29 November 2013

The Latest From Renaissance Custom Lacquer

Hi everyone! This is just a short post to update you on what's going on here at Renaissance Custom Lacquer / Renaissance Cosmetics. If you haven't noticed, we've launched our store, and my sister and I have been so happy with the response so far. No, we didn't break the Internet, but I'm so amazed that quite a few of you took a chance on a new indie and placed your orders. I hope you enjoy your polishes as much as I enjoyed making them.

Renaissance Custom Lacquer The Seasons Collection

We've added two new listings to the shop: one for The Seasons Collection, and one for all six polishes of our first release. You can save money by ordering these as a set. There are very, very limited quantities so if you are interested act fast! Also if you have your heart set on L'Hiver, we are running dangerously low on that polish and won't be able to restock it for a few weeks.

We'd love to see your Renaissance Custom Lacquer nail mail and manis. You can tag us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: #renaissancecosmetics or #renaissancecustomlacquer. Or tag me on Instagram @willpaintnailsforfood.

And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter! I've included a sign-up below. You will get the latest scoop on new releases (sometimes before they make the blog), features on certain products, nail art looks, and special newsletter-only deals and discount codes. You can check out our first newsletter here.

Have a great weekend everyone, and happy shopping!

28 November 2013

Doctor Lacquer, Swatches and Review

Hi everyone! I have a new-to-me indie for you tonight, one that is not only super fun but also has some great collection themes! Angelyn is the brains behind Doctor Lacquer, and I'm not sure what she does in her day job, but I imagine her to be a fourth grade science teacher. These polishes have such fun and bright colours, and most of the collections deal with different branches of the sciences - biology, chemistry, psychology, etc. I love how Angelyn cleverly weaves together science and colour into little bottles of polish! :)

I have several polishes from the Hormonal Efficiency and the Elements of Style collections.

27 November 2013

Four Weeks of piCture pOlish: Week One, Art Nouveau With piCture pOlish Flirt

Hi everyone! You may have noticed how many bloggers have been posting swatches or nail art once a week using shades from Australian brand piCture pOlish. I'm very happy to let you know I'll be participating, so for the next four weeks expect to see some (hopefully) unique nail art using a different polish each week. My goal is to let the individual polish and colour inspire my nail art design, and it would be really cool if this leads to some interesting designs!

But first let's take a look at piCture pOlish Flirt, which looks like your standard hot pink/fuchsia creme in the bottle, but on the nail is so much more...

piCture pOlish Flirt

26 November 2013

Beginning Blogger's Bootcamp: Week Seven: Working With Brands and Writing Reviews

The Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp is a series of posts published once a week on Monday evenings. It is designed for new bloggers, those thinking of starting a blog, or seasoned bloggers wanting a refresher, and covers everything from starting a blog to photographing your nails to using social media. Check out past posts in this series.

Hi Bloggers! Perhaps you have been blogging for some time and you've been approached by brands to do reviews, or maybe you're still very new and wondering how to approach brands and companies to get samples to review on your blog. The point of this post is to tell you about the ins and outs of doing reviews for indie makers, nail polish and/or beauty companies. I also want to get you thinking about why you want to do reviews, and how to make them work for you as a blogger.

23 November 2013

Salvatore Ferragamo-Inspired Flowers

Hi everyone! Tonight's post is a little bit different. I was contacted by Destiny USA, a shopping mall in Syracuse, NY and was asked if I would be interested in creating a post on the topic of Italian fashion.

For me, when it comes to fashion I prefer styles and pieces that are classic and can withstand seasonal trends. For example, a jacket or a dress that has a timeless cut but can be accessorized with jewelry or a nice scarf. Maybe it's the budget conscious in me, but I find it difficult to buy clothes that will be out of style in a year.

Salvatore Ferragamo-inspired floral nail art

21 November 2013

Introducing Renaissance Custom Lacquer!

Hi everyone! Today's post is a very special one for me. Several months ago, my sister and I sat down at a cafe on Bloor Street in downtown Toronto and discussed ideas for what would become our own indie polish line. After many weekends experimenting with different pigments and glitters, weeks spent testing and bottling our creations, developing a website, and swatching polishes, the time has finally come to set an opening date (more info later in this post).

So I introduce to you Renaissance Custom Lacquer, aka Renaissance Cosmetics (since we would eventually like to expand and introduce other products). You can find our website at renaissancecosmetics.com. Right now it is in maintenance mode, but if you like, you can sign up for our newsletter, or send us an email. You can also follow us on Facebook. As much as I try to be objective in describing and showing our polishes, I do realize that I am biased, so on our Facebook page I'll be showing swatches from other bloggers.

Renaissance Custom Lacquer

Without further ado, I want to show you our first collection and two stand alone polishes we've created...

19 November 2013

Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp: Week Six: Developing Unique Content and Building a Following

The Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp is a series of posts published once a week on Monday evenings. It is designed for new bloggers, those thinking of starting a blog, or seasoned bloggers wanting a refresher, and covers everything from starting a blog to photographing your nails to using social media. Check out past posts in this series.

Hi Bloggers! My apologies for getting this post out late, I was totally exhausted last night and fell asleep before I could finish this post! A word of warning - this is a very lengthy post, so grab a coffee, glass of wine, or whatever you like to sip on when reading blogs. It should actually be two posts, but I want to finish up this series before Christmas, so I've combined two topics.

In previous posts we dealt with how to make your blog more appealing through blog design and taking good photos. These are important for drawing people to your blog. But that's only part of the equation. Developing unique content that sets your blog apart from the others, and building a following are important for making taking your blog to the next level. 

One of the frustrations newer bloggers have is that they feel no one is reading or following their blog. It can be disappointing when you feel that you are putting your best work out there and no one sees it. This post is filled with tips and advice, so hopefully it will help you in that respect.

16 November 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Does Black & White: Art Nouveau Roses

Hi everyone! This is later than I hoped, but I finally have my fifth and final post for Digit-al Dozen's Black and White week. I feel very proud of myself for finishing five days of nail art, I mean, this is not something I'm used to doing. I had very high hopes for my final design, and yet, I have very mixed feelings about the final results for reasons that I hope will become clear in the rest of the post.

Art Nouveau roses

15 November 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Does Black & White: Black and White Abstract With Studs...Take Two!

Hi everyone! I have a draft of one of my dissertation chapters due tomorrow, and I knew that I wouldn't have time to do any nail art the night before, so I was able to complete this design a few weeks ago. Lucky for me, I finished my revisions and tomorrow I'm free and clear to do my last design for this challenge. I can't believe my first challenge week for the Digit-al Dozen is almost over, and yet, I still have a chance to come up with one more (hopefully) awesome design! What do you want to see me do for day 5?

Black and white abstract with studs

Today's design is actually inspired by previous nail art designs that I did. I kinda like that, it's like I'm ripping myself off! Haha! ;)

14 November 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Does Black & White: Disrupted Water Marble

Hi everyone! Monday we had the distressed poppies, and now we have disrupted water marble. Notice a trend? ;) You may have seen similar designs like this here, this is my favourite way to do water marbles. It's not a perfect water marble, nor is it a water-spotted water marble (see no spots!), so I've dubbed it the disrupted water marble.

Black and white disrupted water marble

13 November 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Does Black & White: Graphic Galaxy Nails

Hi everyone! It's interesting to think about where inspiration and ideas come from - whether it's a painting, nail art, a poem...you get the point. When I heard that my first Digit-al Dozen challenge would be black and white, I remember thinking to myself, "now how am I going to come up with five black and white designs?!" But it's interesting what has happened in the time leading up to this challenge. The ideas slowly came, sometimes unexpectedly.

I told you about the inspiration for last night's Remembrance Day poppies. Well today's design comes from a shopping trip last week.

Graphic Galaxy nails and matching dress

12 November 2013

The Digit-al Dozen Does Black & White: Distressed Poppies for Remembrance Day

Hi everyone! Today marks my first official blog post as part of the Digit-al Dozen! The theme for the week is black and white, and since today was Remembrance Day here in Canada, I decided to do something appropriate for this special day. You may be wondering why my design has some red in it, if the theme is black and white. Well let me explain...

Distressed Poppies for Remembrance Day

11 November 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Thirty-One, Re-create Your Favourite Challenge

Hi everyone! So here we are, my final design for the 31 Day Challenge. I'm not sure if this process made me a better nail artist or a better blogger, but I do know that some of my best designs in recent months came out of the prompts. However, when it was time to re-create my favourite challenge, there was no doubt that I'd be revisiting the galaxy nails.

Gold-framed galaxies

09 November 2013

Femme Fatale Cosmetics Swatches

Hello everyone! Things have been quiet over hear on account of work, but I'm very excited to be showing you some Femme Fatale swatches tonight!

Femme Fatale Cosmetics, an indie brand and distributor based in Australia, is probably amongst my favourite indie brands. They are constantly introducing polishes that become lemmings for me. Also they make and sell gorgeous mineral eyeshadows - I bought some a few months ago, and I seriously use them at least 2-3 times per week. If you have not checked them out, I encourage you to do so!

06 November 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Thirty, Inspired by a Tutorial: Shearling Darling Nimbus

Hi everyone! Can you believe this nail challenge is almost over!? I just keep telling myself "deep breath, you can do it!" I don't know how people do this in one month.

A few weeks ago I bought the new Essie winter collection from Nail Polish Canada. Normally I swatch these as soon as they arrive, but I have so many reviews that I owe, I've had to push it back. But today's challenge is perfect for using some of these polishes. I find that Essie's Shearling Darling collection is perfect for nail art, the colours complement each other so well!

Shearling Darling Nimbus

05 November 2013

Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp: Week Five: Editing Nail Photos

The Beginner Blogger's Bootcamp is a series of posts published once a week on Monday evenings (or Tuesday morning when trying to edit video). It is designed for new bloggers, those thinking of starting a blog, or seasoned bloggers wanting a refresher, and covers everything from starting a blog to photographing your nails to using social media. Check out past posts in this series.

Hi bloggers! Before I get into talking about editing, I want to let you know that the bootcamp will be on hiatus next Monday. Next week I'll be doing a week-long challenge with the Digit-al Dozen, so the bootcamp will return two weeks from today on November 18th.

Editing can be a touchy subject, especially when it comes to photographs being "honest." For that reason this post may sound a tad bit more formal at times...

Bloggers vary greatly in the amount of editing that they do. Some might simply crop and watermark their photographs, while others will rotate, adjust levels, crop, add text, even frames. The purpose of this post is to show you the different editing tools that are at your disposal. And since seeing someone else's process can be helpful, I'll go through my own process of editing my photos.

02 November 2013

Introducing Lumina Lacquer Eternal Winter!

Hi everyone! Today's post is very special for me, and one that's been in the works for months. Awhile back I was contacted by Tatiana of Lumina Lacquer to create a collaboration polish with her. I love what Tatiana is doing with her brand, and I've enjoyed reviewing Lumina Lacquer on this blog, so of course I said yes! Then of course was the hard part of coming up with an idea and keeping it a secret (I'm not good at secrets).

Lumina Lacquer Eternal Winter

01 November 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Twenty-Nine, Inspired by the Supernatural: Dark Willow

Hi everyone! I have my second Halloween-related nail art post for you tonight. Ideally I would have posted this before Halloween, but it's just been one of those weeks!

This is actually one of those challenges I've been looking forward to for awhile. I'm not too big on the supernatural, but over the summer I devoured all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - my first time watching the show. Even though the show is over ten years old, and some of the special effects are a bit dated, it's still pretty awesome. It's one of those shows where I felt lost and sad once I had finished all the episodes.

Dark Willow-inspired nail art

Guest Post at Lacquered by Blue Vanilla

Happy Halloween everyone! So far I haven't done any Halloween nail art on this blog, however, I did do a guest post over at Lacquered by Blue Vanilla - a blog by Bethanie and Xin Yu, two friends from Singapore. They had a series of guest posts and the theme was, naturally, Halloween! It's a great series, so make sure to check it out!

Head on over to my guest post to read about this nail art design and see more pictures. Can you guess what book I took as my inspiration? If you don't know you'll have to find out over at Xin Yu and Bethanie's blog. ;)

What do you think of this? Did you do any nail art for Halloween?
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