Monday, August 31, 2015

Swatch: Indigo Bananas Acid Ocean

The product in this post was given to me as a gift. All opinions are my own.

Happy Monday everyone! It's the last day of August, but summer is definitely hanging on here--it's over 90 degrees today. Yuck!

Today I have a swatch from one of my favorite indie brands, Indigo Bananas. Last year she released a bunch of polishes with beautiful color-shifting flakies, and this was my top lemming from the collection. Acid Ocean is a dark teal jelly with green-blue-purple shifting flakies, plus what looks like some Fantasy Fire-type shimmer! So squishy and ethereal!

Indigo Bananas Acid Ocean. Three coats with Out the Door topcoat.

The formula was on the runny side for a jelly, so I needed three coats to build up the color. Otherwise I had no problems with it! The flakies are the classic type that lie perfectly flat.

Yet another gorgeous IB polish! It's available here for $12 for 15 ml, or $7.25 for 8 ml!

The product in this post was given to me as a gift. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Today's mani: Watercolor stamping

Hi kids! Today I tried out a new nail art technique that I just discovered--it gives your mani a watercolor look using a stamper! I saw the tutorial at Chit Chat Nails, so go check out her post for the details!

I started with a white base and added the watercolor with ILNP A Twist of Lemon, ILNP Sniffany, Essie Vibrant Vibes, Essie First Timer and Essie Chillato. I did three applications on each nail for more depth. It's a very peaceful blend of colors!

Afterwards I decided to do a subtle accent nail by stamping on a flower design from MoYou Pro 08 using Bundle Monster Angelic White. I'm getting a lot of zen from this mani!

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Our experience with Blue Apron

Hey gang! Happy Sunday! This weekend was sales-tax-free weekend here in MA, so we celebrated by walking around a mall near our new place that we'd never been to before. I ended up getting some new clothes for school. I had never heard of tax-free weekends before I moved to the East Coast, but I think it's a nice idea!

So this past week we got a free trial of Blue Apron from my parents, who have been using the service for a while. Never heard of Blue Apron? Well, if you cook just for one or two people, you've probably come across this problem before: you find a new recipe you want to try, but it requires some obscure ingredient that you can only buy in large amounts, so you end up with way too much, and it eventually goes bad and you have to throw it out.

Blue Apron gets around that problem by sending you three recipes per week, along with the exact quantity of ingredients that you'll need. And it sends you ALL the ingredients; you only have to supply cooking oil, salt and pepper. They even sent me a pat of butter for one recipe! You can choose between a two-person and a family plan, and let them know your dietary restrictions.

The ingredients come in a refrigerated box via express shipping, so everything was in good shape, including the meat. The produce was all beautiful and perfectly ripe, and it looks like they try to get their products from small, local farms.

Let's check out the meals we got! (Sorry for the lame phone pics.)

Our first night I made North-African style beef meatballs with a squash salad and garlic toast. The meatballs were strongly seasoned and tasty, and made a good contrast with the raw squash, but the inclusion of lemon and mint in both components linked them together nicely. We found the meatballs to be a little too salty, but that was probably my fault, since I was adding seasoning along the way.

Day two was a Thai-style ginger and basil stir-fry with chicken thighs, eggplant and peppers, on top of coconut rice. This was deeeeelicious, sweet and gingery and not too spicy for me. But the star was that coconut rice...I could eat a pound of that stuff.

On day three we had ratatouille over parmesan polenta with cheesy garlic toast. The ratatouille had eggplant, tomato, bell pepper, zucchini and onion and was amazingly simple yet tasty. And polenta is another thing I could eat all day every day. I actually got quite a bit of leftovers from this one!

As far as the cooking goes, the recipes were all very easy; I think the hardest thing I had to do was make rice. Basically, if you know how to saute, you will do fine. Nothing took more than an hour to make.

The major downside to Blue Apron is the price: $60 per week for the two-person plan, or $10 per serving. (Note: you can pick and choose which weeks you receive recipes, so it's not every single week unless you want.) While I think that price point is totally reasonable for what you get, it's a bit beyond our budget at this point. But I'll definitely be keeping Blue Apron on our radar for later on--I think it's a great way to try a variety of food without wasting any produce!

What do you think--would you try this service?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Swatch: F.U.N Lacquer Reunion (H)

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

Hi gang! Sorry for the radio silence--we took a little trip to visit my in-laws. We ate a TON of barbecue, and I'm pretty sure I gained a few pounds...

Anyway, today I'm showing you a polish I got in a swap recently! This is F.U.N Lacquer Reunion (H) (my first from this brand!), which came out around New Year's. It has a multichrome base that shifts blue-purple-red-orange, as well as LOTS of gold holo microglitter, so it's incredibly sparkly!

F.U.N Lacquer Reunion (H). Three coats with Out the Door topcoat.

I did my best to capture some of the color shift! Look at how strong the holo is, even in artificial light!

The formula was pretty much perfect--barely any cleanup required. It was on the sheer side, so I used three coats to make sure the color showed up well.

This polish is so eye-catching and definitely a great intro to F.U.N Lacquer for me!

Reunion (H) is available here at $12.90 for 12 ml.

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

Monday, August 3, 2015

July's Museum-Worthy Manis!

Happy Monday gang! We got our AC installed today, just in time (it's gonna be 90 degrees tomorrow)!

Here are my favorite manis from last month--I was really into florals again! Make sure to go visit the original artists' posts!

1. En Noir et Blanc by Marine Loves Polish

Sometimes you just have to appreciate a perfect stamping job, and this is one of those times. The stark color contrast really makes the pattern stand out!

2. Paint All the Nails Does Floral by Wondrously Polished

Once again Lindsey knocked it out of the park with her florals! I love the somewhat abstracted style and the inclusion of the black flowers alongside the colorful ones--it's just a lot of fun to look at.

3. Tear in the Fabric of Reality by PiggieLuv

Another amazing freehand job by Narmai--she's SO good at lighting and shadows. The moon over the lake is my favorite nail!

4. My Vacation Manicure by Coewless

This floral art is so different from the one above, yet I love both! This one reminds me of vintage wallpaper. The flowers are so delicate and nicely detailed.

5. Paint All the Nails Does Floral by Very Emily

Here's yet another gorgeous floral. This one would look great on a china set! So girly and romantic!

Honorable mention: Watercolour Mermaid Nails by Simply Nailogical

Sunday, August 2, 2015

July's Gimme That Polish!

I'M BAAAAACK!! Did you miss me?? We have finally gotten (more or less) unpacked in our new apartment, I have some fancy new shelving for my office, and I'm just about ready to start doing nail stuff again! I haven't been able to paint my nails much because it's been very hot here, and when I have the ceiling fan running it messes up my topcoat. But we're getting an AC unit installed sometime soon! I've got lots of new polish and stamping plates that I can't wait to use!

In the meantime, I of course have my top lemmings from last month to show you! You can visit the original bloggers' reviews for more info!

1. Frenzy Polish - Twitterpated

I confess to never having heard of this brand before, but wowza! Look at that shimmer/glitter combo! It looks like an enchanted forest. (Frenzy Polish shop | swatch by The Mercurial Magpie)

2. Savvy Naturalista - Pimp My Fuchsia

Another new-to-me brand, another squishy jelly that drew me in! I was surprised to like a pink polish so much, but the mix of glitter in there is lovely and complex enough to interest me. (Savvy Naturalista shop | swatch by Polish Hound)

3. Takko Lacquer - El Nopal

Yep, it's a classic flakie, and I just love that shade of green! It jumps up and punches you in the eyeballs, doesn't it? (Takko Lacquer shop | swatch by KellieGonzo)

4. Celestial Cosmetics - Lady

Of course I have to indulge my love of weird color combos at least once per month! I can tell this is a polish I'd be constantly staring at if I was wearing it. (Celestial Cosmetics shop | swatch by Very Emily)

5. Dollish Polish - Ultra Violence

OK--purple jelly, colorshifting flakies and glitter. Do I really need to say anything else?? (Dollish Polish shop | swatch by The Mercurial Magpie)

Honorable mention: Black Dahlia Lacquer - Spanish Bluebell