Epilepsy Awareness: Day 2 & ABC Challenge Week 1

So today I bring you Day 2 of my 7 Days of Purple Manicures to show support of Epilepsy Awareness.  And as coincident would have it, I also decided to participate in Erica's Nails and More Challenge.  In this challenge we are to post a manicure starting with that day's letter of the alphabet.  26 letters for 26 weeks. So starting today, the letter is "A". And I needed to find either a brand, a color, or a nail art technique that starts with "A".  So adding to that challenge, I needed to find a purple polish that fits those criteria. Luckily, I have a fairly substantial polish collection and I am anal-retentive enough to have all my polishes in a spreadsheet, LOL! So I went through my spreadsheet and found that polish that fit all the criteria.
Today I am sharing with you a polish I purchased while on a trip to Atlanta. I had been wanting to try some of the American Apparel polishes but there weren't any in my local area. While on a church trip to Atlanta, when I had some time to visit the Lenox Mall (luckily my time was limited, because I could have gotten into a lot trouble in that place, LOL!) Anyway, across the parking lot from Lenox Mall was an American Apparel store.  I ran in and purchased the 3 polishes I had been wanting.  So today, I'm sharing American Apparel African Violet. (The brand starts with "A", the color starts with "A", and most important, it's purple).

American Apparel African Violet is a beautiful mid-tone violet cream purple. It is a true purple. While very pretty worn alone, African Violet would also be a great base for several of the glitter top coats on the market.  Out of habit, I applied 2 coats, but if done properly, you could get a fully opaque finish with one coat.

Have you tried any of the American Apparel polishes? Which are your favorites?  

Also, if you are interested in participating in Erica's Challenge, click through the above link for all the information. I look forward to seeing your posts.

REVIEW: If memory serves me correctly, when I purchased these American Apparel polishes they were 3 for $10.
Grace, Peace, & Blessings.

* FTC: These products were bought with my own money. These are my honest opinions. I am not employed by nor was I paid by any of these companies. This is not a sponsored post.

Epilepsy Awareness: Day 1-China Glaze Coconut Kiss

A little under 3 years ago when I started blogging, I never knew that there was a world of Nail Bloggers. But during this time, I have quickly learned that there is a sisterhood of bloggers. I have quickly gained a number of ladies from each corner of the world, that I can call "friend". More often than not, when I'm shopping for nail polish, these ladies come to mind.  We support each other on nail related topics, but more importantly we support each other in life.

One of my blogger sisters, April, has been facing a challenge that would stress any one with a child. Her beautiful young daughter, has been struggling with Epilepsy; sometimes having multiple seizures within one day. Recently April asked if we fellow nail bloggers could show our support for Epilepsy Awareness by posting a Purple Manicure.  Tuesday, March 26th was Epilepsy Awareness Day. A group of ladies had decided to extend the request of a one day post to a week of Purple Postings.  

In support of April, I will be posting Purple Manicures for the next 7 days. While I don't have a child impacted by Epilepsy, and I am not equating these two situations, I did have a fur-baby that suffered with Epilepsy. I remember the sense of helplessness watching my cat, Gizzy, have her first seizure and throughout the next 13 years of her life. It was never easy.

So for Day 1, I'm sharing a polish that has been in my collection for years, but for whatever reason, I had never worn it. China Glaze Coconut Kiss is a gorgeous royal purple.  

I am happy to say that this polish is still readily available as part of the current core China Glaze collection.

In these pictures, I am wearing 2 coats of polish. And the coverage is great as well as the application.  I am so glad that I finally wore this polish. It is so pretty.

Do you have China Glaze Coconut Kiss in your collection? What are some of the polishes you have owned for years but took you forever to wear?

Grace, Peace, & Blessings.

* FTC: These products were bought with my own money. These are my honest opinions. I am not employed by nor was I paid by any of these companies. This is not a sponsored post.

SERIES: Progress-2 Weeks After My "Big Chop"

Two weeks ago, I posted about my forced "Big Chop". I had an incident that was beyond patching on my swatch hand so I went ahead and cut back all my nails. As promised I would post a growth update every two weeks. And since tomorrow marks 2 weeks I'm showing you my progress.

If you follow my blog or follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you will remember the break I experienced. My entire free-edge had to come off. That was the evening of 3/13/13. As I explained, I would continue to follow my moisture regimen. I  continue to use my Nail Life Nail Revitalizer as treatment. The only additional product I added was Hand Perfection which is an anti-aging hand care system I'm reviewing.  I have continued my at least twice daily moisture process.  

My nails are making good progress.  Baring any other "issues" it won't be long before they are back to the length I prefer.  The main reason I am posting this blog is to show the importance of caring for your nails and cuticles. We spend so much time and money on our nail polishes, it only makes sense to care for their "foundation and frame".  

 What is your nail care regimen? What are your go-to products for nail care?

 Grace, Peace, & Blessings.

* FTC: There is one product mentioned within this post that was sent for review as noted. All others products were purchased with my own money. These are my honest opinions. I am not employed by nor was I paid by any of these companies. This is not a sponsored post.

REVIEW: Rimmel ScandelEyes Shadow Sticks

For years I was a brand snob. I had used the same brand of make-up for as long as I could remember.  I never even considered other brands especially drugstore brands. However over the past few years I have been venturing out and trying several of the drugstore brands. And have learned that I love the Rimmel London Kate Moss lipsticks. Walgreens recently had the Rimmel London brand on sale for 50% off, not the normal BOGO 50% off but straight 50% off.  So in addition to picking up a few more of the Rimmel London Kate Moss lipsticks, this was the perfect time to try some of their other products. 

Today I'm sharing with you the Rimmel London ScandalEyes Shadow Sticks I picked up.  I've seen similar products, like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencils, and the NYX Jumbo Pencils, some of which I own. But I decided to give the ScandalEyes a try.

My first impression was that these would be good to use as a shadow base, but upon further use and research, they are actually shadow sticks. Their pigmentation is crazy! I have even used them for my lower lash liner.  I would love to see other color selections.  Currently there are 9 in the collection. I have 8 of the 9, but am on the hunt for that 9th...

One point of warning, the Rimmel London ScandalEyes Shadow Sticks are very soft, so when removing the cap, be careful. As you can see, I had an issue when I was opening my Guilty Grey (below).

This Tempting Turquoise (above) is gorgeous! Look at that depth of color. That is definitely one that needs to be in your collection. 

This Blackmail (below) has a beautiful velvety look. Love it! While some will use it for that smokey eye, I'm not that bold, yet. I use it as my liner.

Blamed Blue...what can I say? You know how much I love my blue polishes and shadows. I'll just let the picture speak for itself...gorgeous!

Rimmel London ScandalEyes claims to 24 hour/Waterproof. Well, I can't think of any instance that I would need to wear my makeup for 24 hours but I can see that some make wear their makeup to the gym, beach or swimming. So to test the waterproof claim, I ran my hand under full force water for 2 minutes (forgive me Mother Earth). Here are the results...
Left: Before Wash; Right: After Wash
I purchased these from Walgreens. Their regular price is $4.49 for 0.11 oz (3.25g). But as mentioned, I bought them during the 50% off sale. Even at full price, well worth the price.

Have you tried the Rimmel London ScandalEyes yet? Which are your favor shades and what other shades would you like to see Rimmel introduce?

Grace, Peace, & Blessings.

* FTC: These products were bought with my own money. These are my honest opinions. I am not employed by nor was I paid by any of these companies. This is not a sponsored post.

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NAILS: Hard Candy Polish Swatches & Combos

I'm sure that by now you've heard about and probably seen the newly released Hard Candy 2013 Spring Collection. Within that collection was the release of 45 new nail polishes: 5 collections with 9 new shades in each.  I was offered the opportunity to review some of these new polishes. I received 5, denoted with a "*", and I purchased 3 more on my own, so far. 

The 5 collections consist of 5 finishes. They are Crushed Chromes, Itsy Glitzy, Crystal Confetti, Glitteratzi, and Candy Sprinkles.

Crushed Chrome Collection. Luxurious and timeless hues embellished with a golden textured finish. This collection boasts refinement and sophistication and is infused with a vivacious luster.

* Crush of Amethyst is a jewel-toned purple chrome with a silver undertone. It looks a little darker on the nail than in the bottle, but either way a good shade. I love Chrome finishes.
* Crush of Amethyst
Piece of Papaya, was one of the polishes I purchased and I'm happy I did. This will be a great Spring into Summer selection. You will need 3 coats to not have visible nail lines. This pinky-coral Chrome will look great on tanned skin.
Piece of Papaya
Itsy Glitzy Collection. Intense, illuminating, and incandescent hues saturated with the richest and most extreme mica and glitter. Inspired from the runway and now at your fingertips.

* Bity Blue, you can guess that this was the first polish I planned to purchase, but fortunately, it was one sent to review.  A gorgeous cobalt blue with a foil finish. I must have taken 50-75 pictures of this polish and none of them do justice for this blue with purple undertones.

* Bity Blue
Crystal Confetti Collection. A unique collection based on artistic expression. Flourishing, adventurous, full coverage shades with various particle sizes and creative textures. Graffiti is revolutionary; it's an outlet to create public art. Now take this artistic and creative expression to your nails.

Party Central, is a fun multi-colored, multi-size glitter with a clear base, as such it will go great as a layer over varying polishes.  I layered it over Orly Snowcone to show the various shapes and sized glitters.
Party Central
Black Tie Optional was another must have. There are several versions of the black & white glitters from other brands, but I would always pass the up. However, this version just would not allow me to pass it by. And I am so glad I didn't.  I decided to layer it over Sinful Colors Pullover to show the various shapes and size glitters.
Black Tie Optional
* Hip Hip Hooray is a another good layering choice. Its a blue and purple, micro and hexagonal glitter in a clear base. I would suggest waiting for the base to dry so that you can adjust the glitters to your liking.  I decided to layer it over Orly Lollipop to show the various shapes and size glitters.
* Hip Hip Hooray
Candy Sprinkles Collection. Suspended in a clear top coat, shimmery flecks sparkle brilliantly with different shapes of shiny glitter. Candy Sprinkles is a fabulous top coat over any color.

These Candy Sprinkles are very similar to the polishes that Deborah Lippmann ($19), Illamasqua ($16) and Nails, Inc ($9.50) each have.  So if you have been wanting to get them but didn't want to spend the money, Hard Candy has 9 different shades to choose from. This *Jelly Bean Blue, is one I received but I would have purchased it on my own. It's a robin's egg blue with blue & black specks. I'm showing here, 2 coats and it's a bottle match.
* Jelly Bean Blue
Glitteratzi Collection. The combination of confident opposites and intimate tonalities mixed with the right amount of sparkle creates enthusiasm for the vitality of life. The hues are natural and are becoming more evolved and colored. Tasteful tones with all the personality to satisfy every trend setter.

* Mermaid Magic is rightly named. In its clear base, are micro teal green glitters with larger purple glitters.  This is another great layering glitter. I choose to layer it over Orly Gumdrop to show the various shapes and size glitters. 
* Mermaid Magic
So that's all for now. But I'm sure I will be purchasing additional polishes from these collection. Have you bought any yet, and if so, which ones?

Grace, Peace, & Blessings.
* Some of these products were sent to me for review consideration by the creator. These however are my honest opinions. I am not employed by nor was I paid by this company.

PR: CurlKit’s Subscription Service Explodes With 5000% Increase of Sales in Less Than One Year

Not a Sunday goes by, while I'm sitting in church, that I don't see a "New Natural".  I also see that the National Brands are finally acknowledging the Natural & Curly Hair dollars to be made. One example of this can be seen in the explosive growth of the monthly subscription service, CurlyKit.  

(March 11, 2013, New York, New York) Popular CurlKit marks its anniversary with a gargantuan increase in subscribers within its first year. In March 2012, CurlKit launched their subscription service for natural (curly, coily, kinky, locs, textured) hair and is now the hottest, fastest growing subscription company to-date with a growth of over 5000% in the first year. Each professionally packed CurlKit, arrives complete with our monthly CurlLife Magazine and contains hand-selected products that may include everything from pomades, conditioners, and natural hair tools from well-known brands, as well as, new and emerging specialty products. Because of the quality and unique touch of CurlKit’s service, the Natural Hair Community coined CurlKit as the #1 go to company for natural hair products and education.

CurlKit will celebrate their first year anniversary by offering unique products and services that are exclusively available for women with natural textured hair. “We are very honored and humbled by this phenomenal growth, and the outpouring of support we have experienced. It gives legitimacy to what we have been saying all along that we want to add value to the subscription service business by adding education and information as a part of our subscription. Although, there are other companies that provide similar services to the Natural Hair community, CurlKit has taken these services to an entirely new level by providing not only product samples, but also tutorials, videos, how to manuals and information to help women who have been lifelong naturals, as well as women who are newly naturals,” said Heather Cummings, Founder, Director of Marketing for CurlKit.

Each month, CurlKit sends out a selection of 7 – 9 samples and full sizes that have been selected by a team of professional experts and researchers, who have extensive knowledge and first-hand experience in the best use of each product. With this level of service and professional expertise, subscribers can cut through the clutter to find new brand name products and re-discover previous favorites.

Cummings continued, “We plan to remain an integral part of the natural hair community. Providing not only quality products but quality Customer Service as well, CurlKit is known for its Platinum Customer Service. Our customers are our most valuable asset so our goal is to treat them with the utmost respect, giving them a say in what we feature in our Kit and the different services we provide them.” 

For more information and to sign-up for a subscription, please visit: www.CurlKit.com

About CurlKit
CurlKit is a complete solution for women with natural hair of various textures that provides exclusive services, product samples, tutorials, videos, how to manuals and information to help lifelong naturals, as well as, women who are choosing a newly natural hair style. CurlKit had their premier launch in March 2012, opening Curlkit.com to customers in United States, Canada, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands. In September 2012 they expanded their market to over 150 countries worldwide accomplishing one of their first year goals ahead of schedule.

For more information, visit: www.CurlKit.com

About Ms. Heather Cummings
Heather Cummings is the founder and innovator behind CurlKit. Her journey began 10 years ago when Ms. Cummings had to struggle through the trials and tribulations inherent in the transition from processed hair to natural hair. It was during this journey that Ms. Cummings knew that she had to create a way to help others maneuver their way through their natural journey. Through her determination and innovative spirit, the idea behind CurlKit was created.

Grace, Peace, & Blessings.

NOTD: SoFlaJo's White Sensation...It's Snowing in Florida...

Today I want to share with you another polish I received for review from Jodi of SoFlaJo. This is another polish from the Love Matte Collection. As I mentioned in previous posts, I had only seen dark and/or neutral colored matte polishes, so the idea of a white matte completely surprised me. But Jody has done it again; SoFlaJo White Sensation is a gorgeous shimmer, white matte. 

When I'm sporting shorter nails, I tend to like more neutral polishes, but having recently seen one of my nail blogger mentors showing a series of white polishes, I decided to give White Sensation a try. At first sight, it reminded me of the early morning snow falls I experienced as a child.  Living in NY, I always loved to see the Evergreens with the first fallen snow. But now living in Florida, a snowfall is highly unlikely. 
Disclaimer: Product samples provided by the company/PR for an unbiased & honest consideration.
Even without a top coat, SoFlaJo White Sensation has a shimmer finish; adding a top coat, intensifies that shimmer. 

Left: No Top Coat, Right: With Top Coat
Also, SoFlaJo White Sensation is an ideal polish for a bridal party. In these pictures I am wearing 2 coats. While I normally don't like visible nail lines (VNL), with this polish, I prefer VNLs, because it gives a pseudo french manicure look without the stark contrast.
Much like the other matte polish I reviewed from SoFlaJo, Going Down, White Sensation, has an excellent application, with no streaking and was fast to dry. I have really been loving the lighter matte polishes and can see myself wearing other mattes during the Spring and Summer. 

WHITE SENSATION 15ml $10.00 each BUY NOW
 Bases Tinted with Natural Pigments and Micas
All Natural Micro-Glitters
All SoFlaJo polishes are made from natural pigments and glitters with bases free of the chemicals Toluene, Formaldehyde and Dibutyl Phthalate and Formaldehyde Resin. SoFlaJo Polishes use stainless steel mixing balls (and always have).
Each bottle comes attractively packaged and protectively bubble wrapped.
You can find Jody on FacebookTwitter, her Blog , Instagram, and at her Esty shop.

Grace, Peace, & Blessings.
* This product was sent to me for review consideration by the creator. These however are my honest opinions. I am not employed by nor was I paid by this company.