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Colors by Llarowe

Hello all and Happy New Year to those of you that have already welcomed 2014!! For the rest of us, I can’t believe another year has come to an end, bringing me to almost two full years of blogging and obsessing over nail polish, makeup, and other beauty products. (That is a lot of obsession!) It was also a year that brought me my own polish shade – more on that below.

To wrap up the year, I thought I would bring you some of my favourites from 2013. (Polishes in part 1, some of the other favourites will be in part 2 as this will be a picture-heavy post.)

How can I have a “favourites” list and not include my go-to nude/white alternative, OPI’s My Vampire is Buff? MVIB has quickly become a cult favourite, at least in the nail polish community, as many of us not only wear this beautiful bisque shade alone, but love to use it for nail art.

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And speaking of nail art, this was the year I ventured into the somewhat terrifying “nail art” territory, and found that I can actually nail (sorry, couldn’t resist) some cute looks!  Though hard to narrow down, my Top Ten Faves include MVIB and Essie The Girls are Out

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MVIB with Zoya’s Josie….

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…can’t leave out the Euro Centrale dotticure I tried (I love the entire Euro Centrale collection!)…

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…a cute jelly sandwich using Nicole by OPI and OPI’s Funny Bunny that even Nicole by OPI loved!  (you must know I simply adore jelly sandwiches!)…

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…another NOPI, two actually, together for an alternative French mani (also seen here on this Must Follow Canadian Nail Bloggers article!)…

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…some snow nail art with Zoya’s PixieDust Sunshine

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…a glitter gradient (my easy go-to nail art) using piCture pOlish’s Blogger over OPI’s Eurso Euro

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…my first foray into leopard spots using the stunning Zoya Cashmeres & Satins collections…

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…my entry into the NOPI and Prom Canada Prom Nail Art challenge

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…and last but not least, my spring gradient using Dior’s brand new Dior Vernis Bouquet!

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This was really hard to narrow down, as I have really LOVED many polish shades this year, but here are nine more of my favourite shades this year, including the amazing Selena from Nicole by OPI

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…these looks are actually two polishes: Ozotic Beam 907 over Nubar’s Jaded, both spectacular alone and even more together…

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…the gorgeous Rare Bear from Colors by Llarowe, a brand launched only this year but hugely successful…

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…as well as Smooth Criminal from CbL...

…OPI’s Neon mini-set was spectacular, especially Pink Outside the Box!! (still hoping for a full-size, OPI) 😉 ….

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…a bright but wearable, gorgeous orange from Zoya, Thandie

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…the incredible Pink of Hearts duo from OPI (for an amazing cause – Breast Cancer Awareness!)…

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…Dior’s entry into magnetic polishes, Dior Vernis Mystic Magnetics was a glamorous take on magnetics (see some of my other Dior Vernis favourites here and here)….

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…and OPI’s Ski Slope Sweetie, a huge LOVE for me…

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…and my favourite polish, as well as a huge accomplishment for me as a blogger, my very own piCture pOlish collaboration shade, Bewitch!! (Thanks to the amazing girls at piCture pOlish!)

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Thanks for reading my second Favourites list! Hope you enjoyed this, and look for part 2, which will include some non-polish favourites!

Happy New Year!!!

happy new year 2014source

I was recently invited by the good people over at Nail Polish Canada (they do a good job of supporting my polish addiction!) to participate in their second annual Holiday Nail Art Challenge. Though I fancy myself a nail polish connoisseur, but hardly a nail “artist,” I still decided to give it a try and participate this year! Let’s see if I can keep up. 😉

The first week’s nail art challenge is “snow” – and I decided to go for an abstract look. My snow-themed nail art is inspired by the beauty of a sunny, cold day in the middle of winter, when the ground and trees are totally covered by sparkling, fluffy snow.

I started with a base colour of OPI’s Ski Slope Sweetie (which I was wearing over a coat of OPI’s My Vampire is Buff already) – this was completely dry. I then sponged on a gradient of Zoya’s gorgeous blue Pixie Dust Sunshine with a hint of a blue-grey holo Colors by Llarowe called Rare Bear in the middle and OPI’s Ski Slope Sweetie toward the base of the nail. Finally, I applied a few dots using Butter LONDON’s gorgeous white Cotton Buds and OPI’s glitter Which is Witch? for sparkling snow.

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Mariah Carey for OPI’s Ski Slope Sweetie epitomizes a gorgeous, snow-covered ground – it is a beautiful white with golden shimmer, so I thought it would be the perfect base for this “snow-covered” mani. I love the sparkle and texture of Zoya’s Pixie Dust Sunshine, and thought the blue was a beautiful contrast to the white mani. Finally, OPI’s Which is Witch contains holographic glitter in a clear base, making it the perfect finishing touch for a “snow” themed manicure!

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And a macro shot:

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What do you think?

 

If you like my nail art, would you vote for me on the Nail Polish Canada challenge page?
Feel free to also register and participate here!

 

~xo

 

Happy Friday!

So far I’ve shown you four of the gorgeous polishes from Colors by Llarowe’s latest collection, Tribute to Michael Jackson (catch up here and here), and today, we wrap up the collection with the final three. (There is an eighth polish named Thriller but unfortunately, I don’t have that one to show you swatches.)

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The final holo I have for you is another jaw-dropper: Beat It (Just beat it, beat it, no one wants to be defeated…). Beat It is described as a deep charcoal holo with blue flash, and just like Dirty Diana and Smooth Criminal, the holographic effect is insane! I used two coats for the swatches below, and even without top coat, Beat It dried to a high shine:

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and with flash so you can see the beautiful holo effect:

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Next I have a red wine-coloured polish (Leah Ann, how did you know??) named Billy Jean. A Deep red wine crelly with intense golden red to green shimmer, no photo can do this polish justice. The wine cream-jelly base is incredible on its own, but the tiny shimmer adds such depth to this polish, making it dance in light and reflect hues of gold. I used two easy, self-levelling coats for the swatches (seriously, this was one of the nicest formulas!), with a coat of top coat to bring out the shine and shimmer:

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Indoors:

CbL_MJ_BillyJean2And a macro shot so you can see the tiny golden shimmers in this polish:

CbL_MJ_BillyJean_Macro

Last but not least, I have for you Bad, a slight duochrome indigo blue with subtle pink shift. Llarowe’s website advises finishing with a good quality top coat as it dries to a satin finish. Another beauty, it leans purple and even hints at green flash in certain light. Bad has a slight metallic finish, so brush strokes may be slightly visible; however, it’s an easy polish to work with. You can see some of the pink and green reflection in the photo below. I used two coats with top coat:

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And one more where you can see it shifting slightly green on my middle finger:

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This collection launched on August 17th and is currently mostly sold out, but make sure you head over to Llarowe’s shop for all the restock news! (I know Llarowe is out of pigment for Beat It but promises it will be back soon!)
All Colors by Llarowe polishes are 3-free and cruelty free, and come in a 15 ml square bottles with easy-to-open rubber-grip cap. Don’t forget to follow Llarowe on Facebook, Pinterest and on Instagram!

Have you snagged any of these Tribute polishes yet?

~xo

(Products were provided for consideration and review. All opinions are my own.)

If you liked yesterday’s post showing two of the new Colors by Llarowe Tribute to Michael Jackson collection, you will love today’s review!

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Much like Smooth Criminal, Dirty Diana is another stunning linear holo, this time in a magenta shade. Hot, yet with a slight subtleness to it, Dirty Diana is gorgeous! I used two easy coats for the photos, no top coat. Application, by the way, was a breeze with this perfectly-flowing, self-levelling polish.

With flash:

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In natural light:

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Is that not pretty?

Man in the Mirror is described as a dense silver microglitter with holo microglitter, and it is so dense it can be a full coverage glitter in two coats. What a perfect name for this polish… perfect for the song and reminiscent of MJ’s silver glove. I used it as a gradient over Dirty Diana. Perfection:

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And of course, I have to throw in a macro (feel free to click and enlarge the pic):

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The tiny glitter in Man in the Mirror is so hard to capture! It is much more holographic and sparkly in real life! SImply gorgeous.

I’ll be showing you more of the Tribute to MJ polishes over the coming days!

The collection launched on August 17th and is currently mostly sold out, but make sure you head over to Llarowe’s shop for all the restock news!
All Colors by Llarowe polishes are 3-free and cruelty free, and come in a 15 ml square bottles with easy-to-open rubber-grip cap. Don’t forget to follow Llarowe on Facebook, Pinterest and on Instagram!

Which of the MJ Tribute polishes is your favourite so far?

~xo

(Products were provided for consideration and review. All opinions are my own.)

When Llarowe recently announced that she was working on a Tribute to Michael Jackson Collection, I was overjoyed! I am a huge MJ fan, still deeply saddened by his untimely passing and still a huge fan of all of his timeless and incredible music. Superfan? Sure! And I could not wait to see what Leah Ann would create in his honour.

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The first shade I have for you today is Smooth Criminal, probably my favourite of this collection, and currently my pedi colour because I could not get enough.
Smooth Criminal is a complex shade; I consider it a blurple linear holo – a gorgeous mid-tone, cornflower blue with just a hint of purple, greyed out enough to provide a steel-looking finish. It is spectacular!! And the holo is insane!! Even as I waited for the sun to peek out on a cloudy day, the holo blazed on my nails.

I used two coats, and this high shine is pre-top coat!

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And check out the gorgeous holo in this macro shot:

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I like to play with glitter toppers, so I decided to add a coat of Black or White to Smooth Criminal. Black or White is an aptly-named polish made up of black and white multi-sized circle, hex and bar glitter in a clear base. It is glitter heavy but still requires a good shake to get a good mix of glitter on your nails.

CbL_MJ_BlackorWhite

I’ll bring you more Tribute to MJ polishes over the coming days!

The collection launched on August 17th and is currently mostly sold out, but make sure you head over to Llarowe’s shop for all the restock news!
All Colors by Llarowe polishes are 3-free and cruelty free, and come in a 15 ml square bottles with easy-to-open rubber-grip cap. Don’t forget to follow Llarowe on Facebook, Pinterest and on Instagram!

Have you snagged any of these Tribute polishes yet?

~xo

(Products were provided for consideration and review. All opinions are my own.)

Friends often ask me how my manicure lasts so long, and do I actually cook/clean/wash dishes? (For the record, yes, yes, yes! I actually love cooking.)

So how DO you make your manicure last longer?

Well… there are those all-important first steps: have clean, dry nails before starting your mani (even wiping quickly with a cotton pad soaked in alcohol can help polish adhere longer by removing nail oils), use a good quality base coat under your polish, allow a few minutes to dry between coats and apply 2 coats of polish… finish off with a top coat – I love a quick-dry top coat such as FNUG’s IGEL or China Glaze’s Fast Forward top coats. Wrap the free tip of your nail as you apply top coat (swipe it over the free edge).

So you have done all of the above. Now what?

Even the most careful among us will experience some tip wear after a few days. If you are not ready to let go of your mani, which was the case for me when I was wearing the beautiful Colors by Llarowe Cherry Bomb (see it here), you can extend your mani for a few more days!

How? Simply apply a gradient of your favourite glitter, preferably with a tinted base, over your tips!

How to apply a gradient?

“Dry-brush” the first coat of glitter: wipe the brush of the glitter polish inside the bottle, so you are left with more glitter, less base, and apply this over the tips. Let dry a few minutes.
Apply another coat of glitter polish over your tips, this time applying the glitter polish normally.
Let dry, apply top coat, and voila!

Here is the beautiful Shimmer Polish Karina, a perfect glitter to complement Cherry Bomb, applied as a gradient over my tips:

Colors_CherryBomb_ShimmerKarina2 Colors_CherryBomb_ShimmerKarina1

The best part? This barely takes a quarter of the time of a full manicure!

 

What do you think? Would you try this over a few-days-old mani?

~xo

Continuing my reveal of Colors by Llarowe polishes, today I have for you a hot and bright jelly-sandwich-in-a-bottle called Cherry Bomb.  (See a few Colors by Llarowe reviews here!)

Cherry Bomb is a cool cherry-red jelly, almost leaning towards a raspberry shade, with red micro shimmer, red circle glitter and medium iridescent hexes. I was blown away by the intensity of the red shade – a vivid lipstick red, even on its first coat. It applies like a dream, leaving behind a cherry jelly on your nails that builds up beautifully by the second coat. And the shine… oh the shine!

Here are two gorgeous coats of Cherry Bomb, in the sun:

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Some of the large glitters did not want to cooperate, but I actually really liked Cherry Bomb with the randomly placed pieces!

The cool raspberry undercurrent is really visible in artificial light:

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Finally, a macro shot to show you just how squishy and gorgeous this lacquer is:

Colors_CherryBombMacro

I am so obsessed with this polish that I’ve kept it on… and I still can’t take it off!

 

All Colors by Llarowe polishes are 3-free and cruelty free, and come in a 15 ml square bottles with rubber-grip cap.

Head over to Llarowe to get your very own Cherry Bomb! Don’t forget to follow Llarowe on Facebook, Pinterest and on Instagram!

Have you snagged any Colors by Llarowe polishes yet?

~xo

 

 

(Products were provided for consideration and review. All opinions are my own.)

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