Wednesday, December 31, 2014

NYE 2015 Manicure

Happy NYE everyone! It's that time of year where we accidentally write the previous year's date for like four months. Does anyone else have that problem? Anyway, I can't believe we're entering 2015. I had so much fun creating this festive manicure to celebrate!

I knew I wanted to do gold and black, the ball drop, and 2015 on my nails. This was one of those times where my mani came out exactly the way I pictured it in my head. I love it when that happens! I used SquareHue Sampokeskus as my gold base and Zoya Willa for the black. The rest is really all glitter placement.

My 2014 favorites will probably be posted on Friday, so keep an eye out for that! I hope everyone has a safe, happy, and healthy new year. Cheers!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

SquareHue December 2014 Review/Swatches

Hey everyone! I've got December's SquareHue box (a little late) to share with you all today, which they kindly sent me to review. It costs $19.99 a month and you get three new shades in each box. You can pause your membership at any time, which is great if your nail polish collection is piling up and you need a little break. But let's be real, who really wants a break from polish?

December's SquareHue box is from The Passport Collection. Side note, starting in 2015 they are introducing the decades collection. Um, there's going to be a 1920s box and if you know me you know that I am obsessed with the 20s. So that's happening. Anyway, the destination for December is Rovaniemi. Apparently Rovaniemi is Santa's hometown in Finland. You learn something new every day! Here is what came in my box. I love the simple and modern packaging! Great design.

First up is Joulupukin Pajakyla, a beautiful red micro glitter. Application was fantastic - the polish went on nicely in two coats. I love a good red, and this is definitely a good one.

Next is Sampokeskus. This is a gold micro glitter and as you can tell by the pictures it has a textured finish instead of glossy like the red polish. I absolutely love this color and I think I may incorporate it into my NYE mani!

Below are pictures of Sampokeskus with a top coat. On the left my index and middle fingers have a top coat and the ring and pinky fingers do not. On the right I applied the top coat to all of my nails. Which do you like better, with or without a top coat?

The last color in the collection is a gorgeous green called Revontuli. This has a suede finish and was the most difficult to apply. You kind of have to work quickly because matte polishes tend to dry pretty fast. Here I used one coat.

Below are pictures of Revontuli with a top coat. On the left my index and middle fingers have a top coat and the ring and pinky fingers do not. On the right I applied the top coat to all of my nails. I think I actually prefer the matte finish.

This is my first time trying SquareHue polishes and I am seriously impressed. The packaging and labeling is simple and modern, the formula is on point, and the colors are gorgeous. I love that all of their colors are created in house and that each box has a theme. (Once again, Decades Collection for 2015 coming up. 1920s. Yes please) Even more awesome is that SquareHue donates a portion of all sales to charity! Pretty cool, huh?

If you're interested in giving SquareHue a try or you just want to get some more information you can check them out at


Disclaimer: The products in this post were provided for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Snowflake Mani

Hey everyone! I'm back from vacation and I'm seriously missing the warm sunshine of Florida. BF and I had a fabulous time and perfect weather. We went shelling, saw dolphins, and had a ton of seafood. And ice cream. And daiquiris...Yeah, the diet starts now. Or after New Years.

Here are a few pictures of my favorite foods from the trip. On the top left we have my signature drink, a raspberry mango daiquiri. YUM. To the right of that are tuna tatar tacos with mango. The fish was so fresh. On the bottom left is salmon with vegetable risotto and string beans. I think that was my favorite meal of the trip. Next to that was the dessert I had that night. Key lime cheesecake with fresh strawberry sauce. The lightest, fluffiest, most fabulous cheesecake ever. Did I mention how much I ate on this trip?

We saw some gorgeous sunsets and these were two of them. Below those photos are a picture of a live starfish we saw on the beach (BF threw it back into the water) and the amazing shells we collected when we went shelling. I was actually able to get all of the shells and most of the sand dollars home in one piece!

Btw, I ended up not changing my manicure during the trip. My Zoya Blu & Aurora mani actually lasted the whole vacation except for one tiny chip!

You can see the chip on my index finger.

Onto today's mani! Have you ever had one of those days where your nail polish is just NOT agreeing with you? I wanted to use Julep Isla for a snowflake mani and I had so much trouble with it. Over 30 minutes after putting on my fast dry top coat my polish was getting dents in it and one nail totally smudged. I got so fed up that I removed it all except my accent nail on my left hand. I was in no mood to do anything fancy so I pulled out Zoya Loredana, a fast drying matte velvet polish. Two coats and completely dry in ten minutes.

I'll have a fun NYE mani coming up on Tuesday or Wednesday. Happy Mani Monday!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Zoya Blu & Aurora

Hey everyone! My Mani Monday post is coming a day early because the BF and I have an early flight tomorrow morning to Florida! So excited that the big vacation is finally here. We have a lot of fun activities planned for the week so you probably won't see another post from me until next week. I will be posting a little on social media so if you'd like you can check out those accounts, they're all on the right side of my blog.

So for my vacation mani I chose Zoya Blu, which is a soft baby blue with a glossy creme finish. I had a little trouble with the formula at times, and I admittedly had to do several nails over, but the end result is really flattering and pretty. I achieved opacity in two coats. I decided to pull out Zoya Aurora for some chevron accents. Man, I am blown away by this color every single time I use it. Aurora is a full coverage sugarplum purple with micro fine holographic glitter. Two coats, absolutely stunning. For the chevrons I used the mini chevron vinyls from She has a wide range of vinyls to choose from so check her out!

Sent this snap to a friend. I think the caption says it all. 

A little blurry but I love the glossyness! 

I took a picture in natural light but I wish the sun had been out! I'm sure I'll get some good shots of this mani while I'm on the beach though ;)

I may change this mani mid week if it's not holding up. I'm bringing a little manicure kit with me. I put in those Nicka K nail polish remover pads, my Sephora glass file, Essie Urban Jungle, and the Essie All in One base and top coat. Oh and I threw in a few q-tips for clean up. I'll see you guys in a week with a new mani and a glowing tan!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Influenster Frosty VoxBox

Hey everyone! I'm so excited that I got my third VoxBox from Influenster. Influenster is an online community of consumers who give reviews on products and experiences. If you are active on the site, Influenster may invite you to participate in their VoxBox programs, where members receive complimentary products to review! Here is what came in the box:

And here it is deconstructed:

Descriptions for each product come straight from the VoxBox card that came inside.

1) EcoTools Hair Brush ($10.99)
EcoTools hair brushes are designed with unique features that leave your head and hair happy and healthy. Long or short, straight or curly, EcoTools has the brush to tame any hair style with a variety of five brush head shapes and bristle designs specially crafted to suit every need.

received the Sleek & Shine Finisher. You use this with your hair dryer and it supposedly gets your hair dry 20% faster. I haven't tried this brush out yet but I may bring it to Florida on vacation next week to see if it tames my frizz.

2) McCormick Gourmet Thyme ($4.79)
The freshest flavors deserve a fresh new look! McCormick Gourmet's Thyme imparts a light minty flavor that is distinctively warm and aromatic. McCormick Gourmet Thyme can be used throughout the day in dishes such as breakfast casseroles, hearty soups, stews, stuffing, and oven-roasted chicken.

Okay, let's all just address the elephant in the room. What the heck is thyme doing in my VoxBox?! So random, but I'm certainly excited to add it to my spice rack.

3) Fruit Vines Bites ($1.28-$1.79)Fruit Vines Bites are a new, soft, chewy fruit candy, from the Red Vines family, available in two fruit flavors - strawberry and cherry. Low fat and made with no preservatives, Fruit Vines Bites are available in three sizes: a 2oz single serve, a 5oz hanging bag and a 10oz resealable stand-up bag and can be found at Walmart in the West, Kroger, Walgreens, Target, Safeway, and Rite Aid.

Gave these to my mom, she said they were pretty good!

4) Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover ($7.49)Gently removes all eye makeup, including long lasting and waterproof makeup, with no oily residue. 

Have not tested this out yet, but I'm looking forward to trying it! My current makeup remover that I've been using forever is from Clinique. Rimmel's remover would be way cheaper if I like it enough to purchase!

5) No7 Protect and Perfect Advanced Sachet sample (full sized $22.99)

This clinically proven serum is even more effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines for younger looking skin in just two weeks.

Not sure I'll use this, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try it.

6) Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green TeaLive life well this holiday season with Celestial Seasonings and take a stroll down Candy Cane Lane! It's made with the very finest green tea leaves, peppermint and other botanicals, because at Celestial Seasonings, we know you are what you steep.

Ha ha "you are what you steep." That's actually pretty cute! Gave this to my mom as well because she is a big tea drinker. Man let me tell you she was excited to be scoring all these goodies.

7) Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner ($4.49)
Gives instant color impact with its high intensity pigments. The ultra-smooth and creamy formula glides on easily.

So for some reason there were two of these in my box. It was just my lucky day! And guess who got the extra? (If you guessed my mom, you were correct). I did a swatch of this eyeliner and it went on verrrrry smooth and pigmented.

8) NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum ($1.99)
Ready to take your lips to the next level? Try our NEW Expert Last Lip Color in twenty tantalizing shades. Get intense, amplified color and shine that lasts up to six hours! Our moisturizing formula glides on easily for a silky, smooth, velvety finish for all day wear.

Swatched this on my wrist and the formula definitely felt silky. Tried it on my lips and it was like WOAH frosty. I may try layering it over another color and see how that goes.

Based on my first impressions of these products I am pretty pleased with my Frosty VoxBox. Kind of a random assortment, but still a fun box to receive! Definitely check out if you're interested in receiving free products (who isn't?!)

Just so you all know, I'll be in Florida next week on vacation with the BF. I may get a Mani Monday post up but otherwise I'll only be posting to social media, mostly on Instagram @manicurediaryblog if you want to follow me there. I hope everyone has a wonderful and happy holiday week no matter what you celebrate!


Disclosure: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Glossybox November Review

Hey everyone! I have kind of a complicated review to share with you all today. Back during all the Black Friday sales I saw someone post that you could get November's Glossybox for $1 (supposedly this was a glitch, but Glossybox honored those purchases). I looked through the FAQ before placing my order to make sure I wouldn't be seeing any unwanted charges in the future. Several weeks later, already into the beginning of December, I still had not received November's box and I noticed a $21 Glossybox charge on my bank statement. Apparently in the fine print it was stated that if you ordered a box after the 14th of the month cancel deadline you were agreeing to purchase the following months box as well. The whole thing was so unclear and at the end of the day it just made me feel mislead and upset.

I contacted Glossybox and they agreed to refund the charge/cancel my December box. I also cancelled my subscription due to my distrust of the company after the incident. Regardless of all of this, I received my November box last week and wanted to share what was in it.

I will say that the packaging was beautiful and I was impressed by the quality of the box itself.

Here is what came in the box. I was super excited to see a nail polish! Everything else is kinda meh. To be honest it will all probably wind up in the trash in a few weeks except for the polish and maybe the 12 Benefits hair treatment.

From left to right:

Kryolan for Glossybox Blusher in Glossy Pink .09oz valued at $16.17
Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer .5oz valued at $11.25
Kneipp Herbal Bath Balancing Lavender 20ml valued at $4
12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment 1.5oz valued at $5
OPI Nail Laquer in Pink Outside the Glossybox full sized valued at $9.50

I looked at reveals of the November box that other people got and they received a blush from the brand So Susan Cosmetics. I got a Kryolan for Glossybox blush. It came looking like someone had been keeping it in their purse for weeks. Straight into the trash it goes.

Overall I did not think this was a good box in terms of what came inside, aside from the nail polish. Yes, the packaging was great but that can only get a company so far. I would never order anything from this company again based on the way they currently run their business. Maybe if some changes were implemented I would reconsider.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Zoya Cyber Monday Mystery Box

Hey everyone! Back on Cyber Monday Zoya offered a Mystery Box for $15 and free shipping. I am a huge lover of Zoya products from their polish to their base coat to their remover, so I knew this box would be good. Although it took a while to get (as these special promotions usually do with Zoya) I wasn't disappointed!

Let's start with what I was most excited to see in my box and that is the mini color lock system. This sells for $20 on their website, so that alone is worth more than what I paid for the box! Included in the system are a 1oz Zoya Remove Plus, Anchor Base Coat, Armor Top Coat, and Fast Drops polish drying drops. It all comes in a travel friendly zip lock bag.

Next up is the trio of mini polishes. From left to right the colors are Willa, Anja, and Rekha. I love all three of these and the value of a Zoya mini is $5 so that totals at $15.

They also sent the Qtica natural nail growth simulator, which I gave to my mom to test out because she has trouble growing her nails and keeping them strong. This sells for $12.

The last product in the box was a matte velvet lipstick. The boxes came with either the lipstick or a lip balm. I actually already have this lipstick that I got in a promo from Ulta, so I'm hoping to swap it with someone for the balm. I do love this lipstick, I've worn it before and it looks lovely! This lipstick sells for $12.

The box also came with two coupon codes (good until March 1st), one for 50% off your order from Zoya's website and one for a free nail polish remover in the flipper container. The remover sells for $9.99 and it's also my favorite. I think I may get the full sized color lock system with my 50% off code. Overall I'm very happy with this mystery box. I got around $64 worth of products for $15!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Essie Bobbing for Baubles

Happy Mani Monday! I hope everyone is having a good start to their week. I have a long week ahead of me and the kids at school are antsy with anticipation of the upcoming break. This fresh mani is bound to make my week a little brighter! (That and a ton of iced coffee from DD)

I picked up Essie Bobbing for Baubles at TJ Maxx last week and knew I wanted to try it right away. I would describe the color as a dusty grey-navy. It is gorgeous for fall and winter. Bonus: you can get away with one coat of this beauty. I paired it with Butter London Lillibet's Jubilee and I think they are a lovely combo. Unfortunately BFB looks pretty dark in the photos without flash I guess because of my bathroom lighting. I'll take one in natural light tomorrow.

I've gotten several packages in the mail so I'll have some fun unboxing posts coming up this week!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Essie Urban Jungle & Julep Julie

Happy Friday everyone! Who's ready for the weekend? The BF and I are gonna go out to his parents' house on Saturday for ice skating and dinner. We tried the whole ice skating in NYC thing (at Bryant Park, not Rockefeller) but it was expensive and waaaaaay too crowded. Like I spent the entire time worrying about skating into someone or someone skating into me. Skating at a rink in the suburbs cheaper and less crowded, which makes for a much more pleasant experience.

For today's mani I started with a base of Essie Urban Jungle. I may have found one of my favorite polishes of all time. This color is perfection! Urban Jungle is described by Essie as an alabaster orchid. It is a lovely nude polish that looks off white in some lights and light pink in others. Two coats will get you to full opacity with no visible nail line, plus the formula is a dream to work with.

This is before adding the glitter (couldn't decide which one so I snapped this photo to ask a friend and she liked the pink). You can see how smooth and glossy Urban Jungle is!

On top of Urban Jungle I used Julep Julie, which is from their Birthstone Collection. It is a pink tourmaline multi-dimensional glitter. I love how it kinda looks like I dipped my nails in sugar!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! See you on Monday :)


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

TJ Maxx Mini Haul

Happy hump day! I haven't posted on Wednesday in a while, but I stopped in TJ Maxx on my way home from work in search of cheap sunglasses for my upcoming vacation. I'm sure you can already guess that I didn't walk out with just sunglasses. They had a huge selection of nail polish and I found two Essie colors that have been on my ISO list for a while.

Essie Urban Jungle & Essie Bobbing for Baubles

I also saw these Nicka K nail polish remover pads on the check out line and thought they would be perfect for travel. The set includes lemon, peach, lavender, and spring fresh. I am really looking forward to trying the peach ones! Each container holds 32 pads. The description on the back claims that one pad will cleanly remove polish off ALL ten nails. I'll have to test that out and see if their claim is true. These are oil based and acetone free.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far. Only two days until the weekend!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Formula X Grandiose

Happy Mani Monday! I hope you all had a nice weekend. The BF and I stayed in all of Saturday watching TV since the weather was pretty crappy. We finally finished Breaking Bad (I know, I'm behind on the times!) and started watching Boardwalk Empire. I'm super into it and I love the set and the costumes. The 1920s is one of my favorite decades.

I have a quick manicure to show you all today. A few weeks ago I was browsing the sales section at Sephora and found Formula X Grandiose for $3.99 (regular price $12.99)! This polish is from their Shifters collection and is a rose and bronze metallic duochrome. Grandiose was super easy to work with and the color shift is absolutely stunning.

You can really see on my index finger the shift from bronze to rose.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Julep Lacey & Serena

Happy Friday! I don't know about you all but I am so ready for the weekend. Well, let's be honest I'm so ready for the weekend to be a full week. Who wouldn't be on board with that?

Anyway, I am so excited to share this mani with you. I started with one coat of Julep Lacey, which is a deep midnight blue. I will warn you that it can be a little difficult to remove, as is the case with some blue polishes. On top of Lacey I used Julep Serena from the birthstone collection. Oh my gosh you guys. Serena is a sapphire multidimensional glitter and it is stunning. I also love that it's named after Serena Williams since I've played tennis my whole life.

How GORGEOUS do these pretties look in natural light?!

I seriously cannot stop staring at my nails. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I'll be back on Monday with a new mani!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Clinique Black Honey

Happy Mani Monday everyone! Did you all have a nice weekend? Did anyone go shopping on Black Friday? I've actually never gone Black Friday shopping, I usually just check out the online deals. I'm finally getting over my bronchitis and I feel well rested for the full week ahead. My turkey mani was such a huge hit for Thanksgiving that I almost didn't want to take it off!

For today's mani I chose Clinique Black Honey, which is a gorgeously deep cherry red jelly. It looks almost black, but if you were to compare side by side with a black polish you could see that Black Honey has a warm reddish tone. It is so glossy and sophisticated! For the accent glitter I used Nubar Blondie. I love the way it pairs with dark polishes.

A close up so you can see that sparkle!

You can really see the reddish tone here.

Oh and can you believe it's December 1st?! I just can't get over it!


Friday, November 28, 2014

November Favorites!

Happy Friday everyone! Did you all have a nice Thanksgiving? I am honestly still full from all the food I ate yesterday. It was all sooooo gooood. I have some pictures to share with you!

Everything you see here is homemade! Cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing with dried cranberries and chestnuts, green bean casserole with fried onions, and sweet potato casserole with a brown sugar and pecan crumble on top. As I mentioned in a previous post, we just picked up a chicken from Boston Market since none of us like turkey!

Homemade pumpkin pie and chocolate pecan fudge.

I can't believe it, but it is time for my November favorites! As usual, let's start with my food favorite. Back at the start of November BF and I took a little trip to the Culinary Institute of America and had an amazing meal there. You can read more about the experience in this post. This was seriously the some of the best food I have ever tasted.

Next up would have to be this set of candles from Old Factory Candles that I received from BrandBacker to review. These actually ended up being some of my favorite candles ever! I have the coffee shop set, which you can read more about in my review

They smell great individually, but when burned together...WOW.

My next favorite is Julep's eyeshadow brush. I got this a while back in my Jewel Heist Mystery Box and really started using it a lot this month. I love how easily it blends any eyeshadow I put on. I love that this brush has some nice weight to it and doesn't feel cheap at all!

My last favorite is my favorite manicure of the month. I can easily say that it is my Thanksgiving turkey mani! I had so much fun creating this and it was even retweeted by Zoya, which was super exciting. It is always a good feeling when you create something and it comes out the way you saw it in your head.

That's it for November! It was such a quick month, but a really great one. I started a new job as a kindergarten and first grade art teacher and I'm enjoying every minute of it. This December I have another vacation to Florida, this time with the BF, and we are really looking forward to it. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back with a new mani on Monday!