Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NOTD: Star Trek Nails!

I am so excited to show you guys my Star Trek manicure!  I've been a Trekkie since I was a little kid and still watch Star Trek regularly (thank you streaming Netflix!).  Naturally, I had to do a Star Trek manicure.  Since the Star Trek franchise spans 6 series and 11 films it was hard to limit it to one movie/series, so I drew inspiration from each of them.

I hope you like it!

Photo taken under artificial light.

On a side note, I think I used 15 polishes total.  Let me know if you're curious about a specific color.  Thanks for reading! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

NOTD: Neon Water Marble

So I was thinking about this blog today and realized I've never featured a water marble!  I've worn several and for whatever reason I never bothered to take photos and show you.  Maybe it's because I'm a perfectionist and water marbling is the exact opposite of perfection.  By "opposite" I mean no two nails will ever be identical, cleanup is never perfect, and it's so messy that it's inevitable you'll screw up at some point.  At the same time, I try to remind myself that the beauty of water marbling is the fact that each nail is different, so just take it for what it is.

I love a good water marble.  I just wish there was a way to do it without wasting so much nail polish.  I try to dip two fingers at a time, which helps a lot, but I still have a hard time justifying the use of 9+ drops of nail polish for 2 fingers.  So, I guess the point is that I have a love/hate relationship with water marbling.  Regardless, I want to try featuring it more on this blog since there are endless possibilities for designs and they are really pretty.

For this look I started with 2 coats of LA Colors Energy Source, which is just a basic white creme.  Then, I used Sally Hansen Blue Me Away, Sinful Colors Dream On, and a Cosmetic Arts neon green (there's no name on the label) for the design.  I just dripped 3 drops of each color, in concentric circles, until I had 2 rings of each color.  Then, I just made random designs until I found something I liked.  I finished the look with one coat of Essie Matte About You.

These polishes cooperated for the most part, but since they're neon they dry quickly and I didn't work fast enough.  A couple times they dried before I finished my design and I had to start all over again.  My ring finger was the worst.  I had to do that one three times before I had a decent design.

Photo taken in natural light.

So have you tried water marbling?  Do you have a favorite color combination?

Thanks for reading! :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Franken Time!

Hello everyone!!! I went hunting for new nail polishes yesterday and just couldn't find anything I liked.  There seem to be a lot of cremes popular right now, and neons.  I have lots of those, and nothing was standing out, so I came home empty handed.  I stood in front of my stash staring at all the polishes and just couldn't find something to wear.  So, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and I frankened something for myself instead.  I haven't actually named it yet, but I feel like it resembles something aquatic.

I added way too much of the chunky silver glitter so it was super thick and a nightmare to apply.  The glitter was extremely hungry and I needed 3 coats of ridge-filling base coat to get it even slightly smooth.  The upshot is that it's different than anything I have in my collection and I can't stop admiring the shimmers.

Sorry for the quality of these photos.  It was night and my natural light bulb and camera were refusing to cooperate, so everything has a slightly yellow cast.

Photo taken under natural light bulb.

Photo taken under natural light bulb.

This is a slightly better photo.  I took it this morning in natural light and it looks better, but there are a few bubbles that popped up overnight, so just pretend you don't see those. :)

Photo taken in natural light.

Here's the recipe for anyone who's interested:

1/2 bottle LA Colors Treasure Island (blue and green micro glitter in a clear base)
50 drops Sinful Colors Rise and Shine (shimmery teal)
50 drops Sally Hansen HD Spectrum (glass-flecked teal)
Silver hex craft glitter (I just kept pouring without measuring, so I would estimate maybe 1/4 teaspoon)
I didn't add it, but I would suggest some clear polish to thin it out a bit since the glitter base is thick and comprises a majority of the formula.

Well, I hope you all have/are having a great weekend!  It's a 3 day weekend here in the United States so I'll be enjoying an extra day off.

As always, thanks for reading!!! :) :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NOTD: Holographic Glitter + Animal Prints

Well hello there everyone!!  I hope you're all having a great day/evening (depending on where you are in the world).  Today I want to show you a fun little manicure I'm currently wearing.  It's really cloudy today and I had literally five minutes of sunshine before the clouds rolled in again. Holographic glitter seems like a bit of waste when there's no sun to make it sparkle, but luckily this still has plenty going on without the sparkles.

I started with 2 coats of Revlon Plum Seduction.  Then, I added 2 coats of a no-name Claire's holographic glitter polish suspended in a light pink jelly base.  Once that dried I used Sinful Colors Black on Black and Konad plate M2 to stamp the design.  It's a small design, not even as wide as my pinky finger, so I had to double it up for each nail.  Finally, I topped it off with quick dry top coat.

Photo taken in natural light.

Photo taken in direct sunlight.

That's all for today.  Thanks for reading!! :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Celebratory Mini-Haul + Nail Art

Well hello there, lovelies!!  I hope you're all doing well and starting your week with a bang.  I did a small celebratory mini-haul yesterday because I received my final grades for the semester. 4.0 baby!  It wasn't easy so I was super relieved  to have my official grades in hand.  I haven't purchased any polish for myself lately, except for a random bottle of Dollar Store polish, so this mini-haul was way overdue.

I purchased Revlon Rain Forest.

Revlon Rain Forest is a dark green creme with tiny color-shifting flakes.  From most angles they look bright chartreuse, but upon closer inspection you can see they shift to blue, then purple.  The shift is only apparent in the bottle though, and I haven't been able to catch it on my nails.  Nonetheless, the color is gorgeous and just complex enough to catch your attention without being over the top.  Rain Forest applied easily and was perfectly opaque in 2 thin coats.  The new Colorstay line of polishes have a wider brush than other lines, something akin to the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri mop-brush, although much easier to control and not nearly as wide.  It was completely smooth without top coat.

 I also purchased Pure Ice First Time.

First Time is a minty frost/metallic.  I only swatched one nail, but from what I could tell this is easily a one coater, as it is highly pigmented and provides awesome coverage.  I also did a test stamp with it and it was perfect. The frostiness means there are pretty obvious brush strokes when applied, so if you don't like that, then pass on this.  It seems to dry pretty quickly also, which is a plus.

Now for the manicure photos.

Revlon Rain Forest: this is 2 coats without base or top coat.

Photo taken in natural light.
Photo taken in natural light.

The finished look using both polishes:

Photo taken under natural light bulb.

Thanks for reading!!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cycling Inspiration

Hello everyone!  I don't mention it very often, but I love cycling.  I go to spin classes in the mornings and also try to ride on the weekends when the weather permits.  That being said, it's fun to try matching my manicures to my bike, jerseys, shoes, socks, and shorts.  I know, it probably sounds nerdy.  But I think it's fun to go cruising around on my bike with a happening manicure.  Or be bobbing around on my spin bike with a happening manicure.

I got a new pair of cycling shorts last week and wanted to match them with something sporty.

Here's what I came up with:

Photo taken in direct sunlight.

This is 3 coats of LA Colors Energy Source with Island Girl Aloha Magic stamped using Shany plate SH22.  Apparently there was some leftover black in the plate that I missed when cleaning last time.  Oh well, it gives it some "texture."  :)

After wearing this for a bit I decided to experiment with other colors and came up with this:

Photo taken in direct sunlight.

I used Cosmetic Arts (nameless) neon green and Sally Hansen Blue Me Away!  I used the same plate and just stamped over the other designs.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day/evening! :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

NOTD: Hard Candy Beetle + Stamping

Hello everyone!  I hope you're all having a great start to your week!  I'm starting the week with a fun stamped manicure that I want to show you.  It's not the bright, summery colors that are popular right now, but I can't pass up an interesting stamped manicure. :)

Today I'm wearing 2 coats Hard Candy Beetle.  This is such an interesting multichrome polish that shifts between pink/purple, copper, green, and gold.  I could spend days just photographing the color shifts.  (Imagine me doing cirque du soleil fingers.)  I stamped it with Shany plate SH22 and LA Colors Live.  It's pretty busy!

Photo taken in natural light.

I hope you all have a great week!!  :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NOTD: Summery Gradient Konadicure

Hi everyone!  I'm baaaaack!  My semester officially ended yesterday when I submitted my final paper.  Woo hoo!  Hello summer vacation!  The first thing I did was remove my old, chipped-up manicure and pedicure and spent the afternoon giving myself an all new mani/pedi.  I'm also fighting a case of bronchitis, so it was nice to rest and do something fun.

Today's mani is a summer inspired gradient with a flowery design stamped over it.  I started with 2 thin coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mellow Yellow.  Next, I used a small eyeshadow brush to dab on 1 coat of Wet n Wild Sunny Side Up about 2/3 way up my nail, starting at the cuticle.  (Sponges work great for this, but I didn't have any.)  Next, I used Sinful Colors Hazard and dabbed on more polish on the bottom 1/3 of my nail.  I love gradients because they're messy, which means my klutzy self doesn't have to be so careful. :)

Next, I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Slick Slate and Shany stamping plate SH03 for the design.  I purposely used the entire design in some places and only half of the design in others so that each nail was a little bit different.  Using the Insta-Dri polishes is great for stamping because they're highly pigmented, but they're formulated to dry fast so it's tricky to get a good design on the stamp each time.  My stamping turned out a little messy, but since it's over a gradient design I feel like it still works.  Finally, I added a little bit of gold glitter in the center of the flowers and topped if off with quick dry top coat.

What do you think? I'm really liking this design.  Maybe it's because I haven't had any fun manicures in awhile.

That's all for today.  I hope you're having a great week!  :)