L.A. Girl: Brilliant Blue

I picked up L.A. Girl Brilliant Blue a few months ago. It is from their 3D Effects line. (I also have Teal Dimension). I used 2 coats of Brilliant Blue, and I stamped with Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Silver Sweep using Winstonia Store plate W113. I also used 1 coat of Seche Vite. 

When Zoya released promos for their 2013 Holiday collection I was wondering if Zoya Dream was a dupe for Brilliant Blue. Refined & Polished swatched both Brilliant Blue & Zoya Dream. They are exact dupes. So if you picked up the L.A. Girl you don't really need Zoya Dream. (Vice Versa).

You can still find L.A. Girl 3D Effects for sale on CherryCulture.com. They are priced at $4, so it's a bargain if you don't want to spend $8 for Zoya Dream.

P.S. I just removed Brilliant Blue- with no staining. I love when dark blues don't stain!

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PolishNV: Fe's Chameleon Thermal Polish

This is my very first thermal polish. I bought it from PolishNV on Etsy. It's called Fe's Chameleon. It starts off as a very pretty periwinkle blue when it's warm or room temperature. When cold it turns into a gorgeous deep purple. It has lot's of scattered holo sparkles in it.

I did 3 coats of the polish and 1 coat of Seche Vite. For photographing the polish, I had one bowl of warm water and one bowl filled with ice water so I could capture the thermal effect at it's best. It's the prettiest thermal I've come across so far when browsing on Etsy. And I love how thermal polishes give you a gradient look! (A thermal polish works best on long nails: the longer your nail tips the more gradient effect you'll have).

This is the polish when room temperature or warm:

 And this is the polish when it's cold:

P.S. If you're curious how I take my photos, check out my blog about my DIY Light Box.

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Starbucks: Come Together Petition

Starbucks has created an online petition to send to Washington, to re-open the US Government. If you could take the time to sign it, as a furloughed federal worker who has now missed 80 hours of work/pay due to the Government shutdown, I would really appreciate it.

The link above also has a printable petition that you can sign & drop off at your local Starbucks! Thanks!

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Indian Ocean by PinkDispyBulle

I am still out of work due to the Government Shutdown, so... I have a lot of time on my hands. I picked up this gorgeous indie polish on Etsy, with a little leftover eBay money I earned.

This is Indian Ocean by the shop Pink Dispy Bulle Franken Polish. It's a gorgeous purple with pink shimmer. I easily could have just done 2 coats, but I did 3 anyway. The formula was very easy to work with. I used 1 coat of Seche Vite.

(Note: Indian Ocean has been discontinued).

 I positioned my DIY Light box lamps like this to get the above photos!

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Winstonia & Cygnus Loop Halloween Nails

These are similar to the Halloween nails I did with Birefringence a few days ago. This time I used 2 coats of I Love Nail Polish Cygnus Loop. 1 coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust. I placed a few stars & moons from Revlon Celestial FX. Then I stamped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Silver Sweep and used Winstonia Store plate W116. I finished everything with 1 coat of Seche Vite topcoat.

The polishes I used:

I Love Nail Polish on Facebook shared my Birefringence Halloween Nails! It's got 1,200+ likes and over 100 shares! Insane! That's the most I've ever gotten! Woo hoo!

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Winstonia Store: Pumpkin Nails

I used Winstonia Store stamping plate W116 for these nails. I tested the spooky face on one nail at first and it looked like a jack o' lantern's face to me. I got the idea to do pumpkin nails. I used Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Mint Sprint, 2 coats of Zoya Pixie Dust in Destiny. Konad black to stamp and a coat of Seche Vite over everything.

You can also check out the Halloween nails I did the other day, with I Love Nail Polish: Birefringence. They got the most re-pins I've had yet on my nail pictures on Pinterest. 84 re-pins. :-)

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Random Nails

I've been posting a lot more recently, since I'm home from work, due to the Government Shutdown. Here are some gorgeous random pretties. :-)

First up is 3 coats of Maya Cosmetic's 'Sanctuary' with 1 coat of Philly Love's Laquer 'It's Always Sunny' holo topcoat. I did not do any other top coat besides the holo.

And I've re-visited Sindie Pop Golden Raspberries. Perfect Fall color! 3 coats, with Seche Vite topcoat. Now if only it would feel like fall instead of 80+ in Philadelphia! :-o

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Halloween Nails with Birefringence.

I did some early Halloween nails today with I Love Nail Polish, Ultra Chrome: Birefringence & China Glaze Fairy Dust. I stamped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Silver Sweep and used Winstonia Store plates W116 & W102. I finished with a topcoat of Seche Vite. I absolutely love how these turned out! Birefringence changes so many colors at different angles, and the China Glaze Fairy Dust gives it sparkle.


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Updated DIY Lightbox.

I've made a few small changes to my DIY Light Box. (You can see the original post here). The biggest change was that I got some white contact paper from Dollar Tree and covered the back and bottom with it. I was getting too much cardboard in the background in some of my photos. I replaced the 2 pieces of paper over the contact paper.

The 2nd change was I now only have one light facing through the tissue paper. The left light stays in the same position. What I started doing with the right clamp lamp was pointing it diagonally inside the right corner of the box. Occasionally depending on how I want the lighting I also sometimes put it inside the left corner too. Or if I want to get really creative and I need just the right lighting, I sometimes balance the clamp lamp in the crook of my right elbow while taking photos of my right hand, lol!

Updated photos of my DIY light box currently:

I also position my lights like this:

What my DIY light box looked like before:

Since using the DIY lightbox I've stopped using the auto setting on my Sony Cybershot W690. I don't use a flash when I'm taking photos in the light box. I also set my white balance to something called setting 1 for florescent lighting. My photos were looking too red with the auto setting. (Sony camera's take warmer photos).

Out of camera photo before editing:


I edit all of my photos using PaintShop Pro Photo XI. What I normally do first is crop and sharpen my photo. Then I usually increase the brightness by 15, maybe more. I also increase the saturation to 5 to boost the color. Then I run it through the photo effect called Time Machine: Cross Process. Most all my photos go through this filter. (That's why you see a black and white frame around my photos). I usually set the effect to 2 or 3. (For pet photos I set the effect to 5.)

***Original DIY light box instructions were posted by The Daily Varnish*** 

Products I use and own:

(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a product when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend Amazon.com for their low prices. That or Ebay!)

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Belated Birthday Gifts!

Tuesday morning after the Government Shutdown set in and I was told not to report to work, I got a nice surprise in the mail. Belated Birthday gifts from my cousin in Georgia. Boy... did I ever need that to cheer me up!

 At least I got to take my mind off the shutdown by doing some swatches of my new polish.

This is OPI Dining Al Frisco. I could have gotten away with just one coat the formula was that nice. But I did 2 coats & 1 of Seche Vite topcoat. I stamped with Messy Mansion plate MM20.

OPI Solitare. I've wanted this actually, it reminds me of snow. It's a pretty white texture polish with silver sparkles. I needed 3 coats. I stamped with Winstonia Store plate W120. I used OPI Dining Al Frisco for the snowflakes. I can't wait until it's cold enough to wear this design again.

OPI Gargantuan Green Grape, is a pretty light mint color. The formula is runny though, I needed 3 coats and 1 coat of Seche Vite topcoat. I used Messy Mansion plate MM06 for the design. 

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Government Shutdown...

 Photo from CNN

Tuesday at 12am, the US Government failed to agree on a new fisical budget, and the Government shut down. I don't talk about my job too much on this blog. I've worked for the Dept of the Treasury, for the past 11 years. All non essential government employees were placed on immediate furlough. 800,000 federal employee's now have no job and no paycheck. Myself included.

We only have one income. We are not rich, we live paycheck to paycheck. This morning I had to put in a request to borrow money from my credit card and opened my claim for unemployment. The last shutdown back in the 90's lasted 21 days... that's far too long to go without a paycheck. National parks and monuments are closed. The House and Congress do not understand how this effects regular people- because they are still getting a paycheck while they bicker about the budget. I'm not sure how long this shutdown will last... but it's scary... 

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