Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Fun Zoya Striped Mani

I just wanted to show you a cute little striped mani I did recently using Zoya Trixie and Purity. I wish I had thought more about it when I was doing this mani and took more pictures so that I could do a little tutorial on how I did this. So I guess I'll just have to explain it all to you. It really was fairly simple so I'm sure you all can figure it out.

I started out with Purity on my pinky, pointer, and thumb. I then put Trixie on my middle and ring fingers. Once they were all dry I took some striping tape and used this on the ring finger to create the design I made. I took the striping tape and just made an "X" over the whole finger, then in each of the points of the "X" I took more striping tape to create little chevrons.

Then once I had the striping tape placed where I wanted it I put a coat of Purity over everything. Then I took tweezers and carefully peeled off all the striping tape to reveal my design with Trixie beneath. I then waited for it to dry partly and applied my top coat. I then took and placed a clear rhinestone in the center of this design for an added touch.

I hope you all enjoyed this and were able to follow my instructions to re-create this your on your own. I will do a step by step tutorial on this design again in the future for you all.

Zoya polishes can be purchased at Ulta, on their site here, and select salons. They retail for $9 for a full sized 0.5fl oz bottle.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cult Nails Midnight Masquerade Collection

Today I have the entire Midnight Maxquerade Collection from Cult Nails for you. I know I've already shown you swatches of one of these shades but I am including it in this post because it is part of the collection.

I have to say that these are some unique shades that I did not already have anything like them so I was pretty excited about them. I was especially excited for Masquerade because I was digging the duochrome.

So here we go with all 3 shade from this mini collection.

First up we have Masquerade. Masquerade is a green jelly base packed with duochrome that shifts from purple to copper. I've even seen a green pop up in there inbetween the purple and copper. Shown here is 3 coats because it is a little more sheer than the others. That is because of the jelly base (in my opinion). This was another one that was hard to photograph and catch the shift of the duochrome.

Next we have Midnight Mist. Midnight Mist is a taupe with a gold glow/shimmer. The gold glow was a little harder for me to capture in pictures on the nail but you are able to see it in the bottle in the pictures. Shown here is 2 coats of Midnight Mist.

Lastly we have a beautiful vampy color that I am loving right now (I'm loving the vampy colors right now). This one is Ms. Conduct. Ms. Conduct is a taupe leaning brown creme. On my skin tone I think this looks nice and dark and vampy. Like a nice chocolate brown, something I didn't previously have in my collection. Shown here is 2 coats of Ms. Conduct.

On all of these the formula is great, smooth application and an average dry time. I have not added a top coat to these for any of the pics so that you can see just how nice and shiny they are on their own.

This was a Limited Edition Collection so I believe that the collection is not available any longer. Don't fret though, Cult Nails has so many more polishes in their collection that I'm sure you'll find some you love. Plus there is more coming out this year. Currently the Passionate Dreams collection is available for pre-sale until 1/31/14. Then if there is some remaining it will be available individually. You can check all their colors out on their site here. These retail for $12 for a full sized 0.5fl oz bottle.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rimmel London Show Off lip lacquer

Here's another lip lacquer that I stumbled across and I had to share these with you!! I have to tell you how much I love this lip lacquer. This is Rimmel London Show Off lip lacquer in Celestial.

I seen this from another person I follow on Instagram and proceeded to be on the hunt for it. I finally found this baby at Walgreens! It has a nice wand applicator that is angled with a small dip in the middle of it to hold the lacquer (kind of like a deer hoof on the bottom). Very nice for applying with precision. It goes on smooth, isn't sticky or thick, and lasts for a few hours. I think I only re-apply this once during the work day and that's after I have my lunch. This stuff is so comfortable to wear that I had to go back and get another shade. I just picked that one up (I actually picked up 2 more but didn't care for the one of the shades on me so I gave it to my Mom since it looked good on her) and haven't had a chance to take pics to add to this review but I'm just as happy with that one as I am with this one. The formula is consistent throughout all the shades I've tried (I've tried 3 out of I think there were a total of 10).

Celestial is a gorgeous petal pink and is very opaque. Shown here is it on my lips. The pic on the left is without flash and the one on the right is with flash.

I am in love with these and also find myself constantly reaching for these. I really have to quit finding lipsticks, glosses, and lacquers that I love because I only have one set of lips and have such a hard time deciding what to wear on them each day.

Rimmel London products can be found at many retailers such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and Ulta. I only found this particular line of lip lacquers at Walgreens but maybe my other stores just hadn't got them in yet. You can find all other Rimmel London products at these and other retailers. This one I got on sale for $4.99 but regular price was $5.99 so that's a nice price for a lip lacquer. Run out and check these out!

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Little 'Bout Me- The Person Behind The Nails

Hi I thought I'd do a little different kind of post this time. I get asked questions about me so I thought that I'd give you a peek at the person behind the nails and let you all get to know me a little better.

My name is Kari, I was born and raised in Minnesota (although lately with all this arctic weather we've been having I'm seriously questioning why I still live here, lol), and I am the oldest of 7. I have 4 sisters and 2 step-brothers. I have a insane amount of nieces and nephews and I am even a great-aunt to 3 (#4 is on the way). I am married and I have 2 step kids that I absolutely adore, a step son who is 15 going on 16 and a step daughter who is 12 going on 13 (we haven't been blessed with any of ours together). OMG! I can't believe how old I am, LOL!!!!!

I lost about 60-70 pounds about 5 or 6 years ago and when I look back at old pictures of me I can't believe that it's me in those pictures. I honestly couldn't tell you how I did it except that I got more active and seriously changed my eating habits, then the weight just started falling off.

 I'm also a diabetic so I have to be careful of what I eat. I don't take insulin yet but I will have to someday, for now I get to only take pills. I was diagnosed when I was a teenager and as a typical teenager, I rebelled against the diagnosis and ate whatever I wanted. I was seriously sick for a long time until I got it all under control. I loved eating a Snickers bar and having a can of Mt Dew for lunch at school. I can't do that anymore but I do have a small piece of chocolate now and then and I've settled for Diet Mt Dew instead of regular (it's not the same but it will have to do).

I was married previously and divorced him. I knew I was making the biggest mistake of my life on the day I married him but went through with it anyway. It was not a good marriage. BUT I am now married to an amazing man named Kevin, I don't know what I'd do without him! He is truly amazing.

We've been married for 4 and a half years and when we were planning our wedding we wanted something different. So we got married in a very small ceremony by a justice of the peace and spent all our money on the reception. Our reception was a 3 day party!!! It was amazing! I am also a year and a half older than my husband.

We live on a farm and raise cows for butcher. I must say that if I'm going to eat beef I want to know where it's been and how it was raised, this way, I know! All our animals are treated humanly, my husband actually treats them like they are his pets, it's funny. He even talks to them (no he's not crazy, I've had him tested, lol). All the hay and feed that we feed the cows we grow and harvest ourselves. I like knowing exactly what my cows eat because eventually (and sadly) we eat them. I do drive a tractor and have been known to be out on the tractor in the field helping with what I can. Sometimes I just go along for the ride too. No one who knew me before my husband would have ever thought that I would live on a farm and drive tractors. I'm a very girly girl.

We have 2 dogs and 1 cat in the house. I'd have more because I love to rescue them but the hubby put the limits on how many are in the house and I've reached my limit. Our dogs are Lulu who is a Applehead Chihuahua and Abby who is a Chi-Beagle (Deerhead Chihuahua and Beagle mix). My cat is Kitters and she is just your average cat, I have no idea what breed she is but she's cute and they all love to cuddle.

I have an Associate's Degree in Office Administration with an emphasis on Medical Office. I also have 2 unfinished degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Paralegal. I had to quit school because I reached my lifetime limit for financial aid and couldn't afford to take out more loans.

I work a day job as an Administrative Assistant/Receptionist for an optical lab. Occasionally I fill in and help out our Human Resources person who is also my supervisor, she's the best boss ever! I love my job and even though it is an hour away from home I wouldn't dream of working anywhere else.

I was a SERIOUS nail biter up until about 4 years ago. My husband helped me kick the habit. About 2 years ago I was starting to get back into the habit and I decided that I didn't want to be a nail biter again so I got into nail polish. Getting into nail polish and keeping my nails looking nice kept me from biting my nails again and has lead me here to you. I started blogging because I found it was a good hobby and I always loved writing in school (yeah, I know, I'm sort of a geek). I surf the internet, use Instagram, and Pintrest to find inspiration for manicures. I like to take one that I like and put my own little twist.

I used to be a smoker too. My husband and I quit almost 2 years ago. I had smoked for almost 15 years I think and I can't imagine ever starting up again. With that said, I do still love a good cigar every now and then if the mood strikes me. Weird I know!!

In my spare time when I am not taking care of the house or working I like to fish (ice fish and summer fish), paint my nails, play with makeup, crochet (I started a blanket when we got married and have yet to finish it, lol), read, and sing (I used to sing in a choir group and would love to sing in a band but I don't think that dream with ever be realized).

Hmmm....I can't really think of anything else. I hope you loved learning a little bit about me just as much as I loved writing this post for you!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Color


A little while back the people at NYC New York Color had sent me a few things to review. These to lip glosses were in that package. The funny thing is that the red one I already had in my personal stash and had been using it for a while so I was excited that I now had a back-up because it is amazing.

These are their Big Bold Plumping lip glosses and I wear these almost everyday! They sent me a red which is called Supersized Red and a very pretty shimmery mauve called Magnified Mauve. You can see here a little swatch of them on the back of my hand to see what they look like against my skin tone.

Magnified Mauve is the perfect mauve for when you are looking for something subtle with a bit of shimmer and shine.

Supersized Red is perfect when you are in the mood for a red but you don't want that BAM! of a red lipstick or full coverage lip lacquer. This is slightly sheer and has a bit of shimmer as well. Plus it's super shiny!

These do have a bit of a tingle when you apply them, it's part of the plumping formula. Overall I loved these and like I said, I wear these ALOT!! They apply nicely with the angled wand and are not sticky or thick. They are smooth and comfortable to wear. As with any lip gloss, they do wear off if you eat or drink. I don't know if I noticed much of a plumper lip when I wear them but for me I don't care because I love them so much. There are so many other shades out there of this to try.

NYC New York Color products can be purchased at many retailers such as Walmart.  It retails for $3.57 at Walmart.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cute & Sparkly Skittlette

Here's a cute skittlette mani that I've been sporting for a few days. I thought I'd share it with all of you! I seen something just like it on Instagram by someone else and thought it was so cute that I had to do it myself.

I started out with Essie's Naughty Nautical on my thumb, pointer finger, and pinky finger.

Then I added Cult Nails Nevermore to my ring finger. BTW, I LOVE this black, it is the perfect one coater black. It's so shiny and glossy too, just the perfect black and for someone like me who loves dark colors, this is the holy grail of blacks!

Then I wanted some sparkle, I added Pure Ice Beware to my middle finger. This is a fine silver glitter and I used 3 coats to achieve the desired look. Also just to let you know how fine it is, I only had to add 2 thin coats of topcoat to get this one nice and smooth! Amazing!!

Then I took the Pure Ice Beware, Essie Naughty Nautical, and Cult Nails Tempest (which is an amazing almost one coat self-leveling white) to make the dots on my ring finger. And on the thumb I used Tempest, Nevermore, and Beware to make the flower. So here is the finished product. I hope you love it as much as I do!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cult Nails "Passionate Dreams" Collection Press Release

Hello and Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to share this press release for Cult Nails' new collection "Passionate Dreams" that is being released for pre-sale today! I personally can't wait for this collection and I am hoping to purchase it before the pre-sale ends because these colors are TO DIE FOR!!! I promise that as soon as I get my hands on a set I am going to share pics of these lovely beauties with all of you. :)
Here is the press release from Maria's desk...


Passionate Dreams Press Release

Before we get to the press release, I wanted to talk about a few fun little changes. When we started Cult Nails, the idea was to create a stock of "Cult Classics". Like in fashion these classics would be the ones every girl or boy would need as part of their collection. Think of the classics as the T-shirt & Jeans of your polish collection. We also wanted to introduce seasonally a fresh set of limited edition polishes that would change out each season. We veered a little to the left of our original vision, but not to far off. We are now going to reel back in to stick with our original vision with some more fun changes along the way in 2014. Instead of seasonal collections, we are going to do smaller monthly collections that have 3 - 4 colors per collection. These will be available in much more limited quantities as previous releases. We will still launch each collection with a pre-sale event and after the pre-sale as long as there are still colors available, we will then sell the colors individually.

Another exciting change is that each collection will come with a story that you can read here!
It all started with the Masquerade collection. John wrote a very brief ad story for that collection and the subsequent Crypt Opening sale. As he sat to write the ad story for the Passionate Dreams collection and emailed it over to me to read, everything changed. I read it while out with a friend and so I wouldn't be rude sitting there reading an email when I was supposed to be spending time with my friend, I read it to her. When we finished reading what he wrote, we were both left with a "And then what happens!?" So John wrote it into a short story of sorts. He left it a bit open. Is it a chapter of a story? Or a short story to be left standing on it's own? We're going to let you decide! Based on feedback, John will continue this story with each chapter, or he will write several short stories for each collection. Are you ready for the story? Well, how about a little teaser first! Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog post for the rest of the story!

PRESS RELEASE from Cult Nails™

…She dreamed of the day when she would find him, the one. And find him, she did. He passed her in the park on her morning walk. She'd been watching him as he approached. With his head down and his hands in his pockets, he hadn't given her so much as a glance. But there he was, the absolute man of her dreams. His stride was flawless and graceful, but manly. His build was average but he carried himself with confidence, not cockiness. And his eyes. Oh his eyes! When he looked up to apologize for almost bumping into her, she could feel his eyes looking deeper into her soul than she ever thought possible. His stare was intense. Heart stopping. Lethal. That was the moment. The feeling his gaze left her with was enough to ignite her passion. Then she felt it. The pounding in her heart. Her breathing became shallow and quick. Her senses were exploding at the thought of him simply speaking to her. Then, it happened. She looked back at him and their eyes met once more. It was undeniable; but as quickly as he approached, he continued on, blending in with the background until he was eventually out of sight.

CULT NAILS™ brings you the PASSIONATE DREAMS collection. With names like LETHAL, IGNITE, ANGEL WHISPERS, and KISS, this collection brings emotions of desire, lust, and passion, and the colors are no exception.

Passionate Dreams

ANGEL WHISPERS: A soft, pale pink crème provides the base color for this texture polish. Even though the finish may feel slightly rough, its color and signature Cult Nails™ shimmer create a softening effect reminiscent of an Angel's wings.
Angel Whispers - No Top Coat

Angel Whispers - No Top Coat

Angel Whispers - With Top Coat

LETHAL: Like staring into your lover's eyes, you won't be able to look away when this silver foil is on your tips.


IGNITE: Blending a black jelly base with silver glitter, it's like closing your eyes for that first kiss, and seeing stars. Ignite is pure passion fuel.
Ignite - No top Coat

Ignite - With Top Coat

KISS: No love story is complete without a kiss. Crafted to invoke emotions of lust and desire, Kiss is a vibrant red that dries to a wax-like finish.


Each color is part of the "Passionate Dreams" Collection, released January 2014. Each bottle is 0.5 fluid ounces / approximately 15ml.
PRE-SALE DATES: January 17-31, 2014. The 4 piece set will sell only as a collection during the pre-sale time for $35.00. Remaining colors, if any, will be sold individually beginning February 15, 2014 and will retail for $12.00 each.
Head on over to Cult Nails' site and get yours today!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sally Hansen Maximum Strength


The lovely people sent me a nice package a little while back and inside the package was a bunch of stuff for me to review. Well since there were two different nail treatments I figured I should try each one out for a few weeks to see how they work for me.

This one is the Maximum Strength nail treatment. It is great for helping prevent nails from peeling and tearing. It also makes nails stronger and more resistant to damage. For me this was perfect since I have a couple nails that like to always peel and I have yet to find something that works for me. I couldn't wait to try this one out.

I will say that this does what it says! I used it for about 3-4 weeks and I have noticed a huge improvement in the condition of my nails. As you can see in the picture above they look amazing!! The nails that normally peel on me were definitely improved, they did peel a little bit but I think with continued use this will keep improving and I will no longer have a problem with peeling nails.

Now this is a extremely sheer pinkish color when applied so if you wanted to just apply this and go you certainly could. I used it as a base coat under all of my manicures.

I loved this product and it definitely worked for me so if you have peeling nails and want to improve them, give this a shot!! I give this product 2 thumbs up!!

Sally Hansen products can be found at most stores such as Ulta, Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, and other retailers near you. You can also find more information on all Sally Hansen products here on their website. This product retails for $5.99 at Ulta so I believe it is going to be roughly the same price at other retailers.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Zoya Chevron Mani

So I thought that I would do a cute sparkly chevron mani and I wanted to use one of the amazing new colors from Zoya's Naturel collection.

I got all my supplies all laid out on the table and got ready to go. Here I have my Sally Hansen Maximum Growth nail treatment that I'm going to use as my base coat, then I have Zoya Brigitte for the base color, Zoya Tomoko (pixie dust) for my chevron, Out The Door topcoat, striping tape for a guide, my Zoya Remove + and brush for clean-up.

Once I got my base of Zoya Brigitte down, I applied some Out The Door to seal it in and make it shine. Then once it was dried I applied the striping tape to serve as a guide so I get nice clean line for my chevrons.

Then I applied 1 coat of Zoya Tomoko to the inside of the "guide lines" and then I immediately removed the striping tape.

Here's just one nail done. As you can see, if you remove the striping tape immediately you get a nice clean line. After completing one nail I decided that instead of just doing one accent nail on each hand I was going to do all of the nails. So I started my process all over doing all the nails at a time in each step.

Here is my completed mani. I think that this one turned out really great and I got tons of compliments on it. I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial!!

Zoya polishes and Remove+ can be purchased at your local Ulta store or here on their website. Each bottle of polish retails for $9 and the Remove+ is the big flipper size and retails for &9.99 for the 8oz. bottle.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cult Nails Masquerade

I have one of the polishes from Cult Nails' Midnight Masquerade Collection. This one is Masquerade. Masquerade is a green jelly packed with duochrome that ranges from purple to copper. This one is one of my favorites from this collection. Even though this is a mini-collection it is as gorgeous as all of Maria's collections.

The formula on this was smooth and applied like butter but I wasn't surprised by this, Cult Nails has an amazing formula that is consistent throughout their entire line. I haven't one single issue with any one of the Cult Nails polishes I own.

I used 3 coats to achieve the opacity that I was looking for because it is a little bit thinner than most of the others but that is because the base of this one is a jelly. Jellies are thinner and do require more coats to achieve full opacity. The 3 coats that I used were thin coats.

It was a little difficult to photograph but all photos were taken indoors with no flash. You can see in the photos the nice shift from the purple to copper. The photo above was the one that captured it the best.

All Cult Nails polishes can be purchased on the Cult Nails website here. They are $12 for a full sized 0.5fl oz bottle. I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did and I can't wait to bring you the rest of the Midnight Masquerade Collection!

Monday, January 6, 2014


Wow! I can't believe that it's been 1 year since I started this blog! Boy has the time flown by. It's been a great year and I can't believe all the great people I've met in the nail community. All my followers are amazing and I can't tell you how much I love doing this blog and sharing all of this with all of you!

I have put together a giveaway to celebrate. There are two prize packages for this giveaway and unfortunately I have to limit this to USA only because of shipping.

Prize pack #1 consists of Zoya "Giovanna", Hard Candy "Pop Rocker", NYC New York Color "Sparkle Top Coat", a mini holiday Above The Curve color, a mini Solar Oil Cuticle Oil, and NYC New York Color Big Bold Plumping Lip Gloss in Supersized Red.

Prize pack #2 consists of a full sized Above The Curve holiday color, Hard Candy "Candy Coated", NYC New York Color "Matte Me Crazy" top coat, a mini Starrily "Bzzz Bzzz", a mini Solar Oil Cuticle Oil, and Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Flustered.

So enter below via the Rafflecopter widget! Giveaway starts January 7th and ends at 12AM January 22nd. Good luck to everyone!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Zoya Naturel Collection

Well, Santa was super nice to me this year and gave me exactly what I wanted, I must have been a really good girl! ;)

I have the new Naturel Collection from Zoya. This collection consists of 6 rose toned nude creams. I was so excited for this collection when I seen the press release on this one. I love nudes but have a hard time wearing most because they tend to wash me out but this one was rose toned and that was right up my alley.

Well, let's get this party started and I'll show you these gorgeous babies!!

This is Chantal, it is described as a French Vanilla Cream. This is such a beautiful pale nude beige. It looks a little yellow toned on me but that may be my skin tone with it.

Here we have Taylor. Taylor is described as a light coffee cream. This is a great beige on me and I love the way it looks. It goes well with my skin tone and I will admit that these are really my first nudes that I like on me.

Next up is one of my favorites from this collection. This is Rue. Rue is described as a blush cream. It is the perfect blush color that I've been forever searching for.

The 4th one in this collection is Brigitte. Brigitte is described as a mauve cream. If you know me well you will know that mauve is one of my favorite colors. I will say that this is another favorite of mine from this collection.

Now I have Odette for you. Odette is described as a orchid maroon cream. This one is spot on for the color of the year. Pantone's color of the year for 2014 is Orchid and I think Odette nails it!

The last one in this collection is Normani. Normani is described as a sable mauve cream. This one is just sultry and creamy and I love it!!

The formula on all of these were extremely consistent and Zoya's formula is my absolute favorite. I love working with Zoyas. They all went on smoothly with no clumps or gloopiness. Dry time was great and I believe they were dry to the touch in about 5 minutes. I used no topcoat on any of these so you can see that they are super shiny on their own.

I love every single one of these in this collection and I don't know if I could pick a favorite 1 or 2. Each and every one of these are going to be well used in my collection and I am so glad Santa thought I was good and left these for me!!

**All photos were taken indoors with no flash.

Zoya polishes can be purchased at Ulta, select salons, and on Zoya's website here. They retail for $9 for a full sized 0.5fl oz bottle.

***color descriptions were taken from