Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cirque Colors French Roast

Good morning! Today I have another Cirque Color for you to drool over: French Roast.

French Roast is truly one of the prettiest and most unique glitters I own. I have used three coats of it here for full coverage. It is a warm, brown glitter polish lit up by copper and gold.

When I say "lit up," I truly mean it. This color looks like it has been sprinkled with tiny glowing specks. It truly has so much depth. The name is perfect, too. I don't even drink coffee and it is making me want a hot cup!

Because it is so packed with glitter, this is a topcoat eater. You will definitely need a few thick coats of topcoat, and Gelous is recommended here for use as a smoother. Even then, after a day or so, you may end up with a little bit of texture. Of course, you can always just add another coat of topcoat at that point, too.

Despite the amount of glitter in this polish, it still applies nicely. None of the glitter got gunked up, or chunky, or uneven. Color me impressed!

I absolutely love the orange-copper glitters in this. The dusting of gold is beautiful, too.

All Cirque polishes are .45oz and 3-free. French Roast retails for $12. The other polishes in the Dark Horse Collection range from $12-$16. You can check out my previous reviews of Cirque polishes here.

You can find Cirque on Facebook or at their website. If you live in New York, you can also check out Cirque products at the Hester Street Fair

The product in this post was sent to me by the manufacturer or their PR for review.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ocean Scene Nail Art

I was sitting at my computer last night, browsing a lot of AWESOME manis from some of my favorite bloggers, and I was so inspired that I just HAD to do a nail art manicure.

But this time, when I say nail art, I mean NAIL ART. I've done some cute and easy designs lately (which I obviously think are great), but this time I really wanted to do a complex freehand design that would challenge me. I wanted to sit down and spend HOURS on a design!

Here's what I ended up with...

Overall, I'm super happy with it. I especially love the scenery part on the two nails on the right. My only regret was not sketching this out first -- I think the two big fish on the left got a little crowded. Oh well! Let's just pretend that they're besties and want to cuddle together. Cool? Cool.

As you can see there is a little clownfish on my pointer finger. If you want to pretend that it's Nemo or Nemo's dad, I'm okay with that!

The black and white fish is apparently called a long fin bannerfish. I liked the long arcing top fin (you can see it continue on to my pointer finger).

Then we've got a small school of silver fishies, some seaweed, a sandy bank, and some coral. This is all probably scientifically inaccurate, and none of these things would ever end up together naturally. To all you smarties, just play along! ;)

There are a lot of colors in this. I don't want to shortchange you guys though so I'm gonna try to go through them!

  • Base - Gradient of OPI What's With the Cattitude and OPI Ogre the Top Blue
  • Any white or black in this manicure uses Konad Special Polish White or Black (but is freehanded on)
  • Orange in clownfish - Zoya Arizona
  • Fishy bubbles - OPI WWTC mixed with white
  • Yellow on bannerfish - China Glaze Happy Go Lucky
  • School of silver fish - butter LONDON Lillibet's Jubilee
  • Sand - OPI Did You Ear About Van Gogh (darker/lighter spots were made by mixing DYEAVG with white or black)
  • Seaweed - China Glaze Tree Hugger (darker/lighter shades were made by mixing with China Glaze Westside Warrior or white)
  • Coral - Zoya Myrta and Zoya Sarah

I hope that list makes you realize how much I love you!

I did this nail art primarily with a medium length striper brush and a needle for some of the finer details. I did use a dotting tool, but just for the bubbles by the clownfish.

I really love freehanding and I hope to make a more conscious effort in the future to do labor-intensive and skillbuilding designs like this one.

Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sassy Lacquer Sarahdipity (with Giveaway! - CLOSED)

You all know how much I love indie polish, right? In case you didn't, the answer is A LOT! So I was beyond excited when I was contacted by Carrie from Sassy Lacquer to participate in a blogger line she was putting together.

What was even better was I got to help design the polish! Meet Sarahdipity! Get it? Like serendipity? Credit for the awesome name goes to Taylor from Nailed to the T.

When I was first approached to participate in this project, I knew I wanted to do something in-your-face. However, I also love the depth and delicacy of jellies with glitter. Would it be possible to combine the two? After some discussion and brainstorming between Carrie and I, this beautiful lilac jelly with big honking white glitter was born. I'm absolutely enamored with it and I've never seen anything quite like it before. I'm so impressed by Carrie's execution of this polish -- she totally hit the bullseye, 100%!

It definitely requires a bit of attention when applying, but I think it's worth it! My photos show three-ish coats of Sarahdipity alone.

What do you guys think? For more information on this project, check out Carrie's post. You can also check out Bee from Bee Polished and Sara from My Life In Polish, who also participated in this line. Bee's post went up yesterday and Sara's will be up tomorrow.

If you'd like to purchase any of the items from the blogger series, they will be available for sale at the Sassy Lacquer store starting this Friday, the 29th.

Carrie has kindly offered an extra bottle of Sarahdipity for me to use in a giveaway for you all! You can earn one entry simply for being a follower of Chalkboard Nails (mandatory), and a second entry by liking Sassy Nails on Facebook. Only entries made with the Rafflecopter widget will count. This giveaway is open internationally, and closes at midnight on July 4, 2012. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize, so please confirm that the email associated with your Rafflecopter account is correct.

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The products in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR for review.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pretty and Polished Summer Camp Collection

Good morning to you all! Today I'm sharing swatches of the new Pretty and Polished Summer Camp Collection. This collection was released very recently and it's super varied, so I wanted to make sure to share all of these with you in one post so you can see how well balanced this collection is.

First up we have Cheer Camp. Cheer Camp might be my favorite in the whole collection. It's milky base with pastel pink and purple glitters is very subtle and girly. I predict that this will be a favorite among those of you who love the light bases with glitters, like Party On My Yacht. Here I've shown three coats of Cheer Camp on it's own.

Peace Camp is a serene shimmery aqua/teal/blue shade with blue and pastel green glitters. For this swatch I have layered two coats of Peace Camp over China Glaze Agent Lavender. It's pretty sheer so I definitely recommend layering this one. It is also imperative to let your manicure dry between coats so you don't drag the shimmer and ruin the evenness. I think the small dark blue glitters really make this one special. I kind of want to go swimming in this polish. I imagine it would be like a spa.

Third, we have Boot Camp. For this swatch, I have layered two coats of Boot Camp over China Glaze Westside Warrior, a dusty olive green creme. It's easy to see the amount of green shimmer packed into Boot Camp's base. In addition to the shimmer, it also boasts a number of different glitter sizes, shapes, and colors, like brown, green, & black... bar, hex, & square. This is another one that I would take your time applying, to ensure even distribution of glitter and shimmer over your whole nail.

Finally, take a look at PHAT Camp. I think this polish will be the most popular from the collection -- it's super intense (in the best way). It applies really well and evenly. I have layered two coats of PHAT Camp over black for this swatch. It comes in a clear base, so you can layer this however you want without concern for matching. PHAT Camp is primarily made up of small and micro pink glitter, but it also has teal glitters and purple shard glitters. It truly has a lot going on, but it's still well balanced and beautiful. For the diva in all of us.

What do you think? Which P&P "camps" will you be attending this summer?

Pretty and Polished can be found on Facebook (like her page for more info on restock dates and times) and is sold on Etsy. She will soon be selling her products on Llarowe, too (congrats)! If you'd like to see more photos of this collection, including different layering options, check out Chelsea's post.

The products in this post were sent to me by the manufacturer or their PR.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bandana Gradient Nails

Hello everyone! Are you ready to see some stamping from me? Cause I'm not so sure, haha. I had such grand plans for this manicure, but did hit a couple of bumps along the way...

I intended for these nails to look like a bandana, if you didn't read the post title. The gradient that I did for the base of these nails looked super awesome, I probably should have taken pics of it before I stamped over it (oops).

I started with a base of OPI Manicurist of Seville. Then using this tutorial, I sponged on L'Oreal Haute Couture, a vampy blackened burgundy jelly.

I stamped on the design using Konad Special Polish White and the Shany plate SH20. I really like this image, the big flower in the middle is really pretty and I love the little dotty bits that fill in the empty spaces on the design.

Some of my stamp jobs were imperfect, and I tried to remedy them by freehanding on the pieces that didn't transfer to my nail. It wasn't a foolproof solution, but at least the image looked complete!

What do you think? It kinda looks like a bandana, right? I am curious to see what this might have looked like if I had stamped with black instead of white. It might have looked less like a bandana, but the black would have partially faded into the darker side of the gradient, which could have looked cool!

Stamping is definitely an area where I could improve a bit. I don't do it very often; I usually choose to freehand. I see so many ladies do incredible things with stamping, though, that it makes me want to do it more! I think I would like to start incorporating more stamping into my nail art routines.

Some of the products in this post were sent to me by the manufacturer or their PR.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gradient Dot Manicure

Happy weekend, friends! Today's manicure is a little bit of nail art using more colors from The New Black. The colors in this manicure all come from the Runway Color Barometer 8-piece set.

The Runway set is pretty awesome... It comes with eight mini bottles of polish in a rainbow of colors. Remember, The New Black's mission is to provide on-trend products to take the guesswork out of it for you. So all of the colors in the Runway set were picked to provide you with trendy tips. I'm only sharing three of the colors in the set today, but if you can't wait and want a good rundown on all eight, check out this video by swatchdujour on YouTube.

As with the other The New Black sets, these colors come in .125 oz mini bottles. I didn't see any names for them within the set itself, but names for each of the colors were listed on the websites where this set is being sold.

The base color is called Horchata Cream. Sorry, I know you're probably craving horchata now like I am. It's kind of a dim neutral nude color. I really like the color a lot, and can see it having a lot of applications in nail art going forward.

The orange-red dots are done in Just Shocking. This is kind of that Pantone "Tangerine Tango" color-of-the-year, so they are definitely on trend with that. It's a beautiful jellylike color, not a creme. It's very vibrant.

The dark blue dots are called Midnight Blue. It's a navy creme, always a classic! Midnight is an excellent descriptor for this, as it is very dark.

For this look I started with two coats of my base color. Then, once that had dried, I took the large end of a dotting tool and added some large dots (5 or so) of my orange color at the tips of my nails. Make sure that some of them go off the edge if you try this look yourself! I flipped the dotting tool over to use the smaller end, and added some smaller dots heading further down my nails for a gradient look. Once I had finished with that, I just repeated the process with my blue color on top.

It was really simple! So simple that I was sure it had been done before! I arrived at this design on my own, and I couldn't find anything like this with a quick search, but please let me know if you've seen this on another blogger previously (so I can link)! Update: Check out similar manis here and here.

I think these colors really worked nicely together. The cool thing about this set by The New Black is that most of the colors in the set can be combined with many of the other colors and still look great. I definitely hope to be using Just Shocking in another mani in the future -- that color is really beautiful.

You can find more information about The New Black on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube. Their products can be found at Sephora and Nordstrom. The 8 piece Runway set retails for $32.

The products in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR for review.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Liquid Glitz XOXO

Good morning! Today's post is an indie brand you've seen on here before: Liquid Glitz! This polish is called XOXO. I believe that it debuted right around Valentine's Day, and it's the perfect polish for it! Of course, it wears well any time of the year. Feel the love!

These pictures were in my vault for a bit, so I am sorry to say I don't remember how many coats this was. If I had to guess I would probably say three! It's definitely not more than that, of this I am sure.

XOXO is packed with small pink and red glitter pieces, as well as a light pink shimmer base. There is a lot going on, but it is still well balanced.

I had no problems with application on this. The smaller glitters don't require "placing," which is to say you can apply it the same way as you would any other polish. It doesn't need special treatment. Just make sure to let the polish dry between coats so you don't drag the first coat when you go to apply the second.

Liquid Glitz polishes are currently only sold in mini sizes. You can find Liquid Glitz on Etsy and on Facebook. A few of their shades are out of stock right now, but Tara has a tentative restock date of July 1st. Be sure to keep an eye on the Facebook page to confirm that information, though!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cirque Colors Potosi

Happy Thursday! Today I've got another Cirque Colors polish to share with you. This one is called Potosi. Read on -- the end of the post shows it mattified (psst... it's dreamy)!

For this swatch I have layered one coat of Potosi over Essie Bobbing for Baubles.

As you can see, Potosi is a lovely shard flakie polish, but it also has smaller gold and silver glitter pieces, and micro silver shimmer that I want to call "beautiful dust." The flakie shards behave surprisingly well for the type of shards that they are. I got a few pieces that stuck up off the nail, but they were sparse, and I just removed them whenever necessary.

I did have some issues with settling in the bottle, so if you are interested in purchasing, note that this will require a vigorous shake (and resting time, to eliminate bubbles) before use.

Here is the same manicure, mattified. I use Hard Candy Matte-ly In Love as my matte topper (available at Wal Mart).

Mattified, I think this manicure looks like denim and diamonds! I just love it!

All Cirque polishes are .45oz and 3-free. If you missed this bit in my last review, they are scented with lavender and clary sage oils. I could smell the scents while applying, and directly after finishing this manicure, but the scent didn't last very long past applying topcoat and washing my hands. Potosi retails for $12. The other polishes in the Dark Horse Collection range from $12-$16.

You can find Cirque on Facebook or at their website. If you live in New York, you can also check out Cirque products at the Hester Street Fair!

Some of the products in this post were sent to me by the manufacturer or their PR for review.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Triangle Pattern Nails

Good morning! Today I have a cool geometric design to share with you guys. I have just been loving geometric patterns lately! I decided to translate that love to my nails.

This triangle design was made using L'Oreal Colour Riche polishes. I've actually not used L'Oreal polishes before this but found myself pleasantly surprised!

The base color is L'Oreal Eiffel for You. It's a nice neutral, kind of like a mushroomy warm grey. I used two coats for full opacity and the formula was really great. Very smooth and just the right consistency!

The triangles were freehanded on with L'Oreal Check Me Out, a hot pink with a slight shimmer. Unfortunately the shimmer didn't really translate to the nail as well as I'd have hoped, but it's still quite a nice color. It wasn't completely opaque for nail art, I had to go over the pattern one extra time for full opacity... That is definitely pretty standard though when doing nail art with polish instead of acrylic paint, so no big deal.

I'll tell you what, this design took a lifetime and a half to finish! It was slow going because I was trying to make sure that my triangles looked as clean as possible. I used the same medium length striper brush I almost always use for nail art (I'm gonna try to do a "tools of the trade" post soon). I'm really happy with the results though, despite the time!

My original design idea for these polishes was to do a checkerboard print. Right when I was about to start painting, I thought, "Why not triangles, instead?" So I changed the design on the fly and think this turned out nicely. It's like a checkerboard print but with one less side, right? Three instead of four?

I was definitely pleased with my first time trying the Colour Riche line. I've got a couple more colors to share with you guys soon, so stay on the lookout for those.

L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche polishes retail for $5.99, and are available at, as well as a number of other chain drug, food and mass market retailers.

The products in this post were sent to me by the manufacturer or their PR for review.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Denim Leopard (+ Video Tutorial)

Everyone loves leopard print, right? RIGHT!

All you guys really seemed to enjoy the neon leopard manicure that I posted on Sunday. I even had a few requests for a leopard tutorial. For those of you that requested, your wish is about to come true! Leopard prints are easy and striking, and I wanted to show you guys a video demo of how I do mine.

Let's watch the video tutorial. I think my video skills have improved since last time, but never fear! My voice overs are still as awkward as ever! (And don't forget to check out my channel!)

Once I had decided to do a blue themed variation on the leopard print, I started calling it a "denim leopard" in my head. It kinda stuck so I'm going with it!

As you probably heard in the video (I type bideo every time), this manicure was made using all China Glaze polishes. The base is Agent Lavender, which, despite supposedly being lavender, looks blue in this manicure -- even in person (I think it is the fact that it is up next to the dark blue). The center of the spots are Secret Peri-winkle, and the outside of the spots are First Mate.

The leopard print pattern is really versatile, in that you can do it in any combination of colors. Natural or psychedelic, leopard looks good under any circumstances.

I hope this video tutorial has encouraged some of you to give the leopard print manicure a try! With a little bit of practice and some patience, you will soon be a master of fierceness!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Glix Frankenpolish Sakura

Good morning! Today I have a frankenpolish line that is new to me to share with you: Glix by Glitrix! The polish we are looking at today is called Sakura. Keep reading for swatches, matte swatches, and... a GIVEAWAY!

Here is a swatch of the polish on it's own. I believe I used two coats for this swatch. It's a very unique polish! Pearly beige base, gold glitter, gold bar glitter, and small pink hexes. Very reminiscent of its namesake...

For fun, I've also mattified this polish using Hard Candy Matte-ly In Love. It takes on a completely different look! I think that this polish is very unique and subtle. It could be a great option for someone working in a conservative office, but who still wants to push the limits and have fun nails. The little pink glitters aren't bold or obnoxious, but still add just the right amount of sparkle.

Glix polishes ship from Singapore worldwide with free shipping. Orders can take from 1-2 weeks for delivery for US customers. Check out the shop on Etsy for more polish and further information!

Glitrix has kindly offered an extra bottle of Sakura for a giveaway. You can earn one entry for being a follower of Chalkboard Nails. A second entry can be earned by visiting Glix and letting me know what your favorite shade is there. Giveaway is open internationally and will close at midnight on 6/25/12.

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