Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kindergarten Doodles

I did this manicure a few months ago to work on my skills with a nail art pen. I had just purchased a set of Migi Nail Art Pens and wanted to get some experience in. They take a little bit of practice, but if you get good with them you can really achieve some awesome things. It's an interesting alternative to a nail art brush; I'd have a difficult time saying which one is better as they both have their advantages.

I've talked about Migi pens once before, in my Saran Wrap Spiderwebs manicure. If you're unfamiliar with how they work, the pens arrive in dual ended sticks, but each end can be disconnected. I would recommend keeping them together though as the added length of the stick can make it easier to draw! The pen caps can be unscrewed to reveal a normal nail polish brush, or you can leave the cap in and use the metal nib to draw as you squeeze the body of the bottle.

The doodly shapes are so colorful and cheery, they remind me of kindergarten doodles or an 80's print or something. I think I could still use a bit of practice but all in all a pleasant experience!

Visit the Migi Nail Art Pen website here and their online shop here. I purchased mine on Amazon -- the set I ordered is called "Beautifully Bold" there and appears to be called set #101 on the Migi website.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Inverted Triangles - OPI Euro Centrale Nail Art

I was originally going to call this post "Aqua Doritos," which is what my boyfriend exclaimed after I first showed him this nail art, but figured I should probably go for something a little more descriptive.

I had planned to do bunting nail art with these colors but when I went to paint them on my newly shortened nails (I had an unfortunate break), I thought it would look better to scatter the triangles around. I totally love the way this came out.

The base of this manicure is OPI My Vampire is Buff, which is honestly the star of this collection for me. It needed 3 coats for opacity and can be a bit streaky at times, but the formula is thin enough that the coats don't matter and the color is to die for. This clean cream shade is just divine and I probably should go out and pick up some backups.

I used OPI Can't Find My Czechbook (the aqua) and OPI I Saw...U Saw...We Saw...Warsaw (the navy) for the two triangle colors. I freehanded on the triangles with my medium length striper brush and then outlined them with the opposite color.

Geometric designs are always eye catching and I think having these dark triangles on such a light base really adds to that effect, as well.

What do you think? Triangle heaven or aqua Doritos?

The OPI Euro Centrale Collection is available now at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for $9.00 ($10.95 CAN) suggested retail for each lacquer.

 Products provided for review.

Friday, February 22, 2013

LaBarbara Conrad's Pants Print Nail Art

Sometimes, nail art inspiration can come from the weirdest of places.

I have mentioned here before that I love cartoons. Along with Adventure Time, Futurama is one of my favorite animated shows. I was idly watching a few episodes the other afternoon and saw this awesome pattern that was just screaming to be turned into nail art! I'd ask if you can guess where it's from but I'm afraid I've already revealed it in the post title. The pattern was on LaBarbara Conrad's (Hermes' wife) pants!

Here is the best shot I could find of the pants.


I didn't get the colors quite dead-on, but I really love the way these look together nonetheless. I used American Apparel Malibu Green, American Apparel Crescent Heights, and Lime Crime Lavendairy painted freehand over one coat of Cult Nails Tempest (a white creme).

This flowy, wavelike camo pattern was a lot of fun to paint and not too difficult! I think I'll be trying this again in the future in different color combinations.

Have you ever been inspired by something unusual like this? How do you think I did replicating the pattern?

Thanks for reading!

365 Days of Color Ice Queen, Glitter Princess, and Frolicking

This morning I have three polishes from 365 Days of Color to share with you! Two are them are from the Color Changing Collection and the third is from the new La Boheme Collection. Be sure to read to the end of the post for a coupon code!

Glitter Princess is the first of the color changing polishes. I needed three coats for the opacity below. When warm, this polish has a white base. I love the mix of colors in this, the formula is great, and frankly the color change is just a nice bonus! I would love Glitter Princess even if it just looked like this all the time!

When cold, Glitter Princess' white base turns a pretty soft pink. Please excuse the bit of water on my hands here, I had to dunk my nails in ice water to make them cold!

Ice Queen is the second of the color changers. This polish begins with a whitish-blue base when warm and it has a multitude of icy blue flecks in it. I used three coats for this swatch.

When cold, the polish base is supposed to get more blue. I could distinguish a little bit of a change but not as much as I was able to see in Glitter Princess. Maybe my hands weren't warm enough to begin with? Still though, quite pretty.

Frolicking is from the newest collection from 365 Days of Color: La Boheme. This one doesn't change colors but is freakin' adorable! This springy mint green base is studded with magenta circles, tan, brown, and pink squares, and just a touch of shimmer. I used three coats, again. So springy and cute, right?

What do you guys think of these polishes? Which ones are you swooning over?

365 Days of Color polishes (and hand care products!) can be purchased at Chalkboard Nails readers can get 10% off their total purchase by using the code "CHALK10"! You can also keep up with the brand on Facebook.

Products provided for review.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Easy Dotted French Tip - OPI Euro Centrale Nail Art

A few weekends ago I went on a weekend getaway to Flagstaff, Arizona, to spend some time in the snow. I know many of you are totally rolling your eyes at me right now -- with all of the storms going on I'm sure you're wondering why I would seek snow out! Nevertheless, this desert-dweller did, and when I was choosing my polish, only one question was on my mind.

"What would look best contrasted against the white of the snow?"

I ended up grabbing OPI My Paprika is Hotter Than Yours, from the new Euro Centrale collection. I wore it alone all weekend with no chips and only minor tipwear, and when I got back home, I added some easy nail art to refresh the look a bit. Enter: the dot French tip.

Before we get into the logistics of the dots, let's talk about the colors.

OPI My Paprika is Hotter Than Yours is a scorchingly bright red-orange hybrid shade. Honestly, I couldn't choose between an orange or red description for this color even if I had to. It seems to morph constantly, causing you to doubt your knowledge of and eye for colors in a seriously cool way. I needed two coats for opacity.

OPI...Eurso Euro is a deep and dark navy. This seemed to have great pigmentation and opacity when I used it for the nail art!

I used a large and small dotting tool to apply the dot tips. I chose to make the larger dots to go off the edge of the nail.

If you don't have a dotting tool, there are plenty of substitutes you can find around the house. For example, the rubber tip of a bobby pin, the plastic ball on the end of a sewing needle, and a toothpick would all make great dotters. Just look for two items that will help you make dots of different sizes.

Here's the pic (stolen from my Instagram) of this color with the snow. So delightfully hot and cold! Sorry about the fuzzies on my hand, I had been wrapped up in a blanket just before I decided to go take this shot. :)

What do you guys think? Is this bright orange-red shade heating you up or leaving you cold?

The OPI Euro Centrale Collection is available now at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for $9.00 ($10.95 CAN) suggested retail for each lacquer.

Products provided for review.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

piCture pOlish Starry Night by Llarowe

There's a new piCture pOlish collaboration shade in town and it's called Starry Night! This collaborative shade was made with Llarowe and it's really quite lovely.

Starry Night is a charcoal jelly scattered holo with multicolor sparks. I found that the formula was super cooperative and just the right consistency. I used three thin coats for my swatch, though if you apply your coats a bit thicker you will probably only need two. It has a very smooth, non lumpy finish and dries to a high shine.

I love the irregularly shaped flecks in this.

Here is Starry Night in direct light.

Of course we can't forget the classic piCture pOlish bottle!

Starry Night is 11mL and is available through Llarowe for $14.50 and via the piCture pOlish website for AUD$12.00. No other US or Canadian stockists will have this shade as it will be exclusive to Llarowe. You can also follow Llarowe on Facebook and piCture pOlish on Facebook.

Product sent for review.

Sonnetarium Fresh Collection for Spring 2013

The Sonnetarium Fresh Collection for spring 2013 is a tasty trip through your grumbling stomach's most heavenly dream. Warning: don't wear these on an empty stomach!

Cucumber Salad is a cool mint green with white and dark green glitters. Cucumbers are delicious and so is this polish! There is a faint subtle shimmer to this one, too, though it is hard to see unless you are looking for it. This is three coats.

Strawberry Smoothie is a light pink polish with pink, white, and red glitters. The glitter in this almost makes the polish look like girly granite. Adorable at three coats!

Blueberry Yogurt is the winner in this collection for me. This purple base is studded with blue glitters and violet shimmer, giving it an almost grainy appearance (in a fun, interesting way). It basically looks exactly like blueberry yogurt. Isn't it funny how blueberries turn things purple? Again, three coats.

Banana Pudding is a pale yellow base with yellow glitters. I had the most difficulty applying this one, needing four coats to even it out. I expect I would have had a much easier time if I had started with a white base, though. I love the addition of yellow in this collection, it really rounds it out.

Raspberry Sorbet was a surprise runner-up favorite of mine. This brick-raspberry base has copper and gold flecks that catch the light and shine beautifully. Again, I used three coats.

So, what are you craving today?

The Fresh Collection is available for purchase now on 9mL polishes retail for $6.00 while 15mL retail for $8.50. You can also keep up with the brand on Facebook, where there is currently a giveaway running!

Products sent for review.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Trippy Drippy

When all else fails, paint some drips.

That's my motto. Or it should be, anyway. Drip nail art is awesome. It's easy and fun and it looks pretty impressive. I sat down to do some nail art last night and was unsure what I wanted to paint. The idea to make a lineup of rainbow drips eventually came to me, and as I was painting them, I realized it would look even better if I could turn the colors into a gradient. I kind of changed course a bit to try to make that happen. Thankfully, I think I was successful!

My red shade is China Glaze Snap My Dragon which is a new shade from the Avant Garden collection. I grabbed Zoya Arizona for my orange, and then picked China Glaze Happy Go Lucky for the Yellow. The green is Lime Crime Pastelchio and the blue is China Glaze Hanging in the Balance. I finished off the rainbow with China Glaze Gothic Lolita for the purple.

This gradient technique was a bit different than a normal sponged gradient. I ended up making custom mixes of each of the two colors I was gradient-ing and then lightly brushing it on to create as smooth a transition as possible.

I painted rainbow stripes using the same colors on my thumb.

Doesn't Zoya Arizona look like nacho cheese in the pic above?

Hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing Sunday, and thanks for reading!

Some of the products in this post were provided for review.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cult Nails 2nd Anniversary Collection

In celebration of their 2nd Anniversary, Cult Nails has released a special collection consisting of three lacquers. The collection includes a creme, a glitter, and a rubber/leather matte finish, so I imagine there is something for everyone here! Let's take a look at some swatches.

Tempest is a white creme. It's just a plain white, but the formula is really nice. I was able to achieve full opacity with just two thin coats, and others have been able to get away with just one. The consistency of this polish makes it a fantastic white for nail art, and I know I will be using it a lot going forward.

Blaze is a sparkly mix of gold and copper glitter in a clear base. I have shown three coats in the photo below, but you may be able to get away with two. This would also look great layered! This is my favorite polish in the collection, I am always a big fan of the full coverage micro glitter polishes. You may need an extra coat of topcoat to smooth it out completely.

Fetish is a solid black polish in a rubberized/leather matte finish. I've used two coats for the swatch below as I found the formula to be on the thinner side. It began to look matte right away. I think this would be a great option for people that love plain black polish but want to add a little bit of interest to their manicure. Since you aren't using topcoat, it takes a bit longer to dry. I let mine sit for about ten minutes before I swatched it, and was still able to ding it after I had finished my photos. Maybe settle in for an episode of Walking Dead while you let it dry!

In celebration of reaching 10,000 Facebook likes, Cult Nails is currently running a sale on their lacquers. Use the code "FB10K" to get your polishes for $8.00 each! This code will be active through Monday at 11:59pm EST.

Cult Nails polishes are sold at You can also keep up with the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Cult Nails blog.

Products provided for review.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Enchanted Polish Imagine Collection

Hello! Today's post is massively picture heavy. It includes swatches of the six holographic multichrome polishes in the Enchanted Polish Imagine Collection. Because these polishes are both holographic and multichromatic, I felt that they really needed multiple photos both at different angles and in different lighting.

Please hit the jump to check these beauties out (and if you use an RSS reader, I recommend viewing this post from my actual blog).


Thursday, February 14, 2013

I Love Nail Polish - Valentine's Day Collection

Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you have a significant other or not, I hope you take today to show yourself a little love. I think my boyfriend and I will be seeing the new Die Hard movie and eating a lot of candy, so obviously I am looking forward to that. :)

Today I have swatches of the I Love Nail Polish Valentine's Day Collection to share with you. These are all fun glitters that could be worn at any time of year. Let's begin...

Candy Gram is a mix of white, teal, and red glitters, plus black shards and white hearts. It's a really adorable color mix, and I've paired it with Nicole by OPI My Lifesaver. I did have to fish a bit for an extra heart or two but that is to be expected! I think the black shards add a great dimension to this adorable polish.

Cheshire Blues is my favorite from this collection. This sweet mix of fuchsia and lavender is just right, and is accented by pink satin hearts and teal satin hexes. I've layered it over Essence Thelma to help the glitters stand out! Isn't it adorable?

No Place Like Rome is an all red glitter topper with squares, circles, small hexes, and micro glitter. I like the way these glitter sizes work together. I'm sure this would be ultra dramatic if you layered it over black! I chose to put NPLR over American Apparel L'Esprit, a lavender, to accent the bold red color.

Strawberry Creme is the only non-topper glitter in this collection. It has a tasty mix of pink, fuchsia, and red circle glitters as well as smaller hex glitters in a creamy white base. The name of this polish makes me want a strawberry creme filled chocolate. Anyone else? Coverage was great; I only needed two coats for the photo shown.

Speaking of wanting chocolate, Truffle Shuffle is a rich cocoa brown glitter mix with red and pink circles sprinkled in. While I think this fits in well with the collection, I also think it would be an awesome fall glitter! I've layered it over OPI Berlin There Done That for this swatch.

Finally, we have Forever and a Day. This pretty thing is a mix of pale teals and golds. I've shown it over OPI I Don't Give a Rotterdam, whose pretty gold shimmer matched beautifully with this topper. It's quite refined and elegant looking.

The formula on these was good - I got a decent amount of glitter in every swipe and didn't have any problems with clumping or thickness. One thing that is important to mention is that I Love Nail Polish lacquers do smell a little different than the normal "nail polish" smell...maybe more chemically? It doesn't bother me and I don't find that it lasts very long, but if you are very sensitive to smells, proceed with care.

I Love Nail Polishes are 3-free and can be purchased from the ILNP Etsy shop. You can also keep up with the brand on Facebook and the ILNP blog.

Products provided for review.
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