Friday, August 30, 2013

Color Club "Moody Blues" Mini Quad + A Glittery Jazzed Up Mani to send off summer!

Hey everyone! Today I picked up the Color Club "Moody Blues" Mini quad from Harmon ($6.99...what a bargain!) This quad includes mini bottles of 3 shades of blue and then a glitter topper:

Blue-Topia: A Dark "warm" almost black navy. When I say warm, I mean it has more green tendencies than purple for sure. This one was a 2 coater, and a really nice color for fall/winter. A lot darker than any other navy I own for sure. And there wasn't too much bleeding or staining upon cleanup and removal! This is without top coat too - look how glossy it finishes!

Take Me To Your Chateau: A pale sky blue cream that reminds me a lot of "Borrowed & Blue" By Essie - though I would say this is actually a bit more blue. Formula was a dream, 2 coats.

Hydrangea Kiss: A pale periwinkle-lavender creme jelly which is a dream to apply and has a finish like glass. The color reminds me a bit of "You're Such A Buda-Pest!" by OPI, though this is more blue and absolutely reminiscent of hydrangeas for sure. This is 2 coats without top coat.

Si Vous Please: A tiny round iridescent glitter in a milky base. Nothing special, though when I finally applied it I realized that I don't have an exact dupe for it. I chose to apply this over Hydrangea Kiss as a moon gradient. No top coat (yet)!

I then decided this wasn't quite "party" enough for Labor Day Weekend, so I added a couple of more glitter coats, including OPI's "Pink Yet Lavender" and "" to jazz it up a bit!

I was a bit too lazy to clean up the glitter around the cuticles, but I really like the way this turned out! Which one from the quad is your favorite? How are you prepping your nails for the weekend?

Happy Labor Day, and Happy Polishing!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Maybelline Color Show Vintage Leather Nail Lacquer - "Antique Teal"

Hi all! Today I'm swatching one of the polishes from Maybelline's Fashion Week Fall Collection, a color called "Antique Teal". The polishes in this collection are meant to have a "Vintage Leather" feel to them, which truly just means a matte finish with flakie glitter scattered throughout to break up the smoothness...umm...yeah.

This color is a dark dusty turquoise, a very "in" color for fall. The formula on this left a bit to be desired - it's tricky to work with since it's matte and dries rather quickly, but a second coat helped it gain opacity. I hate the un-evenness of matte polishes, though. And honestly, this flaky glitter business is really unnecessary too. I liked Nails Inc.'s version of leather effect polish better - it was a fine-grain sand texture in cream polish that dried to a dull shine...unlike this.

Then, I tried it with a top coat to see if that improved the look on it at all.  I just don't know if it's working for me.

I think this is a look more apt for shorter, more square nails. I truly love the color, but the flakies kind of ruin it for me. In person it's a tinge more green as well. What are your thoughts on it?

Happy Polishing!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Funday - PGA Tour Barclays Golf Manicure

Good Morning everyone! As I write this post, my family and I are getting ready to head to Jersey City for the final round of the Barclays - and I thought the best way to celebrate was with, what else, a manicure!

This one took quite a bit of time - the thumb nails themselves were decals I had made earlier in the day using ziploc bags to trace the Barclays eagle on. The eagle itself is Essie's "In The Cab-Ana" followed by a layer of OPI's "Sonic Boom" and a bit of gradient of "Austin-tatious Turquoise" towards the bottom. I then applied it over 2 layers of Alpine Snow with another layer of Essie's Marshmallow, and sealed with top coat.

For my index fingers, I used In the Cab-ana once again to achieve a sky look, using Alpine Snow and Marshmallow to dot clouds on the tips. The blades of grass are a combination of Illamasqua's "Rampage" and Essie's "Pretty Edgy". I then proceeded to use Pretty Edgy for my ring fingers, as the color for the fairway, with "First Timer" for the green and "Sand Tropez" for the sand traps. The holes themselves are Essie "Licorice", with the flags being Alpine Snow and Essie's "Well Read".

Finally, the golf ball textured nails, although my favorite, were not easy to come by. I started out with 2 layers of Alpine Snow underneath a layer of Marshmallow, and soon realized it wasn't nearly enough polish to get the dented look I had been looking for. So I added another. And another. I think after maybe 4 coats of Marshmallow and with the help of some quick drying drops and a speed dry top coat, I was able to get it at just the right texture to be mold-able, but not sticky that it would drag and pull. I used the back end of a paint brush to dent my nails, as a dotting tool was too refined and would leave marks that were too small and basically just holes in my nails. It took repeated efforts to keep the polish from leveling itself out to finally get dents and not just dots/holes. I don't know how quick I'll be to repeat this look, but it was definitely worth the effort this time around!

If you have any more questions about how I got this look, leave a message in the comments below, or leave one on Facebook!

Happy Polishing!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

butter LONDON "Wellies" nail art!

The other day I finally received "Wellies" from butter LONDON in the mail - They had originally mixed up my order and sent me another color. Wellies is a bright chatreuse cream, which needs no white base coat for it to POP! However, it does tend to stain so definitely use a good base coat underneath.

I decided to add some contrasting elements to this manicure, including some sponging of OPI's "I Juggle...Men" at the cuticles, as well as some dotting using Essie's "No More Film" And OPI's "OPI I.N.K.".

Happy Polishing!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Blue & Yellow Neon Gradient Manicure

This manicure uses only 2 colors - Essie's "In The Cab-ana" (CLEARLY a favorite for me this season) and Orly's "Glowstick". Starting off with a nice coat of OPI's "Alpine Snow" to give the colors some pop, I made it a bit easier on myself by keeping the index and ring fingers solid while sponging the blue/yellow combo on only 3 nails...keeping the colors aligned with their neighbors for a gradient effect.

To get the colors this opaque and blended, you really need to go over them a few times with the sponge, and make sure the polish isn't all soaked up by the sponge either! You don't want A. pieces of sponge coming off cuz it's sticking to your nail or B. no colors to show up at all - make sure you apply a real good coat of the polishes on the sponge each time you dab - and don't forget to clean up afterwards!

Happy Polishing!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Water Color Nail Art

First thing's first - I've decided to try out the rounded tip look for a while. I've always been a square/squoval kinda gal but with the latest trends leaning toward a more rounded look I figured why not? Especially when I can keep them so well guarded with a couple coats of RCM's "Camera Shy" for a nude, polished gel look.

So having seen quite a few of these manis pop up on the interwebs, I figured I'd take a shot at a "water color" mani (NOT to be confused with water marbling or anything of that sort. This one actually doesn't use water at all, but gives the appearance of the translucent paints typically look.

I kept the RCM gel "Camera Shy" as my base since I like the cloudy nude look it gives, but most manis like this use white or another pastel shade. Basically, acetone is used to break down the integrity of the polish to give it a thinner look and formula. Chrissy Ai has a great tutorial on YouTube:

And here's my look, using Nicole by OPI's "Selena" (Selena Gomez Collection), China Glaze's "Mimosa's Before Mani's" **grammar NIGHTMARE** and my rosy salvage of Essie's "Ship Til I Drop"! Notice how I didn't necessarily get the polish all the way to the edges of the nail and/or left bald spots...It just adds to the style! Next time I think I'll try different/complementary colors instead of the keeping them all in the same family. What do you think?

Happy Polishing!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Teal with black & white chevron mani!

So I figured I'd jump on the chevron bandwagon before summer was out, and this was the look I came up with! Teal (which is very in for this season) plus a black & white chevron accent (freehand) and a bit of glitz on the middle finger. Base color is Ruby Wing's "Eternal", accent nail is Essie "Marshmallow" and "Licorice" (yum) and the fleck glitter on the middle nail is Essie's "Shine of The Times" stamped on for a more pressed-on look. Hope you like!

Note: "Shine of the Times" is a pain to get off skin - LOL.

Happy Polishing!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Random Nail Art Dump

First up is a design inspired by a patterned walled I had found while out shopping yesterday. The sponge ombre base is a combination of 3 Essie Polishes, "Haute as Hello", "In The Cab-Ana", and "Butler Please". I then use Enchanted Polish's "Djinn In A Bottle" before creating the tri-color cheetah print, in Essie's "Lady Godiva", OPI's "Wooden Shoe Like To Know", and Orly's "Passion Fruit". I then finished with a coat of Cult Nails Wicked Fast Speed Dry top coat. This took about 2 hours total, which I spend watching Harry Potter in the background ;).

This next look I simply wanted to do some straight even polka dots all within the same color family. The base is China Glaze's "For Audrey", with OPI "Alpine Snow" and butter LONDON "Slapper" for the dots. These dots came out much smaller and more concentrated than my pink on pink design, mainly since I got a new double-ended dotting tool. A.C. Moore for $1.29!

Lastly is a simple look inspired by an ILNP dark gray holo polish called "A.C. Slater" as inspired by the 90's show "Saved By The Bell". Sorry for the shaky cam look! This look was achieved by simply applying a layer of "Djinn In A Bottle" over Essie's "Power Clutch". I really love the way it pops!

Happy Polishing!