Saturday, June 29, 2013

Not Nail Related: One of My Other Hobbies (Pic Heavy)

Hey everybody!  I have had a bad week in nail polish terms.  I've experienced some difficult and annoying formulas and have turned up nearly nothing in the way of posts this week due to the fact that I had zero photo material. :(  So I thought I'd tell you about one of my other hobbies:  animal/pet photography.  I don't do anything professionally...I just love taking interesting pictures of our family pets.  I also love going to the zoo and taking pictures.  You'd think I was a toddler because I love zoos so much.  I've been known to stand at exhibits for a really long time waiting to get a good picture.  And it's the only place in the world I'd ever pay crazy prices for Dippin Dots. :)

Here are some of my favorite zoo pics from over the years:

Flamingos and a good hair day!
I got lucky and he actually woke up!
I remember waiting a while for this.
I am convinced that Gollum was modeled after the bonobo.  Seriously.
A very friendly Galapagos tortoise...he approached me for his portrait. :D

My family loves pets.  We are mainly dog lovers, but I also have fish and hamsters. :D  Here are some of my favorite pet pics:

My sweet Bichon Frise SebastianHe was missing the black pigmentation of a Bichon, and his pink coloring made his beautiful little face sort of human-looking.
My challenging Pomeagle (Pomeranian/Beagle) Sasha.  She has a bit of an underbite, but she's smarter than a whip.
My sister's Portuguese Water Dog Dexter.  This picture got 234 views on Flickr the day the White House announced they were getting a Portie.

The pet who has had the highest profile by far is my late Chinese Dwarf hamster, Weezy.  She was a very sweet and patient model who landed me on Flickr Explore a couple of times. :)

What a sweet girl she was.
Weezy loved a good musical.

Well, that's just another slice of who I am.  I love my camera, and I love my animals. :D  I hope you've enjoyed looking at some of my favorite photos!  I will be back soon with a polish post!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely evening! :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Name Is Melissa, and I'm Addicted to Jellies: L'Oreal Berry Nice

Hey everybody!  Jellies...I love 'em.  I'm drawn to a jelly as if my name was Skippy.  I love their squishy appearance, their glitter combo versatility, and their extremely forgiving application.  I was really excited when L'Oreal Paris came out with the Miss Candy jelly collection this year.  I finally picked one up over the weekend, and I wasn't disappointed! :)

(By the way, my dog Sasha isn't much for taking pictures, but I believe she made certain that one of her white hairs showed up in every shot. :/)

L'Oreal Paris Berry Nice

The Miss Candy polish I chose from the collection was the very non-pastel Berry Nice.  I know, you're amazed I didn't pick up something pink...I was strong and resisted. :)  In the bottle, Berry Nice looks very dark, almost black.  On the nail, it's a scrumptious blackberry/grape hue.  I decided to make a jelly sandwich with China Glaze Glitter All the Way, which is a purple, gold, green, and red glitter.

L'Oreal Paris Berry Nice with China Glaze Glitter All the Way

I used three coats of Berry Nice, one coat of Glitter All the Way, and one more coat of Berry Nice.  Berry Nice is extremely sheer, but I didn't mind using 4 coats, as they dried pretty quickly.

Hi, Sasha!!  :)

And a word about China Glaze Glitter All the Way...this polish is from the 2012 Holiday Joy collection and was actually one of my untrieds.   I knew it would be a perfect glitter for this jelly sandwich.  The application is wonderful...not thick or runny and with a great glitter payoff in one coat.  

I NEVER get tired of a jelly sandwich.  They offer all the sweetness without all those pesky calories.  The ONLY thing about jellies that bugs me is how they never, ever cover my tips.  But it's not very visible in real life, so if that's the only bad thing about a jelly, I'm not complaining. :)

Guilt-free sweetness!

L'Oreal Berry Nice is a true royal purple.  China Glaze Glitter All the Way is Mardi Gras in a bottle.  So put 'em together and you have:  Royals Behaving Badly?? 

Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely day! :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Do You Smell Smoke?: Pahlish Continually Smoldering

Hey everybody!  I hope you all have been doing well.  I've had a busy week at work because we're moving our office across town, and I've been so tired at night that I haven't had the juice to post anything. :/  But tonight, I have about one little sippy cup's worth of juice to show you this beautiful polish from Pahlish, Continually Smoldering, from The Great Gatsby Collection.

Pahlish Continually Smoldering

Please overlook the fact that my hand in the above picture looks like I've been playing with a tub of Country Crock and feast your eyes on this glittery and mysterious stuff.  Continually Smoldering is described as a "black jelly base with red shimmer, red dots, holographic red squares, and scattered iridescent orange hex."  

Pahlish Continually Smoldering

You can see the holo glitter in the bottle shot.  I layered 2 coats Continually Smoldering over a coat of Sally Hansen Black Out, but you can wear it on its own.

Pahlish Continually Smoldering

I really love this's another one of those that is exactly as you picture it when you read the name.  When you look at it, it's like looking into a dying's dark and cold... and then you see the warm, glittery flicker.  I love black polishes period, but I love them even more when they have so much depth.

Burn, baby, burn!

I haven't seen the latest incarnation of The Great Gatsby, but my stepdaughter told me it had a rather peculiar soundtrack.  I'll just stick with the polish. :)  

The only downside to this polish is typing the name...I can't seem to stop typing "smokering."  Pahlish can be purchased on Etsy and Llarowe.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely evening! :)


Sunday, June 16, 2013

I Hate Summer! But I LOVE Summer Indulgences! (Pic Heavy)

Hey everybody!  Yes, it's true.  I know I'm in the minority here, but I truly and fervently dislike summer.  Summer inevitably reminds me of the 3 things I avoid like the plague:  sun, water, and sweating.  During summer, I have to practically style my hair into a beehive so that it will shrink down to the right amount of fluffy by the time I arrive at work.  It's all very distressing.

However, there ARE things about warmer months that bring a smile to my face, such as homeade ice bought ice cream cones.  I like ice cream a's one of my indulgences.  What an awesome segue! :)  Today's post is the absolutely beautiful new Summer Indulgences Collection by Pretty Jelly.  Lovely Miss Liz says about her charming creations:  "Whether it's chasing down your favorite bands at music festivals, sipping your favorite drinks while reading a book, or taking a nap among the flowers - this summer take a moment to indulge in your favorite things."

Pretty Jelly Summer Indulgences Collection

 The Summer Indulgences Collection is made up of 5 polishes...there's something for everybody here.  Maybe even 3 or 4 for everybody...

First up, we have Daydream, a white base with green, yellow, and neon pink glitters.  I used 3 coats for the pics over China Glaze Princess Grace, which, I discovered, is pretty much the worst polish ever invented.  Daydream still looks lovely over it though...very soft and feminine. :)

Festival is a really fun glitter topper filled with neon pink, blue, green, yellow and white glitter.  There are also green and white stars and small blue bars.  This is an excellent glitter that behaves very well on the nail. :)  I layered 2 coats over OPI You're Such a Budapest to get the partaaaaaay started.

Electric Limeade is a light yellow creme base with neon green and neon blue glitter.  And this limeade is electric because of the holographic glitter!  Just look at that delicious sparkle! :)  You could use 3 coats on its own, but I used 4 for the photos.  Mmmmmm!  I'll take another glass, please! 

UGH!!  How pretty is this one??  This beautiful glitter topper is Wildflowers, a mix of pale purple, pink, blue, yellow, grey glitters.  And the pink is CIRCLE glitter!  This is 2 coats of Wildflowers over L'Oreal Club Prive, but you could even layer this one over a sausage and cheese biscuit and it would look great.

And now for the pièce de résistance:  Melon Sangria!  I know you all just *love* all my food let's say it together:  FRUIT SALAD!!  Melon Sangria is a coral jelly packed with large white, green, yellow, orange, and pink hex glitters.  I layered 2 coats over OPI Suzi's Hungary Again!...I really don't know why it looks patchy in the pics, because it didn't in the least in real life.  It's pretty squishtastic.  And so awesome that it wins the coveted ring shot:

Now THAT'S some Pretty Jelly.

What do you guys think? :)  All 5 of these polishes are crazy gorgeous and behave so nicely.  Application is great and the dry time is very fast.  The Summer Indulgences Collection is already making me feel better about the quickly approaching season.  That and ice cream.

You can purchase the Summer Indulgences Collection and other Pretty Jelly polishes on Etsy!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely Monday! :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Cheapskate Files: You CAN Fix Ugly

Hey everybody!  Today I have another frugal episode of the Cheapskate Files, my own humble way of making you feel better about spending way too much money on your out-of-control habit. :)  

Sometimes when you see a good bargain, you know it's an amazing find.  But other times, you realize pretty quickly why a particular polish was on the clearance shelf in the first place.  Today's post is both!  On one of my recent Ulta clearance shelf treasure hunts, I spotted OPI Where's My Bikini Top?, a rather peculiar-looking, grayish-green pastel creme, for the low, low price of $1.99.  

OPI Where's My Bikini Top?

Where's My Bikini Top? is actually a renamed Stranger Tides, from the 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Collection.  Perhaps in its original incarnation, this was possibly a bit better...but now, with a silly new name and no charming Capt. Jack Sparrow association, this baby is HIDEOUS.

OPI Where's My Bikini Top?

I'm not talking about the's a little dirty-looking, but it's a nice antique fern green.  But the formula is the issue here.  Just look at that bottle...the polish was permanently separating and runny as anything.  I even tried Seche Restore, which could fix 152 year old paint, and nothing helped.  It was streaky and the wateriest mess I ever used.  My official scientific term is blech.

Now enter the AWESOME clearance find:

Essie Luxeffects Pure Pearlfection!!  I have to say that I have no idea why in the world this was on clearance...this stuff is wonderful!  Described by Essie as a "multi dimension top coat", it gives your blech polish a whole new lease on life with its effortless pearly glaze.

Oh my.  That's so much better.

One coat of Pure Pearlfection, and the streaks are gone.  It applies evenly and smoothly and is quite honestly the best Essie product I own.

Pearls + Blech = Gorgeous!

I cannot recommend Pure Pearlfection enough.  If this stuff doesn't fix your ugliest polish, nothing will.  I've even convinced Where's My Bikini Top? to back away from the ledge and enjoy life for once.

I just noticed I have 3 paper cuts on this hand.

I love a happy ending like this one!  And a CHEAP happy ending is always better! :)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely day!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Siren's Song: Sally Hansen Mermaid's Tale

Hey everybody!  King Triton and ALL of his daughters would be proud.  It seems that everything is about mermaid nails anymore...we see so many polishes with "mermaid" in the name, and we're seeing lots of beautiful fishtail manis.  And I love all of them.  Any excuse to slap on green and blue glitter is okay with me.  Besides...the term "mermaid nails" sounds so much more glamorous than "fish fingers."  Sally Hansen recently introduced their own Mermaid's Tale, and this tale has a very happy ending. 

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Mermaid's Tale

Mermaid's Tale is a lovely blackened blue jelly packed with large navy blue and bright green hexes and blue micro glitter.  You always get a ton of glitter with each dip into the bottle.  YAY!!  This polish applies pretty's just a tiny bit thick for me, but adding thinner would easily eradicate any problems.

Sally Hansen Mermaid's Tale

For the photos, I applied 2 coats of Mermaid's Tale over Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Black Diamond.  I use Black Diamond a lot for layering because it's sort of like black "lite" (not black light, so no glow in the dark puff paint is needed)...more of a charcoal color. 

Avast, mates!  That mermaid be SPARKLY!!

I read that Mermaid's Tale is now a part of the permanent line of Sally Hansen CSM, which is a bit surprising because it's always the cool colors like this one that are part of a limited edition and vanish quickly. :)  Am I not right??

What sailor wouldn't risk his life to get a closer look at this??

What is it about mermaid nails that we all find so very captivating?  Is it the mysterious nature of the mythical mermaid?  Is it a general love of seafood?  Or is it just because we love blue and green glitter??  Umm...I think I just answered my own question...

Sally Hansen polishes can be purchased just about anywhere...I got mine at Ulta because I live there. :)

I have suffered a pretty nasty nail casualty that has wiped out 80% of my nails in one fell swoop...but I'm hoping to be back again with you very soon!  Take care and thanks for stopping by! :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Emerald & Ash Semper Fidelis and In Times of War & Peace

Hey everybody!  Today I'm wrapping up my Emerald & Ash Armed Forces Collection posts with a double feature!  This is pretty daring of me because I don't usually take pictures of my left hand.  The middle finger nail on my left hand is a wonky shape and refuses to grow at all.  So do me a favor and look at the beautiful polish and not my wonky nail. :)  So far, I have shown you polishes representative of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force.  Today I have Semper Fidelis (United States Marine Corps) and In Times of War & Peace (United States Coast Guard).

From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we have the gorgeous and glittery Semper Fidelis! 

Emerald & Ash Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis is packed with different sizes of red, gold, and black glitters that correspond with the official U.S. Marine Corps logo.  I used the dab method for this application, and I only needed 2 little dabs for each nail because I was able to get so much on the brush.  I layered Semper Fidelis over Layla Ceramic Effect 20 (Mocha) and the result was beautiful!

Emerald & Ash Semper Fidelis

"First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean:
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine!"
Semper Fidelis is so shiny and reflective that I had trouble with the focus.  That's a good problem to have! :)

And last, but not least, we have In Times of War & Peace, a beautiful red, white and blue homage to our maritime safety and security patrols.  I live on the river, so I often see the U.S. Coast Guard out when I'm fishing. :) 

Emerald & Ash In Times of War & Peace

In Times of War & Peace has hex, square and micro glitters in a clear base.  There are also blue stars!  Of course, this would also make a wonderful Independence Day or Memorial Day polish.  The glitter was very easy to work with and applied evenly.  I layered In Times of War & Peace over Zoya Miley.

Emerald & Ash In Times of War & Peace

"From Aztec Shore to Arctic Zone,
To Europe and Far East,
The Flag is carried by our ships
In times of war and peace!"
I have really enjoyed wearing my Armed Forces Collection polishes this week.  I love the whole idea of an Armed Forces themed collection period.  I believe my favorite of them all is Wild Blue Yonder. :)  

For every polish sold from the Armed Forces Collection, Emerald & Ash is donating $1 to the USO.  Emerald & Ash polishes can be purchased on their website and on Etsy.  Emerald & Ash polishes are 3-Free and are not tested on animals.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful day! :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

From the Unusual Vault: L'Oreal VIP Status

Hey everybody!  Okay, show of hands:  Who out there feels like they just don't fit in?  You're just a square peg in a round hole?  You're just always going to be an outsider who doesn't belong in any specific group?  You're not alone.  Meet this charming young lady...L'Oreal VIP Status.

L'Oreal VIP Status

L'Oreal VIP Status was released in early 2012 as part of the Color Riche Trend Setter Collection.  What is it about me and trendsetting?  Next I'll be sporting suspenders and a bow tie.

L'Oreal VIP Status

As you all know, VIP means "very important person."  In this case, VIP should mean "very inconclusive polish."  I mean, help me out here...what color is it?  I'm serious.  What color is this polish?  I have read it described as blackened dark steel bluish-gray.  What do you think?

It IS teal.  Or is it?  It's charcoal gray!  Well, maybe not?

Let's go with what we do know...VIP Status is a frost.  And it is a very attractive frost.  It has a shimmery look about it.  You can turn your hand one way, and the polish is sorta green.  Turn it another way, and it's kinda black.  Wiggle your fingers and it bursts into flames!!  Just seeing if you were still paying attention. :)

Can't put a label on this baby!

I used 2 coats of VIP Status for the photos.  The formula was a bit thin, but I like that because it makes it easier for me to work with...and I like L'Oreal's little flat, pseudo-stiff brush too. :)

So there you have it...a polish that marches to the beat of its own drum.  And it just goes to show you that sometimes the misfits are the most interesting ones around. ;)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely evening!