Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Gold Swirls on Purple

Remember back in December when I did gift-wrapped nails? Well, today's design is a tad related to that. But first, let me explain. I've always loved wrapping presents. I guess it's another thing that I've gotten from my mom (I swear, the older I get, the more I become like her. Weird..) as she likes to say that presentation counts; it lends an aspect of thoughtfulness. I guess that's true for a lot of things, as with presents, pretty wrapping can heighten the anticipation and enthusiasm of the recipient. (I haven't met a single person who doesn't enjoy tearing through wrapping paper.) I suppose it also shows how much effort you've put into getting that gift. Now, if you're horrible at it, just attempting to do it goes a long way in my books. So really, it's not so much that it looks good, but that you've gone that extra mile. Makes sense, right? Anyway, I always have a bunch of gift wrapping supplies on hand but it wasn't until I was wrapping a particular present that I noticed how interesting the design was. (Isn't it funny how you tend to notice patterns and designs more after dipping into the nail art pool?) I knew I had to try my hand at recreating it on my nails and this is what I ended up with:

With the gift wrapper that started it all!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hammie visits Joanne at Northern Nails with (More) Beach-y Nail Art

When the very awesome Jo from Northern Nails called out for guest posts, it was practically a no-brainer that we would help out with at least one. She's come to our rescue more than once before and it was our chance to return the favor. So while she's partying it up in Ibiza, we're helping her hold the fort, so to speak.

Now, Hammie's been delegated as Polished Indulgence ambassador (I've been convinced that it's part of his mascot duties, so who was I to argue with that?) so I do hope you check out what he has to say on these yet another take on beach-y nails while you can read on to see how we did it. If you're here from Northern Nails, welcome!

Yep, beach brain isn't something you apparently just turn off.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Unboxing Julep Maven American Beauty May 2012 and Cinco de Mayo Mystery Box

So, I was going through my photo archives trying to figure out which ones I have yet to post and I came across these unboxing photos that I took a couple weeks ago. See, when I came back from Texas, I had a whole bunch of fun nail mail that included these two Julep Maven boxes. Luckily, I had the foresight to grab the camera before I tore through everything. (Mr. J thinks it's funny how I've developed that habit from blogging. Go figure.) I seemed to have lucked out again with the mystery box, but I'll let you judge for yourself after seeing the photos.

Longer box than usual!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Birthday Nails with a Jelly Sandwich, Black Roses, and a Mix of Blue and Purple

Yep, I was right. Today's a bit rougher to deal with than usual, what with the late night and that pretty hectic weekend, so we'll keep this particular post short and sweet, if that's all right.

I sported a couple nail looks for the weekend that I'll be showing you today. I started off with a red jelly sandwich that I stamped over with black roses, then went with a blue and purple mani for my actual birthday.

Just because I adore this mug so much.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Indulgent Intermission: Why There Was No Post Yesterday

First off, (belated) Happy Victoria Day, fellow Canadians! It's been a hectic extended weekend for me, more so because it's also my birthday weekend. :) I really haven't had time before Monday to schedule a post so instead, I thought I'd let you in on how I spent my extra long weekend (which is actually extended till today, haha!). Don't worry, I won't ramble on like I tend to and instead let my photos (where I have some) do the talking.

Saturday was get-all-the-pending-chores-out-of-the-way day. But it was nicely capped off with a quick jaunt over to Main Street Unionville to enjoy the ridiculously awesome patio weather with Italian fare at Il Postino, paired with a glass of Chardonnay for me and Merlot for Mr. J.

We had to walk off the Bailey's crème brûlée so we ended up heading over to Toogood Pond for a spell before calling it a night.

Serendipity played a role when we headed to Cora's for brunch and ended up sharing a table with my sis in law and her guy. It was good catching up since we've all been so busy that the last time we'd gotten together was way back in Easter.

Mr. J had softball practice later that afternoon, so while he sweltered out in the sun, I caught up with the Starks on my trusty Kobo under a tree. Thank goodness for Claritin though; it was a sea of dandelions and pollen galore.

Dinner with the family was a blast: especially with Peking duck on the menu! My niece is all grown up now, too! I also found out that I had unwittingly contributed to my other sis in law's burgeoning obsession with nail polish. Oops. :P

Ended the night with fireworks; it was an impressive 20 minute show, too! (Took out the fancy camera for a spin and got a little carried away...)

Monday brunch with friends at Montana's to catch up some as we haven't really met up with them since we got back from our trip. They got me my favorite gift yet: a Stark mug!

 ...along with a few of my other presents this year. :)

Spent the rest of the day at Vaughan Mills. Crazy crowds. Enough said.

Taking it easy today but looking forward to hitting up Caffe Demetre before seeing West Side Story tonight! Then a late dinner after, but I don't know where as Mr. J is keeping it a surprise.

Overall, an awesome weekend, indeed! Tomorrow's going to be rough. I know it.

Hammie wonders: How was your weekend? What's one thing you make a point to do on your birthday weekend? Do you still celebrate your birthday?

PS. I just noticed...167 Followers?? O.O You guys are awesome, THANK YOU!!!
Also had a major fan girl moment when I saw this today *major grin*:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Grey/Purple/Green Multichrome Comparison featuring Butter London Knackered vs. Essence Where's the Party vs. Nubar Purple Beach vs. Wet N Wild Grays Anatomy

Yep, I'm running a bit late today. But never fear, today's post is here! (Hammie just cringed at that. Oops.)

Anyway, jumping right into it, remember when I swatched Butter London Knackered earlier last month and how I wasn't all too pleased with how similar it seemed to all the other purple/green/grey multichromes (duochrome? But "duo" only means two!) I already had in my stash? Well, this curious cat needed to know exactly just how close it compared. I don't happen to own all of the other duo/multichrome polishes that share the same color family so this is, by no means, an exhaustive list for comparison. Off the top of my head, I'm missing Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game and OPI Not Like the Movies but as you'll see in a bit, the others I do have sort of make up for it.

The contenders. Let's get ready to rumble!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Three Weeks, Eight Cities, Four Connecting Flights, Two Port Destinations and a Whole Lot of Fun! (Part 3: San Antonio)

When my aunt asked if I wanted to accompany her on a company sponsored, four night, all-expense paid vacation to San Antonio, Texas, I couldn't very well say no. Who was I to refuse a free vacation? The only catch was it was right after our scheduled cruise (and I couldn't bring Mr. J with me, boo). I practically had less than one day in between trips to re-pack my bags then I was back in the airport en route to Calgary (where my aunt lives and where we were flying out from). I didn't even get to spend 24 hours in Calgary to catch up with all my cousins as I got in at 1:30pm and our flight out was at 7:00am the next day (but we needed to be at the airport by 4:00am). Suffice to say, I had only an hour of sleep before we went on our way to San Antonio, Texas! (Warning, yet again: photo heavy post ahead!)

I honestly didn't know what to expect so I was pleasantly surprised to find how awesome this place was.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Truckload Tuesdays: Holiday Haulage!

With so much vacation related posts one after the other, (and another one queued tomorrow!) what happened to nail polish-centric Polished Indulgence? Hammie wanted to see some nail polish action and to keep the little guy happy, here's a Truckload Tuesday to whet your nail polish appetite!


After our cruise, we actually stayed overnight in Buffalo before heading back to Toronto. It was just as well as Mr. J and I were both so tired after all the traveling we'd done. Even better than getting a bit of down time before a few hours more of driving was the opportunity to get some across the border shopping deals! While we were on the trip, we mostly just got souvenirs for the family and friends we left back home (I got my niece an adorable pink onesie from Harvard that said "Future Harvard Freshman"!) so we didn't get much of anything for ourselves. At least that's how we justified it. Read on to see what nail polish goodies I picked up!

So maybe my own shopping bags weren't THAT full or plentiful..

Monday, May 14, 2012

Three Weeks, Eight Cities, Four Connecting Flights, Two Port Destinations and a Whole Lot of Fun! (Part 2: Boston)

After Bermuda, we hit some rough seas and gale force winds that had the ship rocking and rolling. The crew suggested green apples to prevent seasickness and I had one, but it just didn't do it for me. Thank goodness for packing Gravol! Even with the less than pleasant weather, we got to Boston with the sun out! (Again, photo heavy post!)

 Our first glimpse of the Boston skyline from the port. A bit cloudy but it clears up soon enough.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Three Weeks, Eight Cities, Four Connecting Flights, Two Port Destinations and a Whole Lot of Fun! (Part 1: Bermuda)

Okay, so I promised a trip post and here it is! Sorting through all the photos we took had me wishing I was back in vacation mode (although at this point, it hasn't really shut off yet)! I also realized it would be way too many photos to do just a single post on so I'll be dividing it into three parts: two posts for our cruise and another for my San Antonio adventure. (Warning: Photo heavy post ahead!)

The beach we were most excited about: Horseshoe Beach!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: I've Got Beach (Waves) on the Mind Nails

While I'm still getting back to the swing of things (catching up on my beloved blogs is going to take forever, methinks), here's an easy design I played around with before I left for the trip. I was wanting to wear some fun but simple nail art while on holiday but totally messed it up while packing. (Isn't it frustrating when these things happen?) At any rate, it was pretty obvious that I had the beach on my mind when I came up with this, and to be honest, I still have vacation brain syndrome. I'm starting to realize there's no on/off switch so it's been doubly difficult re-settling after so much pampering. Before I go off on another tangent with my rambling, here you go, some beach waves inspired nail art:

Definitely fits the "simple but fun" category!

Monday, May 7, 2012

First Ever Birthday Month Giveaway! -- CLOSED

Aaaaand, I'm back! Mr. J and I had a great trip and got some much needed (and we'd like to think, much deserved) R and R. As fun as it's been, after being away for so long, it sure does feel good to be back at home sweet home. There really is much to be said about enjoying sleeping in the comfort of your own bed. Anyway, I'll be sharing some photos we took throughout the trip in the next few days, so expect business as usual by next week.

We'd also like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the lovely ladies who've pitched in with Guest Posts to keep the blog up and running, even with only Hammie at the helm. Aren't they just amazing? Now, I fear, I'll have to step it up a notch to keep up the standard! ;) By the way, has Hammie been playing nice? He wasn't all too thrilled about getting the responsibility on top of all the other things he says he's busy with. But it seems everything looks in order, thank goodness! Now before we swap vacation stories past and present, we've got some great news for you: our first ever giveaway!!

In honor of my birthday month, I figured what better way to celebrate with you than to share the nail polish love? I'm beyond grateful for everyone who's dropped by, left a comment, tweeted a post link and just generally shared the love. I couldn't wait till Polished Indulgence's birthday to show you all my appreciation, so I rounded up a few of my favorites and here's what is up for grabs:

Flakie, Shimmery, Holographic, and Magnetic!

I wanted to make sure that all of my current favorite finishes are accounted for. Julep Emma was a surprise but I've taken to using it as a layering polish and it works a lot like Essie Luxe Effects Pure Pearlfection except pink-ish. Nubar Prize seemed appropriate if only for the name alone. Layla Magnetic not just represents the finish but our undying love for blue, as well. And Fingerpaints Twisted is a limited edition must have that's now a definite hard to find.

 They wanted to pose some more so I obliged.

So how exactly is this going to work?
  • This will be an international giveaway. I thought long and hard about limiting location for shipping reasons but I felt it would be unfair. I've been on the other end of limited location giveaways that I've wanted to participate in but couldn't, so I know how that feels. Everyone deserves a chance, methinks. (Just make sure that you can receive nail polish via post as I know some countries are strict about such things.)
  • The giveaway will start today and will run until June 8, 2012, 12:01am EST.
  • There will only be one winner
  • Enter your particulars via the Rafflecopter widget. Only entries via the Rafflecopter widget below will be counted, but do feel free to leave a comment anyway!
  • All the items in this giveaway have been purchased by myself. This giveaway is, in any way or form, not affiliated with any of the brands included.
All set? Go on and enter below and may the odds be ever in your favor! (Yeah, I'm still hung up on Hunger Games. :P)

EDIT: Thank you so much to everyone who entered the giveaway! We're overwhelmed by the response; we totally didn't expect it! You guys are unbelievably amazing, you know that? :D Congratulations again to the winner by random draw: Bebe from Singapore! Now, now, don't pout if you didn't win. We've got another one lined up for our blog birthday coming up in a few months so watch out for that! We really can't say thank you enough for your support and we look forward to hearing from you in the comments to come.

 *Hammie sends you his kisses*

Friday, May 4, 2012

Julep Glow On Brightening Hand Cream

With the army of hand creams and lotions vying for the spotlight, I thought it appropriate to feature a few of them on the blog. After all, what better way to whittle them down by nitpicking at their various claims, scents and efficacy so that they can be sent to better homes (or purses) that will appreciate their lotion love all the more, while I keep the beloved few close at hand. For today's post, we'll be putting the spotlight on a travel sized cutie from Julep that I'd gotten in one of the Julep Maven boxes.


The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Julep Glow On Brightening Hand Cream
Price: $32 USD for 3 oz.
Seen at: Exclusively available at
Note(s): My tube is a 1oz/30mL travel size that came with one of my Julep Maven monthly boxes. So no, I did not pay $32 USD for mine. The travel size comes with another travel size version of the Julep Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub that as a set of two retails for $22 USD.

The Fun Facts

 The handy, on-the-go tube.

 Directions for application.

 Back of the tube.

A small dollop of the hand cream on the back of my hand.

Julep Glow On Age Defying Hand Brightener visibly minimizes the appearance of fine lines and age spots on your hands, adding radiant glow and evening skin tone.  Contains rare African plant extracts that are clinically proven to block melanin production and reduce hyper-pigmentation and micro light diffusing technology gives hands an instant glowing and luminescent appearance.  Advanced emulsion system imparts water-resistant, non-greasy softness.  For best results, use after exfoliating hands with Julep Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub.  Does not contain: parabens, sulphates or phlthalates. (from the Julep website)

I've purposefully placed in bold the product claims so we can address them one by one, in a detailed fashion. Now, I'm only in my late twenties, and luckily, I haven't seen any sign of fine lines or age spots on my hands so I can't really comment on this aspect. I'll try to have my mom or mom in law test it out for a few weeks next time they come visit and I'll report back with their results. But for now, let's just skip to the other bits like giving your skin a radiant glow and evening the skin tone. I've been using it for a few weeks and I haven't really noticed much difference with respect to a more even skin tone or radiant glow.

Nope, nothing like this either. (But bonus points if you know her!)

As for the melanin blocking technology, I can't really vouch for that over just a few weeks worth of usage. I suppose this would be a wonderful long term effect of using the product if it does do what it claims to do. I have to admit that it sort of makes your hands look more... luminescent but I wouldn't go so far as say radiant. No, there's no glitter or shimmer in the formula but I think the formula itself gives the skin that nice healthy glow that's really only most obvious under very bright light (like midday sunlight).

What I really liked about this particular hand lotion is the emulsion formula that feels more like a cross between a gel and lotion so it feels a lot more lightweight than a cream would. It has this fascinating way of feeling like it's melting into your skin, if that makes any sense. You can see what I'm talking about in the swatch photo above in the area where the product touches the skin and it looks more liquid. This characteristic makes for a fast absorbing moisturizer that is definitely non-greasy. I have to mention that it has this herb-y/floral scent that may not appeal to everyone. I know Mr. J isn't a big fan (and while I don't mind it, it's not something I'd prefer to smell all day either). It does tend to linger for a bit so that's something to consider for the more scent discerning. Also, while water resistant, it isn't completely waterproof. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually withstood at least two vigorous hand washings before my hands started crying out for more hydration. Pretty impressive, I'd say!

As for the price, well, it's still easily pricier than my beloved Crabtree and Evelyn Ultra Moisturising Hand Therapy (SRP $19 for 100mL) or even the already pricey L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (SRP $30 for $150mL) and it's the least amount of product you'll get among the three seeing as it clocks in at SRP $32 for 88.7mL or 3 oz! (Btw, SRP mean suggested retail price.) But that doesn't seem all that fair a comparison as the two I've cited have none of the anti-aging benefits of Glow On. So picking similar products from the same two brands, Crabtree and Evelyn has Gardeners Age Defying Hand Remedy that's going for $27 for 100mL, while L'Occitane has Brightening Hand Care SPF15 for $32 for 75mL. Now it's a more level playing field with each of the three having their own merits. The Crabtree and Evelyn one is easily the best value for money with the lowest price and most amount of product to boot. Julep Glow On possibly has the most lightweight formula (based on my previous experience with the earlier two I've cited, assuming these anti-aging ones have the same consistency) with the added bonus of skin luminosity even on the first use. But L'Occitane tops them all with essential oils that supposedly stimulate collagen production to lessen wrinkles AND SPF15 to defend against more sun damage, but all for the same price as Glow On and with about 13mL less product.

I guess at the end of the day, it really all boils down to what factors are your must haves in a hand moisturiser. For me, the most important aspects include non-greasiness, fast absorbing, a pleasant scent (or none at all), and a decent price for the amount of product you get. Water resistance and additional SPF would be a nice to have, too. So far, from all these, Julep Glow On satisfies 2 out of 4 (or 3 out of 6 if you count water resistance and additional SPF) of my personal requirements. That puts it in so-so categories for moisturisation alone, but if I were looking for anti-aging properties, this will definitely get a higher score from me.

Hammie says that adding SPF to Julep Glow On will tip his scales in favor of the hand moisturiser over its competitors. He's not a fan of the scent either, though like me, he doesn't particularly mind it. He also admires the philanthropist leanings of the company so he gives Julep Glow On a final score of:

7 Hammie Points!

Happy Friday and Hooray for the Weekend! Do you have a favorite hand cream? Are you looking for anti-aging options in terms of skin/hand care? Will you be willing to pay premium for the promise of better looking skin/hands?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Indulgent Intermission with Kelsie of Kelsie's Nail Files

You know what the best thing about blogging is? I think it's a general consensus when we say it's the wonderful people you meet that make it such a rewarding experience. Finding like-minded souls who understand your insatiable need for shiny things (for me, at least, and nail polish for Carmela) somehow makes you feel less... strange and alone. (I've been called a magpie hamster a few times and while it's not something I'm particularly proud of, I like to take it as a compliment rather than an insult.)

Kelsie from Kelsie's Nail Files might be new to the blogging scene (so are we, until we realized we've already been doing this for over 7 months and thought, where on earth did the time go?) but this hamster knows that this is one nail artist to watch out for; she's going places. And we're not just saying that because she's a fellow Canadian. Her freehand skills are definitely up there and I expect she'll only improve with time! Have you seen her Easter design? It's easily one of our favourites (dots for Carmela and a bunny for me, win-win)! So when she heeded our distress call on Twitter, we were beyond ecstatic to have her over. Take it away, Kelsie!


First of all I am so honoured to be doing a guest post (my first one nonetheless) at Polished Indulgence! When Carmela sent out a tweet asking if anyone was interested in doing a guest post, I couldn't resist!! I am fairly new to the blogging scene and I pay close attention to the many writing styles and photos of other bloggers. The nail art and swatches at Polished Indulgence are absolutely stunning, but I especially admire Carmela's writing style and Hammie, the mascot, is just the cutest!

Thank you so much Carmela and Hammie for having me on your lovely blog!

I wanted to create something original for my first guest post, and I can safely say that this is something I have not done before. I had vector swirls in mind when I created this, but it turned out quite different than I originally imagined. Regardless, I am very pleased with the end result :)

Base: Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Midnight in NY 
Layers: Orly Shine on Crazy Diamond and Sally Hansen New Lengths Ceramics Urban Chic (thicker sparkles on the tips)
The nail art was freehand using a nail art brush, dotting tool, and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White

And there you have it! My first ever guest post! Again, a big THANK YOU to Carmela and Hammie for giving me this opportunity to showcase my nail art!! :)   


*blushes* Such kind, glowing words! It was our absolute pleasure to have you, Kelsie! In truth, we're very lucky to have the honour of your first guest post. This vector mani is superb! One thing we love about Kelsie's work is her clean, crisp lines. In our mind, it's what easily sets her apart from the flock. Don't you agree that she's a nail artist to watch for? See more of her work at Kelsie's Nail Files. Oh, and don't forget to say Hammie sent you!
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