Thursday, November 15, 2012

Freak Show Polish - New Tinted Bases

Hi, guys! I've been gone for more than a month, and unfortunately with my extremely busy schedule, this blog fell on the back burner for a little while. I'm back though, and have some really great indie polishes lined up that I'm excited to share with you all. I won't be able to post as frequently as I was before, but I have many a mani to post from my little hiatus - what, did you think I haven't been polishing my nails this whole time? Lol! For those who follow me on Instagram, you will be seeing a reprise of previous swatches. So without further ado, let's get started.

Today I have for you some amazing polishes from an indie brand Freak Show Polish, which I already have a review on their first five previous polishes. These are maybe, if not actually, the best indie jelly base glitter polishes that I've tried! The formulas are pure perfection!

First up is Circus Elephant a sheer, but easily buildable, gray jelly base filled with a colourful assortment of glitters in different sizes and shapes along with beautiful small translucent glitters than shine golden in the light. This polish totally brings to mind an ornately decorated performing elephant. It's an absolutely gorgeous polish with an even more beautiful application. It goes on smoothly and evenly, with no streaking or patchiness as is the case with some sheer polishes. The glitters also disperse over the nail evenly without clumping together and lay smoothly over the nail surface. Shown in the swatches is 3 thin coats, which were self leveling and required no work at all to look good. This polish would make a great layering polish as well since you get a great glitter pay off in one coat.

Next is Ringmaster, a bright red jelly base with gold, red, white, and black glitters along with the same golden translucent glitters found in Circus Elephant. The jelly base in this is so amazing; it looks exactly like a red lollipop - my personal favourite. Haha. This is 3 coats on it's own, but would look fantastic over any red base. I think it would look perfectly for this fall/winter over an ox blood coloured polish to add a more vampy look to it.

Now for my personal favourite of the three polishes, Mime. This is a stunning milky white sheer jelly base with black and white glitters, some long bar glitters, and again those gorgeous translucent golden glitters. This polish is perfection. Even with the long bar glitters, which I usually don't like because they tend to either curl or not sit flatly on the nail, this polish's formula is perfection. The glitters spread over the nail easily, and there was no need to place or fish out any of the glitters. This is also 3 coats of the polish without a colored base underneath for the swatches, but for my personal preference I would only use 2 because I love how this looks when it's slightly more sheer. Even then, there's no problem with streakiness or patches of colour. Like I said, perfection.

All of these polishes, as well as the 5 others I reviewed previously, are all obtainable on the Freak Show Polish website in mini bottles (as shown in the pictures) or full size bottles. Freak Show Polish is also a participating company for The Big Pink Box. Mini size bottles will be included in an upcoming month's box as well as a special promo code for specifically for those customers.

Overall, I am so pleased with these three polishes and how well they performed. I love a good jelly polish, and these just hit it out of the park in terms of performance and overall quality. I'll definitely be excited to see what else Freak Show Polish has to offer in the future.

Thanks as always for reading, and I'll see you in my next post.

These polishes were sent to me for review.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Elle, Très Belle!

Let's just feast our eyes in unison at this beautiful pink and gray combination. This stunning polish, made by KB Shimmer, is the definition of classic with a twist.

Combining a soft gray jelly base with pink and silver glitters never looked so ladylike. This polish has micro pink, small silver and pink hex, small and medium silver square, and large silver and pink hex glitters - such a perfect mix! The glitters applied smoothly and evenly over the nail in one coat. Elle has a pretty sheer base, so as to not overwhelm the nail with too much glitter, I layered it over another gray polish. I used Joe Fresh - Fog, which is a slightly darker, more cool-toned gray creme that was opaque in one coat.

The mix of pink and gray is so subtle and simple, and the variety of different glitters adds such a nice visual texture to the nail. I highly recommend visiting to check this and many other gorgeous polishes out.

As always, thank you for reading!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Frankenstine Polish Michael Jackson trio

Here is a full review for the trio Smooth Criminal, Billy Jean, and Thriller from the Michael Jackson Collection, brought to you by Frankenstine Polish. They are handmade glitter top coats and can be found through Facebook.

The first polish we have is Smooth Criminal, a clear base with tiny square and large hex matte white glitters, small black hex glitters, and large Lapiz blue hex glitters. The application was extremely nice on this polish; the glitters were densely enough packed that they evenly coated the entire nail with one coat. The glitter spaced out well by themselves and they didn't clump together at all. There is slight curving of the large blue glitters, but nothing too severe. I topped this off with a coat of Seche Vite.

The next polish is Billie Jean, a mix of small light pinky white hex, medium dark red hex, with some small holographic hex glitters thrown in there as well. I would prefer this polish to be slightly less dense than it is, this being one coat over Essie - Lollipop, because I feel that all the small glitters of the same variety just look bunched together. I also feel that the sporadic larger red glitters seem out of place, or lost even, in the snowstorm of the smaller glitters. With that being said, the glitters spread out beautiful over the nail in easy strokes of the brush. With my personal preference set aside, it is a well performing polish. This is topped with Seche Vite.

Lastly, we have my favourite polish from the trio, Thriller. A mix of small hexagonal matte black and red glitters, with the same colours of long bar glitters as well. This is a great polish that can be used with a variety of colours as a base (I've used it with a silver metallic base underneath), and the fact that the glitter particles are matte adds just another special touch. This is two coats of polish, and the glitters spread out evenly and spaced out wonderfully without maneuvering. I left out a top coat so you could see the true finish of the glitters themselves.

This is a must-have set for any fan of Michael just for nostalgia, and I enjoyed the polishes overall, with Thriller being the stand-out for me in this trio. For anyone wishing to purchase these polishes, you can contact Christine, the creator and producer of this brand, at
These polishes were sent to me for review.

As always, thank you for reading!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monochromatic Gradient Glitter Tips

Today I'm bringing you a manicure that I forgot to blog about a week ago... whoops! It's a mix of different shades of a dusty mauvey pink, and I think the monochromatic colour palette makes this look very chic.

I started off with a one coat base colour of Joe Fresh - Rosewood, a medium toned dusty pink creme. This colour is so classic and sophisticated; it's a pink-tone but looks very neutral and is a great every day, work-appropriate colour. With opaque pigmentation, and smooth application, this polish is such a winner.

I then applied a gradient at the tips of the nails with Essence - Time For Romance, which was sent to me by a lovely friend from Germany. Just using a dabbing motion concentrating the most colour at the very tips and slightly gradiating the colour upwards I was able to achieve a great ombré effect. The polish is a darker magenta base with lighter medium hex and fine glitters throughout. For even more glitter sparkle, I added touches of Revlon - Sparkling over the Essence colour. This just adds the perfect touch of texture to the already glittery surface.

To even out the top of the nail, I added Seche Vite in a generous coat to smooth things out, and voila! The perfect simple, but interesting pink mani!

Thanks as always for reading!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dirty Berry With Sprinkles On Top

Here's a wonderful polish all the way from Germany, from a brand called Catrice. It's a European makeup brand available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Spain, and Portugal. Unfortunately, for the rest of the world, this brand is not available for purchase online. So I suggest to you all who have lemmings for this polish and others from the brand, make a new European friend haha.

In my haste to update to iOS 6, I deleted all of my old manis to clear up some memory (some 1000+ photos), and accidentally deleted manis I haven't posted yet. So this picture has my Instagram watermarks, I hope you don't mind, but it was too pretty not to share. Also, excuse my lack of posts recently. I've been busy making Karmyn's (my almost one-year-old daughter's) birthday invitation, so I've been working on that in my spare time. I think I'll post extra photos from her photoshoot on here soon. Anyway, back to the mani.

This is two coats of Catrice - Dirty Berry, a dusty bluey lavender with super fine holographic shimmer. The formula is a tad runny compared to what I'm used to, but it dries super quickly and super shiny so I definitely am not complaining about that. The brush also took a little bit to get used to. It has a squared-off top and is slightly wider than what I would prefer, and especially for my pinky, it's hard to not hit my cuticle with the brush. That may be the only big downside to this brand of polish, but that's only for my personal preference. Other than that, this polish was a breeze to apply, and would be really great without a top coat.

I added a little extra sparkle with a glitter gradient from the cuticle down using Color Club - Wish Upon A Rockstar from the Fall 2011 Backstage Pass Collection. It's a clear base with large lavender hexes and a mix of tiny hex glitters. I didn't have any major problem with the large glitters curling, which is a problem for most of the larger glitters in this collection. So I guess I got a good batch.

With all the glitter and sparkle together, you would think this manicure would be too overwhelming, but the gradient of glitter actually helps to balance out the holographic shimmer and adds just the right amount of texture. Overall, I really enjoy the look of these two polishes together. I have a few more polishes from Catrice that I'll be sharing in the near future, so keep an eye out for that.

Thanks as always for reading!

Freak Show Polish

Today I'll be bringing you a review for all five of the polishes from Freak Show Polish. This line of polishes is based around the attractions you can find at the circus lending them a fun, yet still unique vibe. All of the nail polishes consist of different finishes, sizes, and shapes of glitter suspended in a clear base. These are handmade nail polishes made by Carisa (@mrs_cbaker on Instagram) and can be found for purchase on

The first polish we have is Sword Swallower, a mix of silver bar, small silver duo-chromes to black hexagonal, and tiny holographic Mylar glitters. I have layered two thin coats over a white nail polish here. The glitter is very nice to apply, not too thick, and gives a great glitter payoff with each coat. There is no need to push around or place the glitters; they spread event over the nail with each brush stroke. I found absolutely no clumping of glitters, which sometimes tends to be the case with bar glitters, so that was also great. The smaller holographic Mylar glitters add iridescence to the overall look without being too flashy and look absolutely gorgeous under direct sunlight.

The next polish is Snake Lady, which is a mix of large matte white hex, medium chocolate brown hex, small black and chocolate brown hex, and tiny black and holographic mylar glitters. Here I have layered the glitter polish over an unknown Color Club polish with a maroon/brown duo-chrome metallic base with gold shimmer throughout. I feel that this polish really compliments Snake Lady very well. This polish is very similar to the first in quality; very easy to apply, also in with coats in the pictures above. The only small downside is that I have to fish out a few of the larger white pieces and place them evenly around the nail. These pieces tend to want to stick together, mainly because of their size, but once they are on the nail, they add a great pop of contrast to the rest of the glitters.

Here is Lion Tamer one of my favourites from the line. This is one of the more opaque covered polishes, showing two coats over black in the pictures, but with one additional coat, this polish could cover opaquely on its own. It is a mix of tiny holo mylar glitter, tiny gold hex, small gold square, gold holo bar, small red hex, and red star, yes STAR, glitters. This polish has the same great application as the all the others. It spreads evenly and easily over the nail as you brush the polish on. I had to fish out a star glitter for my index finger, but other than that, all the other fingers got at least one star on them without having to dig through the bottle with the brush. The textures and finish of all the glitters together is extremely pretty, and because they layer on so opaquely, I would suggest a layer of top coat just to even out the surface.

This is Fire Eater, a jam packed polish full with orangey red and marigold yellow glitters. It consists of micro, small hex, and small bar glitters in the red colour, and medium and large hexes in the yellow. I layered two coats over the glitter over two coats of Sonia Kashuk Hot Pursuit. As with all the other polishes, this was a dream to apply. No fishing or placing needed for the larger pieces of glitter either.

Lastly, my favourite polish of the bunch (surprise surprise, haha), Cotton Candy, a gorgeous polish with the tiny holo Mylar glitter found in three of the other polishes, small baby blue and baby pink square glitters, giant pastel pink square glitters, and giant diamond baby blue glitters. All of the glitters other than the holo Mylar ones have a satin ribbon finish to them. It lends such a beautiful, soft touch to the look of this polish that I have not seen before. Layered over OPI - You Callin' Me A Lyre?, this pairing is soft and girly, and oh so sweet. As with all the other polishes, this is a dream to apply. I had to fish out a few of the larger pieces of glitter, but overlooking that, this polish is pretty perfect.

Overall, these polishes performed extremely well. They dry slightly slower than what I'm used to, but considering the great application, I'm not complaining. I did top off each swatch with a layer of Seche Vite top coat for faster dry time and to even out any surface uneveness from the larger bits of glitters. This is definitely a collection worth taking a closer look at. With Lion Tamer and Cotton Candy being the absolutely stars within this collection in my opinion, all of them are beautiful and unique. All these polishes are available at and they are available in mini size (5ml) - as shown in the pictures - or full size (15ml) bottles.
These polishes were sent to me for review.

Thanks as always for reading, and see you in the next post!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

31 Day Challenge - Day 14: Flowers

A cutesy floral print is what I came up with for this challenge. To make it a little more different from a simple flower print, I added a pop of sparkle in the center of the blooms. I think this is totally cute, and such an easy manicure to recreate.

I chose to use three colours from Essie's Fall 2012 Yogaga Collection since I felt they went together so well and were a perfect colour palette for a floral theme. I started with a base of Boxer Shorts, a periwinkle purpley blue creme. Such a pretty colour, but so hard to photograph the purple tones in it. It's as if Lapiz Of Luxury and Play Date had a baby, Boxer Shorts would be it. The formula for this polish is just as great as the colour; it was opaque in 2 thin coats, non-streaky, and self-leveling. It is a dream to apply.

For the flowers, I alternated Marathin - dusty pink mauve creme, and Pilates Hottie, a soft nude lilac creme with pink undertones, for the petals and leaves. Both colours' formulas are just as great as Boxer Shorts, even and opaque. I just may have to pick up the other three colours from this collection since these ones are so stellar. As for the design, I used a dotting tool to make elongated petal rounds, and a slightly dragged out dot for the leaves. This can also be achieved with a bobby pin if you don't have a dotting tool. I finished this manicure off with Seche Vite, as usual.

To add an extra pop of sparkle, I put large silver hexagonal glitters that I hand-placed in the center of each flower. I used the largest glitter pieces in Color Club - Platinum Record, which is a mix of small to large silver hex glitters in a clear base from the Holiday 2011 Backstage Pass Collection. Overall, this is a simple and girly mani, but it's a little more special with the added glitter.

Unfortunately, I believe this will my last mani for the 31 Day Challenge. I know, fail. It's actually extremely difficult to come up with something creative, especially set with such strict limitations on your design. I sometimes found myself just completing a mani for the sake of posting for this challenge, even if I wasn't 100% satisfied with it. That's why I won't be continuing. I feel that I owe it to myself, as well as all my readers, that I stay true to my standards and offer swatches and manicures that I'm whole-heartedly proud of. From now on you'll only see quality swatches and manicures that I am fully happy with accompanied with 100% honest reviews on polishes, and I hope you guys will honour that decision.

As always, thank you so much for reading!

My First Blog Giveaway!!

Want a chance to win two amazing polishes? Well here's your chance to win the ever elusive, extremely rare, and hard to find OPI - Black Spotted, released only in France Sephora with the 2012 The Amazing Spider-Man Collection and Orly - Rock Solid from the Fall 2011 Mineral FX Collection, a dark charcoal, almost black base with silver and holographic glitter!

One winner will receive a mini-sized OPI bottle decanted from my own bottle of Black Spotted and a full-size Orly polish in Rock Solid. This contest will be open as of now until October 16th 12AM CST. All you need to do is be a follower of this very blog and you will automatically be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win. That's it!

However, there is a second option to be entered as well. In conjunction with my Instagram account (@kimberlymaranan) #beinspiredcontest that is open until October 16th as well, just comment in THIS POST with your Instagram username (ie. @examplehere), and with verification of having at least ONE valid entry in my contest on Instagram, you will be entered an ADDITIONAL time (only once per account) into this random giveaway! So each person can have a total of TWO entries (one blog follower entry and one Instagram username entry) for this random drawing for the two polishes listed above.

Each commented Instagram username with a valid contest entry will be assigned a number on the closing date of the giveaway based on succession of comments, and that will be your number in the random drawing. Each follower as found through my account will also be assigned a number on the closing date of the contest in succession as found on, and that will be your number in the random drawing.

This contest is open internationally, with your country's shipping laws in consideration, and open to all ages (winner, if under 18, will need proof of parental permission). I will be making a post on October 16th announcing the winner, and the winner will then have 24 hours to contact me via email at with their shipping information. If the winner fails to comply with any of the rules or does not contact me within the specified amount of time, another winner will be chosen again by random draw using

Any further questions, please comment them down below. For now, good luck to you all!

IMPORTANT! Please do not comment your Instagram username unless you have first submitted a VALID entry for the Instagram contest.

31 Day Challenge - Day 13: Animal Print

This was one of the challenges I've been dreading the most to do. Let's just say, it was definitely a challenge for me. So much so that I actually had to redo it after not being happy with the turnout of my first attempt. I am pretty satisfied with the end result.

I started off the nail look with 2 coats of OPI - Take The Stage from the Holiday 2010 Burlesque Collection. This polish is a beautiful burnt orangey red, filled with orange flecks of glass shimmer in a slightly jelly-finish base. It is extremely easy to work with, and there is very minimal streaking once the second coat is applied.
I then took a Kiss nail art striper polish in Gold Glitter and made random sized and shaped blobs all over the nail, makin sure not to place them too close together. I then used a dotting tool with some black nail polish and made uneven, unclosed outlines and "C" shapes around the gold. To fill in some open spaces, i added small dots and "C"s to finish the overall leopard spot look. The more sporadic the look, the better. To even off the surface of the nail, I used a generous coat of Seche Vite top coat.

The first time I did this design, I used a black striper to do the outlines, and it just was a sloppy look that I didn't much care for. With the use of a dotting tool (you can also use a tooth pick or the end of a bobby pin), I was able to have much more control of the shapes I was creating.

Overall, I do like the finished outcome of this design, even though I don't feel like animal prints will ever be my best. I still think I did a pretty good job, and I get brownie points for redoing it to make it better right? Haha.

Thanks as always for reading, and keep an eye out later today for the next challenge up on the block: flowers!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

31 Day Challenge - Day 12: Stripes

As you can see from the title of this post, the challenge for today is stripes, and I have to say, I think I knocked this one out of the park. With complimenting tones of peach and coral, with black, white, and silver glitter, this manicure is definitely a stand out.

For this nail design, I started with a base colour of Whimsical Ideas by Pam - Georgia Peach Fuzz. This is a warm light peach jelly/creme base with rose gold micro and medium hex glitters suspended within. This polish is a breeze to apply; there's no need to fish or place the larger glitters, they just evenly disperse on the nail with each stroke. I used 3 coats of polish to get to this opacity and used a top coat to seal it in and add extra shine.

I added in the stripes using Essie - Tart Deco a warm coral creme, and Kiss nail art striper polishes in Silver Glitter, Black, and White. You want each nail to have a nice balance and mix of each colour, and it's also pretty when none of the nails are exactly alike.
It takes a lot of practice to achieve perfectly straight (or as straight as possible) by doing this freehand on top of the nail. The curve of your nail also makes it harder to get the lines straight. Another, slightly easier, method to do this manicure is to paint varying sized lines on a Ziplock bag with each colour you want to use, and wait for those to completely dry through. Next, peel them off of the bag and place them on your nail. You can cut them to fit your nail with cuticle scissors.

Stay tuned tmrw for my animal print challenge, which I am really not looking forward to because animal print is definitely not my forte. Thanks as always for reading! Follow if you like my posts :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gluttony & Lust

Taking a mini break from the 31 day challenge to swatch a couple of indie franken polishes. Fans of @feliifel on Instagram will know about her fabulous line of nail polishes aptly named Nail Sauce. The two polishes I am reviewing today are from her Se7en Collection based on the seven deadly sins.

First we have Gluttony, a cool toned pink creme base with tiny rose and fushia hex glitters and large sky blue hex glitters made to resemble a yummy cupcake.

This formula is slightly sheer, but buildable to full opacity in 3 thin coats. You could also layer 1 layer of this over a similar-coloured pink polish for the same effect. I didn't need to fish out the larger glitters; what you see on the nail is what came out with each stroke. I did, however, place the blue hexes around the nail a little to create an even spacing of them. This polish dries rather quickly, and it also dries with a semi-matte finish. For a high gloss shine, I just added a coat of Seche Vite top coat, and this also evened out the slightly raised texture of the glitters to a smooth surface.

The next polish is Lust, a mix of medium red hex glitters with silver holographic and red heart glitters. Yes, heart-shaped glitters! These are suspended in a sheer black jelly base.

I decided to use this as a topper over a black creme polish and the glitters become the stars of the mani. What you see on the nails is two thin coats. I did have to fish in the bottle to pull out the heart glitters. I'm fine with that though since you can control how many hearts you have on each nail and you are able to turn them in the direction you want them to face. Since the larger pieces of glitter lay straight across the nail and don't follow the curve of the nail bed, you get a little bit of a raised edge. This is fixable with a thicker coat of Seche Vite, and the top of the nail is nice and smooth.

Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of these polishes. They were fast drying and easy to work with. They can be purchased from Felicia's website along with other Nail Sauce polishes. She is having her final restock of her polish Space Junk tomorrow, so be sure to check that out so you don't miss out!

Thanks as always for reading, and come back tomorrow for my day 12 manicure using another indie brand polish!

31 Day Challenge - Day 11: Polkadots

Yes, I'm pretty crazy about this manicure. Anyone who has been a follower of mine on Instagram (@kimberlymaranan) knows that I'm such a sucker for any pink creme polish. Combine that with glitter? Well, now that is a stellar mani in my books.

I have channeled my inner yogi with this beautiful, universally flattering rosy pink creme from Essie's Fall 2012 Yogaga Collection called Marathin. This polish is so amazing, even though I think that the name perpetuates the "thin is in" mind set, but I digress. Every woman can wear this colour; it's girly and sophisticated, neutral enough to wear every day (which I would if I didn't have so many polishes), and just gives the nails an overall polished look. If the fabulous colour wasn't enough, the formula on this polish is also superb. It's opaque in one beautifully even, leveling coat. This polish also dries very quicky for an opaque creme polish. If you slap some Seche Vite over it, your mani is done in 5 minutes tops.

Now that isn't even the star of this manicure, it's the polkadots of this amazing glitter. Cynthia Rowley brings us this beautiful polish filled with tiny blue glitters with some hot pink and hold glitters thrown in as well. The mix of colours is fantastic and so unique. If it wasn't for the hot pink glitters, this would be a pretty perfect dupe for OPI - Absolutely Allice. The glitters are very densely packed in the clear base, and if applied all over the nail, this polish would be opaque with two thick coats.

For the polkadots, I actually used the rounded end of a bobby pin to dot them onto the nail. It was a pretty perfect tool for the job, giving small even dots. While doing this mani, I found that it is ten times easier dotting with a glitter polish than a creme one. It's much easier to control the amount of polish you are applying to the nail, and therefore you are less likely to get blobs of polish instead of tiny, little dots.

So hopefully you're as swept away by this mani as I am. I know that I'll be sad to have to remove it so I can do tomorrow's challenge, but I'll enjoy it for as long as I can. Thanks as always for reading, and I hope you stop by for tomorrow's mani!