Fancy French Tips

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Today’s nail art is a twist on a classic look. I read somewhere that the ‘french’ manicure was actually started in California and the guy called it ‘french’ so that it sounded fancier. He needed a mani that would go well with all costume changes for actresses. If memory serves, I read this in one of the recent issues if Mental Floss magazine. I also read that high heels were originally invented for men so it was easier to ride horses. And then women Bogarted the look. Yay, us!

This french mani starts with two coats of Essence Pearls are a Girl’s Best Friend which is from the awesome Aquatix collection. I used Konad White a design from Pueen 75 to stamp on top. One of my goals for 2015 is to do a little more than just stamping for my nail art, so once this dried, I taped off the tips and used OPI Alpine Snow. I think the essence and the OPI are perfect french tip colors and the stamping adds a little flair and uniqueness.



Pink and Teal Stamping Nail Art

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Today’s mani is for the Crumpet’s Nail Tarts 52-week pick and mix challenge. The prompts for this week are pink/aqua and dotting tools. I decided to combine the two prompts for this week’s mani.  I started with two coats of Sephora Formula X Brazen which is a lovely baby pink. I picked a design from Pueen Plate 75 and used Mundo de Unas Fiji to stamp. Finally, I used Essence Girl’s Night Out (which was originally sent to me as a press sample) to dot the centers of the little flowers in the stamped design.


I think that I went a touch overboard with the dots. It just looks like girly mold. Also, I’m a very irresponsible blogger and did not take a picture before I dotted the design! Sheesh! What is wrong with me? I hope you don’t think I’ve failed you! ;)



Here is a plain swatch of Sephora Formula X Brazen so you can see what a lovely and innocent pink it is. It’s kinda funny that the name is Brazen!


Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you liked your visit! Please come again. :P

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Essence Glitter Tips

I received these two Essence polishes from Essence a few weeks ago. I wanted to pair them together today because I love teal and pink together. The pink is Essence Girls Night Out and this teal glitterbomb is Essence Party in a Bottle.




Essence Fall/Winter 2014 Selections


{Press Sample}

I reached out to Essence a couple weeks ago asking if I could be emailed when new collections were coming out. Essence is one of my favorite drugstore brands! Much to my delight, they offered to send me some selections from their Fall/Winter 2014 offerings. I’ve seen these in my local grocery store and my Ulta over the past few months, so they should still be available where Essence polishes are sold. I love Essence because it’s so inexpensive, yet still manages to be great quality! Plus, their color offerings are gorgeous, especially in their limited edition collections. I don’t know if you remember their Superheroes collection from last summer, but I drove to about 6 stores looking for them!! That’s brand dedication right there. (Or a serious polish addiction…but let’s call it brand loyalty, ok?)

Essence Party in a Bottle

Party in a Bottle is a sea green glitter topper. I layered it over one coat of black. I did two coats of Party in a Bottle. You might be able to do four coats of just the glitter to get a serious glitter bombs happening on your nails. The glitter to suspension base ratio is quite good. You get a ton of glitter on the brush.



Essence Party Crasher

Party Crasher is a purple micro-glitter. I layered two coats of Party Crasher over black. You could easily do three coats of Party Crasher and not need a base color at all! There is a ton of glitter in the bottle and the brush picks up a lot of it.



Essence Candy Crush

Candy Crush is from their matte collection. This formula is a little on the thick side. I love how this coral color looks, but I would say it’s more of a satin finish rather than a matte finish. It doesn’t have the high shine of creme polishes, but it’s not as dull as many other matte finishes – it’s somewhere in between. I actually love satin finishes, so that’s ok with me! ;)


Essence Glitz & Glam

Glitz & Glam is a gorgeous glitter topper that would look great over any color. It has pink glitter in it but also mother-of-pearl shimmers. It gives any creme a really unique and beautiful finish. This is two coats over a base of white.



Essence Baby You’re a Firework

Baby You’re a Firework is part of their sparkling sand texture. This one is super sheer so I layered it over white. It is a very light pink and the texture is super fine. If you don’t like texture, just put a topcoat on this one and it will be smooth.



Essence Girls Night Out

Girls Night Out is going to be added to their regular line, I believe. It’s a fuchsia shimmer. I totally love this color!



Thanks again to Essence for sending these polishes my way. It’s an honor to work with them. I’m a huge fan!

Colorful Butterfly Wings Nail Art

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Today’s nail art was a bit of an experiment in my coloring skills. I wanted to use the Butterfly Wings image from Vivid Lacquer Plate VL004 but I wanted the blank spots to be filled in. So whilst watching Doctor Who, I decided to do a little polish color to make some colorful butterfly wings nail art!

I started with two coats of Essence Pearls are a Girl’s Best Friend which is from the Aquatix Collection. Then, I used Konad Black to stamp the design from the plate. Then, I used different colors from the Aquatix collection to fill in the spaces and dot in the empty spaces as well. I mostly like how this turned out. Even though I was very careful, the polish still bled over the black a little. The only way to really prevent this is to be even more careful (not sure that was possible) or to make a decal instead of doing it straight on the nail.


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Wild Animal Nail Art Challenge

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Today’s nail art is for this week’s Crumpet’s Nail Tarts challenge. The two prompts for this week are Wild Animals and/or yellow. This post just addresses the wild animals prompt. :) I started with two coats of Essence Finding Dori which is from the new Aquatix Collection. Then, I used Konad Black and Vivid Lacquer Plate VL010 to stamp this leopard (or cheetah???) print on top. Once that was dry, I used scotch tape for taping off the tips and painted Sephora Formula X Dark Matter on the tips. Lastly, I used my trusty striping tape to line the edge and give it a finished look.


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Essence Aquatix Collection

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I was lucky enough to have a friend in a Facebook group who was able to help me snag the Essence Aquatix collection. The Essence Limited Edition collections have been knocking it out of the park lately and this collection is no exception. I’m thrilled with it and was oooohing and aaaaahing at every stroke!


Essence Under Water Love

Under Water Love is one of the two textured polishes in the collection. This has the traditional texture finish but this is also a duochrome! It shifts from teal to dark blue. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s a little thick so you’ll want to try to use thin coats.

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Gold Lace Stamping Nail Art

Today’s stamping nail art used Cici&Sisi Plate 03 which has a lovely spiral lace stamp design. I started with two coats of Essence Gothic Gold which is from their limited edition Dark Romance collection. It’s an antique golden texture polish. I used Konad Special Black to stamp the design. The design I picked is in the bottom right corner.




I really love how this one turned out. The stamp transferred very well and I love the look of gold and black together.






Lacy Rose Nail Art Stamping

I have some more nail art stamping for you today using my Cici&Sisi stamping plate collection! Today I’m obsessing over plate 03. It has a lot of very lovely designs! I gravitated to the rose design with the lacy background. It’s directly NW of the quarter.





I started with two coats of Essence Dark Night Starlight which is from their limited edition Dark Romance Collection. You can find it at drugstores such as Fred Meyer as well as at Ulta. I used Konad Special Black to stamp the design. I used the stamper that comes with the Cici and Sisi plates because it’s pretty much my favorite stamper ever.






What do you think of today’s design? Have you tried the Cici&Sisi stamping plates yet? I’m totally in love with them!

Gothic Nail Art Stamping

Today’s post is very much Gothic nail art. I was inspired by the new collection by Essence – the Dark Romance Collection! It has three gorgeous polishes. The one I’m using today is Essence Red Romance. It’s a dark, oxblood red polish that dries to a natural matte finish without a top coat. It really speaks to me for some reason! I decided it simply must have some sort of Goth stamping on top of it so I selected a design from Cici&sisi Plate 03. I used Konad Special Black as my stamping polish.


I actually used two designs from this plate, both in the bottom left corner. I used the half image for most of my nails, but the full sized image for my accent nail.



I love the look of the half image on the nails. It really gives it a lovely lacy kind of look.






Essence Dark Romance Collection

I was doing my grocery shopping yesterday and of course that always involves a trip to the nail polish aisle! I saw a new display in the Essence collection called Dark Romance. I was immediately intrigued and grabbed all three polishes! It’s a very vampy and gothic collection with three different finishes.

Essence Dark Romance Collection


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This Mani is a Zoo

I wrote last week about the stamping plate challenge that I’m participating in. The idea is to pick a stamping plate and to use all the images from it by the end of the month. My plate for August is My Online Shop MJ XII which has a TON of images on it. Most mani’s, I’m going to double-up on the images but none of the other ones looked quite right for this one. This one is full of adorable zoo animals! I started with two coats of Essence Girls Just Want to Have Sun! which is from their Beach Cruisers collection. Then, I used Konad special white to stamp the design on top.


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Essence Beach Cruisers Swatches

I’m a huge fan of Essence polishes so when I saw the Essence Beach Cruisers available at my Fred Meyer, I snatched up all three colors. These are all part of the sparkling sand finish. All swatches shown are two coats. These went on nicely and dried very fast!

Essence Girls Just Wanna Have Sun! is a dark coral color. I wish these had a little more sparkle, but I do like them!


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Tri-Polish Tuesday – A Day at the Beach

Hooray! I finally made a tri-polish Tuesday mani that I really like. This month’s colors have been super hard for me. They are nude, coral, and turquoise. Today, my brain finally realized that combination could create a cool ocean mani. For my nude, I picked China Glaze Don’t Honk Your Thorn, for coral I picked Sally Hansen Peachy Breeze, and for the turquoise I picked essence The Incredible from the awesome superheroes collection.


I started with two coats of essence The Incredible. After it was dry, I used Sally Hansen Peachy Breeze and MoYou FairyTale Collection Plate 06 to stamp ocean creatures on my nails. Then, I dabbed China Glaze Don’t Honk Your Thorn on the tips to simulate the ocean floor. I like how it turned out!



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Swatch Spam: Drugstore Nail Polish Edition (Pic Heavy!)

Here are some swatches that I’ve been holding on to for you. These are all from the drugstore and are less than $6 each (Essence is $1.99!) and pretty easy to find. Some of these pics were taken before I rearranged my lighting setup, so they’re a little dark. But I hope you like them anyway! :D

This first one is LA Girl 3D Holographic Brilliant Blue. The application on this one was super easy and smooth! And look at the depth in this one! They weren’t kidding when they called this line “3D”!!



LA Girl Teal Dimension is another from the 3D Hologram collection. This is two coats and gorgeous!LA-Girl-Teal-Dimension-Swatch


LA Girl Sparkle Ruby is my favorite of the three 3D Hologram polishes that I own. It’s a cheerful red. This is two coats.



This is Essence Me and My Lover from their sparkle sand collection. It’s a bright apple red with tons of little sparkles. Since I’m a huge fan of sparkly texture polishes, I obviously love this!



Essence Here’s My Number is a black sparkle sand with silver shimmers. This is two coats.



And last but certainly not least, Sally Hansen Mauve It from the Insta-Dri line. I picked this one up because I heard Insta-Dri stamps well so I can’t wait to try it out! THis is two coats.



The BadA$$ Mani Prompt

This week, the Adventures in Stamping challenge is to create a mani inspired by “BadA$$”. I immediately went to my MoYou Rebel Collection plate, of course! I spotted Marilyn Monroe on there and totally wanted to stamp her face on my nails. :) She might not be who you immediately think of when you think of a BadA$$ but to me, I think she was. To complement her image, I chose Bundle Monster Plate 21 which has a cherry design. You’ll see the one of the things I don’t like about BM is that the images aren’t big enough for my nails. :(

I used Essence Super, Man! as my base color. Then I used Konad Special Black and Special Red for stamping.





Essence Superheroes Collection

When I first heard about the Essence Superhereos Collection, I just knew I had to have it. I kept waiting for my grocery store to get it, but it never came in! Then, one weekend, I made my husband drive around to six different stores looking for them! At the 6th store, I found 2 of the 6. Luckily, I’m in a locals polish addicts group and one of the girls picked up three more for me! Hooray!


I’m only missing one – the gold one. None of my locals stores seem to have it! So it’s just one I’ll have to keep on my “In Search Of” list and keep my fingers crossed!

Essence The Incredible is a sand effect finish. It’s a beautiful teal with little sparklies! This is two coats.



Essence Fantastic Girl is a thermal effect finish. It starts as a royal purple and then when it gets hot, it turns a lighter lilac! I think thermal polishes are so cool! I’m sorry about the smudged polish in the second photo! I was too eager to run it under hot water and it got smudged by the water. Oops! :P I needed three coats for full opacity on this one.



Essence The Awesome is the galaxy flakes finish. It’s a light lilac jelly that looks remarkably like Fantastic Girl when hot. The Awesome has medium hex glitters and small glitters. I did three coats for this swatch.



Essence Super, Man! is the holo effect finish. It’s a metallic silver with tiny holo shimmers. It’s so sparkly and pretty in real life! This is two coats.



Essence Power Girl is the oil slick effect finish. This one is absolutely my favorite of the collection. It’s a gorgeous duochrome that shifts from dark blue to purple. I love this one! This is two coats but I actually could have gotten away with one.



Do you like the collection? I think for $1.99 a pop, this collection is a total win. I love the finishes, the theme is amazing, and I’m so glad I got them all!

Essence Hey, Nude with a Sax

Hey, Nude, how about we add a little sax to the mani today? ;) ;) ;)

For this mani, I started with two coats of Essence Hey, Nude which is a sparkle sand nude polish. With two coats, it still showed a little visible nail line. I wasn’t too concerned about that since I knew I was going to stamp over it. I decided on Pueen Plate 67 because it had a cool music theme. I used Konad Special Black nail polish because I didn’t have time to play around and see what other polish might work better! LOL! Here’s what I ended up with:





MoYou Suki Collection Plate 07

Today’s mani is part of the Adventures in Stamping Sunday Challenge. The challenge this week was ‘pastels’. I selected Essence That’s What I Mint as my stamping polish and it actually stamps pretty well! For my base color, I picked Color Club Endless Summer which is a lovely pastel pink. I selected a MoYou Stamping Plate from the Suki Collection. This is plate 07. I am super duper impressed with the MoYou plates. The images are so crisp and clean! Also, each plate has a ton of different full nail designs you can use. In my mani below, you won’t get a specific Asian feel, but when you look at the plate as a whole, that’s what you see. This is why the MoYou stamping plates are so cool! They have so much versatility!!!

Just look at all the different designs from MoYou Suki Collection Plate 07!!!!!!!!!!

MoYou Stamping Plate Suki Collection 07

I picked four different designs from the plate for variety on each nail. I like how subtle the stamping is with the pastels.

Stamping Nail Art MoYou

MoYou Stamping Suki Collection

Color Club Endless Summer

GOT: Pastels

“GOT” stands for Golden Oldies Thursdays and it was a weekly challenge started by one of my favorite bloggers, The Crumpet. Every Thursday, you pick a polish that you haven’t used in over a year or at least one you’ve owned for more than a year. Then, you follow the week’s theme. This week’s theme is pastels. I decided to go with Essence That’s What I Mint, but I have to admit, I’ve only had if for 11 months. :D I also picked Zoya Megan which I got in a Birchbox ages and ages ago. At least two years ago! So I figured that if you average them out, it still counts.

Since I’m not feeling well at all :( , I decided to do something extremely simple. I started with two coats of Essence That’s What I Mint and then dotted Zoya Megan on the tips for a funky, easy french mani.

Essence That's What I Mint

GOT Pastels

Zoya Megan

Springtime Flowers Dotticure!!!

It’s a bright, sunny day in the Pacific NW! Well…at least it is at the time of this writing! Who knows what it will be like with I publish this post in a few days! LOL

I was in the mood for another springtime manicure. Polishes used:

Andrea’s Choice Circus Somersault (yellow)
Formula X for Sephora Unmistakable (mint)
Formula X for Sephora Brazen (pink)
Essence Off to Miami (coral)

I certainly hope you like it! If you do, let me know in the comments! I read every one!

Don’t forget to enter my March giveaway by visiting here.

Andrea's Choice Circus Somersault

Essence Off to Miami

Formula X for Sephora Brazen

Formula X for Sephora Unmistakable

Essence Peel Off Basecoat Review

I saw this new essence nail art peel off base coat at the grocery store for $3-5 (can’t remember exactly). I thought it would be an interesting experiment.

The concept is that you apply a generous coat of this and let it completely dry. Then, you do your manicure as usual (not using another basecoat of course).

It smells kind of like white out! It goes on white and then you know it’s dry when it’s clear. It takes up to 10 minutes. I didn’t time it, but it felt a lot faster than that.


After a few minutes of drying time. You wait until it’s totally clear so as you can see in this photo, I need to wait a few more minutes.

Then, I did my manicure with L’Oreal New Money and L’Oreal Sweet Nothings.
I had the mani on for a few hours and decided to peel off and see what happened.

It came off easily! I just picked at the edge and it started peeling right up.

Easy-peasy! Look at that! Right off in one fell swoop!

I picked off my other nails…

When applying, you’ll want to be careful to get it everywhere you’re going to get polish. In this thumb photo, you can still see green at my cuticle. I didn’t get the peel off basecoat all the way down but I put polish down there. I little polish remover took care of that, though!

My opinion is that this basecoat is revolutionary to us nail painting junkies! Really, the only thing that keeps me from doing my nails more than once a day is that polish remover dries out my cuticles and skin so much. Well… with this, you won’t need to buy remover ever again! Ok. Maybe a little if you have a little incident like I did on my thumb. :)  But even with that, I will surely be re-purchasing this product again and again!

As a final test, I wanted to see how it would do on glitter polish. Glitter is infamous for it’s troublesome removal. Well, scrub no more! It peels right off!

This is a must-have in any polish lovers arsenal of tools!

Drugstore Nail Haul! aka…Best Day Ever!

If you have great attention to detail, you will have noticed that this is my second post today that is FULL of polish!!! After I got this haul at the grocery store, I came home to discover that the mailman had delivered my May 2013 Julep Maven Upgrade box! To see pics of that, click here.

Back row: Essence Nail Stickers, Essence Dotting Tool, Essence French Tip Guides.
Front row: Revlon Whimsical, Maybelline Blue Blowout, Maybelline Styled Out, L’Oreal Sweet Nothings, Essence Peel Off Base Coat, L’Real New Money, Wet n Wild Bijou Blue, Wet n Wild Night Prowl, Wet n Wild Caribbean Frost, Essence That’s What I Mint!, Essence Off to Miami!

I am very intrigued by this base coat. The idea is that you will be able to peel the polish off later, I guess without needed polish remover. For $3, I thought it was worth the experiment!

It’s raining nail polish in my house today!!! :) :) :)