Wednesday, November 30, 2011

piCture pOlish Denim

Today's post features the last of my piCture pOlish giveaway wins! You can check out the other two polishes here: Jade Curtains and Firsts - piCture pOlish and Stamping.

The final color that I picked out is Denim. It is one of their more popular shades, and for good reason! Denim is a really complex color. It is a dusty blue that often leans towards purple. It has little white flakies in it that really add a lot of dimension, as well as a violet microshimmer! The shimmer did not show up as well as I would have liked in these photos, but trust me, it is visible in person!

It's a very wearable blue, as far as blues go. It's not too bright or obnoxious, but it still has so much going on, and the color is really beautiful.

And here is a macro shot so you can get a better idea on the composition of this polish. You can sort of see the shimmer here, but it doesn't look violet like it does in person.

I am so pleased with the choices that I made for my three piCture pOlishes, and I just want to thank Alina for hosting the giveaway! piCture pOlishes are beautiful, wear excellently, and go on smoothly. I hope to get my hands on some more of them soon! :)


Monday, November 28, 2011

Leopard nail modeling, with special guest!

Today's post is a bit of a unique one! It combines two of my passions: doing nails and PHOTOGRAPHY! Some of you know this already, but I actually got my degree in photography in college. I still try to work in part time photo jobs when I can!

My sister Kelsey, who lives in California, came home for Thanksgiving and asked me if I would do her nails. I said, "DUH." We decided on a Tiffany blue leopard print pattern, to go with her new leopard jacket. Then, we decided to do a photo shoot with both items!

So, these nails were done by yours truly, and the photographs were taken by me, too. My sister did her styling -- clothes, hair, makeup, and posing. :)

Here is a close up of the manicure. I used Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Whirlwind White, China Glaze For Audrey, and Wet N Wild Black Creme. The pattern was freehanded with a dotting tool.

Check out them claws!

This is, of course, a small sampling of the photos that we did during the shoot. We also did some sibling pics after my 12 year old brother started photobombing us...

Anyway I think that this shoot turned out great, and I love the nail color combination, too! This was a fun departure for me from my regular nail posts, and I hope you enjoyed seeing a peek of another passion of mine!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

China Glaze Velvet Bow and Essie As Gold As It Gets

I purchased China Glaze Velvet Bow from their Let It Snow collection for this year. It is gorgeous on its own, and I wish I had taken pictures of it alone. It is this really beautiful deep red, and it is the consistency of a jelly, so when you are in the sun the color really lights up. When you are in the shade, it becomes this vibrant, rich dark red.

So I did that first as a base, and then I added one coat of Essie As Gold As It Gets, which is from their recent Luxeffects collection (in drugstores now). It is a clear base with tiny gold flakies in it. I love flakies, but I guess I prefer them larger. These flakies were a bit too small for me and it wasn't as dramatic as I was hoping it would be.

So yeah, I was not a huge fan of this combination:

It look very Christmas-y, right? I don't know what it is about this combination that just wasn't working for me. The picture above is a good demonstration of what Velvet Bow looks like in the shade. Very dark and vampalicious.

Here's what it looks like with some more lighting on it.

See how it becomes brighter and more colorful? And you can almost see down into the layers of jelly? Cool effect, but damn me for putting that Essie on top.

And here is a macro of this manicure. As you can see there are like, MICRO MICRO flakie pieces as well as flakies of larger sizes.

Don't get me wrong, the Essie polish is really pretty! I think it was just the color combination that I wasn't feeling here. They were both great separately.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

My polish organization

Good afternoon everyone! Today's post details how I organize my nail polish stash. This was a request from a reader, and I thought it would be a fun post to make, too!

So, for starters, I use one red Helmer to organize my polish collection. All of my polish fits into it. I keep a separate plastic bin type thing to keep all of my manicure supplies, which will not be included in this post. That bin holds things like foil, tape, acetone, cotton pads, half moon paper reinforcement stickers, files, etc.

The top drawer of my Helmer holds regular base coats and topcoats, matte topcoats and my holo topcoat, as well as nail wheels, nail art pens, and polish pens.

The next drawer down holds OPI and China Glaze. You will see in the rest of these photos that I organize by brand but then not much else after that. One of these days I will reorganize by brand and then by color (within brand categories).

The next drawer has Color Club, Zoya, Revlon, Kleancolor, Orly, Ulta, Essie, Del Sol, Nubar, NYX Girls and Barielle.

The next drawer has Wet N Wild, Sally Hansen, Sinful Colors, Essence, and then some random brands that I only have one or two of -- L'Oreal, Milani, Dare to Wear, Nina Ultra Pro, Hard Candy, Love and Beauty, snowman and pumpkin polishes.

The next drawer down isn't organized very well. It's the drawer where I keep all my frankening supplies and frankenpolishes! In here you will find frankens, empty bottles, loose glitter, leftover polish, etc.

In the last drawer I keep all of my special polishes... rares, expensives, hard-to-gets, or ones that are just special to me! This is where I keep my Deborah Lippmanns, Nfu Ohs, piCture pOlishes, Ozotics, and Lynnderellas.

So that's it! All of my polish has a home safe inside my sexy red Helmer. I hope you enjoyed seeing how I keep all of my polish organized!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grey Matters Gradient

Today's nails are a really easy but very pretty glitter gradient! You only need two polishes for this -- a base color and a dense glitter in a clear base.

I started with a base of two coats of Misa Grey Matters. Okay you guys, I am seriously in love with this polish. It is amazing. Such a smooth medium grey, but then it also has dark flecks of dark grey in it. It's so beautiful, it looks like a wool coat or a river stone or something.

Then I took China Glaze Lorelei's Tiara (from their new Eye Candy collection) and painted it messily backwards down from the tips. I did one thinnish coat over the top third of the nail and then added extra glitter at the very tips to make it more dense there. I only picked up three of them, but I'm sure any of the Eye Candy glitters would work nicely for gradients. 

I love this gradient! Rebecca mentioned that it seemed very winter appropriate to her and I have to agree! Here are the two polishes I used in their natural habitats...

If you are doing this look, make sure your glitter of choice is dense. It's hard to achieve a gradient effect with a sparse glitter; it'll end up just looking like you did a poor application job most of the time.

Here is a close up of this manicure so you can see how pretty Grey Matters is. I'm seriously over the moon about this polish. You can snag one at Transdesign.

I hope you all enjoyed this manicure! Have a fantastic Thanksgiving and try not to get trampled to death on Black Friday!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Pretty Paisley

Good morning! Today I have some nail art for you! It's been a while, huh? :)

This pattern was suggested by my dad's cousin, Linda! She said she would love to see me do some paisley nails so I thought I'd give it a shot. I later mentioned to my 12 year old brother that I was gonna do this idea, and he told me that he had already suggested that to me before. After he said that, I realized that he was right... so this one is dedicated to both to Linda and my brother Max!

These nails were not my easiest design ever! They took quite a while to finish them!

I started with a base of China Glaze For Audrey. Then I added on the paisley bits in Zoya Renee (the pinkish red). I added them as solid bits first and then added more For Audrey in the center of that to give the bits a hollow look.

Then I added the polka dots around the outside of the first bits of paisley in Zoya Robyn.

I added on more paisley shapes then in the second color, Color Club Pucci-licious. Similarly, I filled in the middles with more For Audrey, and then added the polka dots around them in Zoya Renee.

As you can imagine, I then did the same with Zoya Robyn and surrounded it with Pucci-licious.

This is a very busy design but it looks really nice from afar, especially. I think if I had this to do over again a second time, I would probably choose a base color that was wildly different than the colors I put on top of it.

These photos aren't the most color accurate that I've ever done... my camera struggles with purples and blues so I did the best I could! But the pinkish color looks more red in these photos, and For Audrey has a touch more green than it is appearing here.

I hope you like this design! I am pretty pleased with it for my first stab at this pattern!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

OPI DS Sapphire

Wow, I have been slacking with the posts lately! I have been so busy that I haven't had time to change my nails as often as I'd like. But, that's that! On to today's polish... 

OPI DS Sapphire!

I found this polish randomly alone on a table at a supply store that I frequent. I asked it if it wanted to come home with me, and it said "Of course I do!" So I brought it to the register and snagged it for only $7.50, which isn't bad when you are talking about DS holos.

Here it is in indirect sunlight. As you can see it still has some nice depth to it. These photos make it look blue, which it does sometimes, but it also looks grey part of the time (which I liked)!

And here it is in sunlight...

And here is another indoor shot, but this time underneath a stovetop light.

Isn't it pretty! I'm not usually a huge holo head but sometimes even I can't resist the call. :) It looks very silvery a lot of the time but has a definitely blue tint. I'm glad I picked it up!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Adopt A Polish

Hello my sweetest of readers! Today I have a bit of an unusual post for you. It's about a new nail polish adoption organization. Maybe you've heard about it from other bloggers!

It's called Adopt A Polish, and it is a wonderful organization that finds loving homes for polish in need. It's not a joke! Here's how it works:
  1. You go visit, and read the profiles of the brand new, unused polishes that are looking for a new home.
  2. You leave a comment on the polish profiles explaining why you would provide the best home for that particular polish. Be creative, because then...
  3. ...the people that run the organization choose the person that they think would take the best care of the polish based on the answers they receive in the comments.
  4. Adopt A Polish covers all of the expenses of getting the polish to you if you are chosen!
  5. You and your new polish get to enjoy your life together.
The website is really cute and clever. Check out this photo of poor Charleston Essie, taken from the adoption site...

Isn't that just heartbreaking? The tiny crutches!

So go check it out and potentially give a brand new polish a new home and a new lease on life -- for FREE! The first application period will be closing December 31. is run and funded by the people at NailPolishCanada, but the adoptions are open to residents of the US and Canada.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zoya Half Moons

Today's manicure is a half moon featuring two Zoya colors: Charisma and Robyn.

I started with a base of two coats of Charisma, which is a neon purple. As it is a neon, it went on streaky at first but evened out pretty quickly, and then it dried matte. It looks pink in these photos and in direct sunlight but is actually a pretty dark purple in regular indoor lighting. I think it's the jellylike quality of it that is doing that.

I added a fastdry topcoat to the base coat and let that dry. Then, I added the paper reinforcement stickers to my nails and painted over them like a tape manicure to get the half moon shape. The top color is Zoya Robyn. It's really pigmented and covered great in one coat. LOVE it.

I like this manicure, but there is something about half moon nails that just seems weird on me. I think I might be feeling that way because the combination of my square nails with the round half moons makes a weird shape contrast. I don't know.

Anyway, I really liked this color combo, even though I was not feeling the half-moonage! Robyn is a must have Zoya, I think!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Yellow Flowers and a Charity Ball

Hi everyone, I hope you had a lovely weekend!

Today I am showing you a set of simple floral nails that I put together for an event I was going to this weekend. It was called the Giving Hands Ball and it was put together to help raise money for Singleton Moms, an organization my Mom is very involved with. She even got an award: Care Coordinator of the Year! Congratulations Mom, I'm so proud of you!

Singleton Moms is an Arizona-based organization that provides financial and emotional support to single parents (dads too!) with cancer. They cook the parents meals, help them clean their homes, give them money for rent, drive them to and from their chemotherapy, and become their emotional support. It's really a great organization, and if you want to read more about it, check out the Singleton Moms website.

So, on to the nails that I wore for this event...

This is a base of Color Club Antiquated, from the Foiled collection. It's a pretty champagne foil that looks silver in certain lighting. Very shiny. Then I added on the yellow flowers with either a large or small dotting tool (just put five dots in a circle and fill in the middle) in Color Club Almost Famous from their Poptastic collection. Then with the small end of my dotting tool, I added the brown centers in China Glaze Street Chic.

I did these nails to match my dress, which was also yellow. I was the only person wearing yellow and I was very pleased with myself, haha. I loved the dress, and it was mega comfortable, and I felt great in it. Here is a pic of my sis and I rocking out on the dance floor after dinner.

I thought these nails were understated enough to be appropriate but still interesting and fun enough to appease my nail-addict brain.

I had a great time at the event and I hope you will look into learning more about Singleton Moms or other local aid-based charities near you!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jade Curtains

Gooood morning! Last night I was craving something dramatic and bold, but still simple and clean. I remembered pinning an image from this post by Nail Stories to my nail board and thought it would do the trick. This style is SO simple and a real stunner!

For my base I used piCture pOlish Jade, which is a really bright and vibrant green with a hidden silver shimmer. The shimmer particles are TINY but really beautiful and they add a great effect to this polish. As with Wisteria, I didn't have any issues with application.

Then, I took China Glaze Liquid Leather, the shiniest black that I own, and painted on these little curtains. I just applied them on with the brush, freehand. Once they had been drying for a bit, I applied topcoat to make them ultra shiny.

Nail Stories described these as curtain nails, and I have to agree! I followed through to HER source and I guess they originally started as heart nails, though in the inspiration ad the model had pointy nails that added to the heart effect. We'll just stick with curtains. :)

(Though, I have been musing about calling them "butt nails" or "cleavage nails." I'll let you decide what you want to call them.)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Carmen Miranda Ruffle Mani

Good morning dear readers! Today I have a rather intense and fabulous mani to share with you. Let's just dive right in! Without further ado, I give you ...*drumroll*... the Carmen Miranda Ruffle Dress Mani!

If you are scratching your head right now and asking "What the hell is this?" then you should check out my inspiration - Carmen Miranda, the fruit hat lady! (Well, apparently this photo is of a lookalike. But you get the idea.)

Anyway I actually did this mani before I decided that it looked like a cha-cha ruffle skirt, but that is neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is... IT DOES! And I love it!

Okay, now I suppose I should list the polishes I used. I better take a deep breath first.

In order from base coat to tip of the nail:
Color Club - Pucci-licious
Color Club - Twiggie
Color Club - Poptastic
Color Club - Almost Famous
Zoya - Robyn
Color Club - Wham! Pow!
Rimmel - Wild Orchid
OPI - Who the Shrek Are You?

I accomplished this look with the help of a large dotting tool. I started with the base coat of Pucci-licious, and then added the row of dots closest to the cuticle in Twiggie. Then on top of that, I added Poptastic so it was overlapping the row below it a bit. I continued that process until the whole nail was covered in ruffles. It created a really pretty scalloped look that has a lot of impact.

I hope you guys liked today's mani, I've got to go cha cha into the sunset! See you next time!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip

Hey guys! I am wiped out today but I'm going to try to accomplish some nail art! We'll see how it goes...

Tonight I am showing you a manicure that I like to call Mint Chocolate Chip. Let's take a look at why:

The base is Essence Color & Go in You Belong to Me. It's a really pretty minty green color that can look slightly blue in some lights. It's really pretty, and only $.99 at Ulta! It seriously applied like a dream. Better than some of the more pricey polishes that I own. I love it!

Then obviously I added Wet N Wild Tangled In My Web to the top of it. TIMW is from the On the Prowl collection that was just out, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find it out in stores anymore. Some may show up on eBay, but I'm sure it won't be a very fair price, I'm sorry to say.

Aaaand that's it! I only have one pic today but I don't really have a good reason for that, haha. Hope you all had a nice Thursday. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So who wants to see the most epic thing ever?

One of my polish besties Michelle, from Sonoma Nail Art, was asking around the other day about what she should paint on her nails for her next nail art manicure. I immediately responded with "my face" because I am an extreme narcissist, not thinking she would actually do it...

Another polish friend Laurie (the same one from my franken post) suggested that Michelle paint the Loch Ness monster. Michelle decided to combine both of our suggestions into a battle royale manicure -- me vs. Nessie

Here is Michelle's finished manicure. She is one of the most talented nail artists that I know, and I hope you all will go check out her blog. I am the one on her thumb, in case you thought I was the sea monster.

And HERE is the picture of me that she based her nail art off of, so you can see how INCREDIBLE she is at nail art! Isn't it insane? She even included my earrings in the nail art! Gotta love that level of detail.

Now, I'm sure you are wondering who wins this epic battle of the ages!

Well you'll just have to go check out Michelle's post to learn who is the victor. It is revealed at the end of the amazing and hilarious video that she filmed of me and Nessie duking it out.

Quick Stamping Process Post

For today's post I am going to be showing you a bare-bones stamping process overview.
A big thanks to Rebecca at Rebecca Likes Nails for teaching me the ways of the master stamper.

The Tools
First of all, you will need plates! There are tons of plates out there. I particularly like the designs that I've seen from Vivid Lacquer and Nailz Craze, but there are many more fantastic brands including Bundle Monster, MASH, MoYou, Winstonia, Messy Mansion...the list goes on!

You will also need a stamper. This little doodad is also from Amazon. It has a larger end and a smaller end. The ends are rubbery, and I filed mine a tiny bit with a rough nail file to get them to pick up the image better.

You will need a scraper. There was a metal Konad brand scraper included with the stamper, but I learned from the pros that an old, empty gift card or something similar works best. The Konad metal scraper can scratch the plates, too, which we don't want!

You will also need stamping polish. Rie from Nails and Noms reminded me of this great tip and I wanted to make sure you guys read it: if a polish goes on opaquely in one coat, it will probably make a good stamping polish. Most metallics work well, as well as most Sally Hansen Insta Dri polishes.

The Process
Paint your polish over the stamp stencil that you want to use. Make sure that you cover all of the stamp! I use a pretty generous drop.

Take your scraper or old gift card and scrape off the excess polish. I learned that a 45 degree angle is best for this! Do a smooth, fluid scrape, and don't press too hard. You may have to experiment to get the pressure right.

Grab your stamper (work as quickly as you can!) and roll it over the image on your plate. Only do one pass, rolling from one side to the other side.

Using the same rolling motion that you used to pick up the image from the plate, press the image on to your nail. Add topcoat and you are done!

To clean your plates, take a Q-Tip dipped in 100% pure acetone and rub the plate with it to remove the polish. It will leave some streaks on the plate but it will not damage it. I clean my plate every few stamps to keep the transfers clean, and then obviously when I am finished.

Hope that was helpful for those of you that aren't familiar with stamping. If you want further tips and tricks, check out Rebecca's stamping FAQ post.
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