Thursday, January 24, 2013

Swatch: KBShimmer - Elle

Who's ready for part two of my KBShimmer swatches? I'm really excited for this one! Today I'll be swatching KBShimmer Elle.

Elle is a gray jelly base with varying sizes of pink and gray glitter, small white square glitter, and medium silver and pink square glitter (am I missing anything? I hope not!). The base is a little less opaque than Hex Appeal, but still solid enough to be worn without undies. Application was wonderful, just as with Hex Appeal. And enough with the talk - it's time for the pictures!

So here's Elle in one, two, and three coats, left to right. These are all with no top coats. One coat is definitely not enough, but you might be able to get away with two if you use thick layers. You won't ever need more than three. If you don't want all the coats

The glitter got pretty bumpy on this one, as you can (hopefully) see in the next two pictures.

I'd say this next picture shows the color the most accurately. It's a nice simple gray - not too brown or yellow or anything.

 I ended up using two coats of top coat to smooth everything in, and it's still a tiny bit bumpy in some areas.
The next picture is with flash. Bleck. I don't feel like the gray looks as accurate in this one. But you can see how much the top coat smoothed things out.

And a normal shot. My camera was being grumpy for this one, so I had trouble getting a non-blurry okay-looking photo. Sorry about that... I swear my camera has a mind of its own.

There you have it! What do you guys think of Elle? It can be found at the KBShimmer website for $8.75 a bottle. I'd definitely recommend this one for anyone who loves a good glitter-jelly combo. 
If you'd like to be notified whenever I post, make sure to  follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter. Thanks for reading! One more post before I start February Nail Art Challenge from Erica's Nails and More - there's one more day to sign up, so hurry on over there if you're interested!
- Muffin

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2012 in Review

Hello, wonderful readers! 2012 is over (sad face), but that also marks another year of some wonderful polishes and nail products! It was difficult, but I tried to sum up all of my favorites into a neat little post. Enjoy!

Favorite Nail Buffer:
Tropical Shine Mini 4-Way Buffer Block
Sells for: $4.29 at Sally Beauty

Pretty much my favorite buffer ever. I have loads of various nail buffers laying around the house, but all of them either a) don't make my nail shine at all, b) leave my nail torn up and covered in scratches, or c) add shine, but it wears off after a few minutes. This is the best buffer I've ever found, and it's lasted through many months of constant use with no issues (and as you can see in the pictures, it definitely gets a lot of use).

Favorite Cuticle Cream:
Lush - Lemony Flutter
Sells for: $16.95 at Lush

So up until a couple days ago, Burt's Bees Lemon Cuticle Cream was my favorite cuticle cream. I swore by it to anyone who would listen. But then I discovered Lemony Flutter. It goes for around $17, but you get a whopping amount of cuticle cream in each container. For you ladies with longer nails, you know how hard it is  to remove Burt's Bees cuticle cream from the little container, and the softer consistency of Lemony Flutter makes it loads easier to get some out of the container (without getting half of it stuck under your nails, bleck). There's enough of the cuticle butter to last you for months, the smell is great (it's not *as good* as Burt's Bees, but that one's pretty hard to beat in the smell department), and there's almost no greasy feeling.

Favorite Polish Brand:
China Glaze

This one was pretty hard for me to decide. I'm a huge fan of Essie, too, but China Glaze had to win the top spot for me. I probably own more China Glazes than any other polish brands. The formulas and applications are always wonderful and it takes the cake for this year!

Favorite Indie Polish Brand:

Pretty much the most awesome Indie brand ever. Loads of jelly polishes packed with glitter - what more could you ask for? There's not much to say about this one. KBShimmer makes the prettiest, glitteriest, amazing-est colors you could ever imagine (if you want proof check my last blog post). They're also just $8.75, which is a pretty fair price compared to some other Indies (*cough Lynderella *cough) and even mainstream brands (yes, Butter London, I'm talking about you).

Favorite Lemming:
Ninja Polish - Floam
Sells for: $9 at Ninja Polish

It was the one polish that I always wanted but I thought I'd never get. And then... one day... I happened to check my computer during a restock. I think I thought I was dreaming for a second! So of course I ordered it, and now Floam is a proud member of my nail polish stash.

Favorite Topcoat:

So honestly, I haven't really tried very many top coats. I get one, and I stick with it until it runs out. I don't feel a need to buy a different one until my first one has run out! So that's why I've been using Sally Hansen's strengthening top coat, as opposed to Seche Vite or one of the other more popular ones. It dries my nails quickly and doesn't smudge anything, so as of now it's definitely my favorite top coat! If anyone has suggestions for what to try when this one runs out, let me know in the comments!

Favorite Base Coat: 
Beauty Secrets - Ridge Filler
Sells for: $3.69 at Sally Beauty

So I'm not sure if this actually counts as a base coat or not, but I use it as one, so that's why I'm including it here. I have terrible ridges in my nails, and even if I buff them out they reappear after a while. This makes a nice, even surface for my nail polish to go on top of. You can tell from the picture that it's used often! I couldn't ask of anything more from this base coat.

And that's all I have for you! I hope you all liked hearing about my favorite polish-related stuff. This is been a little bit of a rough week for me, blogging-wise, but we should be back to the normal posting schedule next week. Next week I'll be swatching KBShimmer Elle, so don't forget to follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter to hear when I post that! 
Thanks for reading, 
- Muffin

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Swatch: KBShimmer - Hex Appeal

Hey, wonderful readers!
So Monday this week was supposed to be terrible, right? Everyone's back to work/school after a couple weeks of relaxation. Bleck. But something wonderful happened on Monday to cheer me up from my missing-winter-break-blues: nail mail!
I received my package from KBShimmer! Hooray! And talk about fast shipping - I got the message saying it'd shipped on Wednesday, and it was here the next Monday. Nothing's better than fast shipping!
Anyway, the two colors I ordered were *drumroll* Elle and Hex Appeal. And don't get me wrong, Elle is BEAUTIFUL, but when I picked up Hex Appeal, it was love at first sight (which, yeah, I'll admit, sounds really awkward given the polish's name). It's a dark blue-ish purple packed to the brim with various sizes of silver, blue, and pink hex glitter (with some tiny bar glitter of the same colors mixed in). So. Amazing. And just to prove how amazing this polish is, you all should know that I really don't like glitter polish. At all. You can't really use it in nail art, so what use is it to me? But even this glitter-doubter couldn't hold back a gasp of amazement when she first saw the color.
Not one picture could ever do this polish the justice it deserves, but I tried my best! Enjoy this montage of pretty pictures.

First off, here's a normal shot of how I wore it every day. I've got three coats on each nail, plus a top coat. One or two coats definitely isn't enough, but you can really see the polish build up as you add more coats. Application was great, although I had some trouble getting the glitter to lie flat (the glitter liked to stick up and had to be pushed down by a toothpick/smoothed down with a top coat).

From left to right, here's one, two, and three coats. Three is just the perfect amount, isn't it?

A shot from another angle just to show the glitter from a different side.

And another angle.

Here are a few pictures of the bottle, just to give you an idea of how it looks when it's not on the nail. The third one probably shows the color the most accurately, but the second one really shows how much glitter is in there:

And a blurry picture, just to better show the glittery goodness.

Knowing me, I just couldn't make it too long without some sort of nail art (no matter how pretty the polish) so I added an accent nail. I might do a tutorial on these if someone wants me to, but it's pretty simple - I painted white polish onto a piece of tape, let it dry, cut it into little V shapes, and placed them on my nail. Easy peasy! It looks smoother with a top coat, but I decided to fix some parts of the white with a striper and I was waiting for it to dry before adding a top coat!
Side note: I'd like for everyone to have a moment of silence to mourn the loss of a very close friend of mine - my index finger's nail. The poor baby chipped last night, and I had to pull the plug and cut it off. He was just starting to grow! *sniffle*

Here's the final picture once more, just because.

What do you guys think of this polish? Let me know in the comments! Hex Appeal can be found at KBShimmer's website, along with loads of other wonderful jelly + glitter polishes, which are all sold for $8.75. They also sell soaps, lip balms, and all sorts of yummy-sounding products! The shipping price was great, and the polish arrived in no time. Make sure to check in about a week from now to see my review of KBShimmer's Elle! It's going to be hard for me to remove this one, though - it's been a few days and I still can't help staring at my nails every second I get the chance! 
If you want to make sure you see next week's swatch of Elle, make sure to follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter. Thanks to everyone for reading!
- Muffin

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Glitter Gradient + Happy New Year!

It's 2013! We survived another entire year. Hooray! So happy new year to everyone, and I hope 2013 has been good to you so far.

On a different note, you wouldn't believe the trouble I had coming up with a tutorial for today. I had a serious case of writer's nail painter's block. After trying out (well, almost) a bazillion different things, I finally settled on a glitter gradient. It's not the most original, I know, but it's perfect for celebrating the new year.

You'll need:
- Base coat
- purple polish
- pink glitter polish
- top coat
- matte top coat (optional)

Start off by painting your nails purple. Today I learned that my camera hates purple- I must have taken loads of pictures before I got one that was acceptable. This was the best I could get, folks! Sorry! I'm in love with this purple though. It's really lighter in person than the camera makes it appear.

Zoya - Monica

Now you're going to start on the glitter! I know you might have been told to *dab* glitter, not brush on like normal polish, but listen to me on this one. You want a very thin layer, so you're going to wipe off most of the glitter on the side of the bottle before applying, and brush on carefully. Cover about 2/3 of the nail.
*Side note: Look at the little smudgie on the top of my first finger... I don't know how it happened, but I accidentally scraped it with a nail on my right hand and dented it. It's not too bad in terms of smudges, I suppose, so I won't complain too much!

Essie - A Cut Above

Time for the second layer of glitter. Brush (again, not dab!) the glitter onto 2/3 of the already glitter-ified part of the nail.

Last round of glitter (aww). Now you get to dab on the glitter! Hooray! Dab it onto the tips of your nails, about 1/3 of the entire length of the glitter.

The only step left is to add a top coat to smooth out the glitter. Or you could...

... add a matte top coat! I've been hunting for one for a while (I know it's easy to find them online, but shipping is awful these days, and it's really difficult to find them in stores!) and I FINALLY found one, so I had to try it out. Here's the result! I still can't decide if I like it better than the regular shiny version. But you can't complain about mattified glitter, I guess!

That's all, folks! Along with this tutorial, I'll be posting a list of my favorite nail-related stuff from 2012 and the Liebster award post that I kind of maybe forgot about (woops). To make sure to see these when I post them, make sure to follow here, 'like' on Facebook, and follow on Twitter! Thanks for being the best followers in the world, and I hope you all have a wonderful 2013!