26GNAI: Friday the 13th

So I started a new year long challenge and today is the very first day! Life has gotten incredibly hectic for me but I really want to try to push myself to get back to doing more of the things I love and I'm hoping this challenge will help me to do that. The first prompt for the challenge was Friday the 13th. So I decided to do these spooky themed nails. ;) I hope you all enjoy them and don't forget to check out the links to see more Friday the 13th themed art! 

An InLinkz Link-up

All colors by Zoya:

26 Great Nail Art Ideas – Autumn

Today's post is going up a little late. My baby girl has had a few minor health issues and that's gotten me a bit behind on posting. Although these were done a week ago! At any rate for today's New Crumpet Nail Art challenge the theme was Autumn.  This was a perfect chance for me to use some of my new Zoya colors for a smooshy marble manicure.  I had been wanting to try this technique for awhile and it came out pretty cool for a first go round but it definitely could use a tweak or two! Please check out the other ladies art work below!! :)

26 Great Nail Art Ideas – Dotting Tools but not just dots!

Today I have a challenge mani for you! I jumped back in (pretty late in the game) to the New Crumpets Nail Tarts challenge.  It's been a struggle for me to find a balance now that I have a brand new daughter and I'm slowly able to make a little more time for nail art so I thought I'd try and push myself a bit with the challenge.  How far I'll get with it is anyone's guess, especially since I start back up at work again in a few days (yuck!) but I hope to complete it and start another one!  So anyway todays prompt is "Dotting tools but not just dots."  For this manicure I used all Essie colors. I first polished my nails white and then I added some dots to the tip with my dotting too and swirled them around to get a fun pattern. I used tape to section off the portion where I wanted the swirl. Then I went over it with some flakies because why not? I had lots of fun with this one! Be sure to check out the links below to see more fun looks made with dotting tools! :)

Colors used for this look are all by Essie:
Highest Bidder, Art Nu-beau, Muse Myself and Blanc

Sally Hansen gradient nail strips...

This mani is SO old! I found it lurking in my drafts folder and decided it was time for it to see the light!  So these are Sally Hansen Insta Gel strips. If you're not familiar with the InstaGel it's basically a tiny gel system with a very low wattage. So each little kit comes with the strips (or a polish depending on what you buy), a little orange stick and nail file, and a wipe to clean nails. They also come with the InstaGel base and top coat and while it's a tiny little bottle (only .14oz) it's a little ridiculous to put a bottle in EACH pack.  I have about ten years worth of the top/base coat now. Sometime in the future I plan to see how well it works to seal in regular polish but that's a whole other blog!  At any rate you clean nails and it suggests to push your cuticles back with the orange stick and buff with the buffer. I say, give yourself a nice mani and skip the buffing and you'll get better results. Especially since pushing back dry cuticles is bound to cause tears and we all know buffing nails is a no no if you want to keep them healthy. DO use the alcohol swab though. Then you choose the strip which is the right size for your nail (something I almost always have issues with) and stick it down. Then add top coat and cure it under the tiny lamp for 30 seconds. And that's it! They're meant to last two weeks. I have to say I was skeptical but I got these and the lamp (you have to buy it separate) on clearance for dead cheap so I figured why not.  They actually DO last quite a long time, although I'm not sure about two weeks. They're also tricky to get off just like typical gel polish. So overall they're a win from me. I don't do strips normally because I love to do my own art but if you're in a rush and need cute nails these will definitely solve the problem for you! :)

Zoya Sophisticates Fall 2017

Today I have a new Zoya collection to show you! This is the Sophisticates collection for Fall 2017.  I'll admit I was a little disappointed in this one. Most of the colors are creams and while they're lovely and I do love a good cream I just felt like it was a little boring. The formula on them is pretty amazing though, like all my Zoya polishes.  The creams were opaque in two coats (some in one) and they go on smooth and glossy. You can check out my Instagram videos for a close up of how they're formula is. I did have an issue with one but I'll explain that under the picture. Onward!

McKenna by Zoya can be best described as a refined pearl in a soft almond. This one has a hint of shimmer to it. The color is a nice neutral but it just didn't work on my fair skin.

Beth by Zoya can be best described as a soft, sandy, champagne metallic. I expected to dislike this one because it's really not my thing at all. It's slightly purple but not enough to really BE purple and it also leans just barely pink.  It turned out to be a lovely color on me though and it's just shimmery enough to be pretty and pearly.

Presley by Zoya can be best described as a smokey, mauve taupe cream. I'm meh on this one. The formula was great, as always. Check out that crazy shine (no topcoat)! Also please excuse the two little bumps. Polishing with a two month old is tricky! Anyway the color on this just doesn't wow me. 

Joni by Zoya can be best described as a deep, dusty plum cream. This one is lovely but again it just didn't excite me at all.

Hera by Zoya can be best described as a muted, red mauve cream.

Padma by Zoya can be best described as a deep, vermillion red cream.

Yvonne by Zoya can be best described as a rich, bordeaux red cream.

Mona by Zoya can be best described a deep, burgandy plum cream. Now we're getting into more exciting stuff. I don't know why because reds aren't my thing but I fell for this one hard. It's just TOO gorgeous. It was also very opaque in one coat. But this is two. ;)

Elaine by Zoya can be best described a dark, umber brown cream. This is another one that I HEART majorly. It's definitely dark brown but it's also just slightly reddish and warm and it's SO creamy.

Hadley by Zoya can be best described a smokey, midnight blue cream. This one is another favorite of mine. It's like a super dark teal. Another that was very opaque on the first coat.

Tabitha by Zoya can be best described a refined pearl in a deep hunter green. This one is another pearl finish and it's really pretty but not my favorite just because I don't love the color.  I think this one would be stellar matte but I forgot to try it out. It did take two coats too as the first is quite sheer.

Gal by Zoya can be best described a smokey, iridescent, peridot gold metallic. Now this one I wanted to love so badly. It was the one I was most excited about when I first saw promo's for this collection.  I thought it was going to be a rich gold color but it really is almost green. It has a gold shift to it but it's so sheer that it doesn't really look like much on your nails. Believe it or not this is TWO coats of this one. Just for comparison purposes I went ahead and did another two coats for a total of four coats...

...and it looks better but it's still rather sheer.  I didn't try layering it like a topcoat but you MIGHT be able to get away with that. Although it's going to tint whatever you put it over slightly green.  

Which Sophisticate is your favorite?

*These polishes were provided to me for my honest review. I have not been compensated for my opinion.*

So you were never a saint and I’ve loved in shades of wrong...

It's Sunday and that means it's time for some updates! As you can see from the above picture, the biggest update is that I'm medically cleared to return to yoga! Which would be awesome except that with an eight week old princess at home it's not so easy to squeeze yoga time in. But that being said, I promised myself that as soon as I was cleared to I would start my daily workouts again so even if I have to do the 30 minutes in 10 minute spurts I'm going to push through and get them done.

Today the princess was extra fussy so I let her do her tummy time while I finished up.  It actually worked out pretty well because following my yoga routine she fell asleep and we're going on two hours of naptime here. So that's a win!

I also found time to try out a new mask today.  I left a little hint about it on my Instagram page.  It's a clay mask which is not my favorite but I actually quite liked it. It went on smoothly, didn't burn or sting, removed easily and left my skin feeling clean and smooth.  I'm not sure how much it did for my pores though...

This is the mask I used. It was a sample in a Target beauty box awhile back I believe. The website describes it as so:
Vichy's first mineral face mask combining two ultra-fine white clays with Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water to help eliminate excess sebum and impurities for purified pores and softer skin.

So I guess it lived up to it's description. It did leave my face less oily but not dry, my skin is softer, and my pores look clean.  It has a bit of a scent though so if you're not into perfumed masks you'll want to skip this one. Also because I'm obsessive and hate to waste things, I decanted my packet into a jar.  The sample size has two packets which is meant to be enough for two masks...

The full size jar retails for $20.

But this is what was left of one packet after I did my full face. So I feel like you could do one full face and one T-zone with a packet or if you combine the packets you could get three full face masks out of it.  Win! Next week you'll start to see the fall Zoya's hit my Instagram and hopefully by the week after they'll be up here.  My twelve weeks with my little girl are almost up so things will get super hectic once I'm back at work!

What have you been up to this week?

Then I'd just fade into you...

I finally got some more time to do my nails this week!  I'm still out of Zoya White, although I had two bottles that were down to their last dregs that I thinned and combined the other day so that I could avoid using subpar whites. Not only is having to use a million coats time consuming (and a waste of product) but it also builds up on your nail causing the polish to lift and come off in sheets. My panda manicure was off in a few days since I'm washing my hands a ton and I had to use so much of the LOOK white polish to make a sort of even coat.

Looks way better after, huh? At any rate I have two new bottles on their way to me so I won't run out again.  The other color I used for this look is China Glaze For Audrey.  I haven't used that one in ages and it's always been one of my favorites. After I created the gradient I used my MoYou Minimal 05 plate and a dotting tool to create the design on top. The color is Barry M Gold Foil.  Next week I will hopefully have the new Zoya collection for fall to show you! So I'm pretty excited about that.  :)

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