I’ve been into nail polish off and on for the majority of my 20’s and 30’s. There were times in my life where I couldn’t have a manicure- mostly due to workplace restraints on wearing certain colors of polish or on nail extensions. I spent a great deal of my time during those years too busy trying to get an education (and later an advanced degree) to really have time to focus on manicures. I’d get one here or there for vacation or as a treat to self or the like, but mostly I kept my nails naked.

I was always intrigued by nail art, and when indie nail polish first started popping up (back then called Frankenpolish because most people were just mixing mass market brands together to make their own polish) I remember scouring the internet and saving pages for later use. Sometimes, I’d even try to recreate what I’d seen online.  Then the indie brands started popping up on the scene. I was fascinated by the concept of making one’s own polish even more. But, this was also during a time when I was pursuing my doctorate; time and money were in short supply. Fast forward to now.

I still work crazy hours, but I can wear all the nail polish I want in all the colors and finishes I want!! And now that I actually have a paycheck, versus living off student loans, I can finally start exploring the indie polish world. Ideally, I’d love to create my own brand. It’d give me another creative outlet and the idea of having my own business intrigues me. But for now, I’m going to use this blog as a review/swatch blog. Maybe one day I’ll actually swatch samples given to me by makers; but for now everything I post I paid for myself.

Of course, polish and manicures isn’t the end all be all of who I am. I work in healthcare. I’m an avid gamer. I love to travel. I love photography. I love cooking. I’m a foodie. I love wine. I’m developing my palette for whiskey, bourbon, and scotch. I love learning languages (but I’m only fluent in one- and I seem to struggle with that one as it is!). I write. I love to dance. I’m a runner. I garden.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But enough about me. I’m already working on my first few posts- I took the photos of the manicures while I was deciding on what I’d call my blog- so they should be up within the next couple of days.

Thanks for stopping by!




Powder Perfect- Mad as a March Hare

Today I’m bringing you a swatch I did back in early March. Snow was still on the ground- of course, I’m located in New England so that really doesn’t say much- but St. Patty’s was looming closer and I wanted a nice springy green to put on my nails. Also doesn’t hurt that this polish was part of the March For the Love of Polish box.

When I saw the first swatches of it online, I was drawn to it. We all have those colors that do that to us. For some it’s pink, or for others it’s red. Maybe a good blue does the trick. For me? It’s green. Green and purple. Pretty much my mind already wants all the polish anyway, it just helps if it’s also green. 😀

Anyway, once the box came in, I was again drawn to this color. I will say that this color was NOT the color that caused me to order the box- that was an Illyrian polish that got sent to me in a destash by accident (Sakura if you’re curious) and that polish was just so ‘oh wow’ when I opened it that I will admit I was REALLY tempted to quick do a manicure in it. But, it wasn’t mine and that’s not right. So I quickly packaged it back up and swapped it with the person who’d gotten my polish instead. But, I couldn’t get that color out of my head, so I ended up ordering the box. Yes, for one color.

I digress. Getting back to the arrival of the FTLOP box. When it came, I knew already that I’d like Sakura. See story above. I was drawn to Mad as a March Hare because it was pretty, but ya’ll? It was one of those colors that’s even prettier in person than it ever will be on your screen.

I will admit, this is not a color you wear if you don’t want people stopping you and grabbing your hands and wanting to know about the color on your tips. I work in healthcare, and the 4-5 days I had it on? Not an hour went by that some patient wasn’t grabbing my hand and ooh-ing over this color. I even had a gent or two compliment me. So beware- this is an attention getter.

It was a fairly easy application. It goes on fairly sheer, so I used three thin coats. Also, it was probably my chemistry, but this does not play well with the Julep smoothing base coat OR Seche quick dry top coat. If you are prone to shrinkage with Seche? Beware that by the next day you’ll have tip wear like your manicure is already a week old. I ended up having to touch up twice during the time I had it on, finally switching to Poshe’ as a topper and getting some shrinkage, but not as much. Again, with my chemistry I am prone to shrinkage (also doesn’t help that I have to wash my hands like a bajillion times a day) but I wanted to mention the trouble I had so that if you have either or both of these and use this polish you’ll be prepared.

And yes, I cap my free edge with base, color, AND top coat. So no, it wasn’t because I didn’t cap that I had such bad shrinkage. It just was what it was. Would that keep me from buying this color or wearing it again? Absolutely not.

Last thoughts and then I’ll get to the eye porn. First, this is a holo where the color appears to be interspersed with white. It is not as obvious in pictures as it is in person. This is not a bad thing, it’s just a different kind of holo. Second, it’s a scattered holo. Mostly green and gold flash. The color itself I would describe as a light lime green with gold and darker green holo flash. Last, this is a smooth drying texture.

These photos are before I put together a light box, and are using my iPhone instead of my big Nikon DSLR. And they’re 730ish AM ‘sunrise’ soft sunlight photos. All indoor.





This next one is a little blurry to try to catch the gold flash, apologies. It was indoor later that night. So no sunlight, just regular CFL lighting:


Polished for Days- Alcmene

Alcmene is part of the Polished for Days (abbreviated hereafter as P4D) “To the Moon and Back” collection, released in April 2017. It contains 6 polishes, each named in a different language and having something to do with the moon. In this case, Alcmene is Latin for “Might of the Moon”. Or at least that’s what the P4D website says.

P4D describes Alcmene as “a medium grey base with holo flakes and a strong orange/violet shimmer” and it’s suggested opaque in just two coats. Keep reading to see if I found that to be true in my application or not. On the website, it is categorized as a holo/flakey shimmer. Lastly, as of today’s writing, the polish was available for $10 plus shipping direct from P4D. Obviously, this may change in the future. Easiest way to check is just to go to the website and see what’s current.

First, some eye porn in the form of a bottle shot:



I would describe Alcmene as a medium to dark, blue leaning grey, with a pinkish shimmer undertone and multi-sized silver flakies. Application was smooth, and I would say it is easy to use for a beginner. I did have some trouble towards the end of my second hand- mostly polish drying out too fast on the brush. But, that happens to me all the time anyway. I just recap and give a really good shake and problem solved.

Did I think it was opaque in two coats?


It would have been opaque in one! That’s right, depending on your application method and your tolerance for VNL, you might be able to get away with one coat. I’d say it qualifies as a one coat wonder. I had no VNL with one coat, but I like to do at least 2 coats for longevity and to even things up a bit better. But totally, had I not been planning to swatch/blog about it? I’d have stopped at one.

Without further ado: