I recently received four new holographic polishes from Amy's Nail Boutique to review and I went off last night with the full intention of swatching all four to show you guys. Well, that didn't happen! As soon as I put on first, I realized these polishes were way too gorgeous for mere swatch-and-remove. So, I decided that I would do full manicures with these beauties and post them for you as I did!

My first manicure out of the four is with Spring Has Sprung--a truly gorgeous petal pink linear holo. While the linear holo is not super strong, it is definitely a holo and the depth of pigmentation more than makes up for it! Now, it's pretty well known that the addition of the holographic pigment tends to "gray" out the polish and true pigmentation is a challenge. Not so with this polish! Spring Has Sprung is the perfect, bright pink for the arrival of Spring! The color works so well with my naturally tan complexion and I would imagine it's a shade of pink that would work for most complexions. In fact, this shade reminds me of the cherry blossoms in full bloom that one sees lining the roads as one drives into Long Island from Brooklyn--luscious and so feminine!

When speaking of application, I must say I was really impressed! I found none of the dragging or streakiness that's usually associated with holographic polishes. In fact, application was a total breeze, with subsequent coats going on smoothly and flawlessly for an even, streak-free finish. The formula is on the thinner side but I prefer this as it allows one the ability to layer or build up the color to one's own desired intensity. I used four thin coats, over Essie's Ridge-filling basecoat and topped it all off with one thin coat of HK Girl. The drying time was minimal, less than a minute per coat and the results truly phenomenal. See for yourself why I'm so enamored with this polish!

Here are some bottle shot. I absolutely love the presentation of these bottles, from the heart-shaped labels to the unique, individual charms on each! It goes to show how much love and care Amy puts into each of her creations.

Here's a pic to better show the holo in the bottle!

And finally, on the nail! I love how this color looks with my complexion!

With flash!

Oh and I almost forgot! A closeup to show the linear holo! =)

Overall, this polish has now made it to my favorites list! Don't forget that I'll be showing you at least 3 others soon, so stay tuned!! =)

If you would like to purchase Amy's unique holo creations, you can find them HERE for $10 a full-size 15 mL bottle! Don't forget to mention I sent you! Go show her some love! =)

Til next time,

****Products were sent to me for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own****
Oh, tonight I have a treat for you!! I've been absolutely chafing at the bit waiting for my nails to grow out just a tad just so I could show you two GORGEOUS jelly glitter creations from Lauren of You Polish. It's been a torturous wait and, though my nails still aren't at their very best, I could wait no longer!!! So, without further ado, I present to you STARdust and superSTARdom!

First! STARdust!

STARdust is an absolutely GORGEOUS blurple jelly with fuchsia, purple, holographic and iridescent hexes, stars and dots! I especially LOVE the large holo dots!

Look at the holo sparkle when the light hits it just right!! Oh-so-gorgeous!!

Here's a close-up, so you can see the different shapes and colors of glitter in there!

Next up! superSTARdom!

superSTARdom is a green-leaning teal jelly, with small black stars and squares, along with teal, turquoise, and blue hexes, squares and dots as well as small silver stars and holographic microglitter! This so reminds me of a tropical body of water, chock-full of pretty, elusive fish!

Again, look at the holographic sparkle, when the light hits it!! I love this so much!

The application of both these jellies was near-flawless. They went on smooth and most of the glitters came out super easily, except for some of the large holo dots. But with a little swishing around in the bottle with the brush, up they came! Which is good, because I know I don't have the patience to sit and place glitter with a toothpick! =D

I would imagine that these jellies would be opaque in 3 coats, but I used 2 coats over undies, a matte purple from Golden Rose in the case of STARdust and OPI Ogre the Top Blue in the case of superSTARdom. Then, it was one thick coat of HK Girl for a glossy, glass-like finish!

Love these jellies as much as I do? You can find full-size bottles at You Polish for $7.75 (before shipping) and they should be restocked by the end of this coming week! Also, do you have an idea for a polish of your own? Lauren makes fabulous customs!! How fabulous? Well, my namesake (which I'll show you in another post) is one by her!

I hope you enjoyed viewing these as much as I loved showing them to you!!

Til next time,
I've been wanting to write this post for quite awhile now and since several of my Facebook followers have asked, I'm guessing this is long overdue! =) I've had brittle, weak nails for a long, long time and years of acrylics didn't do them ANY favors. But when I got back into polish in a BIG way last year, my first quest was to find products that would firstly help strengthen my natural nails and secondly help my manicures last longer--acrylics, besides being so damaging, are too expensive to maintain in this economy and I don't buy cheap polish either lately! So, here's a compilation of some of my favorites that have helped take my nails from embarrassing to pretty-darn-good! =)

First up!!! This is my HOLY GRAIL of vitamins/supplements!! This gigantic tablets are chock-full of nutrients that are SO good for nails and hair, of which the best of the best, is a solid dose of Biotin. For those of you not familiar with Biotin, or otherwise known as vitamin B7, it's a biological compound that is necessary for cell growth. Hence, it stands to reason that it would help in the growth of rapidly dividing cells such as those in your nails and hair. Though scientific data remains inconclusive, these pills have worked wonders for my nails! They're so much healthier, stronger and less prone to breakage! Now, a quick word of caution : these pills are a little smelly (probably from the ingredients in them) and are LARGE-sized, both of which makes them hard to swallow. Take them AFTER a meal and drink LOTS of water with them. Because people HAVE reported instances of breakouts and tummy troubles! So...start out slow, take 1 rather than the recommended dose of 3 and work your way up!

Next up!!! Cuticle care!! Jeez, if you're like me, cuticles can be a pain in the...umm...BUTT! Mine tend to flake and I get these icky little hangnails! YUCK! But with a little extra care, my cuticles have improved quite a bit from just a few months ago. A good friend recommended this--Blue Cross Cuticle Remover and it's really quite easy to use. Just dab on, allow to soak in for a few minutes and gently scrape away your excess cuticles using one of the handy little orange sticks pictured on the right! As for hangnails, I just snip them away with a regular old nail clipper.

Now, after you've scraped and snipped away all those pesky excess cuticles, it's IMPERATIVE to moisturize!! Preferably, multiple times a day! Pictured above are 3 of my favorite cuticle oils. To the left is Glisten & Glow's customizable cuticle oil in White Peach and Sangria, which I ADORE!!! I also have G&G's cuticle oil in Juicy by Juicy Couture and that one is to die for too! I use these for when I need maximum moisture. The one in the middle is Julep's cuticle oil, which I use for blog pictures since it's very light and absorbs super easily. Finally, to the right, is YouPolish's Peachy Keen Cuticle oil, which I love for the fresh, fruity fragrance!

Now I know some of you may be leery about oral vitamin supplements and prefer a topical nail strengthener instead. Well, you're in luck! =) Pictured below are two of my favorites! Duri Rejuvacote and Nailtiques Formula 2. These can double up as a pretty darn good basecoat as well! The Duri is great for nail growth and the Nailtiques has done wonders in preventing cracking/peeling nail tips. Both dry to a smooth, hard finish and make my nails feel so much stronger.

Don't have issues with peeling or weak nails, but just want a good basecoat that would prevent staining and help manicures last longer? For that purpose, I recommend either OPI Ridge Filler or Essie Ridge-filling base coat. Both these dry to a smooth, CLEAR, even surface which allows you to paint your nails with little to no visible flaws. I love them since this is just what need under a good jelly or creme.

Holos,  however, are a different ball game. Due to the holographic pigment itself, many holo polishes have issues with streaking and/or difficult application. A good aqua base coat, like the one pictured below from Nfu Oh, will help with these issues. Now, I know it looks milky in the bottle, but believe me, it dries clear and super smooth! And no more patchy holo polish application. Surprisingly though, another cheaper alternative to the Nfu Oh, is the L.A. Colors blue base coat/strengthener that you can find at Dollar Tree! It does a very similar job at a fraction of the cost! Win-win!

When it comes to topcoats, however, there is only ONE for me! The incomparable HK Girl from Glisten & Glow! This miracle product dries in 45 seconds FLAT, to a super shiny, rock-hard finish and can be worn with cremes, jellies, crellies, glitters, holos and everything in between. Plus it's super-affordable! I've tried SEVERAL topcoats including Seche Vite, Butter London, OPI etc and NOTHING beats this! If you don't have this, you're truly missing out!

Finally, something for those oh-so-challenging-but-oh-so-beautiful glitterbombs. If you're anything like me, you understand when I say I LOVE the look of pretty little hexes, stars and what-nots but HATE the bumpy, gritty feeling. Well, a couple of coats of Gelous and you can wear your glitterbombs with the best of them--no icky texture! This stuff will smooth out even the busiest of glitterbombs!

So, that's it for this post! I hope you enjoyed my little compilation of favorite nail care products and I would love to hear any questions/comments/suggestions!

Til next time,

Mandy Reilly and I have been Facebook friends through various nail polish/beauty interest groups for several months now and I know her to be a sweet woman with a generous heart. So when she announced her intention to open a small business, making custom jewelry pieces to raise funds for her baby boy, Cristian and his Walk Now for Autism Speaks team, I was thrilled for her! Subsequently, when she asked for bloggers to review a custom piece, I absolutely jumped at the chance! And I'm so glad I did! She makes beautiful jewelry for a beautiful cause!

The piece she sent to me is a round stone created with a light blue holographic polish, set in a dark, almost-vintage-looking black metal ring. It's so very pretty and she certainly knows my love of holo well! The ring is adjustable and thus, truly one-size-fits-all. The band is slim and is a very comfortable wear--no chafing or irritation when I wore it around the house all day long. Plus I love the little two-pronged, window designs on the sides! Here are some pictures of this pretty little ring!

If you would like to order a custom piece from Puzzled and Polished, you can find them HERE. Not only would you be able to purchase a piece made to your heart's desire, but you'd also be supporting a sweet little boy and his worthy cause!

Til next time,

*this piece was sent to me for an honest, unbiased review.
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