Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's On My Face: The Minimalist

That would be me, for I am the minimalist.
I don't really like to wear a lot of things on my face because frankly, I can feel any layer and unless it's super light, I can't and won't deal with it. So here's what I usually put on le visage.


You will have already noticed the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. And it's a serious foundation at that. You're probably thinking "doesn't this go against the keeping it light rule?". It normally would, but the only reason this foundation is here, is because when I feel and look like an exhausted badger, I need a bit more than my BB cream to keep me looking human, and that is why I mix exactly one drop of foundation into my Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. They work just perfectly together and I get just a dab more of coverage which is essential on those days you'd rather just put cucumber slices on your eyes and vegetate.

Before I get to the BB cream and foundation, I use Argan Oil  as a base and let me tell you: it is perfect!
It's the organic good stuff that gives my skin the moisture it needs. Pair that up with the Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream and you're set.

For the actual makeup part, I use my trusty Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer that I've been using for years, my new favorite, the Benecos Natural Baked Blush  and finish off with my eyes.
For that, only two things are needed, the Catrice Gel Liner and Eyeko Fat Mascara for gorgeously natural looking, long lashes.
I have yet to find a better replacement for the gel liner, because quite frankly, it's awesome! 


What are your daily products?






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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Nail Series: Sally Hansen The Real Teal

You might have witnessed my intense swooning last week when I showed you another gorgeous Sally Hansen color, Gunmetal. Well, in the same package came this little beauty also. 
It's called The Real Teal  and I think we're going to be VERY good friends.

sally hansen xtreme wear the real teal swatch manicure nails
                   
I'd like to take a moment to point out what an awesome name this polish has. Then let's take another moment to just stare at the utter gorgeousness of this color.

sally hansen xtreme wear the real teal swatch manicure nails

I like Mint and I like Aqua and I like Turquoise and it seems that Teal somehow magically combines all of those colors into one perfect blue-green shade that stands out just the amount I'd like it to.
It's a perfect spring color, but then again...it's a perfect summer color too and if you think about it, it works great in autumn too, not to mention how well it brightens up a dull winter day.
I've pledged allegiance to the Mint but gosh darnit, this is serious competition for an all-year favorite color.

Like all other Sally Hansen polishes I've tried so far, this one also stays on your nail for a nice, long time and I really like how easy the application is. Lately, I've been looking for polishes that are easy to apply and don't make you get extra concerned about streaks or the texture being too thick.
Beside China Glaze, these ones have made it into my top picks. I sometimes struggle with Essie for example and I've even had some OPIs misbehaving, but so far there was no sign of that with Sally Hansen polishes.

I'm dying to try new ones now because spring is just around the corner and we need happy nails to match the happy weather!

Speaking of happy stuff, here's some more happy blue nails:





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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week in Pictures #4

It would appear this is becoming a permanent fixture and I have to say, it's one of my favorite posts to do because I'm a compulsive picture taker and only recently have I noticed that I've been slacking. So this, besides being a great little photo diary I'll be able to look back on, is also a way back into my snapping compulsion. Not that I mind.

Yes indeed, banana liqueur.It does taste remarkably well also/ I don't know if you can see it, but the red shimmer on this label is gorgeous!


That my dear friends is soup.In  a bread.Glorious. / The Thursday breakfast


New shoes I'm super proud of finding. Only took me 3 months / We've had some pretty nice sunshine 


Aaaaaaaaaalmost there! / To try today



Hope your week was great and the next one even better. And til then, keep taking pictures!



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Thursday, February 21, 2013

MUA Pro Brow Kit

When MUA had their great big 50% off action, I figured I could try some more of their products and I decided to give the Brow Kit a try because I had heard SO much about it.

MUA Pro Brow Kit review

When I opened it I was very pleasantly surprised to see that not only does it come with 3 shades and a wax pot, but also with a little pincette to pluck whatever needs to be plucked. VERY practical!
And the size is absolutely ideal for when you travel. It basically consolidated the idea that this little kit really has everything you'd need to keep your brows in shape.

Now, the thing with my brows is that they have a fascinatingly unique color. Very few things can be used to contour them and not be completely off, shade wise.
Normally, all these brow kits have a sort of red-ish shade to them where my eyebrows look quite unnatural to me. I normally use my gel eyeliner leftover to contour them because it's black but not too black and fits right in.

Well, this kit makes it easy to blend a couple of colors together to get a good shade and I have to admit,  I've managed to come closer than I ever have to my natural brow color.

MUA Pro Brow Kit review

Another thing I like is the brush because you can really contour your brows well and it's fine enough to be able to make that thinning line at the outer end.

All in All
I'm quite impressed by this kit and for the price, it is absolutely unbeatable. The truth is, it's much better than other more expensive, and only half as awesome, eyebrow kits.

Have you ever tried it? what do you use for your brows?



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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Avon Cherry Blossom, Pomegranate and Violet Body Spray

I don't use many Avon products but what I buy again and again are body sprays. Apart from the fact that they are pretty, there's a couple of them that smell simply incredible!

Last year, I tried the Violet and Lychee body spray and instantly got hooked on the smell. It's flowery but tender. The bottle from last year had lasted me until a couple of weeks ago, and I really used it a lot. Sure, the smell doesn't linger too much but it's simply gorgeous. Not to mention  that the price is unbeatable, so I have a tendency to stock up on new ones just for the sake of it, each time I get an Avon lady in near proximity.

Then, in December I tried the Cherry Blossom  body spray, which well...doesn't smell too much like cherry blossoms but it smells just as delicate and flowery as I like it.
I like my perfumes to be flowery but not annoyingly flowery. I like them to be subtle and feminine. And at least the two mentioned above are just that. They smell like girl.

The latest addition was Pomegranate Mango. This one smells a bit unnatural, in the sense that I don't think it smells like mango or pomegranate ( what does pomegranate smell like actually?) . It smells similar, if not exactly like a Fa Deo spray I had when I was 10. I think it came in a green bottle but I am almost certain this is that exact smell.
I don't dislike it, but I'm going to pick the flowery ones over this one anytime.

What I can assure you is that you haven't seen the last of these body sprays, as I've already ordered some new smells I want to try.

Have you ever tried any of their body sprays or already have a favorite you think I should try?
                            





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Monday, February 18, 2013

The Nail Series: Sally Hansen Gunmetal

It's here! It's here!
How long I've been craving this color and now I can finally wear it.
What I'm talking about is Sally Hansen Gunmetal a gorgeously metallic indigo blue that I just find looks impeccable on any hand. Indigo and navy blues always have the potential to make a hand look chic and this is no different. Even if it is metallic, it doesn't lose any of that chicness.

sally hansen xtreme extreme wear gunmetal swatch  salon manicure new york fashion week
     I'm totally and utterly fascinated by this shade. It's the first time I try Sally Hansen X-Treme Wear, since I don't exactly live in close proximity to any Sally Hansen retailers, but I'm very impressed.
I've worn it for a couple of days before writing this, just to test how X-Treme its wear is. Let me tell you, it is extreme. I didn't use any top coat with it, because I wanted to see how it behaves on its own,and 3 days after putting it on, it had just chipped a little. This comes from someone whose polish jumps off the next day if no top coat is used.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I like wearing this polish, so hoping that you too have something nice on your nails, I wish you a great week and leave you with some more ladies who have gone blue on this fine day:

Gosia from Life in Color!
Mihaela from Lacquerbuzz
Marisa from Polish Obsession
Mandy from Chameleon Stampede               







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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week in Pictures # 3

I would have never thought last week that I'd be sitting here,one week later feeling like spring has sprung. And in a moment, you will also see why,once you look at the picture I took last Sunday.

                           
Being creepy.I found that my phone's light can do that / The chocolate stash: a must


Last Sunday's snowfalls /  8am at work. Love catching sunrises at that hour


Personalized dog tags I've had for years and still find perfect /  My precious little new polishes!


And my precious oils! / Rediscovering one of my favorite rings


Hope your week went by well also and I'll be seeing you in 7 days with some more images!
But until then, may Monday be kind to you.


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Saturday, February 16, 2013

New Nail Polish Discovery!

I don't know if you've read my post a couple of days ago where I was swooning about the new Oil Nail Polish Remover I had found and love. Well, the same brand gave me a pretty awesome new nail polish too.

                         
As you can see, my nails are quite short at the moment, so I was looking for something that wouldn't be in such huge contrast with my skin tone as I really don't like the way my nails look when they're short. When I saw this, I thought it's an amazing color and liked the shimmers it had in it.
I'm a sucker for bronze colors, but put a rose shimmer to it and you've got me hooked!










How great is that shimmer? And it looks perfectly organic on your nails even if it clearly is metallic. You'd expect it to not look like it's in harmony with your skin, but it does.
The polish is Kallos No 17, and I really am a fan of their polishes because they are some of the most long lasting ones I own. This one, in 3 coats, lasted for more than 3 days without chipping, with no top coat. It's pretty impressive if you ask me.
What I can assure you is that I'll be wearing it A LOT, especially since it dries incredibly fast. It's still slightly sheer in two coats but ideal in three and perfect on short nails. 


Have you made any new nail polish discoveries lately you want to share?



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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Gifts and Gift Ideas

valentines wishlist



Guess what day it is? Yep, the one and only!
And if you're sitting here today not knowing what gift to give or what you could gift yourself, here's some suggestions.

Jewelry: If you plan on giving jewelry, make sure the one receiving it will not misinterpret the idea behind the item. You really don't wanna give someone a ring where you think it makes for a nice present and the recipient is hyperventilating because they expect a ceremony to follow. Unless that's your plan, then go for it!
An easy way to avid that, is to make it Valentine's Day themed. Like the ring I included in this collage, pick one that has a heart in it, or "love" written on it, so that it's easy to see that it was given especially for this day.

Cosmetics: Keep it generic, because Lord knows that's easy for V Day. Is it pink? Then it's good!
In my opinion make-up is a tricky thing to gift, unless you have specific indications on what to buy. A pink or pastel nail polish can work great. Same thing goes for glitter polish.
Some pretty packaged bath product can be spot on, or a pretty hand cream. You will also find a lot of gift sets especially created for the occasion. I also included this Fresh rose face mask because of the scent and because it's not saying "your skin looks like it needs some help" but "you deserve some pampering" . Which brings me to the next category.

Scents: There's a couple of romantic scents. The first one my boyfriend picked was rose and he's very right about that. Pretty flowery scents, along with vanilla or other sweet and candy like fragrances fit right in with the occasion. Fruity scents can be a bit trickier because nobody wants to get lemons for Valentine's Day, so my advice is to pick berries if you want to be safe.

Chocolates: The rescue in need. Always go for chocolates when everything else fails. We all know how big the choice is with that. You can find them anywhere and everywhere in all shapes,flavors and sizes and I have yet to see someone deny chocolate. It's just too good not to!



Don't know what you got planned for today, but I hope you got some ideas if you needed them and will enjoy every bit of the day!








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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New Holy Grail Product: OIL Nail Polish Remover from Kallos

Oh my goodness,where to start! This a dream come true and I cannot even begin to say how happy my dry nails are about this: Oil Nail Polish Remover! Yes, OIL!



When a girl I work with showed up with this and showed it to me I couldn't quite believe my eyes because it sounded perfect.
And then I saw it in action but still didn't want to quite let myself believe this could exist.
A bit later I went ahead and got it and was still reluctant to giving it full points.

But maaan! I used it, and was absolutely amazed! Sure, it removes the polish in one or two more wipes but who cares? The nail is left completely moisturized and the oil left is amazing for your cuticles and hands.
But don't think that it means you cannot wear nail polish after because it won't stick and it will all be a greasy affair. Au contraire!  I do not know what they put in it to make it oily but not greasy and remove the nail polish, but all I can say is: It works!

As it says, it contains no acetone or alcohol and is thus not at all flammable. Can you imagine how many nasty ingredients have been removed from this?







To be honest I do not know what they put in the oil to make it remove polish because it is indeed oil and this amazes me.

The brand who makes this glorious thing is called Kallos  and it's a Hungarian brand that you can check out also on kallos.com and soon enough I'll show you some of their nail polishes too because they really are good quality ones. As a matter of fact, they've been some of the most long lasting polishes I own.

This is absolutely something I will keep buying over and over and I cannot believe how good it is to my nails.
What I can tell you is, if you can get your hand on this, go for it!                           




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Monday, February 11, 2013

The First Duct Tape Manicure Attempt

I've always liked those cool little stripes on nails but never really got to doing them. I liked the different kinds of things you can do with just a bit of scotch tape, so yesterday I was looking at my nails ( which were painted in one of my new favorite colors! Post on it to follow) and figured it could be a good time to try some tape on them.

Now, time and time again I've been repeated the importance of your nail polish to be absolutely dry in order to pull it off, and I can only confirm it. Let that base polish dry and dry some more. Ideally, if you have the time, wait for a day for it to settle properly. And also, when using the normal duct tape, stick it on the palm of your hand a couple of times so it loses stickiness and becomes less prone to coming off with nail polish.   
stripe duct tape manicure nail art nyx robotic kallos no 17 love nail polish swatch



Ta - daaaa!

Don't you think that bronzey -rose gold is just fantastic? I'm obsessed with it right now! And like I said, you'll see a post about it soon, because I'm very proud of myself for buying it.
On top, I used NYX Robotic, which I seem to not use so much on its own, but a lot more combined with other things. Though I have to admit, it's a glorious blue color with the perfect shimmer in it.

I figured same pattern on all nails would be a bit boring so I went ahead and did different things. The ring finger was the first one I did, as you can probably tell by the not too perfect line, but I think I did pretty decent on the rest.
The pattern on the middle finger could work pretty awesomely for making a Scottish flag, don't you think?
One day I'll go all Braveheart and make it happen!


And since we're talking blue, these lovely ladies also painted their nails to beat the blues:


Gosia from Life in Color!
Mihaela from Lacquerbuzz
Marisa from Polish Obsession
Mandy from Chameleon Stampede   






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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week In Pictures #2

I've noticed you like these kinds of posts judging from last week, so today I figured I'd give it another go.
I'll warn you that this post is very food loaded and you might feel sudden urges to go stuff your face. Other than that, no other risk is present I hope.



The usual hot cocoa with cream/ DIY-ing the most amazing face mask with hibiscus and coconut
Kumato Tomato: probably the best veggie name ever given/ One could conclude I like lettuce 


 Late night cupcake baking

                            My colleague sent me that emo banana picture,I used my banana to reply/
I seem to have a little tomato obsession happening and that little container was perfect!


That was my week...clearly full of food. Link me to you picture weeks if you have some up!






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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Elf Cream Blush Review and Swatch

A couple of months ago, I got this Elf Cream Blush at a bbloggers meeting. I have to be honest and say that after experiencing a really nasty smelling lip balm from them, I really stayed away from Elf products.
I'm not saying all are disappointing, because I have far from tested enough and one of my favorite bronzers is an Elf one.


                        
I really liked the little pot it came in and to my surprise, there is a whole lotta product in it. It has a nice glass bottom and a matching black cap.
With the red inside, they make for a pretty great color combination.
So that's one point for packaging.

As you can see from this picture it is pretty dry. It still is creamy but when applied to your skin it does feel a bit powdery. Not in a bad way, it just is a very big difference to the Essence Souffle Blush
You can also see how against all rules of the pretty, I stuck my finger in it and left a dent.
I'll give it Half a Point for creaminess.











And this is what it looks like on my skin. It looks natural,yes. And the more you blend it the more natural looking it becomes. You wouldn't expect it to look so subtle if you see it in the package. You'd expect some crazy red to land on you, but it really is not the case.
It just doesn't last too much on your face. And I don't like the matte look to it. I generally don't like things taking away from the natural glow of my skin so I always prefer products that have a bit of shine.
If you like it matte then you will like this.
I'll give it Half a Point for lasting power and look. 

Which brings us to a total of 2 out of 3 points. It's not going to become my favorite blush, but I might use it if it won't have anything else at hand.


Have you ever tried it? What do you think?




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Friday, February 8, 2013

Hema Eyeshadow Base - My Perfect Base

The time has come to show you my absolute favorite eyeshadow base. I've tried many but I always get back to this one.



It's the Hema Eyeshadow Base with, wait for it....Vitamin E and Silk. Silk? Yes silk. Sound great and is just as great.
I discovered it a couple of years ago when I started being in the Netherlands a whole lot, but back then I was just an avid eyeliner user, so just keeping that on was enough for me and was also the only criteria I could judge it on.

Well, I was lucky enough to always have a spare tube, but I misjudged my consumption last time and was left high and dry for a couple of months. During that time I started using more and more eyeshadow and noticed how during the day it would crease. Especially on my left eye. My right one just lets anything sit for however long. Can't really explain why one creases and the other doesn't.
In any case, this is when I noticed I needed my handy dandy base and did my best to get it.


And man am I happy I have it back!
Talk about long lasting eyeshadow!  Now I can actually judge its lasting power properly since it makes anything stick and stick...and stick...and you get the idea. Also, because of its ingredients, it's perfect for the tender skin on your eyelids.
Not to mention the fact that it gives you a gorgeous glow. I don't know if you can see the shimmer too well, but it's there and it's great. Imagine applying your eyeshadow on that.




The applicator is very practical but I still like to pat it in with my fingertips. The only downside is that eventually, you have trouble taking the product out of the tube with the wand BUT worry not, for you can cut the tube in  half and just scoop it out in a little container.



All in All
This is the perfect eyeshadow base to me! Great ingredients, great shine, great feel and most importantly, great hold!



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Thursday, February 7, 2013

January Favorites

This month there's not so many favorites but they're definitely Most Used Products

                            

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream: You can read the review by clicking on the link and I have to say, I didn't expect to like this so much. Was reluctant to getting a BB cream to begin with but I'm quite glad I did!

Vichy Waterproof Eye MakeUp Remover: Still loving it, especially combined with Bioderma Sensibio you can also see in the favorites. My review of the Vichy MakeUp Remover you can read clicking on the link above and I do believe that I have now found a pretty solid face routine that is amazing. I don't wash my face anymore with water because Bioderma covers that perfectly AND does not dry out my skin. 
The little bottle you see here was the test size I got to see if I like it and just today I got the big bottle, which is a pretty big deal. I repurchase veeeery rarely.

Hema Eyeshadow Base: Review is on the way and I have to day, I have yet to find an eyeshadow base that is as amazing as this one. Absolutely loving it!

Catrice Gel Eyeliner: Still such a huge favorite. A holy grail product and especially in winter, that perfectly thick black line makes for an efficient, fast look.

Rosebud Strawberry Lip Salve: Two years in and still my favorite balm. I go back to this when everything else fails. And this one always delivers. But it's been getting increasingly hard to get hold of it,so if someone can give me a tip where to get it, I'd be VERY grateful!

Nail Polishes:  This month has been Glitter Revival Month and the W7 Silver Dazzle  has been great for it. You can see it in my post from Sunday with the Week in Pictures and I think you'll agree it looks fantastic.
Secondly I have this ancient Farmasi polish whose number has disappeared but that still is the best gold I have owned. You can see it in action in This Post.



These have been my favorites in the past month and I believe they'll be making more appearances.  How about you, any of your favorites mentioned here? What about new ones? I'm always searching for beauty goodies!


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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Polish Days: Nature

It's that time again! Polish Days are back  ad this time it was all about nature, so  my instant idea was to create something with earthy colors. Then I figured I should swirl it around a bit since it would remind me of the trunk of a tree. And that's what I did.


                   
You know I always like to do my pictures on white or at least one color backgrounds but this time my bonsai got in on the action too, especially since he was the little guy who was a source of inspiration.

The polishes I used were ye random black polish ( I truly don't know which one I used) and Catrice Genius in a  Bottle which I would have expected to look a bit more greenish since it's a Chanel Peridot spot on dupe. But as you can see I just got the earthy golden brown. And I can't say I mind, because it looks more like a color you'd find in nature,doesn't it?

Now, in autumn, I actually did a much closer to nature manicure that even involved leafs on my nails and you can see that Right Here. It could have easily qualified for this theme had I not done it already.
I'm actually very curious which one of these manicures you like more and think fit more with the theme!


But enough about me, let's see what the other ladies did with this month's nature topic!





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Monday, February 4, 2013

My Nails:One Shade or Two?

I was planning on doing something pretty different for today's Monday Blues but then I remembered my W7 Blue Mirror   polish and wanted to combine it with another blue.
The fun thing about it is that it turned out pretty cool and you can't really tell it's two shades until you look a bit closer.

                       
Looks pretty monocolor, doesn't it?
That's the fun thing about it, that I discovered only when I tried o combine the two. The non mirror blue just looks like there's a shadow on my nail.
But let's look a bit closer.


How great do these two colors work!
Also, I'm sorry for the sponge that has been left behind on my nail and gives it a bit of a gritty look, but as I was patting away I noticed a bit too late that sponge pieces got stuck behind and after they already dry, you don't want to pull them out because they'll come out with buddies. Those buddies being parts of my polish.

I'm really liking this Blue Mirror thing the more I wear it. You may or may not have seen it before, but just in case here's the actual post About It and the swatch.

I'm crossing my fingers that by next week I'll have my long coveted Sally Hansen Gunmetal to show, but that really depends on how the fellaz at the post office work. So, wishing you the highest of speeds there guys!



But until then, we have some more ladies showing off their blues:


Gosia from Life in Color!
Mihaela from Lacquerbuzz
Marisa from Polish Obsession
Mandy from Chameleon Stampede   



                           

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Week In Pictures

I might not be the first one doing it, but I'd like to share some snaps with you on this nice Sunday morning.


The Snowbucks snap/ First little pepper grown in my kitchen

 After the snow melted, I got a nice little sunrise coffee/ Trying Nail Polish PENS!
 The daily sock. No more confusion from now on/ Gorgeous silver glitter I've been sporting
Dried mango! Absolute favorite / Delicious cheese,bacon and lettuce eggs for breakfast



                            
What do you think about Week in Picture posts? Yay or Nay?







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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Brown Gold Foil Nails

This one is from the "young and proud nails" collection. Did this also a while ago and just didn't get to post it.
You might have seen my initial attempt of doing gold leaf nails HERE in baby blue and gold.

Well, because I liked it a lot and the outside was in a pretty gloomy state, I decided to recreate the manicure on brown.
                
The difference this time was that I used a top coat and it became unbearably shiny, therefor you can see a bit too little gold and a bit too much sheen.
It did look vastly clearer in real life, that much I can say!
The brown I used is Barry M Mushroom. Can't really tell you why they picked "mushroom" as a name because I have yet to see such a fully brown mushroom. My name of choice would have been "puddle".
Wouldn't that have given you a much clearer visual of brown?

In any case, puddle or mushroom, I still like the color. Prefer it much more in autumn though. By the time January hits, I like to go back to full on color.Not neon quite yet, but almost.

What are your winter colors? And would you be interested in a "favorite winter polishes" post?






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