Aurora 5-Free Nail Lacquer August 2020 PPU: Weird Science

*GIFTED* I have been an avid Polish Pickup fan for a couple years now, unfortunately for my bank account. It combines the fun themes of subscription boxes with total freedom of choice of products, your “box” can be as spendy or thrifty as you’re feeling that month! Kim from Aurora 5-Free Nail Lacquer reached out to me and asked if I could swatch their August contributions and I jumped at the chance. It’s exciting to get a polish before the rest of the world, okay? Anyway, Aurora is offering not just one but TWO polishes this month, one a regular polish and the other a special effects topper. I have been having a moment with toppers this year so I was super excited to see it in the lineup! This month’s theme for Polish Pickup is Weird Science, which some brands have taken very liberally for their inspiration. Aurora went right for it and based both their polishes on the film Weird Science (which I haven’t seen, is that a bad thing?). Kim provided me with descriptions so luckily you don’t have to read through me floundering about trying to describe all the elements in these!

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Palate Polish Spring/Summer Haul Part I

For some reason it’s been a million years since Palate Polish has been on my blog, so now I have two posts planned! Because of my utter lack of self-control, I placed two orders during the spring during two different sales. I had spring and summer shades in mind and yes, okay, it ended up being spring and summer greens and blues in the first order! I had meant to order a purple, but it was out of stock. I ended up picking up Margarita (a newer shade), Sweet Mint, Blueberry (another newer shade), Cornflower, Cotton Candy, and Robin Egg during a 6 for $60 sale. Unfortunately Cotton Candy and Robin Egg are now discontinued, but I’m going to show them all to you anyway. Sometimes you can still snag discontinued Palates at some of their online stockists!

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Holo Taco Unicorn Skins: Swatches

It’s now officially summer, let the misery commence. My air conditioner is working overtime, the threat of forest fires lays heavy on us all, a lot more super pasty legs are out on display… Southern Oregon at its finest, folks. Today I’m going to show off Holo Taco’s Unicorn Skins. They were released earlier in the spring, but the collection consists of two creme polishes and three toppers that can, and should, be used all year round! Unicorn Skins are iridescent flakies that shift between multiple colors, so they can look wildly different depending on what base color you put them over. While I do own some polishes that feature these types of flakies, I have never actually owned any iridescent flakie toppers until this point, so this collection has been super fun for me! I find myself constantly scheming which polishes I’m going to put them over; I can see these getting a lot of play time. Holo Taco has changed me into a topper person, I guess. Let the fun begin!

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Olive Ave Polish Flora Spring 2020 April Showers Trio: Swatch & Review

It’s still technically spring and thankfully, it still feels like spring here in Southern Oregon. Summer is my LEAST favorite season, it’s too damn hot and, on top of that, it’s forest fire time. Two of the three summers I have spent here so far have had 1+ month of the valley being completely surrounded by fires and filled with smoky air 24/7. Can you tell why I don’t look forward to warmer days? Anyhoo, we should talk about something far more pleasant, like the inaugural Olive Ave Polish collection! I have been watching Walker on YouTube for quite some time now and am super stoked that she decided to put some of her creative energy into her own polish line! The best part is that she tends to love blues and greens like someone else you know, so I’m really benefitting a lot from this new venture. I got this trio as a backer on Kickstarter and couldn’t be more pleased. We have a shimmery green, a bright blue mint, and a cornflower blue. This may be a spring collection, but I can see myself wearing some of these in summer or winter too! I know this review is up suuuuper late and that she already has a summer collection out (I got a few from that one too), but these are still going to be restocked for the foreseeable future so I think it’s entirely appropriate to take a look at these beautiful polishes now.

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a-england Poe’s Tale: Swatch & Review

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Hello everyone! I had a completely different intro written out, but now that my country is going through its umpteenth reckoning with racial injustice, I thought that I should unequivocally state: Black lives matter. And, all lives do not matter until black lives matter. I am white and I am unfortunately not an encyclopedia of anti-racist resources. However, I have found one cool thing that everyone with internet access should be able to do! If you are either like me and are facing analysis paralysis with the large number of organizations out there that could use financial aid or if you, you know, are struggling financially because OH RIGHT, we’re also going through a global pandemic, then you should go to this video on YouTube. Don’t click through any of the ads, watch the video fully. All the revenue generated is going to the organizations listed in the notes. There are lots of helpful tips in the comments section to help get maximum monetization out of the video! Please stay safe and don’t stay silent (truth to power!) and let’s treat our fellow humans with all the empathy and compassion we have.

With today’s post, I am finally caught up with all the recent a-england collections! Watch them drop a new one the day I publish this… anyhoo, we are talking about the Poe’s Tale quartet, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Raven. I assume that everyone reading this knows who Poe is, if you made through school without being exposed to any of his work I would be shocked (at least, in the Western world). We have four mostly darker shades and, surprise surprise, they all have amazing formulas! You know I’m going to waffle on about all these polishes, so I’ll shut up here so we can get to the polish.

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Holo Taco Holodays: My Picks Swatch & Review

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Holo Taco said that every day is a holoday, and I’ve really taken that to heart because I finally have my swatches of their holiday collection for you in May. Spring is such a great time to look at winter collections, isn’t it? Most bloggers like to be ahead a season, I prefer to be behind one. These polishes are all still available and they aren’t necessarily wintery shades so I have little heartburn about dropping this on y’all. These are the first polishes from Holo Taco that are neither cremes nor toppers. This is their holo glitter formula, which are several different sizes, and in some cases colors, of holographic glitter in a jelly base.

The shades all perform like you would expect: the lighter the jelly base, the more coats you need for full coverage. You either build opacity by building up the base or the glitters. Two of the polishes I have today had more opaque bases and reached opacity that way while the other two had lighter bases so the glitter coverage was what really needed to be built up. For a glitter polish, I would say that across the board these were really easy to apply, I actually ended up mostly painting them on like regular polish which is not something you can do with a lot of glitter bombs. I think Cristine knows that not everyone who gets her polish is going to be a power user of nail polish, so it makes sense that these were formulated to have as easy application as possible for someone who might just be used to a drugstore creme. That being said, if you use this polish and expect it to apply like a creme, you will be disappointed. Say it with me kids, different formulas require different application techniques!

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a-england Tales From the Tower: Swatch & Review

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Happy 100 blog posts to me! Yep, there have been 100 posts of me gushing about nail polish on the internet, but it doesn’t feel like enough. I still have so much polish to talk about, so don’t think you’re getting rid of me that easily! Today I have a full a-england collection to show you. It’s well in to spring now so of course it is perfect timing to talk about a collection that came out during the fall… I’m sure I have at least one reader in the Southern Hemisphere, yeah?

As soon as I saw the Tales from the Tower collection last year, it was an instant need. I adore all the base colors here and also adore the inspiration, having been to the Tower of London and because the Tower looms so large in medieval British history (an obsession of mine). This collection is a continuation of the pure excellence a-england gave to us with the British Subcultures collection. I have all eight polishes here, so you know there’s going to be a lot of pictures, let’s go!

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Duri Cosmetics Retro Wave Spring 2020 Collection: Swatch & Review

{pr sample} Duri sent me the polishes in this post to swatch and review. All opinions are my own.

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Duri reached out to me to swatch their spring collection and, not gonna lie, I saw a pretty green and that was all it took for me to say, yes please! Also, I have wanted to try the brand for a while and opportunities like this do not come knocking every day. I got my swatches up on Instagram pretty quickly, but fell into a bit of a blog slump. I guess I was feeling uninspired to actually write a post (I have been swatching consistently) but now I feel up to it again! I just love nail polish so much (wow, really Ashley, no one would have guessed) and I love the nail polish community. I think I needed a different form of escapism during this pandemic and since I have been working from home for about 4 weeks on and off, it feels like I’m just at home all day on a computer. I’ve gotten over that now and I am finally ready to give you guys an in depth look at the Duri Costmetics Retro Wave collection for spring 2020! I’m switching it up for the foreseeable future and my posts will be dropping on Wednesdays now. I would like to tell you that I used stats and blog analytics to decide this like a professional would, but actually I just realized that having a “deadline” on a weekend was not working out for me and mid-week posts seem more achievable. We’ll see. On to the swatches, there are six polishes in this collection and you know there’s going to be lots of photos.

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OPI Mexico City VoxBox

*Influenster sent me all products pictured complimentary for review purposes. Writing a blog post was not a required part or any part of the campaign.*

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Most people are putting out more content during these can’t leave your house times, but me? Nah bro, I ain’t about doing what everyone else is doing! Just kidding, the real reason I have not put up a blog post for weeks is that I had to rush to get the bare minimum stuff done for Influenster for this campaign because I got everything I needed only five days before it was all over, yikes. I also am still going to work and working full time (I work a local government job and we JUST got remote access on Thursday so we are still trying to figure out how that will work with us still having to serve the public) and when I get home in the evening after eating and doing whatever cleaning needs to be done, I spend way too much time watching commentary YouTube to distract myself (Kurtis Conner has been my main jam lately). Thankfully, I also have nail polish to distract me through all this craziness too. I do not have to do a blog post for the Influenster Mexico City box, but I thought I might as well because I tested everything they sent me. The box (actually it all came in two boxes) had pretty much everything I use for a full mani minus the cotton rounds and cuticle pusher! We will take a look at the two polishes first, Don’t Tell a Sol and Verde Nice to Meet You, then we’ll move on to the other goodness.

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First Impressions: MUA Nail Polish

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It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a first impressions post. I mean, my last one was in April 2019, yikes! And I was going to pretend like I had not missed a few weeks of blogging, but on review that seems like a crappy thing to do. I intentionally took the weekend of February 16th off because it was a holiday weekend for me and I wanted to enjoy hanging out with my family! But there is no real excuse for the past couple weekends, my brain just turned off and forgot about the blog, I guess. But all that aside, today we are going to look at the last polish I got from the UK that I have yet to wear: MUA (MakeUp Academy) Plum Noir. To be honest, I finished going through all those polishes ages ago, I do not know how this one kept getting put off. It has been so long that I’m pretty sure MUA does not even sell polish anymore. Oops. I am sharing with y’all anyway since I unexpectedly loved wearing this color, it felt just right in the early days of February when I had it on.

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