiday will be delighted by them!

The Halloween collection will be available for sale tomorrow 1 October 2013. Leesha also has an array of other polishes; all go for $7.00 for full-sized bottles. She also does grab bags for bargain lovers! You can find her store by clicking here. And of course her polishes are three-free, and never tested on animals.

Thanks for taking a look, and happy shopping!

(The products in this post were provided for my honest review.)

Review: Bundle Monster Holiday Collection

(Purchased with my own money; affiliate links)


Fall has fallen and the beginning of the holidays is nearly upon us--I consider the Halloween season to be part of the holidays, so the party is on for me! In light of that, I thought this would be the perfect time to bring out my review of the Bundle Monster Holiday collection stamping plates. A good chunk of the plates will get you through Halloween, fall, Thanksgiving, winter, Christmas, New Year's Eve...and then right on into Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day...etc...etc...etc. :)

Of course you know I recorded a video of my very odd stream of consciousness while showing you the plates:

And here are stills of each plate, followed by a discussion of the collection:

Bundle Monster H01: Cutest reindeer ever

Bundle Monster H02: Love those umbrella trees :)

Bundle Monster H03: I already know what I'm doing with those middle ornaments :)

Bundle Monster H04: St. Patrick's Day and/or Oktoberfest comin' your way!

Bundle Monster H05: I love any sort of Celtic pattern, so I adore those bottom three 

Bundle Monster H06: Every image on this makes me squeal with joy, but those eyeballs take the cake...

Bundle Monster H07: I love that word one...who am I kidding, I love them all

Bundle Monster H08: And another one with all winners--LOVE IT

Bundle Monster H09: Those bunny ears are going to be so cute to work with, and I love dandelions

Bundle Monster H10: I love the egg pattern on this one

Bundle Monster H11: So glad they have a plate that is just for fall, and not only Halloween! And that wheat stalk image looks like the Scandinavian wheat bundles used to feed birds during the winter. :)

Bundle Monster H12: Thanksgiving and/or more fall. That basket weave has so many possibilities...

Bundle Monster H13: More Thanksgiving/fall. That cornucopia is awesome...sigh...

Bundle Monster H14: New Year's celebrations, also other types of celebrations

Bundle Monster H15: Chinese New Year!

Bundle Monster H16: Valentine's the little candy hearts. :)

Bundle Monster H17: All you need is love...

Bundle Monster H18: And one more Valentine's Day for good measure

Bundle Monster H19: They say it's your's my birthday too, yeah

Bundle Monster H20: How cool are those candles and that cake!!

Bundle Monster H21: Awww, baby shower!

Bundle Monster H22: Part wedding, part lace...Those love birds in that tree are one of my favorite images, ever.

Bundle Monster H23: Graduation celebration!

Bundle Monster H24: Cinco De Mayo. I adore the chili pepper image, and that sun at the bottom is so astrologically awesome

Bundle Monster H25: Fourth of July, but a couple could potentially be used for other things

I think Bundle Monster did a great job with this holiday collection. There are some interesting twists on the holidays they included (e.g., Chinese New Year and Cinco De Mayo haven't been represented in previous holiday collections I've owned), and even in with the 'standard' holiday plates, there are new takes on the images they've included. I really appreciate that the images can be used for both youthful and more adult manicures; Bundle Monster always does a good job straddling that line, I think. Also, the decision to include images that are more seasonal rather than just holiday-specific make this a set with something for everyone, I think.

These images are the same size as the Bundle Monster 300 series; for more information about that, please take a look at this size-comparison chart. The quality of the plates is top-notch. You won't have any issues with the stamping, so put those worries aside and just decide whether or not you can resist the awesome images. :)

Thanks for taking a look. Happy stamping!

Before & After: Orange Feather

(All products purchased with my own money.)

Hey there!

I have a ton of stuff I'm trying to put out on the blog in the next couple of weeks, and I'm extremely excited about the start of the Halloween season...I may regret it, but I'm going to do two Halloween challenges again this year. :)

But before I do, I've been in the mood for today I have a very fall manicure to share with you. I've had it in the queue for a while, and I want to get it out before I go all crazy into the Halloween stuff. :)

I started out with A'dor Unseelie, a glowing greyish-brown polish with a green-gold shimmer that borders on a metallic; I accidentally deleted my swatches day-of, so here is an older one to show you the base color:

A'dor Unseelie, two coats, direct sunlight

I wanted to turn this into a duochrome, so I added a coat of Enchanted Polish Special Sauce. I did this back when my cuticles were in bad shape, so please forgive me that...:

Enchanted Polish Special Sauce over A'dor Unseelie

And finally, I did a simple feather stamp with Kleancolor Metallic Orange:

I hate that the logistics of this post were such a disaster, because I love this manicure so much! I love the deep fall colors, and the way the stamping enhances the Special Sauce; it almost seems subtle against that hauntingly rich duochrome. Definitely an attention-catcher, in a good way. If you love fall colors and Special Sauce hasn't made it onto your lemming list yet, I highly recommend it. :)

Thanks for stopping by! Big hugs,

(All products purchased with my own money.)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Before & After: Columbian Freckles

(The products in this post were purchased by me.)

Hey there!

First up, these pictures were accidentally published in an incomplete post about a week of you, so apologies for the repeat to those who saw it! Not too many people saw it before I yanked it down, but still. :)

Back a couple of months ago, I went to check out Sephora's clearance rack when tipped off about a reader about their amazing deals. I was able to score my very first Illamascua polish, Freckle, for the bargain price of $8. :) Here is the beautiful Freckle, a light brown creme with small and uber-small black glitters:

Illamascua Freckle, 2 coats, artificial light

I don't normally buy too many high-end polishes, and only do when they are on sale; I tend to be skeptical that they are worth the money. I have to admit this polish has a wonderful formula and was incredible to work with; I'm not sure I'd pay the regular price for it, but I certainly felt the quality was impressive.

This reminds me of two things--ice cream with Oreos ground up in it, and coffee, and I couldn't resist doing a coffee manicure on it (maybe an Oreo mani in the future, but coffee is my first love!).

I put a very light coat of Lynbdesigns Millie, a beautiful gold flakie, to give it some sparkle--I mean, I barely put any on, just a hint. :) I stamped using China Glaze Mahogany Magic and Cheeky Jumbo Plate 7 to stamp the coffee-bean background. For the coffee pot, I used the same plate with Barry M Silver Foil, and then filled in the coffee pot with the silver polish. I then stamped a second time on top of it, to get an outlined image:

In fact, this was the finished manicure I did in my post on stamping basics, so if you want to see how I matched up the images, you can check that out here or here. :)

This is why I love those Cheeky Jumbo plates. Not all of the images are my style, but there are enough great images like this that are easy to put together to make a fun, thematic manicure. :)

Thanks for stopping by! Hug and unending mugs of coffee...
M. :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Before & After: Butterflowers

Okay, look. It was much nicer in my head.

Remember I said I had another 'Inspired By Dali' manicure in my head, one that was more inspired-by than reproduction-of? Well, here it is. It's not bad. But it doesn't look the way I hoped it would. See, the problem is...well, let's hold off on that for a minute. 

Here's the artwork that inspired the manicure, Dali's Butterfly Rose:

Pretty cool the way the butterfly wings are used as leave, huh? I thought so, anyway...

For my mani, I started with a base of Orly's Pretty-Ugly, and soft robin's-egg-blue with a pretty blue shimmer (I don't understand the name, I must admit):

Orly Pretty-Ugly, artificial light, 3 coats, excellent formula.

Here is my manicure. I used Sally Hansen Rapid Red and Pueen 14 for the rose (for my review of this collection, click here); the butterflies are fimo slices:

So how exactly did this go so wrong? Well, Bob, let's take another look at the tape:

1) This needs to be done on longer nails, so I can have space between the butterfly 'leaves', and maybe even add one more in. 
2) The rose is too big, and has too much visual weight compared to the butterfly wings.
3) The stem is too dark. What was I thinking?
4) I should have stuck with yellow for the rose, because it needs to have less visual weight than the butterfly wings.
5) I picked the wrong color butterflies to go against the background (the blue washes out the green butterflies) and the rose (the red makes the orange look funky). 

That said, and all of those mistakes listed, I do like this okay, particularly in theory, and I will do another version at some point in the future on my other hand (which has longer nails most of the time). Or maybe I'll do it horizontally over the length of all 4 nails. So this here manicure is a great example of learning by doing--sometimes you have to make the mistakes to figure out how the elements will work together, right?   

Yeah, yeah, I planned it as a learning lesson...yeah...>.>

Thanks for looking! Hugs and loves. :)