Thursday, October 31, 2013

Winners: Fall Into Fall Multi-Blogger Giveaway!

Hello and Happy Halloween!

Thanks so much for supporting our blogs by entering our Fall Into Fall multi-blogger giveaway! We had a lot of fun with it, and now it's time to announce the winners:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winners have been notified and have until Nov. 2 to respond. If we don't hear from them, we'll pull new winners and let you know. :)

If you didn't win this one, don't be sad! I have another giveaway right now that's sponsored by Barielle (you can check it out here), and will have another multi-blogger giveaway with great prizes for you shortly.

Hope your Halloween has been spooky and ghoulish and delightful in every way!

Before & After: My Halloween Mani


I can't believe it's Halloween already! I have two other manicures to show you that I didn't get to show you and I'm out of time! Oh well...maybe I'll post one later today, or maybe I'll just save them for next year. I have had so much fun doing manis for my challenges, and the funny thing is, I have ideas for about 10 more manis that I didn't get to...that's okay, soon enough it will be Christmas time, and I'll be happily immersed into that. :)

But for now, here is the actual manicure I will be wearing as part of my costume today. During my spooktacular tag, I told you I was planning on building a costume around this make-up (if you follow me on instagram, you will have seen my dry run of the make-up):

I am wearing a gothic dress with this, along with gothic jewelry, in an attempt to look like an old-fasioned doll. :)

For my nails, I started with a base of Julep Winter, which happily just came in my November Julep box (never had one come that fast!!). Winter is a light gray creme, and I've been needing one like this: 

Julep Winter, two coats, artificial light

Next, I drew stitched lines to match the ones on the costume's mouth; I drew them on with one of the MASH nail art pens they sent me for review a while back--I loved them then and I love them now. I freehanded some blood with acrylic paint; I wanted it to look like it was coming from my cuticles, so I put it right on up in the cuticles. The effect works in real life, but it looks a bit messy here:

I think the idea is that the doll either has some sort of horrid virus that is taking over her body and killing her, or she was killed in an unpleasant way and is coming back for revenge. What do you think, creepy??

Thanks for looking, and Happy Halloween!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Authority Cosmetics polish (Part 2!)

(The polishes in this post were sent for my honest review.)

Hello again!

I'm back with part 2 of my review of Authority Cosmetic's nail polish line. If you missed part one, check it out by clicking here--there are some awesome polishes there, and you don't want to miss them. :)

But now, let's turn out attention to the remaining lovelies in the collection, starting with Paradise, a beautiful, bright sky blue creme:

Authority Cosmetics Paradise, artificial light

The formula on this, and the other cremes, is amazing. They apply easily, not too think or too thick. They self-level beautifully on the second coat and, and are smooth and shiny--you don't really need topcoat with these, but I am a topcoat junkie and am showing them to you with topcoat anyway. I adore this shade of blue--it's bright, fun, very wearable, and just happens to perfectly match one of my tops. So of course I love it. :)

And you know I have a soft spot in my heart for reds, so you'll probably guess that this next one is one of my favorites, and you'd be right. This is Saint Valentine, a perfect pin-up cherry red creme:

Authority Cosmetics Saint Valentine, artificial light

Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes! This is, in my opinion, the perfect red creme. Want that Hollywood-glam pin-up look? You got it. Need a heart-red for Valentine's Day? Check. Need a red that looks like fresh blood for Halloween? Here you go. Want that bright, happy Christmas red? Yup-a-rooni! (yes, that's right, yup-a-rooni. Don't judge me.) You'd never think that the same red could play all those roles for you, would you? ::does happy dance::.

This is two coats, and just like the other cremes in the collection, it's absolutely amazing to work with and wear, with or without topcoat.

Next let's look at a polish that's out of this world...Authority Cosmetics Cosmic (sorry...I just couldn't help it...). Cosmic is a ocean blue metallic shimmer:

Authority Cosmetics Cosmic, artificial light

This is two coats of cosmic, and is one of several shimmers in the collection. This one flirts with the line between shimmer and metallic, but is still very easy to apply--I didn't have any visible brushstroke issues, and had the same experience with formula as with the cremes. No pooling, not dragging, smooth application and self-leveling on the second coat. This blue is also very wearable, and I love the sparkly, shimmery shine, even without topcoat.

The next polish, Surf's Up, is a bit of a chameleon; a bright, almost neon, coral, this polish travels the range of coral from the pink side to the orange side depending on the light you're in. For the most part, this is how it looked on me:

Authority Cosmetics Surf's Up, artificial light

This is 3 coats, but you will likely only need two; my problem here was again that annoying white bang mark on my middle finger. The formula was great, as with the other cremes. I love how vibrant this color is; it makes me feel like I have beautiful hibiscus flowers on my fingers. I mentioned that this comes close to being a neon--it doesn't quite cross over that line, and has none of the issues that go along with neons (like flat finish or application issues). If you love corals and/or bright colors, this is for you.

And I've saved one of the best for last: Emerald Sky. This is a blackened teal shimmer, very blue-leaning, with a hint of gentle purple duochrome:

Authority Cosmetics Emerald Sky, artificial light

I've varied the artificial light here so you could see how the polish looks in direct light and indirect light. You can see that it looks almost metallic in direct light, with a bright flash of light. When the light is indirect, it looks almost like a blue-and-black flecked finish, with a gorgeous visual texture. While the duochrome shows more strongly in the bottle, you do get gentle hints of purple around the edges, enough to make the polish unique and special. This is one of the prettiest teals I've ever seen.

And so, we come to the end of the polishes in this line--for now. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next, but for the time being, I think this is a wonderful set of polishes to release for a first collection. Over only 10 polishes, she has polishes which are representative  of each season, and of almost any mood you're in. Almost ever single one is highly wearable without being boring or 'same-old'. While she could have easily put out a collection of safe colors, she made some careful but interesting choices, I think--an avocado green instead of a grass green, a teal duochrome instead of a typical blue-purple one. It's not an easy balance to avoid the 'typical' colors while still remaining wearable, I think.

In terms of formula, I remain very impressed at the top-quality, major-brand-worthy quality of the formula on polishes that are 5-free, vegan-friendly, and of course cruelty-free (all made in the US). As I mentioned yesterday, in my experience, it's not easy to take all of that stuff out and still have a good formula, let alone a great formula, and I've tried plenty of such polishes that left much to be desired. I believe that this is an impressive line of excellent polishes that will keep your conscience clear and your fingers pretty. I am very happy to recommend them to you.

You can find these polishes in her shop by clicking here. She also has a Facebook page here where you can follow her and get notice about any news regarding her line and her shop.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Have a wonderful Hallow's Eve Eve...

(The polishes in this post were sent for my honest review.)

Before & After: Sparkling Diamonds

Hello there!

Not every vampire wants to be the center of attention; some want to go about their business and get the job done without a bunch of fuss and kerfuffle. Still others may not have time in between kills to spend on involved, complicated nail art. But that doesn't mean they don't all want a little something special as they do it all.

If your favorite undead Transylvanian is looking for a pretty, yet understated way to express themselves, I have the perfect thing for them--read on.

First, start with a base of InDecisive Nail Lacquer Sparkly Vampire (ooo, love that name!), an intense blend of sparkly red and black glitter in a luscious blood-red jelly base:

InDecisive Nail Lacquer Sparkly Vampire, 3 coats, artificial light


Now we're going to add some just a hint of goth gorgeousness...grab some pointy diamond-shaped loose glitter (they look just like fangs, don't they?! Totes adorb!!), and put three each of them at the base of the cuticles, for an understated, but vamp-a-licious look:

Why did the vampire break up with her boyfriend?
Turns out, he wasn't her type.

And there you have it! Simple, classic style for the simple, classic vampire. And with that I'm off...I'm having a strange craving for tomato juice all of a sudden...

Hope your Wednesday is full of bite!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Authority Cosmetics (part 1!)

(The polishes in this review were provided for my honest opinion.)


A while back, I was contacted by Kristy from Authority Cosmetics, a new Independent maker, about the possibility of reviewing her line. I was very intrigued by this, because Kristy shares my passion for cruelty-free, vegan-friendly products; as you know, one of the missions of this blog is promote products that allow us to have our fun, pretty nails in a way we can feel good about. So, I agreed. 

I did so, as always, with a lot of hope, and a little trepidation...Making quality polish is not easy, particularly once you cut out the nasty toxins (her polish is big 5-free), and cut out non-vegan-friendly ingredients. I've recently discovered, for example, that deep, saturated reds are very challenging for vegan polishes because they typically use carmine...and trust me, if you're squeamish like me, you don't want to know what's in carmine. Anyway, point is, once you cut out these things, coming up with good formula while keeping beautiful colors is not at all easy. And in my 1.5 years of blogging experience, I've tried out a number of vegan-friendly polishes that had, well, failed to provide user-friendly fomulas.  

Spoiler alert: I am happy to report that Authority Cosmetics is a wonderful product in every possible way. So great, in fact, that I want to make sure to give all 10 colors full attention; so, I'll show you bottle shots of the full collection today, take a look at five of the pretties, and the be back tomorrow with the remaining five. :)  

There is an impressive array of colors among her inaugural ten:

Authority Cosmetics Disco, I Heart You, and Gumdrop

Authority Cosmetics Mermaid Tail, Saint Valentine, and Emerald Sky

Authority Cosmetics Surf's Up, Khloe, and Paradise

Authority Cosmetics Cosmic

Ready for some dancing? Let's get started with Disco, one of my favorites in the collection. Disco is a bright avocado-green creme with a fun, funky feel to it that I just adore:

Authority Cosmetics Disco, artificial light

The formula on this polish was wonderful--not too thin, not to thick, spread well and self-leveled well. As with most cremes, it didn't give complete coverage on the first coat, and I needed two coats; I am showing three here because of the big white ding on my middle finger, which needed three coats to cover. But for most people with normal nails, two coats should be fine. I do have topcoat here, but didn't really need it; the finish on all of these polishes was smooth, silky, and shiny. :)

Need a snack? Let's take a look at Gumdrop, a vibrant Rocker-Barbie-type pink creme:

Authority Cosmetics Gumdrop, artificial light


You know I'm not a lover of pinks, but this looks so glorious on my nails I might have to change my mind. This is two coats, and that even covers the white bang mark on my middle finger. I don't want to be too repetitive, so I'll just say that again the formula was excellent, and I had zero issues with application. Smooth and self-leveling by the second coat--for 5-free, vegan-friendly cremes, this is just amazing to me, better than most of the non-vegan, non-3-free-let-alone-5-free polishes I've tried. 

Next up is the glitter in the collection, and it's an extremely versatile glitter at that. Meet I Heart You, an iridiscent glitter in a coral-tinted base, with a sprinkle of pink and red heart glitters:

Authority Cosmetics I Heart You, over Gumdrop, artificial light

This is one coat of the glitter brushed on, with the hearts placed directly where I wanted them. To get this many hearts, you will need to fish a bit, but they're easy to get out. These hearts are a little smaller than I've seen in other polishes, which makes them sit a better on curved nails like mine, eliminating annoying gaps. As with the cremes, the glitter is shiny on its own, and you could go without topcoat, and I show it here without.

What if you're not a big heart fan--you know I'm certainly not. While I will almost certainly use the glitter for Valentine's day manicures, I admit that for the rest of the year, I probably wouldn't care for the hearts. The good news is, if you like the iridescent part of the glitter, the hearts are very easily avoided; also, while the base is tinted coral, the polish works very well over a variety of base colors. To demonstrate, here is is over Disco:

Authority Cosmetics I Heart You, over Disco, artificial light

This again is one coat, and it applies easily with a simple brushstroke, no dabbing needed. :)

Next up, we have the lovely Khloe, a purple shimmer with just a tiny flash of blue to it:

Authority Cosmetics Khloe, artificial light

This is two coats of Khloe, and's smooth, silky, shiny even without topcoat, and applies like a complete dream. I had no problem with brushstokes showing, didn't have to be careful at all. No hint of frostiness, just beautiful shimmery goodness. I love purple, so I'm biased, but...isn't this beautiful? It's the sort of purple that normally is made into a blurple, but I promise you it is not. Even though there is a slight blue flash to it (even less than you see here in most lights), it is pure purple goodness, through and through. :)

And finally for today, we have Mermaid's tail, a sweet, turquoise creme with a soft southwestern feel:

 Not even gonna take the time to repeat it all--let me just say this has the same fantastic formula as all the above polishes. This is two coats and I didn't want to take it off.

So, here's my summary so far (although it applies to the ones you'll see tomorrow, too). It makes me happier than I can say to find an indie line with a range of beautiful colors that is big 5-free and vegan-friendly while maintaining an amazing, major-brand-worthy quality and formula. Kristy does recommend using a basecoat to protect against staining; I always use basecoat, and didn't see anything out of the ordinary with respect to staining. In addition to this, I must take a moment to rave about the bottles/brush handles--they are softly rubberized and concave in shape,which makes them very comfy to hold and easy to control. I know this sounds like a simple thing, but when you have kitties and puppies that come and bang up against you ever few seconds, every bit of comfortable control you get while polishing your nails is much appreciated.

I highly recommend these polishes, and encourage you to go check out her store by clicking here. She also has Facebook page where you can keep up with her. In addition to being big-5-free, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, her polishes are U.S. made; whether or not you care about cruelty-free issues, you will find these to be top-quality, prestige polishes that will make you happy on the inside and pretty on the outside.

Check back tomorrow to see the remaining 5 polishes in her collection; in the meantime, big hugs and much love. :)


(The polishes in this review were provided for my honest opinion.)