My Favorite Manicures and Highlights of 2015

It's the last day of 2015 so it's time to do a little recap and share some of the favorites of past year. I'm going to share my favorite manicures and some highlights of this year today and tomorrow I'll have my favorite polishes of 2015 for you. I've done similar listings one previous years too and I have to say that it's always great fun to take a proper look back on what was done each year. This year started great with plenty of nail art, manicures and posts but the other half of the year was more quiet here in my blog. I just started the scheduled posts this month, so I hope I'll be able to keep it up next year too in order to post regularly.

One of the biggest things here in my blog past year and definitely THE highlight of the year was of course the 32 week Finnishable Nail Art Challenge #ablecs15. This was another nail art challenge that I planned with my two awesome blogger friends: Katjamaria and Nerdic Nails. I loved every single second of the challenge and seeing all the manicures that were made for it. Quite a few of the favorite manicures in this favorite list are done for the challenge as it really made me do way more nail art than I probably would have done without it.

I couldn't really put these in rank order, so these are listed from oldest to newest. I also included a link to each post if you want to take a closer look.

Minty Snowflakes

Hi guys! Hope you had a great Christmas (if you celebrate it)! Mine was quiet, low key and relaxed, just the way I like it. The only thing that wasn't so great was the weather, I would have loved to have some snow, but we didn't have any. There's just a little snow here now, but I'd love to see more, so while waiting I did some snowy nail art for you.

I used first one coat of Essie Blanc as my base color. Then I did a gradient using Essie Fashion Playground and Essie Private Weekend. The snowflakes are vinyl stickers from Vinyl It Up. Even though both of the Essies have a little shimmer in them, I wanted more sparkly look, so I used one of my favorite toppers KBShimmer I Only Have Ice For You on top of the whole mani.

I've done quite a few snowflake manicures in the past years, but they have always been either blue, red or something like that. I really loved this minty version, I think the minty gradient look so good with the snowflakes!


I really wish for a bit more snow soon! 


How about you guys, do you like snow?

Merry Christmas!

Today I just wanted to quickly wish you all happy holidays with my holiday manicure.

I'm a bit sick so I needed to keep my holiday mani really simple this year. I decided to go with the easy MILV water decals. These are number N 427 and I used one coat of white polish under them. I also used China Glaze Fairy Dust on top of the water decals just to make it a little bit more sparkly and holiday-like. 

I really love this look! I've usually had something red for Christmas on my nails, but I do love this wintry scenery. I just hope it would have looked as wintry outside, but I don't think that's going to happen...
 

With this mani I wish you all

Very Merry Christmas!


I'm going to be spending the holidays with my family and I'll be back next week, so I'll see you then! 

Last Minute Gift Ideas from Lush

If you have some gift shopping still left to do, I have couple great ideas for you if you just have a Lush store somewhere near. Last year I already wrote quite a long post about LUSHious Christmas present ideas, so I'm not going to talk again about Snow Fairy or all the other great products that were presented in that post. This time I just have couple of new limited edition Holiday products I received for review.

Snow Fairy is of course already a classic from Lush that everyone is eagerly expecting when the Holiday products come to the Lush stores. This year however, there was this new and very green option that caught my eye. Lord of Misrule is a new limited edition shower cream that is a great gift for both men and women. Snow Fairy is of course quite girly product with the really sweet scent and shimmery pink color, but this Lord of Misrule is totally another story. The scent is quite earthy and spicy, so it definitely suits men too. For me the scent of Fairy Dust is a bit overly sweet and I do prefer this spicy scent of Lord of Misrule.

Another great new limited edition shower product is this gorgeous shower jelly called Santa's Belly. The name is just as fun as the product itself. Last year I received the funny Snowman shower jelly as a Christmas present and I loved it, so of course I wanted to try this new jelly too. I think the shape of Santa's Belly is more practical as it's easier to handle than the slippery Snowman. Santa's Belly has the same juicy apple scent than the So White bath bomb, it sure reminds me of Christmas.

Bûche de Noël is another gift idea suitable for both men and women. It's a great face and body cleanser with satsumas, cranberries and a touch of brandy. It has finely grind almonds in it and to me the scent is quite almond-y, but it's not a bad scent. It's not a girly girl product, so I'm sure all the men that like to take care of their skin would definitely be happy to find this cleanser from their Christmas gift.


Have you guys already bought all your Christmas presents?

*I've gotten the products in this post for review. 

Love This! - Qtica Lime Zest Luxury Lotion

Today I wanted to just quickly recommend a great daytime hand cream for you guys. I want my night time hand creams to be as thick and moisturizing as they can be, but for my daytime hand cremes I prefer more lighter formula that absorbs quickly and preferably smells nice.

These Qtica Luxury Lotions aren't thick enough for me to use them night time, but they have the perfect formula for daytime use. It's a great lotion as it's moisturizing enough but at the same time it doesn't leave your hands too sticky. The biggest bonus of these is of course the great scents! Every one of these Luxury Lotions that I've tried have smelled really really good. This Lime Zest one that I got for review a quite while ago from Mi Nails truly smells divine! It's a great citrus smell that is sweet but also little bit sour at the same time. I'm always in love with great citrus scents and this is definitely no exception, I love it!
 
This is also a great multipurpose product as it's not just a hand lotion. Rather it's a all-around lotion that you can use for your pedicures also as well as other parts of your body. There are several different scents of this Luxury Cream and they all sound so tasty. Even though I do love this Lime Zest so much I think I'd equally love Pomegranate Lime, Grapefruit Surprise, Lemongrass Ginger and all the others too.

The bottle size with these bigger bottles is a hefty 250 ml so there's quite enough product to use for a while at least if you use it solely as a hand cream. There's also even bigger bottle available, but I'm pretty sure that would last forever... I really the fact that it's a pump bottle, it's of course very handy! I have this one currently sitting on my desk at work and I use it several times a day as the scent is so good and it's so easy to use. 

I just checked and unfortunately it seems that Mi Nails no longer sells these Luxury Lotions. Here in Finland you can still get them from NailCity. These Qtica products are from the same company than Zoya nail lacquers, so you can get these pretty much where ever you can get Zoyas. 

*I've gotten the lotion for review.

Gradient Nail Art with Picture Polish Eerie and Allure

I know that I promised something else for you guys today than water decals... Well, I hope I can get away with this mani since there is water decals once again in this one, but there's also a gradient and some rhinestones, so it's definitely not just water decals.

Picture Polish Allure is one of my newest Picture Polish pretties and of course I had to use it as soon as possible. I thought it would look great with another PP stunner, Eerie, so I decided to do a gradient with those two. I used first two coats of Eerie and then did the gradient sponging both Allure and Eerie on each nail. The black water decals are from MILV and I also used some black diamond rhinestones.

This is another water decals I've done lately that looks quite like stamping. I would never be able to get such perfect stamping images on my nails, so these decals are really great way for me to get the similar look. Of course I'd love to learn how to stamp, but for now these decals work very well too. 

I really really love both of these Picture Polish lacquers, they are so gorgeous! However, Allure was such a hard one to photograph, the color looked completely wrong in all my pictures. I tried to color correct them, but I still couldn't get it quite right as it's more brighter and more fuchsia colored than in my pictures. It's quite bright and bold color, so I'm not sure if I'd wear it alone but it looked really great with Eerie.


Products used for this manicure
Base coat: KBShimmer Basic Training
Polishes: Picture Polish Eerie, Picture Polish Allure
Top coat: Glisten&Glow HK Girl
Others: water decals, rhinestones

Blue with Blue

I found this mani in my archives and it seems that I never posted it, so I thought I'd share it with you today.

I think I did this mani in the early fall or something like that, pretty much right after I received the Essie fall collection for review. This was once again something quick and simple, just a pretty polish and some beautiful water decals. Nothing too special, but still a great look. The pictures of this mani didn't turn out too great and that's probably the reason I didn't post this before, but here it is now anyhow.

I used two coats of Essie Bell-Bottom Blues as my base color. Then I just added the water decals and sponged just a little bit of Zoya Charla over and around the flowers.
 
I did like this very very blue look. Essie Bell-Bottom Blues is still a gorgeous polish and the little added sparkle I got from Zoya Charla was beautiful too even if you can't really see it too much in the pictures. 
 
Products used for this manicure
Base coat: KBShimmer Basic Training
Polishes: Essie Bell-Bottom Blues (2 coats), Zoya Charla
Top coat: Glisten&Glow HK Girl
Others: water decals

MILV N462

This is one coat of Gina Tricot white, MILV N462 water decals and Glisten&Glow HK Girl top coat.
 
Because sometimes the simplest and easiest manicures are the best!

Picture Polish Swatch Spam

I haven't posted any swatch spams lately, so here's one for you! Today I have some Picture Polish swatches to share with you guys, so there's going to be quite a few beautiful polishes in this post!



Eerie is a mysterious dusty lilac with silvery shimmer and subtle holo. This is one those Picture Polish bijou holos that they can do so amazingly! It's a little bit older collaboration shade made together with Very Emily. I think this is truly one of those must have polishes from Picture Polish. There are actually quite a few of those if you ask me, but this is certainly one of them. It's such a beautiful and unique shade. The formula is great for a light shade like this, you only need two coats for full coverage.



Forget Me Not is a beautiful slightly dusty but still vibrant blue scattered holo. Picture Polish is of course so great with these type of scattered holos too, so this one is another great one of those! I'm completely love with this, it's such a gorgeous blue. Forget Me Not is one of my favorite flowers, so the name is great too though to me the color of the flower is quite different than the color of this polish, but nevermind. This one is a collaboration shade made with Lacquertude. Forget Me Not has a great formula also, two easy coats for full coverage. Another must-have if you ask me! 


Dorothy is slightly older PP lacquer as it was already launched in 2012. It's a pinkish red jelly base packed with silver and magenta glitter. I think that this one is quite Christmassy shade with all that red and silver in it. It's opaque in two coats but you're going to need quite a thick coat of top coat to make it smooth. Don't mind that messy bottle of mine, it had a little accident with another polish when it was owned by a previous owner and I couldn't get all those glitters off even though I tried.


Paris is another favorite from Picture Polish. It's a gorgeous coral jelly scattered holo. I love that cute bottle of this collaboration shade and the color of the polish is such a beautiful one! This is another unique one in my collection and I love it. It's a collab  shade made with QuicheGirl. I used three coats here as this one was just a little bit sheer with two coats. If you don't own Paris already, you really should get it, it's stunning!


Sizzle was really impossible one to photograph with my camera. All that gorgeous subtle holo seemed to disappear in all my pictures. Anyhow, Sizzle is true to its name as it's a sizzling hot pink subtle scattered holo. I'm not usually the biggest fan of these kind of hot pinks on my nails, but this looks so good that I totally fell in love with it. It took two easy coats for full coverage. Sizzle is another collaboration shade and it was made with Cosmetic Sanctuary. 


So tell me, which one out of these five is your favorite? How about all the Picture Polish lacquers, which one is the most gorgeous one? 

Zoya Storm Silk Watercolor

I have another Essie Silk Watercolor look to share with you guys today!

 
Actually, this was the look I did for the I Love Me fair couple months back, I just hadn't posted it before. For this look I used first two coats of Zoya Storm, then I applied some white waterdecals on my middle and ring finger nails. I also did simple glitter gradient on my other nails with Essie Set In Stones. Then finally I just sponged some Essie No Shrinking Violet and Pen & Inky on each of my nails.


I really like how this look turned out! It was really quite simple to do, but it still looked like there was a lot going on. I've said it before, but I'm going to say it again: I really love these Essie Silk Watercolor polishes! Zoya Storm is another favorite of mine, it's just soooo pretty!



Products used for this manicure
Base coat: Sally Hansen Nail Rehab
Polishes: Zoya Storm (2 coats), Essie Set in Stones, Essie Pen & Inky, Essie No Shrinking Violet
Top coat: Glisten&Glow HK Girl
Others: water decals

Essie Frillin' Me Softly and Fringe Factor

You all probably know already that I'm not a big fan of bar glitter, infact I don't like it at all. So I wasn't at all excited when Essie came out with their new fringe Luxeffects. Honestly, I wouldn't have bought any of those myself, but I received two of them for review. At first I wasn't sure if I'd would even try them, like I said, I DON'T like bar glitter and I definitely don't toppers with only bar glitter in them. Then I thought I should at least try the make them work and use them in a mani in a way that even I'd like it.

So, my challenge for myself was to use bar glitter in a mani that I would like and would wear for at least few days. Today I have that 'challenge accepted' manicure to share with you as well as a swatch of the other new Luxeffects polish I got.

*Press sample
I really loved Essie Virgin Snow from the new winter collection, so I thought it was a safe choice as the base color of this manicure. I did two coats of VS on each nail. Then I did a simple glitter gradient with the silver Frillin' Me Softly. It has thin silver bar glitter in it as well as some small blue and silver hexes. Finally I painted some feathers with Essie Blanc and added some silver details on them with RaPaint silver acrylic paint.

I have to say I was quite proud of myself after this mani was finished. I think I succeeded in making the bar glitter look at least pretty good if I may say so. I quite liked this look and I wore it the whole week, which is really a success. Before I would have said that it's not possible.

Sure, this still didn't make me a fan of bar glitter, but at least I was able to use it properly in a manicure. I'm sure that if you are unlike me and do like bar glitter, this is a great choice for your Holiday manicures.


I also got another one of these for review, so I wanted to show it to you also in this same post.
This one is Fringe Factor and I used one coat of it over Essie Shall We Chalet? from the winter 2015 collection. It has silver and pink bar glitter in it as well as some thicker darker pieces. I was actually quite suprised that I didn't hate this one even applied like this over all the nails. I wouldn't probably wear this look as it is, but it might work as part of some nail art. I'm not so sure, however, about those darker pieces in this one, I think it would be prettier without them.
 
Let me know what you think, did I succeed in my challenge? Bar glitter, hot or not?

 *I've received all the polishes in this post for review. For more information check out my disclosure policy.

Love This! - Dr. Scheller Pomegranate Shower Gel

Here it is, the first post of my new post series here in Polish This! This new post series is going to be about other products I've tried and fell in love with. They can be other beauty and cosmetic products, sometimes hand and nail care products and occasionally even something completely different, we'll see. The series will simply be called Love This! and you'll find all the post of this series with the same Love This tag. The basic idea is just that I want to recommend some great products for you guys.

You can probably see that I've been planning this new series for quite a while, since these first post pictures are quite summery. Maybe they are a nice little breeze of summer in the middle of December..?

The first product of this series is quite simple one, but still an awesome one! It's Dr. Scheller Pomegranate Shower Gel that I received from a goodie bag already in last spring. Eventhough the pictures are quite summery here, I'd say this fits to the current season also, as it's the best pomegranate season right now. If I'd had to choose one favorite fruit it might well be pomegranate, I love them! 

I'm not sure if the scent in this product is completely accurate pomegranate scent, but it's nearly there. I do like the scent, it's clearly there, but it's not too strong.

The one thing I love most about this shower gel and the reason I wanted to post about this and recommend this to you, is the fact that this is really gel-like and because of that, it works perfectly as shaving gel used with razors. It is THE feature that makes this Pomegranate Showe Gel really awesome. I for one don't usually buy any shaving gels or foams, I just use my current shower gel for shaving. Most of them work for this quite well, but I thought this Pomegranate Shower Gel worked like it was meant for it. It's not only gel-like, it's also makes the skin feel quite slippery when you have it on you, so it truly works perfectly for shaving.

It's also a great shower gel as doesn't dehydrate you skin and of course a big bonus is that this is all natural product. All the Dr. Scheller Pomegranate series products have pomegranate extract in them which has a conditioning, clarifying and light pore-refining effect. Dr. Scheller products are BDIH certified natural by German standards and they are all vegan.


Oh, and in case you were wondering, the nail polish that you can see a glimpse on the one picture, is KBShimmer Home Surf.

I hope you liked the start of this new post series. I will be doing these every other Saturday from now on. These pictures made me definitely long for summer! How about you?


*I've received the product in this post from a goodie bag of a beauty blogger event.

Dance Legend Malta 90 + MILV water decals

Here's the first real post of my new scheduled post era. At least I was able to do this first one, so it's a good start! :) If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out my previous post.

Today I have a simple manicure to share with you guys. I've had couple Dance Legend Malta series polishes sitting in my untried box for quite a while, so I decided it was finally time to try at least one of them.

I used Dance Legen Malta number 90 for my thumb, index and pinky nails. It's a beautiful dusty mauve color with golden shimmer. It's quite sheer, so I used three coats here and I could have even needed another coat on some nails. 

For my accent nails I did two coats with Gina Tricot white and then I used those golden water decals by MILV. I didn't even think about it, but this is quite a Russian manicure as the polish and the water decals are both from Russian brands.

This was actually the manicure I originally did to compliment my JORD wood watch and you might have spotted this mani already in my JORD post. I still wanted to share this mani in completely separate post and not talk about it in the watch post. I really liked this mani, so it deserved to be shared on its own post and as I said in the JORD post, you can wear the watch with any kind of manicure.

This was yet another quite simple manicure, but like I said, I really liked this look a lot! I'm not sure if Dance Legend Malta number 90 is the perfect color for me, but the shimmer is certainly gorgeous in it. I also really like those MILV water decals. You all probably know that I'm not (yet!) really good at stamping, so this was an easy way for me to achive similar look than what you can get with stamping.

Products used for this manicure
Base coat: KBShimmer Basic Training
Polishes: Dance Legend Malta 90 (3 coats), Gina Tricot White (2 coats)
Top coat: Glisten&Glow HK Girl
Others: MILV water decals  


*I've received the JORD watch for review. I have bought the other products in this post myself.

Something New

I have some news for you today about my blog and the future! Sounds big, but don't worry, there's just going to be a little something new around here and I thought I'd talk a little bit about it today.


I've said it thousand times before, but lately I've been quite busy, so there hasn't been so many posts around here as there used to be. I constantly feel bad about that I haven't been able to post so much and it's quite a vicious circle as when I feel bad, I don't feel like posting anything... So long story short, I decided I should try something more scheduled and organized, and maybe then I'd be able to post a little bit more and more importantly, post regularly. So starting today there will be (at least) three posts per week. I'm going to schedule my posts beforehand, so there will always be new post up on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and they will all be posted at 6 am EET. There are some occasions that I might not post like Christmas and such, but I'll follow this schedule 99% of time.

Also, I've been wanting to write some product reviews and such of other products than just nail polish for quite a while, so I decided to create a new post series for this. In addition to the three nail polish related posts every week, there will be one review about something else on every other Saturday. If I get excited and want to do even more of these, then there might be one review every Saturday, but we'll see about that. This new post series will be called Love This! (yeah, I'm very innovative when it comes to names!) and it'll be about products that I have tried and loved and want to recommend them to you guys. It can be other beauty products and sometimes also hand and nail care products, but occasionally maybe something completely different, we'll see. Anyhow, next Saturday I'll have you the first post of this new series, so stay tuned!

I've been little hesitant to try a strict schedule before because I've been afraid that I couldn't keep it up. But now I feel like this is something I need in order to keep my blog going strong, so I want to try it at least for a while. I think I'm going to do a little trial period and do this for a month and then see how I feel about it. Hopefully this will work for me and I of course hope you'll like this too as now you know exactly when you can find new material here in my blog from now on. 

I didn't want to do a post without any pictures, so I included a collage of some of my recent favorite manicures here. I haven't posted my Monthly Manicure Roundups lately either since there hasn't been too much to roundup, but I'll get those going after next moth too.

Essie Silk Watercolor Nail Art

As I mentioned at least in Instagram, I bought the whole Essie Silk Watercolor collection while back... Oops. I just couldn't resist them and I reasoned that after these I wouldn't need any other watercolor polishes. Which is actually true because these Essie Silk Watercolor polishes have great formula and great selection of different colors, so when it comes to watercolor polishes I'm pretty well covered now. 

I have done few manis with these already and today I thought I'd share one of those with you. 
For this look I just first simply painted my nails with white base. I used three coats of Essie Blanc for this. Then after my base was dry, I applied those black water decals on my middle and ring finger nails. I also added a little bit different looking water black water decals on my thumb nails but I totally forget to took a picture where you would have seen that better...

Anyhow, then I just lightly applied three of the Essie Watercolor polishes using their own brushes basically coloring the white parts of the decals. I used the purple No Shrinking Violet, the blue Point of Blue and the teal Pen & Inky for this look.

First I was going to decorate my index and pinky nails a bit too, but then I decided I really liked this simple and clean look, so I left them just plain white. Like I said, I really think these Essies are great watercolor polishes and I'm happy I bought them. They are really easy to use and you can do plenty of different nail art looks with them. There are total of eight different colors in the collection and I'll be sharing more looks that I've done with them in the near future, so stay tuned!

 

Essie Winter 2015 Virgin Snow Collection - Swatches and Review

The winter came here in the Eastern Finland already as the landscape is snowy and white at least for now. Even though I'm pretty sure this isn't going to last for long, it's about time to share my Essie winter 2015 collection swatches and review with you guys.

*Press sample
The Virgin Snow collection has two pastles, two reds, shimmery black and metallic silver in it. They are not the most unique colors, but it's still a beautiful mix, quite suitable for the season and the whole collection sure looks gorgeous together!

I got the whole collection for review and these are again those European version Essies with the wide brush and possibly a tad different ingredients and formula than the US Essies.
  
Altitute Attitude is a beautiful red with pink undertones. This is more like a mix of creme and jelly, ergo crelly, so it's very shiny even without a top coat. I used two coats here and this was such an easy one to apply, pure pleasure.



Après-chic is a shimmery metallic silver. It's a very appropriate color for the festive winter season, but it's not really unique. It's a beautiful silver nevertheless and I think this might even work for stamping as I only needed two thin coats of it.



Haute Tub is a stunning black based crelly with color shifting shimmer. It's almost one coater, but I did two here just in case. I think this one is the most unique shade out of the bunch and it applied smoothly like butter.



Peak Show is very very light pink creme. It almost looks like off-white rather than pink. I love this type of shades, but they usually come with not so great formula. This one was fairly easy to work with though, I only needed two coats for the perfect result. If you've ever needed that perfect very pale pink, I would highly recommend checking this out!

Essie Romper Room from spring 2014 collection has been the perfect light pink for me ever since I got it, but now it has a strong competitor. I quickly compared the two bottles side by side and Peak Show looks even a bit more lighter than Romper Room.



Shall We Chalet? is a deeper and darker red than the other red in this collection. This is more like a cranberry type of color, very chic shade and perfect for the season. This has also the similar crelly formula than the Altitude Attitude and I used two easy coats with this one too.



Virgin Snow was probably the polish that I was most excited about in this collection. It's a gorgeous icy lavender creme. The shade is really interesting as it looks quite blue on its own, but if you put it next to anything blue, it looks definitely more purple. I think this is quite close to Essie Lilacism, but I don't own that one anymore so I can't compare. I remember though that Lilacism was really difficult one to apply and Virgin Snow applied easily with just two coats, so Virgin Snow definitely has a better formula out of those two. 

Virgin Snow is a beautiful shade and I think it's one of those colors that are wearable all year round, actually like many of the shades in this collection.


In the end I quite liked this collection even if it's not the most unique mix of shades. Haute Tub, Peak Show and Virgin Snow are my favorites and I can highly recommend all those three colors to anyone out there. There's really nothing wrong with the rest of the collection either, the two reds and the silver are all pretty colors too. I'm a bit bored with Essie doing so many reds lately, but I can see that the both reds in this collection as well as the silver one are pretty prefect colors for the Holiday season.

Which one of these is your favorite?


*I've gotten the whole collection for review. For more information, please check out my disclosure policy.