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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Candy Warrior - Makeup and Nail Collaboration with Daynasaur of Light and Sugar

Today's manicure is silly and outlandish in the best of ways. Many of you will recall my "I'm a polish ninja" collaboration with my roommate, Dayna of Light and Sugar. Dayna and I met in photography school, and she is currently working on a project where she does a portrait a week, incorporating her makeup skills into the mix, too. Whenever I am the portrait subject, obviously I do nails to match the theme!

Dayna had the idea to make this portrait's theme "candy" and I was all over it. Some of you may not know this, but I am a total candy fiend. It's kind of problematic. Dayna actually had the idea for this manicure, and I freaking LOVE the way it turned out.

SPRINKLES CAVIAR MANI!


So yeah, I attached actual sprinkles to my nails! And they were surprisingly secure! I'll get into that in a bit, but first, here's the actual portrait that Dayna made of me. In case anyone was wondering what I look like, heres a super clear photo, haha. As my makeup was being done, it went in a sort of candy warrior direction, so that's what we started calling the theme!


You guys know I don't hold bottles in my nail photos, but I couldn't resist doing a "bottle shot" for this manicure...


Let's get into the technique. It's the same as a caviar manicure, but with sprinkles!

I filled a shot glass with real sprinkles and painted my nails with one coat of Zoya Kennedy (a nude) to start. Then, one nail at a time, I painted another thickish coat of Kennedy on my nails and dunked them into the sprinkles glass. I pulled out the nail, and would lightly press the sprinkles into the base coat to ensure a good stick. You may need to push them together a bit or fill in empty spaces with spare sprinkles. Let it dry and that's it!


I didn't topcoat these because I wasn't going for longevity. Plus, I think it could have ruined the sprinkles anyway. I did actually wear these out to dinner though and they were totally fine! They felt really secure on the nail once they had dried.


I just love this manicure so much. It's so silly and ostentatious and perfect. I had so much fun wearing it for the brief time that I did.


Make sure you check out Light and Sugar for more portrait goodness!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The X-Out Nail Project

Hello everyone! Today's post inspiration is a bit out of the ordinary, but I think the results came out even better than I could have imagined!

I was recently contacted by a representative for X-Out, a new skincare line from the people that make Proactiv. As it turns out, the brand is running a nail art series with some bloggers, and asking them to create nail art looks inspired by the branding/packaging. Because the brand is about confidence, for every enlisted blogger that agrees to participate, the brand will donate $200 to Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Centera national organization that helps prevent bullying.

Of course, after hearing that, I was all over the idea. I get to do my nails AND help an important cause? Oh yeah. Here's the manicure I created...


...& here are the images that we were to take inspiration from! The first one is a brand manifesto, and the second one is the product packaging.


As you can see, my thumb and ring finger accent nails were inspired by the packaging, while the other three were derived from the angular graphic style of the manifesto.


For this manicure, I used six different colors.

Purple - China Glaze - Gothic Lolita
Light blue - China Glaze - Sky High Top
Black - China Glaze - Liquid Leather
Navy blue - China Glaze - First Mate
White - OPI - My Boyfriend Scales Walls
Light grey - Zoya - Dove


This whole manicure was created with different tape techniques! 

TRIANGLE NAILS: The triangle nails were created by freehanding on three distinct sections of color onto the nail base in blue, purple, and navy with the polish brushes. The sizes of those can be totally random, and you don't have to worry about being neat! You just want the three colored sections to meet near the middle of the nail somewhere.

Then, once that base is dry, cut scotch tape triangles and cover sections of each color with the tape.  Only cover one color with each triangle, and leave the seams exposed! That way, the black polish will cover any not-so-neat freehanded areas where the colors met up. Paint over the manicure with your black polish, and remove the tape. DONE!

THIN STRIPE NAILS: The stripe accent nails were done using striping tape to block off parts of a dry white base. I then filled in the exposed areas with blue and black polish. Once that had dried, I used regular scotch tape to create a chevron at the nail tips, which I filled in with grey. 


I hope you liked my interpretation! I definitely was impressed with the branding on this product, though I can't say that I have used the actual skincare items myself. Plus, the money being donated to Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center really makes me feel great about participating.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LCN Colour Me Up Box Set

Hello everyone! Did you have a nice weekend? I had a very low key weekend surrounded my friends, family, and of course, my doggie Chowder.

But we're back to the working world now, and I'm ready to start the week off with a bang! Today we're doing to be taking a look at a nail art design that I did using the LCN Colour Me Up box set. The set comes with four colors, neatly displayed in a cube. The cube is decorated with tiled squares of each of the colors. I really like the look of it, so I recreated it on my nails.


Creating this look wasn't my easiest design ever, I'll say that! I started with a black base. I painted over that with a quick dry topcoat to set it faster, and once that was dry, I placed striping tape on the nail horizontally and vertically, creating squares.

Then I just used the polish brushes to fill in the squares randomly with the four colors. Carefully remove the tape to reveal the design! TIP: Wipe most of the excess polish off of the brush first! When you are filling in such a small area, it's easy to flood it if you have too much polish on the brush.

Then I just went over the corners of the squares with a small nail art brush and some black polish to round them (like on the box). As you can see, it was difficult to control in that small of an area, so my results are a bit inconsistent. It's barely noticeable at a distance though!

Here is a shot of the cube display with the pattern on it.


The colors in the set are pretty and have a very consistently nice formula. They are all very pigmented and provide good coverage in two easy coats.

  • Spice Up Your Life - A pigmented orange creme. It looks lighter here in this nail art than it does if you are wearing it alone. 
  • Some Like It Hot - A vibrant coral red. This color is really beautiful. I'm not usually into red shades but this one is lovely.
  • Fanappleistic - A light apple green. Creamy and opaque, its reminiscent of spring to me.
  • Colour Me Up - The namesake shade of this collection! A royal purple with gold shimmer. This is the only non-creme in the collection.


Despite the amount of time it took me to finish this manicure, I really truly love the results! I also enjoyed taking inspiration from the product packaging. That's something I've never done before. Integrated and graphically bold!


What do you think? Would you spend the time to create such a unique and bold look like this?

The LCN Colour Me Up box set can be purchased directly from LCN's website for $29.90, where the individual polishes are also available for $7.50. You may also be able to find these polishes at your local beauty supply.

By the way, in case you missed my epic Black and White Glitter Comparison Post, I have added a link to it in my top nav bar. I hope to continue to add to it as my collection grows!

The products in this post were sent to me by the manufacturer or their PR.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Ultimate Black and White Glitter Comparison Post

As some of you may be aware, I have a slight addiction to black and white glitters. I just can't get enough of them! And why just own one when you can own 20? Especially when they are all so different...

Anyway, I thought you guys could benefit from my total obsession and see how these all stack up with each other. All glitters are layered over Zoya Dove, a light grey creme. I've put all the pics together at the top of the post to make it easier for you to compare between photos. All of the other information on these polishes, including density and ease of application, can be found in an embedded Google spreadsheet at the end of the post.

(L-R) Sonoma Nail Art - My Three Glitters, Cover Band - Sticks and Stones
Lynnderella - Connect the Dots, All That Glitters - Spotty Dotty Light and Spotty Dotty Dark
(L-R) Lush Lacquer - Salt N' Peppa, Sonoma Nail Art - Sonoma County Gazette
Candeo Colors - Sprouse**, Chalkboard Nails - Unnamed franken
(L-R) Dollish Polish - Putting on the Ritzzz, Dandy Nails - Colorblind
Dandy Nails - Colorblind²F4 Polish - Holy Cow
(L-R) F4 Polish - Black Tie Affair, Windestine - Asbestos / Carbon Copy
All That Glitters - Hole Hearted, Candy Lacquer - Modern Love
(L-R) Lac Attack - Ocelot-a-spots, Pretty and Polished - Valentino**
Nail-venturous Lacquers - Voodoo Doll, 365 Days of Color - Old Time Movie
(L-R) Rockstar Nails - Punk Rock Barbie, SYN Cosmetics - I'm Glowing Home
Sonnetarium - Samurai Princess, Sonnetarium - Lotta Zebra
(L-R) Vivid Lacquer - Sketchbook, Vivid Lacquer - Composition
Different Dimension - Social Suicide, Naild'it Unique Nail Polish - Zebra Tracks
(L-R) China Glaze - Whirled Away, Monster Lacquer - White Noise
Wishful BB - White Collar Caffrey, Serum No. 5 - Thanks For the Memories
(L-R) Different Dimension - Love Her? I Don't Even Lacquer!, Hard Candy - Black Tie Optional
Elevation Polish - Haba Xeushan, Pretty and Polished - Stay Classic

** Indicates polish may be an older version with uncharacteristic bleeding or other abnormalities. 

Here is all of the information for these products. This information is displayed in picture order, so the polishes in the first picture are displayed first (the rows also alternate grey and white when I switch to the next photo). If you are having trouble viewing this embedded spreadsheet, click here to view it in Google Docs.


Many of these shops may not be stocked right now, but keep up with their Facebook pages to get information on restock dates and times.

I hope this has been helpful for you guys! I know that there are more out there that I don't have (yet), but I think this is a pretty good start... ;)

Some of the products in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Maze Patterned Gradient Nails

FRRRRRIIIIDDAAAY! Who's got two thumbs and is excited for the holiday weekend? THIS GIRL.

Today's nails were born out of another group mani challenge...gradients! Make sure to check out the end of the post to see the Inlinkz collection featuring everyone who participated.


As you obviously know, gradients are majorly popular right now -- mainly thanks to The Nailasaurus' fabulous tutorial! If you haven't read it yet, you MUST. It makes gradients a breeze, and they look so smooth and airbrushed when you're done.


The blue color is Essie Bikini So Teeny, which is a new Essie Summer color. It's a lovely cornflower periwinkle blue and it has a super faint glimmer to it (just barely though). The purple is Essie Play Date, which is relatively new as well. It's a vibrant lilac purple.

The white maze designs were freehanded on using a small striper brush and Essie Blanc, a white creme. It was surprisingly pigmented!

The accent nail was created just by painting on a thick blue stripe down the middle of the nail with the polish brush. Then, I added a thinner purple stripe in the middle of the blue stripe. Easy!


I'm not sure where the inspiration for this design came from. I more or less just started painting a design on top of my finished gradient and this is what I ended up with. I'm so into it though, to me it seems vaguely Aztec but with a modern twist.

If these colors look familiar to you, it may be because they are my blog design colors! It wasn't until after I finished this manicure that I realized that. Happy coincidence!


Truthfully, I haven't used many Essie polishes in the past, though not for any particular reason. I really enjoyed working with them on this manicure. The formula was nice and the shades are beautiful.


I hope you enjoyed this super fun Friday manicure... you can bet that I currently am!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dandy Nails Funhouse, You Set My Soul Alight, & Parallel Universe

Good morning! It's almost Friday... Hooray! Today we are taking a look at three Dandy Nails polishes. This brand has been on my blog once before with a black and white glitter called Colorblind! The polishes we will be looking at today are just as cool.



First up is Funhouse. Funhouse is a crazy fuchsia and teal shard glitter topcoat with micro silver glitter. I've applied one coat over black for this swatch. It applied really nicely for a shard topcoat; normally with these types of polishes you have to "place" all the pieces, but Funhouse applied well for what it is.

One thing to note is that the pieces don't always lay totally flat to the nail, so you will probably be left with a bit of texture, even after topcoating. I think it's totally worth it though, the effect is so crazy cool.




Next up is You Set My Soul Alight. This is a charcoal jelly with superfine glitter pieces. There are a lot of colors in there but pink and green seemed most prominent to my eye. This swatch shows two coats. It applied without any trouble at all. For a glassy smooth finish, I suggest using two coats of topcoat.

I love the way this polish looks, it's kind of mysterious and cosmic in a very subtle way.




Finally, we have Parallel Universe. This polish is a sort of chilly blue/lilac duochrome. I've used two coats for this swatch. This one is a little brushstroke-prone, but it could definitely be worse in that department. The formula of the polish allowed it to flow onto the nail well; it wasn't too thick or thin. The shade is unique and the effect is kind of a shifty metallic.



What do you think? Which one of these lovelies is your favorite? I have to say I love the subtlety of You Set My Soul Alight, but I do love a crazy bold topcoat like Funhouse, too!

Dandy Nails is available for purchase on Etsy. Keep up with stocks, releases and new products on Facebook!

The products in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR for review.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Urban Decay Showboat Nail Kit - Stripes Stripes Stripes

*chanting* STRIPES STRIPES STRIPES STRIPES!

Are you in the mood for some stripes? If so, have I got the mani for you! If these colors look familiar to you, it's because this is my second nail art look using the Urban Decay Showboat Nail Kit. You can check out my first one here. This manicure should give you a better idea of the actual colors, since in the first manicure they were all gradient-ed together.


Let's do a quick recap of the colors:
  • Showboat - a super ultra neon orange
  • Radium - a bright metallic blue
  • Woodstock - a clean neon pink
  • Covet - an emerald with shimmer
  • Fishnet - a jellylike neon fuchsia
  • Perversion - a standard black creme

This look can be achieved easily, provided you have a bit of patience! Start with a base color. For this manicure, I did a skittle of all of the non-black colors in the Showboat Nail Kit. Wait for your nails to dry completely before moving on to the next step! I sped this part up by using a Quick Dry Topcoat (Seche Vite).

Then, using striping tape, which can be found on eBay or in other beauty supply stores, block off part of your nails in a horizontal stripe pattern. Paint over the top of the nail with the black, and remove the striping tape. Wherever the tape was, your base color will be showing through!


Applying topcoat to this manicure proved a bit difficult because of the ridges that all of the stripes created. I had troubles with bubbles (poet) because the topcoat was having a hard time filling in the constantly changing back-and-forth heights of the polish. Definitely not the UD set's fault though.



The Urban Decay Showboat Nail Kit can be purchased at select Macy's stores, on Macys.com, or on UrbanDecay.com. It retails for $28.

The products in this post were sent to me by the manufacturer or their PR.

Monday, May 21, 2012

China Glaze Summer Neons Nail Art: Framed Manicure

Good morning! Last Thursday, I showed you a bit of nail art using some of the new China Glaze Summer Neons. Today's look uses two more!

I have seen this kind of manicure before, but wasn't sure what to call it. I've seen it called border nails, framed nails, and outline nails. I like the term framed nails, so I'm going with that!


First let's talk colors. The base of this look is China Glaze Flirty Tankini, which gave me a hell of a time when I was trying to photograph it. It's a pretty pink that leans coral/orange. I applied two coats for this swatch. The formula was nice, no issues at all!

The frame in this manicure is China Glaze Splish Splash, a pretty medium blue with shimmer. I used approximately two coats here... it's hard to say for sure since I was using a nail art brush though. I had no troubles using this for nail art! It wasn't thick or clumpy or too sheer. Thumbs up.


Okay, now lets talk about the technique. I've never done a framed nail before, so when I did this, I just painted on the pink base first and then freehanded the blue frame on over the top with a nail art brush.

I was later informed that the easier way to achieve this look is to start with the frame color as a base, then paint on the center color on top, leaving a bit at the bottom and sides, like you were doing a Ruffian manicure. Then all you have to do is add a final strip at the tip in the frame color to complete the look. This makes sense and is probably easier to achieve if you aren't very familiar with nail art or have trouble keeping a steady hand.


At first I wasn't sure how I felt about this style of manicure. I really did grow to like it a lot though. The only concern with this framed nail style is longevity -- once the manicure chips the impact is definitely lessened.

I've got a few more colors to show you from this collection, hopefully I will have them ready within the week! As always, keep your eyes peeled! ;)

The China Glaze Summer Neons will be available in June and retail for $7 per bottle.

The products in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

China Glaze Summer Neons Nail Art: Hawaiian Floral

It's hot hot hot here in Phoenix, just the other day it was 105 degrees! There is one upside though -- I'm TOTALLY ready for some crazy neons! Today I'm sharing a nail art look that I did using six of the twelve colors in the new China Glaze Summer Neons collection.

I saw this lovely design in a video tutorial made by Mr. Candiipants. It's such an easy breezy technique but the results look like they took much longer than they actually did!


I started with a base of China Glaze White On White, which isn't part of the new collection but a nice polish regardless.

The pink flowers were done in Hang-Ten Toes, which is actually my favorite in the entire collection! It's a super bright, clean pink with a gorgeous purpley blue shimmer. If you like pinks, HTT is my "must have" pick. The center bits of the pink flowers were done in Under the Boardwalk, a beautiful fuchsia color.

The orange flowers were done in Orange You Hot?. This is another great color in the collection. It's truly very neon and has a nice shimmer to it. The darker centers of the orange flowers were done with Surfin' For Boys, an almost traffic cone orange-red color.

Whereas the flowers were just freehanded on with the brush that comes with the polish, I used a nail art brush for the leaves. The lighter green was done in I'm With the Lifeguard, a neon apple green with shimmer. It's another great color and unique to my collection. The darker "green" was actually achieved by using the blue jelly in the collection, Ride the Waves. It's sheer, so when it was layered over the other green, it gave the appearance of being a dark green.


Phew! Lots of colors used in this. I love the way it turned out. The colors in the tutorial were romantic and soft, and swapping them out for these neons really makes this mani feel like summer. The pink and orange combination makes me think of hibiscus, so I've been calling this manicure a Hawaiian floral.


I will be showcasing looks that use the other colors in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for those!

The China Glaze Summer Neons will be available in June and retail for $7 per bottle.

The products in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One Million Pageviews! GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Holy moly! I am so humbled to announce that, since I started blogging back in July 2011, Chalkboard Nails has received one million pageviews!

To celebrate, I wanted to host a little "thank you" giveaway. I was brainstorming with Rebecca, and she had the absolutely brilliant idea to give away OPI Thanks a Windmillion and Nicole by OPI One Million Sparkles!


I am truly grateful for each and every one of my readers. This is an exciting milestone, and I wish I could dole out a million hugs! You guys are the reason that this blog is so special to me, and I hope you are in it for the long haul. :)


This giveaway is open internationally. It will close on Friday May 25th, 2012. I will then draw a winner, who will have 48 hours to respond once notified. If they do not reply in time, a new winner will be chosen.

As you can see, there are only two entries available: one for following, and one for leaving me a message (in the Rafflecopter widget). Any kind of message counts, so gimme your questions, comments, suggestions, love poems...whatever!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And again...
THANK YOU!

Urban Decay Showboat Nail Kit - Gradient Crazy

Good morning! Today I am continuing my theme of doing nail art or special techniques with new collections instead of just swatching them. This post features the Urban Decay Showboat Nail Kit, which is their collection for summer!

The kit features six mini bottles in a good variety of colors and finishes. They come in a really neat tray (can be seen on Scrangie) that Urban Decay suggests that you save and use as a stand for the polish when you are painting your nails.


Gradients are crazy popular right now, so to stay on trend I bust out my makeup sponges. This was the first time that I tried out The Nailasaurus' gradient method, and I immediately fell in LOVE with the technique. It is really easy, and creates gradients so smooth you'd think they are airbrushed.

Of course, I had to do my two favorite accent nails for this manicure as well, so I did accents on my middle and pointer fingers and then reversed them on the opposite hand.


The greenish gradient here is comprised of the three cool shades in the Showboat Nail Kit. The base is Urban Decay Covet, which is a pretty emerald shimmer color. It had really nice opacity, and applied really well. The middle color in the gradient is Urban Decay Radium, which is a royal blue metallic. It's also very pigmented and added a cool effect to the gradient because of its finish. The final color in the gradient is Urban Decay Perversion, which is a black creme. It's a pretty standard black -- good pigmentation, applied well.


The neon gradient nails are my favorite! I started with a base of Urban Decay Showboat, which is a super duper neon orange. It is bright as HELL. The great thing about these neons though is that you don't have to put down a white base to get full pigmentation; they are great on their own! Showboat is my favorite in the collection. The middle color is Urban Decay Woodstock, a neon Barbie-pink. Woodstock is probably my second favorite in the collection. It's a very clean pink! The final color in this gradient is Urban Decay Fishnet, a neon fuschia. It was actually darker in person but photographed a bit lighter.


Overall I really like this set. It's got a good range of colors and finishes, and there isn't too much of one thing in the collection. The brushes are good, the pigmentation was nice, and they all applied well. The only thing I noticed was that these colors were a bit more prone to chipping on me than polishes usually are.


I've got another look coming up with this kit where you can see each of the colors individually! I just couldn't resist posting this gradient look first. :)

The Urban Decay Showboat Nail Kit can be purchased at select Macy's stores, on Macys.com, or on UrbanDecay.com. It retails for $28.

The products in this post were sent to me by the manufacturer or their PR.

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