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Ready for some ROYAL Treatment??

Some things are better in small packages.  Or, small batches.  Specifically, small batch prototypes.  Like these…

Royal Lacquer is doing a release this weekend of FOUR beauties…small batch prototypes, just a little run, to give you something pretty for summertime.  From left to right, there’s Sunkissed Cheeks, Love Is, Teal-tini and Oceans Apart.  Aren’t they lovely?

Sunkissed Cheeks - two coats, with a coat of HK Girl.  PERFECTION.

Love Is - Two coats, with one coat of HK Girl.  This could have built to opacity, I believe, with a third coat.  I think this one would also make a great topper!

Teal-tini - Two coats,with one coat of HK Girl.  This one could have worked at one coat, but my OCD wouldn’t allow it.  This one is AMAZING.  Just Oh.Em.GAWJUSS.

Oceans Apart - Two coats, with a coat of HK Girl … this one would have done better, I think, with a third coat of polish.  There are these beautiful little (surprising) small hexes in there, and the sparkle is amazing.  I think you could use this one with some undies - but I also think this one is worth the extra coat, to build it to opacity…because it’s really beautiful on its own!

And there you have it:  A small SBP collection … a fabulous foursome.  Again, this is a small batch run, so there is ABSOLUTELY no guarantee that, once they’re gone, they’ll ever be available again.  Do you REALLY want to take the chance?

Royal Lacquer on Etsy - GO SHOPPING!!

Royal Lacquer on Facebook and on Instragram!!

Hand me my crown, would ya?

GG <3

Every Little Thing She Does is Magic..

Alchemy:  What does it even mean?

1:  a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life
WELL, then - that whole “base metals into gold” thing explains the “gilded” polishes … more on THAT in a bit.
2:  an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting
I would absolutely agree - some of these polishes are hard to explain, and their depth and beauty are both mysterious and somewhat transformative.
3:  a power or process of transforming something common into something special
Indeed.  The power to take something as common as a bottle of nail polish, and turn it into something special … that’s Alchemy Lacquers, and that’s what she does (“she” being Rebecca, the main alchemist and magic-maker).
Here comes the disclaimer:  I am a customer of Alchemy Lacquers and own SEVERAL - and I am friends with Rebecca.  I have also (recently) received “Lab Samples” (mini sizes, free to me) - with no expectation of a published review, favorable or otherwise, but for the sole intent of creating and distributing swatch pictures to my reader demographic, and for providing feedback to help create a better product.  I’m a firm believer in full disclosure and transparency - and in supporting stellar businesspeople who provide a great product and fantastic customer service, and you know I’m all about #supportindiepolish.
So, get a load of THIS:

Look at the bright burritos, and the cute little babies, all lined up in a row…these are the lab samples that I got from Rebecca in my last shipment.  Aren’t they PRETTY??  

She sent me lab samples of two that are already in the shop and available for purchase, Foxfire and Argon, from the Noble Biolum collection:

ARE THESE FREAKING GORGEOUS OR WHAT?  I can’t say enough about these.  These were applied over bare nail (no base coat).  I usually swatch over bare nails … makes for an easier “quick change” situation, when I’m doing multiples in one sitting.  Foxfire is three thin coats; Argon is two.  Both have one coat of HK Girl over the top.  And, in case you can’t tell?  Both. Are. STUNNING.

(The next four are still in the development and testing phase - release date pending and formula subject to change.)

Forsythia is a creamy, buttery pastel yellow with some shimmer and flakes - three thin coats over bare nail, with one coat of HK Girl.

Delphinium is FULL of bling - two thicker coats on the bare nail, with a coat of Glitter Food to smooth it out, topped with a coat of HK Girl.  This had gorgeous depth and color.

HELLO, Hot Stuff!  Night Fire was two regular (not real thin but not thick, either) coats on the bare nail, and one coat of HK Girl … and then, I took a cold shower, because this one was AH-MAY-ZING!

Gilded Lagoon is just gorgeous…it’s the golden sun glinting off the turquoise water, somewhere tropical, with the reflection of the blue sky (work with me - I never claimed to be a poet).  Two coats, bare nail - one coat of HK Girl.  You could use this as a topper with undies; I chose not to do that, so you could see the ability of the polish to build.  It’s almost opaque with these two coats - and would be at three.

Alchemy kind of has a “thing” with the “gilded” polishes - it’s her signature.  I have a couple, including Gilded Shamrocks and Gilded Rose Hip - and still have a couple on my wish list that I missed when they were released.  Remember that the act of alchemy is all about turning the plain and ordinary metals into gold…so when something becomes “gilded,” it becomes “goldified.”  These polishes?  Yep.  She nailed it.

And then, there’s this…

Rebecca does some lovely, understated glisteny creme polishes that remain in the core line - they work well for coordinating with other things, for undies, to be stamped on … and yet, they’re beautiful and elegant on their own!  Valerian is one of my personal favorites.

I can’t say enough about Alchemy Lacquers…the polish is just lovely. And the best part? You CAN accuse her of gilding the lily…as well as the shamrock, the patriot, the rose hip, the lagoon - hell, she’ll gild anything if it sits still long enough!  She’s an ALCHEMIST - it’s what she does!

You can “like” Alchemy Lacquers here on Facebook…

You can follow Alchemy Lacquers here on Instagram!

And when you’re done doing all that, you can go buy some of the pretty polish at their Etsy shop, HERE!!

Do a little alchemy of your own…transform YOUR nails with Alchemy Lacquers!!

Magically yours,

GG <3

It’s Not About Playing Favorites, Per Se…

I guess, if it’s a numbers game?  it is.  I have more of one brand than I do any other.  When asked “What’s your favorite brand of nail polish?,” though, I will usually respond with “Whatever is in my hand/on my nails/in front of me at any given moment in time.”

I like it all.  I buy it all.  MUST.OWN.ALL.THE.POLISH.

I love traditional cremes …as a matter of fact, I freakin’ LOVE a good hot-ass red creme polish, with a shiny top coat.  It’s classy and it’s timeless.

But?  I love crellies.  And GLITTER.  LOTS and LOTS of GLITTER.  And shimmers and holos and flakies, OH MY!  I don’t have a favorite color (so stop asking!) - I am blessed (truly) with a skin tone that allows me to wear warm and cool colors…and I’m not too pale, nor too dark, so I can go from VERY light colors to extremely vampy darks. I can wear anything, and for the most part, it looks good.  I’m lucky like that (and my wallet weeps real tears, because nothing is off limits).

And this?  This is why I probably love me some Jindie Nails.  Well…it’s one reason among several.

Before I begin my Ode to Jindie, let me say FIRST to all the rest of the polish-making community:  I love you, too.  I buy your polish (way too often - weeping wallet, remember), and I own it happily and wear it proudly … I will continue to buy it and promote it, gush over it, love it, and refuse to part with it (I’m REAL bad about getting rid of polish, once it’s in the helmer.  If there’s ever a Hoarders: Nail Polish Addicts special?  Watch for me…).  I’ve made friends with some wonderful, creative, talented, think-outside-the-box, amazing people who make outrageously gorgeous polish.  In fact, I have reviews coming up for Alchemy Lacquers *and* Royal Lacquer in the VERY near future…and I love both those makers like sisters-from-other-misters!

But I love me some Jindie, and I own a metric shit-ton of it…and I cannot bring myself to part with it.  Ever.  Not a trade, not a sell…it’s just a thing.  I own it in three different types of full-size bottles, from buying peoples’ old-school destashed Jindies.  I have mid-sized and minis.  I’ve stalked blog sales to get BOTH versions of JINDIE-pendence (and GOT ‘EM!), and have all three of the duo collaborations with Dollish Polish.  I subscribed to the indie box from Llarowe, the first one, because there was a Jindie in it.  For some reason?  It was just a thing with me…maybe because I found Jindie just as I was getting into indie polish, and the name resonated?  Maybe because Jindie’s Hope LE was my first exposure to a “polish for a cause,” AND the first crelly polish I ever got to look good on my nails…good enough that when I posted a mani pic, I got compliments?  Maybe because everything that comes out is just so cotton-pickin’ pretty?

Maybe because Jindie Nails owner Jenn Hallman takes such good care of her customers, and passes on discounts, creates group customs, and even creates special polishes as gifts to compensate delayed shipping?

Maybe because the holo polishes just shoot damned rainbows out of your fingertips??

Maybe because there’s no such thing as too much white crelly?

OR too much pink?

.Or maybe, I’m just a freak…

Whatever.  I’ll own it.  I love me some Jindie.  You should love you some Jindie, too…for real.  She does EVERYTHING right, as far as I’m concerned…polish, customer service, everything.  <3

You can find Jindie for purchase at the Jindie Nails storefront.

Make sure to like Jindie on Facebook.

While you’re at it, follow Jindie on Instagram and on Twitter!

And wherever you go, show some love…and #supportindiepolish.

Peace’n’polish,

GG <3

And the winners are…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ten prizes.  Ten winners.  And the winners are in the same order as the prizes…so, the first winner drawn gets the first prize on the list, and so on.

As Romeo says in the Boondock Saints (the second one):  This ain’t rocket surgery.

All of the prize contributors have already been provided with the name and e-mail address of their subsequent prize winner; three of the prizes (the Big Spoon Lacquers duo and the Jindie Nails polish, along with the gift card) will come from me - and those recipients have already been notified via the e-mail submitted during the enter-to-win period.

I will say this again:  ALL the prizes (except for the gift card) were donated by the entities named - and they’ll be shipping those prizes directly to the winners.  This would be an AWESOME time to figure out if you’d like to order something from those contributors, if you won something from them, and have them include your ORDER with your PRIZE - since the shipping would be free.  That, my Glammies, is what we call a Win-Win situation:  YOU save on shipping, and you support the indie makers who supported the giveaway.  <3

Congratulations to all the winners!!

And keep sharing the blog (both on Tumblr and Bloglovin’), the Facebook page, the Twitter and the Instagram…for instance, when I hit 2000 likes on Facebook?  I’m thinking it’s time for ANOTHER GIVEAWAY.  :)

Love’n’luck,

GG <3

So, It Took Me a While To Figure Out the Name…

Benefit’s They’re Real! Push-Up Liner.  

Um…WHAT’s real?  I get it, when we’re talking about the mascara…”Of COURSE these are my real lashes!” (insert dramatic eyelash flutter here)  I guess they’re using the “They’re Real!” thing to connect it to the mascara branding.  And, what’s being pushed up?  Is there supposed to be some sort of lifting effect or benefit (see what I did there?) to using this liner?   Finally, I figured out that maybe, when you twist up the product, it “pushes up” to the end of the tip, which is shown here:

It is a soft, flexible, hollow rubber tip, and you twist the OTHER end - at which time, a gel or paint like black is forced through it.

This was the result, the first time I used it:

So, yeah.  There’s a definite learning curve.  Now, to be fair?  I got complimented on it, immediately…by my BFF, who wouldn’t have a problem saying “What the hell is going on, on your face?” Instead, she said “I really like your eyeliner…it’s a nice thick, dark line.” And then, we had a discussion about it, and whether or not I’d ever be able to master anything OTHER than a thick line with it.

The second time I decided to use it, I ran into one of the complaints I’d read about it:  Residue from the prior use stays in the rubber tip and dries, and when you’re “cranking up” new product, you have to twist up enough to force that out - and either it ends up in a glob on your eyelid, OR you waste product.  Major pisser.  There IS a work-around - when you’re done, clean the tip with a tissue, using a gentle squeezing motion to clean out the hollow “tube” in the tip.  You might still have SOME residue, but when I used it the third time, after cleaning it the second time?  Nowhere near the issues.

On the plus side?  It’s darkity-dark-DARK-damnit-DARK black, and it stays put.  Here, look…this is where I tested on the back of my hand, before using it the third time, to see if cleaning the tip helped with the “leftover product in the tip” problem (it helps):

And THIS is the back of my hand after SCRUBBING THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF IT with soap and water:

You can SEE how red my hand is.  I scrubbed…I mean, SCRUBBED.  I had to use make-up remover and a cotton pad to get it all off, and even that takes a little bit of holding the pad on it for a moment.

And this is what the liner looks like, applied at 4 pm one day, SLEPT in, and at around 10:30 am the following day … and YES, we’ve had this talk before.  I know it’s not good to sleep in your make-up.  I’M TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM HERE, people:

Perfect make-up?  Well hell no…I SLEPT IN IT.  But if you end up drinking too much and sleeping over at a friend’s house, at least you’re going to wake up NOT looking like a raccoon when you grab your shit and do the Walk of Shame.  I’m just saying… (the flakes are mascara - I love Benefit’s They’re Real, but if I rub my eyes, it flakes on me … especially if I *sleep in it* - HELLO!)

This is the third attempt:

You can see that my lines have gotten a little thinner, and a little smoother (the eyeliner lines…the ones on my face ain’t goin’ anywhere - and I’m okay with that, granny that I am).  So, let’s recap, shall we?

The Good:

  • REALLY dark black
  • Doesn’t budge unless you take it off
  • I like the rubber tip!
  • Easy to make a smooth, thick line

The Not-So-Good:

  • The learning curve - I’ve used it three times and I still wouldn’t reach for it if I was in a hurry
  • You have to clean the tip after each use, if you don’t want a mess each time you use it
  • Hard to get a thin line
  • Hard to take off, even with make-up remover
  • I think that it will run out quickly - most of my “twist-up to dispense” stuff seems to not last long at all
  • The pricing point … it’s $24

So, there you go.  I will use this until it’s gone…but unless I become DRAMATICALLY better with it, I will most likely not repurchase - leaving me still on a search for a true Holy Grail (cue the seraphim, blinding light and aurias) eyeliner pen.

Winks,

GG <3

PS: Don’t forget … this ends TODAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes, Cheap IS Good!

So, let me just put this out there:  I wasn’t sure what the big damned deal was with all this hype about Baby Lips by Maybelline.  I’ll admit it.  EVERYONE had Baby Lips crap on their wishlist for Christmas…there are 50 kajillion (that’s with 147 zeroes, but who’s counting?) different colors/types of the stuff… it has a nearly-cult following, it seems.  Then, a friend of mine that I *know* loves high-end stuff (I mean, HIGH-END.  I mean, CHANEL-level high-end…shit you ain’t even heard of yet high-end) said “I want some Baby Lips Crystal,” and I’m all “WHOA, stop the presses, alert the media, and I’m goin’ to Walmart.”  She specifically asked about the “Crystal” type Baby Lips, so that’s what I went for, too…and I got two colors:  Gleaming Coral and Pink Quartz.

These things are $2.98 at Walmart.  Um, yeah…what ELSE can you buy anymore that’s less than $3 and worth a shit?  I mean, really?  Okay…chocolate - but not the GOOD STUFF.  Anyways, promises 8 hours of moisturizing benefits (I wiped it off, and I can still feel moisture on my lips, for what it’s worth) - probably due to the shea butter and vitamin E.  AND, tons of colors to choose from, with “a hint of shimmer.”  Now, this is not a “POW, in-your-FACE” lip color.  If you’re looking for that?  Get a lipstick.  No,really…this ain’t that.

This is my lips, bare (actually, this is my entire face bare, other than some mascara…I’m OLD, remember?):

And, this is with Gleaming Coral Baby Lips:

See?  Just a HINT of color and shine.

And this is with Baby Lips Pink Quartz:

I liked this one even better.  Slightly more color and shimmer, great shine.  BOTH of these felt awesome on my lips…really smooth, non-sticky.  Pleasant taste and smell (not that I did a lot of lip-licking, but you know what I mean…it wasn’t gross or an overtly chemical flavor or scent).

I get it now…and for $3??  I WANT MORE OF DIS.

The second thing I went for, based on the desire to be like the friend-who-likes-all-things-high-end-cosmetic was this:

(Yes, it’s been opened in this picture - I ripped it out of the package and tried it before I realized “Oh crap - I forgot to take photos.”)

It’s part of L’Oreal’s Voluminous line of mascaras…so that’s a good start.

Two features to note:  The shape of the brush is conical…Lancome did this shape with its Hypnose Doll Lashes, but their brush was slightly smaller and the brushes were more regularly spaced and tightly packed.  I didn’t like it all that much…it made my lashes too spiky (and for the record, I like Lancome’s Hypnose Mascaras quite a bit).  Second, see that “hinge” in the brush?  That’s something I haven’t experienced before (I’m not saying it’s never been done - I’m just saying *I* don’t have anything else with that).  It takes a little getting used to, because it’s VERY flexible.  I still haven’t exactly figured out the point of that, to be honest.  In any event?  I don’t dislike it - and even though it’s a little different than that to which I’m accustomed?  I think it worked out pretty well.

This is without mascara (totally bare-faced, actually):

The next two are after two coats of Miss Manga mascara:

See?  QUITE a bit of lashes going on there - if I’d taken some time to cover up the circles under my eyes, put on some eyeliner, etc.?  Would have looked pretty darned awesome.  

Will this be my holy grail mascara?  Um…probably not.  Is it my favorite drugstore mascara?  Sadly, no…Rimmel still holds the record on that one (it’s the hourglass-shaped brush!).  But is this pretty decent mascara?  Yep…for $7’ish, it’s not bad at all!

Love,

GG <3

PS:  Don’t forget to enter to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

Yep - I have to agree…I’ll never turn away beauty, in any form.  And neither should you.  So…how would you like to win some?  You may recall that GlamourGranny celebrated two years’ worth of existence back on May 6th.  Two.Whole.Years.  Two years of reading my ranting and raving about everything from beauty subscriptions to mascara that runs to dry shampoo. What a long, strange trip it’s been, eh?

So, there are ten prizes:

From my main polish BFF, the lovely Karel at the Boom Shaka Lacquer blog…

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From my girl Pauline at Big Spoon Lacquers/The Polished Spoon Blog…

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From my gal Jenn at Jindie Nails

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From Ashley and Nate at Emerald & Ash

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From the amazing Emily of Carpe Noctem Cosmetics

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From the magical mind of Rebecca at Alchemy Lacquers

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From the fantastic Ashley of Knockout Lacquer

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From the dynamic duo of Tiffany and Troy at Royal Lacquer/VyNails (this package will also include VyNails nail vinyls, not pictured) …

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A surprise prize package from the gracious Stephanie at WingDust Collections … (since it’s a surprise, no photo is available)

AND finally…

From me?  A $10 gift card (online) to Ulta Beauty

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Pretty cool, huh?  So, make sure you enter.  Check it out.  The contest has already started…and while you wait?  Check out the contributors’ links and see what all they have to offer - because if you win?  I mean hell - you’re already getting something shipped to you…take advantage of the free shipping and place an order!  :)

The giveaway ends on Sunday, July 13th, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time; names will be drawn randomly no later than 9;00 p.m. EST that same evening (barring an unforeseeable catastrophic event).

OH!  And you can share the giveaway daily, once you enter, for four additional chances to win…how cool is that?

Good luck!

Love,

GG <3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Damn, that’s SHINY…er, GLOSSY!

I’ll just leave this RIGHT HERE…

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See how shiny that is?  Yeah, I know the picture is blurry - I wasn’t going for a macro shot of the polish…I was GOING for the blur, so you could see the reflection of the light source off the surface of the nail, BECAUSE of the high-gloss finish.  HA!!  I actually MEANT TO DO THAT!  This is after 12 hours, repeated hand-washings, a cuticle treatment, scrubbing my kitchen sink with bleach cleanser (why am I the only one who does that?) and a sink-load of dishes in really hot water (which means I need another cuticle treatment).  OH, and I did this mani right before I went to bed…and I have no smudging - and IT’S NOT EVEN A QUICK-DRY TOP COAT.  

What IS this sorcery, you ask?

Glossy Glam Topcoat by Rica, available for $7 for 16.5 mL at the JustRicarda shop on Etsy!

Super-shiny.  Like, CRAZY shiny.

I tried it over several different polish finishes, to see if that made a difference - and…it didn’t.  If I need to pull out a bunch of different finishes?  Hello, Jindie Nails…I can find about any finish I’m looking for somewhere in the Jindie line-up.  The pictures above actually represent a collaboration between Jindie and Dollish Polish - the red is Ms. Monroe by Dollish, a jelly-fleck-glitter bomb of juicy, squishy goodness. With the Glossy Glam, it has a glass-like finish.  The blue is Mr. President from Jindie, and it’s got holo and shimmer and glitters (oh my!) and flakies and…just OMG.  It goes on somewhat matte, because of all the STUFF that’s going on in the polish - again, please notice the high-gloss finish on the nail.  Then, I decided to stamp over it with Rica’s Whiteout stamping polish:

THAT’s right…no smearing over stamping.  BOOYAH!

Doesn’t dull holos, either…

Levels out crellies that you’d THINK would be bumpy, but NOOOOO…

I have to be 100 percent honest … I was really apprehensive when Rica said “Hey, have you tried my Glossy Glam? Want to try it?”  I even told her “I use a quick-dry top coat, because I’m a klutz,” or something VERY SIMILAR to that.  But, gotta tell ya….it might not be AS “quick-dry” as my usual go-to toppie, and I might not be able to pull it off if I’m doing multiple coats of stuff.  And I’m fine with that - sometimes you have to sacrifice something to accomplish something else (I have an entire drawer full of base and top coats, and they serve various purposes).  But for a go-to topcoat for a regular manicure?  This, darlings, is IT.  It dries pretty damned quick, it holds its shine, and so far, its wearing like iron.  It’s just gorgeous…and glossy…and GLAM!  And I’m GlamourGranny, so well…HELLO, Lover!!

As I mentioned earlier, you can purchase the 16.5 mL bottle for $7 - you can ALSO purchase a 2 ounce (60 mL) refill bottle with a squeeze top cap for $21, which is like buying three and getting one for free.  AMAZING value!!  In addition (I’ve already mentioned in this post, as well as reviewed them), Rica does some GREAT stamping polishes:  Whiteout and Blackout - can’t say enough about those, and she’s currently formulating some new colors.  She’s also working on the new Ocean Breathes polish collection - I’ve seen swatches, and THEY.ARE.GORGEOUS! (And the names….sweet CHRIST on a cracker, the names KILL me.)

Where can you find Ricarda?

On Facebook

On Etsy

On Instagram

Gloss & giggles,

GG

PS:  And a shout-out to my girl Jen at Jindie Nails … because, well, that polish.  <3

Oh, Khaleesi…why does the season have to end (and where can I get some of that stamping polish)??

I’m a nerd.  Or a geek.  Or whatever you want to call someone who obsesses over a television show.

That’s me, and Game of Thrones.  So, I decided to do a mani, and pay homage to my FAVORITE character from the series, Daenerys Targaryen.

I incorporated WingDust Collection’s Summer Storm (the gorgeous grey crelly with the purple glitter), because Dany - yes, we’re close like that - was born on Dragonstone in the midst of a storm, earning her the nickname Daenerys Stormborn.  She is also known as the Mother of Dragons, hence the stamped scales and dragons.  

I used Messy Mansion plate MM21 for all my images.  Lilypad Lacquer’s Black Pearl was used for the scales, and Rica’s Whiteout & Blackout was used for the dragons.  The accent color is Color Club’s Pardon My French. If you can excuse the fact that I totally lost my mind? It’s a pretty mani.

I think that the dragon stamping is particularly good, and I attribute that to the quality of the stamping polish.  I recently purchased the Rica white and black (Whiteout and Blackout, respectively), and They.Are.AMAZING.  Clean image, flawless pick-up on the stamper, clear image. It’s a fantastic opaque black AND white stamping polish, and it’s not hella thick (who knew?), so it can be used as a one-coater base coat if necessary.

You can purchase at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/justricarda?ref=l2-shopheader-name

You can follow on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/ricastamps

AND follow on Instagram at:

http://instagram.com/justricarda

In the meantime?  I will be curled up in a corner, mourning the end of yet another season of Game of Thrones.  Oh Khaleesi…my Khaleesi - how the HELL AM I GOING TO SURVIVE UNTIL NEXT SPRING??

Wistfully,

GG

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