December 30, 2012

Bottle Spam: Top 10 Polishes of 2012!



As the year draws to a neat little close, I thought I'd share my top 10 favorite nail polishes released in good old 2012!  I'm excited to do this and I have no idea why!!

These are in no particular order, and some have not been swatched by me (although I've worn all these polishes).  I have linked to other blogs to give credit where credit is due!




    1. First up is the only indie/ non-mainstream shade on my list, Cirque Colors- Tibetan Nights:




      This is a really special combination of dark blue jelly and multi-shaped gitter pieces.  The small bar glitter is so interesting, and the polish is really aptly named.  I could wear this one forever, and I might!




      2. Next, is China Glaze- Make A Spectacle, a really fabulous layering glitter:


      Seen layered over Bizarre Blurple (China Glaze), Make A Spectacle has rainbow-iridescent hexagonal glitter that floats among smaller glitter fragments.  It's seriously pretty, and looks great over every color.



      3. Next is probably the most obvious choice of them all, and one of the most talked-about polishes this year: Max Factor- Fantasy Fire!

      (LOL, ignore the giant dog hair- I guess Ham was determined to be in this post!)

      I recently acquired this one in a lovely swap, and have not had a chance to photograph swatches of it, but I am stoked to experiment layering it over various shades!




      4. Next is Misa- Live Without Knowing, a polish I (stupidly) originally passed on.  Later I came to my senses and snagged this beauty.


       

      It is so wearable, and yet very interesting while still being office- appropriate!



      (Photo Credit: fashionpolish.com)


      5. Next, I have my favorite blue of the year, Essie- Go Overboard:


      It's just the most lovely faded teal creme.  It goes with everything, and is a pretty unusual blue in my book.  I completely love this one!

      (Photo Credit: Colores de Carol)

      6. Next up is another Essie from the same (Spring 2012) collection! It's Essie- Armed And Ready:


      I love love love greys and grey-taupes, so the bronzey shimmer in this polish is just icing on the cake. 

      (Photo Credit: Spaz & Squee)

      7. Next, is Orly- Prelude to a Kiss:


      Despite the cringe-inducing name, it's a gorgeously flattering peachy-nude creme.  I will be wearing this one a lot as a palette-cleanser or when I don't know what else to wear!




      8. Next up is another neutral-inspired shade, Illamasqua- Faithful:



      I remember that Faithful was my first ever Illamasqua lemming!  I've worn it and loved it, but will have to swatch it for you one of these days! Until then:

      (Photo Credit:  Makeup your Jangsara)

      9. Next is my favorite red of the year, Zoya- Blaze:



      Blaze is an awfully-cool-toned red, and it just looks incredible on pale skin.  The holographic effect in the sun is no joke either!





      10. Lastly, is another holographic polish which caused pandemonium in the nail blogosphere, Butter London- Fishwife:



      Fishwife is a mermaid greeny-blue with a strong holo effect- just awesome!




      --
      And, because, like any good nail-crazed lady I cannot restrain myself to just ten polishes, I present to you two runners up:

      • 1st Runner Up: OPI- The World Is Not Enough, a shiny chameleon of a color:



      This polish is so complex, and looks different in every light, and I think is the most interesting release among the Skyfall polishes!






      I believe this one will look great on every skin tone, and certainly love it on my hands!



      And.....that's it!  It was certainly very tricky narrowing down my favorites, but I think this list really comes close.  I can't wait to see what some of our favorite polish manufacturers come up with in 2013- exciting!


      What were some of your favorite polishes of 2012?  Or maybe your #1 favorite shade?!

      Hambone and I wish everyone a safe and awesome New Year!

      December 27, 2012

      [Nail Art] Wintery Blue & Silver Glitter



      I will be the first to admit that this manicure hardly qualifies as nail art!

      It's just Illamasqua- Noble updated; I layered Essie- Set In Stones over it, and then added a layer of Essie- Matte About You on top of that.



      But...layering counts as nail art...right?  Right?


      Left to Right: Essie- Matte About You, Essie- Set In Stones, Illamasqua- Noble








      I love the look of mattified glitters, and this is my favorite nail look in quite a while.  It's so blingy, but has that cool Winter feel at the same time.

      Another thing I enjoy is that matte topcoats are also generally quick-dry, so it's easy to change up your nail look and then run out of the house without worrying about dinging it up!

      December 24, 2012

      Giveaway: Holiday Edition/ 100 Follower!



      I have been wanting to do a giveaway since before I ever started this blog, and I think now is the perfect time to do it, as Polish Hound creeps up on 100 GFC followers! (Wow, thanks guys!)

      I started this blog to stay motivated in keeping my nails nice, and as a way to catalogue my polish collection and document nail art and colors! (The colorsssss.....!!!)  Lately, as Hambone and I have gained readership, it feels like I'm no longer talking to myself, and it's a great feeling!

      So, this giveaway is just a big 'Thank-You,' as well as a fun way to celebrate the Holidays and the New Year!





      Here are the vital deets:

      • The Prize: Color Club Winter Affair duo with Color Club- Snow-Flakes & Color Club- Berry And Bright, as well as Color Club- Glitter Wonderland! (Two of them are swatched here.)



      (Left to Right: Berry And Bright, Snow-Flakes, Glitter Wonderland)

      • The giveaway will run for two weeks: From today, (Monday the 24th), until Monday, January 7th
      • I will announce the winner the next day, Tuesday, Jan. 8th!
      • You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to enter.  (New followers always welcome.)
      • Winner will be chosen by random number generator.
      • Entrants must provide a means of contact, and winner must respond within 48 hours of notification.
      • Chances of winning depends on number of entries; additional entries (up to 16) can be completed via the Rafflecopter app. below:


      a Rafflecopter giveaway







      RulesEntries are open from December 24, 2012 at 12:01 am CST and close on January 7, 2013 at 12:01 am CST. You must be 18 years or older and/or adhere to the rules of your state regarding giveaways to enter. All prizes are brand new and unused. They were purchased by me for you. Items in this giveaway include 3 Color Club nail polishes: Snow-Flakes, Glitter Wonderland, and Berry And Bright.  The approximate value of these items is $24 USD, but the prize is not redeemable for cash. These items will be shipped directly to the winner by Cait/Polish Hound. Polish Hound is not responsible for lost shipment or damage that occurs during shipping. This giveaway is open internationally. You must follow Polish Hound via Google Friend Connect (GFC) to enter. Extra entries are outlined on Rafflecopter. One winner will be chosen at random on January 8, 2013, and notified the same day. Winner must provide a means of contact in order to be notified. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen at random.  By entering or accepting the prize in this contest/giveaway, the winner agrees to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms & Conditions and to confirm to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.




      Good luck and Happy Holidays!

      (as always, thank you so much for reading and sharing in the polish obsession!)


      December 22, 2012

      Illamasqua- Noble [Swatch] & [Comparison]



      Today I have the other Sephora-exclusive Illamasqua release, Noble. (The other is Cameo, seen here.)



      Illamasqua- Noble is a perfect Robin's egg blue creme polish.  It's quite bright, and really a special shade of blue!

      Artificial light, two coats:




      Some slight visible nail line is noticeable here, but it's just because of the strength of the camera strobe- not apparent in person.



      Mixed lighting, natural daylight + artificial fluorescent:


      Window-filtered daylight:


      Outside, shade:






      Formula:  Even better than Cameo's, if that's possible.  It's almost a one-coater!  Very thick, and self-levels incredibly well.  It's like butter.  I'm so impressed with Illamasqua lately!

      --
      Comparison time!




      Left to Right: Zoya- Phoebe, Illamasqua- Serenity, Illamasqua- Noble, Sally Hansesn CSM- The Sky's The Limit

      I have a few polishes in the same vein.  The look more similar in the bottle than on a swatch or the nail, but you can already see that Illamasqua- Serenity from the Rubber Brights collection has a lot more green in it, as well as being a matte finish.


      Artificial light:


      Zoya- Phoebe is obviously quite a bit darker and matte- as well as having some shimmer particles in it you would be able to see if you used a glossy topcoat.

      Noble is the most similar to Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure- The Sky's The Limit, but I won't call them dupes. Not quite. Noble is a hair darker with a touch more green than Sky's The Limit.  The differences are apparent in real life- I couldn't quite get the lighting right for this photo.

      However, you probably don't need to own both.




      Noble is not a totally unique shade of blue, I don't think; there are probably many out there that are very similar, and much cheaper.  But, the formula is flawless, and I was really wow-ed by the color while I was wearing it, which I can't quite say about the others yet.

      December 19, 2012

      Mail-time: My Very First Polish Swap!



      Last week, Hambone found a very special delivery all the way from the other side of the world!



      Of course, he just wants his reward for posing so cooperatively.



      Behind The Scenes photo:


      (see Spot get bribed!)

      I have been on a No-Buy since the beginning of November (successful so far, I might add!), but this package isn't polish I ordered- it's my first ever swap!

      Natalia of the wonderful nail blog Cats-N-Nails contacted me a while ago because she had seen my Cull/Purge list, and said she had an extra Max Factor- Fantasy Fire (*dies*) which we can't get here in the States!  I was so very excited to trade!

      For Fantasy Fire, I traded her Orly- Bubbly Bombshell (I had a dupe) and Color Club-  Worth The Risque (also had a dupey polish).  I wanted to give her both since it made me so sad for them to be sitting in a drawer, perfectly good but unused!

      Anyway, let's open it!



      She packaged everything in such a cute way! 



      And included Australian candy- omigod!



      Now, normally I don't eat sugar, but I had to make an exception since I have always wanted to try a Tim Tam!  It was really tasty-  kind of like a Kit Kat, but way better!

      Next:


      She included a cute Holiday card!  Why didn't I think of cute things to send like this?!



      The goodies:


      She also threw in some polishes for use as 'underwear:' two Ulta3 polishes in gorgeous colors, as well as an N.Y.C. polish in "Gerbera."  So thoughtful and totally unnecessary!



      My pretties.....!

      I put Fantasy Fire on immediately over what I was wearing which was Illamasqua- Cameo, and it looked amazing, but I didn't get photos. It is really an amazing layering polish, and I can't wait to try it out over different colors!

      This was such a fun swap, and it's so nice to find homes for extra polishes I have that I know won't get used!  Thank you so much, Natalia!