Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Nails ~ Orly Stone Cold & FingerPaints Twisted

Joe's Jeans, Chan Luu, ING, Jalda, Victoria's Secret


Hey dolls, I just wanted to share the mani that I will be wearing into the new year. I knew that I wanted something sparkly, but I didn't want glitter overload. Steph over at Imperfectly Painted suggested that I wear FingerPaints Twisted next, so I wanted to come up with a good combo. I started with Orly Stone Cold,  which has been in my untrieds since it was released. Stone Cold is a shimmery blue that's filled with glass flecks and is absolutely gorgeous! The formula was a little thick and I applied 2 coats for opacity.
If I would've worn this sooner, it would've definitely made my favorites list for the year! Next, I layered one coat of Twisted, a rainbow assortment of flakies, over Stone Cold.
2 coats of Twisted
These nails are sure to garner a lot of attention! I really like how you can subtly see all of the colors flashing. Can you all tell that I'm on a sequins kick based on the last few inspiration boards? The outfit above is similar to what I'll be wearing tonight, but a teal tank will be under the blazer.

May you all have a wonderful and safe time bringing in the new year and I hope that 2012 brings more prosperity and greatness than what your heart could ever dream! Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Favorite 11 of 2011

Hey dolls, I've been having so much fun reading the top polishes of 2011 from some of my favorite bloggers, that I decided to compile my own list. It's so interesting to see the diversity in what everyone likes. The 11 polishes that I will show you today are my favorite releases from this year in alphabetical order. To see the original post on each polish, just click the link.

1. A England Avalon - Avalon is everything I love in a purple polish. Bright, regal, shimmery, and a formula that is out of this world!
2. A England Tristam - Tristam is one of the few holos (albeit scattered) that I love. The shade of blue is gorgeous and it has just the right amount of sparkle for my tastes.
3. China Glaze Trendsetter - Trendsetter did not disappoint when it came to being a unique shade! It has just the right proportion of ugly/pretty and I love the way it compliments my skin.
4. Cult Nails Captivated - Captivated is the only glitter to make my top list. A coral jelly filled with golden glitter...I can't help but love this one (even if glitters are a pain to remove)!
5. Cult Nails In A Trance - In A Trance was one of those colors that felt sophisticated and sexy on my nails. It has just the right mixture of olive and gold tones.
6. Cult Nails Unicorn Puke - Unicorn Puke...pure magic in a bottle (along with the most awesome name ever)! This rainbow flakie top coat looks absolutely gorgeous over everything.
7. Essie Braziliant - Braziliant is one orange that is bright and shimmery without being extremely over the top. Just looking back at the pictures of this shade make me long for summer and warmer days.
8. Loreal's Owls Night - Owl's Night is my surprise pick. Loreal blew me away with this shade. The golden shimmer just makes this shade glow on your nails.
9. Orly Flirty - I adore pink polishes, but there isn't often you find one that just stands out above the crowd.  This is how Flirty made me feel. Pink polish filled with silver shimmer that just screams fun and sexy on your nails...sign me up!
10. Zoya Gemma - Gemma just may be my most favorite polish ever! It is an amazing shade of green with flashes of blue that catch your eye with every turn of your hand.
11. Zoya Neeka - No one does shimmers like Zoya and Neeka is one of my favorites. Purple and gold always look amazing together and Neeka is no different.
There you have favorite polishes of the year! From this list, you can tell that shimmers are really high in my book and I'm not much for glitters. Brands like Cult Nails and A England really stood out for me and I'm really excited to see the next collections. This year I found Zoya and it has risen to the top as one of my favorite brands overall.

I am sure that the list may be a little different if I would've actually tried all of the polishes in my stash that were released (the woes of having too many untrieds). A few polishes that almost made the cut deserve honorable mentions: Butter London Lady Muck; Barielle Gotta Have Fate; Essie Shine of the Times; FingerPaints Sparkling Top Coat; Maybelline Cool Couture; OPI Mermaid's Tears; and Revlon Blue Mosaic.

2011 has been a great year for Refined and Polished! I never thought a hobby that I've had since middle school would have turned into this. I'm so glad and thankful to have so many of you along for the ride!

Did any of my 2011 favorites make your list?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pink Wednesday ~ SH Hot Magenta & Essie As Gold As It Gets

Urban Posh, Asos, Stuart Weitzman, Badgley Mischka


Better late than never, I changed my nails for Pink Wednesday. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Hot Magenta has been a part of my stash for several years and has been worn multiple times, but never blogged about. It's a bright pink that is filled with silver and pink shimmer. To jazz it up a little, I added one coat of Essie As Gold As It Gets. This gold flakie top coat is super gorgeous!
I've been wanting CND 24k Sparkle Effect for some time, so I'm glad to find As Gold As It Gets as a replacement. This one looks so great over pink! Here's two coats of Hot Magenta by itself.
Xtreme Wear polishes are some of my favorite drugstore finds! They are affordable, have pretty good quality, and have a great color range.

What are your favorite Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

R & P is now on Bloglovin

Hey dolls, some of you may have heard that Google will be doing away with Google Friend Connect in March 2012 to be replaced by Google+ (here is an article that provides full details). The immediate impact of this will be on blogs not hosted by Blogger. While I'm currently hosted by Blogger, that may change in time. Therefore, here are the other ways you can keep up with the happenings at Refined and Polished.

  • Facebook: Posts are shared and photo albums are updated regularly on the fan page
  • RSS Feeds: Allows you to subscribe to the RSS reader of your choice to read posts
  • Bloglovin: Allows you to follow multiple blogs and view them all in one place
I will be subscribing to all of the blogs I follow through one of these methods to ensure that I stay up to date with their posts. I may create a Google+ page at some point, but I do not see the utility of it right now. I have a personal page that I never use, so only time will tell. 

Please let me know if you have any questions and if you are on Bloglovin. I love all of the fashion and style blogs that I am finding through it!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Finger Paints Mottley & Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam-Lam

Kenneth Jay Lane, Journee Collection, Dolce & Gabbana


Today's post was supposed to be all about Nicole by Opi Khloe Had a Little Lam-Lam, which I've been wearing for 2 days but I happened to layer one of the new FingerPaints Special Effects top coats over it and I'm mesmerized! This collection had not shown up in any of my local Sally Beauty Supplies as of 1.5 weeks ago, but I'm lucky to have several polish friends who sent me the 4 I wanted from this set (thanks Tamala, Michele, and Neeka). The first top coat I decided to wear was Mottley, which is filled with blue and green flakies. Here is one coat over Khloe Had a Little Lam-Lam.
Mottley looks like it was made for Khloe Had a Little Lam-Lam (while I like the Kardashians, this is the lamest polish name ever). This teal creme applied well and was opaque in 2 coats.
This shade was one of the only ones I wanted from the Kardashian Kollection, which I could never find locally either. It really pays to have polish friends, so thanks Crystal for sending me this one.

Were you able to get any of the FingerPaints top coats? Which one should I try next?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

China Glaze Holly-Day & Twinkle Lights

Christian Louboutin, Nadri, Chamak by Priya Kakkar


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you! I decided to use China Glaze Twinkle Lights for my Christmas mani like I mentioned a few days ago. I started with a base of China Glaze Holly-Day, a gorgeous green that was opaque in one coat.
Next, I sponged Twinkle Lights, a fine gold, red, and green glitter, onto my tips. This glitter just screams festive to me. For an accent, I stamped on the image from BM plate 223 using Zoya Goldie.
My right hand had to make an appearance in the first picture because the stamp didn't transfer completely on the left and I didn't have time to change it. I like the way that this turned out and I'll probably wear it until the day after Christmas. You may have noticed that my nails are shorter. No breaks occurred; they were just getting very long and I decided to cut them.

I hope that each and every one of you enjoy this holiday season and you're surrounded by loved ones!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter 2011 Trends ~ Glitter

Thurley, Lauren Merkin, Tryst, Lauren Ralph Lauren


My frequent readers know that I'm not the biggest glitter lover, but I would be remiss to not show you some of the glitters that have piqued my interests this season. This trend is one that won't go away anytime soon. Glitter polish is a great way to add some sparkle to your outfit and also grab the attention of all those you encounter. Here are some of the glitters that I've fallen for this season.

Which glitters are gracing your nails this season?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Essie Marshmallow & China Glaze Snow Globe

Pippa Small, Lanvin, Anya Hindmarch, New York & Co.


Hey dolls, I finally took off A England Avalon earlier this evening. I wanted something very light with an airy feel and I ended up with Essie Marshmallow and ChG Snow Globe. Essie Marshmallow has quickly become one of my favorite whites. I love it on its own because it isn't as stark a contrast against my skin tone. The formula is thin, but builds up relatively easily. I used two coats in the picture below. I don't usually mind visible nail line and I'm also layering, so I stopped at only two.
Love how soft and delicate Marshmallow looks! I then added one coat of China Glaze Snow Globe for a little sparkle. Snow Globe is a silver glitter in a clear base, filled with irregular holo and iridescent particles. The formula was a little thick and hung off the edges of my nails, but that was easily fixed.
I like this combination together. It reminds me of the book Rainbow Fish (I used to read this to my student's all the time).
Now I have to figure out what my Christmas mani will be...I'm thinking something involving ChG Twinkle Lights.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter 2011 Trends ~ Blues

John Hardy, Lucky Brand, L.A.M.B., Santi, J Brand


A trend that never seems to go away is that of blue polish. There are so many shades in the blue spectrum, you're destined to find a couple that you'll love to rock this winter. Here are some of my picks.

What's your favorite blue to wear during the winter months?

Monday, December 19, 2011

A England Avalon

Marco Bicego, Nordstrom, Brahmin, Theodora & Callum


Hey dolls, I've been wearing A England Avalon since last Friday and I still don't want to take it off. It is a gorgeous purple that reminds me of all things regal and royal. The formula on Avalon was simply amazing. It was opaque with 2 coats.
Natural light lamp
Never have I seen a more beautiful purple that was so ridiculously hard to capture in a photograph! The first photo is the truest to color in real life. Avalon is one of those colors that demands attention. I've been extremely pleased with my first two A England polishes and I'm looking forward to adding more to my collection.

Have you tried any A England polishes yet?