Haul + GIVEAWAY: Face Shop Goodies from Korea

So I've been really into makeup lately. I've always had a lot of makeup, but for some reason, I let it sit instead of using it...and ever since I've lived with my new roommate, I've started to get back into using makeup. I have to say the stuff that is out and that comes out is awesome! It's like when I stopped using nail polish..when I started obsessing over polish again, the new formulations were so much better! It wasn't even just quick dry nail polish, but regular polish seemed to dry faster and smoother and thinner than the chunky, "this will take forever to dry" 90's nail polish. But anyways..I'm really loving Korean makeup brands (I've always loved Korean polishes because the packaging was cuter..I'm a sucker for cute packaging), and my mom always gets me stuff when she goes over there. This time I asked her to buy me some stuff from Face Shop. I got the Lovely ME:EX Pastel Blusher Collection and the Lovely ME:EX Petit I Perfume Sticks.

Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Pastel Cushion Blusher

Aren't these cute? I have a Face Shop Blusher from when I went to Korea a couple years back, and I'm almost done with it. Which is why I needed a refill lol, and I asked my mom to get me the whole collection. It has the cutest puff inside which I actually use instead of a blush brush, and I rub it in with my fingers.

Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Pastel Blusher

I haven't used these yet. They're still brand new. I've bought a bunch of blushes and bronzers that I need to use up first (Physicians Formula totally suckered me in with their packaging lol and I have like 4 from them), so I haven't tainted these with my bacteria yet haha.

Face Shop Perfume Sticks

I also got a set of solid perfume sticks. They're packaged like cute nesting dolls. I travel a lot and carrying around perfume is hard. I have a portable roller one, but it's a liquid, so I get paranoid of it breaking in my bag. These solid ones I don't have to worry about that. I guess I just need to make sure it's not left in the sun? Anyways..my mom got me an extra perfume stick (the red one, named Sweet Cute), so I'd like to host a giveaway and share the wealth with my readers!!

DIY Nail Art Design Perfume Stick Giveaway

I made a Rafflecopter form. It's been so long since I've made one of these. Just fill it out, and someone will be picked in a month! This giveaway ends on September 25, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!!

Tina Ko

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NOTD: Stained Glass Nails

Hello everybody!

I apologize for the lack of posts. I've been working 40+ hours lately, and when I get home, I eat dinner and go straight to bed. But I finally got a chance to come up with a new mani! Well, I didn't come up with it. I saw a similar design on Facebook and thought it was easy enough. I dub them...Stained Glass Nails.

I've been trying to use up all my nail polishes that have never been used or opened so that I could get a blog sale together. My Helmer is way too full, and I really need to start thinking of downsizing my stuff so I can be more mobile.

Anyways..on to the nails. I bought a mini box set of Essie polishes a couple years back(?). It's definitely just been sitting in my drawers. The pack comes with four minis (3 shimmery and 1 creme). I just used the shimmery polishes for this NOTD as well as Orly's black liner and a regular top coat to just smooth things over. I used Super Bossa Nova (pink), Smooth Sailing (blue), and Braziliant (orange). To make the colors come out in one coat, I used Wet N' Wild White Creme as a base. Then dot on the colors (it doesn't have to be perfect because the black liner will cover up all the mistakes). Then outline the colors and nail with the black liner and finish with a top coat. Voila! Stained glass looking nails :)

Mosaic Nail Art

Stained Glass NOTD

Stained Glass Mosaic Nail Art

Mosaic Style Nails

Stained Glass Nail Art Mosaic
The hardest part was just keeping a steady hand when lining the border of my nails. The inside was super easy to do.

That's all for now! If there's something you want to see, just leave a comment, and I'll try my best to fulfill your request :)

Thanks for reading!!

Tina Ko

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NOTD + Review: Jane’s Tiny Things Tiny Nail Decals

Not too long ago, I was contacted by an amazing artist, and she asked me to share with you guys these awesome, hand-painted nail decals. Yes, I said it, hand-painted! All the designs are original and some are hilarious, I might add. For instance, she has these amazing Saved By The Bell decals, and there's a tribute to the Golden Girls as well! Her name is Jane of Jane's Tiny Things. I follow her on Instagram, and I have to say, she is an incredibly talented artist.

She sent me two samples. One of them is a gem stone type of pattern called Truly Outrageous. The other is a variety of makeup and polish bottles and lipsticks called Vintage Beauty. The one I'm going to show you today is Truly Outrageous.

Janes Tiny Things Nail Decals

I started with China Glaze Material Girl as my base. It's a rosy pink glitter in a clear base; there's also some hexagonal holo glitters hiding in the pink, and I think that's what makes this glitter look so shiny. This is about 2-3 coats for full coverage.

China Glaze Material Girl Glitter

China Glaze Material Girl Glitter Nail Polish
I also added Essie's Matte About You as well for the nail decal base (there will be another separate post on this magic matte formula; seriously, of all the matte finishes, Essie has the smoothest finish).

China Glaze Material Girl Essie Matte About You Combo

It's kind of hard to tell, but I promise it's there lol.

Janes Tiny Things Truly Outrageous Nail Decals

Janes Tiny Nail Decals Gem Stones

Janes Tiny Nail Decalse Truly Outrageous Gems
This was my first time ever trying nail decals, and honestly, it was super easy. It's just like putting a temporary tattoo on your skin but it goes on your nails instead! I could even move the actual decal around too once it came off the paper so that I could position it better (I just slid it slowly by pushing it with my finger a little at a time then smoothing it back out with the wet cotton ball). Then I took my wet cotton ball to smooth out any air bubbles and then dabbed it with a dry paper towel. Once completely dried, you can seal it with another top coat, and it doesn't shrink up or anything!

I highly recommend her nail decals just from the sheer easiness in application, and it's forgiving enough for you to move around once the decal is off it's paper if you didn't position it totally perfect on your nail.

Two thumbs up! If you want your own set of these tiny nail decals just go to her etsy store :)

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!

Tina Ko

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NOTD: Kiss Nail Dress Mixed Stars Nail Wraps

If y'all didn't know already, I am a full-time nanny. I've said forget it to digital marketing, and I'm trying to go back to school to be a registered dietitian, so in the meantime, I'm back to being a nanny full time (it's an entertaining job that keeps me flexible for class schedules).

Anyway, the point of me telling you that was...I was babysitting one day, and one of the little girls I take care of has been noticing my polished nails and has been copying me by using a marker to color in her nails lol. So I told her I would give her a little manicure the next time I was around. I knew there were "kid" polishes, but the thought of putting something on her nails with ingredients I can't pronounce, no matter how "kid-friendly" it was, kind of made me worried. Then *lightbulb* "why not use nail wraps instead?" Plus, there's no drying time involved, and if we as adults can't avoid messing up our nails sometimes waiting for them to dry, then how would a kid do waiting for the whole process? Plus, no stinky chemicals to put on her delicate nails/fingers. The only thing I had to worry about was not snipping her finger with my cuticle scissors while cutting off the excess wrap from her nails (since the nail wraps are made for adults and not tiny children -- it was much easier when I put one on for her mom, no extra cutting involved).

Kiss Nail Dress Mix It Up Stars
This is what I picked up for our day of no-mess mani fun, Kiss Nail Dress Mix It Up in Marguerita. I mainly got it because of all the wraps at the store, these looked the smallest width wise (remember these are going on small kid hands).

I've tried nail wraps once before, and it wasn't my favorite thing to play with. First of all, I learned the hard way that nail wraps DO NOT work with top coat. Oops. I also realized from working with nail wraps the second time around, that I definitely filed the excess off wrong the first time I tried. Filing from side to side (in one direction, of course) is the best way to do it instead of what I did last time which was filing up and down (file moves in a downward direction from the edge of your nail instead of a regular side to side motion). Does that even make sense? Anyhow..this time I definitely figured out how to do it better haha.

Kiss Nail Wraps Mixed Stars

Kiss Nail Wraps Mixed Stars

Kiss Mix It Up Nail Dress Stars

Kiss Nail Dress Mix It Up Stars

By the way...it's really hard getting a 5-year old to sit still to pose for her nails haha. That and combined with my slightly shaky hands on the camera, I'm surprised I had any photos to show y'all lol.

I have a lot of stuff coming up for you guys, so stay tuned! By the way, if you haven't already, enter the Nail Polish Canada's Great Polish Giveaway! It ends in 14 more days!!

I'll leave you guys with a picture taken last weekend at the sunflower fields :)

Maxwell Anderson Farms Sunflowers 2014

My hand and my dog, Maxwell <3 lol.

Tina Ko

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Giveaway: Sponsored by Nail Polish Canada With Over 100 Bottles to Win!

If y'all follow multiple blogs, which you probably do, then maybe you've seen this giveaway floating around. It is sponsored by Nail Polish Canada, and for every blog that enters, a new prize is added to the list! You don't have to have a blog to enter, of course. You only need a blog if you'd like to contribute a suggestion to the prize pool.

Here's the low down on this giveaway:
-The prize pool started at zero
-Bloggers can nominate any polish to be added to the prize pool and post about the contest
-Each blog has their own entry form (Rafflecopter), so you can enter the giveaway by visiting every participating blog for a better chance to win!
-The prize pool can keep growing up until 200 bottles, so the more blogs that participate, the bigger the giveaway!

It's a pretty awesome deal haha. Now, only if I could win...hehe.

Nfu Oh Aqua Base for Holos
I nominated Nfu Oh Aqua Base for Holographic Polish to be added to the list. It's supposed to be a base for holo polishes to help make the holo more linear, last longer without chips, look more holo-ey, and helps you use less coats of your beloved holo polish (my holo unicorn is GOSH Holographic, and it pains me to use it when I do haha so this base would be awesome for it).

Here's the official giveaway page if you want to take a look at it (you can also get more entries on that page too ;) ), and if you'd like to put this giveaway up on your blog too, then here's the page to nominate your own prize.

Enter using my Rafflecopter form, and don't forget, you can enter multiple times by visiting other participating blogs :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tina Ko

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News: Christian Louboutin Nail Polish

Christian Louboutin Nail Polish Collection 2014

I know I'm a couple of days late, but did y'all hear about the Louboutin nail polish range that's coming out this year? Honestly, when I read the headlines, I was super ecstatic. Then I went ahead and read the actual article, and these babies are retailing for $50 each. FIFTY DOLLARS EACH. LIKE WTF, MATE?!?!

To put it into perspective...I bought my used Clarins 230, the coveted unicorn pee discontinued in 2008, off of someone I met through MUA for $45? At the time, I wanted it so badly and ebay prices were well into the hundreds of dollars, so I caved and bought it thinking I would never in my whole life ever pay for something like that ever again. Honestly, it's a waste of money. I've only swatched it once too for the post linked above. Either way...$50 for a brand spankin new bottle from Louboutin...the bottles look small as hell too.

Most high end polishes retail for $20-30 (I'm thinking Deborah Lippmann, Estee, Dior, Clarins, etc.), and I still can't get myself to pay full retail for those. Most, if not all, of my Lippmann polishes were either swapped for or gifted to me. If I bought one, then it was in conjunction with my Birchbox points. I won't even shell out full retail for OPI sometimes too. Same thing for why I haven't acquired any Layla Holographic Effect polishes..I know they sell them at Ulta now, but it's like $15 for a bottle...no thanks. haha. Wow, I sound cheap haha, but why pay more when you don't have to? My polish collection really got going once I started to buy clearance polishes.

Then again, the target consumer for Christian Louboutin is not a financially struggling post graduate like me, and their shoes are outrageously expensive, so what's fifty bucks, right? --;;

And one more perspective on price...do y'all remember the Sephora + Shu Uemura + Karl Lagerfeld collection? I don't think it was available in the States, so I'm sure the prices on ebay were ridiculous, but when I looked up the price for this set right here...

Karl Lagerfeld Sephora Nail Polish

Which, by the way, is two full bottles of polish (the size of the bottles look much bigger too), this duo cost retail 30 Euros which is equivalent to about $40-41. Isn't that crazy?!

Anyways, I'm done with my rant. Was that even a rant? I'm just very displeased about the Louboutin pricing for freaking nail polish. I mean I love nails/polish and all, but I like it more when it's affordable.

Thanks for reading :)

Tina Ko

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NOTD: Dusty Khaki Themed Striped Skittle Mani

I never really know what to name my NOTDs. I always try to describe it in the most literal sense mostly because I can't really think of creative names for my manis. lol. Well, anyways...I'm thinking of clearing out my Helmer soon and doing a blog sale, but I still have a lot of polishes that are brand new and never been used/swatched. So my goal is to incorporate every polish I own into a NOTD before I do my blog sale. It might be a while haha either that or it'll motivate me more to post a lot.

For today, I went for a khaki/dusty color scheme. Then I used a striper brush to paint my stripes. I did these on my natural nail instead of adding a base color before the stripes. I, personally, really like this style of nail art (painting designs on your natural nail without a colored base).

It had been so long since I've done real designs on nails that my hand was definitely shaky and not steady as I was painting the stripes. I had to erase them a couple of times and start completely over. So forgive me for the not so straight lines. I definitely need to practice steadying my hand again especially if I want to paint intricate designs again.


Dusty Colored Striped Nails

Striped Multi Colored Nails

Striped Skittles Mani


I used Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Greige Gardens (pinky), Catrice Pink Spring (ring), Etude House BR301 Black Tea Milk (middle), Etude House PP904 Grape Milk (index), Catrice Walk In The Woods (thumb), a striping brush, and Diamond Dry Top Coat Brilliance.

That's it for now. I started a new job, so it's been taking up a lot of my time, but I'm still aiming to post twice a week at least :) I also have more things/ideas that I want to share with y'all so stay tuned!

Tina Ko


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NOTD: Summer Neon Crackle Nails

Hello! I didn't forget about posting this week! I used to make a lot of excuses of why I couldn't blog, but I've come to a point where if I want something to be done, I'm just going to do it, no excuses. Now, if only I can feel that way about working out haha. I definitely went through a fitness craze, and I got way addicted to being in the gym. I'm just trying to find a balance between everything.

I just came back from Houston, and if you don't know already, Houston is my hometown. I grew up in Texas, and my grandma still lives in the same house that I grew up around. Both my parents worked a lot, so I definitely spent a lot of my time there. Anyway..I was digging through our garage, and I came across a bunch of my dad's old records, so I brought a bunch home, and right now, I am currently listening to Queen's Greatest Hits. <3

Queens Greatest Hits Vinyl

I've been obsessed with vinyl records lately. I don't know what sparked the interest in me, but I love going to thrift stores and finding old records. It also helps that they're super cheap and cost about $1. lol.

Well for today's mani, I just wanted to incorporate a very summer color scheme, and what better summer colors than neons! I used China Glaze Pink Voltage for the neon pink and Essie Funky Limelight for the neon yellow with a small sliver of Orly's Silver Glitter Liner. I also wanted to show you an "easy to apply but looks like you spent a lot of time on it" mani, so I topped off the neon with a OPI Black Shatter and Diamond Dry Top Coat Brilliance (found at Sally's, I love this top coat for making shiny things really pop).

Summer 2014 Crackle Nail Art

As long as you know how to apply crackle nail polish, your mani will look amazing. My OPI Black Shatter had been sitting in my Helmer for a couple years untouched, so it lost almost all the moisture, but not so much that it completely dried out; I ended up pouring in a bunch of polish thinner to make it malleable again. But it works good as new if not better than before.

Crackle Mani Neon Base

And when I'm talking about the crackle covering mistakes...this is how messy my neon base colors looked before I laid the crackle on top. The colors seriously don't have to be perfectly matched up and painted on. Plus, the top coat will smooth everything over. This NOTD is seriously the best for those that don't have a steady hand or the time to do intricate designs. I also did another crackle mani similar to this a while back with directions on how I did it.

Neon Crackle Nail Art

Crackle Nail Art Neon Nails

Easy Summer Nail Art Ideas

I also added with a silver glitter liner lines bordering the differing colors. It's a subtle detail. In the picture, the glitter can be mistaken for glare.

Well, that's it for now! Thanks for reading :)

Tina Ko

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NOTD: Simple Rhinestone Mani with Model’s Own Jade Stone

Hello :)

I almost forgot to add a second post for the week. I'm really trying to keep up with my promise of two posts per week lol :)

Going out of town tomorrow to see my family in Houston. I'm excited to see my family, but I hate going back to Texas during the summer. And Houston tends to be really high temps and 100% humidity...blech. I'm starting to sweat just thinking about it haha.

Anyways, I have something really simple for you today, and it's very easy to recreate. All you need is your choice of polish, some rhinestones, and a top coat. I still haven't been able to find a nice topcoat for rhinestones. I like to seal the stone with top coat so that it doesn't fall off easily, but it always dulls the shine and makes it look so plastic-y? I definitely want to experiment with using a gel top coat to secure my nail art into the polish/nail. But I'm not that familiar with using gel products, and I'm not trained, so we'll see. I did post about the Sensationail at home gel system so I wonder if I could get the same quality as the professionals at salons.

Well, here's what I used as my base color: Model's Own Jade Stone

Models Own Jade Stone Swatch

Models Own Jade Stone Nail Polish

I got this a couple years ago through a swap on MUA. Come to think of it, I should really check that. I haven't been on there in forever. There's a lot of nail polish sitting in my Helmer that have been unused and are brand new. I've had them for so long that the tops have evaporated a little in most of them --;; (I took a long break from blogging and the polish world because keeping up and collecting more polishes just became really overwhelming..which is why I haven't even been on MUA in forever). My goal, right now, is to use everything I have at least once so I can post about it here, and I'm planning on doing a huge blog sale so I can purge. Keep an eye out! lol.

Either way, this is two coats of color. The formula is surprisingly still really good for having sit in my drawer for so long unused. The color evened out nicely on the second coat. Dry time wasn't too bad either.

Classic Mint Nails

Classy Simple Easy Nail Art Ideas

Minty Nails

Easy Rhinestone Nails

I just used a regular clear coat from Spoiled (named X-Ray Vision) as my "glue". I just put a drop of it on the bottom of my nail and used a dotter with a bit of clear polish on it to pick up the rhinestone and place it on the bottom middle of my nail. I used the same top coat to "seal" off the crystal and nail polish. Definitely did not like this top coat. lol. I'm just going to stick to Julep's Freedom Polymer Topcoat (review still pending lol) for sealing the top, and I'll keep using the Spoiled as the base glue for my nail art stuff.

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for reading :)

Tina Ko



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NOTD: Pink and Gold Half Moon Mani

My roommate saw my Silver Half Moon Nails the other day and wanted something just like it for her, so we did pink and gold for her nails. We did it late at night (she was going in and out of consciousness while I was doing her nails), and there was a lot of layers of polish on her nails because we were trying to use a different color before this darker pink, but it didn't show up. I sealed her nails with Julep's Freedom Polymer Top Coat, and she literally went straight to bed. No extra drying time, nothing. I just told her to sleep like a princess and not move her hands lol. She woke up the next day, and we all know how you can wake up with bed smudges lol, but nothing. Her nails were perfect. I swear by this top coat right now, and I've seriously been on a quest for the perfect top coat for years, YEARS!!! I shall do an independent review of it later and show you how much mobility you have after using this top coat.

Half Moon Nails

Two Toned Half Moon Nails

Easy Half Moon Nail Art

Half Moon Manicure

I really need to get back into the habit of using my DSLR. My Note 3 really doesn't do these NOTDs any justice, and I have such a shaky hand that they're always somewhat blurry. Blah.

I used Barry M Pink Flamingo and LA Colors Art Deco Nail Art Brush in Gold Glitter for the half moons. The top coat used, again, is Julep's Freedom Polymer Top Coat. It smooths the gold into the pink very nicely and turns your nail into an even surface.

Thanks for reading <3



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