Thursday, June 30, 2011

One to Watch - Lex Cosmetics!

It's my pleasure to share some polish from a company that may be new to you. The brand is Lex Cosmetics and this, taken from their website, is how they describe the company:

"At Lex Cosmetics, we believe that beauty permeates from each one of you and that your individual spirits make you gorgeous! That's why we don't understand why big companies dictate what you should or should not buy in order to feel more beautiful. You should decide what makes you feel great, which is why our company was formed. We were founded on the belief that beauty should be created by those who use it and that make-up and nail polish are fun, so why not join in the creation experience?!

Additionally, we do not believe beauty is only skin deep. We find the most attractive people to be those who give back and dedicate their money and/or time to making our world a better place. Since we place such great importance on giving back to the world, we will be donating a percentage of profits to different non-profits and organizations that are important to you, which is why you will choose them!

So dig through magazines for inspiration, upload pictures of colors you love or just tell us what beauty products you are looking for and we'll make them. Because at Lex Cosmetics, Beauty is By You."

Needless to say, I was MORE than eager to try out their products and pass on my thoughts to all of you. Alexa, the founder of Lex Cosmetics, was kind enough to send two polishes of my choice for just the cost of shipping. It was hard to choose but I finally decided on *Cayman Cabana, a seafoam green cream, and *Himalayas, a rich, deep forest green. I applied base coat and then two coats of each color starting with Himalayas on my thumb and alternating on each finger. Here it is indoors:

and outdoors:
Both of these colors were nicely opaque with just two coats, which particularly impressed me with Cayman Cabana as many light/pastel colors require a third coat to achieve this level of opacity. They were super-shiny, too, even without top coating. However, wanting a little bit of sparkle, I decided to top coat with China Glaze Fairy Dust (which, inexplicably, had been languishing in my untrieds. I'm so ashamed as it is AMAZING.)
The fact that Lex Cosmetics allows buyers SO much input into the creative process, gives back to varied charitable causes AND makes an outstanding and, as they say, "Bad 3 Free" (free of Formaldehyde, DBP and Toluene) product has made me a true fan. I look forward to trying out more Lex Cosmetics colors in the future.

You may visit Lex Cosmetics HERE for more information.

*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click HERE for further information.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sally Hansen-palooza!

I decided to mix things up a bit yesterday with my mani and used a total of four Sally Hansen products. After my base coat I alternated two coats of *Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Delphinium and *Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda (love the name of this one, by the way. Who doesn't love that Heart song?) Feast your eyes!
Then I decided to REALLY leave my comfort zone and take the plunge (at last) into the crackle/shatter trend with a coat of *Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat in Fuchsia Shock (over Delphinium) and *Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat in Snow Blast (over Barracuda). As you may know from my previous posts, I wasn't sure how I felt about this trend. I dug in my heels and refused to even try it, until now. Alas, I caved. Here's a peek (after top coat was applied):
I really didn't expect to like this, at all, so you can imagine my surprise when I found myself staring, in awe, at my nails and smiling, in spite of myself. I know that there are varying methods in application for this type of polish. Some favor a thin coat, some thick. I applied a thin coat on each nail. It almost seemed like it thinned out the base color a bit but that could have been, as my friend often says, "operator error" and perhaps I should have let the base color dry longer than I did. However, I really like the overall look. I really love the pastel creamy base colors, Delphinium and Barracuda (as you probably know by now if you've been following me for a while, I ADORE sky blue). As for the crackles, I reluctantly confess that I am now a fan and I'm excited to try them out over darker colors where they may have even more impact. It's not often that I publicly eat my words but I must admit, I might have been wrong about the crackle trend. When using quality polish like this, I'm kind of digging it. Enjoy this moment while it lasts. It isn't likely to happen again. ;)

*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click HERE for further information.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

La Fresh Wipes - A Fresh Idea?

Hi ho, kittens! Today I'd like to introduce a new product to me, *La Fresh Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover. Below is an excerpt from press documentation I received with the product:

"LA FRESH ECO-BEAUTY ACETONE-FREE NAIL POLISH REMOVER is a revolutionary, good-for-nails polish remover that quickly cleans & conditions all 10 nails with just one pad. Helps moisturize with Aloe, Glycerin and Vitamin E. Helps strengthen nails with natural Rosemary and Horsetail Extract. And best of all, helps deliver an unbelievably fresh experience with natural Tuscan orange aromatherapy."

Let me start out by saying...ten wipe? Honestly, I was skeptical. Most polish fans know that polish, especially glitter (which I happened to be wearing) is notoriously difficult to remove. Because of this, I tend to stick with pure acetone remover. However, eager and hopeful, I gave this a try. Here is my hand, pre-remover. Note, I had on a base coat, two coats of color, a coat of glitter and top coat. This pad had its work cut out for it.

Here is a shot of the brave wipe:
Here, my friends, is a shot of my hand, post-wipe:
And finally, the little wipe that could, after I cleaned, yes, ALL 10 nails!
It took a bit of elbow grease to get the stubborn five layers of polish off all ten nails but, by God, this wipe did the job. I can't tell you how impressed I am with this product. It does what it should and smells LOVELY while doing it. Even my husband, who "makes" me go in another room when I do my mani/pedis because the harsh smell of the polishes bothers him, thought that this product smelled great. It left my hands feeling a bit greasy so even though the product is designed to be used without having to wash afterwards, I did, only because I intend to re-polish and as we all know, polish adheres best to a nice clean nail. For those not intending to polish right away, hand-washing may not be necessary.

Overall, I can't recommend this terrific product highly enough. The fact that it is Cruelty Free (as per their documentation) makes me love it all the more. La Fresh, you've made me a believer, and I'm really glad to get to share this rave review with all of you.

La Fresh products are available at or

*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click HERE for further information.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Hello, kittens! I am pleased to present, *China Glaze Rosita. I must admit, I'm not generally a "pink" person. However, this color definitely makes me smile. I started out with a base coat, then two coats of Rosita. Two coats were not COMPLETELY opaque and under artificial light, a bit of vnl (visible nail line) was still present. However, despite the slight vnl, this color looks quite lovely in natural light, as seen below:
I would describe Rosita as a dark bubblegum pink with a hint of salmon. This color could definitely make me a pink girl...for a while, anyway. ;)

*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click HERE for more information.

Check This Out!

Yesterday, I received a really ingenious product that I'd like to share with you. It's called the *Nail Love Nail & Cuticle Care Pen. It is made by IT Cosmetics. In the company's own words, here's what it's all about:

"Nail Love Cuticle and Nail Oil Pen is the newest addition to IT Cosmetics' collection of innovative multi-solution beauty products. It treats and conditions cuticles, strenghtens nails with hydrolized collagen, and this exclusive formula has an anti-yellowing complex. Combine that with the healing eucalyptus leaf oil and you'll see this pen packs a whole lot of NAIL LOVE!

First, gently twist the base of the pen, then apply the oil formula with the brush along your cuticles. Next, use the soft-touch, firm rubber cuticle pusher on the top of the cap to gently push back your cuticles. Finally, use your fingers to rub the excess oil into your cuticles and nail beds. You will see the benefits instantly, with cleaner more conditioned looking nails.

The beneficial ingredients including a Pro-Collagen blend plus Vitamins A, C, E and Pro-Vitamin B5 work to strenghten and protect your nails over time! The Healing Eucalyptus Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Jojoba seed Oil work to heal hangnails and torn cuticles giving a soothing effect you can feel immediately. Now that's something your nails and cuticles will love!"

See, they described it much better that I could have! I opened the bottle and turned the base quite a few times before I saw the oil begin dispensing. What I LOVED is that, despite my eagerness, the oil is dispensed sparingly so that there is little room for waste. Sounds awesome already, right? First, I used the soft brush to swipe the oil over the cuticles on my left hand, then used the pusher to push them back. Then I repeated the process on my right hand. Finally, as directed, I rubbed the remaining oil into my cuticles and nail beds with my fingers.

I am really quite pleased with the results. There was no noticeable fragrance to this product, which was a plus for me, as so many nail treatment products have, for lack of a better word, a "funky" smell. It softened up my cuticles nicely for pushing, too. I'm sure this product will be a regular part of my manicure routine.

*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click HERE for further information.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Woo hoo, go me! Thanks to Whitney at Elemental Styles for tagging me on this one. I do so enjoy these type of posts. I think they're a lot of fun!

The rules are:
1. Thank the person that gave you the award and link back to them
2. Post 7 things about yourself
3. Pass the love to 15 bloggers
4. Let them know they received this award
(Of course, I won't be doing parts three and four. As you probably know by now, I love all of my fellow bloggers and for me, tagging only certain folks is like choosing between your kids, I just can't do it.)

Seven Things About Myself
1. I have never left the United States and sometimes I wonder if I ever will. (I really REALLY want to.)
2. I live in Florida and have for the past 7 1/2 years, even though I DESPISE the heat.
3. My favorite television show in history was the soap opera Santa Barbara. I watched it religiously for almost its entire run, even when it got stupid beyond belief, and I miss it to this day.
4. I have never had a dog as a pet but I'd really like to someday. Male or female, I'd like to call my dog Bailey.
5. I think that the DVR is one of the best inventions EVER and I would be heartbroken to be without it.
6. My favorite candy is Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. Other Reese's candies are awesome but the eggs rock the loudest in my book.
7. My favorite song in life is "Don't Wanna Fall in Love" by Jane Child. She is SO underrated as an artist.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hard Candy Mushroom

Hi ho, kittens! The star of my current mani is *Mushroom by Hard Candy. I started with a base coat of Duri Rejuvacote, followed by one coat of Mushroom, as seen here: Clearly, this polish is not a one-coater. I was a bit concerned about the patchiness but I had a sneaking suspicion that the second coat would even things out nicely, which it did, as evidenced here: I so wish I was a better photographer because honestly, after the second coat, this polish looked really terrific. It was a slightly difficult formula to work with, a bit thick and challenging to manage, but with results like these, it's worth a little bit of extra effort. When I showed this mani to my hubby, he said it looked "rich" and reminded him of chocolate pudding. (Again, I wish I could take better pics to reflect this. I'm hoping that my photography skills will continue to improve over time.) I found it a little bit "cooler" than pudding-colored, like there was a touch of gray mixed in with the brown, and it is definitely unlike anything else I own. A pleasant surprise, for sure.

*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click HERE for further information. Please click HERE for further information.

Sunshine Award

Thanks to the lovely Jeanie at Midnight Manicures, I received the Sunshine Award. How fun! Here goes nothing...

1) Favorite color - sky blue
2) Favorite animal - manatee
3) Favorite number - 4
4) What perfume am i using right now - None but one of my current faves is G by Harajuku Lovers
5) Something you always wear with you and identifies you - my engagement/wedding rings
6) What's your passion? Evolving
7) Getting or giving presents? - BOTH!
8) What was the last eyeshadow you used? - No clue. I rarely wear makeup.
9) Favorite day of the week - Saturday
10) Are your nails painted right now? Yep. I'm wearing Hard Candy Mushroom, which I'll be reviewing shortly, on my fingernails and OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue on my toenails.

As you may know, I don't like to single out folks to tag. Anyone reading this who would like to participate, consider yourself tagged. :)

Pedi in Blue

I'm a little behind on this one, sorry, but this is the pedi I got on my last full day in NY (last Monday, to be exact). My mom and I were trying to think of something fun to do and she kept commenting on the sorry state of her nails. I had just gotten a mani a few days prior with a friend (click HERE if you'd like to see it) so my fingernails were still looking good. Finally, she said a mani would be fun and I said I could definitely use a pedi and away we went. I hadn't had a pedi in at least two or three years (I mean, that someone else did for me. Of course, I polish my own toenails often and do the other "foot pampering" stuff from time to time, though not nearly often enough) and wow, I had forgotten what a lovely experience it is. Sitting back in a big comfy chair while SOMEONE ELSE scrubs my feet, tends to my unruly cuticles and, of course, applies polish, is a fabulous treat, especially with all the wear and tear my feet get being almost constantly in flip flops here in Florida. Choosing my polish color was fun, too, as the salon mostly had Essie and OPI colors to choose from. I only own one Essie color and three OPIs and three of those were contest/giveaway prizes and the last was a gift from my mom. After close examination, I finally settled on OPI Yoga-Ta Get This Blue. Though the color looked almost sparkly in the bottle, it isn't, but it is a gorgeous deep blue shimmer, as you can see below. (Sorry for the weirdness on my second toe. I shave my feet and I think that was the remnants of a shaving nick.) I can't comment on the ease of application as I didn't apply it myself but it certainly looked opaque and shiny after the manicurist applied a base, two coats of color and a top coat (base and top coat brands unknown. They were in unmarked bottles.) I wish I owned this color but as I have placed myself on a strict no-buy for the foreseeable future (more about that, later) I won't, at least for the time being. Oh, I do have to share, the photo was taken with my bare foot on my mom's front lawn (the front yard of the house I grew up in and lived in for the first 30 years of my life) and boy, oh boy, was it nice to stand barefoot in that grass, again. I don't walk barefoot in the grass at my apartment here in Florida for fear of ending up in an ant hill (they're plentiful) or stuff left behind by the landscapers. Plus, I have yet to see piles of clovers here like there are at "home." Sometimes, it's the simple things.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's a Brainstorm - Kari Cares

I just wanted to share my new idea with all of you. Inspired by my new polish friend George's comment in a polish forum about a great organization called Teal Toes, who's goal is to raise awareness about ovarian cancer, I've decided to challenge myself to do at least one mani and/or pedi a month to raise awareness for a cause that is important to me. I will be calling my humble effort "Kari Cares." Since I am still wearing my LGBT rainbow skittle mani, I hereby proclaim June 2011 as the launch of this new campaign of mine. It may be a small thing to do but if it makes even one person think about these causes, I feel like it will make a difference, not to mention, it will be fun, too. I'm really excited about this! I've amassed quite a polish collection in the past six months (to put this in perspective, I started out with about 10 polishes in my collection this January) and I'm eager to play with the untrieds in my stash and this will help motivate me to do so. So yay to new ideas! I can't wait to share this mini-adventure with all of you!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What's in My Purse

This post is TOTALLY unrelated to polish and COMPLETELY related to plain old fun! Thanks to Allison at I Am Definitely Addicted for tagging me. Here's how this works: empty your purse, answer the questions and tag five other bloggers who might want to play, too. And away we go!
Here is my purse:

Here is the stuff that was in my purse: 1. Where did you get your purse, and how long have you had it? I got my purse from my fantabulous Mom about two years ago, I think. She bought it at Century 21, where she works, which is an AMAZING store in NY.

2. What are 3 must-haves (not including keys and wallet) in your purse? 1. my phone (which I rarely use to make calls. I'm a big texter though.) 2. my day planner (in which I write down everything even remotely interesting that I do each day. I've done this for about 10 years.) 3. my ruby stone nail file. Duh! ;)

3. What is something that you should have in your purse right now, but don't? Tissues. It's actually quite rare for me not to have tissues in my purse.

4. What is the thing you have the most of in your purse right now? Coupons! LOL

5. Is there something in your purse you should explain? I got the little Gumby last year when visiting my mom in NY. We were actually on an overnight trip to Mystic Connecticut and got him in a cute little funky gift shop. My mom has called me Pokie for years so I actually wanted a mini Pokey (Gumby's horse pal) but they didn't have any. Inspired by a friend who used to have a Creature from the Black Lagoon toy that she photographed in various locations, I decided that Gumby would be that sort of pal for me. I keep him in my purse all the time but usually forget he's there so he hasn't been photographed in as many interesting places as I'd hoped. A sad footnote to this story - my friend lost her creature toy and hasn't been able to find another one since. :(

I hate singling out folks to tag so if you're reading this, I tag YOU! I'd love to see what you have in your purses. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kari Cares - LGBT Month Rainbow Skittle Manicure

Today's mani holds a special place in my heart as it was done to show my support for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender) month. A few weeks ago, a friend pointed out that June was LGBT month and suggested that we create special manis to signify this and show our support. I immediately decided that a rainbow skittle mani would be perfect. Another friend chose today, June 17, as the date for fellow polish friends, fans and bloggers to create and share our special manis. Here is mine: From thumb to pinky I used *Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (SHCSM) in Runway Red-y, *Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Coral Fever, China Glaze Lemon Fizz, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in Mint Sprint and *Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Model Behavior. I used two coats of each color, no base or top coat, as the SHCSM polishes were designed to be used alone as they incorporate the benefits of Base Coat, Strengthener, Growth Treatment, Color and Top Coat all in one bottle. I decided to be consistent and use the other two types of polish alone as well to see how they hold up in comparison. I have to say, I was surprised initially by the unusually wide brushes in the Sally Hansen polishes and wasn't sure if I'd like them but wow, what an innovative and awesome idea. It made application really easy, basically three swipes down each nail and the color was nicely distributed. Each of the five colors I used was opaque in two coats, though the China Glaze was a little bit patchy. Lemon Fizz was, by far, the palest shade I used so that may account for the patchiness. It wasn't enough to bother me and I'm sure a third coat would have evened it out completely. Overall, I'm really pleased with each of these colors. I'm excited to see how the manicure holds up as I've been pretty religious about base and top coating lately.

As I said, this manicure is quite special to me because of what it represents. I hope it expresses, in some small way, my support for the right to love freely, safely and without fear or shame. I hope that as we as human beings evolve, we learn to embrace our differences and to love and let love. <3

*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click HERE for further information.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New York Mani

Meow, kittens! Here is the mani I received during my trip to New York. I met up with a friend and she was kind enough to treat me to a girl's day consisting of manis, shopping and lunch. I chose a Color Club blue glitter as I had never tried the brand before. I forgot to take note of the name but from what I could surmise from their website, I'm pretty sure it's Sexy Siren from the Glitter Vixen Collection. Feast your eyes: This was two coats. They put on a base coat (no idea what brand) and honestly, I don't recall if the manicurist top-coated it or not but I added a coat of Rejuvacote when I got back to my mom's place. This color appeared more holo in the bottle but it's still quite nice, especially in the sunlight. It does have the gritty texture that I am growing to slightly despise but alas, that is the price I must pay, on occasion, for super-sparkle. Of course, being a blue addict, I am pretty happy with this color. I would definitely venture into trying more Color Club polishes in the future. What do you think? Are you familiar with their products? If so, which colors do you love best?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Serendipitious Moment

Hey hey, kittens. This is just a quickie post to let you all know about the awesome moment I had today. As you may have read, I am currently on Long Island visiting my mom. I spent the day in NYC today and during my travels, found myself at the Times Square Visitor's Center to enjoy On Broadway, a weekly program on Sirius XM radio featuring Broadway stars chatting and performing. Among today's guests was Ana Gasteyer, who was hilarious on SNL and portrayed Elphaba for a time in my beloved Wicked. After the program, I met Ms. Gasteyer, got her autograph and snapped a quick picture of the two of us. What makes this all relevant to this blog is that she said she liked my polish (still my blue ombre mani from last week. I'm on vacation so I haven't re-polished. So, sue me, lol.) What a neat moment and how nice to have a celeb who's work I admire pay me a compliment. Just thought it would be fun to share with all of you. I'll be home on Tuesday and probably won't post again until a few days after that when I get my nails polished again (I've had several nail goodies arrive in the mail while I've been here so I'll have lots to share next week). Have to wrap this up as my mom's cat is head-butting me in the arm to make me stop typing and resume petting him, lol, so until then, thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Hello kittens! (P.S. Remind me to tell you why I call you kittens, sometime.) ;) Just wanted to let you all know that I will be headed up to NY to my mom's place tomorrow and I will be there until the 14th, yay! I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to post while I'm up there but if I do, I will. I'm not bringing any polish with me but, of course, I'll be hunting for new ones during my visit. If you don't hear from me until after the 14th, now you'll know why and I will, of course, have news and pics to share upon my return. Thanks to each and every one of you for following me. Your support overwhelms me and I am constantly humbled by it. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Press Release - China Glaze Crackle Metals!


China Glaze Introduces Six New Crackle Glaze Polishes in Sparkling Metallics for Summer 2011

Los Angeles, CA – (June 2011): Set your summer style to “sizzle” with China Glaze’s new Crackle Glaze Metals collection. The pioneer in crackle technology, China Glaze takes the beauty phenomenon to the next level with this second-generation polish that pairs the edgy innovation of crackle with the elegant beauty of metals. The China Glaze Crackle Glaze Metals collection features six sparkling metallic colors including:

· Tarnished Gold: Warm, honeyed hue

· Platinum Pieces: Shimmering silver

· Haute Metal: Pale pink

· Cracked Medallion: Bold bronze

· Latticed Lilac: Soft lavender

· Oxidized Aqua: Deep aquamarine blue

Create dramatically different looks with just one sweep of China Glaze Crackle Glaze Metals. Layer over different base colors to create bold styles. Use a lighter coat to create a fine crackle, a thicker coat for a deep shatter effect. As versatile and edgy as China Glaze’s biggest celebrity fans (Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Nicole Ritchie and Kelly Osbourne, to name a few), Glaze Crackle Glaze Metals is sure to be this summer’s hottest beauty trend!

The China Glaze Crackle Glaze Metals collection will be available as open stock colors and 12 piece counter display with a unique Crackle Glaze screen and including an instructional hang tag.

China Glaze is free of DBP, toluene, and added formaldehyde.

China Glaze nail lacquers are available through salons and professional beauty supply stores nationwide. For more information, visit: or follow China Glaze on Twitter:

China Glaze is a division of American International Industries.

About American International Industries

For nearly 40 years, AII has been the leading manufacturer and worldwide distributor of innovative, quality beauty and skin care products for men and women. Our product lines include Ardell, Andrea, Body Drench, Bye Bye Blemish, Checi, China Glaze, Clean + Easy, Clubman/Pinaud, Duo, European Secrets, EzFlow, Fright Night, Gena, GiGi, Gypsy Lash, IBD, Jeris-Lustray, No Tweeze/Micro Tweeze, 'N Rage, Prolinc, RAW, Seche, SuperNail, Surgi-Care, Waterworks, Winning Nails, Woltra, Woody’s, and Youthair. For more information, visit our website:

My First Ombre

Hello, kittens! Happy June! Today features me jumping on another nail trend, the ombre mani. To the best of my knowledge, an ombre is like a skittle mani but features all shades in one color graduating from lighter to darker (or vice-versa). Of course, I decided to try it in blue, quelle surprise. ;) For this mani I used Essence Denim Wanted in My Boyfriend's Jeans (thumb), Sally Hansen Blue Me Away (index), Zoya Breezi (middle), Zoya Yummy (ring) and a light blue franken I whipped up (pinky). Though, in retrospect, I wish I had reversed the order of Blue Me Away and Breezi, I'm pretty happy with the look, otherwise. This just goes to show that it's not a bad idea to swatch your colors onto a piece of paper before applying your polish to make sure you're happy with the color order (a lesson I certainly learned). I applied a base of Duri Rejuvacote followed by two coats of each color. I will eventually apply a top coat, too (hopefully before they chip) but haven't yet because I'm too lazy, lol.
Here's another look: If you've followed me for a while, you're aware that I am madly in love with the color sky blue so you can bet I'll be wearing this mani again, perhaps with a few tweaks, in the future. :)