Thursday, January 31, 2013

What I've been wearing lately... Vol. II

Hey folks! How are you doing this fine day? Today's post is another installment of "What I've been wearing lately." If you missed the last one, this is a series where I post a mishmash of manicures that I've been wearing lately. I love looking at these types of roundups on other blogs, and hope you will enjoy this one as well!

Sonoma Nail Art - I <3 Chowdie
This polish was a custom that Michelle made me for my birthday. It's inspired by my doggie and I love it so much. Three coats.



Lush Lacquer - Mr. Bubble over Essie - Play Date



Cult Nails - Flushed



Layla - Coffee Love




2 coats of Lac Attack - Weasley's Wizard Wheezes over Illamasqua Noble



Lac Attack - Holidays in Hogsmeade over Essie - Stylenomics
I wore this combo to a Christmas party when the season was still going on... It got a lot of compliments!



Vivid Lacquer - Theoretical Rockstar (new version)



Thanks for reading -- now get to shopping! :)
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Guest Post at Nails by Kayla Shevonne

Hey you fine folks! Today I have a guest post up on Nails by Kayla Shevonne. Be sure to stop by her blog to learn more about this nail art!


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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Big Cirque Post!

Hey folks! Today I have a lot of Cirque swatches for you. I've already shown a few of the polishes from the new Objet d'Art Collection (you can see the holos here and some of the glitters here), and this post will show you the rest of them!

First we have Au. This 23k real gold leaf topcoat is fantastic! I've tried a few gold leaf topcoats now and this one was by far the easiest to use. The gold was abundant and applied easily to my nails. Shown here over Orly Skinny Dip.



Book of Shadows is a pretty silver foil shade. This one looks a bit more sheer in photos than it does in person. The formula is on the thinner side and I needed three coats for opacity. It's very pretty and sparkly, and I imagine it would be flattering on just about anyone.



Curiosity is a bright cherry red with gold shimmer. It was a bit bumpy when it dried, as there are a lot of gold shimmery pieces, but it's nothing that a coat of topcoat can't smooth out! I've shown two coats here.



If I could recommend just one polish from this collection to you guys, it would be XX. This glitter blend is absolutely gorgeous. The mix of colors is stunning and I love the addition of the microsparkle. Here I've shown one coat over Wet N Wild Ready to Pounce. My goodness.



Planet Caravan is a black based polish with a purple to gold duochromatic fleck finish. This polish needed two coats for opacity for me. I love it in direct light, but in many circumstances, this polish just looks like black to me. Still though, great formula and a fun surprise when you see it in the light!



Meet Lapiz. This blue glitter is so so sparkly! I was able to build it up to opacity on its own in three coats. It controlled well and wasn't too thick or clumpy. I love this shade of blue so much.


Since texture is all the rage these days (OPI Liquid Sand, Zoya PixieDust, Nails Inc Concrete, Barry M Texture), it seems worth noting that this polish dries to a rather sandy finish itself. If you want the smooth look that topcoat gives it, be prepared to add a few coats.



Fleur est Belle is a Cirque polish sold exclusively on Mei Mei's Signatures. This sheer pinky base is accented with gold flecks as well as gold and white glitters. There is a ton of glitter in this polish -- I've shown just two coats here! This was meant to evoke the warm tropics and I am totally feeling the inspiration. You could also amp up the pink base by layering it over a pink creme.


What do you guys think? Which ones are you loving?

The Cirque Objet d'Art Collection is available for purchase now on cirquecolors.com as well as from international stockists. Fleur est Belle is exclusive to Mei Mei's Signatures and retails for 17SGD. The other polishes in this post retail for $13 from the Cirque website except Au which retails for $28.

Products provided for review.
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Yo Dawg I Heard You Like Nails

Today's manicure had innocent beginnings... and then grew into something much more than itself.


Confused? You must not spend enough time on the internet! This image above was inspired by the "Yo Dawg" meme featuring Xzibit and inspired by Pimp My Ride. It's basically a reference to the outlandish things he would put in people's cars in the later episodes of the show. For example, if the person liked fish, the Pimp My Ride team would build an aquarium in their car. The first iteration of this meme went, "Yo dawg I heard you like cars so we put a car in your car so you can drive while you drive," pointing out the ridiculousness of the things they would add.

So back to the nails. I painted these hands and tiny nails on my nails without thinking of this meme in particular, just imagining that I would call it "nails on hands on nails on hands." Then I showed Rebecca, and she immediately said, "You have to call it 'Yo Dawg I Heard You Like Nails." As soon as she said it I thought "Duh, of course I am going to do that. Who could ignore such a brilliant bit of comedy genuis."


I began with a gradient base using American Apparel L'Esprit and Zoya Malia. Then, I freehanded on the tiny hands using OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. It was really frustrating to do the hands, but in the end I am happy with the way they came out. Then, I added the tiny purple nails in OPI Funky Dunkey. They were also pretty hard to paint, considering how small they are.


I love the silliness of these.



So, yup. That's today's nail nonsense! Even if you don't understand the meme reference, I hope you can still get on board with how reflexive these nails are!
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Nailtini Speakeasy Collection Pairings

This morning I have a set of looks that I created using the Nailtini Speakeasy Collection. This is the first time I've had this brand on the blog! Their slogan is "Cocktail inspired cosmetics" and all of their lacquers are named after cocktails. They also have cute dual ended polish sticks that are called "Double Shots," a line of smaller size lacquers called the "Mini Bar," and some toppers you can "mix" with your base colors as if you were creating a cocktail. Gotta love a good theme.

This particular full size collection consists of two cremes and two glitters, and as soon as I looked at them I saw two natural pairings within them.

The first pair is Dark & Stormy with Rusty Nail. Dark & Stormy is the creme shade, a nice neutral taupe-y color that was opaque in two coats. I thought the formula of this polish was really lovely; it applied like butter. The glitter polish is Rusty Nail. I used tape to block off some stripes on my (dry) nails, and then applied 2.5 dabbled coats of the glitter. Removing the tape left these clean bands of sparkle! You can see the glitter alone on my accent nail.




For my second pairing, I grabbed Sidecar and Millionaire. Sidecar is a caramel creme polish. I found the formula to be very similar to Dark & Stormy in that it needed two coats and was easy to work with. The glitter shade, Millionaire, is really interesting and I don't think I have anything quite like it in my collection! Its fine gold glitter base is accented by teal and gold bar glitters. I needed three coats for opacity on this one, but it would also look lovely layered over another color. Initially I tried tape for this manicure but found it easier to freehand the triangles.




Overall I was really pleasantly surprised by my experience with this new brand. Worth noting is the fact that while the polishes are very tall and skinny, they do in fact fit upright in a Helmer drawer. Just barely. The full size polishes retail for $13 each, which may seem a little pricey, but if you are a more economical type, there is a wide selection of Mini Bar polishes that may be right up your alley at $6 each.

Nailtini polishes can be purchased on the 'Tini Beauty Lounge website. You can also find the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Products provided for review.
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Different Dimension 80's Baby Collection

Today's post includes swatches of the new Different Dimension 80's Baby Collection. These polishes are really really cool, if you ask me! They are all neon polishes with a scattered holographic effect; the closest thing I can compare them to are the A England scattered holos but that's not even totally accurate. The biggest reason I love these, though, is that they are NEON scattered holos, and they have really awesome opacity. No layering over white required. Another great thing about these polishes is that the scattered holo pigment adds texture without greying out the base.

I've included two photos for each shade. The first photo is my normal lightbox lighting, while the second photo is direct lamplight (mimicking sunlight).




Ditz is a neon pink shade. This was the first one I tried and I was totally in love. This is just two coats. The formula, as with most of these, is thick but not gummy. I had no troubles with application.




Gnarly is a neon green shade that needed just two coats for opacity.




Homeboy is definitely one of my favorites in the collection. At just two coats, this blue is rich and textured, almost like super bright denim. Gorgeous.




Totally is a yellow-green shade. I actually had a bit of trouble color balancing this one -- in some lights it looks quite yellow and in others it looks more green to my eye. Totally had the trickiest formula for me, needing three coats. It was a little streaky until the third coat, when it evened out.




Tubular is a tangerine orange shade that also needed three coats.




Whatever is also a huge attention grabber. This purple shade has a visual texture similar to Homeboy and was opaque in two coats. Really stunning.




Different Dimension polishes are available on Etsy. All of these are currently in stock; individual polishes retail for $10 or you can buy the full collection for $55. You can also follow the brand on Facebook for news and updates.

Products sent for review.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Get the Look: Tortoiseshell Nails (ft. Elevation Polish)

Hey folks! Remember a while back, when I posted my tortoiseshell nails? Well at that time, the polishes that I used to make the look weren't available for sale. However, due to popular demand (from you fine folks), Elevation Polish is now going to be stocking them (LE)!

In honor of this release, I've decided to make a video tutorial for my tortoiseshell nail art. Here's the final product from the video.


Below you'll find the video about how to achieve the effect! I got a new camera for video-making this Christmas, but I haven't quite figured out the white balance/autofocus combo yet. Bear with me a bit here! :)


Of course, I couldn't let this post go by without showing you swatches of the Elevation Polish jellies individually. Each swatch shows three coats of the polish.

Elevation Polish Cascade (only slightly more brown toned in person)



Elevation Polish Temperance



Elevation Polish Tettegouche



Elevation Polishes can be purchased at www.elevationpolish.com. These jellies are sold for $7.50 individually or for $20 as a trio. I believe these are set to be released at 9pm CST tonight.

Products provided for review.
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunset Gradient Maze Patterned Nails

Hey guys! Today I have some nail art to share that I'm really proud of. It's another one of my maze patterned designs, and this one is my favorite to date!


I began by sponging a gradient of Orly Glowstick, Orly Beach Cruiser, and Orly Skinny Dip over a white base. These neon polishes are semi-sheer, so they blended together really easily and helped make the gradient transitions so successful. I love the peach and purple areas that were made at the intersections of the colors.


Then, using my medium length striper brush and black polish, I freehanded on the maze pattern. The maze is a really fun pattern for me to paint, I love making each nail different by changing the way the lines turn.


So bold!




Here is what the gradient looked like before I painted the black lines over the top of it. Very pretty as is, but I much prefer it with the contrast of the lines. Doesn't it look like a sunset?




This design was actually inspired by a fake that I did for my girl Algae Veronica! She asked a number of her nail artist friends to send in a large nail tip to decorate a section of a wall in her newly renovated salon and this is what I came up with. I wanted to do something bold and vibrant and fun, just like her! After I finished this fake, I knew that I just had to do the design on my actual nails.


Thanks for stopping by!
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