31 May 2011

OPI Houston We Have A Purple

So i'm pretty much mentally drooling over this polish. Squishy shiny jelly finish? check. Pretty color? check. Summery and fun? check. I love love love this color! I think i've found my polish of the summer- i can't believe i took so long to finally buy this. Definitely going back for a back-up bottle.

I'm talking about OPI's Houston We Have A Purple of course! This juicy jelly polish has a super shiny finish and is a gorgeous mix between fuchsia and purple. I debated for so long about buying any of the polished from OPI's Texas Collection, but i'm so glad i gave into my lemming and purchased this one. This color is perfect for tips or toes (this coming from someone who doesn't like painting my toes!)- and i think it will most certainly be my favorite summer color. This is three sorbet-tastic coats, but i could have gotten away with two if i had done a better job with application. This applied very nicely and dried to a typical jelly finish with glassy shine. There is topcoat in these pictures, but i definitely only added it for added durability and wear time, because even SV couldn't have improved on the shiny-ness of this polish!



The only thing i dislike about jellies is how at the very tips of the nails it looks like you already have a bit of tip wear, even though it's a brand new mani. hmph. Oh well, the color is so worth it! 

Did you buy any of the colors from the Texas Collection "Sorbets"? Do you like jelly polishes or are you completely turned off by the idea of any translucency in polish? Thanks for reading!

30 May 2011

Super Fast Nail Art

So... I'll admit it. I was eyeing the bottle of OPI Houston We Have A Purple that had been sitting in my untried bin all weekend. So when the time came to change my polish, i didn't really want to do any nail art. Solution? Quickly come up with an idea using stamps, glitter, and my current polish. And actually, i ended up kind of fond of the end result. It reminds me of cherry blossoms, although that's not what the stamp is at all. But now i really want to try something soft and pretty that does look like cherry blossoms!

Anyway, back on subject. This manicure has a base of two coats of China Glaze Ruby Pumps- a personal favorite red of mine. I quickly sponged on some Love & Beauty Baby Pink on the tips in a gradient, then used Wet N' Wild Tickled Pink to stamp the image from BM-213. To finish i added some Milani Jewel FX in Silver to the tips- i really should have sponged on some silver polish before i did the glitter, but i just wasn't thinking this through (Lazy me, sorry). So yep, quick and easy nail art for monday's post.



I apologize for not putting more energy or thought into this nail art, but i really really wanted to wear HWHAP! But i promise that next monday's post will be ten times better, more along the quality and thought that went into Feather & Dot (which was really well received, thank you!). Oh, and i figured i should also apologize for shirking my blogging duties last week- I got busy with other things and before i knew it it was Friday and i didn't have any posts! oops! So yeah, i apologize. I also have this goal for June to post every single weekday, because i noticed i don't have one month in my archives where i've posted every day! What's up with that?! shame on me.

Moving on, the question of the day! If you have a blog, have you ever whipped out a quick manicure simply for a blog post with no real intention of wearing it past the pictures? If you don't have a blog, Have you ever slapped on some polish in a hurry because you'd rather be wearing any polish than no polish? Thanks for reading!

24 May 2011

Absolutely Alice

Is it just me, or do most people have terrible wear time with glitters? I swear, i loved loved loved this polish when it was on my nails, but every time i would turn around there was a huge chip! I couldn't even go one full day with this manicure without it peeling and having to do repairs.

Any who, i don't think this polish needs much of an introduction- she's blue, she's gorgeous, she's super-duper sparkletastic, she's Absolutely Alice ;) (ok, a little corny, but i thought it was kinda cute). This is three coats with topcoat.


in indirect sunlight so you can see the glitter!



I wanted to love this polish so badly, but unless i can find a way to make it not chip so badly then she'll probably have to remain gorgeous in the bottle instead of on my nails ): Does anyone have tips for wearing glitters? Because i could sure use some help! Thanks for reading!

23 May 2011

Feather And Dot

So i'll just start off by saying that this manicure did not end up at all as what it started as, but i love it so so so much more than the original idea. This manicure is really what re-kindled my love for konad. I have been doing a lot of swatching (as you have seen) and i was truly just enjoying wearing polish and really appreciating solid colors. But i felt like bringing it up a notch since my best friend (who i hadn't seen in 4+ months!) was coming over last night, so i did this! I also did her nails, but i didn't get pictures.

This mani has a base color of China Glaze Pelican Gray. The other colors used were OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue, China Glaze Harmony, Sinful Colors Snow Me White & Black On Black, and a gray franken i mixed specifically for this manicure.  On my thumb, middle, and pinky fingers i used a dotting tool to create a gradient of dots. On my index and ring fingers i started by stamping the pebble image from BM-211 with my gray franken, then i stamped the double feather image from BM- 214 with Harmony and YGTB. Of course i topped everything off with a generous coat of SV.





I think my favorite part about this manicure was the layering of the two stamps to create more depth- this is definitely something i'll probably use again in future konadicures! I've been reading my giveaway entries as they come in and a lot of you are requesting more konadicures/nail art posts, so i'll try to have at least one every week from now on. I'm going to try to come up with a schedule of what to do everyday since that seems to work for a lot of other bloggers. I think i'll have at least one nail art post, one swatching post, and one franken post every week. I'll see if i can crank out a tutorial post once a week (since that was requested as well) and maybe a little something special for that leftover day. As you all have probably realized i only post Monday-Friday. I don't post on weekends because it's my only time off from work and i like to spend it with friends and family, so i'm sure you understand!

And to wrap things up, the reader question! How do you get out of a konad/nail art rut? Is there a trick you use to get inspired again? I usually go and look at pictures i've saved of manicures i love, and that gets the motivation going again for me! Thanks for reading, and have a great monday!

20 May 2011

Summer Sunset Gradient

Blech- it is nothing but dark and dreary outside today! The kind of day where you just want to stay in bed. Thankfully, this manicure is anything but dark and dreary- it's full of bright reds and oranges! This gradient kind of reminds me of a fruity smoothie or something summery.

To create this gradient i started with a two coat base of OPI's Burning Love then sponged on Pure Ice Hot Tamale. I sponged a bit of OPI's The Show Must Go On! on the tips, and finished with a light coating of Claire's Crush for a little bit of added sparkle.




I really liked this manicure when i first did it because i liked how bright it was, but the more i wore it the more i realized it just wasn't me. hmph. I will wear brights and like it this summer! On another note, i got my frankening supplies in the mail yesterday and spent about two hours watching House and assembling the mini bottles. So expect a few franken posts in the upcoming weeks- i'm excited to share with you all how much fun i've been having with them :) Thanks for reading!

18 May 2011

Essie It's In The Bag

There's hardly anything better than getting an eight dollar nail polish for two bucks. Except when it's in a color you wanted to try, of course! Okay, so i was originally wanting to test out Essie Marshmallow, but when i saw It's In The Bag in the clearance bin at Ulta's, it was good enough for me. Now that i've seen some people complaining about Marshmallow's formula i'm glad i got this color instead. It's In The Bag is a squishy, shiny off-white jelly polish that is mostly opaque with three coats. I didn't have any issues with application. I originally purchased this thinking i wanted a white jelly base for frankening, but i've fallen in love with it so it's saved from the frankening bin!


I wanted to add just a little something extra to this manicure so i swiped two coats of Essence Space Queen over my ring finger. I originally bought this for frankening as well, but i'm stashing it instead! I guess i'll just have to make another trip to Ulta for a few more bottles of this pretty glitter.


Are you a fan of white nail polish, or jellies in general? I kind of want to pick up some of the jellies from OPI's Texas Collection, but i'm not positive yet. Thanks for reading!

And don't forget to check out my 100 Follower Giveaway!

P.S. a quick hello to all the new followers! :)

16 May 2011

Pure Ice Swatches

Some swatches of polishes from my pre-nail obsession days! I bought and used all of these Pure Ice colors except for Naughty Girl years before i ever really got into polish. Gold Mist was my favorite because i could just wear it with one or two coats and it looked sparkly and wasn't visible if i didn't do any cleanup. I now cringe at all that VNL and probably messy, messy cuticles that happened back then.. thankfully, i now know better. Anyway, I'll be showing you swatches of four colors- Gold Mist, Naughty Girl, Really Rio, and Frosted Ice Hot Tamale.

First up is the aforementioned Gold Mist. This polish has a sheer goldenrod yellow base with very fine silver and light pink glitter. Honestly, the only time the pink is visible is when your face is about two inches from the nail, or when you're removing the polish. This is four coats and still has visible nail line. I still like this color as a quick and easy pedicure because i don't usually wear super noticeable colors on my toes because let's face it- feet are weird. And i don't like more attention being drawn to them than i have to have.


Moving on, this is Naughty Girl- a pale green leaning yellow orange. This has a darker orange shimmer which keeps it from being a creme, and is opaque in three coats. 


One of the few bright colors i actually really love, this is Really Rio- a pink orange base with fine silver glitter. Swatching this one really reminded me of how much i used to wear it in the summer, and it made me want to start wearing it again. This is two coats.


And last but certainly not least is Frosted Ice Hot Tamale. I know, i know... "frosted". But i promise you that your twitch from hearing that word is unwarranted for this polish. Now, brushstrokes only show up a little in macro, but in person they're not noticeable at all. And this is a fantastic warm orange- i loved loved loved wearing this color. This is two coats.


I bought all these polishes probably when i was in 8th or 9th grade, back when i wore polish. All through high school i didn't wear nail polish at all because i couldn't stand it- it drove me crazy and it made me feel like my nails were suffocating. Those are my "lost years" of nail polish... makes me think about probably all the colors that are HTF now that i could have picked up easily back then. Oh well- important thing is that i'm now completely addicted and obsessed with nail polish. Cause that's so much better, right? (Just say yes.) 

What are some polishes you owned before your nail polish blogging/collecting days? Thanks for reading! 

14 May 2011

100 Follower Giveaway!

Thanks for your entries- this giveaway is now CLOSED.


**NOTE: Blogger went down and i lost the original post for this. If you have linked that previous post in your sidebar/blog posts about this giveaway, please update your links!**

Can i just start off this post with a huge THANK YOU to every single one of you who read my blog or comment on my posts? Seriously, from the second i gained my first follower i started planning this giveaway. I didn't know if it would be in a few months, a year, or ever even happen. I just knew i wanted to give something back for you all not letting me just talk to myself! I'm so thrilled that i've reached 100 of you lovely polish lovers, and again, thank you!

For this giveaway i knew i wanted to include polishes that you guys would actually want- not just whatever was on sale, or whatever I just liked. I tried really hard to pay attention to what were highly popular or in demand colors from collections, and every time i found a sought after collection polish i tried to snag two, so i could have one to give away to you! So i present my gift to you: Eight polishes in total, of various brands, plus some extra nail and beauty goodies!

Orly Royal Velvet, OPI What's With The Cattitude?, Revlon Black With Envy,
Sinful Colors Green Ocean, OPI Teenage Dream, Wet N' Wild Party Of Five Glitters,
and Orly Space Cadet.

Aren't they pretty?! You know you want them to go home with you!

Essie Clearly Matte Top Coat (same as Essie Matte About You),  A set of brand new dotting tools,
E.L.F. Lip Glosses in Melon Mayhem and Candy Fix.
I know it's not the largest or most spectacular or most expensive nail blog giveaway, but i hope it expresses my gratitude to you for joining me in my little nail polish journey! Now, down to the specifics on how you can win these beauties!

Rules and Information for Participation

1. You must be a follower of my blog via Google Friend Connect. New followers are welcome!
2. You must love nail polish! (pshhh isn't this obvious?!)
3. This giveaway is available to international readers. Which means that if you live outside the United States, you can still enter! I know not all of my followers are from the US, and i want everyone to be included!

How To Enter

There are 5 possible entries per person. I didn't want to include entries on sites like twitter or facebook because i know not everyone uses those social media networks, and i don't want people to feel like they have to miss out on extra entries. 

1. Simply fill out your GFC name you follow me with, and your email address. (1 entry, required)
2. Do a dedicated blog post about my giveaway on your blog. This blog post must include the first picture in this post, along with a link back to this post. (1 entry, optional)
3. Have my giveaway listed on a giveaway page or giveaway sidebar on your blog. This must include the first picture in this post, along with a link back to this post. (1 entry, optional)
4. Fill out the form with your answer to the question "What is your absolute favorite nail polish?". (1 entry, optional)
5. Fill out the form with your answer to the question "What would you like to see more of on my blog, or what could i improve upon?". (1 entry, optional)

Giveaway ends June 14th, 2011
(Any entries received after this date will not be considered valid)

CLOSED

Mummy May I + Zombie Zest

Some random China Glaze Swatches today! I had seriously been lemming these two polishes for a while before i got them through a blog sale, and i have to say that even though i'm totally in love with Zombie Zest, i'm not so crazy about Mummy May I.


Mummy May I is a blackened burgundy base with medium sized magenta square glitters. This is four coats, and let me tell you- this is gritty city! And macro makes it look like it's not completely opaque on my middle finger. hmph. Maybe i'll try layering with this one, because i'm not feeling it alone.


Zombie Zest on the other hand.. can i just say that there has never been a prettier ugly sister? This is definitely one of those obscure, funky, grimy colors that you either absolutely love or absolutely hate. Me? I love it. Love love love it! 



Had to repost this because blogger decided to go on the fritz. sorry, i don't remember what the rest of the post was ):

10 May 2011

Nail Polish Storage + Polishing Space

I'm always fascinated by how other people store their polishes and what their polish rooms/desks/areas look like, and i'm always on the lookout for better ways to store mine! My polish collection is still well under 200 bottles, so my storage isn't anything wild or crazy. It all fits on a desk in my room, right next to a window.


My humble little nail polish desk!


The latest addition to my polish desk- my storage shelves! The top tier is all my removers and cotton rounds- i also have some makeup sponges that live there but are missing in this picture. Second tier is all my manicure blocks, mani tools, and q-tips. The green box is where all the polishes i bought for blog giveaways live ;) Third tier is where all my frankening supplies are. It's not much right now, but i'm practicing! I have some glitters, some pigments (not pictured), and two little bottles. I'm definitely planning on expanding that area soon. The papers to the right are how i catalog all my plates- i have sheets with little rectangles on them, and i stamp each design in black inside the boxes. That way i know what plate each design is on, and if it stamps crisp or messy. This also helps when i do other people's nails- its a lot easier than having them look through small metal plates. 


My supplies! Konad plates, stamper, and scraper are in the top bin along with a SH nail strips sample and tweezers. Rhinestones and half-pearls are in the middle and bottom bins. Topcoats & basecoats in front, and all my BM plates are in the round container (it fits them perfectly! It's an old Elizabeth Arden make-up container from my mom- it held little gold pods of liquid or something originally). In the cup are my stripers, dotting tools, brushes, my file, and a SH nail art pen. 



This bin holds all my untrieds. Right now there are a lot more than usual- i usually only have about half this amount, but there are a lot of colors i bought on sale and such, so i don't feel too bad! haha.


My polishes! drugstore/inexpensive polishes in the left bin, Essie/Zoya/ and a few Pure Ice colors in the middle bin, and Orly/OPI/China Glaze in the right bin. I got these little fabric bins from Dollar Tree- they're the perfect height for storing nail polish! 

So yep, that's it! Where all my polishes live, and where i use them! I'm sure that as my collection expands so will my storage, but this is good for where i'm at right now.

How do you store your polish, and where do you usually paint your nails? Thanks for reading!

09 May 2011

OPI's My Private Jet (Holo)

I don't think i need much of an introduction for this one- the pictures pretty much speak for themselves. Three coats of OPI's My Private Jet, one coat of topcoat, and another coat of MPJ on top.








Overall, i'm in love. i keep staring at my nails and purposefully finding spots of sunshine just so i can see the sparkle. When i first showed my sister the bottle she said it looked like someone had captured a rainbow and stuffed it inside- pretty accurate description! haha! Besides the awesome holo, i think i need to find a gray that is a match for the base of this color- i love it! Does anyone know of a match / similar charcoal polish?


And just a little picture of one of the furballs we have running around our house at all times- this is the very demanding, yet irresistibly snuggly and adorable Thusa. She's my sister's cat, but she has no loyalties when it comes to who's bed the sun is shining on!

caught her mid-yawn. gee, rough life eh?


Thanks for reading :)

08 May 2011

How To Dusty Hunt

[This tutorial was updated and revised in 2013]

Okay, so this is a bit of a random Sunday post, but yesterday the lovely Leslie from Nail Polish Art Addiction (seriously, go check out her blog if you haven't already- the girl knows how to wield a nail art brush!) jokingly commented that I should give lessons on how to dusty hunt, since I seem to have so much luck! And that got me thinking that maybe I don't hunt like everyone else? Well, I figured I'd tell you how I went about my searching, since I'm always curious as to how other people do things and maybe some of you would be interested/curious as well!

When I decided that I wanted to do some Dusty Hunting in my area, the first thing I did was to go to my local phonebook and make a table of all the salons in my area: listed with name, address, and phone number. Good golly, for me living in a small town I don't know how we can support so many salons- there must have been forty or more! After I made my list I sat down and called each salon individually and asked the following questions:

"Do you sell nail polish?"

"What brands do you sell?"

"Do you carry mostly older or newer collections?"

"What are your hours?"

Obviously if the answer was "no" to the first question I said "thank you very much" and ended the call. It truly helps to make a plan of exactly what polishes you can get where, and what stock they currently have. Every salon I called was pretty good about knowing what brands they had and whether the polishes were old or new. A few I had to get more specific with, such as "Do you have any polishes older than the Katy Perry Collection (sometimes saying 'the collection with the blue and pink glitters and black shatter')?" [Revision: Most salons I called carried OPI, so be sure to ask about recent notable collections, as the receptionist probably doesn't have them memorized like we do!] but everyone was very cooperative and happy to answer all my questions.

Don't be discouraged if salons say they don't carry nail polish. Out all the salons I called only about six had any polishes older than this year. After you've crossed off and highlighted various salons on your list, make a plan for how your driving/travel route will go- this part is important as you don't want to be going back and forth wasting gas or your time! Find out where each salon on your list is and make a loop to travel.

Other important things are that you'll need a pen and a small notebook with hard covers. Not every salon will have a table you can write on, so the hard covers help. You'll want to write down any polishes you could be interested in, and make sure to divide your lists by what salon they are located in so you can find them easily again when you need to. I forgot my pen on my last dusty trip, so every time I made a stop I had to ask to borrow one; It was annoying for me, to say the least. Another good tip is to be really nice to whomever is around; Chances are they'll start showing interest when you whip out a mini-flashlight [Revision: This is great for looking for old holographics, and getting a true color under salon lights], notebook, and pen and start inspecting their polishes! I got to talking to one of the manicurists at a particular salon and after learning that this was my hobby she was more than willing to talk polishes with me, and she even showed me her favorites from the salon stash (nope, didn't let me buy any from their stash though- *sigh*).

So there you have it: How I Dusty Hunt! I hope this helps some of you, or at least satisfies your curiosity or something. Go forth and dusty fellow polish addicts! I wish you the best of luck in finding your lemmings :)

FAQ's:

What is Dusty Hunting?
Dusting Hunting is the act of searching out beauty or nail salons that sell nail polish in hopes of purchasing discontinued or old versions of nail polishes. The term came from how the polishes have been sitting in one spot for so long that there is an actual layer of dust on the glass bottle.

Should I just search nail salons, or hair and beauty salons as well?
Definitely call up both types in your area, as many beauty salons have nail polish to sell as an easy "impulse" item for their customers. Think of it this way: The more salons you contact, the better your chances that one of them will be fruitful.

How do you not feel awkward when looking at polishes?
Generally when you walk into a salon you're greeted by the receptionist and asked if you have an appointment. Just like when you're greeted by any other employee in a shopping environment, be polite and tell them you'd like to browse the nail polish. They'll be able to direct you to the product or tell you where it is. As for feeling awkward it's something that you will just have to overcome, and it truly gets easier each time you do it. Salons are busy places and no one really has time to hover or stand around to judge you or make you uncomfortable.

Are you shopping for new or used bottles of polish?
The salons that I went to refused to sell any used polish, or got confused and thought I wanted a manicure service when I asked to purchase the used polish. There is also some risk of salon frankening when buying used polish so keep that in mind! A few salons told me that a particular color was the last one they had and would "call their rep" to ask about buying more, which is a dead end because I already wanted the polish because it was discontinued! For this reason I found it was easier to just purchase and inquire about brand new polishes, and a lot of salons gave me a discount for purchasing multiples. I purchased fifteen OPI bottles at one salon and the owner reduced the price to $7 each from $8.50 for me.

07 May 2011

OPI Merry Midnight + A Surprise!

So this post is all about results from dusty hunting. I don't know why it took me so long to start looking in my local dusties, but it certainly was worth the effort! I found the polish i'm going to show you today at a local dusty, and there's a surprise at the end of the post if you make it that far.

This is OPI's Merry Midnight. I was so excited when i saw this little gem sitting on a shelf gathering dust, and when i picked it up i was swooning over the gorgeous red flakies and blurple micro glitter. I think there might even be a bit of glass fleck in this one? not sure. Merry Midnight has flakies and glitter suspended in a gorgeous plum base. Color me impressed OPI! This is three coats with topcoat.





And now for the little treasure i found... 




Yep, OPI's My Private Jet. Oh, and did i mention it's the holo version?



My jaw about hit the floor when it saw it sitting there, literally covered in dust. Am i the only one who lovingly brushes off the dust and pretends like the polishes are little unhappy orphans and i'm adopting them, taking them home to a polish life of love and adoration where there are lots of other little polish friends for them?

.... just me then?...

Anywho, thanks for reading today fellow polish lovers! Have a great weekend!

06 May 2011

Lilac It Like That

Busy day today- i went dusty hunting again, and if you thought i got some good polishes last time, you'll be blown away when i tell you about what i found today in tomorrow's post. Seriously, my jaw dropped when i saw it sitting there, gathering dust! I also updated my swap page with more information on what collections and polishes i can find in my dusties. If you're looking for a lemming in particular, feel free to drop me an email and ask about it!

Anyway, today i'll be showing you some nail art i did using OPI Rumple's Wiggin', Sally Hansen Insta Dri Purple Bolt, and Orly Ancient Jade. I used Rumple's Wiggin' for a base, then stamped with BM 204 in Purple Bolt. For my accent nail i used a base of Ancient Jade and used a white striper to create thin vertical lines then added various half-pearls and rhinestones.





That's all for today, but due to no posts for a few days i'll be posting again on Saturday. Thanks for reading!

03 May 2011

Random OPI Swatches

Some more OPI swatches today! I promise i'm working on nail art ideas and i should be posting some soon- i need to get back in the habit of doing nail art, not just enjoying solid colors! Anyway, today i'll be showing you my swatches of Cuckoo For This Color, Ski Teal We Drop, and You Don't Know Jacques- all three of which i seriously love! 

Cuckoo For This Color is the perfect name for this polish. It's a gorgeous dark teal green with aqua shimmer. It's incredibly pretty on it's own with just two coats to be opaque. 


Ski Teal We Drop is the perfect dark teal. Application was smooth and easy, and it's opaque in just two coats. I also tested this for stamping, and it works wonderfully. I really, really like this color- it's unique in my collection right now, and i find myself reaching for it frequently.


You Don't Know Jacques is a fan favorite for a reason- this gray mushroom brown is one of the colors i pick when i want something that is effortlessly chic. I know some people are way over the gray/brown/taupes but i only own a few so i'm not tired of them yet. This is two coats. 


And this would have rounded out my OPI collection when i first swatched these, but of course it's grown since then, in typical polish addict fashion. I'm really excited to show you swatches of my newer purchases, but i'll try to put up nail art posts more frequently!