Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Taking Time Off - Kimber in Crisis

Nothing to Disclose

Hello Lovelies. It's been a bit since my last post, for which I apologize. I had some grand plans for the blog, and obviously those have not panned out.

As most of you are aware, I've had some bad luck over the past year and a half. I was hoping 2014 would be better, but it's actually continuing to plague me. As I've mentioned before, my Mother has Stage 4 inoperable Lung Cancer. Her oncologist can hold the tumor at bay, but it is not curable.

My Father has been losing weight and feeling fatigued for a few months. So his doctor did some tests and found he was anemic, and also sent him for a Colonoscopy. Imagine our shock when the Colonoscopy revealed that he has Colon Cancer.

So, where have I been? Trying to process the fact that both of my parents have Cancer. Now, before everyone starts in with the "It will all work out - don't worry" comments, let me just say that the first reaction the word Cancer is always fear. And no matter what reassurances are given, until that Cancer is dead and gone, fear will always be there, lurking in the shadows. It's always there, in the back of your mind, no matter how hard you try to "think positive" or just plain old ignore it. It doesn't go away.

I was already living with the fear of losing my mother. Now I have the added fear of losing my father as well. Both of my parents have a disease that kills. Period.

If I was having a hard time dealing with my Mom's Cancer, It has more than doubled with my Dad's diagnosis. And so has my responsibility. My father was primarily taking care of my Mom , and now he will be going through the same devastating treatments. It's my time to be there to take care of them both. I sincerely hope that all of you - from my beloved readers to the incredible ladies that have me swatch and share their polishes, all can understand that this blog, although beloved to me, is the least of all of my concerns right now. My parents have been there for me for my entire life, even when they should've turned their backs on me. You can bet your ass I'm going to be there for them every step of the way.

Do I plan to return? Of course I do. But right now, I have a lot on my shoulders. We're trying to get my Mom to M.D. Anderson in Texas to see if there if she is a candidate for the RFA treatment, which could help her greatly. I'll be the one taking her to Doctor's Appointments, Chemotherapy, and in for bloodwork (along with my Sister, I'm sure). Same with my dad. Not to mention the emotional hurricane that I'm trying to handle.

This is hard. My parents have always been larger than life and I guess I never really thought that anything would take them from me. I've never allowed myself to think of their mortality. Now it's staring me in the face, and I'm terrified. I'm scared, worried, and stressed out. I'm sure I'll manage it in time, but right now it's not going anywhere.

My Dad goes in for Surgery tomorrow. I'm hoping for a resection, but worst case would be a Colostomy. We still don't know what Stage the cancer is in - he's had PET Scans but we have not been advised of the results - he'll know tomorrow before Surgery. If it's gone to his lymph nodes, they'll take those out as well, and follow with chemotherapy. If it has spread to other organs, I have no idea what will happen next. The tumor is so large that is has almost completely blocked off his colon, so it's either been there a good while, or it's very aggressive. He's said he won't do chemotherapy after seeing what my mother has gone through over the past 14 months. I don't plan on letting him off the hook without a fight on that one, but dad is a tough nut to crack that way.

All of this on top of all the other crap that has happened, and you're left with one very down and somewhat anxious Kimber. I just don't have it in me to juggle to blog and the rest of life right now. I truly hope that you all understand, and can forgive me. The last thing I want is to give up blogging, but I need a hiatus to handle life. I need to be with my family. I hope you all stick around - I will be back. I can't say if it will be another week, 2 weeks, or a month. But I'll be back as soon as I can. I may even post once or twice before then. I just can't guarantee anything regular. Unless someone can find a way to add a good 10 hours to the days, then I just can't make any promises.I feel horrible about not being able to share the polishes that I have in my to be swatched bin just yet. I take this blog very seriously and the last thing I want to do is let anyone down. I have serious bloggers guilt going on. I probably shouldn't, but I do.

Anyway, just wanted to let you all know why I'm not around. Hopefully, I'll be back sooner rather than later.

Thanks for being here, and I'll see you all soon,

Nothing to Disclose

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sweetheart Polish - Show Me Your Beads!

Press Sample

*Product(s) Featured provided for review. Please see Disclaimer/Legal Page for more information**

Hello lovelies! I'm back with some awesome polish! I'm so excited to get back to posting. I've really missed it - even though I'll admit it's hard to be motivated with all that's going on. I just finished with the tow company so that my poor Elvis-mobile can be fixed and I'll have transportation again. Fun stuff!

Before I get into the polish, I want to mention that (as I discussed in my last post) I am now rockin nubbins. Over the last month I have managed to break several nails, and instead of fixing them all and worrying about more breaks, I took my nails down to nubs. Which makes me sad, but at the same time, a bit relieved. I love my length, but I have to admit that I also really like shorties. I don't like living in fear of breaking a nail, or feeling like people will enjoy my posts less if my nails are shorter. There is this stigma around nubbins that I just don't feel is warranted, and I have decided that when I need to rock the nubs, I shall do so proudly. After all, I am human, and nails break. I don't know about you all, but I get tired of having a minor freak out any time I lose a bit of nail! Besides, it's all about the *polish*, right?

So this is certainly a nubbin friendly blog. The polish doesn't change one bit due to nail length, and I can still rock nail art, so why freak out? This is actually the last swatch done with any kind of length to my nails - although it's hard to tell with my hand pose, eh? Tomorrow you'll get to see my nubs in all their nubbinesque glory! All hail the nubbins!!!

But let's get to the fun stuff!

I love Sweet Heart Polish. I was lucky enough to be able to swatch some Sweet heart Polish awhile back, and I just fell in love with this awesome brand. So when I was asked to share some more with you all, I jumped at the chance! I actually have 8 polishes from SH to share this week, so be sure to check back often.

The first polish that jumped out at me from these 8 beauties is a Mardi Gras inspired polish. It's a gorgeous soft purple crelly loaded with purple, gold, and teal blue glitters, in both hex and square shapes, and purple microglitters. It did not have a name when it was sent to me, so my daughter and I brainstormed and came up with "Show Me Your Beads". Thankfully Cassandra liked the name, and it's now official. This polish screams Mardi Gras to me, and was a real mood booster. How can you not be happy wearing this pretty, right? Makes me wanna grab some beads and a beer and dance on the table (I promise I will not subject you to that!)!

This is 3 thin coats of Show Me Your Beads topped with NPB Digital Flash (I apologize for my dry hands. My skin hates cold weather and I'm out of my beloved fluff!):

Egads, that is pretty!! I adore purples, but add colorful glitters and I am done for. I'm really loving the addition of square glitters in the mix here, and the burst of gold from within all that color. And there is something about those purple microglitters that makes me want to squee! Just awesome!

Show Me Your Beads' formula was truly perfection as well. Usually I have issues with glitter placement with crellies that are loaded up with glitter, but SMYB has just the right amount of glitter vs. base. She applied easily with no need to dab or hand place glitters, no clumping, and no thickening. I'm wearing 3 coats here, since SMYB is a touch on the sheer side, but honestly 2 coats did the job just as well. Dry time was incredibly fast, and this girl dried smoothly, so no need for Glitter Food here. Wear was excellent as well - I had not a single chip in this polish after 3 days of wear ( I couldn't bring myself to take it off!). Unfortunately, I broke a nail as soon as I removed it! I knew I should've worn it forever! ;)

Honestly every time I wear a Sweet Heart Polish I fall more and more in love. Cassandra is creating some amazing and stunning polishes, and if you haven't grabbed some of her babies yet, you are really missing out.

You can find Sweet Heart Polish at Sweet Heart Polish on Etsy. There are a ton of new polishes coming out, so make sure to grab them while you can! Full size bottles sell for around $9 each, which I maintain is a serious bargain for such quality polish. You can also follow Sweet Heart Polish on Facebook and Instagram for sales info, new releases, and more swatches!

What's your take on Show Me Your Beads? Have you tried any Sweet Heart Polish yet?

I have an absolutely amazing glitter from SHP to share with you all tomorrow (I'll be posting multiple swatch posts as soon as I get back into a groove, I promise!), so be sure to come on back. You really do not want to miss this one! I also have some goodies from Cult Cosmetics coming up, including a chance to win one of Cult Cosmetics' Black Boxes! Wahoo!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

*Product(s) Featured provided for review. Please see Disclaimer/Legal Page for more information**

Press Sample

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Where, Oh Where, has Kimber been??

Nothing to Disclose

Hello fair readers! Before I get back to posting again, I wanted to share what has been going on with me, and why I have been MIA for so long. I like to keep you all in the loop as far as bits and pieces of my life, but I don't think I have ever divulged as much as I am about to.

My last post was on 1/4/14. I was feeling good, and thought things were starting to look up. Little did I know that the bomb was about to go off. At 2 am on 1/5/14, my husband informed me that he was moving out. I did not see this coming. I will not go into the how and why of it, suffice it to say that it was all fixable, but that hubby had decided not to even try. All of a sudden I was literally penniless, with 2 kids to support. I closed down my business on 12/31 due to lack of time on my part (and to be honest, the constant driving was really burning me out fast), and had literally no income. Panic set in big time.

I felt very betrayed. He told me that he had been planning on leaving since November, and had been looking at apartments and things behind my back. I felt stupid, because I didn't even suspect. And angry, because he didn't even bother to talk to me about what was bothering him. I convinced myself there was another woman (I have reasons that I won't go into here).

Mostly I was sad though. I didn't know why my hubby wasn't willing to even try to talk about things. But I'm stubborn, and had decided that since he had made his decision, I was just going to go on with my life and learn how to make it without him.

2 days later, hubby and I had managed to talk about things a bit (albeit by phone, since I couldn't handle being in the same room with him), and realized that we had never actually talked about any of the things that were bothering both of us, and without talking about it, there was no way either of us could reasonably expect any sort of change or improvement. We resolved to work things out, and he moved back in. And, I'll be honest, there was no other woman involved. He was actually sleeping on the freaking floor at a friend's place, and being stalked by a demon cat.

Sounds pretty straight forward, but the 2 days he was gone were horrible. My 3 year old son was inconsolable at times. I was in tears one minute and so angry I couldn't see straight the next. I had managed to pull things together and found some assistance for us, but I was functioning on pure adrenaline. I didn't sleep. i didn't eat. I was a wreck.

The first few weeks after hubby moved back in were still tense. I was on eggshells a lot. So was he. Hell, we're still adjusting, even now. Things are better than they have been in a LONG time, but it's been so long since we were able to let our issues go and just be ourselves, that it's kind of odd. Not to mention my constant fear that he's going to leave again. I'm working incredibly hard to have faith in him, and to get past my trust issues (That's another story altogether). So far so good.

A few days after all of this, my mother collapsed. As most of you know, Mom is battling Stage 4 inoperable lung cancer and has been going through chemotherapy for over a year now. On that day, she was standing at the kitchen counter talking to my dad, and she just fell over. On the way down, she hit her back on one of the barstools, and hit her head pretty hard on the back door. She was unconscious for a long time, and was in an altered state of consciousness for about an hour afterward. She didn't know what year it was, when she was born, where she was, etc. We were afraid that she had had a stroke. She was in the hospital for just under a week - they ran every test imaginable. Multiple CT Scans, MRI's, stress tests on her heart, brain scans, x-rays, blood work, ultrasounds. You name it, they ran it. Everything came back perfectly normal. They could not tell us what happened.

I had my own theory - that of Hypernatremia (basically too much salt in the bloodstream). Now her labs are showing altered Kidney function, which very well could be Hypernatremia. Who knows? But I digress....

Anyway, that event scared the bejeesus out of all of us, my Dad especially. He though he had lost her. Hell, we all did. Thankfully my mom is a fighter, and now she is back to normal. Well, as normal as one can be when fighting cancer. The general rule though, is that she is not allowed to be alone, since had her collapse happened when noone was around, she wouldn't be here today. Obviously I spent alot of time making sure she is okay, and often am on the phone with her for over an hour at a time.

On top of all of this, our one working car is being a complete POS. On Christmas Day, the darned thing broke down. Turned out to be the Master Cylinder (clutch was perfect - this is important later), and we had it replaced and thought all was well.

Oh no! Not so much, people! The clutch was acting weird for several days after I picked up the car. The engage point was way off, but I was told that may be due to replacing all the fluids and to give it a few days. Okay, no problem. And withing a few days, it did get better. But then it started driving weird. I noticed that when I shifted into 3rd gear, my engine would rev a little- like it wasn't getting any gas. But it wasn't doing it consistently, so I figured it may be a fluke due to the ultra-cold weather and the fact that Elvis (that's the car - my about to be fixed up Sunfire is named Priscilla to match) hates the cold.

Of course, it could not be that simple! Elvis started doing the revving thing with every gear change, and the point where the clutch engages kept getting further and further out. All in a  span of about a day.

So now Elvis is going back to the mechanic, but I've had trouble getting him there since I have managed to catch my yearly bout of Bronchitis. And it's been snowing, which means it's icy and people here in New mexico do not know how to drive on snow and ice.

You would think my bad luck stops there, right? Of course not!

I keep breaking nails. So I'm back to nubs. Again. I cannot seem to keep any length at the moment. Every time I get near my car, I break a nail. So I'm babying them and oiling like mad (I admit, I slacked off with everything going on) and am determined to get my long, healthy, strong nails back.

But at the same time, I can't keep freaking out every time I break a nail. So I have decided to embrace my nails, no matter what the length. I love this community, but I feel like we put too much emphasis on how nubbins are bad....when they're not. Several bloggers have short nails, and they're awesome. The polish doesn't change due to nail length, and nail art is still nail art. Hopefully you all will embrace my nubbins when I sport them. :)

But wait! There's more!

My father has lost close to 20 lbs in 2 months and is now anemic. He has a colonoscopy coming up to find out what in the heck is going on. They figure he has a bleed somewhere, but he is afraid it's the C word. We also found out he has cataracts and has to have eye surgery next month. When my dad isn't doing well, I tend to be very down and afraid. My father has always been like Superman to me, so these new developments are really messing with me. When he was diagnosed with COPD a few years ago, I spent a few months freaking out, since my dad has always been healthy and strong. It literally hurts me to see him sick. I'm really hoping the powers that be watch over him and help him through this. And that it's not the C word.

As I mentioned before, Mom is going to Texas to MD Anderson to see about some newer treatment options. She is a candidate for a newer technique called RFA (radio frequency ablation) that uses radio waves to break down tumors and can actually lead to remission in cases like hers. I'm really hopeful about this trip, and pray that this works and she can be in actual remission. Right now she is as far into remission (classified as No Evidence of Disease, but the tumor is still technically there and they are unable to get her into full remission with chemo) as possible.

I'm sure there are smaller annoyances that I'm missing. But this is what has been keeping me away, in a nutshell. I'm coming back to posting tomorrow. I have alot of polish to share, and a new giveaway from an awesome new brand. I miss blogging, I miss all of you!  I just hope you can understand my absence and my unpredictable blogging schedule while I'm handling everything that life keeps throwing at me. And that you embrace the nubbins!

Thanks for sticking with me, and for understanding that life happens. All too often we forget that the bloggers we love are actual people - sometimes with incredibly complex lives outside of their blogs.

Thanks for being here. I appreciate and adore you all!


 Nothing to Disclose

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Underground Cosmetics - Champagne Wishes

Press Sample

*Product(s) Featured provided for review. Please see Disclaimer/Legal Page for more information** 

Hello Lovelies! Happy Caturday! Well, It's only Caturday for a few more hours here, although Charlie insists that every day is Caturday. She's also decided that nothing is sacred for us humans. She actually hopped onto my lap while I was in the bathroom yesterday, smacked me on the face and then sat down and waited for me to pet her. If that isn't entitlement, I don't know what is.

The Giveaway has ended, and I will be publicly announcing the winners tomorrow. Emails have already been sent out, and I am only waiting on one response. 2 winners have claimed their prizes, and the 2nd has about 12 hours left to respond, otherwise I will choose another winner.

I'm also joining Ana from Nail Care HQ for the January "Get Naked" Challenge! This means that Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil will be on sale for only $14.99 per starter or refill kit! This only happens twice yearly, so make sure you take advantage of it. The challenge consists of going 3 days without polish and using Ana's 3 day hydration treatment with Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil. To enter, all you have to do is email me your before and after pics, with a little bit about your experience. You could win a Pure Nail Oil Kit in Summer Scent, mini bottles of Simply Quick Top Coat and Simply Quick Base Coat, as well as Milani Holographic Polishes! I'll be posting the official rules and entry requirements on Monday, so be sure to check back, Grab some Pure Nail oil, and get naked!!

Today I have a gorgeous polish from Underground Cosmetics to share. I've been dying to try Undergound Cosmetics for what seems like forever, so a couple weeks back, I ordered a couple of things. Minnie, who is one of the sweetest people ever, was kind enough to send me a literal PLETHORA of her polishes to share with you all. I'll be sharing those over the next couple of days, and you won't want to miss them.

I figured that I would start out with a Flakie, since you all know how much of a slobbering fool I am for flakies. Show me a flakie and you'll get to watch me turn into a drooling Tasmanian Devil. I'm really only slightly exaggerating here.

Champagne Wishes is a mix of Gold flakes and fine golden shimmer in a clear base. When I first saw this, I immediately thought "I must wear this over a Nude!". When the time came to wear this pretty, I kicked my own butt for not owning more Nudes. I wanted to use something other than my usual go-to Nude (OPI My Vampire Is Buff), so I grabbed Maybelline Color Show in Sandstone. I feel like I have done Champagne Wishes a huge disservice by pairing it with such a problematic base color. Thankfully CW still looks gorgeous, and we're not focusing on the naughty base color anyway!

This is 1 coat of Champagne Wishes layered over 2 coats of Sandstone, topped with NPB Digital Flash:

Hellllloooo mama!!! Man, there is something just classic about a good gold flake polish. I'm beyond picky about them though - they have to be just the right shade of gold. Champagne Wishes is that perfect champagne gold that I prefer, and that golden shimmer is a fabulous bonus. I truly love this over nude as well, even if Sandstone was somehow gloppy and runny at the same time.

Also, please ignore my clean-up. Attack of the fluffy clean up brush again. Thankfully I stocked up!

Champagne Wishes has a truly fabulous formula, and application was perfection. I'm used to flakies being somewhat thick and needing a bit of hand placement, but CW wasn't thick at all (yet not runny either), and flowed onto the beautifully. None of the flakies poked up from the nail or clumped together. CW also dried to a smooth finish, so no need for anything other than top coat. Love it!

I have 6 more beauties from Underground Cosmetics to show you, and I am so excited to get working on them. I have on more flakie, and 5 amazing color shifting topcoats to try out. Epic!!!

You can find Champagne Wishes by visiting Underground Cosmetics on Store Envy. Be sure to bookmark that link, since the store is currently closed (I'll be sure to update you all when it opens). Until then, check out Underground Cosmetics on Facebook and Instagram. Lots of swatches to feast your eyes on!

What do you think of Champagne Wishes? And what's your fave nude polish? I need to know!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

*Product(s) Featured provided for review. Please see Disclaimer/Legal Page for more information**

Press Sample

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New for Nail fanatics! Nails HQ Magazine!

Press Sample

*Product(s) Featured provided for review. Please see Disclaimer/Legal Page for more information** 

Hello there lovelies! I hope 2014 is being good to you all so far! Apparently rafflecopter decided that it didn't want to end the giveaway on time, so you still have a few hours left to enter. 3 awesome proze packs are up for grabs! Click here to go to the entry post!

Today I have a little something different. If you've been hanging out here long enough, I'm sure you've seen me mention the brilliant Ana from Simple Nail Art Tips and Nail Care She's the creator Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil™, my saving grace and ultimate Holy Grail nail care product, and a nail care expert. Nail Care HQ.Com is loaded with nail care articles and reader questions that Ana has not only answered, but also thoroughly researched. It's like the Mythbusters of nail care, I tell you!

Recently Ana has branched out in a big way, creating an interactive Magazine called Nails HQ Magazine. Now I know we are all enamored with our paper magazines, but I have a fondness for anything that I can grab from an app store and have at the touch of my fingertips. Nails HQ Magazine is just that, a digital, interactive magazine available through the iTunes store, ready to read in minutes.

The first issue of Nails HQ Magazine was released last month, and is a veritable gold mine of Nail Care information. One of the things that I love about this issue is that it is packed full of not only awesome nail art, but it features articles on some of the basics. You can learn how to apply polish perfectly with an article by Lucie of Lucy's Stash. Or  learn how to clean up your manicure and create your own nail art tools with Wacky Laki. There's also fabulous information on how to keep your polish from chipping!

Another great feature of Nails HQ magazine - Renowned nail care expert and nail science guru Doug Schoon writes his own column for every issue. If you're not familiar with Doug Schoon, click on his name and check him out. You may know him as Chief Scientist for CND, but Doug does so much more. In this first issue, Doug talks about cuticles - and you'll be surprised how very little we actually know about it!

Here's a little peek at what Nails HQ Magazine has to offer:

Pretty Awesome, right? In fact, it's so awesome that within 24 hours, Nails HQ Magazine was already at number 1 for Nail care magazines on iTunes. Unfortunately Nails HQ Magazine is not yet available for Android, but it is in development.

Head on over to for information on how to download the app and receive your free sample issue. Subscriptions are available as well, and all the info you need to sign up is within the app.

For all my Indie Polish Creators out there, you know print advertising is ridiculously expensive- usually thousands of dollars for a single page ad. It's just not accessible to small boutique designers. Ana really wants to help you get your brand noticed to a global audience. She's creating a special reduced advertising rate section dedicated to Indie Polish Creators with clickable links right to your sales page. Apple has sold 170 million iPads since they were introduced in 2010. And they've only sold 73 million iPhones since 2007! Check out the Nails HQ Magazine media kit here for all of the details. With over 300 daily downloads, this is a great way to get your brand noticed!

Nails HQ Magazine has a lot to offer for all of us, from the seasoned professional to the newest polish lover. Gorgeous Nail Art, nail care myths debunked, and the best nail care information out there. I can't wait to see what the upcoming issues will include!

I have a lot of awesomeness coming up over the next week or so, so be sure to check back. Lots of gorgeous Indie Polish, and the Get Naked Challenge is also coming up! Wahoo!!!! In the meantime, go download Nails HQ Magazine and let me know what you think!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

*Product(s) Featured provided for review. Please see Disclaimer/Legal Page for more information** 

Press Sample

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! Black and Gold with A-England!

Nothing to Disclose

*Product(s) Featured purchased for review. Please see Disclaimer/Legal Page for more information** 

Happy New Year lovelies! It's officially 2014 and I am really hopeful that this year will be markedly better than 2013. I've had some pretty rough times in my life, but 2013 was by far the worst year on record. Everything that could possibly go wrong did! Sure, there were some high point, but mostly 2013 was a very low year for me. Here's to 2014 being a fabulous year for us all!

Christmas was awesome though! Even though my car decided to blow the Master Cylinder on Xmas day. Marleigh was already improving on Xmas day (she's still improving although she does have a mass in her bladder, which is not good), my kids were both happy and playful, and we all had a blast with my family. It was wonderful to see my mom smiling and looking forward to the future.

I also took a week of from posting since my nails were dry and cranky. They needed some TLC, and since I had a lot to do, I figured it was a good time to baby them. I'm sure you all didn't miss me since you were probably busy with your own Holiday fun!

Don't forget that today is the last day to enter the Giveaway! 3 prizes are up for grabs! Click here to go to the entry post! I have my NYE manicure to share with you. I wanted something sparkly yet simple, so I decided to do a black and gold mani. I started with 2 coats of A-England Camelot, my favorite black creme ever. Then I used A-England Holy Grail and some saran wrap to create a marbled effect. I added some gold studs, topped it all off with A-England The Shield, and voila! Sparkly NYE Nails!

I love this way more than I thought I would! This is my first attempt at a Saran Wrap marble, and it was so easy! I have no idea who first came up with this idea, but they are a genius! I almost tried out Chalkboard Nails distressed black and gold, but decided that Saran Wrap would probably be faster. :)

Of course, I had to bust out some A-England's for NYE. I really need to wear my untried A-Englands ASAP. One of my rewards for not being stupid and using my nails as tools (and therefore keeping some length on my left hand) is A-England pretties. I have a few I've been saving until I got some decent length, and I think it's about time to bust those babies out!

A-England is my very fave brand of all time - if you don't own any, you are missing out on big time! You can find A-England at Llarowe, or if you're in the UK you can head right to A-England's web site.  Adina is a true nail polish genius, and her beautiful cremes, shimmers, and holos are a must have.

What did you wear on your nails for New Years?

I have swatches coming up this week, as well as a look at Nails HQ Magazine, so be sure to check back!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year!!!!

*Product(s) Featured purchased for review. Please see Disclaimer/Legal Page for more information**

Nothing to Disclose

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Nothing to Disclose

*Product(s) Featured purchased for review. Please see Disclaimer/Legal Page for more information** 

Merry Christmas, lovelies! I hope that you're all enjoying a wonderful day! I can say that things have improved a bit here - my beloved Marleigh Dog has perked up quite a bit, and with supportive care is still improving. That gives me a little more time to be able to scrounge up a small fortune to get her to her vet again and help her get better. I'm still scared that she has cancer, given some of her symptoms, but with her bounce back today I am much more hopeful.

The Giveaway is still going, so if you have some free time today, why not head on over to this post and enter!

Since it's Christmas, I have a little more nail art for you today. One of my favorite things about Christmas is candy canes. I looooove candy canes, and all the yummy peppermint candies that pop up every holiday season.  I'm absolutely addicted to Hershey's peppermint Kisses, and I hoard bags of them every year.  So in the spirit of all things Minty, I decided that some candy cane nails were in order.

These were actually my Christmas Eve Nails, and I'll show you all my Christmas mani tomorrow. For this mani, I chose Milani Texture in Tainted In Red as my base polish. This is a very bright, yellow based red texture, and to be honest, I completely forgot that I had this! I wanted something a little different, and had yet to do any kind of nail art with my textured polishes. Low and behold, this baby jumped out at me from the very back of my Milani drawer.

I used 2 coats of Tainted In Red to start and once that was dry, I stamped some stripes using Dashica plate Big SDP-A and Konad White. While not as Candy Cane-like as using striping tape would be, this still works for me. I really did not feel like fighting with my crappy striping tape, and keep forgetting to grab new ones. ;)

I really, really like stamping on a textured base! I did lose a tiny bit of my stamping near my free edge, but that was mostly due to inexperience on my part. I wasn't all that careful while the stamping polish was drying, since I'm used to top coating the design. I'm still happy with the result though and can't wait to try more stamping over textures!

Also, old hand positions die hard! My nails are finally long enough to look decent in my usual hand pose, which is good since this is how my hand sits naturally and anything else is very awkward for me. Hopefully it still looks good with round bottles!

I definitely still love the Milani Texture polishes. They're a touch different since the texture is much more sparse and can actually settle in the polish, so there's a good amount of shaking involved, but I still love the result. I think the thing that appeals to me about texture polishes is that each brand has a different idea of texture, and each looks totally unique. This particular polish had a great formula and was so easy to apply that I literally had to use maybe 2 total strokes with my clean up brush. Loooooove that!!!!

Do you have a fave textured polish? What are you wearing today?? Share with me!!!

Thank you all for taking a little time out of your day to read my posts. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate each and every one of you. I hope that your day is filled with awesomeness and all the sparkle you can handle.

I'll return tomorrow with my actual Xmas manicure, and I have a ton of Indie fabulousness on the way. Stick around, won't ya?

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas!!

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Nails! Holly and Trees!

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Merry Christmas Eve lovelies! It's a bittersweet day for me....My beloved labradane dog, Marleigh, is sick. And when I say sick, I don't mean she has a cold. At first we thought she may have a bladder infection and she was treated with antibiotics. That visit to the vet wiped us out, and we hoped and prayed she would improve. But she hasn't. She's urinating blood. She's lost a LOT of weight, and she can't even go for a walk now. I tried today, and she made it halfway down the block before I had to call hubby to come get us. She couldn't make it back to the house. The possibilities are grim - she could be in Kidney Failure, or she could have Cancer. Either way, at only 6 years old, this is not something I saw coming. Marleigh has always been an active, robust, beast of a dog. Needless to say I'm going to be doing a lot of begging for help for her this Christmas, since she's my baby dog and I can't imagine life without her. I'm worried and scared, and there is most definitely a dark shadow hanging over Christmas.

But hey, I can't give up hope just yet. So in the spirit of Christmas (and maybe Christmas miracles), let's have some nail art! Of course, before I show you my mani, you should take a moment to enter my giveaway! Lots of awesome Indie Polish is up for grabs! Just click here to head to the entry post!

For this manicure I used a gorgeous Deep Green glass fleck polish from Tawdry Terrier called Pawsome Pines. This polish is so beautiful! Oddly enough, my son had grabbed this from my to-be-swatched bin and stashed it (and several others) underneath my couch! I was cleaning the other day and found them, and knew I had to use this one NOW.

After 2 coats of Pawsome Pines, I stamped the Holly Berry image using a Red Angel Plate (I forget the number and I'm too lazy to dig it back out) and Essie Mirror Metallics in Good As Gold. I then added the tree using striping tape and Good as Gold, and added rhinestones to the holly berries and tree. I topped it off with a coat of NPB Digital Flash (man, that stuff holds rhinestones like glue!) I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out, even though Good as Gold was not the best choice of polish for the tree!

There's just something about Holly Berries that I just love! And I'm pleased as punch to be able to use my rhinestones (thanks Gini!!!). I'm actually really enjoying doing more nail art and stamping. I have a feeling you'll see a bit more nail art included in my swatches for awhile!

But let's talk about that stunning green base polish...Omg, such a beautiful color! I love a good green, and the glass fleck in this baby really bring her to life. Formula was excellent and application was easy peasy with no dragging or balding.. Pawsome Pines was so easy to control that I barely needed any cleanup, which is always a bonus in my book. She is a little bit streaky on the first coat, but evens out perfectly with the second. I really, really love this one.

You can check Pawsome Pines and all of the other pretties at Tawdry Terrier on Etsy. They have so many awesome polishes, all with dog themed names (Feliz Navidog is awesome!). You can also find Tawdry Terrier on Facebook and Instagram - go give them a like!

I have more Holiday Manis coming your way, so be sure to pop on back! After the holiday, I have some swatches of some awesome polish from Underground Cosmetics and Dainty Digits Polish, as well as the pretties that I retrieved from under my couch (Yikes! I feel so bad about those - I really need to keep track of what is sent to me somehow).

To all of my lovelies, I hope you have a safe and wonderful Holiday, whatever you celebrate. I have a post scheduled for tomorrow, but I won't be around much - I'll be with my family, where I belong.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays!!

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Nail Art - Snowflakes!

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Hello again lovelies! We're 2 sleeps aways from Christmas, and everyone around here is getting all sort of excited.  I however, spent the day (that was supposed to be a nice, relaxed day) stuck in horrible traffic. Nothing says Joy like Abq traffic. Not!

Have you entered my giveaway yet? You really should! Lots of awesome Indie babies are up for grabs, as well as a Red Angel stamping kit. Click here to head to the post and enter!

Today I have some wintery nail art to share. I wore these on the first day of winter, but I'd been wanting to do this mani for ages! I picked up Contrary Polish Frozen from Llarowe awhile back, and knew it would be perfect for some snowy nail art. It was really hard to let it hang out in my untrieds for so long, but oh so worth it!

I started with 2 coats of Contrary Polish Frozen as my base, then stamped on the snowflakes using Essie Mirror Metallics in Blue Rhapsody and a generic stamping plate with a cute snowflake image. On a whim I added some light blue rhinestones, and topped it all off with a coat of NPB Digital Flash.

I really dig how this turned out. Blue Rhapsody is a great match for the lovely blue peeking through in Frozen, and the rhinestones give it some oomph and dimension.

Frozen is my first time using a Contrary Polish color, and it was a joy to work with. The formula is fantastic, and application was effortless. I was really impressed with the opacity of Frozen, since I'm used to most white jellies being 3 coaters. My fave thing, of course, is the gorgeous soft white with those itty bitty blue glitters and silver shimmer. Just gorgeous! I love whites with a little bit of sparkle, and can't wait to wear this baby again! I actually have 2 more Contrary Polish pretties that I really want to wear, but they're just so gorgeous that I feel like I have to do some nail art with them.

Contrary Polish can be found in full size bottles through Llarowe, or in mini size through Contrary Polish. Please be aware at Contrary Polish only supplies mini bottles and only accepts orders on Fridays. Be sure to check out the site for more info.

Do you have a favorite from Contrary Polish?

I'll be back tomorrow with some Holiday Nail Art! Wahoo!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

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Nail Pattern Boldness Digital Hydration base coat and Digital Flash Top Coat Review!!

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Hello Lovelies! Eek! I'm late posting this due to a wicked sore throat, but I'm starting to feel somewhat human again, so here I am!

Just a reminder: If you haven't entered my giveaway yet, head on over and enter here! Prizes up for grabs include Polish TBH, Gothic Gala Lacquers, 27 Polish, Live Life Polished and Lac Attack polishes! Wahoo!

I am a HUGE Nail Pattern Boldness Fan. In fact, if I had more disposable income, I would own every polish that Allison has ever made (I aspire to do this anyway). But what always blows my mind is Allison's ability to create products that enhance our polishing experience. First there was Glitter Food, a glitter smoothing polish that has become the standard for glitter smoothers. Then she created Glitter-A-Peel, a peel off base coat that, in my opinion, is the best around. Both are products that I use constantly and refuse to be without. But now Allison has created 2 new products and has totally outdone herself.

Digital Hydration and Digital Flash are brand new to the NPB lineup. Digital Hydration is a moisturizing, ridge filling base coat made with Argan Oil. Digital Flash is a quick dry top coat. I don't know about you guys, but I am always on the lookout for great top and base coats. So many top coats only work with specific types of polishes, or are fabulous save for one or two things - shrinkage and glopping up partway through the bottle. And base coats? Especially ridge filling base coats! I've tried so many and they're usually either too thick, too thin, or tend to be incompatible with my top coats (There are exceptions to these issues, of course. I still love Simply Quick base coat - that one is only incompatible with Glossy Glam top coat, and Hk Girl makes one helluva top coat).

Now I'll be 100% honest here - I have been a loyal HK Girl user for over a year. I love that top coat and always will. But the minute Digital Flash was released, I knew I had to try it. Allison has a talent for making the very best around, and I had to see if it would beat out HK Girl.

Let's start with Digital Flash, since I'm sure this is the one that people are asking about most.

Digital Flash, is, to put it bluntly, incredible. It's super shiny, nice and thick, and dries faster than Seche Vite. It rivals HK Girl in every single area, although the shine may be a touch less (but not much!). The first time I used Digital Flash, I was blown away. I had expected a top notch top coat, but what I didn't expect was the absolute inability to muck up my nails. I have this horrible habit of whacking my nails on my polish table the very second I finish a mani. Which means that my nails are usually only dry to the touch. I did this the first time I used Digital Flash, and the craziest thing nails barely dented. And the one nail that *did* have a slight dent, bounced right back to smooth and perfect with no manipulation whatsoever. I literally sat there and watched my polish return to its former dentless glory. Nice! Another bonus is that Digital Flash really, really loves Glitter-A-Peel. When used together, they create one helluva durable shield. Whack your nails on things often? No problem! Used to your peel off base lifting at the slightest touch? Not anymore! I actually had to break the seal on my nails to peel off my polish.  I've never had a manicure with a peel off base last so long. I think those last 2 are what has led me to reach for Digital Flash with every single manicure. I just can't rave about this stuff enough.

Since we're looking at a topcoat here, I decided to throw in a few more tests. Does it dull holographic polishes? Does it smooth out glitters? Does it smear nail art? Well, let's see! Here is a mani I wore last week. This is 2 coats of this amazing Gold Holo glitter polish from NPB (no-name and unreleased) that Allison was kind enough to send me awhile back. I used 1 coat of Digital Flash to smooth out the surface, then stamped using Mash plate 39 and Konad Black Polish. I added one more coat of Digital Flash immediately after stamping, and this way my result.

Well hello there bright holo colors, clean stamping and smooth shiny finish! This was taken in my lightbox, so the holo isn't as vivid as it would be in the sun, but I assure you, Digital Flash did not diminish one bit of the holo in this baby. Let's look at a macro shot. Although, let me jut say that the stamping looks rougher when magnified 50 times - what you see is flaws in actual stamping and not smearing.

See the holo goodness? And notice how the stamping is crisp (if not entirely perfect) and not at all smeary? That's with a total of *TWO* coats of Digital Flash- one over the glitter itself and one over the stamping. That glitter was lovely and smooth for stamping, shiny and bright. The stamping was perfectly crisp and clear. And this mani wore beautifully until I broke the polish seal myself. It held up so well that I actually squeed out loud. Digital Flash wins, people. In fact, just like my Glitter Food and Glitter-A-Peel, you won't catch me without out.

Now let's talk about Digital Hydration. I don't have swatches to share, since it's a base coat and well, I just didn't think of taking pictures of just my base coat. The first thing that sold me on Digital Hydration was the words "ridge filling". I NEED a ridge filling base coat. I have some pretty obnoxious vertical ridges in my nails. In fact, I have on right in the center of my middle nail that makes that nail the most evil thing to shape. It's so defined that it actually creates a v shape in the free edge of my nail.  It's obnoxious, and hard to smooth out. I was using Essie Fill The Gap for awhile (I was out of my Simply Smooth at the time), and that stuff was like a lightly tinted glue. Horribly thick and goopy and made my manicures way thick. So I went to Millionails, which was better, but still not great. So grabbing Digital Hydration was pretty much a no brainer for me. I mean, Allison created a product that smoothes out the thirstiest glitters in one coat, certainly she could handle ridges, right? RIGHT! Digital Hydration is freakin' fabulous! The consistency is perfect - thick enough to smooth out even my wonkiest ridges while being thin enough to work with and look normal. Digital Hydration dries fast (which is something that all of Allison's products are known for), and leaves a semi-matte, silky smooth, ready to polish surface. It's hard for me to judge whether or not the Argan Oil actually hydrates, since I am such a Pure Nail Oil addict that my nails are always moisturized, but I can say that my nails don't "tighten up" as much as they do with other base coats. By tighten up, I mean that when I start a manicure, my nails are much more flared at the free edge. As my polish dries, my C-curve tightens, creating that very rounded C-Curve that you usually see in my photos. With most base coats, my C-Curve tightens up to where if viewed from the top, it looks as if the edges of the nail are biting into my finger. With Digital Hydration, I'm not seeing as much tightness to my C-Curve, which is always a bonus since that C-Curve makes me insane!  I've been using this alone, as well as over my beloved Glitter-A-Peel, and my manicures look fab. And last longer they have in years. Goodbye, Essie ridge filling base coats! You are officially kicked out of my stash! Digital Hydration has kicked your butt!

Loves - I could go on and on all darn day about these babies. Allison is just brilliant. Not only does she make one of the top Indie Brands around, but now she makes some of the very best top and base coats I have ever used. You will be seeing a lot of these here, since I plan to have them on hand at all times (and some stashed away in case of Zombie Apocalypse). If you're looking for a perfect top and base coat combo, Digital Hydration and Digital Flash are it. Oh, and don't forget about Glitter Food and Glitter-A-Peel. Can't live without those!

Digital Hydration and Digital Flash are available RIGHT NOW at Nail Pattern Both sell for $8, same as Glitter Food and Glitter-A-Peel. Allison's amazing new collection A Parliament of Magpies is also available, and I suggest you head on over to Sassy Paints and check out Gini's incredible swatches if you haven't seen them. APOM is just a stellar collection and I am DYING to get my grubby little hands on them all!!! Also, check out Nail Pattern Boldness on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest news, new releases, swatches and sales.

Have you tried Digital Hydration and Digital Flash yet?

I have some Holiday Nail Art coming up, as well as a review and reveal of Nails HQ Magazine!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

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