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Piggy Paint – Non-Toxic Nail Polish & Giveaway Ends 4/9/13

I’m so very excited that I don’t really know where to begin.  I guess I’ll start at the beginning!  Mom Central asked me if I wanted to participate in a campaign they were hosting for Piggy Paint.  I jumped at the chance because 1) I love nail polish, 2) I love Piggy Paint nail polish!

Piggy Paint Colors

If you haven’t heard of Piggy Paint nail polish let me tell you all about it.  It’s incredible!  It was made by moms for moms.  Once upon a time, a mom was painting her daughters nails on a styrofoam plate and she noticed that the nail polish that spilled on the plate actually ate through the plate.  It was at that time that she decided to research nail polish and make her own nail polish for her kids.  That lady was Melanie Hurley and her nail polish is Piggy Paint.

Piggy Paint vs Solvent Nail Polish

Piggy Paint is a water-based polish that is specially formulated of natural ingredients. Finally, a kid-friendly, pregnant-mama polish!  They say it’s as natural as mud!  It is free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, biphenyl A, ethyl acetate and acetone…and it’s made in the USA!  Check out their cute new spring colors:

Piggy Paint

(From left to right)  Girls Rule, Forever Fancy, Dragon Tears, Tea Party for Two, Sometimes Sweet, Jazz it Up, Ice Cream Dream, & Mac-n-Cheese Please.  Aren’t those cute names?  Speaking of cute…check out my little girl!

Cuteness Nailed!

I think she’s cute but I might be more than a bit biased.  She loved having her nails painted!  I was worried because I’ve never painted them before.  We played with the bottles all week and worked on her colors with them.  (So far she can say them all except orange!)  Then on Saturday I got my hair dryer out and sat in the floor.  She sat in her little red rocking chair and held perfectly still while I painted each nail.  Then I held her hand and sang the ABC song twice while I blew her nails dry.  The song and hair dryer helped keep her distracted and she was happy the whole time.  I occasionally blew it in her face and she liked that.  Then we painted the other hand and repeated the drying process.  Perfect nails without a smudge!  The bottle recommends two coats but one coat covered well and I didn’t want to press my luck.

Piggy Paint Completes the Outfit

Here’s a picture of my little princess with her Daddy.  Her nail polish matched her Easter dress perfectly and everyone at church commented on her nails.  I was surprised how well the nail polish stayed on considering it’s a water-based polish.  It stayed on for two good days before it began chipping at all which is all I would expect anyway.  I think there’s going to be a lot of fingernail painting in our future…and I’m excited about it!

Want to buy?

You can buy Piggy Paint at Walmart and at To save 15% off your order enter “PiggyFun” at checkout.  This code expires April 30, 2013.

Toe-Tally Nail Polish Set

Want to win?

I have one “Toe-Tally Fancy” 3 polish set to giveaway to one lucky reader.  This is a $24.99 value!  Enter via the Rafflecopter code below.  Winners must be 18 years or older and from the continental United States.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Piggy Paint. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Call Me Maybe Nail Art

Call Me Maybe Nails!

These sweethearts whether near or far will always be connected by their love.

Right now, they’re talking on the telephone and he’s making her blush.


One of my good friends, Emily from Live2Save2Live, told me about a nail design contest that Sally Hansen was hosting.  I didn’t really figure I had a shot but I thought it would be fun to play around with polishes to find a design to fit the “Sweethearts” theme they chose.  My final design turned out better than I thought it would so I’ve decided to submit it.  I have titled it, “Call Me Maybe.”  What do you think?  Cute?


To Vote: 

To vote for my design, go to Sally Hansen’s Nail Art Contest to vote for my entry.  Thank you!  {It should pull up my entry automatically but if it doesn’t just search for Ashley Walkup.}


How To Replicate:

To replicate this simple design all you need is a couple basic nail polish pens and a nail polish in your favorite shade.  I recommend practicing once or twice on paper with an ink pen and then once with the polish pen before you dive in.  Also, make sure the polish pen has dried fully before giving it a top coat {if you choose to do so}.

Restoring Your Skin, Hair, and Nails After Chemotherapy

Restoring your skin, hair, & nails after chemotherapy


Today I got a note from one of our readers named Wendy.  She said,


“I have breast cancer and I just got done with chemo, I was just hoping you could help me with some products that I could use for my skin and nails. Thank you!”




I have a good friend who is now half way through her treatments for breast cancer and it just breaks my heart.  It’s a shame that anyone has to go through this.  I have to say that seeing her strength, courage, and dependence on the Lord through this time is an encouragement to me.  Congratulations on staying strong and finishing chemo!!!  We all know that isn’t an easy accomplishment.  Thank you for writing and I’ll do my best to answer your question.


God Bless,




Chemo can wreck havoc on your skin, hair, and nails but there are a few things you can do to help take care of yourself before, during, or after chemo.


  • Avoid long, hot showers that dry out your skin.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Use creams instead of lotions.  Apply right after you shower and before bed.  Reapply cream each time after you wash your hands.
  • Massage cream into your nails and nail beds to help promote healthy cuticles and regrowth.
  • Wear gloves when you wash the dishes or are around other chemicals to avoid an infection.
  • Use an oily polish remover to avoid drying out your nails even further.
  • Avoid hand creams with alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids.
  • Push back cuticles rather than cutting them.
  • If you notice an infection around your nails consult with your doctor who could give you a few different prescription options.
  • For dry brittle nails, use Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus. It goes on like a polish but it’s a nail protein.  It helps smooth ridges, stop splitting, strengthens nails and helps them grow.  You can use it daily until you get the results you want and then once a week.  It’s expensive but I personally swear by this stuff!  {I’ve also heard that Nail Envy by OPI works well.  It’s even more costly though!}
  • Because your immune system is likely to be compromised by treatment, try to avoid any injury to the nails or cuticles that might lead to infection. If you must have your nails done professionally you should make your manicurist aware of this.
  • Ask your doctor first and if allowed try taking a prenatal vitamin.  They are known to do wonders for hair and nails.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and make sure you’re getting plenty of protein and iron.
  • If your skin is very dry, use an ammonium lactate cream to help increase moisture retention. These creams are available over-the-counter as well as by prescription.
  • Some chemotherapy drugs make skin more susceptible to sunburn. Use a sunblock with at least an SPF 30 and choose one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use gentle fragrance-free soaps and laundry detergent.


Here are some other great beauty resources worth checking out:

    This is a free, national public service program dedicated to teaching women cancer patients beauty techniques to help restore their appearance and self-image during cancer treatment. Trained beauty professionals teach beauty techniques in skin care, make-up, hair care and nail care. There program also includes demonstrations in the use of wigs, hats, turbans and scarf-tying techniques. Look Good Feel Better is sponsored by the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association, The American Cancer Society and the National Cosmetology Association.
    A body image resource for women surviving cancer including suggestions on what to wear and a clothing and accessory directory.

Winter Blues – Nail Polish Trend

Winter Blues


Here are the perfect hues to wipe away those winter blues!  That’s a pretty catchy phrase, huh?  I made that up myself; feel free to quote me.


I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a fan of blue nail polish.  To me it’s always been too bold and even a little child-like.  However these new richer blue shades have won me over.  Aren’t they elegant?  You can choose any shade from a deep cornflower to a midnight blue and still being in style this season.  Just be careful to not use this bold trend if your nails are too long because you don’t want to veer into tacky territory.


If you’re interested in any of the polishes above you can buy them at these locations:


Please note that these prices could change at any time; this is just what they are listed at today when I wrote the post.

Blue Heart Nail Art – For Valentine’s Day!

Blue Heart Nail Art


I wanted to do a little nail art for Valentine’s Day but I didn’t want it to be too girly.  I know that everyone doesn’t live in the pink, frilly, lacy, sparkly world that I do.  These nails have a beautiful subdued blue polish with a small shimmery heart — It’s like a mini Valentine to yourself!

I applied Julep Nail Polish in Julianne and painted the heart off to the side with Revlon in Silver Dollar.  I’m sure you could recreate this look using any polish in your stash and it would look just as good.  I love how the heart isn’t perfectly even; I think it adds to the charm and makes this nail art less intimidating to copy.

Would you do an easy heart manicure like this?  If so, what colors do you think you’d use?

Childhood Dream Coming True?

Julep spring collectionEver since I was a little girl I have loved nail polish!  From as far back as I can remember I had a fascination with beauty products.  I remember many times my mom would get ready and she would lovingly allow me to set on the counter and ask her a million and one questions about make up colors, tools, and nail polish.

Eyelash curler

I remember the feeling of sheer embarrassment when I passed along some of her information to my aunt only to find out it was wrong.  My mom told me that you set an eyelash curler on your nose to use it.  Looking back now, I can see why my aunt laughed so hard when I gave my explanation and I can also see the reasoning behind my mom not wanting to tell me the correct way to use one.   Even after that embarrassing 4th of July night (yes, I still remember that night well!), I continued to seek beauty advice from the comfort of that counter.  My mom was a wonder!  She could put lipstick on with one hand and without a mirror.  My hero!   In my mom’s make up bag, which I can still picture vividly, she had all of her make up products along with her chipped red handled Revlon blush brush, Elizabeth Arden Red Door perfume, and the most amazing bottle of Revlon nail polish.  The nail polish was extra shimmery but not glittery.  I remember holding it and staring at it’s beauty while my mom and I talked.   I painted my nails with that polish, my mom’s nails, and even my Dad’s when he was sleeping.  : )  I thought it was the prettiest thing I had ever seen!  As the years past I found other colors to love and became pretty good at painting little decorations on my nails.   Somewhere along the line I developed the dream to one day name a nail polish color.  I know it sounds silly but hey, I was a kid.  I’ve always half-jokingly said that naming polish colors would be my dream job.  Then, last month, during a Twitter party with Julep I found my moment, my perfect opportunity to ask if I could name a polish.  I asked and I didn’t receive a response back because seconds after I asked Julep was flooded with requests to name a polish that was this or that color.  I’m sure they didn’t know who it was that originally asked.   Pretty pinkThat brings me to why I’m writing this post.  The smart people behind Julep took my idea that immediately spread like wild fire and turned it into a marketing project.  They’re pretty brilliant if you ask me!  However, now I have to work a little to get to be able to name a nail polish color.  I’ve already made it to the second round and this is where you come in!  I need you to vote for my color and comment on it.  I chose the ever girly hot pink color in honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Voting ends this Friday, Sept. 28, 2012.


Here’s how to vote:

  •  Visit Julep on Facebook through this link –
  • “Like” their Facebook page.
  • “Like” my “Pretty Pink” board.
  •  Leave a comment on my board. I get points for BOTH “likes” and comments!

This is a one time vote that will only take a few seconds of your time.  Thank you for helping make my little silly dream come true! : )


While you’re there, feel free to follow Embracing Beauty on Facebook too.  Oh, and AFTER you vote for me be sure and check out how you can get a Julep box of polishes for only $0.01 shipped!  It’s a legit deal I promise and the polish is amazing!

Minted Manicures

Minted Manicures


The latest trend in nail polish is minted manicures.  It will keep your tips looking like a million bucks and leave others green with envy.  Mint can be subtle or sharp, but it’s perfect to accent your summer florals.  Whether you wear an aquamarine shade or stay true to a pistachio hue, your minted nails will have you in style for the rest of the season.