Mani Monday's: Favorite Nude


It's Monday again and this is fast becoming my favorite day of the week with all the lovely themes and lovely ladies sharing the same passion (or obsession...) for nail polish. This weeks theme is, well, to be honest, totally not my thing: Favorite Nude.

I own just a few polishes (ahum), but not one of them is a nude. Yup, you read right, I do not own one single nude polish! As I told you in my post about Misa Well-Heeled Grey, that's my version of a nude. But let's be honest, that's not a nude at all! I did finally order one, but that hasn't arrived yet and I am planning to use it in nailart, not really on it's own.

I might be the only person on the planet that doesn't appreciate a nice nude polish, but I'm just not feeling it... But since I didn't want to skip this weeks theme, I had a good browse in my stash and I managed to find a nudish polish in my stash that I actually love.

Cuccio Bronzed Goddess is a taupy brown polish with a suede golden glittery finish. Not quit matte, but definitely not shiny either, like the famous and highly coveted OPI Suedes.

Ok, I was supposed to add a bottle shot here, but I totally forgot to take one... will do so later today when I get home and update this post.

The formula is absolutely perfect, it flows on the nail and it's completely opaque in just 1 coat. I actually hesitated to add a second coat, but my OCD kicked in and I just couldn't skip the second coat. It just didn't feel right...

The dry time for this polish was amazing! By the time I finished the last nail on my first coat, I could start over again for the second coat. It dries in seconds and the finish... oh my...

The brush is really nice, wide, but not too wide. Just a little smaller than an OPI brush. The bristles are on the short side, which gives you great control and the handle is rubbery for extra grip. This is my first (and only) Cuccio polish at the moment, but I really want more!

2 coats Bronzed Goddess
This polish is said to be a dupe for a polish that has been on my wishlist for ages, but I can't find it for a reasonable price: OPI You don't know Jacques Suede. I wish I could swatch them side by side to see if they are really dupes or just alike, but unless someone feels the need to send me the OPI polish, I'm afraid it's never going to happen... Looking at pictures, I have to say this is a great alternative though!

I am in love with this polish and can't wait to try more polishes from this brand!
Are you familiar with this brand and if so, what are  your recommendations?


MAC Ruby Woo with a possible dupe


My first ever MAC purchase was a lipstick and not just any lipstick! It still is my all time favorite lipstick and I wear it all the time. The color is intense, it stays all day (and all night if I don't take it off) and it brings a pop of color to any outfit.

As you could tell from my 2 part Favorite Red post (part 1 and part 2) I love red nails. But my love for red doesn't just involve polish, I also love red lipstick. I'm always looking for a red I don't own yet and I was on the hunt for a great blue toned red that stayed all day. I tried a lot of lipsticks, but they were never quite right. Untill I tried MAC Ruby Woo! It's is a true red matte lipstick with a blue undertone and a cult classic for a reason. In my book this is the perfect red and I compare all red lipsticks to this.

Because this is a matte lipstick, it does tend to dry my lips a bit, that is why I always wear a lipbalm underneath. It can be a little difficult to apply and I would advice using a lip pencil to outline your lips and make the lines nice and smooth, but once it's on, it stays on!

Like I said, this lipstick does not come of unless you want it to! I love wearing this when I go out for diner, because I can eat and drink everything I want and this will still be on my lips when I get home. I can even safely kiss my husband and he doesn't have to worry about looking like a clown.

If you don't have a MAC counter near you, I have a drugstore lipstick that looks a lot like Ruby Woo, but is a bit cheaper. Rimmel London lasting finish matte by Kate Moss number 111 is a red matte lipstick with a blue undertone, just like Ruby Woo. But are they dupes?

In the tube they look really close, the Rimmel seems to be a little more shiny, but other than that they seem the same. Let's look at the swatches!

Top: Mac bottom: Rimmel
They are so close that I needed a better view of the two together, so I wore them both at the same time. On the left (with the red dot) is Ruby, on the right is the Rimmel. Can you tell I'm actually wearing two lipsticks?

Ruby does look a little more matte, but after wearing the Rimmel for a while, this dries down matte too. Pretty much the same as Ruby.

Although they are very close, I like Ruby just a little better. It stays a bit longer and the color is just a smidge more intens. Oh, who am I kidding? These are totally dupes, but I just love my Ruby, lol!

Do you own any of these and which one is your favorite?


Sinful Colors Precious Metal


One of the big nail trends for fall that seems to come back every year is metallics. Although I love all nail polish, I'm not a fan of this particular finish because it just doesn't seem to suit my skintone. I love silver and gold polish, but they make me look like I'm undead...
For instance, I wish I could rock Orly Rage, I love that rosegold tone, but I didn't even buy it, because of previous experiences with metallics and my skin...

So when the lovely Holly (misshollyberies, blog and Youtube) send me a few polishes and she included a metallic one, I was hesitant. Although I immediately loved the color (I'm a sucker for blue), I was afraid the finish wouldn't work for me. Nothing was further from the truth! As soon as I put Sinful Colors Precious Metal on my nails, I loved it! Finally, a metallic polish I could actually pull off!

It's a midtoned blue polish with a silver metallic shimmer running through it. This polish is part of the 2012 Hot Flash Metallics collection.

Isn't that gorgeous?
I was so happy she send me Sinful Colors, as I don't have access to this particular brand and was dying to try it. The formula of this polish was good, but the polish itself was a  little on the sheer side. It flows on the nail, but I did need 3 coats to get it fully opaque. But since it dried reasonably fast and was so easy to apply, I didn't mind.

2 coats Precious Metal
If anyone knows a good site where I can buy SC that actually shippes to Europe, please let me know!


Essie Cashmere Bathrobe


Essie released a gorgeous Fall collection this year, For the Twill of it. I really liked several of the colors, but wasn't keen on the one that everybody is raving about. Don't get me wrong, I like For the Twill of it, but it just doesn't have that wow-factor for me because I own a dupe that has been in my stash for quit some time AND OPI released a polish that's almost a dupe at the same time. That just makes it less interesting to me.

The polish that did immediately caught my eye from this collection was Essie Cashmere Bathrobe. I think it's absolutely stunning and deserves a lot more attention than it has been getting. Unfortunately, it has been completely overshadowed by For the Twill of it...
But just look at this beautifull polish!

This charcoal grey with silver micro glitter is the perfect fall color. I love me some dark colors so no wonder I like this so much. The formula is absolutely perfect! It applies like a dream and is almost a one coater, but I did need that second coat to get it nice and even on the nail. The dry time is fast and it dries to a shiny finish.


2 coats Cashmere Bathrobe

I think this stunning polish deserves a lot more attention and I know I will wear this a lot in the coming months!

What's your favorite of this collection?


Essence The boy next door


I have a really  nice budget polish for you today. I actually have quit a few polishes of this brand, but for some reason, I never grab them. Especially  not since they changed the bottle. But Essence The boy next door is absolutely wonderfull! I can't take my eyes of this shimmery deep cobalt blue.

The minute I walked in the store and saw this polish, I knew I had to have it! I love blue nails and this color is stunning. The formula was perfect, it flowed on the nail, almost opaque in 1 coat, but better with 2 and it dried really fast. The only problem I have with this polish (and the reason why I don't use Essence polishes as much), is the new bottle shape... it just doesn't feel stable when I dip my brush and wipe off the excess. I am always afraid to tip the bottle over. I prefer the old, less attractive bottles and wish they would come back. The brush itself is fairly wide, a little to wide for my taste, but not so wide I cover my nails and cuticles in one go.

All this is just a minor hassle, especially when you get color like this. I absolutely love this polish and really want to put it back on my nails now I see the swatches again.

2 coats The boy next door
Do you own any Essence polishes?
What do you think of the new bottles?


Mani Monday's: Stripes


Another Monday has arrived and that means it's time for another Mani Monday. This weeks theme is Stripes.

Well, if you've read my earlier attempts to create stripes on my nails (click here for my epic big fat failure), you know I don't have the best track record when it comes to this particular art type...
In fact, I've had such a hard time with striping tape, I actually considered skipping this weeks theme, but that would feel like cheating. Especially since I allready skipped last weeks theme. Of course not because I've never had a French mani on my nails, let alone a Fancy French, so I have no clue how to do a French mani, but because I was on holiday! (hence the very limited posting of the last week or so)

After a lot of sighing and trying to figure out how to get stripes on my nails without tape, I gave up and got out my striping tape. This time it gave me only a mild headache so I'm happy. The result is... well... wobbly is the best way to describe it, but hey, you can definitely tell I have stripes on my nails and that was the whole idea!

I decided to use two untried polishes in my stash that, in my opinion, go great together. I started with 1 coat of China Glaze Phat Santa.

A bright red crelly, that leans a little more to the cream side. I really didn't expect it to be so opaque, but look at this:

Not bad for just one coat, right? This polish is great to work with, a little thin, so be carefull not to flood your cuticles, but really opaque and it dries really fast.

I then began my battle with the sticky striping tape. To start of with, I of course couldn't find the start of my tape... Half an hour later I finally found it and cut of the pieces. Placing them on my nails was actually really easy after that! When I was happy with my (simple) design, I added the second layer of polish, China Glaze Naughty and Nice, a really deep, dark, vampy bloodred crelly polish. It was also a little on the thin side, but I think that's what you get with a jelly or crelly... I don't know how opaque this polish is on its own, as I've never used it on it's own, but I used just 1 coat for this mani, because I had a fairly opaque base color underneath.

The beautiful twosome, Naughty looks black in the bottle, but trust me, it's not! It really is gorgeous and perfect for fall/winter.

This time I let the polish dry completely before taking off the tape and I think this works a lot better than leaving my polish a little wet. But my striping tape mani is never complete with a little (or big) mistake, so of course I bumped my pinky before I could take some swatch pictures... I really didn't feel like doing the whole thing again, so I opted to ignore my sowewhat ugly pinky. I hope you will too.

Have you ever used striping tape? What is the best way to use it and how do I get straight, sharp lines?


Essie First Timer


I have been loving Essie lately. They have come out with some pretty nice collections and I think I bought about 10 of them in the last 2 months alone. This next polish I have debated about getting for a long time. It seemed so different on different people, some I liked and some I didn't like so much.

Eventually, I bit the bullet and ordered Essie First Timer and I'm really glad I did! This is a stunning green cream polish and the formula is really nice. Opaque in 2 coats and, although a little patchy, it does even out nicely on the nail. The dry time was ok, a little on the long side, but my trusty SV makes this a non-issue for me.

First Timer is part of the 2013 Resort Collection, I already showed you In the Cab-Ana from this collection. I absolutely love how this looks with my skintone. It almost becomes a dusty grass green and it looks really pretty. Just look at these swatches!

2 coats First Timer
This polish is the salon version and every time I use one of those I decide never to buy the drugstore kind with the wide brush again! (for more information about the different kinds of Essie polishes, click here)

What's your favorite Essie polish?


Colors by Llarowe Purple Rain


I've mentioned the awesome website Llarowe more than once on my blog. You can find the best indie polishes on this site and I have spend many a dollar there. When Leanne announced that she would be releasing her own line of nail polish, I was thrilled! With all that experience with indie polishes, these must be absolutly fantastic polishes.

As soon as I saw the first picture of Colors by Llarowe Purple Rain I knew I had to have it! This wonderful deep purple polish had to be mine!

Purple Rain is a dark purple jelly with a ton of blue micro glitter. So gorgeous and unique to my collection. When I painted the first coat, I noticed that the formula was a little weird. Thick and goopy, like trying to paint thick syrup on my nails. I just couldn't get an thin, even coat on my nails. I was wondering if this was the normal consistancy of this polish or did I somehow get a bad one? A friend of mine also has this polish, so I checked with here and her polish is actually perfect! So I added just a few drops of thinner to my bottle and  that fixed it completely.

3 coats Purple Rain, 1 coat SV
It was opaque in 3 coats and it dried really fast. I love the understated beauty of this polish, the glitter/shimmer is very subtle, but in sunlight... oh boy... I just can't get over how gorgeous it is! The blue micro glitter really pops, absolutely stunning!

I love this polish, I really don't mind that I had to add a bit of thinner. This just happens sometimes. The bottle is also a really big plus in my opinion. The cap is rubbery which gives you a nice grip. The brush itself is nice and thin, but fans out enough to distribute the polish evenly. I am a huge fan!

Just look at the blue glitter in this polish!

Picture taken at night, but look at that blue glitter!
Do you own any Colors by Llarowe?


Philosophy Hands of Hope


I'm always on the hunt for the perfect hand cream, but I haven't found the right one yet. I admit, I have a lot of requirements for a cream. I would like it to be nice and thick, really moisturizing, it has to sinks in my skin really fast and shouldn't leave a greasy residue. Oh, And the smell shouldn't be to overpowering.

Easy enough, right?
Wrong! I have tried many, many creams and they just don't do it for me...

I love Philosophy and decided to give their  hand cream a try. Hands of Hope is a hand and cuticle cream in one. Nice, I always like it when I can skip a step in my routine.

"Hands of hope are the hands that help, heal, protect and comfort. Use our hands to give hope, and you will have hope to hold."

The first thing I noticed when I bought this cream, is that it's a really small tube and it's expensive! I only got 30ml/1 fl. oz. Normally this little tube retails for € 9.70, but when I purchased it, it was on sale with 30% off.

The ingredients:

The cream itself is a nice thick white cream, only lighty scented.

The cream
It's really easy to apply, it spreads out nice and evenly and sinks in to my skin really fast.

This cream makes my hands feel really soft and hydrated, I absolutely love it! Have I found my perfect cream? Well, if it was cheaper, I would say yes, absolutely! But this itty bitty tube only lasted me the short end of a month and there is no way I'm going to spend € 10 every month on a hand cream!

As for the cuticle cream aspect, it does hydrate my cuticles, but I do need something more for them.

I will definitely repurchase this when it's on sale again, but I'm not paying full price for this. It's a good handcream, but, in my opinion, overpriced.

What's your holy grail hand cream?


Mani Monday's: favorite Red part 2


I showed my favorite reds yesterday and it's time for me to make that tough decision... Today I will show you the one polish that makes my heart race every time I look at the bottle and have it on my nails. It's simply stunning and takes my breath away! Yes, I feel that strongly about this polish! It took me forever to find it and now that I finally own it, I'm only wearing it on special occasions, as I'm afraid I'll run out.

Did you guess that OPI Smitten with Mittens is my all time favorite red nail  polish? Well, you are right! Not only is this deep, rich red with golden micro glitter my favorite, but it's also my husbands favorite! Every once in a while he will ask me to wear "that polish you know I like so much" and I'll pull out Smitten.

The fomula is perfect, it flows on the nail with ease and is opaque in just 2 thin coats and dries really fast. Smitten is part of the 2009 OPI Holiday wishes collection and unfortunately it's hard to find these days. (Merry Midnight was also part of this collection and I really want that one too, but it's even harder to find...).

2 coats Smitten, 1 coat SV
Just look at this beauty, no wonder it's my favorite! In the bottle the golden glitter is a little more noticeable than on the nail, but when the sunlight hits this polish, the golden sparkle comes out to play. Unfortunately, it's grey outside and raining, so I wasn't able to capture the full beauty of this polish, but even without a nice ray of sunlight, this polish is stunning!

What's your favorite color polish to wear?


Mani Monday's: Favorite Red part 1


Today's Mani Monday theme is Favorite Red!
Well, red happens to be my favorite nail polish color and I have a lot of them. In my book, red is a color that fits every occasion, you just can't go wrong with a red nail. Classic red, vampy red, red with shimmer, micro glitter, large glitter, bright red... there's a red for every one!

So you can imagine my dilemma with just choosing one favorite red polish. I felt it wouldn't do the magnificence of red nail polish justice, so I decided to do Mani Monday's a little different this time.

I did pick my all time favorite red nail polish and I will definitely show you this polish, including swatches. But not untill tomorrow. This also has to do with my more than busy weekend, which lead to me not being able to paint my nails. I'm still rocking the B&W mani...

Today I have my favorite reds for you. Yes, Reds, plural. I think all these polishes are awesome in there own way and deserve a little bit of time in the spotlight. I devided them up in to categories, so let's get started!

Red with golden micro glitter/shimmer

Misa Girl Friday, OPI Smitten with Mittens, OPI The spy who loved me
This is one of my favorite types of red! I love the combination of a red polish with a hint of gold. It's just so classy and gives extra depth to the polish.

Girl Friday has a perfect formula, glides on the nail, opaque in 2 thin coats, dries really fast and looks stunning. Misa is one of my favorite brands, every single polish I own has this perfect formula. I just wish they would make more colors.

Smitten with Mittens is a deep red with golden micro glitter. Just perfect! Opaque in 2 thin coats, dries really fast and just makes me happy when I look at it. Unfortunatelly it was a limited edition holiday 2009 polish. It is still available on eBay, but it's not cheap...

The spy who loved me is part of the 2012 James Bond collection. This polish is an orange based red with golden micro glitter. Stunning and really gorgeous paired with OPI Goldeneye.

Red creams, crelly's and jelly's

OPI Girls just want to play, OPI Wocka Wocka, OPI An affair in Red Square
Essie Limited Addiction, Essie Skirting the issue, China Glaze Vermillion, China Glaze Phat Santa
You can never go wrong with a red cream, jelly or crelly. Fits every occasion and every outfit. Red is flattering on just about every skintone and with the jelly's you can make all kinds of different jelly sandwiches.

Girls is a raspberry red crelly. It is an older polish and I love this formula. Opaque in 2 coats, dries really fast and the finish is incredibly shiny. My perfect summer red.

Wocka Wocka is part of the 2011 Muppets collection and a hidden treasure in my book. Everybody was talking about the gorgeous glitters in that collection and although I do like those, I love me some Wocka Wocka!

An affair in Red Square is part of the 2007 Russian collection and has a slight shimmer. It looks similar to Wocka Wocka, but there is a slight difference in tone.

Ok, just typing Russian Collection and realized I totally forgot to include Vodka & Caviar! Don't know how that happened, because I hunted that polish down like a mad woman and I absolutely love it!

Limited Addiction is nice midtoned red cream. Just gorgeous.

Skirting the issue is an oxblood red jelly. Perfect for jelly sandwiches.

Vermillion is a blue toned red cream. I looked for a blue toned red cream polish for so long and was dissapointed so many times. Not with Vermillion! It's stunning on the nail.

Phat Santa, I love that name! And this midtone red polish is just awesome.

Red Glitter

Orly Devil may care, China Glaze Ruby Pumps, Girly Bits Rogue, Colors by Llarowe Billy Jean
Red glitter polish... do I need to say more?

Devil may care is red and gold gitter in a clear base. This polish basically screames Christmas to me. Pefect layered over any red base.

Ruby pumps is red glitter in a red base. Opaque on its own in just 2 coats and beautiful, but even better layered over a vampy color like China Glaze Lubu Heels. It makes it extra chic.

Girly Bits Rogue, my favorite red indie. For a full review, click here.

And last, but certainly not least, the newest edition to my stash: Colors by Llarowe Billy Jean. Vampy, stunning and a dream to work with. LOVE it!

What's your favorite Red? And what do you think my all time favorite red polish is?
For the answer, check out my blog tomorrow for swatches :D