Monday, December 31, 2012

31 Day Challenge: Black & White

Happy New Year, dolls! This is a bit early if you're a fellow American, but I wanted to make sure this one was posted tonight, and I'm on my way to bed, as I have to work in the morning :(

As you can see, I'm starting the New Year off with a bang and a challenge! Jumping right into #2 on my 13 Things for 2013- improve upon my nail art, and to do more of it in general! I'm doing something a little different with this challenge, in that I'm not going to promise to use an indie polish in every manicure. I just don't have indie polishes that match some of my ideas, and I feel like it's cheating to use an indie branded topcoat just to say that I did. I have plenty of posts batched, and will be double posting most days, so you will still get your indie fix!

I've seen these dice nails ALL. OVER. and I've been dying to give them a whirl myself- Black & White Challenge day seemed the perfect opportunity. I was so excited about this challenge, I actually did this mani weeks early- pretty much as soon as I found out about it!- so that wonky, uneven middle finger is back :( But just for today.

This was an incredibly easy to execute, but very impactful manicure. I got so many compliments on it! The base is Maybelline Color Show Porcelain Party with an accent nail of Sinful Colors Black on Black. The dots were done in the opposite color with the largest of my dotting tools. 

Be sure to check out the rest of the Black & White manis in the links below!

MY Favorite Polishes from 2012

I've already shown you YOUR favorite polishes from the past year, based on the views each post received, but now I'm showing you MY Top 12  personal favorite polishes of 2012. I'm only including polishes that I have actually shown on the blog- there are a few that may have been included otherwise, but we'll just have to wait and see if they stand up next year :) Click on the name of each polish to be taken to the original post, which will include buying info. 

12. Love Always Shines by Trelly's MISC Polish. The love for this one may be more for the layering combo- I LOVE the yellow and white over steel grey!

11. Central by U-Neek Polish. This one, again, may be the combo- SOO gorgeous over dark colors!

10. An Honest Puck by Literary Lacquers. I've never been a fan of brown anything, I always prefered black and grey as my go-to neutrals. But this brown is an absolute stunner, and actually gave my a favorite brown polish!

9. Frog Prince by Varnish Vixen. I was at a loss with this color, until I layered it over a neutral grey. Wow!

8. Private School by Pretty & Polished. It's no secret that I love grey polish, and the pops of red in this beauty make it really special.

7. Lady of the Lake by A England. EVERYONE reviewed this polish this year, and EVERYONE loved it. I'm no exception :)

6. Celestial by The Polish Bar. I'm a huge fan of the "galaxy nails" look, without all the extra work, and this is THE polish to achieve that effect.

5. Vanessa by Shimmer Polish. One of the first polishes I reviewed, and still one of my favorites! The almost monochromatic blend of glitter with slight pops of red and aqua is just mind blowing. And talk about versatile!

4. Chandelle by Darling Diva Polish. I'm pretty vocal about my love for Darling Diva, and for nudes, and this glitter just hit it out of the park! An English Rose Garden turned into polish.

3. Crotch Rocket by Wonder Beauty Products. I'm just entranced by this grey creme, and the myriad glitters that speckle it. For everyone who jumped on the white based glitter bandwagon this year, this is my preferred version of it.

2. Master Shake by Daring Digits. I have no idea what it is about this polish that obsesses me, but it does! I stalked it for nearly a month before I was able to get a hold of it, and to date, it is the only indie polish that I own a backup of! This was your number three pick, and one of only two polishes that made both lists. 

1. Space Beetle by Darling Diva. Is anyone surprised by this one? It's the absolutely perfect silvery linear holo, PLUS a pinky-green-y duochrome shift. Stunning! This was your top pick of the year as well, and I can't agree more! 

So how does your favorites list compare? Any overlaps? Anything you really feel I should have included? Until next year, dolls!

Sparkles and Snowflakes by Fingerpaints for New Year's Eve

This is the second polish combo I tried out as a contender for New Year's Ever. It also marks my first post containing zero indie polishes. I'm a little nervous about it, so please be nice!

I purchased Sparkles & Snowflakes by Fingerpaints at Sally Beauty. I was carrying around INM Northern Lights, a polish I've been crushing on for a while, when Sparkles & Snowflakes caught my eye. The concept seemed the same, but the glitter actually stayed suspended! Plus it was cheaper. So I went with the Fingerpaints instead. Obviously, I didn't get Northern Lights as well, so I can't truly compare them, but they are not even close based on the photos I've seen on other blogs! Northern Lights seems to add just a touch of twinkle, but Sparkles & Snowflakes becomes opaque if you want it to. 

Shown here is one coat of Sparkles & Snowflakes over Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect Air. Topped with Out the Door. Photos taken under my Ott Lite. 

You'll want to click this photo to enlarge it, I promise. This is such a snowy, pretty, perfectly wintery combo. 

Blurry for maximum holo exposition. 

Here, I bumped up to three coats of Sparkles & Snowflakes. The blue base of Air is barely visible. I don't own China Glaze's Glistening Snow either, but this seems fairly similar in concept based on what I've seen.  Far closer to CG than INM, anyway.

You can barely see the blue under all that glitter! Sparkles & Snowflakes was a bit thick and gloppy out of the bottle, but it applied fine. One coat added sparkle and pizzazz, three coats was completely opaque. If you're looking for a holo-y silver glitterbomb, this is it! 

I purchased Sparkles & Snowflakes at Sally Beauty Supply. It was on sale for $3.99, I believe regular Fingerpaints price is about $5.50. The Sally website says that this is a part of the Fingerpaints Holiday Inspired Collection, but I found mine on the regular Fingerpaints rack, along with all the other permanent colors. 

Have any of you compared this to either China Glaze's Glistening Snow or INM Northern Lights? What are your thoughts? 

P.S.- A thought on my blog sig: The "Support your indies" sign off doesn't seem quite as appropriate when I'm posting about Big Brand polishes, but it is still a concept that I am strongly behind. Also, I don't feel like making a new one at the moment :) I plan on continuing to use this one for the forseeable future, even if I'm not posting about indie polishes. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

YOUR Top 12 of 2012: Polishes

I've already shown you the top 12 nail art posts of the year, as chosen by you. This post is the top 12 POLISHES of the year, as chosen by you via pageviews. Click the link with the polish name to be taken to the original post. 

12. Boo by Tara's Nail Art. 95 views, tied for 11th place. Probably my favorite pink this year. 

11. Jealous Oberon by Literary Lacquers. Tied with Boo for 11th place with 95 views. I put this one higher simply because it was more recent- more views, shorter time span. Beautiful gold with gold holo glitters, and came in quite handy for Christmas manis. 

10. Fiesta by Amy's Nail Boutique. 100 views. This was the first rainbow glitter topcoat I came across, and man did they become the rage over the summer!

9. Sunflower Seeds by Nail'd It. 108 views. I loved this super unique glitter combo! Perfect for summer. 

8. Confetti by Miss March. 110 views. I don't own many white-based glitter polishes, but I did get this one when they were just becoming the hot new thing. 

7. PENNY!!! by DIFFERENT Dimension. 112 views. Who doesn't love Sheldon Cooper, honestly? 

6. Bubble Tea by Pretty & Polished. 121 views. I love this polish. I do. I agree with you on this one. 

5. Pink Penquin by F4 Polish. 122 Views. The very first polish review I ever posted! And the very first indie I ever purchased. This one will always hold a special place in my heart. 

4. Clown Car Exhaust by Trelly's MISC Polish. 129 views. This post also included a half-review of Elmer's Glue as a base coat, within the first week that that phenomenon was storming the blogosphere. 

3. Master Shake by Daring Digits. 131 views. I can't say enough good things about this polish either- it was a killer. 

2. Grade A Honey by Utopia's Polish. 133 views. Perfectly named, and a perfect summery glitter topper. 

1. Space Beetle & Diabla by Darling Diva Polish. 143 views. Space Beetle has quite a cult following, so it's no surprise that this took the top spot! Of course, Diabla is a lovely and interesting topper as well. 

Do any of these match up with your personal favorites? Be sure to check back tomorrow to see how they line up with mine!

Gimme Some Bubbly by 365 Days of Color

I've been auditioning polishes for the past few days, looking for the perfect New Year's Eve nails. I'll show you the contenders over the next few days, leading up to the ultimate: the polish I actually chose to wear!

We'll start off with Gimme Some Bubbly by 365 Days of Color. The name is just absolutely perfect! Shown on nail wheel, L-R: two coats of Gimme Some Bubbly alone, and two coats over Sinful Colors This Is It, Wet N Wild Wild Shine Tickled Pink and Sinful Colors Pink Forever. 

Sunny from 365 Days of Color says: "For this polish I wanted to have a polish that represented the nice, crisp drink everyone has around the holidays: champagne. This shimmery gold polish can be worn alone or layered over other colors to give you an awesome mani! GSB is packed with different gold glitters to give it the look of bubble in champagne. THIS POLISH SMELLS LIKE VICTORIA'S SECRET CHAMPAGNE AND STRAWBERRIES BODY SPRAY!!!"

I wanted to bring in the strawberry-ness of the polish's scent, so I chose to layer two coats over Wet N Wild Tickled Pink. Mani is topped with Out the Door, photos are taken indoors under a daylight lamp, and some with flash. 

This photo is obviously wildly inaccurate, color wise, but you can really see the gold shimmer from the polish in the light reflection. The shimmer is quite strong, and this is the best shot of it.

I had zero application issues with this polish, just like every other 365 Days of Color polish that I've tried. Sunny does say that it can be worn alone, but I think it would take far too many coats to achieve opacity, and it is best layered. I love the delicacy Gimme Some Bubbly over every color I tried it with! It's not boring by any means, but it's not "in-your-face" either. 

Gimme Some Bubbly is from the 365 Days of Color Holiday trio, and it is the color that I was the most excited about, by far! Gold isn't really my favorite polish color, but Strawberries & Champagne is my absolute favorite scent ever, so I was thrilled that this was S&C scented! It does smell like Strawberries & Champagne, but it was also a bit perfume-y. I know that S&C is meant to be a perfume-y scent, but this was different, somehow. I can't quite explain it. Not bad, but not quite the same. The smell is delicate enough that it didn't overwhelm me, as some scents have a tendency to do, and lasted the whole time I wore it (about two days, and through a shower.) This is my favorite of the trio in terms of scent, even though it's a color I won't break out very often. 

365 Days of Color polishes are available here. Sunny is currently running a sale, but I'm not sure how long it will last, so snap up the colors you want now! There are also amazing cuticle balms and oils, plus new hand creme available. Check out the 365 Days of Color blog and Facebook as well. 

Top 12 Nail Art of 2012

I was only planning to do MY favorites and YOUR favorites Top 12 of 2012 lists, but as I was going through my posts, picking out your favorites based on view count, I noticed that some of my nail art posts have gotten a considerable amount of views! So I decided to throw together a post of your favorite nail art looks, based on post views, and here are the top 12! Click on the title of the picture to be taken to the original post. 

12. This Is Halloween Nail Art Challenge: Watermarble. Tied for 12th place with 35 views. My first attempt at a watermarble, and I was pretty pleased with it!

12.5. 12 Days of Christmas Nail Art Challenge: Holiday Movie. Tied for last place with my watermarble- 35 views. This was a rather lazy attempt at showing the Griswold Family Christmas lights, and my first attempt at a glequin manicure. 

11. 12 Days of Christmas Nail Art Challenge: Christmas Trees. 36 Views. I really like this one, as it has more of a cohesive feel than many of my arty manis do.

10. 12 Days of Christmas Nail Art Challenge: Holiday Song. 38 views. Was TOTALLY at a loss for this one, so generic music symbols it is.

9. 12 Days of Christmas Nail Art Challenge: Candy Canes. 51 Views. My second ever watermarble. I've only ever done two of them, and they're both on this list- I must be doing something right, right?

8. This Is Halloween Nail Art Challenge: Zombies. 58 Views. This was a bit of an abstract mani, but I loved it, and wore it for days, even though I hate the feeling of matte polish. 

7. The Zombicure! 64 views. The only true nail art I've shown that wasn't part of a challenge, and I still love it :)

6. This Is Halloween Nail Art Challenge: Bats. 67 views. I love the shimmery white base on this one, and repeated it for one of my holiday manis. 

5. Back to School Waterslide Decals by Designer Piggies.  79 views. Also not part of a nail art challenge, but I didn't actually do the art on this one :) I loved these decals, but need more work on placing full coverage waterslides.

4. This Is Halloween Nail Art Challenge: Gradient. 81 views. The only true gradient I've done. Not Halloween specific either!

3. This Is Halloween Nail Art Challenge: Horror Movie. 84 views. I was, and still am, SO proud of the burnt flesh look I created on my Freddy Kreuger mani!

2. This Is Halloween Nail Art Challenge: Ghosts. 94 views. It's odd- I participated in 2 Halloween nail art challenges, but every one of the top nail art posts was from this challenge. Must have been more fellow challengers in this one :)

1. Easiest Nail Art Ever by Long Changed.  Your number one favorite, with 97 views. So easy vinyl nail art decals. Stick on and go!

Were any of these YOUR personal favorites? Is there a favorite of yours that didn't make the list? 

I've gotten behind this week, so you'll get a post-a-palooza over the next two days! Stay tuned for New Year's Eve mani ideas, your top 12 favorite polish and MY top 12 favorite polishes of the year!