Monday, April 29, 2013

Zoya PixieDust Summer Edition Swatches and Review

Chalkboard Nails: Zoya PixieDust Summer Edition

Zoya's Summer PixieDust collection is full of juicy hues sure to add some intrigue to your textured polish collection. The collection is made up of six textured shades with fine, even sized particles. Read on for my swatches and reviews of these lacquers!

Zoya Beatrix is a tangerine orange textured polish. This one was the sheerest of the six for me, but I still found two thicker coats opaque enough to get the job done! Definitely a very summery shade. It makes me want popsicles!

Chalkboard Nails: Zoya Beatrix (PixieDust textured shade)

Zoya Destiny is a coral shade with a gorgeous gold sparkle. This one was also on the sheer side, but again I managed to get away with two thicker coats. It's almost like a jelly version of a textured polish -- kind of semi-opaque on the nail.

Chalkboard Nails: Zoya Destiny (PixieDust textured shade)

Zoya Liberty is a crazy pretty blue textured polish. The blue shade is rich and dense and the silver sparkle is just perfect. I heard this one stained some other bloggers' nails so I put a base coat on underneath two coats of Liberty. It did seem to take longer to dry than the others, but that could have been from my use of base coat. Drool-licious.

Chalkboard Nails: Zoya Liberty (PixieDust textured shade)

Zoya Miranda is a cranberry red textured polish. I loved wearing this one! The silver sparkle goes so nicely with the red base. Perfect for ladies that like wearing a classic red nail but want to go a little bit wild! Two coats.

Chalkboard Nails: Zoya Miranda (PixieDust textured shade)

Zoya Solange is a metallic yellow-gold textured polish and my favorite of the bunch. It catches the light in the most beautiful ways, and is so glamorous on your nails. Two coats.

Chalkboard Nails: Zoya Solange (PixieDust textured shade)

Zoya Stevie is a lilac purple textured polish. This was the first one I reached for when deciding which PixieDust to wear, and some of you may have seen me post it on Instagram a few days ago! This one is probably my second favorite in the collection, because I have a weakness for light purples like this. Two coats.

Chalkboard Nails: Zoya Stevie (PixieDust textured shade)

Zoya PixieDusts are perfect for those of you that want to dip your toes into the textured trend without going too crazy. Since the particles are all small and even-sized, it's not too much of a departure from what you may be used to. Still, textured polish veterans will enjoy the sparkle, unique shades, and metallics this collection offers.

Each polish only required two thickish coats for opacity, which is good! I think if I had used three on any of them they may have taken a while to dry. The formulas were great... very easy to control. I didn't do any clean up in any of these photos!

My official Chalkboard Nails picks are Solange, Stevie, and Liberty, though I can truly say there isn't one in the bunch that I don't like.

Zoya Summer PixieDusts are available now on Each polish retails for $9.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

bigRuby "Hers" Nail Tattoos

Nail art is my favorite thing in the world, but I'll admit that it can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating. Sometimes you wanna jazz up that manicure but don't wanna spend a ton of time on nail art. ENTER BIGRUBY NAIL TATTOOS!

These nail tattoos are easy, fun, and sassy. The designs are awesome -- I couldn't pick just one! So I jammed a bunch of them together. Not sure what to call it though... graffiti nails? Collage art? Clipart manicure? What do you think?

Chalkboard Nails: bigRuby Nail Tattoo manicure

These nail tattoos are very similar to the temporary tattoos that you probably used as a kid. The process is simple!
  1. Apply your base polish and let it dry completely.
  2. Cut the tattoo you want to use out of the sheet.
  3. Remove the clear top sheet. Press the tattoo (image side down) on to your nail. BigRuby makes it easy to place these where you want them because they have the image reprinted on the back side of the sheet!
  4. Wet the back of the tattoo and press down for 15 seconds. Remove the paper.
  5. Smooth your tattoo out (if needed) with a wet finger. 
  6. Let dry and finish with two coats of topcoat.
Even that makes it seem more complicated than it is though -- basically the steps are cut, stick, wet, smooth, and finish.

Chalkboard Nails: bigRuby Nail Tattoo manicure

I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls as the base polish, and all of these tattoos came from the "Hers" tattoo set. BigRuby also offers a bunch more tattoo pack themes like "His," "Sea," "Garden," and "Juju," among others!

Chalkboard Nails: bigRuby Nail Tattoo manicure

Obviously I piled a TON of tattoos on my nails, but you could use one or two as an accent if you want a simpler manicure. I actually have a couple of looks saved up that only use single tattoos, but I just couldn't wait to share this crazy one with you.

Chalkboard Nails: bigRuby Nail Tattoo manicure

Overall I was very pleased with the experience I had using these tattoos. They were easy to apply, are well designed, and look beautiful on the nail. Each pack of tattoos comes with two sheets so they are sure to last you a while.

You can buy bigRuby tattoos on Each pack retails for $12, though they have a few packs on sale right now, too! You can also find the brand on Twitter.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Velvet Floral Stamping

The other day I was desperately in need of a mani change, but I was a little short on time. What to do? Grab a matte, of course! Mattes are great because they usually require very few coats and dry quickly. Plus, they look awesome, but that one is kind of a given.

I wore Zoya Posh for the evening, and then later decided to embellish it a little bit. I did something unexpected... I STAMPED! Can you believe it? I think I only have seven stamping posts since I started this blog.

I used an image from the Nailz Craze plate NC03. It was a gift from my dearest Michelle from Sonoma Nail Art, how sweet is she? There are some adorable designs on this plate; I definitely want to try out the matryoshka (nesting doll) image. I stamped the image using Sally Hansen Night Flight. Here is the entire look with the original matte finish.

Then, of course, I had to see what it looked like topcoated!

As much as I want to prefer the matte look, I think I like this best with topcoat. The shimmer in Zoya Posh becomes glowier, and the stamping becomes clearer and darker. Plus who can resist the high-gloss shine of Seche Vite? No one I say!!

Which way do you prefer this manicure? Matte or glossy?

Zoya Posh is an older shade that is unfortunately not on the Zoya website anymore. You may have some luck finding someone to swap for it or picking it up from a blog sale. Alternatively, you could get a pretty red and add a matte topcoat (like Essie - Matte About You).

Nailz Craze plates are sold in the Nailz Craze Etsy shop. You can also find the brand on Facebook.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Nails Match My Wallet!

I had a trusty wallet for years and years, and I just loved it to pieces. Unfortunately, it had become quite worn out and it was time for me to replace it.

I ended up finding a nice looking wallet (an ALDO Saikawa) on Zappos and placed an order. At the time, I thought it was gonna be a decent replacement. When it arrived, it was so much lovelier than I had expected! The neon block along the bottom was N-E-O-N and accented the caramel block perfectly.

Naturally, I did what I had to do: wallet inspired color blocked nails.

Chalkboard Nails: Neon wallet color blocking

Chalkboard Nails: Neon wallet color blocking

I used China Glaze Surfin' For Boys as my neon orange-pink-red. It was almost a perfect match, definitely the closest shade I had in my stash!

After it was dry, I taped off part of the base and then added two coats of China Glaze Desert Sun. When I removed the tape, I had a clean crisp line between the colors, and my nails matched my wallet!

Chalkboard Nails: Neon wallet color blocking

Pretty darn close if you ask me... I know a lot of people don't like being matchy-matchy in fashion, but to that I say PFFT!

Chalkboard Nails: Neon wallet color blocking

What do you think of my wallet-inspired manicure?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

I'm kind of having a kite moment.

It all began when I ran across this amazing kite hairclip tutorial on Wild Olive. I made one myself with a few modifications... it was so easy and was almost too cute for words! I ended up making a few more for family and friends, too. You can check out some photos of those at the end of the post if you're interested!

Kites are so classic and youthful, and yet sort of romantic and idyllic... I knew I had to do some cheerful kite nail art, too!

Chalkboard Nails: Kite nail art

I started by sponging on a gradient of DIOSA I Sea You, Sally Hansen Blue-Away, and Zoya Purity for the sky.

Next I painted a kite shape in white on my middle finger. After putting down the white base, I added the yellow and pink sections using Zoya Darcy and Zoya Micky. The final step in creating the kite was a black tail and purple bows done in OPI Funky Dunkey.

As a finishing touch, I used a dotting tool to make some cute fluffy white clouds.

Chalkboard Nails: Kite nail art

Chalkboard Nails: Kite nail art

The manicure was pretty easy overall -- the most challenging part was painting a thin line for the tail and keeping the bows small.

Chalkboard Nails: Kite nail art

So what do you think... does this make you want to dig a kite out from the depths of the garage and take it flying? I know I want to! I don't think I've flown a kite since I was a little girl.

Here are the kite clips that I made using the Wild Olive tutorial! The first one is Dayna's and the second is mine.

Chalkboard Nails: Handmade kite hairclipChalkboard Nails: Handmade kite hairclip

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Citrus Water Marble - Zoya Stunning Nail Art

Zoya is really pumping out the collections lately, not that any of us are complaining! One of their latest is the Stunning Collection, which is made up of six creme finish polishes. I had them all lined up together on my table and thought they looked beautiful together, and decided to incorporate them into a water marble.

I used five of the six polishes in the collection for this look: Yana (pink-red), Thandie (orange), Darcy (yellow), Josie (green), and Rocky (blue). There is also a coral called Micky in the collection but I was worried it was too close to Yana to be distinct enough in the marble, and chose to not include it.

Chalkboard Nails: Citrus water marble

As I was marbling I realized something...although I was dropping the polishes into the water in rainbow order, some of them were blending into each other! Yana and Thandie seemed to merge together and come out orange, while Josie and Rocky just looked green next to each other.

That was fine with me though! At arms length, I was left with orange, yellow, and green. They look like citrus together, and heaven knows I love me some lemon and lime. (Oranges? Meh.)

Chalkboard Nails: Citrus water marble

This marble pattern is a new one for me! I've never tried this line-type effect and am really happy with the way it came out. Colette has a tutorial for a similar look, except I stopped before the final swirl she does through the water.

Chalkboard Nails: Citrus water marble

Water marbling is still challenging for me, but I've come a long way since the first time I tried it a year and a half ago. Just goes to show that persistence pays off!

Chalkboard Nails: Citrus water marble

So, what do you guys think? I love this look, it's summery and bright and mouth-wateringly sour.

Chalkboard Nails: Citrus water marble

The Zoya Stunning Collection is available now on Each polish retails for $8.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Contrary Polish Ain't That a Beach Trio

Contrary Polish is releasing a new trio called "Ain't That a Beach" and it is made up of three polishes: Sand, Sky, and Surf! These polishes are sure to conjure up memories of relaxing afternoons at the beach.

Each polish is shown first in indirect light and second in direct light.

Sand is a dirty tan with gold shimmer and brown microglitter. I think this gorgeous neutral is my favorite in the trio! It truly does look like wet sand. I need to do some beach nail art on top of this one... maybe some shells, a footprint or two... The formula was excellent and needed two coats for the swatch below.

Chalkboard Nails: Contrary Polish Sand

Sky is a lovely deep sky blue with gold shimmer. This is a great great summer shade! Two coats.

Chalkboard Nails: Contrary Polish Sky

Chalkboard Nails: Contrary Polish Sky

Surf is a dark green-leaning blue with green-teal shimmer. It's kind of deep and moody without being overbearing. The green shimmer is the perfect accent to the base color. Two coats.

Chalkboard Nails: Contrary Polish Surf

Chalkboard Nails: Contrary Polish Surf

I know I say this every time I review Contrary Polish products, but the formula is fantastic as usual. Creamy and buttery, it applies smoothly to the nail without issues.

Are these polishes transporting you to a beach vacation? My favorite is Sand -- Carrie nailed the inspiration!

The Ain't That a Beach trio is scheduled to be released this afternoon at 1:00pm MST on Llarowe (ships internationally!). The polishes will retail for $11 each. Carrie also sells minis of her polishes on the Contrary Polish blog, though I'm not sure if or when this particular trio will be available for purchase.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Disqus Commenting and a Reader Survey

I'm constantly on the hunt for ways to improve Chalkboard Nails for the both of us, and if something makes sense I'll take the plunge! So on that note, I have a couple of administrative things to go over with you guys today.

First, you may have noticed that I've switched to Disqus commenting. Recently, I've realized that the Chalkboard Nails comment system could be better serving both of us. Disqus has a lot of advantages over the old system: guest commenting and more comment login options, better replies and reply notifications, image attachment capabilities, nicer mobile support, improved spam detection, and more. I'm asking you guys to give the system a try for a bit and let me know what you think! I honestly believe it is a better fit for the comments here and I hope you do too.

Besides through comments, I can be reached on Twitter @ChalkboardNails or by email if you want to share your thoughts. (The old comments are still importing, so they aren't showing for now.)

Second, I've put together a little survey for you guys to fill out if you have a spare moment. It's basically just questions about how you use Chalkboard Nails, what you like and dislike, what I could be doing better... I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts, and it shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

The survey is anonymous, by the way, so feel free to be honest! :)

Click here to be taken to the survey directly instead of taking it on this page.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chalkboard Nails for What I Wore: Ikat

I'm collaborating with Jessica from What I Wore for a four part series of nail art designs inspired by her past outfits! Stop by What I Wore to view the first installment, including details on the colors and techniques used.

Chalkboard Nails for What I Wore: Ikat


Pretty and Polished Algebraic Addition Collection

Building on the previous success of the Mathematical! Collection, Pretty and Polished has released an 8-piece Adventure Time themed collection called Algebraic Addition. Fans of the show will get excited about the references to characters and places, while those that aren't familiar with the cartoon will still be able to enjoy these interesting lacquers. Be sure to check out my Adventure Time nail art as well!

7 Year Lich is a really awesome topper in a clear base. It's difficult to describe -- thank goodness for photos! There are iridescent bits in it that catch the light and look almost pastel, plus medium black hexes and grey... smudges? They aren't quite flakes and they aren't shards...whatever you call them I think they're awesome. I've shown one coat here over Zoya Dove so you can see it better, but I really want to try it over a darker grey for a more subtle look. Based on The Lich.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished 7 Year Lich

Candy Reign is a pink based polish with neon glitters and different colors of stars. I love the sweet pink base! I just wish it was a little less opaque so the complexity of the glitter mix could shine a little more. Three coats. Based on the Candy Kingdom.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished Candy Reign

House of Heroes is another glitter topper in a clear base. This one has something I haven't seen before: giant white rectangle glitters! It also has green and blue satin glitters, brown metallic hexes, and a sprinkling of green microglitter. I've shown it layered over OPI Jade Is the New Black. Based on Finn and Jake's tree fort.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished House of Heroes

Incinerate My Heart is easily my favorite in this collection. This bright and fiery red-orange jelly base is accented by fiery glitters in squares, hexes, and diamonds. The formula was flawless on this! I needed just two coats for the opacity below and it showed all of the glitter depth perfectly. Based on Flame Princess.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished Incinerate My Heart

Pep In Your Step is one of Chelsea's classic white based glitter polishes! Boy does she know how to make 'em! This milky white base has red glitters of different shapes and sizes. I used three easy coats for the swatch below. Based on Peppermint Butler.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished Pep In Your Step

The Big Squeeze is an interesting yellow base with small sized yellow and white glitters. The smaller glitters in this are a little hungry at times, so to cut down their appetite I layered one coat over Lime Crime Crema de Limon. Based on The Earl of Lemongrab.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished The Big Squeeze

Watch It In CD! is a clear based glitter topper with lovely pink and purple glitters plus a dash of gorgeous crystalline shimmer. This is just one coat over China Glaze Creative Fantasy, so you can see it's pretty darn dense! I imagine this could be layered to opacity in three or so coats if that's more your jam. Inspired by the Crystal Dimension.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished Watch It In CD!

Whatevers 2009! is a purple based polish with holo dust, as well as blue, purple, and green glitters, and purple stars. The coverage on this one was good, needing two coats for the opacity here, and the holo dust is really stunning with the purple of the base. However, like Candy Reign, I found myself wishing that the glitters were just a little less hidden. Inspired by my favorite realm in The Land of Ooo: Lumpy Space.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished Whatevers 2009

So, what do you guys think? If you're a fan of the show, do you think Chelsea did these inspirations justice? If you've never seen Adventure Time, are these polishes you'd wear anyway?

My Chalkboard Nails top picks are Incinerate My Heart (UGH so beautiful), 7 Year Lich, Pep In Your Step, and Watch It In CD.

Pretty and Polished products are sold on and on Etsy. You can also keep up with the brand on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.

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