Saturday, March 30, 2013

Polka-Dot Mani and Seche Vite First Impressions

Let me officially go on the record here by saying I am most definitely NOT a nail guru and I'll never claim to know much about that end of beauty. But I do love color very much and I have fun trying simple nail art. Plus I have an obsession with polka dots.

With all of this in mind, this is my Hello Spring! manicure. Pay no attention to my horrible cuticles. I know they need some TLC.

Base color: Sally Hanson Insta-Dri in Fast Fuchsia
Dots: Nicole by OPI Selena Gomez Collection in Hit the Lights

Psst, deal alert! I got both of these polishes this week for $1 each! The Insta-Dri was at The Dollar Tree and the Nicole was on clearance at Walmart with the rest of the Selena Gomez line and lots of other polishes for a buck. Some of the other polishes were 50 and 75 cents! All together I spent $4 on polishes, base, and top coat. More on the base and topcoat later.

Some "creative" shots. Blurry buggers though they are...

These are all on day 2 of the manicure. Man, look at those cuticles! Anyway, moving on. I used Seche Vite top coat and base coat for the first time here and as you can see, there's already tip wear. I was really surprised since it seems most bloggers prefer Seche Vite. In fact, blogger opinion was why I decided to try the brand. I had a $5 off coupon to Sally Beauty Supply and it just so happened they were running a special -- buy the base coat, get the top coat free. So for $2 I got to try both. Score! I was so excited to test them out. Both base coat and top coat applied as usual, with great drying time. 

I don't have a full review for you all just yet, but I can tell you that five hours after I did my nails I had considerable chipping on my dominant hand and tip wear on the other. This was after 1 coat of base, 2 coats of the main color, dotting, and one coat of top coat, which I wrapped. I did one load of pre-washed dishes with a dish wand, so my hands weren't fully submerged. Nothing else was out of the ordinary. I do my nails the same all the time, lately with the Colorstay Gel-Smooth base coat, 2 coats of polish, and either Sally Hanson Insta-Dri top coat or Orly Glosser top coat. I use the same wrapping method with those top coats as I did with the Seche Vite and it usually lasts about three days before I start to see wear at all, and a few more days before I have to remove everything. But with Seche Vite I get less than 5 hours? 

Anyone have any thoughts on this? If I'd done anything different besides changing brands, I'd say I've done something wrong. I'll give the brand another test run and update when I have more thorough results.

Same blog, new name

Hey everyone! Just wanted to quickly update you about a small change with the blog which I'm sure you've already noticed. I decided to change the name of the blog for a couple of reasons from Swag, Baby! to It's Pink Wednesday. I had this semi-layered idea of what swag, baby! meant, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that no one else would have the same associations. In my mind it meant style with a retro vibe as well as loot (as in hauls). Everyone else would associate it with the slang version of "swag" rather than the classic sense. In the end, it all just seemed like it didn't fit for anyone but me.

I wanted a simple Pink Wednesday, but that seems to be taken all over the interwebs, so now we have It's Pink Wednesday. Most of you already know this is a Mean Girls reference, which to me evokes a sense of style and fun girly-ness. Plus it has a personal double meaning to me -- I'm a bit like Wednesday Addams on the inside and an anything pink addict, girly girl on the outside. But of course that only makes sense to me!

In other news, I'm working on a YouTube channel and lining up all my social media to correspond with the blog. I'll post another update when all that is complete. So excited about the changes!

And by the way, you can sit with us even if you forget to wear pink. :D

PS: I've decided to leave all old posts up with the Swag, Baby! watermarked pictures, but of course they're all still my work. Just wanted to point this out in case they turn up again in future posts for any reason.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spotted at Walgreens: Revlon Chroma Chameleon and Nail Rock Nail Caviar

Spotted these displays today!

I haven't found swatches of these yet and I'm dying to know if they have the duo-chromey goodness I've been looking for! I'm on a bit of a polish no-buy for now, but these polishes are seriously testing my resolve. If Revlon goes BOGO 50% off next week, I will crack. I'm already >thisclose< to breaking down. Yer killing me, Revlon! 

And the Nail Caviar display:

I'd love to hear from someone who has used this brand of nail caviar already. And I'm especially interested  to know if those chrome polishes are worth cramping up my over-flowing polish collection!

Tanzanite and Amethyst, you will be mine.

Miscellaneous Nail Storage

Just a quickie here. I've been on a major reorganizing and decluttering kick lately and I've been thinking about how to reorganize every aspect of my life. I thought I had a passable solution for all my nail stuff in this Steralite tote...

I had sort of an organized chaos thing going on. I had thinner, removers, cuticle oils, various nail art tools, buffers, nail files, manicure bowls, and even a few stripers. Lotsa stuff happening in that little tote, but I had it separated with smaller containers and it was working okay.

Yep, all of this.

But then today I was at Hobby Lobby, checking out their storage bins (why do those things have to cost a small fortune? Why???) when I came across a three-level container. I spazzed and forgot to photograph the container by itself, but here is how I divided  the three levels:

Left: nail art supplies; Middle: Tools; Right: Polish removers, cotton rounds, cuticle removers, and cuticle oils. 


The final result! I put the nail dryer and stripers in with my polishes and the manicure bowls didn't fit, which is a bummer. But overall, I'm pretty happy with the separation of my stuff. And best of all, it takes up less space than the Steralite container -- saving any amount of space a major plus when you live in a tiny house. I'm not stressing the bowls too much anyway, since I only break them out when I want to do some major pampering. With this new container I have everything I use on a regular basis and it's super portable. 

Oh, I almost forgot! This was also 40% off of $7.99 today, so I only paid $4.79. Don't you love a good deal? I found it around all the Spring-themed plastic items. All of their Spring Shop collection is 40% off.

Do you have any great storage solutions? I'm especially curious about how people organize their makeup and polish. Can't get enough of those types of YouTube videos!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Emerald City Nails!

Not only is it the Pantone color of the year, but it's also the color of the most fantastical city in all of Oz. I'm talking about emerald, of course!

In a couple hours I'm going with some friends to see Oz the Great and Powerful and I thought I'd do something fun with my nails.

Please excuse the bad glitter clean-up. That stuff is stubborn! 

I started with my Colorstay Gel-Smooth Base Coat, then applied one coat of Wild Cactus by Color Club. After that dried I used Sinful Colors Call You Later from the Almost Famous collection all over and let that mostly dry. I then dabbed Milani One Coat Glitter in Gold Glitz onto the tips and faded it down toward the middle, applied top coat, and voila! Emerald City nails!

This would also be appropriate for St. Paddy's Day. Now I have to go finish getting ready. Talk to you soon!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Archie's Girls in the Florida Mall

As I mentioned before, I was in Orlando about three weeks ago for a little staycation. We only live about 2 1/2 hours away, but it's like a completely different world down there! For one thing, the shopping is amazing. A lot of the stores most people take for granted are places my behind have never been. I'm looking at you, Ikea, Macy's, LUSH, Bloomingdales, Urban Outfitters, etc. I'm so deprived.

Among all the things that I don't have in my town is MAC. We're super fortunate enough to have a Cosmetics Company Outlet, but the nearest store is almost an hour away. I know my wallet thanks me for the modest amount of stores convenient to me! But having no MAC, Sephora, or Ulta means more than missing out on sales and blissful browsing when the mood strikes; It also means I miss out on all the events!

So imagine my excitement when I saw MAC setting up in the middle of the mall, across from their store, for an Archie's Girls event. I squeed. I clapped. I made a doof of myself to my husband. "Mr. Swag!" I squealed. "I can't believe my luck!" That I so happened to be in the right place, at the right time... Well, it was too awesome! It was too perfect!

It was too good to be true.

Yep, as I watched to see when the event was supposed to start I began to notice something very, very wrong. They were only adjusting the lights, right? Repositioning them? There was just no way fate was that cruel. They couldn't be taking everything down -- right? And the ladies weren't really packing their makeup and tools away -- were they?

So it was with a sad heart that I realized I'd missed the first and only exciting makeup event I would likely see in a very long time. Insert a quartet of tiny violins here.

It wasn't a total bust though. I did manage to get some pictures with some of the props they'd left behind. I'll get to a makeup event someday! I may even get to IMATS. Woah. That would be A-mazing! In the meantime, hope you enjoy my consolation pics!

With my baby sister! 

Swatches: Wet n Wild Toppings Collection

When I was in Orlando about three weeks back I ran into a Walgreens and saw these polishes and thought, "Oh, how cute!"

Colors in the collection:
Chip on Your Shoulder
Frosted Over
Confections of a Bake-aholic
Gimme Some Suga'
Sprinkled with Love
Icing Backup

I was in a hurry and grabbed what I thought was one of each color, but it turns out there are 6 colors in the collection instead of the 4 I originally thought. That just goes to show how similar some of the shades seemed in real life. The ones I bought are Chip on Your Shoulder, Confections of a Bake-aholic, Gimme Some Suga', and Frosted Over. 

Taken in sunlight:
Left to Right: Frosted Over, Gimme Some Suga', Chip on Your Shoulder, Confections of a Bake-aholic.

Same order as above.

L - R: Frosted Over, Gimme Some Suga', Chip on Your Shoulder, Confections of a Bake-aholic


All four polishes contain small, multi-colored circle glitter. It's the bases that differentiate one from another.

Frosted Over: Purple/Teal duo-chrome base.

Gimme Some Suga': Golden green base.

Chip on Your Shoulder: Pink base.

Confections of a Bake-oholic: Silver base.

Now for the unique bottles. I've read concerns about the top being too awkward to paint your nails with any precision, but personally I haven't found that to be the case. To me it feels just as natural as holding a pencil or a makeup brush. For me the worst thing about the "sticks" is the PITA they're going to be to store. For anyone out there with organizing OCD, you know what I mean!

The long "lollipop stick" is all in one piece and doesn't purposely detach for easier storage or use. BUT! Like every polish I've ever seen the handle is pushed down onto a smaller, clear screw-top. You can detach the "sticks" if you wiggle and pull enough. Just please be careful when doing so! I don't want anyone hurting themselves or unintentionally breaking their nail polish. I'd feel awful!

Next to a Sinful Colors bottle, for size comparison.

Final thoughts: The polishes themselves are nice, but I'd recommend wearing them over other colors if you want to get the full effect. Otherwise they just look too similar to warrant buying more than one or two, in my opinion. I can see where the packaging can be a dealbreaker for some. I love the lollipop concept, but feel like the execution wasn't well thought-out. The bottles are awkward to store and the very different tops might scare people off. Also the label tags are only upright when in the store display; once you get home you have to flip the bottle in order to see the color name. This would be no biggie at all, except surprise! There is no other label on the bottle! Your options are to tape the obnoxious label down and deal with the bottom piece still being in your way, cutting it off and never remembering the name of your polish again, or leaving it on and dealing with it, which almost guarantees the label will come slapping down on your nails as you're painting them. 

Why, Wet n Wild? Whyyyy??? 

My opinion of the brand is almost flawless (with exceptions for the Flora and Fauna palettes), but this time I think they missed the mark completely. They've created nice polishes, but put them in novelty packaging that ensures a lot of people will never reach for them again and may not keep them long in the first place. I love the idea of creative packaging and I do hope they try again and again to bring us something different. I just think that in this case they completely forgot about function.

Have you picked any of these up? What are your thoughts?

Mail Time: March Julep Maven Box!

Just a really quick post here because it's super late and I need to get some rest. I've been down with the flu and a majorly craptastic sore throat, but tonight I feel a little better and thought I'd give you all a little peek at what came in the mail this afternoon!

This month I chose the Bombshell box rather than the Classic with a Twist my style profile recommended. 

Ready to dig in! 

The new Rock Star hand creme, colors in Adrianna and Minnie, and the bonus lip balm in Strawberry-Mint

Just look at that pastel-y goodness!

I haven't had a chance to check out any of the products except the lip balm, of which I'm already a fan. More on that later!

And now, I'm off to bed. But don't worry, I'll be back soon. We have so much to catch up on!

Friday, March 1, 2013

More Sinful Colors Almost Famous Collection Swatches!

I just couldn't resist. I had to go hunt down the rest of this collection! My poor polish rack (and wallet) are suffering from all the polishes I've been accumulating lately, but how could I say no to these adorable glitters? Besides, I couldn't show you only part of the collection, could I?

Of course not! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

On to the pictures! It was overcast and dreary all day today, so all of these pics were taken in the shade.

And now the whole collection. Keep in mind that the glitters look more opaque in real life, with the exception of Lush Life. That one's opacity is represented well here. All swatches are two coats with no top or base coat.

Fantasy: pale lilac micro-glitter with larger multi-colored circle glitter. This shade is basically In the Spotlight with a pale lilac micro-glitter base instead of seafoam.

*Super Star: blue-green micro-glitter mixed with larger purple glitter in a blue jelly base. The end effect looks like teal shimmer with scattered purple glitter when you look at it in most lights.

Show Stopping: Small holo and pale pink glitter in a clear base. This one is pretty in the sunlight! I've read from several bloggers that it's a near dupe for OPI Teenage Dream and almost an exact dupe for Sally Hanson's X-treme Wear Strobe Light. I wish I had these colors to swatch and compare!

The Lowdown: All in all, I think this is a great glitter collection. It's nice that none are from the core collection or repromoted LE shades from past collections. The formulas were a bit thick on some, but I didn't have any exceptional trouble with any of them and I didn't find myself fishing for glitter. As far as colors go, there were some with interesting combinations that I didn't have previously in my collection and they were all packed pretty well with glitter. I think most of these would be amazing over a colored base. They're definitely worth the $2 price tag and the treasure hunt that goes along with finding them (that's half the fun, right? I keep telling myself that, haha!)

*Super Star is part of the Walgreens "Almost Famous" display while Bombshell is part of Rite Aid's "Paparazzi" display. This is the only difference between the two collections.