7.18.2024

BOOK REVIEW: House of Salt and Sorrows {Sisters of the Salt, # 1} by Erin A. Craig


"The High Mariner says Pontus created our islands and the people on them. He scooped salt from the ocean tides for strength. Into that was mixed the cunning of a bull shark and the beauty of the moon jellyfish. He added the seahorse’s fidelity and the curiosity of a porpoise. When his creation was molded just so—two arms, two legs, a head, and a heart—Pontus breathed some of his own life into it, making the first People of the Salt. So when we die, we can’t be buried in the ground. We slip back into the water and are home."

I rarely have good luck with gothic romantasy/fantasy/horror what have you, but something about Erin A. Craig's House of Salt and Sorrows immediately intrigued me, so I hit purchase, and believe me when I say that it was one of the greatest book buying decisions I have ever made! Though described as a dark retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, for me it felt far more akin to The Haunting of Hill House, what with the moments of sheer madness combined with the ghosts and isolated manor; and I, for one, loved it.

Eighteen-year-old Annaleigh Thaumus looks as though she leads a life of privilege from the outside looking in. After all, she resides in a luxurious manor known as Highmoor; is granted anything her heart desires by her wealthy father {though she doesn't ask for much}; and shares her days with a veritable harem of beautiful sisters. But look a little deeper...

Though once there were twelve sisters, tragedy claimed four far too soon; thus, now there are eight. With one young life being claimed after another, always under mysterious circumstances, the family has been placed in a state of continual mourning; and the townsfolk keep their distance from the daughters, regardless of how lovely they may be, due to their belief that the family has been cursed by the Gods. Then there's Annaleigh's stepmother, who is sick of mourning - desiring to wear color and gaze upon her beauty in mirrors; and so, mourning is forgotten, and Annaleigh descends into a spiral of madness. Or is it?

Without warning, sweet, sensitive Annaleigh begins experiencing vivid ghostly visions of her deceased sisters. Though each of their deaths was written off as mere accident, through these visions Annaleigh begins to suspect that the so-called accidents weren't accidents at all. And just as she begins digging a bit deeper into their deaths, her remaining sisters start embarking on evening adventures wherein they dance at lavish balls in sparkling gowns until the wee hours of the morning, returning each day with their slippers worn straight through. Where they are going, and who they are dancing with, Annaleigh can't be sure; but it's an added layer to the mystery already plaguing the Thaumus' - and if she can't solve it fast, more harm will inevitably come to her family.

I'm honestly so shocked that I haven't found a single comparison to The Haunting of Hill House because Annaleigh's character is so very vividly reminiscent of Victoria Pedretti's Eleanor Crain in the Netflix series; and the vibe of the book - from the isolated manor to the unsuspecting father to the overall moodiness...it all feels like an extension of the show. But I digress...

House of Salt and Sorrows was such a welcome surprise, and the most incredible book to read at the start of summer {though let me tell you, reading it in the midst of a snowstorm would be every bit as thrilling}. The cast of characters keeps you engaged from paragraph one. Annaleigh is a wonderful protagonist who seems reserved, but is very strong-willed and determined as the story progresses. Her love for her youngest sister, Verity {you will adore her!}, really illustrates how devoted she is to her family; while her relationship with the mysterious Cassius is sweet and endearing. Though the two have a slight romance, it never overshadows the haunting storyline; rather, it builds upon it, adding to the suspense courtesy of the puzzles surrounding his own family, and how they intertwine and overlap with Annaleigh's, and...well, I'll just leave it at that. I, personally, am downloading the sequel, House of Roots and Ruin, as we speak, as I'm not ready to say goodbye to the Thaumus family just yet.



Star Rating: ****1/2


xx
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7.15.2024

NOTD: ZOYA Beachy Brights 2 Collection Nail Lacquer in Cove

Two coats of ZOYA Nail Polish in Cove. Tropical Teal Holo w/ Flashes of Green.

OMG babes the mermaid vibes have arrived!

Cove is a tropical teal holo w/ flashes of green that will have you feeling like a cast member of H20: Just Add Water. #iykyk. And if you don't know, you need to get on that ASAP. Trust. This color y'all...ZOYA outdid themselves because it is per-fec-tion. You def need two coats with this beauty because one is super sheer; but just look how it builds! If you're looking to channel your inner mermaid you cannot be without this shade.

xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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7.11.2024

ZOYA Beachy Brights 2 Summer Nail Polish Collection Swatches + Review {Part 2}

Babes, as promised, here is Part 2 of ZOYA's Beachy Brights 2 Summer Nail Polish Collection, and this one is full of juicy pinks, purples, and strawberries that will have. you. swooning. If you haven't seen Part 1 yet, check it out here. Enjoy!

Brinkley is a Bright Raspberry Magenta Creme. Babes, I love this color so much, you have no idea. Is she pink? Is she purple? I don't even care - she is pure perfection! Brinkley is a bright raspberry magenta creme that gives all of the girly vibes! This beauty has a touch of blue undertone that almost makes it look like she has hidden shimmer; but, surprise, surprise, she doesn't! If you love a good hybrid shade this is the gorgeous you need in your life! This is 2 coats.

Georgie is a Strawberry Summer Red w/ Holo Glitter Finish. The strawberry vibes are strong with this one. Georgie is a strawberry summer red w/ holo glitter finish that gives all of the ripe strawberry vibes. Georgie gives off big-time crelly vibes, and would make for an incredible jelly sandwich - placing her over or between a shade like Alora or Loni. I am legit awestruck over how pretty this one is; and now I really want to wear her strawberry picking. True story.This is 2 coats.

Alora is a Red Creme w/ Deep Pink Undertones. Y'all this color as a transition from summer to fall is serving. Alora is a red creme w/ deep pink undertones that creates a bright cranberry-esque shade that is every bit at home paired with your itty bitty bikini or chunky sweaters. This one applies like a dream and is absolutely stunning to look at. Loving her for all of the seasons. This is 2 coats.

Yohanna is a Vibrant Knockout Pink Creme. Come on Barbie, let's go party... Had to. #sorrynotsorry. Yohanna is a vibrant knockout pink creme that will legit make you feel like a Barbie girl. Trust. Yohanna is a blue-toned pink that is blindingly bright and will leave you staring at your nails all. day. long. Formula here was amazing to work with {so on brand for ZOYA}; and if pink is your thing, you cannot pass this pretty up! This is 2 coats.

Loni is a Neon Salmon Coral Creme. When I tell you this shade makes me want to sing Harry Styles' Watermelon Sugar at the top of my lungs, I am not kidding. Loni is a neon salmon coral creme that gives juicy watermelon vibes and is just so playful for the summa-summa-summatime. This one is ultra-bright {far brighter than pictures reflect}, and dries down matte due to her neon qualities. I absolutely adore this beauty {she makes you look so tan}, and may have to classify her as one of my summertime faves for tips and toes. This is 2 coats.

Soraya is a Neon Fuchsia Grape Creme. Purple girlies y'all need this color for summer into fall! Soraya is a bright fuchsia grape creme that pulls pretty deep on me, which is why I pegged her as a summer to fall shade. This one is beautiful with a creamy finish that is simply lush. Soraya has red undertones which give her that grape feel; as well as a matte finish, so load up on that top coat! This is 2 coats.


AVAILABILITY: ZOYA.

PRICE: $144.00 for the standard size 12-piece collection; $12.00 for each full-size bottle



xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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7.08.2024

NOTD: ZOYA Beachy Brights 2 Collection Nail Lacquer in Taji

Two coats of ZOYA Nail Polish in Taji. Vibrant Lemon Yellow Creme.

I do love a good yellow, and Taji is bringing it!

Taji is a vibrant lemon yellow creme that is bright enough for your summer excursions, but would fit seamlessly with your fall fashions. This one is slightly darker IRL {think egg-yolk yellow} but is so intense and fun. If you don't have a yellow in your collection, I highly recommend grabbing this gorgeous girl!

xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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7.04.2024

BOOK REVIEW: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


"If you want to live where people are not afraid of mice, you must give up living in palaces."

My greatest regret when it comes to E. Lockhart's We Were Liars is that I didn't read it sooner. This is a book that is quintessential summer, thus quintessential summer reading. It is a book reminiscent of bare feet perched on boat railings, tanned legs tucked into cutoff denim shorts, bikini tops and beach cruisers. A book that will haunt you long after the final pages are turned. A book that I can tell you very little about for fear of ruining even a semblance of the suspense that lies within.

The Liars are beautiful - clever, rich {aside from Gat}, intelligent; by all means, they are a group destined for greatness. There is seventeen-year-old Cadence 'Cady' Sinclair Eastman, her cousins Mirren Sinclair Shefffield and Johnny Sinclair Dennis, and Gatwick 'Gat' Matthew Patil {the latter being a very close friend of the family, and the apple of Cady's eye}. Each summer, the Liars join their families at Beechwood, a private island in Massachusetts, a mere stone's throw from Martha's Vineyard, owned by the Sinclair patriarch, Harris. And each summer they indulge by doing...little. Lazing about, swimming, going to dinner, falling in love, and keeping their secrets protected. Because, as would be expected with a family as affluent as the Sinclair's, secrets are part of the territory. But the Liars aren't the only ones harboring them.

You see, the Liars didn't earn their nickname from truthtelling. The Liars earned their moniker from doing things that they may or may not be proud of; some with serious repercussions. But the so-called adults on the island? They really aren't much better. Harris seems quite content watching his three daughters bicker over who will {or will not} inherit mansions, money, and heirlooms; while the daughters in question {Penny, Bess, and Carrie} play into his game while proffering up their children in a dance of manipulation executed in an attempt to inherit what they all feel they deserve. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

We Were Liars is not your carefree, nonchalant work of summer fiction. It is a psychological thriller rife with plot twists that you won't see coming. It's a thriller told in a topsy turvy way that will grip you by the edge of your seat, sending unsuspecting chills up and down your spine even as you lazily dangle your legs over the arm of a lounge chair, further enraptured by each passing page. E. Lockhart has written a literal masterpiece with this unputdownable summer gem, and I, for one, cannot wait to see how she follows it up with the prequel, Family of Liars.



Star Rating: *****


xx
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7.01.2024

NOTD: ZOYA Beachy Brights 2 Collection Nail Lacquer in Marisol

Two coats of ZOYA Nail Polish in Marisol. Bold Turquoise Blue Creme.

A thousand times yes for this temptress right here!

Marisol is a bold turquoise blue creme that is, quite possibly, one of my favorite blue turquoise shades of all time - I mean, just look at that brightness...I literally cannot get over it! Formula here is so good. This one literally dries in seconds, and has such intense opacity, I can't. Truly one of the best vacay shades ever!

xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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6.27.2024

ZOYA Beachy Brights 2 Summer Nail Polish Collection Swatches + Review {Part 1}

Y'all, I literally gasped when I unboxed ZOYA's Beachy Brights 2 Summer Nail Polish Collection. This collection is stunning and literally has a shade for every single personality whether you're into funky brights or strawberry-esque shades that bring summer picnic vibes. As to be expected, the formula on all of the shades is elite {so on brand for ZOYA}. This collection contains 12 colors, so I'm splitting this review up into two parts - six colors in each. Prepare to swoon babes!

Marisol is a Bold Turquoise Blue Creme. A thousand times yes for this temptress right here! Marisol is a bold turquoise blue creme that is, quite possibly, one of my favorite blue turquoise shades of all time - I mean, just look at that brightness...I literally cannot get over it! Formula here is so good. This one literally dries in seconds, and has such intense opacity, I can't. Truly one of the best vacay shades ever! This is 2 coats.

Taji is a Vibrant Lemon Yellow Creme. I do love a good yellow, and Taji is bringing it! Taji is a vibrant lemon yellow creme that is bright enough for your summer excursions, but would fit seamlessly with your fall fashions. This one is slightly darker IRL {think egg-yolk yellow} but is so intense and fun. If you don't have a yellow in your collection, I highly recommend grabbing this gorgeous girl! This is 2 coats.

Avani is a Bright Lemon Lime Creme. Y'all, this shade is essentially summer in a bottle. Avani is a super bright lemon lime creme that is legit a step away from requiring sunglasses just to look at it. True story. This shade is so, so fun for summer - I literally cannot. Formula here is fantastic. It looks semi-sheer after one coat; but whoa does it build to this gorgeous, creamy consistency on coat two. Avani is such a unique bright; so if that's what you're looking for for summer 2024, you need her! This is 2 coats.

Vita is a Deep Pink w/ Shimmering Holo Finish. For my ladies who love a side of sparkle with their pink, look no further than this pretty. Vita is a deep pink w/ shimmering holo finish that is v reminiscent of bubbles laughing in champagne. This one is deep enough that it feels like it would seamlessly fit into your fall wardrobe; but the holo finish makes it feel just flirty enough for the summer months. If you're looking for a playful pink for vacay, you can't go wrong with this bad boy! This is 2 coats.

Cove is a Tropical Teal Holo w/ Flashes of Green. OMG babes the mermaid vibes have arrived! Cove is a tropical teal holo w/ flashes of green that will have you feeling like a cast member of H20: Just Add Water. #iykyk. And if you don't know, you need to get on that ASAP. Trust. This color y'all...ZOYA outdid themselves because it is per-fec-tion. You def need two coats with this beauty because one is super sheer; but just look how it builds! If you're looking to channel your inner mermaid you cannot be without this shade. This is 2 coats.

Bohdi is a Neon Portland Orange Creme. I wish I could have captured the bright of this bad boy because the neon is intense; but I digress...Bohdi is a searing neon Portland Orange creme that has one of the most intense brightness levels I have ever seen in a polish! Babes, this color is gorgeous and will catch the eye of everyone you encounter. It does dry matte {neon obvi}, so you need top coat to make it shine; but you will not be disappointed with this beauty on your tips and toes! This is 2 coats.


AVAILABILITY: ZOYA.

PRICE: $144.00 for the standard size 12-piece collection; $12.00 for each full-size bottle



xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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6.24.2024

NOTD: ZOYA Beachy Brights 2 Collection Nail Lacquer in Avani

Two coats of ZOYA Nail Polish in Avani. Bright Lemon Lime Creme.

Y'all, this shade is essentially summer in a bottle.

Avani is a super bright lemon lime creme that is legit a step away from requiring sunglasses just to look at it. True story. This shade is so, so fun for summer - I literally cannot. Formula here is fantastic. It looks semi-sheer after one coat; but whoa does it build to this gorgeous, creamy consistency on coat two. Avani is such a unique bright; so if that's what you're looking for for summer 2024, you need her!

xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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6.20.2024

BOOK REVIEW: Iron Flame {The Empyrean, Book 2} by Rebecca Yarros


"I waited six hundred and fifty years to hatch. Waited until your eighteenth summer, when I heard our elders talk of the weakling daughter of their general, the girl forecasted to become the head of the scribes, and I knew. You would have the mind of a scribe and the heart of a rider. You would be mine."

It is so, so rare for me to leap into a sequel immediately following the completion of book one; but in the case of Rebecca Yarros' Iron Flame, it was a non-neogtiable. You guys, the impact these characters had on me in Fourth Wing was something I was so not ready to leave behind; thus, I dove directly in, and OMG all I can say is how on earth am I supposed to wait until January for Onyx Storm?

Now twenty-one-years-old, Violet Sorrengail accomplished the unthinkable during her first year in the Riders Quadrant at Basgiath War College: she survived. And not just survived...she thrived - bonding to not one, but two dragons during Threshing {the standouts Tairn and Andarna}; finding a mate in the unlikely {yet oh so swoon-worthy} Xaden Riorson; and coming into her own, showing her classmates just how badass she truly is. But Year One is done. Everyone knows that the true time to weed out the weak, the vulnerable, the unworthy...isn't during the torturous time of Threshing. No, it's during Year Two - when you've developed a sense of cockiness, confidence, and the incorrect feeling that you are untouchable that the true weeding out process begins. Welcome to Year Two.

Violet is known for being weaker and frailer than her fellow Dragon Riders; she's also known for not allowing those things to stop her. Strong of mind, and incredibly determined, Violet is entering Year Two ready for anything training has to throw at her. After all, she has seen what it's like on the outside, borne witness to the terror that lies outside of Navarre. While it's a knowledge that haunts her every sleeping {and waking} moment, it's also the driving force behind her will to succeed. Yes, it's grueling; yes, it's brutal; yes, it will test tolerance of pain and torture...but it's not impossible. The new Vice Commandant, Varrish, however, is hellbent on making it so. At least for Violet. From the moment of his arrival, Varrish develops a hyper-fixation on Violet, Tairn, and Andarna - issuing threats, torment, and persecution all in the name of showing Vi how utterly powerless she is. But he's wrong. Vi is anything but powerless. And even if it kills her, Vi is dead set on protecting her friends and exposing the true secret that has been hidden at Basgiath War College for centuries.

Yarros had better start churning out novellas from all of the POVs because let me tell you this is a cast of characters that I cannot get enough of, and I will shell out cash for each and every one of them - especially if we get one from my sassy sweetheart Andarna and my hilarious teddy bear Tairn because they are two of my all-time favorite characters in literature and I would die for them. Yes, if you hadn't already surmised, I'm here for the dragons, the rest of the characters are just a very welcome bonus. But I digress...

Iron Flame gutted me in ways I never thought possible. Multiple hallucinations {or were they?} from a character I'm still mourning from Fourth Wing; the return of a villain I hoped never to see again; all of the questions surrounding Andarna's sleep for the first half of the book {ngl I suffered severe anxiety during this period}...I mean, it was gut-wrenching. Not since J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter have I felt such a strong pull to a fictional world and the characters therein, but Yarros has just nailed it. Despite the fact that there are loads of characters throughout, they are so distinguishable based on their traits and personalities that, love them of loathe them, they are unforgettable. Most unforgettable, at least for me, are the dragons - I absolutely cannot get enough of them. The way that they communicate telepathically is just brilliant and something I look forward to as I turn each page. And Violet? I liked her in Fourth Wing; but she just blew me away in Iron Flame. Like, she has literally cemented herself in my top 3 of favorite fictional female characters.

Kudos to you Ms. Yarros...you are a true queen. I am eagerly awaiting Onyx Storm.



Star Rating: *****


xx
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6.17.2024

NOTD: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri x Trolls Nail Polish Collection in Viva Power

Two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri x Trolls Nail Polish Collection in Viva Power. Golden Yellow Shimmer.

Okay, but this color is so cutie for the warmer months!

Viva Power is a sunshiney golden yellow shimmer that brings all of the bright, beachy vibes. What's fun about this one is that the shimmer gives an unexpected twinkle that is absolutely stunning when sunlight hits it. I was hyper-impressed with Viva Power because it lasted for more than a week with zero chips or tipwear, which is practically unheard of when it comes to shimmers. Highly recommend!

xx
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6.10.2024

NOTD: ZOYA Bloom Spring 2024 Collection Nail Lacquer in Phoebe

Two coats of ZOYA Nail Polish in Phoebe. Watermelon Creme.

Found your perfect pedi shade for summer 2024, ladies!

Phoebe is a watermelon creme that is deep and decadent but manages to maintain a bright undertone that makes it perfect for spring to summer manis or pedis. This one is v full-coverage in depth, so you can go with one coat, but I opted for two. Staying power is strong with this one - I wore it for 6 days with no tipwear, so it's the perfect polish to accompany you on vacay!

xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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6.03.2024

NOTD: OPI Your Way Nail Lacquer Collection in Apricot AF

Two coats of OPI Your Way Nail Lacquer Collection in Apricot AF. Apricot Creme.

This shade for spring into summer is such a vibe.

Apricot AF is a peach sorbet inspired apricot creme that was made for poolside afternoons and warm weather. As opposed to being a bright apricot, this one is more muted, giving it a neutral touch that will please my nude nail girlies. Formula here was good - it's fast dry and reaches opacity quickly. Not sure if I would repeat-wear; but it's a nice transition shade.

xx
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5.27.2024

NOTD: ZOYA May 2024 Color of the Month Nail Lacquer in Paisley

Two coats of ZOYA Nail Polish in Paisley. Purple Pastel Neon Creme.

ZOYA has been hitting it out of the ballpark with these color of the month shades. Like o.m.g.

Paisley is a purple pastel neon creme that will score you all of the compliments. Trust. This beauty maintains that bright meets saccharine shading that is just brilliant for the spring and summer months. It does dry down to a matte finish; however, top coat brings out its true shine and vibrancy, and literally makes it one of the most beautiful nail colors ever. Bonus points for staying perfectly intact for 6 days. Obsessed!

xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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5.20.2024

NOTD: OPI Your Way Nail Lacquer Collection in Glazed N' Amused

Three coats of OPI Your Way Nail Lacquer Collection in Glazed N' Amused. Pearl Pink.

If glazed donut is what you're going for, then glazed donut is what this bad boy brings to the table.

Glazed N' Amused is a pearl pink that is out of this world and is reviving the Hailey Bieber glazed donut the world was wild for last year. Babes, this color is so. good. It's laidback and relaxed yet has this undercurrent of playfulness that I cannot resist. Yes, you could apply this over another shade to pearlize it; however, I wore it on its own here and absolutely loved the result. One of my faves from this collection!

xx
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5.13.2024

NOTD: OPI Big Zodiac Energy Infinite Shine Collection in Virgoals

Four coats of OPI Big Zodiac Energy Infinite Shine Collection in Virgoals. Bronze Pearl.

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this shade; but ngl I'm kinda digging the whole bronzey, peachy, gold hybrid glow.

Virgoals is a brilliant bronze pearl that is one of those year round wear shades that looks equally as gorgeous in the winter as it does in the spring. For me, I especially love it for autumn and summer because those rich bronze tones give me that glowing goddess meets fall foliage vibe. Yes, this did take 4 coats for opacity; but, in its defense, this mani stayed intact for an entire week, and was rapid dry. Literal love at first sight shade right here.

xx
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5.09.2024

ZOYA Bloom Spring 2024 Collection Nail Polish Swatches + Review

From the moment ZOYA's Bloom Spring 2024 Collection arrived on my doorstep, I knew that the shades had me gagged; but OMG, after trying all of the colors, I can honestly say that ZOYA outdid themselves with these beauties. Yes, it is pink-heavy; but there is literally something for everyone. Not to mention that the texture variety is so fun! Swatches incoming...

Fleur is a Pink Creme. Pink girlies you are in for a treat! Fleur is a blue-toned pink creme that gives off Armani Prive 2015 Haute Couture Runway lipstick and I am here. for. it. This one is a quintessential Barbie girl shade that is so phenom for spring into summer. Formula was flawless. The opacity and application is just brilliant. Kinda want to wear this shade forever tbh. This is 2 coats.

Hyacinth is a Candy Pink w/ Holographic Pink and White Glitter. Le sigh...this color is literally killing me. Hyacinth is a cavity-inducing candy pink w/ holographic pink and white glitter that is ultra-cutie and so incredibly perfect for spring to summer {or anytime really because who doesn't love a good pink?!}. This one is gritty to the touch {think liquid sand}, but top coat gives it instant gloss and shine. Like with all glitters, Hyacinth took a bit of time to remove; but it was worth it because this mani lasted 7 days, and is just too pretty not to love! This is 2 coats.

Phoebe is a Watermelon Creme. Found your perfect pedi shade for summer 2024, ladies! Phoebe is a watermelon creme that is deep and decadent but manages to maintain a bright undertone that makes it perfect for spring to summer manis or pedis. This one is v full-coverage in depth, so you can go with one coat, but I opted for two. Staying power is strong with this one - I wore it for 6 days with no tipwear, so it's the perfect polish to accompany you on vacay! This is 2 coats.

Violetta is a Warm Violet w/ Microfine Holographic Aqua and Rose Gold Glitter. This shade is so quintessentially spring, I can't. Violetta is a warm violet w/ microfine holographic aqua and rose gold glitter that gives off bejeweled vibes due to the way it playfully sparkles in the sunlight. This one looks darker in the bottle than it does on the nail, but the level of beauty of it is just beyond. Violetta is very fast dry; and, forewarning, will earn you all of the compliments. Love her! This is 2 coats.

Zaria is a Deep Rose Creme. Babes, this color is literally sending me. Zaria is a deep rose creme that is reminiscent of spring flower fields. It is just so, so pretty, I can't!. Formula was absolutely flawless to work with. The application is just decadent; and staying power was fantastic. With a heavy hand, this shade could probably be a OCW; but I opted for two to show off its depth. Absolutely obsessed! This is 2 coats.

Rhiannon is an Icy Blue w/ Microfine Holographic Aqua and White Glitter. Y'all this shade gives off the most insane dragon scale vibes - like I'm obsessed! Rhiannon is an icy blue w/ microfine holographic aqua and white glitter that has this underlying turquoise touch that flashes in the sunlight, giving it a mythical dragon scale feel. This shade dries matte, and has a gritty, liquid sand feel; but with a single swipe of top coat, the shine comes out like whoa! NGL, this one can be a little hard to remove {glitter obvi}; but it is so pretty while wearing that it's absolutely worth it. This is 2 coats.


AVAILABILITY: ZOYA.

PRICE: $48.00 for the petite, 6-piece collection; $12.00 for each full-size bottle



xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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5.06.2024

NOTD: ZOYA Bloom Spring 2024 Collection Nail Lacquer in Violetta

Two coats of ZOYA Nail Polish in Violetta. Warm Violet w/ Microfine Holographic Aqua and Rose Gold Glitter.

This shade is so quintessentially spring, I can't.

Violetta is a warm violet w/ microfine holographic aqua and rose gold glitter that gives off bejeweled vibes due to the way it playfully sparkles in the sunlight. This one looks darker in the bottle than it does on the nail, but the level of beauty of it is just beyond. Violetta is very fast dry; and, forewarning, will earn you all of the compliments. Love her!

xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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4.29.2024

NOTD: OPI Your Way Nail Lacquer Collection in gLITter

Two coats of OPI Your Way Nail Lacquer Collection in gLITter. Apricot Shimmer.

Can we just take a moment to swoon over how brilliant this shade is?!

gLITter is an apricot shimmer that is giving me literal life. Y'all, this shade is just so pretty - like, it has a kiss of fall to it, but it definitely embraces the spring/summer vibes. Formula was fantastic for this one - it was incredibly fast dry; and two coats was all that was needed to reach opacity. Absolutely in love with this one!

xx
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4.25.2024

BOOK REVIEW: Fourth Wing {The Empyrean, Book 1} by Rebecca Yarros


"Hope is a fickle, dangerous thing. It steals your focus and aims it toward the possibilities instead of keeping it where it belongs—on the probabilities."

Let me just say, if I had realized there were dragons as a huge focal point of Rebecca Yarros' Fourth Wing I would have read it far, far sooner because ...me and dragons vibe like that. But I digress...as they say, better late than never; and I am so glad I joined the Empyrean party sooner rather than later because it. is. magnificent.

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail has trained to enter the Scribe Quadrant at Basgiath War College her entire life. As someone who is more fragile than her peers, a quiet life spent surrounded by books and history seems an ideal placement for her. Not to mention she'll be following in her father's footsteps. But her world is quite...upended when, weeks before entry, Commanding General Lilith Sorrengail {aka Violet's mother} orders Violet to forego her Scribe dreams to instead join the hordes of Navarre candidates striving to become part of the elite Riders Quadrant. What is the Riders Quadrant, you ask? Oh, just dragon riders. NBD.

Dragon riders are known for their strength, their brutality, and their desire to bond with an elusive dragon. The former two, Violet is lacking in every sense of the word; the latter...let's just say that dragons don't bond with those who are weak, small, or fragile - rather, they incinerate them. Violet is convinced that she's walking headlong into the dragon's mouth...literally; but dragons are the last thing she should be fearing, for prior to encountering them, she'll have to survive the bloodthirsty humans surrounding her. You see, less and less dragons are choosing to bond with humans with each passing year, making competition to find a bond more cutthroat than ever before. Most cadets within the Riders Quadrant would gladly take Violet out merely to increase the odds of a bond; the rest would murder her just for having the last name Sorrengail. Case in point, Xaden Riorson. The most powerful, feared, and ruthless wingleader in all of the Riders Quadrant, Xaden loathes Violet with a fiery passion for what her mother did to his father, and would do anything to see her fail. But she's determined not to.

Years of training as a Scribe have given Violet a leg-up over her fellow cadets. While they may outweigh her, she is armed with wits, knowledge, and reasoning - three necessities that may just help her to rise with each new morning. But things aren't right within Navarre. The war is raging; wards established to protect the kingdom fail almost daily; and people are losing their lives at a record rate. Worse, however, is Violet's suspicion that leadership {yes, her own mother} is hiding something in the vein of a secret that could prove deadly to everyone involved - regardless of strength or weakness. But Violet understands what she signed up for. She is also aware that there are only two ways to exit Basgiath War College: die or graduate. Given the current circumstances, however, Violet isn't sure which ending is more appealing.

NGL here, the moment I began reading Fourth Wing, I spotted the similarities to Veronica Roth's Divergent. The main difference, however, {aside from the dragons, of course} was the characters. I never liked the characters in Divergent - not a single one. Fourth Wing though? The characters drive everything - both the humans and dragons. Like I would literally die for Andarna and Tairn. True story. But the rest of the characters? Kind of incredible too.

Violet shows that Who's Afraid of Little Old Me? growth in personality, strength, and confidence as the story progresses {and yes, I did just reference Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department #sorrynotsorry}; and the disability representation displayed in her character {she appears to have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome} is such incredible inclusion - especially when you take into consideration the fact that Violet is frail but has to master such difficult physical capabilities. Then you have Xaden and Liam and Rhiannon and Mira, and this assemblage of brilliant, highly lovable supporting characters {not a fan of Dain tbh} that just ties the whole story together in a way that is just...masterful. The cliffhanger, ngl, kinda killed me; but only made me want to get my hands on Iron Flame sooner rather than later because I know it's going to be insane. Plus, I'm in need of another helping of Andarna and Tairn.



Star Rating: *****


xx
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4.22.2024

NOTD: ZOYA Bloom Spring 2024 Collection Nail Lacquer in Rhiannon

Two coats of ZOYA Nail Polish in Rhiannon. Icy Blue w/ Microfine Holographic Aqua and White Glitter.

Y'all this shade gives off the most insane dragon scale vibes - like I'm obsessed!

Rhiannon is an icy blue w/ microfine holographic aqua and white glitter that has this underlying turquoise touch that flashes in the sunlight, giving it a mythical dragon scale feel. This shade dries matte, and has a gritty, liquid sand feel; but with a single swipe of top coat, the shine comes out like whoa! NGL, this one can be a little hard to remove {glitter obvi}; but it is so pretty while wearing that it's absolutely worth it.

xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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4.15.2024

NOTD: ZOYA April 2024 Color of the Month Nail Lacquer in Candy

Two coats of ZOYA Nail Polish in Candy. White Pink Candy Creme.

Babes, I have found the literal best pink polish to ever hit the nail polish scene!

Candy is a white pink candy creme that is simply stunning. Like yes, it brings all the Barbie vibes; but it's also, IMO, the only pink you will ever need in your polish collection. Trust. This one brings out your tan, and has a brightness to it that kind of bridges the gap between pastel and neon. Formula was phenomenal. This one dries matte (in seconds!), so you def need to reach for top coat to give it shine. 11/10 color.

xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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4.11.2024

BOOK REVIEW: A Court of Mist and Fury {A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2} by Sarah J. Maas


"The voice was at once the night and the dawn and the stars and the earth, and every inch of my body calmed at the primal dominance in it."

I finished Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses on December 31st, 2023 {a full three months after beginning it!}; and, to be quite honest, I didn't know if I wanted to return to the world - which is why A Court of Mist and Fury sat untouched for the past few months. Tamlin was a character I couldn't so much as tolerate in book one; and Fayre...she was so helpless and needy that she drove me mad. Nevertheless, I adored Maas' House of Earth and Blood; and since the two series are said to intertwine and overlap, I decided to reach for A Court of Mist and Fury, and thank God I did. This. Book. Is. Flawless. The characters, the tone, the romance...perfectperfectperfect.

Feyre is back at the Spring Court alongside Tamlin and Lucien; however, the darkness that she just survived Under the Mountain, and the terrible acts she carried out to save Tamlin while there, still haunt her every waking and sleeping moment - so much so that she is nothing more than a shell of her former self, mentally and physically. And Tamlin? He seems to be oblivious to it all; or perhaps he simply doesn't want to see it. After all, Tamlin is in the throes of rebuilding the Spring Court, creating the illusion that it is on strong footing by bringing back the tithe requirement for residents, while planning his upcoming nuptials to Feyre. Everything, to Tamlin, is for appearance sake - so much so that Feyre begins to see a side of him that she cannot tolerate; and, on the day of their wedding, as Feyre sends up a silent plea to be saved, Rhysand returns to make good on the bargain he made with Feyre while under the mountain, whisking her away to the Night Court before she can say I do.

Though initially angry at Rhysand for reappearing on such a momentous day for her; when she returns to the Spring Court following her week away, she finds herself questioning Tamlin's behavior towards her. Suddenly, she is locked away, a veritable prisoner in what is said to be her home, and she longs for nothing more than to escape. A feat she is assisted in accomplishing with a group of friends dispatched by none other than Rhysand.

Once back at the Night Court, Feyre is introduced to the individuals Rhysand loves the most - Mor, Amren, Cassian, and Azriel; a motley crew of characters who would lay down their lives for Rhysand and vice versa. While under Rhysand's watch, Feyre is finally able to come into herself - exploring the powers of the seven High Fae that now live within her, training to use those powers successfully, and finally coming to terms with the fact that Tamlin was no good for her. But war is coming. In between introductions to the beauty that is Velaris, a political war is raging - one that places Fae and human alike in danger; and Feyre will have to put her newfound powers, confidence, and training into action in order to save herself, and the people she loves the most.

Y'all, I have no words. If you had told me, after finishing A Court of Thorns and Roses and being so disappointed in it, that I would adore A Court of Mist and Fury this much, I would have literally laughed. This book just got me, and it wasn't necessarily the plot so much as the characters. Like to see Feyre morph from this weak bore into this Buffy-esque badass turned this series on its head. And when you toss Rhysand into the mix? Le sigh. Talk about a power couple! NGL, I do still have love for Lucien, but Rhysand's Circle is just straight fire. Maas drew these characters so beautifully and idk if I'll ever recover from their level of amazing. When I tell you that I am looking so forward to snatching A Court of Wings and Ruin immediately, I am not playing. Book 3, imo, is going. to. slay. Period.



Star Rating: ****1/2


xx
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4.08.2024

NOTD: OPI Big Zodiac Energy Infinite Shine Collection in Feelin' Libra-ted

Three coats of OPI Big Zodiac Energy Infinite Shine Collection in Feelin' Libra-ted. Violet Pearl Shimmer.

So...I legit thought that this was a deep plum from looking at the bottle, but look how wrong I was.

Feelin' Libra-ted is a beautiful violet pearl shimmer that is one of those purples that will work year-round {as opposed to being a fall or spring-specific purple}. This shade was super sheer - we're talking completely translucent until coat 3, which I was 100% not expecting. That said, it is a pretty little color that has a certain charm to it that is v appealing. Not sure if I'll repeat-wear, but it definitely makes the cutie mark.

xx
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4.04.2024

OPI Your Way Spring 2024 Nail Lacquer 4-Piece Swatches + Review

Let me be honest about OPI's Your Way Spring 2024 Nail Lacquer Collection...I'm on the fence - and not just regarding color. Formula, shade range, staying power...I'm just not super in love. I found the colors to be a little too muted for spring {though I adored Glazed N' Amused!}; and, tbh, some of the formula was not what I was expecting. Nevertheless, some of y'all might seriously feel this quartet, so I am bringing it to you in 3, 2, 1.

gLITter is an Apricot Shimmer. Can we just take a moment to swoon over how brilliant this shade is?! gLITter is an apricot shimmer that is giving me literal life. Y'all, this shade is just so pretty - like, it has a kiss of fall to it, but it definitely embraces the spring/summer vibes. Formula was fantastic for this one - it was incredibly fast dry; and two coats was all that was needed to reach opacity. Absolutely in love with this one! This is 2 coats.

Glazed N' Amused is a Pearl Pink. If glazed donut is what you're going for, then glazed donut is what this bad boy brings to the table. Glazed N' Amused is a pearl pink that is out of this world and is reviving the Hailey Bieber glazed donut the world was wild for last year. Babes, this color is so. good. It's laidback and relaxed yet has this undercurrent of playfulness that I cannot resist. Yes, you could apply this over another shade to pearlize it; however, I wore it on its own here and absolutely loved the result. One of my faves from this collection! This is 3 coats.

Without A Pout is a Hawt Pink Creme. Yesyesyes! Y'all, this shade is serving! Without A Pout is a spicy hawt pink creme that gives Barbie vibes, and makes me want to apply a bright pink lippy stat! Downside? The formula here was terrible! Without A Pout flaked in less than 24 hours (even with a base and top coat!), and continued to do so for the entire week that I wore it. Not sure if this was just a bad bottle or not; but I had to toss it. Womp womp. This is 2 coats.

Apricot AF is an Apricot Creme. This shade for spring into summer is such a vibe. Apricot AF is a peach sorbet inspired apricot creme that was made for poolside afternoons and warm weather. As opposed to being a bright apricot, this one is more muted, giving it a neutral touch that will please my nude nail girlies. Formula here was good - it's fast dry and reaches opacity quickly. Not sure if I would repeat-wear; but it's a nice transition shade. This is 2 coats.


AVAILABILITY: Ulta
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PRICE: $19.95 for the 4PC Mini Set; $11.99 for each full-size bottle
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xx
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4.01.2024

NOTD: ZOYA Bloom Spring 2024 Collection Nail Lacquer in Fleur

Two coats of ZOYA Nail Polish in Fleur. Pink Creme.

Pink girlies you are in for a treat!

Fleur is a blue-toned pink creme that gives off Armani Prive 2015 Haute Couture Runway lipstick and I am here. for. it. This one is a quintessential Barbie girl shade that is so phenom for spring into summer. Formula was flawless. The opacity and application is just brilliant. Kinda want to wear this shade forever tbh.

xx

Disclaimer: Cat Eyes & Skinny Jeans occasionally receives vendor/ brand sponsorships for mentioning their products and services.
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3.28.2024

BOOK REVIEW: The Ballad of Never After {Once Upon A Broken Heart, Book 2} by Stephanie Garber


"She used to think love was like a house. Once it was built, a person got to live in it forever. But now she wondered if love was more like a war with new foes constantly appearing and battles creeping up. Winning at love was less about succeeding in a battle and more about continuing to fight, to choose the person you loved as the one you were willing to die for, over and over."

I didn't think it was possible to love this series more; yet here I am, having just closed the pages of Stephanie Garber's The Ballad of Never After, further enchanted by the world, by the characters, by the trilogy as a whole. Y'all, I don't typically get swoony over books, but this one...I could not put down. The magic, the mystery, the heartbreak was immense, and I am still recovering from it. True story.

Evangeline Fox is done with Jacks, aka, the Prince of Hearts. Once before she made the error of trusting him, only to be double-crossed and lied to; therefore, the best course of action now is to simply ignore him. But alas, that is easier said than done, as betrayal is bad, yes; but a new curse has entered the chat, and Jacks is the only one who can help Evangeline unravel it.

While the last curse that plagued Evangeline was one of love; the new curse that has been placed upon her is quite a bit different...in fact, it's murderous. With Jacks' assistance, it is deemed necessary for Evangeline to do precisely what she has been avoiding for dear life...open the Valory Arch. Though she's hesitant to do so, she is aware that it's her only hope for a shot at true love {not to mention survival}; thus, she agrees to the task, and begins her quest to unearth the four magical stones needed to fulfill her duty - that of youth, truth, luck, and mirth.

The only thing known of the stones is that they are all hidden somewhere within the Magnificent North - enshrouded in riddle, glamour, and intriguing soiree. But not all is magnificent in the north. Though places like the Hollow and Merrywood are charming habitations; others, such as Slaughterwood Castle, are heavy on horror, and light on loveliness. Nevertheless, Evangeline has Jacks by her side; and, though she's wont to admit it, she's at her happiest in his company. But as we've learned about Evangeline over the course of the past two books, a happy ending seems unlikely to be a part of her world; and just as she feels as if true love and happiness is within reach, the rug is firmly pulled out from under her in a way that will send her and Jacks into an unexpected spiral that they may be unable to recover from.

That cliffhanger! Usually, I like a little breathing room following the read of a truly enchanting story to fully digest the new revelations; but the placement of the cliffhanger to close this tome has left me grappling for the finale, A Curse for True Love, as I absolutely must know what happens to Jacks and Evangeline.

Never have I ever felt so strongly that two fictional characters must be each others endgame; but I cannot bare the thought of the two of them not ending up together. I am positively in love with Jacks, and he and Evangeline have such a brilliant relationship, what with the banter and the flirtiness and the fact that they genuinely care for each other {despite the fact that they pretend that they don't}. They are literal goals, and I feel empty not knowing how their story ends. A Curse for True Love, here I come!



Star Rating: *****


xx
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