Monday, April 30, 2012

Spider-mani: The Brights

Today's look is the second of my OPI Spider-manis! This one features the two brights in the OPI Amazing Spider-man collection, as well as the white that you've seen already in my last Spider-mani.

As with the last manicure I did with the OPI Spiderman collection, this is a look that used striping tape.

The orange color is OPI Call Me Gwen-ever. It's a lovely bright-yet-dusty orange creme. It has good coverage. You would only need two coats for a regular manicure; for this one I used one thickish coat on top of the white base (OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls). It's quite an interesting color, though usually I do prefer my cremes a touch brighter.

The pink frost is OPI Your Web Or Mine. As you may have read on other nail blogs, this one is a tough color to love. It is a grandmother's pink, and the frosty finish makes it look dated. The color shows brushstrokes very easily, and not even a deft hand can eliminate them completely. Using them in this color blocking mani helped to minimize the unpleasant characteristics.

The combination of colors in this manicure as well as the specific blocking makes me think 60's mod.

As a refresher, this can be achieved by placing striping tape on a dry, painted nail. In this case my first coat was the white. Then, carefully paint on the sections that the tape has created with your other colors. Clear most of the polish off of the brush when doing this, as big beads can drip down and flood your sections. Carefully peel off the striping tape. Let it dry, and finish with topcoat.

I've got one more Spider-mani to share with you -- a combination featuring the last shade in this collection: the shatter! The last look will not be a nail art look, as I found it difficult to do nail art with shatter. :) 

The OPI Amazing Spider-man collection will be available in May and will retail for $8.50 per bottle.

Product samples provided to me by OPI.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Do you believe in magic?

So I am cutting it REALLY close here, but I decided to do a design to enter into the Neverland Nail Blog "Do you believe in magic?" nail art contest! The contest ends in about six and a half hours, so I am making it on time, but just barely. ;)

The theme applied to all sorts of magical things -- from fantasy creatures to slight of hand magicians. I decided to depict one of the most classic "magician" icons... The rabbit in the hat!

This is my first time doing a vertically stitched nail art design, and I am kind of loving it. The only thing I would change is that I wish the white end of the magician's wand at the top showed up better on top of the light yellow.

The base here is OPI Did You Ear About Van Gogh?. The black and white areas were freehanded on using Konad polish as the paint; as I've mentioned before, it works great for nail art because of the pigmentation. The darker yellow is China Glaze Happy Go Lucky and the lighter yellow is Illamasqua Load. The pink is OPI If You Moust, You Moust, and the red is Sally Hansen Insta Dri Rapid Red.

I also used Rapid Red to freehand "ta da" on my thumb in cursive. TA DA!

I had a tough time photographing these nails. Getting them to line up correctly in a camera's macro mode is TOUGH! They look especially cute in person, I think. :)

So that's that! You can check out the other entries to this contest on Lindsey's contest page. There is some serious competition there!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gold Leaf Topcoat with Turquoise

Today's post is one I know many of you have been waiting for, ever since I updated the cover photo on my Facebook page to include this first image.

What you're looking at is a gorgeous gold leaf topcoat over Finger Paints Tiffany Impostor. It's real gold, people!

I first saw this gold leaf topcoat when Lori (some of you may know her as the Spectraflair lady) posted about it in a Facebook group we are both in. It turned out that she had actually made it herself using sheets of gold leaf! I was immediately enamored and asked her if she would be kind enough to make me one. Luckily for me, she agreed!

It was difficult to choose what to layer it over. I tried it over black, of course, and while it looked totally bad ass, I decided to go with more of a turquoise color. Turquoise and gold is a classic combination to me, and I was so pleased with the way it turned out.

You are seeing three coats of the gold leaf in these photos. You have to be careful that you don't glob it on when you are applying it, because it will bubble later on and you will only see it once it's dry.

Lori is willing to make and sell more of these topcoats, while her supplies last! She is selling them for $15 shipped in the US. Email for purchasing information. (Psst, you can also email her for information about purchasing Spectraflair, the pigment you need to make your own holographic nail polish!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

TV Static - Windestine Carbon Copy & Asbestos

I love love LOVE today's manicure. It features two separate polishes from Windestine, an Etsy shop, that are just meant to be together! Such perfection!

Asbestos is the white glitter. I have layered it on top of OPI Black Onyx.
Carbon Copy is the black glitter. I have layered it on top of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.

I alternated them back and forth because, well, I thought it would look super sweet. And it does! The tiny microglitter in the Windestine polishes makes my nails look like TV static. When I look at the nails alternating back and forth, it makes me think of the TV static moving, as it actually does in real life!

These glitters apply very easily. They are not difficult to work with at all. They apply evenly and without fuss. I highly recommend them!

You guys know how much I love black glitter, so Carbon Copy was a must for me. But it's made even better by the fact that it has a companion glitter in Asbestos. :)

You can keep up with Windestine on Facebook, where you can see previews of new polishes and get news on restocks. The Windestine shop is located on Etsy. There is no stock currently in the shop, due to the indie polish base shortage, but she expects to restock in about a month.

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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Minnie-mani No. 2: Minnie's Night Out

Good morning! I am in an exceptionally good mood today because it is a rainy morning in Phoenix, which is a very rare thing.

Today's post is another look featuring the colors from the OPI Vintage Minnie Mouse collection! I call this one "Minnie's Night Out," because it's a bit sexier instead of cute and playful.

So far, you guys have only seen one of the Minnie colors from me. Today's mani introduces a second, OPI Nothin' Mousie 'Bout It. You will see this again in my final Minnie look, in its more natural state, but for today's manicure, I've layered it over OPI Black Onyx.

On its own, NMBI is a pink jelly base filled with colored glass fleck pieces and large confetti style heart glitters. Over black, the flecks really stand out in a dramatic way! I actually prefer it over black, personally. I think it has a much greater wow factor.

Of course, the confetti pieces can be difficult to use, but that is no different than any other polish with the same type of shape glitter. I actually was surprised with the frequency that the hearts were coming out on my brushes; it's just the placement that takes a little bit more attention.

For the accent nail, I freehanded a set of mouse ears on in white. I then painted over it with OPI If You Moust, You Moust, which you may remember from the last Minnie Mouse look that I did. The white base helps to make the color stand out against the black better.

I hope you guys have enjoyed this manicure! I have one Minnie-mani left, which is a "classic Minnie" look.

OPI's Vintage Minnie Mouse collection will be available starting in June. It will retail for $8.50 per bottle.

The product(s) in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm a nail ninja! Collaboration with Daynasaur of Light & Sugar

OH BOY YOU GUYS, are you in for some craziness today!

My wonderfully talented roommate Dayna (Daynasaur) has had this really cool project going on over at her blog, Light and Sugar, where she posts a portrait every Tuesday. They are often themed and feature crazy-cool makeup that she does herself. This week, she wanted to do a photo of someone that wasn't herself, and of course, I was happy to oblige!

We began the process of turning me into a nail ninja. We had been saving this idea for a while now, and I was so excited that it finally happened!

As you can see, I painted some wheels completely silver to represent my "nail ninja stars." They will knock you out with their fumes! ;) The silver on the wheels and on my actual nails, too, is Wet N Wild Silvivor.

My original idea for my nails was to do a silver to black gradient, but I didn't like it as much in execution as I did in the abstract. So instead, I painted some freehand kunai on each of the nails with a black creme. I love the way it turned out and it's much more ninja-specific anyway.

Below, you can get a better look at the makeup that Dayna did on me for this shoot. She did a great job -- I look like a pretty fierce warrior if I do say so myself.

If you are interested in the specific makeup she used, she has more info on her blog.

What do you think? Maybe I should be the new mascot for

I had so so so much fun on this project, and I hope you guys enjoyed our collaboration! Check out more of Dayna's work and follow her over on Light and Sugar!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spider-mani: The Metallics

Hey guys! Remember how I showed a nail art look yesterday inspired by and using the OPI Vintage Minnie Mouse collection? Well today, I have a tape mani that uses some of the colors from the OPI The Amazing Spider-man collection!

For this harlequin-inspired tape manicure, I chose to use the metallics in the collection.

I started with a base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. It is a nice color, very faintly grey, which keeps it from looking too much like you painted your nails with a bottle of white out (junior high, anyone?). I needed two coats for opacity, & it wasn't streaky, which is nice (and rare) quality in a white-type polish. Then, to speed the process, I added a coat of fast dry topcoat to set the base.

Then, I took striping tape, which you can find on eBay, and made an "X" on my nail. Using the three metallics, I carefully painted each one in a section and left the top section of the X blank. I removed the striping tape, and these lovely diamonds were left behind!

Let's take a closer look at the colors!

OPI Number One Nemesis is a sparkly grey little number with lots and lots of different bits in it. It is quite beautiful, I think. It can look green at times and my favorite part is the tiny gold flecks. I used two coats of the color for the density you see here.

OPI Just Spotted the Lizard is the green-gold duochrome color you see closest to my cuticle area. Duochromes are one of my favorite polish finishes... I just want to know the science behind them! I used two thin coats of JSTL for this look. Be careful with this one; while it is gorgeous like molten metal, it can definitely get a bit brushstrokey, more so than almost any of the other colors in this collection.

OPI Into the Night is a metallic blue. It is sheer, so you will need to build up a few coats if you want to wear it on its own. I personally had to use two coats for the coverage you see on this manicure. Into the Night is one of my favorites in this collection. I thought it would be brushstroke-prone, but it's surprisingly easy to work with.

A couple notes about this manicure. Striping tape is super skinny, so you have to be really careful that you don't paint over it into another section of your "X." OPI's ProWide brushes can be a bit difficult to control in this case, so all you have to do to fix that is turn the brush on it's side and use the corner.

I also want to mention that you want to get almost all of the polish off your brush before you go to paint your sections. If you leave too much on there, it can drip onto the nail, flood, and mess up your pieces.

I hope that you guys have enjoyed this harlequin-style manicure with the Spider-man metallics! Keep your eyes open for my two other OPI Spider-manicures in the future, where you'll get to see the colors that weren't used here!

This collection will be available in May and will retail for $8.50 per bottle.

Product samples provided to me by OPI.

VOTE for Chalkboard Nails!

Dear friends of Chalkboard Nails,

A few weeks ago, I entered a nail art contest on BeautyStat. I'm very excited to announce that I ended up being named a finalist!

I have so much fun doing nail art for you guys, and I would love it if you supported me and my work in this contest. It doesn't take long to vote -- all you have to do is go and write my name in a comment on the page if you like my design (the last one on the page).

Please consider voting if you have a moment, it would really mean a lot!

Thanks for your consideration and tentative votes! :)



Monday, April 23, 2012

Minnie-mani No. 1: Betsey Style

Today is the beginning of something exciting! As I'm sure many of you know, OPI recently released their Vintage Minnie Mouse collection. It's a nice set of four polishes inspired by, you guessed it, Minnie Mouse!

Now, I could swatch them for you guys, but I know there are a lot of other blogs out there that have swatched them (and better than I would, anyway), and you guys know I prefer doing nail art anyway... So instead of regular swatches, I decided to use the collection in some nail art looks!

This look only uses one Minnie color, but you will see the rest of them in the other nail art I have coming up. I was just too inspired by this specific color: If You Moust, You Moust.

The second I laid eyes on it, I was in love. It is the color I was most looking forward to from the press releases, and it didn't disappoint. It is a gorgeous, perfect, pigmented pink. I'm sure it will be one of my go-to pinks from now on. I used two coats for the base of this mani.

I decided to do this mix up look, which I imagine is what it would look like if Minnie was walking in a Betsey Johnson show. Classic and girly with a bit of edge.

I found the black rhinestone pieces at my local beauty supply. I applied them using a technique that I first read on Copy That, Copy Cat: use a waxy eyeliner pencil to pick up and place the stones! Genius. Don't press too hard though, you don't need a lot of pressure to attach it and you can leave color behind that way.

I know it isn't part of the Minnie collection, but this pink was just begging to be used with a nude, so I used OPI Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh.

So that's my first Minni-mani set! I have two more coming your way soon that show off the other colors and unique ways to use them -- a classic Minnie manicure and a "Minnie's Night Out" manicure. Keep your eyes peeled!

OPI's Vintage Minnie Mouse collection will be available starting in June. It will retail for $8.50 per bottle.

If You Moust, You Moust was provided to me for review by OPI.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Whimsical Ideas by Pam - Seuss

Today I've got a quick little swatch post of an indie polish for you. Let's get hot and heavy with this blue darling, Seuss, from Whimsical Ideas by Pam!

As you can see, Seuss is a gorgeous bright sky blue base with various sized silver hex glitters and medium red hex glitters. For being inspired by Dr. Seuss, I think she totally nailed it! It seems very Thing One and Thing Two to me.

For my swatch, I used three coats. I only had one teensy problem in application, and it was that the large hex glitters tended to migrate to the tips of the nails and collect there. With a bit of patience and careful application, that can totally be avoided.

I don't normally include pics of the bottle, but look how great her bottles are... They have a little bow and the most, well, whimsical labels ever!

Whimsical Ideas by Pam's polishes can be viewed on her Facebook page. They are $10 per bottle, and you can find ordering information here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lac Attack Wild Thing Collection

*chants* Indie time! Indie time! Indie time!

Today I have the Wild Thing Spring 2012 collection by Lac Attack to share with you. This is a super varied collection, from neon glitter to shimmer topcoats to standalone jellies to frosts. There is sure to be something for everyone! Let's take a look...

Jewel of the Nile is a neon glitter topcoat. This swatch shows two coats over Zoya Dove -- I think a few coats for greater density is the way to go with this one. I like the subtlety of this polish a lot. It was really easy to apply. The frequency of the pink pieces is really nice to me.

Serengeti Midnight is one of my favorites from this collection. It is a blackened navy jelly base with loads of tiny holographic glitters in it. Exactly like a night sky! I have seen "night sky" used as a descriptor for polishes before, but this one is more true than any of those, as it looks photorealistic! It is very sheer, which allows you to build up the squishiness or even layer it. My swatch shows three coats.

Dance of the Flamingo is a sheer pinkish white frosty shimmer with clear/iridescent hex glitter in it. I had a hard time with this polish. It is very sheer. This photo shows three coats, and you can still see my stains as well as my nail line. I also had trouble getting the glitters out (there are only a few on my nails), and when I did get them out they seemed to get lost underneath the frost. This polish looks kind of grayish over black though, so it could be interesting for layering!

Ocelot-a-spots is a glitter topcoat with medium white hexes, super thin black bars, and micro black glitter. It also has large black squares, which you can see on my ring finger. The black square is oddly thick and didn't lay flat on my nail. I really like this polish a lot though -- it is an interesting take on the black and white glitters that have been coming out. Here I have layered it over a sassy accent nail pairing of OPI Did It On Em and Zoya Renee.

The Mane Event is a lion inspired polish: brown shimmer pigment with gold and brown glitter throughout. For my swatch I used two coats. I like the idea of this one conceptually, but in execution it just didn't turn out on my nails. The pigment got brushstroke-y, and the glitters partially buried themselves under the shimmer, which made the polish look bumpy.

Decidedly Deciduous is a really lovely shimmer and glitter topcoat combo. Here I have put two coats of it over black. The green shimmer is gorgeous and you cant see any brushstrokes in it at all, and the glitter is a unique and cool addition to the shimmer base. As you can see, there are large green hexes as well as small holographic glitters. Really cool but not in your face about it! :)

Peacocky is sure to be a hit with you guys! It is a multicolored jewel glitter topcoat with red, pink, gold, and blue glitter in it. For this swatch, I layered two coats of Peacocky over OPI Rumple's Wiggin. It is a very dense glitter and a lot of fun! No application problems -- it just went on smoothly for a bit of instant bling.

My favorites from this collection are Serengeti Midnight, Peacocky, and Jewel of the Nile.

Lac Attack Lacquers can be purchased on Etsy. You can also find Lac Attack on Facebook! This collection runs $8.00 for a 15mL bottle, and all Lac Attack polishes are 3-free.

These products were provided to me for review.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Marble

Happy Monday! Today I have a water marble to share with you. This one came about when a Facebook group that I am in decided to do a group marble. It was set that we would all do a marble this weekend, post photos in the group by Sunday, and then post on our blogs on Monday.

At the end of this post, you will find an Inlinkz collection (similar to the one that I used in my dotting tool contest) which will eventually host all of the links to our marbles. If you have a second, make sure to check out their work! :)

For this marble, I started with a base of China Glaze White On White. I wanted the colors of the marble to end up as true to bottle as possible, and the white base helps accomplish that.

Then I marbled together China Glaze High Hopes, China Glaze Four Leaf Clover, and China Glaze First Mate. I am so happy with the way these colors turned out together! It seems kind of vintage to me for some reason.

I had a hell of a time with my ring fingernail. If you'll notice, I was going for a kind of uniform pattern on each nail this time, instead of random patterns like the last time that I did a marble. The problem was that my ring finger kept coming out wrong. It would look nothing like the others and mess the whole manicure up! So I redid that probably 8 times... which was super aggravating. At least I eventually got it to work!

The other thing that I had a lot of trouble with on this manicure was getting the colors to photograph properly. Four Leaf Clover kept looking Tiffany blue, and High Hopes was too orange. I think I finally got the photos to a place where I am pleased with them, but it took a LOT LOT LOT of intensive color correcting of each individual color.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

My favorite franken

Today I want to share a franken that I made with you guys. Its a super simple recipe -- 3/4 Wet N Wild Tangled In My Web (the black glitter) and 1/4 OPI Did You Ear About Van Gogh? (the nude).

I only added a bit of the nude because I wanted the jelly-like effect of multiple layers of glitter. I have been really into nudes lately for some reason, and black glitter always has a special place in my heart, obviously. :)

I asked for your guys' help in naming this on my Facebook page, and while I got a lot of straciatella, vanilla bean, cookie dough, and cookies and cream suggestions, my favorite name suggestion was Eerie Gogh Again from Stephanie J.! So that is what I have decided to call this. I just love that it incorporates both the name of the OPI polish and the Halloween origins of the Wet N Wild, and is both clever and punny. Thanks Stephanie!

Hope you like! <3

Friday, April 13, 2012

Naked blobs (you know you wanna look)

How you like that title?

Today's nail art came about when I decided I wanted to do something that involved some naked nail. I remembered really loving this version that Nailside did of her cloud design, and kind of went off of that. I wanted mine to be more random though, so I painted with gaps, painted from the sides, bottom... I wanted each nail to be different!

The grayish color is Color Club Revvvolution. I love it because it is a one coater polish -- super pigmented and incredibly easy to control.

The red sparkle is Zoya Sarah. ZOYA SARAH! The one that they named after me. I'm not usually super into reds but I do love this one. :)

All of the blobs were freehanded on and then I just cleaned up around the edges. It was really simple and fun to do. I just kind of relaxed and started painting whatever! I showed these to my roommate as well as some other nail enthusiasts and I got a lot of comments that they look like abstract hearts.

I really like the way that my thumb turned out, in particular. Kind of inwardly droopy like a curtain.

I think that if I were to do this again I might do more coming in from the sides instead of coming up from the bottom. I would also use more contrasting colors.

But I am super pleased with the way that this turned out, in general!

I love manicures that incorporate nude nail along with nail art. There's something so cool about it to me... like the nail art is floating over the nail.

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