Monday, May 31, 2010

FFF Winner & Vintage Vixen Reminder

The winner of Friday's FFF contest is Angie! She won Sally Hansen's Hidden Treasure and DVD polishes, and a California Mango Hand Care Kit. Thanks to everyone who entered, and tune in this coming Friday for another Friday Follower Freebie contest!

Just a reminder that the Body & Soul May Monthly Contest ends tonight at midnight. Two winners will be randomly chosen to each win a complete set of China Glaze Vintage Vixen, which will be sent to you from Victoria Nail Supply as soon as they arrive, likely in early July. If you haven't entered yet and would like to, please read the original post with entry details here.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge Purple Haze, What's Blooming, & Doggies!

I'm trying to stay out of Mike's way today because he's installing a new front door and storm door. He does wonderful work, but he swears and slams things around--plaster and wood are flying! He works his way, I work my way, and we work better alone! He's a big Indy Racing League fan, so he's trying to watch the race at the same time. I'm just laying low doing some yard work and enjoying the beautiful sunshine.

Above & Below: Purple Haze is a darker lavender shade with a dusty or muted tone. I used coats and had perfect application and coverage (disregard my cuticles, I need to "do" my hands!). Both photos were taken outside, the top one in the shade, the bottom one in full sun.
Below: Gus and Greta are watching Mike from a safe distance and do not like it at all when he turns the Sawzall on.

Below: The Morning Glory is in full bloom now and I love how the center seems to glow.

Below: I must find a nail polish to match this! It's such a unique shade of burnt, dusty orange. This is a Darla Orange variety of a Diascia, which is an annual and a member of the Snapdragon family.
Below: It looks like our mini orchard will give us some fruit this year, and I can't wait to make peach pies with these.
Below: Lots of peaches! I love to melt real butter, add brown sugar, heat it until it's caramelized, then add fresh, sliced peaches and boil them for 5 minutes. Pour them over ice cream and you've got heaven on earth.
Below: The apple trees have quite a bit of fruit on them.
I hope you're all enjoying the weekend! It's finally been nice and sunny with temperatures in the upper 80's for the last couple of days, so I'm very happy! I don't know what it is about Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes, but they're worth the price to me. The application is always perfect in 2 coats (sometimes even one), and it flows as if it knows exactly where to go on the nail. They wear exceptionally well and although there are dupes to a small percentage of their shades, the majority of them are unique. I think the next sale is in November, so I'll be adding a few more to my collection then.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

SpaRitual Kaleidoscope: Golden Gleam, Crystal Eyes & White Light

Happy weekend! I hope you're all enjoying the last weekend of May, and for those of us in the U.S., I know we're all happy to have an extra day off for the Memorial Day holiday. Many thanks to those who serve and have served in our armed forces. Your sacrifices for our freedom are appreciated more than you know. Onto less important topics! SpaRitual's Summer 2010 collection is called Kaleidoscope and contains 12 shades, three of which I'd like to share with you today. First up is Golden Gleam, described by SpaRitual as a Gold Metallic Shimmer.

Above & Below: This is a bright medium toned gold that was opaque in just one coat. It's a shimmer with a high concentration of both gold and silver shimmer or micro glitter, that applied perfectly. The top photo was taken in full sun, while the ones below were in filtered sun and shade. This works very well as a Konad stamping image polish because it's so pigmented.

Below: Crystal Eyes is described as an Indigo creme. The photo below was taken in direct sunlight and is showing a bit lighter than it's true medium blue with a hint of teal actual look. This is shown using 2 coats and again, perfect application and a very nice formula.
Below: I used Golden Gleam and the Konad #64 plate for this look. Crystal Eyes looks more true to color in these photos.

Below: White Light, a bright white creme, was uncharacteristically thick for a polish from this line. It certainly isn't something that can't be fixed with a few drops of thinner, but I didn't realize that until after I'd started my application. You can see the little problem it caused on my middle finger. Otherwise, this is a very bright white that covered well in 2 coats, and with considerably less streaking than many other white cremes I've used.
The press release describes all 12 colors in this collection, and to say it's a varied collection would be an understatement. It includes neons, shimmers, and cremes in shades ranging from orange and coral, to pinks, purples, blues, greens, a silver, gold and the white. Shel Pink, SpaRitual's founder, says "There is a therapeutic quality to color. This collection offers the opportunity to experience something as simple and nurturing as a manicure." I couldn't agree more with her philosophy on this collection and nail polish in general.
You can view the entire collection at this link to The polishes retail for $10.00 each, and if you use code PRETTY20, you can save 20% off of your Skinstore order through Monday (I think that's when it expires!). Twinkle and Optical Illusion look like they may need to be added to my collection! They also offer free shipping on orders over $49.00.

*Products in this post were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Follower Freebie!

Friday Follower Freebie returns! Today's prize includes a California Mango Hand Care Kit, and a few polishes to use on your mango-ized hands! I thought I'd pick up an extra Sally Hansen Ultra HD after swatching the collection earlier this week, so I've also included DVD as well as a bottle of the stunning Hidden Treasure. I love Mango Mend (when I remember to use it!), and there's a small tube in this kit. The kit includes: 1-Mango hand & body lotion, 1-Mango Extreme cream, 1-Mango buff exfoliant, 1-Mango Miracle cuticle remover, 1-Mango Mend treatment balm, and 1-Mango Mend cuticle oil, all in a zippered pouch.

One winner will be drawn using and the winner will be announced Monday, 5/31/2010. Here's all you need to do:

***You Must Be A Follower To Enter.

***Leave Your Name & E-Mail Address In The Comments Section As Your Entry.

***All Entries Are Due By Midnight Tomorrow, 5/29/2010. This Allows Time For Those Who Subscribe By E-Mail To Receive This Post Prior To The Entry Deadline.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sally Hansen Ultra HD: Byte (and some other random things!)

It took me the better part of a week to swatch all of the Sally Hansen Ultra HD's, but here is the last one, Byte. This is another beautiful shade, as they all have been for the most part. You can scroll down below this post to view the other seven shades.

Above & Below: In full sun, the glitter which looks pink and silver in the bottle, actually shows as a mix of blues and purples. I used 3 coats on this one.
Below: Byte is a lighter Magenta or Fuchsia color with plenty of glitter. In the shade, the glitter blends together a little more, creating a sheen of pale violet with a blue iridescent finish.

Below: One of my photo assistants, who wishes I'd quit taking pictures of my nails and throw her toy for her instead. As some of you may know from previous photos, this is Greta. We rescued her from a high kill shelter in Mt. Vernon, IL almost 3 years ago. She ended up there after some idiot bred her at a year old, then dumped her on the side of the road. She's very smart and one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met. If only she'd stop laying right there all the time and killing my grass! That's alright, we still love her!
Below: My other assistant this afternoon was Gizmo. I can't say that he's very sweet, because he's really not. He was rescued from our local Humane Society 2 years ago, because with two Shepherds, I just wanted a little lap dog, much to my husband's dismay! He's a good lap dog, but he's a little moody. When people meet our dogs for the first time, they're always afraid of the Shepherds if they aren't familiar with how gentle that breed really is--but this is the one you need to be afraid of! Mike thinks he's ugly, but I love him to pieces.
Below: Back to the nail topic! This is the cover on the latest issue of Nail Pro magazine. I don't know about you, but I'd be nibbling on my nails at some point! There's instructions on how to do the look, including the step where they cure them under a UV light to "ensure the candies wouldn't slide off." Interesting, huh?
This post got a little more involved than I intended, but I had lots of useless information to cover in addition to the Byte swatches! Friday Follower Freebie returns tomorrow--I took a little break from that for a while and have since stockpiled the FFF prize bin and am ready to get back at it! Lastly, just a reminder that the Body & Soul May Monthly Contest ends at midnight May 31. Two winners will each receive a complete set of China Glaze Vintage Vixen as soon as it comes out in early July. Entry details can be found here.

Sally Hansen Ultra HD: Spectrum

Here's another shade from Sally Hansen's Ultra HD line, Spectrum. This is one of what I call the glitters from the collection. There are 4 glitters (Spectrum, Byte, Laser and DVD) and 4 shimmers (Hue, Wavelength, Resolution and LCD). Not that they're really one or the other, but I guess that's how I would differentiate between the finishes. If you scroll down past this post I've swatched all but Byte, which I'll post later today.

Above & Below: This one took 3 coats, but it's fairly thin and dries quickly. It's a medium turquoise shade and doesn't seem to have any duo chrome to it, but it has lots of sparkle and a somewhat foil finish. The top photo was taken in direct sunlight, while the bottom photo was taken in the shade.
Below: Macro shot of the finish detail.
Below: I find that the 'glitters' work best for layering, because they're thinner than the shimmers. I layered one coat of Byte over Spectrum for this look.
Below: This is the same application, only this photo was taken outdoors in the shade, while the photo below was taken indoors with no flash. Is that a bit of duo chrome I see?
Below: Macro shot of the finish detail using Byte over Spectrum.
I feel like a broken record every time I post one of these shades, but these are fantastic! I would love to see Sally Hansen come out with some other shades in this line. A purple and a teal would be good for starters! Or a black that somehow flashes a gray or a green would be nice too. What do you think? Are there any colors you'd like to see more of in the Ultra HD's? I also wanted to mention that if you buy these at Walgreen's, make your purchase in the cosmetics department and ask the sales clerk if they have any coupons. I bought mine at 2 different Walgreen's, and the first time, she offered me $2.00 off coupons for each one. At the second Walgreen's, I asked if she had any and she offered to look. She also had some, although they were for $1.00 off of each, but it's worth asking!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sally Hansen Ultra HD: Hue

Hue is a lemon yellow shimmer with a somewhat metallic finish. I ended up going with 3 coats on this because it was just a bit streaky. Not terrible at all, I just wanted to get even coverage and that took 3 coats.

Above & Below: In full sun above and in the shade below.
Below: This photo was taken in filtered sunlight. This isn't too bad for a yellow, but it has an odd greenish undertone to it or something--it just isn't one of my favorites.
Below: A macro shot of the finish shows the yellow, gold and green shimmer pieces.
Hue knew eventually that my love streak for the new Ultra HD's would be broken. Hue just isn't doing anything for me. It's not that bad, but I'm not feeling anything but indifference for this one. Yellows can be tricky with various skin tones, so I'll just say that's the problem!

Sally Hansen Ultra HD: Resolution

Are you getting tired of these new Ultra HD's yet? I've got 3 more to swatch and I'm still amazed by every one of these. Resolution is a green shimmer that covered nicely in 2 coats. All photos were taken outside under partly sunny skies.

Above & Below: A subtle gold shimmer seems to lay over this medium green and the shimmer itself is enhanced in brighter lighting.
Below: This shade doesn't seem to have a duo chrome feeling to it like some of the others in this collection do, but it does change color slightly. It appears more green or more blue-green, depending on the lighting.
Below: Pretty!
Below: These 2 photos show how the shades of green shift over the nails in different positions. The edges appear darker, while the center of the nail is lightened and highlighted by the gold shimmer.

Below: More pretty!
Aren't these fun?!! I can't say enough about how nice these polishes are. The shades and finishes are a surprise every time I try out a different one. Resolution is interesting, because it varies between an almost Kelly green to a mermaid-like aqua, depending on the lighting you're in. The gold shimmer is always evident, but it too seems to change in appearance. I've got 3 more to go, Hue (yellow), Spectrum (Turquoise), and Byte (magenta). I'm going to try to get them finished up today in between things, because I've got lots of other things I want to share with you and I'm falling behind!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sally Hansen Ultra HD: DVD

I noticed on the display of these newest shades in the Sally Hansen HD line, that these are called "Ultra" HD, as opposed to the original HD's--it makes me wonder what's next from Miss Sally and how much we should be looking forward to them. What might they be called? Super-Charged Ultra HD's? Or maybe Mega De-Luxe Ultra HD's? I don't know, but if they keep coming out with these, I know I'll be buying them!

Above & Below: Even though DVD took 3 coats, not including an extra coat on the tips, it redeems itself to me every time I look at it. The formula on this one was thinner and more sheer than the others I've tried so far from this line.
Above & Below: All of these photos were taken outside in various lighting. This purple-ish blue shade reminds me of RBL's Scrangie--only on steroids.

Below: This photo shows just how different it looks in the sunlight vs. the shade.
Below: When I think of Sally Hansen duo chrome finishes, this is what comes to mind--Sally Hansen Nail Prisms in Emerald Amethyst. This is a polish that changes drastically with every move of your hand.
Below: While DVD does not pack that kind of punch as a duo chrome, it does have some slight duo chrome to it, ranging from blue to purple.
Below: It's still very pretty though, don't you think?
Below: A look at the color range and finish of DVD.
I recommend that you buy these. After trying 4 of them, I've come to the conclusion that these are necessary polishes to add to your collection. Seriously though, I'm really having fun swatching these because they're just different. Not to mention beautiful! Each one has me oohing and aahing both indoors and outdoors. Nice job Sally. Now bring your prices down a bit and make your collections easier to find and more accessible to everyone, and you'll make us all very happy!