Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Seeing Stamping Everywhere!

Ever since I received my *awesome* nail stamping kit, I'm seeing stamping everywhere!  I keep seeing patterns that I could make into nail looks but I've been waiting until Halloween designs are over to start.  So now that Halloween is today... here are some pictures I took of some patterns that inspired me.  I wonder what I should try next?

This is one of my favorites.  It's actually the pattern on a sleep mask that I bought at Target for $1.00 this summer.  If you click to enlarge, there's actually a lot more detail than I think I could achieve with stamping - at least until my skills improve some!

I think the pattern on this tissue box is pretty fun too.  A purple faux-water marble with dark French tips and a lighter line between?  Tons of work, but sooo pretties!!

This is the inside of my Caboodles train case.  The "C" could easily be turned into a swirl design and the colors are so fun!  I don't even know how to describe them... fuchsia? magenta? purple? hot pink?  Fun any way you call them.

And last, the outer covers of both of my rue beaute natural eye kit palettes.  The left case could be pretty easy - different flowers stamped on beige with white and brown polish.  The right case would be harder... a beige base with leopard print stamped in brown and filled in with gold.  Then pink flowers stamped on with green accents.  Lots of work!

Manicure Monday: Haunted Houses!

Last week when Sinful Colors was on sale for $0.99, I made it a point to stop at my local Walgreens and pick up a few new shades.  Among the three I purchased was Amethyst, a pretty mid-toned purple creme.  When I got home I did a Google search to see if I could find some swatches and I ended up at Pixie Polish.  I absolutely fell in love with the look she created here (Please click the link; Her nail art puts mine to shame!!) I knew that was the look I wanted for Halloween!  So I bookmarked the page and showed my hubby, Brian, to see if he could help me recreate the look on the nail with the haunted house.  He thought it would be an easy look to copycat so we gathered the materials and got started.  Here are the polishes we used.

From left to right: Nutra Nail Strengthener; Sinful Colors in Amethyst; Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Wet Cement, Wet N Wild Wild Shine in Black Creme, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Lightening; Seche Vite Fast Try Top Coat.  If you're wondering, for the past several weeks, I've been using the Nutra Nail Strengthener as my base coat.  It was only around $3.00 at Dollar General and it seems to make my nails smoother than the expensive Orly Bonder I had been using.  I haven't noticed much difference in wear though.

2 coats of Amethyst, no topcoat
After my base coat, I painted two coats of Sinful Colors Amethyst onto each nail.  This polish was opaque with just two coats and much shinier in real life than it looks in the photos.  The formula on this was okay, not great.  It took a fairly long time to dry and I had some real issues with bubbling because the brush is rather small and I had to go over the same spots multiple times.  The bubbling was really only noticeable in the photos but the dry time was a pain because I kept smudging the polish.  But since it was still wet 10 minutes later, I fixed the smudges so they weren't noticeable.

Next, Brian used the skinny end of a cosmetic wedge to sponge some "fog" onto the tips of my nails with Sally Hansen's Wet Cement.

Then, using Bundle Monster plate BM224, I stamped the haunted house onto each finger nail using Wet N Wild Black Creme.  This is a great, inexpensive black for stamping!  After that dried, Brian used Wet N Wild Lightening and an Orly detail nail brush to fill in the lights in the haunted houses.  He used a Kiss Nail Art Pen in black to draw in some details like a dead tree, bats, clouds, and a ghost in the doorway.  Brian thought the lights turned out too large and would use a toothpick in the future.  Personally, I love the way this turned out!  So festive and spooky, yet cute!  To protect the design, I sealed it with a coat of Seche Vite.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Favorites Video

I just posted my October Favorites video!

My Birthday Haul (Part 2)

This is part two of my birthday haul.  Mostly because my husband, Brian, gave me all of my presents from him before my birthday and my best friend and her hubby gave me their present after my birthday.  My friends gave me a spectacular $50 Visa gift card, which is a great present, because you always get what you want!  What I wanted were some more Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes to stamp with!  And it was my lucky day!  Brian took me to Target yesterday and I finally found the Limited Edition Sally Hansen Insta-Dri collection for fall!  I had pretty much given up on ever finding this collection.  I had yearned for colors from this collection when photos and swatches first started coming out and none of my local retailers seemed to get the collection in but I guess they're just a bit behind here in Florida.  I also picked up some Insta-Dris from the permanent collection and a few other things.

Let's start with the shimmer finish Insta-Dri polishes.  From left to right, we have Coco-a-go-go (Limited Edition), Ruby Rush (Limited Edition), Bronze Ablaze (Limited Edition), Grape Escape (Limited Edition), and Emerald Express (Limited Edition).  The only Limited Edition polishes I didn't pick up were Teal-y Fast, which I didn't find all that unique, Quick Brick, which was sold out, and Presto Pewter, which I found to be very similar to Silver Sweep, but just a bit darker.  I was the most excited about Coco-a-go-go and Bronze Ablaze. These are shades that I could see myself using as a full manicure.  Especially Bronze Ablaze; I've been lemming after it for weeks now!

Next, let's move on to the creme finish Insta-Dri polishes.  From left to right: Sonic Bloom, Mint Sprint, Lively Lilac, Rapid Red, and Flashy Fuchsia.  These are all a part of the permanent collection.  I really wanted these shades just to stamp with.

That pretty much used up most of the gift card but I also wanted to pick up a few other things as well.  While I was at a Target that sold e.l.f., I picked up two of the Nourishing Cuticle Pens at $1.00 each.  Next was a Sinful Colors polish in Easy Going.  I was hoping this would make a nice base color for French manicures but I think it's a bit too opaque for that.  I tried one coat over a French mani I had on yesterday and it made a streaky off white mess of the whole thing.  Fail for French manis but not a bad nude shade on its own.  Finally, I picked up a set of Kiss Nail Artist Fine Art Pens in Black and White.  They came together and ran around $6.00.  Brian thought they would be good for him to use for nail art details.

Finally the last item I purchased was more storage for my ever growing nail polish collection.  This is an expandable three tier spice rack.  It can start out small.

Or you can pull the two pieces apart to expand it for more storage.  The shelves are extra wide and would fit three rows of Insta-Dri polishes.  Now I just have to find a place for it!

My Homemade Lightbox!

I really have not been happy with the quality of my pictures lately.  With the ever dwindling daylight and my busy schedule, by the time I get home and settle in, I usually don't have any natural sunlight left to take pictures.  The quality of the lighting in my kitchen/dining room where I usually take pictures is just not very true to life.  So I searched the web for instructions on how to make an inexpensive light box, which cost me $1.00 to make.

I started out with a cardboard box.  I already had one left over from another craft project I had done.  I cut out holes on three sides and used duct tape to cover the holes with white fabric.  You can easily find a tutorial online if you are interested in making one for yourself.  This was pretty much free for me, as I actually already had all of these materials at my house.  The only thing I had to buy was a piece of white poster board for a background, which was less than $1.00 at Wal Mart.  I even had a lamp with a clamp from my college days!

This only took about half an hour to make and then I was ready to start taking pictures!  Here are a few of my first photos with the lightbox.  Feel free to click to enlarge and really get a look at how these photos turned out.  Overall, I like the look of the photos but I think I need a light for the left and right sides as well, as the color in some of the pictures came out a little differently than real life.  They are still better than my dining room lights though!  Hopefully today when I go to Dollar General, they will have some inexpensive lights that will work.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guest Skull Nails

The original design on my nails
Last night my husband and I went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday with some good friends of ours.  Afterwards, we came back to hang out at our house for awhile and my best friend Shannon loved my skull nails so much that she wanted me to help her do the same thing to her nails.

Shannon's skull nails
We started with two coats of Wet N Wild Purple Potion then stamped on the skulls from Bundle Monster plate BM211 with Konad Special Polish in White.  Finally my husband filled in the eyes with Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Red.  So fun!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oh Fall Fashion, I Love You

Allow me to begin by saying I do not own the copyrights to this photo.  This is a photo of an outfit I've been drooling over from an Avon catalog and there's no watermark so I'm not sure to whom the rights belong.  That said, let me talk about how much I am in love with this outfit!!

Oh fall fashion, I love you!  Autumn has always been my favorite time of year.  Perhaps it's because my birthday is in the fall.  Perhaps it's because cool weather signals the start of the holiday season and with me, it starts with Halloween.  Either way, there are certain things in fashion that just remind me pleasantly of fall.  In this outfit, it's the chunky sweater and boots.  I love the combination of an over-sized, cozy sweater with sexy close-fitting jeans.  And the fact that the outfit has lovely Earth-tones just makes it even better for me.  I've been coming back to this photo ever since the beginning of August, wishing that it would get cool enough here in Florida to wear a chunky knit sweater.  Soon, I hope.  Until then, I've compiled a list of fashion ideas that I love for fall.

1. Earthy fall tones in my clothing: Brown, beige, army green, pumpkin, berry, and plum, to name a few.
2. Boots: Especially with dresses or skinny jeans.
3. Scarves: Oh how I love scarves!  In tons of different textures, colors, and prints!  They are the perfect fall accessory.
4. Sweaters: From cardigans, to belted sweaters, to chunky cables, I adore all things knitted at this time of year.
5. Jeans: There is just something about a good pair of well fitting jeans that reminds me of high school football games and hot chocolate.  Fond memories!
6. Wavy hair: That low-maintenance windblown look is so fall to me.  Not the messy, beachy, summer-looking waves, but rather, large curls that mimic a wave.  See the model's hair above!

What about you?  Are there any fashion looks that remind you of fall?

Pedicure: Frankenstein Toes!

This is another copycat nail look!  I am not very creative on my own, but I'm a great copier!  :P  This idea came from a video tutorial with lots of adorable little Halloween monsters.  You can check out the original idea from I Have A Cupcake's Channel here.  Liz has some really awesome nail art designs as well as other fun stuff.  We (my hubby helped me) chose to just recreate Frankenstein because he seemed easy and cute.  My husband has recently gotten involved in helping me out with my nail art.  He enjoys unconventional art and wanted to give nail art a try.  He seems to be enjoying it and I am enjoying sharing my hobby with him!

I started off by painting two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Lickety-Split Lime on my toes.  If you used a thicker coat, this could be a one coat polish but I was worried about cuticle pooling so I went with two thin coats.  Perfect opacity!  Next, Brian drew on the hair with a nail art detail brush and Wet N Wild's Wild Shine in Black Creme.  Using the same brush and polish, he drew on the forehead wrinkles and angry eye lines.  Last, he used Black Creme with a large dotting tool to make the outline of the eyes and Konad Special Polish in White with the small dotting tool to make the whites of the eyes.  So cute!  I think Brian did a really great job on his first real free hand nail art.  What do you think?

Manicure: Purple Potion + Skulls

I wanted to get this look posted in case anyone was interested in recreating it before Halloween.  I got the idea from Amber at  If you like nail polish and cool nail art, then you have got to check out her blog!  She has great creative, adorable ideas and posts regularly and often.  I check in with her blog daily.  This is the inspiration post that I used for this manicure.

I wasn't really feeling glittering red (I don't have one anyway), but I really wanted to try out my Wet N Wild Limited Edition Purple Potion, so I decided to go with that instead.  Here's a swatch of it by itself.

It's a gorgeous black-purple with fine glitter in it.  I really love this shade!  It looks black from far away but up close, it's a shimmering deep violet.  Lovely on its own!

But of course, I wanted to copy what Amber had done so I took out my trusty Bundle Monster plates and my white Konad Special Polish and stamped on the skull designs from plate BM211.  I still really need to practice with my stamping; I tend to not center them very well!  Oh well, I assume like painting your own dominant hand, practice will make perfect.

Next, I wanted to fill in the eyes with lime green like Amber had, but my husband thought it would look neat to alternate between green and red.  Since he was dotting on the eyes for me, I let him have creative freedom and we turned out with a really fun product.  For the green, Brian used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Lickety-Split Lime and a dotting tool.  The red was a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Red (which I'm holding in the photo).  I love the way this turned out and I received a lot of compliments from other people about them too!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rue Beaute Natural Eye Kit is BACK!

Covers of the Natural Eye Kit and Natural Look
When I first discovered this dupe for the Too Faced Natural Eye Kit from Rue Beaute (sold at Rue21 stores) I blogged and made videos about it like a mad woman.  I was in love!  When I traveled for three weeks this summer, it was the only eyeshadow palette I took with me!  Then just when I learned about it and started to share about it, it disappeared from stores and I felt really bad because none of my viewers or readers could get ahold of it!  Well it's back baby!  With a new look but the same idea and shades of shadow.  Let's do a little compare and contrast with these two palettes.

As you can see in the photo above, the biggest difference is the outer cover of the palette. My original palette (the first version, pictured on the left) has a gold and brown leopard print cover with some lovely pink and green flower accents.  It's labeled "Natural Eye Kit".  The new version has a more subtle outer cover.  It's beige with brown and white flowers and says "Natural Look".  The price on both palettes is the same (Although I don't remember right now what that was!).

Inside lid of both palettes
Now let's take a look at the inside lid.  The old version is again on the left, new on the right.  The new photo of the eye is more cartoon like.  Also, the instructions are slightly different.  You can enlarge the photo if you would like to see exactly how they differ.

Inside of both palettes

Finally, we have the inside of the palettes (old on left, new on right).  While the labels and configuration of the palettes are different, the shades included look nearly identical to me.  There may be slight differences to due to different mixtures in different batches of eyeshadow, but these are essentially the exact same palette, re-released with a different look.  If you are still kicking yourself for missing out on the original palette, I would run out and pick up one of the newly packaged palettes quick - before they disappear again.  I plan on keeping this second one I purchased as a backup.  I've come to love this palette and never want to be without it!

My Birthday Haul: What Hubby Got Me

I meant to post about this yesterday but I didn't have time.  Work days are always so busy for me! This is what my wonderful husband got me for my birthday.

First, let's start with the Nail Art Stamps Binder.  This is what I asked Brian to buy me for my birthday and I was allowed to open this gift early.  I wanted both the 21 piece and 25 piece Bundle Monster nail image sets.  I housed them all in a binder.  I got the idea from this awesome YouTube video!

Next, Brian also got me the double ended Konad stamper and scraper set, as I was having a lot of trouble with aiming the larger stamp that came with the kit I blogged about a few weeks ago.  I also like that the rubber stamper on the small side is green, as it makes it easier to see the polish when I use pink polish.

The set of three tubes are a set of nail art tools from Orly.  This was a Brian-original idea.  He bought a double ended dotting tool, a detailer brush, and a striper brush, all of which he picked out himself.  Along with them came the promise that he would be using them to do details on my nails!  What a sweet gift: to share my hobby with me.  I think the promise was the best gift I got this year.  <3

Underneath of the stamper are three Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens in Light Pink, Bright Blue, and Red.  These were more supplies that Brian planned to use on my nails to add details.

Next to the Nail Art Pens, we have an adorable set of three mini lip glosses from Essence.  This is a brand that Brian knows I love (especially their lipglosses!).  This is Angel's Love and Kisses set.  It comes with a clear mini gloss, a creme peachy rose gloss, and a pearly gloss with holographic glitter.  I love the texture and shades of all of these glosses!

The last item pictured are Mix Max snack cakes from Balconi.  The story behind the cakes comes from our trip to Germany this past summer.  One day while in Munich, we stopped at a grocery store to pick up some snack foods for the journey.  I decided on Mix Max, a delicious sponge cake with chocolate sauce in between and a layer of chocolate on the outside.  I thought it would be like a Swiss Roll and I was craving chocolate.  They turned out to be the most delicious snack cake I've ever eaten and ever since that day, we've looked everywhere for these Italian-made cakes.  We've scoured local World Market stores, small European businesses that import European foods, and even the Internet.  The only place we could find these delicious treats was online and the shipping was twice as much as the cakes!  Alas, I decided I couldn't splurge $12-$20 on some Little Debbie-esque chocolate cakes.  But what a wonderful and thoughtful gift to give to me!

Mmmmmm.... Mix Max!
My husband really outdid himself this year.  I would have been totally happy with just the Bundle Monster sets!  The gifts were a nice treat but I really am the most excited about having him help me with nail art and get involved in a hobby of mine.  Did I mention we spent my birthday doing mani and pedi details?  I'll be posting on that soon as well!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Birthday Manicure!!

Today is my birthday!!  I'm now 28 years old.  I'll be posting some pictures of my birthday presents today but for now, I wanted to share my adorable birthday manicure that my wonderful husband, Brian, helped me to do.

First, I started with two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On.  This is a great white!  I think it's much easier to work with than my much more expensive Essie in Blanc.  Two coats and I had perfect opacity to use as a base for my next polish.

Step 1

Next, I applied two coats of Sinful Colors in Pinky Glitter.  This is a thick, goopy pink jelly with lots of different sizes and colors of glitter.  While overly thick, it wasn't that hard to work with and evened out nicely.  It reminds me of a polish I wore ALL THE TIME in high school and college.  It was just a no name Bon Bons shade of bright pink glitter and I swear that in my broke-as-a-joke college days, it was one of the only polishes I owned.  (Along with a red Avon polish and the old version of Wet N Wild Lavender Creme!)  Needless to say, this sparkly pink polish made me think of happy times and younger birthdays!

Step 2
Close up of the glitter

Then, I stamped a cupcake design from Bundle Monster plate BM14 onto each nail.  I used Konad Special Polish in White for the top and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Pronto Purple for the base of the cupcakes.  I just filled in the white first (carefully) and then the purple, scraping so as to mix the colors as little as possible.

Step 3
To add sprinkles, my sweet hubby stepped up to help me.  He used a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen to dot on tiny blue sprinkles and also dotted on a few random orange (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Snappy Sorbet) sprinkles here and there.  The orange sprinkles kind of looked funny but I love them just because it was Brian's idea to make them and I love that he wanted to get involved.

Then Brian used another SH Nail Art Pen to dot on cherries and extended the cherries on the ring finger to make a candle.  Finally, using a fine dotting tool, he used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Lightening to make a candle and Snappy Sorbet to accent it.  I think it turned out sooooo cute and it was wonderful to have my husband get into a hobby with me and help.

Step 4

Close up of ring finger

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Finished This, So I'm Using That...

This is kind of a weird post.  I'm not technically considering myself to be on a makeup diet anymore, but I haven't actually bought any new makeup since the day I said I was done with my makeup diet.  I'm strange like that.  I think that when I say I can't buy anything, I really want to buy stuff.  When I'm "allowed" to buy, I'm not interested.  One way or another, it's helping my budget right now (or it would be if I didn't compensate by purchasing TONS of nail polish :P)!

Lately, I finished several products that I was makeup dieting with before and I didn't purchase anything new to replace them, but rather, I am replacing them with things that are already in my collection.  So here's what I've swapped out.

At the top, I finished a Physician's Formula Healthy Wear Powder Foundation in Translucent Light, so I'm using a backup of the same product.  This is my Holy Grail Powder!  Since I discovered this beauty in June, I haven't purchased (or even wanted to use) any other powder.  Amazing coverage, yet still feels light and looks natural.  And I still have another back up of this waiting in the wings (I stock up when they are on sale or I have coupons!)

Below that, I've finished my Maybelline Define A Brow Eyebrow Pencil in Medium Brown so I'm using my Jordana Fabubrow Eyebrow Pencil in Medium Brown.  I still have another backup of my Maybelline Define A Brow but the Jordana Fabubrow was new to my Walgreens a few months ago and I wanted to try it because it's so much cheaper than the Maybelline.  The Maybelline is automatic twist up and Jordana is a sharpen pencil.  For that reason, Jordana's is good, not great, but I would repurchase it because it's a good color match for me and it's just so much less expensive than the Maybelline.  I would definitely keep the Maybelline in stock though, because it's just so easy to travel with (no sharpeners needed on this one).

Next, I finished my Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Brown so now I'm using Essence Longlasting Eye Pencil in Hot Chocolate.  They are both dark brown long-wearing, automatic, retractable eyeliners.  Phew!  I preferred the Revlon, mostly because the point on the Essence one is HUGE and harder to work with.  It is good for tightlining or lining the lower waterline.

Lastly, I finished my Holy Grail mascara, Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Washable in Glam Black.  I also love the waterproof and really any shade.  I have a backup of this but I just have so many other mascaras that I should try to use up first before cracking Colossal open, so I'm using my Wet N Wild Clinical Mascara.  This really is an awesome mascara!  The brush is flat and wide on one side and skinny on the other so you get both length and volume.  Mine has even dried out a bit to that perfect texture.  For now I'm happy using WNW until that dries up or runs out.

So there you have my list of finished and currently being used products.  Do you have back ups of any products?  What do you do when you run out of your favorite items?

Manicure Monday: What's Your Name + Ghosties!

I'll admit it: I only did this manicure because the ghosties on Bundle Monster Image Plate BM223 were sooooo cute!  They are not at all scary but OMG are they adorable?!?!  Anyway, on to the manicure.  I used two coats of Sinful Colors in What's Your Name (on sale this week 10-23-11 through 10-29-11 @ Walgreens for $0.99).  It is a black nail polish with tiny blue glitter through it.  I love that it's black but yet somehow more than black.  Very lovely!  If you enlarge the photos below, you might be able to see the blue sparkle.

This was a surprisingly opaque polish and it was good to go at two thin coats but a better polishes could probably get away with one coat.  At first it was streaky but after that second coat... BAM!  Perfection.  The brush was easy to use and there was very little clean up.  I top coated with Seche Vite then stamped the ghost design from plate BM223 with Konad Special Polish in white followed by another coat of SV.  I think they are so cute!  I took it off soon because black shows every chip and imperfection but this was perfect for a quick and cute manicure that doesn't need to last long.  Also, my artistic hubby thought that if you wanted scarier ghosts, you could fill in the eye slits with a red nail art pen or striper.  Cute idea!

Palette Pick: Saturday and Sunday

This post finally gets me caught up on posting about my palette picks from last week.  This is just a quick update on what I chose from my e.l.f. 32 Palette this weekend.


On Saturday, I had early plans to do lunch and shopping with some friends, so I needed something to get me out the door quickly and still look good.  I pretty much copied a look I did earlier this week, using the shimmery taupe in the upper corner (labeled 1) as a lid shade and mixing shade 1 with shade 2 for the crease.  For the lower lashline, I smudged shade 1 into the outer half of the lashes.  I really wish I had time to photograph this look, as it was my favorite of all the palette picks from this palette.  Oh well!  Life keeps us all pretty busy.


Sundays are my day to relax and usually it's filled with football and nail painting at home so I tend to keep my makeup and hair really low maintenance.  For this look, I am wearing some tinted moisturizer, topped with my favorite Physician's Formula Healthy Wear powder foundation and Pixi correction concentrate under my eyes.  On my cheeks, I have a Wet N Wild Bronzer from the summer's limited edition collection.  On my eyes, I applied shade 1 all over and then topped the whole look off with mascara and lined the bottom waterline with my trusty nude eyeliner.  Slap on some clear lip blam and that's it!  Light and natural and only takes about five minutes!  What do you think?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Palette Pick: Thursday & Friday

I am behind on my palette pick posts this week because I had to work 14 hours on Thursday.  Argh!  It left me too tired to worry about posting and then I had a busy weekend to boot.  So today things have finally slowed down and I am trying to catch up from Thursday and Friday.  Also, just FYI, I'm taking next week off from my Palette Challenge.  After four weeks, I am bored with palettes and ready to go back to some of my beloved singles and trios.  Without further blabbering, here are Thursday and Friday's Palette Picks.


On Thursday, it was "wear pink day" at my work for Breast Cancer Awareness week, so I tried a pink look.  I used shade 1 on the lid, 2 in the crease and smudged on the outer 1/2 of the lower lashline, and 3 as a highlight.  This palette really just lacks good pigmentation.  The colors in the palette look very muted once applied to the skin, even with a good primer.  This palette is nice if you want natural or light looks, but don't buy it expecting to wear the same thing you see.  This pink shade was no different.  Just shoddy pigmentation.  Here's what it looked like on me.


Friday's pick was inspired by my lovely burgundy sweater but again, the pigmentation was a huge let down with these shades.  Again, shade 1 on the lid, 2 in the crease, and 3 as a highlight.  It looked okay, but I was hoping for something with a little more "oomph".  Disappointing.