Candy, and Mousse, and Pie…. OH MY!

All Mixed Up (Lacquers) & No Place To Go!

Bahaha!!! Get it? It’s pun day here at Mental Breaks and Manis! If you can’t laugh, you’ll cry right? This month you’ll LOVE the polishes I have for you! And since it’s related to one of my TOP favorite things- FOOD- it’s doubly enjoyable!

Releasing on April 20th at 2 PM EST is the Sugar Rush Collection from All Mixed Up Lacquers. This was one of my first Indie brand purchases and L.J. will always have a place in my polish-obsessed little heart! She was also one of the Indie brands who donated to my Instagram 500 Follower Giveaway-ahhh the good ole days!

First up from the Sugar Rush Collection is Sweet As Cherry Pie. This cherry red beauty has a mixture of iridescent flakes, purple micro-flakes and pearl flakies. This polish is delicious!

Just look at this yummy red treat!

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This next one is normally not my favorite color- I’m not a girly-girl at all! This pink bubblegum beauty is Unicorn Cake. This is a medium pink crelly with a little bit of everything! We’ve got scattered holo, and different sizes and shapes of holo green, blue, pink and teal and get this- matte neon glitters in pink, blue, yellow and orange! Truly a rainbow of colors! This color is fun!

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Cosmic Bites is a chocolate brown crelly with fabulous gold, teal, and emerald holo glitters and ucc flakies. This pretty is a dream!! As with all of LJ’s polishes I’ve tried, the polish goes on great!! The holo is subtle until it hits the light in just the right way and then BAM! My swatches are 2 coats plus a fast dry top coat.

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This color here was SO HARD for me to capture!! Don’t ask me why, but I spent literally 3 hours trying to get just the right shot of this polish (and still not sure I accomplished it!). I think maybe because I am sheet white- no kidding either! If I was naked in the snow all you’d see is hair and eyes- I didn’t want my skin to wash out the beauty of this polish. Anywhoooo… this beauty is Mocha Mousse. A rosy beige with little itty bitty blue and purple flakes (also known as micro flakes) and small gold holo. Again, this is a creamy dream!!! I used 2 coats and a fast dry top coat- I’m currently hooked on Glisten and Glows fast dry!!!

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And last but certainly not least is Rock Candy. This reminds me of that song by who knows, way back in the 80’s… “She’s rock candy babaay!! She’s hot, sweet, and stickaaaay!!” Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled swatch! This gray crelly has 2 different UCC flakies, small gold holo glitter, and purple flakies. When this baby catches the sun, you won’t be able to stop staring!!

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All Mixed Up Lacquers has kicked ass with this collection! And I am honored to be asked by her to swatch it! As I mentioned before I have been a fan of this polish for a long time and LJ never disappoints!!

Interview with a Queen…..of Nails!

Alright readers and fellow polish addicts, I have something very special for you! Krystal- Queen Of Nails 83 agreed to do an interview for me. I’ve secretly stalked Krystal since I started on Instagram and I’ve worshiped at the alter of her swatches! And when I asked Krystal about swatching polishes. and how she managed to get to swatch for many of the most sought after polishes, she didn’t ignore my questions, she didn’t jealously guard her information. She gave me advice, she supported my goals and opened her schedule for me!

So, when I asked Krystal if she would mind if I interviewed her for my blog, she said she was honored to!!! Honored!! It was me who was honored, and if you don’t know Krystal then you have to give her a follow: @queenofnails83. You WON’T regret it! So, on to the good stuff! Here is my interview with Krystal:

How long have you been a blogger/swatcher?

2 years. I “officially” starting swatching in March of 2016 when I received my first press samples from Divine Nail Lacquer. Before then, I was swatching my own stash and posting to IG/FB. As for blogging, I started June 1st

 

Have you always had a passion for nail polish and nail art?

I have. When I was 16 years old after begging my mom for my first full set, I was hooked.

 

On IG you mentioned having to go into work for the first time in a long time- what is your career?

The job that pays the bills is United Healthcare. I am a telecommuter so I work from home.

 

It seems your hubby shares in your love of IG and FB lives, does he share your passion for polish. We’ve seen him build your Helmer!! LOL

LOL! Not really. Jason is so good to me and he does whatever he can to make me happy. I think he took a ‘liking’ to polish for me.

 

How do you manage a full time career, full time mommy and being such a busy swatcher and blogger?

Wow, that’s a great question. Ummmm, I’d have to say, Jason. We really do balance each other out and he’s a very involved husband and father. I don’t think I could have started swatching/blogging when my kids were young but because they are older, 6, 11, and 15, they are more self-sufficient and require less from me. I do cut myself off from work at a certain time and all things polish at a certain time, and I don’t swatch on the weekends and holidays.

 

What started you down the Indie polish road? What do you think of the lengths that polish crazed people will go to in order to get their “lemming” lol

I purchased my first indie from Enchanted Polish in March/April 2016 for $30 and the rest is history. I was a newbie in the game then so I didn’t know any better. LOL. And although I still own the polish, I don’t reach for it often but because I paid $30 for it, I’ll keep it forever. But I get it, lemmings and FOMO is real and the shopping addiction is real. I think supporting indie is very important. It makes me happy thinking that I can help a family by simply buying something I love.

 

What lengths have you gone to for your lemming? Do you even have one?

Currently I don’t have any but I did stay up to bid on an auction for the ANIVC from PDP, cost me $100 only to have the maker re-release them.

 

How did you get into blogging and swatching?

Honestly, the opportunity fell in my lap. Like I said, I had been swatching my stash and posting to social media and of course filling out swatcher application on maker site and finally a brand took a chance on me. Blogging came about a little differently. I had no intention on blogging but I had been approached by 3 different people, 2 of them non-polish addicts and said that I should start a blog. I considered it and finally took the leap.

 

As a popular swatcher, what do you think is most important piece of advice you can give to the ladies and gentlemen that may want to get into swatching?

‘Popular’ that’s funny. I don’t see myself that way at all. I’m just a girl that loves polish. But I would say good lighting, clean, well-manicured cuticles and clear pictures, but I think that stuff should be assumed. At the end of the day, image what you want to see and do it. If you borrow an idea from someone, approach them about it first but ultimately, make it your own. I mean there are only so many hand poses you can do without looking distorted but spice it up a little and try different backgrounds. You have to stand out some way.

 

Did you ever see yourself doing this sort of thing say 10 years ago?

Absolutely not. I was quite content with going to the salon to get my nails done but I wouldn’t give up what I am doing now for the world.

 

Would you say that people in the nail art world supported your goal of being a swatcher?

I really didn’t know too many people in the nail world when I started and didn’t ever realize that so many people shared in the passion like i do. I was in 1 nail group and made great friends and I believe they supported me.

 

Do you find there are drawbacks in swatching for some makers? (you don’t have to mention names if yes lol)

There are differences for sure but no drawback. The differences are what keep it interesting. I have made great friends with many makers that goes beyond polish.

 

Have you ever not really wanted to work with a maker, but did anyway? If so, what made you choose to go ahead and work with them?

Not at all. I respect all the makers that I have had the opportunity to work with. If there ever were an issue I’d address it a sever tides.

 

What do you do to stay out of the drama that can occur in the nail art world?

I try to stay out of anything that does not affect me directly, not everything requires a comment. Also, if I do comment, I make sure it’s from a place of understanding and not judgement.

I want to thank Krystal for being the kind person she is that agreed to be interviewed! As busy as she is she fit this in! She also got me into blogging and patiently answered my questions! I know I’m repeating myself, however, it bears repeating! She’s an amazing person, swatcher, and blogger!

Now one thing I want to share before I go….

Find joy in something. In the middle of the darkness, find something that has brought you joy-whether it’s a photo, a book, learning something new, or a bottle of polish, FIND YOUR JOY!!! When it gets rough, and people you thought were your friends turn their backs on you, or you know you need to turn your back on someone who is incredibly toxic for you, don’t forget to find your joy!

If you need to, take a minute, and close your eyes and just breathe! Fake friends can be replaced. Turn to your real friends, or family. But don’t ever let the darkness overwhelm you. See the pinpoint of light at the end of your tunnel and know the light will grow bit, by bit. But you have to help it!

Until then, take care of yourself first, and then you can take care of everyone else that deserves it! If you need to chat I’m an email away!

 

Take care sunshines!!

 

Welcome Back to Mental Breaks and Manis

Hello! And thank you so much for coming back to my blog! I want to thank those of you that have commented, visited, and followed- and a very special person who keeps on me by asking when my next post is!! LOL And as a reward I’m having a GIVEAWAY!!! YAAAAYYY!! It’s going to be HUGE! If any of you follow me on Instagram, and saw my 500 follower giveaway you know I don’t cheap out! LOL Plus, I have some WONDERFUL sponsors!!
So far Glisten and Glow, All Mixed Up Lacquer, LynBDesigns, Sassy Sauce and Savvy and Chic so far have been so wonderful in sponsoring this giveaway! Plus I have bought some things from KB Shimmer, Nicole Diary, and many more wonderful brands!!
Now onto the other fun stuff I have in store! I will come right out and admit that I get these wonderful ideas- like “HEY! why don’t I start a blog?!” because apparently being a single mom of 2 boys and working 2 jobs on top of trying to start my own business doesn’t keep my mind occupied enough! So, when I start something I’m 100% in and get super excited about it. Then somewhere along the line it kind of fizzles out. And upon doing a lot of soul searching, and questioning of therapists, I have found that it is a symptom of my depression. It is also a result of growing up being told that the things I wanted to do I wasn’t good enough to do, or that I shouldn’t bother because there are already enough people out there doing it so I should just give up. And to that person, or rather those people, I now say F YOU!!! (I totally have a potty mouth, but just in case a child is reading…I can’t always promise to shorten the word though, it’s my favorite! LOL.
So for this reason I started the blog, and I started getting my ideas together ahead of time! Yay me! In this post I’ll have the interview I did with Jennalyn Miller of LynBDesigns, some swatches of the giveaway polishes Carrie from Sassy Sauce Polish is providing for the giveaway. NO I will NOT be using the same polishes that are for the giveaway. Carrie, the sweet, wonderful, woman she is gave me my own set, because I absolutely fell in love with this polish! And a review of the nail forms, the GREAT nail forms that I am reviewing for Nicole Diary. With these photos you’ll see why I had to give myself a whole new set of nails! LOL And I want to say thank you for visiting, and I hope that you’ll stick around, because as I learn more about blogging and actually start to know what the hell I’m doing this blog will get better-in appearance and content. So hang in there with me and I promise it’ll be worth it!
So without further ado…..
Interview with Jennalyn of LynBDesigns
Q. Let’s start this off with what is probably a question you’ve been asked a thousand times. What got you involved in nail polish? Not just the making of it, but the love of it?
A. As long as I can remember I’ve loved nail polish. It stems from my mom being an Avon lady when I was a kid. There was always nail polish lurking in the house. I even painted the heels on my dress up shoes with polish to make them more shiny and colorful. When I was in 6th grade I wore fake nails every day with a new color and even rudimentary nail art, but by the time second recess came around I had popped off all my fake nails.
Q. How long have you been a brand?
A. I created LynBDesigns back in 2011. So, this is my seventh year. I can’t believe it’s been that long.
Q. With it being so hard to start an indie brand and keep it afloat, what would you say have been some of the reasons that you have been able to continue in the indie polish business.
A. This is a tough one, I’ve seen so many brands come and go. Not gonna lie, it takes balls to run an indie business. I just plain refuse to give up, and it helps that my cost of living is pretty low.
Q. Have you ever wanted to give it up? If so, what made you want to? What made you keep going?
A. Honestly, I’ve never given it serious thought. I did run through my mind what would I do if I stopped running my business, and I realized I wouldn’t be me anymore. Creativity and making nail polish are such a part of my personality I can’t see myself ever being without it. I’ve wanted to be an artist my entire life and making nail polish is a way I can fulfill that dream.
Q. What are the pitfalls of being an indie maker (besides the glaringly obvious ones)?
A. My biggest pitfall is that people don’t understand what I do. They either think I buy polish and re-bottle it or that it’s not real nail polish. I feel blessed that there’s a community I can go to where I don’t have to explain my job to everyone I talk to.
Q. What advice would you give to all the people out there who want to go down the indie polish making road? Why?
A. My main advice is don’t give up. If you’re passionate about indie polish you will find your niche. Also, it helps if you find some really great bloggers and swatchers.
Q. As a maker are you able to see a brand and have an idea of whether they’ll succeed as a brand?
A. There’s one brand that launched recently that I knew would be huge. I bought a polish from them back in October and new it was something special. I don’t want to name names, but there’s been a lot of buzz around this brand.
Q. Would you suggest others to get into polish making? If not why?
A. It depends. In some ways the market is over-saturated, and in others under-represented. If you have an idea test it out. See if it works. If it doesn’t, retire it and move onto a new collection.
Q. To someone who may be thinking about going down this road, what is your best advice?
A. Test your products before launching them. I’ve seen so many brands just create something and go, and the results are always less than stellar.
Q. In the indie polish world, and having been to Polish Con, seeing what people are willing to do/pay for certain bottles/colors/brands, etc., what do you think about the lengths people will go to, and the price some consumers are willing to pay for a bottle of polish? Are you one of those people?? haha
A. I’ve seen some people to go crazy lengths to get an indie polish. Back when Lynnderella was the go to for glitter bombs I saw people pay upwards of 100 dollars for one bottle, it blew my mind. It still blows my mind. I’m not one of those people. I like a sale, and to know I got the best deal I could on something. That’s one of the reasons I have sales frequently in my store. I like people to get a good deal and feel like they didn’t break the bank to get something beautiful.
Thank you Jenna for taking the time to answer my questions!
Now for some Pretties!!
Carrie from Sassy Sauce Polish sent me her latest collection and the Custom Polish that she’s recently created and I have to say I praise the Nail Gods that Carrie has allowed me to be one of her regular swatchers! Carrie is an incredibly sweet person with a huge heart! And I have to say, that aside from a couple of crappy people, everyone I’ve met so far has brought something important into my life! Ok enough sap outta me! Here is the new collection from Sassy Sauce Polish set to be released SATURDAY, MARCH 10TH@ 10 AM!!!
I gotta tell you that I cannot wait!! There are 6 polishes being released, including a thermal and a two magnetic polishes!!
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First up, I’ll show you my FAVORITE so far is Shadow Storm! Just look at this shift! It is a black to clear thermal jelly. When it changes to clear you can see the pink, copper, and gold shifting flakes. I’ve found some thermals to be kind of thick, but this color goes on like a dream! And the transition was immediate! I was stunned by the color! Shown here is 2 coats plus a quick dry top coat.
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This polish is Carrie’s first Group Custom Color, and she KILLED IT!!! This polish is a shifty biotch! The polish formula is fabulous! It goes on like a dream! Although, to be honest I’ve never had an issue with any of Carrie’s polish formulas. I’ve never had to thin it out before I used it or put extra coats to smooth it out. This multichrome polish shifts from blue, green, purple, pink and copper- I got A LOT of compliments on this polish!! Shown here is 2 coats plus a quick dry top coat.
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Normally I’m not a pink kind of girl as you’ll see if you follow me on IG at all. You’ll see all sorts of dark colors, and shiny stuff, but not a whole lot of pink- I guess I’m not very girlie but For The Queen is an exception I’m willing to make! This vibrant pink crème is so bright that it makes me long for summer! It’s also a perfect pedi color! Hmmm…..Maybe I’ll wear it on my trip to the Dominican Republic! Shown here is 2 coats plus a quick dry top coat.
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This sexy as hell polish is Babymaker- named because someone we all know and love (Eb)says it all the time about these types of reds. And she’s right! This red metallic base has a sprinkling of holo micro glitter and copper flakes that give this polish that VAVAVA-VOOOM that makes me think of tight red dresses and 5 inch high heels. BOTH of which I couldn’t pull off even if I tried!
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This polish is right up my alley! (pun intended) This is a dark steel based linear holo that has blue, purple, and green shifting flakes throughout that give this polish an incredible depth!
This is Carrie’s first time launching magnetic polishes, and she’s got two this time! Feline Force (not shown) is a dark plum magnetic polish and both magnetic polishes comes with it’s own small magnet. However, I lost many of my photos pretending I knew what the hell I was doing when I transferred them to my computer- I SUCK AT TECHNICAL STUFF!!!  Anyway, Feline Force will be featured in the next edition (which will be coming out by the weekend- I have a ton of stuff to show you and didn’t want this to be waaay longer than it already is! LOL
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 Twisted Alchemy is a bronze magnetic polish with shifty gold to green shimmers. I’m a sucker for bronzes, coppers, and polishes along those lines. This polish too, I used a thicker coat for my first coat of polish, then used my super duper Home Depot magnet, did a second thicker coat and used the magnet again, and hit it again after my topcoat. As you can tell I love to play with magnetic polishes. There are so many designs that you can make with the magnets!
There is so much more that I want to put into this issue of my blog, but I’ll save it for the  next post. In the next one we’ll have my review of Savvy and Chic Polish Base and Top Coat, as well as a luscious red that she sent me. Rina is another beautiful person that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know recently. She’s also generously offered to donate some of her wonderful product to my giveaway (insert cheers and applause here)!!
Now onto the nitty gritty!! I am a people pleaser! Believe it or not, I love to see people smile and make someone going through a rough time happy-even if it’s with just a single bottle of polish, or a note of support. Either way, when I know someone is struggling I feel their pain and I know how lonely it can feel when you’re going through some painful sh**. And if I was going through it I’d want someone to reach out to me with some honest sympathy-or a SLAMMIN’ bottle of polish lol.
But seriously, it is this people pleaser in me, as well as the fact that I NEVER win anything that has driven me to put together this giveaway! So far, I have had the sweet Jill from Glisten and Glow donate her Chicago Polish Con polishes Shift In Chi and Shiny in Chi, I’ve had the lovely Carrie from Sassy Sauce Polish donate 3 gorgeous polishes. The kind Rina is donating her base and top coat, Jenna has donated 2 gorgeous LynB Design polishes and there will be polish from the wonderful LJ of All-Mixed-Up-Lacquer and much much more!!
Now for the boring stuff like RULES…..BOOOOO I know! But they’re pretty painless and if you’re reading this you’ve already got one out of the way!!
Rules: ( and they may change based on what I learn I have to have as rules lol):
1. You must be following http://www.mentalbreaksandmanis.com (I’ll be checking).
2. You must follow @darkmoonnails on Instagram.
3. It is not absolutely necessary that you follow the following makers, but I strongly suggest it-because they’re awesome and if you win you’ll have their products, and it’s just the nice thing to do:
Glisten and Glow
LynB Designs
All Mixed Up Lacquer
KB Shimmer
Bees Knees
Sassy Sauce
Savvy and Chic
and many, many more to come!!! I hope to see you back for my next exciting post! In the meantime please take care of yourselves.
As a single mom, I find that I tend to come last. But even mom’s with husbands you can forget about yourself while taking care of others, but don’t! In order for you to take care of everyone else you need to STOP FEELING GUILTY AND TAKE CARE OF YOU!!! IT’S OK I PROMISE!! So, take 10-15 minutes to just sit alone and breathe! Or give yourself a mani or a pedi, or stretch.
But PLEASE take care of you, because even though we act like it, moms are not indestructible! We need to take care of us, to be able to care for those we love!
Until next time, take care, and polish on!!

 

Welcome to Mental Breaks and Manis!

 

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 Hello! And welcome to my blog! This is my first time doing something like this-actually, I fibbed, Queen of Nails 83 gave me a guest spot on her blog. She gave me the blog bug! Thanks Krystal!!! Now for what you can expect.
Among my incredible whit and charm (hey! It could be true…hehehe) you’ll share my obsession with me- NAIL POLISH!!!! My love of nail art, and my constant striving for a beautiful mani. And with all that interesting subject matter I may throw in a bit of seriousness from time to time and talk about something else important to me. Mental Health.
You see, in the two years that I’ve been in the nail art community, I’ve met some amazing people who, like me, struggle. Depression is an insidious disease! Insidious because it isolates you. It makes you feel like you’re alone in your struggle, or that you have to be alone in it. Makes you feel like you’re not worthy, not talented, not loved!
And, whether it is temporary (anyone can get sad from time to time) or a life long thing, many of the people I’ve come across struggle daily, and hurt to the point of losing or having lost, hope. Remember Ane Li? An incredibly talented, yet sad soul. No one had any idea how horrible she was feeling.
Nail art came to me- or rather I to it, when I was at a point in my life where I was lost. Where I felt alone, and not worth much. Nail art, and nail polish changed that for me! So, I’d like to share my journey with you. And along the way, if you gain knowledge or I gain knowledge, or like me, an obsession for all sorts of pretty polish then I’ll feel I’ve accomplished something. So take my hand and take the plunge with me!!!!
In my next post (which will be my “official” launch of the blog, I’ll have an interview with Jenalyn Miller, owner of Lyn B Designs, a review of Wickedly Sick Nails nail glitter, some “anti Valentine” nail art, swatches and more!

Until then take care of yourselves!