Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!!

Hello annd....

Happy Halloween!! 

Todays mani was done using some LONG time favourites:


I used: 
OPI Cuckoo For This Color
KKCenterHK Water Decals (10% off with code nailcall)



This set of water decals seem to have become more brittle with age (these are from the same package as the ones I used last year), so I had to be a little more cautious using them. They are still stunning though, and I highly recommend them! 

Some Halloween-esque (but not limited too!) accessories:
Scarf: Ardenes
Sorry for the hyper crop, but I has such a bad double chin in the pic! (at this point I should add the hastag: #pregnancyproblems) LMAO
Bracelets: various (including Ardenes & Claires)

Aside from Halloween, I wanted to share this video about a time lapsed Photoshop by Up Worthy with you. Shannon (@shannonfisher) shared it on Twitter, and I found it really eye opening & puts a lot of superficial stuff into perceptive.  

Have a great, fun, and safe night everyone! 

Karen

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Mean Green Halloween

Hello!

So yesterday I got the rudest break in my nail ever and had to file all my nails down to nubbins. That means my post today is going to be super short, just like my brand new hyper-nubs. I'm only posting one picture of my scary nails... and sadly not in an awesome Halloween kind of scary.

Halloween Mani:

To create this scaaaary look I used:
Sally Hansen Grass Slipper
Mash Plate 25-50: 38
Bundle Monster CYO 2013: BM 413
Cult Nails Nevermore for stamping

To make up for my lack of nail pictures, here's our freshly carved pumpkins:


Can you tell I'm a mom to all boys?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Have a great day,

Karen


Monday, 28 October 2013

My Delicate Skittlette

Hello!

I hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was great & busy. We had a small Halloween/30th birthday party for Jon. There was lots of food, good laughs, and fun people. I tried out a total of 3 new Pintrest recipes and I am thrilled that they turned out perfectly (because as most of you know, Pinterest ideas can sometimes be a bit of a gamble) links included at the very end.

Todays mani I'm sharing with you is another take with OPI This Gown Needs A Crown. While this look is a celebratory yet delicate in style, its not the look I wore to our party. My mani for the party was actually OPI Alcatraz...Rocks, which I have swatched, but I am not sure when I'll be posting it. It does however make a tiny cameo appearance on my pinky!

Delicate design on DRK-C
I used the following:
OPI: This Gown Needs A Crown
OPI My Boy Friend Scales Walls
OPI Alcatraz... Rocks! (swatches coming soon, promise!)
DRK-C 
Essie No Place Like Chrome (stamping)
Born Pretty Studs

I've mentioned before, I'm the type of girl who prefers gold/warmer metals to silver & white metals, but the satin finish on OPI This Gown Needs A Crown really speaks to me for some reason. I truly hope OPI releases a warm gold of this shade before the winter is up! (my hope is in the Gwen Stefani Collection due out in Jan).


Annnd that's all I got for today!

How was your weekend?

Thanks for reading, & have a great Monday!

Karen

PS. If you're interested in the Pinterest reciepes I followed, They're posted below:

Skinny Broccoli Salad (makes a HUGE amount, I added cranberries)
Toffee Dip (again, makes a large amount! Everyone ate their share & I still sent 2 different people home with left overs)... kinda un-did the "skinny" part of my broccoli salad though
Brine Turkey This one was more of a guide line I used, but still super helpful! (I've never brined a turkey before this & I will never NOT brine one again)

I hope you try these out!

Friday, 25 October 2013

OPI This Gown Needs A Crown & OPI DS Radiance Comparison

Hello,

Since swatching OPI This Gown Needs A Crown, I wondered how it would compare to a silver foil that's been mattified.

Below I did a comparison between OPI This Gown Needs A Crown & OPI DS Radiance:

You can see that, while the silver colour is basically the same, the finish set the 2 shades apart. Radiance is so reflective, that its shine is much more unified then most foils I've seen (sorry my light box pictures are not the best). OPI This Gown Needs A Crown is tiny silver particles in a clear matte base (or "Satin" base I should say),  and it allows each particle to reflect the light at a lower intensity allowing the wearer to really SEE the light reflect in various directions.

Here I used my matte top coat (Essie Matte About You) on OPI DS Radiance only. You can see while the matte top coat does tone down the reflectiveness, it also seems to dull the vibrancy of this silver making Radiance a tad dim in light of its previous highly reflective, need sun glasses state.


My final conclusion, you ask?

Lots of room for both these lovely silver ladies in my Helmer.

Have a great weekend!

Karen

Thursday, 24 October 2013

OPI Miss Universe

Hello!

Remember on Monday I mentioned a hauled *just a bit*  and grabbed one more shade from the OPI Mariah Carey collection, as well as 2 from the OPI Miss Universe collection?

Well today I would like to show you my 2 picks from Miss Universe collection: This Gown Needs A Crown & I'm feeling Sashy. Trust me when I tell you, I had a hard time NOT getting the Miss You-niverse shade. The main reason I didn't purchase it is because I already have lots of similar shades in my collection (but there is a high possibility I would have liked that one the best!). 

Lets start with OPI This Gown Needs A Crown:
OPI This Gown Needs A Crown
Can we just start by saying I love the sassy name to this nail polish. I know I am not that strange alone when I say names make a big impact on how much I can love a shade. A fitting name really makes the polish for me. While I still love a few polishes named with just numbers, I really do prefer fun tie-ins with the theme of the collection. 

Ok back to OPI This Gown Needs A Crown (fun name!). This is a silver matte shimmer, being released as a Satin finish. To me it looks the same as OPIs discontinued suede finish, and hey, that's perfectly OK with me! One thing worth mentioning is this shade is in a clear base, and needs to be built up. You see 3 coats here with no top coat (and actually no base coat either). I find that after 3 coats you can still see a little bit of nail underneath. 

Like many others, I am fascinated with this shade. I love how its metallic-ish, without many of the negative traits we associate with a typical metallic finish. Dry time was really fast. I did have very minor streaking with This Gown Needs A Crown, however the large streak on my pinky finger is due to a imperfection on top of my nail prior to painting.  


And... you know what this polish really needs? 
A crown! Of course. :P 

OPI I'm Feeling Sashy:
OPI I'm Feeling Sashy
OPI I'm Feeling Sashy is a dusty, red based, light purple creme with a jelly-like formula (slightly sheer). Most reviews on this shade seem to agree it's a 2 coater, but in my experience I'm Feeling Sashy benefits from having 3rd cost. It also dries a smidgen darker then the bottle colour. Formula was smooth and flawless, shown here with top coat. 


I'm Feeling Sashy is a great basic to add to your nail polish wardrobe. Its a season-less shade that will probably never go out of style. It also will look great on any age, nail length, and style. My only complaint is this purple is so basic that it becomes a little forgettable in the sea of polish that surrounds it. I also suspect I may have a few bottles similar in colouring, but I'll have to go stash diving in my helmer to confirm.  

Something about this kind of purple just makes me happy! :D


So another 2 winners for me, I've already used both shades in separate nail-art manicures, and I can't wait to share! I encourage you the pick up OPI This Gown Needs A Crown soon because its definitely the most unique & eye catching of the collection, I can see it being sold out soon. 

Have you picked up any from OPI Miss Universe? Which ones were your favourite?

Thanks for stopping by & reading, have a great day!

Karen 


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

OPI All Sparkly And Gold Skittlette

Hello!

I'm going to try something new and up my postings to 4 times a weeks, instead of 3 times a week. I'm not sure how long this will last, given my super busy schedule, but I think I should be able handle it for the next little bit anyways. So if all goes to plan, my new up-dates are going to be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday. I'm excited to see how it pans out.

On to the nails! Right after I finished swatching OPI All Sparkly And Gold, I removed some polish and created a super simple skittlette:



I used the following:
OPI All Sparkly And Gold
China Glaze Pelican Grey
OPI Alcatraz...Rocks
DRK-C (plate)
Cult Nails Nevermore (stamping)


I'm not sure what inspired me to put these shades & stamp image together. However I liked the over all look. I'm still high on fumes my love for OPI All Sparkly And Gold, and I'm pretty sure at this point all nail polish will look amazing next to it.

Here's a close up of All Sparkly And Gold, look at that micro shimmer tucked in with the same coloured glitter. Its such a fascinating shade. OPI Alcatraz....Rocks, is another shade I'm smitten with at the moment (pinky). I have a full-mani of Alcatraz ...Rocks on as I'm typing this post. A review will be coming soon!

Ok that's all from me today!

Thanks for reading & have a great Tuesday!

Karen

Monday, 21 October 2013

OPI All Sparkly And Gold

Good Morning & Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a great weekend! 

So guess what!? Over the weekend I ended grabbing a few new bottles of nail polish (surprised?! I didn't think so! lol) including another shade from the OPI Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 collection: OPI All Sparkly & Gold. 

OPI All Sparkly And Gold
OPI All Sparkly And Gold is a tarnished gold glitter bomb. All I can say is this shade has got some MAD sparkle, and the name is perfect. The formula was a little thick, but it was clearly due to the amount of glitter packed in, and I had no trouble with application. Dry time was good. What you see here is 3 coats, but 2 should be enough, I added a third coat just to see if there was a noticeable difference, there wasn't. I have 2 coats of top coat added. 


I own nothing even close to similar to All Sparkly And Gold. I just love the fine glitter particles packed together to create a solid and interesting glittery colour. From far away & right close up, OPI All Sparkly And Gold holds visual interest. I cannot believe I passed this baby up the first time I saw it! Owning this shade from the Mariah Carey Collection definitely takes away some of my bitterness towards the crappy formula in OPI I Snow You Love Me.  

OPI All Sparkly And Gold has a colour uniformity not often seen in glitter bombs. The over all effect at a distance is a coarse metallic gold shade with additional depth. Truly a stunner!


I personally think this gold glitter is worth a double take, even if you feel gold isn't your colour. Its tarnished colouring in this shade takes it down a notch from the traditional holiday gold, and adds a lovely touch of class & elegance. My favourite of the Mariah Cary 2013 Holiday collection (previously My Favorite Ornament).

Do you have a favourite from the OPI Mariah Carey Holiday collection? 

Have a great Monday! Thanks for reading. 

Karen 


Friday, 18 October 2013

BM 2013 Twin Post With Chit Chat Nails: Part 2

Hello & TGIF!! 

After a long week, I am so happy its Friday!

I've been getting really spoiled with twin posts lately & I'm definitely not complaining about THAT! Yesterday I had the pleasure of posting with my cousin & brand new blogger of Simply Stylish Nails

And today is PART 2 of a set of twin post with my friend (and AMAZING blogger) Marta of Chit Chat Nails (PART 1 HERE & HERE).

Today's twin post is Martas image choice from the Bundle Monster 2013 Create Your Own and she chose the splatter image on BM-416.  Talk about not making it easy! I had no idea how I would use this image.

See how I used the splatter image below:


I used the following:
OPI Dutch Ya Just Love OPI
OPI Fly
BM-416
Konad Special Stamping Polish in White
Cult Nails Nevermore
Essie No Place Like Chrome
DRK-B (small splatters)


To create the above look, I double stamped the splatter in various directions. I also interchanged white & black stamping polish. After I finished with the BM image, I used my DRK-B and added additional small splatters with Essie No Place Like Chrome.

Over all this look ended up being super busy, but retro-cool at the same time. I personally ended up loving the splatter stamp.


I love how with this stamp, you can really capture the feel of a splatter mani with NONE of the clean up. None of the nails ended up looking alike and the splatter effect was believable. I'm happy the image ended up a winner for me.

Please don't forget to pop over to Chit Chat Nails and see Marta amazing creation.

Thank you Marta for twin posting with me!

Thank YOU for stopping by & reading today. I truly appreciate it :)

Have a great weekend.

Karen xoxo


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Clearly Spotted Twin Post with Simply Stylish Nails!

Hi Guys,

Today I have a really special twin post with my COUSIN! :D thats right! My close cousin Genevieve went and started her own blog called Simply Stylish Nails.  The blog title is so fitting!
 And so today we're going to be doing a double twin post using the Maybelline Clearly Spotted top coat. We're also submitting the looks created into the Born Pretty Halloween contest. I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

Heres my take:



To create the look above, I used:

  • China Glaze Trendsetter
  • Maybelline Clearly Spotted
  • DRK-A (web)
  • BM13 (Spider)
  • Cult Nails Nevermore (stamping)
  • Studs (Provided for review from Born Pretty)



Maybelline Clearly Spotted is a black and white glitter top coat. I'm happy to report that this nail polish has no bar glitter, which I personally don't care for all that much-(thank you Marta for pointing THAT fact out to me!). What you see is one coat, with a few dabs with the brush to fill in the gaps. The glitter is pretty dense, and the base was thick so I added a few drops of thinner (2-3 drops- not a ton), it helped a lot. A large white glitter was placed on the web from DRK-A.



Everyone knows China Glaze Trendsetter is either a take it or leave shade. Some love it, some hate it. I still don't really know where I stand shade wise. I obviously don't use it that much, but I really have no beef with the green. Looking at it objectively, I had no issues what-so-ever with the formula. If you love this colour you can probably find it for really cheap somewhere!

Thank you to Gen of Simply Stylish Nails for being my twin poster for the day! Please check out her blog and twitter!

And thanks to you guys for reading! I hope you all have a great day! :D

xoxo
Karen

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Maybelline: Drops Of Jade

Hi Guys,

Today I have just a quickie swatch of Maybelline Drops Of Jade today.

I bought this polish after a visit from Marta convinced me I NEEDed the Maybelline Clearly Spotted shade, and Drops Of Jade came home with me too. My cousin, Gens swatch of the blue Polka Dots shade called: Blue Marks The Spot, reassured me I made the right decision. The kicker too all this, is they were both on clearance at my SDM for $1.99! None of the other Maybellines from the Polka Dots shades were reduced. (FYI they are all in stock at my Wal-Mart as of yesterday, not sure the prices).

Maybelline Drops Of Jade

Maybelline Drops Of Jade is a pale green jelly that builds up to a teal, with different sizes of black & white glitter. What you see here is 4 thin coats, 3 coats just wasn't cutting it & the 4th was necessary. I also had to double top coat it.


Let me just tell you something! I am SOLD as soon as I hear something has B&W glitter in it. I know, I know! Me and every other nail polish nut right!?! Nothing new here! But IT IS new, because before the Maybelline (& Hard Candy) release, you would only be able to get these styles of glitters through indie sellers. I love to see indie inspired looks go mainstream and be easily accessible to the masses *cough*and cost less* cough*

Please don't get me wrong, I ADORE my small indie nail polish collection, and I will always keep supporting indie makers. But it is nice to see a more affordable option on the market.

Have you tried any of the Polka Dots from Maybelline? Which one is your favourite?

I'll have Clearly Spotted on the blog tomorrow!

Have a great day!

Karen

Monday, 14 October 2013

Thanksgiving Skittlette

Hello & Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!

Here's a skittlette look I wore all last week. I was swamped, so it lasted for the thanksgiving weekend as well (admittedly a bit chipped at that point). Of course, you can see I reached for my Bundle Monster 2013 set again ;)


I used the following polishes:


You can read my review on the Bundle Monster 2013 Create Your Own Set HERE

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends.


-Karen

Friday, 11 October 2013

BM 2013 Twin Post With Chit Chat Nails

Hi guys!

Today I have the pleasure of sharing a twin post that I'm doing with my friend Marta from Chit Chat Nails. We found out that we were both waiting for the new Bundle Monster Create Your Own set to be delivered around the same time & decided to do a twin post when the set arrived.

Marta came up with the excellent idea of making this a 2 post event, where we each pick an image for one post. Today is part one (my pick), next Friday will be part 2 (Martas pick).

Here is part 1: BM-417


Can we just talk about how crisp these lines are? This image on plate BM -416 is obviously well etched at a good depth for stamping. 
I started with a grey water colour base (you can see all the details in THIS post) and stamped with BM-417 using Cult Nails Nevermore. I top coated it, added a light layer of China Glaze Fairy Dust, stuck a square stud at the base, and top coated the whole mani again. So many layers of polish!  


I'm glad I opted to stamp over a more interesting base then just white or light grey. I see a lot the details were not lost within the stamps negative space, and you can still see the variance between shades. 


How did I pick my image you ask? Since I had such a difficult time deciding which image to use, I turned to Random.org  for plate & image number. I couldn't be happier with the image we ended up with! 

Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

Thank you so much or stopping by, don't forget to head over to Chit Chat Nails to see Marta review!

Have a great weekend,

Karen

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Grey Water Colour Mani

Hello!

I have a short bonus post for you today. I normally like to keep my post to Monday, Wednesday & Fridays... But I wanted to show my base for Fridays nail art "as is"  today.

Its another water colour style mani, this time I kept it completely monotone with all shades of grey (HA!).

I used the following:

  • OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls
  • China Glaze Sea Spray
  • China Glaze Concrete Catwalk
  • China Glaze Elephant Walk
  • Lots of acetone


As I mentioned above, I'll be using this as my base in tomorrows nail art post, so I won't blab to much!

Thanks for stopping in, see you soon! ;)

Karen

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

My OPI Mariah Carey 2013 Picks

Hi guys,

Today I want to show you swatches of my 3 picks from OPIs most recent collection: Mariah Carey Holiday 2013. This was a HUGE collection even by holiday collection standards, with a grand total of 18 shades. While most of the promo images for this collection look a little bland, some amazing blogger swatches are starting to pop up, plus I had good experience with Mariah Careys other OPI collection release earlier this year (I got 5 of the 8 polishes and I still rate them highly in my helmer). I couldn't resist picking up the 3 that looked most interesting to me.

OPI My Favorite Ornament:


OPI My Favorite Ornament is a light gold-champagne pure glitter, full-coverage nail polish. Hands down my favourite of the lot. The swatches above used 2 thick coats have no top coat. I was a little confused by this shades texture, as far as I knew My Favorite Ornament is NOT a liquid sand finish. On my nails it clearly seems to be. And to be honest I'm OK with that (strange! bc I normally avoid the liquid sand finish at all cost).  MFO is an extremely blinged out shade, and I predict will be selling out fast.  I showed a few co-workers my bottle of  MFO right after I purchased it, they said things like: I love how interesting this colour looks, it seems to have a lot of dept to it, such a pretty shade... ect. I couldn't agree more, their first impressions were dead on.

OPI Underneath The Mistletoe


OPI Underneath The Mistletoe is a red jelly semi-packed with silver, red and pink glitter, there could be purple glitter in there too, but I'm not sure. The colour is hard for me to put a finger on, one min it seems to boarder looking like a vampy ox-blood, next min UTM is looking a bit on the magenta side of red. Lighting makes a BIG difference to the shade you see thanks to the jelly properties of the base polish. UTM red is a very traditional OPI style red. Every holiday collection OPI can be counted on to have like 6 bright reds. The important thing to remember is no one, and I mean NO ONE can do a red polish like they can, so if you find one you love: grab it! 

Underneath The Mistletoe had a near perfect formula, I originally did 2 coats, but in the direct light from my light box I could still see a few streaks so I opted for a 3rd. 

My only complaint with this shade is its a top coat eater. This swatch was a full mani, and I expected it to last a few days, by the morning it was bumpy (and not because it was wet or anything when i went to bed).

OPI I Snow You Love Me


OPI I Snow You Love Me: A clear topper polish with round holographic glitters. Sounds amazing right?!! I personally found the formula very hard to work with. The base was thick and no glitters stuck to the brush. I ended up digging out the rounds out with my dotting tool and placing them on my nails. I had to add a few drops of thinner as well. I'm kinda wishing there was more to this shade, something like the super fine silver glitters in OPI Pirouette My Whistle. 

While I'm not totally sold on this polish as a topper I DO like it used in nail art. I currently have a mani on using the rounds as accents, and I dig it. Buuuuttt you can just buy a little jar of round glitters from Born Pretty or KKCenterHK and pay a fraction of the price (discount codes for each on the right side bar).

Sorry OPI, I love you, and you're my favourite nail polish brand, but I give I Snow You Love Me a bad review. Its hard to work with & you get questionable results. It's great for nail art, but not worth the $9.00 I paid for it. I am still happy OPI made this nail polish, because it definitely indicates a direction I would love to see OPI move towards in future collections: the edgier indie style glitter toppers.

Have you purchased any of OPI Mariah Carey 2013 polishes yet? What do you guys think of MC first collection compared to this one? 

I truly loved the first MC/OPI collaboration, and am a little disappointed with this years holiday offerings. At least we have the OPI & Gwen Stefani collection to look forward too in 2014! 

Thanks for reading!

Karen
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