Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It's a New Year, Who Says You Can't Mix Metals?

Well, my friends,
Today is the 30th of December, and we're facing a new year. We've come to the end of an epic era. No, I'm exaggerating a little. It's just the end of 2015. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to the new year. 2015 was a challenging year for my family, beginning with the loss of my husband/best friend. Challenging is a nice way of saying traumatic. But, with time, love, and support comes healing. And in one year, my boys and I have come a long long way. My little guy is doing very well in school again, and has returned to playing sports. My big guy is looking forward to taking the S.A.T. next month, and is at this very moment a couple hundred miles away from home playing in a tournament with his school team. As for me, much healing has come from starting this blog and interacting with other blogger friends and readers. Without knowing it, you've been more helpful to me and a bigger blessing than I can express. So, to any of you who have left me a comment, responded to my comments, returned my emails, given me advice and guidance, sent me polish to review, or just been with me through this journey, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Big hugs from me to you!
Without further ado, here is my last post for the year.

You guys know that I'm a glitterholic. Of course, I couldn't end the year without donning the fun shiny stuff. Glitter was a given, but the choice of polish had me in a quandary. Silver or gold? I decided not to choose at all, but use both? Less might be more, but more is better.

For this mani, I used a silver multi-glitter topper over a black gold flakie jelly polish. I think I'm all set to bring in 2016. How are your nails bringing in the new year?

Till next year, Ciao Bellas! and Have a Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Crazy Holiday Office Parties

Hi there friends,
Did you attend a Holiday office party in the past few weeks? Were you the one who ended up with copies of your bottom side printed on the copier? Or did you surprise your boss with a drunken table dance? If you did any of those things...well, I just hope you still have a job. They're hard to come by these days. My experiences have been from boring to lack luster, to 'meh'. I have yet experienced that crazy Christmas party where people return to work with regrets. Is that even a thing, or is it just in movies and on TV? If you have a crazy office party story I want to hear it.

Well, to keep with the easy party flow, I did a simple, glitter mani for my office. No designs or stamping, just flakies and gold glitter in a red jelly polish. An ugly Christmas Sweater is all this manicure needs.
Ciao for now, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Guess What! New China Glaze Nail Stripers Are Coming!

Hello there friends,
I'm so excited about the new nail art stripers by China Glaze. For all you nail art enthusiasts out there, you should be excited too. I can't wait to see how these babies perform. For someone who can't draw a straight line with a ruler, I have high expectations for these stripers. Probably too high. Let's face it, I still won't be able to paint tiny Piccasos on my nails. But maybe these stripers will get me just a bit closer to getting the courage to try.

The selection of colors is wide:  yellow, red, silver, green, orange, gold blue, pink, purple, white, black...ok, let's just say they've covered all the basics. Of course, these stripers will be available at Sallys Beauty. We love Sally's don't we? Nod your head.

Can't wait to check them out. If you grab some before I do, let me know if you're painting tiny Monets on your nails.
Ciao for now.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Can't Leave Out the Kiddies: Morgan Taylors' Kung Fu Panda 2016

Hey there beauties, young and...not so young, I have another newbie for you, that's coming out next year. It's a collaboration with the new Dreamworks movie Kung Fu Panda 3

Ok, so the movie is coming to theaters...only. So, that means that you Moms and Aunties can't sit home, save a boatload of money, and enjoy the movie in the comfort of home. But, it's ok because you can buy the new Kung Fu Panda Collection by Morgan Taylor. That's more than a fair trade-off, I think. The collection boasts six new colors in reds, pinks, plum and periwinkle hues, and of course, the names coincide with the movie (who would have guessed that?)

Here they are:

It's Gonna Be Me!
Kung Fu-chsia (cute, right?)
Tigress Knows Best
Warriors Don't Wine
Extra Plum Sauce

If you catch the movie, let me know how it is. I'm going to sit this one out. I don't think the boys will want to see it. But, I could be wrong. My little guy does surprise me sometimes. So, If I see it, I'll let you know how it is.

Ciao for now.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sneak Peak: House Of Colour Collection by China Glaze

I just found out about the latest collection by China Glaze. The House of Colour Collection was inspired by creativity, self-expression and individual style. This set will include 12 polishes.

It seems they sell the collection in two mini sets of six each. One set is Roommates, the other is House of Colour. There's also a duo titled Glitter Me This, including the glitter polish of the same name, and the creme, Let's Chalk About It.  As more information is revealed I'll bring you whatever news I find.

Here are the names and finishes.
The Shimmers:

Shut The Front Door
Chrome Is Where The Heart Is
Come Rain Or Shine

The Cremes:

Sorry I'm Latte
Girls Just Wanna Have Sun
Let's Chalk About It
About Layin' Out
Pink Or Swim
In The Near Fuchsia
Don't Be Shallow

The Glitters:

Glitter Me This
Moonlight The Night

Looking forward to seeing this collection.
Ciao Bellas

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Winter Wonderland

Welcome to my little winter wonderland!
There's no snow to be found where I live, so I'm creating my own snowy world. When I lived in Ohio, it was a guarantee that when we woke up Christmas morning and looked out the window (after ripping open gifts) we'd see a beautiful wintery snowbound world. It was truly beautiful. The crispy white snow on our front lawn was almost high enough for us kids to get lost in. And somehow, there were always deer tracks. Or, maybe it was just a neighbor's dog. Ahhh, those were the good ol' days. Back then, schools never closed no matter how many feet of snow fell overnight. Or so it seemed. Now, I live further south and I'm not promised snow until January or February, and even then, it's just enough to be annoying, cold, wet, and dangerously icy. An inch or two and the whole city shuts down. At least I get a few days away from the office.

This polish is actually pale blue, but shows up white underneath a cacophony of multi-glitter and stamped white snowflakes. Maybe I should duplicate this, (sans the snowflakes) to bring in the New Year. Very sparklingly appropriate. I just need to find a party. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. For now, I'll just enjoy my ten tiny winter wonderlands.

How's the weather in your town? Snow, no snow, blistering heat wave?
Ciao for now.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Canadian Maple Leaves Manicure

Hello friends.

Today I have a winter warm manicure for those who are in colder climates right now. Copper, green, purple and gold maple leaves stamped over a burgundy base.  The base color here is called Mommy Kissing Santa by China Glaze, from the 2010 'Tis The Season to Be Naughty or nice Winter/Holiday collection.

Till next time,
Ciao for now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Is The Season For...Eye Shadow?

Hi Ladies,

During the holidays, if you're lucky, someone will say "What do you want for Christmas?" You quickly rattle off a list of things you've been coveting all year, or you say, "Just a gift card, thank you" Some of us believe that Christmas isn't just about presents and spending money, and ask for nothing at all. I'm not sure I fit completely in one category, but when Dad and the boys say "What do you want for Christmas?" I draw a complete blank. I don't understand it. All year I'm wishing I could have those funky shoes from DSW, or the latest laptop or camera (for my blog, of course), or a collection of polishes that are just outside my budget. But when you ask me for my wish list, my brain disappears, I hear crickets chirping inside my head, and dust balls gather and roll around in the vacant space where my brain was. Do you get the picture? I'm completely duhhhh. Well, I'm not letting that happen this year.  I'm going to make a list (not a mental one) of all my favorite things, and I'll share some of them with you. Today, I have makeup on my mind.

I'm by no means a makeup junkie, but I do have an eye shadow fetish. I just love them and have to have them. Palettes, singles, loose pigments, glitters, mattes, Ohhh I love them all. ALL I tell you!

[Pausing to calm down]

So, you might say that I like eye shadow. [sarcastic understatement]  I can't begin to list what I have, and I won't try to. I love MAC, Too Faced, Urban Decay (ohhh Urban Decay) Smashbox, Lorac, Stila, Tarte, The Balm...and on and on. But, I find myself regularly wearing only one brand. Makeup Geek (MUG). I might love the others, but I'm addicted to Makeup Geek shadows. They beat out MAC any day. Yes! I said it, and I'm not taking it back. The formula is like butter, the colors are outstanding, and they're as pigmented as Urban Decay and Lorac! Yes, I said it, and I'm not taking that back either. And you know what else? MUG has the best collection of matte shadows you'll ever find, and they're about half the price of most high end brands. Marlena, the creator of Makeup Geek cosmetics, has outdone herself with her eye shadows. I started off purchasing just a few, and before I knew it, I had collected the majority of her collection. Today, I'm going to show you a few of my favorites.

I like a matte shadow on my brow bone. I used to use ABC Gum (Already Been Chewed... so cool) by Urban Decay. It was the perfect amount of creamy nude peach. But when I discovered Makeup Geek I fell in love with Peach Smoothie. I keep three (purse, home, office).

Two of my favorite nudes by Makeup Geek

I like to use a black matte shadow to darken my outer V or to use over my eye liner (liquid liner can be too shiny). Makeup Geek's Corrupt is hands down, the blackest of black shadows. Blacker than Mac's Carbon.

I love a shimmery gold for my lids. And I have to admit that Half Baked by Urban Decay just might give MUG a run for it's money. But there are several golds by Makeup Geek that I love like my favorite brand of coffee (which is Starbucks).

Gotta have a few strong colors to spice up your look. I'm a big fan of the nude look (especially for the office), but any chance I get, I want to sparkle and shine. For that, I have a few colorful favorites.

A Few From the Makeup Geek Foiled Collection

You can see some of these babies a mile away! That's an exaggeration, obviously. These pair up beautifully with neutrals.

I can't finish up without boasting the mattes. If you're not a fan of Urban Decays Basics palettes (all matte) you will without a doubt  love these.

This post was long enough so I'm going to wrap it up. If you haven't tried Makeup Geek shadows I encourage you to do so. Marlena just came out with a new set of loose pigments called Sparklers. I gotta hop on that.  And no, this isn't a paid advertisement, and Marlena didn't send product for me to review. I simply love Makeup Geek eye shadows. I'm glad that I don't have daughters, because touching my MUG is a sacrilegious act that might result in banishment. Just kidding...wait, let me think about that.

What are your experiences with this brand? Are you as smitten with them as I am? If you haven't tried them or heard of them, will you give them a try?

Till next time, Ciao Bella's.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fashion Mode Mani: Gotta Accessorize

Hey there friends,
It's finally the weekend, time for shopping and errands. Have you started Christmas shopping? Are you already done, or are you somewhere in between? I have a few things to pick up still. My family doesn't do a lot of big shopping for Chistmas. Just a few nice, well deserved things. Only one of my kids is getting coal in his stocking this year. Just kidding, we don't put coal in stockings. Who actually does that? Mine get their coal wrapped under the tree, the message is more effective that way. Again, just kidding. No coal here. I don't know where to buy any.

Coco Kitty was exceptionally good this year. She only spit up on my carpet a few times. She'll be rewarded with grass...I mean weeds...You know what I mean. Catnip. What were you thinking I was talking about?! Let's keep this rated PG. My kids might read this. Who am I kidding? They don't read my blog. It's about nail polish, they're boys, they couldn't care less about it. They only care about League of Ledgend. Whatever that is.

Well, today's mani was inspired by some of womens' favorite accessories, shoes and purses. Can you tell I've been dreaming of a DSW gift card?

Does this manicure make you want to drop some big bucks on designer shoes and bags?

Ciao Bellas, happy shopping.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Getting in the Mood for Holiday Cheer

Hi Friends,
I'm sooo excited! No, it's not a new polish or collection, not a new nail product, art stencils or cuticle oil.  So don't get too excited. It's just that a brand new Starbucks opened right across the street! You all know how much I love that wonderfully addictive brew. Yes, I'm a Starbucks junkie. So, I'm here soaking in the new environment, listening to live jazz Christmas music. Ohh boy, I'm feelin' the holiday cheer. Don't be jealous, Starbucks coffee +live music, what's not to be jealous of?

Since it's time to get into the spirit, I did a little holiday mani. Christmas green and snowflakes. How holiday-ish is that?

Ciao bellas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Sort-of Review for Mundo De Unas Stamping Polishes

Hi Loves,
Today I have sort of a review for you. I'm a big fan of stamping, but I often have a hard time finding reasonably prices stamping polishes that work well. Several months ago, I ran across Mundo de Unas stamping polishes. I bought a few and fell in love with them immediately. So much so, that I've amassed a small arsenal of them since then. I might have raved about them in previous posts and haven't changed how I feel about them since.

I finally put together a few pictures of my collection, and I hope you enjoy them.
I won't show comparisons since the best comparison post around is the one by CopyCatClaws. She did a fabulous job. Take a look at her blog post comparing several brands of stamping polishes along with a few non-stamping ones that work as well here.

If you aren't familiar with the company, Mundo De Unas is located in Mexico, and specializes in stamping polish.  The company was born in 2013 and their prices cannot be beat.  I don't know if the polishes are 3 free or 5 free, but they are animal cruelty free.  You can find them at http://www.mundodeunas.com/.  Be sure to check out their gallery.  In addition to stamping polish they also have stamping plates, a line of Bissu Metallic polishes, and other stamping supplies.

Here's my collection. The actual colors are pretty true to what you see in the bottles. I hope this helps you choose which are right for you.

Ciao for now.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Inspired by Another Yellow Chair

Hi friends,
I hope you're enjoying your weekend. Mine is filled with errands and sports, and carving out a little time for a manicure and blog post.

Once again, I found an upholstered chair that grabbed my attention. This one, I wouldn't want to put in my living room, but I find it interestng and likeable. This piece pulls together coordinating stripes and circular patterns with a bright splash of yellow. Very well done.

For this nail design, I used a yellow pattern similar to the back of the chair, and silver and black stripes on the arms, seat cushion trim, and side wings. Since the chair also has a horizontal strip along the back panel, I used a similar strip across each nail. Then, since I couldn't just stop there, I decided to bling it out with studs and rhinestones from the Born Pretty store. You can find these in the Born Pretty store in the link on the right. Just click the box to use my discount.

Before I end this post, I want to congratulate my little guy and his team for winning their first game of the season. Congrats also, to my teen and his team for their win on Saturday too. To celebrate the occasion, they got to have their favorite pizza for dinner. A win, win, win for us all because I didn't have to cook ;)

See ya next week.
Ciao for now.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Navy and Neutral Manicure With a Splash of Gold

Hello friends,
I so love the weekends. So much to do, so many opportunities to relax, work on a hobby, run errands, housework...etc. Today, I have two basketball games to attend, and tomorrow I might catch a movie with my little guy. I wanted to wear a fun manicure this weekend, and with any luck, I won't be inclined to change it until Monday. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Enjoy your weekend!
Ciao Bellas