Zoya Jubilee Holiday 2018 collection

It's here! The Zoya Jubilee collection. I did some first opinions on this collection on my YouTube channel and some swatches have been popping up on my Instagram but here it is in it's full glory.  This collection contains seven creams, one shimmer, two pixies, a glitter and a special effect topper. The special effect topper also contains Zoya's brand new Z-wide brush and I'll talk about that a little further down in the blog but for now, let me say it's really helpful when applying the topper because with very little effort you can swipe your entire nail in one go. Perfect for tricky crackles since the direction of the crack depends on the direction of your swipe! This crackle effect ONLY works as a leopard crackle over the pixies and over any other finish you'll get a standard crackle effect which you can see on my YouTube video! All of these are swatched with two coats and all with no top coat as per usual. Here we go! 

Zoya in Astrid can best be described as a liquid gold foil that adds a festive touch to any holiday look- wear as an accent or alone for optimum impact. I think this one is really pretty on it's own but it's definitely sheer so you may want to use it as a topper if you don't like that look. It is a bit warmer in person.

Zoya in Leigh can best be described as a full-coverage perfect winter nude - rich and warm cream with just a hint of pink to compliment any skintone

Zoya in Carson can best be described as a full-coverage muted nude pink cream - a beautiful shade to create an understated elegance and perfect for the cold weather months

Zoya in Maxine can best be described as a full-coverage a rich red cream with an evenly balance undertone - bright, yet still appropriate for the season

Zoya in Allison can best be described as a full-coverage plum-toned ruby cream - a more amped up version of a traditional plum shade

Zoya in Taryn can best be described as a fiery fuchsia micro-irredescent shimmer with blue undertones - a shade that brightens even the gloomiest of winter days

Zoya in Chiara can best be described as a full-coverage deep purple cream - a gorgeous compliment to the rich jewel tones of the season

Zoya in Danica can best be described as a full-coverage rich deep teal cream - a new twist on a holiday green that gives you an edgy, yet elegant look. This one is a favorite of mine and it's PERFECT for the season.

Zoya in Kateri can best be described as a full-coverage beautiful midnight brown cream - think of it as the new black! I swear when I was swatching this one I could SMELL chocolate. It's such a rich color.

Zoya in Juniper can best be described as a sparkling teal textured PixieDust- especially unique when paired with our new Leopard Spots special effect topper. (This was one of my favorites of this collection! It sparkles and changes and looks so luxe in person!)

Zoya in Juniper can best be described as a sparkling teal textured PixieDust- especially unique when paired with our new Leopard Spots special effect topper

Before we talk about the Leopard Spots topper let me show you the wide brushes. I tried to get a good picture of these (there will be videos on my insta!) but it just didn't work out so I'm using an image straight from Zoya here! You can see though, how much wider the Z-wide brush is and it's also flat versus being rounded. I love Zoya's original brush but I also have more narrow nails and I struggle a bit with wider brushes like OPI. So I wasn't like, SUPER excited for the wide brush but I think Zoya has struck a nice happy medium. It's not as thick as OPI's brush and it's not quite AS wide either (although it's still plenty wide to do my nails in ONE swipe) so it's super easy to work with and if you do happen to have a wider nail this will definitely make things easier for you. Bonus: they fit into Lippman and Butter London polish bottles so if you struggle with their brushes you can pop these in them as well. ;)  Ok on to the leopard spot topper....

While I preferred Juniper to Cookie on it's own, the topper shows up MUCH better over Cookie. You can see how it cracks and makes rounded spots. While it doesn't look exactly like leopard print from a distance and in person it's surprisingly close! Obviously no top coat on these either as it would ruin the effect.

I had issues getting a clear shot of this one for some reason but here's the topper over Juniper. In person, just because they're both so dark, it's a bit trick to see the effect. It's still really pretty but it comes across really muddled. I think with some of Zoya's lighter pixies this will be magic though!  What did you think of this collection? Any you're planning to pick up?

Polish and Potter and Phising...

Well let me start this blog by saying it's been a ROUGH couple weeks. I got locked out of my blog for awhile due to some sort of phishing mess and then between that and vacation recovery and personal struggles and my daughter being in the hospital for what feels like the hundredth time...things have fallen through the cracks again. But we're back in action today so I wanted to give you some little updates and then I assure you that the Zoya Jubilee collection will be on the blog TOMORROW (WOO!) as well as some holiday collections coming on Monday and then I also have some new wide brushes from Zoya to show you and that will happen along with the Jubilee polishes tomorrow as well as in a vlog next week. Whew. That's a lot. So what else has been going on....

New polishes! I actually went out and bought about six new polishes which is crazy for me. I review for Zoya (which means they send me their collections free of charge to review for you) and I rarely get a ton of time to sit down and do art anymore which is sad but a reality unfortunately. So I can't remember the last time I bought much polish. But I spotted some OPI's on Facebook I figured I needed to have and then while I was hunting for those these China Glaze Grinch polishes caught my eye and I went ahead and bought a few of them too. They're SUPER pretty and full coverage glitter so they're gonna be awesome for the upcoming holidays. I'm sure they'll see a lot of action on my Instagram but maybe not so much here. 

Voting! Me and my little one went out for her first vote in an election. She was excellent while I waited in line and voted and then she got herself a little sticker. I think it's really important, especially today to teach her the importance of having a voice and of using her voice to speak out about what she believes in. Voting is an incredibly important tool for using your voice! We didn't get all the results we wanted but I'm so happy to see that our Congress has gone from mostly older, white men to a Congress filled with women, people of color, and people from different walks of life. Looking around where I work and live there are lots of minorities, people of varying faiths, members of the LBGTQ community and of course WOMEN. So I'm excited to see that our Congress is finally starting to look like US.

New décor! So awhile back I was in the mall and I realized that my PB Teen store suddenly looked like Hogwarts threw up in there. No complaints about it either because I LOVE Harry Potter. I'm literally that person who's read all the books, seen all the films (still prefer the books though!), and even knows her own official house (Hogwarts AND Ilvermorny!). SO...yeah I wanted this stuff. I went on their website and added this set to my cart and you're not going to believe it (or maybe you will if you have any familiarity with Pottery Barn), the total came to just shy of $1000. ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS YA'LL. That was for one sheet set (with two pillowcases included), one duvet cover, two decorative pillows, a quilt and two quilted pillow shams. That's it. For a person who previously balked at paying $80 for a duvet (which I did three years ago and no regrets) there was just no way I could justify $1000 for some bed sheets. Plus there was still lots of room décor items that I wanted that were also hundreds of dollars. Recently the bedding went on sale but the sale price only dropped it to around $500. Which is awesome since it's half off but it's still way more than my little budget can handle. Via a series of happy events (coupon codes, sales, and gift cards) I managed to snag the whole thing for shy of $200. Still a lot! Don't get me wrong. But enough that I can justify the purchase. I will say that this is NICE bedding. It's fluffy and soft and luxe in every way. My bed is like a soft, fluffy dream and I want to stay in it forever...but I'm still glad I didn't pay $500 for it! So now I'm working on DIYing some of the other fun pieces I wanted since I can't really spend another couple hundred on my room now that I blew the whole budget on sheets. lol so I'll be sharing some of my DIY projects for the room on here. Other than that life has been pretty busy with work and my daughter and various other things. How have things been with all of you? ;)

Travel and toddlers....

I intended to have this blog up sooner but between vacation hangover, internet issues, work and a toddler...well it got a little delayed! So first I want to assure you that more polishes are coming soon! You can check out my first impressions of the new Zoya collection on my YouTube channel and those will be swatched and up here for you as well very soon. It's a collection I'm super excited about so I can't wait to see what you all think.  But for today I want to talk to you about another passion in my life; travel.  I try to travel at least twice a year but typically I go somewhere every four months or so.  Of course now that I have a daughter it's a little trickier to go places, but it's definitely not impossible and I hope that as we travel more she'll get used to it so it will continue to be pretty stress free. In future blogs I'd love to outline more of how we budget, save, and plan for travel since I know quite a few people who think that travel is out of their reach when it reality it may be more accessible than you think. It doesn't' have to be outrageously expensive and there are TONS of ways to save money and travel on almost any budget. Sometimes I go somewhere just because the price or deal is too great to skip out on and I've enjoyed everywhere we've been so far. Today this is just a quickie blog though, to give you some fast tips when traveling with a toddler! My daughter took her first flight at 9 months old and just recently returned from Maui, Hawaii which was her third trip with flights and probably her 12th or 13th actual flight. Her first flight she was pretty young and the flight was short; I think the longest one was about 4 hours so nothing too crazy. She slept through almost all of it and honestly, I think traveling with infants when they're really young like that is the easiest.  She was still nursing and eating only a little solids so it was super easy to feed her and since the flights were short she didn't need a meal mid-flight. You can bring seats for infants and this is considered the safest way to travel but I never have brought a seat for her and I don't think she'd sit in it without a fuss even if I did. One thing I didn't know though, is that if your baby is under 1 and under 20lb you can actually book a bulkhead seat and request a bassinet. So that's something to think about if you have a really little one. Our last set of flights totaled 15 hours of time and a six hour time change. I thought she was going to be a mess but we did SO well. I learned a lot from her first two flights which I think made her last long journey A LOT easier. So here they are in no particular order:

Bring lots of snacks! Seriously. LOTS. Snacks are one thing that's so easy and that will surely keep your toddler busy and content.  I brought way more snacks than I needed but better to have too many than not enough. Some great snack options are fruit (check your final destination to see if fresh fruits are OK. If you're travelling internationally, or you don't want to worry about a mess then take dried fruits instead!), pretzels, dry cereal, crackers, and a few cookies or sweets that they can eat if you really get desperate! I considered taking a cooler but decided against it since it can be a hassle with TSA but you can pack a cooler with yogurt and frozen cheeses or other cold treats if you like. Just be sure to use a frozen ice pack so you don't get held up at TSA! Juice boxes can also be carried through TSA but again, it can hold you up so I ended up purchasing some toddler formula packets and filled up her sippy with water at the fountains to mix them up as needed. Some airlines have milk but most don't so don't rely on it on board. You can always get juice though if you like! 

Toys are a given but most toddler toys have loud noises or lots of parts and that's a no go in a plane with a baby who's going to throw them everywhere. One toy my daughter loves that's TINY and super easy to take on the go is the Dimpl toy. She can play with it for hours and it's great for ages baby to 4 so it's one I hope will last. I also brought her a Fischer Price toy with lots of moving doors and windows and lights, a book we could read, and...go ahead and kill me now...an iPad. I loaded up the iPad with a few games, three episodes of Little Baby Bum, and Moana; her favorite movie. We watched the LLB for most of the flights and never used the other things. But it never hurts to have backup plans. 

Other things I brought on board are her pacifier which we securely attached with a clip, a change of clothing, and then the obvious wipes and diapers. I really love this cloth wipe clutch because it clips onto her diaper bag, it's super soft (she used it filled with cloth wipes as a pillow at one point but disposables totally fit as well!), and it's so easy to just pull a wipe out on the fly! The main trick is to pack light but efficiently! Have you ever flown with a toddler? Any tips or tricks you have? 

BuJo's and Netflix shows...

Hey everyone! One of the things I mentioned I was into (I think!) was planning. I've always been a planner and I've always been a person who loves lists and routines and being prepared. I can also be spontaneous but only about certain things. I recently started a bullet journal (or BuJo) and I'm not sure yet whether I love it or hate it. I'll be doing an upcoming vlog on this but for now, I'm using my BuJo as a supplementary planner and still using my Happy Planner for day to day stuff. I like the BuJo because it's so open for possibilities but I don't always have time to sit and do a whole spread every week and I think trying to be creative all the time could get really overwhelming. I did this little spread for my upcoming trip to Ka'anapali in Maui County, Hawaii and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. My flights and times are in the top right corner, my hotel and car information including phone numbers and addresses in the bottom left (blurred for privacy reasons til I get back! ;P) and then over on the right bottom I've listed some things I plan to do while I'm there and some things I absolutely can't forget to pack.  I'm going to add another page with a check list of what I need to pack and how I plan to do it this week before I go. Between three cats, myself and an infant it's going to be a lot to take care of. Of course this is the third trip I've taken this year via flight so I'm not SUPER concerned about it but you just never know what things a 15 month old is going to throw at you.  This week I started getting together some shows from Netflix on my iPad for her to watch on the plane. I don't typically let her watch a lot of TV but she does like to watch/listen to Little Baby Bum and I always keep Moana on there as well.  After I get back I'll probably start the first in my series of vlogs/blogs about how to travel with babies.  I typically take about three major vacations a year and three or four little ones as well. Now that I have a child I don't plan to stop travelling but since daycare only gives me two free weeks a year it's likely that I'll go down to two major (week long) trips and probably one or two weekend ones. That being said everyone told me not to fly with a nine month old, that it would be hell. Been there. Done that. She was great. Everyone told me not to fly with a one year old. It will be a nightmare they said. Been there. Done that. Had a few little hiccups but nothing at all major. Now she's 15 months and is getting to the stage where she loves to push boundaries and hates to take naps so we'll see! But I aim to come prepared and hopefully it will go well and I'll at least have some tips on what NOT to do if it doesn't! Do you have any travel plans this fall? Any travel tips for me before I leave? ;P

Getting to know you...

Hello again! If you came back that is. ;P Yesterday I posted about how I wanted to take this blog in a new direction and start adding new content to it.  So today I thought it might be nice to get things rolling by letting you into my little corner of the world. So you already know I love nail polish and I'm a licensed nail tech.  But there's a ton of things you may NOT know about me.  I'm not going to list those all out today of course but there's nothing wrong with a little getting to know you chat, right? Since we're starting over a bit here let me introduce you to the woman BEHIND the nails...

So first of here's a more update picture of me than what you see on my sidebar. Yes it's got a snapchat filter cause let's face it this is Friday and I'm exhausted and my curls are going haywire but through the magic of SnapChat we all look like goddesses, right? (PS you can see me in all my unfiltered glory on YouTube ;P). So thing number one you may not know about me...in my actual real life I am a medical biller. I do have my nail tech license and for awhile I did nails as a profession but what I found was it tended to be a lot of just polish and not a lot of creative art and it just didn't work for me. For a little while I worked in an upscale spa and it was....an interesting experience. If you're considering becoming a tech and working it as a profession I'd say really look into it. The hours are long (I was working 10+ hour days and often without breaks) the pay is commission, clients don't always have any consideration and will cancel, show up late, and/or want things to be very specific even if they're not the way you'd want your work to be displayed and it can take you a long time to build a client base. One of the things I disliked most about it was the lack of time off to just enjoy life. I love nails and I've always had a job but life is about more than just work for me. My job now offers me the opportunity to have time to have a life outside of the office.

Which brings me to thing number two: I LOVE to travel. It's probably the thing I'm most passionate about in life other than my daughter. Travelling used to be very difficult for me because it can be costly but as I've done it more I've learned where to splurge and where to pinch and found lots of ways to make travel more accessible and efficient for my family. This year for the first time I got to experience travelling with an infant and I hope to add some tips about how to travel on a budget and how to travel with babies and toddlers (and as she grows older, kids) to the blog since I think it's something a lot of people may be interested in learning about. I rarely traveled growing up and only once outside the country (very briefly) so I want to make sure my daughter sees as many places as I can afford her to as she grows up.

We can go ahead and just go into that I had a daughter last year so you may or may not know that I'm a mom!  For various reasons I never thought I would be one and I'm ecstatic that it's a reality for me now. My pregnancy was NOT easy and I'm unfortunately a NICU mom so the first bit of motherhood was really hard for me. I was also diagnosed with PPD pretty early on so that's something that may pop up from time to time.  Definitely motherhood will be a large part of the new blogging lineup since it takes up a lot of my time and attention and it's something I'm having a lot of fun navigating. 
I'm finding that I'm a much more laid back mom than I expected to be but we do a lot of natural things as well. I made some baby food in the beginning but we quickly gave that up for baby led weaning. We nursed and still are nursing at 15 months but she had formula as well in the early days. I babywear but we also have and use a stroller.  We make most of her food now since she eats what we do but she also gets some pre-made snacks. We cloth diaper during the day but she wears disposables overnight. So I wouldn't say I'm really a crunchy mom but there are elements of it in there. I'm sure my daughters meals and crafts and other things will be a component of the blog.

Speaking of crafts...you might already know I love crafts. I consider myself to be a pretty creative person and crafting and creating are my favorite things to do. I'm currently doing a DIY kitchen redo on a budget so that may show up here and I also love making felt foods for my daughter. I do some embroidery, I'm learning lettering and I Bible journal and paint a bit. Painting isn't my forte but I still love doing it. There are lots of other things I'm trying and I'm also a HUGE planner girl and I love to cook so some of those things may show up as well. 

Since I don't want to make this TOO long I'll go ahead and wrap up here for today.  I'd love to know more about you and things you love to do as well so please drop me some comments and let me know! :)

The end of the beginning...

Hey everyone! Or at least anyone who's still reading. Do people still even read blogs? Are they like newspapers? A thing of the past? Lost to their flashier cousins, the insta-apps that let us drop a quick picture with a snappy one liner and be done with it.  I don't know. What I do know is that since the time I started Bee Polished so much has changed. Not just in the blogging world or on the internet but in my own life too. I used to polish my nails everyday. Sometimes twice a day. I loved doing it. I loved planning out designs and playing with new techniques and seeing what I could do with what tools.  Don't get me wrong; I still love to polish my nails. I still love to play with different techniques and tools and I still get excited over fun new colors and finishes. I'm still a nail tech and I still enjoy doing other people's nails here and there as well. But a lot of the initial passion is gone for me. It's no longer an outlet for me or a creative space. It feels forced at times and I find myself struggling to come up with regular content for you guys. I started adding makeup and that sort of helped but even though I enjoy unboxing fun things for you and reviewing makeup I'm not really into investing tons of money on things I don't use often and my lighting situation is not ideal for makeup and has already cost me a bit and takes up a ton of space. I've considered shutting down but I love this space. It was an outlet for me for so long and I'm not ready to let go of it.  SO...onto my next point. This space is going to be changing a bit. Or maybe a lot. I've toyed with this idea before and written about how I wanted to overhaul but I think now is an ideal time for it. I feel like in a lot of ways my life is really starting over right now and it's great time to start over here too. I do have a new name in mind and at some point I'll have to let go of Bee Polished and put up a new sign and turn the page and start a new chapter. But for now we can just start up a little epilogue and ease into the new stuff slowly. This is a big deal for me. It's a new beginning. It's letting you into the cracks and crevices and nuances behind the nails. And if that's not for you then I understand that too! We're all in different places in our lives. But if my little corner still interests you then I welcome you into the next chapter of Bee Polished. :)

Zoya Element Fall 2018

Today I have the Fall 2018 Element collection by Zoya for you! I liked some of these colors more than I expected to and overall it's a solid Fall collection but I'd have loved to see a little more variety. It's a lot of pinks again and pink just really isn't my thing. There was only one shade in the collection that I REALLY disliked though. So overall it's a win in my book! All the colors are swatched with two coats unless otherwise noted. 

Devin can best be described as a steel blue with hints of multicolored shimmer in a dense foil finish. I did three coats of this one just to make sure it was good and opaque. You might be able to get away with two coats but they'd have to be on the thicker side.

Rumor can best be described as a full-coverage mauve taupe with a subtle shimmer - a perfect classic shade for Fall. I'm not going to lie; I hate this one. The formula is fine I 
just really don't like this kind of finish and the color wasn't stellar on me.

Jenna can best be described as a full-coverage dusty rose pink cream with blue undertones.

Ruthie can best be described as a full-coverage raspberry rose cream.

Maryann can best be described as a full-coverage pink-toned rose with soft glowing shimmer.

Kendra can best be described as a beautiful full-coverage marsala cream. This one was a winner for me. It's a gorgeous shade for fall and opaque in one medium coat.

Alyssa can best be described as a full-coverage red-toned purple cranberry cream.

Donnie can best be described as a full-coverage purple-toned sangria cream. This one photographed very magenta but it's a little less bright in person.

Maeve can best be described as a full-coverage concord grape cream. This one photographed very bright for me. It's a little more dusty than the picture shows.

Rachael can best be described as a full-coverage mulberry berry cream. I think this one was my favorite. It's deep and dark and SOOO perfect for Fall.

Leighton can best be described as a deeply saturated blackened aubergine cream.

 Gardner can best be described as a deep periwinkle with a vibrant magenta shimmer in a dense foil finish.

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