Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 12 Art Evolve Posts of 2012

Good evening, dear readers! :D

In keeping with the "Top 12" theme of this week, I wanted to highlight my favourite 12 posts that I have made this past year.  Last year I did a collage, but after attempting one for my 2012 posts, I realised that I could not make it big enough to see the detail in the mini photos.  So here we go, the top 12 posts that I am most proud of (in no particular order), all free-hand:

1. Nebula Nails (here is the post)

2. Autumn Themed Nails (here is the post)

3. Autumn Themed Nails (here is the post)

4. Autumn Themed Nails (here is the post)

5. Autumn Themed Nails (here is the post)

6. Autumn Themed Nails (here is the post)

7. Flowers and Cabbage (lol) (here is the post)

8. Flowers (here is the post)

9. A Song of Ice and Fire (here is the post)

10. Random Nail Art (here is the post)

11. Gradient Design (here is the post)

12. Don't Blink! Doctor Who Weeping Angel Nails (here is the post)

Now I didn't include some of my favourite posts because they were manicures done by my sister (like the zombie hand); I wanted this post to be about manicures that I personally have done.

Overall I am happy with the progress I have made with nail art over 2012, and I hope that I will continue to improve during 2013.

Have a safe and happy New Year!!  Thank you so much for being with me on this wonderful jouney!


12 Favourite Polishes of 2012

Good morning, dear readers! :D

As we reach the end of 2012, it is a time for reflection of the past year.  Keeping with the spirit of that, I am posting my 12 favourite polishes of 2012, along with my favourite top and base coats.  While some of these polishes were released this year, some were not, and so I am choosing my favourites out of my entire collection.   I was going to pick my favourite 10, but after seeing this post from Cosmetic Proof, I decided that 12 sounds better (for 2012). :)

So here is a couple of group shots, with and without flash (my main post shots are a bit dark, I think because I placed the polishes too close to the opening of my light box when taking photos).  It took me quite a bit to narrow down my picks to just 12!!  I had thought about adding another list of polishes that almost made it into the top 12, but that would be a reaaaally long list, so I didn't.  XD

So in no particular order:

Girly Bits Stormy Skies:

This is one of my absolute favourite polishes ever (possibly my favourite of all time!).  It is a stunning bley (blue grey) with shimmering flecks that shift from gold to green.  It is almost a jelly, but can build up to be opaque.  I really can't express how much I love this polish.  The formula is fantastic, the colour is amazing, and I can't say enough good things about Girly Bits.  There are quite a few more of Pam's polishes that I would love to add to this list, but if I had to choose only one, it would be this one. :)

Sinful Colors Cinderella:

A gorgeous sheer light blue with flecks that go from gold to pink.  Although it takes several coats to get the desired effect, it is so worth it!!  Stunning!!

O.P.I I Don't Give a Rotterdam:

Another gorgeous blue grey, with silvery flecks.  Everything about this polish is awesome!

O.P.I Dating a Royal:

My favourite royal blue polish.  This is absolutely stunning, and a dream to apply.  It is also the colour of the TARDIS, which is an added bonus.  :D

L'Oreal Jet Set to Paris:

Another stunning blue.  Amazing colour payoff and formula.  Gorgeous!

Revlon Midnight Affair:

Such a beautiful blackened blue.  A super dark blue with lighter blue shimmer.  I love this polish, and the name. :D

Orly Halo:

Wowza, what a stunner!  Tiny golden glitters and slightly larger silver ones in a clear base.  This looks amazing!

Nerd Lacquer Exterminate:

Oh Nerd Lacquer, how I love thee!  A nail polish based on the Daleks?  Yes please!!  I absolutely love the combination of colours in this and the different sizes of glitter.

China Glaze Immortal:

A stunning grey with multicoloured flecks.  A definite winner for me!

Butter London Wallis:

An amazing antiqued greenish-gold that looks so fantastic!  Great formula as well as colour, and so it is my favourite Butter Londen.

Shiseido Maquillage in 94:

A stormy purple with a scattered holo effect.  Amazing formula, colour, and bottle!  I got this one in the mail on Christmas Eve, and it is so fantastic is shot near the top of my favourites list right away.

Revlon Enthrall:

Gorgeous brown-bronze with golden flecks.  Amazing colour and formula (which kinda reminds me of the smell of apples for some reason!).

Favourite Top Coat and Base Coat:

China Glaze Fast Forward for the top coat, and a PVA glue base coat.

Fast Forward is an amazing top coat, as it dries really fast and has an incredible shine.  It also is pretty inexpensive, dries to a nice hard protective coat, and smells not too bad. :D

PVA glue mixed with water makes an awesome base coat, which I use constantly for easy glitter (and regular polish) removal.  I love this stuff! :D

Phew!  So there we have it! :D

Did any of these polishes make it into your favourites list for 2012?

I hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful New Years eve!!!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

December Empties

Good morning, dear readers! :D

I have a rather long post to share with you today.

I decided that I will have another type of blog post about once or twice per month, regarding products that I have used up that month.  I have seen these posts on other blogs, and decided that I wanted to participate in this as well. :)

I have a bunch of bath and beauty products that I have yet to use up.  I like purchasing and trying out new products,  but I tend to buy more of them without using up what I already have (so I have a decent collection of creams and other cosmetics just sitting in my drawer).

I am seriously rubbish at using up what I have, and that needs to stop.  It is wasteful (both in actual waste and in money terms) and I need to learn to appreciate what I already have, instead of always lusting after the newest products on the market.  I am challenging myself to be less wasteful and more appreciative. :)

So for this month, I am listing what I used up in December, and a bit before then, as this is my first post regarding this topic.  There are a few things that aren't in this post, as I threw out the containers not knowing that I would start this challenge.  But that is neither here nor there!

The whole lot together:


4 (yep, 4!!) packets of powder hair bleach.  I didn't keep the packaging as I don't like the idea of having extra powder bleach laying about (so I am using a full packet for the photo).  Two packets I used were L'Oreal Oreal Blanc Professional Powder Bleach, and two were Ion Color Brilliance Powder Lightener.  I used two at a time, as my individual hairs are thin but I have a lot of them on my head, so I couldn't get away with using only one packet at a time (despite having short hair!)  I used the L'Oreal bleach with Ion Sensitive Scalp 40 volume developer, and it did burn my skin in some areas (like bleach will do).  I used the Ion bleach with Ion Sensitive Scalp 30 volume developer a day or two later, and my scalp did not hurt as much (despite my bleaching it pretty much back to back).  I would buy these again, as they work really well and are relatively unexpensive.

The Body Shop body butter in Moroccan Rose:  I absolutely LOVE the smell of this!!  It smells like real roses!! :D  Which is funny for me because I've never been huge on the scent of roses, but I absolutely adore this.  Unfortunately I have to dispose of the remains (of which there is a decent amount of), as I got this product for Christmas a couple years ago, and since I didn't use it up fast enough, it has gone bad.  It doesn't smell of nice roses anymore. :(  This is one of the reasons why this challenge should be important to me; to prevent excess waste.  This product smelled amazing and moisturized brilliantly, but I was lax in using it and as a result ended up with gone-bad body butter.  I think this recent summer did it in with the horrible heat wave (and our broken air conditioner!).

Would I buy this again?  Well technically I never bought it in the first place, as it was a lovely gift from my ex-boyfriends mom, but yes, I would.  I won't in the near future, as I have a mountain of moisturizers to go through first.  (I think one of the reasons why I would like to get this again is for the wonderful memories the scent brings back).

Biotherm Blue Therapy Moisturizing Cream Gel for Normal to Combination Skin (15 ml sample): I really love this one!!  This helps make my skin look really nice!!  It smells amazing and has a very lovely texture (which I would say is a cream, not a cream gel).  Now that I know I have combination skin (and not just dry skin), I have been able to take better care of it.  I used to get very rich creams for the flakiness, but wondered why they would break me out, since my skin was 'obviously' dry. Well, it turned out that I have dry-combination. (I am so glad I know now! :D)

A little of this product goes a long way, and that pot has lasted me several months (and that is the 15 ml sample!  Full size is 50 ml, so that should last me a good long time!).  It has an SPF of 15, but to be honest I doubt I apply a thick enough layer of this to make that claim valid.  This is a day cream, so while it is moisturizing, it isn't excessively so (you can get a version specifically for dry skin), and I supplement it with other moisturizers.  I know that sounds a bit odd, but what I mean is that I use a pre moisturizer moisturizer (lol), and a different one in the PM.  I use this product in conjunction with the Blue Therapy Serum, and together they have helped reduce flakiness and redness, without causing my super sensitive skin any irritation.  Would I repurchase?  Yes, and I already have!! :D  (Also, the packaging is super nice!)  It is pretty rare for me to find something that works and doesn't break me out or cause irritation, so I am very happy over this product.  This product is also supposed to aid in anti-aging of the skin, but I am still young and don't have very many lines yet to test products out on.  What I can say is that overall my skin looks better after using this product (more even in tone and texture), and that is awesome since I am a smoker (I know!) and I need to do everything I can to preserve my skin.

Biotherm Skin Vivo Nuit/Night Reversive Anti-Aging Care for All Skin Types (15 ml sample): This smells heavenly!!  I love the texture and the scent (and the fact that it doesn't break me out!!), but this is not moisturizing enough for me.  I also noticed that I had to use more of this product per application than the Blue Therapy, so it runs out faster.  I do not have much in the way of wrinkles (just a few fine lines here and there), so I cannot attest to the anti-aging side of this product.  Would I repurchase?  No.  (Well technically I did before running out of the sample, but then I returned the jar (un-used) as I couldn't justify the price for the payoff I got.)

The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner:  This is a lovely toner that didn't irritate my sensitive skin.  Would I purchase this again?  Yes, but at $12 CAN a bottle I am going to get it when there is a buy two get one free sale or something.

China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat: I have used up sooo many bottles of this since starting my nail polish obsession.  It dries really fast, is super shiny, and it smells good (as far as polish and top coats go).  It is also relatively unexpensive.  Would I buy this again?  Oh definately!!  I buy it over and over, and I have yet to find another top coat that I like so much (except for Cult Nails Wicked Fast, which I like almost as much, but that is more expensive and much harder for me to get than CG).

Avene Eau Thermale High Protection Lotion Water Resistant SPF 50 Broad UVB and UVA protection, for intolerant skin: EUGH!!  In my opinion, this product is HORRIBLE!!!  Please allow me to go ahead and say that I will never, ever, EVER buy this product again!  I actually bought this a few years ago while I was still living in the city, and at first I kept it around for emergencies, and then for review purposes.  I felt bad about throwing it out as it was bloody expensive.

While there is still product in the bottle (it is almost full), it is over it's prime date for use (not that I would use it even if it was still good!).  It was that bad.  I wanted a non-chemical sun block for my sensitive skin, and instead I got this thick whitish paste that was hard to smear on, and even harder to get off.  It felt like it was still on my skin even after some serious scrubbage, and caused my pores to block and for me to break out.  I expect there to be a whitish cast to physical sun blocks, but this was rediculous.  The product is tinted pink, but the moment you try to spread it on your skin it just makes a white mess.  And where in the world do they get the idea that this is a lotion??  It is almost a solid!  Eugh.  Never again!

Hoofer's Choice (European Secrets) Nail and Cuticle Cream: This stuff is awesome!! :D  It moisturizes the skin around my nails so well!  I also love the natural herbal scent it has.  There is a lot of product left in this jar (you really only need a tiny amount each time you use it), but I've had it for over a year and it has gotten a bit melty (last summer was awful!).  Would I repurchase?  Yes, and I already have (and I sent one to a friend!).  This truly does make my skin really lovely, and I will be using this for a long time.  One down side: for those of you who are worried about parabens, it has like 5 different types in it, which really sucks.  Other than that, it is a truly nice cream. :D

Omi Solanoveil UV Sensitive SPF 35 PA++ sunscreen: This was a nice, light sunscreen that I enjoyed using.  There is some left in the bottle,  but it is past it's prime (again me and my horrible habits!).  What I really enjoyed about this product was how watery thin in texture it was (also, the cute pink packaging! :D).  You have to shake it before using it (and can hear something rattling about in there to help mix the product).  This was expensive, as I bought it at a store that carried imported Asian cosmetics (with inflated prices).  I went there looking for sunscreen, as I had read online how there were more thin versions of it for sale in Asia, versus the thicker versions found here in North America.  Since then (it has been a couple years since I bought this) I have found more local products that have a nice, thin, easily spreadable consistency.  Would I repurchase?  No, as I have found a really nice sunscreen from Biotherm that is thin, smells amazing, works well and doesn't send my skin running for cover.

Phew!  For those of you who stuck with me this far, let me say thank you! XD

I am looking forward to making more posts like this, and using up what cosmetics I already own.  It will definately be an ongoing process, as I have a lot of things to go through, but it is fun! :D

Do you use up your products before buying new ones, or do you do what I used to and buy newer, more exciting things, while your older bottles and jars are sitting lonely in a drawer?

Have a fantastic day, and I hope that everyone is having a fantastic weekend!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

China Glaze Water You Waiting For

Good morning, dear readers!

Today I have a manicure of China Glaze Water You Waiting For over Creative Fantasy.  Both of these polishes are from the 2012 Cirque du Soleil collection.

Water You Waiting For is a stunning glitter polish, with a blue tinged base.  It has tiny green and blue glitters, along with slightly larger purple ones.

So pretty!!!!  I adore this one! :D  China Glaze, you keep coming out with such amazing polishes!

What you do think of the Cirque du Soleil collection?

Have a wonderful day, my friends!


Friday, December 28, 2012

China Glaze Creative Fantasy

Good morning, dear readers! :D

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas!! :D

Today I have a swatch of China Glaze Creative Fantasy, which is a gorgeous purple jelly from their Cirque du Soleil collection.

At first I had some issues with the formula.  After applying the first coat of polish, the second coat dragged what was beneath it.  At three coats it was still streaky.  But at four coats (thin ones), it looked gorgeous! :D  The polish has an interesting semi-matte rubber-type finish, so I took photos with and without top coat to show you.

Without top coat:

With top coat (China Glaze Fast Forward):

As you can see it is still sheer at four coats, and you can see the nail line.  However, I don't mind that, as I find it makes jelly polishes look squishy and delicious. :)

What do you think of Creative Fantasy?  Have you picked up any colours from the Cirque du Soleil collection?

Have a wonderful day!


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) ...