REVIEW: Brush it Off Paint and Sip Bar, Sturbridge, Mass.

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My cousin Cortney (right) and I, all ready for a fun afternoon of painting).

My cousin Cortney (right) and I, all ready for a fun afternoon of painting).

Several months ago while out on a walk, I happened by the Brush it Off Paint and Sip Bar. Combining art and drinking? Sounds like my idea of a good time!

Ever since I saw the bar, located in the Millyard Marketplace (559 Main Street, RT. 20, Sturbridge, MA), I have been talking to my mom about checking it out. Sunday, an impromptu visit from out-of-town relatives gave us the perfect excuse to give it a try.

I was immediately impressed by the comfy feel of the shop as soon as I walked in. Dozens of paintings form previous classes (all of which are available for purchase if you want the art without having to do the work) covered the vibrantly painted walls.

Working diligently on our 'Masterpieces.'

Working diligently on our ‘Masterpieces.’

You pay for the class in advance (generally $25-30 per class). The fee includes the use of an apron and brushes, paint, a canvas and instruction. The cash bar features an array of wine and beer (I chose a Wachusett Blueberry Ale), in addition to snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

Just getting started.

Just getting started.

Everyone in the class paints the same painting, following step-by-step directions from the instructor. You can tell what paintings will be taught by going to the store’s website and looking at its calendar. We painted butterflies with bodies that looked like ribbons. While it is easier to use the same colors as the instructor, it isn’t mandatory, you can use whatever colors you chose. I chose to make the body of my butterfly orange, in memory of two friends I lost to cancer this year.

The painting class was a blast and the directions were easy to follow. Everyone was chatting while working on their masterpieces, some even singing to the music playing softly in the background.

Our instructor, Denise Morgan (who also happens to be the owner of the establishment) was quick to put the class at ease, creating a fun and relaxed environment. Step-by-step she brought us through the process of creating our masterpieces, giving us plenty of time between instructions to put our own artistic twists on the art without feeling rushed. She also was wonderful about roaming around the room helping anyone whose paintings decided to fight back.

By the end of our class we were all happy with our butterflies, and were all excited about making another trip back for more painting.

This would be a perfect event to do for a birthday party, girls (or guys) night out, or just a different way to spend an afternoon. They are also available for fundraisers. Five dollars from everyone’s fee for our class was donated to the American Cancer Society.

If you are a natural artist and aren’t interested in following the crowd, there are also open painting sessions available.

If you have any more questions, you can visit the FAQ page or contact the studio, call 774-241-3444 or e-mail paint@brush-it-off.com. http://www.brush-it-off.com

If you are at all artistic (or want to learn to be) I HIGHLY recommend visiting this establishment. I’m already looking forward to my next trip.

Five out of five stars.

The final product. Clockwise from top left, my mom, cousin Cortney, me and cousin Peggy.

The final product. Clockwise from top left, my mom, cousin Cortney, me and cousin Peggy.

Nails: Gem Crush polish

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Sally Hansen Diamond Strength polish and Gem Crush on ring finger.

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength polish and Gem Crush on ring finger.

Generally I am not a fan of glitter nail polish. When I want something sparkly, I want to be able to see if from across the room. I am constantly disappointed by the amount of glitter in nail polishes, until now.

A buy one get one 50 percent off sale at Rite-Aid prompted me to give the Sally Hansen Gem Crush glitter nail polish a shot.

I give the glitter polish 4 stars out of 5.

I give the glitter polish 4 stars out of 5.

Even in the bottle you could tell this isn’t your average glitter polish — it was almost solid glitter.

I put two coats of the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength no chip nail color (#460 Save The Date) on all of my fingers, but only put one coat on my ring fingers. Then, on my ring fingers I added two coats of the Gem Crush polish (#06 Razzle Dazzler) and it covered over the dark purple almost completely.

I love it.

Unless it is a special occasion (Christmas, New Year’s, etc.) I don’t think I would ever paint all of my nails with the glitter polish —that’s just overkill — but it makes for a nice accent on a nail or two.

After a day, I don’t have any chips in my nails, but time will tell how long that will last.

My only complaint is that the glitter is a MAJOR pain to take off. Almost to the point it isn’t worth wearing, that bad. I definitely recommend this product.

4 out of 5 stars.

For more colors: http://sallyhansen.com/products/nails/nail-color/gem-crush-nail-color

(If you have any tips about taking glitter nail polish off, I would LOVE to hear them).