Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ALIQUID year in review!

Happy New Year's Eve! (And Happy New Year to any Eastern Hemisphereites reading!) 2013 has been a momentous year for me in many ways--I got married to my wonderful husband, we moved to Boston, and I started my own indie polish line! And, of course, I started this blog. I'm proud of myself for keeping up the hard work of polishing, photographing and posting for nine months now.

I thought I'd celebrate my accomplishment by going back and picking out my personal favorite ALIQUID posts from 2013. There are a lot, so I broke them down into categories. Please enjoy looking back with me!


Here are my favorite polishes that I swatched this year, in chronological order. Not surprisingly, they're mostly either multichrome or holographic!

Indigo Bananas Anansi: My very first post on the blog, I still think it's gorgeous! A glass fleck that shifts from dark green to purple.

Orly Sparkling Garbage: This green jelly with tons of holo glitter was my favorite release from Orly this year!

Emily de Molly Cosmic Forces: It seemed like the whole Internet was lusting after (and then duping) this Australian indie. Really glad I managed to get my hands on it! A purple jelly with purple and holo glitter.

Ninja Polish Divinity: A truly divine purple base with awesome orange>brown>green shifting shimmer.

China Glaze It's a Trap-eze!: China Glaze really achieved an indie-like vibe with this white base with rainbow glitter.

I Love Nail Polish Mutagen: The ILNP Ultra Chromes wowed everyone with their extreme colorshifting abilities and great formula. Mutagen shifts from silver through green, blue, purple, red and orange!

I Love Nail Polish Indie Go: A perfect shade of indigo with linear holographic shimmer and blue sparks, this is close to my ideal polish!

Nail Art

My nail art skills really improved over the past year. Here are the ones I'm most proud of (and the ones that got me the most compliments!).

 The Rusty Skunk (click for the epic story!)


Here are some recipes I've gone back to over and over. They're all easy!

Curried couscous: This recipe is very versatile because you can switch up the grain used, as well as the mix-ins.

Martha Stewart's "crack 'n' cheese": Literally the best mac and cheese ever.

Cinnamon craisin cookies: Sweet, spicy and tart. Another recipe that's easy to play with.

No-knead bread: A nearly foolproof bread recipe.

Meatballs and tomato sauce: Recipe courtesy of my sister, it's hearty and completely satisfying.

Language posts

I've really slacked off on writing about language, so I'll make sure to do it more often in 2014! Here are a couple of my favorites.

Haphazard Hypercorrection: The case of the disappearing h, plus Romans making fun of each other.

Regular Mice: Why is it "Of Mice and Men", not "Of Mouses and Mans"?

Thai Tones: A post on some of the amazing things humans can do with voice pitch.

I can't wait to see what's in store for ALIQUID in 2014! Have fun and stay safe tonight! Trudy and I will be back next year (i.e. tomorrow)!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pics from Christmas vacation

Hi folks! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas yesterday! I got some nice presents (like a picture frame with some beautiful prints from our wedding) and ate way too much food.

My sister let me do her holiday nails--Essie Good as Gold with Essie Blanc polka dots. I didn't have my dotting tools, so I just used a bobby pin:

I miss my puppy Trudy, but meanwhile I get to play with my parents' dogs. Here's Sydney, the alpha dog of the pack:

And this is Max, who is much more gentle and laid back:

Can you tell neither of them like getting their picture taken?

Take it easy everyone! Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Today's mani: Quick and dirty holiday nails

Merry Christmas Eve! I've been enjoying my vacation so far, visiting with various relatives and eating lots of food, and tonight I'm looking forward to presents and Christmas cookies! (We even got my Jewish husband to help put ornaments on the tree!) I didn't really bring any nail polish on our trip, but of course I ended up buying some new stuff the other day...just can't help myself. I thought the two polishes I picked would be good for a general Christmas/New Years mani.

These polishes are both from the Sally Hansen Satin Glam collection, which must be new because I'd never seen it before. They're matte with lots of sparkle. I used Go Gold and added a freehand stripe of Silk Onyx over about 1/3 of each nail. They were both opaque in one coat!

My freehand skills aren't perfect (and you should see my other hand!) but I really like the matte finish on these polishes--I think they're really classy.

I hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful Christmas...and to those who don't celebrate, go eat some Chinese food for me!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Today's mani: Rudolph and friends

Good afternoon everyone! Today is my last post before we leave for our holiday vacation. I won't be able to paint my nails very much while we're away, but I'll try to post as often as I can! It's probably a good thing I won't be doing my nails a lot, since my skin is sooo dry from this weather (as you'll see soon enough...)!

Today I did some freehand nail art, and my left hand is making its first appearance since the beginning of November! My poor middle fingernail is still a little stubby. :-P Please ignore my gross dry skin!

The background color is Sally Hansen Blue Me Away. I did the reindeer heads with Sephora by OPI Leotard Optional (I used the polish brush for the heads and a nail art brush for the ears). The antlers and noses (except Rudolph's) are Revlon Stormy Night. Rudolph's nose is Revlon Red Carpet.

My reindeer look a little doofy (kinda like pigs with antlers actually!) but I still think they're cute. :-D

Anyone else getting really excited for Christmas?? My only regret is that Trudy will be in a kennel in another state instead of celebrating with us. I'll have to get her a nice present...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Swatch: Formula X for Sephora - Thunder

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Yesterday the hubby and I went out to see the new Hobbit movie (we both enjoyed it, despite some glaringly obvious CGI), and while we were out I stopped by Sephora to check out their new brand of polishes. There were tons of great colors and I had a tough time narrowing it down to one, so I made my husband pick. (So you can blame him if you don't like my swatch!)

Formula X for Sephora Thunder is a glitter topper, which I don't normally go for, but I'm a sucker for matte glitter. Plus, I thought this polish had a wintery kind of vibe. It has blue, pink, white and yellow-green hexes of various sizes in a clear base. Here I've layered it over Wet 'n' Wild On a Trip.

Formula X for Sephora Thunder. One coat over Wet 'n' Wild On a Trip, with Out the Door topcoat.

I think this polish would be perfect if it didn't have the largest hexes. They tended to clump together, which is why I got three on one nail and none on the rest. Plus I think their size is incongruous with the rest of the glitter. Other than that, I really love the color combo, and the glitter was easy to distribute evenly (I had to dab just a little). The texture isn't terribly bumpy, unless you get one of the huge hexes on a curvy part of the nail. I definitely recommend a topcoat in any case.

(I'll also mention that the chunky bottle cap is removable, with a much more manageable cap underneath.)

Thunder is part of a line of glitter topcoats called Xplosives, and is available in Sephora stores or at sephora.com for $12.50 (12 ml).

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Swatch: Nicka K Classic Taupe (and my first Ipsy Glam Bag!)

The products in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Yesterday I got my first Ipsy Glam Bag in the mail! Ipsy is a personalized monthly subscription service for makeup and body products. I had been signed up for Birchbox earlier this year, but I quit after about five months because I kept getting products I didn't want (so many dry shampoos!!). Plus a lot of the sample sizes were really tiny. I was happy to open my Ipsy bag today and find five FULL SIZED products, including a nail polish! How did they know??

I received Nicka K Classic Taupe. I'd never heard of this brand before, but I ended up liking the polish a lot! (Plus the bottle is adorable!) Although I'm not sure this is actually taupe--it seems too dark to me, but then again I sometimes get my color terms wrong! The color reminds me of milk chocolate. At first I thought it was a dupe of Revlon Stormy Night, but it's actually a bit warmer.

Nicka K Classic Taupe. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.
The formula on Classic Taupe was buttery and easy to use, and didn't flood my cuticles. I liked that the brush was a little wider than average, since I needed fewer strokes to coat the nail. Dry time was average.

Here's a shot of all the contents of my Ipsy Glam Bag! Everything came packed in a cute makeup bag.

(Nyx lipstick, Pop Beauty eyeshadow palette, Be a Bombshell The One Stick, Mirabella eye blender brush)

I really like this set because I can actually see myself using all of it at some point. I don't wear eye and lip makeup that often, since I'm usually at home all day, but I'm hoping to get a real live job soon, so basic stuff like this will come in handy!

Ipsy costs $10 per month, and you can earn free credits by doing things like uploading pictures of you wearing products from the Glam Bag. The only downside I've found so far is that I had to be on a waiting list for several weeks before I got my first bag.

If you'd like to sign up for Ipsy, please consider using my referral link here; I get points if people sign up through me!

Also, you can buy Classic Taupe for $4.99 (15 ml) at nicka.com!

The products in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Just a Little Something Giveaway!

Hey folks! I teamed up with a few nail buddies for another holiday polish giveaway! You can earn a chance to win a bottle of ALIQUID Lacquer plus a lip balm! Check out all the prizes:

Prize Pack 1 (The Sparkling Hoard)


OPI Skip the Gift Wrap, OPI Last Minute Shopper, Finger Paints Colorful Collage, Indigo Bananas Peppermint Cuticle Balm
Ships to: US only

Prize Pack 2 (ALIQUID Lacquer / ALIQUID)


ALIQUID Lacquer Quiet Night In and ALIQUID Lacquer vanilla-scented lip balm
Ships to: US and international (except UK)

Prize Pack 3 (Painted Sabotage)


Painted Sabotage Ice Flowers, Painted Sabotage Holiday Cheer, Painted Sabotage Gettin' Eggy With It
Ships to: US and international

Prize Pack 4 (Royal Milk Tea)


Finger Paints Sparkle in the Sky, OPI Peace & Love & OPI, Finger Paints Winter Chill
Ships to: US

OK, here are the rules:
  1. Must be 18 or older.
  2. Open to US and international entries.
  3. You MUST answer the question regarding your country of residence so that prize packs can be assigned properly!
  4. Winning entries will be verified.  If your entry is not found to be valid, you will be disqualified.
  5. Giveaway will run from now until 12am Eastern on December 24, 2013.  Winners will be notified via e-mail and must respond by December 30, 2013.
Good luck everyone!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Today's mani: Christmas tree

I decided I'd jump on the bandwagon of Christmas manis, since it's only two weeks away! (How did that happen??) I was a little apprehensive of doing nail art with my left hand (the nail that broke on that hand a month ago still isn't long enough for my liking), but it turned out pretty well!

The background color is Julep Scarlett. I outlined the tree with striping tape and filled it in with Scherer Emerald City (this is one of the few polishes that I still have from high school!). The gold and silver are Maybelline Bold Gold and Julep Harley.

What's on the top of your wishlist this Christmas? For me, it's nail polish, because I've been very good about not buying polish for several months now!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Versatile Blogger Award!

Hey all! In the past few weeks I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by both The Mercurial Magpie and Gelic--thanks guys! It's an honor! Now I have to tell you all seven interesting facts about myself and nominate some more bloggers to pass it on!

First, my seven facts, which will hopefully help my new readers get to know me a little better!
  1. When I was about 12-13, I was super into The Lion King. I drew lions all day long, wrote fanfic (it was bad) and played on a Lion King MUCK. (If you're old enough to remember MUCKs/MUDs/MUSHes etc...well, you're old!) I also listened to a ton of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Zulu a capella music) and even picked up a little Zulu. I still remember sawubona, which means "hello". :-P
  2. Also around the same time period I started inventing languages. I think I was inspired by all the fantasy novels I was reading. I still do it from time to time, but I'm such a perfectionist I always end up starting over before I get very far.
  3. My first major celebrity crush was on Colin Firth when I saw him in Pride and Prejudice (1995 version is the best!). I still love him <3
  4. In high school my favorite nail polish color was periwinkle, but now I'm not as much of a fan.
  5. I got my first cavity at age 26--not a bad streak!
  6. I grew up listening to oldies, and I adore The Beatles, but my #1 favorite band is Barenaked Ladies! (Yes, I'm a 90s kid.)
  7. My childhood dog was an antisocial Shetland sheepdog named Sandy. She was scared of my dad and most of her toys. Here's Sandy as a puppy:

 Well, I hope that was enlightening!

Here are the blogs I'm nominating for the Versatile Blogger award! They're all great nail blogs, so go check them out!
  1. FingerFood
  2. Pretty Tough Nails
  3. Lacquer Buzz
  4. UK Nail Runner
  5. Paint Those Piggies!
  6. Light Your Nails
  7. Enigmatic Rambles
See ya later folks!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Today's mani: my birthday nails!

Today's my 28th birthday! I'm looking forward to aging for one more year, after which I'll be 29 for the rest of my life (that's what happens to women, right??). I got some great gifts, including Nails, Nails, Nails!: 25 Creative DIY Nail Art Projects from my husband. He knows me well! My celebration started out this morning with a bowl of Lucky Charms, my traditional birthday cereal. Then I did my nails!

For my birthday mani I wanted to use Revlon Whimsical because it reminds me of cake frosting!

My base colors are L'Oreal The Palace Life (pink) and Wet 'n' Wild I Need a Refresh-Mint (blue). Revlon Whimsical is very sheer, so I was able to put two coats on without messing with the base colors too much. I just wish the glitter was more dense!

 OK, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day! Don't forget I have a birthday-themed collection of polish for sale in my Etsy shop!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light, then and now

Rather than just doing a regular swatch post today, I thought I'd do something a little more fun. I wanted to wear Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light because it's so gorgeous, and then I remembered that the last time I wore it was almost exactly a year ago. I got it as a birthday present from my parents (cool parents, huh??) last year, when I was just starting out collecting nail polish. And it just so happens I took a picture of that mani!

Let's start with the pics I took today. Ray of Light is a beautiful indigo jelly with flakies that shift from pink through yellow to green. This is two coats, but I probably could have done with a third. (I'm just too impatient, heh.)

Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

I love that I was able to capture the color shift in one shot! Here's another for good measure:

This polish is so drool-worthy. Can't stop looking at those flakies!

Now let's take a look at my picture from one year ago:

Ignoring the fact that I used horrible indoor lighting, you can see how much my manicure skills have improved in a year! I knew enough to clean up my cuticles, but left a mess around the edges of my fingers. And I didn't bother to shape or grow out my nails. And obviously my ability to pose has improved since I've started blogging!

I really enjoyed looking through my pictures of manicures I did last year. I think it would be a lot of fun to re-create (and improve upon) more of them!

Feel free to share any old, embarrassing mani pics with me in the comments!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Quick swatch: Color Club Ulterior Motive

The polish in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

It's time for another polish from my untried pile! This is Color Club Ulterior Motive, a rather sheer hot pink with pink and blue flecks. It's just slightly eye-searing! Not my usual type of color, but I like it.

Color Club Ulterior Motive. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Do you have any polishes in your collection that you didn't think you'd like until you tried them?

The polish in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Swatch: Julep Jillian

The polish in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Hey! Just a reminder that you can get 10% off at my Etsy shop using the coupon code PARTYTIME...but it expires on December 8, so hurry!

Today I got my Julep Maven box for the first time in several months--the last few haven't excited me enough to spend the money. I really wanted the eyeshadow palette in this month's box, but I ended up getting a pretty cool polish too.

Julep Jillian is described as "deep eggplant with bronze molten". What it looks like to me is a blackened base with shimmer that shifts from burgundy to bronze. Details, details! It's really quite lovely and kinda sexy!

For my photos, I decided not to do plain old swatches, and I hadn't used striping tape in a while, so I added some embellishment! The gold polish is another one I received in the Maven box (Mia).

Julep Jillian. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Here's my best shot of the color shift. You can see it better in the bottle.

The formula was fine, although as with all Julep polishes I've tried, it took a while to dry.

Jillian is available at Julep's site for $14 (8 ml) or $11.20 if you're a Maven. If you'd like to become a Maven (it's free!) click here--if I refer new Mavens I get points to spend on the site. ;-)

The polish in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Jingle All the Way Giveaway!!

Hey all! Happy December! I hope all my US friends had a happy and not-too-stressful holiday!

Today I'm very excited to tell you that I've joined up with eleven other nail bloggers to sponsor a huge giveaway!

We're giving away four gift certificates to your choice of polish e-tailer! What better way to start the new year than with a nail polish shopping spree?

The raffle is open internationally and ends Dec. 31. Grab as many entries as you like, then go visit these other lovely bloggers!

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Today's mani: Thanksgiving nails

I finally got a chance to do my nails today! I had to do my Thanksgiving nails since we're traveling tomorrow--hopefully they'll last through Thursday...

I first did a gradient using Deborah Lippmann Just Walk Away Renee and Revlon Stormy Night, then I added some leaf stamps with Revlon Gold Coin. (The stamp patterns are all from Winstonia plate W119.) I really like the look of the gradient; I just wish the smaller leaf patterns had come out more distinctly (I think the problem is that I stamped with a foil polish).

Now I'm in the mood for turkey and cranberries...

I hope all my American readers have a great holiday! I'll be back soon with a giveaway!!

(Pssst...have you stopped by my Etsy shop yet?)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Swatch: I Love Nail Polish Birefringence (H)

The polish in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

It feels good to have a nice mani again! My nails have been acting as guinea pigs for my own polishes a lot lately, so I've had two or three different polishes on at once for the past few days. I trimmed my nails since they're starting to be affected by the dry weather. And I got to try on another new polish!

This is I Love Nail Polish Birefringence (H). It's the same as the earlier Birefringence from the Ultra Chrome collection except it's holographic! It's a metallic that shifts from orange-gold through purple to blue. Soooo mesmerizing... (Note: the blue shift is more green than my camera picked up.)

I Love Nail Polish Birefringence (H). Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Are you as dazzled as I am? This definitely matches Mutagen for color-shifting amazingness. The holo effect is linear, but the particles are relatively diffuse. I loved the formula as usual--no bubbles or streaks, and it was thin but not runny.

Grab Birefringence (H) at ilnp.com for $12.50 (12 ml)!

(Psst...have you checked out my shop yet??)

The polish in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.