Friday, October 31, 2014

Hard to Find Friday: Pretty Serious Creature Crush

Happy Halloween everybody!  What are you all dressing up as?  I think this is probably the first year ever I didn't put together a costume.  I work late today and have to be at work early tomorrow, so we're not going out and doing anything fun.  But if something does come up, I'll just pull out my Captain America sweater with attached mask and my glitter shield and rock it.  :-D  This doesn't mean that I wouldn't have some festive nails!

This is Creature Crush from Pretty Serious' 2012 Monster Mash collection.  It is a blue green tinged black jelly base with silver shimmer and holographic hexes.  The first base was a touch patchy but it was perfectly opaque with the second.  This polish was limited edition when it came out and I randomly bought it a year ago on Llarowe's sale section.  I have not seen it anywhere else since then.  Personally, I really like it.  I do feel that it is that it is not all that unique.  In the bottle it looks identical to ORLY's Androgynie.

Now you can tell that Creature Crush has a bluer base while Androgynie is more of a charcoal.  On the nail though they look pretty much the same, and the formula on Creature Crush is a lot better.  It was smooth and opaque in two coats and with Androgynie I was struggling with three.  Androgynie was patchy and thin.

Finally to make my nails a little more festive, I decided to try out some Spiderweb Guides from Up Your Nail and Essie's Sittin' Pretty, which I have previously swatched.  They're almost like shields that you lay down flat on the nail and then paint over like any other type of vinyl.  I had issues with these the whole time, but I suspect it had more to do with the design more than the maker.  If they had been easier to work with, I would have done the design on all of my nails instead of just having an accent.  I'm sure Up Your Nails' other stickers work perfectly well, but these were difficult.  First off, there were tons of little bits that I had to remove off the sticker to make sure I had all the little bits of web visible, if that makes sense.  Also, I could not get this to lay flat on the end of my nail.  The polish would pool under the vinyl and just create blobs instead of showing the base polish.  I had to go in with my clean up brush and just a touch of acetone to clean it up.  For this design, I feel that the vinyls are more trouble than they're worth.  Drawing your own spiderweb is so much easier, though I am curious to try other ones of Up Your Nail's guides and nail vinyls.

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Untried Wednesday: Bliss Polish Alice

Happy Hump Day everyone!  I hope you are all having a good day.  The weekend and Halloween are coming up, and I know all of us are looking forward to them.  Also to all of the writers, National Novel Writing Month is starting up on Saturday.  For those of you that don't know, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days, which averages out to 1667 words a day or 6-7 pages.  This is going to be my fourth year doing it.  Anyone else doing it with me?  No?  Well then let's just move onto the nail polish swatches, I know that's why you're really here. :-P

This is Bliss Polish Alice from her NGF collection.  Yvette dedicated each of this collection of five polishes to herself and the four other ladies that make up her Nail Girl Family.  Alice is inspired by squishynpolished.  It is a dove gray linear holo polish that took three coats to be opaque.  The holographic glitter may not be as dense as my beloved Color Club Beyond, but Alice is a very pretty polish and a nice addition to any collection.  The formula is a little thin, but very easy to work with.  I had no streaking or pulling.  I was actually wearing this at the gym last night and got distracted by all the blingy holo, as usual.  ;-P  If you're interested, you can pick this up here, but I know that the storefront will be changing this Saturday and rumor has it that there may be a coupon code for the launch.  Make sure you follow Bliss Polish to keep up on it and all future sales.

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mani Monday: Celeb Siren

Hey all, I hope your Monday is going well, but why lie?  It's Monday so it sucks.  :-P  Today I felt uninspired so I thought I'd do an easy mani.

I started off with Picture Polish in Siren Song on my index, middle, and pinkie fingers.  Picture Polish released it as one of their 2013 Blogger Collaboration shades and this one was designed byRebecca Does Nails.  It is a seafoam green cream with a silver shimmer running through it.  It is a very pretty polish, but I have had issues with the formula every time I have used it.  I painted three coats for the pictures and that is because it painted on very patchy.  Also it was surprisingly difficult to clean up my edges with this polish and I was using my usual pure acetone and french brush.  I don't know if I got an off batch because the other reviews I have read did not mention having any formula issues.  If you are interested in trying out Siren Song, or any other Picture Polish, for yourself you can check out their storefront.  Picture Polish is an Australian indie brand, so if you don't live there it would be really expensive to ship.  I usually go to Llarowe.

On my thumb and ring fingers I used me go to silver polish, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Celeb City.  It paints smoothly in one coat, is good for stamping, and only costs $2.49 at the drugstore  What's not to love?  I topped it with Essie Set in Stones, which is a silver, reflective glitter topper that has small and medium sized hexes.

To finish it all off, I used my dotting tools and made two dots at the base of my nails with Celeb City.

So what do you gals think of my easy, lazy, uninspired nail art?  :-P

As the usual kind reminder. These products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have people send me products for review. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Random Post: ZILLA Polishes

Exciting news!  I have polishes for you all today that were sent to me for review.  Exciting!  I feel like a legitimate blogger.  Over all, I am happy with these polishes by ZILLA from her upcoming fall collection.  They should be available on her shop tentatively come November 1st.  So lets look at these swatches.

Cobwebs is a charcoal jelly dense with shimmer.  The first coat was very sheer and had very little coverage, so I began to panic.  Second coat is what you see in the picture.  As we all know, sheer polishes are not really my thing, but it is pretty and the polish paints on smoothly.  I can see this over most dark creams.  I feel like they would end up dusty, shimmery, and very pretty.  It kind of reminds me of the Sally Hansen Smoky Top Coat that so many people were obsessing over a few months ago.  The name of Cobwebs fits this polish really well.  

Fussy Hussy was the polish I was most excited for.  When I unwrapped this from the bubble wrap I oohed and aahed.  Mr. LacquerVixen gave me that "you're a crazy polish person and I don't understand you" look and went back to his video games.  ;-P  Fussy Hussy is a teal glitter topper with teal holographic small hexes, iridescent squares and pink large hexes.  I loved the combination of the glitters and was really excited to see the pink hexes.  Now, for the pink hexes I did have to do some fishing to get one on each nail, but I blame that on the mini bottle and brush.  I bet that wouldn't be an issue with a full sized bottle since there were a good amount of hexes.  I used one coat of the polish for my picture.  

In the bottle, Scattering was the least impressive.  It looks brown with little pink hexes and some glitter. This is the one that shocked me the most.  On the nail it is a burgundy jelly with pink hexes and holographic specks.  The combination seems really unique to me and I know I do not have anything like it in my stash.  Scattering probably ended up as my favorite polish from the bunch.  For the picture I used two coats.

Overall, I think that these ZILLA polishes are pretty unique and a welcome addition to my collection.  :-)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mani Monday: Blood Splattered Zombie Flesh

Hey all! Hope you're all having a great Monday. Yeah I know you're not, Monday's suck. Today is actually my Friday, I don't have to be back at work until Thursday. Wooooo! I'm heading up to visit Mama LacquerVixen, so I'm actually blogging right now from my phone at a Starbucks. Yeah, I'm one of THOSE people at Starbucks. Well at least I'm not taking up a whole table I guess.  

For the longest time I've been itching to do a splatter mani.  I've been looking for some coffee stirrers for weeks and no one has them, my no one I mean Target. Way to drop the ball Target. :P I did find cocktail straws though. 

Last night I was inspired. I had been looking for an excuse to bring Dollish Polish's Zombie Flesh back to the blog and the cocktail straws were my reason.  I put down two coats of Zombie Flesh and then pulled out Julep's Mytrle.  Myrtle is just a stock red cream with a touch of jelly to it.  I took one of the cocktail straws, dipped it in the polish and blew through the other end, pointing it at my nails.  

This technique is supposed to splatter the polish on your nail.  Well it is if you use a tiny straw.  The cocktail straws are a tad too large. While there is some splattering, I did end up with a fair amount of globbing.  Now this isn't terrible in this mani.  My nails look like zombie flesh splashed with blood, which is what I was going for.  If you're going for a more delicate splatter, keep looking for the coffee stirrers. 

Another word of advice?  Tape the hell out of your fingers.  It took my so long to clean up my nails.  They actually legitametly looked like blood splattered fingers. Mr. LacquerVixen actually said they looked cool. ;)

As the usual kind reminder. These products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have people send me products for review. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Swatch Saturday: Color Club Beyond

Happy Saturday everyone!  It's time for the final post of my impromptu Holo Week and what better way of doing that than with a Color Club Halo Hue polish?

This is Beyond.  I'll give you a second to absorb it.  You good?  This is what a linear holo should be.  It has the perfect arc of reflective rainbow glitter.  In doors, Beyond is kind of boring.  It looks like a charcoal polish with shimmer, but if you happen to get the perfect sunbeam or are outdoors it just knocks you out.  Another great thing about this polish?  It is perfectly opaque in ONE COAT.   This is why I love the Halo Hues, they are super holographic and are usually one coaters.  Now the formula is a touch thick, but nothing that can't be handled.  There are conflicting opinions of the color of this.  Some people call it gray, some call it black.  I've even heard it called brownish gray.  I believe this is a black holographic polish.  The thing with linear holos is that because of the size of the glitter and the amount needed to create the effect, the polish becomes grayed out.  A lot of the time, the color of a holo will become dull because of that, and blacks tend to become charcoal.  That is why you don't really see any true black linear holos.  Most of the time, they are scattered holos to keep the color.  Though if someone knows of a true black linear holo, point me in the right direction!

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hard to Find Friday: FUN Lacquer Belle 1.0

Happy Friday!  Looks like it's holo week here at LacquerVixen Headquarters.  I seem to just be pulling holographic polishes this week and I have no problem with that!

Today for Hard to Find Friday I have FUN Lacquer's Belle from her first set of Limited Edition Disney Princess holographic polishes.  This gold polish is inspired by Belle's fantastic ball gown.  It took two coats for complete opacity.  It is a scattered holo and the best way to see it is in sunlight.  In door it just looks like regular glitter.  FUN Lacquer did recently release a new Limited Edition Disney Princess collection where the holographic factor was amped up.  For Belle at least, the 2.0 version may be a better option if you love the full rainbow factor that holographic glitter gives.  Over all I like this polish, but I don't love it.  The formula is solid and the gold is a flattering shade, but I really wish the holo was more obvious.  Go big or go home.

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Untried Wednesday: Different Dimension Heart of Rose Gold

Hey all!  Sorry I've been MIA.  It was a long weekend for Columbus Day, so went out out of town to visit my mom.  Exciting news!  I got my wedding dress!  It's fantastic.  I want to wear it all the time. :-P

Today I bring you guys Heart of Rose Gold from DIFFERENT dimension's new Heavy Metals collection.  When the swatches for this collections had started floating around the internet, I kept telling myself I didn't need any, but I kept looking at this polish.  I keep looking for a good rose gold polish and this may be it for me.  It is pinker than ORLY's Rage and has holo glitter.  The formula is fantastic. It was mostly opaque in one coat, but I threw on a second coat just to be sure.  I just adore this polish.  Seriously, buy it.  Do it noooooow!  I'm sad I'm going to have to take this off.

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hard to Find Friday: OPI Alcatraz Rocks!

Woooooo it's Friday guys, and Fridays are always exciting.  This one more so than normal.  Why is that?  Well Monday is Christopher Columbus Day, which is a bank holiday!  Yay, no work for me.  I'm going to go wedding dress shopping with my mom again, so that will be interesting to say the least.  Do you guys have any fun plans for the weekend?

Today I bring you guys OPI Alcatraz Rocks! which was released in their Fall 2013 San Francisco collection.  It is a dusty blurple texture with lots of gold and pink shimmer.  I used two coats for the picture.  Let me just say off the bat that this is one of my favorite polishes ever, so much so that this is the only polish I actually own a back up of.  It's such a fantastic color that even people who do not like texture polishes like this one.  I have a friend who hated texture polishes, until she got her hands on this one, then the flood gates opened.  If you were to top coat this polish, it would be even more gorgeous.  I wore this with a top coat when I went to Hawaii for eight days, even being in and out of the water, I had just minimal tip wear.  So what am I saying?  If you find this, buy it immediately!  

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Untried Wednesday: Julep Karen and Autumn

Guess what today is guys!  It's Mr. LacquerVixen's birthday today!  Yay!  We're taking him out to shabu shabu tonight for which I am super excited for.

This is Julep Karen.  It is a peachy orange shimmer, almost a frost.  For the pictures I used two coats and was pretty okay with the opacity.  I still have a touch of VNL on my pointer, middle, and ring fingers, but I was okay with it.  Mainly because I was planning on topping all my nails with the glitter in the next picture, but then Mr. LacquerVixen said accent nails instead.  I guess I can let him pick on his birthday.  So then maybe I should have gone back for the third coat.  I don't own anything like this in my collection.  I'm not an orange person, as I've said before, and I strangely don't own any peach colored polishes, but this color I really like.  It's delicate and seems almost neutral with my skin tone.  

On my thumb and middle finger I am wearing Julep Autumn, a glitter top coat with orange and red hexes and tiny silver specks.  In the picture I only used one coat and it dispersed evenly over the nail.  It may be able to reach complete opacity if you were to top it over red polish and maybe use three coats.  I think that it would look best as a topper though.  If it was too dense, the colors of the glitters would blend in too much and it wouldn't look as unique as it does.

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mani Monday: FrankenGlitz

Happy October all!  Sure it's six days into the month, but that doesn't mean that it's still not exciting.  :-) October to me, like to so many other people, means Halloween and while I probably wouldn't have any exciting Halloween plans or wouldn't dress up, it doesn't mean that I can't start rocking all the cool Halloween manis.

First off, these are the base polishes I wore for my mani.  On my thumb, middle, and pinkie fingers I am wearing Revlon Parfumerie Lime Basil.  It is a kelly green cream that is opaque in two coats, though the formula was a touch thick, but I could probably chalk that up to owning it for almost a year and using it quite a few times.  Also it is scented!  I think that's pretty neat.  G at Nouveau Cheap described the smell of this polish the best, saying that it smells like 7 Up and effervesce.  Actually, her review of this polish last year made me run out and buy this even though I'm not really a green person.  I keep saying that I'm not a green person, but if I had to pick my top ten polishes, at least a third of them would be green.

On my index finger I have my usual one coat of Cult Nails Fetish.  I didn't top coat any of these polishes for this picture, so you can see the waxy finish that Fetish dries to.  On my ring finger I painted three coats of OPI's My Boyfriend Scales Walls.  The formula is a little bit finicky, sometimes it is opaque in two coats and sometimes it takes three.  The only reason I put up with the formula is that it is not a true pure white.  It has a touch of gray going on and I like that.

What do you guys think of my final product?  It's a simplistic version of Frankenstein and his Bride, but I like it.

On my index finger, I topped Fetish with KB Shimmer's Jack which is a black jelly with orange hexes in various sizes and a few black hexes scattered in there.  It had been released last year as Limited Edition and has returned this year.  So if you're interested, pick it up soon before she pulls it again!  It is the only obviously Halloween polish I own, so I like to use it a lot in October.

For my green nails, I did a few things.  First off I topped them with ORLY's Sparkling Garbage which is a green holo glitter in a green tinted base from ORLY's Summer 2013 Mash Up collection .  Once that dried, I used a small dotting tool to draw on Frank's hair with Fetish at the base of my nail and then two lines as his eyes.  On my two other nails, I used the same dotting tool to draw sets of lines to look like a wound and stitches.  Looking back, I probably used have used a thin brush for it, but I am happy with it for a first try.

On my ring finger, I began with topping MBSW with ORLY Shine On Crazy Diamond then using a large dotting tool to paint most of my nail with Fetish for the Bride's tall hair.  I then drew a wavy line with MBSW for the trademark white stripe of hair and finally dotted two large eyes with Fetish.

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hard to Find Friday: Bliss Polish Jax 2.0

Hey all.  If you've been following my blog for the past few months, you may remember a Mani Monday of mine where I used Bliss Polish's Jax.  I loved that polish.  It was a one coat charcoal with a hint of shimmer and dried to a matte finish.  So when Yvette announced that she was going to be releasing a second Sons of Anarchy collection in honor of the final season and that there was going to be a super limited edition, only 40 bottles being made, Jax 2.0 with holo, I had to have it.  

This is two coats of Jax 2.0.  It is not quite as opaque as the first, but two coats were perfect.  I am not sure how to classify the kind of holo that this polish has.  Yvette had described it as a scattered holo, but according to JessFACE90's video The Nail Polish Dictionary the rainbow arc on my nails makes it a linear holo.  By the way, everyone should watch this video if you have any questions what so ever about polish terms.  It may be 37 minutes long, but totally worth it.

Pardon the blurry picture, but that was the best way to show the holo with my camera.  What do you guys think, scattered, linear, or somewhere between both?

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Random Post: September Empties

Hey look, a random post and it's my September Empties to boot!  I haven't done one of these since since July, but now that my computer is up and running again and I've gotten back into the swing of things I had a new post about my trash.  This batch it big so lets get started!

1. OPI Nail Envy: What can I say about this that hasn't been said before?  Nail Envy is the only nail hardener I will use.  It works well for me and I feel that my nails have gotten a bit harder since I've been using it.  Would I repurchase?  Already have.

2. Essie First Base:  First Base is an adhesive top coat that I enjoy.  This is the second bottle I have gone through, so obviously it has worked for me.  Would I repurchase?  Eventually.  I managed to get my hands on a giant refill bottle of ORLY's Bonder, so I'm set on a sticky base for a while.

3. CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat: This is a mini bottle of one of those at home gelesque top coats.  It has some UV components, so the bottle is blacked out.  I use this as my top coat on my toes.  I will skip the base coat and use whatever polish happens to strike my fancy, then top coat it with the Vinylux.  I've gone two weeks like that without a single chip on my toes, and most of the time I wear close toed shoes.  Would I repurchase?  I already bought the full sized bottle.  :-)

4. Lorac 3D Liquid Luster in Gold:  The Liquid Luster is a glitter topper for eyeshadow.  It is amazing and fabulous.  I will dab a little on my eyes and feel like the glittery diva I am, without looking trashy.  The only sadness is that my bottle dried up.  It must have been left open for too long because I also have the Opal shade and that was is still perfectly fine.  Would I repurchase?  Definitely.  I'm already eyeballing the Christmas set that Lorac is releasing.

5. Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer: This is the deluxe size that came with the Lorac Pro Palette (the original one).  It's a pretty decent primer, but I don't think it's amazing.  My Urban Decay Primer Potion was still better.  At the end of the day, I would still have some creasing with the Behind the Scenes primer.  Would I repurchase?  Meh probably not.  If I got it for free I'd use it though.

6. Cosmetic Cotton: I don't really have a brand name for this, it's in Japanese.  :-(  But I do love it!  I got it at Daiso Japan which is this awesome Japanese discount store chain.  Everything is only $1.50 unless marked differently, and they just have so much cute stuff!  The Cosmetic Cotton are little square shaped cotton pads which I think do a fantastic job of taking off most polish.  They tend to fall apart on the really chunky glitter, but they work wonders on everything else.  Would I repurchase?  I already have two boxes as back up!

7. Rubbing Alcohol: Now you may wonder why I have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in my beauty empties.  The reason is pretty boring.  I like to swipe a cotton ball damp with alcohol on my nails before I paint them to get rid of oils.  My nail beds tend to be oily, so I have to go through a longer process if I want my polish to stay longer than a day.  Would I repurchase? Yes, already have.

8. Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Farmstand Apple: Okay, first off we all know that the Bath and Body Works is good.  I really enjoyed the smell of this soap.  In case I haven't said it before, my favorite scent is apple, but none of that cinnamon apple spice.  I like pure apple smells.  This soap gave me that scent I enjoyed so much.  Would I repurchase?  Sure.  If I can find it on sale, absolutely, but it's only soap so I'm not going to search it out.

9. Dove Go Fresh Revive in Pomegranate & Lemon Verbena Scent: What's an empty's post without some deodorant?  This is my usual deodorant that I've been using for a couple of years.  It's a good solid one that lasts me all day.  The container does claim 48 hours, but I doubt it would actually go that long.  But then the idea of not reapplying it every morning seems kind of gross to me.  Would I repurchase?  Yeap.

10. Victoria Secret Pure Seduction Shower Gel: Okay so as a shower gel it does its job well, it lathers well and leaves you clean, but I HATE the smell.  I abhor floral scents so much, they just smell so bad to me.  I made the boytoy finish this for me.  Would I repurchase?  Noooooope.

11. Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer: This is my usual face moisturizer.  It doesn't me feeling oily and greasy.  The boytoy even loves it, so we share.  Would I repurchase?  Of course.

12. LOreal Voluminous Miss Manga in Blackest Black: I love this stuff so much.  I love the dramatic effect that it gives my lashes.  I know this is a very hit and miss mascara with people.  Some people say it gives them spidery lashes.  They're just wearing too much.  Would I repurchase?  Absolutely, especially after I finish the stockpile of mascaras I have.

13. Maybelline The Falsies Volum' Express: Meh.  I was unimpressed with this mascara, it was underwhelming.  Honestly, the only reason it's in an empties post is because it had dried up.  Would I repurchase?  Nope, not with so many other better options out there.

14. Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Nudist: What I finished a lip product???  Big shocker.  It's a good solid nude colored lip gloss that left my lips feeling moisturized and it tasted good. :-P  Would I repurchase? Probably after I widdle down my collection of lip products.

15. Maybelline Color Whisper in Plum Prospect:  And there's a second lip product here too!!  Plum Prospect was a bright pinkish purple lipstick.  It was super moisturizing and I'm kind of sad it's finished.  Would I repurchase? Definitely, especially in different colors.

16. LOreal True MAtch Super Blendable Powder in W4: This is my usual powder.  I can't say much about it, but I like it.  It does a good job and it's cheap.  This is probably my fifth or sixth compact.  Would I repurchase?  Yeah, I'm already waiting for Ulta to have a sale on LOreal.

Wow that was ridiculously long.  Jeez, I shouldn't let it go this long between trash posts!

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Untried Wednesday: I Love Nail Polish Masquerade

If I'm in the mood to wear a polish that is attention grabbing, I always go for a duochrome first.  Without a doubt, most people who see my nails will make a comment about how cool it is or how my nails look like beetle shells.  So when I'm feeling particularly starved for attention, I pull out these babies.

So today, out of my untrieds I pulled out I Love Nail Polish Masquerade, which is one of their Ultrachrome polishes.  This is from the Summer 2014 collection that recently came out.  According to the listing on I<3NP site, "At every turn, you’ll find Masquerade shifting through an incredible array of super bright pink, violet, red, copper, and a stunningly vibrant green." 

If you look at the bottle, you see all the colors listed but the pink.  On my nails it is the same way.  It took two coats to hit opacity with Masquerade.  It is a pretty polish, but I'm a little disappointed with the lack of pink.  

This second picture is a touch blurry, but it shows the shift better.  I can see copper, but not really pink still.  Oh well, it's still a really pretty polish.

As the usual kind reminder, these products were purchased with my own money.  I am not cool enough to have companies send me free stuff to review them. ;)