NOTD: Kiko 502 (Pearly Pink Mexican)

While I totally want to talk about how this is the FIRST manicure I have done since being in Germany, because jet lag is kicking my ass. I just can't. Not when the color name is so oddly hilarious that I just can't stop shaking my head over it.

Kiko doesn't actually list names on the the bottle, instead just giving it a color number designation. Instead you have to go on to their site (not the US one mind you) to match up the number to the name. So now you can picture my utter baffled delight when I saw that this pink stunner was named Pearly Pink Mexican.

I just...what does that even mean!?

I did find that most of the jelly/glass flecked polishes started with "Pearly *color* *another word*". But Mexican? Where did that even come from!?

Okay I should probably move on.

As I said above this Kiko was officially my first mani since getting here. Let's just say when you can pass out standing up, due to jet lag, that nail painting just isn't happening.

So after a recent prompt of "wear an untried pink polish" in a nail group that I'm in, I grabbed this Kiko. Pearly Pink Mexican. Or PPM for short.

PPM is a jelly based glass fleck. Think of all of those glorious Zoya colors if you need a visual. It is a bright, hot pink with some magenta undertones. It applied beautifully and went on in two easy coats. Though I did three coats on some fingers due to my nails being super long, which is causing a wicked visible nail line on pretty much everything I've been wearing. Oh and it is a bitch to photograph. This polish truly does range from a hot pink to magenta depending on the light. Right now, typing this, it is magenta. Outside in full sun it is a bright, blinding hot pink. 

{Outdoor: partially cloudy}

Brand: Kiko
Availability: Throughout Europe, both online and storefront. Small smattering of US storefronts up and down east coats. 

Coats: 2-3, with 3rd coat to hide my very white VNL. 

Haul and a hello from over seas!

To say that it's been awhile is the understatement of the century. So I'll keep it simple with the reasoning. 

Life can get busy. Life has been busy. 

Life is still very much busy and yet I somehow find myself in Dresden, Germany. For a month no less. 

This came about due to Nate starting his PhD and his advisor needing someone to come to Germany to learn about a new piece of equipment that the school recently obtained. Somewhere between that point and a few days ago Nate and I decided that it would be great for me to come. So here I am, in Dresden, for a month with Nate.

Well sort of with Nate. As he's pretty much working a 9-6 job on a science campus while I chill in a dorm room that looks more like a IKEA decorated jail cell. 

We do our best to get out in the evenings, but are quickly learning that Germany works very differently from the US. Meaning that shops close early. Like 6-7pm early with a few (very few) 8-9pm stragglers in the main part of Dresden. People here actually want to get home and relax. It's a nice idea, but still shocking to two people who don't mind wandering a Super Target at 10pm. 

That being said we have done some wandering already. We've been here, officially, a whole week as of today. So we have had a weekend to wander. Now again when I say weekend I really mean Saturday, because much like how most shops close early during the week, pretty much everything is closed on Sunday. 

We're adjusting to a lot more than time change.

Of course while here I do want to take in the sites and see all of the things that are older than the US x2. But I also have some top priorities. Of which happen to include...


Yep, between buying chocolate, wine, beer, shoes, beer and food, I also must procure all of the amazing European and German nail polishes. It just has to happen. And let's just be honest, I've already taken in a stellar haul from my first weekend here. With more hauls to happen in the very near future. 

So, seeing as I will have all of this amazing polish AND I can't really work on anything Emerald & Ash related while overseas, I will instead share with you all my hauls and swatches of the many polishes I encounter and buy. 

Hope that works for you. 

Cause it's totally happening.

And because you made it through this long winded wall of text just to learn that I'm going to be sharing my international polish purchases with you...

I give you my first haul from this past Saturday.

Where I found both brands I knew of and had never heard of in my life. As well as stepping foot into my very first ever KIKO!



My first stop was any drug store that I saw. And I saw a good handful of them. The Astor's and Rival de Loop's were my first grab and new to me brands. With me pretty much falling over from happiness with I found a Catrice display. Did you know Catrice's color names are flipping hilarious!? Cause they are. NAte and stood at the display for much too long just laughing at the names. So perfect. Misslyn was my last drug store procurement for the day, a brand that I haven't heard of, but will be one that I will easily get more of. 


Kiko, Kiko, KIKO. Man I dreamed of this day. I was overwhelmed. Polishes were one sale. I may have blacked out. All I know is that I grabbed a bunch of stuff and woke up with a Kiko bag. I grabbed a lot of duplicates so that I can gift them to friends back in the states. It was pretty much a "one for me annnnddddd 5 for them" kind of thing. One of the employees followed behind me restocking the empty shelves. I felt some shame at that moment. But polish. Polish and a pretty eyeshadow is all that matters. 

So there's my haul from one day. It was a glorious, grab all the things kind of day. With plans to go back to Kiko and hit up as many drug stores as possible while here. I mean I need more gifts for myself and others.

Hope the start of your Thursday is wonderful back in the states!

NOTD: butter LONDON Bric-a-Brac

So recently I was contacted by butter LONDON to try out their Nail Apothecary Kit. Which is a kit of some of their best selling nail treatments all conveniently packaged in mini bottles. It's a great mix of top and base coats, nail strengthener, matte top coat, cuticle remover and a cuticle oil. But that's not what I'm here to talk about. Instead I'm here to talk about the color of my choice that they sent along with the kit. I wasn't asked to talk about the polish color really, but I still wanted to, because's polish. So of course this is totally my opinion of the polish. No funny business. 

The color I chose is called Bric-a-Brac. It's from what I believe was their Fall 2014 collection. To be honest I hadn't gotten a new butter LONDON polish in awhile. I feel like their polish took a side seat while they introduced their makeup line. So really I hadn't been paying as much attention to what they were doing in the polish side. That was till I saw Bric-a-Brac in a store and was pretty instantly smitten with it. So getting to add it to my collection was very exciting.

I have always been fond of butter LONDON, they were one of my first "high end" brands that I ever got into. They broke me out into the world of slightly more unique colors. It was an exciting brand before indies really broke into the market with constantly unique blends. At the end of the day I still have a soft spot for butter LONDON, plus they also make my favorite top coat, so they'll always have a home in my collection.

That said, let's move onto Bric-a-Brac, which is a darkened slightly brick red jelly that is filled with flecks of gold shimmer. It creates the perfect jelly sandwich without the work. This is the polish that you would show to someone if you were describing a polish that "glows from within". It was a breeze to use. Giving full coverage in just 2 coats, which is saying something for a jelly polish. For a red, cleanup wasn't even awful. It wasn't a battle of smearing red all over. Really, this was just a pleasant polish to use and it's just as lovely on the nails as it is in the bottle. There is no true way to capture the glow it has in photos, but it's there on the nail in person, especially in lower lighting. 

 {Outdoors: full sun}


Brand: butter LONDON
Availability:, Sephora, Macy's and other places
Coats: 2 coats

NOTD: Urban Decay Bang

Today's NOTD is brought to you by the letter N, for Nate. Because when asked what color to wear Nate chose orange. So orange it is!

I rummaged through my collection and decided to give one of the newer Urban Decay polishes a go. I say newer, because back in the day they used to make some kick ass polishes that were unique and fun. Then they revamped the brand lineup in the early 2000's and dropped the polish line. Around the summer of 2013 they brought back polish for a bit (they did do mini bottle collections once and awhile before that). Usually releasing them as a duo of polish colors, with the last duo being a blue and orange combo. That orange, called Bang, is what I decided to give a try. Bang is a true orange that leans a touch more red that has a slight touch of blue shimmer that really only makes itself known in certain lights. 
The color is also darker on the nail than it shows in the bottle. The formula was a bit on the watery side, so I had to adjust my application so that I didn't flood my nails and cuticles. The brush is also a bit skinny, but not awful to work with. Seeing as the free edges of my nails are so white, there are visible nail lines that show through the color. It wasn't awful after 3 coats, but I could still see it in certain lighting. That said, while I'm not insanely smitten with the polish overall, it's not the worst thing I own. It is workable. And honestly there's not enough orange polish love.


{Outdoors: full sun}

Brand: Urban Decay
Availability: On sale @ Urban Decay for $5 or look for blog sales
Coats: 3 coats

NOTD: Essie Coat Couture

Hello! Long time no post. The end of 2014 was quite a busy time in our household. Couple that with nails that were revolting and needing to be nubbed multiple times in two months, polish just wasn't happening. 

But this weekend I finally sat down and painted my nails. To pull me out of the land of naked nails I went with a new polish from Essie's Cashmere Mattes collection. Let's just take a second to talk about mattes and how much I love them. Yes the formula can be tricky and you have to move fast in application. Yes they only last for a day or two. But man I just love how they look. Bonus points go to those that make unique mattes. So it's easy to say that some of the Cashmere Mattes are a win for me. Looking all hot with their matteness and shimmer. The one that I bought this weekend was Coat Couture. Which I'd place as a grey leaning purple matte that has a green/aqua shimmer. I find that in low light that the shimmer pulls green, while in the sun it pulls more aqua. I wouldn't call it a true flat matte, as it has a bit of softness to it. Not a wax or a satin per-se, but still not that absolute matte. looks awesome top coated as well. Which you will notice I did on my ring finger. If you like mattes and pretty shimmer combos I'd say these are totally worth it. I actually went back out last night to pick up to more of the colors in the collection. I'm that in love with them. 


{Outdoors: full sun}

Brand: Essie
Availability: Target, Walgreens & Essie website
Coats: 2 coats

New polish preview: PFUDOR

Are you ready for photo overload!? I hope you're ready because it's time to share swatches of Emerald & Ash's new PFUDOR Duo!

This is a duo that is a long time in the making. Nate and I had been sitting on the idea for awhile and started teasing about it months ago. The pink part of the duo, though, had other ideas. Nothing was working. The pinks that were created just weren't playing nice. So the holo topper sat alone, waiting. Then the perfect pink happened and now we have a duo that is finally allowed to see the world. 

Onto the info about the polish. 

First is the pink or PFU. This is a blue leaning bubblegum pink metallic foil. Now when I say foil, I mean that it is filled with a large particle chrome pigment that is used in a lot of foil finish polishes. For those that own it, PFU has a similar finish to Water Bay, our blue polish from our recent summer collection. On top of that there are micro glass flecks in various pink colors floating around in it, along with a bright pink shimmer that shows itself best in low lights. The color and feel of the metallic foil finish does change and shift depending on the light source.

DOR also known as the holo top coat is just that, a holo top coat. It's a scattered holo that has the added bonus of glass flakies that also shimmer in a rainbow color. They are like an added bonus of happiness, especially if you are in a lower light source. DOR can easily be worn over the top of PFU or any polish for that matter. For the photos below I topped it over Illamasqua Loella. I did this so that I could show off the holo and flakies better in the photos. While DOR looks awesome on top of and adds more shine and shimmer to PFU, my camera did not agree and made it hard to capture how DOR really looks. Thus the different polish used as a base color.

Also, I apologize for any of the bubble looking spots closer to my cuticles. It was a whopping 2 degrees with a wind chill sitting at around -18 out yesterday. My polish wasn't 100% dry and the switch between a warm house to freezing parts of my body off made for less than happy polish.
That being said, here are the pictures. All of them. Lots of them. Tons of them. I couldn't stop. 

{Outdoor: full sun}

 {Outdoor: shade}

 {Indoor: natural light from a window}

Brand: Emerald & Ash
Availability: Shooting for this weekend, Monday November 17th at the latest
Coats: 3 thin coats PFU, 1 heavier coat DOR over 2 coats Illamasqua Loella

NOTD: Enchanted Polish Olive the Other Reindeer

More Enchanted Polish for you today! 

This beauty was a gift from a friend who has a very very very deep love of all things Enchanted. I'm very grateful for her kindness in gifting this to me as it's not the easiest to find. This polish being Olive the Other Reindeer which was part of her Ho Ho Holoday Collection from 2012. It is a hard to place color as it tends to pull an olive green and/or bronze depending on the light. I saw a lot of the olive green when I was out in full sunlight, with the bronze showing more of itself indoors. And of course there's the holo, which is beyond stunning out in the sun.

{Outdoors: full sun}

{Outdoors: shade}

Brand: Enchanted Polish
Availability: Discontinuted; very occasionally pops up on blog sales
Coats: 2 coats
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