April Monthly Awareness Polish Box: Autism Awareness 

***Discount Samples***

Hey y’all! Good Morning and happy Monday! Today I have swatches of the newest Monthly Awareness Polish Box, Autism Awareness.

Before we jump into the swatches, let’s talk a little bit about Autism.

What is Autism?

“Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.”

“The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.”**

So let’s not just think of these as “more polish” or “another polish box”, but think of the families that will be impacted from the donation made because of your purchase. As you open each polish, think of it as unwrapping hope, joy, support, encouragement, awareness and most of all love.

This month the Monthly Awareness Polish Box (M.A.P.B.) is supporting Autism Research Institute by donating 10% of all sales to this wonderful organization. Preorder started March 26th and goes thru April 9th and shipping will begin mid month. Please note, at this time international orders will not be accepted (this may change in the future). The cost is $52/box including all 6 polishes, $40 for your choice of 4 or $11/individually (applicable shipping rates apply).

April Makers and Brands features:

Hillary Wilson of Lifestyle Lacquer
Tanya Picanco of My Indie Polish
Lindsay Johns of Night Owl Lacquer
Virginia Shaw of Pretty Beautiful
LJ Stanford of All Mixed Up Lacquers
Angie Cavaiuolo of Sassy Pants Polish

 **ALL SWATCHES ARE DONE USING COMMITMENT ISSUE PEEL-OFF BASE COAT BY VAPID AND TONIC TOPPER BY TONIC (SHINY) AND MATTE ME BY JIOR COUTURE (MATTE). SWATCH PHOTOS ARE TAKEN USING ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS.**

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Hillary Wilson of Lifestyle Lacquer

Love Needs No Words – A duochrome that shifts between shades of blue and violet with a hint of scattered holo pigment. Swatch shown in 3 coats.

Tanya Picanco of My Indie Polish

Close to Home – A purple cream with a great pink/violet and hidden holo. Swatch shown in 2 coats.

 Lindsay Johns of Night Owl Lacquer

Loving Patience – A seafoam green with bright turquoise shimmer, crystal rainbow shifting flakies and some scattered holographic. Swatch shown in 4 coats. I would definitely recommend thin layers or using white undies.

LJ Stanford of All Mixed Up Lacquers

“All Over the Spectrum” light grey scattered holographic base with green, pink, purple, blue micro flakies and small to medium pink, green, purple, red, orange, turquoise and blue holographic glitter. Swatch shown in 2 coats.

Angie Cavaiuolo of Sassy Pants Polish

“Kiss My Aspergers”. Is a very sparkly red jelly with red micro-glitters and red-gold micro flakies. Swatch shown in 3 coats. I would recommend using undies to reduce VNL.

Virginia Shaw of Pretty Beautiful

Sometimes Mysterious is currently pending. I will update the post, IG and FB when swatches become available. Thank you for understanding!

**Be sure to check out more swatches and reviews**

Jessica Federoff of SloppySwatches – Blog / FB / IG
Courtney Stemple of nails_by_courtney.s – IG
Dianna Setterfield – IG / FB / Blog

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**https://www.autismspeaks.org/

Swatch & Review: BBP – April Birthstone Duo

***PRESS (PR) SAMPLE NOTICE ***

Hey y’all, it’s FriYAY!!! It’s literally 7:18am et, yep, just over and hour before this post is scheduled to ‘go live’ and I have nothing ready except the pictures. Please forgive me if this seems rushed or grammatically incorrect in any way, shape or form. I promise it’s not my fault, we shall blame it on….being slightly under the weather this week. I’ve been battling this cough that just doesn’t want to go away. It’s more annoying this anything else. Anyway, I hope you all are having an amazing and productive week thus far and I hope you all have an equally amazing weekend.

This evening, my cough and I will be taking in a movie with my girls and 2 friends. Picture this, me, a 5 year old, 3 10 year olds and big ole’ bucket of buttery popcorn. And because I deserve it, I’m also going to indulge in a large Cherry Coke. If you’ve been to the movies lately you can best believe I’ll be spending a small fortune. But, it will all be worth it for the girls. I’ll give you one guess as to what we are going to see. 

I know, I know, you maybe asking yourself what the guys?! This evening my hubby and son, will be partaking in one thing. You guessed it…basketball 🏀! That’s right, AAU practice is in full swing and the first tournament is April 15th!

But that’s enough about me, let’s talk polish! Today I have a full swatch and review of the April Birthstone Duo from Bad Bitch Polish (BBP). If you didn’t already know, Britt has put together a birthstone duo for each month and each month they are amazeballs! You should know that there is gorgeousness ahead and you should prepare yourself accordingly.

**ALL SWATCHES ARE DONE USING COMMITMENT ISSUE PEEL-OFF BASE COAT BY VAPID AND TONIC TOPPER BY TONIC (SHINY) AND MATTE TOPCOAT BY TURTLE TOOTSIE POLISHES (MATTE). SWATCH PHOTOS ARE TAKEN USING ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS.**

Unbreakable
A pearly white with a small linear holo effect

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Lucy in the Sky
A black jelly packed full of black holo & black opal glitter.

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Overall Thoughts

Formula / Application: amazing formula making for perfect application

Opacity: Swatches shown in 2 coats plus topcoat

Price: $10 each, $19 for the duo

Availability: Friday, March 31st

Overall: I throughly enjoyed both polishes. I love the white and black because I am a huge fan of black and white monochromatic nail art. It wasn’t until I was done that I thought these would be perfect for a yin yang design. Also they would be perfect for and illusion effect. 

If you decide to try any of the above I’d love to see them.

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Up Close & Personal with Julie Bennett of Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer

Name: Julie Bennett

Location: Decatur, Georgia

Birthday: August 27

Biggest pet peeve(s)?

Weirdly, when people take their time getting off on escalators xD I know, it’s a weird one, but it drives me bonkers!

Favorite meal of the day?

Dinner! Followed closely be breakfast. And then there’s always brinner – breakfast for dinner xD

What cartoon character best represents you?

Louise from Bob’s Burgers. At first glance, I look sweet and nice, but once you get to know me, I’m a bit cray xD

Heels or flats?

Depends on the outfit and what I’m doing for the day. I love a great pair of heels, but if I’m taking the train or walking a lot, then I go for the flats.

Jeans or Dress?

Jeans for sure!

If you were an animal, what would it be and why?

A cat because 1) they are adorbs, and 2) they don’t give a crap about what anyone else thinks or wants.

Live without your sense of smell or taste? Why?

Hmm, probably smell. I know what I’m going to be putting into my mouth (and hopefully the inability to smell wouldn’t affect my sense of taste), but being able to avoid the stinky smells of others would be worth not being able to smell.

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?

I love to support my fellow makers, so I tend to wear a lot of indie polish. I don’t get a chance to wear a lot of other polishes, but when I do, I gravitate towards stuff from my friends like Monster Polish, Lit Lacquer Sweet Heart Polish, Ever After, and so many more.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Hard working and anal retentive.

What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?

I’m actually really jazzed about this March’s We Saw the Stars Collection, which has been in the works for about a year. I also love the neons I did a few summers ago – the Leave the Sun Behind Me Collection.

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)

I love beer, so doing beer tastings with friends is one of my top fave things. I also am an voracious reader – I read between two and three books a week. Some crappy free Kindle books as well as other not-so crappy books. Lastly would probably be to travel. I was never really able to travel a lot before the last few years, so being able to go to amazing places like France, England, and Italy has been amazing!

How did you come up with your company name and logo?

When I was younger, my dad called me his Blue-Eyed Girl, so that kind of stuck. I created a blog that was originally intended to be a stream of consciousness journal about things I wanted to do with my life called Wishes of a Blue-Eyed Girl. Before I actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it were), it turned into a polish blog, which is now sadly defunct. When I decided to start my own brand, I had a bit of community recognition, so I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate the blog name into my brand name. The logo was originally created by a lovely lady in a maker group who created a logo with a flower over the i in girl. When I decided I wanted to make a business out of it, I knew I’d need to reformat the name to be a little easier to read, but I stuck with the flower idea. It has absolutely nothing to do with my brand name, but I don’t think I would want an eyeball on my bottles, lol.

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?

I’m planning to do a girl power influenced collection this summer!

In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?

Polish is my Siren Song –> mostly because 1) I feel like a lot of us are guided by the need to have polishes in our lives, and 2) I have a series of polishes that came out monthly for about two years called the Siren Series. So, mixing in the lore of Sirens as well as the fact that they are my signature series, I feel like that slogan fits pretty well. 🙂

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Swatch & Review: Polish ‘M – Words of Encouragement Collection 

***PRESS (PR) SAMPLE NOTICE ***

Happy Monday everyone!!! Spring has officially sprung and I couldn’t be more happier. Not just because warmer weather is ahead but because what Spring represents. Spring and “springtime” refer to the season, we know that, but it also brings rebirth, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. This is the time to complete that unfinished project or start a new one. As for me, I plan to mark a few activities off my “bucket list” with my kids and hubby while they are on spring break next month. First up, horseback riding!! This may come as a shocker, but I’ve never rode a horse and I am excited about the opportunity to do so and experience it with my family.  

So, as the flowers start to bloom and birds begin to chirp, let us be reminded to encourage each other and our self in this season of rejuvenation. To help us prepare, Michelle Nesbitt maker of Polish ‘M has created a beautiful 6 pc collection to Uplift, Inspire, Motivate, Boost, Cheer and bring Hope to each of us in this perfect season.

#selfishplug: if you missed my Live Swatch of Uplift, please be sure to check it out. This is a live video where I take you step by step into how I swatch polishes. Don’t forget, I go live on my Facebook Page, Queen of Nails 83 every week (time may vary, so be sure to ‘like’ the page for updates). If you have any ideas or suggestions of what you’d like to see, email me and use subject: Live Video Request.

Now on to the swatches!!!

**All swatches are done using Commitment Issue Peel-off Base Coat by Vapid and Tonic Topper by Tonic (shiny) and Matte topcoat by Turtle Tootsie Polishes (matte). Swatch photos are taken using artificial lights.**

Uplift

“Elevate or stimulate (someone) morally or spiritually”

Motivate

“Stimulate (someone’s) interest in or enthusiasm for doing something”

Inspire

“Fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative”

Cheer

“Shout for joy or in praise or encouragement”

Hope

“A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”

Boost

“A source of help or encouragement leading to increase or improvement”

Overall Thoughts

Formula / Application: amazing formula making for perfect application

Opacity: Swatches shown in 2 coats

Price: $9 each or $50/set

Availability: Saturday, March 25

Overall: This collection is comprised of 6 shimmery polishes with scattered galaxy holo glitter and micro holo flakes. So yes, yes you need them all.

How much more encouragement do you need to know you must have this collection? Let me know in the comments what you are looking forward to the most about Spring.

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Swatch & Review: Pretty Beautiful Unlimited – Vintage Spring 2017 Collection 

***PRESS (PR) SAMPLE NOTICE ***

Good Morning and happy Friday!! This week has been completely cray-cray. Monday the kids had a 2 hour delay, Tuesday, no school because of all the snow and after that, I really don’t remember what happened. What I do know is that today is FriYAY and I am thankful for the weekend upon us. For the past 2 weeks or so, I have been in having a total swatch fest and I am finally starting to see the light at the end of tunnel. This can only mean one thing, more drool-worthy polishes for us to buy!

Today I have 6 of the 12 polishes from the upcoming Vintage Spring 2017 Collection from Pretty Beautiful Unlimited. #Selfishplug, if you missed Wednesdays Up Close and Personal, you’ll want to go back and check it out as it featured the maker of this amazing brand, Virginia Shaw. And she’s pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. Anywho…my review is based solely on the polishes received from the maker for review. Please check for other blogs for a review on the remaining polishes.

**All swatches are done using Commitment Issue Peel-off Base Coat by Vapid and Tonic Topper by Tonic (shiny) and Matte topcoat by Turtle Tootsie Polishes (matte). Swatch photos are taken using artificial lights.**

Spring Fantasy

A taupe leaning holo crème base sprinkled with navy micro flakies, blue shimmer and a smattering of iridescent glitters and flakies.

Chiffon Dreams

An off white slightly silvered metallic base with galaxy glitters, gold holo shreds and a healthy dose of gold to bronze to silver UCC flakies and chameleon glitters.

Classic Elegance

A pink leaning beige base with holo, with copper galaxy glitters, rainbow chameleon flakes, iridescent shifting red to green glitters and copper to gold to silver UCC flakies

Bloom

A holo base with strong reddish pink shimmer, pink galaxy glitters and a big dose of violet to pink to gold UCC flakies

Spring Romance

A bright pink holo cream base with blue shimmer, galaxy glitters in silver and pink micro shreds in silver, pink and violet and platinum silver flakies

A Day in the Garden

A light green crème holo base loaded with iridescent blue glitters, platinum silver flakes, silver holo micro shreds, shimmer and a heaping helping of lime to blue to gold UCC flakies

Overall Thoughts

Formula / Application: Impeccable and effortless

Opacity: All swatches shown with 2 coats

Price: $9 full size / $5 mini

Availability: Monday, March 20th at 7am ct/8am et

Overall: According to Dictionary.com, vintage, when used as an adjective means, “representing the high quality of a past time,” or “being the best of its kind.” I think Virginia did an amazing job capturing the vintage feel. These are the colors are reminiscent of those you would see in an older painting. The formula is easy to work with and while they dry very semi-textured, a nice glossy topcoat with smooth everything all out. I think this polish are a definite collectors item…get it? Never mind, I’m no comic.

Will you being springing into Spring with the Vintage Spring 2017 Collection? Let me know in the comments. Enjoy your weekend, catch you back here on Monday.

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Up Close & Personal with Virginia Shaw of Pretty Beautiful Unlimited 

Name: Virginia Shaw
Location: Tyler, TX
Birthday: June 10th

Biggest pet peeve(s)?
I have a lot of these lol…but my biggest is rudeness/disrespect. I feel we all have our own opinions and its important to be able to express them but to do it in a way that that doesn’t make the other person feel like they don’t matter. I’ve had this happen to me so I tend to keep quiet and just observe and watch and only speak when its one on one. I try to live by that old saying “if you don’ have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” lol

Favorite meal of the day?
I prefer salty to sweet so probably anything that is Italian

What cartoon character best represents you?
I don’t know of one that would best represent me, but I’m a Disney addict so any character from the cartoons is good to me. my favs are Ariel and Belle.

Heels or flats?
Flats, I can’t keep up with my kids in heels lol

Jeans or Dress?
 Jeans all the way!

If you were an animal, what would it be and why?
I’d be some sort of cat, big or small it doesn’t matter. I love their grace and athletic prowess and then how they can be total goofballs over something like a cucumber. lol

Live without your sense of smell or taste? Why?
Wow that’s a tough question. I love to cook and both senses are really important when cooking, but I’d say if i had to choose one to live without it would be smell. I live in the country so skunks should say it all!

When and why did you decide to start a nail polish line and what makes your brand different?
started buying indie polish about 4 years ago and was really loving how different they were compared to what i could find in the stores. I’ve always been a crafty person and had already been doing research on making my own makeup. it wasn’t till i was home after my second baby was born that I really got the bug and dove head first in to this crazy obsession. I started researching and buying supplies and mixing like crazy. as for what makes my brand different, I’ve recently been told how complex my polishes are. i was a little surprised because I hadn’t really thought about it but its true, one polish can have shimmer, holo, glitter and flakies! That’s a lot to pack into one bottle lol. I love being a “mad scientist” as my husband calls me and I’m always looking for ways to improve and add new things to each collection.

What advice/tips/best practices would you give someone wanting to start their own polish company?
Research and customer service. I spent a lot of years in customer service when i worked for Nordstrom. so I think that gave me a really good foundation and i also treat others the way I want to be treated. research is also very important and i think never stopping for ways to make you products better is very important.

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?
oh my! I have a collection that is closing in on 1000 bottles (shhh, don’t tell my husband). my first brands that got me into this where Fairytale Finish, All Mixed Up Lacquer and Polish ‘M. Since then I’ve expanded. i try to support as many fellow makers as i can, like Supermoon, Vapid, Tonic, Night Owl, Femme Fatale, MDJ Creations and so many more!

Describe yourself in 5 words
driven, creative, supportive, loving, hardworking

What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?
its funny, every time i release a collection i think this is my favorite. then the next one comes along and i’m like no THIS is my favorite! but i think overall one of the most fun collections i have done is the Big Bang Theory inspired collection. I’m a Big Bang Theory nerd so it was a very easy and natural collection to come up with.

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)
Lets see, I love crafts in general but absolutely love floral arrangements. I’m actually thinking about adding some to the site at some point! i also love to garden, but the summers in Texas are pretty intense for me so i have to make sure its early in the am. and as mentioned before i love cooking and baking.  

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
My brand name and logo have gone through some changes since i launched, but the name Pretty Beautiful is thanks to my husband. there is a song by Danny Gokey that was playing in the background while we were discussing names and my husband said that’s what you should call your business…Pretty Beautiful. at fist it was Pretty Beautiful Cosmetics because I thought i would continue with my research and eventually launch some mineral makeup. but over time I changed it to Pretty Beautiful Unlimited because i didn’t want to be stuck in one category. as for my logo, I have always loved fleur de lis so i knew i wanted that to be part of any design I used. Now I’ve gone from one big one behind my brand name to a smaller more intricate design that I hope everyone loves.

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
I’m getting ready to release what has turned into a large spring collection (3/20) and am working on a collab with one of my swatchers for a collection to be released in April. I’m also hoping to start adding additional items to the store that were made with nail polish, like jewelry and coasters.

What do you love most about being an indie polish maker?
I love creating new colors and interacting with my swatchers/bloggers and fans. They constantly give inspire me and come up with wonderful names for a polish collection when I’m stuck, I’m terrible with names!

What other brand (just 1) would you like to collaborate with or have already collaborated with?
I’ve already worked with some amazing ladies already and would work with them again anytime. But if i can be a bit of a fan girl for a moment, I would love to work with Michelle of Polish ‘M.

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Swatch & Review: Alter Ego – Sweet Cremes

***PRESS (PR) SAMPLE NOTICE***

Good Morning 😃!! I hope you all had an amazing weekend. If you’re in an area that is impacted by daylights savings and your lagging this morning, please know that I am right there with you. It will be another month or more before I am totally adjusted.

For those who may have been following my crazy life from the last couple of posts, I just wanted to let you know that my sons basketball team lost their second playoff game ☹️. While we are sad, we are excited and looking forward to the upcoming All-Star game and then on to AAU.  As for my girls, more of the same, gymnastics and Girl on the Run which starts this week.

So now let’s get into today’s S&R! Today I have the Sweet Cremes Collection from Alter Ego. This collection was originally named Sweet Cremes Are Made With These, but that was entirely too long so it was shortened to Sweet Cremes. This collection is the interpretation of crème liquers, as they appear, after added to the recipe. They are called crème liquers because the abundance of sugar in them gives them a creamy consistency and some makers also add a touch of glyercin for extra body. They are fairly high in alcohol by volume (ABV), this means it won’t take nearly as much for the consumer to get tipsy compared to a glass of wine or a serving of beer. So take it easy if you are drinking these!

**All swatches are done using Commitment Issue Peel-off Base Coat by Vapid and Tonic Topper by Tonic (shiny) and Matte topcoat by Turtle Tootsie Polishes (matte). Swatch photos are taken using artificial lights.**

Crème de Noyaux

Crème de noyaux is almond flavored and can be made either from apricpot kernels or a kernel contained in peach pits! It is also mentioned that apricot kernels also are a flavoring agent in ameretto and similar in flavor. Those that drink both say creme de noyaux is far better than ameretto It has a 30% ABV. I also see it as being difficult to find, very expensive and ameretto is commonly substituted for it in blended drinks. Swatch shown in 3 coats

Crème de Cassis

Crème de cassis is commonly made with black currants although I do see it acceptable to use blackberries if black currants cannot be found. The color I made Is what I see in my mind’s eye after the fruit has been crushed and sugar added 🙂 It first appeared in its modern verison in 1841 and is considered a specialty of Burgundy, France. Nearly 16 million litres is produced annually in France! This was a favorite drink of fictional detective Hercule Poirot and is mentioned in some of Agatha Christie’s novels that feature this character. The only reference I found to ABV is 15%. Swatch shown in 2 coats.

Crème de Cocao

Crème de cacao obviously tastes like chocolate. It has been around for literally hundreds of years, there is mention of the French producing and selling it as early as 1666! There also are mentions of a “chocolate wine” in New England prior to the American Revolution, and there is a recipe for it in a cookbook published in 1825. It has a ABV of 20%-25%. When first created it is clear and then food coloring is added. It can be consumed as it is as an after dinner drink and while some recipes do call for it to be added to desserts a food writer notes that when mixed with melted chocolate it can cause the chocolate to seize. Swatch shown in 2 coats

Crème de Cerise

Crème de cerise is made with crushed dark and sour cherries, highly sugared and has a ABV of 16%-18%. I couldn’t find much information about its history I do see it can be mixed with white wine or champagne as well and is suggested it is just the beverage to drink while enjoying semi-sweet desserts. Swatch shown in 3 coats

Crème de Menthe

Crème de menthe is made primarily from either corsican mint or dried peppermint. Colorless is called white and the green version can be colored wither using the mint leaves or food coloring. It has an average of 25% ABV. It is popular in many drinks and can be added to desserts as a syrup and baked goods. Swatch shown in 2 coats

Crème de Banane

Some think of bananas as a bright yellow, but I see this color as more of a golden yellow. Crème de banane is sweet, usually 17%-25% ABV. While used mostly for alcoholic drinks, it also can be used in cooking and baking, particularly as a syrup for frozen desserts. Added to baked dishes it gives the finished product a strong banana flavor. Swatch shown in 4 coats

 Overall Thoughts

Formula / Application: This collection appears to be a crème to the naked eye, but upon further review they apply like a crelly. The first coat is sheer and thin but they build up nicely on subsequent layers. No issues to report.

Price: $9 full size / $4.50 minis

Availability: TBA – be sure to check out Alter Ego social media site for updates

Overall: This collection is amazing! While a couple of the colors did leave the slightest bit of VNL, I would recommend using a white or similar color for undies. I did do some playing around with these polishes and yes, they DO watermarble. I also absolutely loooooove the description of each color provided by Cynthia, so informative, yet fun!

So what do you think, will you be getting a little tippsy with these Sweet Cremes?

I mentioned in the beginning and was asked in the fan group if these polish watermarble?

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Center Stage with Sharvonique Renee Fortune


Name: Sharvonique Renee Fortune
Age: 40
Location: Alexandria, VA

Kids? If so, how many? 
Two kids. My daughter Jasmin and my son Julian. Both are in their early 20’s. It’s fascinating to watch them live their own lives and pursue their dreams. 

Marital Status?
I became a widow in 2008, but I’ve been blessed to have someone special currently in my life.

Birthday
June 6

Pets? If so, types and how many? 
I’ve had all types of different pets throughout my life – a dog, gerbils, mice, guinea pigs, a rabbit, a rat, fish, and several cats. At the moment, I have two cats. An old moody fellow named Tigra, and a diva named Mika.

Beach or mountains?
Beach! I love the sun and warm places.

Comedy movie or suspense?
Both. Depends on my mood. I love TV and movies and need a variety to stay entertained.

Last time you laughed out loud
This morning. I’m forever laughing at random things.

Favorite tv show
This is tough to answer. TV is one of my closest friends. At this very moment, I’ll say Game of Thrones.

Favorite holiday
My birthday. Does that count?

Name one thing you can’t live without?
Chocolate

What got you started doing your nails?
I started polishing my nails in middle school. I’ve always had a strong interest in artistic things, and painting my nails was a form of creative expression.

What was the first brand you swatched for?
CrowsToes. I’m a fan of polish first and foremost. I’d polish my nails, then would take pictures for my own enjoyment and to show others. The creator of CrowsToes reached out to me one day and asked if I’d like to be an official swatcher for her. I was on cloud nine!

What is your favorite nail care product?
I can’t name just one. I have a tried-and-true arsenal of holy grail products to maintain my natural nails. Cuticle oil is an absolute must. I love Lucky 7 Nail Oil, Lush Lemony Flutter, and Dior Crème Abricot. Zoya Remove+ and HandsDown Ultra Nail Pads are my go-to’s for polish removal. Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover is a favorite, along with a glass nail file and a good ol’ orange stick.

What kind of camera do you use to take your swatch photos?
I use my iPhone 6 camera. It’s easy, simple and fast. I do have nicer more professional cameras, but it’s more work to set them up and use. I do loose depth of field, but I can live with the trade off in favor of simplicity.

What tips would you give an aspiring swatcher?
Even though I’ve only been swatching for less than a year, I do have a few tips to share. Lighting is extremely important. It improves the quality of your photos immensely and instantly makes them look more professional. I personally prefer not to use a flash because I think it alters the color of the polish and makes everything look too harsh. A good light source like a lamp or natural light are best. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I also suggest copying hand poses of swatchers that you like. You’ll quickly learn how your hand moves and the way your fingers bend. There are some poses I’m simply not able to do because my hand doesn’t move that way, but I was able to see the way my hand naturally wants to pose. The most important thing is to have fun! I LOVE nail polish, and I think my passion for it comes across in my photos. If you’re able to capture that excitement in any way that’s unique to you, it will show in your work.   

How did you come up with your ‘nail name’?
I was born with it. I figure my name is unique enough that I don’t need to come up with something else.

If you were to start an indie line of polish what would you name it and what would the first collection be inspired by?
Oooooh, I’ve often thought about starting my own indie line. I would name it Cartoon Chic and my brand would be inspired by cartoons and anime. I have a background in animation. My first collection would probably be a tribute to Jem and the Holograms. 

Who are some other swatchers and/blogs you follow?
I follow a lot, actually, but the ones that have more artistic photos stand out to me the most. @pshiiit_polish, @iparallaxe, and @ressa_d come to mind. I also love a good macro, so I enjoy your photos and @lifelovelacquer, as well as others.

For those of you who may not know, Center Stage is the old Swatcher Spotlight. I had to change it up a bit as this series doesn’t only focus on swatchers but bloggers and vloggers as well. If you or someone you know is a swatcher, blogger or vlogger and should be Center Stage, leave a comment down below. Have a great weekend, see ya’ Monday! 

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Instagram / Facebook / Blog

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Swatch & Review: Project Aloha – A Tonic Custom for Crystal’s Charity Lacquers

***PRESS (PR) SAMPLE NOTICE ***

Good morning polish people!! Today I have a very special S&R. Today I have the Tonic custom for Crystal’s Charity Lacquers FB Group. This polish is benefiting The Hawaiian Humane Society.

Here are a few words from Crystal, creator of the FB group.

“I’ll give you a bit of the backstory on my group, in case you aren’t familiar with us. I’ve been involved in fundraising for a number of years now, and always struggled to raise funds. In April 2015, I decided to take a new approach and started asking some of my favourite brands if they would be willing to create custom polishes for me to give away in a raffle style draw. After getting a number of brands on board, we launched our first campaign, a double giveaway benefiting the SPCA and the Terry Fox Foundation for cancer research. That first campaign wrapped up in September 2015 and was more successful that I ever could have dreamed. In order to keep momentum going between giveaways, we introduced our limited edition collaboration sales. That first sale was for the Hawaiian Humane Society so we’ve come a bit full circle with this sale.”  
“The Hawaiian Humane Society is a cause very close to my heart. I am a huge animal lover, so helping animals is something I always strive to do. During a trip to Oahu in March 2015, the search for a larger sized geocache brought me to the Hawaiian Humane Society grounds. The geocache owner had received permission to hide the geocache in the middle of the shelter grounds, and upon first arrival, I was stunned by the well thought out shelter and their beautiful grounds. We found the cache and then I couldn’t resist saying hello to the animals. The shelter workers were friendly and offered us treats to give to the animals and told us that we could sign a dog out to walk around or play in one of the play areas. This was like no shelter I’d been to before. You could feel the love and see how the shelter was built with the animals happiness in mind. We signed out a sweet pup named Spot and took him for a run in the play area. Once he was tired, we snuggled on a bench and fed him some treats. And then there was Lily. This girl stole my heart and cemented my love for this shelter. Lily was an amazing dog who came in as a stray. She had endless energy and even knew some tricks. When you offered her a treat, she would sit up on her hind legs and put her front paws together like she was praying. She was amazing! But she was a special girl, who needed a special human to give her the forever home she needed. She had been adopted and returned to the shelter already. As a Canadian, we often hear the horror stories of American kill shelters. After spending time with Lily, I nervously, and with tears in my eyes, approached one of the shelter staff and asked them about their policies. I was relieved to hear that the Hawaiian Humane Society does not put time limits on the animals to find their forever homes. This is something that is extremely important to me. I eventually pulled myself away from the animals and we left. But I’ve never forgotten Lily. It took a year and two failed adoptions before this beautiful, silly girl finally found her forever home and I am so grateful to the Hawaiian Humane Society for not giving up on her. Since that trip, I have supported the Hawaiian Humane Society through donations and gifts. We returned to the island in January, 2016 and visited once again with a large donation of food, toys and other supplies needed by the shelter. They were mid renovation during that visit and have recently completed a complete overhaul of the facilities. We have another trip booked for this April, and I am excited to make the donation from our Crystal’s Charity Lacquers March 2017 sale in person! The Hawaiian Humane Society is also Oahu’s only open admissions shelter. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for people to surrender their animals. They believe there must be a place where all animals are welcome. This means that they will also accept illegal animals with no questions asked and work to save them through relocation to the mainland. The shelter also offers fantastic, affordable programs to help curb the feral cat population through spaying and neutering. I could go on and on about the wonderful programs through the Hawaiian Humane Society as this has barely scratched the surface of all they do.”
“When it came time to name this beautiful polish for a cause, we wanted the name to reflect the cause. Project Aloha felt perfect for this polish. Aloha is commonly known to be an island greeting, but it also means love. And with this fundraiser, we aim to spread love and compassion to the animals of the Hawaiian Humane Society as they wait to find their perfect forever home.”

Also for this fundraiser, Joy from Joy Lacquer has created a beautiful polish as well named Mau Loa Ohana (Forever Family). Please be sure to check it out as well.

**All swatches are done using Commitment Issue Peel-off Base Coat by Vapid and Tonic Topper by Tonic (shiny) and Matte Topcoat by Turtle Tootsie Polishes (matte). Swatch photos are taken using artificial lights.**


Pictures of Crystal’s trips to the Humane Society. The photo of her snuggling the dog is Spot and the beautiful white with brown spots pup wearing the lei is Lily.

Project Aloha
A sunset mauve holo multichrome that shifts to peach and sandy gold with orange to green shifting iridescent glitters.

Overall Thoughts

Formula/Application: AMAZING!!!

Opacity: 2 coats

Price: $12 per bottle

Availability: Friday, March 17th through Friday, March 31st. Donation to the Humane Society will be made in person around April 7th. Each polish will be available through each respective maker’s site.

Overall: Lindsey strikes again with another amazing polish!! If you haven’t figured out by now to get EVERYTHING that comes from Tonic, then take a word from the wise and #buyallthetonics!!

Are you on IG??? If so, be sure to use the following hashtags when posting your manis. #crystalscharitylacquers and #polishforacause. Also, the Humane Society uses #HawaiianHumane and #OptToAdopt 

Shop, Like, Follow and Join Crystal’s Charity Lacquers
Instagram / Facebook Fan Group

Shop, Like, Follow and Join Tonic
Shop / Facebook Business Page / Facebook Fan Group / Instagram

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Polish Subscription Boxes

Hey y’all, happy Monday! I hope you all have an amazing weekend. These last couple of days have been a whirlwind of excitement. I definitely could have used a day off just to relax. But here we are, Monday morning and per the usual I’m lagging. I literally have a tell my boss I’ll be late due to traffic every Monday morning. Now you’re probably thinking, “what’s the big deal about that?” Well truth is…I’m a telecommuter…I WORK FROM HOME! But getting 3 kids out the door for school is no easy feat. I take my hat off to stay at home mothers. 

Any who, my excitement started Friday with my live “relaunch” on my Facebook page. I had gone live before but decided against it psyching myself out of doing anymore because I thought the nail community was too saturated with vloggers. But after much consideration, I decided to give it another go and hush those voices telling me ‘no’. I decided to go the FB live route because I enjoy the live interaction from the viewers and let’s face it, editing is not my thing. 

Saturday was a complete blur. I went to the store to pick a few things, a book signing/launch, the mall and dinner with hubby and the kids. Next thing I knew it was Sunday and we were up getting ready for church. After church back to the store to get groceries for the week, home for a quick lunch and then back out for my sons semiquarter finals play off game, which they won 40-28! Let’s go Cavs!!

Through all of this, I must’ve spaced out and forgot that I was blogger because I didn’t even have a post ready or in ‘draft’ for that matter. Thank goodness I have a notebook of ideas and topics I want to cover. So I pulled out my handy dandy notebook 📓 and tah-da, we have a post! As I’m sure you could tell from the title, this post is all about polish subscription boxes. Now this is different than the other Polish Box post in that these boxes are purchased and mailed on regularly scheduled basis.

Let’s take a look 👀!

Baroness X – Monthly Mythical Mysteries

Native War Paints – Monthly Mystery Box

Black Dahlia – Monthly Subscription

Pretty & Polished – Beauty Box

Glitterdaze – Daze of the Month Box

Level Up Lacquer – Multiplayer Monthly Box

These are all the ones I could find. If you know of any others, please let me know in the comments. I will also be updating the Polish Box and WOC posts in a 2.0 version, so look for those posts coming soon. 

If you didn’t get a chance to tune in live to my ‘Watermarbling with Neons’ video, you can check it out here. Be sure to set an alarm for every Friday, 7pm est/6pm cst for more live videos on my Facebook page. This week…stamping!!!

That’s it for us here at the Queendom! I hope you were able to find this info helpful. Catch ya later!