First Impressions: Deborah Lippmann Hard Rock Base and Top Coat

Deborah Lippmann Hard Rock

When I first got into nail polish many years ago, I bought myself a bottle of Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat. It worked okay for the first couple uses, but eventually it started to really suck as a top coat; the dry time was horrendous and I would often end up ditching a manicure the day after putting it on. That experience pretty much turned me off of two-in-one polish treatments forever. Flash forward to last Christmas, when I received the Deborah Lippmann Her Majesty gift set. It included a little bottle of their Hard Rock Base and Top Coat. I was surprised to see a primo brand like Deborah Lippmann carrying a two-in-one type product, especially for a $20 price tag for the full-size bottle. I have been both skeptical of and intriguedย by this treatment that has been sitting on my desk for months. I finally decided I would give it a go and use it as intended, as a base and top coat for one of my manicures, with the hopes that it would change my opinion on two-in-one treatments.

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My Collection: Cruelty-Free


My dog, Annie :]

I wish I had more morals and ethics when it came to nail polish. When buying other beauty products, I obsessively check labels and research ingredients because I like knowing these things. But when it comes to nail polish, I often knowingly buy from brands that are known to animal test and honestly do not care if the label says “5-free.” If it is a pretty color, my money is gone. In an effort to be more aware about where my money is going, I decided to go through my stash and, using Logical Harmony’s cruelty-free brand list, check out which polishes I have that are actually cruelty-free. I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the brands that popped up on the list, so I decided to share it with you! There is nothing wrong with being a more informed consumer, right?

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First Impressions: Miss Sporty Clubbing Color

Miss Sporty

Miss Sporty 160, 2 coats plus Seche Vite

I am still catching up with all the polish I bought last July in the UK! But I’m sure you are okay with that, as it spreads out the first impressions blog posts; I would not want to end up in a situation where I have five of these in a row, especially because I have SO MANY other blog posts planned for you guys! But I will admit, this is my favorite little series here because it gives me an excuse to keep trying out new nail polishes :] Today I am going to talk about a cute little bottle of Miss Sporty Clubbing Color nail polish that I grabbed a Superdrug. These teeny bottles of polishes came in a variety of fun, summery colors and of course I chose the one that was the most green. They claim a high-shine finish and and dry time of less than a minute!

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Know Your Nail Polish: Cadillacquer

Cadillacquer Know Your Nail Polish

An obscenely long time ago (okay, earlier this year, but still several months) the wonderful Stashyย asked if I could do a blog post on Cadillacquer. I think I might have gushed about Cadillacquer a bit in my Valentine’s Day polish post and, at every chance I get, I make sure people know that they are my favorite indie polish maker. But, until today, I have never dedicated a blog post to them. To be honest, they deserve more than this mere blog post. Give Cadillacquer all the awards and statues, buildings, and airports named after them. Seriously. Madeleine is one of the hardest workers in the polish world and some of the color combos that come from her brain are so unexpected but jaw-droppingly beautiful. Not to mention the formulas. I dare you to find a Cadillacquer polish that is difficult to work with. I own two full collections and so far, not a dud in any of them! Cadillacquer also somehow manages to make me like polishes and colors I would not normally go for, like taupes and corals.

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First Impressions: Tsum Tsum Nail Polish

Tsum Tsum Friendship

Tsum Tsum #friendship, 3 coats plus top coat

Marketers probably love me. I am a huge sucker for all the little things that have to do with my interests and favorite stories and characters. Present me with a Star Trek mug, Cheshire Cat stuffed animal, Loki bobble head, portrait of Richard III on a magnet, or a candle inspired by Outlander, and my money is gone faster than Usain Bolt. There is nothing I can say, no good excuse I can make, for the purchase of a super cheap little set of polishes adorned with Tsum Tsum-ified Disney characters except for the fact that I am a huge, self-aware sucker for Disney and nail polish. When you combine the two, I just cannot resist. I am choosing to share my experience with one of these polishes sort of as a cautionary tale and sort of so you know just the kind of person I am (which is the kind of person who knowingly buys nail polish made for kids that is certain to be lacking in quality). Anyway. I hope you enjoy a few minutes of judging me for my stupid decisions.

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Bonita Hues of Blue: Swatch & Review

Bonita Hues of Blue

The first time I tried Bonita polish, it did not go so well. A lot of people disagreed with my first impression of this brand and, to be perfectly honest, it does not surprise me at all that I managed to pick the one polish that really sucked. Because so many people I trust really rate Bonita polishes, I knew I was going to give them another go. The opportunity arrived when I was at Ross sometime last year and spotted this trio of Bonitas, called “Hues of Blue.” (Although two of them are green? I suppose green is a shade of blue in a way, it is blue + yellow…) I know that none of these colors are wildly unique, but blues and greens are my kryptonite and what better way to get a polish brand back into your good graces than by picking colors you know you are going to love? This is a spoiler, but this time around my experience with Bonita was absolutely fantastic! It probably helped that I picked creams, but these are some primo creams with formulas that really outperform the price tag. Read on to acquaint yourselves with these beauties!

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Spring Color Palette (Jenna Hipp edition)

Jenna Hipp spring

This is what happens when I forget to take pictures of all the bottles together… I try out an idea that I think is good but is actually terrible. I’m sorry.

Ah spring… my least favorite season. Everyone else goes ga-ga for it so I think my problem must be due to locale. You see, our spring weather is the exact same as our winter weather (overcast and rainy 95% of the time), with a couple key differences: a) it’s warmer in spring so more humidity, booooo, and b) I have already been through at least three months of grey at this point and by April/May the appeal of moody weather has started to wear me down. Is there such thing as SAD for people who get depressed in spring instead of winter? Because I think I have that… Anyway, it’s not all bad because spring is the time of the year I start to break out my brighter nail polishes and change up my color palette which makes me a very happy person. ย I decided to show you some of the colors I like to wear this time of the year. Like my last color palette post, I challenged myself to choose polishes from just one brand. Today it’s Jenna Hipp! I love these little polishes, I wish she would come out with more collections. They were such a good price at Costco! Unlike the post last time, I decided to take some inspiration from the recent spring releases from big names in the polish world. I have noticed over the past few years that spring collections have featured bolder, brighter colors and they are not just all pastels. That is very much reflected in my choices today!

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