Saturday, June 29, 2013

Yay Art Supplies!


Good afternoon, dear readers! :D

I hope that you are having a great weekend so far.

Yesterday I was able to go into town and get some much-needed art supplies.  I am so excited!!! :D  I found some great deals and although I was disappointed that I couldn't find the Golden Open Acrylics shade in the one I was getting low on (Manganese Blue; they were sold out!! T.T) I found some other fantastic shades!! :D

Here is what I ended up getting:

Golden:



Oh Golden, how I love thee!!!  More fabulous paints to add to my collection!!  I got:

Golden Open Acrylic in Titanium White (you can never have too much white!)
Golden Open Acrylic in Dioxazine Purple
Golden Artist Colors acrylic in Turquois (Phthalo)
Golden Artist Colors acrylic in Primary Cyan
Golden Artist Colors acrylic in WHOOPS!!!  I just realised (right now!) that I accidently bought two Primary Cyan hahahhaha!!!  Oh well, I do love me some blue. XD
Golden Artist Colors (hehehe I'm still laughing about before) acrylic in Anthraquinone Blue
Golden Artist Colors acrylic in Primary Magenta
Golden Fluid Acrylics in Titanium White
Golden Fluid Acrylics in Bone Black

You can never have too much Golden!  (They really are excellent quality, with an amazing pigment load!  I would have to say that Golden makes my favourite paints.)

I also picked up these Galeria paints from Windsor and Newton:



A big-ass Cerulean Blue Hue (one of the best colours in the world, in my opinion!)
Mars Black
Winsor Blue

Galeria paints are excellent quality and are very affordable.  If you are looking for a decent pigment load and quality with a lower price point than other professional acrylics, I highly suggest giving them a try! :D

Now for some essentials:


That brush cleaner is AMAZING!!!  It is so fantastic for getting acrylics (even dried) out of brushes.  Although it took some work, I was able to save a big filbert brush that was completely solid (there was so much dried paint on it, it was just one big block).  It did take work, but to be able to save a brush that is in that condition is spectacular!!  This brush cleaner is made to be used with any type of paint, and I cannot recommend this product enough!! :D

The Liquitex Slow Dri is a lifesaver.  Your paints drying too quickly for your liking?  Add this to extend working time!

The Golden Open Thinner is absolutely incredible.  As their website says: "GOLDEN OPEN Thinner is a water-based additive designed to thin the consistency of OPEN Acrylics without altering open time, as well as maintain and adjust the workability of colors on the palette. OPEN Thinner can also function as a thin-bodied retarder when used with GOLDEN Heavy Body or Fluid Acrylics." 

I use this with other acrylics as well to extend their working time.  But this as well as Open acrylics = an absolutely fantastic amount of time to get your blending just right. :D

BRUSHES!!! :D


These were all on sale, so I am really happy!!! :D

And of course:


Gotta get my Nail It magazine in. ;)

I hope you have an amazing day!! :D

-Ashesela

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lush Sympathy for the Skin


Good afternoon, dear readers!

Today I am reviewing Lush Sympathy for the Skin.  This is a hand and body lotion, which comes in a 240 g tub and retails for $26.95 CAN.

(The tub is a little beat up from my carrying it around with me)

Oh.my.gosh.

I LOVE this soooo much!!!  This is a wonderful light moisturizer, with an intoxicating vanilla, sandalwood, and labdanum scent.



Sympathy has these ingredients:

Vanilla pod infusion, almond oil, fair trade cocoa butter, fresh bananas, stearic acid, glycerine, triethanolamine, sandalwood oil, lemon oil, labdanum resinoid, cetearyl alcohol, limonene, perfume, methylparaben, propylparaben.

This has a lighter texture and isn't as moisturizing as Charity Pot, but I prefer it (because it smells devine and I really like how it has fresh bananas in it!! :D)

I figured that the pot wouldn't last me very long, and I was very wrong.  I use it mainly on my hands and arms, and it has lasted a lot longer that I would have expected (I bought this tub in the end of February and I still have some left in it).



The one thing that bothers me about the Lush packaging, is that if you accidently tip a tub over on its side, this can happen:


Uugh, I hate that!! A bit of a mess and a waste of some precious Lush product!  However, I still enjoy that they use tubs instead of bottles (I know a lot of people don't like that because of santitary issues, but I don't mind). :D

One thing that seems to be an issue with some people using Sympathy, is that there are small banana and vanilla pieces in the cream, which will stick to your skin after you rub it in.  However, I find that they don't stick that well, and get brushed off really easily. :)


(I tried to get a close up of some of the bits, but it didn't work out so well.)

This is one of my all-time favourite Lush products, and I will continue to use it for as long as I can.  I have an un-opened tub on my shelf that I got shortly after purchasing this one (it really does last longer than I thought!)

Have you used Sympathy for the Skin before?  If so, what are your thoughts on it?

Have an awesome day!! :D

-Ashesela

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Painting Break

Good morning, dear readers!

I have been taking a short break from my blog and have been painting rocks!!! :D

My sister got me into it, and it is really fun! :D

I will be back soon.

What are some of your non-nail related hobbies?

-Ashesela

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blue and Silver Mani


Good afternoon, dear readers!

Today my mani is a simple blue and silver one (I felt the need for some sparkle and shine!):





For the blue I used Color Club Evolution (an absolutely fantastic polish!!), and for the silver I used O.P.I Crown Me Already! and L.A. Girl Glitter Addict in Explosion.

I am now using O.P.I polishes again because of this awesome response I got from and e-mail I sent to them regarding their animal testing policies:

"Hi Ashley

We don't do animal testing, never have.   
We have never paid anyone else to do it, either.
Our testing is done on paid, medically supervised HUMAN volunteers in a certified lab.

Even now that we're selling in China, we STILL don't animal test .
Because, happily -- Nail polish is exempt from the Chinese animal test regulations.  

Hope this helps.

Paul"

Yay!! :D  I didn't know that nail polish was exempt from the Chinese animal testing regulations, so that is some fantastic news!

I hope you have an amazing day! :D

-Ashesela

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Game of Thrones Pancakes (SPOILERS!)


Good morning, dear readers! :D

The other day my sister was making pancakes, and I had to take a photo of it since it was so funny.  (I did the Tully):  XD


Have an awesome day!!

-Ashesela

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Born Pretty Store Rhinestone Review

Good morning, dear readers! :D

Today I have a review for two products that were sent to me from Born Pretty Store.

I have the 1.5 mm rhinestones :



and the rhinestone multi-pack:



The 1.5 mm rhinestones are so fantastic for nail art!!  They are small and can be used in an endless amount of designs, and are really good quality.

The wheel of different shaped rhinestones is pretty awesome.  There are 11 different styles:


and one thing I really enjoy about the container it came in, is that it slides open really easily:


Most rhinestones come in wheel containers that are a huge pain to open and close, so I usually take them out and put them into something else.  However, I really like this container, so I will continue using it :D.

I seriously love all of these rhinestones!  I am a huge fan of sparkle, and I really enjoy the different shapes (and facets) of these.  I also adore the 1.5 mm rhinestones, and there are sooo many in that bag (it says there are 10000)!!

Here is a design I made using the above items (as well as some 2 mm rhinestones from Born Pretty Store and some stainless steel balls):






I had a lot of fun making these!! :D  (I just wish my skin wasn't so dry!)

I highly (!) recommend these products, and I will continue to enjoy using them for many more manicures!!

Don't forget to use the code CBJ61 for 10% off of your Born Pretty Store order.

Have an awesome day!!

-Ashesela



Thursday, June 13, 2013

KKCenterHk False Nails Review

Good morning, dear readers! :D

Today I have a review for some KKCenterHK false nails that were sent to me by their company. :D
(Here is the product link)



I got them in GR18. :) (There are 19 different options!)

They are really lovely nails, and a pleasure to use.  To my pleasant surprise, they came in this very handy and sturdy case:



I cut the ones I was going to use and filed them into a more square shape, then painted them and stuck them on:

One thing that always confused me about almost all false nails I use (regardless of company), is that they are always different lengths (the different nail sizes).  Here is the top photo again to demonstrate:


I am not sure why they do that.  I wouldn't want my middle nail longer than both my ring and index.  So, I always cut them and file them down so they are the same length. :D

This set of false nails retails for $10.87 USD, and contains 500 nails (plus the awesome box).

I really do enjoy these nails, and look forward to using them again. :)

One thing I noticed is that I find that there are very similar false nails in there, so for me there is barely a difference between size 0-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, and 8-9.  Because of this I could not find an adequate sized nail for my middle finger, and had to either choose a size too big or a size too small.

However, everyone has different sized nails, and even between my two hands there are significant differences in nail sizes and shapes.  I cannot blame the company or product because of my own nail differences.  I do think that the nails could have more differences between sizes, but I am still very impressed by the quality and packaging.

Overall I do recommend this set, and I am very glad that I was given the opportunity to review it. :)

If you order from KKCenterHK, please keep the code 'artevolve' in mind to recieve a 10% discount off of your order. :)

I hope that you have a wonderful day!! :D

-Ashesela

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

If I Were Rich...


Good morning, dear readers! :D

I thought that I would make some posts about things that really interest me, and today's post is all about things I would love to have if I could afford them (after spending money on important things, that is! ;))

Some of these...
(Image source - not my image)

Made from gibeon meteorites, the crystal structure makes an amazing design.  Plus, they are meteorites!!!!!  They don't have to be shaped into balls, but I think they look pretty cool.  Oh, and I would love some jewellery made with them!

One of these:

(Image source - not my image)

I've always wanted my own personal library (oh books, how I love thee!), and this one is absolutely gorgeous!!  The warm tones of wood and the layout make this room one I would love to spend a lot of time in.

A working one of these:

(Image source - not my image)

We have a fireplace already, but it doesn't work.  Even though it has been cleaned the smoke just builds up inside the house instead of going outside.  I love this model made with natural stones!

All of these!:


(Image source - not my image)

While I do have quite a few of these, I really wouldn't mind owning all of them.  Golden makes amazing paints, and their Open Acrylics are the best I have ever used.  They are like a mix between an acrylic and an oil, and you sure as shit can't go wrong with that!!  (Plus they have amaaazing pigment!)

A thousand of these in all sizes and shapes:


(Image source - not my own image)

You really can't get enough of great brushes!

This!:

(Image source - not my image)

Can you imagine having that as an indoor pool?!

This:


(Image source - not my images)

I'd feel like a goddess swimming in that beauty!

This whole set up:

(Image source - not my image)

No explanation required... sigh.

One of these:

(Image source - not my image)

I always wanted to try sleeping face down, but impending suffocation has always been a deterrent.

What are some things you would love to have if you could afford anything in the world?

Have an amazing day!!

-Ashesela

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Lavanila Pure Vanilla Perfume Review


Good morning, dear readers! :D

As I have been *attempting* to create my own perfumes, I was once more swept away to the realm of olfactory discovery.  Every now and then I get obsessed with fragrance, as scent is a very important sense to me.  Even as a child I would wander the supermarket picking up random foods and just smelling them.

About an hour ago I decided to put on some Lavanila Pure Vanilla perfume, as I was wearing sandalwood essential oil (in a carrier oil) to test it out, and it turns out I am not as fond of straight sandalwood as I had previously thought.  I will definately be blending that one.  (In case you are wondering, it is real east indian sandalwood, so it is not the essential oil quality but my own personal tastes that are affecting my decision on it :D).



Right now I am taking long whiffs of my wrist, utterly enjoying the heady vanilla deliciousness that is Pure Vanilla.

(I honestly do not know why they name this one Pure Vanilla, as it has notes of patchouli, tonka been, freesia and heliotrope in it along with the vanilla.)

I got this perfume a few years ago at Sephora for $58 CAN, during the Christmas season.

While I am not the best at detecting some notes in a perfume, this vanilla fragrance has a warm and almost spicyness to it.  While there are flower notes, I cannot isolate them from the whole.  I think this is an absolutely wonderful combination of scents.



When I first bought this I was expecting a more vanilla vanilla.  Kind of a more sweet, fake vanilla scent.  Upon initial exposure to the top notes I was a bit turned off (it may be the patchouli).  Afterwards the scent dried down to a more familiar and warm vanilla, with an almost chocolatey essence.  I LOVE the dry down, but nowadays I can appreciate the beginning of the fragrance as well (I guess my preferences have changed quite a bit in the last couple years).

I remember wearing this perfume for Christmas a couple years ago, and my boyfriends Mom asked what smelled like chocolate/cookies.  :D

However, do note that it is not what some would consider a 'childish' vanilla (not that I have any problems with those!!  Love the candy sweetness! :D), but a more mature and well rounded one.  The different notes combine with the vanilla to provide a beautiful and complex experience.

If I could choose only one word to describe this fragrance, it would be 'warm'.

Have you tried any of the Lavanila perfumes?  If so, what were your thoughts on them?

Have a wonderful day!!

-Ashesela

Thursday, June 06, 2013

New Directions Aromatics Haul


Good morning, dear readers!! :D

Yesterday I got my order in from New Directions Aromatics!!!  WOOOOO (so excited! XD)


If you aren't familiar with NDA, they are a wholesale supplier of all sorts of goodies!!  They have a ton of essential oils, carrier oils, absolutes, and a whole lot of ingredients for making your own cosmetics and bath and body products.  They even wholesale containers and bottles!

They have wonderful quality products for really affordable prices.  This is my second order with them, and they have not let me down yet.  :D  If you are interested, I suggest giving there website a look (they have websites for different areas of the world).  Oh, and shipping was really decent too!  It didn't cost too much (I think $16 CAN for UPS, and my order was 11.30 pounds), and I got my order within 3 business days (I placed my order on Saturday and got it at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday).


I purchased 19 essential oils and one absolute, some frankincense granules, 2 litres of fractionated coconut oil (the two bottles combined came up to like $12.50 CAN) and a bunch of small glass bottles and caps (both regular and with pipettes).

I am really looking forward to experimenting with these oils and creating my own fragrances and massage blends. :D

I think my next order with them will consist of some more carrier oils (tsubaki, rice bran) and some other ingredients for skin care (seaweed powder, banana powder, vitamin c... the list goes on XD).

Just a comparison: for a higher end bottle of pure, organic argan oil at Sephora, it costs around $58 CAN for 50 ml.  At NDA, a bottle of pure, organic argan oil costs $14.17 Can for 100 ml.  (I've used it before and it is great!).  You can buy a lot of their products in sample sizes (ie. the argan 100 ml bottle) and industrial sizes (20 Litres of argan oil), so you get wholesale prices for even small orders.

They also offer a lot of information on their website about the different products that they carry (country of origin, how it is made, what it is made of, what the products are good for, toxicity and cautions, what concentrations of said product are usually used when making your own products).  Very resourceful and interesting, and it really helps you to decide what products suit your needs best.

Now to end this rave, I will say that I am not in any way endorsed by NDA, and I bought every product shown above with my own money.  I am just extremely pleased with the company and their products, and I wanted to share my experience with you.  :)

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

-Ashesela

(P.S., they packaged everything really well with a lot of bubble wrap.  No breakages here!)

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Small Lush Haul


Good morning, dear readers!

The other day I was fortunate enough to make my way over to Lush, and I had to pick up a few staples while I was there :).


I picked up some more Angels on Bare Skin, a big bottle of Breath of Fresh Air toner, and another Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds bubble bar.

I haven't completely run out of any of these, but I was getting close.  So I convinced my friend to come with me and I went straight for the bubble bar (probably my favourite product from Lush).  I was going to leave with just that, but then figured that since it will be a while before I get another chance to shop there, that I would splurge and get the big toner and more face wash.

Hopefully within a week I will be getting a shipment in from New Directions Aromatics.  I purchased some essential oils (along with some fractionated coconut oil) and I hope to create my own fragrances :D.  The reason why I am writing about it in this post is because one of the essential oils I will be getting is frankincense, which is added to the Blue Skies bubble bar, and is the reason why I love it so much!  I also picked up some myrrh, vetiver, sandalwood, labdanum, spikenard... and other earthy scents (I love spicy, woody scents! :D). SO EXCITED!!! :D  That parcel can't get here fast enough!

I hope that you are having a fantastic day!! :D

-Ashesela

P.S.




I HATE YOU STEAM!!!

Products I'm Really Enjoying Right Now

Good afternoon, dear readers! Today's post is about some of products that I've been enjoying lately!  Swatches (where applicable) ...