24.4.15

the nail files: holo diamond flowers


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**Link up with us to show off your cute manis (either done by yourself or in a salon), nail polish purchases and/or recommendations, nail polish tips--whatever nail-related thing you'd like! And please use the button and/or link back to this blog. Thanks!**

***

Earlier this week, I suffered an immense tragedy. Not only did I break one nail, but two. And on my left hand, no less (which my pal Marisa refers to as "the trophy hand" Haha!). So, with nothing left but little nubs on my middle and ring fingers, I was a sad sack.

How I feel about losing an hour of sleep after Daylight’s Savings.

But then I spotted my loose holo diamonds, courtesy of a super sweet friend, and instantly, I felt better. Because glitter can make any situation better. It's, like, science. Haha! Deciding just what to do with the diamonds took some thought, but then I came up with a super fun idea that used one of my current obsessions Plur-ple, from the China Glaze Electric Nights Collection. 





I started with two coats of Plur-ple and At Vase Value and then added a coat of quick-dry top coat. After about half an hour, I got started on the flowers. (From previous experience, trying to position studs on not-quite-dry polish can make dents.) 

First, I laid out the "petals" without using any polish, to make sure they'd fit. Once they were even, I brushed them off to add some bonding polish (the same I used when applying studs) using a very small dotting tool. Then, I used tweezers to apply the diamonds, pushing down with my finger to make sure they were secure. I repeated the technique until all the diamonds were stuck, finishing off with a few dots of At Vase Value, for the middle of the flowers, and to fill in the rest of the nail. When that was dry, I added two more coats of top coat, to seal the edges of each diamond.


Trying to get a good picture of this mani took forever, and they're still a little soft. But that's because my lens couldn't focus on the ridiculous shine. I can't even handle how much I love this mani. It's basically everything I look for: bright, vibrant colours and a ton of sparkle. Haha!

This was my first time working with loose glitter and I've fallen in love. Usually, I pick out pieces from bottles of polish, but that means I have to be exact with placement, or it gets all goopy. With loose pieces, though, the sky's the limit! YAY FOR LOOSE GLITTER! Haha!

Did you have bright and shiny nails this week? Link up and show 'em off!

Have an awesomely fantastic weekend!



22.4.15

post office spiral of rage

I love living in a small town; a place where people know your name and are generally friendly. However, there are some downsides, one of which is the local post office. On Monday, I went to go pick up a package. This is what happened.

Last week, I ordered a whole whack of new dresses for the summer and I'd been tracking their progress every five seconds consistently. So when I got the tag in my mailbox, I was beyond psyched to go pick them up. The way my day worked, I got to the post office a little later than usual, which made me fear there'd be a huge line, because it was around lunchtime. Judging from the one car parked outside, though, the place was empty. My heart soared. 

Dresses! I thought. I'm about to get all of my new, pretty dresses!!


Omg it’s 80 degrees out.
(Don't worry, my dresses aren't quite as revealing. Haha!)

But quickly, my optimistic enthusiasm was destroyed. Because inside the post office was a lineup of four people. That may not seem like a lot, but when there's only one postal worker, that's quite a line. However, this time, there were two workers! TWO! That's one hundred percent more postal workers, people! However, then I overheard some conversation between the two workers, and it turned out, one was being trained.  

Fridays at 4PM

Now, I hate to be a big ole beyotch about this, because at one point, I too was a trainee (and I remember it sucking pretty hard, not knowing what to do) but a trainee worker translates into a much longer wait. Even more so, when a customer orders not one, but two separate money orders--arguably the most tedious of postal office services.


As I waited for what felt like an eternity, but was only about three minutes, the heat began to consume me, as we're in that uncomfortable stage of it being warmer outside, and stores still blasting their heat. I could feel the back of my neck start to sweat, and my purse was steadily becoming heavier, despite adding nothing to it. So, I took off my coat and draped it on my arm, silently willing the trainee to learn faster. Shockingly, it didn't work. 

Finally, the customer who needed complicated money orders stepped to the side...only to be replaced by ANOTHER money order customer. 


This is when I started to lose it. I mean, the fact that I even had to go to the post office in the first place was irritating, and having to wait forever was like pouring artisan salts on a million paper cuts.

Because I'm in a rural-ish area, I get door-to-door postal service instead of using a mega-box (this isn't what they're actually called, haha), that sits at the end of the street. A component of the mega-box is your own personal box, and there are also a few larger ones for packages, that you kind of borrow when you need, thusly saving you a trip to town for when packages are too big for your mailbox. Although we don't have a mega-box, we live one street south of one, which means that I have to physically drive past a mega-box to get into town. OH HOW I LONG FOR A MEGA-BOX.

Anyway, that's what I thought about while waiting for another five minutes. And trust me, with no music and irritating "Oh, that's the button I was looking for," coming from the trainee, I was very close to the edge of my sanity. But I couldn't leave. Or, better said, I wouldn't leave. My dresses were back there somewhere and I wanted them. So, I swallowed my bubbling rage and continued to wait.

In the meantime, more customers had entered the post office, and many wore a similar expression to mine, which was something like this...


As if the slow service and Hades-like heat weren't enough, the woman behind me (who really needed to dye her roots...and maybe also brush her hair) did the unthinkable: she started playing a game on her phone. With the volume up. High. 

I did the whole "movie theatre side-eye" to which she responded with a small, unapologetic smile and the phrase, "I've been stuck on this level forever," before going back to playing whatever the hell game it was. On the outside, I was somehow able to keep calm, but on the inside, it was more like this...


Mercifully, one minute and countless game-related noises later, the money order was still going strong, but the trained worker noticed the line of pissed-off patrons and decided to start helping people. But, because this post is aptly named "postal office spiral of rage," you can probably guess that the customer in front of me had a time-sucking request. Specifically, he'd sent a package with the wrong postal code and it was being returned. Did he know it was there for sure? No. Did he have a tag? No. So did the worker have any idea where to look for it? You guessed it: No. 


So, the already-trained worker left to find his package, which may or may not have been there, therefore leaving the trainee to do battle with the money order. 

Surprisingly, the trained worker emerged from the back quite quickly. Turns out, it wasn't there. So finally, FINALLY, it was my turn. I handed over the tag, which I'd gotten from my previously-mentioned rural mailbox, and she went into the back.

With my dresses now so close to my grasp, I felt myself cooling down. Yes, the inconsiderate game-playing lady was still going strong but somehow, it wasn't nearly as annoying. And I didn't even care that the trainee was still with the same, second-money-order customer. Yes, it was finally all coming together. 

Until, that is, she returned from the back, only to tell me that despite me having the tag and waiting for what felt like the better part of my thirties, I'd have to come back the next day.

Why? 

Because they hadn't unloaded the packages yet, on account of the trainee.

i could watch this episode on repeat forever

I really hate the post office.

Like, a lot.






19.4.15

a tribute to jonathan crombie

**This is a reposting from way back in 2010, from a series titled "Monday's Fictional Hotties." With the recent, unexpected passing of Jonathan Crombie, I thought it would make for a nice tribute. Anne of Green Gables remains one of my top favourite books/movies, and Mr. Crombie was a big part of why. I can't think of another actor who could have played Gilbert Blythe. He was simply perfect. And from what I've read online, even though it's been decades since he played the adorably sexy Gil, he still loved when fans approached him on the street, after yelling out, "Gil!" A class act, all around. My thoughts are with his family and friends. We'll miss you, Jonathan.**

I've been reading a lot of blogs with weekly themed postings and have been eager to join the club. Obviously, Mondays are the worst of all the days, so my first thought was, "Jennie! Do something awesome on Mondays!"

But the decision to create awesome, themed posts, wasn't quite specific enough. Haha! I batted ideas around in my big sexy brain for a while and, finally, in the wee hours of Sunday morning -- an epiphany! So without further ado, I humbly present the first of (potentially many) Monday's Fictional Hotties!

Yes, you read that right. I'm talking about fictional tall drinks of water. I may draw from literature, film, television shows or wherever else made-up hotties exist. There's an awful lot to choose from, so this theme may be able to go on forever. Awesome.

That said, choosing where to start left my mind reeling. I've had crushes on more than a few literary characters throughout the years, which meant there were endless possibilities. Obviously, the best place to start anything is at the beginning, so I'm going to take this first post way back, to a character  that has resonated with me for a l-o-n-g time.

I may be cutting my feet of before I start with this one (because he's quite incomparable) but if you love you some good ole Canadian lit then you'll surely be aware of one of my first fictional crushes...and the first official Fictional Hottie...

Dr. Gilbert Blythe!

(*insert round of applause*)

For those who are unfamiliar with Dr. Blythe, he's the jelly to Anne Shirley's peanut butter (aka, Anne of Green Gables). When Anne broke her tablet over Gil's head (after he called her the dreaded "carrots") he was forever her puppy dog. I fell in love with him first in the books and then later in the movies...

Link

Jonathan Crombie (actor) really brought Gil to the next level, especially in the last two films where Anne goes to Europe to bring him back safe from the war (*swoons*). As crazy as Anne acted most of the time, she was a fiercely independent woman and Gilbert couldn't get enough. So, really, how could I not fall in love? Plus, nobody can rock an old-school golfer hat quite like Mr. Crombie. And can you even handle that smouldering gaze? *fans self*

Congratulations Dr. Gilbert Blythe. You're #1!! (in no particular order)

As an aside:
If you haven't read Lucy Maud Montgomery's series, get to a library and start reading. It may seem like country-ass-silliness but you'll be hooked before you know it. Then, go rent the movies (all six if you can find them). Megan Follows is the most perfect Anne Shirley of all time. And the chemistry between her and Jonathan is off-the-freaking-charts. 

As another aside:
When I was 20 I drove to PEI with a girlfriend to see some people and visit what I thought was the set from the Anne movies. We got there and it looked totally unfamiliar. Turns out, the PEI attraction was where Ms. Montgomery wrote the novels. The movie had been filmed in Hamilton, ON (a mere 1.5 hours from where I grew up). To say I was crushed would be an understatement. Haha!

17.4.15

the nail files: julep flower


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**Link up with us to show off your cute manis (either done by yourself or in a salon), nail polish purchases and/or recommendations, nail polish tips--whatever nail-related thing you'd like! And please use the button and/or link back to this blog. Thanks!**

***

At the beginning of last week, I was tagged on IG for #mynailsandmydrink. 


I'd just painted my nails, using Julep's Shelly and Monaco, but wasn't sure how I'd jazz them up. I threw out a few options and then Daniele (aka @dkbg) decided for me--neon studs! 


As it's spring--FINALLY--I decided to make a neon flower. After waiting for the studs to set (about ten minutes), I did two coats of top coat, to seal them.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy (Mmmm...margaritas. Haha!).


Shelly is just the nicest light minty-blue. I love it so much. And Monaco has such a creamy depth to it. Gah! They're just so pretty! Haha!

What were you rocking this week? Link up and show off!

And make sure to have the best weekend ever! :D





15.4.15

book review: red queen


I don’t know what it is about new releases for 2015, but they've got some of the prettiest covers I’ve ever seen. *cough* THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, THE LEMONCHOLY LIFE OF ANNIE ASTER *cough* 

And RED QUEEN is no exception. 

I mean…

*points*

As you can see, I was so in love with it, I did a tribute mani.

Here’s the synopsis, from Goodreads:

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

***

As far as synopses go, this one's a little brief, but that’s probably because the book is so full of twists and turns that even a little information could be spoiler-y. Because when I say twists and turns, guys, I mean twists and turns. Just about every chapter had some kind of jaw-dropping game-changer, which is why I read the book in less than a day. It was kind of like the TV series LOST, in that regard. The story moved forward quickly, but took a very winding path to the end. Or to the end of this book, anyway, as this is the first of a series. 

Other reviews have described RED QUEEN as high-fantasy X-Men-meets-THE SELECTION-meets-DIVERGENT, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. There’s a strong emphasis on power, both from a societal perspective, and the literal superhuman powers that certain characters possess. Mare Barrow was certainly a likable characters, along the lines of Tris, from DIVERGENT, but I found her to be less mature. Mare's naïveté irked me a couple of times, but because she’d lived a fairly sheltered life in The Stilts, it was a forgivable irritant. And, to be fair, once Mare figured out that she could kick some serious ass, she got down to business, in the most major of ways. 


Some criticism of RED QUEEN has included critiques of its “non-original” plot, but since there’s pretty much no such thing as an original plot anymore, and it’s about how the plot plays out—the intricate, unique details that stem from the author’s imagination—RED QUEEN is a home-freaking-run. Cheering for the underdog is totally my bag, along with female-led dystopian rebellions, so I can't freaking wait for the rest of this series. 

So if you like dystopian YA fiction and have daydreamed about what it’d be like to control someone else’s mind, shoot fireballs from your hands, or channel electricity, I think you’ll love RED QUEEN.
           


10.4.15

the nail files: negative space studs


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**Link up with us to show off your cute manis (either done by yourself or in a salon), nail polish purchases and/or recommendations, nail polish tips--whatever nail-related thing you'd like! And please use the button and/or link back to this blog. Thanks!**

***

A few months back, I saw a mani idea on @misspopnail's IG account, and this week, I decided to give it a try.





I fell in love with the one in the bottom, left. Although, now that I'm looking at this picture again, I'm digging the bottom right...and the top left. Okay, so I may do more manis based on this picture. Haha!



I used wide strips, usually reserved for French manis, and put them on two nails, vertically. Then I did two coats of Bizarre Blurple on all fingers. Before the polish could fully dry, I removed the stickers. 


For some added fun, I added the neon studs. Because neon studs are awesome and pretty much make everything better. Just like glitter. Haha! I finished the mani with a coat of HK Girl Glisten and Glow quick-dry top coat.


Negative space manis are so freaking fun. I remember when I used to be a hater of this trend. Oh how wrong I was!! Neon yellow and deep purple are such a pretty combo. Perfect for winter-to-spring manis. And the Glisten and Glow topcoat worked great at keeping the studs looking fresh.


What are you rocking this week? 

Hope you have an awesome weekend!


9.4.15

book review: confessions of a city girl boxed set

Juliette Sobanet is one of my favourite authors. Her Parisien novels, SLEEPING WITH PARIS, KISSED IN PARIS, and DANCING WITH PARIS are full of fun and romance. So, it should be no surprise that her two novellas, available in the CONFESSIONS OF A CITY GIRL BOXED SET, are just as fun and romance-y. Except  this time, they’re based in two different cities: Los Angeles and San Diego.

 

CONFESSIONS OF A CITY GIRL: LOS ANGELES starts out with a hilariously touching scene between Natasha, the MC, and her mother, where Natasha learns she will inherit her mother's art gallery. I love a lot about Juliette's writing, and one of her strongest talents is creating real, three-dimensional characters. Novellas can be tricky, because there isn’t much time to ease into a character, but I had a very good idea on who Natasha was, by the end of the first chapter. Unfortunately, that meant I also got a bit of the sads, because of Natasha’s unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, via IVF. And then, Natasha’s husband doesn’t show up to her most important photo exhibit, at the gallery Natasha’s mother left her, which left me feeling extra, mega sad. 

Enter Nicholas Reyes: a hottie, once-famous photographer who’s interested in buying the gallery. The only hitch, is that Natasha has to go from DC to LA, both for the job of a lifetime, but also one amazing night in Hollywood. 
As I’m sure you can imagine it gets steamy. Like, really steamy. Older Hollywood dudes know what’s up, in the romance department. That's for sure. I particularly enjoyed the last ten pages or so. Because...*fans self* Haha!



CONFESSIONS OF A CITY GIRL: SAN DIEGO begins in a more serious way. Liz, the MC, is basically forced on a vacation from her CIA job, to attend a yoga retreat at her sister’s new studio, in San Diego. As a Wish I Liked Yoga Kinda Gal myself, I could sympathize with Liz’s reluctance. But she’s been through some trauma, having her long-time partner die on their latest mission, so she needs a break. Plus, there are some suspicions regarding her sister that she’d like to investigate. 

Of course, this is also a romance novella, and I was delighted to see that Liz’s love interest was the yoga instructor. What is it about yoga instructors that’s so hot? It’s probably the handstands. Haha!

There’s undeniable chemistry in SAN DIEGO, and even some emotional growth. As usual, there are fantastic scenic descriptions, which was awesome because I’ve never been to San Diego. After reading this novella, though, I feel like I just got back from a weekend getaway.

So if you like fun, steamy romances that have some heart, then you should read the CONFESSIONS OF A CITY GIRL Novellas. And since they’re available in a Boxed Set, there’s no better time to pick them up!

My thanks to Juliette for a copy of these novellas, in exchange for an honest review!


3.4.15

the nail files: hoppin' around


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***

Woot woot! We made it, guys and gals--it's finally the Easter long weekend!

Me on Easter Sunday

I was feeling uninspired this week, as I stared at my ample collection of pastel colours, wondering what the heck I was going to do. Luckily, that's when I remembered Pinterest. Haha! I found this mani (by IG nail artist, Paula - @just1nail), and fell in love with the idea of doing a dotted background, with a little peek-a-boo bunny in the corner. So...well...that's what I did. Haha!

White Bunny + Polka Dot Easter Nail Design

Polish Used:

And the mani!

For the dotted fingers, I started with two coats of At Vase Value, and then added either Bea or Cake Pop, using a medium dotting tool. To make sure my dots were even, I started with the middle three dots, and then worked my way out. 

The glitter finger has one coat of At Vase Value (which was streaky, but okay because I knew I'd cover it with sparkles), followed by two coats of Ho Ho Happy Holidays. When that was dry, I used a large dotting tool for the big Cake Pop dot. 

The bunny was slightly more complicated, but I've found that instead of just jumping right in (ha) and free-handing a design, it's better to outline it first. And using Rite Stripe lets me start over if I mess up (as a quick swipe of acetone takes it right off). After outlining the bunny head and ears, I filled it in, using a thin nail art brush and proper white polish, Paper Mache. I used the same, thin nail art brush, for the middle of the ears, with Dance Baby, as well as the nose (which I forgot to do upside down, so my bunny nose looks a little cat-ish. Whoops! Haha!). The eyes were a real bey-otch, but I prefer the look you get with a black outline, white middle, and black pupil, so I used the same medium dotting tool to first make the black dot, with Black Expressionism. I let that dry for a bit, so the next dot wouldn't bleed too badly, and then added the white middle with Paper Mache. Finally, I used my smallest dotting tool for the pupil. To get the thinnest whiskers possible, I used Black Rite Stripe. 


I'm so happy that I have a super-cute Easter mani for this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration, Pinterest! Haha!

Do you have big plans this weekend, aside from shoving your face with ham and mashed potatoes, along with mass amounts of chocolate eggs, to the point that even your fat pants don't fit? Cause that's what I'll be doing! Haha! Whatever you wind up doing, I hope you have an awesome time! And don't forget to link up your nails! :D


31.3.15

book review: the one that got away

As an avid reader of women’s fiction, I’ve really been looking forward to Bethany Chase’s debut novel, THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY (which is available as of today!!). So, when my preorder came in early, I dove right into the first chapter only to emerge hours later, still wearing my fleece zebra robe, stomach growling, because I hadn’t had breakfast and it was coming on eleven o’clock. Naturally, that meant I had to review it. Because books that can keep my attention like that, while making me laugh and cry deserve some attention.


In fact, I loved it so much, I had to match my nails to the stunning cover (as that's what I do when I love something: tribute nail art. Not weird at all, right? Haha!)


But this post isn't about nails. So let's get on with the review, shall we?

*bangs gong*

Synopsis, from Goodreads:

Sarina Mahler thinks she has her life all nailed down: a growing architecture practice in Austin, Texas, and an any-day-now proposal from her loving boyfriend, Noah. She’s well on her way to having the family she’s hoped for since her mother’s death ten years ago. But with Noah on a temporary assignment abroad and retired Olympic swimmer — and former flame — Eamon Roy back in town asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper, Sarina’s life takes an unexpected turn.

Eamon proves to be Sarina’s dream client, someone who instinctively trusts every one of her choices — and Sarina is reminded of all the reasons she was first drawn to him back in the day. Suddenly her carefully planned future with Noah seems a little less than perfect. And when tragedy strikes, Sarina is left reeling. With her world completely upended, she is forced to question what she truly wants in life — and in love.

Full of both humor and heartbreak, The One That Got Away is the story of one woman’s discovery that, sometimes, life is what happens when you leave the blueprints behind.

**

There were a whack of things I loved about THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, so it's hard for me to know where to start. By the end of page one, I knew Sarina Mahler was the kind of woman I’d totally hang with on a Saturday night, drinking Lone Star beer (which, from what I gathered in THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, is the beer of choice in Austin, Texas). She certainly wasn't the hottest of messes, but she still made mistakes--took the easier, safer choices, even at great personal expense. That's why she was so endearing. Her missteps were real and honest, based on fear. That deep-seeded self-preservation kind of fear that's incredibly difficult to overcome. I cried no less than three separate times, so make sure you’ve got some tissues handy. Cause you’ll probably need them. You’ve been warned. Haha! 

But amongst the heartache, Sarina was funny. Like, really funny. Her whole crew was, actually. And speaking of the secondary characters, they were just as real as Sarina—an incredible feat to accomplish. Her love interests, Noah and Eamon, each had their merits and I suspect they'll probably appeal to a wide range of readers. (I won’t spoil it to tell you whose T-shirt I’d wear, when and if they are made available. Haha!)

Above the fantastic characters and swift pacing though, the writing stood out most of all.

The writing, guys.

There were so many memorable lines that if I were to quote them all, we’d be here all freaking day. And throughout the entire book, the prose remained accessible, smart and rich. If I were to compare this book to a celebrity, I'd pick Prince Harry. Sure, he doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he's articulate, accepts his responsibilities, and seen enough bad in the world to keep it real. (Yes, now that I’ve worked that comparison for a few sentences, I feel very confident calling THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, “The Prince Harry of Women’s Fiction.” I’m sure he’ll be thrilled. Haha!)

At its core, I’d say that this book takes the familiar path that I’ve come to expect from women’s fiction, but the scenery along the way is entirely original. So if you’re into fun, witty fiction with a soul, you should probably pick up THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, which you can do here and here. Then, I’d recommend that you mosey on over to Bethany’s social media accounts, because, like Sarina, she’s got a killer sense of humour, as well as style.




27.3.15

the nail files: easter-y mani


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**Link up with us to show off your cute manis (either done by yourself or in a salon), nail polish purchases and/or recommendations, nail polish tips--whatever nail-related thing you'd like! And please use the button and/or link back to this blog. Thanks!**

***
Can you believe it's almost Easter? Holy moly, is this year going quickly. Now if only it would stop freaking snowing...

same

Anyway, with Easter around the corner, I wanted to try a non-nail-art-but-still-festive mani. Mostly because I was a bit lazy, this week. Err...I mean, busy. Haha!



Indoor light. Weirdly, the pink glitter bits looks more red here.

To start, I did two coats of Paper Mache, Boho Blues, and Highlight of my Summer. When that was dry, I used a flat nail art brush to scoop up glitter bits from I'm a Go Glitter, clustering around the base of my nail. Then, I picked out the smaller, bright pink pieces, and placed them randomly on the rest of each feature nail.

I think the glitter looks a little bit like flowers, which make this mani both spring-y AND Easter-y. #nailedit

Outdoor light. Please forgive my blurry pointer finger. I don't know what happened there. Haha!

I have to say that I was pretty surprised with how Boho Blues went on. The first coat was sooooo thin, and super streaky. I was positive that it would need three coats, which drives me absolutely batty. But, I was delighted to see that after a second coat, it was totally opaque! I'm not saying it's magic, but it's pretty darn close because every other streaky polish I have requires three coats. So if you picked up Boho Blues from the Road Trip collection, don't freak out the first time you use it. I promise that you'll only need two coats.

You're welcome. Haha!

What did your nails look like, this week? Do you have some Easter nail art going on? Link up and show off! :)