Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Hungry Asian's Sneeze Breeze

I imagine that if you aren't aware of the indie brand The Hungry Asian, you are probably quite confused by the title of this post.

But, fear not dear friend! I will get you in the loop!

I only own one THA polish, but it is kind of sort of my dream polish. I give you... SNEEZE BREEZE!

Sneeze Breeze is a really intense glitter polish. The glitter pieces are similar in size to Floam by Nail-venturous Nail Lacquer... VERY SMALL. Think small like sand. It's fantastic. Similar to Floam, this glitter is not sparkly, either.

The polish is a mix of sparrow blue pieces and black pieces. Say it with me now, "SARAH LOVES BLACK GLITTER." I think everyone knows that by now but if you don't, I just dropped a bit of Chalkboard Nails 101 on you there. Sneeze Breeze is really bright and gorgeous, vibrant and moody.

The application of this polish proved to be kind of tricky. These swatches are only two coats, so it is very dense, but it is also incredibly thick. You definitely need to give this one some attention when you are applying.

In addition, it is probably one of the hungriest glitters I have ever met. I used two coats of Gelous and one coat of SV, and by the next morning it was already slightly bumpy again. Not VERY bumpy, but slightly.

I had wanted to buy this back when it was a part of THA's Holiday Set, but I couldn't justify buying three other polishes to get my grubby little mitts on Sneeze Breeze. Thankfully, Kae started selling it alone recently, along with a number of other new polishes! I snatched it up immediately and once it was delivered, I carried it around the house with me. Let's recall my Gollum analogy from a bit ago, cause it was kind of like that.

Sneeze Breeze retails for $8.50 for a 12ml bottle on The Hungry Asian's Etsy store. SB is cruelty free and 3-free. I highly recommend it -- it is more than worth the little bit of extra care you have to give it in application and topcoating.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Here fishy fishy...

Happy Monday! I hope you all had nice weekends.

Today I'm showcasing a mani that I did on Saturday afternoon. I was going out to sushi with a friend of mine that just recently moved back to Arizona, and I wanted to do something cool because I knew she was going to check out what was on my nails.

So, I did another fishtail design. If you'll recall, the last time I did this wasn't that long ago!

I love the fishtail/chevron design because it doesn't take long NOR is it very difficult, but it still looks really awesome.

For this lineup, I started with Orly Fresh as the base. Then I added on layers of China Glaze For Audrey, Zoya Charla, OPI Who the Shrek Are You?, and OPI Fly. The only one I was sort of unhappy with was OPI WTSAY, but only because it wasn't as opaque as the others. I did love the bit of yellowness that it added to the manicure though -- I think it is importance for the color balance.

For those of you that missed the first post or need a quick refresher on this technique, the layers are painted on freehand with the brushes that come with the polishes. It is really a lot easier than you might think to achieve this look! I usually end up with a bit of polish on my finger areas surrounding the nail, but those are easy enough to clean up.

Have you tried this design yet? I think it might be one of my go-to designs from now on!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Elemental Styles - 79 Fool's Gold

Guess what y'all, I have another indie polish to show you today!

This one was created by Whitney of Elemental Styles. She just opened an Etsy shop yesterday, and I've got one of them to show you today (the other one will show up on the blog another day).

The cool thing about Whitney's shop is that all of her polishes are science themed. This one is part of her Transition Metals collection, and is named 79 Fool's Gold. The 79 in the name is a reference to gold's number on the periodic table.

These swatches of 79 Fool's Gold are four thinner coats. It would be a great polish to layer over a gold foil if you wanted to use fewer coats.

This polish is a metallic gold shimmery base with gold and holographic gold glitters mixed throughout. There are a few different sizes of glitter in this polish!

I like the mixture of the shimmery gold pigment base with the matchy glitters.

Application was no problem! I did need four coats for these swatches, but it didn't bother me because this polish isn't thick. The four coats felt like a regular two or three coats of some other polishes.

I don't own a lot of gold polishes, and I'm not actually sure why. I like the look of them... I guess I just don't pick them much over other colors? Anyway, this one is lovely and a great addition to my collection.

Check out Whitney's shop at Elemental Styles on Etsy. 79 Fool's Gold is listed at $7.50 for a full size bottle. (Secret bonus info: I designed her shop header!)

Disclosure: this product was provided to me for an honest review.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spooky Stamping

So, I had this pretty cool idea a long time ago, and I put it on my "Nails To Do" list, and promptly forgot about it. I was browsing the list recently and thought, "WOW, Self, why haven't you done that yet?"

I took out the polishes I needed and got started right away. Here's the final look!

Yep, I'm bustin' out the glow in the dark polish even though it's not even close to Halloween! I just love glow in the dark nails so much, I don't even care what time of year it is!

This is a really easy look to accomplish. Read on!

Start with a light base color. Glow in the dark polishes glow better when they are on light bases. I used OPI Rumple's Wiggin' (yes, again). Add a coat or two of glow in the dark nail polish on top of it. I like China Glaze Ghoulish Glow a lot because it barely alters the color underneath it, but it has a really strong glow effect.

Once you've let that combo dry, then just add your favorite stamp on top! I chose my Konad m63 plate and I used Konad Special Polish Black for the stamp.

I also want to take a second to go over a few quick notes on how to take good photographs of glow in the dark nails. I usually get a number of questions on how to do it when I post a glow manicure and this is good info for anyone to know!

  1. Have your camera turned on with all the settings ready to go. Place it on a countertop or table.
  2. Charge your nails by holding them really close to a lightbulb near your camera for 40-60 seconds.
  3. Quickly shut off the light and move your hand in front of the camera, while still leaving the camera set on the counter. It's best to rest your hand on the counter, too! Doing both these things will minimize blur during the long exposure your camera will need to take.
  4. Press the shutter and try to hold as still as you possibly can.
I like to take my glow pics in the bathroom. I can shut the door so the room gets pitch black, and there is a good countertop right next to a vanity light that makes an easy transition between charging and photo-taking.

I don't know if this has been done before, but I'm pretty proud of myself for thinking of the idea! I love the effect and the stamp blocking the glow is just fun! Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nostalgic Lacquer Andie

Gooooood morning! First of all, I want to say how very excited I am that so many of you have submitted or are planning to submit to the contest! I can tell that it is going to be very difficult for the judges and I to decide.

Today I have another Nostalgic Lacquer for you! You've already seen Rio. Now it's time to meet Andie, part of the Bizarre Teenage Love Triangle Collection.

Andie is a sheer milky pink base with small pink and purpley glitters and large salmon colored hexes. For these swatches I have layered two coats of Andie over OPI Rumple's Wiggin', which is making it look a bit more lavender than if I had layered it over a pink. I'm so into it!

Application was a tiny bit tricky, but not unworkable. I "fished for glitter" a bit to get some of the bigger pieces out, though some of them did come out fine on their own!

Andie has that classic "layered glitter" look where the deeper pieces of glitter are sort of buried underneath the sheer base. I like that the glitter in this polish is sort of sparse -- it's simple but self-assured.

So, what do you think of this one? I really like it a lot, and am seriously contemplating picking up the other two in this collection.

Nostalgic Lacquer can be purchased on Etsy. The latest shop news says there will be a full restock this Friday, so keep your eyes open.

Disclaimer: this product was provided to me for an honest review.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm hosting a nail art contest!

I'm really excited to announce my first nail art contest to you all! This contest is sponsored by Inlinkz, and I want to thank them for providing the prize for our first place winner as well as the program through which you guys will submit your entries!

I thought about the theme for this challenge for a while. I really wanted it to be something simple, that a nail artist of any skill level would feel comfortable executing and submitting. I think I have come up with a fun solution, that will still let your guys' creativity run wild and free. The theme for this nail art challenge is...


By that I mean I want all you to create your nail art designs using only the humble dotting tool. No nail art brushes allowed (though the brushes that come with the polish bottles do count)!

Don't have a dotting tool? That's no excuse! Be creative -- use the tip of a bobby pin or the end of a sewing pin instead!

Here are the rules:
  • Only one entry per person, please.
  • You must do these designs on your own nails.
  • Your design must use a dotting tool of some kind.
  • You can use the brush that comes with your polish to aid in your design.
  • Stamping is discouraged but not prohibited. I really want this to be about the dotting tool and its possibilities!
  • You may not use acrylic paint for your design.
  • You may not use nail art brushes for your design.
  • Your design does not have to be a new design.
  • You must submit your designs through the Inlinkz tool at the end of this post between now and Monday, March 5th. 
  • This contest is open internationally, excluding Italy (Llarowe does not ship there).

Here's how it will be judged:

Submissions will be judged on creativity, originality, and execution. Submissions will be judged by a panel of non-participating bloggers and myself. The panel will be chosen by me (Sarah). All judging decisions are final, and will be made at the discretion of the judging panel.

Here's how you do it:
  1. Get inspired by the possibilities, and then do your nails!
  2. Take photos of your nails, and then post them on your blog or on a free online photo host like Picasa, Photobucket, or Flickr. If you have a blog, this is a great opportunity to get some exposure! Links back to this contest are greatly appreciated but not required.
  3. Click the button at the end of this post to add your entry. Fill out the required fields, including the URL where us judges can find your entry, and submit it.
On to the fun stuff. THE PRIZES!

The first place winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to Llarowe, sponsored by Inlinkz!

Two runners up will receive a surprise package put together by me, valued at $10 each!

If you have questions please leave them in the comments. I will do my best to respond to them in a timely manner. Ready, set, go!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Bright Rose Pattern

Who is in the mood for a seasonally inappropriate summer colored flower manicure? ME!

Those seasonal rules are kind of silly anyway...

This mani was sort of born out of nothing. I put the base color on, China Glaze Gaga for Green, with intentions to just wear it by itself. But it looked so lovely and grassy that I was possessed to put some flowers on top of it.

I started with the purple flowers. I think I used China Glaze Gothic Lolita but I did this manicure at like 11:45 last night and I can't remember for sure (awkward). I mixed white in with the purple and then blobbed that on with a dotting tool. Then I took the regular, unmixed color and painted on the petals with a striping brush. I found it easiest to work from the outside petals inward.

The yellow is China Glaze Happy Go Lucky. The salmony orange color over the yellow is Sinful Colors Boogie Nights. For the blue flowers, I used OPI Ogre the Top Blue and OTTB mixed with white. I don't remember what I used for the base on the light pink but the petals are outlined in Sally Hansen Twisted Pink.

I have really been enjoying having the bright patterned look on my nails today. It is cheery and fun and it makes me happy. Full nail patterns also always make me think of nail wraps (like Sally Hansen Salon Effects), and this one isn't any different! In fact, I had dinner with a friend last night, and she asked me if they were the nail stickers! That was cool. :)

It's starting to warm up here and this mani has me in the spring and summer frame of mind. What do you think?


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pretty and Polished Swing

Who wants to see another handmade polish? It seems like all I do on here lately is indie polish and nail art. Not that I'm complaining! They are two of my favorite facets of the nail community.

Check out Swing by Pretty and Polished. Swing is meant to reference swing music, as in "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing." For some reason though, I can't get past thinking of a playground swing whenever I think of the name. Personal problem.

Swing is a red jelly polish that tends to look slightly pink at times. Black, white, and silver glitter are suspended in the tasty jelly. I only got one piece of silver glitter in this mani -- it's on my pointer near the middle.

The great thing about this polish is you get a jelly sandwich contained within one polish! You get to see pieces of glitter buried at different depths... check out my middle finger. See the glitter that looks pink? Look how DEEP it is under the jelly! And then the pieces towards the top look more white. It's great!

This polish does require a bit of finessing to get the glitter evenly placed and looking nice. This is basically three coats of Swing. I say basically because I applied the first coat pretty much normally. Then I fished out pieces of glitter and placed them at will... and then I kind of evened that out with more of the jelly.

The little bit of extra time that this polish requires is worth it, though. This is one of my most favorite Pretty and Polished creations since Party On My Yacht. You know how I feel about black glitter. ;)

THEN, since I was feeling extra sassy, I mattified this polish (edit: I use Hard Candy Matte-ly in Love). It turned out really neat because it sort of started looking like one of those rubber bouncy balls with stuff suspended in them. Do you know what I'm talking about? I tried finding a pic but none of them were quite right. Anyway, it made it look rubbery and it was cool. See?

Swing can be purchased at Pretty and Polished, and is usually available in both full and mini sizes. It's three free and cruelty free, and sexy to boot. So, get to buying. If you like jelly sandwiches and black and white glitter, I'll go ahead and assume that you've left to go to the shop and you aren't even reading anymore.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heart Cutouts

Happy Valentine's Day! I am celebrating today by spending time with my dearest boyfriend and (trying) to relax a little bit. :) To celebrate the holiday, I did these heart cutout nails.

It is a pretty simple manicure, in theory. I cut heart shapes out of tape and placed them on my nails. I painted over the tape, and then I slowly peeled the tape off. It left the heart shape on my naked nail and the rest of the nail was painted! Then all I had to do was add the white dots with a dotting tool and topcoat.

The majority of the nail is OPI Pink Friday. The white dots were done in Konad Special Polish White, which I have actually been liking a lot for nail art because of how opaque it is.

I did have a really hard time getting this manicure to photograph correctly, but I think I finally got it (or... close enough). I hope your Valentine's manicure plans turned out well, and I hope everyone has a great day full of love, whether you are single or not!


Monday, February 13, 2012

GlitterDaze Love at First Sight Collection

Hello dear love muffins! Today I've got a nice custom polish collection by Sana from GlitterDaze, a brand spankin' new shop on Etsy. 

The collection is called Love at First Sight, and features four glitter polishes that are all inspired by love (just in time for Valentine's Day!). All of the following swatches are three coats of the polish. They were pretty opaque at two coats but three really turned up the volume. I didn't have any trouble with application at all. They didn't require any special attention, just three regular coats and you are good to go.

First up, we have One Grape Love.  It's a red and purple glitter polish in a beautiful berry base. As soon as I laid eyes on this bottle, I knew it would be one of my favorites in the collection, and I wasn't wrong! The color is really vibrant and rich.

Up next, check out Cupid Hit Me. It's a candy pink jelly base with pink and holographic silver glitter. It is hard to see the holographic glitter effect in my photos, but it is really quite sparkly! I was actually not expecting to like this one as much as I did once I got it on my nails. I really loved the way that this one looked with my skin tone. The jelly base is delicate but bright.

First Love is a dusty pink/nude glitter with dark and dusty purple glitter sprinkled in. This was my least favorite of the collection. I think that this would look really nice on someone with a darker skin tone, as this just sort of looked like a glittery extension of my fingers. It is definitely unique though and is a good contrast to the other colors in this collection.

Last up, we have Pure Seduction. This was another standout in the collection for me. It is a gorgeous blend of mostly red and gold glitter. The color combination in this one is what did it for me. It is so rich and vibrant -- kind of like it captured the glamour of a red carpet! Red velvet and gold camera flashes.

Overall, I think that this is a well balanced collection and a nice set for you glitter lovers out there! GlitterDaze polishes can be purchased in the GlitterDaze Etsy shop for $4.50 each. These polishes are mini bottles, so please take note of that when purchasing!

DISCLOSURE: The products in this post were provided to me for review.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's French Tips

Good morning! Today I have a matte vs. glossy French manicure... and of course, as with most things on my blog right now, it is Valentine's themed! This is a simple look that is still festive for the holiday.

You might be thinking that this looks familiar. It is quite similar to a matte/glossy french that I did during the Christmas season! I was actually inspired by that one. I liked the outcome so much that I decided to recreate it!

The main color is Zoya Lolly, which was part of their Mod Matte collection. Lolly is hot pink and a true matte; it's not a suede like Zoya Veruschka or Zoya Savita. As a result, it is much harder to apply.

This is three coats of Lolly, and it is still kind of streaky. Up until the third coat, I also had trouble with bumps in the polish. Still though, it's pretty, yeah?

I freehanded on the tips in OPI Rumple's Wiggin', a super pale purple. I then sealed the Rumple's Wiggin' area with SV to make it extra shiny and protect it!

I really like this mani despite the trouble that Lolly gave me in application. The other two in the Zoya Mod Matte collection are Phoebe and Mitzi. Phoebe is a blue suede (again, similar to Veruschka and Savita), while Mitzi is a chartreuse true matte similar to Lolly. Hopefully I will have those up for you to see sooner or later. :)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nostalgic Lacquer Rio

Nostalgic Lacquer has really been picking up a lot of speed lately in the indie polish market. Erin has been making some really intriguing polishes and they have been flying off of her shop's shelves!

Rio, part of her Truly Outrageous Collection, is a lovely mix of medium and small blue and purple glitter with a bit of grey. Here is the description from Erin herself:
Ladies love Rio, and it's easy to see why. He's a mix of blue and purple glitters with a touch of holographic grey thrown in to represent the charming effect he has on all of the girls. 
For this look, I layered two coats of Rio over Zoya Robyn.

One of the things that I really appreciate is the effort that Nostalgic Lacquer puts into its packaging. Look at this cool frosted label and the cute font! I love it!

Rio applied nicely and quite evenly. It was notably un-fussy for a glitter polish!

Some of the glitter pieces in these photos look black, but there is no black glitter in this polish. Rio does tend to look dark in person until it catches the light, which I actually really enjoy a lot.

I also like the balance between the two glitter sizes.

All in all, you'll be hearing no complaints from me about this polish! I think Erin really "gets it," you know? I hope to be able to purchase some of the other polish from the Truly Outrageous Collection soon! (I'm looking at you, Riot!)

You can purchase Rio and the rest of the Nostalgic Lacquers from the Nostalgic Lacquer Etsy shop. The polish sells out fast though once they are restocked, so keep an eye out and have your PayPal ready! ;)

DISCLOSURE: This product was sent to me for review.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine's Owl Nail Art Tutorial

So, it has become pretty clear that you guys really liked my Valentine's owl design! It is one of my most popular posts and I've received a lot of really awesome feedback from you guys about how much you liked it.

I had a request for a tutorial on how to do this manicure, and while I don't have time to do a full on-the-nail demo, I did manage to draw up a quick Photoshop tutorial for you all.
Good luck, and enjoy!

  1. Using a striper brush, paint on two small lines for legs.
  2. Grab a nail art brush and paint a fat circle on top of the legs. I used a flat ended brush.
  3. In the same color and with the same brush you used for step 2, paint on two tufts at the top of the head.
  4. Take the large end of a dotting tool and put on two dots of white for the eyes. Once the white dots dry, go over them with two yellow dots. Putting the white down first will ensure that the yellow shows up well.
  5. Using the small end of a dotting tool, add two smaller black dots in the center of the yellow dots. 
  6. With the end of a small nail art brush, add two small white highlights to the eyes. They should be positioned off center (see picture).
  7. Make a small triangle for the beak in white. Once the white is dry, go over it with your yellow. Again, this is to ensure that the yellow is bright and pigmented.
  8. Create the small hearts on the belly by using the small end of a dotting tool to make two strokes inward towards each other. The strokes should connect at the bottom to form the “point” of the heart.
  9. Paint on two small wings on either side of the owl with a nail art brush.

By the way, feel free to replace "nail art brush" with small paintbrushes or whatever you can get your hands on. The dotting tools can also be replaced by bobby pins, the plastic balls at the end of a sewing pin, or whatever else will help you easily make a small circle. Be inventive! Any tools listed in the tutorial are simply what I used when I did this design.


Nerd Lacquer Don't Blink

My name is Sarah, and I am a Doctor Who addict. (I'm a 10th Doctor gal, in case you were wondering.)

So when I saw this lovely beauty from Nerd Lacquer inspired by and named after the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who, I bought it immediately. It's called Don't Blink, but I can't reveal why. Spoilers! ;)

You guys know how much I love grey speckley polish -- my love for this type of nail polish was last discussed when I used Misa Grey Matters in a glitter gradient. Don't Blink is kind of like if you zoomed in close on Grey Matters, and then made a polish out of what you saw. That, plus extra glitter.

This polish has small dark grey and silver glitters in a sheer grey base. If I'm not mistaken, the smaller glitters are round shaped, which is a nice alternative to the regular hex shaped glitters! It also has small hex and large hex silver glitters that sort of choose to show up or not show up at random. I have no complaints though, even if you don't get any of the larger glitters, this polish is still mesmerizing and unique.

The Weeping Angels from Doctor Who are stone statues, and that is what this polish is meant to mimic. I think it does a great job. The texture on it is really incredible, and the color is a perfect pure, neutral grey.

It almost seemed like if I were to touch my nails, they will feel cold like stone.

Don't Blink applied very nicely, except for the trouble I had getting out some larger glitters to show you guys! It was easy to control and the smaller glitters went on evenly. It was also quite shiny on its own!

Bottom line: if you are a Who fan or a grey polish fan or both, put this puppy on your wishlist immediately!

Nerd Lacquer polish retails for $10. It can be purchased at the Nerd Lacquer Etsy shop or through Harlow and Co.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Heart Fishtails

Today I have some easy nail art for you! It's all freehanded with the brush that comes with the polish. Even though it's easy, it still makes a big time statement. I have decided that they are a combination of a heart design and a fishtail braid. So they are now heart fishtails.

I started with a base of China Glaze Wicked Style, which is one of the polishes from the new Electropop collection. Then, using the brush of the polish, I freehanded on two arches that met in the middle of the nail to form the top of a heart (which I call the heart's butt because it looks like one). I repeated this pattern until the nail was all filled up!

The colors I used after the initial base are, in order:

OPI Do You Lilac It?
OPI Sparrow Me the Drama
Sally Hansen Twisted Pink
OPI Manicurist of Seville

I really like this pattern and am excited to reuse it non-seasonally with different color combinations. I feel like it could look sort of like chevrons on a military uniform, if they weren't pink and purple, of course.

But, since it is Valentine's Day soon, it is quite appropriate that these look like hearts! :)

One thing I want to mention though is that the OPI ProWide brush is harder to work with for this particular design. Of course, I then proceeded to use three OPI colors. It turned out fine, but if you are a little apprehensive about trying this technique out, stick to polishes with thinner brushes and it will go a tiny bit more smoothly for you!

What do you guys think about this? Is the name "the fishtail mani" appropriate? Is this something you would feel comfortable trying out, and do you have plans to? I promise it's easier than you think! ;)

© Chalkboard Nails | Phoenix, Arizona Nail Artist | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig