Mani Monday: Ella + Mila's "On The Runway"

Hey, darlings, I'm back with another Ella + Mila color. I purchased a three-pack during a sale they ran during the winter, so you're correct - I'm guilty of posting a lot of their products! I'm still very much in love with this brand's quality, and I have just one more color in my arsenal to post on here. Saint Louis has seen a number of spring storms lately, and this color was perfect to wear while seeing them roll through. 

In direct daylight, this color reminds me a bit of an old favorite of mine from Essie: "Petal Pushers," which I featured on the blog here. This Ella + Mila hue, "On the Runway," is much more gray, and darker, but I feel like it gives off the same mood. A little edgy, but not too harsh. A perfect match for my personality, perhaps? Gentle enough to hang out with air plants, but prickly enough to also own a bunch of cacti. This little air plant cutie comes from local shop Flowers & Weeds, of which I am on my way to becoming a frequent patron. I want a little jungle in my home.

As always, this polish brand's quality is A+. I did a full three coats of application to make sure that I didn't have any sheer streaks left from my brush. It lasted quite a while too! I think I wore this for nearly a full week before I sustained any noticeable chipping along the edges. In fact, I've been lazy and out of whack enough these past few weeks that I haven't even bothered to remove this polish... and it's still hanging on. 

After my next post of my last remaining Ella + Mila color, I hope to find a new brand to show you. Stay tuned! 


Products Used: 
Gray Polish: Ella + Mila's "On the Runway"
Base & Top Coat: Seche Vite (top coat c/o of Face & Body Shoppe)
 

Mani Monday: Ella + Mila's "Blindfold Me"

IMG_7777.JPG

I appear to have a knack for buying nail polish with names that might be slightly suggestive. Or it could just be that nail polish companies like saucy names. Likely, a combination of both.

This rich navy blue comes from a company I've been loving lately for its 7-free chemical pledge, easy application, cruelty-free mission, and USA-made status. I've shared Ella+Milla on the blog before here, and I had been hoping to scoop some new colors up. Luckily, the brand just celebrated its 3rd birthday and ran a great promo, so I grabbed a set of three new polishes

I'm a sucker for darker hues like this - if you've been following along on my nail polish posts, I know I've mentioned a handful times that dark polishes are kinda my favorite. I think they're classy but also edgy at the same time. 

Although I still am not *perfect* at application, I feel like Ella+Mila's polish looks so professional. I had a coworker ask if it was a gel polish, actually! "Blindfold Me" was totally opaque in two coats. In fact, it just barely missed fully covering my nails with only one coat. Keeping my nails short most definitely also makes for easier application, so I've been filing them down lately. Keeping them short also helps with other more important things, like keeping my WPM in tip top shape for work or other such nerdy endeavors. 

I'm looking forward to trying out my other two new colors! Stay tuned to see how much I love them as well. 

Polishes Used:
Navy Blue: Ella+Mila's "Blindfold Me"
Base Coat: Seche Vite  |  Top Coat: Seche Vite, c/o Face and Body Shoppe

Mani Monday: Ella+Mila's "Little Plum Dress"

Part of leading a sustainable lifestyle is paying closer attention to even the smallest of details - including what goes into making everyday products. For a while now, I've been more careful about buying nail polish brands that are 3-free and 5-free, which means they exclude dangerous chemicals (Check out this article from Bustle to learn more about that.). But, it's not enough to just try to stay chemical-free. I'm focusing more and more on vegan and cruelty-free products. Throw in the ingredient of the company being founded by a woman, and you've really piqued my interest. Enter Ella + Mila, a brand of polish that local shop Parsimonia carries. Not only does Ella + Mila make it all the way to 7-free, they're also made proudly in the USA.

Part of me always wants to give off a "don't mess with me" vibe, but let's be honest - I don't have much of a bark or a bite, but I like to think I'm sassy. I'm not. I just like moody vibes, especially during darker months. This beautiful deep plum polish is perfect for that. At night, it looks almost black, but during the day, you can tell it's a rich purple hue. 

I have to say I was highly impressed with the quality of this polish! The application is smooth and even, and cleanup around the edges was incredibly easy. I had a handful of people (pun intended) ask me if I'd had this done at a salon. I've gotten fairly good at applying polish over the years, but that is also just a testament to the quality of the product itself.

I'm excited to pick up a new color from Parsimonia as soon as I can. I have to admit that I've been trying to buy other items to take care of myself lately instead of new polishes to feature on the blog. My skin hasn't been the happiest lately, so I've dropped some pretty pennies on new skincare in hopes of treating it more nicely. But, because I know this brand is nearby, I'll have to snatch up a new one soon. 


Polishes Used:
Deep Purple: Ella + Mila's "Little Plum Dress"
Base and Top Coat: Seche Vite

Clean and Classic: Nubar's Charmeuse

Recently, a locally-based company reached out to me to ask if I'd like to collaborate with them on a few posts. As soon as I saw the name Face and Body Shoppe, I knew I was in (good) trouble. I have a not-so-secret obsession with beauty products. However, leading a sustainably-focused life can get tricky with all the options available these days. Finding products that are health-oriented and not tested on animals sometimes feels like a wild goose chase. Luckily, Face and Body Shoppe - a start-up company based in Chesterfield, MO - is committed to moving towards only offering natural makeup and health products. Starting with only cruelty-free items sounds like they're on the right track to me! 

They graciously have let me try out a few items from their site, and you are absolutely correct if you guessed I started with nail products. I've never had the chance to play with Nubar polishes, so I jumped at the chance. Nubar was founded by a fellow on a mission after family members battled cancer - create nail products that are without harmful chemicals as well as cruelty-free. 

This gorgeous dusty rose color, "Charmeuse," is a creamy polish that applied well. I didn't do *the best* job as I was in a bit of a hurry, so you can see that by day two, I suffered a little unevenness along the edges of my nails. However, I'm currently at almost 7 days and the polish is still hanging in there! "Charmeuse" is perfect for me at this weird point in my life - I feel like my personal style is all over the place. Having a polish handy that is classic, clean, and cute makes me feel a little less scatter-brained. Clean up with an eyeliner brush dipped in polish remover helped give my nails an almost salon-like look, too. 

Thanks to the Face and Body Shoppe for sponsoring this post! I'm super excited to try a few more of their products - stay tuned for more coverage on the blog. 


Polishes Used: 
Dusty Rose: Nubar's "Charmeuse" (c/o Face and Body Shoppe)
Top Coat: Seche Vite (c/o Face and Body Shoppe)
Base Coat: Seche Vite

Mani Monday: Essie's "Smokin' Hot"

IMG_6552.JPG

Guess who fell asleep too soon after doing their nails recently. It's me! One of the worst feelings when you spend a lot of time on your nail polish application is discovering fabric prints later. Oh well. You live and learn, eh?

I was feeling a darker color for the wintry weather we have here in STL, but I have been such a good girl with not purchasing polish lately! I finally popped by an Essie display and picked up Smokin' Hot, which is described as "a stone-cold fox gray." The polish was super hard to photograph for me, and pulls so, so dark gray here. There is actually a lot of purple in this shade, and I feel like this Polished Cousins' post has much better color accuracy. Their beautiful images also remind me that at some point it would be smart for me to eventually setup a "real" way to shoot for my blog when it comes to beauty products. Hello, 2017 resolutions.

Application was a little difficult with this one - the brush worked beautifully as usual, but I feel like my first coat went on rather streak-y. I used three full coats to get to this opacity, and that likely affected dry time and allowed me to get the little fabric depressions. I think I'll likely use this again soon on my toes because I like the color, though!


Polishes Used: 
Smokey Gray: Essie's Smokin' Hot
Base & Top Coat: Seche Vite

Mani Monday: Essie's "Loot the Booty"

Recently, my nails have been growing, growing, growing. Before I painted them, I filed them down a bit, so they were even longer than they are in these photos! I've been eating a diet high in protein, which I think has helped, but honestly - I think it's because I haven't been filing them very often lately! I know filing is damaging to the tips of your nails, and I think this helps prove it. 

At any rate - I was looking for something that says "summer," but wasn't too bright. Nothing like a color that reminds you of sparkling water, whether it be in a pool or by the ocean. I love shades like this Essie blue. At night, it appears almost black, and during the day, the shimmer makes it come alive. 

With only two coats needed, and the classic easy to handle Essie brush, application was a dream. I only had to do minor cleanup with an eyeliner brush dipped in polish remover (my go-to for making the edges pretty). As far as staying power goes - I applied this last Monday, and over the weekend I sustained a number of noticeable chips. Not bad, but also not the best on finger nails. However! I also applied it to my toes on the same day, and they're holding up very well, so I will definitely use "Loot the Booty" again on my tootsies. It looks classy!

I'm pretty stoked for next week's Mani Monday - it's a vegan, cruelty-free polish line I've just gotten my paws on. Stay tuned to hear more!

Polishes Used:
Blue: Essie's "Loot the Booty"
Base & Top Coats: Seche Vite

Mani Monday: Kylie Jenner's "Kommotion"

You probably have noticed that I haven't been posting my Mani Mondays as regularly as I used to! I admit that I've fallen a bit behind on blogging. Outside of lots of "stuff" happening in my life, I've actually been enjoying having natural nails for some time now. Plus, with exercising regularly and eating a protein-heavy diet, I've seen my nails become stronger and stronger on their own, and not require a protective coat of polish to keep them from breaking.

However! Polish is still a love of mine, so I'm going to try to keep back up with my posts. Today brings you another Kylie Jenner x Sinful Colors shade, "Kommotion." You might recall my other Kyle color post from May featuring a pretty light lilac-lavender shade, "Kurtsey." This is also from the velvety demi matte line called Trend Matters, and I have to say that the finish is indeed a mid-matte look, even with my usual top coat. 

I remember once reading a blog post featuring a color that walks the line between blue and purple, and the author called it "blurple." I think this shade qualifies. The pearl shimmer gives it depth, and keeps it from falling too matte. Because "Kommotion" is a softer color, I bet it would look great on long nails, too! 

The staying quality was pretty run-of-the-mill for Sinful Colors: longer lasting than you might expect from a cheap nail polish brand. I think I had a significant chip about day 5, and then tips started jumping ship shortly after. I've worn this on my toes as well this summer, which I'd suggest as it looked pretty darn cute. 

Have you tried any of these demi matte polishes? Do you use a shiny topcoat with them, too?

Polishes Used: 
Pastel Purple: "Kommotion" by Kylie Jenner x Sinful Colors
Base & Top Coats: Seche Vite

Mani Monday: Nonie Creme Clacker

If you spied my Mani Monday post a couple weeks back, you'll know I picked up a new nail polish from a pretty display in Walgreens. This lovely little polish comes from Nonie Creme Colour Prevails, and I gotta say, the bottle design is what really sold me. The butterfly wing is so striking! If you read the other post, you'll know that the wing design was inspired by Alexander McQueen's 2001 runway spectacle, "VOSS." It's also designed to be easier to hold, which in turn should make application fluid. 

I have to say, I was pleasantly pleased with the handling of the brush due to the butterfly wing! It felt natural to hold, and I was able to angle my hand comfortably to paint my nails. This polish in particular needed three light coats, and I really liked the color. I'm not a big fan of totally matte polishes, and "Clacker" has a teensy amount of shimmer, which keeps it from looking flat. I applied the polish on Wednesday afternoon, and by Sunday I'd sustained an unusual chip right in the middle of a pinky, but nothing super noticeable along the tips of my nails, so I was pretty happy with the staying quality. 

Although no other polish colors really jumped out at my in terms of uniqueness, I definitely would like to grab another just out of curiosity. Plus, the pretty packaging will just look nice on my shelf!

Polishes Used: 
Grey: Nonie Creme Colour Prevails "Clacker"
Base and Top Coats: Seche Vite

Mani Monday: Nonie Creme Colour Prevails

What happens when fashion and beauty collide? A whole helluva lotta things, but when that fusion comes from someone with a trained artistic eye, a passion for color, and pointed inspiration, you know it's gonna be good. Plus when you throw in the fact that the company's director is a self-proclaimed style chameleon much like myself, you've got a winner in my book. 

I was in Walgreens this weekend and spied a new end-of-aisle installation of some super pretty makeup packaging. Of course, I see nail polish and immediately bee-line to any new display. It turns out that my location got hip to the drugstore line of Nonie Creme Colour Prevails. 

Nonie Creme Colour Prevails is a new makeup brand by the former founding Creative Director of ButterLONDON, Nonie Creme. She draws her inspiration from the artistry of fashion, and felt particularly drawn to Alexander McQueen's 2001 runway stunner, "VOSS." I remember watching the video sometime last year of that runway/performance piece and just being totally mesmerized. The woman inside the box of moths and butterflies was alive, nude, and terrified. As soon as I heard that her packaging was even remotely inspired by McQueen's "VOSS," I knew I needed to scoop something up.

I snatched up one of their nail polishes in the color "Clacker," and can't wait to try it out this week and report back! The polish line is “five free," meaning no nasty chemicals like DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor. The bottle is not only pretty - it's mean to assist you in your at-home polishing: "The Precision Painter brush has a patented, ergonomically designed handle that intuitively guides your grip for precise, professional quality application." I'm stoked to see if it feels any different than applying with other brands' brushes. 

Have you seen Nonie Creme Colour Prevails' products yet? Do you buy stuff based on pretty packaging just like I do? 

Makeup Monday: Julep's Tinted Lip Oil

I admittedly have not been binging on lip products as I used to. My makeup routine has become more and more minimal lately due to incredibly, surprisingly healthy skin. I realized just now that I think I often overcompensated with lipstick or big cateye liner because I felt it might distract from breakouts on my face, but now that my skin has been holding steady in the clear zone for about a month, I'm moving more into fresh, natural looks. I've been using a few lip products over and over again, and one product was graciously gifted to me by my pal Bee! 

I used to have a subscription to Julep's monthly boxes, but I decided that being able to choose my polishes from varying brands might be more exciting to readers who like my mani posts. Bee told me that she'd received a lip product that she wasn't super crazy about due to the color, so she handed it over to me. This lip oil is a fun product, and I've been wearing it a lot over the last week. Because it's sheer, it's great to layer over lip balm for just a pop of color and shine. I learned within the first day or two that this lip oil is more of a humectant and not a moisturizer, however. Humectants are not designed to soften your lips, so if your lips tend to be dry like mine and require lip balm action nearly 24/7, you'd need balm under the Julep Your Lip Addiction oil as well. I'm always willing to work with products I like to best suit me, and applying my beloved Smith’s Brambleberry Rose Lip Balm under the lip oil solves my dry lip problems. 

Have you tried any other lip oils? How do they work for you?