Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Zoya Sparkle 2010

Zoya Sparkle

Zoya Sparkle is an awesome collection of six insanely glittery polishes.  It couldn't get any more glittery than this - these shades are overflowing with sparkle, and I love it!  I am very impressed by this entire collection - I was expecting to be so blown away by these glitters, but they are STUNNING.  And it wasn't even very sunny outside when I photographed these!

All of these polishes dried very quickly, applied nicely, and were easy to remove.  It is a very consistent line.  This collection is really fun and I am continually impressed with Zoya's new colors.  I love that they are bringing out the ultra-glitters for us sparkle addicts.

All Zoya polishes are toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate free (meaning no toxic chemicals).  They are also vegan, so they are never tested on animals - something Caracita can give her paw of approval for.  I know I've said this before, but I'm a huge fan of Zoya's bottles.  The line up so neatly and are easy to organize (plus they look so cute!)

The Zoya Sparkle collection is available now at - and any of these shades can be included in your Zoya Polish Exchange order!  Seriously, if you haven't tried Zoya yet, the Polish Exchange is the perfect time to get to know their awesome polishes.  I discovered Zoya last year during the exchange and I have been extremely impressed with all of their polishes.  This collection only makes me love Zoya more!

Ivanka is a rich medium-dark green with loads (and I mean loads) of green and gold glitter.  I like this that polish is the color of money and named Ivanka :)  Ivanka is a beautiful emerald green.  Wearing this shade makes me feel like I should be skipping down the yellow brick road alongside Dorothy and Toto heading for Emerald City.  Ivanka covered with two coats and dried quickly.  It is smooth to the touch (no rough glitters here!) and has some seriously awesome sparkle.  Isn't it gorgeous?

I'm surprised I haven't heard more people raving about this shade because it is just spectacular.  I was blown away when I saw it on my nails.  It is GORGEOUS.  Charla is a very mermaid-y polish.  It is green/blue with swirls of gold, blue, and green glitter - it really looks like a mermaid tail.  The first picture really shows the multi-tonal nature of this polish, and the second one shows you the shimmer (but doesn't capture the green as well).  Charla is very smooth, applied easily, covered with two coats, and dried quickly.  These polishes dry a lot faster than my other Zoyas.  I very highly recommend this color - it is stunning and I am really impressed.  Dear Zoya, Charla rocks!

Beautiful, beautiful purple with shades of purple and silver and gold glitter.  Another gorgeous glitter.  This one reminds me of grape soda - it is very grape-like.  This one wasn't as loaded with glitter as Ivanka, Charla, Gilda, and Alegra, but it still had amazing shine and sparkle.  Mimi covered with two coats and dried fast.

Alegra reminds me a lot of Zoya Brooke, but with lots of glitter.  I am wearing this one right now.  It is just loaded with glitter, but still completely and totally smooth.  Alegra is a dark pink with hints of purple.  My camera was not feeling this one - it kept trying to turn it red.  I took a LOT of pictures, and I am pretty happy with these, but they are still looking a bit red.  The way the color looks in the bottles in these pictures is spot on.  I used three coats, but it covered with two.  Alegra dried quickly and shines beautifully.  Alegra is tied with Charla as my favorite polish in this collection, and this is one I can see myself returning to often in the future.  I am seriously in love with this shade.

This one felt weird to me when I first saw the collection (and not just because I'm not sure how to pronounce the name).  I didn't feel like tomato red fit in with this line, but once I wore it, I felt a lot differently.   First of all, this is a really pretty shade of red.  It is bright but compliments my skintone with blue undertones.  The glitter in this one was a bit more subtle than the others.  The glitter is predominately gold, but there is some silver and possibly blue glitter too.  As you can see, this is a really pretty red - and in my opinion, a really unique shade.

Look at that awesome sparkle!!  Beautiful bright, medium-hot pink.  You know how I feel about pinks - and how I feel about glitters, so this is the best of both worlds for me!  Gorgeous fun, sparkly shade - I love it.  I wore this one all day yesterday and couldn't get enough of it.  And it was so easy to remove - I was surprised.  I normally have such a hard time getting glittery polishes off.  It may be because these are finer glitter particles.  The glitter in this polish is tremendous.  It really shines in the sunlight.

I would love to meet whoever names the polishes at Zoya.  It would be so fun to name these pretty shades!  After I asked them all kinds of polish name questions, I would BEG to have a polish named Kelsey so I could buy it for my sister (you all know how much I adore Zoya Brooke).

Which Zoya Sparkle shades do you like?  And the big questions: which ones are going in your Polish Exchange order?  Thanks for checking out these shimmery, glittery shades!

Featured products provided by the company for review purposes

I'm a winner! Grape Juice & Coral

I won the great giveaway from Susie at Susie's Home and Hobbies (and already got the prize - that was FAST!).  Susie is one of the kindest bloggers out there and she always has the nicest things to say :D

I was so excited about the new goodies, I started polishing right away.  Thanks so much for the all the great prizes, Susie!!!

Grape Juice
This polish is SO PRETTY!!  It is a medium, glass flecked purple with loads of sparkle and shine.  It dried quickly and covered great with two coats.  I don't have enough purples in my collection - I am really excited to have this one now.  I don't have anything like it :)

My first ever elf polishes!!!  I have wanted to try elf for years, but I have been afraid of ordering a bunch of duds (I am such a wimp about ordering polish online).  Coral is a gorgeous light pink with all kinds of gold shimmer.  It is beautiful.  Makes me think of summer :)  It covered with two coats and dried really fast.

All of the prizes!!  11 polishes! wow!  I can't wait to try the rest :)
Thanks again, Susie!!!

Kiss and Broadway Nails Review - part II

Kiss and Broadway

Check out some more of the newest Kiss and Broadway Nails products!

All items can be purchased in stores such as ULTA, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and RiteAid, as well as  online at Amazon or!  Kiss, Broadway, and Pink! are all part of the Kiss family of nails.
Check them all out at and :)

Kiss Everlasting French - black tips
I've never tried black french tips, but I think they look pretty cool.  These are chip-proof - the tip isn't just painted on, so the colored tip will never chip.  The nail bed was a little sheerer than I would like, but it still looked nice.  Black tips are a fun twist on the traditional french manicure.  The white tips look just the same except the french tip part starts a little lower on the nail - which is good for me, because I have shorter nail beds.  Both retail for $6.99

Pink Color Changing Nails
Pink Color Changing Nails are designed for small nails.  They come in a variety of little sizes and attach with sticky tape - not glue - so they won't damage little nails.  In the sunlight, the turn to pink (so cute!).  They come in four different color-changing varieties and are mom approved (according to the package).  I stuck these on my windowsill in the sunlight so I could get a color-changed photo, but minutes after a ton of clouds moved in and the sky turned to grey.  And then there was rain.  What is up with all this cloudy, rainy weather?

Broadway Fashion Diva Nail Art Stickers
I love nail art stickers - they are so fun!  This pack is loaded with rhinestone-studded stickers that I LOVE.  These are great for creating intricate or simple nail designs and they are so easy to use.  I am a HUGE fan of these.  I'm going to be using them in some manis coming up so you can see more of them.  Honestly, these things are awesome, fun, and stay on really well.  Get them.  You won't regret it.  They retail for just $3.99

Kiss Nail Art Kit
Ok, I was baffled by what this was until I opened it and explored it.  Basically, it contains 3 skinny brush stripes (perfect for nail art designs and painting stripes) and these little stick on stencils that feel kind of like sticky leather (in a good way - they are durable, not paper).  You can use the striping polishes to fill in the stencils on your nails, or if you're an artsy person, you can use the stripers to create your own designs.  It's a pretty cool kit - and I'm a huge fan of stripers to begin with (and they are hard to find), so I'm excited to have some colorful stripers to use.  The stencils worked great.  I did an entire mani with the flower stencil a few weeks back that looked really cute.  This is a fun and easy to use kit - I recommend it.

Kiss 100 Pack Nails
I get a lot of questions about the nails I wear - here's all the info.  I use Kiss's 100 Pack of nails and I LOVE them.  They are a nice length, they don't break, they last well, and I really like the way they look.  There are ten different sizes and they also come with a big container of glue.  I have short, soft nails that only get minimally long with ridiculous care (and then break as soon as I go horseback riding or scrub a dish), so having these durable and nice looking nails has been so great for me. 

Hope you enjoyed my tour of Kiss and Broadway Nails!!  Thanks for reading!

And this is what I remember.

I had a strange thought the other night, during that space between sleep and awake.  I remembered sitting in my mom's blue four door Honda Accord on a hot, hot summer afternoon.  We were outside of the middle school I would attend many years later (and that I did attend many years ago).  Camp had just ended, and my friend Ashley and her brother were coming to my house to go swimming.

I had left an Oriole's keychain inside.  It was round and filled with water and beads.  Orange.  I don't know where I got it or why it was special, but Ashley's brother ran back in to get it.

Home.  Ashley's mother brought Hawaiian Punch.  It was the first and only time I have ever had Hawaiian Punch.  It was yellow and in a small can.  I wanted it because it was yellow and in a small can.

Our mothers talked.  We swam.  They were good friends.  We were good friends.
I was four.

And then another memory.  We celebrated Ashley's 4th birthday in our preschool with cupcakes and princess crowns.  I went to her house afterwards.  Her mother asked if I would rather have the pink crown instead of the orange.  I said I would.  Ashley was upset.  The pink crown was hers.  I'm not sure if I left with the pink crown or the orange crown.  I have felt guilty about that for twenty years.

This must have happened around that same time: we were sliding down the huge, curving staircase in her front foyer on carpet squares.  She lived in a big, beautiful mansion.  Our mothers were outside talking.  Afterwards, she showed me a small decoration from her birthday cake: a bunch of red, blue, and yellow balloons.  She said they were edible.  I told her I didn't believe her.  She bit one of the plastic balloons.

Another time.  I couldn't snap; she could.  She tried to teach me.  I went home and practiced, standing beside the pine near the pool.  It was fall.  My father had set up the scarecrow while I was gone.

I had found a duck egg in West Virginia sitting near the road.  I was worried it would get smashed, so we took it home and tried to make it hatch.  It never did.  When Ashley came over, I took it out to the playground to show her.  She dropped it.  I was devastated.  I learned that you must guard the things most important to you.

After preschool, we went to different schools and stopped hanging out.  In eighth grade, redistricting placed us in the same school.  We had math together.  She was tall and curvy, wore tank tops and eye liner.  I was shy and quiet, a horse lover wearing a sports bra.  We may have talked, once, but that was it.

I was in ninth grade when she was murdered.  She was 14.

I am 24.

It happened ten years after we were friends.  It happened ten years ago.  I can't believe it was ten years ago.  I can't believe it has been twenty years since we were friends.  

My only other memories of her are her funeral and her viewing.  She would be 24 now.  

Loss is difficult.  We carry those people we lose with us forever.  Do the memories somehow become stronger?  And what triggers them?  As I was laying in bed the other night, flooded by these memories and tears, I tried to locate the beginning.  I couldn't.  There was a moment, as my body began to fall asleep, where an orange Oriole's keychain came to mind, and everything else followed like dominos.

I knew what triggered memories of Laura: memories of Ashley.  Laura was my neighbor, known to me always (and forever) by her first and last name.  She lived a short walk away through the woods.  She had two brothers and a dog.  She touched her eyeball with her finger and told me my eyes were purple.  Her house was the first place I ever saw video games.  We collected caterpillars together, and waited impatiently for them to turn into butterflies.

A few years after her family moved, my family went to visit.  They had a big house with a dog or two and a beautiful cat.  One of her brothers had snakes and fish and frogs in huge tanks in his room.  I remember feeling grown up and shy.  I was probably in fourth grade.  We ate Cheetos right out of the pantry, an exotic food that was banned at my house.  We played checkers on a fancy checkers table and talked about boys we had crushes on.

I never saw her again.  My dad stopped by to visit her dad one winter morning, with my sister and I in tow.  Laura wasn't there, so we sat on the couch talking to her mom.  I was in eighth grade; Laura was in ninth.  I looked at her pictures on the mantle: tall, pretty, a cheerleader.  I was relieved and sad she wasn't home.  Relieved because I felt like such a kid compared to the pictures I saw of her, sad because I wanted to be her friend again - I wanted to be the cheerleader with pretty long brown hair and white teeth like she was.

She died in November 2007.  I found out the day after her funeral.  I am still shocked she is gone.  Her death was an accident - entirely preventable.  One step different and she'd still be here.  I have seen her parents a few times.  I never know what to say, and I always wonder if they are looking at me, thinking about Laura.  I send them a Christmas card every year.  I never know what to say.

These memories, and many more unfortunately, kept me up most of Monday night and have been running through my mind since.  I have a lot of trouble coping with loss.  The memories are difficult - even the good ones - because I know how the story ends.  It is so hard to separate.  But I don't want to remember anyone for how or when they died.  I want to remember their life.  I just wish it wasn't over.

Writing is cathartic.  These memories have been weighing on me; it helps to write them down.  I know we don't want to read about loss, but I want them to be remembered - I want to remember them.  I am sure I have lost so many memories already.

This is what I remember.

Kiss and Broadway Nails Review

Kiss sent me all kinds of fun, new nail goodies to try out.  All items are currently available in stores such as ULTA, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, and I also saw them at my local grocery store.  They can be purchased online at Amazon or too!  Kiss, Broadway, and Pink! are all part of the Kiss family of nails.
Check them all out at and :)

These three were my favorites!!

Broadway Fashion Express Nail Kit
Love this!!  This one is my favorite design - it is so summery and fun.  One of my friends got her nails done just like this, only in green (except that cost her $35 at the salon).  These nails are a nice length - a little long but easy to wear.  They come in five different patterns, but the hot pink is my favorite.  These kits are not sold with glue, so you either need to already own some or pick it up separately.  They come in a nice, small pack: less over-packaging = better for the environment!  I love these.  The nail bed color looks natural and the nails look HOT!  These retail for $3.99 (which is a great price for a weeklong mani!)

Broadway Color Changing Nails
These are SO COOL!  They come in four different designs, which all change and become more colorful in the sunlight.  Unfortunately, we aren't having a very sunny day here today, but even in the minimal sun, the tips changed to flowered pink (aren't they cute?).  I LOVE the length - these are perfect for me.  They were easy to apply and look awesome.  I also really like how natural the nail bed looks on these.  Each kit comes with 24 nails in 12 different sizes and nail glue.  Retail: $5.99

Broadway Fast French Divine Nails
This is a beautiful design and I love that the base is shimmery.  They were a little sheer - you can kind of see the glue on the pinky - but otherwise they look really beautiful.  These come in four artistic designs and they all have a very hand-painted look to them that I really like.  These retail for $6.49.

Kiss Catwalk Nails
These come in a variety of lengths - this one is obviously the long.  These are wayyy too long for me, but for those that love long nails, these would be perfect.  They come in four designs, all with silver glitter (which I love).  Each pack comes with 24 nails in 12 different sizes, a manicure stick, and glue.  These retail for $6.99.

Kiss Artificial Nail Remover
Ok, this stuff is cool.  I always peel my fake nails off - OUCH!  A lot of times, I end up tearing part of my nail away too.  I told Kiss about this and they sent me their Artificial Nail Remover.  Basically you soak your nails in the formula and they dissolve right off with the formula and little brushes - and so does all the glue!  My nails were left smooth and soft - the way they looked before the nail glue.  I was really impressed.  Retails for $6.99.

I'll have the rest of the Kiss and Broadway products to show you soon!!
Visit and to learn more :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Seeking UMD Graduation Red

Graduation is swiftly approaching and one of my biggest concerns is finding the perfect UMD red (ok, it isn't one of my biggest concerns - that would be that ridiculous library book fine I saw today - but this certainly has gone through my head!).

I stopped by the polish section in the grocery the other day and admired OPI Red for a bit - but I can't find any swatches online.  Anyone love this color?  There was another color named OPI something something Red that looked awesome - kind of a darker red (like the UMD red) with glitter (quite unlike the UMD red).  But I couldn't bring myself to pay the (gasp) $9 Harris Teeter price per bottle.

I love OPI Red My Fortune and Nicole by OPI Really, Really Red, but I feel like they might be too tomato-red for the UMD colors.  I just got Zoya Nidhi, which is a little darker (and glittery - yay!) but I'm still thinking it is too bright.  So I am seeking YOUR help!!  You guys helped me choose what colors to wear for my first day of class - and this is way more important than that - so I need (and will greatly appreciate) any and all suggestions.

So tell me: What is the perfect University of Maryland red nail polish?

And now, photos of the beautiful University of Maryland to inspire you:

Jim Henson went to UMD!

Meet Testudo.  He's fierce.  We like to rub his nose.

Photos copyright: The University of Maryland and zhurnaly at Flickr
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