Thursday, January 31, 2013

What's In My Bag ?


This post has been pretty fascinating to do in terms of realizing what I carry with me every day, and I've concluded once more that the main thing you will find in my bag are lip products.

Here's what we got:
Rosebud Strawberry Lip Salve
Moa Green Balm
MUA Lip Boom (ah darnit, why isn't it in this picture? Great job Joanna...)
L'Occitane Shea Butter Dry Hand Cream
L'Occitane Cherry Blossom Solid Perfume
Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream
Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Day Cream
A handy dandy mirror
Hair elastic and some pins
and ALWAYS my notebook and a pen

The Mario Badescu creams are actually two samples I got from my fellow blogger and co-worker Alexandra and I realized they were in my bag when I was taking things out.
Been trying them out a bit and will tell you more about them soon.

And now, let me show you a close-up of the things I think are vital to carry around.

I think tissues are a very useful thing to carry around, much like the mirror I always use when I feel like something is stuck in my eye (This happens more often than you'd assume). It helps fight the urge to rub my eyes frantically in hopes something will jump out of it.
Hand cream: in winter even more essential, but you must know, I also carry it around in summer, spring and autumn.
And last but not least, hair fixers. There will always be a rebel strain you want to pin up and there might come a time when you just need to pull your hair up. And with the amount of hair that I possess, a strong elastic is very important to have.

So tell me, what's in your bag? 

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Are You A Writer Too?

You need to know something about me : I always carry a pen and a notebook with me, or at least something to write on.
I write so much down, I get all sorts of ideas I feel like writing down before I forget them. 
Has it never happened to you that you lay in bed and your mind goes from one thing to the other and you just end up with a pretty awesome idea or thought? 
That's why I find, writing it down is really a great thing to be able to do.

These are just some of the notebooks I've filled out, as you will see clearly in the next picture and I'm such a sucker for buying new ones all the time!
Of course, when I buy them, I always feel a bit reluctant to write in such a pretty thing. That's why the first page of every notebook will be written in the most gorgeous calligraphy.

As much as I like them to be new and untouched, I like filling them up and getting the sense that my notebook has "lived".

Are you a notebook carrier too?

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Burt's Bees Lemon & Vitamin E Body Oil

 Burt's Bees Lemon & Vitamin E Body Oil
While happily browsing on, my attention was obviously drawn to the section of Burt's Bees goodies. Now, despite having a bucketload of lip products and moisturizers I clearly didn't think I have enough oils.
And how great does a Bath and Body Oil sound?
I find this to be the ideal moisturizer. Gets absorbed super fast and moisturizes incredibly well.
I absolutely love using it after I get out of the pool. Chlorine dries out my skin to the maximum but after using this oil I don't feel any dryness at all!
It's also ideal to use after shaving your legs. You know that uncomfortable dryness on your legs you get after coming out of the shower?
Well, you don't get it anymore if you use just a drop  of this oil.

Now, since it has Vitamin E also, it makes it ideal for restoring your skin to a great shape.
Here's the rest of the ingredients:

 Burt's Bees Lemon & Vitamin E Body Oil

How amazing do these ingredients look! Do you see anything nasty? Me neither!
Pure perfection for me! Almond, lemon, wheat germ, rosemary, canola, soybean oil? Few things are better than that I dare to say!

I've been using it for about 2 weeks not and VERY little has been used up. Goes to prove how little you all over your bodyneed to get the perfect effect.
Like recommended on the bottle, I prefer to pat it on my damp skin. Because then it's really receptive to all of this oil's goodness.

I think this is definitely going to be something I won't be living without from now on.
Have you ever tried body oils? Or have you actually tried this one?

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Minty Glitter Nails

I'm not one to do accent nails too often. Don't know why, I just like to have the pretty stuff on all 10, but this time I figured a bit of glitter would cheer up my mint nails even more.

The Essence Glitter I used has been a huge favorite when I got it, about a year ago. The problem is just that it's jelly based, so it takes forever to dry.
And because I haven't used it too much, it has become thicker. But a few drops of thinner solved that.

Moving on to the mint polish, the Australis Sweet Pea is more hard to photograph than I thought.It looks pretty green here but in reality it is much more turquoise. But super cheery nevertheless! 

mint glitter nails australis sweet pea essence confetti glitter special effect topper swatch manicure
For a pretty bleak winter's day, this color is ideal methinks. It really cheers me up just looking at my nails.
The issue with this polish is that it applies quite streaky, but it is a polish free from most nasty things, so I'm going  to compromise gladly.

mint glitter nails australis sweet pea essence confetti glitter special effect topper swatch manicureThe polishes used are the Essence Special Effect Topper and Australis Sweet Pea.
Not sure if the Essence glitter is still available everywhere, but I've seen it around a couple of months ago, still. So there is a good chance you can find it.
Also, I did not put any top coat on for these pictures, so the streaks are probably very easily fixed with a coat over it..

What do you think, does this brighten up Mondays a bit? 
And if you want more blues, the ladies below polished their nails perfectly in the color!

Gosia from Life in Color!
Mihaela from Lacquerbuzz
Marisa from Polish Obsession
Mandy from Chameleon Stampede    

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Friday, January 25, 2013

L'Occitane 5 Essential Oils Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner

You know I asked you what L'Occitane reviews you wanna get first,and after the Almond Shower Oil this was a very popular one. So now, it's shampoo's turn.

We have the 5 Essential Oils Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner. Now, I've been using them for about 3 weeks and I knew I'd end up saying what I'm about to say.
As far as hair care goes, L'Occitane and myself have never gotten along fully.I don't know what it is. The essential oils are incredible for my scalp but my hair is kinda dry, still. And this always happens. Whatever shampoo I use of theirs, my hair ends up being more dry than I expected.
There might be something bumping heads, I don't know.
Maybe my hair is just more receptive to other substances. Of all my body components, I'm afraid my hair is the biggest sell-out. It only appreciates the really commercial and not too great things like silicons.

BUT I can see a clear difference in terms of the dry it was before and the dry it is now. The ventilation in the office is a killer for anything exposed to it and I'm pretty sure these two help with keeping my hair not die all together.I think something that could work is using more conditioner. Because I have a huge load of hair, I think I underestimated the amount of conditioning it requires.

Like I said, it has left my scalp in an amazing condition, and this comes from someone with the driest of skins, especially in winter.

I think, my hair being so long, needs more than these two, so now I'm going to be trying the Aussie Luscious Long  range see what that can do. But it probably also needs some additional hair masks and TLC.
Speaking of which, if you have any suggestions for hair masks I could try, do let me know.

These shampoos sound great, smell great and do the perfect job in probably 99.999999% of cases
I will say it again, it probably is more an issue or compatibility with me because judging by how they treated my skin, I was left incredibly impressed. Nothing has ever managed to keep my scalp this healthy during winter.

Have you ever tried them? Or another L'Occitane shampoo?

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Japanese Newspaper Nails


I've been looking through my "you have yet to post this" folder and was very shocked to discover I had indeed now showed you this manicure. Also because I had done it sometime in December.
It's more like a print and not a manicure if we take it literally because it's newspaper nails, I just picked a non-English newspaper to do it with.

I don't know if you're familiar with newspaper nails. What you basically do is pick a newspaper, get some rubbing alcohol ( actually, I used whisky here), paint your nails in a white or gray base ( because you need a color that works as a canvas, black will never do), soak your nail in the alcohol for about 20-30 seconds, then press the newspaper against the nail.
BUT very important, don't do anything with your nails until the nail polish is dry!
If it's not dry and you put it in alcohol AND press something on it, you will most certainly end up with a big mush.

I had wanted to do a Japanese print on them for a long while. No disrespect to our alphabet, but it's everywhere and we see it every day, so this looked like a pretty cool twist.

Wish my nails would have been longer even back then, but it was the beginning of the "thou shalt not grow further" phase. Either way, I really like the  texture that got stamped on along with the writing.
It looks like it's a nail sticker if you judge by the pattern.

And a quick tip, I know most of you don't have access to any Asian newspapers, but actually, all you need is to Google an image of a newspaper that has proper writing on it, print it out and use it.
Newspaper makes the transfer easier but regular paper works just as well, you just might get some flakes of wet paper stuck to your nails at the end. Those are easy to remove though, just rub it off.

Have you ever tried newspaper nails?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pick Your Favorite Product To Review!

Last week I put up a post with some L'Occitane products that I was using but didn't know which one to write about first. So I asked you.
This week, I got some packages containing very pretty things that I want to show and tell you all about, but again, I prefer to ask which one you'd rather read about first.

About the L'Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream I already did a review HERE but I like their packaging so much, I really wanted it in the picture .
What else is on offer?
Moa Green Balm I have heard so much about and was dying to try.
Hema Eyeshadow Base that I discovered a while ago and finally got a refill.
Catrice Made To Stay cream eyeshadow. I'm in a copper/bronze phase and this color seemed pretty darn perfect.
Burt's Bees Lemon and Vitamin E Body Oil. You know me, oil lover extraordinaire. How could I have passed on the chance to try this?

So now it's all up to you, which one do you want to see reviewed first?

Which product do you want to see reviewed first? free polls 

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Half Framed Glitter Nails

Dear people, by the time you read this....I'll be at work. Yes,because it's Monday once more, but do not worry, for I have pretty nails to keep me company!

glitter and black halfmoon framed half framed nails w7 cosmic blue swatch

My "halfmoon-but not really-more like contour-or is it half a frame-can't put my finger on it" nail obsession started with me wearing a variation of these nails for New Year's Eve, in gold, that you can see HERE.
They're so easy to do and you can combine them in more ways than I can count. Not to mention how amazing they always look.
I prefer combining them with either a black or dark blue base and something metallic or glittery on top. The first post was golden, this time I'm showing you glitter.
W7 Cosmic Blue has got to be my favorite glitter polish. First up, it's a gorgeous shade of blue and secondly, it seems to look good with pretty much anything.
I just needed two coats to make this happen.

glitter and black halfmoon framed half framed nails w7 cosmic blue swatch

Of course, it's a bit tricky to make a half moon or any clear shape with glitter, because it's all over the place, but if you're not too fixated on small details, the end result looks pretty great I think.

I think you should prepare for more variations of these kinds of nails because I REALLY like them. I strongly suggest you give them a try yourself as they're easier to do than you'd think and the end result is gorgeous!

But enough about me, here are the other ladies who like blue nails on a Monday:

Gosia from Life in Color!
Mihaela from Lacquerbuzz
Marisa from Polish Obsession 
Mandy from Chameleon Stampede    

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Avon Cherry Blossom Hair Mask, Refreshing Hair Spray and Body Spray

Hello, my name is Joanna and I will purchase anything that smells like cherry blossoms. So here's what I got the last time I got an Avon catalogue and saw they had cherry blossom smell available.

With that being said, I sometimes go miss with my impulse cherry buys. And to be honest, when it comes to Avon I'm not one to expect miracles from their products. But I can say that I was pleasantly impressed this time.
Ok, the smell wasn't really cherry blossom and I had no idea what a "hair refreshing spray" is, but I went for it anyway.

avon naturals daily refreshing hair mask review

I would like to take a moment to say that this is the absolute cutest packaging I have ever seen a conditioner come in! I'd buy every other one just because of this bottle, I absolutely adore it!
The hair mask itself is actually quite good.
I've used it once but it does leave your hair with a nice smooth feeling. It says it's a Daily Refreshing Hair Mask but I'm not someone who washes their hair daily, mainly because I don't need to,as it takes a lot to get my hair greasy.
As far as hair masks go, I wouldn't tell someone not to buy it. It smells lovely and it leaves your hair feeling really nice.

avon naturals daily refreshing hair mask hair spray review

This spray is also for daily use, it says. Again, I didn't really know what it was, but I got it because of its smell. Eventually I discovered its function.
It's basically a dry shampoo in liquid form. When you're one day away from washing your hair and don't get to do it, or just want to stretch it out for one more day, whatever the reason, you spray this fellow on your hair and it will revive it.
It actually does a pretty great job. As it contains alcohol, it makes most fatty residue disappear, leaving your hair much fresher looking.

avon naturals cherry blossom body spray

One thing I really like from Avon are their body sprays. Those things last FOREVER.I still have a violet one that is probably one year old, I've used it like a maniac in spring and summer and it's still only halfway empty.
Same with this. I spray and spray some more and it seems like nothing has ever left the bottle.
I really like the gentile smell of it. It's a girly, yet fresh smell. Again, not spot on with 'cherry blossom' but I like the smell nevertheless

So that was a bit from the diary of the cherry blossom addict, but as soon as I have more products with this lovely scent to show, I will!
What's your favorite scent?


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Saturday, January 19, 2013

L'Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream

In winter, it's essential to moisturize any part of your skin that gets hit by the cold full on.
Especially when, like me, you mostly forget to wear gloves, your hands will get it. That's why I'm a fan of hand cream in general, but an avid user in winter.
For a long time I was sure I had the right hand cream, but when I tried this one, I was proven wrong.

I LOVE the consistency of this product! 
It's thick enough to feel nourishing but light enough to not leave any unpleasant residue.
For example, I always have cold hands, so after using a hand cream, it's really not nice to have cold and damp hands. No such thing with this. Goes right into the skin and stays there.

Guess what another plus is?
Yep, the Shea Butter. As far as ingredients do, that is one of the few things I really crave in creams. And in this one, you can really feel it.

All in All
I'm actually going to go get some more tomorrow, because I really find it to be greatly moisturizing and has almost 100% good ingredients. Full of oils and butters, it makes for a perfect protection for your hands in winter.

Do you have any favorite hand cream for winter?

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Little Bit Obsessed With Purple Nail Polish?

One usually doesn't notice how many things one possesses until you round them up and they stare you in the face.             
Well until now, I was under the distinct impression that I had no proper purple/mauve/lilac/lavender polish. Then I decided to go check what I had in stock and this picture happened.

Catrice Heavy Metallilac , China Glaze Light as Air and the W7 Cosmic Mauve. essence no more drama rival de loop 22 swatches
I truly did not expect to have this many and as I kept finding more and more purple polishes I kinda became a bit puzzled as to why I was sure I had none to begin with.
If I were to pick, I'd say my top 3 are the Catrice Heavy Metallilac , China Glaze Light as Air and the W7 Cosmic Mauve.
The Essence No More Drama has been a good one in its prime but that is the kind of polish that turns thick faster than you'd wish.
Rival de Loop No 22 is a bit too sheer on the other hand. I still don't know why I got it, but I vaguely remember buying it with the clear conviction I had no such color. I think we can all see I was experiencing temporary dementia.
The Kallos polish that once had a number I'm sure, but now only has some long lost traces of it, is one of my all time favorite colors. It just didn't make it in my top 3 because it is too old and has gone to the thick side, which means, it also takes quite a bit to dry. But I remember when it was young and fresh and sometimes only needed one coat to look beautiful.

I believe, we have all concluded that I do indeed have enough purple polishes. Will this stop me from purchasing even more? That would be a definite no.

Is there any color like this that you also just feel the need to buy because you can never get enough of it?

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil

Ah shower oil, one of my favorites. Being the proud owner of dry skin, everything has the potential of drying it out even more. 
The surprising thing about this shower oil is that it looks like an oil, feels like an oil but in contact with water, it becomes nice and foamy. In a very nice and soft way.
It is one of the few things that doesn't do any bad things to my skin. I've heard some like to use it especially for shaving their legs, as it doesn't leave that parched skin behind.
I like using it after swimming, when my skin has had more than enough of chlorinated water and thus is now even drier than before and it really makes it feel somewhat normal again.
It takes a lot for a product to make my skin feel "not like cracking", and this is one of the few that manage to do that. I get out of the shower with my skin feeling like the one of a normal human being, I would assume.
Almond oil is great for you to begin with, so having this in the shower too, is incredible.

L'Occitane is one of those brands with tradition, where you know you will get the good things you are told. I know that we are used to big foam, big smell and all sorts of spectacular things from the beauty products we use, but this brand delivers lovely smell,foam and still some spectacular things in normal quantities, where nothing gets harmed for the sake of the effect.
I really am a big fan of those who realize the importance of things that go on your skin and make products with that thought.
That's why I will always go for L'Occitane when given the choice.
And I really think that if you have the chance, this shower oil is something you should give a chance to.It's great for your body and once you try it, you might never want to go back to something else.

Have you tried L'Occitane products yet? Maybe this one?

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Blue Polka Dot Nail Time

From the first time I did polka dots, I realized that they are my favorite things to have on my nails.

So today, in honor of the Monday blues we're doing, I made some blue on blue polka dots.Only after starting, I realized my trusty dotting tool was nowhere to be found so I used other alternatives. It will explain why the dots look less healthy than usual.

Each time I wear Essie Bobbing for Baubles I become more and more impressed with it. It is such a gorgeous color! And it just makes my hand look great whatever the length of my nails.
Speaking of my nails, they've been feeling particularly breaky over the past couple of weeks. Might be the fact that I'm swimming again and soaking them in chlorine,or the fact that it's a whole new kind of cold outside and I'm not a glove wearer. Either way, I need to fix them a bit and get them longer.

The polishes I used are Essie Bobbing For Baubles and W7 Baby Blue.
They really look good together and I'm starting to think that you can use this Essie polish for anything and would still look great.
Bobbing for Baubles is the new black for me. Definitely.

And if you want to see more blue nails, I do suggest you check out the other ladies going for Monday blues

Gosia from Life in Color!
Mihaela from Lacquerbuzz
Marisa from Polish Obsession 
Mandy from Chameleon Stampede       

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

L'Occitane Goodie Bag

I do like me some gifts, as most of us do. And I like them even more when they are as great as this one I got from my mother.
She's very aware my skin is dry, so she went out and got a little bag of L'Occitane products for me to try.

l'occitane almond shower oil hand cream repairing essential oil shampoo and conditioner

Soap? I love soap! Good pick there mother.
Hand Cream? Anytime! My hands are craving it really bad this winter.
Shower Oil? Well as a matter of fact, the Almond Shower Oil is my favorite.
Shampoo and Conditioners with essential oils? Essential oils are some of my most faithful friends!

Which brings us to the purpose of this post: which one of these would you like to see reviewed first?
I will get round to reviewing all of them, of course, but if there's one you want to know more about sooner rather than later, this is the time to vote for it.
I'll make sure the review is up by next week.

Which product should I review first? free polls 

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream Review

I finally did it. Went out and got me a BB Cream. I will admit that the real reason was that my tinted moisturizer was all gone and I couldn't find it anymore to restock. So, after reading some reviews, I decided to try the Maybelline 8 in 1 BB cream.
I had tried some Garnier and L'Oreal in the store but they turned all orange and flakey on my skin. This one on the other hand kept its smooth texture and the initial color, which was also a reason I decided to get it

Maybelline BB Cream Review
I had read a review that said that if you want a good tinted moisturizer, this is the cream to get.
It really has a fresh feel to it, like the name says, because it is water based and it makes your skin feel like you just splashed water on it. I really like getting that feeling with creams.

Here's what the 8 in 1 are:

• Blurs imperfections
I'm gonna be honest and admit I don't really have them, so I can't judge if they are indeed blurred or not

• Brightens
It does brighten. I get a very nice glow that lasts for the whole day. As I write this ( because I wrote it last night) it's 7pm and I've had it on since 8am. Skin is still looking nice and bright

• Evens skin tone
Well, it is a tinted moisturizer so it does even things out. But since it has pretty light coverage, don't expect any red spots to become invisible because I don't think it will do that. I only have a more pale color sometimes and it does do a good job in blending that in with the rest of my skintone

• Smoothes
Again, my skin is smooth in itself so I cannot judge if it does or does noth smoothen things out

• Hydrates
This one I can vouch for.My skin is dry and still, I never feel it being dry during the day. Even if I work with one of the worse air conditioning systems known to man, that does nothing but dry anything in its way, my skin has been keeping up quite nicely. 

• Enhances
I'm not sure what there is to enhance. Clearly it doesn't enhance blemishes. Maybe your skin's natural attributes? Could be, but since I'm not sure I'll just keep quiet on this one

• Protects with SPF 30
My skin is a bit olive toned so I never really pay attention to SPF ( I can hear your horror now) but it definitely is a good thing to have in a day cream.

• 0% oils and heavy ingredients
You'd think no oil no moisture and you'd be wrong. By oils they mean the ones that clog pores and give you more bad than good.
As I said, it's water based so it's what I like to call super awesome! It makes you feel really fresh and as if you just put something super light on your skin.
I also have to add, this cream is incredibly liquid so don't think something is wrong with it, but a little will go a long way.

Something for you?

If you like light to medium coverage, yes. Don't expect this to be a foundation. It is a day cream with color that has a great feel to it.
It's obviously not going to hide your dark circles, but then again a foundation doesn't do that either.
I can only agree with the review I read that said that if you want a tinted moisturizer with great ingredients and a great feel to it, this is your cream.

Have you tried this cream yet, or any other BB Creams?

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Good Things Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser Review

Last month I was on a serious quest for a face cleaner. I already had found the Vichy Eye Make-up Remover  that I will not be giving up too easy, but I also wanted something that could clean the rest of my face properly.

So one day  I entered a Marionnaud store and saw this tube, of a brand I had not heard of before.After doing some online research, I found out that Good Things is a brand specifically designed for young skin and likes to keep their ingredients nice also. 

Good Things Fresh Start Creamy Cleaner Review
According to instructions, you need to put this creamy gel on your face, massage it in for about a minute and then not wash it, but remove it with a wet cloth.

Because of its pomegranate extract, it doesn't dry out your skin. Which is actually the case. Even if I have skin so dry that it sometimes "pulls at the seams" , it did not feel like that after using this cleanser.
Truth of the matter is, I only use actual make-up for my eyes, so the rest of my face just needs to be cleaned from all sorts of junk that lands on it during the day like dust and other dirt.
I could see on the cloth that it looked quite gray a couple of times.So it does a good job.

Good Things Fresh Start Creamy Cleanser Review

After staring to use the Bioderma Sensibio Water I discovered I like my cleansers on the liquid side, but it does not mean this one is not good. I'm just less for cream and more for fluidity.

The ingredients are quite impressive also. As you can see on the front of the tube, it is free from SLS and mineral oils, which is a good thing to avoid, especially on your face.It also has a lot of good extracts and oils.

All in All
I think it is a great product to try if you are looking for a creamy cleanser, because it does the cleaning and it does the freshness, not to mention it doesn't dry out your face.(but don't rub that wet cloth on your face, because then you're not helping anyone)
I think it might be even more perfect if you're in your teens and want something to keep the skin clean.

Have you eve tried this cleanser or other products from Good Things? And what is your favorite cleanser?

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Polish Days: Something New On My Nails

Polish Olympics are back! Also because last month, I completely forgot about it and ended up with ...nothing. And I had great glitter plans!

Well this time I even set a reminder, because I know there is no relying on my worm-term memory. The theme was to try something new out on your nails.
For a long time I had wanted to do the whole saran wrap manicure, but never got around to doing it, so this was the time to honor the Polish Days and try out the saran wrap technique.

china glaze light as air catrice heavy metallilac saran wrap manicure nails swatch

I think it turned out pretty nice for a first attempt, but I realized you need to let the base polish dry much more.Another thing I really liked was the marble effect they have. It reminds me a bit of tiles and the other bit of those little glass marbles I used to play with when I was little.

Purple is a color I haven't used nearly enough, and especially this Catrice polish is quite the stunner. I will dedicate it an entire post soon because the color just gets more vibrant with every try.

Here's the polishes I used

china glaze light as air catrice heavy metallilac saran wrap manicure nails swatch

The base is Catrice Heavy Metallilac and the top is China Glaze Light as Air, a shade that I've noticed many people swoon over.
I have a feeling that my spring will contain a lot of lilac and other purple shades.
It's starting to rival my mint obsession, I think.

I do hope you liked my saran wrap try and I'm curious what you think, did it turn out good?
Also, if you'd like a tutorial for it or have questions on how to do it,let me know!
And here we have the other ladies trying out very new things with their nais

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