Hand & Nail Empties: July-December 2020

I haven’t done an empties post for a bit… since this time last year in fact! I did end up tossing all the stuff I saved during January-June of last year, but I still had all the stuff from July-December, so we’re going to just do one massive post! I want to get back to doing quarterly empties so I can do more in-depth reviews on the stuff I used up, but for now we’re going to try to breeze through these or else we will be here for a thousand years (the key word is “try” – you know I’m wordy)! For a lot of the things I have used before, like Bath & Body Works hand soaps or the Baroness X Acetone Antidotes, I’m just going to review the scent and not the formula; I’ve re-purchased these a lot and clearly like them!

MDJ Creations Smooth Finish Fast Dry Top Coat: reviewed previously

a-england The Ridgeway Ridge Filler: This is my favorite ridge-filling base coat hands down. First of all, it’s clear and not that weird nude opaque color that peeks out from the edges of your mani if you don’t cover your nail perfectly. The formula is awesome and stays awesome, I barely had to use any thinner. I already have repurchased it!

Holo Taco Glossy Taco: I really do not like this top coat. Yes, it does dry fast but it gets gloopy super quickly and it just applies weird. It does self-level, but it looks super uneven until that point. I had to use so much thinner to get through this, would never repurchase.

Continue reading “Hand & Nail Empties: July-December 2020”

MDJ Creations A Quantum World: Swatch & Review

MDJ-Creations-A-Quantum-World

It’s my first normal review post of 2020, replete with more pictures than you’ll ever need, and for me this is a special one. I have worked with Melissa of MDJ Creations before and when she reached out and offered to send me her most recent collection, A Quantum World, I was all over that! MDJ Creations is an indie brand that has been around for quite a while and they are one of the few indies that do not release a million collections a year, which I appreciate! I also love that her collections tend to stick around. Of course, the most important thing is the quality. Melissa is not afraid to play with a variety of finishes and she always nails it. A Quantum World features gold flakies, colorful circle glitters (I love when she uses these, see my recent swatch of the old Music of the Night), and lots of holo!

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Hand & Nail Empties: July-September 2019

July-through-September-2019-Empties

Today we are all aboard the catch-up express, because I have my third quarterly empties to share with you and it is December. Yeah, I know, a bit late that. Maybe you can get some last minute stocking stuffer ideas, let’s turn this into some holiday inspiration! I got through a good variety of things this time around and have a bonus trash section of things I had to toss before finishing. Like last post, I tried to organize the items into logical groups, with the hand soaps coming in last like usual. Let’s jump right in!

Continue reading “Hand & Nail Empties: July-September 2019”

Hand & Nail Empties: January-March 2019

It’s already empties time for the first quarter of the year! Between being late on my last empties post and switching up the frequency of posting, this one really snuck up on me. I used a decent amount of products up in this time period. I think these posts are going to be a lot more digestible going forward – as much fun as it is to write about 20 products at once, I know that can be exhausting to read. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this short and sweet journey through the hand and nail care I was enjoying!

Part I: Hand & Nail Care

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Baroness X Acetone Antidote in Cranberry Orange and Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator

I am continuing to love the Baroness X Acetone Antidotes! Removing my nail polish is doing less of a number on my skin and cuticles, which is especially important for me during the cold, dry winter. Cranberry Orange was a lovely scent, but it did get a little lost in the the scent that my nail polish remover already has.

I am not the kind of person that EVER buffs the surface of my nails, so why and how do I have a nail buffer in my empties? Well, friends, I received this in a little Deborah Lippmann gift set a year ago and I discovered that using #1 on the buffer really helps get rid of those little bits of nail that are sometimes left sticking out from the tip after filing (I pretty much never cut my nails – I continually file them down). I wore it out so much that I ended up getting another one!

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Cuter Cuticles Mani Bomb in Cheshire Grin and MDJ Creations Smooth Finish Fast Dry Top Coat

I got this set of two mani bombs by Cuter Cuticles from Polish Pickup last spring because they were a fun berry scent and had cute little Cheshire Cat grins on them. They proceeded to sit in my drawer of nail stuff for almost a year. Soaking my hands does not really appeal to me (they spend too much time in water) so I finally decided to use them for foot soaks instead! They worked perfectly, I enjoyed the sweet and tart fragrance and my feet got clean and soft. Score. I would get some mani bombs again, but not for my hands. It’s not going to happen.

I finished my bottle of MDJ Creations Smooth Finish Fast Dry top coat and the only reason I have not started another bottle yet is that I am testing out another top coat. This MDJ top coat is the best out there – way better than Seche Vite and that’s coming from a Seche Vite worshipper. It dries faster and does not require nearly as much thinner to keep it going as Seche Vite does. I want a life-time supply of this stuff!

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Emz Blendz Jojoba & Avocado Body Lotion in Vanilla Chai and Baroness X Acetone Antidote in Pistachio Macaron

For a couple years now I have been carrying around a locally made lotion in my purse for dry hand emergencies. I find that a lot of small batch-type lotions have a thicker texture and work well as a hand cream substitute all year round. This Vanilla Chai lotion from Emz Blendz smells absolutely divine. I already have another bottle of it in my purse!

I used up another Baroness X Acetone Antidote, this time in Pistachio Macaron. It is a lovely gourmand scent, not to sweet but smells exactly like the pistachio macaron I ate a few weeks ago! It is the type of scent that goes well with nail polish remover, if that makes any sense.

Part II: Hand Soaps

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Bath & Body Works Nourishing Hand Soap in Spiced Gingerbread Swirl and Gentle Exfoliating Hand Soap in Toasted Vanilla Chai

During the winter I cannot use foaming hand soaps; they dry my hands out too much! Spiced Gingerbread Swirl was a nice scent, not super sweet or overly spicy, but definitely smelled like the holidays. Toasted Vanilla Chai is one of my favorites, I reviewed the foaming version last post and found I still loved the scent this time around! Clearly I have a Vanilla Chai problem.

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Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Clementine & Chamomile

I started this soap around the beginning of March when my hands finally went back semi-normal. It had a lovely sweet citrus smell. The chamomile note did not take center stage, which is good because the smell of chamomile by itself makes me feel nauseous. This was not Bath & Body Works’s most creative scent, but it was very pleasant.

I hope that was easier for you all to take! I will have my first ever skincare/bath & body/hair care empties post coming up, so watch for that. There will definitely be some more nail content before then, so be on the lookout! I have so many photos, just not enough time to edit and write posts.

Hope you all have been doing well! What’s the best product you have finished recently?

xx, Ashley

MDJ Creations Phantom of the Opera REMIX Collection Swatch & Review: Part II

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If you have not read Part I, do your homework kids! Go read it! I have the second half of the Phantom of the Opera REMIX collection by MDJ Creations to show you today. All the products in this post were sent to me for review for my pictures and honest opinion. We are going to be covering the last two song-based polishes in the collection as well as the polishes based on the two leads. Just as a reminder, this collection is launching this Friday, October 19th at 5pm CST. Let’s get right to the polishes so you can keep building your wish list!

Continue reading “MDJ Creations Phantom of the Opera REMIX Collection Swatch & Review: Part II”

MDJ Creations Phantom of the Opera REMIX Collection Swatch & Review: Part I

MDJ-Creations-Phanton-of-the-Opera-REMIX-part-1

I have a super, fantastic, mega-ultra awesome post for you all today! This week, you are getting a sneak peek at a yet to be released collection from MDJ Creations, an indie polish maker that I have long admired. I wore one MDJ’s polishes from the old Phantom of the Opera collection and hinted strongly that I would love a re-release so I could grab the ones I missed. Melissa decided to do one better and release an ENTIRELY NEW collection based on Phantom of the Opera and she was kind enough to send me all of them (and more) to share with y’all. I am completely overwhelmed by her kindness. One of the extra goodies were some macro lenses, which I have been meaning to get for ages! This post is the start of my experimentation using them! I will of course give you my honest review of everything, but as Phantom of the Opera and nail polish are my two religions, you know I will be a bit biased. It is an eight-piece collection called The Phantom of the Opera REMIX collection and it will be releasing on Friday, October 19th at 5:00 PM CST. I have the first four to share with you today (the top four in the photo) and the next four on Wednesday. There are six polishes named after songs and two after the main characters. I am going to go in song order and do the two leads last. I’m going to shut up now and get to the pretties.

Continue reading “MDJ Creations Phantom of the Opera REMIX Collection Swatch & Review: Part I”