Velvet Easter Nails

Recently I found some pastel colored flocking powder from a local arts & crafts store, so I finally decided should try those velvet nails, that have been quite popural recently. The pastel colors seemed perfect for Easter, so here comes my Easter manicure:

I have to say that these velvet nails aren't really my cup of tea. I wouldn't have even done this mani if I knew I'd be going somewhere, but I was just staying home yesterday, so I had the perfect opportunity to try these out. They do look quite cute, but this just isn't for me. My application of the flocking powders wasn't too perfect either, but this was just to give this style a try. I also wasn't too happy with the fact that you have that powder everywhere after doing these nails, besides the powder got loose quite easily from the nails. Oh well, I think I'll be using these powder for something else than nails in the future.

First I of course painted the nails with similar colors than those flocking powders, so here's the pastel skittle look: 
Index: OPI Gargantuan Green Grape 3 coats
Middle: China Glaze Light As Air 3 coats
Ring: China Glaze For Audrey 2 coats
Pinky: Orly Lollipop 

I should have just kept this pastel(ish) skittle as I liked this look way better than the velvet nails look!

Anyhow, Happy Easter to everyone who's celebrating it! :)


Swap Number Two

I'm not a big swapper mainly because I feel like there isn't that much brands available here in Finland that wouldn't be available somewhere elso, so I haven't got that much to offer to other swappers. However, I just got my second ever swap package and I feel like I should really do this more often!

The main reason for this swap was that I wanted to try out those new Kiko Sugar Mat polishes, so I contacted the lovely Portuguese blogger Akuma Kanji from Under the Gravity's Nails and asked if she'd be interested in doing a little swap with me so that I could get some of those Kiko polishes. She was immediately interested in doing the swap and I must tell you that she was soooo helpful and awesome during the whole process! I kinda wish that Kiko polishes were available here in Finland too, but if they were I would have missed this great opportunity of doing a swap with Akuma Kanji and that would have been a shame... We agreed to send each other eight polishes, but this is what she sent me:

Amazing, right?!? I was just so surprised when I opened the box, because the polishes just kept coming and coming! She said she wanted to sent me some extra and well, she certainly did! Also, she picked up some really beautiful polishes, right?!
So these are the ones that I requested, from left to right: Essence Hello Marshmallow!, Kiko Sugar Mat polishes: Mint (6361), Burgundy (645), Strawberry Pink (641) and Poppy Red (640). I also asked if she could send me three polishes from some local brands, but like you saw already, she included "couple" extra:
From left to right: Andreia #37 and #70, Andreia Pocket #101, #106 and #108, Carlos Santos #623, Cliché Hippie and Maldivas.

Risqué Cintilante Agreste, Inocos Maria Menina and Amarelinho, DERMExcellence #32, Yes Love caviar manicure set and Leticia Well #426.
Here's a close-up of that Yes Love caviar manicure set, so that you can see those pearls better.

All these are new brands for me (except Kiko and Essence), so I'm really excited of each and every one of these! I've seen some of these brands in some other blogs and they all look really great, so I can't wait to try these out! I just have to figure out wich one to try first... Any suggestions on which you would like to see first? :)

In addition to the polish, she also sent me a huge pile of local candy! We've been eating these like crazy and still have tons left, because there was just so much! I loved the fact that she sent me these local candies that are originally Portuguese and have been around since she was little, that was so cute! :)

So you can all probably imagine that I just can't even begin to thank Akuma Kanji enough of all these polishes and the candies! She was just so amazing and sweet and I'm still amazed by all of this! Thank you Akuma Kanji so so so much and I hope you will get the package I sent to you soon too, though it doesn't really compare to what you sent...


Blogs to Love #8

Hello everyone. Sorry for the late post. I thought I had it to post automatically but I got back from girl's night out and found it was only saved as a draft. Better late than never? Anyway, get ready for a long post! Since I missed last week and since Easter is this weekend I thought I'd do a huge Easter link-up. :)

Blogs to Love Friday linkup

Since this post is so big I'm going to split the links into sections.

  • This one is part food, part craft. These Cute Printable Carrot Cones found on The Red Thread will make the perfect addition to any Easter basket and can be filled with candy or even healthy treats.
  • What a cute idea for the little ones and it takes very little effort from you! Sew your little ones or someone else's little ones a Sweet Bunny with this tutorial by Lifeologia.
  • Don't have a basket for Easter yet? Don't rush out to buy one this weekend — create your own with this Easter Bunny Basket Tutorial from Lizzie Florence!
Easter Eggs
  • My favorite part of Easter (besides making myself sick on candy) was always the Easter eggs! I never liked eating them; I just wanted to decorate them!! Sharpie Tie Dye Easter Eggs by Housing a Forest are something I wish I knew about as a kid. They are so fun!! They remind me of peeling paper mache.
  • If you want something a little more elegant to sit around you should try Golden Marbled Easter Eggs. It takes a bit of work but your friends and family are sure to ooh and ahh over them.
  • Neither of these your style? Here are 40 other Creative Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs compiled by Brit + Co. Seriously, the Message in an Egg is genius. It leaves me wishing I had a sweetie to give one to.
My Contributions to Easter

Easter Spellbound Nails nail polish nailart art fashion beauty shoes hair makeup outfit

I have big plans for making this my Easter outfit. I have nearly everything needed to complete this outfit. Simple makeup, messy hair (in blonde instead of red), pastel polish for an Easter skittles mani, the purse, the shoes and a blazer nearly like this one. The key piece however is the pink pants and I don't have them. If I can't find a pair that fit in the color I want this weekend this whole outfit will fall to pieces. :( Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Skittles Spellbound Nails nailart art nail polish pink green purple yellow blue speckled Easter

My other contribution to this Easter post are my Easter nails! I plan to wear my nails like this Sunday instead of doing a fancy design. However, for this post I couldn't resist doing a little something extra.

Easter eggs polish nail nailart art polish Spellbound Nails speckled dyed pink purple yellow blue green

Speckled Easter eggs nails!! I used an old eyebrow brush that was fraying to dab on the base color mixed with some white and then I used some brown polish to create the speckled look. I adore how the blue nail looks here and the purple and green nails looked really awesome in person. Sadly, the pink and yellow nails were so light on their own that mixing the polish with white didn't really add any definition. Still, I think this looks really awesome overall.

And yes, that is a brown chicken egg I'm holding. It was the next best thing since I didn't have any speckled eggs ... or even any dyed Easter eggs. :(

Forgive me for any errors or typos. It's late, and not only am I so tired I can't see straight I have a headache to contend with so I didn't do my usual ten-thousand read throughs looking for errors.


Orly Sweet Peacock & China Glaze Water You Wainting For

Today I have two gorgeous blue polishes for you guys!
So first of is this awesome blue foil by Orly called Sweet Peacock. This is from Orly's 2011 fall collection and I had completely missed this polish when it first came out. Thankfully I got it now as it is quite a gorgeous blue! However, I'm still a bit hesitant to wear blue polishes or at least bright blue polishes, but maybe I will learn to love them unconditionally if I just keep wearing them...

This is two coats with base and top coat. I think this could have even taken over the place of my most loved blue foil (Color Club Cold Metal) because the color is sooo pretty, but CC Cold Metal is one-coater. Also the color of this is quite flashy, so this is harder to pull of than for example CC Cold Metal. I still love the color, but I'm not sure if it's reasonable to keep two blue foils as if I need one, I'm probably gonna use the Color Club one, just because of the coverage.

As I was wearing Sweet Peacock I thought it would be a perfect base color for China Glaze Water You Waiting For, so I have one coat of WYWF here over Sweet Peacock. WYWF is from China Glaze's Cirque du Soleil collection and this just one amazing polish! I just love the combination of blue and green glitter in this and the way they look together! It's just so gorgeous!
This could easily be worn alone too as it has quite good coverage, but Sweet Peacock was so close to the blue this has, that wearing this over it saved me a coat or two. I don't really know what else to say, other than that I really love this one!

Nail Tek Foundation II
Orly Sweet Peacock 2 coats
China Glaze Water You Waiting For 1 coat
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri


Time Periods Challenge: Ancient Egypt

Hello everyone! You'll notice a bit of a difference in my nails with this post. Three of my nails broke last week. I filed them down pretty short and found out the hard way a few hours later that they weren't filed enough. One of them caught and broke again! My nails had to be filed shorter than I've had them in a good long while — so short that the tips of my fingers actually hurt where the extra length of my nails usually protected them.

But enough about that. Here is my post for the Time Periods Challenge. Today is Ancient Egypt. I've seen so many hieroglyph nails and the rarer death mask inspired nails that I wanted more than anything to do something different. Here's my attempt to think outside the box.

I'm not an expert, but I've always been slightly fascinated with Ancient Egypt. The pharaohs, the Gods, their way of life — it's all so interesting to me. Did you know cats were highly revered by the Ancient Egyptians? Some cats of royalty were dressed in gold jewelry and allowed eat from their owners' plates!

What better way of thinking outside the box than to do a cat nail for Ancient Egypt? I used a saran wrap base of Color Show Bold Gold and Funky Fingers Platinum Record. The cat is a representation of Bast/Bastet — most often shown as a black cat with gold jewelry or a woman with the head of a black cat.

I couldn't find my nail art brush so the cat was done with a combo of dotting tool and sewing needle (for the ears, tail, and collar).


BPS Nail Studs

I got another products from Born Pretty Store for a review and this time I chose a wheel of nail studs in 12 different shapes and a matte top coat. Today I have a mani to show you with those nail studs:

I wanted to try out several different studs so I did this mixed up mani with four different studs. I used Orly Miss Conduct as the base color and then I added also some black polish to some nails. Index and pinky are done with scotch tape technique and for the ring finger I did diagonal gradient. After the polishes were dry I added a coat of top coat and then placed the studs.

This mani isn't really my style and I didn't really like this. There are some nice elements, for example I really like the ring finger nail and also the pinky, but those stars are way too big for me. Infact, the picture at BPS website shows that the stars in the wheel are much tinier, but at least in my wheel they are really big. However, it was quite easy to bend them just a bit so that they fit the curvy nails a bit better. 

The studs come in a wheel like this. The wheel is a bit smaller than some rhinestone wheels that I've previously bought, but there is still quite many studs in this. BPS says there are approximately 300 pcs in this, so there's really enough for several and and even more manis. I just wish those stars were a bit smaller and that there could have been more black studs in this (there are only those small round ones that are black).

With this wheel you can nevertheless have the variety of different studs and this is perfect for trying out different shapes and shades, if you don't want to buy large amounts of one shape or shade.

Don't forget that if you want to buy this or some other products from BPS you can use my code to get 10% off:

*The product in this post was sent for me to review, for more information see my disclosure policy.


The Tri- Polish Challenge: Day 3, Holographic Glitter & White Flowers

Hello everyone!

This manicure was inspired by the purple and white stamped nails in this Vintage nail art made by A Lacquered Affair. I had the same stamping image, and the silver version of the holographic glitter that she used, but other than that I used other polishes. So this looks different from her nail art, but I got the idea from it.

What I used:

As you see, I used purple, and green on the accent nail. So I used only two of the Tri- Polish colors today. I made a gradient on the tips with H&M 'Jo Is In The House'. The other polishes were applied on the entire nail. I took photos after each stage, but now I'm just showing the end result. The list is written in the order the polishes were applied.

Base coat
Linda Johansen Nail Candy: Lilac Lilly
H&M: Mint Madness
H&M: Pink bling bling
H&M:  Jo Is In The House- used here, here, and here
Konad SP: white
Stamping plate: BM- 312
IsaDora: #769 Mother of Pearl
INM OutTheDoor: Northern Lights Hologram Top Coat "Silver"- used many times
Top coat- between some of the layers & on top.

Here you see the IsaDora shimmer better:

This was supposed to be posted on Day 4. First I tried to make a skittlette. Then I tried to paint roses. And when I failed, I covered the roses with purple, and stamped roses over them, but the stems looked bad... I don't know why I think everything is easy before I start. So now I'm trying to find out what to make for Thursday. Something with silver or something black? And now the index finger nail broke again... and the ring finger nail on the other hand broke yesterday...

And below you will find the other manis for Day 3!



Weekend Haul

*All products in this post were purchased by me.

Hello everyone! I picked up a few things this weekend at some really awesome prices so I thought I'd do a haul post. :)

First up: L.A. Colors neons. I adore these!! I stopped in at the local Dollar Store to pick up some rolls for Sunday dinner and couldn't resist taking a browse through the nail polish. I found Mint, Hottie, Pink Bubbles, In A Flash, and Tangerine. I was in a hurry or I would have dug out the neon purple I'm sure I saw at the bottom of the bin too. See Pink Bubbles on my toes in the picture collage below. Having a neon polish on my toes is a must for spring and summer!

Saturday, I picked up these pretties from the Rite Aid sale bin ... well, all but the NYC polish; it, and a few other products, were marked at 75% off!! The sale bin seems to be drying up sadly, but I hold out hope that more polishes will be moved there soon. From left to right: Battery Park Purple, Tahitian Green, Strength of Pink, Figi, and Corduroy.

Also on for 75% off was this gorgeous NYC Lip Plumper in Plum Tart. I got this for $0.99!!! I didn't get it for the plumper ... okay, I didn't get it only for the plumper. The color is just so pretty! It's actually much lighter in person. I think of a nude gloss with a drop of plum color mixed in to give your lips a very natural shimmery flush of color. I didn't notice any real plump to my lips but it did have a slightly minty scent and did cause some tingling to my lips. Almost like getting toothpaste on your lips while brushing your teeth; I found it causes nearly the same amount of tingling for me. I found it almost refreshing to be honest.

Also on Saturday I found some really awesome sale items in Boscov's. This white sweater was an amazing find. It is so very, very comfy and is light enough to last in my wardrobe through Spring. And was a steal at $5.99! I also picked up a lovely gray blazer (no pics yet). I love blazers!! They are an essential part of my wardrobe! To find one for $9.99 was brilliant, but to get up to the checkout and have the sale's women scan it up as $5.99 was stunningly brilliant!

The one thing I didn't get on sale was the shoes. I saw them two weeks ago and fell in love — which is odd because I can't stand flats. I've been told many times that I must have been born with my heels because the only time I'm without them is when I'm not wearing any shoes at all. When I saw them this weekend I couldn't let them go again. Especially after trying them on and seeing how comfortable they are. I honestly expected to try them on and have them fit like all the other flats. They would surely feel weird and hurt the backs of my feet, but these lovelies didn't hurt at all and they fit perfectly! They are so me. An oddly fitting combo of nude and neon color with an awesome spiked toe. They were about $17 — which is a steal in and of itself for a pair of shoes today!

And my new shoes match my new neon pink nail polish! I hate feet, abhor them really, but I wanted to show off my neon toes too much. I kept the picture small and hope it doesn't make anyone cringe too badly. And yes, that is snow between the gaps of my porch. Yes, yes I did stand outside in my bare feet to get this picture. Dedication to my blog at its best ... or worst?

*All products in this post were purchased by me.


Shimmer Polish Mary

Today I have another Shimmer Polish beauty for you guys:

This pretty one is called Mary* and I have three coats here with base and top coat. I've seen many great manicures lately where these Shimmer Polish lacquers have been layered over some other polish and they look really amazing that way too, but I wanted first to wear all these alone. All these Shimmer Polish lacquers are really complex and they seem to have just the perfect amount of glitter in them as they look great layered over another polish with just one coat, but they can also be build up for full coverage with just three coats, which is quite nice for a glitter polish like this.

Mary seems to have mainly red, silver and black glitters in it, but there are so many different glitters in it that I won't even try to analyze everything it has. The main thing is that it looks really gorgeous on it's own and I'm sure it works well layered over many different colors. I can't wait to try out some different combinations!

You read more about Shimmer Polish and also buy the lacquers here. They sell for $12 each.

Lumene 3in1 Nail Ridge Filler
Shimmer Polish Mary* 3 coats
Essie Good To Go

*The product in this post was sent for me to review, for more information see my disclosure policy.


Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Review

*The products in this post were provided free for review purposes thanks to BzzAgent. All opinions are my own.

I signed up for BzzAgent last month and was so excited to be offered the chance at a BzzCampaign so quickly. They offered me the chance to try the Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge system. This includes the shampoo and conditioner and the 1-Minute Moisture-Plenish, a deep 1-minute conditioning treatment. 

According to the BzzAgent campaign: Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge is infused with superfruits for silky-soft-hydration. Hydra Recharge will recharge your thirsty locks and keep your hair super silky and surprisingly weightless for up to two whole days.
  • Works best on dry to normal hair
  • Keeps hair weightlessly silky for up to two days
  • Is available at grocery stores, drug stores, and mass retailers (I actually saw it at my local Dollar Store the other day)
  • Retails for suggested price of $3.99 to $6.99 each

The three bottles arrived in a plain box with adorable personalized BzzAgent bee logo tape. I opened the box still expecting to find deluxe samples or something, but they were all full-sized bottles!! They were also nicely bagged which I appreciated and which I'm sure the post office would have appreciated if there was a spill.

Just before getting invited to join this campaign I had a hairdresser tell me that my hair was very dry. Of course, I could tell by her tone that very dry was much worse than very. So, while skeptical of all the Hydra Recharge promises, I was really looking forward to this review.

The shampoo (as stated by the BzzAgent Campaign) is a hydration innovator, featuring for the first time thousands of beads that burst on impact.

I took a ton of pictures for this review so to conserve space (and lessen loading frustrations) I've hooked the relevant ones together. Click on them to see the full size image. You can see the texture of the shampoo here and also see the little blue beads. This shampoo has a really nice texture and creates suds very easily. I love this because our water is horribly hard and suds are really hard to come by.

This is me, washing my hair in the kitchen sink so I can get these pictures. I had so much fun with this review, and I wanted that to come across in my pictures. Here you can see the suds. Most of them have dissolved by this point, but even this amount is far more than I usually get with other shampoos.

Between the shampoo and conditioner, you use the 1-Minute Moisture-Plenish Treatment.

The 1-Minute Moisture-Plenish (as stated in the BzzCampaign) is a powerful deep treatment whose revolutionary lightweight creme-gel formula transforms dry hair with a surge of high-performance hydration in just one minute. For best results, use 2x a week.

This is almost like a lotion. It is thick and creamy and oh so smooth. I put on a dollop and massage it into my scalp and down the lengths of my hair paying special attention to the roots and tips. I continue to massage it in for the full minute. I can actually feel this working as my hair turns thick and voluminousness.

You can see here that the lotion-like texture thins down in the water but look closely at my hair. You can see how thick and silky it looks already.

Lastly you use the conditioner. You may be thinking - who has time for this?? But it really doesn't take all that much more time than your regular shampoo and conditioner, and the benefits far outweigh the extra two minutes of putting in and rinsing out of the Moisture-Plenish.

The conditioner (as stated in the BzzCampaign) contains superfruits of goji berry, passion fruit and kiwi to actively replenish without heaviness.

I wish more than anything that you could smell this whole system! Starting with the shampoo and ending with the conditioner the light and fruity scents just explode! I've actually been caught many times sniffing my own hair throughout the day because this wonderful scent lingers throughout the day and into the next as well! I love turning my head to talk to someone and getting a hint of this scent wafting around me. Seriously, stop into the shampoo aisle on your next shopping trip and take a sneak sniff of this!!

The conditioner is slightly thicker than the Moisture-Plenish. I was amazingly happy to see that both the Moisture-Plenish and the conditioner rinse out well and quickly. They leave none of the yucky residue of other brands.

Here you can see the conditioner in. It really isn't heavy at all! It feels light and silky smooth in my hair. And again, in this picture you can see just how soft my hair is looking.

This curtain of hair looks so soft and dreamy, right?? This is just after I washed the conditioner out.

I really couldn't be happier with this system, and would recommend it to all those who have dry hair or just want a bit more soft shininess in their life.

I also want to share that Garnier Fructis lives up to their promise of weightlessly silky hair for up to two days with this system! Thanks to natural genes and hard water, I have to wash my hair everyday or deal with flat, lifeless, and semi-greasy hair. After starting to use this system I noticed that my hair had much more volume the next day and nearly no grease! I can now leave it down if I want to, but I usually prefer to simply back comb it to give it a bit more volume and pull it up into a high pony. It's a classic look that I really couldn't enjoy before BzzAgent and Garnier Fructis.

Just an FYI: there is also a Hydra Recharge Moisture-Whip Leave-In Conditioner that you can purchase and add into this routine. I'm not a fan of leave-in conditioners given my hair's natural lean towards the greasy side, but given how much I love this system I may just give in and purchase it too.

*The products in this post were provided free for review purposes thanks to BzzAgent. All opinions are my own.