Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pretty and Polished - Party On My Yacht

Today I have another great polish creation from the lovely Chelsea of Pretty and Polished. I have posted about her polishes once before -- you can check out that post right here.

I have been so impressed with the frankenistas lately! There are so many wonderful creations out in the polish universe right now, and it's kind of stressing me out a little bit trying to get ahold of the ones that I want! :)

Onto today's polish. This one is called Party On My Yacht, and it is amazing.

Party On My Yacht is a sheer white based polish with gold, purple, pink, and green hex glitter. It also has bits of blue bar glitter here and there. The glitter coverage is easy to work with. I just painted on three coats of the polish like it was any other polish, and the glitter dispersed evenly on its own. It was also incredibly easy to control, and I didn't need to do any clean up on this manicure at all. 

After the application was said and done, the manicure was hardly bumpy at all. I put on a thick coat of topcoat and it smoothed out effortlessly.

My favorite part about this polish is the bright pops of color on the sheer white canvas. I love that the glitter in previous layers looks buried, but you can still see it. It's like Mardi Gras mixed with Funfetti cake!

Pretty and Polished polishes can be purchased at Chelsea's Etsy Shop. Party On My Yacht retails for $8.00 for the full sized 15mL bottle. It is a 3-free and cruelty free polish.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lover's Kisses

Good morning dear readers! Today I have my first Valentine's Day manicure, and the first freehanding nail art that I have done in a long time!

I have been calling this "One Million Kisses" in my head all night, although I can obviously see that there are nowhere near that many. HUMOR ME!

This was a tough manicure, I'm not gonna lie to you guys! I think I redid these at least three times. Most of my problems were due to my base color choices being too thick though, and then due to that, my lips wouldn't draw on correctly.

After trying a few colors as bases and watching them flop spectacularly, I gave OPI Rumple's Wiggin' a shot. It went on gorgeously and easily in two coats, and wasn't thick at all. I was so glad that I was able to get it to work. I was really excited about this idea and was getting frustrated when it kept going wrong! I then freehanded on the lips with the small end of a dotting tool. The colors I used were: OPI Manicurist of Seville, OPI Sparrow Me the Drama, China Glaze Heli-yum, and American Apparel Dynasty.

I want to take a quick second to mention that I have worn Dynasty as a full manicure before but didn't make a post about it. The formula is AMAZING and I highly recommend it.

The lips in this manicure aren't perfect -- drawing with a dotting tool is hard! -- but I think that makes it look more realistic, like they are actually tiny little lipstick kisses. Not every kiss would turn out exactly the same.

I just love full nail designs, especially with nail art. This one could be a sister manicure to my Halloween Eyeball Nails, don't you think? Maybe someday I will do a nose manicure and then I will have done eyes, nose, and mouth manicures. Just kidding... or am I?

I know I haven't done a ton of nail art lately, so I hope this makes up for it a little bit. :)


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Floam by Nail-Venturous Nail Lacquer

Today I have a super special polish to show you -- a gorgeous creation from Amy at I'm Feeling Nail-Venturous. It's called Floam, and it is part of her Nail Venturous Nail Lacquers line.

Floam is very unique, and unlike anything else that I have seen before. It is made up of tiny tiny blue and green glitter pieces. Enlarge any of these pics to get a better idea of the texture of the glitter. The last pic in the post will give you a particularly good view of it when blown up. The glitter is so small that when you look at it on the nail, it just looks really cool and speckled.

Sometimes this polish looks more blue, sometimes it looks more green. If you squint at it from a distance, the colors blend together into a turquoise color. My photos show two coats of Floam.

It was named Floam after the 90s toy of the same name. Do you guys remember Floam? Sort of a weird, moldable, textured bubbly thing?


I think the name of this polish is so apt because it really does resemble its namesake!

The texture is bumpy, as you might expect from something that is made up of pure glitter. It's workable though, and the texture could be solved with some Gelous and a thick topcoat.

Application was surprisingly easy. The polish itself was very thick, so I thought it might be hard to apply. Thankfully, it was not! It controlled very nicely, and I didn't have to do any cleanup at all on this manicure. The only thing that I had to be careful about was waiting in-between coats to make sure the previous coat was dry before putting on my next one.

Unfortunately, Amy does not have plans at this time to sell these polishes, as she (understandably!) thinks that it will take too much time away from blogging, which she loves too much! BUT, you guys are in luck! She is holding a giveaway for some bottles of Floam, as well as some bottles of Floam's sister polishes, Pinkerbell and Orange You Unique!??!.

Check out the giveaway over on I'm Feeling Nail-Venturous, and may the Force be with you!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pastel leopard print

After a few posts of whining about my shorties after my nail broke, I decided to shut up about it already and do something cute on my nails. I'm sure many of you will look at these and exclaim that they aren't short, but they are short compared to what I was used to. Whatever though! I'm killin' it, and short nails are awesome. I can type super fast, I don't accidentally maim loved ones, and I save on polish when I paint them!

I started off painting my nails white for this manicure. Then, using ripped off bits of a triangle makeup sponge, I sponged on four different OPI colors: Ogre the Top Blue, Do You Lilac It?, Mermaid's Tears, and Sparrow Me the Drama. I applied these colors in completely random patterns.

Then, I took the small end of a dotting tool and did some leopard freehanding on top of the sponging in white again. It sort of started to look more like a random pattern and less like animal print, but I dig it.

I didn't have any particular inspiration for these nails, I just sort of started messing around with my polish and this is what came out of it! I enjoy this effect a lot and it looks like a pretty pastel rainbow on my hands.

So there are my shorties! I'll admit that maybe I was being a little bit dramatic in my previous posts, but I did lose a lot of length at once when I am normally accustomed to only going down a tiny bit at a time. :)

Hope you like these!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shredded needle drag nails

Hello everyone! This morning I have another set of nails for you guys that I did "pre break," aka the Nailocalypse 2012. I had been eager to try the needle drag technique again after my first attempt, because THIS BEAUTIFUL GENIUS left a comment on my last post suggesting that I try it with a clean striper brush instead of with an actual needle.

As you can see, the effect is a little bit different, but I think it's in a good way! And honestly, this method made this "needle marble" look about a bajillion times easier than the last time I tried it. So exciting!

The only hesitation that I had about this manicure was the color combination. I used Zoya Kennedy, Zoya Petra, and Zoya Renee. I was unsure about it at first, and as time went on I only got more and more confused! I couldn't decide whether I liked it or disliked it. Eventually I decided that I mostly liked it. What do you guys think?

I have a lot of exciting things working around in my brain for you guys... I just have to find time to execute! Keep praying to the Nail Gods for me that my nubbies will grow out quickly! <3


Sunday, January 22, 2012

A jelly sandwich of sorts!

Hello everyone! I have some sad news to deliver... I broke the middle finger nail on my photo hand yesterday, and cut down all the rest of my nails to match it. Of course, I am awful at shortening my nails, so now they are not only incredibly short but awkwardly shaped to boot. Such is life though! Hopefully I can scrounge up enough content to bide me time until they grow out a bit. Honestly I don't mind that they are short, it's the shape that is getting to me!

Today's manicure I had taken photos of, but hadn't posted yet. So these are my old, unbroken nails!

I started with a base of Wet N Wild Black Creme. Then I added on one layer of Sally Hansen Glass Slipper, which is a white flakie polish. I added on one coat of Revlon Royal, which is a blue jelly polish. So technically, this is a jelly sandwich, even though it doesn't necessarily look like many jelly sandwiches that I have done or seen.

It was not my intention, but this ended up looking a lot like Inglot 204, which is a royal blue flakie. So if you like Inglot 204 but don't own it, this is a good way to get the look using drugstore polishes!

Of course, I couldn't stop there, so I added on a coat of gLORIous, a holographic topcoat made my the fabulous Lori. If you have Glitter Gal Silver or HITS Hefesto, they are both similar effects.

I had never seen holo over flakies before, and it is a very interesting effect. It is kind of hard to tell in these photos, though -- here the look just ended up looking like DS Glamour over black.

I hope you guys like this combo! Hopefully my nails will grow out superfast and then I can shape them properly. Everyone pray to the nail gods for me! ;)

Have a nice Sunday!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Guest post at Lacquered Lover

Another guest post?! Check out these jelly sandwich nails that I did as a contribution for Lacquered Lover's Layering Week! View the rest of the photos and polishes used over on her blog


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guest post at Posh for Polish

Hello dear nail enthusiasts! Kelly at Posh for Polish asked me to make a guest post on her blog, and I excitedly accepted! You can find the details on this manicure as well as more photos over on her blog. See you there! ;)


Monday, January 16, 2012

LCN Croco Fever Topcoats

Good morning! I recently learned about LCN's "Croco Fever" line and have been totally obsessing over it. It is a unique type of crackle effect that cracks into a pattern that makes your nail polish look like crocodile skin (scales?).

I'm sure many of you are not a fan of the standard crackle look, and I'm with you there. It just ends up looking kind of messy most of the time, and the look is not chic or elegant at all. The LCN Croco Fever polishes, however, look quite classy and put a unique spin on the same old tired crackle. The other great thing is that, even with a layer of SV, the Croc crackles retain their texture, so if you touch your nails when they are dry, they will feel like you are touching a Croc pattern handbag.

They come in four colors - black (Black Leather), brown (Croco Eyes), burgundy (Ruby Forever), and red (Rescue Red). I picked up all of the colors except the red, which for some reason did not appeal to me as much as the others.

I also recently acquired a set of the OPI Nicki Minaj minis, which includes the three cremes from the collection and a glitter. I paired one of each of the cremes with one of the Croco Fever polishes for today's swatches.

Here are each of the minis with the LCN bottles. You can see that the LCN bottles are a bit smaller than standard polish size; they are 8ml.

LCN Black Leather and OPI Fly

It's hard to pick favorites between the three of these matchups, but if I had to, this would probably be my favorite look. The black goes with basically any polish that you want to wear underneath it, and makes a dark and dramatic statement.

I also want to take a second to say that Fly is my #1 pick from the OPI Nicki Minaj collection. It is the most fabulous teal that I have ever encountered. I feel compelled to pick up a full sized bottle. :)

LCN Ruby Forever and OPI Pink Friday

For some reason the burgundy Croco Fever polish was the one that most reminded me of a handbag. It is a beautiful, rich red in regular light, and in low light it looks dark and vampy. My photos of it appear a bit brighter than it does in person... I had trouble getting this one to photograph well.

OPI Pink Friday DEFINES "bubblegum pink." It is a sweet and light color that still is quite pigmented.

LCN Croco Eyes and OPI Did It On 'Em

This is probably the combination that will be the most polarizing. Many people do not like to wear brown on their nails, but I think that the brown in Croco Eyes is just beautiful. It is luxurious, and if paired with the right base polish, could make a classy and subtle statement.

Of course, I didn't go for subtle, and neither did OPI when they made Did It On 'Em. It is what is considered an "ugly" color. You don't need to buy this if you already own OPI Who the Shrek Are You?. Still, it is a very Nicki color and a conversation starter. I personally love it, but I do already own WTSAY, so it is a bit redundant in my stash.

One thing to note about these Croco polishes is that the application differs a bit from regular crackle polish. Instead of applying it over dry polish, you are supposed to apply it over slightly tacky/somewhat wet polish. LCN recommends waiting four minutes after applying your base color before applying your Croco Top. Check out this application video from LCN themselves.

LCN products can be purchased at http://store.lcnusa.com/ and retail at $9.50.
OPI products can be purchased at various salon and beauty supply locations, and retail for ~$8.50.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

OPI DS Glamour

Today's nails are simple and stunning! I received OPI DS Glamour in a giveaway win from Nailed to the T. When I heard the news that I was the winner... I pretty much went nuts. DS Glamour is a polish that is quite hard to find, and I was over the moon excited to add it to my collection.

Glamour is a blue toned linear holographic polish. It is pretty sheer, so most people layer it over something else (often a blue color). I wanted to go a different route, so I layered mine over Wet N Wild Black Creme. It's just a simple black creme, but when Glamour is layered over it, it turns into a dark and dangerous navy blue holographic manicure.

I was sort of floored by how beautiful this was for such a simple combination.

I love the look of Glamour over blues, but I think that putting it over black really added something unique to it.

Thanks to Taylor for hosting the fabulous giveaway that eventually resulted in me owning this beauty! I can't wait to try layering it over other colors, too! :)


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Polish Earrings

Hi everyone! I mentioned in a previous post that I had been making nail polish earrings for my friends as Christmas gifts. A few of you expressed that you were interested in learning more about the process and seeing some of the stuff that I made. Unfortunately, I have already given away most of the pairs that I had made (since I made them as gifts, and all).

However, I did manage to scrape up a few pictures that I took during the process, so I can at least show you those if I can't show you every pair of earrings that I made! I will also (verbosely) discuss the process later on in the post, so stick around!

I would like to thank Rebecca and Laurie for helping teach me most of this information!

So, what you see above are six pairs of finished earrings. Since I know you are curious, here are the polishes I used to make each pair.

Starting with the black and green pair at the top and working clockwise:
  1. NYX Enchanted Forest and black
  2. Wet N Wild Tangled In My Web and OPI Ogre the Top Blue
  3. Black, Zoya Cola, OPI Legs Celebrate
  4. Lynnderella Gotta Love Brains and China Glaze Sea Spray
  5. Wet N Wild Diamond in the Rough
  6. Lynnderella Connect the Dots and Color Club Poptastic
Here is another pair of finished earrings... UNICORN PUKE! Okay, technically it's Clairvoyant. But I'm calling it Unicorn Puke 4EVA. Four coats, I think...

And a close up, cause I can...

I also made some nice earrings using stamping, but I don't have any photos of that, unfortunately.

To make your own polish jewelry, you will need hardware. Whether you're making pendants, rings, or earrings, there are two basic pieces you will need. One is the little glass bead on top, called the cabochon, and the other is the metal piece, called a backing, finding, tray or blank.

I bought my earrings at CandyTiles, which was nice, because the cabochons ("cabs") came in a package with the blanks. That was particularly nice because I knew that the cabs would definitely fit in the blanks. If you purchase from eBay or some other place and get the pieces separately, make sure that the size of the cab is the same as the size of the blank. These are 12mm each.

Once you get your hardware, you can start creating! Your designs are going to be painted on the flat part of the cabochon (the back). Start by painting the layer that you want to end up on top.

LET IT DRY. I know it is easy to get impatient with these because they are so exciting! But trust me, I learned the hard way! Go do some crunches or something while you wait!

Continue adding your layers until you are satisfied with the completed product. Again, let it dry COMPLETELY. Here are some finished cabochons before they get put into the blank.

Now all you need to do is glue them in! I used super glue gel. You do not need a lot of glue. On some of my first pairs, I put too much glue on, and then when I put the cab in, the glue got squished up and out the sides and dried grossly and looked bad. Just a tiny dot in the center of your jewelry blank will do the trick.

Pop your bead in and press down. Rebecca suggested clamping the bead down with a clothespin while it dries to prevent bubbles from forming. I didn't take that good advice and ended up with bubbles in a few of my earrings. Let it dry for as long as you can stand it! I am pretty impatient, but for best results, letting them dry overnight is a good idea.

And that's it! You are now the proud owner of your very own custom nail polish jewelry. Polish jewelry is a really great way to show off some of your favorite combinations, or to preserve a bit of your favorite HTF polish! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Clarins 230

Did you know that today is my 6 month blogiversary? To celebrate, I'd like to show you some gorgeous unicorn pee!

What's that, you say? No, I'm not some weird mythical creature sexual deviant.

I'm sure many of you know what Clarins 230 is. For those of you that don't, Clarins 230 is one of the rarest nail polishes out there! It has been discontinued for quite some time and it is quite gorgeous. Because of this, it often goes for exorbitant prices on eBay.

Lucky for ME I have an amazing and generous benefactor... my boyfriend! He got me this polish for Christmas, and it was a lovely gift because he knew that I never would have bought it for myself.

Clarins 230 is incredibly sheer, and is meant to be layered! I experimented with a lot of layering combinations. I tried mainly reds and purples, to compliment the red sparkle of 230. But the only one that really spoke to me was a combination that I had seen on The Polishaholic -- Clarins 230 over Revlon Royal.

The blue jelly of Royal gives this manicure a electric brightness, while the sparkle of Clarins mutes the blue just enough. The color contrasted enough that it wasn't just red sparkle sitting on top of a red polish. It was brilliant, really.

Here is the look blurred, so you can get an idea of how sparkly it actually is.

Part of what makes 230 so special, besides being honestly the most sparkly polish that I own, is that the pigment changes colors at certain angles. When the light hits it right, 230 blooms into an electric green sparkle.

It. Is. Amazing.

Here is the beginning of the transition from fiery red orange to green. If you look on my fourth and pinky fingers you can see a sort of amber color before the green.

And here is the green in its full glory. Isn't it marvelous? The great thing about using Revlon Royal as the base is that it goes beautifully with the green, as well. The Polishaholic is a genius for putting this combination together!

Not going to lie to you guys though, this was absolutely the most difficult polish I have ever tried to photograph. I must have taken so so many photos to get it to show up properly, and even then I had to combine a few different white balances for each photo to get both my skin tone and the polish to look nice together. And even still, these photographs don't QUITE capture the magic of this polish! I think I managed to get pretty, close, though.

I am grateful to have received this lovely beauty as a gift. I am excited to use it in a number of other layering combinations in the future. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cool-toned splatter

Hello everyone, happy Monday! Monday is such a daunting day, isn't it? To take the edge off, I thought I'd do a dramatic splatter manicure, which is one of my very favorite techniques.

I started with a base of China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint, though you can't see that very well anymore! Then, I taped off the finger areas surrounding my nail to make cleanup a bit easier.

I splattered on Sally Hansen Going Green first, then OPI Ogre the Top Blue, then Wet N Wild Ink Well, then Orly Frolic. I think that it is a good idea to include either black or white in every splatter manicure, as they really stand out from the other colors you choose to include and add a lot of great contrast and definition.

When I do splatters, I use a regular drinking straw. Some people prefer smaller straws but the regular sized drinking straws work well for me. I dip the straw directly into the polish, and then do a strong and fast puff of air through the straw on to the nail. The speed and strength of the air is the key to getting a good looking splatter effect. For an in-depth step by step on the process, check out this question I answered on Tumblr a bit ago.

I am very pleased with this color combination, in particular. It kind of reminds me of the 80s, or of a Ninja Turtle. The green is clearly the turtle and then the purple would be the color of his eye mask. Which I guess makes this splatter mani Donatello inspired? And yeah, I did have to Google which one wore purple.

I love splatters so much, but MAN they are such a pain! The splatter takes 3 minutes to do, but then cleaning up after it takes 8 BILLION YEARS! The tape makes it easier to clean up the finger, but the splattered polish almost always gets into my cuticles and floods them. Cleaning up 10 flooded cuticles? Not so much fun. Oh well. The things we do for beauty, right? :)

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