Then and Now: A Year in Review

Well ladies and's the end of the year again.  I can't believe I've been blogging now for over two years.  I can believe that I've managed to miss both of my anniversary's!  Fail. That's OK though, because celebration or no, I can see the vast improvement that those two years have made.  The picture above is my very first post of 2012.  When the year started I had already improved by leaps and bounds and I was feeling AWESOME about where I was at.  Looking back at it now I can see that I've improved even upon that and THAT feels pretty awesome! It really does show that there is nowhere to go but up and everyone has room to improve!  Here is my last post of 2013 (not counting tomorrows flashback mani!)

The lighting is better, the cuticle line is smoother and the top coat isn't EVERYWHERE. lol...even though you can't see it in the picture, polishing from start to finish (zero nail art) now takes me around 10 minutes. That's base to top and ready to go.  I feel great about that!  So what else has changed since 2011? Well let's see shall we?

*New blog layout. I got a brand new layout and graphic courtesy of Emma of Manicurity and my sister, who makes super sweet graphics and who put the whole thing together for my lazy butt!! Thanks to both of them for giving Bee Polished a fresh, new look!

*Rehab Series. This year I got a nail tech degree.  I started in January and finished in April and it was the LONGEST three months of my life.  I spent many hours in school and working and had practically no time to do anything, let alone my nails!  But it was worth it for all the wonderful information I gained. :)  It allowed me to bring my Rehab Your Nails series to you and that will continue in 2013, starting with the New Year New Nails series!

*Regular Challenges. I joined a few regular challenges in 2011 and never was able to keep up.  I started up more this year and have two that are currently running: A-Z and Digit-al Dozen.  I also added mini challenges to keep myself inspired but also not get overwhelmed. Some of them included LOST, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

*Less Polish/More Use. It doesn't seem like it...but I actually purchased significantly less polish this year than last.  In 2011 I started out with about 20 polishes. At the end of that year I had amassed close to 450.  This year I'm around 800.  A good number of those came from swaps and birthday groups.  In the new year I'd like to buy even LESS polish and get around to using more of it.  I'm also gearing up for another blog sale to try to clear out some space. I've already cleared out two drawers of my second helmer!

*More interaction. I had more opportunities to interact with you, my readers, this year.  I'd LOVE to have even more in the next year. I have added a feedback form for you to use if you want to provide me with feedback, whether good or bad.  It's totally anonymous so you can say how you feel!  I also have a Facebook page now and an Instagram account.  I spoke with a lot of you via email this year as well and I love to be able to help you guys out and use your common questions to create new series. :)

*More innovation.  In 2011 I was mostly limiting myself to stamping.  This year I've played with all sorts of textures from flocking to beads.  I'd like to play with even more in the new year!

Hopefully the new year will bring more of the old stuff and plenty of new things as well!! I'd like to focus more on cultivating my blog and do less challenges over time.  I also need a new camera. I think I've reached the maximum quality I'm going to get with this one. It's three years old though, so I feel good about the progress it's made!  I'd love to get down to a reasonable and manageable amount of polish and stick to a more regular blog model so that you'll know what's coming and when!  I also have about six posts which have been sitting in my draft file for TWO years. I'd love to get those up on the blog finally. :)  Later today I'll have up my most popular of 2012 and tomorrow you can watch out for my then and now photo challenge featuring my VERY first blog mani. *shudders* it's scary people. Just scary. 

What are your goals for the new year?

Rehab Your Nails: Anatomy of a Nail

This is a pretty simple chart which shows you the basic parts of your  nail.  The free edge is the white-ish area of the nail which grows beyond the nail bed.  This is the part of the nail that is not attached to the skin of your finger.  The nail plate is the actual nail which sits on top of the nail bed.  It is the hardened nail which IS attached to your finger.  The nail BED is the area of your  nail which is attached but it refers to the actual skin underneath of the nail plate.  The lunula is the little half moon at the base of your nail.  Some can see this and some cannot and still others can only see it on some of their nails.  Whether you can see it or not makes no difference in the health of your nails.  Then we have the cuticle...which I think we've thoroughly covered on this blog!!  Why am I showing you this?  There is a lot of buzz on the web lately as to what makes a long nail bed and before I get into showing you what is or is not a long nail bed, I want you to understand what it is.  

If you were to think about your actual bed (you know, the one you sleep in!) you can think of the nail plate as your sheets.  They cover and protect your mattress and, like your nail plate, you can change them to any color you want!  The mattress would be like your nail bed.  It's there, under the nail plate but you don't expose it (well...maybe on laundry day!) it's there just for support.  Most of us probably don't pay any attention to our nail bed but it's really very important to our nail health.  Damaging the nail bed can cause irreparable damage to your nail plate. How?

Did you ever bite your nails?  If you have you might have experienced the pain of biting too far and hitting skin. Even if you haven't you may have gotten hurt and had a cut under your nail plate which hurt for sometime.  It probably healed and now looks pretty normal but repeatedly injuring the bed can cause the skin to form a "scar".  When this happens the nail bed becomes part of your paronychium and the nail will no longer attach to it.  This shortens your nail bed.  The damage can be temporary and some people who are chronic biters may be able to have normal nail beds again after many years of not biting.  For others, the damage is too much and the nail bed will be shortened for life.  Serious injury can cause this as well as long term nail diseases and disorders.  

If you have short nail beds whether they be self inflicted or genetic, then the next series of posts will be of some interest you!  I'm going to show you, not only what makes a long nail bed but also what you can do to increase your nail bed length and to fake a long nail bed.  I'll even show you how to make your fingers appear longer and slimmer simply by shaping your nail.  Stay tuned next month for my New Year New Nails series! And if you are a biter...make it a resolution to stop right now!!

F is for...Fatty's Got More Blood

  I actually have worn this color before but it's been ages and ages and I'm glad I brought it out again.  I had forgotten how much I love ManGlaze.  Not only are the colors GORGEOUS but they're also so easy to apply and they dry fairly quickly for a matte polish.  Better still they seem to wear better than most matte's. They also have fun names, of course, like today's blood red pick!! All that aside though, the thing I love most about my ManGlaze polishes is that they don't just look amazing matte....they look crazy amazing shiny too!

Gorgeous! They're all so shimmery and pretty.  It's almost a shame to wear them matte, but then again...I'm a sucker for a good suede too!!

Do you have any ManGlaze polish? Do you prefer it shiny or matte?

Don't forget to check out what Emma and Kerrie have for the letter "F"!

Merry Christmas!

Well it's finally upon us.  After weeks of planning, buying, and wrapping...Christmas is here.  Tomorrow it will all  be over and we'll be forced to think about things like new years resolutions and work and school.  So for today...enjoy yourself!  Relax.  Spend time with the people you love.  Eat that extra slice of pie! Whatever it is that makes you smile. :)  I'm off to visit various family functions but I hope you all enjoy the day.  Even if you don't celebrate the holiday!! :)  

The nail art is inspired by popcorn tinsel and ball tinsel and was created using butterLONDON Hampstead Heath, Lime Crime Milky Ways, and Zoya Ziv and Blaze.

Tis the Season...

Another simple Christmas mani!! I can't believe how many of these I've managed to squeeze into the few hours a day I have left to do them in! Seche Vite has been a lifesaver for me since it dries in 15 minutes and I can go to bed without worry of sheet marks!  I actually saw this cute little tree on Zoya's Facebook page and I decided to pair it up with some glitter for a fun twist. The trick to making the tree is to do the outline of it FIRST.  Then fill it in with dots.  I'm glad I purchased the Ornate Collection too because they're coming in very handy this season!  For this one I used Zoya Purity for my white base (and can I just say I'm in LOVE with the white nail look. It's so clean!) and then used OPI Goldeneye (my new favorite gold!) for the top of the tree and Zoya Logan and Blaze for the rest of it.  The glitter is China Glaze Twinkle Lights.  I  just used the brush to kind of dab it on the bottom part of my nail.  I think this is one of my favorites!!  I hope you're all enjoying the holidays and traveling safely!

Can't Catch Me I'm the...

For today's Christmas art I went simple.  I'm running low on time to do them and yet they keep getting chipped at work --TRUST me-- it's a miracle this time of year if they last 24 hours. So rather than sport a chipped mani I've been trying to squeeze in some mini looks.  Things that are easy and don't require loads of dry time in between designing!  This one was wicked easy and only took me 15 minutes start to finish!  I used A-England Dragon for the base. It's a gorgeous holo grassy green color.  Then I used China Glaze Champagne Bubbles to add a gradient on all nails but the ring and then I used a stamp and some Barry M Gold Foil to add a gingerbread man! Easy but gorgeous! These managed three days before I chipped the thumb. :(  Oh well...onto the next!!

 Hope everyone is having a happy holiday season! Aoife helped me build a gingerbread village this year (or rather...she rearranged all the candy for me!)

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

And dream I want snow SO badly this year. Yet, here we are, a mere three days from Christmas and...nothing. Funny enough, the day I did these nails it actually DID snow.  It didn't last's already melted away to nothingness. :(  Anyway here are some pretty snowy nails anyway. I used butter LONDON Fishwife for the base and then used Diamond Geezer to do some subtle snowflakes.  They're fairly hard to see in the picture but they were quite visible in person.  It was a pretty understated look! Are you ready for the holidays?

Who Are You Wearing: Christmas Edition

It's time for another edition of Who Are You Wearing!! Today I'm doing a special Christmas themed WAYW post. :)  I guess I'm starting to get into the Christmas nail art spirit because I've had new Christmas art on my nails pretty much everyday this week!  Anyway here's the inspiration nails for today's post:

The nails above belong to one of my most favorite famous people: Zooey Deschanel.  I think they're actually from LAST Christmas but they're still cute! My husband has been on the lookout for an ugly Christmas sweater for a work function lately and it reminded me of these Christmas sweater nails.  I was pretty worried about the reindeer and the poinsettia...but it didn't actually turn out to be that bad.  Here's my version:

The base on my nails is China Glaze Winter Berry.  I used a Models Own White Nail Art pen/brush for the entire design. Yes....FREE hand.  It's easier than it looks.  I started on the pinky and then did the middle finger since they're just lines.  Then I did the dreaded deer.  Basically all you need to do is to make a rectangle in the middle of your nail.  Then wing out a tail add some lines for feet, a dot atop another rectangle for the head and lines for antlers. Easy peasy.  Then the poinsettia.  It's really just diamonds so I just made some triangles to form the center and then added the tops and the lines. Again...easy.  I actually was able to recreate this without much trouble on my other hand BUT I didn't attempt the reindeer.  I had a deer stamp so I used that and added some antlers and a flipped tail.  I ended up really loving them but I think it might have been fun to do one in green and white for a kick.  Have you done Christmas sweater nails?

Respect The Stash: butterLONDON

It's time for another edition of Respect The Stache!! Today's post is about one of my all time favorite brands.  They're 3Free, cruelty free, vegan, US based and have awesome names! Plus they apply like butter, last ages and play very nicely with my Seche Vite.  Have you guessed the brand yet?  Here's one last hint for you: they are Seattle based but have a British founder.  Still haven't gotten it? 


I LOVE this brand and I can still remember my very first two: Dosh and Victoriana!  Of course, lovely and fabulous as they are butter LONDON's do have a slightly higher price level than most of the polishes I buy: $14 a pop.  So I haven't amassed quite as many as some other brands! But it's coming along rather nicely if I do say so!  So here we go....I've broken these down by collection to make it a little easier for you to see! :)

We'll start with the Spring/Summer of 2009 Collection called Fashionista’s Favourites. I'm missing one from this collection (Blowing Raspberry's) but I have the other four.  They are: Cheeky Chops, Artful Dodger, The Old Bill and Muggins.

Moving forward to Fall of 2009 we have Rosie Lee, Scoundrel and British Racing Green.  The other two in this collection were Minger and Pearly Queen, neither of which really interests me.  These collections seemed a little mismatched in the beginning. But I digress.

Spring of 2010 was the Jelly Collection. I have one of those and I threw it in a picture with some other randoms so here we have Fall of 2010.  This one was very designer influenced.  It had Bumster (which I don't own) and All Hail McQueen which were nods to the late Alexander McQueen.  Sometime later All Hail McQueen was re-dubbed All Hail THE Queen and that's the version I have. It also had Victoriana, which is pictured on the far left and which was a nod to vintage British fashion and Marrow (to the far right) which was a collaboration with Vena Cava's designers.

Spring of 2011 gave us some pastels and brights!  The collection had Hen Party (which I don't have), Teddy Girl, Dosh, Blagger, and Lady Muck.  All gorgeous shades!

Fall of 2011 ushered in some cool metallic and shimmery shades.  I have the entire collection of those: Knee's Up, No More Waity, Katie, Wallis, Bluey and Toff.

So that brings us to Spring of 2012!!  I'm sure most of you will recognize these colors!! We have Bossy Boots, Knackered, Disco Biscuit, Trout Pout and Slapper.  I LOVE Bossy Boots. It was my favorite of these. Knackered let me down and Disco Biscuit was a little finicky. :/

Fall of 2012 gave us some sparklies and holographics! The first from butter LONDON. We have: Gobsmacked, Lovely Jubbly, Dodgy Barnett, Trustafarian and Shag.

There are two Holiday Collections from butter LONDON.  This is 2011's.  It had Tart With a Heart, The Black Knight and a pinkish metallic called Fairy Lights which I didn't purchase. I have a China Glaze which is a near exact dupe.

Then there's the 2012 collection which had six colors.  I skipped Shambolic and Fairy Cake and picked up: Fiddlesticks, Scallywag, Jack The Lad, and Scuppered.

Then we have some randoms:

The first row in this group is special edition or limited release polishes.  My one Jelly is up first and it's Chuffed.  Then we have Two Fingered Salute which is a Nordstrom specific polish. Then there's Scouse, a Dillard's release. Last we have Lillibet's Jubilee.  Released for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee it has since been discontinued and is slowly becoming harder to find.  The bottom row was a special release for Goop.  It has Hampstead Heath, Bread & Butter Pudding and Abso-bloody-lutely.

Some more sort of random colors, these are all core as far as I know. We have: Big Smoke, Aston and Branwen's Feather.  Then on the end I have Fishwife which is an online exclusive.  It should have been in the last picture but I sort of forgot. :/

Some glitters! West End Wonderland, Chancer, Henley Regatta and then a metallic: Diamond Geezer.

And finally, some core cremes. Starting from the top left: Queen Vic Pillarbox Red, Primrose Hill Picnic, Saucy Jack, LaMoss, Tea With The Queen and then the one off to the side is Jaffa.

Total Count: 57

My bL's currently reside with my Deborah Lippmann's.  I also have their top coats but I haven't tried the shiny one yet.  The matte is comparable to Essie Matte About You.

How many butter LONDON's do you have? What's your favorite?

E is for Elle's Spell


Well with the holidays and the unforunate tragic events around the world over the last week, I guess my fellow bloggers, Kerrie, Emma, and myself, got a bit distracted from our A,B,C challenge.  But fear not because we're back this week with the letter "e".  This is Barielle Elle's Spell.  It's the only Barielle I own and really, I don't know if I'll keep it.  I bought it amid a torrent of blogger lust over it and don't get me wrong, it IS pretty.  But this is FIVE coats.  FIVE. I know it's a jelly and I love jellie's but I feel like in order to really see the flakies it's important that this is built up a little more and it took quite a few coats to get to that point.  It's also lovely layered over darker colors but I really don't get into layering polishes much. I have a million and I rarely use them.  Anyway Elle's Spell is a red/cranberry jelly with color shifting flakies. I believe it's still available to purchase and runs about $7.99. :)  Do you have Elle's Spell?

A Neutral Christmas...

I'm trying to integrate some Christmas designs into my hectic life at the moment!  It's been rough but I managed to squeeze this one in around midnight the other day.  It started as just a neutral nail since I had gotten my order from Zoya and wanted to try out Avery.  Plus the previous mani I had on was chipped to heck so I thought I'd throw it on quickly.  Then I decided to fancy it up a bit with some glitter.  I see this a lot from Manicurity and it always looks fab on her Lynnderella Funny Money doesn't have a clear base like I anticipated (I should have looked into it first!!) so it kind of became a fail.   I tried to make it work by running an acetone soaked brush over the glitter to lift the base and had a fair amount of success but it's still a little dark on my middle finger.  Anyway I wanted to accent with something a bit more Christmas like than just a green/red glitter.  So I added a tape tree on my ring finger.  I used China Glaze Holly-day, Zoya Blaze and OPI Goldeneye for the tree.  Then I matte top coated all nails but the ring. I actually quite liked the look but I didn't top coat the glitters enough and they started to catch on things and drive me crazy a few days later! Oh well...on to the next! :)

Have a Very Barry Christmas...

OK so the title might be a little misleading for this one! I know this isn't really Christmas art. BUT...I got this amazing Barry M AROUND Christmas time and it seems kind of festive so I'm running with it!  This is Barry M Blue Plum from their Gelly line.  I have to say this is my first one and I'm impressed. Thoroughly.  It says one coat and incredible shine and it doesn't disappoint.  I only used one coat and it DID dry super duper shiny.  But after about a day I got bored with the solid color so...I fancied it up a bit.  First I added a coat of Max Factor Fantasy Fire which gave it this amazing duo chrome sparkle.  Then I added a swirly design using Barry M Gold Foil.  These got pretty good feedback from a lot of people! I really dig the Fantasy Fire over the deep blue.  I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season!

BadAss Polish: Dusk and OPI Absolutely Alice

It's time for my last BadAss Polish swatch! I'm kind of sad about it...I WANT MORE!!  This one is part of the core line (just like Bling) and it's called Dusk.  Dusk is a navy blue micro glitter with micro gold glitter mixed in.  This is three coats of it.  It builds up pretty nicely and was super easy to work with.  It is a bit thick but it's not goopy at all.  I mentioned it yesterday and I'll say it again today; I'm amazed at the finish of these.  There is NO top coat on this.  That gorgeous glossy sheen is just Dusk on it's lovely own.  I'm crazy intrigued by the cram packed glitter and the still shiny smooth finish of these.  You can layer this one on top of other colors as well.  I didn't choose to do it for the swatches because honestly, once it was on I didn't feel like removing it!! These have decent wear time as well.  I'm SUPER DUPER rough on my nails this time of year. I spend all day typing and boxes and money just dry out my hands and nails to a crazy degree.  But I went four days chip free with these and NO top coat. A feat.  Now...there has been some buzz on the web about this being a possible dupe for the famously HTF OPI color Absolutely Alice.  Well loves, I HAVE Absolutely Alice.  So let's see how they stack up, shall we?

On the left here we have OPI Absolutely Alice.  It was part of the Alice in Wonderland collection back in 2009.  Today it retails for upwards of $15 a bottle.  I scored mine in a swap with an awesome friend!  On the right we have BadAss Polish Dusk which retails for $8.50 in her Etsy shop.  Off the bat I can tell you that Alice is a much brighter blue than Dusk.  It also appears to be much more concentrated in the bottle.  I apologize for the shine. :/  It's dark when I leave the house and dark when I return so natural light shots are hard to come by!  Here they are on the nails...

  And you can see again that Alice is a much brighter blue.  It IS much more concentrated as well.  This is four coats of Dusk and two coats of Alice.  Alice dried gritty while Dusk dries shiny.  BUT...Alice is completely opaque here while Dusk is still semi-sheer in certain lights.  Dusk appears more sparse on the nail while Alice is a SHEET of pure glitter and almost seems foil-like.  Both are sparkly and a bit thick but apply smoothly.  Honestly, I think both are lovely in their own way but if you were craving Alice and don't want to deal with the price tag, Dusk is a good substitute.  They're certainly NOT dupes.  But they're similar in inspiration.

Which do you prefer? 

Like this polish? Show your support by checking out BadAss Polish's Facebook page!

You can purchase BadAss Polish at their Etsy store.  

Give Peace a Chance...

Today some of the bloggers in the nail art world are doing white themed manicures in remembrance of the children who lost their lives in the tragedy that recently took place in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.  I'm going to keep this post pretty short so that the nails and the thought will speak for themselves but I will say that I'm completely gobsmacked at what happened.  It absolutely breaks my heart for the world that people like this exist.  I'm sending good thoughts and prayers to those who have lost a loved one in the tragedy and I really hope for the world that we all wake up and realize that violence is never the answer.  

Peace. Love. x

Nail colors are Zoya Purity and KBShimmer Oh! Splat!

BadAss Polish: Bling

It's time for another BadAss Polish swatch!! Today I have Bling for you to drool over.  I think this was my favorite of the four I received.  It's a mix of gold and silver glitter and it's just SO...Bling-y.  It sparkles so much!  This is one coat of Bling over Zoya Purity.  Just for fun, here's a shot of it in the sun:

Sparkly isn't she?  This one was really easy to work with.  It wasn't thick at all and it goes on like a dream.  One thing I found interesting about this one and the last one (which I'll be showing you tomorrow) is that even though they are very glittery and, as you can see, very concentrated, they dry very smooth and shiny.  I would have expected a slightly gritty finish.  It was a VERY pleasant surprise!  Now let's have some fun with colors!

I have Zoya Ziv on the first two fingers here and on the last two I have a base of Duri Angels and Demons.  It's a gunmetal grey metallic.  This is gorgeous on both!  Again I've only used one coat of  Bling and it's just SO darn sparkly!  I'm in love!! I'm going to try this with a white jelly later and see if I can get an Eggnogoholic effect out of it!  This will be perfect for the  New Year's parties too!

Like this polish? Show your support by checking out BadAss Polish's Facebook page!

You can purchase BadAss Polish at their Etsy store.  

Christmas Tinsel

Well it's the final day of the Digit-al Dozen does Festiveness!  I couldn't end the challenge without doing at least ONE Christmas design. So here it is!  Honestly, I've been really uninspired about Christmas in general this year.  I've had a lot going on and it didn't occur to me until the other night that the past three Christmases have passed without much celebration on my part.  I used to love watching Christmas films and putting up the decorations with my family while listening to Christmas music  but the past few have been more of a last minute throwing up of the tree and then the annoyance of taking it down (finally) mid-January.  In light of that...the other night I made my husband take me to the store to get some decorations.  I've made some little snowflakes out of fun paper to hang around the house AND we decorated gingerbread houses while listening to She & Him's Christmas LP on the record player.  I've even watched TWO Christmas films this year AND I'm wearing fun Christmas themed socks everyday til Christmas. You can view them on my instagram account if you're so inclined!  Despite that this will likely be the only festive nail art for me since it's really difficult to find time for polishing during this time of year.  I used colors from the Zoya Ornate collection for this design.  The base is Logan and then I added ornaments in Aurora and Blaze and added a tiny french tip with Ziv.  Then I used some fun glitter I got in a swap with The Crumpet herself to make some tinsel. I hope you all enjoy it and don't forget to slow down and enjoy the holiday season this year!

This weekend I have some crazy fun posts coming including some new BadAss Polish swatches and a dupe post so don't miss them! 

And don't forget to
check out the other ladies final designs for today!!

The Lights of Diwali

OK so it's day four of the Digit-al Dozen challenge and just like yesterday, I'm going outside the box a bit for this one. Not as far, perhaps!  Today's nail art is inspired by Diwali.  Diwali is popularly known as the "festival of lights" and it's a five day Hindu festival.  For Hindu's, it's one of the most important celebrations of the year and just like with Christmas, it's celebrated with family. It involves the lighting of clay lamps and sometimes lighting of firecrackers. Diwali is symbolic of many things but it also marks the end of the harvest season in most of India. I don't know how many of you watch The Office, but I HAD to do Diwali because some years back there was an episode about it and I just fell in love with the colors and lights and just general festiveness of the holiday.  It was also a fairly hysterical episode and Micheal of course, had to sing the Diwali song.  It goes like this: 

Diwali is a festival of lights.
Let me tell you something - tonight has been one crazy night.
So, put on your saris.
It's time to celebrate Diwali.
And everybody looks so jolly.
But it's not Christmas Eve, it's Diwali.
The Goddess of Destruction - Kali -
Stopped by to celebrate Diwali.
Don't invite any zombies
To a celebration of Diwali.
Along came Polly,
To have some fun at Diwali.
If you are Indian and you love Diwali,
Have a happy, happy, happy, happy Diwali.
Happy Diwali!

I wanted to stick with harvest type colors but make them seem lit from within so I used butter London Shag, Essie Shine of the Times and Miss Penny Talk to make the art.  It really was a gorgeous effect in person. This picture is not doing it much justice!  

This year Diwali was celebrated from the 13th of November to the 17th of November.  Did any of you celebrate?

Check out what the other girls came up with for today's challenge!

The month of Ramadan

It's day three of the Digit-al Dozen holiday festiveness challenge! Today's post is probably the most outside the box for me!  It's meant to symbolize Ramadan! Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calender and it represents a month of fasting for Muslims. It's not really related in any way to Christmas or even celebrated in a similar way, however, it's considered to be the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar so with it being a very important time in Muslim religion, I thought it deserved a spot alongside the others. The muslim calendar is based on lunar phases. And the month of Ramadan covers a full cycle so the most commonly used symbol of it is the moon and stars.  I've put my moon and star on a sunset type background because a lot of the pictures I saw also depict the sunset over a mosque and I thought it would be pretty to combine the two. Ramadan in 2013 will start on Tuesday, the 9th of July and will continue for 30 days until Wednesday, the 7th of August.  I hope I've done it some justice here!  I used Lime Crime Creme de Limon and Peaches <3 Cream, Models Own Black Nail Art Pen, OPI Goldeneye.

Do any of you celebrate Ramadan?

Don't forget to check out the other girls holiday art for today!

*side note:  I did some additional research after I completed this post and found that it's actually bad form to put a star inside the curve of the moon since this would mean a star is between the Earth and the moon.  Even though I see this symbol used widely it's apparently bad form so my apologies for the misguided attempt. But I hope that even though the symbol is not entirely proper, the thought was felt and appreciated. :)

Happy Kwanzaa!!

Day two of the Digit-al Dozen Festiveness challenge is here! For today I decided to go with a Kwanzaa theme!  Kwanzaa actually doesn't start until the day after Christmas but since it's a holiday festival I think it counts!  It's a week long celebration and it honors African heritage.  There are seven core principles in Kwanzaa and they are Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.  There are also seven candles to represent these principles.  I've only done five because my nails aren't really big enough to accommodate all seven! But I think you get the idea.  The colors are meant to correlate with the different aspects of the celebration with black representing the color of the African Americans; red for the struggle of the people; and green for the hills of Africa and hope. I used Nails Inc. Hampstead Gardens, China Glaze Winter Berry and Holly-Day, Zoya Raven and OPI Goldeneye to make the art.  I hope you enjoy!!

Don't forget to check out the other girls art work for today!

The Digital Dozen does...Festiveness

It's time for another Digit-al Dozen week of nail art! This week the theme is festiveness and/or holidays.  I spent the whole of December last year doing a nail art challenge so I've pretty much covered every aspect of Christmas!  I wanted to use this weeks challenge to branch out and do some art themed around other festive holidays. :)  So we're starting today with what is obviously a Jewish themed manicure.  This is my take on a dreidel. For those of you who are unfamiliar with a dreidel, it's a spinning top that is played with during Hanukkah. On each side of the top is painted a Hebrew letter and together the letters make up the phrase "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham" which translates into "A Great Miracle Happened There".   The letters are Nun, Gimel, Hei and Shin.  It's sort of tricky making the letters so I hope I've done them some justice!! Anyway you spin the top and depending on what letter is up you either get the pot, add to the pot, get half the pot, or do nothing.  For my dreidel I used China Glaze Blue Years Eve and Icicle. I hope you like it!:)  

Don't forget to check out what the other girls came up with for today!

BadAss Polish: Go Pack Go!

It's time for another BadAss polish!! I'm so excited about these.  The last one I did was so much fun with the stars and the silver glitter.  This one is also from the "Are You Ready For Some Football" collection and it's inspired by the Green Bay Packers.  It's called Go Pack Go.  It's a green glitter with larger goldish yellow hexes.  I'll be honest and say I didn't love this one but it's really just a color preference.  It applied easily and like the one before it I didn't have to do any fishing to get the hexes out.  I first swatched it over Duri One Summer Dream, a creamy yellow.  I love the way the green stands out on they yellow and it's definitely easy to see the inspiration on this one!  I like that the polish is saturated too because that means you can do one easy coat, as shown above, and not have to keep layering it up for effect.  After I had it over the yellow I decided to go for it over green as well...I mean...might as well!

Here it is over two coats of China Glaze Paper Chasing.  As you can see the effect completely changes which is something I love about multi glitters.   Now it's the gold that stands out and the green which provides a little extra sparkle.  Obviously you could wear this over any number of colors.  I think I really prefer the yellow to the green but it's nice either way.  Go Pack Go dried a little gritty as most glitter do, but again I used one coat of Seche Vite and it was shiny and smooth.  The hexes were easy to apply and they are not curled or raised at all.  I feel like you could almost wear this one on it's own if you wanted to layer it up a few times.  One coat is VERY glittery. I didn't try layering it on it's own but I feel like three coats would be sufficient.  

Which way do you prefer Go Pack Go?
Like this polish? Show your support by checking out BadAss Polish's Facebook page!

You can purchase BadAss Polish at their Etsy store.  

This polish was sent to me for my honest review. I have not been paid and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

D is for Dangerous...


It's time for the letter "D"!!  I'm trying to use this challenge as a way to work through polishes I've either never worn or haven't worn in a very long time.  This polish falls into the latter category.  I wore it once a million years ago and haven't since.  Now that I have it on I can't for the life of me figure out why I only wore it that once! It's stunning!  This is P2 Dangerous.  It's a shimmery magenta leaning purple.  This is two coats and it's opaque but it also has a sort of jelly like quality to it.  It's VERY shimmery in real life and it dried very shiny as well.  It reminds me a lot of Illamasqua Baptiste but I ended up swatching them together after I realized that and it turns out that Baptiste is much more of a true purple than this one.  An extra pic for good measure!

Gorgeous, no?  Do you have any P2 polishes?

Don't forget to check out what Emma and Kerrie have for the letter "D" this week!

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