Swatcher Spotlight: Elena Kalogeropoulos

I’m so excited how well received Swatcher Spotlight was received last month with Nicole Perez, so for that I just want to say “THANK YOU!!!!” If you didn’t get a chance to read it, check it out here.

This month I had the wonderful pleasure of working with Elena Kalogeroloulos. This stunningly, beautiful women with the gorgeous smile can be found on IG at @ecklipsedbycolor. Her swatches are just as beautiful as her personality and I feel like selfie collage really shows who she is. 

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photo provided courtesy of Elena Kalogeropoulos
 Name: Elena Kalogeropoulos
Age: 35
Location: Milford, NH

Elena’s name was suggested after I had asked FB for swatcher/bloggers that deserved the ‘Spotlight.’ I did a little snooping on her IG, which I was not following (I have no idea why), and without any further hesitation, I reached out and the rest was history. We messaged back and forth for a while and it was great getting her perspective and advise, needless to say we are now friends on FB.

So on to the fun stuff…of course you know I had to get the 4-1-1 on Elena and ask all about her family life.

Q: Kids?
A: “No”

Q: Marital Status?
A: “I’ll be married nine years in August to my husband, Jesse. He’s my best friend and partner in crime. He’s an illustrator and a front end (UI/UX)  developer designer. It’s great to have a partner who is excited over color and design. He supports my hobby.”

Q: Birthday
A: “December 4th. Complete and utter Sagittarius”

Q: Pets?
A: “My son, Oberon Higgs Kismet aka Obie. He’s a short haired albino Syrian hamster. He’s also the brand ambassador for Fiendish Fancies.”

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Q: Best Vacation Taken?
A: “I lived and studied Islamic Art and Architecture in Turkey for 4 months in 2001. It was empowering to be so far from home and take care of myself. The country was completely gorgeous and such a juxtaposition of modern and ancient life. It inspires a lot of my color and pattern choices to this day.”

Q: Best life accomplishment to date?
A: “I recently was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Mortgage Lending at my bank. Helping about 100 people a year find their dream homes and educating another 75 a year in home ownership (I teach classes), is such an awesome and inspiring experience.”

Q: Best character trait?
A: “I’d say creativity and Jesse says strength. I have to agree with both.”

Q: Favorite breakfast food?
A: “I’m not really a breakfast person, but I do eat it every day. I like Greek yogurt…”

Q: Heels or flats?
A: “Heels. I’m obsessed with shoes. Every outfit has to have the perfect matching pair. It’s like the icing on the cake.”

Q: Favorite season?
A: “Summer, hands down. My parents moved to FL four years ago and I feel like I have been blessed with an endless summer.”

Heels, outfit and nails…NOTHING ELSE MATTERS…lol!! Now its time to find out about Elena’s nails and get the details.

Q: What got you started doing your nails?
A: “My mom is a cosmetologist and nails have always been in my beauty routine. I went through a biting phase for a while and another one where I wore Revlon’s Rum Raisin and OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark… Forever. I got into the indie scene about 5 years ago and never looked back.”

Q: What was the first brand you swatched for?
A: “Fiendish Fancies, an amazing Canadian brand started by my friend Lara that has shades inspired by classic horror movies and thrillers. I also have been blessed to work with the ladies of Hella Holo Customs and the amazing Lynn and Paul Chrisman of Lynnderella (that was a fan girl moment).”

Q: What is your ‘go to’ cuticle oil?
A: “KB Shimmer cuticle pen and Picture Perfect Matte cuticle cream in Pink Sugar.”

Q: Do you have swatch/mani routines?
A: “Not particularly… I always make sure I shape my nails and wash my hands with a mild detergent before prepping and painting. I don’t do clean up, I rely on a steady hand. That’s why I went to art school. Also, I feel like you need some fresh beats while swatching. I’ve been listing to The Arcs’ Yours Dreamily and Arctic Monkey’s AM.”

Q: What tips would you give an aspiring swatcher?
A: “Be you. Have a recognizable and unique hand pose. Enjoy what you swatch it makes for a better experience. Never feel discouraged about your nail size. I was told that I would never be able to swatch because I have small nails. Never say never, I guess…”

Q: What’s one nail related item you can’t live without?
A: “My Sephora Formula X prep, base, and top coat. I adore that system.”

Q: If you were to start an indie line of polish what would you name it and what would the first collection be inspired by?
A: “ECKlipsed (the ECK is for my initials) I think I would go with an art inspired line… Colors representing different genres. It would definitely be followed by something dessert inspired.”

Do you feel like you know Elena a little bit better? Well good, me too. Thanks again to Elena for spending the time to answer my questions.

I hope you join me back next time for another edition of Swatch Spotlight. Be sure to comment down below if you or someone you know is a swatcher that should have the spotlight on them!

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Disclosure: The questions above were sent to the featured swatcher (FS) for review and response. The FS was advised they could omit responses from any question they were not comfortable with answering. The responses are directly from the FS and have not be altered in any way, shape or form. The comments and responses expressed in this interview are those of the FS and the FS alone.

Polish Boxes

With the ever growing popularity of polish boxes, I’m sure if you’re like me, you have a hard time keeping them all in order. Who and what’s included? When do you order? Where do I order? Well, no worries, you’ve come to the right place because I have taken all the guess work out of finding your perfect beauty box. If you’re new to polish boxes, let me just say they are a perfect way to try new indie brands and support those ones you already love. Many boxes include little goodies from some of your favorite nail related brands like cuticle oil/balms, nail vinyls, etc.

This will be an constantly evolving list of any and all boxes that are on the market. Be sure to check out FB and/or IG pages/groups for swatches and any month to month changes.

If you have any information to add, remove or edit, please post in the comments and I’ll do my best get them updated ASAP. Thanks!

Name: The Magic 8 Box
Brands: Philly Loves Lacquer / Smokey Mountain Lacquers / My Indie Polish / Rica / 4 
Guest Makers
Country: US
Price: $59+shipping
Frequency: Every Other Month
When to order: The 8th of the month for the next month’s box.
Links: 
Instagram
Name: Holo Hookup Box
Brands: Cupcake Polish / Different Dimension / Glisten & Glow / 1 Guest Maker
Country: US
Price: $40+shipping
Frequency: Monthly
When to order: Pre-Order starts on the 21st of the month at 9 pm EST and ends
28th at 9 pm EST for the next month’s box.
When it ships: Around the 15th of the box’s month.
Links:
Facebook
Instagram
Name: AwesomeSauce Indie Box
Brands: Anonymous Lacquers / Ever After Polish / Lavish Polish / 1 Guest Maker
Country: US
Price: Full Size: $50+shipping, Mini: $30+shipping
Frequency: Monthly
Links:
Facebook
Instagram
Name: For the Love of Polish Box
Brands: Polished For Days / Illyrian / 1 Guest Maker
Country: US
Price: $27+shipping
Frequency: Monthly
When to order: First Friday of the month @ 11am PST for the current month box
When it ships: Pre-orders will take 7-14 days to ship
Links:
Facebook
Instagram
Name: G.N.O.M.E. Box (Glitter Nerds Of Magical Existence)
Brands: Stardust Beauty / Rica / 1 Guest Maker
Country: US
Price: $24+shipping
Frequency: Monthly
When to order: The 15th of the month for the current month
When it ships: there's always first 20 boxes available for immediate shipping 
then the rest is a preorder and ships within a week from ending preorder window.
Links:
Facebook
Instagram
Name: Addicted to Holo Indie Box
Brands: The Polish Bar / Sweet Heart Polish / Philly Loves Lacquer / 1 Guest Maker
Country: US
Price: $35+shipping
Frequency: Bi-Monthly
Links:
Facebook
Instagram
Name: PDTLIB Box (Pipe Down This Love Is Bliss)
Brands: Pipe Dreams Polish / Love, Angeline / Bliss / 1 Guest Maker
Country: US
Price: $35+shipping (ships international)
Frequency: Monthly
When to order: 24 hour Pre-Order or 100 box cap starts on or around the 2nd 
Friday of the month for the current month
When it ships: 2-3 weeks after pre-order closes
Links:
Facebook
Instagram

Edit 7/7/2016 to add:

Name: The Color Box (This is a blogger box. 3 bloggers including Manna Berg 
(Manna's Manis), Jen Carter (xoxo, Jen), Amanda Reed (Amanda 
Loves Polish) and 1 indie maker Julie Bennett (Blue Eyed Girl Lacquer)) 
collaborate with 2 additional guest bloggers and 4 additional guest indie polish
makers to create a polishes based on the selected color. 
Brands: Changes per box
Country: US
Price: $45+shipping (ships international)
Frequency: Quarterly
When to order: 1 week Pre-Order from announced date (join group for details)
When it ships: Up to 2 weeks after pre-order closes
Links:
Facebook
Name: CALM Box (Crème a la Mode Box)
Brands: Literary Lacquers / Octopus Party Nail Lacquer / Indigo Bananas / Digital 
Nails
Country: US
Price: $26+shipping (ships international)
Frequency: Quarterly
When to order: 1 week Pre-Order from announced date (see business page for details)
When it ships: Up to 10 weeks after pre-order closes
Links:
Facebook
Instagram

Edit 7/8/2016 to remove:

*A Box, Indie has been retired
*Vapid is no longer part of the Awesome Sauce Box

With all the new brands popping up, I’m sure new boxes are coming and current boxes will be changing. So tell me, what box are you getting???

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Challenge Nail: 4th of July

(Whispering) Hey y’all, I wasn’t going to post anything due to the holiday and all but then I decided what better to post than my 4th of July #tnttwinnails mani!!! But I have to keep it short and sweet because any minute my kids and hubby will be looking for me.

In one of the FB groups that I co-admin, Those Nails Those!, I have dubbed myself the Challenge Empress as I ‘oversee’ the challenges which include color, technique and Twin Nails. Every two weeks the randomly paired twins design a mani based on themes/inspiration. This time we are doing 4th of July nails!!! So let’s get started….

Here’s what I used:

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After, I removed my previous mani, I:

  • Applied my base coat and allowed to dry
  • Then, I added my base polishes to as shown followed by a thin layer of QDTC
  • After that, I put on Cat Suit for easy cleanup
  • Once that was dry, I began stamping based on the design my twin and I came up with
  • Next, I removed the latex barrier and did some minor cleaned up
  • Finally, I seal with another layer of top coat, oiled and that’s it!

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So there you have it, my 4th of July Twin Nails. I hope you come over and join us at Those Nails Though (TNT), we’d love to have you!

I hope you and your family are able to spend some safe, quality time together this weekend and remember what this holiday is all about. As for me, I have to get back to my family now, it’s family movie time and we are watching Back to the Future I, II and III….fun! What are you doing to celebrate the 4th?

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BLOG LAUNCH GIVEAWAY!!!

Can you believe its been 30 days since I launched my blog?!??!??!?! The response has been overwhelming (in a good way of course) and its more exciting than I thought it would be. I started my blog not only to bring you swatches, reviews and tutorials but interviews and helpful information, but also because I have so much to say and to capture my nail journey. I didn’t think I’d have anyone read, subscribe or even view/visit my blog, except my husband (because if not he might be hurt in his sleep) and to see how far its come in a short amount of time is amazing. I plan to bring much more and so I hope you tune in to join me for the best that’s yet to come! 

For making my first month soooooo successful, I wanted to show my appreciation and say ‘thank you’. I teamed up with none other than the wonderfully talented and extraordinarily generous Mildred Edwards from Anonymous Lacquer. I worked with Mildred to have 2 custom polishes created for me to giveaway and even with all her other obligations on her plate, she agreed!IMG_2389

I asked my husband to choose 2 photos as inspiration that I could give to Mildred and here is what he chose. The venomous, colorful snake because he wants a snake as a pet but a picture is as close as he’ll ever get….lol and the second is a lion. Jason, my hubby, aka Mista, is a Leo, born July 29 and he embodies the true nature of a lion. He even has one tattooed on his chest…nothing sexier than a tatted man and a beard (sorry, I got a little off topic).

When Mildred sent me pictures of what she created, I was floored. They were PERFECT!!! I knew then I would need a set not only for the giveaway but for myself as well. So now I have the pleasure to show you…….

Poisonous Venom and Golden Mane

by Anonymous Lacquer!! 

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Aren’t they just gorgeous?!?!?!??!??!

Click HERE To Enter

Once again, I can not begin to thank you all enough for a beyond words amazing first 30 days. Thank you to those that encouraged me to start and those that encourage me to continue.

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Disclosure: No purchase necessary. This giveaway is being hosted, sponsored  and run solely by Queen of Nails 83. This giveaway will run from July 1, 2016 until July 15th, 2016 11:59pm EST. The winner will be selected, announced and contacted via contact form within 48 hours of closing. Winner will then have 24 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected. Prize will be sent within 1 week of claim. Giveaway is only open to U.S. residents over 18.