Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Manicures

Prepare for a bunch of photo spam!

First, let me show you what I'm currently wearing! I updated my manicure a couple of days ago by adding Kleancolor Chunky Copper.

Here's some more photos of my other manicures. I got a ton of compliments on these two manicures, thank you KKCenterHK!

For the first manicure I used:

KKCenterHK decals N.NAIL-WDHHK099

pumpkins, green: Wet n Wild Sage in the City topped with Kleancolor Leaves Jingle. I do have to comment that this set of Kleancolor polishes does not stink, yay! After my experience with Holo Yellow, I was kind of weary of trying any other Kleancolor polishes.

pumpkins, orange: Deborah Lippmann Footloose, Zoya Arizona and Alter Ego Penny Pincher. I didn't have the right shade of orange, so I had to layer a bunch until I got the shade I wanted. I will mention that the two Alter Ego polishes I own are a bit tricky to work with. They do separate, and even when mixed up well it's almost impossible to not get chunks of the color pigment on the brush. Such a shame because the colors are very pretty.

candy corn: Sinful Colors Tokyo Pearl, Wet n Wild the Wonder Yellows and Zoya Myrta.

For the second manicure I used:

KKCenterHK decals N.NAIL-WDHHK099

1 coat Barry M Bright Purple, topped with 1 coat of Wet n Wild Night Prowl. I then used a nail art brush to paint on the flames in layers. For the flames I used Sally Hansen HD Resolution, Viva la Diva 112 and CHNail 02. We discovered that the Viva la Diva actually glows under black light better than the CHNail polish.

 I tried taking pictures of this manicure in the dark but my camera didn't want to have anything to do with it, so here are a few pictures of it under black light. Pretty cool!

I really had a lot of fun with these and I hope you enjoyed my photos :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Winter Polishes Part 6

I've seen so many new collections come up within the past 24 hours that I decided to just go ahead and write another Winter Polishes post this week :) I'm seeing a lot of  new posts for the China Glazes polishes, also.. wish seems weird that everyone else is just now seeing them. I have a coupon for Sally's starting in November and hopefully I can get some of those to share with you all! Anyway, here are the newest collections I've seen. Speaking of the China Glazes, Of Life and Lacquer swatched a couple of them for us :)

Beauty Junkies Unite covered the new MAC polishes, the Glamour Daze Collection. Amber posted a bunch of swatches of these, so definitely check them out. The pink polish, Girl Trouble, is my favorite.

Sonnetarium just debuted their Winter polishes.. I really like all of these! Peppermint Kiss is my favorite, but the others all look so pretty as well. I haven't tried this brand yet, hope to get a chance to sometime. :)

Makeup Your Face shared their Winter polishes with us today, also. They're having a contest right now to win these, also. Ends Thursday. I really like the gold and white glitter, and also the red and white glitter.

Next up I have to show you Glitz in a Bottle's polishes. These look amazing! So pretty!
I want all of the blues! Especially that last one, I love silver and blue together and this is the perfect time of year for it. So pretty :)

Look at that first red and green glitter, also. It looks like there's pieces of some kind of nail art in there.. it looks like maybe holly? I can't quite tell but it looks neat! I would like to see some reviews of this, to see how it holds up.

I was reading through my emails and found one more collection: the Orly Naughty or Nice collection for this year. The Polish Jinx share these on her blog awhile ago.
 While I'm sharing Orly, I found their 2010 colors, also!

... and then I remembered I had a couple of emails marked to share with you so here are a few more :D

Here are the new colors from CND Shellac.
These little babies are expensive! almost $19 a piece and I don't see anything really special about them, although I do like the dark colors. But I wanted to share them with you regardless :)

Speaking of expensive... Chanel is now selling their limited edition Winter colors. There are two polishes, are pretty dark red and a rosey pink. I do like the looks of Malice, the dark red polish, but not for $26!

(pssst: here's a preview of the new Cult Nails collection and here's some swatches of the Darling Diva collection)

last edit for me today, I swear! Beauty Crazed swatched the new Essies!

I'm really excited to see so many pretty collections from the Indies. I hope to be able to show you many more soon! Do you have a favorite so far?

Winter Polishes 5

I'm not much up for blogging today, as my head has been pretty bad lately, but I did want to share some more Winter polishes with you today. I know I've seen a few more Indies in my Facebook news feed but I haven't been able to hunt them back down. Hope to share more with you next time.

Lise Watier is a Canadian cosmetic company you can find in Canada, France, Russia, and some other countries worldwide. Beauty Crazed in Canada shared these with us last week, along with their other Winter cosmetics. I think it's interesting to see what colors are being chosen for Winter worldwide.

Crystaliciousss shared these Pupa Deco Holiday 2012 polishes with us.. no idea where they're found, but they look awfully pretty, don't you think?

My Lucid Bubble shared Sinful Colors Winter Wonder with us. I haven't seen this in my local store at all. It looks pretty, though!

Here's a look at the new Winter colors from  365 Days of Color. These don't look very exciting to me, but in a way I kind of like these better than some of the other polishes I've seen for Winter 2012 so far. Nice, standard colors which could definitely be used as "go to" colors. Sometimes simple is best :)

Above the Curve released more photos of all of their holiday collection. I can't wait to see swatches of all of these! I think Oh, the Who-manity! is my favorite, just by looking at the samples.

Different Dimension released this photo of their new polishes and even picked out some bloggers to review their polishes! Again, I can't wait to see some swatches of these. Santa Baby is my favorite of these, although it's so hard to tell just by photos sometimes.

Sneaking in one more collection which I forgot to post about. This collection is from Hit Polish and just going by this picture it's another one of my favorite collections from the Indies so far. Festival of Lights, Noel.. too many favorites here to pick just one.

  Oh, and speaking of Winter polishes... a little birdie told me that my sister was reading my blog recently trying to come up with ideas of what to get me for Christmas. Saturday I was just getting ready to go to sleep when a knock on my door got us up. What's this? A surprise package from Zoya? Maybe they changed their mind and decided to let me review their polishes anyway? No? My sister bought me Zoya Ornate!!! I'm still rather in shock :D If you're reading this, THANK YOU! Ornate was the one collection I've seen so far this Winter that I just had to have, so I'm very excited to have it in my hands :) Today I ordered some stuff for stamping, so soon I hope to be practicing my stamping technique, and hopefully I'll have some cute Christmas stamping manicures to share with you.

Konad makes a bunch of nail art sets, and this is the one I bought from Amazon. The polishes are even Christmas colored! (edit, just noticed the disclaimer, the green was replaced with black. oh well, at least I'll have white and red to work with for Christmas!)
I was looking all over Amazon trying to find a nice Christmas stamping plate, and this is the only one I really found. It was a bit pricey, but I figured it was a one time special occasion purchase so I went ahead and got it as well. I spent about $22 altogether on this.. that's the most I've spent on nail stuff in months, so I guess I've been doing OK. I had a $10 gift card so fortunately I didn't pay full price.. basically I got the plate for free and the set at discount :)

So that's my little early Christmas present to myself. I'm also going to get a few little things to make my first frankens!

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Life Today

I actually had to take notes this week because there's quite a few things going on this week! First of all, blog news:

I've gotten a ton of new polishes which I'm not going to show you all yet because I have my monthly haul post coming up this week.

On that note, it looks like I'll be reviewing Tip Top Nails South Africa's products most of November!

I will also be writing a very special post later on this week, in honor of my grandmother who has a birthday coming up this week.

I also still have my Halloween manicures details to share with you, oops! Can't forget about that.

and of course if I get to them, I have more giveaways, the awards post which STILL isn't finished and another Winter polishes post. Lots to share with you this week.

My giveaway is now live!

I have a few pictures to share with you this week.. nothing too exciting for Halloween, but I did want to share with you the few things I've done this past week to celebrate. Living at night, of course, I don't get out during the day often to look at the trees. Last week I was taking the trash outside and I noticed how pretty the trees looked so I thought I'd take a few pictures.

Kind of boring, I suppose, but that's Autumn at night here in Wisconsin. While I was out, I heard a noise and darn it, I almost got a pet! I tried getting him to come near me, but he didn't want to have anything to do with me. Oh well.

For months now my boyfriend has been going on and on about wanting the Monster breakfast cereals: Count Chocula in particular, but he's always teasing me that I look like Boo Berry. Well, we had to wait for October to get here of course and this week I finally bought these two boxes.
I had Boo Berry at least once when I was little, and from what I can remember it tasted about the same. Oh my gosh though, you eat this stuff and then you're so hungry afterwards! I cannot believe I used to eat sugary cereal all the time, and I can't believe people still eat this stuff but worse, feed it to their kids. I've definitely gotten used to eating real food. This might be OK as a snack, but that's about it. So true when they say this stuff has no nutritional value. I didn't get a chance to really try Count Chocula because my boyfriend ate pretty much the entire box.

I was craving chocolate all weekend. Reese's Peanut Butter cups are one of my favorite Halloween snacks, and my boyfriend is basically addicted to them. We've both been wanting to try finding a cookie recipe similar to these, so yesterday I found one and tried it out.  Here's the recipe.

They don't quite taste like I expected but oh my they sure are yummy! This recipe is a winner for certain!

Mike decided he wanted to make chicken for supper, so I let him take over in the kitchen. He made battered fried chicken and then decided he wanted to try frying up the veggies, too! They were very good! I'll be eating leftovers for lunch here in a minute, yum!

That's it for the photo spam. I've actually been trying a ton of products this past week or so. After staring at my samples bowl filling up for months now, I decided to start trying some of them out :D
I just have a few comments to make.

  1. A few months ago I won a Tortino's Party Pizza. I used to eat these things all the time. I haven't had one in years now. While it tasted good, it definitely was not filling and Mike even commented that it made him hungry. He said it was like a tease: he ate his half and then promptly went into the kitchen and started making us pizza grilled cheese sandwiches. Is this why Americans are fat?
  2. Suave Professionals Damage Care Shampoo and Conditioner. Normally I won't touch the subject of shampoo and conditioner but I can definitely tell a big difference in the feel of my hair after using these products. I will definitely recommend these, and I will be buying them again.
  3. Neutrogena Visibly Bright Daily Facial Cleanser - smells OK, haven't noticed any major differences in my skin.
  4. Certain Dri antiperspirant - after 12 hours I felt like I needed to reapply it. It's supposed to be applied before bed, so I keep forgetting to use it. Not very helpful.
  5. Stash Premium Green Tea - flavor was just OK. I'm not a big fan of green tea and I wouldn't buy this. Couldn't even tell if it was caffeinated or not. Since I'm caffeine sensitive, that's kind of weird but also not exactly a good thing. Wish it specified on the label.
  6. Emergen-C Super Orange - it's been a few years since I've bought this product, but I believe the flavor tasted about the same.
  7. Vita Coco Coconut Water - I tried the Peach & Mango flavor. The taste was a little bit better than the regular. It really didn't have much of a peach or mango flavor, it just tasted more sweet to me. It was better, but still nothing special.
 Thanks for reading! I hope you have a safe and fun Halloween. With this "Perfect Storm" coming through, I hope everyone stays safe as well.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review: Cook'n Software

 Today I'm happy to share with you something completely different: a review of Cook'n recipe organization software. I was trying to win this software in giveaways for quite some time, so when I saw that they were looking for reviewers on I jumped at the chance.

I love to cook, but unfortunately while I do love to organize things, recipes fall into that fine category of things I call "a mess". Basically, I usually get so busy cooking that when I'm done with a recipe, I just usually throw it back in my binder wherever it happens to end up. I do use a lot of cookbooks, but I also print out a lot of recipes from the Internet. Since I'm just plain messy at times, this means a lot of my paper recipes have stains, wet marks, etc. on them.  This is why Cook'n is just great for me! I can back up all of my recipes and find new recipes within this software, but better yet, all of my Internet recipes can be found in one place! No more days of trying to remember which Web site I found a recipe at.

Here's what I like about the software:

-Easy Installation
-Easy quick download so you don't have to wait to physically get the software. Minus if you do prefer physical ownership.
-comes with a getting started guide which is easy to read
-I LOVE their mission statement. If I rated on stars or numbers I would give this company 10 out of 5 stars just for their mission statement.
-You get a code for a free eCookbook when you register. Tons of options to chose from. I decided to get the Cook'n For Every Holiday cookbook since the holidays are coming up and I love finding new recipes to make into new traditions!
     -install of the cookbook was very quick and easy. I even goofed and installed while Cook'n was already running. Normally, this isn't something you want to do with computer software but Cook'n recognized the update immediately and there weren't any problems. Fantastic!
-search is very easy to use and I like that it is contained in a separate tab
    - let's you search by ingredients
   - search by cookbook, category, chapter, menu
-comes with a ton of recipes to get you started right away
- has a built in Internet browser which lets you search the Web for recipes within the software program.
-has a Capture capability which is really neat. easily lets you capture recipes straight from the Internet so you don't have to type them out. let's you store them safely for later so you can print at a later date, go back to them, modify them, etc.
- can be used on multiple computers without paying an additional fee. used on PC, Mac or mobile.
- allows printing to recipe card size, which is a nice option, or you can print to text or PDF file.
- their guarantee is pretty great: 200%!

Here's my only dislike:
You do get popup windows within the Internet browser. The popups can cause a lot of silly browser behavior, including forcing the software to close, resizing the window. One popup in particular kept coming up during a search for rhubarb jello recipes, and kept causing the software to crash. I blame the popup, not the software, but the software really needs some better protection against popups.

With my Computer Science & Web Development background, I just couldn't resist making a few suggestions on what would improve this software:

- a popup blocker within the Web browser
-ingredient substitution option

I don't typically follow recipes exactly, I generally use them as a reference point to get an idea and use my experience to go from there. I've gotten a lot of great ideas already using the recipes found in the Cook'n software: scones, meatloaf, Italian Kaleidoscope bread sticks.

This is one of the dishes I made using a Cook'n recipe: scones with raspberry jam, and I added a side of bacon and breakfast sausage. The recipe called for buttermilk, which I substituted with regular milk because that's what I had. It was very good, and I will definitely be making this again.

I'd like to thank Cook'n for giving me the chance to offer two copies of the software to my readers!
The rules are pretty simple:

1. You must comment on my blog answering the question in the first field on the form.
2. You must leave your e-mail address so I can contact all winners.
3. No cheating of course! I will check!  

edit: I'm already having people enter my giveaway without following the rules. These rules are mandatory! If you don't follow the rules, your entries will not count! 

I won't require that you follow my blog, Twitter, etc. but it would be appreciated and of course you will get extra entries if you do. Last but not least...


I would also like to suggest you follow Cook'n on their Facebook page because they do monthly giveaways as well as recipe exchanges. Got a blog? Great! Cook'n is also looking for more bloggers to do reviews, and you'll also get to do a giveaway! Send me an email and I'll pass along the information.

The giveaway will run for 2 weeks. It will end November 12, 2012 at 12:01AM EST. There will be 2 winners. I will announce the names of the winners on my blog, and I will also e-mail them. Winners will have 48 hours to get back to me before I have to pick a new winner.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the giveaway, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fantasy Makers manicure

I received my prizes from Wishes of a Blue-Eyed Girl's giveaway today! Since it's almost Halloween, I decided to do one more quick manicure using my prizes. This time I just did some much more simple than my previous two manicures. I did two coats of Fantasy Makers Nail in the Coffin, applied a nail decal. I decided I wanted a bit more glitter, so I touched these up with Cover Girl Amethyst Mist, then used my Seche Vite top coat to finish. The accent nails I kind of messed up; I meant to do just coats of Go With the Glow, but I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing so I have one coat of Nail in the Coffin, followed by I think 3 coats of Go With the Glow, the decals, and then the two top coats.

I'm really excited I won these two polishes because I haven't been able to get out of the house much, and when I have, I haven't seen them in my stores at all. The bottles are really cute, but I did find the caps a little hard to work with and I can't seem to get them back on straight without having the caps too loose. Since I'm on night shift, I'm happy to have one more glow in the dark nail polish in my collection. I'm sure I'll be wearing it year round.

I'm not going to show you everything I received today, I'm going to wait a few more days to show you the rest but I did want to share these goodies and my manicure with you. I was super excited because as I mentioned, I added decals to my manicure. Julie sent me a bunch of extra goodies, including some Halloween decals!
These are Cina Nail Creations Haunted Nights nail art decals. I expected them to be a little easier to work with than the KKCenterHK decals, but I was wrong! These are the sticker kind, and I found they were a little harder to get off of the plastic packaging. Also, they really stuck in place once barely applied so you have to really make sure to put them where you want them, otherwise they will stick and take your polish with them. This package came with almost 50 decals, though which is just awesome! I have plenty left over to wear next year :)

I'm definitely enjoying working with decals, so I will most definitely be buying some more some time soon! I definitely have to get some Christmas decals to play with. Lots of fun.

anyway, on with the pictures!

Now here's the fun part. Since my camera won't film glow in the dark very well, there just isn't enough light for it, I took pictures under black light.
OOPS! You can't see the glow residue on my hands in normal light but you sure can under black light :D That's not my only oopsie.
I touched up this nail a little bit with Nail in the Coffin and haha silly me, of course you can see it under the black light :P Poor planning on my part. Oh well. It's not like I'm going to any Halloween parties or anything, this is just for me to play with and show you all so it's OK.

I haven't forgotten that I still need to share the details of my other 2 Halloween manicures with you, but that will probably happen early next week. Until then, have a safe and fun weekend! I'm sure some of you will be heading out to Halloween parties so have fun!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: Halloween with KKCenterHK

Last month I received an email from PR at KKCenterHK wanting to know if I would be interested in doing a review! Several other bloggers at that time also mentioned they were contacted, so I decided to go for it. I figured I'd receive the items just in time to do a Halloween manicure, and I was right!

I selected item number N.NAIL-WDHHK099 to review. This is a set of water decals: witches, pumpkin faces, black cats and the text "Happy Halloween." You get 20 decals for $6.39. This is my first time using decals, but that price seems high to me. I could very well be wrong, but I'm not sure I would pay that much.

I had 2 problems with these decals: first of all, they did not come with instructions! That seems pretty basic to me. So, KKCenterHK, please add some instructions to your products.

As I said, I've never worked with water decals and because there were no instructions, I had to google how to apply them. Yes, it should seem pretty obvious but I wasn't really sure how they were supposed to be applied, how to get them off of the paper, etc. One of the first things I read was that you should not use quick dry top coat with some decals because the solvent in some of the quick dry top coats can damage the decals. I asked a few of my fellow nail bloggers, and they all agreed that quick dry top coat works fine, they never had any issues, etc. 

This is why you need instructions with a product.

Since I'm new at this, and I really wanted to test the decals out, I went ahead and did a couple of test runs with my different top coats.

First up was Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, which pretty much ate the decals. 
Next I tried OPI RapiDry Top Coat, which worked OK but it also damaged the decals slightly.

Next I decided to give up on the fast drying top coats, so I picked up my Ulta top coat. It worked really well for the most part. I did have to be a little bit careful because even thick heavy coats of the Ulta damaged the decals a little bit. After this point, I ended up using a thin layer of Ulta over all of the decals, and then I applied some Seche Vite to hurry up the dry time. This worked perfectly, no further problems.

Once I got the top coat process figured out, it was smooth sailing. I had no further problems, and my second manicure was a breeze. These were a lot of fun, and I'm definitely looking forward to using decals again! I may consider buying some more soon, just for Christmas. They are based in Hong Kong, so if you're going to buy from them please remember the extra shipping time. It may take a few weeks.

So, I did two manicures with the decals. Let me show you the first one. I will go into more detail about these in another post. Right now I just want to highlight the decals.

Can you see my pinky finger how messy the face looks? That's the result of the fast drying top coat.

My right hand turned out a little nicer.


Here is my second manicure!

I will have the specifics on the polishes I used, as well as more photos in another post, so please check back again :)

Also, I'm supposed to have a custom discount code for you all for 10% off your order but it doesn't seem to be live yet so I will let you know what the code is when it's working. Thanks for reading and as always please let me know if you have any questions or comments!  

Here's the discount for my readers! Shop at and use coupon code GETFANCY at checkout and get 10% off! This code is valid through January 31, 2012.

Disclaimer: These items were provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.