CND Vinylux Creekside Endurance Test!

CND Vinylux Creekside

CND Vinylux Creekside

I’ve wanted an ultra pale, nearly white light blue polish in my collection for some time, and found the exact right shade in CND Vinylux Creekside over at nailpolishcanada.com. I purchase a lot of my nail stamping plates and harder to find polishes from there and want to share their name due to their consistently great service and prices. All products have been purchased by me with my own funds. This is my first ever CND Vinylux product, and with their 7 day wear claim I wanted to give it a wear test. They insist you use their top coat as well for best results, however I wasn’t aware of this at the time of my purchase and didn’t get it. As I am usually suspicious of claims that you “have to” use certain products together (like shampoos and conditioners, miscellaneous makeup combos) for the best results and often have better results with my own mix and matches, I wasn’t too concerned and went on with the wear test without the special top coat and used my HG NYC topcoat. No base coat is required for these polishes, and their website states that a base coat would actually hinder performance. Noted, and not used.

The colour applied beautifully. You know those streaks you get with pale colours never covering well? Not here. Two (admittedly thicker) coats were wonderful coverage and leveled perfectly. Very opaque. I threw on my cheapo favourite NYC top coat and called it done.

CND Vinylux Creekside Swatch

CND Vinylux Creekside Swatch

CND Vinylux Creekside Swatch

CND Vinylux Creekside Swatch

Now luckily enough I had a heck of a week to test run this polish. A solid week of manual labour in a shipping/packing department. Below is a picture on day 3 after 2 full days of abusing my nails. Minor wear and chipping only. And that’s without their special top coat. I am amazed.

CND Vinylux Creekside Swatch Day 3

CND Vinylux Creekside Swatch Day 3

And here we are at day 6, after 5 full days of heavy duty work with my hands. Yes, it’s a lot more chipping, but this has held up far better than any regular polish would for me. Performance on this polish is beyond all of my expectations, and I am thinking about grabbing a few more, and of course the top coat too! Imagine how long it would have lasted if my hands were babied all week!

CND Vinylux Creekside Swatch Day 6

CND Vinylux Creekside Swatch Day 6

I know the test wasn’t completely fair without the top coat, but the grade is still passing. I love this polish! I have another endurance test coming up as well, with Revlon Gel Envy in Showtime, for this upcoming week.

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Delftware Inspired Stamped NOTD with Sinful Colors

delftware_nails_polish_sinful_colors

You know Delftware, I’m sure. Everyone’s grandma or favourite aunt has it in the china cabinet or displayed on a wall! White pottery painted with blue (and sometimes other colours) it is beautiful, and I hope to have a piece of it myself one day.

THE GOAL!

THE GOAL!

Inspired by a coworker who said the grey nails with a blue print I had on that day reminded her of Dutch Delftware, I thought I could do a closer rendition of it if I could find a good enough white polish. While not perfect, Sinful Colors Snow Me White did the job ok (with some fussing and effort.) I paired it with Sinful Colors Endless Blue, next attempt I think I will use something more navy. The stamping plates I used are shown in the header, although as mirrors they don’t photograph too well.

Results! Not bad. The bird (thumb) showed better than anticipated, and the floral pattern on the rest stamped well. I do have a tulip pattern I can try next time, nails would need to be a bit longer for it however as the print is larger.

Delftware Nails

Delftware Nails

Delftware Nails

Delftware Nails

And the other paw!

Delftware Nails

Delftware Nails

Lacy Feminine NOTD with Sally Hansen Mauve It and Sinful Colors Snow Me White!

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It, Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It, Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Dainty, delicate, soft, feminine and lacy isn’t really my thing. But today, here we have just that, in nail art form! I’ve used Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It as the base and Sinful Colors Snow Me White for the lacy overlay stamp. The stamp print I used is shown in the header, but it’s like photographing a mirror and might not be too easy to see.

First, a bit on Mauve It. Sally Hansen’s Insta Dry line has a thick formula and a wide paddle like brush which takes some getting used to, but overall I like it. Mauve It applies with a texture a little like house paint. Streaky with one coat, evens out nicely with two. It’s a warm, beige leaning pink with a bit of micro shimmer in it. This is a rare occurrence of a polish photographing better than it looks to the eye, as the micro shimmer doesn’t show on the nail, but flashes back in pictures. Weird. Anyway, some swatches in varied lighting.

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It

And then some after I stamped a white lacy print over top. There was some slight smudging with the topcoat but its so pale I don’t really mind. End result is cute, feminine and delicate, which although not my favourite, I can handle from time to time 🙂

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It, Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It, Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It, Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Mauve It, Sinful Colors Snow Me White

Coral with Gold & White Buttons NOTD!

Hi there! This weekend’s overly rushed manicure is with Essie Sunday Funday, Avon Glimmer, and mystery white polish! How are you guys? I need some sleep. My neighbours are night-owls with iron shoes.

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Enjoy your week!

Grey Gradient NOTD!

Greydient Greys!

Greydient Greys!

I talked myself out of naming this post “Graydient” NOTD. I’m a bit surprised I’ve never tried this before! Used for today’s nails: OPI Black Onyx, Yves Rocher mini Grix Precieux, L’Oreal Greycian Goddess, Rimmel 60 Seconds Grey Matter and a mini Markwins white polish intended for french manicures. The two mid greys looked closer in shade on camera than they did in person, and I had to use flash to bring out the dark grey in the Yves Rocher shade which dried considerably darker than the bottle colour, but overall I did like the effect! Photos in different lights!

Gradient_Grey_3

Gradient_Grey_2

Gradient_Grey_1

 

I made it a day before putting on a coat of Revlon Graffiti top coat, I like this too! I think I will be doing more of these!

Gradient_Gray_Speckle

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Nicole by OPI It’s All About the Glam NOTD Swatch & Review!

Nicole by OPI It's All About the Glam

Nicole by OPI It’s All About the Glam

Hi! I realized I had used this polish for a few experiments with my nail dotter but never bothered trying it on alone. So, today’s NOTD is Nicole by OPI It’s All About the Glam.

This NOPI shade is a creamy off white. It is full of a nice amount of white and green-blue micro glitter which makes sure the finish isn’t flat. I liked how it provided the bright crispness of white without being glaring like a flat white might look, like what your standard french manicure tip polish might look like. Unfortunately, it took 4 coats to get it to the full opacity shown in the swatches below, but at least it didn’t seem to take too long to dry. If you are more talented and have steadier hands than myself, you could probably get away with 3 coats. Here’s a couple pictures in different light.

Nicole by OPI It's All About the Glam

Nicole by OPI It’s All About the Glam

Nicole by OPI It's All About the Glam

Nicole by OPI It’s All About the Glam

I’d imagine this looking particularly good with a tan (I can’t/won’t tan, oh well) or may as an accent nail with the rest of the hand being a bright coral or maybe a turquoise. Although this could be such a summery colour, on the nail it reminds me of snow drifts with a fine thin layer of frost on top, making it sparkle in the sun. Not many shades can evoke equal parts summer and winter like that!

Nicole by OPI It's All About the Glam

Nicole by OPI It’s All About the Glam

Happy Canada Day! A Canadian recipe, themed nails, and more!

Canflag

Happy Canada Day!

 

Today’s post is a long one, so I am splitting it up into subheadings! I wish you the best of Canada Days!

 

Canadian NOTD!

I really wanted to do some Canada Day themed nails! I tried using my dotter to make a leaf pattern, with some success. I couldn’t seem to be able to get it small enough to look right on a nail however. I moved on to trying to paint a maple leaf with the tiny brush I have. I did end painting something that resembled a leaf alright, perhaps a more popular one than maple. Deciding that this wasn’t the look I was going for, I scrapped the maple leaf plan and went with a red and white dot theme! The first shot is a bit dark, the next with two rows of dots I remembered to turn the flash on for. I’m not too proficient with the dotter yet but I’m getting there. Not bad for the late hour I did these at!

One Row Dots

One Row Dots

Two Rows Dots

Two Rows Dots

Pretty cute I think! Love this dotting tool, only had it a week or so and already a lot of use out of it!

 

Cute Canadian Hoodies Eh?

Cute Canadian Hoodies Eh?

 

 

Time for a snack!

I’d like to share one of my all time favourite Canadian recipes! It is for Nanaimo Bars, a three layer no bake square/bar type dessert. No bake = perfect for summer treat! I will include substitutions and variations below. They look like this!

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

 

Nanaimo Bars:

 

For the Base:

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup sugar

6 tbsp cocoa

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (note about substitutions to follow)

1 cup shredded coconut (I’ve used sweetened and unsweetened, it doesn’t really matter, use what you like best)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 

For the filling:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

6 tbsp milk

4 tbsp custard powder (note about substitutions to follow)

4 cups icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)

 

For the topping:

8 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate (I use the handy pre-measured Baker’s chocolate squares)

1 tbsp butter or margarine

 

Directions:

1) For the base, combine first 6 ingredients in a saucepan. Heat and stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Depending on your personal level of fusspottery, you may also do this step in the microwave or over a double boiler as preferred.

2) Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and walnuts. Pack the mixture firmly into a 9×13” pan (for thinner bars) or an 8×8” pan (for fat, rich, thick bars, my preference) when it is cool enough to handle. Place the base in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.

3) Beat all 4 filling ingredients with a mixer until smooth. Spread filling over chilled base, and refrigerate til completely set, about an hour, maybe less.

4) For the topping, melt chocolate and butter in a bowl in the microwave at 50% (or less depending on your microwave’s power) stirring every 30 seconds or so as it melts. When it is fully melted and smooth, spread this over top the chilled filling and base. Place in fridge to chill for another hour or so. You can remove at this point to score the top chocolate layer for easier cutting later, or let it chill the entire way and cut later. If you want to chill it fully cut it later, I’d recommend letting it sit at room temperature a while first so it chocolate doesn’t break up when slicing.

 

Substitutions:

Graham Cracker Crumbs: If you don’t have these available in your area, I have heard people have had success with crushed vanilla wafers (the plain flat dry cookie type, not the wafers with filling), crushed animal crackers, zweiback baby cookies,  oreo cookie crumbs, crushed biscotti (fancy), and my Australian friends use crushed digestive biscuits, which seem to be the closest substitution. For a gluten free option, use crushed gluten free cookies (something plain) or gluten free cereal like Chex or Rice Krispies, or whatever else you have locally that you think will crush up into decent, cookie like crumbs. Just make sure your chocolate and filling ingredients are also gluten free!

For the custard powder which I believe might be a Canadian/UK thing, you can  substitute with an equal amount of instant vanilla pudding powder, but I assure you it will not be the same! For those who would be upset at the remainder of unused vanilla pudding powder (and I know some people who would be), just mix it up with a bit of milk, eat it and stop panicking. Or, an even better option, save it for your next batch of Nanaimo Bars, or dump it in your next batch of chocolate chip cookies. Trust me.

Some variation ideas (no real recipes here as they are just ideas, but I’m sure google can help you out if you need it):

-Mint Chocolate Nanaimo Bars: Make as directed, only add a a bit of mint favouring and green food colouring to the filling part. This would work well with the vanilla pudding substitute as well. This is how my Auntie makes them for xmas every year.

-Peanut Butter Chocolate Nanaimo Bars: Make as directed, adding a couple tbsp peanut butter in the filling mixture and substitute the walnuts for chopped peanuts in the base.

-Butter Pecan Nanaimo Bars: In place of the custard powder, use equal amount butterscotch pudding powder or some caramel flavouring syrup. Replace the walnuts in the base with chopped pecans in the base.

-Cherry Almond Nanaimo Bars: Replace the custard powder with cherry and almond extract, or cherry juice, maybe some finely chopped maraschino cherries, replace the walnuts with chopped almonds in the base.

-Mocha Nanaimo Bars: Add a bit of super strong coffee or some instant coffee to the filling (maybe mixing it in a tiny, tiny bit of water to dissolve first) and prepare as directed.

-Boozey Nanaimo Bars: Add some Grand Marnier to the filling, perhaps a small amount of grated orange rind to the base. Or maybe some Bailey’s, Amaretto, Kahlua, etc in the filling, the remainder prepared as directed.

The recipe, as you can see, is very forgiving and flexible, you’re sure to find a version you’ll like!

 

Celebration suggestions!

Where I live, Canada Day is usually celebrated with booze, backyard bbq’s, fireworks and red and white patriotic decorations, much like July 4th from what I can tell. I came across some unexpected suggestions while shopping recently, however. I was minding my own business at the store, when I looked up to find this:

canadapanty

Celebration Suggestion

I’m all for celebrating in your undies, it was just an unexpected display. Thinking it was a one off thing, maybe just a store employee with a sense of humor, I pretty much forgot about it. Until I opened my email, and found this (a La Senza ad mail):

More celebration suggestions!

More celebration suggestions!

I guess I’ve got the memo! Happy Canada Day, party in your panties!

Essie Sunday Funday NOTD Swatch & Review, Dotting Experiment!

Essie Sunday Funday

Essie Sunday Funday

Today’s nails of the day is Essie Sunday Funday! It’s a bright, pretty, orange leaning coral with a light amount of white shimmery flecks throughout. Perfect for a glisteny, juicy, summery look! It’s gorgeous, I have no idea how it stayed on the shelves long enough to make it to the discounter I found it at. It applied beautifully and drying time seemed pretty good! I wanted to try out my new dotting tool on top of this shade, and here is 2 coats swatched, no topcoat!

Essie Sunday Funday

Essie Sunday Funday

For the dotting, I used NYC Park Ave, Nicole by OPI It’s All About the Glam, NYC Water Street Blue (stunning on it’s own as well, but stains) and of course that’s Sunday Funday on the far right.

NYC Park Ave, Nicole It's All About the Glam, NYC Water Street Blue, Essie Sunday Funday

NYC Park Ave, Nicole It’s All About the Glam, NYC Water Street Blue, Essie Sunday Funday

Final result close up on thumb. I also did my ring finger, I think more might have been overkill. I think I might need a more opaque white, or a bigger dotter as I had some issues making the white dot even but overall I do like the look! I’m really enjoying this little tool 🙂

More Dots!

More Dots!

Have a great weekend!