Sunday, December 28, 2014

I Love Nail Polish Ultra Chrome Flakies - Complete Collection Swatch & Review

I Love Nail Polish Ultra Chrome Flakies Collection via @chalkboardnails
If you're a part of the nail polish community, no doubt you've heard and seen all of the hype around the I Love Nail Polish Ultra Chrome Flakies collection! Not only are these polishes stunning, but they come in a wide range of colors to satisfy all of your flakie needs.

All swatches show one coat of the flakie over a black base. Be sure to look towards the edges of my nails to check out some of the more dramatic color shifts, as I've shot my nails at an angle to show as much of the multichromatic effect in one photo as possible. I've also tried to arrange my pictures in color order, so you can easily compare some of the more similar shades. Happy viewing!
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Serum No. 5 Fall 2014 Swatches and Review


Serum No. 5, a brand known for their glow in the dark shades, released a large lineup of polishes this fall. I've got swatches to share with you today, including glitters, holographics, shimmers, and of course, their signature glows.

I've also got a quick personal update at the end of this post, for any of you that are curious about what I've been up to lately.
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lacquer Links: The Nail'd It Finale, Meeting Marsala, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Nail Art


I'm obsessed with this "women in politics" nail art by Nails By Mei.

During our last #NailGlossip Twitter chat, someone linked to this Audi brand nail polish! Who knew such a thing existed?

Pantone announced their Color of the Year for 2015! Meet Marsala. Truthfully, I wasn't thrilled with the selection at first, but it's really grown on me. I think it's a really luxe-yet-approachable shade. I wore it recently in Bio Seaweed Gel's Sienna.

This week, I wrapped up the Neiru fine lines workshop! I had a blast learning more about gel nail art. Check out my first, second, and third sets from the lessons.

I was browsing Sephora recently and noticed that a good selection of their awesome matte glitter toppers are on sale! Happy shopping!

Jacki's gingerbread house nail art is just... I can't even. It's so cute.

Did you catch the final episode of Nail'd It? Well, we have a winner! Congratulations to all of the finalists and competitors in the show!
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

TUTORIAL: Easy Splattered Floral Nail Art, Inspired by Nail'd It!

Easy floral nail art tutorial by @chalkboardnails
Tonight is the season finale of Oxygen's Nail'd It!, and I, for one, couldn't be more excited to see who takes home the $100,000 prize. THE SUSPENSE!

As a part of their final challenge, the competitors are asked to create nail art inspired by their signature look and artistic point of view. Today, I've got a tutorial for you that includes a taste of my artistic point of view! It includes lots of my favorite design elements, so let's take a look and go on a learning journey together.

P.S. In case you missed my television debut on the show three weeks ago, I'm making my triumphant return on tonight's episode to share a quick, 30 second glitter gradient tutorial!
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Deck Your Nails Out With Girly Bits This Winter

Girly Bits Indie Nail Polish via @chalkboardnails
Let's face it... We don't need an excuse to deck out our nails with gorgeous shimmers, glitters, holographics, and textures. However, why not celebrate the season with luxurious lacquers and fantastic formulas from Girly Bits? Let's take a look at a few of the shades I've tried recently!
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wasabi and Caviar - An Exercise In Linework and Patience

Wasabi and Caviar by @chalkboardnails

Today is my birthday, and if you can believe it, my nails are actually naked right now! THE HORROR! I'm hoping to put something fun on them after I get home from work, but for now, I wanted to share a manicure I spent a lot of time on recently.

I am calling it wasabi and caviar for reasons that I hope are obvious! This entire design is handpainted with regular nail polish. It's some of my best linework to date, I think. Hooray for improvement there!
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Monday, December 1, 2014

Deborah Lippmann Celebration Nail Lacquer Trio Swatches and Review

Deborah Lippmann Celebration Trio via @chalkboardnails

Deborah Lippmann has been a busy gal this holiday season! There are lots of great mini lacquer sets available from the brand right now, and one of them is the Celebration Nail Lacquer Trio, made for Deb's 15th anniversary. The three polishes come in a nice gift box with an artistic marbled background featuring the shades in the set.
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Monday, November 24, 2014

This One's For My Mom: Circus Animal Cookie Nail Art

Circus Animal Cookie Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

My mom is unable to eat chocolate, so she's always had a few non-chocolatey sweet treats she favors. Peppermint ice cream, German raspberry candies, and Circus Animal cookies were some of her top picks when I was growing up. Personally, my pick out of those would be the Circus Animals! I've always loved the colors of the rainbow sprinkles against the pink or white frosting. Chocolate preferences aside, it's pretty hard to resist their sugary sweetness.

Mom, this one goes out to you!
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Teen Create Space Beginner Nail Art Workshop (Plus Giveaway!)

Beginner nail art workshop by @chalkboardnails
Recently, a friend of mine reached out and asked if I would be interested in teaching an hour-long nail art workshop for teens ages 12-18 at one of the local libraries here in Arizona. I jumped at the chance; I think the program is SO great. It gives teens in the area something creative to do after school at absolutely no cost to them! I thought a gradient + leopard print design would appeal to the teens, and would be doable in the workshop time frame, too.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TUTORIAL: Give In to the Darkness, Inspired by Nail'd It!

Nightmare-inspired nail art by @chalkboardnails
Have you been keeping up with Oxygen's Nail'd It!, the nail art competition show? I've been watching it every week! I love how it starts off with a client-based challenge, and then moves into the high concept sculptural work. In this week's episode, three previous competitors are back for their second shot at the finale. Their challenge is to create nail art inspired by their nightmares.

Here's an insider tip: if you tune in to tonight's episode, you'll get to see yours truly! I'm sharing a quick tutorial for stenciled star nails during one of the commercial breaks. Eee!
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Monday, November 17, 2014

If Mermaids Were Real, They'd Have Holographic Scales

Holographic Mermaid Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

I remember when I was a kid, I had these My Pretty Mermaid dolls. I loved braiding their bright, plastic hair, and if memory serves me right, their tails even changed color when you put them in cold/warm water! My tastes have matured a bit since then, but I still appreciate that mermaid magic. That's why this nail art was perfect: it takes the cheapness out of my mermaid memories and supplements the look with a refined and elegant nude holographic.
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Lacquer Links: $675 Nail Polish, Multichrome Flakies, Editing Instagram Captions and More

This week I'm starting a new feature called Lacquer Links! I hope to post a Lacquer Link roundup at least twice a month, with some of my favorite juicy bites and morsels of nail news. Think social media, but harder to miss! 

Sephora is selling a limited edition Christian Louboutin lacquer for $675 (!!!). The iconic Louboutin bottle is adorned with 1,800 hand applied Strass crystals. Santa...you listening bro?

FLAKIE MANIA! I Love Nail Polish showed off a couple of mesmerizing swatches of the polishes in their upcoming Ultra Chrome Flakies line (preorder begins today at 11am PST), while GlitterDaze, Darling Diva, and Polish Me Silly announced similar releases. I've got the ILNPs to share with you soon!

Instagram's latest app update allows you to edit captions after an image has been posted! Suck it, typos!

Rescue Beauty Lounge showed off their nail polish collaboration with lifestyle website Refinery29. Check out some great swatches via Kellie Gonzo, Makeup Withdrawal, and Refined and Polished. I'm liking All About Yves and Pretty Gritty!

I love the elegance of this negative space floral design from Paulina's Passions.

Smitten Polish revealed their Holiday 2014 collection. I'll be picking up Between the Baubles and Maple Sugar Candy.

Nail artist power duo Nail Swag and Britney Tokyo have collaborated on a set of colored art gels with gel brand Presto. The collection goes on sale this Sunday 11/16 at naillabostore.com!

This chair is everything.

ChristabellNails is known for awesome negative space work, but this nude look in particular had me swooning.

NYC's got a new glitter-off base coat like the ones previously released from Essence and OPI. No word on if it's out yet -- has anyone seen it in stores?
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Rough and Spotted - Stamping Over Textured Polish

Textured spotted stamping by @chalkboardnails

I don't think it's possible for me to wear textured polish anymore without eventually stamping over it. As I've said before, textured stamping is just so great! It tends to disguise imperfections in the stamping, that may or may not be a direct result of my *ahem* lack of stamping skills. Plus, it looks really interesting to boot!

Last time I wore a stamped textured look, you guys really seemed to like it! This one isn't quite as subtle or glamorous, but has a strange appeal all its own.
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Autumnal Matte Pyramid Dots

Autumnal Matte Pyramid Dots by @chalkboardnails

Is anyone else as obsessed with a matte white nail as I am? I put together this look quickly for an afternoon outing and really loved wearing it. It's super simple, super fast, and super chic. You could easily change up the colors to suit your mood, as well.
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Friday, October 31, 2014

Frankenstein French and Simple Stitched Moons

Frankenstein French and Stitched Moons by @chalkboardnails

Happy Halloween! I was still rocking my flannel nail art yesterday, and was going to leave it on today, but I couldn't let the holiday pass without doing some festive nail art. I did this quick manicure last night, and love the simplicity! It's like a deconstructed Frankenstein's monster, and took maybe 10 minutes to do each hand.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Flannel and Lace - China Glaze Twinkle Collection Nail Art

Flannel and Lace by @chalkboardnails

Tough, rugged flannel meets soft and sweet lace! Though I know it's not even Halloween yet, this manicure feels perfect for winter. The Christmas-y plaid with the silver accent has me thinking cocoa and fireplaces. Meanwhile, in the real world, it's still 95 degrees here in the good old desert. Ah, a girl can dream.
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Textured Ruby Stars

Textured ruby stars by @chalkboardnails

Today is The Lacquer Legion post day and this month's theme is "after dark." I've got no shortage of Halloween nail art, so I've gone with something in a different direction this time. After dark... the stars come out! (But still kind of in a Halloween-esque color palette. Can't help myself.)
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Are You Afraid of the Dark? - Spooky Eyes Nail Art

Spooky eyes nail art by @chalkboardnails

There's still time to squeeze in a few more Halloween nail art looks! This look is reminiscent of my Simple Spooky Eyes design from 2011, but with a bit more complexity added and a few twists. Not to mention, quite an upgrade in quality! This is also serving as my entry into the JINsoon Halloween nail art contest.
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Giant Leopard Moth Inspired Nail Art

Giant leopard moth nail art by @chalkboardnails

As a person with a desk job, I often find myself browsing Reddit on my breaks for sweet photos, interesting news and makeup inspiration. Recently this photo of a giant leopard moth from user /u/Toblerone44 made it to my front page, and I loved it so much I had to try to replicate it on my nails. It's such a crisp pattern, and looks so delicate and beautiful but graphic at the same time.
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

CND VINYLUX Gilded Dreams for Holiday 2014

CND VINYLUX Gilded Dreams Collection via @chalkboardnails

CND's newest release is their Gilded Dreams collection, a trio of three holiday-appropriate shades that are described as "Marie Antoinette meets Cinderella." My swatches show the VINYLUX shades, a gel-lacquer hybrid system (including topcoat) that claims week-long chip free wear. The holiday release also includes matching Shellac shades, as well as Additives and new holiday Scentsations lotions.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Black Blooms Floral Nail Art

Black blooms by @chalkboardnails

Though this design isn't explicitly Halloween, it is pretty morbid/somber and definitely seasonally appropriate. These black roses are a variation of my sweet rose floral nail art that I shared during the 31 Day Challenge, with a monochromatic twist. I paired the black blooms with ugly/pretty chartreuse leaves for a pop of color.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nailbox Pre-Fall '14 Trendbox Geometric Gradient Nail Art and Giveaway

Geometric Gradient Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

As you may recall, back in August I showed off the Nailbox Pre-Fall 2014 Trendbox, which I curated! The box includes four nail polishes plus a matte topcoat, and I've used all five bottles in my nail art today. Nailbox has also given me the chance to offer a giveaway for the box, so head to the end of the post to enter to win!
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Color Club Seven Deadly Sins Collection Swatches and Review

Color Club Seven Deadly Sins Collection via @chalkboardnails

One of Color Club's newest collections is called Seven Deadly Sins. It's a collection of seven textured nail polishes in indulgent shades. The textures are very low profile (read: not too rough) so if you are a fan of texture but don't like 'em scratchy, these are a great option for you. There are a few winners here and a few I'm not crazy about. Let's check them out!
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Cirque Colors Metropolis Collection Swatches: September and October (Glossy & Matte)

Cirque Colors Metropolis Collection Swatches via @chalkboardnails

Cirque's newest offering is their Metropolis collection: a series of creme nail polishes inspired by New York City. There are new polishes added to the line every month, and today's swatches cover the September and October releases. These polishes are all normal glossy cremes, but since I'm obsessed with all things matte, I wanted to share the shades with a matte topcoat as well. I think they all translate beautifully to matte.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Chalkboard Nails Halloween Nail Art Rewind

Halloween Nail Art Ideas by @chalkboardnails

I've done my fair share of Halloween manicures over the years, for sure. It's fun to get into the spirit of the season with spooky nail art, and there are just so many ways to interpret the theme. Take a trip with me through the Chalkboard Nails Halloween nail art graveyard to visit with the ghosts of my favorite manicures past.
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Glam Polish Welcome to Storybrooke Collection Swatches & Review

Glam Polish Welcome to Storybrooke Collection via @chalkboardnails

Glam Polish has a new collection out, Welcome to Storybrooke, inspired by ABC's TV show 'Once Upon a Time'. I personally watch and enjoy the show; not only am I a sucker for fairy tales slash anything Disney related, but there's lots of good eye candy for both ladies and the fellas. Speaking of eye candy, let's take a look at these Glam Polish shades!
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hugs for Emily - Neon Blocked Ikat Nail Art

Neon blocked ikat nail art by @chalkboardnails

Today's nail art is inspired by the talented and kind Emily from Very Emily. Emily has been going through a tough time lately, so a few of her blogger friends got together to show our support by taking inspiration from one of her manicures. Though I wish I could do more from across the world, I wanted her to know that we all care about her and will be there for her.

For my look, I was inspired by Emily's Summer Ikat Nails. I added a twist to it, doing my neon blocking horizontally rather than vertically, and throwing in some black and white splatter studs.
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Monday, October 13, 2014

TUTORIAL: Midnight Smoke Nail Art Inspired by The Sorcerer Heir

Midnight Smoke Nail Art Tutorial by @chalkboardnails


I'm happy to be a participant in the World of Weir Blog Tour today, leading up to the release of Cinda Williams Chima's new book, The Sorcerer Heir. Not only do I get to do some inspired nail art, but you guys get a new video tutorial! This magical, eerie smoke effect is really much easier than you might guess.
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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Grey Herringbone Nail Art

Grey Herringbone Nail Art by @chalkboardnails

After posting my first metallic herringbone nail art, I felt compelled to do another herringbone pattern! This time, I wanted to do my lines a bit smaller, thinner, closer together. I paired a light and dark grey, and after I had finished the pattern I decided it would look nice if I filled in some of the spaces with more colors.
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Serum No. 5 Swatch Spam


I've been hoarding some Serum No. 5 swatches (and have even more to come at some point in the future) so today we're going to do a good old fashioned swatch spam! This little collage doesn't even show all of the shades I've got lined up for you, so hit the break and let's get going!
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bright-to-Vampy Sexy Pink Gradient

Vampy pink gradient by @chalkboardnails

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw a shot of this manicure quite a while ago. It took me a bit to get it up on the blog because of the Challenge, but here we are! This girly-yet-vampy gradient was a huge hit when I previewed it, probably because it's hard to resist the moody gradient with a pop of color.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

OPI Pink of Hearts Duo for 2014 Swatches and Review

OPI Pink of Hearts 2014 via @chalkboardnails

This October, OPI has launched its 8th annual Pink of Hearts promotion for breast cancer awareness. Along with the release of the polish, OPI will also be donating $25,000 to the Susan G. Komen foundation. As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please be sure to follow these steps to give yourself a self-examination for the disease.
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Monday, October 6, 2014

Metallic Herringbone Nail Art

Metallic herringbone nail art by @chalkboardnails

Here's a pattern I haven't tried before: herringbone! I gave it a go with some metallic shades for a look that feels very "Gatsby" to me. If I had a black base it'd be pretty on the nose, eh? Halfway through the pattern, I alternated the way the herringbone was going for a little extra twist on the look. Is this a look you would wear?
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Saturday, October 4, 2014

The 31 Day Challenge 2014 Roundup Post

The 31 Day Challenge 2014 Roundup by @chalkboardnails

During the month of September, I tackled the 31 Day Challenge for the fourth time ever. As always, it lived up to its "challenging" name, but I successfully completed it without missing a single day! One of my favorite parts of the challenge is looking at the completed body of work, so here we have it, the roundup post! You can also check them out on my 31DC2014 Pinterest board.
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

All #HailTheNail With a Twitter Party For the Premiere of Nail'd It!


As I'm sure you guys know, there's a new TV show on the horizon and it's all about nail art. Nail'd It! is premiering at 9pm EST, Tuesday October 7th, on Oxygen, and you KNOW I'm gonna be all over that.

But that's not all!

To celebrate the premiere, I'll be joining a fabulous group of influencers to host a Twitter party leading up to the first episode! Join the conversation by following and tweeting with #HailTheNail, Tuesday October 7th, beginning at 8pm EST.

I'll be cohosting alongside All Lacquered Up, Julie G. Beauty, From Head to Toe, and Wet Paint. Judges Jan Arnold, Elaine Watson, and Tom Bachik will be joining in as well! We'll have tutorials, Q&As, and giveaways.

Giveaways? Oh yeah.

Throughout the hourlong chat, you'll have opportunities to win a prize package that contains:
  • The 5 Borough Package from Fingertip Fetish by Adrienne Bailon
  • A CND hand care set including Almond Hydrating Lotion and Citrus Nail Soothing Creme
  • Oxygen goodies like a nail mat, mirrored nail files, pens, and a noteboook

When the chat comes to an end, I invite you to stick around and live tweet the first episode with me! I hope we'll see you there for the party, don't forget to mark your calendars! And if you haven't watched it yet, be sure to check out an exclusive first look at one of the Quick Dry Challenges from the show.

Disclosure: This post and my participation as a cohost of #HailTheNail has been sponsored by reps for Oxygen.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Congratulations 31 Day Challenge Finishers!

We did it! We made it all the way through the 31 Day Challenge. Congratulations to you, it's no small feat! The Challenge is intense, but many of you have conquered it. The #31DC2014 tag on Instagram alone has over 19,000 images! WHOA!

To celebrate your dedication and nail art prowess, I've commissioned some badges from the wonderful Ling Yeung. Grab one and display it on your blog with pride! I've included the HTML code below each badge, or you can save the image to your computer and upload it that way.

If you want to display a badge on your Instagram, click the following links for larger versions of the images that you can save to your phone and repost: Blue, Green, Pink, Orange, Purple, Red.









If you're still plugging away at the challenge (maybe at a different pace or a few days behind), feel free to come back and snag a badge when you complete it!

Stay tuned for my #31DC2014 roundup post, and congratulations again to all of you. I had a blast and I loved keeping up with everyone's work. Now to go take a hundred year nap.
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Chunky Sweater Nails Inspired by Very Emily

Chunky sweater nails by @chalkboardnails

Today is the final day of the 31 Day Challenge! This month both flew by and went very slowly. Isn't it weird how time does that? The final prompt is "honor nails you love" and I've chosen Very Emily's knitted nail art design. I'm not a knitter myself, but I have been known to enjoy a good sweater! I'm totally enamored with the combination of soft shades and patterns in Emily's work; it feels very "winter luxe" to me.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Star Bright - Reverse Stamped Glow in the Dark Stars

Glow in the Dark Reverse Stamping by @chalkboardnails

We're almost at the end of the 31 Day Challenge! Today's prompt is "inspired by a tutorial" and I took the opportunity to try reverse stamping, a technique I've never tried before. I always like the results other people get from it, and the Challenge is all about pushing yourself, so advanced stamping seemed like the way to go. I did struggle, but the finished product doesn't look too shabby! I used this tutorial from Drama Queen Nails for my guidance.
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