Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easy Watermelon Nail Art

Sometimes you want to wear nail art but you don't have enough time/you're too exhausted to do an intricate design.

Never fear, Chalkboard Nails' easy watermelon nail art is here!

I love simple nail art manicures that are still eye catching. Also, a bit of cuteness never hurt anyone. This manicure is perfect for a picnic, or for any time you need a little bit of summer in your life.



For this look I used four polishes. The green base of the watermelon rind was painted with China Glaze Four Leaf Clover. In case you weren't aware, this polish is probably the most difficult-to-photograph polish I own. It's impossible and always turns out teal. I tried my best to color correct here.

The lines on the rind were painted quickly with China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint, which turned yellow-green after I topcoated it. A strange but happy accident.

The pink is China Glaze Beach Cruise-r and the black glitter is Wet N Wild Tangled In My Web, which is a LE polish from a few years ago. If you don't have it, you could just dot on some "seeds" with black polish and a toothpick or dotting tool.



I hope you guys enjoyed this quick and easy nail art post, and be sure to let me know if you give it a try!
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Tadashi Shoji Nail Art Challenge - Final Clutch Design and Matching Nail Art (+ Giveaway)



Some of you may recall back in October when I posted about The Tadashi Shoji Nail Art Challenge. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Tadashi Shoji invited eight nail artists (myself included) to create a nail design inspired by their spring collection. We submitted our looks, and then the brand's fans were invited to vote on the design they liked best. The winning design was used as inspiration for a limited edition clutch.

I was incredibly humbled to have my design selected as the winner, and I'm so proud to be sharing the finished product with you today.


This is a very long, picture heavy post, so I've put the rest of it under the cut!
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sweet Spring Mix Over Nude

There's just something about spring that makes me want to "go nude"... on my NAILS that is! But going without polish just isn't in my programming, so instead I chose to include partially nakey nails in today's nail art design.


I know that I used Nicole by OPI - Hit the Lights for the yellow here, and Essie - Bikini So Teeny for the blue. But shame on me, I just can't remember what I used for the pink. Oops! I should have posted these faster instead of sitting on the post for a while!


The design on my pointer was created by placing a piece of tape over the lower half of my nail and then freehanding stripes in the remaining space. The rest of the designs were also freehanded! My thumb was done using a more relaxed version of the abstract brushstroke technique. It basically involves just swiping some random bits of color on the nail with the polish brush.


Before doing this design, I did buff a few of my nails to remove my staining. I wouldn't recommend this, as my nails have felt weakened and thin for a few weeks now (and they are normally pretty strong). It did make for a nice canvas, though!


Which design is your favorite? I think I am liking the falling flowers and the geometric triangles.
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Dollish Polish Candy Series


I know I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again: I LOVE CANDY. Because of this, I was especially excited to get the opportunity to try out the Dollish Polish Candy collection. The collection consists of five candy inspired lacquers -- let me know which ones you are craving in the comments!

I <3 Nerds is a pink based polish with blue and purple glitters, plus a couple colors of squares. The formula of this one was notably fantastic, and needed just two coats for opacity. 



Chilling With Mike and Ike is probably my favorite of the collection. Its faintly shimmery pale green base has red, orange, green, and gold glitters, as well as large black squares. It applied easily and with good glitter density. I used three coats but it was very close to opacity at two.



You're a Real Sweet Tart is a white based polish with a sweet mix of pink, yellow, purple, blue, and mint glitters. It's super cute, but I wish I had been able to get more of the glitters out! I only needed two coats, which was nice for a white based polish.



Super Bubblicious is a light blue based polish with blue, white, and pink matte glitters. Dolly was inspired by the cotton candy flavored Bubblicious for this one -- did anyone else love that one when they were a kid? My sister and I went nuts for it. I needed three coats for opacity on this one and found it to be a little thick. I think next time I will try adding some thinner. I do love the royal blue glitters in the light blue base, though.



This Pop Rocks! is the only clear based glitter topper in the collection. It has a bunch of fine purple microglitter, as well as pink and green matte hexes, black diamonds, and purple stars. I love the color combination in this glitter so much but found it a little hard to apply. The glitters seemed like they didn't want to come out of the bottle, even after storing it upside down. It was like the base couldn't grab on to them, or something. But still... how fun is this? Shown over Illamasqua Noble.


So, do you have a sweet tooth for these polishes? Which ones are you liking?

The Candy Collection is available for purchase now at www.dollishpolish.com. You can also follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sassy Lacquer - Spring Showers Bring May Flowers Collection


I hope everyone is having a nice weekend and a relaxing Sunday! Today's post includes swatches of the six polishes in the Sassy Lacquer Spring Showers Bring May Flowers Collection. Let's take a look!

Blue Mist is a tealy, steely metallic. I had some brushstrokes while applying but they seemed to settle as the polish dried. Three coats for opacity.



A Frosty Crocus is the standout of the collection for me. This purple base is accented with pink microglitters and has a blue sheen that makes this polish look like it's glowing. It's really quite beautiful! I needed three coats here and had no issues with formula.



Emerald Meadow is a sheer green base with green microglitters. I've shown three coats here. This one is interesting... it's not the type of polish that I would normally like but I think it was executed really well for what it is. The smaller glitters don't make the pearly base look lumpy, and it does seem to glow in the right lighting. Having said that, it can be pretty sheer in direct lighting too. You could layer it to avoid that, and it looks great over dark colors, too (see the second photo here)!



Tiger Lily Wears Pink is a warm salmon-y pink with red flecks in it. They add a really nice dimension and I think this one is probably my second favorite of the collection. I had great coverage at two coats.



Dawn's Dew is a glowy blue topper polish. I personally found it too sheer to wear alone, so I've first shown one coat of Dawn's Dew over Tiger Lily Wears Pink. You can see that it adds the blue sheen and blue flecks, as well.


Here is two coats of Dawn's Dew over white, so you can see the flecks more easily. This one would look fantastic over darker colors, too.



Dancing Daffodil is a creamy light yellow polish with smaller yellow microglitters. I have to say, I'm excited about all the yellow polishes I'm seeing from indies this spring. Yellow is such an underappreciated polish color! The color on this one is like butter and makes me kind of hungry... I used three coats here.



I'm sure you guys are loving A Frosty Crocus, am I right? Any other favorites?

Sassy Lacquer products can be found in the Sassy Lacquer shop. You can also follow the brand on Facebook and the Sassy Nails blog.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Don't Eat the Polish by Sonoma Nail Art and Silly Bee's Chickadees



The Don't Eat the Polish Collection is a limited edition, collaborative effort by Sonoma Nail Art and Silly Bee's Chickadees. Each brand created three of the six shades, and today I have swatches of them! I just love the labels and names of these, too funny.

First we'll begin with the three Sonoma Nail Art shades.

Sonoma Nail Art - Bag O' Glass is a glitter topper in a clear base. It is primarily white diamonds, hexes, and shreds, and it is accented by iridescent glitters that shine blue when they catch the light. I needed 2 coats for the glitter density below. Shown over American Apparel Mount Royal.



Sonoma Nail Art - Science Experiment is an oozy green jelly bubbling with all sorts of different glitters. Most notable are the circle glitters! I like this one a lot, it has a high glitter density without being overwhelming to apply. It can be worn alone at three coats…


…or layered for a completely different look. Shown over Essie Mojito Madness.



Sonoma Nail Art - Very Small Rocks is a stony grey polish with black, white, and small brown glitters. The brown glitters add a lot of interest to this polish, in my opinion. Again, you can wear it alone at three coats…


…or layer it over a grey like China Glaze Recycle.



Now let's take a look at the Silly Bee's Chickadees half of this collection!

Silly Bee's Chickadees - Miracle Gross is my favorite of the SBC trio! This brown jelly base contains black, white, and brown glitters. It is meant to be reminiscent of potting soil but I can't help but think s'mores when I look at it! I preferred wearing this one alone and needed three coats for the opacity below. You will probably need a couple layers of topcoat but look how darn cool it is!


I also tried layering it over OPI Wooden Shoe Like to Know.



Silly Bee's Chickadees - Paint Chips is a pale blue based polish with smaller silver glitters, diamonds, and shreds. I love the base color of this polish, but I did have a little bit of trouble applying this one. Perhaps because of the amount of glitter in the base? My best advice is to take your time when applying. Definitely let it dry between coats and try to apply each coat as thinly as possible. Melissa also assures me that she has thinned the formula since sending out samples, so you may have an easier time! I've shown three coats alone here…


…but some of you may prefer to layer it over a shade like Zoya Kristen.



Silly Bee's Chickadees - Soggy Sod is a bright, pea soup green polish with lots of smaller glitters, shreds, and squares. You can wear this one alone at three coats (below), but I preferred the look of it layered. My bottle was a touch thick but this is another one whose formula has since been thinned.


Here it is shown over China Glaze Budding Romance.



These were actually released a few weeks ago but they will be restocked for the final time this Friday (March 22nd). There is currently still stock in the Silly Bee's shop if you'd like to get a jump on your shopping. Please check each brand's Facebook page for restock times.

Sonoma Nail Art
Etsy Shop
Facebook
Twitter

Silly Bee's Chickadees
Etsy Shop
Facebook

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pretty and Polished Spring Sonata Collection


Today I'm excited to share the new Pretty and Polished Spring Sonata Collection with you. This collection consists of three creme variations, a creme-based glitter, and a glitter topper.

Bashful Bouquet is a delightful glitter topper in a clear base. Its beautiful mix of satin pastel glitters is accented by an occasional large neon pink hex and a sprinkling of smaller green glitter. This polish comes in scented and non-scented varieties. The optional scent is called "Secret Garden" and smells nicely floral. I didn't find it to be too strong but I know some of you are sensitive to scents! I did have to fish for the neon pink hexes so I could be sure to show them to you guys, but it didn't take long to find them. Shown over Candy Carnation.



Candy Carnation is a pretty pink shade with a soft holographic sparkle. Unfortunately my camera took issue with this color and made it look a touch more pale in my photo than it does in person. Rest assured, if you like pink then this is a shade for you! The soft holographic sparkle is subtle (and also a bit camera shy), but it adds just enough visual interest to separate this from the other pinks in my collection. I used three coats for photos but many will be able to get away with just two.



Victorian Viburnum is a mint green/blue polish with a lovely white shimmer. This one is my favorite of the collection! The color is soft and clean, and the shimmer is just perfect. This polish reminds me of China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On, except Victorian Viburnum leans a bit more blue. I prefer VV between the two. I've shown three coats below.



Lady Lavender is a lavender creme base with small and medium purple glitters. I love the shade of purple! This one applied easily but did dry down a little gritty, so you may need an additional coat of topcoat to smooth it out. I used two coats of Lady Lavender for the opacity below.



Delightful Daisy is a yellow polish with a pearl shimmer finish. The shimmer in this one is heavier than in Victorian Viburnum. I was able to see brushstrokes if I looked closely, though they were not as noticeable at a normal distance. I like this shade of yellow and it feels perfectly springy. Three coats here.



The Spring Sonata Collection is available now at shopprettyandpolished.com. You can also purchase these on Etsy, as well as follow Pretty and Polished on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Press Sample
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Spray Marble and Studs - DIOSA Nail Art


Hey folks! Just a quick note before we get into today's nail art. Per the updated FTC guidelines, I will now be including buttons at the top of every post that detail any disclosures I need to make. You can learn more about what they mean by clicking the buttons. Thanks for your patience with any growing pains I may experience with this new system.

Okay! I am really excited about today's nail art. Not only did I try a new technique, but I also tried a new brand, and let me just say that I am enamored with the results of both!

DIOSA Nails is a polish brand whose mission is to honor women and to help tell their stories. DIOSA encourages women to be themselves and inspire their peers. I love that manifesto! For this particular look I used two DIOSA polishes -- Dime Piece and I Sea You. Read on to learn more about the techniques and polishes.


The marbled look was achieved when I tried to do the water spotted effect but sort of half-failed at it. If you're unfamiliar with the technique, it begins much like a water marble would! You place drops of polish on the surface of your water, and then spray it with some alcohol-based fluid like hand sanitizer or perfume. It makes little holes in the polish and when you dip your nails in it, it transfers the spotted effect.


That's all fine and pretty easy to understand, right? Well, when I went to try it, I grabbed an old perfume for the first nail. It worked fantastically! But then, when I went to do my second nail, I found there was some oily residue sitting on top of the water and my next drops of polish wouldn't fully spread out because of it. I guess the perfume I was using must have had some sort of oil in the base? I dumped it out and tried some hairspray next, but it didn't create an even spotted effect, either.

Despite the unexpected spotting patterns, I dunked my nails anyway. I then manipulated the resulting patterns with a little bit of acetone to tailor them to my liking.


The studs and rhinestones in this manicure came from my Nails Inc Bling It On: Rebel set. I'm sure you can find equivalent studs and rhinestones from almost any online nail art supplier, too.




The grey polish I used is DIOSA Dime Piece. I really love this particular shade of grey, it's light and clean and slightly blue-leaning, I think. Almost like a breaking storm. It requires two coats for opacity and the formula was easy to work with.



DIOSA I Sea You is a highly pigmented blue beauty, and provided perfect coverage in just one single coat. But that's not all -- this one coater had a creamy, buttery formula, too. This means it's fantastic for nail art enthusiasts and plain polish lovers alike!



DIOSA polish is available at www.diosanails.com. You can also keep up with the brand on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shamrocks, Rainbows, and Gold, Of Course!


Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, and you folks know that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do some holiday themed nail art! I went all out this year, including shamrocks, rainbows, and lots of sparkly gold in this double accent manicure.


The shamrock nails were the most difficult to execute. I began with a white base and then watercolored three shades of green over it: China Glaze Gaga For GreenChina Glaze I'm With the Lifeguard, and OPI Jade Is the New Black.

After giving that a chance to set, I painted a black cross down the middle of the nail and used them to form heart outlines (check out my Instagram for a visual). Then I just filled in the rest of the nail with more black, leaving the shamrock cutouts!


The rainbow nail was water marbled. The colors I used are: China Glaze Adventure Red-y, OPI In My Back Pocket, China Glaze Happy Go Lucky, Sally Hansen Going Green, Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, and Sally Hansen Violet Voltage.

It took me a couple of tries to get a marble pattern that I was happy with, but I'm glad I was persistent because I like the way it came out! 


Of course, I had to get some gold in there. What's a St. Patrick's Day manicure without gold? I grabbed China Glaze I Herd That and covered my thumb in its glittery majesty.



Did you do anything special on your nails for the holiday?

Some of the products in this post were provided to me for review consideration.
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