Thursday, 29 May 2014

Guest Post from The Polished Hippy!

I'm delighted to be guest posting on Procrastinails today and thought I would share a few polishes from a new brand I've been trying out recently. Over the last twenty years, I've gone through various periods of not painting my nails at all, but I've been hooked again since 2011 thanks to a particular finish I can't resist: holographic! I've been hoarding holos as if they were going out of style, but of course they're not. Even though I have hundreds at this point I still love keeping my eyes out for new makers. One of the places I like to do that is Etsy, where I frequently type the words Holographic Nail Polish into the search bar.

One day some pretty rad holos from Glitzkrieg War Paint showed up and I decided to give them a try. In a big way. As in I bought the whole line, haha! Then Emily, the lovely maker, sent me a few more to try out and photograph as well. At this point I'm pretty good at telling which holos will float my boat or not and I could tell these would have plenty of jazz about them. Many of them have a jelly finish, meaning the base is translucent. While I love super-opaque holos, too, each type has its place. Jellies are not as good for things like stamping or detailed nail art, but they have a unique depth to them when layered by themselves or with other polishes. Since they are translucent, the light can reach down to the bottom layers and pick up the base color as it reflects back, yielding a rich effect. They can also be used as holo top coats and for nail art techniques that require translucency, such as syrup manis. I've picked out four of my favorites so far from the line.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Guest Post from The Fancy Side // Essie Serial Shopper

Hello All! I'm Amy and I blog over at The Fancy Side. I'm so happy Katherine is having me on her corner of the internet today. We belong to the same polish bloggers group on FB and she recently asked for guest posters. I love making new friends, so here I am! If you don't know me, I'm a midwestern girl who has recently relocated to the Big Apple. It's a crazy city but my little family and I like it. ;-)

For the look I created for you all, I started with a base of Essie Serial Shopper. This polish is from the new Too Taboo Collection, Essie's Summer Neon collection. It's not as eye-searingly neon as I had hoped, more just a bright polish. It has a thick jelly base and it took 4 coats to get the opacity you see in the pictures.

After letting my base dry, I channelled the glitter placement queen, Polish All the Nails, because I recently saw her do a mani with neon studs that was amazing. I differ in that I used round studs and didn't do all my nails, I just wanted an accent nail. As you can see, I wasn't to picky about which color stud went next to which. I just wanted the whole nail covered. This was a super fun look, and I got tons of compliments on it.

I hope you all enjoyed the design I created for you. It sure was fun for me to do.

Katherine, thanks for having me! Come visit me sometime! You can find me at The Fancy Side, Instagram @Fancysidenails, Twitter @fancysidenails, or Facebook!

Amy does so many lovely designs, I'm in awe of her skills. If you haven't checked her out then you really must! Thank you so much again, Amy! -Katherine

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Revlon Parfumerie Spring 2014 Swatches

I have some of the Revlon Parfumerie swatches to share with you from the Spring 2014 Collection! I remember eyeing these when they first came out because I loved the light and bright shades, but in the end I never picked any of them up. Time goes by, and then suddenly while I'm running some errands at the pharmacy I see that the collection is on sale! Can I get a woohoo?! They were missing two of the shades (Lavender Soap and Orange Blossom) so I don't quite have the full set. But that's okay! My one complaint?

Unfortunately, these aren't the polishes to go with if you have sensitive scent allergies (like moi). Which brings us to the second purpose of this post: I'm putting these polishes up in a giveaway! More info on that at the end of the post (so you can skip ahead if that's what you're here for), otherwise on to the swatches!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Vacay! See you in a week!

Hello lovelies, and good bye! I'm taking some time to venture off with a friend for a week. But don't worry - I have some lovely guest posters coming up that you can look forward to while I'm gone! (Also, apparently guest posts are a thing I do now! I only asked in a facebook polish group I'm active on for now, but if anyone is interested in doing a guest post for me in the future please let me know. :) I'd love to host you. *cough*Inés*cough*)

Above is a picture from my last trip, so who knows what I'm going to get to see and do this time. :) I can't wait. And I mayyyy have brought some resort-appropriate polishes with me to work with while I'm there. Exciting all around! Can you tell I'm excited?! Haha.

See you soon dolls! xx

Dots and Stripes! Review and Nail Art with the Julep Plié Wand Creativity Kit!

Today is the last of three posts I'm sharing with you around my May 2014 Julep Maven Box. We've already looked at the polishes and the Plié Wand system, and today we're taking a look at the Creativity Kit that I picked up as an add-on this month. Let's get to it!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

My Review of the Julep Plié Wand!

A couple months ago Julep announced that they were working on an innovation that would change the way we paint our nails - the Julep Plié Wand. I love that the name was inspired by the graceful moves and lines in ballet - very appropriate for this tool, since it moves so smoothly from one position to the next. Julep crowd funded the money to develop the product and they were released with the May 2014 Julep Maven boxes. I received the Plié Wand the other week when my box arrived, and while I don't think it's completely necessary to painting your nails I can see how it could make the process a bit easier and more comfortable (especially for your Cinderella hand).

I have some pictures and thoughts to share, and I also put together a quick tutorial to explain how to attach and use the wand with your normal polish caps. Let's jump right in!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

My Julep Maven (May 2014) Bombshell Box! Laree and Saaya Swatch and Review [pic heavy]

Hello lovelies! Today I bring you a post with part of my May Julep Maven box! I say "part of" because there was too much to cover in this box with the new Plié Wand and accessories coming out. So with that in mind the box has been split into three smaller posts that will be coming up over the next three days: today we have a look at the general box and swatches of the polish, tomorrow I'll share my review of the Plié Wand with you, and the next day I'll have a review and mani using the Plié Wand Creativity Kit. Sounds good? Sounds good! Let's get started. :)

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Julep Maven June 2014 Selections are Open - The Three Wishes Collection!

The Three Wishes Collection as pictured on Julep.com

Julep named their next collection The Three Wishes Collection because they say they've granted three of our wishes: fully customizable boxes (more on that later), two new Oxygen Technology products (a long-lasting top coat with caviar and platinum, and a new ridge filling base coat), and a bunch of finishes on the polishes for the month. They've also finally created an app that you can download to do your box selections, though I have to say I haven't tried it... (If you have I'd love to hear what you think of it!)

Changes to the Julep Maven Program:
Julep has recently changed the way their subscription service works. Previously the Julep Maven box was $19.99 monthly and you could sign up for one, three or six months. As I mentioned in the May Selection post Julep has now added a new tier to their boxes called My Maven for $24.99/month (or $59.97 for three months if you pre-pay - this works out to the original $19.99/month). With My Maven you can swap out any product in your box for a different product, making the box fully customizable. There's also a Maven Luxe level for $39.99/month ($34.99/month if you sign up for 3 months at a time) which will give you a fully customizable box plus one additional item of your choice.

If you want to pay $19.99/month now you need to pre-pay 3 months at a time. I was already pre-paying in 3 month sections so all the change means for me is that I now get to swap any products (if I want) for no additional charge. If you were previously paying month to month I think you can continue doing so, but new Mavens seem to be required to sign up for the My Maven program instead which is understandably frustrating since it's more expensive month-to-month.

So let's take a look at the polishes and talk a bit about the controversial changes to the Julep program!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Review // Mont Bleu Design Glassware

 * The products in this post were provided by Mont Bleu for honest review

 Best. Nail files. Ever.

When I was contacted by Mont Bleu about reviewing some of their Design Glassware crystal glass nail files I was happy but skeptical - happy for the opportunity, but skeptical because me and glass nail files don't really go well together and I didn't believe I would like them. The ones I'd gotten in the past didn't seem to have any grit which was a deal breaker for me (even though I loved the idea of being able to use them forever and having to just rinse them off to clear them off).

Now that I've tried these ones from Mont Bleu all I can say is: I AM SO HAPPY I TRIED THEM. They are leaps and bounds above my previous Revlon one. And they are stunning to look at. On top of the files they also sent me some tweezers and a pair of earrings (lovely!) and I am 100% satisfied with all of them. Seriously - if you've been unsure about the idea of glass nail files in the past this is the brand to start with. I'm a believer. These are the best glass files on the market in my opinion.

Let's take a better look!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Today I Learned... About Nail Growth!

So my online nail tech program through TAOND is going really well so far, though I'm not moving through it as quickly as I would like to. (Due, ironically, to procrastination! Errrr.... Self-care? Haha.) I'm trying to retain as much knowledge as I can and one of the best ways to remember things you’ve learned is to explain and share them with others. So that's what I'm planning: quick and cute bite-sized posts that will both keep you up-to-date with my learning process and let me solidify the things I'm learning.

Right now I'm learning about human & nail anatomy (which isn't easy since I haven't taken a science course since grade 10). On top of the diagrams and science we spent some time taking down some myths (Those white spots on your nails? Probably from trauma to your nail plate or matrix, not from nutrient deficiencies!) and also translating info into bite sized facts that we can use to engage clients. Such as...

5 Facts About Nail Growth:
  1. Your nails grow faster in the summer than in the winter.  
  2. If you have chronic stress or fatigue you might notice your nails growing more slowly.
  3. Your dominant hand grows faster than your non-dominant hand.
  4. The fastest growth is on your middle finger, and the slowest is your thumb.
  5. Men's nails grow faster than women's nails, except during pregnancy when women experience a boost in metabolism and circulation which promotes nail growth.

A lot of these facts can be attributed to the fact that just like any other part of your body your nails rely on energy and nutrients (let's call these "Good Things") to be sent their way to grow. It's been theorised that growth is stimulated by small or daily trauma to the nails (basically the result of using your digits and nails for things like working, typing, tapping, etc.) which prompts the body to send more of these Good Things their way to help them recover from the trauma. More use = more trauma = more growth! But if you're sick or under strain your body might be drawing those Good Things away to more vital parts of your body which could impact your nail growth.

So it seems the trick to healthy nails is to be active and take care of yourself... Who would've guessed it? ;) You can also tell a lot about your health by your nails, though that's not an area I'm too familiar with (yet).

I tried hard to keep this short so I'll cut us off here. Feel free to share any of your own facts or tips in the comments!

Thanks for visiting!! xx

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Attracted to Leopard Print!

Hi lovelies! I have a quick design to share with you using China Glaze Attraction, OPI Push & Shove and Sinful Colors Black on Black! Leopard print, leopard print, leopard print, who doesn't love leopard print?! :)

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

China Glaze Magnetix 2012 Swatches! Attraction and Positively in Love!

Alright, let's get a start on this pile of swatches I have to do! China Glaze Attraction was at the top of the list, so I decided to swatch it along with the other Magnetix polish that I own - China Glaze Positively in Love. My only issue? I. Hate. Magnetic. Polishes. Arrrgghhhhghgh. My nails are very curvy so I've never been able to get a full or clean magnetic image when I use the magnets. But for you guys I gave it another try (grumble grumble). So let's take a look. I swatched both of this before and after the use of the magnet, so you can see what they look like as normal polishes, too.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Nubbins Rescue with my Influenster Canada VoxBox imPRESS Nails! (Review and Wear Test)

* Items in this post were provided by Influenster for honest review

Nubbins can be awesome. There are certain colours and designs that look best on me with short nails (see: yellows and cartoon nails) and so sometimes I don't mind rockin my nubs for a few weeks until they grow back out to my normal length. But this week when they broke it brought nothing but annoyance. I had so many designs in mind I was planning to try on my lovely nails! Cue sadness, but then cue (like a beacon of light) an email from Influenster saying I had been chosen to receive their Canadian VoxBox with imPRESS press-on nails! Ahhhhh! Perfect timing. :) I tried them on and gave them a wear test for a day, so let's see how they held up!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

What's in a Born Pretty Store Lucky Bag? Let's see!

I ordered some new phone cases from Born Pretty Store the other day, and in the checkout they had a "Lucky Bag" on sale for $0.99 that claimed to have 3 nail art items worth up to $6 total in it. It was so cheap, how could I not! And who doesn't love a good surprise!

I think I got a crazy good deal now that I've seen what was in the bag (from looking at the photos on the product page it looks like the contents change a lot and the other hauls didn't look nearly as fun as this one), so I decided to share it with you. If I had to give this bag a theme I think it would be 'girly and fun.' It's got lots of shine, pink and entertaining accent pieces!

Maybe the next time you put an order in you'll decide to pick one up too, after this! ;)

Monday, 5 May 2014

Mini Mani Monday: On Wednesdays We (Wore) Pink (Ombre)

You know that feeling when you buy polishes and you reeeeally want to put them on but you have other things to swatch/do or there's already polish on your nails? That's how I felt when I picked up this Color Club 4-pack at Winners a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to use them in an ombre on my digits but I just never found the right time. Cue last Wednesday, aka the 10th Anniversary of Mean Girls! Pink nails and art all over the place! I couldn't let that opportunity pass me by, so here's some shots of what I was wearing for that lovely day. Isn't it fetch? ;)

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Swatch-It Sunday: Revlon Valentine

I have another red swatch for you today, and also an announcement! The swatch we have today is a polish I picked up for Valentine's day this year aptly called Revlon Valentine. I really like this shade, and I've previously used it as a base for nail art with China Glaze Ruby Pumps and was pleasantly surprised by how well they worked together!

And now, the announcement: I don't know if you've taken a look at my Collections page, but at the top I make an off-handed comment about one day wanting to get everything swatched. So you know what? I'm actively going to try to start working on that. Yes, this is my pledge to do whatever I can to get each and every polish on that list swatched! I'm not setting a timeline for it, but it is something I'm going to actively work on. I decided the easiest way to do it is to work from the top of the list down, so after this post be prepared for the China Glaze swatches to start popping up fairly frequently. :) 

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, check under the cut for more details about Valentine and also another pic!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Springtime is Splatter Time!

I decided to take part in this week's FingerFood Theme Buffet challenge because the theme was really easy: something new! I decided to combine two interpretations: some new polishes, and a new technique for me! Yep, this was my first time (successfully) using the splatter technique. And I thought the Revlon Parfumerie shades I just picked up today were perfect shades for summer. Voila, a manicure is born! :)

Friday, 2 May 2014

Black and White Marble Mani

You know those times when you have the base for your nail art all set up and ready to go but then you decide that you just love it so much and you don't want to do anything to ruin it? That's what happened to me with this look. I used the saran wrap technique to do a black and white marbling on my nails, but then I didn't want to stamp over them anymore (which is what I had originally planned to do)! Instead I slapped some simple accent (reverse accent?) nails on and called it a day. :)

April 2014 #instanails

April was a good month on instagram. Lots more manicures than hauls were shared, which makes me happy. :)

In the top left corner you can see some of the polish jobs I did for fun on coworkers (before my office banned me from painting nails at work which is a bit of a story), and you can also see my first pedi of the year in the middle picture. Yay ombre toenails!

There's also quite a few Julep polishes in this shot... The two in the top pictures are both Julep Catherine, and the one in the middle row is Julep Rose. They're similar but Rose leans more towards hot pink where Catherine is a true red. 

If you have questions about what specific shades are you can check the originals on instagram or leave me a comment here and I'll let you know.

As always, feel free to leave links to your own instagram account in the comments of this post so I can check it out. :)

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