My Neighbor Totoro

This past week I've been SUPER sick.  Like, I spent three whole days in my bed sick.  And there's not a whole lot to do when you're home sick in bed.  Sick days just aren't what they used to be! I watched movie after movie after...well, you get the idea.  One of my favorite movies is the Japanese film, My Neighbor Totoro.  And after time number three watching it, I decided to attempt some Totoro nails.  I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to make Totoro actually.  Other than drying time I didn't have any real issues with this mani and I never even had to start over!! I intended originally to leave all the nails but the thumb and the ring just plain blue.  Then I thought some clouds might be nice and then I decided to use my China Glaze crackle because it looked similar to Totoro in color.  It crackled without any fuss and looked pretty nice over the blue so I ran with it!  Hope you all enjoy and thanks for following!

Base color: Models Own BlooBloo
Crackle: China Glaze Cracked Concrete
Totoro: Catrice Londons Daily Forecast, Models Own Concrete Mixer, Ulta Snow White, LA Nail Art in Black
Dust Sprites: LA Nail Art in Black, Ulta Snow White

Look, it's my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can.

A few weeks ago I was perusing some of the blogs I follow and I spotted a swatch for a GORGEOUS color from a brand called A-England.  I did some research online and it turns out that they have a whole line of beautiful polishes.  I chose a few of them just to see how they perform before I invested in too many of them. I have to say, I'm thoroughly impressed.  I got Tristam and Galahad (which is the base coat above) and they were both opaque in two coats, performed great with my Seche Vite, AND were smooth, shiny and free of chips for days. If you haven't invested in any of them yet, I highly reccomend it.  They retail for £9 each which I feel was very reasonable for the level of quality (though I was a bit disappointed in the design of the bottle!) Of course, I was lucky enough to have a friend in the UK who was more than happy to send me some of them but if you're not the shipping on them is very reasonable (just £4) and there's no minimum purchase which is nice when you're trying out new brands.  Enjoy the simple art for today (and the Sir Galahad the Brave quote from my favorite Monty Python movie!!) :P

Base: A-England in Galahad
Tips: Barry M in Indigo

I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees...

Indoors. With flash.

Awhile back there was a lot of talk online about the Nubar polish, Reclaim.  It's from their Going Green collection and it's essentially a medium green holographic polish. This was my very first experience with Nubar polish and wow.  I'm in love.  Not only is this a GORGEOUS color but the formula was also a dream.  This is two coats and no top coat.  It's shiny, smooth, opaque and best of all: three free AND vegan.  I'm in love :)  I didn't want to do much too it because, HELLO? It's beautiful. So I just did some quick black "branches" on my ring finger.  Enjoy! And thanks for following!

Indoors. Artificial lighting.

Branches: Maybelline Express Finish in Onyx Rush

My creation has come to life...

This was sort of a quick mani.  I went to the park the other day to get some sunshine and also to do some painting as I've sorely neglected my other creative outlets recently!  Unfortunately, the paint and the water/soap I had to use to get the paint off my hands ended up causing my previous mani to peel.  But it was nearly a week old anyway which is a record for me.  So I did these up quickly while I caught up on this season of The Inbetweeners on BBC.  It gave me a good excuse to use my new Models Own Smash Up polish and I'm thoroughly impressed with the formula.  It went on easily and cracked nicely without any fuss.  I think I might have painted it too thin though as you can somewhat still see the green through areas of it.  But I actually quite liked the effect so it is what it is!

Base is: China Glaze ChaChaCha
Glitter coat is: Orly Here Comes Trouble
Crackle: Models Own Smash Up in Orange
Top Coat: Seche Vite

Enjoy and thanks for following!!

These things go round...

This is a mani that I did forever ago that somehow got lost in the abyss of my computer!  I was testing out a new stamp I got from Born Pretty (which I was entirely unimpressed with) and then I tried to fix the mess I felt it made with a nail art brush.  It was supposed to make little swirls all over the nail but it didn't stamp well at all.  I used Victoriana as a stamping polish because I've used it numerous times before without issue but it's like the indentations on the plate aren't deep enough because it wouldn't pick up the whole design and then it stamped in a sheet of dried swirls.  It was a mess.  I used a nail art brush to fill in circles and create extra lines to fill out the design.  It came out rather nicely despite all the trouble I had with the stamp.  Oh well, can't win 'em all!

Base: OPI Skull & Glossbones
Circles: butterLONDON Victoriana

Thanks for following!

I like *invented* her, you know what I mean?

Pink Wednesday is here again!  I'm starting to realize that my nail polish collection is seriously lacking in the pinks department.  So I thought I'd take this opportunity to use an untried from months ago!  It doesn't look very pink in the picture but I can assure you that in person, it's more a dark pink than a red!  I had just watched Black Swan (excellent film btw) before I did these nails so I thought I'd do something easy and just add feathers!  Enjoy and thanks for following!

Base: OPI Katy Perry in The One that Got Away
Feathers: Orly Luxe

Polish Haul!

It's that time again!  The end of summer is quickly approaching and that means new Fall collections and clearance summer collections (in some cases!) so I've been polish hauling like crazy recently.  I also recently started hitting up UK friends for polish and swapping with people all over to get some new, interesting colors to add to my collection.  This is some of what I've picked up over the last week or so.  I still have about 8 polishes in the mail so I'll get some pics of those as they arrive! :)  Also, you'd think with all the polish hauling being done over a week that I'd know what I've bought...but somehow I ended up with TWO China Glaze Latticed Lilacs!! So I guess I'll be returning one (which means swapping for something else :P)

Nicole by OPI Dandy Lion, OPI Scare 'Em set (Zom-body to Love & Black Shatter) and Nicole by OPI Sea How Far You Go

I picked up the Nicole by OPI's at two different Target stores.  I think Dandy Lion is a Target exclusive color.  It's the only of these I've tried so far! I found the Scare 'Em set at Ulta.  I tested it out and the green is crazy awesome! Plus the glow effect with the shatter is just insane in the dark!  I also love the name, reminds me of a Justin Bieber song.  Now if only Halloween would hurry up and get here!!

Left to right: Bam Blue-zled, Snow White, Smoke Screen, and Chic Peek
I picked these up at Ulta (duh) and I actually ended up getting all of them for free with my Ulta Rewards points.  I've never used Ulta brand polish before and I was fairly dissapointed with it.  I probably wouldn't buy anymore (but who can pass up free?).  I swatched all of these but the white and they all took at least three coats in order to see the color and you could still see VNL (visable nail lines) on the two blues.  I was a little concerned as well when I picked them up in the store that the Smoke Screen would mimic Zoya Caitlin but I'm pleased to say that the two are FAR different. 

China Glaze R to L: Dorothy Who, Electric Pinapple, Blue Iguana, Papaya Punch, Senortia Bonita, and Cha Cha Cha
These were actually a lucrative haul.  I got them all on clearance save for the Dorothy Who? which is ALWAYS out of stock at Sally's.  But it happened to be on sale so I saved on it as well.  Picked up the others at a place called Flower Factory and paid around 2.50 for them.  I haven't gotten around to using or swatching them but the Dorothy Who? is incredible!  And the Blue Iguana has a nice foil like effect on the nail. :)

China Glaze Metallic Crackes L to R: Oxidized Aqua, Haute Metal, Tarnished Gold, Cracked Medallion, and Latticed Lilac

No special deals on this one, just a husband who loves me. :)  Skipped the silver one since I have Silver Shatter already.  I wasn't too impressed with these.  I used the pink one on my toes and it didn't seem to shatter very well or have a very impressive effect.  But as with all shatter/crackle polish, it's an art to get it to come out properly.  So I'll reserve judgement until I've had the opportunity to try them again!

L to R: Megan Miller Collection in Velvet Lounge, butterLONDON in Muggins, A-England in Galahad and Tristam and Deborah Lippmann in Glitter in the Air

These are sort of random and they came from trades, online orders, and various other places!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the A-England colors and will definitely get more at some point.  I have a blog planned to talk about them but they're one coat to opacity and lasted THREE days with no chips and no topcoat (which is a record on my nails!).  The Lippmann glitter was a bit of a letdown for me and I've noticed that I get that feeling a lot with her polish line so this will probably be the last of them for me (at least for awhile).  On it's own it's 5 or 6 coats for any kind of effect and if I have to layer it then it loses it's "glitter sandwich" effect.  The Megan Miller Collection is a vegan, organic and earth friendly line available at and select Anthropolgie stores.  I love the packaging but the price ($14) and quality left a little to be desired.  It is GREAT for stamping though. 

Thanks for following!

Throw some glitter, make it rain...

I normally put some kind of pretty nail art on my fingers before I leave the house!  I've spent hours thinking about new designs to do and Lord knows I have PLENTY of tools and colors to use to create them.  But recently, there's been some colors that I just don't want to put art over.  This was one of them.  butterLONDON Lady Muck.  It was on my wish list for a long time and my husband finally gave into my whinging and bought it for me. :)  I added some glitter to the top and then topped it with Seche Vite.  Unfortunately, the Seche Vite doesn't get along well with the Deborah Lippmann glitters so I had some pretty major tip pull.  I'm still experimenting with new top coats.  I know people rave about Poshe and Out the Door but neither gave me the same effect as the Seche Vite.  So the hunt continues (or I'll just deal with the tip pull!)  Suggestions are always welcome! Enjoy and thanks for following!

Base color is: butterLONDON Lady Muck.  Topped that with two coats of Deborah Lippmann Today Was a Fairytale.  Two coats of Seche Vite and voila!

You can catch me. I'm a heffalump.

These nails are somewhat inspired by the Heffalump movie.  I was watching it the other day and I loved the colors of the Heffalump, Lumpy.  And since I recently got some new dotting tools, I thought I'd try to do something simple, fun, and of course, purple!!  Sorry the picture isn't the greatest.  I was out of town when I did this mani so I had to make due with what lighting I had!  

Base is: OPI Rumple's Wiggin.  Tips are OPI Planks A lot.  Dotted the opposite colors on with a dotting tool!  Enjoy!

Polish Awards!!

   I recieved some blog awards today from a very sweet (and VERY talented) fellow nail blogger!! Thank you so much :) And those of you who don't follow already, check out her page over at  Meisie's Nails she has some AMAZING water marbling.  :) 

The rules of the award are:
1. Thank the person who gave you the awards and link back to their page.
2.Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this on to 15 bloggers.
4. Tell the people you gave the award to.

Some facts about me:

1. I am a vegetarian.

2. I love to cook (and eat!) and I'm in the process of combining fact one and two into another blog!! (

3. I have two rescued cats (three for a little while) named Eoghan and Aoife.  They drive me crazy, but I love them :)

Aoife and Eoghan

4. I love to read.  I've read thousands of books and I'm usually in the middle of at least two at once.

5. I'm completely addicted to Twizzlers Sweet and Sours. Other than them, the only kind of candy I like is marzipan. 

6. My favorite US city is Boston, MA.  By this time next year, I will be living there, and I can't wait!

Boston from the Aquarium T station.

7. I love vintage things. Especially from the 60's and 70's.  I have vintage appliances, clothes, name it!

I'm passing this on to:

Thanks for reading! :)

She's fabulous, but she's evil...

Isn't that the truth?  Glitter always looks SO amazing on your nails, but getting it off is a proper nightmare!  I find that it's much easier to remove if the glitter isn't in direct contact with your nail. Even over a basecoat it seems to hang on forever.  For this mani I started with OPI Rally Pretty Pink.  I've had it for awhile, ever since my husband spotted the Serena Williams set (with the red shatter which has always confused me) but I haven't actually gotten around to using it yet.  After I got it on my nails, I LOVED the gold/pink duochrome effect.  But I thought it needed more glitter (because you can never have enough, right?) so I added some Rosie Lee.  The next day I thought I'd amp it up a bit by adding the gold.  I got the idea for the gold "shreds" from another blog and I can't for the life of me remember where it was!  I tried to look around but it turns out that a lot of people have done this type of mani so I don't feel AS bad.  Still, if I find it I'll post a link :)  Enjoy and thanks for following!!

Base is OPI Rally Pretty Pink.  One coat of butterLONDON Rosie Lee over that.  The gold shreds are Orly Luxe and one coat of butterLONDON West End Wonderland.  Two coats of Seche Vite over all that! 

Put your dupes up! First Edition: Bluey vs. Halleys Comet vs. Teal of Fortune

I've been going through my polish collection lately trying to catalogue everything and also get everything swatched so it's easier to find and get to.  Going through I've realized that I have quite a few possible dupes, so I thought I'd take some time and swatch them together and see what really is and isn't the same!  My camera skills are not great yet (though I'm working on it!) so I'll try to provide links of swatches other, more talented swatchers have done! But I think you'll get the idea! 

Left to right: Bluey, Halley's Comet, Teal of Fortune. Shown in natural light.

butterLONDON Bluey from the Fall/Winter 2011 collection
Retail cost:$14

Orly Halley's Comet from the Cosmic FX Collection
Retail cost: $10
Retail cost: $1.99

Left to right: Bluey, Halley's Comet, Teal of Fortune. Shown with flash.

Round 1: Bottle Color
It's pretty obvious from this picture that Teal of Fortune and Halley's Comet are very similar in color.  Though they look the same at a distance, Bluey looks much darker and the glitter much smaller when you put them up next to one another.  The Halley's Comet seems to have a more concentrated gold glitter than the Teal of Fortune, but still the two are very similar.

Left to right: Bluey, Halleys Comet, Teal of Fortune.  Shown in sunlight.

Round 2: Application and Nail Color
As I expected, the Bluey had the nicest formula.  It was streak free, opaque in two coats and had a wonderful smooth, shiny finish. I fully expected the Halley's Comet to be the next in line at application but I was surprised at the sheerness of the first coat.  It was three coats (four probably would have been better) to opacity and the color still could have been more intense.  The Wet & Wild was pleasantly surprising with a nice opacity in two coats and a fairly smooth formula.  (I didn't wear these to test longevity).

Halleys Comet on the left and Teal of Fortune on the right. Shown in natural light.

Round 3:  The verdict
 Bluey was out of the running for dupes quite quickly.  It's darker and the shimmer more compact than the other two.  However, the Teal of Fortune and the Halley's Comet are strikingly similar.  These pictures don't show it as well as in person, but there IS a difference in color.  The Halley's Comet has a more intense gold glitter, almost like a foil while the Teal of Fortune is more of a glitter than a foil and doesn't have the same gold flash. That said, they're similar enough that you could certainly save yourself the $8 by purchasing the Teal of Fortune and no one but the most trained eye would ever know the difference. What do you think?

Left to right: Halleys Comet, Teal of Fortune. Picture taken in sunlight.

Thanks again for following!

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