Monday, August 29, 2011

Glitters!

OPI's Glam Slam collection just keeps coming!  I got these in the mail and could not figure out what collection they went with (I thought they might have been part of the Miss Universe Collection because of the gorgeous glitters).  But these two are part of the Glam Slam collection - and the first Glam Slam duo without a shatter!


Pros and Bronze

This color looked orange to me in the bottle, so I didn't think I'd like it, but I was surprised by how cool it looked once I tried it on.  Pros and Bronze is still a little orange, but all of the glitter makes it shine like a new penny.  Plus, even with all that glitter, it wasn't difficult to apply.


Love is a Racket

Bright red and super shimmery, Love is a Racket is the perfect notice-me red.  It covered nicely with two coats.

What do you think?  Are you happy to see a Glam Slam duo minus the shatter?  And would you rock these shades on the tennis court?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy 21st Birthday Kelsey!


Happy 21st Birthday, Kelsey!

My sister turned 21 today!  Kelsey is such a great person, and I am so lucky to have her as a sister.  Plus, she has gorgeous nails!  For her birthday, she wore OPI Nice Color, Eh?  Happy Birthday, Kelsey!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

OPI Miss Universe Collection

OPI Miss Universe Collection

Crown Me Already

Crown Me Already is pure glitter.  It is a clear base with a variety of sizes of gold and silver glitter.  It was a little difficult to apply because of the chunky glitter, but glitter addicts will love it.

Mystery Solved!  A lot of wonderful readers tweeted saying their Crown Me Already polishes were all silver, no gold, but that they preferred it with the gold.  I got my bottle out and looked at it in a few different lights, and then tried it on a piece of white paper, and it was totally silver.  So where did the gold come from?  That is when I remembered that I swatched Crown Me Already over OPI Pros and Bronze (I'll have pictures of it up on Monday).  Mystery solved!  And I agree with others - it does look better layered with gold!


It's My Year

Gorgeous plum loaded with golden glitter.  Check out how my nails look gold from some angles and plum from others.  Isn't that cool?  I really like how interesting this polish is.

Congeniality is My Middle Name

Like the polish above, this is a really unique shade.  It is a medium bright red filled with purple shimmer.  So pretty!


Swimsuit... Nailed It

A very pretty royal blue with lots and lots of microshimmer.  I took the picture above with flash just to show you how crazy shimmery this polish is (the photo below is in natural light).


For all of the nail swatches, I used two coats.  OPI's Miss Universe Collection is available at retailers now.  Learn more at OPI.com.

Have you picked up any of these shades yet?  Which ones do you like?

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Antiques Roadshow


The weekend before last, my mom and I drove to Pittsburgh for the Antiques Roadshow!  We weren't filmed for a segment, but we are hovering awkwardly waiting in line in the background of two segments they filmed.  On top of that, our chair was appraised by Andrew Brunk, my favorite appraiser!  It was strange seeing so many people that I have seen on TV all around the Antiques Roadshow tent.  The best part of the Roadshow was meeting so many interesting people and seeing what they brought. It was such a fun experience and I hope my mom and I get to go back someday.  



At the Antiques Roadshow, everyone waited in a long line in one section of the convention center before we were given tickets based on our item categories (furniture, artwork, etc.), then we went into another area of the convention center (where photography was not allowed) and got into lines based on our item categories.  Two of the category lines we stood in lasted minutes, but the third one we got into took about 90 minutes.  These category lines sort of spiraled off of a circle of temporary walls; inside of the temporary walls, the appraisers made the appraisals and television segments were filmed.  A few segments, such as a very tall grandfather clock, were filmed outside of the temporary wall area.


On the way home from Pittsburgh, we made a detour into Newell, WV to visit the Fiestaware Factory (more about that later because it was amazing!) and then drove an extra couple of miles into Ohio because my mom had never been to Ohio before!


In the town next to Newell, WV, we saw the World's Largest Teapot!  Chester, WV was such a cute town too.  I really wish this teapot was made from Fiesta (or made to look like Fiesta); how cute would that have been?  

It's a Polish Mystery!


OPI ?

I've been wearing this sheer, shimmery OPI polish for the past few days now.  It is an older polish, and the sticker on the bottom has worn off.  I really like it, I just wish I knew what it was!  I wore two coats and I thought it was a perfect neutral for all the work events/planning/preparations I've been going to these past few days.  Schools starts next Monday (can you believe summer is over already??) and us teachers are making sure we are ready!


If you have any ideas what this polish may be, I'd love some suggestions!  It drives me crazy when they lose the labels (my OPI Maryland Crabcake lost its label and honestly, the name was the best part about that funky peach polish, so I was disappointed to lose the tag.  Luckily, I know that polish - with or without a name tag!).

My commenting has been pretty sporadic lately because I was on vacation from August 3-14, and when I got home, my computer battery had died and so my laptop refused to turn on until I shelled out $100 for a new laptop battery.  (Apparently you save $20 or $30 if you buy the battery through the Genius bar at Apple versus off the shelf, so at least I saved a bit.  That said, I made my laptop promise to run for 12 more months minimum if I was going to invest in a new battery!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

ICE.com $100 Giveaway


Ice.com has recently redesigned their entire site, and to celebrate, they are giving away a $100 gift certifcate to one Babbling Brooke reader.

What's  new at Ice.com?

New Look and New Styles
Everyone needs a makeover from time to time. … and it’s time.  With our new look comes new styles, launching all the time.   We will be bringing customers the latest jewelry trends from around the world, as well as keeping you covered with the classics.  We attached a screenshot of the new site to give you a sneak peak!
New Collections
We’re always discovering new and unique approaches to fine jewelry, and will be bringing a wide range of new and dazzling collections of jewelry to our customers.  Some of our latest include, The Eclipse Collection, Gallery 10, The Diamore Rainbow Collection and Mom & Me Collection.  Stay tuned for more gorgeous assortments in the weeks and months to come.
Top Designers
Jewelry is fashion… and fashion is design!  We’re creating partnerships with some of the leading fine jewelry designers from around the world to bring you some stunning looks like Michiko’s dazzling approach to pearls, and the modern and innovative bracelet designs from Tattooed Steel . We’ll be launching many more designers in the days ahead, so keep an eye out.
Guest Stylists
We get our inspiration from the most amazing people…. And we’re partnering with thought leaders from throughout the web and the world of fashion and jewelry.  We’ve hooked up with some outstanding women - celebrity stylists, editors from leading fashion magazines, award-winning artists and business leaders – to get their take on jewelry and fashion, and to commission unique collections of jewelry from the Ice catalog.  We’re always looking for new approaches, so if you’re interested in being a Guest Stylist for Ice, let me know.
Free Shipping & Free Returns
Our customers asked and we listened. We’re thrilled to offer all of our US customers FREE Shipping and FREE Returns on all orders.  Saving on shipping means more to spend on fabulous jewelry!  Free Returns means you can shop with absolute confidence.
These are just a few of the exciting things that we’ve been working on, but this is really just the tip of the Ice! In the weeks and months to come, we’ll be rolling out even more exciting news and surprises. So be sure to stay in the loop over at our Facebook Page and on Twitter.

To enter to win a $100 Ice.com gift certificate, simply leave your email address and the correct answer to this question:
Ice has a collection of jewelry inspired by what movie?

Check out Ice.com to find out the answer!  This giveaway will be open through Friday, August 26 at 11:59 PM EST.  Good luck!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Behind the Scenes of a Nail Polish Blogger

When I started reading polish blogs, I was baffled.  Who is writing this?  Where did they get these polishes?  Did they really try on all of those polishes?  Now that I've been blogging for a few years, I wanted to share the inside scoop on nail polish blogging.

Nail polish blogging is a glamourous job; I sit for hours trying on polishes and removing them, pausing only to snap a round of 15-20 photos between shades.  I'm surrounded by the unmistakable scent of nail polish and acetone, and my kitchen table is littered with polish bottles.  After a few hours of "swatching," or trying on various polishes, taking photos, and removing them, I upload the photos, select the best one or two of each color, then crop them.  Next I upload them to blogger, write descriptions and commentary, send the post out into the world, and sit back to wait for comments from wonderful readers like you.  But while the swatching isn't always the most fun, I love sharing the photos I take in my blog posts.

Nail polish blogging is an unpaid position, unless the blog is through a specific company, such as Zoya's polish blog.  I blog about polish because I love nail polish.  I enjoy trying on new colors and I have always loved doing my nails.  I have a "real" job (the kind that pays me in money, not polish), so it can be difficult finding time to swatch new collections, but most of the nail polish bloggers I know are in similar situations; they have jobs, or kids (or both!), or they go to school.  Which brings me to my next interesting fact.  When I started reading nail blogs, I often wondered if all these polish bloggers knew each other (or if they even knew so many other polish blogs existed).  Surprisingly, a lot of us are friends with each other.  We've been blogging for years together and enjoy reading each others' blogs.  Only a few polish bloggers that I know live near me here in Maryland, but we all keep in touch, whether through our blogs, on Twitter or Facebook, or by email.  This is a great community of polish-bloggers and polish-lovers filled with amazing, kind-hearted people.

Like most polish bloggers, I am not professionally trained in cosmetology (although some polish bloggers are!) and I am not a manicurist (I'm a teacher, actually).  I buy a lot of my polishes, and a lot of the other ones are sent to me by the manufacturers or the PR teams as a form of advertisement.  They don't pay me for my posts, and all of the opinions I share about the polishes are my own.  I own hundreds of polishes.  At last count, I was in the 600's, and I would guess I'm close to 800 now.  I keep all of my polishes organized in clear bins that are sorted first by brand, then by color.  My favorite polish brands are OPI, China Glaze, and Zoya.

Nail polish blogging is a lot of fun - that is why polish bloggers like myself do it.  I love having the opportunity to share my favorite polishes, fun designs, and new collections with those of you who read my blog.  And I truly appreciate that you take the time to look at the polish pictures and posts I share, and I love reading your comments.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nicole by OPI Smorgasbord

The Nicole by OPI Target Exclusive Collection came out months ago, and I was head-over-heels in love with each and every color, so instead of doing swatches like I normally do, I ended up wearing each shade for about a week.  I just couldn't get enough of this collection. But because of that, I never got around to posted all of the polish pictures.  This is a really nicely thought out collection filled with excellent polishes that pair so nicely together. All of these polishes are available exclusively at Target and they are truly all winners.  I hope you love them as much as I have!

Light A Candle
A very light, delicate shimmery pink.  Light A Candle is a gorgeous soft pink and it is perfectly work appropriate.

Pink, Seriously
I've raved about this pink a few times before, but I'll say it again: this is a perfect hot pink creme!

Make a Comet-ment
A clear coat with loads of holographic glitter.  I've used this one a lot; it looks great over everything!

You're An Angel
I bought my mom this polish a while back and it is her absolute favorite - she wears it all the time.  You're An Angel is a stunning pink with gold glitter that looks just amazing.  You're An Angel is beautiful.

Daffy Dill
A fabulous bright, springy green creme - this is one beautiful, happy polish.

Brilliant Idea
A clear coat filled with green glitter and green shimmer.  It looks great with Daffy Dill.

Sea How Far You Go
A silver metallic with gold shimmer.  A really pretty and very unique polish.

Nicole's Nickel
Nicole's Nickel is a clear coat packed full of chunky glitter and shimmer.  I used it over top of Sea How Far You Can Go, but it could be worn alone - the glitter covers like a solid polish with just 2-3 coats.

Iceberg Lotus
A gorgeous shimmery teal polish.  There is slight visible nail line, but this color is just too pretty to pass up.

Respect the World
Beautiful bright blue loaded with shimmer.

Which Nicole by OPI shades are your favorites?


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cherry Cola


OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle with Kiss Fine Art Pens in pink and white

I wasn't exactly sure where I was going with this manicure when I started, but I liked the chocolaty base of A-Taupe the Space Needle.  When that dried, I made random dotted swirls using Kiss Fine Arts Pens in pink and white.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nicole by OPI for Target

Today I have the four new polishes joining the Nicole by OPI Target-exclusive collection.  For each swatch I used two coats.

It's Not Me, It's Blue

This is a unique shade; It's Not Me, It's Blue is more purple than blue with tons of silver shimmer and glitter.  This is a very metallic polish.

Sounds Grape to Me

Sounds Grape To Me is a duochrome reddish purple with hints of pink and gold.

I Love You Cherry-Much

This is a bright red loaded with glitter; it has a slight magenta sheen to it.  A very pretty bright red.

Green Up Your Act

This is more of a dusty teal than a green, but I really like this color.  It turned out to be my favorite of the group.  It applied very nicely.

Which one of these Target-only shades is your favorite?

Monday, August 8, 2011

OPI Simply Smashing





Simply Smashing is a unique shimmery light green that is slightly sheer with two coats.  It was designed to be paired with OPI Black Shatter as part of OPI's Glam Slam collection with Serena Williams.

What do you think of this color?  Is it a hit or a miss?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Camo Nails

In my town, it is not unusual to see people walking around in camo year-round.  That being said, I've never worn camo myself, so I had to look up a few pictures of camouflage before I set out to attempt this manicure.  But I was so inspired by the color (not the name) of OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window that I couldn't wait to do a camo manicure.


For this manicure, I started with two coats of OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window.  Next, using a toothpick, I attempted to make leaf-like shapes using OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle and OPI French Quarter For Your Thoughts.  Then I used OPI Stranger Tides to add a few highlights.


What do you think?  Could my nails camouflage me in the wild?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Color Club Back to Boho

Color Club
Back to Boho

Today I have the Color Club Back to Boho collection for Fall 2011.  I used two coats for each polish.  All photos can be enlarged just by clicking on them.  Check out the swatches and let me know what you think!

Shabby Drab
I LOVE this gorgeous medium purple creme!  It is light, soft, and summery and applied so nicely and streak free.  One of my favorites in the collection and a color I will certainly return to.

New Bohemian
This is a very "Tiffany Blue" creme, although perhaps a hint lighter.  

Earthy Angel
This isn't a color I would typically gravitate to, but I really liked how it looked with my skin tone (if only I was a bit tanner I'd have a perfect mannequin hands shade!).  Earthy Angel is a soft, peachy nude creme.

Nomadic in Nude
Nomadic in Nude is a very light tan creme that applied nicely.

Artsy Crafty
This is a nice dark green jelly.  It could have benefit from a third coat, as it applied slightly sheer in some places.

Rad Nomad
Rad Nomad is a nicely dusty plum with a ton of shine.  Like Artsy Crafty, it would have benefitted from a third coat to even out the jelly finish.

Nouveau Vintage
Nouveau Vintage is a STUNNING polish.  In the bottle, it is super duochromy with shades of copper and green.  On the nail, it comes out mainly copper with a hint of green, but it is beautiful.  Nouveau Vintage is loaded with glitter and dries quickly.  This is the absolute standout in the collection - it is a true winner.

Boho Mojo
This is a pearlescent silver polish.  It showed brush strokes in a metallic-way; it looked a lot like the inside of a shimmery seashell to me. 

Voodoo You Do
Like the previous two, Voodoo You Do is a very pretty unique shade, and also like Nouveau Vintage and Boho Mojo, it is one of my favorite polishes in the collection.  Dark and metallic, this gunmetal green is a true individual.

Red-ical Gypsy
A red jelly, which I still consider fairly rare.  Nice, squishy look that jelly-lovers love, with a hint of visible nail line.  Three coats would have likely given a more opaque look.  This one stained my nails, so make sure to wear a base coat (or perhaps wear it over a white or a color like Nomadic in Nude to hide the visible nail line and protect your nails).

Blue-Topia
A very dark blue jelly.  One coat gives a sheer wash of color, while three coats would have provided a dark, opaque finish.

Rebel Spirit
While this looks almost brown, it is actually more of a purple wine jelly.

Color Club products are available at major polish retailers and all Color Club polishes are never tested on animals.  Learn more at www.cosmeticgroup.com.

Which Back to Boho shades do you like the most?

 
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