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Inspired By Fashion

So I blogged about the Huggies event that I attended here. Of course I planned an outfit and a mani to match. I went shopping in @SanitaShimmy’s wardrobe for something to wear to the event and I found a lovely flowing top that I liked. Here is a picture of the pattern on the top:

 

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I wanted to wear something on my nails that matched the top and decided to draw inspiration from the colours and patterns. I decided to do an ombré because of the colours that melt into each other. At first I thought a regular ombré from cuticle to tip would work, but realized the patterns on the top were a lot more random and would be more fitting.

 

I started off with my regular base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted two coats of essence café olé on all my nails. After I gave that a little time to dry I used essence purple sugar and Tip Top Flashback to randomly sponge on the nail. I didn’t over think it and sponged the colours all over. Some at the tip, some at the cuticle and some on the sides. Both Flashback and purple sugar required a few coats of sponging over café olé for opacity. Once I was happy with the placing and amount of sponged colours I took a fan brush and used essence crazy fancy love to fan golden stripes over the nails. I placed a single round gold stud from my previous Born Pretty Store purchases on my ring nail near the cuticle for accent. The result:

 

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I really loved these nails. I think the colours matched the top I wore beautifully and I again realized that I really like fan brush art. I should do it more often. What do you think? Did I get it right?

Sammydress Review

*Product provided for review*

A while ago I was approached by sammydress.com for a possible review of one of their products. They were kind enough to let me choose something from their selection for review. I decided on a gorgeous handbag that I found on their site.

Image courtesy of sammydress.com

Image courtesy of sammydress.com

 

This particular bag was under the ‘tote bag’ section and is available in different colours. I chose the red one as pictured above. Before I received this bag I was walking around with a monstrously huge handbag, so when this arrived I had to scale down the contents somewhat. The bag looks exactly as pictured and I’ve received loads of compliments from the ladies in my office, some even wanting to “steal” it :) The inside of the bag has an extra zip compartment and the standard cell phone holder and another little sleeve are also on the inside. There is  a small zip compartment in the lining of the bag as well. I don’t know about you, but I like to keep things organized inside of my handbag (if that is even possible!) and having one with many compartments is always a win.

 

You’ll notice on the picture there is some “bling” for your bag. I didn’t even notice it when I ordered, but found it in the bag when it arrived. One of the diamantes was missing from the charm and the first time I hooked the ‘tassles’ hanging down on something they snapped right off. I actually kind of preferred it without the tassles anyway, so it didn’t really bother me. I’m pretty rough on my bags since I usually have arms full of stuff to carry.  I’ve kept the main charm (the apple with the huge gem in it) on my bag and it hasn’t suffered any further damage, despite me not being particularly careful. Some detailed pictures of the bag:

 

Image courtesy of sammydress.com

Image courtesy of sammydress.com

I specifically delayed writing this review because I wanted to use the handbag for a period of time before writing about it. I can really say that I am not disappointed. I’ve been using this handbag for several weeks and everything still works perfectly. None of the zips are broken (even though I may have put the main zip under unnecessary pressure by overfilling my bag), all the stitching is in tact and the colour is still perfect. There are no scuff marks or peeling on the finish at all and still looks brand new. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of materials used to manufacture this handbag, specifically the outside covering. I have purchased “cheap” handbags before at China Mall type shops and they are usually of a very poor quality. It isn’t exactly a Nine West bag, but for the price, it is good quality and has been pretty durable. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one from the site should I need to replace it at some point.

 

 

The currency used on the site is US dollars. There are various payment methods allowed including Paypal, credit cards (VISA, Maestro, etc). They allow for customer reviews on each item, so you can make an informed decision about your purchases beforehand. There are also lots of detailed images of their products as you can tell from the above images. They have a large variety of merchandise from which to choose, from clothing to nail art goodies. Go have a look! You can find them here:

 

Website: www.sammydress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SammyDress

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sammydress/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SammyDress

UPDATE:

Today is 29 September 2014. I am still using this handbag and there are still no problems with it! The exterior and finish have held up beautifully. Still no scuffs or peeling. All the zips still work 100%. Colour me impressed!

Leap over the Sand Dune

I bought a few new polishes and when showing them to my friend Arkwife, she thought two of the colours would look good in a chevron mani. Challenge accepted! I have been wanting to do a chevron mani for quite some time, I even had chevron guides I bought from Born Pretty Store which I hadn’t used yet.

 

I started off with a base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I then painted a coat of Sinful Colors Snow Me White. It is usually recommended to paint a coat of white under a neon colour to help the colour look more vibrant*. I painted 2 coats of Leap over my 3 middle nails and 4 over my pinky and thumb to even them out. I used a top coat of Seche Vite over the Leap to dry it. Once they had dried I used my chevron guides to tape off my three middle nails. I used 2 guides on each nail. I then painted on 3 quick coats of L.A. Girl Sand dune over the chevron guides and pulled off the tape immediately.  I didn’t top coat again as this would have negated the texture. The results:

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These nails were super bright and drew a lot of attention. The longer I wore them, the more I loved them! I received a lot of mixed reviews from people who saw me wearing these. I think it is one of those designs  and colour combinations people are either going to love or hate. Arkwife, however, loved them. In the end, that is all that really matters.  Admittedly, this isn’t something I would have come up with on my own. It is always nice to try something different. It just so happens to be her birthday today. Happy birthday my friend! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

 

*I messed up one of the nails as it wasn’t fully dry before I taped it and had to redo it. I skipped the white this time around and this particular neon looks just as vibrant without the white base.

Big Huggies News!

I was lucky enough to snag an invite to the launch of the latest innovation from Huggies. They called me up and asked if I would be willing to fly to Johannesburg for the day to join them for the launch. The invitation was a teaser in itself with just a hint that there was Big Huggies News on the way. How could I possibly decline?

 

huggies P gold boys girl logo

Image courtesy of Sabio Communications

 

Since the event was a breakfast I knew I would have to get up really early to fly up. As luck would have it, Gabby decided that 2 AM was play time and only fell asleep again at 3:45 AM, just 15 minutes before I had to get up to start getting ready. Luckily the flight schedule meant that Rudi could take me to the airport and collect me without it interfering with work and our day mother was an angel and agreed to take the kids early and keep them late. So we dragged the poor woman out of bed before 5 AM and went on our way to the airport. Check in went smoothly and before I knew it I was on the plane where I ran into the other ladies from Cape Town who were invited. There were four of us and I could really not have asked for better company. The flight felt really short as we nattered all the way to Johannesburg. Our shuttle driver was waiting for us when we landed and whisked us off to the Sci-Bono Science Centre.

 

In true Capetonian fashion we arrived late to the event, but luckily we didn’t miss anything. We were greeted by a bubble machine (how cool!) balloons, and coffee. Just what we needed to wake us up! We also passed our goodie bags on the way in.

 

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Decorations

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Goodie Bags

 

On our table we found milkshakes and experiment boxes! When we were booked for the science center and they mentioned we would be experimenting I just knew that we would be pouring liquid into nappies at some point during the event. I wasn’t wrong.

 

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Experiment Boxes

 

They did a short presentation and then the fun began. But first, an excerpt from the press release:

 

Huggies® is always looking for ways to refine our product offering”, says Li-Anne Hide, Senior Brand Manager for Huggies®.  “Top of mind is always finding the most effective means of keeping your little one’s skin dry, focussing on ways to maximise the rate of liquid absorption and provide an optimal overall comfort for him/her. Taking all these criteria into account, we are proud to introduce our driest nappy yet – Huggies® Gold for Boys and Girls with an innovative DryTouchTM liner.”

The DryTouchTM liner quickly draws in wetness away from your baby and distributes the fluid evenly inside the core.  This means that with the new and improved Huggies® Gold for Boys and Girls your baby will be dry in just seconds, so you are assured that you are doing the best for your baby. The state-of-the-art DryTouchTM liner is ultra-soft for ultimate skin protection, and together with the new softer and more flexible waistband, provides an enhanced experience in nappy comfort.

The nappies still provide special tailored absorption, accommodating the differences between boys and girls, with the unique Huggies® Gold nappy shape, made to fit like underwear to facilitate extra contentment. And to delight you and your tiny tot even further, the soft, breathable outer cover design is getting a new set of exclusive Disney© pictures of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, giving your little one the best in style and comfort.

Available at major retailers, Huggies® Gold for Boys and Girls comes in four sizes: size 3 (6 – 10 kg); size 4 (8 – 14 kg); size 4+ (12 – 16 kg) and size 5 (15+ kg). The product is on offer in a bag and a megabox.

The new Huggies nappy was placed at an angle stretched out on a clipboard next to a competitor nappy which was set up in the same way. Our lovely demonstrators poured liquid into both nappies at the same time:

 

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Very Scientific Demonstration

 

I was AMAZED! The new Huggies nappy sucked the liquid in before it could even reach the middle. The other nappy did absorb some of the liquid, but also allowed the liquid to run down onto the table. In fact, an hour later the competitor nappy still had droplets on the surface of the nappy that didn’t absorb. Yes, the droplets probably would have absorbed if you applied pressure to them (as there would be when a baby is wearing the nappy), but it spoke volumes of how amazing the new Huggies technology is.  We had our own set of nappies set up and got to do the experiment ourselves. After pouring a few vials of water into them the results were the same. Then one of the Huggies representatives came to pour most of a bottle of water into the Huggies nappy at our table (which already had water in it) and not a drop spilled. I decided to try and do the same with the competitor nappy (which also already had water in it) and the majority of the water ran straight off the surface of the nappy and wet our table. The proof was right there.

 

We were also able to preview the new Huggies advert which aired on national TV this past weekend. If you missed it, you can watch it here.

 

Cute as ever, right? While at the presentation they used their usual tagline ‘Our driest nappy ever’. I’m usually very skeptical about advertising, but in this particular instance it is SPOT ON! This nappy absorbs so quickly right before your eyes. I came back to work raving about this new innovation from Huggies. I was just really very impressed! I still am! Also just something to note, the Huggies Gold for boys and girls currently have the special absorption areas coloured blue to indicate where they are. In the re-launch the colour has been removed, but the targeted absorption is still built into the nappies. Look out for the new packs in stores:

 

Huggies Size 3 Boys

Image courtesy of Sabio Communications

Huggies Size 3 Girls

Image courtesy of Sabio Communications

 

On our tables were were also given some stickers to decorate our milkshake bottles with. This was my feeble attempt:

 

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Baby Milkshake

 

Some of the other ladies really created some very cute ones! The food was also out of this world! I only managed to take pics after the food was tucked into by some of the guests (thanks to our late arrival), but you get the general idea 😛

 

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Periodic Table Petit Fours

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Breakfast bites

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Macaroon Tower!

Can I just say that the macaroons were TO DIE FOR?! They really were! Our guest speaker for the day was Riaad Moosa. Actor, comedian and qualified medical doctor. He did a wonderful comedy routine which had us in stitches! I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt! I really, really enjoyed watching him and will definitely make a point of following his work in the future. Some of the Sci-Bono employees also showed us a few quick experiments which was loads of fun. All too soon the event was over.

 

The flight back was also pleasant, although there was a little less nattering since the early wake up had started catching up to all of us. I was kind of bummed that the day was over. I was really enjoying the company of my travelling companions. It was really a lovely day and I am so excited to try these new nappies.

 

There is also something exciting coming from Huggies around August, so keep your eyes on the press for more innovation from them! I would like to thank Huggies for having me for the day and giving me the opportunity to share their exciting news. Their PR company was fantastic at keeping me in the loop with all the travel arrangements and everything went off without a hitch. Thanks guys at Sabio!

 

 Disclosure: My flights to this event were covered by Huggies PR company. I received product samples and a gift bag for one of my children when I attended this event. I was not asked to write about the event in exchange for these. I have provided an honest review.

Rose Among Thorns

Hi guys! Today’s polish really messed with my mind. I was so confused while wearing this! I was drawn to the polish because I thought it was a very dark neon pink, but after painting it I am more confused than ever. Doing a few searches on the internet to see how others perceived it only confused me more since it seems identifying this colour is some sort of art form that I have not yet mastered. Let me show you, so you can understand.

 

I started off with a base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted all my nails with 3 coats of China Glaze Rose Among Thorns. This is a jelly polish, so it is quite sheer. Because I knew it was a jelly I decided ahead of time I wanted to do a jelly sandwich with it. I chose to use Sinful Colors Full Spectrum for between the jelly layers and leave two nails with jelly only for accent. The result:

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So…the jelly only nails in this pic have 5 coats of jelly. Yes FIVE and there is still visible nail line (which was what led me to paint coat after coat). The pinky and index look so cool with the Full Spectrum, but they look like a bright pink, while the jelly only nails look red/orange. Very red/orange. So much so that I didn’t like it and I have since decided not to wear this polish on its own. When consulting with Ordinary Misfit about what colour this polish could be (Is it red? Is it pink? Is it orange?), she speculated that the Full Spectrum made the polish look pink because Full Spectrum is a light pink glitter. I wanted to test the theory. I decided to sandwich a plain silver holographic glitter on the jelly only nails to see how that looked. I used 1 coat Tip Top Rocky Road and another coat of Rose Among Thorns to make the sandwich. The result:

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A closer look:

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Now THAT is what I’m talking about! There is definitely a bright hot pink pigment somewhere in this polish and sandwiching it with large glitter hexes makes it pop! That ring and middle nail are just so gorgeous! Also, making a sandwich with the polish also distracts the eyes from the visible nail line.

 

I may not wear this polish on its own, but I’ll certainly sandwich it again! What do you think? What colour is this polish?

Champagne Whispers

The purchase of the polish I’m sharing with you today was fueled by Ordinary Misfit. Surprised? Probably not 😛 When she showed me this new Tip Top release I knew I wanted it. I have been quite “meh” about their new releases,  they weren’t really my cup of tea. This one, however, definitely is. I even love the name. I was also in the mood for wearing a holographic and this tied in nicely with that mood. On to the nails!

 

I started off with a base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I painted 2 coats of China Glaze Electra Magenta on my thumb, index and pinky. I painted 3 coats of Tip Top Champagne Whispers on my middle and ring nails. Champagne Whispers is quite sheer and I needed 3 coats to get rid of visible nail line. I sealed it all in with Seche Vite and placed two 1.5 mm rhinestones from Born Pretty Store on my accent nails before the top coat dried. The idea was for the rhinestones to match the Electra Magenta. It didn’t work out perfectly, but I think the idea came across none the less. The result:
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Electra Magenta is a scattered holographic polish. I really love holo sparkles. Champagne Whispers also has a holographic shimmer in it which I struggled to capture, but it is very pretty. It really is the colour of champagne, isn’t it? I love it!

Mother’s Day Mani

I know this post is a little late. Work has been hectic and getting my photos together and time to compile the post was tricky. It was Mother’s Day on Sunday. I was treated to breakfast in bed and as we usually do, we spent the day at my in laws. The husband took me to the shop and I picked out 3 Sinful Colors polishes for my Mother’s Day gift. One of them feautures in my second Mother’s Day mani. Yup, I did two because the first one was a flop. Let me show you.

 

 

I started off with a base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results to protect my natural nails. I then painted 3 coats of Tip Top Meringue Surprise on all of my nails. It was opaque in 2 coats, but I felt it needed a 3rd coat to even it out to my satisfaction. Can I just say I love this pink? It is a light, dusty pink and I just love the shade. I love it when you fall in love with a colour as you’re painting it. Okay, yes. That happens a lot 😛 Once I had applied my base, I decided to screw it all up. I am always in a hurry when doing my nails (unless I am on leave and alone) and instead of waiting for the base to dry or even painting a fast dry top coat to speed it up, I decided to apply the stickers. Epic fail. I got these stickers in a Born Pretty Store $0.99 mystery pack where you receive 3 surprise items for just $0.99. I actually didn’t like them in the packaging at all, but paired with this polish they were really pretty. Except for one thing. The wet polish underneath the stickers bubbled and wrinkled something awful. It looked terrible. I also had stickers lifting, despite a coat of Seche Vite to seal it in. The moral of the story here is, if you’re going to put stickers on your nails, let the polish underneath dry properly first! So, here is my potentially pretty, but failed mani:

 

 

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I couldn’t stand to look at the bubbled polish that would now be eternally wet underneath the stickers, so I decided to do something else. The flowers on my ring fingers didn’t look bad, so I kept them. One of my new Mother’s Day polishes is Sinful Colors All About You which is a gold glitter with tiny red glitters spread throughout. I drew inspiration from the gold glitter in the centre of the flowers on the stickers and painted 4 thin coats of All About You on my thumb and middle nails. My index and pinky I painted with 3 coats of Meringue Surprise and sealed it in with Seche Vite. The result:

 

 

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I notice the Meringue Surprise looks completely different in these photos. The colour does look different depending on the light. For me this colour is both pink and a nude, if that is possible. I really can’t decide which one of these manis I like the most. I really wish I had waited for my polish to dry before I applied the stickers because that looked very pretty, but I liked the do over too. What do you think? Which do you prefer?

Misfit Mani Challenge

If you have been paying attention to these nail posts and actually reading them and not just looking at the pictures (I’m talking to you Shanita!) you would have realized that Ordinary Misfit is my partner in polish crime, often an inspiration and my sounding board for everything nail related. We don’t often do manis for each other though and it always feels like we are doing something for someone/something else. I suggested that we do a mani where the parameters are set by the each other.

 

Misfit chose two polishes from my collection (both untrieds, at my request). I was allowed to leave out one of the following stipulations:

  • Gold Stamping
  • Gold Studs
  • Striping Tape

I immediately had an idea of what I wanted to do. I started off with a base of OPI Nail Envy to protect my natural nails. On my pinky and thumb I painted two coats of Grazia green. This polish doesn’t have a name or a brand. Grazia is a fashion magazine and I got this polish in a box set from Clicks. It has a gold colour shift, depending on the light which you will be able to see in the second picture below. On my index, middle and ring nails I painted two coats of L’Oreal Shocking Pink. Shocking Pink is a dark red toned pink. This polish is very pigmented and the formula was great. It is one of the polishes I was gifted by my friend from Belgium. After my middle and ring nails were dry I taped off half of them with striping tape and painted them with a generous coat of the Grazia green, immediately removing the tape once it was applied. I tested this beforehand and painting the pink over the green changed the colour, so I chose to paint the green over the pink. When planning this I made sure that I painted the nails so that the colours would alternate. I thought it worked quite well. I used a clear top coat on the same nails and placed gold studs that I purchased from Born Pretty Store along the line between the two colours. My original intention was to stamp over the nails with the split colours, I thought that would look rather funky, but the gold stamping just wasn’t working with the polish I was using and I decided to leave out the stamping altogether. Instead of just leaving it like that, I went rogue and added L.A. Colors Dizzy gold glitter top coat over the nails without the studs.  I only realized afterwards that the glitter was not part of the brief and technically not allowed. Misfit forgave me though and gave me a stern warning for next time 😉 The result:

 

 

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I ABSOLUTELY adored these nails! I could not get over how gorgeous they looked. I received lots of compliments (even from strangers!) on them and was really taken with them myself. The gold glitter over the green is sublime. I adored it! I was sad when I had to take this off. I really loved these and I hope Misfit did too :)

 

You can view Misfit’s half of the challenge by clicking here.

Lubu Heels Revisited

My grandmother’s uncle recently passed away, a well loved member of our family. I remember him very fondly. He was really a wonderful man. I am not only saying that because he is gone. We used to go to their house on New Year’s Day every year and he would always have a big spread and make everyone feel welcome and keep everyone topped up drinks wise. I also stayed there for a few school holidays with my mother’s cousin who is around the same age as me. I always remember him greeting me with open arms and a ‘There’s my beautiful girl!’. He was also the very first person in my family to accept Rudi after my mother slandered him. It was a turning point in our relationship and for that I will always be grateful to him. Remembering this during his memorial service swept up a ton of emotions. When it came to the memorial service I wanted to wear an appropriate mani. My manis are my art and it is how I express myself. I thought black would be most fitting, considering, but I didn’t just want to wear black. I was considering doing an artistic mani with things representing uncle Dan, but that quickly became overwhelming. I consulted with Ordinary Misfit (as I most often do) and she suggested that I wear a “special black” polish. I really liked the idea.

 

 

I decided to dig out my Lubu Heels which I last wore here. I wasn’t super impressed with it the last time I wore it and even considered passing it along. Let us see what happened, shall we? I started off with a base coat of Tip Top Miraculous Results. I then painted all my nails with 3 coats of China Glaze Lubu Heels. On my middle nail I added a coat of Sinful Colors Unwrap Me which consists of large red and black glitter hexes in a clear base. On my ring nail I added a red rhinestone from Born Pretty Store. I used my Seche Vite top coat to seal it all in. The result:

 

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Last time I said I was going to layer this over black to avoid grey spots when the light hits it. I have subsequently read reviews where it is said that this takes away from the depth of the glitter, so I opted for 3 coats instead, which definitely resolved the problem. I was also unhappy that I couldn’t see the red glitter much, but I put my bottle upside down for a while before using the polish and felt I got a little bit more glitter out that way. On the nail where I had the rhinestone it really brought out the glitter as well. Lubu Heels has won me over and I’ve decided I’ll rather keep it :)

 

May uncle Dan rest in peace x

It’s purplicious!

I simply love eyeing out my untrieds and coming up with ideas on how to use them. Sometimes this doesn’t work well, or I feel completely uninspired. I have been avoiding an essence glitter that I picked up for a few months (!) now and decided it was definitely time to use it. The name of the glitter topper is it’s purplicious. I decided to pair it with another untried. Unfortunately the other untried was something passed on to me from someone else and she could tell me nothing about it other than it had come from ‘some Chinese shop’ and that it was cheap. There is no brand name or colour name. It is a bright, dark purple and I thought it would work nicely with the glitter.

 

I started off with a base coat of OPI Nail Envy to protect my natural nails. I painted two coats of the purple polish on all of my nails. I was in love with this colour! It reminded me a lot of the purple L.A. Girl Quicksand texture, which I also loved. A LOT! I then used a method using my glitter polish and the polish brush to do a glitter gradient using essence it’s purplicious. It’s purplicious consists of fine purple glitter as well as silver holographic glitter in a clear base. It has the most beautiful holographic sparkle.  I don’t know why on earth I waited so long to use it! The method I used is very nicely illustrated by Lucy’s Stash in this video tutorial (link supplied by Ordinary Misfit, thanks Michelle!). This was really a quick and simple mani, but I absolutely loved it. The results:

 

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My camera really struggled to capture the purple of this polish. For some reason it leaned a lot towards blue in the pictures, but it still works :) These nails were so pretty. The holographic sparkle in the glitter was just the BEST! Can you tell my nail mehs are completely over now? :)