Friday, August 31, 2012

Julep Maven It Girl Mystery Box August 2012

With August ending, I'm glad I finally got my mystery box just in time a couple days ago. It had actually shipped on August 8 and I've been anxiously awaiting its appearance in my mailbox. Now, I was pretty excited about this one because: a) I chose an option/profile that I've never tried before, and b) August is the Julep birthday month. I'm not entirely sure if I had my hopes way too high owing to my really good luck with mystery boxes thus far, but this one didn't really blow me away. I'll leave you to make your own judgement after seeing the box, so for now, let's have the photos do the talking:

A strangely smaller than usual box...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nail Art Wednedsay: Falling Leaves Nails

September is right around the corner (how'd that happen?!). Holiday collections are being revealed as early as late August. There's a definite chill in the air at night. But I'm still in denial. I'm not quite ready for summer to end yet! I haven't even had the chance to sport more of my newly acquired neons! But there's not much sense fighting the changing seasons. I was just out the other day running errands when I realized that some of the trees are already changing colors. Simply put, it's as inevitable as taxes. But please don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't like autumn (because I do). Rather, I'm averse to the fact that I'm running out of time to sport my brights. Yes, I'm one of those people who tend to wear certain colors only during certain seasons. I suppose you can say that this is my version of matchy-matchy. Now, fall isn't official till September 22, but like those holiday collections trickling in, let's jump the gun with these falling leaves nails:

I'm thinking that sporting these puts me somewhere between denial and acceptance.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream

My earliest memory of mermaids have had to do with a certain red-haired, half-fish girl who had an adorable blue and yellow fish friend, and sang of whatsits and gizmos aplenty. So when I heard about a nail polish called 'mermaid's dream', it had me thinking: what do mermaids dream about? Do they dream of causing shipwrecks and sending sailors to their watery deaths? Maybe of songs to sing to lure the unsuspecting? Or maybe they dreamt like Disney says they did, of walking on land and learning about fire. Seeing as there are no documented living mermaids, there's no one to ask. Famed celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann dreamed up her own version of mermaid dreams and it looks like the sand in the shallow waters of a green-blue sea:

Perhaps mermaids don't dream in technicolor, they do one better: in sparkles!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Inverse Subtle Tone on Tone Stamping

I wasn't planning on posting about this particular design, but I turned out liking it so much that the thought of changing it tonight is loathsome to me right now. So I thought, "what better way to keep a record of it than to write about it?" Makes sense, right? To give you a little insight on how this particular design came about, you'll have to understand that I was rushing all weekend. I already had a mani on that I'd worn for 3-4 days prior that was definitely showing some wear and tear. I probably could've gotten away with one more day out of it (seeing as it was a croc effect one and the chips looked like it was part of the design) but I was meeting a nail stamping master and I wasn't about to go with grubby nails. I've already been thinking about doing this metallic swirls design but I later incorporated the inverse stamping, thinking it would make the design look more contrived than something I rushed through. (Quick tip: I've found that adding a layer of fast dry top coat helps the base colors dry faster and lets you remove the stamped on design if you messed up without ruining the base.) The design evolved as I went through the motions and I'm really proud of how the final product ended up:

Dainty and subtle, but interesting enough without being boring.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hammie visits Stephanie at Sincerely Stephanie Nails with some Dotty Scarf-Inspired Nail Art!

As the designated Polished Indulgence mascot, Hammie recently got invited to do a guest stint over at Stephanie's bit of the interwebs. It's always a thrill for us to be asked to do a guest post; it never gets old! Hammie had a blast with this one so do hop over to Sincerely Stephanie Nails to see more photos and a quick "how we did it" of this dotty mani. I'm sure Hammie would appreciate it (he only really ever gets the limelight in these sort of posts, after all).

What do you think of Hammie's light bulb moment?

We hope your Tuesday is treating you well! The craziness of the weekend technically starts tomorrow so we're gearing up for that. Dreading it, somewhat, to be completely honest. But hey, tomorrow means just two more days to another R&R filled weekend for you! Yay you!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spa Ritual Running with Wolves

With the seemingly unending onslaught of the new fall collections, I've been trying to stem the uncontrollable need to own them all (in true Pokemon 'gotta catch them all' fashion) by pulling out season appropriate shades that I already have. Today's nail polish fits the bill exactly. This one came out last fall as part of the Spa Ritual Wilde collection. I've been wanting this pretty copper along with a couple other shades but I just never got around to getting any of them. At least not until my birthday earlier this year when I got a surprise package from the sweet Mary of Swatch and Learn. This was one of the nail polishes that she kindly (and most generously) sent my way. Even without the emotional significance, I am happy to say that this is definitely one special polish. Just take a look for yourself:

Fiery copper shimmer!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Orly Preamp

While fall is slowly creeping up on us, the fall nail polish collections are doing the opposite: lots of fantastic colors and finishes coming out already! Orly recently came out with a relatively tiny fall collection comprised of only four shades after that massive collection of glitters called Glam FX (22 glitters to, at least I think, rival the offerings of the indie nail polish movement). To be fair, they covered the usual fall colors, including a cobalt blue jelly and a medium grey. Now, if my fashion sources are to be believed, both are going to be huge colors in fall. That was a good call on their part. There was also a duochrome shade that I thought I wanted. But when I saw the display at my local Sally Beauty, there was really just one stand out shade: a shimmery pink. Yep, I passed on the blue (*gasp!*), grey and duochrome (which turned out looking horrible, really; sorry, Orly) to get a pink. I doubt that's ever happened before. This one's a special one for sure, just take a look:

The best part is that I have absolutely nothing like it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Dried Flowers in Nail Art

Lately, a trend seems to be emerging: placing just about everything on your nails. (Have you seen the parody Kelly did on Vampy Varnish? Such a riot! *grins*) After fimo slices, water decals, stickers, glitter, gems, gold leaf, feathers, microbeads, flocking powder and studs (did I forget anything?), here's another one I've been wanting to try: dried flowers. Now, we're not talking about taking some of that potpourri you have handy and sticking those on to your nails! You can get these small dried flowers at your favorite nail art retailer. I got a set from Sally Beauty last month when they had it on sale, buy one, get one free. I've been wanting to bust it out since. So after all the elaborate stamping I've done recently, I wanted to tone it back down and go back to the basics. At least, the basics that have made me fall in love with nail polish to begin with: blue and flakies. Using two pretties still (shockingly!) sitting in my untried bin, I wanted to stick to my usual minimalist aesthetic and came up with this:

And wore it for a good four straight days!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Unboxing Julep Maven American Beauty August 2012 and Happy Birthday, Julep!

Happy Monday! My week's off to a good start and I'm thrilled to finally get my Julep box (I've been expecting it since last week). So yes, my Monday is, indeed, happy. I hope yours is, too! Julep is another happy bunch as they celebrate the Julep Maven program turning one this month! So, of course, I wasn't about to pass up on the monthly goodies for August. To be honest, though, I was quite tempted to skip. I wasn't too keen on any of the metallic shades but I was most intrigued by that remover. I am still on an on-going quest to find the best remover that effectively takes off polish without leaving my cuticles an unhappy bunch. The current Julep offering seemed interesting enough to try. Plus, that pump bottle will definitely be reused once it runs out (conveniently eco-friendly, plus this means I don't have to go and buy a pump bottle separately). Anyway, let's get on to what the box has in store for us this month, shall we?

 Yep, it's a larger-than-normal, hot pink box!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Twin Post with Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie Nails using MASH plate #49: Night Sea Nails

And so we arrive at the last of this series. It's been a good run and both Stephanie and I have come up with some pretty snazzy designs (if you don't mind me saying so!) that we hope you've enjoyed. Hammie and I sure hope this won't be the last collaboration we'll do with the lovely Stephanie! If you've just tuned in, you can see my first foray using saran wrap here, my take on simple yet elegant here, and my wee ninja nails here. I'd like to end on a great note so we're doing something that I thought was just simply meant to be. When I saw this stylized wave pattern on plate #49, I immediately thought of a combination of polishes that I knew would be killer. Luckily, this was one of those instances where instinct proved oh, so right:

Brooding and deep, yet sparkly. Very sparkly.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Twin Post with Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie Nails using MASH plate #47: Ninja (Assassin) Nails

After having fun with Stephanie's picks, it's my turn! There were a whole bunch of full nail images that caught my eye but this particular one was a no-brainer. See, a few weekends ago (or maybe it was a late week night back when Mr. J & I were both battling insomnia thanks to copious amounts of Tims Espresso Iced Capp), we caught Ninja Assassin while flipping channels and said, "why not?". I probably saw it before then as the plot seemed eerily familiar. Anyway, it had the same awesome visuals and over the top action sequences that the Wachowskis are known for. (You know, those guys who did The Matrix.) Not to mention Kill Bill-esque blood fountains. The plot isn't quite the best out there, though I doubt whoever actually saw this in the theatre cared about the plot. So when I saw those flying shuriken while I was flipping through the plates, I knew I had a keeper.

Haiiiiii yaaaahh!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Twin Post with Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie Nails using MASH plate #41

The moment Stephanie told me she picked plate #41 I immediately gravitated towards a specific image that I knew I wanted to use. In my head, it looked like a good way to do the half moon mani but with a stamping twist to it. See, my attempts at the half moon manicure often end up being stuff of epic failery. I can never seem to get the edges as clean and crisp as I want them. I was about to do my stamping when Mr. J peered over my shoulder and suggested I use the image right side up instead. I'm always open to suggestion so I tried to do as he said. Was I right to listen to him? Here's how it turned out:

Reminds me of those henna designs!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Contest Entry to Marta's Dots of Fun Contest!

Just a quick post to show you what I came up with for the current contest going on over at Chit Chat Nails. Marta came up with a really fun concept. See, there are two ways to win: First is by coming up with a stunning nail art design with dots as the main feature (and you know how I love my dots so it was a no-brainer that I jump on this opportunity to join in on the fun). Second, is by posing with the silliest/funniest/oddest item you can think of. This is the first time I've joined any nail art contest so I'm not holding my breath on that first category. But that second category, well, I'm hoping I have some sort of fighting chance. At least Hammie seems to think so. This is what I came up with:

That's as silliest/funniest/oddest as I could get!
I mean, how preposterous/crazy would you have to be to pose with a bunch of these unmentionables? *grin*

If you agree with Hammie, I'll be forever grateful if you can help out a gal and cast your votes in the comments here. There are a whole bunch of other kick-@$$ nail art going on over there so even if you don't vote for me (awww), I'd totally understand. ;) Hope your Tuesday is treating you well!

EDIT 08/13/12: How awesome are you guys?!? I won the second prize for Best Prop! Woohoo! Thank you so very much for the votes! (Yes, you. You are awesome. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I could cover you in kisses right now, but I doubt Mr. J would approve.) THANK YOU!!! :D

Monday, August 6, 2012

Twin Post with Stephanie of Sincerely Stephanie Nails using MASH plate #39

I have a nail stamping enabler whose name starts with M and rhymes with Bertha. She showcases these amazing designs that create this (unnecessary?) overwhelming need to own the plates from which said designs come from. I now have 4 sets of stamping plates (and counting) thanks to her superb enabling skills (either that, or I'm really just a sucker for awesome stamping plates; I prefer to think the former, though). One of those sets I acquired along with a new nail buddy, Stephanie from Sincerely Stephanie Nails. See, this nail stamping enabler of mine hooked both of us up so that we could do a joint order to save on shipping. In the process, we've become good pals and have decided to do a series of twin posts featuring nail art designs using our new MASH nail plates set. Each post will have a nail art design using a single plate that one of us has chosen. We went with two each so you're in for a treat of four (!) nail designs from each of us over the next few days.

Today's featured plate, #39 is Stephanie's pick. It has four full nail patterns (a fan-like one, a plaid one, one with roses shaped like hearts and one that was scalloped) and an image of a rearing unicorn. (I forgot to take a photo of the plate so I'll have to update this with one later on. But for now, you can see a photo of the plate from Bregje of Oooh Shinies here.) While brainstorming designs, I knew I wanted to use a full nail pattern, but which of the four, I wasn't sure. So I picked some colors that appealed to me and tried to pair it to one of the patterns. Here's what I came up with:


Friday, August 3, 2012

Pam's Girly Bits: Banana Hammock and Arctic Sunrise from Slap Dash Summer 2012 Collection

The moment Pam (of Girly Bits nail polish fame) posted about her newest collection for summer 2012, I was a goner. Any thoughts of low buys and penny pinching was immediately forgotten. As you might know, if you've ever dipped into the black hole that is the world of indie nail polish, these custom mixes don't last very long. That moment of hesitation is going to be weeks and months of regret while you wait for the next re-stock. So after looking at her swatches, I clicked over to her shop and not five minutes later I had that pretty sky blue heading my way (if we're being completely transparent, I also had that holographic top coat called Hocus Pocus joining that pretty blue). Since it's being shipped within Canada, I got them in no time at all. I hopped and skipped my way back home after seeing the package in our mailbox maybe 3-4 days after I've placed the order. (Don't give me that look. I'm sure you've done it, too.) I tore through the packaging and my jaw dropped. Sitting beside my coveted blue and holographic top coat was this awesome yellow that had blue/green shimmer. But then doubt settled and I decided to contact Pam. Maybe I've been sent the wrong order and some poor soul out there was missing her bottle of yellow awesomeness..? A few minutes later, *ding* went my inbox. Imagine my glee when I found out she'd included it as an extra for little ol' me. (Aww, shucks!) Well, enough about that and let's get on to the polishes! (Never fear, the following review will still be an unbiased one, no matter how happy I was/am to be surprised with said awesome yellow.)

The two pretties from the Slap Dash Collection!

These full-sized bottles have a similar size and brush to that of Seche Vite top coat.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Indulge without the Splurge: August 2, 2012

Looking forward to the long weekend? Oh, yeah!! How about doing a bit of shopping, too? Here's this week's deals and steals:

  • Get a FREE Fine Fragrance Mist with any $10 purchase at Bath & Body Works when you present this printable coupon. Valid until August 5, 2012.
         25% off your purchase of $250 or more, or
         20% off your purchase of $150 or more, or
         15% off your entire purchase!

         Coupon is valid today till August 19, 2012 in store or online using the coupon code SUMTH25 at checkout.
  • Celebrate Canadian pride with Adidas! Get 20% off on select red-coloured items. To snag this offer, click here and enter the coupon code GOCANADAGO at checkout. Offer is valid from July 30th to August 12th, on select items while quantities last.
  • La Vie En Rose Canada is offering a fantastic buy one pair of regular price cotton PJ's, get two free!  Select merchandise only and the second two items must be of equal or lesser value.  Valid in store and online until August 26, 2012.
  • This week, the Bay Canada is offering an extra 15% off women's spring & summer fashion clearance merchandise.  The items have already been reduced 30% and now you will get an extra 15% off with this exclusive coupon.  Excludes The Room, Diana Von Furstenberg, Diesel, Not Your Daughter's Jeans, Alice & Olivia, Evans, Wallis, Dorthy Perkins and Topshop.  Last day today!
  • The Bay is also offering a printable coupon for $20 off your entire purchase when you spend $75 or more on sterling silver and fashion jewelry. Time to stock up on accessory essentials! Excludes Swarovski.  Valid until August 6, 2012. Online promo code is on the printable coupon for click happy shoppers.
  • Save up to 60% off select merchandise during the Summer Sale happening now at BCBG Max Azria. Choose from a variety of apparel, handbags, belts, sunglasses and jewellery.
  • The Body Shop Canada is offering a free travel size item with any purchaseClick this link, sign into your Facebook account and you will be sent an email with this offer.  Print off your email and present in store.  Note that you only have one day to claim your offer.
  • Get a jump start on your fall footwear collection during the Fall's First Looks Sale at Sale prices not enough for you? Take an additional 20% off your order with the coupon FALL20J! Coupon is valid until August 29.
  • Hairy problems? Save $10 off any Philips epilator with this new coupon from SmartSource! Remember to select your province when viewing SmartSource coupons to ensure you are only seeing the coupons available in your location.
  • How about a deal for the boys? Save 30% off men’s regularly priced jeans at The Gap. Valid online and in store, today only. Plan to shop online? Enter promo code GAPCREDHOT at checkout to get your discount.
  • Here's one I'm personally excited about: until Sunday, August 5th, 11:59pm ET, receive free ground shipping with any order from Kiehl's Canada. No minimum order required! Simply enter the promo code AUGUST upon checkout. Perfect time to stock up on Creme de Corps!
  • Here's a sweet deal for my fellow ice cream lovers out there: every Thursday this summer Laura Secord will have happy hour from 5pm to 7pm. During this time you can get a regular ice cream cone for just $2! This offer is available in stores only (although an online ice cream shop that delivers to your door sounds like a great idea..).
  • And here's a heads up/reminder to my fellow foodies: Taste of the Danforth is on from August 10th until August 12th and admission is completely free. This multicultural event showcases food, music, and many other family events that everyone can enjoy. Click the link above to find out more!
A three day weekend sounds really good to me right now. Hope yours is a blast! Go ahead, indulge!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Two Years is Cotton or Paper? Stamping and Saran Wrap Nails

Let me start by explaining the cryptic sounding post title: I looked up the traditional anniversary gifts and Wikipedia said that two years means cotton in US and paper in UK. Hmm... no Canada? So I decide to just do both in today's nail art to commemorate this super special day for Mr. J and I.

Our happily ever after began two years ago today. *grin*

And here's the nail art I came up with to celebrate!

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