Friday, March 30, 2012

GlitterDaze Minty Mojito

Today's the last day of my GlitterDaze spring series.

This dashing green glitter is called Minty Mojito. It is a green glitter polish with yellow-gold and dark minty green accent glitters. It's quite complex and lovely. Plus, who doesn't love a good Mojito? I love the dark glitters because it is like the actual muddled mint leaves in the drink.

This is three coats of the polish, with one coat of topcoat. This one was a bit hungrier than the others, for me. Maybe it has something to do with the large variety of glitter sizes and textures? Anyway, still definitely not bad in terms of appetite. :) As with the others, the density of the glitters allows for even coverage and not-too-difficult application.

GlitterDaze polishes are $4.50 for a 5mL bottle or $8.50 for a 12.5mL bottle and can be purchased in the GlitterDaze Etsy shop. Now that you've seen them all, do you have plans to buy any? Feel free to review my GlitterDaze label if you want a refresher on the other shades. My personal favorites are Sex On the Beach and Flirtini!

This product was provided to me for review.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

GlitterDaze April Rain

It's the second to last day of the GlitterDaze spring series, and today's polish is called April Rain.

It's a full coverage glitter that is completely opaque in three coats. This swatch shows it with one coat of topcoat. April Rain is a blue glitter with bits of silver. It does very much remind me of daytime spring rain, although I know this is named after the drink. It also makes me think of sunlight on a lake. You know how it can make the top of the water look like silver?

As with the others, it applied and controlled well. This one seemed a bit blingier than the others, to me. I think it is because of the shininess of it.

GlitterDaze polishes are $4.50 for a 5mL bottle or $8.50 for a 12.5mL bottle and can be purchased in the GlitterDaze Etsy shop.

This product was provided to me for review.

NYX Enchanted Forest

This morning I have a simple layering combination for you! This post is pretty picture heavy because I did my normal hand poses and then mattified, and did the same poses over again. I don't think you will mind though, right? People love stuff to look at! :)

I started with a black creme base (this one is from Urban Outfitters). Then I applied NYX Enchanted Forest over it. I was actually really impressed with Enchanted Forest, as I didn't have to dig around for big glitter pieces and it applied really beautifully. Then I topcoated with Seche Vite.

Then I mattified it all, using Hard Candy Matte-ly In Love.

One thing worth noting about Enchanted Forest is that I think there are two versions of it. If you Google NYX Enchanted Forest, there is a more full coverage, finer glitter in addition to this one. I'm not totally sure what happened. It's been suggested to me that there is a NYX Girls version and a NYX Salon Formula version. If that's true, this is the NYX Girls version.

I wanted to mention it because, if you are interested in buying this, you need to be careful and make sure you are getting the right version! I'd check the picture or something -- make sure it's the version with big chunky green holographic glitter. You can buy this at Cherry Culture for $1.99!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

GlitterDaze Flirtini

It's day 3 of my GlitterDaze series, and I feel like today's polish will be quite appealing to many of you!

This is Flirtini! Flirtini is a pink based polish with a bunch of different glitters in it. There is micro pink glitter, blue and yellow circular glitter, and pink and white bar glitter. Did I get everything??

This swatch shows two coats. As with the others in this collection, the glitter is small and dense, so application is easy! No fishing for big glitter bits necessary. Again, you will need topcoat to smooth it, but you guys know the drill here!

This one is a standout in the collection for me. It is the only polish that includes glitters that aren't in the base's color family. I think it looks like a little girl's birthday cake! Frosting and sprinkles everywhere!

GlitterDaze polishes are $4.50 for a 5mL bottle or $8.50 for a 12.5mL bottle and can be purchased in the GlitterDaze Etsy shop.

This product was provided to me for review.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

GlitterDaze Sex On the Beach

Welcome to day two of my GlitterDaze spring collection series! Today I have a polish that actually surprised me with how much I ended up liking it!

Sex On the Beach is a dark orangey tan base with accents of gold glitter. While most of the other polishes in this collection required three coats for full opacity, this one only took two! In the bottle, I liked it but I wasn't as eager to try it on as some of the others. However, once I got it on my nails, I absolutely loved it! Just something about the way that it worked with my skin tone was really pleasant. I don't own any glitters in this color, so it was a really nice addition to my stash.

While it is springy, I think it could also bridge right into summer and even fall. Like Parfait Amour, you will need a topcoat to smooth it out, but it isn't notably bumpy as far as glitters go.

GlitterDaze polishes are $4.50 for a 5mL bottle or $8.50 for a 12.5mL bottle, and can be purchased in the GlitterDaze Etsy shop.

This product was provided to me for review.

Monday, March 26, 2012

GlitterDaze Parfait Amour

Welcome to day one of my GlitterDaze spring collection post series. I will have the other 4 polishes for you over the next four afternoons, with other, unrelated posts here and there in the mornings!

Let's start it off. The GlitterDaze Simply Spring collection consists of five springy glitters, all named after alcoholic beverages. Glitter and drinks -- pretty fabulous right? Sana even includes the drink recipes on her product listings. This is Parfait Amour.

It's a sort of lilacy pink glitter, and this is three coats. The glitter in these shades is dense, so they apply evenly and cooperate well. There are so many different types of glitters in these -- they really make a unique effect. This one in particular kind of reminded me of First Love from her first collection. They are clearly different but having Parfait Amour on my nails made me think of it. :)

You will need a good topcoat on these to smooth them out, but they weren't exceptionally bumpy or anything!

GlitterDaze polishes are $4.50 for a 5mL bottle or $8.50 for a 12.5mL bottle, and can be purchased in the GlitterDaze Etsy shop.

This product was provided to me for review.

Basketball Nails

With March Madness going on, I thought it would be an appropriate time to do basketball nails. I actually don't care for the NCAA but I do really love the NBA (Phoenix Suns!) so I thought this would be a fun manicure to do.

I started out by trying some color combinations on a nail wheel. I originally started with an orange base but that didn't look realistic at all... and I really wanted the skin of the basketball to look realistic. So, using a picture I took on my phone as a guide (see the end of the post), I started trying to match colors. I ended up finding a nice base in OPI's Gouda Gouda Two Shoes, which was surprising as I always saw that color as sort of a dusty brown pink. I then added on the dots in China Glaze Brownstone with the small end of a dotting tool.

I tried to make the accent nails look like the "seams" on a basketball, though scale wise I know they aren't totally consistent with the dots on the basketball skin. Artistic license, right? :) For the seams, I just freehanded them on with a small nail art brush in Konad black.

Here's my inspiration picture:

So that's that! I hope you like it, I was pretty pleased with the outcome of this simple nail art!

I also want to mention that every afternoon this week I will be showing a polish from the new GlitterDaze Simply Spring line. Keep your eyes open for those, especially if you like glitter!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Liquid Glitz Succulent Chocolate

Today I've got another indie polish to share with you. This is from a brand that hasn't been on my blog before, Liquid Glitz! It's a line of polishes from the lovely Tara and I will have more from her brand to show you in the future.

The one I'm showing today is called Succulent Chocolate. It's pretty sheer so for my swatch I layered it over China Glaze Brownstone, which was the perfect complement to the base of Succulent Chocolate. I imagine if you were to wear this on it's own you would need 3-4 coats to reach opacity.

The effect of this polish is really neat -- it's a shimmery teal in a sheer cola brown-orange base. The color of the shimmer makes a really nice contrast with the color of the base. I don't wear a ton of browns but this one is rich & luxurious. The only thing to be careful of is brushstrokes. I didn't have too much of an issue here but it's definitely something to be aware of as you are polishing. :)

You can find Liquid Glitz on Etsy, where her 5mL polishes sell for $4.00. There are a lot more unique polishes in her shop, check it out!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Purple and blue laser tape manicure!

Good morning! I am really pleased with the manicure that I am featuring today. I had been wearing butter LONDON Lady Muck for about a day or so and wanted to jazz it up a bit without getting rid of the color entirely. So I channeled Nailside and did a tape manicure!

This manicure is really eye catching. My boyfriend described it as "designery" and I can see where he is coming from. It's surprisingly easy if you have the right supplies! Keep on reading for the info. Swatch shots of Lady Muck can be found at the end of the post as well.

As with any tape manicure, you want to start by painting your nails a base color. I obviously used Lady Muck. Your nails must be completely dry before going on to the next step! If you don't want to wait a day or so like I did, you can use a quick dry topcoat like Seche Vite and give it a few minutes to set before continuing.

Next, you want to take striping tape and tape off random sections of your nails. Striping tape can be bought on eBay for ridiculously low prices -- as long as you don't mind waiting a few weeks for it to be delivered from China. I think when I got mine it was 10 rolls for $1, but it took a month or so to get here.

Here's a photo of what my nails looked like after I taped them off.

Then, you just need to paint over the nail completely with your second color. My second color is OPI Dutch Ya Just Love OPI? from the Holland collection. Slowly peel off the striping tape and you will be left with lines in the color of your base!

The hardest part about this manicure was peeling off the striping tape, and that wasn't even that difficult. It just got a little problematic when I couldn't remember which striper lines were on top of one another. I'd be peeling off a piece of tape, and it would get caught underneath another piece of tape that I had applied after it.

It was simple enough to work around, though; you just need to stop peeling a piece when it gets caught (leave it halfway peeled) and come back to remove it once the tape above it has been removed.

I've also got swatch photos of BL Lady Muck for you. It's a beautiful color, sort of a dusty blue gray with a very very fine silver shimmer.

As with the last butter LONDON I tried, the formula was excellent, and only required two coats. It went on very smoothly and cleanly. I didn't have to do any cleanup on this manicure, which is always quite nice. :)

I also had the chance to try the butter LONDON Nail Foundation base and Hardwear topcoat combination. As for the base, I haven't had any problems with chipping yet, though it's only been about two days so it's hard to say for now. It has a beigey color to it that is more opaque than other bases that I've used, and it dries semi-matte. The polish applied nicely over it. The topcoat was nice, too. It's billed as a quick dry, and while it's not as fast as Seche Vite, it was still surprisingly speedy. It also gives a really high gloss finish.

butter LONDON lacquers retail for $14 and can be purchased at, or in high end retailers like Ulta, Dillards, and Nordstrom. Check their website for locations.

The butter LONDON products in this post were sent to me for review.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Delicate" scallop tip

Today I have some semi-fail nail art that turned out to have kind of an interesting effect anyway. By no means is this anywhere near my favorite nail art list, but I thought some of you might be interested in the outcome nonetheless.

I had been wearing OPI Pedal Faster Suzi from the Holland Collection for about a day or so, and I wanted to spice it up a bit.

My original plan was to create two rows of lacey scalloped lines (like this, but upside down), and have them alternating so the scallop of one line would match up with the point of the other line. Does that make sense? Anyway, I planned to accomplish this by putting on a row of white dots, and then covering most of that row of white dots with more pink. In theory, that would have left a scallop.

However, OPI PFS was just too sheer, and left the tips looking a bit too strange for my idea. So I just stopped there, which explains why this "french tip" look is WAY too thick. It would have looked nice if my idea had worked and I had gotten a second row on there, I swear. :)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My first successful water marble!

Feeling encouraged by hours upon hours of watching Colette water marble, I decided to give this technique another try. The last time I attempted a water marble, I was in the middle of the 31 Day Challenge, and I got so frustrated trying to make it work that I was practically in tears. As you can see at that link, I got it to work enough for it to qualify for that day in the challenge, but it wasn't mindblowing by any means nor was it even good enough for my picky personal standards.

Thankfully, this time I got it to work!

Last time I attempted this, my polish wouldn't spread out at all, and dried way too quickly. I tried everything -- a million brands, finishes, water sources, water temperatures, even locations at my house. I attribute my success this time to using a water source that I hadn't tried before. I got out our Brita filter and used freshly filtered water to marble. It even worked better than the drinking water I tried last time.

Here's a great comparison by Colette on using different water for marbling.

Here are the colors that I used.

OPI Skull and Glossbones

China Glaze Happy Go Lucky
China Glaze High Hopes
China Glaze Recycle

As you can see, the marbling wasn't very consistent from nail to nail, but I'm really pleased with it anyway. I am still learning the dragging techniques needed to form certain designs. 

I was also surprised that I had hardly any trouble with bubbling! I did get one on my pointer that was sort of gnarly but in the grand scheme of things, who cares? :)

Want to know how marbling works? Check out Colette's YouTube channel. She has a TON of excellent tutorials that really helped me.

Appreciate nail art like this? Read my plea to support NAILgasm, a documentary about the evolution of nail art (only 8 hours left to pledge).

NAILgasm - Support the History of Nail Art (DEADLINE SOON)

I have a quick PSA post for you this morning -- I know I'm cutting it really close here but that's okay!

Recently I learned about a Kickstarter initiative to make a documentary on the evolution of nail art from it's beginnings to what it is today. I think it's a really cool project. If you don't know how Kickstarter works, it's a system where people can go on and pledge to fund projects. The pledgers are only charged and the project only gets funded if it meets its goal by a set time.

As of the time I am writing this post, NAILgasm is $1,375 away from meeting its goal with only 9 hours left to pledge.

I pledged $25 -- if each of you donated $1 the project would meet its goal! I don't think that $1 would be terribly sorely missed in your wallets today. :) Additionally, depending on the amount you pledge, you could get your name in the credits of the documentary or some "Support Your Local Nail Artist" buttons and stickers!

Give it some thought. I know that you guys wouldn't be here without an interest in nail art, so please take that into consideration as you choose whether to back this project. I know that I would absolutely love to see this project come to fruition. And please hurry, you only have 9 hours left!  

EDIT: The deadline is up and the project has been funded! I'm so excited to see this get finished!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chalkboard Nails' Spring Giveaway - CLOSED

It's giveaway time! With spring in the air and the recent indie polish boom, I had an exciting giveaway idea that I couldn't resist.

I contacted three indie polish makers -- Lacquistry, All That Glitters, and Pretty & Polished -- and asked if they would like to work with me to design an exclusive, limited edition polish to be given away to you, my lovely readers. They agreed and we started creating! I decided that I wanted to go with an "in the garden" theme. One that would evoke flowers blooming, insects buzzing around, and lazy warm days spent lounging in the sun. These polishes were collaborative efforts, and I'm so proud to have had a hand in this collection.

Four winners will win a set of all three polishes in this "collection." 

These polishes will not be for sale in any shops, so you can only win them here! Please DO NOT ask the creators of the polishes to make you a bottle. They were created for this giveaway only.

Read on for more information about each.

Honeycomb by Lacquistry is honestly THE blingiest polish in my collection. It's hard to tell in my photo, but it features gold holographic glitter of multiple sizes as well as large orange holographic glitter in a honey tinted base. Photo shows two coats.

Odonata is an order of insects that includes dragonflies and damselflies. Odonata by Pretty & Polished is a shimmery blue base with shimmery blue green microglitter, blue square glitter, and holographic blue large hex glitter. This polish would be great for layering, and the photo shows three coats.

Sweet, Scarlet and Free by All That Glitters is meant to represent roses blooming in the sun. The red jelly base hosts red and white hex glitter with red microglitter. The photo shows three coats.

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter this giveaway. Some polishes were donated by the creator and some were purchased with my own money. Must be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway is open internationally. Must be a follower to win. Winners will be drawn on April 09, 2012.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cuticle Care: I weigh in

With the multitude of cuticle care products out there, it can be tough to navigate and decide what works best for you. I have tried a number of products -- here are the six that are either tried and true or that I have given a shot recently.

Keep reading to see how they measure up (in my opinion)!

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream - This is the cuticle product that I have used the most out of any of these. I've almost finished a whole tin! Smells lemony fresh, not artificial smelling at all. Rubs in nicely, moisturizes really well, but makes the skin surrounding your fingers shiny. Not sticky or thick feeling. It can be hard for long nailed people to get it out of the tin without getting cuticle cream under their nail, especially when it gets low. This is my go-to purse-safe cuticle product.

Sally Hansen VitaSurge Cuticle Gel - The really big selling point for this one is that it dries quickly and matte, so you can put it on right before a nail photo and your hands won't be shiny. It's also not greasy, so you won't leave fingerprints on everything you touch. It doesn't smell like much at arm's length, if you get up close, it smells kind of like orange soda. The main drawback is that the orange color of the gel can show on your skin in a close up photo, even when rubbed in (especially if you are fair). The gel can leave a bit of residue if it dries on your nail, but that can be wiped off easily. This product seems to go faster than my other cuticle products.

Sally Hansen Cuticle Eraser + Balm - This is one of the best smelling cuticle products, in my opinion, but the texture on this is not pleasant to me. Smells like cucumber and white tea -- very refreshing -- but it is waxy and sticky and feels thick on my skin. The product design is cool, with the green and white swirled together. It can be difficult to get the lid to line up correctly sometimes. Moisturizes fine, but is very shiny on your skin. I don't have a lot of cuticle to remove so it's hard for me to comment on the removal properties.

OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil - Smells like grapeseed, nice and light scent, fresh. Avoplex comes in an OPI bottle, which is cool and kind of novel to me. Absorbs well and moisturizes nicely. I wouldn't keep this one in my purse though, as the oil can get on the cap threads and make the cap not as secure. I love using this one for photos, but you definitely have to give it time to soak in, or your skin will look shiny to the max.

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil - Love the mini Essie bottle, smells good. Cap doesn't seem very secure though, so this might be an oil to use at home and not on the go. Absorbs well and moisturizes nicely. This is kind of like the Avoplex though, in that it isn't a good choice right before manicure photos.

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve - Works fine in a pinch, but I prefer it on lips! :) Very floral smelling, obviously, but sort of slick and greasy. Moisturizes nicely but not my first choice.

The winner for "Most Well Rounded Cuticle Care Product" is...

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream! 

It's the product I've used the most for a reason. It's portable, smells good, and does its job without being too heavy or waxy. Keep it up Burt and your bees!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Guest Post at Fashion Polish

It is with a big ol' smile that I tell you that my nails are over on today! Check out my creepy splatter manicure over on Sam's blog.

Friday, March 16, 2012

So, so lucky!

Well, I wasn't going to do a St. Patrick's Day manicure -- not for any real reason, I just kind of forgot about it until it was almost too late! But then some Twitter folks insisted that I not skip it. Thanks to them, I did this graphic shamrock pattern. I don't know whether to hug them or resent them. :)

The base of this manicure is two coats of Orly Fresh, which is one of my very favorite greens. :)

Then, using a dotting tool and a very small nail art brush, I freehanded on the shamrocks and their stems with Konad Special Polish White. As I've said before, it's a great polish for nail art because it is so pigmented!

And, well... that's about all I have to say about this manicure! It's a pretty simple full nail pattern!

Have a safe and fun holiday!

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