About Me

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St. Louis, Missouri, United States
I love my two little girls and I love collecting nail polish - combine the two, and you've got Paws to Polish. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics - "Soulful"

Ok, here's a question for all of you reading this post: When you purchase a nail polish, what do you look for? Maybe it's brand loyalty, color, price, safeness (3 or 4-free, for example), popularity or availability. For me, it's definitely a combination of many things. And fortunately, since I first started blogging, I have branched out and tried new polishes - polishes that might not have been in my price range, colors that didn't grab my attention immediately, brands I had never tried (and maybe never wanted to try) before. That's probably one of my favorite parts about blogging - I get to step outside of my comfort zone and share my experience with all of you!

Tonight's post is a perfect example of this. I received a few polishes from a line called PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics to try and review. I had never heard of this line before, so I was very anxious to see what they were all about. Since this is a line that is mainly sold in specialty stores (Whole Foods, Sprouts and Wegmans, for example) and online, I might have never had the opportunity to try them had they not been sent to me!

To give you a little background about this company, PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics is the first make-up company to donate ALL of its profits (after taxes, debt repayment, financing costs and reasonable working capital reserves) to women's health and human rights advocacy issues. Donations have been made to the Battered Women's Resource Center, the National Association of Women Business Owners and The Rainforest Foundation, just to name a few. To learn more about the programs PeaceKeeper is funding, please visit their website.

Something that is also pretty neat about this line is that they have been rated as one of the safest paint-based nail lines by the Environmental Working Group. These Eco-Smooth Nail Paints are 3-Free (they do not contain Toulene, Formaldehyde or DBP) and are made with indigenous Argan Oil which is high in amino acids. Oh, and they are free from animal testing! Woo hoo!

Of the three polishes sent to me, I choose to use "Soulful" tonight. "Soulful" is a gorgeous dark navy blue polish that seems to be unlike any navy I currently own.  It's described as "a deep midnight vampy blue black" polish, which I can't argue with. 

The application with this polish was perfect. In fact, I looked at my nails after one coat and thought, "Man! This is good stuff!" Two coats were plenty here. The dry time was pretty average. I didn't experience any sort of bubbling, even though I used thicker-than-normal coats for this manicure. I will say that the consistency was a tad bit thicker than what I was used to, but that wasn't a problem for me. 

OPI Chip Skip
1 coat OPI Nail Envy, Original Formula
2 coats of PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics "Soulful"
1 coat of China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
1 spritz of CND Solar Speed Spray

For more information about PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics, please visit www.iamapeacekeeper.com.

*The product in this post was sent to me by the company or their PR firm for my unbiased review. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Revlon - "Perplex"


"Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!"

Those were the exact words that came out of my mouth when I was in the cosmetics aisle at Big Lots today and saw a lonely bottle of Revlon's "Perplex" sitting by itself on the bottom shelf - with a $1 price tag on it!!!!!! I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted it! I immediately picked it up (for some reason, I was worried if I didn't snatch it up immediately, someone else might...?!? Weird.). Anyways, I ended up purchasing this, along with 2 other Revlons (again, for $1 each) and 3 older Sally Hansen's (for $1.50 each). I was all smiles when I left the store today. My thoughts were, "MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED"!

I should also mention that I found these goodies at a Big Lots 3 hours from my house. I was traveling for work today in Pekin, IL and on my way home, I was going to pick up a bite to eat before I hit the highway. In the same strip mall as the fast food restaurant was a Big Lots. I've always heard that each Big Lots has different inventory, so I figured I'd "bop on in" to check out what they had. Boy, what a great unintentional find!

Thennnnnnnn, when I got to Springfield, IL (1 hour away from my first stop in Pekin), I stopped at their Big Lots. And guess what?! They had a TON of Perplex's!!!! Again, I found myself grabbing everything I could find, without a basket! After much debate with myself, I ended up only buying 2 at that store (for a total of 3 in one day), along with a couple other Revlon's (the scented ones!) and a few other things. All in all, a GREAT day for me, indeed! :-)

"Perplex" can easily be a 1-coater, but I chose to use 2 coats. I haven't used a Revlon polish in years (probably 15+), so I was curious about the quality. Honestly, not bad at all! Easy to apply, no streaking, no bubbling, dried pretty quickly. Definitely not $1 quality with this beauty. I believe this polish originally retailed for $4.99, and to me, even that would be a killer price for this polish! I'd pay double that, without question!

I think it's safe to call this color a duochrome. In some lights, it looks taupe-y, in others it looks almost violet. Then in these pictures, it even looks gray. Love it!

Apparently, "Perplex" is a dupe of Chanel's "Paradoxal" (which I believe retail(ed) for around $23). From swatches I've seen online, it's a perfect dupe, too! I love deals, I really do! :-)

Enough babbling, right? You probably wanna see pictures of this beauty!

OPI Chip Skip
1 coat OPI Nail Envy, Soft and Thin Formula
2 coats of Revlon's "Perplex"
1 coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

In summary, if you're looking for "Perplex", try your local Big Lots soon! Before some crazy twenty-something comes in and takes all they've got left!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

CND - "Frosting Cream"

I lied... I AM going to post on Easter Sunday!!! Yay!!!

Tonight's post is for a line of polishes I had never tried before - Creative Nail Design (CND for short). I am very familiar with this company because I have purchased quite a few of their lotions (um, their Almond Hydrating lotion is YUUUUUUM!), scrubs (I love their Almond Moisture Scrub and their Sea Scrub), creams (I'm a huge fan of the Cucumber Heel Therapy and Almond Soothing Creme) and one of my favorite cuticle oils ever - Solar Oil (and their Solar Speed Spray rocks, too!). Note: That was probably THE longest sentence I've ever written. Ever. I wanted to make it known that I LOVE their products, but for some reason just never purchased their polishes.

I'm wearing "Frosting Cream" tonight. It's very soft and feminine, but classy and sophisticated at the same time. In the pictures below, I used 3 coats. Because it's so sheer, I doubt I could've gotten away with just 2. As with most sheer and semi-sheer polishes, you have to be careful of lines, VNL and streaky-ness (which is another reason I needed to use 3 coats). 

I LOVE the end result!

OPI Chip Skip
CND Stickey (This was my first time using it! Looking forward to writing a review on it soon!)
3 coats CND "Frosting Cream"
1 coat China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
1 spritz CND Solar Speed Spray

 With Flash:

Both CND's Colour and Effect polishes are available at www.cnd.com. To find CND polishes at a retailer near you, click here.  The suggested retail prices are $9 USD (Colour) and $11 USD (Effect) and the polishes come in .33 fl. oz. bottles. 

*The product in this post was sent to me by the company or their PR firm for my unbiased review. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

OPI - "Houston We Have a Purple"

Hi! It's hard to believe it's been about a week since my last post! I have to be honest, I haven't been in the mood to paint my nails since I clipped them down to little nubs last week (while I was wearing "Dating a Royal"). My left middle fingernail has been splitting down the middle lately, and last week it got pretty bad, so I clipped it. Then, I had to clip the rest of 'em so they'd all be even. I can't wait until they all grow back to being pretty again! Fortunately, ever since I started actually taking care of my hands and nails, my nails seem to grow much quicker. Has anyone else noticed that? Or, is it just my imagination?!

For tonight's mani, I decided to use OPI's "Houston We Have a Purple" from the recent Texas Collection. Even though I bought this polish months ago, tonight was my first time wearing it. I loved "Dating a Royal" so much, I wanted to wear another jelly polish. OPI describes this color as a "sorbet", meaning it's juicy and shiny. But don't let the terminology confuse you; it's just OPI's fun way of describing this jelly polish. If you don't mind having to use 3-4 for full opacity, I'd totally recommend this color! I'd say this color is like a diluted/jelly version of "Miami Beet" (one of the first OPI polishes I ever bought!). 

I'm so into jelly/sorbet polishes, I also purchased "Big Hair...Big Nails" last week and can't wait to swatch and review it! I really hope OPI plans to add more jellies/sorbets to their upcoming collections - they're so shiny and fun, and the application is a breeze! But as much as I'm loving these polishes on my fingernails, I'm not sure if I'd like them as much on my toenails. I don't have perfect toenails (even though I seem to always get compliments on my do-it-yourself pedi's!), and I like when a polish sort of covers up any imperfections, making the nail look crisp and clean. I'll try it with my "Too Hot Pink to Hold 'Em" and let you know how it turns out. And if I'm daring enough, I might even take pictures!

Since I don't plan on blogging tomorrow, I want to wish you and yours a very Happy Easter !

OPI Chip Skip
2 coats of OPI Nail Envy, Original Formula
4 coats of OPI "Houston We Have a Purple"
1 coat of China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
1 spritz CND Solar Speed Spray

Note: I also applied some OPI Avoplex High Intensity Hand & Nail Cream after painting my nails, so that's why the nails don't look as shiny as they should.

The first 3 pictures are taken with a flash:

No flash:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

OPI - "Dating a Royal"

Happy Sunday, everyone! Wow, what a difference a day makes! Yesterday I had my heat running, today I've got the windows open! This is the kind of weather I could be happy with all year long!

There was no rhyme or reason when I was choosing which color to paint my nails today. I literally just went to my polish stash and picked a color I had never worn before (still trying to avoid any of my vampy colors). How is it that I've never worn this color before? It's gorgeous! I believe this color is considered a jelly polish, meaning if you want to see VNL, use 2 coats. If not, use 3 coats (which I did for this mani). It actually dried pretty quick and I loved the glossy, shiny finish it left. If I wasn't so adamant about wearing a top coat every time I polish my nails, I probably could've gotten away without one. 

OPI Chip Skip
1 coat OPI Nail Envy, Original Formula
3 coats of OPI "Dating a Royal"
1 coat of China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
1 spritz CND Solar Speed Spray

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Essie - "One Day Without Blues"

Happy Saturday, everyone! What's the weather like where you live? Here, it's a chilly, dreary day. In fact, it's so cold I actually turned on the heat! To think, a week ago we were outside practicing kickball, and I got a little bit of a tan! As they often say, "If you don't like the weather in Missouri, wait 10 minutes, it's bound to change!"

A month or so ago, Essie was giving away 5,000 bottles of a limited edition nail polish in honor of Toms Shoes' "One Day Without Shoes". The promotion was such a hit, within an hour, all bottles had been claimed! Fortunately, I was one of those 5,000 lucky fans who was able to take advantage of this awesome promotion! 

I wore Essie's "One Day Without Blues" on April 5th to show my support of Toms Shoes and the "One Day Without Shoes" campaign (since I wasn't able to go to work without shoes that day!). For some reason, I never took pictures of the mani I had done, so I decided to use the color again today and actually swatch and blog today!

I've heard that "One Day Without Blues" is actually Essie's "Coat Azure" from their 2011 Spring Collection. So, if you were unable to get a free bottle of "ODWB" and you like the color, you're in luck!

I've gotta say, I'm not the biggest fan of pastels (especially blue pastels). But the fact that I'm wearing this a second time (twice in 2 weeks!) says a lot. I'm in love with the color, and I'm so glad I gave it a chance. I can't wait to get a pedi done with this color!!!

My goal in the next couple of weeks is to bring you more lighter, brighter, "springy-er" colors, rather than more of the "vampy" ones, similar to the ones you've been seeing from me lately. Now, I can't promise I won't throw in a dark glitter/shimmer or duochrome here and there, but I'll do my best to step outside my comfort zone and brighten things up a little. And what better way than with "One Day Without Blues"?!?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and thanks for taking the time to read this post!

OPI Chip Skip
1 coat OPI Nail Envy, Original Formula
2 coats of Essie's "One Day Without Blues"
1 coat of China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
1 spritz CND Solar Speed Spray

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nicole by OPI - "Too Rich For You"

This'll be a short post tonight, I promise! (But it is kind of picture-heavy!)

I found this pretty little thing a couple of days ago at Ulta in their clearance section for only $3.99 (normally $7.99)! They had a ton of really great colors (various brands) this time on clearance, but I managed to only come home with 2 colors (this, and an Orly, which I'll swap soon, too).

"Too Rich For You" is part of last year's Nicole by OPI Gossip Girl Collection. The collection consisted of 4 colors, and were limited edition. If you can find this polish, snatch it up - it's a beaute! 

OPI Chip Skip
1 coat of OPI Nail Envy, Original Formula
2 coats of Nicole by OPI "Too Rich For You"
1 coat of China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
1 spritz CND Solar Speed Spray

Monday, April 11, 2011

China Glaze - "Mummy May I"

Hi, everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! And if the weather was anything like it was here (close to 90*!!!!), I hope you were able to enjoy a part of it outside! I even got a little bit of a tan on Saturday! :-)

I purchased "Mummy May I" this weekend at a small beauty supply store for $5. I had never seen this color before, and fell in love with it immediately. This color is from China Glaze's "Awakening" Collection from 2010. I wasn't too kicked about any of the other colors in this collection, so this was the only one I purchased.

I'd describe this color as "rock star-ish". It totally makes me think of the 80's and black and hot pink hair and clothes. I don't know, maybe it's just me.

Anyways, the color in the bottle looks like a black base with purple glitter. When you're applying it, however, you see that it's more of a dark plum jelly base with pink glitter. 

The polish wasn't particularly easy to work with, but I'm not blaming the polish completely. I don't know how long it had been sitting on the display rack, so it could be a little old (probably about 6 months, if I had to guess). And, since it was the last one, it could've been tested and used. I have no idea why I didn't think of it while I was using it yesterday, but I did add 3 drops of OPI Lacquer Thinner Drops once I was finished, and it looked "better" afterwards. 

I also noticed that this was a very difficult polish to clean up. When I tried to clean around my cuticles, I could never get every last piece of glitter off, which is why you'll see little pieces here and there in the pictures below. Trust me, I tried, I just didn't have good luck!

The polish is very rough and chunky once it's on your nails, so I do recommend putting at least 2 coats of top coat (preferably a thicker top coat, nothing thin), to even and smooth things out.

OPI Chip Skip
2 coats of OPI Nail Envy, Original Formula
3 coats of China Glaze "Mummy May I"
2 coats of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Friday, April 8, 2011

Orly - "Royal Velvet"

Happy Friday, everyone! I don't know about you, but this day couldn't come fast enough! I made a realization today while I was at work: This is the first complete week I've been in the office all 5 days since October of last year. I've been out of the office because of traveling for work, snow days, holidays, vacation days and my surgery in March. No wonder I'm so exhausted! :-) But I have to admit, I do like being in the office more. It's a lot easier to stay caught up when I'm not out traveling!

A few nights ago I wanted to try another Orly polish (I loved "Gilded Coral" so much!!!), so I wore a recent purchase, "Royal Velvet". I really, really love Orly. It's become a new favorite brand of mine. Their formula is great and very easy to work with (and very "forgiving"), I get very little bubbling (if any) and they dry pretty quickly. Plus, I love their gripper cap! Oh, and you get a whole ounce more in their bottles than most other polish brands give you! Bonus!

As much as I'm loving Orly, I didn't "love" this polish. I do enjoy duochromes, which was a big reason I purchased this (that, and it had purple hues in it!). But to be honest, it didn't look that great on my nails. When I wear this polish again, it will probably be on my toes, so that it doesn't look so "flashy". If you've read my other posts, you know that I do enjoy dark polishes, so that's not why I didn't care for it. Maybe it was just too bright blue for me in some lights. I did like the color changing effects depending on what light you had it in. For example, when I held my hand close to my lamp on my nightstand, the polish looked almost completely blue. But when I was driving around the other day and the sun was shining on my hands, the polish looked all-purple. Maybe it's the length/shape of my nails? I have very deep nail beds, as you can see, and that could've had something to do with it, too. Who knows?! 

"Royal Velvet" is part of the new Precious Collection from Orly which was released in March of this year. The other colors in this collection (including "Gilded Coral" which I reviewed earlier this week) are mostly "spring-y" colors. "Royal Velvet", to me, doesn't scream "SPRING!", but it's fun and cheery, so that counts for something! 

Final verdict: "Royal Velvet" isn't going to make it to any favorite polish list, but I'm sure I'll bring it back out when I'm looking for a fun polish when I get a pedicure.

So, here it is, "Royal Velvet":

OPI Chip Skip
2 coats of OPI Nail Envy, Original Formula
2 coats of Orly "Royal Velvet"
1 coat of China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
1 spritz of OPI RapiDry Spray

I wonder why this keeps happening with Blogger??? This is not how the picture is saved, and there's no way for me to rotate it. Sorry!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Orly - "Gilded Coral"

I received this polish recently for my review. When I opened up the package I received and saw this polish, my eyes got big and my mouth dropped. It was quite a "flashy" color, in my opinion - a color I couldn't see myself wearing.

Last night I decided to try a much lighter color than what I've been choosing lately (you've probably noticed a lot of browns/coppers/grays/blacks/blues), so I decided to go with this one, since I needed to get my review done for it anyway. I was so skeptical about the color that I didn't even put on a base coat (I've never done that before!), thinking I'd be removing the color right after I got my pictures taken. Well, to my surprise, I loved the outcome! In the pictures below, I used 3 coats. Even after 3, however, I could still see some major VNL. Oh well, doesn't bother me! 

"Gilded Coral" is described by Orly as a coral gold shimmer, which is exactly how I would describe it, too. "Gilded Coral" is from Orly's new Precious Collection. I rarely say this about polish collections, but I could see myself owning every color from this group - they're all fantastic! In fact, on my lunch break today, I stopped by Sally's and purchased "Royal Velvet". I'm thinking about going back and purchasing "Sapphire Silk" soon, too!

Final Verdict: I am so happy I gave this color a chance! It's very feminine, and I found myself admiring my nails quite a bit today at work! I was very pleased with the formula. This was the first Orly polish I had ever used, and I've already purchased quite a few others (today on my lunch break!). Another thing I love about Orly is their award-winning Gripper Cap. Why can't ALL nail polish companies use gripper caps, too?!

OPI Chip Skip
3 coats of Orly "Gilded Coral"
1 coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

With Flash:

The Precious Collection Lacquers became available in March of this year. They retail for around $7.50 each and can be purchased online at Orly Beauty, Sally Beauty, Ulta, and other retailers worldwide.

*The product in this post was sent to me by the company or their PR firm for my unbiased review. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gradient Mani - White to Black

I was recently inspired by a post I saw on Chloe's Nails for an "Ombre Mani". Basically, an Ombre Mani is where you go from the lightest of a color to the darkest. Here, Erika went from White to Black, with gray in between. Since I already owned 3 out of the 5 colors she used, I thought this would be a fun mani to try to duplicate. The only differences are that she used a Franken she made for the gray closest to the black nail. Since I had never made a Franken before, I used my Zoya "Kelly" (although, it's a little more purple than I had wanted). I never realized until yesterday how hard gray polishes can be to find! I went to 4 stores in search of a color similar to her Franken, but came home with nothing. I was, however, able to find the Pure Ice polish at Wal-Mart; it was their last bottle, and was not even in it's correct spot! Score!

I had another reason for wanting to do this mani. I am on a kickball league here in St. Louis, and our first 2 games are today. Our team color is charcoal, so I thought it would be fun to wear all of these colors today. I guarantee no one else on the team will have a mani as hot as this! :-)

I used 3 coats for each finger, plus a coat of China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat.

I'd love to have nails like Erika (yes, hers are real!), but I don't, so I guess I just have to work with what I have. The mani isn't perfect, but for my first try, I think it turned out nice. I might try looking through my polish stash to see what other Ombre Mani's I can do!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

China Glaze - "For Audrey"

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet tonight. I'm in the middle of watching the first episode of "Breaking Bad" and am loving it so far! Gotta love Netflix!

I realize that I've been wearing and swatching a lot of darker colors lately. Well, today we had some beautiful weekend weather, and I thought it would be fun to wear a bright, cheery color. I recently purchased China Glaze's "For Audrey", and decided to try it out today.

The polish was a little tricky to work with. I should mention that this was my first time using CG (except for the Top Coat last night). I've recently purchased a handful because both Sally's (2 for $10) and Beauty Brands (BOGO) have had them on sale. I probably could've gotten away with 1 coat of "FA". And after looking at my pictures, 2 coats look "goopy". I think, at least for me, this polish might take a couple of times wearing to perfect. I'm not giving up on it though!

I loved the color, and appreciate it's inspiration. It's a gorgeous Tiffany blue cream. I can definitely see myself bringing this back out again this Spring and Summer. I bet it would look so cute on my toes, too! 

OPI Chip Skip
1 coat OPI Nail Envy, Original Formula
2 coats China Glaze "For Audrey"
1 coat China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
1 spritz OPI RapiDry Spray

The sun was shining today!