Monday, December 21, 2015

Octopus Party and Literary Lacquers: New Years Duo & HPB Presents Nail art


The OPNL New Year's Collaboration Collection features 4 all new duos! I had the opportunity to review the set that includes OPNL and LitLaq - two fantastic companies - and I couldn't be happier about it!
You can see the other duos by visiting the OPNL facebook page, as Dave will be posting those as the photos are sent to him. The duos are launching 12.26.15 @ 11 AM Central @ www.opnlduos.bigcartel.com

Octopus Party Milk and Honey is a yellow toned neutral with blue interference shimmer. I wore three coats with topcoat in the images below. It's an unusual color and finish for sure - I have nothing like it in my collection and don't recall seeing anything similar before. Formula was fluid and not streaky or draggy at all.

xoxoJen's swatch of Octopus Party Milk and Honey
xoxoJen's swatch of Octopus Party Milk and Honey
xoxoJen's swatch of Octopus Party Milk and Honey

Literary Lacquers Sky of the Sky is a beautifully done holo with gold flakie shimmers throughout. This is also reminiscent of one of Pantone's colors of the year for 2016, but better. :) I wore two coats and topcoat for photos. Formula is consistently excellent as all other LitLaqs.

The literary inspiration comes from a poem by E.E. Cummings called I Carry Your Heart With Me. I had not read it before, but it is definitely emotionally evocative and worth a read. I'm bookmarking it to read again and again, I just love that poem!

xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers

I did up some nail art all 'fancy' like with snowflakes - these are from the Vivid Lacquer plate number VL006, a must have for any stamping enthusiast. I stamped with MDU polishes over the duo.

xoxoJen's nailart with Vivid Lacquer VL006 - snowflakes
xoxoJen's nailart with Vivid Lacquer VL006 - snowflakes

I hope you all enjoyed the review and are able to pick these up if your heart desires! I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I'll see you in the New Year!!

For more awesome nail art - check the Hobby Polish Bloggers Link up!



Friday, December 18, 2015

Pink Hibiscus Beauty: Holidays In New England Collection

The Holidays in New England Collection comes from a brand I haven't tried before called Pink Hibiscus Beauty. I found the color palette attractive and finishes varied, so I think there is something here for everyone! This collection has already launched and is available now at the shop.



Rockefeller in the Snow
White shimmer cream with ultra chameleon chrome flakies and a scattered holographic finish.
3 coats for the photos, I am really digging the ucc flakies done up in a crelly base! Plus, this one has holo (although it is really difficult to pick up holo on camera with such a light color it is more visible to the eye in person)

xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus Rockefeller in the Snow
xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus Rockefeller in the Snow
xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus Rockefeller in the Snow

Nutcrackers in New England
Pale pink shimmer with pink and gold illusion flakies, and a scattered holographic finish
Because there is so much going on this polish and because it's such a light shade, the camera picks up shadows that sometimes look like texture but aren't. The formula was very smooth and shimmery, the holo and flakies are subtle, definitely office appropriate and feminine feeling. I wore two coats with topcoat, formula was smooth.

xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus Nutcrackers in New England
xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus Nutcrackers in New England
xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus Nutcrackers in New England

The Connecticut Vineyards
Deep "merlot" red crelly with holographic micro glitter and a scattered holographic finish.
Such a squishy jelly like finish on this one and the holo sparkle has such depth! It reminded me of blackberry juice as I painted it on and when done looks like a jam! 2 coats and topcoat worn.

xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus The Connecticut Vineyards
xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus The Connecticut Vineyards
xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus The Connecticut Vineyards

The 50 Trees in Exeter
Brown jelly with gold holographic micro glitter, and red and green round glitter.
As the one above, depth and squishy factor ya'll! I think this would be perfect for one of those ugly sweater stamping contests - although it is rather beautiful! 2 coats + gelous + topcoat to smooth.

xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus The 50 Trees in Exeter
xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus The 50 Trees in Exeter
xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus The 50 Trees in Exeter

Boston at Midnight
Navy Blue/Deep purple color shifting polish. This polish has ultra chameleon chrome flakies and a linear holographic finish.
Favorite of the collection! I love the way the flakies flash purple when they catch the light. Pretty awesome polish right here. 2 coats and topcoat.

xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus Boston at Midnight
xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus Boston at Midnight
xoxoJen's swatch of Pink Hibiscus Boston at Midnight

The formula was was fluid and smooth on each Pink Hibiscus Polish, no issues to report. I liked how squishy the jellies were and how smooth and easy to apply the crelly was. But my favorite shade had to be a holo - Boston at Midnight!

Which are your favorites?

I hope you've enjoyed the review and photos - please let me know by commenting, liking my facebook page or following me on pinterest! Merry Christmas ya'll!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ever After: Rainbow Connection Trio


Ever After has created a store exclusive limited edition trio for Rainbow Connection called Back to Basics. The three neutral tones are beautifully done with holo shimmers, flakes and glitters and are available at the RC store.

50 Shades - a mid-to-pale grey linear holographic with silver flecks.
(3 coats used)
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After 50 Shades
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After 50 Shades
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After 50 Shades

Au Naturel - a pale, neutral-toned nude linear holographic with silver flecks.
(2 coats used)
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Au Naturel
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Au Naturel
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Au Naturel

Nudist - a pale, soft ballet pink linear holographic with silver flecks.
(3 coats used)
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Nudist
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Nudist
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Nudist

I enjoyed the beautiful color combinations and their easy to apply formula. Definitely office appropriate shades with added magical sparkles! Which is your favorite?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Octopus Party: Crown of Queen Elizabeth

Crown of Queen Elizabeth is a pure silver holographic lacquer. A royal treat for your nails, this color exudes the timeless charm of platinum.

The formula was very nice and I think sheer enough that it would also work well as a holo topper. I haven't tried it myself yet, but I may with the next Creme A La Mode box! The polish is opaque in 3 coats as shown in the photos.

xoxoJen's swatch of Octopus Party: Crown of Queen Elizabeth
xoxoJen's swatch of Octopus Party: Crown of Queen Elizabeth
xoxoJen's swatch of Octopus Party: Crown of Queen Elizabeth

This polish and others will be restocked on Sunday Dec 13, at 5pm Central at the Octopus Party Nail Lacquers at their Etsy store.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Indigo Bananas: Call Me Mabel and Little Big Dipper


Still loving Indigo Bananas, I think they are a new favorite brand. Formula is always really fluid and easy to apply, I enjoy the colors she creates, and Andrea (owner) is very pleasant.

Call Me Mabel is from the Halloween 2015 collection and has a cute little piggy on the name label. Not sure if there's meaning behind that, but I giggled when I saw it. The polish is a beautiful...um morpher? It's very neutral and changes in lighting - I want to call it pink but then I see it lean purple and when I look straight on at it, it seems to be a nude shade. Quite office appropriate too!

I've just checked with Andrea because I noticed a difference in my Call Me Mabel and the swatches in the webshop and this polish is actually a fader!

The good news is, the batch has been pulled and is being reformulated and replaced or refunded to those that have purchased the fading batch. Also - the faders will be clearanced out! So if you love the color of the polish in my swatches, the fader WILL be available in a separate listing under the Banana Peels Category, so watch for that to pop in!

xoxoJen's swatch of Indigo Bananas Call Me Mabel
xoxoJen's swatch of Indigo Bananas Call Me Mabel
xoxoJen's swatch of Indigo Bananas Call Me Mabel

Little Big Dipper is a cute name to begin with, but look at that bright blue and sparkly goodness!

xoxoJen's swatch of Indigo Bananas Little Big Dipper
xoxoJen's swatch of Indigo Bananas Little Big Dipper
xoxoJen's swatch of Indigo Bananas Little Big Dipper

Have you tried Indigo Bananas? If not, I think you should! Great formula, fantastic customer service and beautiful colors!
You'll find these two polishes and many other polishes at the Indigo Bananas online store.

Thank you for stopping by and do feel free to leave a note or follow, I enjoy hearing from you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ever After: Rachel's Birthday Duo

Ever After polish maker Rachel's special duo for her big 3-0 on December 29th! I hope it's the best yet!

Mermaid princess: ultramarine deep blue holo with silver and turquoise flake glitter and shimmer
Bright and vibrant just like Rachel's personality. I wore two cots and topcoat, the formula was smooth and easy to apply.

xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Mermaid princess
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Mermaid princess
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Mermaid princess

Let's eat cake: purple pastel Crelli with ucc green purple blue flake, glitter And holo
I used three coats as this one was a bit sheer to allow for the UCC flakes and glitter to show through. The formula was smooth and easy to control on the nail, I did no clean up for these photos.

xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Let's eat cake
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Let's eat cake
xoxoJen's swatch of Ever After Let's eat cake

Which is your favorite? These are both available at the Ever After webshop!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Literary Lacquers: 2015 Community Collection

xoxoJen's swatches of Literary Lacquers 2015 Community Collection

For the past two years, Amy of Literary Lacquers has worked with individuals from the polish community to create a unique collection that launches around the holidays. This is the third collection which includes eight polishes and a Limited Edition polish gift with purchase. Each polish is quite beautifully done. There is a story or quote that goes along with each polish as well as a description and a link to the individual that designed it with Amy. Although this entry will be quite lengthy, I hope you enjoy getting to know a bit more about each contributor.

Burning Slowly From the Inside Out – Orange-red linear holo with white and orange red flakies designed with Destany Pingle of Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom inspired by The Selection series by Keira Cass
http://www.confessionsofasarcasticmom.com/
My inspiration was my current literary obsession - The Selection novel series by Kiera Cass. The covers are just so amazing, and I've dreamed about the fiery red-orange of the cover of The Elite. Let me just say this - I'm not much of a romance reader. These books are fairly high in the romance department, but the dystopian drama fills it up, too. This series is kind of like The Hunger Games meets the Bachelor. The country has been torn apart by war, and from the ashes it has risen as a caste system, complete with a ruling monarch. When the ruling monarch's child is "of age," there's a competition of sorts. Girls from all over the land are chosen to compete to be the prince's wife. Let's just say I found myself wanting a Prince Maxon in my life! But the true star is the cover of these books. They are fabulous studies in gorgeous colors! My favorite is the cover of The Elite, which features a beautiful fiery red-orange gown (on our heroine) with a background of shimmery white holo-y goodness. And as for the name? It comes from this quote... “It wasn’t like I made his world better. It was like I was his world. It wasn’t some explosion; it wasn’t fireworks. It was a fire, burning slowly from the inside out.” - Kiera Cass, The Elite

Unusual, definitely! I wore two coats and topcoat but with care, one coat might do it!

xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Burning Slowly From the Inside Out
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Burning Slowly From the Inside Out
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Burning Slowly From the Inside Out

My Favorite Day – golden amber metallic linear holo designed with Jody Morris Feldman and inspired by Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
@jodyzelda
Jody writes: It's one of my favorite quotes from Winnie the Pooh, which the father of my grandson had me read to him over and over again when he was a little boy. Winnie asks Piglet what day it is and Piglet answers 'it's today' to which Winnie says 'my favorite day '. I told my son, every time I read it to him, that every day with him was my favorite day, so now I know that every day with his son is his favorite day. Mushy, I know, but that's what grandparenthood has done to me.

Boy does this shine and I just love the story behind it. I wore two easy coats with topcoat.

xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers My Favorite Day
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers My Favorite Day
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers My Favorite Day

Phizzwizard – Soft sea green linear holo designed with Traci Hatling of Newsie Nail Novice, inspired by The BFG by Roald Dahl
http://tracihatling.blogspot.com/
“Sophie peered into the jar and there, sure enough, she saw the faint, translucent outline of something about the size of a hen’s egg. There was just a touch of colour in it, a pale sea-green, soft and shimmering and very beautiful. There it lay, this small oblong sea-green jellyfish thing, at the bottom of the jar, quite peaceful, but pulsing gently, the whole of it moving in and out ever so slightly, as though it were breathing.”

Such a soft minty green, buttery in formula and a wee bit on the sheer side compared to the others in the collection. I wore two coats, with a few extra swipes here and there for opacity.

xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Phizzwizard
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Phizzwizard
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Phizzwizard
Leaves of Grass – Emerald green mega glitter linear holo designed with Alex Bacon-Leslie, longtime friend and Admin Extraordinaire of the Literary (&) Lacquers facebook group inspired by Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
@alexcansmile
Leaves of Grass is one of the great, iconic American poetry collections. Walt Whitman wrote about nature and exalted the material world, sensual pleasures and the human body. Each edition of the collection was different. When it was first published it only included 12 poems, but by the end of Whitman’s life it contained more than 400. Such an iconic work felt appropriate to lend its’ name to this gorgeous green polish. Leaves of Grass is a work that demonstrates the human condition, which resonated with me from the first time I picked up a copy. This iteration of the idea of “Leaves of Grass” is a sun-drenched meadow in a bottle.

Such intense sparkle, this one! (Much like Alex!!) I love it! Two smooth coats and topcoat to finish.

xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Leaves of Grass
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Leaves of Grass
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Leaves of Grass
A Sensible Rabbit – Taupey neutral shimmering holo with black microglitter designed with Cassandra Pio of Fierce Hearts Wildlife Rehabilitation and inspired by Watership Down by Richard Adams
https://www.facebook.com/fiercehearts/
Watership Down is a story of brains over brawn, the power of the underdog, compassion, and most importantly: rabbits. A Sensible Rabbit is inspired by Hyzenthlay, whose name is translated in the book as “fur that shines like dew.” She’s a no-nonsense doe who rises to the occasion when it’s her time to shine. The book might focus on the boys, but it’s a lady of a rabbit who really saves the day. I wanted a polish that mimicked a rabbit’s surprisingly complex fur, with enough sparkle to get me through a slog of a day, and of course Amy delivered. It’s a testament to my character that I love the same books I did when I was 11 as well as work in a field my childhood self would think is pretty awesome. I’m blown away by the support that Amy and the indie polish community have offered me as I get Fierce Hearts Wildlife Rehabilitation off the ground. You can follow my exploits, rabbit related and otherwise, on my facebook page.

Favorite! Yes, I am choosing this over TWO purples, don't judge me. I adore polishes with a hit of black micro glitter where one might think it doesn't belong. It makes for a truly beautiful and unique polish! Two coats were worn here, but I considered only using one, it is fairly opaque.


xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers A Sensible Rabbit
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers A Sensible Rabbit
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers A Sensible Rabbit

Free to Fly – Delicate lavender linear holo with blue iridescent flakies and green glass fleck, designed with Jennifer Zakroff and inspired by Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
@jzakroff
"Too much tail. All that jewelry weighs it down. Like vanity. Can't nobody fly with all that shit. Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down." - Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison

The sparkle and iridescence of this polish are magical. Reminds me of a unicorn horn! I wore two coats with topcoat, formula was perfect.

xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Free to Fly
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Free to Fly
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Free to Fly

Inspired by the Veronika Layne Hot Off the Press mysteries by Julia Park Tracey, this collaboration was the brainchild of blogger Michelle Chouinard of Lacquer or Leave Her who asked Literary Lacquers to create these colors in collaboration with Julia.

Veronika - Violet linear holo with a smattering of tiny holo flakies
www.juliaparktracey.com
Julia writes: I see this as the perfect choice for the character of Veronika Layne, who is a kind of goth-hippie. She’s a tree-hugger and an eco-warrior, who has tattoos, body piercings and loves her sexy lingerie and her black and white cat. Purple nails? Yes, please!

Jewel toned amethyst with flashes of burgundy and somehow it also looks slightly dusty. I do love this one, but ASR stole my heart. It has great formula and is almost opaque in one coat, so I've used two.

xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Veronika
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Veronika
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Veronika

Stinky Little Truck - Shimmering silver scattered holo
www.lacquerorleaveher.com
Michelle writes: In the Hot Off the Press books, Veronica Layne drives a biodiesel truck that runs off of vegetable oil; it’s an excellent alternative fuel, but can make your car smell like a vat of French fries. But really, that’s a small price to pay to keep the earth healthy, especially if you can look like this while you’re doing it. I love metallics and bling during the holidays, but have had difficulty finding a silver polish that has an elegant, sophisticated feel while still making my fingers sparkle and shine. The subtle linear holo and flecked finish in this polish satisfy my need for something that’s glamorous and special, without going way over the top.

This polish has such a fun name, I giggled to myself (in between gasps of delight) while I was painting it on. You may be thinking it's just another silver holo but this one is different. It's scattered and linear, it has kind of an asphalt vibe going on - like..it looks textured but it's not. Somehow it has darker areas like shadows that create that look. Yep, I'm scratching my head thinking how'd she do that? I wore two coats with topcoat and it has a superb formula as we'd expect from LitLaq.

xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Stinky Little Truck
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Stinky Little Truck
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Stinky Little Truck

The LE gift with purchase is Give My Heart - Warm pink glitter holo with copper micro glitters.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/LiteraryLacquer
Give My Heart was designed by Amy and inspired by In The Bleak Midwinter, a Christmas poem by Christina Rosetti.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

I sang a solo derived from this poem in a college musical and it brought tears to my eyes while I was singing it. I think the audience cried with me that day! I don't know what meaning should be taken from those words, but for me, it was a message of being generous and giving of yourself. Ok, enough mushy stuff I guess. ;)

The copper glitters give a lovely warmth to the polish color and add an in your face amount of sparkle. The nail was coated twice with the smooth formula and then topcoated for photos.

xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Give My Heart
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Give My Heart
xoxoJen's swatch of Literary Lacquers Give My Heart

Give My Heart is a Limited Edition Gift with Purchase. Terms of GWP are $24 purchase gets a free mini (5 mL), $48 purchase gets a free full size (15 mL).
For orders over $75 use code 2015HOLIDAY for free domestic shipping or 2015INTERNATIONAL for $7 off international shipping.
All promotions are good from 12/1/15 at noon mountain time through New Year’s Day.

Well, what do you think? See any interesting book quotes that make you want to read the book? Or perhaps follow the person that designed the polish? (C'mon, they deserve some love!)

The full collection launch is Dec 1, 2015 at 1pm central time at the Literary Lacquers shop. All promotions are good for the entire month of December and New Year's Day!

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