Monday, October 31, 2011

Let's franken! Inspired by Butter London's The Black Knight

Hello dear readers! Today's post is a doozy. VERY pic heavy! So I'm gonna be a party pooper and put this post under a jump. SO SORRY! Get prepared and start heatin' up your high speed internet!

Have you ever frankened before? It's the process of combining polishes or polishes and pigments to make "frankenpolishes." When Butter London's "The Black Knight" came out, a few of my Facebook polish friends decided they would try to dupe it -- on the cheap! I have followed both of their recipes to the best of my ability and thought I'd share the processes and outcomes for both.

The geniuses behind these two polishes? Jessica from Hello, Polish! and Laurie N. (no blog)!

Franken A by Jessica, Franken B by Laurie
Franken A, Franken B; slight blur for better color effect

Hit the jump to discover the recipes for each, and see how these polishes look on my nails!


Snow Globe Glitter

Hello everyone! So sorry I haven't had a post in a few days, I have had a very busy and fun Halloween weekend! Today's post is just a quick NOTD. I got China Glaze's Snow Globe this weekend on a little haul excursion. It's from the new winter collection, called Let It Snow! The store that I got it from only had one left, and I of course snatched it right up.

It's a super gorgeous iridescent glitter polish in a clear base. It has large and small hex pieces. There are so many different colors in this, too! Pink, orange, blue, dark blue, aqua...

I wasn't sure what to do with it, though! Should I put it over a lighter color, a darker color, matte, shiny... there were too many choices! I tried a few combinations out on a nail wheel and ultimately decided on this.

Yes, I cut down my nails this weekend, too! :)

I started with a base of China Glaze Liquid Leather. Then I added one coat of Snow Globe (yes, it's this dense in one coat), and finished off the mani with a coat of China Glaze Matte Magic to make the nails matte.

The only thing that I don't love about this manicure is that putting the glitter over black really makes it lose its delicate quality. It's a trade off though, because the bright colors of this glitter really pop over black.

Did you make it this far? Since I don't have many photos for today's post, I'm including a shot of me in my Halloween costume! I was a Day of the Dead senorita. My roommate Dayna of Light and Sugar did my makeup, and I felt so fabulous. She did a great job!

I spy my Helmer filled with polish in the background!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Glistening Spiderwebs

Another morning post, I am on FIRE!

I've got some more Halloween goodness for you today. This is just a simple little design, nothing complicated. I'm sure you've seen a million and one spiderweb designs this season, but TOO BAD! Now you have to look at mine!

For this design I started with a base of two coats of Zoya Petra. It's a really nice smoky gray purpley brownish color. I had a hard time photographing this color, because, SURPRISE, it's a purple. My camera pretty much explodes at the sight of a purple. Trust me though, it's great! I won this polish as part of a prize package for a nail art contest held by Courteney at An Amateur's Nail Obsession. I was so thankful to have won and want to thank Courteney for hosting it!

Then I took a Kiss Nail Art Striper in a gold glitter and painted on the webs. I made the vertical lines first and then the little drapey lines last. The striper was great. I was initially worried about the glitter being too sparse to be usable, but it went on so dense. I only used one stripe for each of the lines in these webs. Faboosh. The brush held the polish awesomely, too. I have tried a Sinful Colors striper before and was not thrilled with it, but this brand was way different!

Finish it off with a little topcoat (I used Poshe this time) and you're done! EASY.

There's not much more to say about this! It looks fun and sparkly from afar, almost like plaid if you squint. It was quick too, which is always a plus.

If you'd like to check out some more spiderweb manicures, Jacki from Adventures in Acetone has done a really nice one in a bit of a different style than mine, and Carly from Lacquered Lover made a cute little webby design. Check 'em out!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Needle Marbling

Hello! Can you believe I'm getting a post out in the morning? Me neither! 

Today I am showing you a new technique for me. It's called needle marbling or needle dragging, and it is harder than it looks! I used this YouTube tutorial for instruction, but it does take a lot of trial and error to get it down. Liquid Jelly also has a different type of needle marble tutorial that you should check out as well.

Of course, I had to make it Halloween appropriate!

So basically this involves putting on really thick layers of polish in stripes, and then dragging a needle lightly through them to create this tie-dye effect. Seems easy, right? Well, I had some troubles, including bald spots, colors that wouldn't drag, flooded cuticles, wobbly lines... it goes on. But I'm pretty pleased with the effect, overall!

I used OPI Skull and Glossbones, OPI Funky Dunkey, and OPI Who the Shrek Are You. I am really getting a lot of mileage out of these Shrek polishes, aren't I?

I think I would do a better job with this if I were to try it again. I think this is truly a "practice makes perfect" technique. Have you guys tried this before, and for those of you who have, did you have an easier time with this method?

I swear I must have redone my ring finger at least 8 times, haha... O_O


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bat Nails!

Can you believe it? I finally got around to doing a set of bat nails! I had been intending to do bats for a while now but everything that I tried just was not working with me. Finally, I came up with this mani idea. It's a bit of a deviation from a standard Halloween bat manicure, but I dig it. I hope you do too.

For these nails I started with a base of OPI Skull and Glossbones. I used two coats of that. Then I added on two coats of China Glaze Ghoulish Glow.

Then, with a small striper brush, I painted on the wings in China Glaze Street Chic. I freehanded them. Then I added on the white strips of ... bones? cartilage? tendons? whatever those things are made of... in China Glaze White On White. I added the black shading randomly in China Glaze Liquid Leather, and then roughly painted on a tiny bit more brown over the white strips to make them look less clean. The eyes were done in the same colors.

THEN, to be sassy, I added another layer of Ghoulish Glow over all of the white areas.

Let's see how it looks in the spooky darkness...

The addition of glow in the dark to my bat mani was actually a request by a reader on my blog Facebook page! Thanks Karlee A. for the great suggestion, the glow really makes this unique!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Wet N Wild Ice Baby Collection: Back Alley Deals

Super late post! I am breaking all the rules!

I have been so busy lately with my job and with some freelance projects that I have gotten a bit behind with my nail posts! Here is today's mani. I took these pictures a bit later in the day so unfortunately they are not up to my usual quality standards, you'll have to forgive me! ;)

Here is Wet N Wild's Back Alley Deals from the new Color Icon Ice Baby collection. I layered two coats of BAD (what a great acronym) over one coat of OPI Funky Dunkey. I don't think it would be hard to achieve full opacity with this glitter polish though. It was a breeze to apply, and went on SO dense.

The colors were hard to capture on this mani, but I think I did a pretty good job in the end! The glitter is TINY purple glitter with small hex magenta glitter. I have heard that it is a dupe for Nails, Inc. Bloomsbury Square!

This glitter is mega hungry. I used two coats of topcoat and the mani still came out bumpy when it was totally dry. Hungry glitter isn't a dealbreaker for me though, so I still love this polish!

I am thrilled with the way this turned out and I am really looking forward to trying out more of this collection!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Festive Green Gradient

If you follow CN on Facebook, you may have read that I was planning on doing bat nail art for today's manicure. What I ended up with has no bats! And is notably simpler!

I was going to use this as the start of my bat mani, but then I got this far and thought, "Hey, I really like this! I should just stop now." So I did. I am quite content with this.

The green and black combo still reads as Halloween appropriate to me.

Only two colors were used for this manicure: Color Club Twiggie and China Glaze Liquid Leather.

The process is pretty simple, I made this gradient with the triangle makeup sponge method. First, paint your nails with your base coat and base color (Twiggie, in this case). Give it some time to dry, or use a quick dry topcoat.

Put some of your other gradient color on a piece of wax paper. Only work with a few drops at a time, I don't want you to waste polish! Take a triangle makeup sponge and tear a little hunk off of it. Dab the textured, ripped edge into the second polish, and then dab the sponge onto the wax paper a bit to remove the excess polish. Start at your tips and sponge color downward. As the polish starts to run out on your sponge, the color will get lighter and fade (helping you create a gradient)! Repeat the sponging a few times until enough color has built up. Topcoat and you're done! Still confused? Rebecca has a great gradient tutorial that you can check out here.

Color Club Twiggie is part of the Poptastic collection. The Poptastic set can still be found at some Ross stores, even though they have more recent sets out now. Twiggie looks like it is glowing in dim light! It is not glow in the dark though, unfortunately.

Gradient manis look even more impressive when viewed at a distance. If you squint or blur your vision while you look at these pics, you can kind of get an idea of how they look at a distance. Gradients are really stunning AND easy!

Hope you like these! Halloween is sneaking up on us! Does anyone have any special Halloween day manis planned? Or exciting costumes they want to share?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wet N Wild Color Icon Ice Baby Collection

I was doing a little bit of drugstore shopping this afternoon when I spotted these! The new Limited Edition Wet N Wild Color Icon collection! The collection itself is called Ice Baby and it is really great, in my opinion. Wet N Wild is really stepping it up lately.

These are a Walgreens exclusive, and retail for $2.99 per polish. They are pretty small as far as polish bottles go, at only .34oz, but the price is still great and these polishes are awesome.

I'm not sure when I will be getting these on my nails, but for now I wanted to show you guys some macro bottle shots. Here are some great swatches on the nail by Makeup Withdrawal if you guys would like to check those out, as well. The colors, Duke, the colors!

Diamond in the Rough

24 Carats

Back Alley Deals

Rockin' Rubies

Give Me a Price Quote

Believe Me It's Real

It's All In the Cut

Cost is No Issue



So uh yeah, aren't these great!? All of the polishes are in a clear base. There are two string/bar glitters, 24 Carats and Give Me a Price Quote. The strings are so fine though that I think they will end up looking less 'hairy' and more soft and fuzzy. That's just speculation though.

Aren't most of these so unique? A really fantastic effort by Wet N Wild.


Purple and Blue Striping

Today's post is a seriously cool stripe manicure. Not to be all, "I'm the best" or anything, but... I'm the best. ;) This color combo is so appealing to me. Here are the polishes I used:

Orly Frolic
OPI What's With the Cattitude?
Color Club Pucci-Licious
Ulta Blue Streak

I had the WORST experience trying to photograph this mani! When I was trying to use my lightbox for pics, the Pucci-Licious and the Blue Streak kept looking like they were the same color, which really ruined the effect of this mani! Thankfully, they showed up better and more color accurately in the morning sunlight, so I went back to my old photo method for these.

So, you wanna do this too? Here's the process. I promise it's super easy! :D
  1. Pick out the four or five colors you want to use. Paint one nail each of the colors. I only picked four colors, so Cattitude got put on both my thumb and pinky.

  2. With a small nail art striper, or other small nail art brush, pick one of your colors and paint a vertical stripe of it on all of your nails (except, of course, the nail that IS that color already). You can place the stripe wherever you want. In fact, I recommend that you put it in different spots on each nail. The random effect is really nice.

  3. Clean your brush with acetone, and repeat with your remaining three colors.

  4. Clean up your cuticles and fingers with a brush dipped in acetone or remover. Let dry for a bit, and finish with a quick dry topcoat (I used Poshe).
Pretty easy! Seriously, the randomness of the stripes really makes this mani nice! You can even make the stripes different widths if you are so inclined.

I think this mani is overall pretty purple. So, I'd also like to take a moment to mention that today is Spirit Day, a day where people are urged to wear purple in support of LGBT youth and to speak out against bullying. Please visit the GLAAD Spirit Day page to learn more about this important cause.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wet N Wild Behind Closed Doors

Whew, good morning everyone! It's been a long day already, and it's barely 9am! Today I just have a swatch post for you, but it's quite lovely and I took the photos differently than I normally do. Please, read on!

Behind Closed Doors is a thin, grey jelly base with large and small red hex glitter in it. It is from the Wet N Wild On the Prowl collection, which is a limited edition collection and should be in stores now (but not for too much longer, I imagine). **If you can't find this, NYX Girls has a polish called Dorothy which is also pretty dupey! It is sold on CherryCulture.**

A number of blogs have done comparisons between this and Deborah Lippmann's Ruby Red Slippers, and the verdict? They are dupes! I don't have the Lippmann, so I can't do a comparison of my own, but here is Behind Closed Doors, which is definitely gorgeous enough for me...

Keep in mind if you are using this polish that it is VERY thin and takes a lot of layers to build up! This is four coats of BCD and two coats of Poshe topcoat. You could layer it over black if you wanted to save on polish, but I chose to just use extra layers of the Wet N Wild.

As with most glitter polishes, let your coats dry before adding another. You want to make sure that your glitter stays in place and doesn't get messed up by the second coat.

This might sound weird, but it seemed to me as I was doing these that the faster I did my brushstrokes, the more large hex glitter pieces would stay on the nail. I dunno. If you are having trouble getting large pieces on your nails, try using fast strokes.

So, as far as having taken these photos differently... I took these photos in my new lightbox! I made it for under $5 using this tutorial over at Strobist. I have made one before but threw it away when I moved! The perils of having a cheap lightbox, I guess. I decided to remake one so that I could take my photos at night, and then not have to wake up early in the morning before work to use the natural morning light. I'm very pleased with how these pictures look, I'm pretty sure I like them more than my old natural light photos!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wavy French

Good morning! Last night I was looking to change up my mani, but didn't have a lot of time. Of course, I didn't want to sacrifice making it interesting for the sake of saving time, so I did this quick and easy tape mani French.

To get the wavy lines, I cut pieces of tape with scrapbooking scissors. I know I have seen this technique on Chloe's Nails before but I'm not sure if she was the first to do it.

So yeah, the base is Zoya Caitlin, which is a really great dusty cool purple (my camera has a tough time with purples unfortunately). The tips are China Glaze Liquid Leather, but I'm sure you all could have guessed that. :)

The only bummer about this is that I had shrinkage with the Zoya AGAIN... I used Poshe this time so I'm not sure what to do about it. It might be hard to see in these pics because of the angles, but it got pretty shrink-a-licious on my thumb, pointer, and pinky especially.

That's that! I like this look a lot but was bummed about the shrinking. Regardless, Caitlin is a gorgeous color and I like it with my skin tone. Hope you all enjoyed this look, too!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Splatter 2011

This post was written as a guest post but was removed from the original website. I've added the rest of my photos to this post but unfortunately I can't recall which specific colors were used. Enjoy!

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