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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.

OPI_Euro_MyVampireIsBuffbse

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

Essie_TheGirlsGradient3

MVIB with Zoya’s Josie….

Zoya_Josie-gradient

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

OPI_EuroCen_dott4Matte

…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!)…

NOPI_ConfettiFun_OPI_FunnyBunny

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

Nicole_by_OPI_Totally_Stillcombo

…some snow nail art with Zoya’s PixieDust Sunshine

NPC_Snow_NailArt2

…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…

Zoya_Cashmeres_Satins_Leopard

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

NicolebyOPI_Prom_art1

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

Dior_Vernis S14 BouquetGradient2

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

NOPI_Selena

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

Ozotic_Beam907b

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

Colors_RareBearShd

…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) 😉 ….

OPI_Neon_PinkOutsidetheBox

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

Zoya_Stunning_Thandie1

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

OPI_PoHrts_MorethanaGlimmer2

…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)….

Dior_VernisMagnetic2

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

OPI_MC_SkiSlopeSweetie

…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!)

picturepolish_bewitch_collage

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

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Happy Labour Day Monday!

Today I have a gorgeous, glittery mani for you, and I hope you love it as much as I did. I think I wore this for a week, never tiring of it and always catching myself staring at its sparkly beauty… It truly is gorgeous. I was in the mood for purple when I created this look. 🙂

The base for my glitter gradient was the stunning A England Elaine, a regal purple creme with an insane shine. I’ve used Elaine before (and worn it many times!) and I knew it would be perfect. I used two coats but Elaine can be almost a one-coater:

AEnglandElaineIs that not a perfect, slightly dusty purple?

In order to retain some of the beauty of Elaine, I decided to apply a gradient of Shimmer Polish Gerry, a sparkly mix of violet and blue glitter with some red, black and silver glitters dispersed throughout. If you know Shimmer Polish (and if you don’t, what are you waiting for! See some of my posts here), you know that Shimmer creates some sparkly ultra-fine glittery gems.

Look at how beautiful this purple glitter gradient turned out:

ShimmerPolishGerry_ElaineI love the above pic in the shade – makes Elaine look so vampy while Gerry looks like it’s floating on the nail surface. (Where’s my polish remover… I think I know what mani to do next!)

Here it is in the sun:

ShimmerPolishGerry_Elaine2

And a macro shot (because I love macros so much):

ShimmerPolishGerry_Elainemacro

Get your very own Shimmer Polish here. Be sure to like Shimmer on Facebook to participate in their contests and see more gorgeous photos and new creations!

I usually purchase A England from Nail Polish Canada or from their US stockist Llarowe (but please check out A England’s site to see their other stockists as well).

So what did you think of my regal purple mani?

~xo

(Some product 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

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