Wednesday, July 31, 2013

OPI Liquid Sand Lacquer matches!

Be advised - there are a lot of photos in this post! Having realized that my 2013 Liquid Sand collection is almost complete (There are 6 more coming out with the next holiday collection), I decided to have some fun with the ones I've got and do some matching manis with regular lacquers! Here's what I came up with:

Solitaire: Essie "Marshmallow"
Pussy Galore: Essie "French Affair"

The Impossible: Orly "Passion Fruit"
Magazine Cover Mouse: Essie "Rose Bowl"

Jinx: Essie "Cute As A Button"
Honey Ryder: OPI "Glitzerland"
What Wizardry Is This?: Essie "Sand Tropez"
 - Not a match, but complementary
Is All San Andreas's Fault: OPI "You Don't Know Jacques!"

Tiffany Case: Essie "In The Cab-ana"
Get Your Number: Essie "Mesmerize"

Wharf! Wharf! Wharf!: OPI "Dating A Royal"
Alcatraz...Rocks: Essie "No More Film"

Can't Let Go: OPI "Tomorrow Never Dies"
Vesper: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure "Pat On The Black"

Stay The Night: Essie "Bahama Mama" and "Licorice"

So Which pairing is your favorite? I really like how the blues turned out, mainly "Tiffany Case". I also really like "Pussy Galore" as well as "It's All San Andreas's Fault".

Happy Polishing!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pink on Pink polka dots!

Today's nail art is simple - solid polka dots on a darker color in the same family, in this case pink on pink. As the base, I used 3 coats of Essie "Mod Squad", and Essie "Fiji" for the dots. To get the most uniform pattern, I start in the center at the base of the nail and then do 3 dots up the middle. From there I place the next dots offsetting the ones in the middle on either side, and work from there. To get the most complete look, I keep going all the way to the edges, even if they're not full circles. Clean up with a brush and some acetone and you're done! Make sure the dots are fully dry before applying topcoat - or you'll end up with streaks like on my pinky nail.

I hope you love this fun and flirty look!

Happy Polishing!

- Maggie

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Funday Swatches, plus Cult Nails Wicked Fast Speed Dry Top Coat!

Today I've got a few random swatches of polishes I've worn throughout the week, some old, some new. I picked up a few Orly shades at Ulta on Monday, and chose "Mirror Mirror", a nice creamy mid-gray to show off. I used Sephora by OPI's matte top coat over it to give it a cool stone effect. My only gripes about this polish was that the formula was less than desirable to work with...It was thick and didn't level out well.

Next up is a polish I've had for about a month, another from OPI's Euro Centrale Collection "You're Such A Buda-pest!". Its a bright periwinkle lavender creme with a barely there shimmer to smooth out the texture. This took quite a few coats as it went on really sheer. This is probably 4 coats with OPI top coat.

A couple of weeks ago, I got some ridiculous desire to check out Beautylish, one of those random cosmetics sites that helps promote and sell independent beauty brands. Turns out that when you sign up, you get a $10 credit to use within the next 48 hours or so - naturally, I clicked right on over to their Cult Nails section of the website and snagged their Wicked Fast Speed Dry Top coat, having heard amazing things and being a top rated product. Shipping was $5 so I essentially got it for half price since my credit covered the whole price to begin with!

When I got it in the mail yesterday, they sent it with a cute hand-written note! How adorable.

I decided to use the Cult Nails top coat with Illamasqua's "Rampage", a deep deep forest green crelly which I picked up on clearance at Sephora back in the spring. This lovely color took 3 coats to get this look, which in the shade can almost be mistaken for black. I really like this color though, and there's nothing else like it in my collection or in any collections I've seen lately. It finished with a decently high gloss on it, but I decided to add even more with the top coat. Oooh, Shiny!

It really did dry quite quickly, though make sure that each layer of polish you apply is dry before the next one - I did have some shifting at the tips on my right hand from scratching an itch I had, but nothing some good ol' fashioned licking couldn't handle! (Yes, licking, as in tongue action!) This'll be my go-to topcoat for quite some time!

Happy Polishing!
- Maggie

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Nitty Gritty - OPI San Francisco Liquid Sands + Couture De Minnie Liquid Sand Swatches!

As one of my last packages as an OPI Liquid Sand Leading Lady, I present to you the swatches of "Magazine Cover Mouse" from the Couture De Minnie Collection, as well as the 3 Liquid Sands from the upcoming San Francisco Collection: "It's All San Andreas's Fault", "Wharf! Wharf! Wharf!" and "Alcatraz...Rocks"! All swatches are 2 coats with no top coat.

"Magazine Cover Mouse" probably could have been a one-coater. It's a fully-saturated metallic strawberry red with a gold shimmer. Definitely reminds me of "Pussy Galore" and "Tiffany Case" from the Bond Girls collection, with the metallic base. Truly a stunning shade with a fun textured twist!

These next 2 are in an opaque cream base that dry to a glossy finish like the typical OPI cream polishes do.

"It's All San Andreas's Fault" is basically "You Don't Know Jacques!" turned liquid sand. Being one of my favorite shades of all time I absolutely love it with a bit of texture. I wasn't sure how I'd feel without the typical matte finish we usually see with these polishes but I really like it. Reminds me a bit of a gritty hot chocolate color...the picture doesn't do it justice. On the nail in person it just seems so...cozy. Perfect for fall!

"Wharf! Wharf! Wharf!" in my opinion is a lot like the blues from their spring collection, obviously with the liquid sand texture. The navy is high pigmented, but still took 2 coats for a nice even look.

Lastly is "Alcatraz...Rocks", a shimmery blurple/gray with purple and pale gold sparkles throughout. This is definitely more along the lines of what we saw from "Jinx", with a more translucent duo-chromish base. The first coat seemed a bit sheer but after 2 it came out perfect. I've seen this paired with "Honey Ryder" alot as a compliment to bring out the goldish shimmer. It's a bit more subdued out of the sunlight but a great fall color nonetheless...reminds me a bit of the blue-gray trend we've seen in past seasons.

Since they're all so different, I couldn't pick a favorite, but out of the 2 cremes I'd prefer "It's All San Andreas's Fault", and out of the shimmers I'd choose "Magazine Cover Mouse" for it's wearability as a nice juicy red. Which one's your favorite??

Happy Polishing!
- Maggie

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"OPI...Eurso Euro" with Leopard Print Gold Accent Nail

This mani might be one of my favorites all-time, definitely my favorite one in a while. Having been back-and-forth on purchasing "OPI....Eurso Euro" for a few months, I finally bought it about a month ago...and then haven't decided to swatch it until now. It's a fully saturated navy blue, a lot more royal blue and a lot less dusty like it's counterpart in the Spring/Summer collection "I Saw...You Saw...We Saw...Warsaw". This is 2 coats, no top coat. You can see some of the glitter from my gel manicure peeking out on my pinky nail in the direct sunlight, so I might have done a 3rd coat had it really bothered me.

To break up the monotony a little bit I decided to add some fun animal flair to it by sponging on China Glaze "Fast Track" directly on my nude gel nail (Gelish Grand Jewels). From there I used butter LONDON "All Hail The Queen" and Essie "Lady Godiva" for the spots and detailing. I'm really impressed by how much "Fast Track" just looks like straight gold dust, being a gold glass-fleck shimmer in a nude base. It sponged on great and looks super brilliant in the light!

What do you think?

Happy Polishing!

Friday, July 19, 2013

China Glaze "Strawberry Fields", Harmony Gelish "Grand Jewels" Gel, and #MintManisForTaliaJoy!

Today I'm starting off my post by showing off my haul from a recent purchase at Sally Beauty Supply. They had some of their Gelish minis on markdown, so I grabbed "Grand Jewels", a clear coat full of glitter (meant for accents and top-coating), plus China Glaze's "Strawberry Fields".

As you can see, this would have more of a "wow" effect over a base color or as a tip accent to another color, but I like to keep my gel manicures neutral and understated since I paint over them. It's a gold and silver glitter with some chunky holos strewn throughout - worked fine with my RCM base and topcoat, as well as my LED lamp. My pinky finger actually needed a band-aid (the nail tore from some trauma at work), and the gel sealed it all in really nicely - you can't even see it!

Next is a fun manicure I made up to swatch China Glaze's "Strawberry Fields" - A bright juicy pink magenta hue with that gold glass-fleck shimmer they popularized so well. I paired it with an OPI "Goldeneye" accent nail to really get that gold shimmer to pop!

Lastly, today the nail lacquer community honored the passing of a truly inspirational young girl, Talia Joy Castellano. Having lived her life to the fullest through 2 rare forms of cancer, Talia was an inspiration to many through her battle and overall positive outlook on life. The last photo she posted on her Instagram account was of mint-colored manicures her and her mother had gotten together. Nicole over at NailPolishWars inspired the tribute to the lovely 13 year-old who brought joy to so many in her short life.

The base is OPI's "Gargantuan Green Grape", with Cover Girl Boundless Color Sparkle Top Coat in "Crystal Mist" in a chevron pattern on the ring finger and overall on the index finger (with a french tip). The polka dots are done in Essie's "First Timer". Have you seen other #MintManisForTaliaJoy today??

Rest in peace, Talia. #JustKeepSwimming,

- Maggie

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cotton Candy Saran Wrap Mani

Today's Mani is simple enough for anyone to do!

Base: 3 Coats Essie "Marshmallow"

Accents: Essie "French Affair" and "Lapis of Luxury"

Apply polish to scrunched up saran wrap and DABDABDABDABDAB! And then clean up, of course!

I just thought these colors would look so cute together - they remind me of cotton candy! I didn't put a top coat on it for the photos, but once I did, it gave it a nice polished-over look (duh). Make sure the colors are dry before applying top coat, or they'll streak and run!

Happy Polishing!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

butter LONDON "All Hail The Queen"

Today I've just got a simple swatch of butter LONDON's neutral barely-there scattered holo "All Hail The Queen". I had a job interview this morning and decided to keep things a little more subdued after my crazy bright flower manis. Sorry about the top picture not focusing well - I'm not sure what's going on with my camera lately. This is 3 coats, with OPI top coat over it.

indirect sunlight

I love the chocolatey-ness of this polish. It looks pretty fantastic on my skintone and is still a little fun while staying neutral :)


Happy Polishing!
- Maggie

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Wishing for more sun with this Sunflower Nail Art!

As promised, I've put together a Sunflowers manicure to share with you today. I used Essie's "In The Cab-ana" as the complimentary color to this mani, to give that blue sky effect. I used it as a sponge gradient on the tips of the sunflower nails as well. The Sunflowers were done with a combo of OPI "Need Sunglasses?" and Julep "Stella" (Rest In Pieces, the bottle broke on me :( ) with the centers of the flowers done using Essie's "Hot Coco" and "Lady Godiva". I couldn't get a good shot with my thumbs, but those were done with sunflowers as well...quite a time consuming mani, but so worth it!

Here's what happened to my lovely Stella:

Snapped right off :(
Hopefully Julep will hook me up with either a refund or another one...either way, Stella will surely be missed!

Hope this mani brings a little sunshine to you wherever you are today!

Happy Polishing!
- Maggie

Friday, July 12, 2013

Yesterday's Mani - Poppies!

Inspired by the roses I wore the day before, I figured I'd try another flower - poppies! Their gorgeous red color and the contrast of their bright green stems just makes them such a fun flower for summer.

The featured color in this mani as the basis for the flowers as well as the other nails is Essie's "Geranium" - I also used a bit of OPI "A Good Mandarin is Hard To Find" and Essie's "Well Red" to add a little depth to the petals. For the centers I used Julep's "Brandt" and a blend of OPI "Need Sunglasses?" and Julep's "Stella". The stems was a mix of "Need Sunglasses?" and Essie's "Pretty Edgy".

I think this is such a perfect way to wear red and green without it looking like Christmastime! What do you think?

What other flowers do you think I should attempt? Sunflowers are definitely on my list!

Happy Polishing,
- Maggie

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Roses Nail Art + One of my Summer Brights duos!

Today I bring you a bit of nail art inspired by one of the most popular designs on pinterest, what I like to call the "simple rose"...using basic brush strokes and a very fine brush or tooth pick, this cute, vintage-y look can be achieved quite easily.

I chose to do my design on a "bare" nail (I say bare because I have my Red Carpet Manicure done in "Camera Shy" as a base). The flowers are done using butter LONDON's "Snog", Nicole by OPI's "Selena", and Essie's "Fiji". The leaves are Essie's "Pretty Edgy" and "First Timer", and the other nails are Nicole by OPI's "Selena" as well.

As promised, I've also done swatches of one of my favorite summer color combinations, Essie's "In the Cab-ana" and "Haute As Hello" - A bright cerulean blue paired with a neon peachy orange. Warning - "Haute As Hello" has almost always stained my nails, even after just a few hours' wear. Make sure to wear a really good base coat with it!

What do you think? Do you dig these manis for summer?

Happy Polishing!

Friday, July 5, 2013

NOTD: Butter London "Slapper" & Essie "Shifting Power"

Good evening! Today I chose a complimentary color duo (one that I should've added to my previous post about color duos) of a dark teal creme, butter LONDON's "Slapper" and a solid gold metallic in Essie's "Shifting Power".

This first picture is merely to show the true color of this gorgeous dark teal. I'm going to be honest, the first time I got this color, for some reason or another it looked different colors on different nails - legitimately blue-er on one and greener on the other. So I gave it another try making sure it was carefully blended in the bottle, and here's what I got! 2 coats. Don't mind the tiny bubbles, my top coat is a jerk.


indirect sunlight

direct sunlight
What do you think? "Shifting Power" usually takes me atleast 2 coats for opacity, but over my semi-opaque gel mani color it looks way better, especially with the smoother surface. It's just one of those colors that will be streaky no matter what you do, but just be deliberate and slow with your strokes to make sure they all flow uniformly.

Happy Polishing!