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On Hiatus.

Hi all.

There’s been radio silence around these parts for a while now – I’m sorry. I’ve had a lot of other things on my plate the past several months, and I’m terrible at juggling. I wanted to check in with you all and let you know that I’m putting the blog on a hiatus for…I don’t know how long. I didn’t want to leave you hanging – I know you all have been at the edge of your seats, not sleeping and listening to sad songs on the radio, wondering where I went.

Wishing you all totally tubular manicures and nail polish bottles that never empty! Thank you all for the awesome support and positivity you’ve contributed to the nail polish community. You’ve brought a lot of smiles to my face.

 

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Lip Tints by Black Widow Balm

Such a fan of these tinted, scented balms by Black Widow Balm.

From left to right: Kiss of Death, Ursula, Iron Maiden, Voodoo

I stumbled across Black Widow Balm while looking at chapstick on etsy one day (I am so productive with my free time).

I’m a sucker for packaging, so I was intrigued as soon as I saw these kitschy little balms with their bold labeling and unique shades and scents. I mean, how can you pass up a purple tinted lip balm that smells like oatmeal raisin cookies? Or a grey one that smells like campfire? I couldn’t.

Black Widow Balm arrives adorably packaged in handstamped paper, and each balm is individually sealed. I even got a bonus birthday balm thrown in my order! Happy day.

And the quality of the balms themselves? So. Fantastic. Each one gives a subtle, sheer tint to your lips. Here’s how each one looks when applied:

Ursula – a purple tint that would probably appear cool on some people, but looks more bright and cheery on my skin tone. Hint of cinnamon and sweet in the scent and subtle flavor.

Iron Maiden – my surprise favorite of the bunch, and also the most opaque. The grey tint gives off a smoky look, and makes me feel all dark and mysterious. Subtle flavor of cedar, smells like spicy woods and clove.

Kiss of Death (K.O.D.) – punchy red-orange with cinnamon and clove.

Voodoo – reminds me a bit of Clinique’s Black Cherry, only more sheer. Looks very natural, with a light pine flavor and a smell like woods in fall.

Each balm was equally moisturizing, with a light feel. I hate when balms feel too waxy or heavy; these balms went on velvety smooth, with the perfect amount of tint and just a little bit of shine. The color didn’t last long, but these balms don’t make a bold statement – they’re great if you’re looking for something a little more natural (think: Voodoo), or a little unique without being in-your-face (Iron Maiden, for example). One  swipe across the lips and you’ve got a bit of moisture, a simple, sheer shade of color.

Black Widow Balm can be bought at her etsy shop. Communication with BWB was excellent, and my items arrived promptly. I definitely recommend checking her out if you’re a fan of lip balms or tints!

Black Widow Balm shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackWidowBalm

BWB Website: http://blackwidowbalm.com/

Botanical Perfumes by For Strange Women

Today I’m going to talk to you about a little perfume brand known as For Strange Women.

First of all, the name of this company is perfect. These are not your run of the mill sort of scents – they are sometimes woodsy, sometimes spicy, earthy and mysterious; they are unique and beautifully strange.  And every element is meticulously thought out – from the ingredients that go into each scent to the packaging.

For Strange Women offers scents in a variety of different forms, but my favorite is the perfume locket.

Perfume Locket (and the box it comes in)

I am largely an introvert, and often get overwhelmed in social situations, or loud, crowded spaces. There’s something  comforting in wearing this locket around my neck, whether it’s on display or tucked under my sweater. When I start to get overwhelmed, sometimes I catch a hint of the comforting smokiness of Fireside Story, or the warmth of Winter Kitty, and it grounds me.

The scents of For Strange Women are like memories, wisps of forgotten things that unfurl – sitting in front of a fireplace, legs tucked beneath you and hot cocoa in your hands; the first time you breathed in snow-cold frozen air and it stung your lungs; the crackle of leaves beneath your feet as you walked through a forest, alone, and took in the quiet around you – a whiff, and flashes of these stored-away moments materialize.

Solid perfume nestled in a locket.

A break down of the scents I’ve tried:

Fireside Story: smoky, woodsy, fire burning in a cabin and a blanket wrapped around you

Black Forest: sweet, dark jasmine bloom in moonlight

Winter Kitty: opens crisp and cool, blooms into smoke and warmth, curls of vanilla at the edges

Tonka: a dry vanilla, instead of a sweet one. Hints of almond and hay. Like a bright summer afternoon in a barn.

November in the Temperate Deciduous Forest: heavy, wet leaves in the woods, spongy undergrowth, round bloom of mushroom and sharpness of black tea.

Not sure what you might like? For Strange Women has a perfume map to help you decide.

For scale (note – I made the chain pictured myself).

For Strange Women can be found on etsy, or at her own site (I recommend visiting her site so you can see the adorable kitty cinemagraph on the front page!). Her scent descriptions are extremely accurate, but she also offers samples if you want to try some out before committing.

Natural, unique, and definitely a little bit strange (in a good way): I recommed For Strange Women without a doubt.

Purplecat Creatives – Body Butters

Today I have something a little different to share with you all. In addition to indie polish, I am a big fan of handmade indie products in general, from bath and beauty to art prints and home decor. Because of that, I’ve been thinking of broadening The Polish Fox and beginning to work in a review here and there that focuses on indie products outside of the polish realm.

Here goes – my first try at reviewing something other than nail polish! Body butters seemed like a safe place to start. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Purplecat Creatives:

I am very sensitive to scents – I can’t wear spray perfumes, and often get headaches from floral, fruity, or artifical scents. I tend to do all right with creamy or woodsy aromas though, so I tried six body butters that leaned in these categories, and here’s my impression:

Pumpkin Macchiato: I get nutmeg, mocha, cream, and a hint of pumpkin – it’s a mellow, meandering scent.

Hot Buttered Rum: No. Just, no. I hate this one. I detect absolutely no butter or rum – it has an overwhelming scent of banana, of all things – sickly sweet, like banana laffy taffy.

Raven’s Blend: Chocolatey, but with a hint of something tangy, almost like orange peels. Levels out with the grounded aroma of coffee and hazelnut.

Dreamcatcher: Spicy, fruity vanilla. I don’t know why I detect fruitiness in so many of these that are not supposed to have hints of fruit – maybe something is wrong with my nose. It’s nice, though. Vanilla with a twist.

Twilight Gypsy: This smells like a dentist’s office to me. Like baby powder, and some sort of gentle antiseptic. Not really getting much of a gypsy or a twilight feel.

Bohemian Lager: It opens with a sweet, creamy aroma, like pumpkin laced frosting. It unfurls into something woodsier and oaky. Like nibbling on sweet bread while meandering through an old library. My favorite of the bunch.

The shop descriptions of the scents didn’t really match with how they smelled to me in person, but ordering scents online is always a bit tricky. I did end up being such a huge fan of Boheman Lager that I went back and ordered a giant jar of it (and have already used around half of it because it just smells so good to me).

And I actually get a lot more use out of the tiny sample sizes than I would have expected. The formula is the same for all of them – rich and creamy, with an almost whipped, airy consistency. They also absorb quickly, more like a lotion than a butter, which I loved. 

I always have one in my purse, and I even took a couple of them with me on my trip to the Philippines and they were very handy to have on hand. And on my hands! Ha.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Purplecat Creatives’ body butters – but I suggest ordering the samples first, so you can make sure you find a scent you like.

Purplecat Creatives etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PurplecatCreatives?ref=si_shop#

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PurplecatCreatives/info

Site (with descriptions of all their scents): http://www.purplecat-creatives.com/

Colors By Llarowe Giveaway!

Hi all! I was gone for a few weeks in the Philippines, but now I’m back…with a GIVEAWAY!

Due to a site glitch, I was accidentally sent some extra Colors By Llarowe polishes. When I contacted Llarowe, they said I could use them as a giveaway for you lucky readers – woohoo! So thanks to Llarowe’s generosity, you have the chance to win Oxen, Oh Christmas Tree, and Gunfighter!

Oh Christmas Tree, Gunfighter, Oxen

Some of you might remember that my review of Gunfighter was not completely positive – this was because it appeared different in person than it did in the swatch photo on Llarowe’s website. I am happy to tell you that this is not the case with Oh Christmas Tree and Oxen – both of them rich in color and holo, and exactly as they were pictured. Also, Gunfighter is still a beautiful polish that’s worth getting excited over as a giveaway prize (my frustration had mostly just been over its difference in person).

The Polish Fox is not a very big blog, so I was touched that Llarowe offered to let me use these polishes for a giveaway. They really do have amazing customer service – it’s what keeps me going back to them again and again.

So hop on over to my facebook page to enter for a chance to win! Because my blog is not self-hosted, I can’t put it directly here on my website for you all. If any of you do not wish to like my facebook page in order to enter, just email me at nailpolishfox@gmail.com and I’ll enter you into the raffle manually. 🙂

National Geographic, here I come!

So enter here if you’re interested, and good luck! And a big thank you to Llarowe for the generous donation!!

 

Shimmer Polish – Kim

Shimmer Polish ‘Kim’ is aquatic and striking – the light catches it even in dim environments, giving your nails a blue, watery glow. It reminds me of those cave pools you see in National Geographic, that glow different colors in the dark.

Shimmer Polish ‘Kim’makes me think of a clear, tropical ocean on a calm summer day, the sun glinting off the surface, rays of sun sparkling like amethysts and diamonds.

Two coats ‘Kim’ over OPI ‘Tickle My Francey’

And then putting ‘Kim’ over black transforms it into a more serious and striking sort of beauty:

Two coats ‘Kim’ over Sinful Colors ‘Black on Black’

Now excuse me, I’m going to stare at my nails and be truly impressed by Shimmer Polish’s talent for finding complimentary glitter combinations – it’s as if these glitters were born to be together. Gorgeous little glitter soulmates.

Shimmer Polish can be purchased at her etsy shop. She also produces custom polishes upon request.

You guys are awesome.

This is how you all make me feel:

CHAMPION!!

I started this blog as a fun little thing to do with all my nail polishes. I didn’t really expect anything to happen. But since then, I have encountered so much generosity, kindness, and encouragement and it has genuinely moved me. Warmed the cockles of my heart, I say!

I’ve been left kind comments, had my posts shared, and been given advice and support from kind internet strangers who don’t even know me. I want to do something to thank you all for how wonderful you’ve been, so I’m going to be attempt my very first giveaway (gulp)! I’m a little nervous about it because I have no idea what I’m doing, but it’s definitely worth it after all the support I’ve received from you guys.

I couldn’t get rafflecopter embedded on my blog due to wordpress restrictions, so you will have to enter on my facebook page. Because it’s my first giveaway and I’m a little nervous that I might do something wrong, I’m going to start with a small giveaway. I’m sorry it’s not much for now, but at least one of you wonderful people will win something!

So, visit here to enter the giveaway and one lucky winner is going to win one polish of their choice (as long as it is under $11) from Llarowe!

Thank you all for being so wonderful. 🙂

PS – one of the ways you can enter is by leaving a comment on this post answering this question: what is currently your favorite indie polish? You’ll just have to give the name you commented with to rafflecopter.

And please let me know if I’m doing something wrong! This is my first time doing a giveaway and I’m very clueless. 😛

A serious post.

*This is a more serious/personal post than what is usually posted on my blog as it deals with loss and grieving. For those of you who read my blog for my swatches and reviews, I apologize, and you may just want to skip this post.*

I’m going to break out of my swatch and review mode for a moment to get a little serious and personal. Yesterday I found out my Aunt Winnie passed away, and it hit me pretty hard. After I heard, I cried for a good long while, thinking about my family on the East Coast, so far away from me, thinking about my family getting older, thinking about the ones I love and how temporary things can be. My aunt was 95, and so yes, it was going to happen eventually – but still, it hurts. I hate that the people we love have a timestamp. I hate that they can’t be in our lives forever. But that’s the way it is, and that’s what makes us human, and that’s what makes us alive.

I couldn’t sleep last night and was still feeling sad, so I decided to do a mani in my Aunt’s honor. Perhaps this seems a bit silly – painting your nails to honor someone? But painting my nails is something I’ve come to enjoy and find comfort in, and in a way it can be an art form. And I think she would have liked it, maybe.

My aunt was kind, introverted, and intellectual. She had a dog who was her best friend; when we were young she used to say it was his birthday every time we visited, and we would have a small birthday cake and she would give us small presents from him. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized she’d done it as an excuse to give us little gifts.

My main memory attached to my aunt, though, was going to her house on hot summers days and spending hours in her pool. She had one of those round, above-ground pools and my siblings and I thought it was just the bees knees. We’d come over and she would have inflated a giant inflatable giraffe and killer whale for us, and they would be slowly floating around the pool, beckoning to us to jump in and grab them. We’d dive in and play for hours.

So I tried doing my first artistic mani in honor of my Aunt Winnie, inspired by that pool. I remember how the water would beam like a blue gem, and the sun would glint on the surface. I tried to recreate that here.

I think you could almost dive into them, like blue water. I think my Auntie Winnie would have liked them. I’ll always remember those warm summer days fondly.