Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Great Polish Giveaway of 2014!

Heyo, everyone! Okay, I know this week was supposed to be another post on my Italian nail polish, but I'm just going to push that to the side for a bit, because THERE'S A GIVEAWAY AFOOT, FOLKS! That's right. I'm pretty sure most of you have heard about this by now, but pretty much, Nail Polish Canada, Cirque, NCLA, and Picture Polish have all teamed together for... well, the only proper way to put it is "one big-ass giveaway." It starts at zero polishes, and bloggers are able to nominate one to add to the prize, all the way up to 200 total polishes that one extremely lucky winner will receive.

Okay, but onto the fun stuff! I decided to nominate Zoya - Aurora for the giveaway, because... just look at it.

Yepp, it might just be the most gorgeous polish on the planet. And not only that, but it holds a special place in my heart - my own bottle of Aurora was gifted to me by one of the most amazing friends I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, so sentimental value alone places at the very top of the list of "Allie's favorite nail polishes ever."

For everyone that skimmed past this post to get straight to the giveaway, here it is!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck to everyone that enters! And if you're a blogger, here's where you can nominate a polish for the giveaway yourself. If you're not a blogger, I'd love to hear in the comments below what polish you'd nominate for the giveaway if you could.

Until the next post... I'll catch you all later!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nifty Nail Polish Finds: Collistar

Hey y'all, long time no see! Boy, have I had a crazy past two weeks. Before I jump into the post, how about I do a little insight-into-Allie's-life section? Here we go!

On the Saturday after the 4th of July, I headed out on a road trip with my mom to visit a couple colleges and get a taste of what I liked and didn't like in a school (for the record, Kenyon College is my favorite as of now, with nothing coming even close). We stopped for four days to visit my grandmother in New York, visited a few colleges in her area, and then spent last Friday driving home. For twelve. Long. Hours. Ick! So of course all I wanted to do when I got home was spend the weekend sleeping, relaxing, and maybe painting my nails, right? Nope, I wasn't getting off that easily. The next morning we had a HUGE amount of rain (four inches in one hour, I think I heard?), and our basement flooded. Hoorayyy. I've spent the last week helping my mom drag stuff out of the basement, talking with the people from Servpro, and trying to find whatever little bits of peace and normality I could. We lost a few little things, and the carpet's wrecked, but other than that we got pretty lucky with the whole flooding disaster. It still hasn't been fun to have our entire house turned upside down, though (half of our main floor has turned into emergency storage space for everything that was earlier stuffed in the basement), which is why it's nice to get back to the blog and jump back in to the magical, comforting world of nail polish. Enjoy the post!

So as you all know, I recently took a trip to Italy, and there would have been something very wrong with me if I hadn't brought back any nail polish to remember it with! I bought three different polishes while I was there, and today I've got swatches of the color Bordeaux Perlato by Collistar. I did a bit of research and I don't think it's possible to buy this brand in the US (maybe there are some bottles on eBay?), but if anyone can think of a good dupe, let me know, because this polish is STUNNING!


Seriously, just look at this gorgeous color.

I ended up paying eleven euros for Bordeaux Perlato (around $15), but it was totally worth it because this polish has great application, shine (even without a top coat, although I've got a healthy coat of HK Girl on in this photos), and wear-time. Perfection all around!

I'll be back soon with my two other polish finds, both from Kiko (although I'm not sure yet if I'll swatch them both in one go or split it up into to seperate posts). These two are more like our average drugstore brands here, so I'm curious to see how they hold up compared to Bordeaux Perlato.

In the meantime, let me know what you think of my Collistar polish! Know of any good dupes? And do you have any favorite brands from other countries? Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fourth of July Nails

*Mini pre-post rant: Sheesh, you guys won't believe the trouble I went through getting this post up. For whatever reason, my computer's been getting progressively slower over the past two days, becoming practically unusable. I've been able to slowly get around by opening tabs and letting them load for five minutes, but I ran into an issue an hour ago when I learned that my computer was now too slow to use my favorite online editing tool. Gah! After some research I discovered it'd probably be a smart idea to reset the little wifi box thing, which I asked my father to do (yeah, probably not best to make me mess with the techy stuff), and bam! My computer was all back to normal speed and ready to edit photos. Huzzah!*

I had a bit of a rough time figuring out a design for the fourth of July- this feels like one of those holidays that everyone ends up doing nail art for, and I really wanted to find something that hadn't been done before. Enter sugar-spun stripes!

Okay, yeah, I know the whole sugar-spinning technique has been around for awhile, but I thought it'd be cute to switch up the typical perfect-straight-line-stripes of the American flag for something a bit more... unique.

... oh my god, they kind of look like blood splatters in this picture.
Gosh dangit. 

I wasn't quite able to think of something as special for the accent nail, but polka dots are still fun, right?

The white background and polka dots were done with China Glaze - Snow, the red is Elf - Smokin Hot, and the blue accent nail is Sally Hansen - Blue Me Away.

Bonus: I've been trying some different hand poses recently, since I usually just do the same two in a few different angles, like this one below... yeah, I don't think I'm going to be using The Claw as one of my regular poses anytime soon.

See, the pose was so awkward to do that I didn't even take enough time to focus the camera properly... woops.

So do you all have any fun traditions for the fourth? Lemme know in the comments! My family usually gathers at my grandparents' for hot dogs, burgers, and swimming, but as their pool's under repairs right now, we're switching over to my aunt and uncle's. I hate breaking the tradition, but ah, well, it shall still be fun! 

I'm heading out for another week-long trip on Saturday, so there probably won't be a new post until the weekend after, unless I find wifi somewhere while I'm gone. So, thanks for reading, and I'll see you all then! 

Life Update!

Howdy, y'all, I'm back from my vacation in Italy! It was completely beautiful, but I've got to say... other than our terrible humidity and lack of gelato shops every ten feet, I really ended up missing home. Hello again, constant wifi access and free bathroom access (did you know you have to pay to use the public restrooms in Italy? I didn't, and as a girl with a teensy tiny bladder, lemme tell you, it was NOT FUN)!
Anyway... wow. I'm not really sure what else there is to put in this post. Nothing interesting's happened to me nail-wise recently... right now I'm wearing LynBDesigns' England Would Fall (which has now beaten out Cajun Shrimp as my favorite polish ever... sorry, OPI!) Although it's the most stunning pink holo you will ever see, my town's been shrouded in the gloomy sadness of clouds for the past week, preventing the perfect shiny holo-ness from coming out to play.
Okay, I'm just going to bombard you all with my Italy photos, because the only thing that's happened in my life over the past month other than my trip was a bunch of sleeping. Huzzah (or, as I learned from Italy, "hurrĂ !")! If you're here for nail-stuff, I'd go ahead and skip this post and wait a few hours until my 4th of July nails are up. If you want to read more about the life of the gal behind the nails, then read on!

Okay, you see this face? This is the face of a girl trying to keep it together after 24 straight hours awake. No one told us we were stopping at Verona before going to the hotel... by the end of the day, my vision was blurry, I swayed in my chair at dinner, and my hands were shaking so much I could barely hold anything. Fun times, eh?

Allie's Travelling Nails #1: Taken on the bus. A lot of time was spent on the bus.

Allie's Travelling Nails #2: Taken on the boat-bus into Venice. Hooray for crummy focus, awful back-lighting, and a photobombing water bottle!

Here's a picture documenting what may have been the most terrifying gondola ride in history. Somehow we ended up with all the heavier people on one side, and we were dangerously close to tipping over the entire time. At least we got to hear our gondolier sing Madonna, though!

Allie's Travelling Nails #3: Taken in the Doge's Palace. This was the point where I realized how much I hated the fact that this camera had no manual focus setting.

So I found this Italian movie on the hotel TV... I think there were mummies and Nazis and some really messed up CGI monsters? Someone tell me if you know the name of this one. It's a must-see.

I need this bike. So. Much. I also think I deserve bonus points for matching my shirt to the painting.


Allie's Travelling Nails #4: Taken in an American restaurant. Yeah, I totally did go to an American burger shop in Italy. Their fries were great, too.

So swagadelic, man.

Note to anyone ever going to Italy: make sure you eat at Grom at least once. It might be the best gelato place ever. Ever. 

Heyo, Colosseum.

So... erm, yeah. I hope you all enjoyed hearing me talk about something other than nail polish for once! I'll be back with my 4th of July post once I can get pictures taken, uploaded, and edited. In the meantime... uh, enjoy this bonus picture of a pigeon.