Showing posts with label Polished by Alexandra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Polished by Alexandra. Show all posts

23 December 2013

Will Paint Nails for Food Turns One and It's Giveaway Time!!

Hi everyone! A few weeks ago, I quietly celebrated one full year of blogging with a pat on the back and a status update on my Facebook page. On November 30, 2012, I published my first post on this blog, and since then there's been many, many hours poured into this hobby of mine: countless sleep-deprived photo-editing sessions, many nail art frustrations and breakthroughs, many self-doubts, and lots of support from readers and fellow bloggers. Support that I'm incredibly grateful for of course!


13 December 2013

Polished by Alexandra, Winter 2013: Holiday Traditions

Hi everyone! I have the latest collection from Polished by Alexandra for you tonight. If you haven't seen my previous posts about this brand, you should know that Alexandra started selling soaps and other bath and body products through her shop Soaps by Alexandra, opened in 2011. Earlier this year she moved into making indie polishes, also sold out of the same shop. And she's a professional classical opera singer!

This is my third collection I've reviewed from this brand, and I'm happy to see the development in Alex's work. While the summer collection contained some bright cremes and sheers, and the fall collection had rich shimmers, this collection offers you some classic crellies, and shimmery duo/multichrome polishes.

Polished by Alexandra, Winter 2013: Holiday Traditions

19 September 2013

Polished by Alexandra Autumn Harvest Collection, Swatches and Review

Hi everyone! Tonight I have the soon to be released fall collection from Polished by Alexandra. For an introduction to this brand check out my review of Alex's summer collection. This collection has exactly what I want from a fall collection - warm shimmers that evoke the feeling of the changing seasons and the colder weather - so I was very excited when I got these in the mail.

Polished by Alexandra Autumn Harvest collection

I was happy with Alex's first collection several months ago - as a customer and blogger I don't expect the first collection from an indie polish brand to be perfect. Yet I found myself loving this collection even more. And I also see improvement in terms of strong colours and stellar formula. In terms of formula, each polish was 2-3 coats, went on very evenly, and was perfectly self-leveling. I had no issues with any of them.

Don't Scare My Crow is a pale yellow gold with a metallic finish. The brushstrokes are quite visible so take care when applying. I find that this is a bit too streaky for my taste - at least when it comes to a full manicure. However, I think it will be useful when it comes to nail art, and for others, stamping. I did notice that the brushstrokes were less visible in person than in the photos. And for a gold colour, it's very flattering on my skin tone. This was 2 coats.

Polished by Alexandra Don't Scare My Crow

Polished by Alexandra Don't Scare My Crow

Falling Leaves  is a beautiful red-brown shimmer. I really love the nice neutral colour on this one. This was a bit more sheer than the others, so I needed 3 coats for full coverage.

Polished by Alexandra Falling Leaves

Polished by Alexandra Falling Leaves

Polished by Alexandra Falling Leaves

Gourdeous is a warm penny copper shimmer. I really love the vibrant and rich shimmer on this one, and it's such a pretty and flattering colour, despite the fact that I'm normally not into copper polishes. I used 3 coats but 2 would also work.

Polished by Alexandra Gourdgeous

Polished by Alexandra Gourdgeous

Mulled Wine is a maroon red shimmer, and is darker and more red than Falling Leaves. After swatching the China Glaze Autumn Nights collection, I thought I would be tired of red shimmers, but I think because this one is more on the brown side, it's interesting for me. This was 2 coats and it has a great formula like the others.

Polished by Alexandra Mulled Wine

Polished by Alexandra Mulled Wine

Polished by Alexandra Mulled Wine

The Witching Hour is a warm purple shimmer. I love purples so this one stood out for me. It looks a bit brushstrokey in the photos but not really in person. I used two even coats for this one.

Polished by Alexandra The Witching Hour



Polished by Alexandra The Witching Hour

Polished by Alexandra The Witching Hour

I love how the colours all complement one another. I've already used two of them together for some nail art, and I'd really love to do more nail art with these polishes - maybe another gradient, but some freehand would be nice. I'm also curious to see how Don't Scare My Crow works for line work.

What do you think of these? Do any stand out?

The Autumn Harvest collection launches on Sunday, September 22nd. It will be available on Alex's Etsy shop Soaps by Alexandra, or you can go to www.polishedbyalexandra.com, which will also link to her Etsy store. Follow Polished by Alexandra on Facebook or Instagram (@polishedbyalexandra) for updates and info.

*Polishes were provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

11 September 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Eighteen, Half Moons: Fall Gradient

Hi everyone! I'm a tad late, but I have my half moon design for the 31 Day Challenge. The half moon design has always come across as one of those classic looks, and this was my first time trying it. However, now that it's on my nails, it feels a bit odd. I can't pinpoint whether I like or dislike this design. Does anyone else ever feel like that?




About this design: I was originally influenced by these half moons I saw on The Nailasaurus. Coincidentally, it was also done for the 31 Day Challenge. I really enjoyed the combination of gradients with half moons. At the same time, I got the fall collection from Polished by Alexandra in the mail to review. The gorgeous shimmery fall colours just really appealed to me right away.

Gradient Half Moons

Gradient Half Moons

How to get this look: I used Polished by Alexandra The Witching Hour (a purple shimmer) and Gourdeous (a shimmery copper). I started with copper on most nails with the exception of the accent nail. I sealed it with a coat of KBShimmer Clearly On Top (any quick dry top coat would work) and used hole reinforcements to mask off the bottom "half moon" part of my nail. I did the gradient with a makeup sponge and the opposing colour along the bottom, and a bit of the base colour on the top. I hope that makes sense. I finished by doing some minor touchups with a detail brush and sealing with one coat of Clearly On Top.

Gradient Half Moons

Gradient Half Moons

Overall, I'm happy with how they turned out, being my first half moon design, however, they read school colours to me. I don't know why - normally I like purple and copper/gold together. But the two polishes make the perfect gradient and I'm tempted to use these again - or two other polishes from this collection - to do a gradient design.

What do you think of these? Do you like half moon designs?

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12 July 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day One, Red: Freehand Poppies

Hi everyone! Today I'll be starting the 31 Day Challenge along with Lindsey of Wondrously Polished. I'm very excited because I've heard that the 31 Day Challenge is a good way to improve your nail art skills, also I love Lindsey's nail art, so she's the perfect partner in crime! We won't be doing it everyday, instead we're on a two day a week schedule, which will be Tuesdays and Fridays for now. Make sure you check out Lindsey's blog for her design.

Freehand poppies nail art

About this design: Day one is red, and I originally planned some gradient/tape/stud skittle mani, but at the last minute changed my mind to do some flowers instead. Here I've done some red poppies, made to look like they are in some field. The original inspiration was the watercolours of Emile Nolde, or some vague memory I had of his watercolour paintings of flowers. But I was also thinking of a nail art design I did over the holidays, coniferous trees in the winter done in a painterly style. So I really liked the idea of doing something impressionistic and painterly.

Freehand poppies nail art

Freehand poppies nail art

To get this look: I started with a base of Sally Hansen White On, and I sponged on some medium blue along the top, light blue in the middle, and light green along the bottom. I just dabbed on the colours with bits of sponge until I had a gradient that I was satisfied with.

Then, I did a light sketch of my flowers in orange, which I thinned down. After that, I painted in the poppies with my red, and when that was dried, I added some highlights with an orange-red and shadows with a purple-red. The stems were painted with a darker green, then a touch of dark blue where I needed the darks to be emphasized.

After it dried I finished with a coat of KBShimmer Clearly On Top, then when that had dried, Essie Matte About You.

Freehand poppies nail art

Freehand poppies nail art

Polishes used:
Cover Girl Go-Go Mango: orange used for highlights on flowers
Essie Snap Happy: red for poppies
Essie The More the Merrier: lime green used for grass
Nubar Into the Wild: darker green used for grass, stems
Nubar My New Obsession: darker blue used for sky
Polished By Alexandra Beach Glass: light blue used for sky
Misa BreakAway: purple used for darkening the red and green
Essie Midnight Cami: deep blue, used only a touch to add dark edges on some stems

My "palette" and tiny workstation

Tips for freehand painting: I like to thin my polishes with thinner to make them easy to work with. It's good to let things dry first before painting over them or adding highlights/shadows. Sometimes I like to use a drybrush technique. This is when you have hardly any polish on your brush and it makes a line that is broken. You can see this in the grass area.

Overall, I really love this design, but I'm hoping that I'm not cheating because my nails aren't completely red.

What do you think of this? Would a tutorial on freehand painting be useful or of interest?
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20 June 2013

Polished by Alexandra, Summer 2013: Island Oasis, Swatches and Review

Hi everyone! Work has been busy these past few days, so I haven't had a chance to post, but I'm hoping soon my schedule will ease up so that I can do more nail art and swatches.

Several days ago, I posted a gradient I did with a few polishes from new indie brand Polished by Alexandra. And today I have swatches and a review of her first collection. Alex contacted me some time ago about reviewing her polishes, and I was intrigued by her background: she's a professional opera singer who has been making soaps for the past few years and selling them on her Etsy store Soaps by Alexandra.

She is launching her first polish line after experimenting and learning to make nail polish for the past several months. One thing I'm impressed with is the professionalism with which she approaches her new polish business. Her promotional photos are well done and she is very clear in her communication to bloggers - samples come with information about the collection and her polishes. I wish all indie makers were this clear with bloggers!

Polished by Alexandra, Summer 2013: Island Oasis

This collection takes on the theme of the island vacation. I'm not much of a beach getaway person but I've seen enough promotional/travel photos that I get the point! It contains two sheers, two cremes and one glitter.

Beach Glass is a pale pastel blue creme. Unfortunately the promotional photos make this look like a light aqua blue, but it is definitely a pale pastel blue and is not aqua. The formula on this one was amazing - I had no issue with streaking and it was perfectly self-leveling. This was two coats and it was so opaque it was almost a one coater. I love pale blues and this was hands down my favourite. I'm really impressed because the formula is better than some mainstream nail polishes!

Polished by Alexandra Beach Glass

Polished by Alexandra Beach Glass

Fiji Sunset is a sheer sienna shimmer. This is much too sheer to wear on it's own, so it's better layered over another colour. While you can layer it over lighter, matching colours, it is amazing layered over darker colours. This is two coats over Nicole by OPI Black Cat-Cha Later, a black with subtle red shimmer. Although there's a red shimmer in the base polish, the shimmer you see is all from Fiji Sunset - you would get a very similar effect layering this over black, maybe even slightly more dramatic. I absolutely love how this looks over dark colours and I'm going to be wearing this one again! Formula wise I had no issues.

Polished by Alexandra Fiji Sunset

Polished by Alexandra Fiji Sunset

Polished by Alexandra Fiji Sunset

Hawaiian Hibiscus is a pale yellow creme. It is a bit too bright to be a pastel yellow. Again, the formula on this one was amazing. This was two coats and I had no issues with streaking. It went on smooth and was perfectly self-leveling. It's very opaque and pigmented, and like Beach Glass is almost a one coater. I find this to be a very fun colour for spring and summer!

Polished by Alexandra Hawaiian Hibiscus

Polished by Alexandra Hawaiian Hibiscus

Sparkling Sands is a clear-based glitter topper with small silver and blue metallic square glitter and small fuchsia metallic hex glitter. I did one coat over Beach Glass and Hawaiian Hibiscus. The formula on this was great and there's good glitter payoff. In the bottle it looks like the glitter is slightly curling, but it laid flat on the nail.

Polished by Alexandra Sparkling Sands

Polished by Alexandra Sparkling Sands

Watermelon Sangria is a sheer watermelon pink shimmer. It can either be worn on it's own or layered over another colour. This was four coats on it's own, and I found it to be too thick. I'd recommend three coats (if you don't mind visible nail line) or layering it over a matching creme. The application was great, but one problem I had was bubbling. It may be user error, however, when there is bubbling it is much more visible than with a creme polish. :/

Polished by Alexandra Watermelon Sangria

Polished by Alexandra Watermelon Sangria

My favourites are Beach Glass and Fiji Sunset, with Hawaiian Hibiscus coming in at third place. As a collection it's very cohesive, but I think there will be something here for everyone. I am slightly concerned about the reflecting curling in Sparkling Sands, so I will follow up with Alex on this one.

The Summer 2013: Island Oasis collection launches tomorrow Friday, June 21st. It will be available on Alex's Etsy shop Soaps by Alexandra, or you can go to www.polishedbyalexandra.com, which will also link to her Etsy store. Follow Polished by Alexandra on Facebook or Instagram (@polishedbyalexandra) for updates and info.

*Polishes were provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

17 June 2013

Polished by Alexandra Gradient with Glitter

Hi everyone! I'm going to be reviewing a new indie brand called Polished by Alexandra. The polish line launches on the 21st of June and I will definitely have swatches before then. In the meantime I did some nail art with a few of the polishes, so consider this a little teaser of what is to come. ;)

Polished by Alexandra gradient nail art

The collection contains two cremes, one a bright, pastel yellow (it's actually a bit of both) called Hawaiian Hibiscus, and a pale pastel blue called Beach Glass. When I saw the two polishes, I thought they'd be perfect together in a gradient!

I started with a base of white, then used a makeup sponge to do the gradient. You just paint the polish on the makeup sponge - a row of blue and a row of yellow - then sponge it on your nails. You will need to do two or three rounds to build the colour up, making sure to let the polish dry after each round with the make up sponge.

Polished by Alexandra gradient nail art

I topped it off with the lone glitter from the collection called Sparkling Sands. It's a clear-based glitter polish with small metallic teal and silver squares, and small metallic fuchsia hexes. This was one coat.

Polished by Alexandra gradient nail art

I really like how summery this feels. It looks perfect for the beach, and the colours even make my hands look tan! And now that I own pure acetone, I really enjoy doing gradients - so expect to see more in the future. If you've tried them, you already know that they require a lot of clean up, which takes forever with regular nail polish remover. The acetone makes a huge difference and cuts down the amount of time it takes to clean up a sponged gradient.

I'll provide more info on the polishes when I post my swatches. But in the meantime what do you think of this? Do you like doing gradients?

*Polishes were provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*
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