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Review: Cuter Cuticles Mani Bombs and Cuticle Oil

Tonight’s Indie Appreciation Week post takes us back to when I made my first indie purchase. It was a time when my weekly manicures were increasing in frequency, and I found myself changing polish every 2-3 days. All that acetone took a toll on my nails and cuticles, and I was desperate for a fix. That’s when I discovered Cuter Cuticles and placed my very first order. Now, almost a year later, Sammy’s handmade cuticle oils and mani bombs have become a necessary part of my nail care routine.

As you can see, my nails and cuticles get pretty dry after a round of swatching and mending a cracked nail. But don’t worry, Cuter Cuticles can save them!

This Sweet Tarts Treasure Bomb is ready to drop into a bowl of warm water. Treasure bombs are a bit more special than regular mani bombs because they have a surprise hidden inside. Who doesn’t love surprises?

The bombs fizz up and release an intoxicating scent. I honestly can’t say which scent is my favourite because there are just so many to choose from and they all smell divine.

Now just soak your fingers and relax. Be sure to wear at least a clear coat of polish if you plan to soak for more than a few minutes – too much water can be damaging to your nails. This is also a good time to search for the treasure if you used a treasure bomb.

After soaking for a few minutes, slather on some cuticle oil and enjoy your treasure. This smiley face ring was the perfect treasure, as it complements my happy, healthy cuticles.

MTL Creations Swatches: Bill, Apple Crush and Adilyn

For day two of Indie Appreciation Week, I’d like to share some gorgeous polishes I received in my A Very Canuck Swap box last week. Kayla was so generous and gave me three polishes from MTL Creations.

Bill is a shimmery blue jelly that actually becomes relatively opaque with three coats. I’m usually not a big fan of jelly polishes on their own (I prefer using them for nail art), but I love this shade of blue and was pleased to see it build up easily.

Apple Crush is my favourite of the three, as it’s the perfect warm, shimmery red, without being orangey. The formula is a dream and only required two thin coats.

Adilyn is a charcoal grey creme with fine silver glitter. It goes on completely opaque in two coats and is the perfect cold weather colour.

I’m really impressed by these polishes and will certainly be adding more MTL Creations to my collection in the future.

Daisy Nail Art

For the first day of Indie Appreciation Week, I want to showcase some of my favourite and most used brands. I created this manicure using Easy Peel liquid latex, vinyls from My Nails Did Vinyls, and polishes from Echoes Polish and Beyond the Nail. Please excuse the bump on my index nail – I had to mend a crack.

I first applied the base colour, I’m Trouble from Echoes Polish, and then put Nail Experiment’s Blue Easy Peel around my accent nails.

Next, I placed my custom daisy chain vinyls from My Nails Did Vinyls, making sure to leave a bit hanging off the edge for easy removal.

I then sponged on two coats of Beyond the Nail’s Holo Blue Microglitter. I removed the vinyls immediately, before the polish dried, to ensure crisp lines.

Finally, I removed the Easy Peel and applied a top coat. As you can see, using Easy Peel made the cleanup for this nail art quick and hassle-free.

Canuck Box and Indie Appreciation Week

I’ve been hard at work these past few weeks, organizing the first ever Canuck Box. I am so pleased to see this project transform from a crazy idea in my head to an actual product that is generating quite a buzz. There are so many amazing indie brands in this country and I wanted to share their talent and spread some indie love. With the help of several Canadian indie makers, I was able to curate three Canuck Boxes to start (and hopefully many more!). The first box will be available for pre-sale starting next Tuesday (Sept. 8) for $40 and contains three nail polishes and four non-polish items. This first box features my own brand, as well as MTL Creations, My Nails Did Vinyls, Nail Experiments, Steel City Reflections, Blacklace Cosmetics, and Cuter Cuticles.

canuck box 1 announcement

The idea for this box came after seeing a handful of campaigns on Instagram in support of indie brands, as well as a few American indie box collaborations. I love the idea of an indie box, but the American boxes aren’t ideal for us Canadians with how bad our dollar is right now. Thus, the Canuck Box was born – an all-Canadian indie box, priced for us and featuring our own talent.

With a little over a week until the Canuck Box pre-sale, I’m going to spend this time supporting indies from all over. All of my blog and Instagram posts leading up to the pre-sale will feature only indie brands and I’m calling on you to help. Use the hashtag #IndieAppreciationWeek and share your love for indies!

Reshaping and Striped Nail Art

My nails have been growing like crazy the past few months and, surprisingly, haven’t chipped or broken at all. They were getting out of control, so I decided to chop them off.

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My attempt at keeping the almond shape with a shorter length was a bit of a failure, so I chose to reshape them and go back to my classic square nails. A few minutes later, after staring at my horrifically short-looking nails, I started painting some freehand stripes to give the illusion of more length. I’m quite pleased with the outcome.

Polishes used:
China Glaze – I’m With The Lifeguard
Sally Hansen – Pacific Blue (original formula)

Angelic Makeup Look

One of my assignments in class was to create a makeup look that is inspired by or complements an accessory. Each of us brought in accessories, placed them all in a bag and then blindly pulled one out. I pulled out a floral headband, which reminded me of an angel, so I set forth to create an angelic makeup look.

I used very light, shimmery eyeshadow and kept the brows as natural looking as possible. I wanted to create an intense glow, as if from a halo, so I used plenty of highlighter on the cheekbones, nose and forehead, and light pink blush on the cheeks. I also used a nude-pink lip liner with a silver gloss on top.

Five Products I Need ASAP

Every year around my birthday, I compile a little wishlist of cosmetics I’d like to add to my collection. Some of the products I’ve been wanting for quite some time, while others have just recently caught my eye. Whether it be for personal use or my professional kit, these are the items that I want desperately:

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 11.27.55 PMToo Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Fig ($25)
I have this lipstick in Melted Fuchsia, which is a vibrant hot pink, and I’d love to try this rosy orchid shade as well. These lipsticks are extremely pigmented, glide on smooth, and last for several hours without smudging or fading.

41877iA2A7DB4CF34D3D57Prada Candy L’Eau (2.7oz for $115)
I first discovered this fragrance when I was working at Cosmetics Magazine, and I’ve wanted it ever since. With notes of white musks, caramel, citrus, and oriental florals, this scent is both fresh and elegant.

ana033_anastasiabeverlyhills_proseriesbrowpalette_800x960Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pro Palette ($100)
This palette is a serious steal and will be perfect for my professional kit. For $100, you get 11 duo brow powders (individually priced at $30), as well as a brow primer. Every shade I will ever need is in this palette.

cc-poptastic-pastel-bottlesColor Club Poptastic Pastel Neon Collection ($8 each)
This gorgeous collection of pastel neon nail polish will look fabulous against my tanned summer skin. Of the seven colours, I’m most fond of the lime green ‘Til The Record Stops and the icy blue Meet Me At The Rink.

smashboxSmashbox Master Class Palette III – Color & Contour ($72)
I can’t get over how great of a deal this set is. The palette is valued at over $350, containing 32 eye shadows, three blushes, one contour powder, one bronzer, and one highlighter. There’s a nice mix of matte and shimmer eye shadows, and colours to complement every skin tone.

Editorial Makeup

I had the pleasure of creating this editorial makeup look on my model twice: both for a test run and during our in-class assignment. I went with a lighter lip for the final look, which I think suits the model a bit better, and also blended the eyeshadow a lot more. For the shadow, I used Savage and Urban from Urban Decay’s Electric Palette, as well as Chalk from Make Up For Ever. I also switched up the false lashes on the second application because I wasn’t happy with how they turned out in the test run. I love working with bright colours and am looking forward to creating more looks like this in the future.

Test run:

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Final application:

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Swatches and Review: Sassy Polish – Assemble Collection

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of The Avengers, and I’m obviously a big fan of nail polish as well. Whenever I see a chance to combine two of my interests, I’m all over it. This past month I had the opportunity to purchase a nail polish collection inspired by the latest blockbuster hit, Avengers: Age of Ultron. By the way, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, do so now. I just watched it for the second time this week and it really is amazing.

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The Assemble Collection was created by an indie polish maker, Sassy Polish and Scrubs, and includes nine polishes. The polishes are made to order and shipped to me from California, so it was a long three weeks waiting for these beauties to arrive. The wait was totally worth it, because when that box showed up at my front door, I was amazed by the glory it held. Each polish in this collection perfectly embodies the character it’s named after.

America’s Hero

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Inspired by Captain America, it’s no surprise that this polish is filled with red, white and blue glitter. The shimmery blue base goes on a little bit streaky at first, then becomes opaque with a second coat. Putting on a third coat doesn’t seem to add any more depth to the glitter, so I’d say two is ideal. This polish has a nice shiny finish on its own, but a topcoat helps to smooth out the texture from the glitter.

Billionaire Powerhouse

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I’ll admit, Iron Man isn’t my favourite Avenger, but this polish sure is beautiful. The iridescent pearl base is solar reactive, changing to a cotton candy pink in the sun. The pink is a little spotty with only one coat, so I’d recommend two or three coats to get a more vibrant pink. The placement of the red and gold glitter also improves greatly when further coats are applied.

Throwin’ The Hammer Down

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Another solar reactive polish, this Thor-inspired colour has a smoky white base that almost looks silver. Sun exposure changes the base to the perfect periwinkle blue, which complements the blue and red glitter quite nicely. This polish provides great coverage in one coat and dries to a nice satin finish.


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This neon Hulk polish is my absolute favourite, with a green jelly base that’s filled with purple glitter. The jelly base gives this polish so much depth, especially when two coats are applied. The finish is a bit dull, so I definitely recommend using a topcoat to boost the vibrancy of the green and give it a bold, glossy look.

Bad Ass Bombshell

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Inspired by my favourite Avenger, Black Widow, this polish is a metallic, copper-toned red with fine black glitter and a touch of holo. One coat is enough to get full coverage, and you don’t have to worry about smudging your nails because the polish dries very quickly.

Straight Shooter

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This gorgeous Hawkeye-inspired thermal, filled with violet holo glitter, is dark purple when cold and a deep pinky-purple when warm. The polish is very sensitive, so it began changing colours as soon as I had it on my nail. One coat provides good coverage and greater thermal contrast, while two coats deepens the shades and doesn’t give as much thermal contrast.

Witchy Ways

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The intricacies of the Scarlet Witch’s character are well represented in this dark grey-purple duo chrome polish, and just when you think you understand her, night falls, and your nails glow in the dark. As much as I love the look of Witchy Ways, I don’t love the formula. The polish dries a little too fast, and becomes tacky and difficult to work with. Luckily, the formula is thick and opaque, so just apply one quick coat and be done. If you don’t have enough polish on your brush, or if you try to go over a spot again, you’ll have a tacky mess on your hands. If you prefer a second coat, just be sure the first one is completely dry before adding to it.

Quicker Than Quick

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I’m a total sucker for blue holo and, coincidentally, I’m also a sucker for Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who plays Quicksilver in the film. True to character, this holo topcoat is a blur of blue, white and silver. Although it’s a topcoat, the polish can also be worn on its own, ideally with two or three coats. I love how this looks over white polish, and will probably be putting it over a holo silver polish in the near future.

Human Extinction

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And finally, the star of the film and this collection: Ultron. This breathtaking polish contains red and holo glitter, and can be used on its own or as a topcoat. Whether you wear one, two or three coats, the formula goes on smooth and provides perfect glitter placement. The polish looks incredible over black and, quite frankly, will look great over any other colour as well.

This was my first purchase from Sassy Polish and Scrubs, and I’m quite impressed with the quality. There are at least four polishes in this collection that have become part of my usual rotation. Every colour looks fantastic and, with the exception of Witchy Ways, the formulas were all super easy to work with.

Final score: 9/10

Mail from an old friend

My old locker buddy from high school has been starting to get more into beauty products recently and we decided to do a little product swap. I sent her a package filled with various nail and makeup goodies, and she sent me one as well. I was thrilled to see a big envelope sticking out of my mailbox yesterday, and I ripped it open immediately.

Inside the package was Younique’s Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara, as well as two GOSH nail polishes and an adorable Revlon nail file. I’ve been wanting to try this Younique mascara for a while now, and decided to give it a quick test run this evening. My initial thoughts on the mascara are pretty good; it definitely makes my lashes longer. I still want to do some more testing on it, so I’ll be doing a full review in the next week with plenty of comparison photos.

These GOSH polishes really surprised me. I’ve never worn this brand, and I don’t think I can recall seeing any swatches for them at all, so I really didn’t know what to expect. The polishes claim to have a “glittery matt finish” and “frosted sand look.” I decided to try both colours at once, painting Frosted Soft Green on my middle and ring fingers, and Frosted Soft Coral on my thumb, index and pinky. I only needed one coat to get opaque coverage, which is pretty rare. I always appreciate single coat polishes for those days when I just don’t have the time or patience for a second or third coat.

The finish is exactly as described, with a bit of a rough texture. The longer I wear this polish, the more I love it. I find myself looking at it constantly and I love how the sun reflects off of it. I’m really happy with the outcome and I’ll probably find myself purchasing more GOSH polish in the future.

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