Manic Monday: Summer French Leopard

Good evening readership! I was actually just discussing one of these polishes today so I decided this manicure would be today’s subject! I used a 4 polish combination of both indie and mainstream to create this dazzling (and freshly scented!) masterpiece!

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brands are Model City Polish, Finger Lickin’ Lacquer, Sinful Colors, and Julep.DSCN7301

Bottle shots.

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Color names! Toasted Marshmallow, Call Me Meg. Tidal Wave, & Michele. Call Me Meg by FLL is cucumber-melon scented! (but don’t worry, you can buy unscented versions if you are sensitive or allergic to fragrance! )

Finished Product with flash:

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Without flash:

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I really love using leopard print in my manicures. It always looks fancy and complicate but is actually very simple to execute with a dotting tool. 

What are your faves from these brands? Any other cool leopard idea to try?

September Julep Maven: CItyscape & Sale Haul

I fully intended on skipping Julep this month. I am really looking forward to some of the items in other September boxes and I have been underimpressed by their customer service. However, when I saw the colors and items this month, I couldn’t resist!

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I do so love having boxes on my doorstep when I get home! Especially when they have that little pink sticker…I opted for 3 add-ons this month!

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OK, so packaging could have been better, Julep. This looks a little messy.

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Here are the add-ons! Great fall colors this month to get me ready for the change in season.

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I got the middle color because it’s my cousin’s name but it’s one of my favorite shades!

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Under the paper are the monthly Bombshell goodies. Again…mail guy must have been driving over cobblestones or something.

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This month’s quote.

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Little goodie. I haven’t quite figured out the point of a single swiper pad of remover but this will get stuck in my emergency kit.

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Oil cleansing is the newest big thing, so I was excited to try this!

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Out of the box. You apply it dry and massage it into the skin, and then rinse with warm water. I wasn’t sure how well it would rinse (being oil) but it actually worked and my skin felt cleansed.

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This month’s colors!

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Karmin is a beautiful fall red-gold, and Daria is grey.

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Everything! The monthly goodies as well as the add-ons.

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Karmen! It was hard to catch the gold flake shimmer but it really reminded me of changing leaves.

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Another shot of beautiful Karmen

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Here’s one of the add-ons, Reece. It is purple, green, silver, and holographic microglitter. It’s like outer space.

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Another view of Reece.

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I also couldn’t help myself and bought a few things on sale. These were ordered and shipped before my monthly box, and didn’t arrive until a few days later. I have to say, I probably won’t shop outside of the monthly boxes anymore because for non-subscription purchases, Julep has switched to DHL. DHL is notoriously outrageous in shipping times, and had a huge fiasco with Ipsy last month in losing bags and not updating tracking.

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5 polishes and 4 lippies!

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Lip swatches! I really like the top one. 2 of the colors are matte, and 2 of them are sparkly.

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Closeup shot of the polishes.

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Shot o the color names

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I had to test one of these out of course! This is Otte from the Fall 2012 Trine Turk collection. I actually just did that this morning!

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Another shot of Otte (hehe….rhymes.)

What did everyone think of their boxes? If you haven’t signed up for Julep yet, you can do so here. Also, if you use the code FBFREE at checkout your first box is free except for shipping.  Happy shopping!

 

 

Missing Manicures!

I have been idle and not showing you my lacquerista art lately! Let’s play catch up, shall we?

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Unfortunately this one is SO OLD that I can’t tell you what colors I used. I can tell you this was my first serious playtime with my dotting tools. I’m super happy with how the little hearts turned out! Also it’s hard to tell but my thumbs have glitter on the french tip region!

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I got wise and started taking pictures so at least you would know what brands were used! This picture is precleanup. It didnt turn out the way i would like and Essie SOTT doesn’t photograph well on potato, but this was supposed to be sunset and it was my first sponge gradient experiment. not a total failure.

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My first Rainbow Honey polish! this color is the kraken. Plus one of the Ariel sephora polishes, and a polish from the Julep champagne trio. Freehand cloudstyle manicure.

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Stripe tape FTW! And doesnt that Skinn nude shade match my nailbed perfectly? It doesn’t even look like polish. its my MNBB color. I had a little bit of messiness on my right hand due to being righthanded but it kinda looked like I meant to do that so aherm….i *meant* to do that.

There you have it! I have more coming your way, don’t you worry! I have been a very busy blogger this summer and I can’t wait to show you what else I have been up to!

August Julep 2013: Anniversary Box!

I actually got this box at the end of July, that is how quickly they shipped these out! Though the customer service can be iffy, their boxes have been reliably shipped, and quickly so. This box was to celebrate Julep’s anniversary.

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The inside of the box lid was stamped with this cute little message, and thank you to subscribers!

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Julep always includes these little quote cards…but also included in this box was a packet of forget-me-not seeds! A lovely touch, though late in the season to plant them this year. I hope i don’t forget next spring!

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Contents: Bea, a pale yellow creme color. Lacey, a shimmery sapphire blue (my birthstone!). Last but not least, Doublestep, a foot treatment and friction stick. I feel like so far its worked better as the second purpose and not so much the first.

What did you get in your August Julep boxes?

New Polish Box from Bondi New York!!

Otherwise known as: The USPS debacle of a LIFETIME, and why Bondi New York (& Richard) Have THE BEST customer service!

Bondi New York is apparently a decently well-known, 5-free nail polish brand that is available in many salons and stores. I had never seen it and I don’t even remember where I heard it, but about 6 weeks ago I heard that there would be a new nail polish subscription. 3 polishes and a beauty product (1-up on Julep, TYVM!) So I hopped on that bandwagon! New things to try, new products to review…

All the boxes shipped 8/1. Kind of. They ship from New York (go figure) and I live outside Philadelphia, so honestly it wouldnt have been farfetched to expect it the next day. But a week goes by and my tracking number doesn’t update. I hopped on to the Bondi NY Facebook page and discovered that a large number of subscribers experienced this. They asked us to email if it hadn’t updated by a certain date–they had used a small P.O. that didn’t scan all the packages.

The date comes, no updates. I emailed customer service. Within a few hours, they had sent all of us an email with a formal apology, a plan to circumvent this issue next month, and a $10 off coupon to use in the store. SO IMPRESSED. Between that, the quality of the polish, and the quantity, this may edge out Julep. I haven’t quite decided yet.

On to the box! It arrived today and even though I am super behind in posts I had to get this up right away!

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I’m not sure why no one’s every thought to mark nail polish as FRAGILE before.

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Intro card and first glimpse!

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flip side, welcome note. I can’t argue with any card that calls me gorgeous 🙂

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Beauty freebie–black cherry lip balm! Tastes great! The black cherry distinguishes it from that medicinal cherry flavor of typical chapsticks.

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Suki products! You know I LOVE LOVE the lemongrass facial scrub, so I am very much looking forward to giving these a whirl once I’m done my Arbonne skincare trial .

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Love these colors! It’s like they were handpicked for me.

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Uptown Girl is a creme lilac shade.

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Teal Magnolia is, well, teal. duh.

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Horny Mistress wins best polish name ever! It’s a great classic red as well.

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The whole box! While it wasn’t the beauty items I had hoped for after seeing some of the other boxes, I am by no means disappointed!

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Swatches! Each swatch is done with one coat all over, and a second coat on the bottom half only.

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AAAAAAAAAAAAND manicure! I had to use all the colors! Plus this is my first use of striping tape! This is over 1 coat of OPI Bling Dynasty, for a touch of neutral shimmer.

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I think it turned out well, all things considered! Thanks Bondi!

Suggestions for improvement:

-Referral program, earning points or little rewards

-Quiz and/or profile to determine which ‘extras’ you get

Did any of my other readers check out the new Bondi subscription box? I can’t thank Richard and the Bondi crew enough for their stellar service, and I am very much looking forward to the fall preview box in September!

Mega-Manicure Melee!

Today I am bringing you a bunch of manicures! I’ve been doing my nails more often lately as some of my activities have been harder on my nails…packing for vacation…being on vacation…picking crabs…even the beach does your manicure no favors.

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Sally Hansen Gilty Pleasures, Sinful Colors 24/7, OPI Gold Shatter.

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SO PROUD. Sally Hansen Mermaid’s Tale, Zoya Godiva, Julep Gloria.

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Right hand. no starfish here 🙂

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Charming Charlie Tahitian Blue and OPI Red Shatter. I didn’t realize the red wouldn’t be opaque so it ended up looking much more woodsy than I had intended.

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Other hand!

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Zoya Liberty and the new glitter Julep from the summer mystery box whose name escapes me right now but is in a previous post. Yes, I feel that lazy today.

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Obviously this manicure was done pre-cleanup.

What do you think? Have any suggestions? I am always looking for new ways to branch out and try other nail art, since soon I will be starting volunteering as a Polished Girl. Let me know!

July Subscription Box Roundup!

To keep things clean and not clutter up your emails/feeds, I decided to compile the July boxes I got BEFORE my vacation into one post 🙂 I have to clear out the picture folder waiting to be posted before I upload all the mail that was waiting for me when I got home!

#1: Splendies

Splendies is a monthly underwear subscription box. The first month is currently on sale for $8, and then it increases to $12/month for subsequent months. This was my first Splendies box. I was very pleased with the discreet packaging.

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I was a bit disappointed that it was just 3 pairs of underpants wrapped in tissue paper–I saw on another blog review (to which they link on their website) that each panty arrived in its own drawstring cloth bag! Obviously known bloggers are treated better?

However, I loved the products!

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Seriously, how fun are these panties?! I love the bright colors and just the right amount of quirk. The materials are super soft and the lace doesn’t feel like it will be itchy on my ladyparts.

One other thing to note, however, is that there is no ‘customer account’ system on their website. You can’t log in and check or change your size selection, subscription, or shipments. There is no referral link, either. I don’t think I will stick with it for those reasons…plus 3 pairs of panties a month will add up super fast!

#2: Julep Summer Mystery big box version

As you may know, I have  Julep Maven subscription, and I couldn’t resist this big mystery box! I should have, but I didn’t.  If you don’t have a Julep sub, you can sign up here. They had different versions of the boxes and about 25% of people who bought the big box got like 15 polishes and 3 beauty items–I got 5 polishes, a scrub sample packet, and a makeup brush 😦 Color me disappointed. I may be a whiner but I don’t understand how it is fair or LEGAL for me to pay the same amount as someone else and they get 3x as much product as I do. LAME.

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Well Julep, I THOUGHT so. Guess I was wrong.

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Oh, I forgot I got toe separators too. Those I actually needed because my cat ran off with my last pair.

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The brush is actually kind of cool. The smaller brush pops out of the handle of the larger brush. Both are compact with soft bristles.

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3 polishes. All creme textured. All meh.

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names of the meh colors. in case you need them.

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Apparently I forgot these two existed. so i got 7 instead of 5. The left one is a dupe for 7 other polishes I already own. the lighter one is kind of cool.

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Names.

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These two polishes were in every box, and I actually love them both. I’m a sucker for glitter and these are jelly consistency. I have 2 solid creme colors from Julep that match the color almost exactly so I layer them over that.

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names.

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All together.

I don’t think I will be buying a mystery box again. I will stick to known entities, like my monthly box and their sale bucket.

#3 July BirchBox

You can get your monthly subscription to Birchbox here.

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Birchbox packaging never disappoints! This months box is based on items selected by the women on the TV show Suits.

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Contents!

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Closeup: DDF Acne control treatment, Benefit It’s Potent! Eye cream, Number 4 Super Comb hair protecting spray, Birchbox bobby pins, and theBalm Instain blush sample

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What is this? A Blush sample for ANTS?!?! Seriously, its too small for my barbie. I was disappointed in the size of this sample.

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Coupon codes! CHACHATINT for a chacha tint sample, and SUNBEAM for a sunbeam sample. I believe there is a minimum purchase.

Overall I was satisified. I haven’t tried everything yet, but the eye cream goes on smoothly and isnt too thick or fragrant. The bobby pins work well even on my heavy, thick hair, so thats a good sign as well.

#4 July Ipsy

Subscribe for your own Ipsy bag here. Then invite all your friends to join so you get extra goodies in your bag!

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Here it is! I get a little rush when that pink envelope is on my doorstep, and I loved the makeup bag this month! I took it to the beach with me!

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The products out of the bag/box.

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Coola sunscreen, benetint, pop lip crayon, bh cosmetics shadow, soy renewal beach spray, and NOPI polish for a referral bonus!

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Benetint swatched, unblended

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Benetint, one swipe blended. I think this will be a nice rosy color.

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The pop crayon in Rose Romance. It looks nude but when you swatch it the color is actually slightly pink. Love it!

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Shadows swatched. My favorite is the gold, Malibu! great pigmentation!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND that’s all folks. Actually it isnt, but I have a couple food boxes and I am going to do them all together.

Did you get any of these boxes? Did I inspire any of you to join any of these services? Tell me what you think!

Catch up on Mail Opening! Subscription Boxes and Hauls! This…is gonna be big.

I get mail almost every day. it makes me happy to open mail and fuels my shopping addiction. That’s why subscription boxes are so nice! I know I will always have something in the mail! Here’s what you missed the last couple weeks.

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Free sample & coupon of Essie cuticle oil. haven’t used yet!

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Urban Decay sale haul from Hautelook!

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Blush swatched inside my wrist.

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Mariposa palette

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Ammo palette!

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UD Deluxe palette!

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This is ONE DAY of mail…mary kay vox box, birchbox, lootcrate, and a bunch of samples from a fellow Redditor!

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June Birchbox…i pretty much loved everything and bought 3 fullsizes out of the 5.

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Swatch of the laqa&co lip pencil!

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Kohls clearance haul!

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CVS!

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Julep warehouse sale!

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Closeup of the polishes

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June Julep Maven box!

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Closeup of the polishes

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mystery OPI polishes from no more rack

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eyeshadow wheels from no more rack

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swatches from the wheel. very muted.

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Too Faced haul and samples! I bought the shadow insurance and the glamour palette-everything else was free with purchase!

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Closeup of the palette. its beautiful!

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inside. hopefully reteach myself some neutral looks

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swatches! a good mix of matte and shimmer, plus a bronzer and highlighter

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Nordstrom/HauteLook beauty essentials!

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Contents! everything looks great!

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Big Lots haul!

Did you guys take advantage of any of these sales? Questions?

I have a problem.