31 March 2011

Help Me Out? Manicure S.O.S!

So.. I could use a little help. I really like the basic idea of this manicure, but something is off about it. I don't think i like the glitter on the tips, but without it the ring finger overpowers the rest of the manicure. I thought about some stamping on the other fingers in OPI's Ski Teal We Drop, but i didn't have a design that i felt would go well with it. I'll go ahead and show you the design, and then i'll get to specific questions later.

I started with a base of OPI's You Don't Know Jacques. Then using a dotting tool i applied dots with OPI's Ski Teal We Drop, Essie's Big Spender, and Pure Ice's Hot Tamale on my ring finger. And last i sponged some of OPI's Simmer & Shimmer on the tips of the other fingers.

Okay, so now that you've seen it, what do you think i could do to improve it/make it work? I really really love the color combination of the polishes i used (minus Simmer & Shimmer). I think that this manicure could really work and be awesome if i can just get some feedback about what isn't working right now. 

What do you think i could change about this to make it better? Should i just use the overlapping dots on all the fingers instead? Please leave me some feedback with ideas/comments!

30 March 2011

Red Over Heels

Okay, so to be honest this isn't the design i originally wanted. But i figured that with success comes.. not so successful manicures too. I just don't really like this one at all- although my mom liked it, so she insisted that i should post it. I should probably explain the original concept, and how it didn't quite happen. Originally i wanted to do the black fishnet over clear polish on my nails, and then tape off the V-shape and paint the rest of the nail black. This was all well and good until after i had finished doing one nail and remembered/noticed that i have a big fat white nail bruise on my ring finger. dangnabbit! So then i decided to use the black nail as an accent nail- no problem right? Well, except for how i didn't know what else to do with it after the see-through bit. Overall, it was a night of nail frustration and absolutely no creative energy. Might as well show you the pictures though!

The black is Sinful Colors' Black On Black, the red Sally Hansen's Cardinal, and the silver Wet N' Wild's Metallica. Not awful, but certainly not my best. And one thing i'll never try again is doing a french tip on a rounded nail- inconsistent, uneven, and wobbly lines! Geebus, as soon as my nails grow out again i'm going back to square! At least then it's a little tape and voila, perfect tips! Sometimes, easy is just better.

29 March 2011

Sweet Treat Nails + Tutorial

So like pretty much every other blogger out there, i've seen the famously adorable cupcake nails and all their different variations. Everytime the design popped up on my dashboard i would think to myself "why isn't anyone trying different desserts?". Think of all the possibilities! Well, i wrote some of my ideas for dessert nails down (you didn't think i'd give away all my potential posts, did you? ;) ) And this is the first one i tried... doughnut nails! seems simple enough, right? Well my first attempt certainly isn't perfect, but there is always room for improvement down the line. I figured i'd not only show you my result, but also show you how i did it, and how easy it is for you to do too! So enough chatter, onto the pictures and step-by-step.

Step 1: Choose a base/background color for the design. 
I chose OPI's Suzi Loves Cowboys. This is 3 coats. 

Step 2: I freehanded half and semi circles onto the nail using
Essie Sand Tropez.

Step 3: Choose 3-4 colors for your doughnut frosting. I used
OPI's Rumple's Wiggin', Wet N' Wild's Tickled Pink, and
Sinful Colors's Unicorn and Snow Me White.

Step 4: Using a large dotting tool, dot on your frosting around the
center of each doughnut, alternating between colors. 

Step 5: Using your original base color and the large dotting tool, 
add a dot in the middle of each doughnut.

Step 6: Using a very small dotting tool, dot on colors for your
sprinkles, alternating colors depending on what color the frosting is.

Step 7: And finally, use rectangular loose glitter to add more 
"sprinkles" if desired! And voila! Doughnut nails.

I know they certainly aren't perfect, but they were fun to do! I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial, and if you have any ideas for improving on the design, please feel free to leave me a comment with your tips! 

Have you ever done the cupcake nails or a variation on them? Let me know in the comments! (if you've done the cupcake nails, feel free to leave me a link to the post on your blog about it! I'd love to see your take on the design!)

28 March 2011

Audrey's Spring Fling

I had a lot of fun doing this design! The design that inspired this i saw in a nail magazine online or something, but i don't remember where. It had an acrylic heart and fleur de lis on it though- sometimes i really wish i could learn how to use acrylic to do decorations like that. Oh well. For this manicure i used Sinful Colors Unicorn, Snow Me White, Wet N' Wild Tickled Pink, OPI's Strawberry Margarita, and China Glaze For Audrey.

I started with four coats of Unicorn (which temporarily stained my nails an icky yellow, despite my use of base coat! yuck!), then topped with a coat of SV. Then i used Strawberry Margarita to stamp the leopard pattern from plate M57 and added spots with a dotting tool in Tickled Pink. On my index and ring fingers i did two vertical rows of half pearls in white and pink. On my thumbs and pinky fingers i placed a teal half pearl with one white half pearl on both sides. And finally on my middle fingers i used a craft punch to create a stencil for the heart and filled it in with For Audrey, and used a dotting tool to do dots around the heart in Snow Me White. Enough chatter, on with the pictures!

Full Left Hand

Full Right Hand

I really like doing nail art, and i'd like to do it more frequently, but sometimes a color is just so pretty i want to just leave it plain. Are you more of a sleek and simple polisher, or a crazy with konad polisher? Leave me a comment and let me know!

27 March 2011

Vacation Haul + Update

Okay, so when i was on vacation i packed a small makeup trunk case full of polishes so i could do my nails along with my mom, aunt, and sister's nails too. However when packing i didn't really think about how if i bought polishes on vacation i would need empty space to bring them home. Oops! Not to mention that i think i came home with a bit more polishes than i intended... a total of 19! wowza! But hey, i don't feel too bad about it because most of those polishes i got had some major major deals! Alas, here is my vacation haul of nail polish.

I'll start with the OPI's i got at an outlet mall beauty store.. for $3.00 each!!! ahhh that was a good day! What happened was that i walked into the store and saw that they had the whole OPI Matte Collection on sale for a major markdown- i picked up four polishes that had the $3 sticker. I was shocked when i looked at what i had and realized that You Don't Know Jacques wasn't the matte version at all- it was the original! The bottle had been mismarked with the $3 sticker rather than the matte version, but since the sticker was on there, the girl at the counter was required to sell it to me for the $3 sticker price- SCORE! I was so insanely giddy since i had been pining over that color for forever!

From Left to Right: Gargantuan Green Grape- Matte, Russian Navy- Matte, Lincoln Park After Dark- Matte, You Don't Know Jacques

I also picked up three polishes that were marked down from $8.50 to $7.65- i'll take some savings whenever i can get it when i'm buying polish!

From Left to Right: Ski Teal We Drop, Cuckoo For This Color, Suzi Loves Cowboys

The first night i was there my sister and i painted nails and she ended up giving me some polishes she didn't really use anymore.

From Left to Right: Essie's Big Spender, N.Y.C's Big Money Frost, Skin Tight Denim Creme, Baby Pink

We also headed to a few Sally's and of course i ended up buying a few polishes there- on sale! The regular collection China Glaze colors were the 2/$10 deal, and Jolly Holly was on sale for $1.99! yay!

From Left to Right: For Audrey, Dorothy Who?, Jolly Holly, Ruby Pumps

And last but certainly not least are a few Sinful Colors that i picked up on a late night Walgreen's run.

From Left to Right: Green Ocean (2x), San Francisco, Daddy's Girl, Vacation Time

I picked up an extra Green Ocean because i figured that since it's a fairly sought after SC polish, i could throw it into a giveaway later on since some people don't have access to it, or their local Walgreen's doesn't have it.

--And on a last minute trip to Dollar Tree i picked up three more nail polishes! i just couldn't stop- my local DT isn't the best, but this one was huge! But these three additions brought my total to 23 polishes!

From Left to Right: N.Y.C.'s Kisses and i209A (these came in a two-pack), and an Art Deco Nail Striper in Silver. 

So yup, you've finally reached the end of my enormous vacation post! I know i've used a lot of exclamation points in this post, but i can't help it- it was an exciting polish vacation, and i have lots of new colors to swatch and use in nail art!

Have you ever gotten an AMAZING deal on a good polish? Tell me about it!
(also if you have a good idea for travel polish storage, i'd love to hear it- my trunk case worked well but i'm always open to better ideas!)

Update: So, no matter how well you plan, nothing is for sure, and things can still go completely not the way you wanted them to. Last week i had planned to do nail art all week, but found myself stranded without my camera or editing software at my aunt's. We had to stay two extra days because of weather that would have been impossible for us to drive through. Anyways, i'm back home and have access to all my materials, so i'll try my best to have nail art every day this week. I'll also be posting on Sunday (today) and Saturday of this week to try to make up for the three posts i missed. Thanks for your patience <3

22 March 2011

Teenage Dream Nail Art

Okay, so this post is a bit of an afterthought since i found out i won't be able to do a real nail art post until Wednesday ):

As you all probably know, OPI's Facebook page had a Katy Perry Nail Design Contest these past few weeks, and they posted the winners last night. So now that the contest is over, i thought i'd show you the design i submitted!

My caption on the page was:
"This is my entry for the Katy Perry Nail Inspiration Contest. I chose to do my take on the "Bling" Nail Design, and i was inspired by Teenage Dream from the Katy Perry Collection. I really wanted to not just copy the design that was on her nails, but to put my own spin on it and keep it just as sparkly and blinged-out as the original. Each of the tiny beads were applied by hand individually with tweezers one at a time. I hope you like my entry! Thanks!"

I'll be back home from vacation on wednesday afternoon/evening, and i'll be sure to put up a real nail art post! This nail art week isn't going as smoothly as i had planned, but i am determined to have five full nail art posts up this week! (:

21 March 2011

Fishnets, Stripes, and Polka Dots, Oh My!

My first post of my nail art week- this is exciting for me! Usually i don't have a ton of time to do detailed stuff, so it was nice to make the time for myself. Plus, i am really pleased with the results! For the first post this week i wanted something that definitely made a statement, but was still wearable for everyday activity without being screamingly attention grabbing. It took me a while to come up with a really nice color combination, but i think i nailed it (no pun intended! hehe) with Wet N' Wild Eggplant Frost, Essie Sand Tropez, and Sinful Colors Nirvana. To accent those main colors i picked OPI Rumple's Wiggin', China Glaze Gamer Glam, Mood Struck's Pink/Purple, and Sinful Colors Snow Me White.

For the index and pinky fingers i used two coats of Eggplant Frost, and stamped with Sand Tropez in the fishnet design from plate M57. For the middle fingers and thumbs i used two coats of Sand Tropez and used a dotting tool to do dots with Rumple's Wiggin', Gamer Glam, Eggplant Frost, and Pink/Purple. For my ring fingers i did two coats of Nirvana, and taped off and did stripes with Rumple's Wiggin' and Eggplant Frost. And finally i stamped the solid bow from plate M59 in Snow Me White and added a half pearl in the center. Now that i've told you all the details, let's get onto the pictures!

Sorry that this picture is a tad blurry! It's hard to take pictures with my
left hand, but i wanted to show you both!
Full left hand
Full right hand

And that's this week's first manicure! It's really the first manicure i've gotten lots of compliments on, so i was pretty proud to wear this while i was on vacation. Speaking of which, i'll be in the car tomorrow all day so i don't know if i will have a chance to post! But no worries- if i don't manage to get a post up tomorrow i'll make it up by posting on Saturday instead.

Are you a fan of multiple color manicures with a different color on almost every finger? Do you like how fun and complex some of these designs are, or do you prefer a more unified look? Leave me a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading!

18 March 2011

China Glaze Pelican Gray

Another shade you are all probably getting sick of seeing swatched, but i haven't swatched it yet so i figured i should. This is China Glaze's Pelican Gray. The color has such a pretty pearly shimmer to it, and it makes it look so much prettier than a flat gray! This is two coats of Pelican Gray- I didn't have any issues with application, which is pretty typical for China Glaze. 

I did some simple nail art on this color with the fishnet from plate M57 with Sinful's Black on Black, then taped off lines and added Wet N' Wild's Metallica. This wasn't quite as elaborate as i wanted, so it didn't make it into next week's nail art posts, but i figured i'd post it anyway in case it inspires anyone to do something way better! Short post today because i'm visiting family, but i'll be sure to do detailed posts for next week's nail art. (:

17 March 2011

Rumple's Wiggin' Gets Crackin'

All i can say is that after driving for 13 hours today, i'm thankful i was smart enough to write up most of this post last night! This strange satisfied feeling mixed with no stress must be what it feels like not to procrastinate- a new thing to me, a habitual procrastinator! Anywho, today i'll be showing you two polishes, with two finishes! Oooh fancy Thursday eh?

I don't know what it is about lilac polishes, but i love them. Despite the fact that they aren't particularly flattering on me. Hmph, maybe if i wear them enough i'll adapt or something- i refuse to give up on them! This is OPI's Rumple's Wiggin' from the Shrek Collection, a lovely pale lilac shade. The application on this one was a little bit frustrating, just because i had a hard time evening it out.

This is three coats of Rumple's Wiggin'.  I had to take a picture in sunlight
to get the color to transfer correctly!

Since i wasn't completely happy with the unevenness of just the polish by itself, i decided to add a coat of China Glaze's Cracked Concrete for some contrast.

Cracked Concrete with one coat of Seche QD. I actually am much more fond of
the linear cracking effect than the other methods people have come up with!

And with one coat of Essie's Clearly Matte. I seriously love love love
the look of matte crackle!
Which method do you prefer for applying crackle polishes? Do you think crackles look better glossy or matte? Oh, and p.s. the reason i didn't do a green manicure for St. Patrick's is because i didn't own any green polishes! yikes!

16 March 2011

China Glaze Atlantis

You've probably seen this polish a dozen times before, but since it's fairly new to me, i thought i'd share anyways. This is China Glaze's Atlantis, apparently a favorite of several polish lovers! I got my bottle through the re-release of a few colors through Sally's Hidden Treasures collection. I really wanted Pom Pom, but sadly none of the locations within reasonable driving distance had it. So.. i got Atlantis instead. To be honest when i first finished putting this on, i didn't like it. At all. If it hadn't been for my mom telling me to at least wear it for a day so as not to waste the polish, i probably would have taken it off immediately. But Atlantis did finally win me over when i went out later that night and caught myself staring at my nails and how insanely sparkly they were! Is it in my top ten favorites? Definitely not. Mainly because it was difficult to remove, and was still gritty even after two coats of Seche QD. But if i am ever craving a teal glitter fix, i'll know which polish to pick.

Four coats of China Glaze Atlantis over Mood Struck Teal.

Blurry picture to show all the holographic rainbow goodness!

Is there a polish that other bloggers rave over, but you just don't get the hype? 

15 March 2011

Teal Mood Polish

I swear i tried to come up with some clever or interesting name for this post. But most of my brainstorming consisted of things like "Un-Teal We Meet Again" or "Un-Teal You Change Your Mind" (cause.. you know, mood polish changes color.. like you change your mind? i don't know, i tried!) and those pretty much just sounded like polish names that might already exist and i didn't want to confuse anyone, so i just stuck with boring but descriptive. oh well, maybe next time. 

Anyways, these are swatches of Mood Struck's Teal to Turquoise polish. I'm going to warn you right now that these pictures are not color accurate at all- my camera had so much trouble capturing the green in this polish, even in different lighting! I provided one color corrected image so you can see the true color of this polish. Application wasn't super troublesome, but it wasn't incredibly easy either. The first two coats were very streaky and left thin areas, but the third coat evened everything out surprisingly well. There is no topcoat in the following pictures because the polish dries to a very pretty satin finish on it's own. As for the color-changing properties, it certainly wasn't as drastic as the Purple to Pink polish i swatched a few weeks ago, but it has a nice visible change from warm to cool.

Slightly more color accurate, but not quite.
You can see a slight gradient of color change on the tips.
Without color-correction
With color-correction. This shows that the polish is a much
brighter, greener teal than in the above pictures.
With topcoat
I'm not usually a fan of bright colors, but i found myself really liking this color once it was on my nails. It is also a good stamping polish, so that's a definite plus in my book! 

On another note, i know i've been doing a majority of swatching lately, which is kind of a surprise to me considering that's not what i set out to do with this blog! However i've been surprised at how much sometimes i just really want to wear a pretty color on it's own without any decoration. I really want to use this hobby as a bit of a creative outlet though, so next week will be entirely nail art! After i finish up this week's pre-determined posts, i'll be doing nail designs every day next week. I'm really excited as i've already started planning out what designs will be which days, and how i can challenge myself to do "new" things with konad beyond the standard stamp. Plus i really want to do some freehand nail art, so expect a little of that too! I also want to say thanks to all my new readers- there is almost twenty of you! That's crazy- i honestly thought it would take me way more than just one month to get ten, let alone twenty! So um, thanks for being interested in my little blog! (:

14 March 2011

"Click your heels together three times..."

To be honest, i never really liked red polish. But China Glaze's Ruby Pumps has me converted! This is one of those amazing colors that you put on and just can't stop staring at your nails. It has this beautiful depth to it, and it's almost like it is lit from within, it's that glowy! There are so many gorgeous layers of glitter in this polish- it has red glitter which is suspended in the base, and then as i was removing it i noticed a layer of silver glitter which i think is what gives it such depth. I'll let the pictures do the talking, and i'll fill you in on details after you're done "ooh"-ing and "ahh"-ing over this color!

Yep, five pictures. I just couldn't narrow it down- there were too many gorgeous pictures of this polish! As for specifics, this is three coats of Ruby Pumps and i had no issues with application. I bought this polish in a blog sale, and now i'm sure i'll be searching for a back-up bottle, because this is probably the only red i'll find myself wearing. Overall, if you don't have this polish, get it- especially if you're a lover of reds, because you'll be mesmerized by the dimensionality of this color. It's one of those beautiful polishes that just can't truly ever be given justice in a photograph.

Do you like red polish, or do you think it's too bold? Do you own this polish? Is there a polish you love and wish you got a back-up of? Leave me a note in the comments and tell me about it! 

10 March 2011

Orly Out Of This World

First off, i am so glad i picked up this polish! I had seen some swatches and read a few blogger's opinions about it and overall they didn't seem very impressed with the color. But when i saw it in the bottle and then later on the nail, i fell in love. I am such a sucker for a gorgeous dark color, and Orly's Out Of This World is no exception. This is a dark, vampy eggplant purple which leans way more into the blue end of the scale rather than the red. This polish has several layers of dense medium purple and magenta shimmer/glitter, which of course ends up as lots of sparkle on every nail. Application was smooth and didn't give me any problems- this is three coats, with a topcoat of SV.

As for the other perk of this polish...i just have to say that it's the perfect mix of subtle and bold. In the shade, the polish just looks like a pretty dark purple. But get it in sunlight and the pretty gold/bronze duochrome comes out to play! Seriously, this is so incredibly pretty in the sun! In the reviews i read most swatchers were not impressed by the duochrome in this polish, so if you're a fan of major in-your-face-four-color-duochrome then this polish probably isn't the one for you. If you like a more subtle variation that is still nice, then you'll love this color.  

Do you own any of the Orly Cosmic FX collection? Other than Space Cadet (obviously!) which is your favorite polish of the collection?

09 March 2011

Light Blue Lace in Cyberspace

I promised you nail art, and here it is! This is the design i did over China Glaze's Sea Spray. I was inspired by three or four different pictures, so i didn't think it'd be a good use of your reading time to talk about those and show you all that (plus lace and dots isn't really a unique idea haha). Anyway, I used a dotting tool to create polka dots on the middle and pinky fingers with Sinful's Snow Me White and Milani's Cyberspace. I then did the tips in Cyberspace and stamped on the lace design with Snow Me White. To finish i placed three pearls on each nail with the lace, and slathered a nice generous coat of SV to ensure that those half pearls weren't going anywhere!

Isn't Milani Cyberspace just gorgeous?! Check out all those rainbow 
flecks- they even show up in the dots!

I actually really liked this manicure, so i kept it on for around three days, and impressively none of the pearls moved an inch! It was my first time using those so i wasn't really sure as to how to attach them, so i'm glad just regular topcoat worked great. 

08 March 2011

Shimmer In The Sea

Quick post today, i've been incredibly busy all day! This is a swatch of China Glaze's Sea Spray- a dusty pale grayed out blue. I absolutely love this color! It's everything i was looking for in a light blue polish, and the application is creamy and completely opaque in just two coats.

Check out that gorgeous subtle shimmer in the second picture! That little hint of shimmer is really what makes this polish a winner. Sorry for such a brief post, but tomorrow i'll be back to my regular schedule and i'll do a post on the nail art i did with this color!

07 March 2011

Tronica's Gamer Glam & Nail Art Goodies

This weekend i picked up two polishes from the China Glaze Tronica Collection: Hologram and Gamer Glam. These are the first holographic polishes i've ever owned, and despite critical reviews from other bloggers who are used to more intense holos, i actually really really love this one! I think the subtle, scattered holo is incredibly pretty, and the light purple of the polish is just what i was looking for. Without further ado, my little swatch of China Glaze's Gamer Glam.

This is two coats, and like other have said before me, there was a little bit of balding trouble but that seems to be common in holographic polishes. I really only was seriously wanting Gamer Glam and Hologram from this collection, so i'm pleased i found both without any trouble at all. The crackles however are another story! Those little suckers are hard to find in stock at stores! But luckily i already have two of those now (that's another post sometime soon haha) and all i'm left searching for is Crushed Candy.

On another note, i recently received some things i ordered from the Born Pretty Store, and i couldn't be more pleased! The shipping was exactly what was to be expected- it took almost exactly one month for my products to arrive, so plan accordingly if you order! I happened to order when the site owner was on vacation, and she was so sweet because even though she certainly didn't have to, she stuffed extra goodies into everyone's orders who ordered during that hiatus! So i not only received what i ordered, but i got some lovely surprises too!

Star & Heart Rhinestones 
(both of these were lovely surprises!)

Half-Pearls, colored and standard 
(ordered the standard color, received the colored ones as a bonus!)

Circular Rhinestones 
(ordered one wheel, received two!)

I also ordered a set of dotting tools and received 2 dotting tool sets, orange sticks, and the aforementioned extras. Honestly my experience was so wonderful with the Born Pretty Store, so i'll definitely be buying from there again!