Monday, June 29, 2015

Swatches & Stuff - June 2015 + GIVEAWAY!!!!

Hi friends,

I am back with another episode of Swatches & Stuff, in which I go over the products I tried within the last 30 days. This is not just a review on cosmetics and skin care, I always add "stuff", and this month I will review a book I am currently reading!
Stick around as I am also doing a giveaway this month, to celebrate summer and over 13k subscribers on my YouTube Channel!

Let's dive right into it:





This is the companion video, if you prefer to watch the review and swatches:





1. Estee Lauder 'Nutritious' 2-in-1 Foam Cleanser:  
Estee Lauder 'Nutritious' 2-in-1 
Foam Cleanser, 4.2 oz



A fabulous foam cleanser that removes all traces of dirt, oil and even waterproof mascara, without drying or clogging my face! I absolutely fell in love with it and cannot recommend it enough. It is as good, if not better than the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser and works very well with my Clarisonic Mia II. Apply morning and evening. For the evening and when I have more makeup than usual, I leave it on for 2 minutes before rinsing off! FABULOUS! ($30).






2. Vanicream - Soap Bar: 





Vanicream Cleansing Soap
This may be the Holy Grail of basic cleansing soaps! I have returned to using this in my shower for both my face and body as I am having some dry-itchy patches from the heat and allergy season. This soap is recommended by Dermatologists for sensitive skin, free of dies, fragrance, parabens, Formaldehyde and the like. It is about as pure as pure can get. I love the subtle suds, it rinses well and leaves my skin silky smooth with no residue. Just plain and simple soap! ($5.41).






3. Maybelline New York The Blushed Nudes Palette:


Blushed Nudes Palette
I was not sure as to whether I would like this palette. It is so similar to the Urban Decay 'Naked' Palette (one I have successfully resisted purchasing for years). It turns out it is excellent when considering the low cost and the fact that it is a drugstore brand!
I find it to be versatile as you can create several looks with it, whether subtle, bright or smoked. Overall, it is good quality but with some fallout. It stays on all day and does not crease! I think this is one I would recommend as a small splurge! ($14.95).



4. Physicians Formula - Argan Wear Blush in Natural:



Argan Wear Blush in Natural

Yet another great product from Physicians Formula! This blush is the perfect shade of strawberry & cream pink with a hint of peach and shimmer. It goes on smooth, does not blotch, zero fallout and stays on all day without shifting in tone. What else can you ask from a casual-day-out blush? It does have a bit of gold shimmer in it, so if your skin has enlarged pores, beware that it will accentuate rather than minimize them. The brand offers another choice (rose) which is more subtle and barely visible on olive and tan skin tones. So unless you have porcelain white skin, I recommend the Natural one instead. Very, very good blush for the price ($11.95).





5. Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balm in Berry:




Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balm
I have only seen this brand (Palladio) available at Sally Beauty and Amazon, so maybe some of you are not familiar with it all. I know I was not until I started hanging out at my local  Sally Beauty store.
This is a phenomenal tinted lip balm! I mean that! Let me start with the formula: it feels buttery smooth and smells like cocoa butter. This is definitely moisturizing without feeling gooey, tacky or heavy on your lips. To add to this excellent base, Palladio brings in a subtle tint that is perfect for everyday action. Though this one is called Berry, it is more coral than pink/red and fits me just fine. I like it so much that I plan on going back to check out all the other colors in the same line. ($6).




6. Vincent Longo Starlette Eye Gel Stain in Starlette Blue:


Eye Gel Stain
This is another proof that "High End" does not always equal better! 
I was intrigued by this eye shadow gel stain because of the application itself. It comes as a gel which you twist push into a doe foot applicator. I thought that was pretty sleek and wanted to try it since I tend to goof a lot when using wet/cream shadows. Well, aside from the novelty factor, this gizmo here has nothing to offer. The formula is not as pigmented as one would expect when the words "gel" and "stain" are combined together. The color I picked (Starlette Blue) is supposed to be a Navy Blue but it turned dark green on my skin tone. There is some glitter to be seen but not enough to carry the name "Starlette", if you ask me! Although the doe foot allows you to smooth on the product in a rather speedy fashion, it stays on wet for quite a while and, I did not think this was either practical nor a time saver.

Determined to make this work, I ended up twisting some product out onto an eyeliner brush and applied it as a thin line rather than an all over shadow. It did the trick for me but quite frankly for the price, I can do much better with anything M.A.C. ($24).







7. China Glaze Nail Polish Lacquer in Don't Desert Me:


China Glaze - Don't Desert Me




This is an intense Fuchsia color with a pearl finish. Need I say more?
China Glaze will remain my 
favorite brand of nail polishes. I love their brush, the formula and the longevity of their products. 





This one is particularly good because it ends up almost looking like a gel after two coats. Like all my other China Glaze polishes, this one does not pull back from the tip of your nails after a few days. It also dries relatively faster than an average brand such as Essie



8. Seven Miracles That Saved America by Chris & Ted Thomas:



Seven Miracles That Saved America
If you are looking for a good non-fiction read this summer, this one might be it. The book is separated into several significant events which have changed the course of America and how these events occurred via "Miracles", not in the biblical terms, but rather by coincidence. I find it very fascinating and though it is history, it is actually quite entertaining while providing enough information to teach me a few things about these important pivotal events. For instance, there is increased evidence that the Chinese actually discovered America prior to Christopher Columbus and some 70 years prior to the Santa Maria took off from Spain. It was Political upheaval and Power Struggles within China that led them not to find any interest in claiming their discovery. So in essence, Christopher Columbus was the first "known" adventurer to claim the discovery! That was just a tidbit!
A very good read indeed!




On to the GIVEAWAY!

In honor of Summer and my reaching over 13,000 subscribers on my YouTube Channel, I am offering the following Giveaway:



June 2015 Giveaway

The giveaway contents (all full sizes):


  • 3 Assorted Ipsy Makeup Pouches
  • Vanicream Cleansing Soap 
  • Maybelline Blushed Nudes Palette 
  • Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balm in Berry
  • Nail Tek 10- Speed Quick Dry 
  • China Glaze in Don't Desert Me

The Giveaway is open internationally to all participants who are 18 years old or older.
You must be a subscriber to my YouTube Channel.
You must Like my Facebook Page.
You must enter a comment in the comment section below or on my YouTube Channel and let me know that you shared my blog and video.
The giveaway ends July 12, 2015 at Midnight.


Thank you all for participating and GOOD LUCK!

Please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below - sometimes it is glitchy so you may have to reload the page or return at a later time!


Thank you so much for reading my blog and watching my YouTube videos! Share the love!

Sophia, NJ



Connect with me:









Want to send me a product for review? Have a product review request?


Mailing address:

My Great Challenge
PO Box 402
519 Pompton Avenue
CEDAR GROVE, NJ 07009-9998




This blog contains affiliate advertising, this is how I support my blog and YouTube Channel.  I was not solicited to advertise for the products mentioned above, all opinions are my own. 

My Advertisers:



Too Faced - New Chocolate Bar (#2) is here!






Vera Bradley Designs, Inc.




JA Cosmetics Corp





Visit My Great Challenge's profile on Pinterest.

117 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I don't really have a fav nail polish - whatever moves me in the moment! love the bags!

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  3. Hi Sophia! Giveaways are a good way to get people to comment. I watch all your videos but seldom if at all do I comment which doesn't reflect on the quality of your videos which I must say I do enjoy! What caught my eye with your giveaway is the soap and bags! Looking forward to your next video!

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  4. I don't have a favorite nail polish brand right now. I used to love OPI. Great video!

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    Replies
    1. I have only one and I did not care for it, a lot of subscribers like OPI too, I guess I should give it a try again.

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  5. I am a product junkie so love this giveaway I shared your video on my fb page and on my tumblr

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  6. I am loving the Revlon Color Stay Gel Envy, I like the Pinks, Reds and Blues - Thank You

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    Replies
    1. love those revlon ones as well, I think I reviewed them a while back, good luck

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  7. Awesome give away i would like to try the lip balm
    & i love O.P.I amazing polish and nail treatments

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    Replies
    1. i have to give a try to OPI again, a lot of you seem to like the brand

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  8. Yaaaay nice Sophia.. Like your giveaways...

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  9. Sophia.. .that is me .. Wish to win again

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    Replies
    1. ah ah, it;s you again! Hi Heba, good luck!

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  10. Yaaaay nice Sophia.. Like your giveaways...

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  11. I really love O.P.I .. its fantastic :)

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    Replies
    1. i will have to try them again a lot of you seem to like OPI

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  12. Thank you for the chance to win :)

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  13. I love OPI but really dont buy much nail polish. I am on a tight budget. I love any shade of purple

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    Replies
    1. Sally Beauty id having a buy one get one free and 50% off on OPI right now

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  14. Sophie (pixiwoofanfromfrance on YT)June 30, 2015 at 1:50 AM

    Hello Sophia ! WOW ! 13 000 subscribers !!! Congratulations ! I think the number will increase more and more, you deserve it ! :)
    -Sophie

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    1. Sophie (pixiwoofanfromfrance on YT)June 30, 2015 at 1:56 AM

      And I was too speed to not answer your questions !!! LMFAO ! My favorite nail polish brand is... I haven't got just ONE favorite brand but I really like the OPI "I Eat Mainely Lobster" polish : it's a beautiful coral with some tiny gold glitters, it's perfect for summer !!!

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  15. I love China Glaze ( For Audrey ) and OPI

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    Replies
    1. i will have to check it out, thank you

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  16. I don't have a favourite brand but i really love cerise pinks. Thankyou for such a great giveaway x

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  17. I watch your Youtube videos all the time. Love the DIY stuff, weight loss, and beauty videos too.

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  18. I love your channel! My favorite brand is sally Hansen in sinful..

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    Replies
    1. i will have to check this one out, though I think I may have it already the name sounds familiar

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  19. I don't really have a favourite nail polish, but my favourite brand is Zoya <3 Thank you for a great giveaway x

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    Replies
    1. love Zoya too but I have a hard time finding them in my area.

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  20. I really like OPI but Zoya is pretty close to being my favorite.

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  21. Love your vlogs and blogs, your makes and Jasper antics too. My friend and I have been going to a local college for some beauty treatments. They run beauty courses and they offer various treatments from hair to nails, facials, massages and waxing etc at a reduced price so that the students have someone to practice on. They are very good and are checked by a tutor so that they do everything properly. We have been having CND Shellac manicures for £8/$12 whereas a normal salon would be £24/$36. We have had facials and all sorts done every now and again.

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  22. hi i don't have a favourite nail polish brand, but i do like purple xx

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  23. I am a subscriber, I love your facebook page, and I have given your youtube channel the thumbs up for all my gal friends. and my 10 year old says show more on jasper!!!

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  24. I love your videos! My son asks about Jasper :) I like Sally Hanson and China Glaze. as for the color YES! I love them all! I will use any color and if they wash out on me I use them in nail art that I do. Good Luck to all!

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    Replies
    1. I just wanted to add I LOVE the bags! good idea about adding the grommets to the corner! I shared the video, wahooo on 13000 and here is excitement for when you hit 1400 subscribers!

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  25. Hello what a lovely giveaway :)
    My favourite nail polish at the moment is a tom ford coral one it is lovely for the summer and lasts for long enough! I can wash dishes without it chipping off.

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  26. I love OPI and anything blue/silver/purple :)

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  27. Basically I am too impatient when it comes to letting Nail Polish dry, so don't wear it that much but I have liked Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Moonlit Shadow - it's a beige/gold. Lorna UK

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  28. Rimmel London 60 Seconds Super Shine Nail Polish in Green with Envy

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  29. The book looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing your videos. I just found your channel and loved the blue bird series. :) Thanks again.

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  30. Rimmel London Rita Ora 60 Seconds Super Shine Nail Polish in Peachella

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  31. I don't have a favourite but I like bright colours.

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  32. I shared your video all around :) Thanks for such a great vlog . I needed this :)

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  33. Congrats on the 13000! I used to paint my nails but not anymore, now I just buff & shine them, much easier!

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  34. My favorite is Essie in Rock the boat.

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  35. My fav colour is teal from oriflame cosmetics brand

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  36. I used to get a stone color one fromm MUA that I loved

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  37. I love OPI and red colour is my favotite

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  38. Hello Sophia from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
    I´m an addict to your channel since I discovered it. I love your DIY and organization videos, your trip and shopping videos ( I travel with you and your family) and the way you try to show everyone your daylife.
    Unfortunately, here we cannot buy a lot of the beauty brands you show so I cannot tell you which one I prefer.
    Anyway, thank you for your giveaway and I see you in your next video.
    XXX

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  39. Hi Sophia! I just love nail polish and I have a lot. One of my favorite brands are OPI and I prefer pinks and purple. Thanks for an awesome giveaway! Have a lovely summer! // Linda from Sweden

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  40. Thank u for your lovely blog and comp...I have never tried OPI but hear a lot of good things about it so will need to...I tend to use babara dally polish....The a in reason is u get it in tesco and I can buy it when buying everything else!

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  41. Hi Sophia!!! I have watched your videos for almost a year now and very rarely comment but I love the videos you produce and will definitely endeavour to comment more :) would be awesome to try the China glaze nail polish as I live in Australia and when I find China glaze it is usually expensive due to conversion rates :( much love xxx

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  42. my favourite coloyr is midnight black, but dont really have a favourite brand x

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  43. at the moment my favorite nail polish brand is DIY Hard Nails gel polish in Ice Queen

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  44. Sally Hansen's... Diamond Nail Hardener!

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  45. My favorite polish brand is OPI and I love the opaque nudes like My Vampire is Buff.

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  46. My favourite brand of nail polish are anything by OPI in teals and greens.

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  47. Great giveaway! I love Maybelline polish.

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  48. I like the Pinks, Reds and Blues . My favourite brand of nail polish is A England

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  49. I love peachy colors and Maybelline is my favorite brand :)

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  50. I love all kinds of brands of polish!!! My absolute FAVORITE polish and color is Zoya Dream. I'm a blue lover, and a little glitter is ALWAYS appreciated! :)

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  51. I love A England!! Tristam is my favourite :) I love greens, too.

    Daniela

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  52. My favorite is Mod about you from OPI :)

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  53. This is a wonderful give-away!
    I've been an OPI fan for over 15 years as there are as many colors as my moods! LOL!!! ~ Anna

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  54. Hmm... favorite nail polish brand... this is a hard one... I want to say OPI (even though I don't own any)... but I've recently been really interested in indie brands... this is too hard!
    How about this, a brand and color that I would LOVE to try would be Dance Legend's Termo Trio No. 1! I am dying to try any of their polishes, but that thermal makes me cry with joy!
    I shared your video here- https://twitter.com/littodinoz/status/618630603731259393
    I shared your blog here- https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RachelBeltz/posts/DtWRB6F59q4

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  55. I like Picture Polish Cosmos ^^

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  56. i dont ware colored vanish just a french manicure my nails look to fake if i put colour on them

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  57. My favorite brand of Nail Polish is OPI and the color is My Pink Flamenco. I love pinks...

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  58. My favorite brand of polish is China Glaze. Picking just one favorite color is very hard but I will go with "Ruby Red Pumps", love the classic red color with tiny glitter.

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  59. My fave nail polish is Illamasqua raindrops!I'd like to try the eyeshadow palette!
    shared ur blog post https://twitter.com/sissy899/status/618886266629664768
    and ur video on g+ as Natasha Kat

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  60. I love Essie the most and the color Meet Me at The Beach!

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  61. I like OPI My Pink Nightie.
    Thanks for the giveaway :)
    Alexia Harvours (on Rafflecopter)

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  62. Dior & red color :)

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  63. Believe it or not, I really love Essence gel nail polish - it's like $2, applies easily, dries fast and lasts a week! This red color is my favorite: http://www.essence.eu/products/nails/nail-polish/e/product/the-gel-nail-polish-16/

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  64. Don't have a favourite brand but I love dark colours and sparkly nail polish

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  65. Replies
    1. I also subscribed to your channel and shared your video!

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  66. done, thanks!
    LOVE ZOYA
    isavalcogitoergosum@yahoo.it
    Please contact me via email if I win! Thanks so much!

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  67. My favorite right now is OPI - Miami Beet.

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  68. My favorite nail polish brand would have to be Zoya, with China Glaze coming in at a close second. My favorite of Zoya's is probably Aurora!

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  69. I love nails inc - black taxi

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  70. i love OPI nail polishes i have a really good black that im using at the moment love it!!!

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  71. My wife's favourite colour is pink

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  72. OPI are great - I like their bright red.

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  73. Particuliere, Chanel
    samantha.tedesco@gmail.com

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  74. I'm loving Barry m pastel range at the minute can't pick a fav

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  75. my favourite is OPI and it's all the nude colour shades

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  76. Rimmel London Rita Ora 60 Seconds Super Shine Nail Polish in Peachella

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  77. Although I prefer OPI my favorite nail polish is Essie Mademoiselle

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  78. My favourite is an OPI silver glitter one. I can't remember its name without going to fetch it :-)

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  79. Love Nails Inc any colour

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  80. I love the Rimmel London Rita Ora ones, especially in orange x

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  81. My favorite brands are OPI and China Glaze but I can't just pick one specific shade lol

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  82. I do not have a Favourite Colour but I do love OPI Nail Polish ♥♥ Great Giveaway ♥♥ Fingers Crossed ♥♥

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  83. I love the Nails Inc brand - so many beautiful colours to choose from. Pastels are my favourite at the moment. x

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  84. You could be qualified to receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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