26 February 2011

Sugar Coated Dreams

I'm went to a cake decorating class today for work, and i was so excited that i wanted a fun girly manicure to stare at while i'm learning how to make gumpaste flowers and covered in butter cream. What better polish than OPI's Teenage Dream to make for a pretty, sweet, "frosting" type manicure? I've been reading that no matter how amazingly fabulous the glitter is in this polish, it's a real pain to remove. So i'm hoping i may have avoided a smidge of that frustration by encasing it in a squishy jelly sandwich of Essie's Sugar Daddy. I did one coat of base, followed by two coats of Sugar Daddy, one coat of Teenage Dream, another coat of Sugar Daddy, and topped everything off with a nice glossy coat of SV.

Seriously though, this polish is GORGEOUS. Even in a really low light room it sparkles like crazy. If you're a fan of glitter and sparkles and haven't already snatched this polish up, do it and do it now. You won't regret it.

Are you a fan of glitters, or does the extended time for removal outweigh the sugary sweet goodness of the glitter? Are you always against any VNL, or do you make exceptions for certain colors?

25 February 2011

OPI and Blogsale Haul

 So i've been in polish collecting mode for a few weeks now, and it's finally paying off! Since i'm just starting my collection i've been trying to gather as many polishes as i love whenever i can, so i can build my color and finish selection. And i found some really good deals along the way!

I'll start out with some OPI polishes i picked up at a local salon. It started when my mom surprised me with a polish after she came back from picking up some shampoo, and i immediately starting quizzing her on what other polishes they had. Imagine my surprise when after i drove over i found that they had the Burlesque, Texas, and Katy Perry collections IN STOCK! I was so excited, and i'm pretty sure the girl at the front desk thought i was crazy because i was grinning like an idiot. The Burlesque Collection was 20% off, so i picked up Simmer & Shimmer, along with the one my mom got me, The Show Must Go On!

I was practically dancing when they had every single color of the Katy Perry Collection on their display! I was really tempted to grab doubles of everything, but i stuck to what i know i like (and forced myself not to splurge) by only picking up Teenage Dream, Last Friday Night, and Not Like The Movies.

Next up i have two gorgeous polishes i purchased from Jen's Blogsale. I got China Glaze Ruby Slippers and Milani Cyberspace. I've been craving Cyberspace every since it came out, so i was super excited to find it in a blog sale for a little less than retail! so. pretty. I pulled these out of the box and couldn't stop staring at how pretty they were even in the bottle.

I also snagged the super cute Claire's Flakie Set of six polishes from the same blogsale. 

Warm Colors:

Cool Colors:

And that's what i've picked up over the last couple days! I'm certainly not done collecting, so you'll probably see a few more posts like this in weeks and months to come. I'm really excited to try all of these lovely polishes!

Have you ever found any hidden gems at a little salon? Any awesome deals from blog sales? Share your experiences with me in the comments- i'd love to read them!

23 February 2011

Leopards Can Change Their Spots

I came up with that title about five minutes after i unwrapped three gorgeous mood polishes i had purchased by Mood Struck, and i knew instantly exactly which konad stamp i was going to use! In this post i'm showing you the Purple/Pink polish, which is the only one that had shimmer in it.

This polish packs a whole bunch of glitter, but manages not to be really gritty in texture. It applied really smooth, although there were a couple bare spots in the first coat, so the above picture is two coats. It looks like i could have needed a third coat, but in person it looked more opaque, and since i was planning on doing some major stamping over it i didn't think it was necessary. 

The color change in the polish isn't the colors that the label depicts. It starts off as more of a nice medium purple-y pink, and as it gets warmer it changes into a really pretty bright rose pink. When i first applied the polish it didn't really change much when i used a hairdryer over it, but when i stuck my finished nails  (fully dry, no worries!) a few inches in front of my little space heater they warmed right up. After that the polish has been much more inclined to change even when i go from a cool room to a warm room, which leads me to believe that you might have to give it a little push and "activate" it by making the first temperature change drastic (like from room temp to in front of a space heater). The shimmer in the polish is definitely a huge benefit- the micro glitter catches the light and really makes this polish shine. 

I stamped the leopard print design from konad plate M57 in Sinful's Black On Black. I wanted to add more to this manicure, so i took a toothpick and filled in some of the spots with Zoya's Trixie. I liked how the glitter was about the same, and it would pop off of the purple base without distracting from the color changing effect.

And to complete the manicure i topped everything off with a single coat of Sinful Colors Bali Mist. I like a more subtle stamping effect and the sheer quality of Bali Mist softens the black from the stamp without being opaque enough to hide the design. I finished with one coat of SV quick dry topcoat.

Overall i really love how this manicure turned out, and i find myself getting really excited when i enter a room to see what shade the polish will turn!

  Have you ever tried mood/color changing polishes, and if so which ones did you try? Did you find that you got better results if you "activated" them like i did? Did you encounter a bad dud brand? Leave me a comment and let me know!

21 February 2011

China Glaze Awakening

Despite the increasingly gray, cold weather that is brewing outside, today i'm showing you the very pretty, happy color that is China Glaze's Awakening! When i first searched for swatches of this color online all i could find was the CG Awakening Halloween collection, which wasn't what i was looking for at all. But hidden among the dozens of results for the halloween colors (i was practically drooling over Mummy May I!) i found the lovely Steph's swatch of the color and i knew it definitely deserved it's spot on my wishlist. I recently picked it up at my local Sally's, and i couldn't wait to try it out! 

Awakening is a gorgeous muted mauve-y pink shimmer with a nice golden duochrome. After i applied this on my nails i could not stop staring at them! This is surprisingly one of my absolute favorite polishes, mainly because i'm not a pink nails kind of gal. Now, don't get me wrong- i love me some pink! ... on other people's nails. Just not on mine. But this fabulous polish is the perfect toned down, sophisticated twist on that famously girly color. I tried to take a couple different angles in pictures so you could really see how pretty this polish is in person, but let me tell you right away that pictures definitely do not do this color justice at all. This is two coats.

The formula was incredibly smooth and easy to work with, and i didn't have any issues with streaking. It was nice and opaque with two average coats. 

I honestly could have just left this mani alone and been perfectly content with it by itself, but once i got it next to Milani's Mr. Sandman in my collection i couldn't resist what a lovely pairing the two were for stamping. Seriously, Mr. Sandman brings out the rich sandy-gold tones in Awakening beautifully when the two bottles are next to each other!

I stamped the swirly design from M63. I hadn't tried to konad with this particular polish yet,  so it came out a little sheerer than i had originally hoped. In person you really can't even tell that there is a design unless you get right up next to the nail, which was disappointing. However i think Mr. Sandman would stamp really well over a polish that it contrasted with a bit more.

I later re-did this design over Awakening on my mom's nails, and i used Essie's Sand Tropez to stamp instead of Mr. Sandman, and it came out beautifully! I didn't get a chance to take pictures, but the concept definitely came through with a positive end result.

So let me know: Have you tried China Glaze Awakening? Did you like it? And are you more of a Barbie Pink nail polish kind of person, or a more muted pink polish kind of person?

18 February 2011

Let Me Go To Sand Tropez

Can i just say that the base polish i used for this nail art is my new favorite? i swear, i should probably go back and buy a second bottle because this is totally my new go-to color! It's the perfect shade for a nice neutral nail, while not giving me mannequin hands or being boring. So without further ado, i present to you Essie's Sand Tropez from the French Affair collection.

I read quite a few reviews after i bought this color (it was an impulse! usually i do the research first, i swear!) and they all pretty much said the same thing- that the formula was awful. And indeed, it certainly wasn't the easiest to work with, but the payoff was so worth it to me. this is three coats of polish. the first coat was streaky and patchy, and didn't want to even out. so on went the second coat... still a little uneven. but by the third coat it was looking good, and one generous coat of Seche later, i had my new lovely beige nails. Seriously, i think this is the first polish i might buy duplicates of. I was really tempted to just leave it the lovely color it was and not konad over it, but i couldn't resist. well.. i resisted for about 12 hours, because i just couldn't bear to cover it up or have to take it off if the plan i had in my head didn't look as nice in reality. But no fear! one nail polish session and one episode of Pretty Little Liars later, i had these beautiful nails that i simply can't stop staring at. Most of that is in part to the single coat of Sinful's Let Me Go, a simply stunning duochrome. The polish by itself is much too sheer to wear alone, so i've decided to simply use it as a layering color, and my oh my what gorgeous results it yields!

I stamped the houndstooth design from plate M57 in Sinful's Snow Me White, then topped everything off with one coat of Let Me Go. and wow. Overall this has to be one of my favorite manicures ever, mainly because from afar it's simple and pretty, and definitely not in your face- but up close, you can see that complex houndstooth and the amazing sea foam green and lilac duochrome, which makes it a showstopper! Definitely subdued enough to wear at an office, yet fun enough to illicit "ooh"s and "ahh"s from your friends.

So whether you stick with the basics and play it safe and chic with Sand Tropez on it's own, or up the game with some stamping and Let Me Go's duochrome, both these polishes are pure win in my book!

16 February 2011

Neon Zebra and Fishnets

Wow, can i just start off by saying that this manicure is... vibrant? haha! So last night i attempted my first konad manicure, and i learned quite a bit, so i'll be sharing all the ups and downs and issues i had in my first attempt. After i decided on what design i wanted to try, i picked out the color scheme i wanted. I ended up choosing four polishes. 

From left to right: OPI's I'm his Coral-Friend, Zoya Trixie, Sinful Colors Black On Black, Seche Vite (for my top coat- not sure why i put it in the picture?), and Sinful's Snow Me White.

I applied one coat Sinful's Base Coat, two coats of Trixie, Then stamped with the fishnet design in I'm His Coral-Friend from plate M57. This wasn't my first time practicing stamping- when i first tried my new plates i just did some quick stamps to see which polishes in my collection would work well. I had previously read a few blog entries about how to stamp, how to use konad, ect. but i couldn't quite get the whole design onto my nail. So when i was doing this manicure it took a couple tries to realize that when they said "light pressure" or "just roll it across the nail", they actually meant "push hard enough when rolling the stamp across your nail so that the squishy part of the stamper is pushed in". Which is kind of confusing unless you have a stamper and can feel how when you push on the pink part (i have a double sided one), it caves in a little. You have to push hard enough to where the stamp is firmly pushed onto your nail. 

As you can see in the picture below the fishnet on the first three nails is spotty or missing pieces, but on the pinky nail it's bright and solid- that's when i finally figured it out! Truly how to use the konad stamper can't really be explained extremely well, you just have to try it and get the hang of it. Anyways, after i understood how to use the stamper, i went ahead and stamped on the zebra pattern from plate M57 as well in Sinful's Black On Black and swiped on a coat of SV.

After i had finished stamping, i felt like the manicure was unfinished and that it needed a little something extra, so i did a quick tip in Sinful's Black on Black. I feel like i honestly should have left it at this point, and made the tips more towards the thin side. however, i had half a Hulu episode of House left, so i continued to polish!

So after i added the black tips i did a quick swipe of Sinful's Snow Me White so that OPI's I'm His Coral-Friend would show up nice and bright on the tips. And it was bright. In the bottle this shade certainly doesn't appear nearly as much of a neon orange-pink as it does on the nail! I finished the whole manicure off with one coat of SV. Overall, this manicure feels very "prom-y" to me, like i should be wearing a silver and black zebra stripe gown and have a hot pink corsage on my wrist. Definitely a tad too bright and in-your-face for me. And just a quick note, i did end up with these strange single streak marks on the  left side of my nail. I'm not sure how they got there or what happened, but i just noticed them this morning and it's the weirdest thing! hm. oh well.

Anyways, i'm probably going to go remove this polish now because it's driving me crazy! then i'll probably start brainstorming for my second konad manicure! thanks for reading (:

14 February 2011

Konad & Valentine's Day Haul

Sorry, no manicure today, but i promise i'm hard at work thinking of fun designs and trying not to buy up every bottle of polish i love whenever i walk into a store, haha! So today i just wanted to blog about the polishes i got from my parents for Valentine's Day, and just some other fun things the boy spoiled me with haha.

None of these polishes are rare or uncommon, they were all found at just my local Walgreens, but they are colors i've wanted so it was nice to be surprised with them.

From left to right: Sinful Colors Bali Mist, Sinful Colors Let Me Go, Sally Hansen Ultra HD in DVD, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in In The Spotlight, and Essie in Sugar Daddy. (I was really excited about In The Spotlight because i had wanted Starlight by Sinful Colors, but this looks like a perfect replacement!)

(Check out that gorgeous duochrome!)

From left to right: Essie Sand Tropez, China Glaze Awakening, and the well known multiple-polish-dupe color, Wet N' Wild Teal of Fortune. I picked these three polishes up today for myself just because! I'm rather disappointed because my local Walgreens used to carry Milani polishes, but i searched and searched today and it seems as if they no longer do! hmph. what a bummer.

Now onto the Konad goodies! This is the first konad products i've ever had, so i'm excited to get to finally play around with patterns and more complex manicures than just plain polish.

The boy was super sweet and got me the double sided stamper and scraper, and five plates- M56, M59, M57, M63, and M55. I'm really looking forward to M63 and M57 because i can't wait to use the leopard and houndstooth designs! He picked out M55 because it was food, and he wants me to turn that little watermelon slice into a pizza slice and have a pizza manicure. *sigh* boys. haha.

Overall i'm super happy and excited that i got all these beautiful polishes and supplies, and i can't wait to post about my results in using them!

(p.s. i'm really sorry if the colors in these pictures are super saturated or dark- i'm having to edit on my old PC and transfer the pictures to my macbook pro because the editing software i've used for years isn't compatible with mac! hmph.)

09 February 2011

Hello And Bordeaux

First off, i'm so excited to finally have a post up on my blog! I've been contemplating making a nail blog for a while, and i finally decided that i should just do it. So i'm starting off with something fairly simple- one of my favorite polishes! i figured i'd jump on the bandwagon of Valentine's day manicures, but i'm not really a Barbie-Pink nail polish kinda gal, so i went for something a little more refined by using a deep pretty red polish instead. The polish i used is Sally Hansen's Brilliant Bordeaux, and it's part of the Diamond Strength line of polishes.

This color is one of my favorites because it's a rich, dark polish while still reading as red in most lighting. For these pictures i did two fairly thick coats of this polish because i was having issues with streaking and uneven areas. Usually in the past i haven't had any problems with application, but since it was really cold today (and since i live in an older house, that means its cold inside too!) i'm inclined to believe that was the issue. But overall i've always had a great experience with this polish. I used one coat of SV.

Natural Light: 
In these pictures you can really see what a pretty deep red this is, and the nice amount of shimmer that is in the polish.

Indoor Artificial Light:
you can see that even in low lighting, this still reads very clearly as a red, and it isn't so dark that it can be mistaken for black.

 And last but certainly not least the bottle name shot! But what i really love about this picture is how you can see a hint of the gorgeous but subtle-only-visible-sometimes gold undertones in this polish that are slightly visible in the bottle.

And that concludes my very first blog post! Again i'm really excited to be starting this, and i'm grateful that you've taken the time to read my post. I have a bunch of plans for this blog, and i'm excited to show you some things i recently got that will really up my creative possibilities for nails.