Skyn ICELAND Fresh Start Mask with Ice Age Mud

Hi ladies!

So I have an update for you on one of the products that I received in my February Ipsy glambag which is the skyn ICELAND Fresh Start Mask with Ice Age Mud.

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This is a weekly treatment that you are supposed to leave on for 10 minutes.  Here is the product description from the skyn ICELAND website:

The over-scheduled, sleep deprived, non-stop pace at which we function can take a toll on your complexion, requiring a serious skintervention. This dual phase, weekly detoxing and brightening treatment polishes and re-texturizes skin to reveal a luminous, youthful translucence for a fresh start. Cooling blue clay blends with an AHA fruit acid gel complex, to create a warming, oxygenating foam that clarifies and smoothes, stressed, depleted complexions in just 10 minutes.

Everything about that– over-scheduled, sleep deprived, definitely the sleep deprived– calls my name to use it. Being that I’ll be 30 this year, I’ve been really looking into getting into some kind of skincare routine. When I received this in my Ipsy bag, I wasn’t thrilled that they were foil packets but at least I was getting the opportunity to try a product I typically wouldn’t buy.

This mask is a two step process. The first step is you apply the blue clay. The scent reminded me of toothpaste which I actually loved. Toothpaste, Bengay, I love those kinds of scents. The second step is to apply the activating gel which is a clear gel. I had enough of product left in both packets for a second treatment. As I applied the gel, I could see the mask begin to foam. Within a minute, my face started to burn a little– no sweat, I can handle it. Soon, my face was burning and I mean like I’ve been laying out in the sun way too long, horrible painful, sun burn kind of burning. I was on the verge of just calling it quits and washing it off but I heard so much about how amazing this stuff is that I took it like a champ.

After about 5 minutes of having the mask on, the burning sensation subsided and I got back to that minty, cooling, and refreshing feeling. Warm water (even lukewarm) brought back the sunburn feeling so I had to remove the mask using cool water. You’re supposed to follow it with a toner which I just used the T.E.N. Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence from the Memebox 4th edition.

I would probably not recommend this mask to those that have sensitive skin. I don’t and even I regretted using this mask at one point, but if you can make it the entire 10 minutes then this product is amazing. My skin felt much smoother than before I used the mask and it had a nice, healthy glow.

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July Ipsy Glambag – “Beach Beauty”

ipsy_july2013Today, I have for you the July Ipsy Glambag. I’ve posted a few of my bags in the past but if you don’t know what Ipsy, it is a monthly beauty subscription. For $10 USD (plus tax in some states), you get a makeup bag filled with on average 4-5 deluxe sized samples and some full-size beauty products. You take a short quiz and based on your answers, you are “matched” up with products that are “personally” chosen for you. The accuracy of IpsyMatch is iffy to some subscribers.

The theme for this month’s bag is “Beach Beauty.” The makeup bag this month is a cylinder tube shape which is different from all the typical rectangle shaped bags. It’s vinyl and hot pink and totally screams SUMMER! Here’s what I received in my bag:

ipsy_july2013_011. Pop Beauty pouty pop crayon in Coral Crush (set of 6 for $25.00 at Ulta, $4.17 each)

I was really excited about this product when the sneak preview was released. I’ve wanting to try more lip products besides the lipglosses that I’ve gotten in the past from Ipsy. I received one other pop beauty product which was a mascara that I wasn’t 100% wild about but it was useable.

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I received the lip crayon in Coral Crush. Just reading the name terrified me. I look HORRIBLE in coral colored lip anything. While I waited for my bag to arrive, I read some ladies’ comments on this shade and made said it was more on the pink side versus coral so that calmed me down a bit. I swatched it on my wrist when I got it– it didn’t look that bad, the color is actually very pretty. However, I applied on my lips and I immediately swallowed my words– holy moly, this color is bright! Super disappointed at that.

Since applying it I’ve been rubbing my lips together and typing up this review. It really did apply very nicely, it’s very smooth. The best part about the lip crayon is it’s a twist-up so no annoying fat pencil sharpener required. Anyway, out of curiosity I just stepped into the bathroom to take a look at the color and it’s toned down quite a bit now that I’ve rubbed it like mad and it’s actually left a really pretty slightly pink stain. So, note to self, apply 15 minutes and rub it in like crazy before I need to be in public.

ipsy_july2013_032. Coola unscented mineral face sunscreen, SPF 20 (full size $36.00)

Coola is an organic skincare line which is great for those with allergies or sensitive skin. There were two types of sunscreen being given, the unscented mineral sunscreen which is what I received and the rose essence tinted sunscreen. Both are SPF 20. Here is the website’s description of the product:

Keep the sun and environment at bay with this SPF 20 broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen; a clear, Titanium Dioxide based formula (for those who are Zinc sensitive) made with 98% natural ingredients. Organic Acai Oil – high in Omegas-3/6/9, Vitamins B1/2/3, plus antioxidant Vitamins C and E – delivers a powerful defense against aging. Organic Sunflower Seed Extract promotes elasticity while organic Linseed Oil, containing Alpha-Linolenic Acids, reduces redness and irritation. The phyto-protector Plankton Extract rejuvenates, as organic Cucumber Extract calms skin.

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben Free
  • Ultra Sheer
  • Anti-Aging
  • Water Resistant (40 minutes)
  • No nano-sized particles

Coola website

I’ll admit, I was a little surprised by the size of the sample we received. It’s 0.23 fl oz and about the size of a Carmex tube. I haven’t yet tried the product but I may give it a go this weekend when we go to the fair.
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3. BH Cosmetics California Collection samples (full palettes currently on sale for $9.95 each)
The mini palettes from BH Cosmetics included one eyeshadow from each of the California Collection palettes– Hollywood, San Francisco, and Malibu. For a sample, the packaging is definitely cute. The Hollywood eyeshadow is an eggplant purple, San Francisco a bronze brown. and Malibu a yellow gold. I thought these were going to super pigmented eyeshadows when I first opened the palette but to my surprise they are actually pretty sheer. Swatching them was a delight as they are velvety smooth and don’t crumble up like some other eyeshadows. The sheerness actually works for me. I don’t wear a lot of eyeshadow aside from evenings out or special occassions, so the fact that they are sheer means I can wear them during the daytime without feeling like my makeup is overdone.
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The colors are really pretty and could definitely work together. I’m thinking these are perfect for when basketball season rolls around. Ride or die Lakers fan (just don’t remind me about the train wreck of this past season).
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4. Sexy Hair’s bigsexyhair Weatherproof, humidity resistant spray (full size $18.95 at Ulta)
Out of all the possible products from this month’s bag, this was the product I was desperately hoping for. My natural hair texture is loose curly, somewhat kinky, and coarse. I heat style my hair about 2-3 times a weak and exposure to humidity basically ruins me. This product is supposed to do just as what the product name says– protects your hair against humidity. You are supposed to spray it on your finished look, so I’ll give it a little test run tomorrow and for a real go at the fair this weekend as well. I can’t waiiiiit!
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I love nail polish, there’s no hiding it, but if I had the option of getting nail polish in a color that I didn’t personally choose and trying a different brand new product (i.e., a dermabrasion scrub which was the other item I was hoping for), I would pick the other product. This, sad to say, is probably the product this month that I could have cared less about receiving. I’ve gotten two other Nailtini products in past Ipsy bags that I wasn’t too crazy for, Frappe (which was more nude than pale pink also is more sheer than what I’d like but it works when I want to wear nailpolish but I don’t want it to look like I’m wearing nail polish) and Millionaire (which is a shred/bard glitter polish that I swatched once and haven’t looked at since).
I love mai tais, in fact, I think one of the first mixed drinks I ever ordered was a mai tai… at Mai Tai Bar lol. The color is described as a vibrant sunrise coral. Really? TWO coral products in one bag? I can’t think of anything worse for me besides maybe two hot pink items in the same bag. I’m not too fond of this color. It’s darker than other colors I wear. Perhaps if it was a similar coral color to the Pop Beauty lip crayon I got then it would have been better but, unfortunately, it’s not. If I use this polish, it will probably be on my toes… covered in glitter.
Overall, I got my $10.00 worth. The lip crayon and eyeshadow palettes will likely get lots of wear this summer and I’m crossing my fingers for good results with the humidity resistant spray and mineral sunscreen.
If you are interested in joining Ipsy, you can do so by clicking here. There usually is a waitlist but every so often they will open subscriptions. Next month is my birthday month so I’m crossing my fingers for something reeeally good.
Are you a current Ipsy subscriber? What did you think of this month’s bag?

Mini Tour – Living Room

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One of the things I was most excited about when we moved into our new home was decorating. However, one of the things we neglected to account for was when you buy a larger home, you have to buy more furniture and decor to fill it up. It’s been more than two years since we moved into our home and we aren’t nearly close to being fully “moved in.” One of the rooms in our home, though, that I have close to complete is our living room.

Our living room doesn’t get much use. Aside from the occasional visitor and quiet mommy time while my daughter is sleeping, it’s basically just there to look pretty. Prior to moving out of my parents’ home, I was mostly into Asian-inspired design. However, I opted for a different style with our home. For our living room, I decided on a lighter color palette with black to balance things out and little pops of color in certain areas.

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Freshly moving into a home, we decorated on a budget. One of the first things we bought for the room was a sofa. I wanted a white sofa but the thought of someone sitting on it in brand new denim and leaving a mark scared the heck out of me. We found this one at a random furniture store in Buena Park (I forgot the name of the shop). It’s a good compromise between what I really wanted and what was practical. It’s a light cream color what satisfied my need for something bright and it’s also microfiber material so it’s easy to clean. The bottom cushions are firm which I much prefer versus softer cushions that you sink into. Added bonus: it folds out to a full-size bed. Yay for sofa beds! The frilly throw pillows are in an ivory color that I purchased I believe from Ross for around $15.00 each.

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The next thing we bought was this FAB rug. It’s a low pile rug which was important to me so dirt doesn’t hide in there but it’s still super soft. It’s a large floral design with black, different shades of gray, and a muted cream color. The colors go very well with our window curtains which are also black with a grey embroidered designed (you can see a glimpse of them in the first photo of this post). My mom fought me for the longest time when I told her I wanted black curtains but I told her to trust me. Anyway, I got the rug for a great price– $99.00 at Home Depot. Best score!

Our coffee table is the Lack coffee table from Ikea in white. Initially, I wanted it in birch but it was sold out when we went to Ikea. We went with white instead and I am very happy with that decision. You can find the table here. It’s lines are simple and clean, there’s a shelf underneath for storage, and it really pops against our rug. I believe it’s also the same coffee table that ThatsHeart has.

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I got two of these arm chairs from another random furniture shop for, I think, $60.00 each. You can’t really tell from the photo but they’re a dark chocolate brown color. Originally, I was going to use them in our family room but our sofa takes up so much room that I just stuck them in our living room for extra seating.

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Our mantel is cluttered with lots of fun stuff: Khloe’s 1st and 2nd birthday photos (both photos were taken by me), a family photo from the L.A. Zoo, some fun lanterns from Ikea, shiny silver candle from Michaels, three little white birds also from Michaels, a couple of “vases” I made out of empty wine bottles wrapped in twine, another vase I DIY’d with pink silk tulips, and an abstract painting I made a few months ago.IMG_8247

Next to our sofa, we have this simple metal side table which is also from Ikea called the Lindved (you can get it here). We actually got the Klingsbo side table for this spot but my mom liked it so she took that table and we got the Lindved. On top of it are another vase I DIY’d which you can’t see (it’s another white and silver vase), filled with silk peonies which are one of my favorite flowers, a digital picture frame that is only turned on when we have visitors, and a couple of recent DIY projects I did.

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I’ve been wanted to make another painting for our living room for the longest time. Yesterday, I let my daughter do some painting since she’d been asking to for a while so at the same time I plopped down and made this initial painting. The A stands for “amazing.” Oh, and it’s also the first letter of our last name. The three guys in front of the painting are some plastic animal figurines that I handpainted in white and have gold and rose chrome details. I’m thinking about listing them in my Etsy shop— what do you think, yes or no? They can be used simply as room decor, I’ve even used them as ring holders.

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And, of course, our daughter has her own special spot in the living room:

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Her grandma got her this Hello Kitty tent from a yard sale or something for $3.00. Not bad but it got a reeeeeally deep cleaning before Khloe even got to step anywhere near it. She doesn’t use it as often and she did when she first got it but it’s a nice place to store some of her toys– she’s got LOADS of them. Oh and, yes, those are Christmas lights still hung on our stairway. They’ve been up for this long, I might as well leave them up for next Christmas!

There are just a couple other things in our living room that I haven’t shown you– our bookcase which isn’t anything exciting, and my new sewing/craft area which is in the works.

Hope you enjoyed!

Friday Mani – Oh, You Fancy

It’s been a while since I’ve done a rhinestone encrusted mani. Buuuut today is my daughter’s end of year school recital and rather than mommy showing up with nails covered in glitter, I’m showing up with nails covered in rhinestones. I didn’t want to be too showy or go TOO overboard with the sparkle, so I opted for a nude nail color and did one full rhinestone nail with two other simple accent nails.

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For my nail color, I used FingerPaints in Don’t Make a Scene. It’s a gorgeous cream nude color that has a really smooth formula (the bubbles you see on my middle finger are from my topcoat -_-). I bought this polish when I was looking for a dupe of OPI’s Don’t Pretzel My Buttons from the Germany Collection. I’d never seen that color in person so I only had online swatches to go by. Whether or not it is an actual dupe doesn’t matter to me because I looooove the FingerPaints polish and I got it for half price.

The rhinestones I used were from my stash of crystals that I’d accumulated during the time that I was into decoden. The teal/blue color and opal rhinestones are acrylic, all the other ones I used are glass. I also used some microbeads I bought from Michaels a while ago around the rhinestones and to fill in the spaces. If you’re into nail art and are looking for microbeads or “caviar beads,” seriously, go to Michaels. I bought a large container (I think it’s 90grams?) for less than $3.00. Regular price it’s $3.99 but they usually have a 40% off coupon floating around. It’s SO much cheaper than buying the caviar beads that nail or beauty shops sell.

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Here’s a close-up outdoor shot (darn those air bubbles!).

BTW, I got a sample of Essie’s apricot cuticle oil in the mail that I’m going to give a try on my next mani. I’m excited to try it. Have any of you use it or do you use it? What do you think?

June Ipsy Glambag

June Ipsy glambag came in last week! There’s been lots of excitement about the June bag on a forum I recently joined but after receiving my May bag that many felt was the best bag they’d received, I wasn’t going to have TOO high expectations for this month. While the products from last month’s bag were great, I wasn’t too crazy about the colors I received but the poor color matching hasn’t been enough for me to cancel my subscription… yet.
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The theme for the June bag is “On the Wild Side.” One thing I can appreciate about Ipsy is that each one has a theme that the bag and contents revolve around. The bag is a brown animal print bag with a neon green zipper closure. Cute bag but, to be honest, I’m not much of an animal print + neon type of person. I tend to keep my animal print as the highlight of an outfit but that’s just me. Plus, I got a really great, sturdy animal print bag from one of the Target beauty bags a few months ago that has been my go-to animal print makeup bag. This Ipsy bag will come in handy though since I’ve started carrying around small bags of crafting/jewelry supplies when I’m on the go in them.

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1. J.Cat sparkling cream palette in suzie (full size, $4.49)
That was the product that I was most hesitant in receiving after reading thread posts on a website. I’m telling you, spoiler threads will either get you really excited about a product or knock you down. It’s a gorgeous palette when you look at it– all the shiny, golden shades of sparkly goodness will make almost any girl giddy. The glitter itself is small/fine and not super chunky, though the one second to the left consisted of much finer glitter than the other four.
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The applicators it comes with are like eyeshadow applicators and of no use to me.
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When I rubbed my finger in to swatch, they felt coarse and dry at the top but then it because much creamier when you get further down into the product. Not quite creamy, though, but more of a vaseline-like, greasy consistency. The base product has no color– it’s clear and the only thing that contributes to the color is the glitter itself. The product isn’t supposed to be used around the eyes (though it comes with eyeshadow applicators?) so I’m at a loss at what to do with this. Seeing as how I’m almost thirty I don’t think that glittery body art is an option. I have considered running a bit through the ends of my dark brown to light brown ombre hair and then setting it with a hairspray as one MUTer suggested but I haven’t given it a try yet.

I hate to say it but this product kind of reminded me of the type of stuff the indoor swapmeet had in its makeup section with all the other random, no name products that were sold for a buck. Hopefully this single product doesn’t reflect the quality of the rest of the line.

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2. NYX cream blush in hot pnk (full size, $6.00)
I was suuuuuper excited when I found out that we were getting a full-size NYX blush in our June bags– I love NYX products! Three types of blushes were being sent out– creams, mosaics, and powder blushes. I’m not much of a blush person in general but I do have the mosaic powder in latte which has been one of my main products during the warmer months. I’d never tried a cream blush so I was a little curious with trying one as long as it was a neutral color that wouldn’t look too crazy if I got lazy with the blending. I was hoping I wouldn’t get a bright or super bold color like I had in the April bag especially since that one hasn’t even been used yet.
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I received a cream blush in my bag (yay for trying new products!) but to my disappointment I got it in hot pink. Ughhhh. The formula itself is fine, very creamy to the touch, and highly pigmented but just WAY too bold of a color for me. I’m sure this could be pretty for an outdoor day when applied lightly but I have a heavy hand. Sadly, this one will be put aside but I will continue to use other NYX products just in colors that are more suitable for me.

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3. Starlooks lip pencil in tipsy (full size, $12.00)
I don’t wear a whole lot of lip product to begin with, mostly just Carmex or a light lipgloss so receiving a lipliner in my bag could have been a good thing or a bad thing. Good because as long as the color was right, I could wear it under a gloss. Bad if the wrong color and it would end up sitting with my hot pink blush. When I unwrapped my Starlooks lip pencil, I let out a little whine because it had melted (darn California weather) and the tip had broken off.
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I re-positioned the poor broken tip and popped the pencil into the fridge for a few minutes. Tipsy is a coral color that would look great on most people and is perfect for summer. The lip pencils that I do have are usually either nude or a mauve color so this is a nice change for me. It’s very creamy, easy to apply, and looks great underneath a pink gloss to tone down the peachy/coral of it.

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4. Cailyn linefix gel eyeliner in purple (full size, $21.00)
This is the first of my “or” products for this bag. The product I was MOST excited about when I found I’d be receiving it was the gel eyeliner from Cailyn. Not just because it was an eyeliner but because it wasn’t in black nor brown (I’ve been meaning to buy a colored eyeliner) and because, hello, it retails regular price for $21.00. The paper packing itself is cute and really says you’re opening a high quality product before you even open it.
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The product packaging itself consists of three parts– the base which is the actual container of product, the lid which screws onto the base, and the brush that inserts into the top of the lid. The brush can be placed into the lid with the brush tip down as you see in my photo or with the brush pointed up. The brush is a nice addition to the packaging and applies the product well, however, it’s a little short for me (I prefer my brushes to be longer) so I’ve been applying it with a regular sized angled eyeliner brush.
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Here it is swatched alongside the lip pencil.

The purple is very pretty, it isn’t too dark to wear it can be mistaken for black but it isn’t too bright nor too light– it’s just right. The consistency of the gel liner is very smooth and glides across the eye lid perfectly. It claims to be a 24 hour wear, waterproof, and smudge proof. Eyeliners tend to usually not last long on me– they fade smudge onto the bottom outer corners of my eyes– even when used with a primer. The best eyeliner I’ve used is one that I actually just started using which is the Milani Infinite liquid eyeliner (hate the brush but love the formula).

So, how does the Cailyn gel eyeliner work for me? The color faded a little over the course of the day and it wasn’t as bold as when I first applied it but for whatever reason, it still took a bit of work to get the remainder of it off at the end of the day. This won’t be a daily product but I will definitely be getting some good use out of it when I want a pop of color on my eyes.

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5. Psssst! instant dry shampoo (travel size, $3.59)
I’ve never tried a dry shampoo. I’ve considered it but just never bought one. This was the other “or” product that I received. It comes in a 1.76 oz aerosol spray can. It is to be used when you don’t wash your hair and need a “refresher.” I haven’t yet used the product but I’ll let you know how it turns out when i do.

Value of this month’s bag: $47.08

I’m pleased with this month’s Ipsy glambag. Despite the praise last month’s bag got from many subscribers I would have to say that, for me, the products in the June bag will be used much more. The glitter palette may not get much use atleast until I figure out what to do with it and the cream blush will get very little use if any. If only I had been sent a different color *le sigh*. One product I didn’t get that I really would have loved to try was the Chella highlighter pencil. I normally use eyeshadows to highlight under my brows but I’ve been looking for a pencil instead.

So what do you think of June’s glambag?

Did you get the Chella highlighter pencil? Or are there any other highlighter pencils that you would recommend?

Monday Mani – Mint cookie crunch inspired

Yesterday was grocery shopping day in our house. The entire time, K kept saying, “Ice see! Ice see!” (ice cream). We browsed the ice cream section and, after what seemed like an eternity, we came to an agreement on Dreyer’s Mint Cookie Crunch. Yup, Dreyer’s since I’m west of the Rockies. For a kid who doesn’t know what all these ice creams taste like nor can she read, she sure was picky =T. This is what the amazingness of Mint Cookie Crunch looks like:

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Oh. My. God. I can’t wait to get home to devour some of this now. It’s the best of cookies & cream and mint chocolate chip ice cream all rolled into one. It also reminded me that I have a a pack of thin mints waiting for me in the freezer as well.

Anyway, after letting my nails rest (for a day =X) and scarfing down a bowl of this frozen deliciousness, I got set up and did my nails. Here are my ice cream inspired nails:

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There’s nothing ice creamy about it but the colors make me hungry all over again. I used Maybelliene Green with Envy which is one of, if not, my absolute favorite mint colored nail polish, Make a Comet-ment which is a a silver microglitter polish from Nicole by OPI with a layer of some silver/holo shard glitter, and white and black liners from Kiss that I used to make the chevron and floral designs. I was in a hurry to get my daughter in bed so it’s kind of on the “abstract” side hahaha. It’s too bad I washed dishes shortly after I painted my nails, screwed them up, then did a shitty job retouching them (and cleaning up around the edges, I know -_-). Here’s an after shot of what they look like now:

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What a bummer -_-.

Haven’t done this in a while, so this week I’m linking up to:

Friday mani – Glitter!

I love glitter. Not much else to say. So when I saw Marta Warmuz‘s nail post yesterday, I fell in love with, of all things, her pinky finger nail! It was glitter bomb heaven! Kindly enough, she commented with what polishes she used but, sadly, I didn’t have either of them. Instead, I used whatever I had available. I used two coats of Ulta Tink-her-bell, one coat of Wet ‘n Wild Flossy Flossy from the Fergie Collection, one coat of Glamorous also from the Fergie collection, and another coat of Flossy Flossy. Here’s what I got:

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Not nearly as pretty as Marta’s but it cured my need for glitter nails. I think I could have stood to do another layer of densely packed Flossy Flossy but I can always do it later. My mani is, however, missing some pastel color so more than likely a couple nails on each hand are getting re-done tonight after work… but before the Lakers game.

I also want to share my accessories from yesterday! I’m not much of a necklace person– I always wear the same necklace with the short chain and tiny bird on it because my daughter has a matching necklace. I don’t usually wear a whole lot of rings– I wear my wedding band and engagement ring no matter what and they’re good enough for me. I wear one pair of diamond studs in my ears– I have three holes in each ear lobe but I always end up losing my earrings or earring backs… which eventually leads to losing the earring itself. So, I pack on the bracelets. I work with different kinds of chain so much that I forget how pretty and elegant beaded bracelets can be sometimes. I really don’t use acrylic beads with the exception of my floral bracelets such as this one  so I made these the other day and wore them to work yesterday. The white bracelet is made with quartzite beads and the pink and light blue mint are dyed jade. I also used brass faceted glass disco beads and aurora borealis faceted glass beads.

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Are any of you on Etsy or Instagram? Who are some of your favorite IG nail polish gurus? Hope you all have a fab Friday!