Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pretty and Polished Summer In the City Collection

The Pretty and Polished Summer In the City collection kind of took me aback. This collection consists of three gorgeous, pigmented scattered holographic polishes and two polishes with glitter. I have four of the five to share with you today and I am in looove!

Boombox is hands down my favorite in the collection, and one of my favorite indies in recent memory. It's so beautiful in its simplicity: a gorgeous, rich cobalt blue with a beautiful and subtle holographic sparkle. The formula was a dream and I used two coats here.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished Boombox

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished Boombox

Crush is a pretty and bright orange with holographic sparkle. The orange has a bit of an aged, 70s twinge to it, while still being bright and summer appropriate. An orange to enjoy if there ever was one! I used three coats for this swatch.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished Crush

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished Crush

I Want Candy! is a pink with holographic sparkle. I had a little bit of trouble  photographing this one! It's slightly less orange than I've shown here. Just a lovely candy pink, perfect for summer. Three coats shown.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished I Want Candy!

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished I Want Candy!

Popples is an off-white based polish with neon glitters. There are some medium sized glitters in this but I had a little bit of trouble getting them out of the bottle. You can see one on my pinky though! Pretty and Polished does a really great job with white based jelly glitters and this one is no exception. It applied nicely and I used three coats here.

Chalkboard Nails: Pretty and Polished Popples

Look, here's the thing. You should probably go out and get Boombox. It just rocks, hard. The others are great too, so if you're feeling saucy, I'd pick them up too. There's also one more polish in this collection that I don't have called So Jazzed, but you can check it out on Crystal's Crazy Combos.

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

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Vivid Lacquer Theoretically Spring Collection

Some of you may recall Vivid Lacquer's Theoretical Rockstar from when I posted What I've been wearing lately vol. II. I know its jelly base and mix of tiny glitters captivated many of you! Well good news -- Anni has expanded the idea into the Theoretically Spring collection! This collection is made up of five squishy jellies with smaller glitters.

Theoretical Blogger is my favorite of the new polishes. This pink-tinted purple jelly builds nicely in three coats, and the darker glitters make it look like a smoothie. The formula was easy to work with and the glitters played nice!

Chalkboard Nails: Vivid Lacquer Theoretical Blogger

Theoretical Gamer is a soft sky blue jelly with darker blue and white glitters. I used three coats for the swatch below. I really like the addition of the white glitters here, and I'm also intrigued by the micro bar glitters. Very subtle and cool.

Chalkboard Nails: Vivid Lacquer Theoretical Gamer

Theoretical Girlfriend is the lightest of the polishes. It's almost white but if you inspect it closely, you'll see that it has a slightly pink tint to it. It also has pink and white micro glitters. This one gave me the most trouble in terms of formula. At three coats it was still a tiny bit streaky, but a good coat of topcoat did help smooth things out.

Chalkboard Nails: Vivid Lacquer Theoretical Girlfriend

Theoretical Rockstar -- the one that started it all! I reswatched it for this post, and it's just as fun now as it has ever been. The base is fairly sheer, providing a faint grey fog over the nail at three coats. The glitter is plentiful and looks like cookies and cream (resist the urge to nibble on your nails, though). The formula is great.

Chalkboard Nails: Vivid Lacquer Theoretical Rockstar

Theoretical Vegan is also a winner. This pale greyed-green jelly is accented by black and green glitters. The glitter density is great -- not too busy but not too sparse. This polish kind of reminds me of zombies, in a really awesome way. I've shown three coats here.

Chalkboard Nails: Vivid Lacquer Theoretical Vegan

So, what do you think of this collection? Which theoretical identity do you want to assume?

Vivid Lacquer polishes are available on Etsy. You can also keep up with the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The LadyBug Nail Polish Holder

Good morning! I have a neat little product to share with you guys today: The LadyBug Nail Polish Holder. You put your polish in this plastic holder, and it keeps you from being able to knock the bottle over.

The holder is a half sphere. This means that it will rock back and forth if knocked or disturbed, but it won't flip over or fall down. It's kind of like Weebles… do you know that toy? The catchphrase used to be "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down." The bottom of the LadyBug has three black circles on it. The middle circle is rounded and rubbery, which adds a bit of grip to the rocking base.

The two other circles on the base are flat, and they give the LadyBug its second purpose -- as a bottle tipper! When the level in your polish bottle gets low, you can set it up in the LadyBug and it will tip it for you. This makes it easier to access the polish at the bottom of the bottle.

I tested a number of bottle shapes in the foam center of the LadyBug and was happy to say that almost every one I tried fit nicely. Some notable weird shaped bottles that fit were CND, Nicole by OPI, Lime Crime, and Nfu Oh. The only one that I couldn't get in there was MAC Hyper, which has a block shape like the Urban Outfitters bottles. But those ones are so square anyway that they are already very stable.

While I can't say that I use this product every time I do a manicure, I have been using it more than I expected! Are you familiar with the shape of American Apparel polish bottles? They are tall, skinny rectangles. They have almost no heft to them and every time I use them I am afraid I will knock them over (and I'm not even very clumsy). Now, every time I want to use an American Apparel polish, I reach for the LadyBug. I can also see myself using it if I were polishing on the floor or some space other than my manicure table, and of course, the bottle tipping feature is great and practical.

I also made you guys a video demo of this product, cheesy voice over included!

The LadyBug Nail Polish Holder can be purchased on Taylor Gifts for $12.98. You can also follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Marie Claire's Most Wanted Awards

Hey guys! I was recently informed that I'm up for Marie Claire magazine's Most Wanted Nail Blogger award!

If you'd like to take a moment to vote for me, you can do so by filling out the survey and selecting for Most Wanted Nail Blogger.

The survey asks you questions about some of your favorite beauty products, brands, personalities, and more. You'll be entered to win a beauty bag valued at $150 just by entering! One entry per household.

I have the highest respect for the other nominees; many of them are heroes of mine! I hope you'll take the time to voice your opinion and thanks for your consideration.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A couple of bigRuby Nail Tattoo looks

You may recall that when I did my crazy bigRuby tattoo manicure that I mentioned also having a couple more simple looks to share with you guys, too, and today I have those ready to show off! If you missed my previous post, be sure to check it out for more information on how these awesome nail tattoos work.

This first look uses two of the same tattoo from the "Juju" set of tattoos. I paired them with this coral polish... I want to say that it's OPI Suzi's Hungary Again but honestly I'm not 100% sure. Bad blogger!

This look started with two coats of Orly Glowstick over white. I added the rocketship tattoo from the bigRuby "His" set and then I added one coat of Cirque Neko to the other nails. Unfortunately Neko was a limited edition polish, but Liquidus Nail Gloss just came out with a new polish that has a similar effect called Obsidian.

bigRuby nail tattoos can be purchased at You can also keep up with the brand via Twitter and Pinterest. Again -- for a recap of how these tattoos work, visit my previous bigRuby post!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

TUTORIAL: Sugared Stars and Stripes

Chalkboard Nails: Sugared Stars and Stripes Tutorial

Today I'm squeezing in one last tutorial to inspire you guys to enter the Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art competition before it ends this month! The theme is texture and I'm really excited to share this manicure with you because anyone can do it. You'll need some polishes, a few tools, and some patience... and you'll be rocking this candy-sweet stars and stripes manicure in no time!

Chalkboard Nails: Sugared Stars and Stripes Tutorial

Before we get started, gather your supplies. You'll need:

The amount of supplies may seem intimidating, but I promise this'll be easy once we break it down!

Chalkboard Nails: Sugared Stars and Stripes Tutorial

Watch me do this manicure LIVE through the magic of YouTube!

I've also got you photo tutorial gals covered.
  1. Using your nail art brush, paint three stripes with Violet Voltage onto a base of I Lilac You. Leave space between the stripes for your second color.
  2. Fill in the spaces between your dark purple stripes with Mellow Yellow. If needed, go over the stripes until they are the desired opacity.
    (2b.) Topcoat! Since we will not be topcoating the textured stars, you need to seal in your stripes now. Wait for your manicure to dry completely before moving on to step 3.
  3. Stick a piece of painters tape on to wax paper for ease in hole-punching. Punch three stars, leaving a little bit of room between them.
  4. Slowly peel the tape off and stick it to your nail. Push down hard around the stars' edges to prevent polish from seeping underneath.
  5. Paint Cotton Candies textured polish onto a makeup wedge. Tap the sponge lightly over the tape to transfer the polish to the nail. Repeat once for extra texture.
  6. Slowly and carefully remove the tape from your nail. Give your design a few extra moments to set since the Sugar Coat polishes aren't meant to be topcoated. 

Chalkboard Nails: Sugared Stars and Stripes Tutorial

Don't forget that this is the last month to enter into the I Heart Nail Art competition for a chance to win $500, a trip to NYC, and a shot at the $2,000 grand prize!

Sally Hansen products can be found at chain drug stores, food stores and mass retailers nationally. Visit their FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more information.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Serum No. 5 Glowmeleon Collection + Lei Down the Law

Hey folks! Today I have a cool indie collection to share with you from Serum No. 5. This summer collection consists of 4 polishes that not only look awesome in the light, but also glow in the dark! I've also got a bonus glowy treat that isn't a part of the collection. For each swatch I've shown the polish first in normal light and then a photo of it glowing. Because of the nature of the long exposure glow photos, they may appear slightly brighter here than they do to the naked eye.

Eternal Sunshine is a gorgeous gold shade with lots of glinting sparkles. I applied three coats for the opacity shown and had no issues with formula. Look at the awesome texture that the sparkles give the polish when it glows! Too cool.

Sunset Flare is a stunning polish that shifts from a pinky-red to orange to gold. I was really impressed by the formula on this one, it was super easy to work with. I used three coats, and like Eternal Sunshine, the materials used in this polish make for a really awesome visual texture in the dark!

Twilight Sparks is my faaaavorite in the collection. This amazing hunter green with golden shimmer is so special! I used three coats here. It does dry matte-ish so be sure to add topcoat to bring the golden shimmer to life.

Burning Orchid is a pretty shimmer topper that is probably best layered rather than worn alone. I've shown it here over Zoya Rocky. Burning Orchid adds a beautiful violet shimmer to any manicure, similar to a CND Effects line polish (and don't forget the glow effect, of course!).

Lei Down the Law
, while not officially a part of the Glowmeleon Collection, is sure to be a favorite for many of you. This polish has tiny colored matte glitters, tiny black matte glitters, and larger gray hex glitter pieces. This is three coats but you could probably get away with just two. Because of the glow pigment in it (I think), it appears to have a sort of grey jelly base, which I actually really like and I think it suits the polish well. The matte glitters make it topcoat hungry; I've applied two coats to this manicure.

Unfortunately I had a hard time photographing the glow on this one -- it glows white/gray with just a touch of blue. My camera decided that that meant OMGWTFBLUE, so I've tried to edit it a little bit here for better color accuracy.

So overall, which of these are you loving? I think these polishes are just so much fun. I love that they are refined in the light and party animals in the dark. I've definitely gotta say that Twilight Sparks is my favorite, but the rest are basically tied for second place!

Lei Down the Law is an LE shade and will be sold through the end of August, so be sure to snatch it up soon if you want it! These shades are available through the Serum No. 5 website and Etsy shop. You can also keep up with Serum No. 5 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Swoony Gradient (Lilac to Red)

Another day, another set of gradient nails. It's hard to say which color combination I like more between this one and the 70's green and brown combo I did a few weeks ago. I do love this, it feels very lovey-dovey and is sure to make you swoon!

My bottle of Illamasqua Jo'Mina had just arrived in the mail and I was itching to use it. I knew I wanted to use it in a gradient, but was unsure what to combine it with. I almost went with Essie Butler Please but switched to American Apparel Downtown LA at the last second. I love the way this turned out, so I'm glad I called the audible, but I'm still curious what the Essie pairing would have looked like. I may have to do that one at some point!

I've been getting a lot of requests for a gradient tutorial lately. I've switched up my process from the way I used to do it, so I hope to be able to film a demo video soon. Be on the lookout!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

GlitterDaze Rainbow Bridge and Browny Bear

The duo of polishes in today's post is a special one. Recently, Sana, the creator of GlitterDaze, unexpectedly lost her dog Browny to cancer. You can read more about what happened in her blog post, if you'd like. She created these polishes in Browny's memory and is donating 100% of their proceeds to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Not only is the idea wonderful, but the polishes are really beautiful.

Rainbow Bridge is a multicolored glitter topper in a clear base. It is incredibly dense and I've shown one coat over black here. Some of the glitters have a bit of a reflective curl to them but they do lay flat on the nail. It's so colorful and dense, but it's not just rainbow colored -- the glitters seem specifically chosen in jewel tones, so the mix looks very rich. Definitely one of my favorite multicolored toppers that I own.

If you're unfamiliar with the Rainbow Bridge, its a piece of prose that talks about a special place that pets go when they pass away. They wait there until they are able to be reunited with their owners, and the two of them cross the Rainbow Bridge together. Sana has pasted a copy of it in her post as well.

Chalkboard Nails: GlitterDaze Rainbow Bridge

Browny Bear is a mix of pinks, whites, browns, and golds, plus matte pink hearts. This polish was inspired by Browny herself and the love that Sana has for her. I've shown one coat here over OPI Privacy Please. I found the formula easy to use. This polish is a little more subtle than Rainbow Bridge, which makes it a great complement in the set.

Here are some bottle macros of both polishes.

Chalkboard Nails: GlitterDaze Rainbow Bridge macroChalkboard Nails: GlitterDaze Browny Bear

I can only imagine how hard it is for Sana to have lost Browny, & I love that she is doing something positive in her memory. I'm sure Browny approves. :)

These polishes are available at, and don't forget that the proceeds will be donated to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Sana adds,
"Because the purpose of this duo is charity and not any type of profit or personal gain, it will only be available in fullsized bottles, and there will be no discount for purchasing both together. I also request that you do not use your [GlitterDaze] rewards points for a discount toward these polishes, as it will reduce the amount of money going toward the donation."
You can also keep up with GlitterDaze on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fuchsia and Cobalt Tribal (Matte vs. Glossy)

The other day I was raring to do some nail art, and I wanted a design that would help me to practice my fine line work. I recently did an interview with The Crumpet and one of the things I said was that I wished I was better at fine details in my nail art. Well, there's no time like the present to start practicing!

I chose a geometric/tribal concept because consistent lines are really hard to do, and I thought it would be challenging. I really like the way that it came out.

Colors I used include:
OPI - My Vampire is Buff (cream - I recently bought three backup bottles of this shade, heeehhhhh)
Essie - Butler Please (cobalt blue)
Sheswai - F*ckyeah (fuchsia, now called Hot Damn) 
American Apparel - Hassid (black)

I also want to note that I used KBShimmer - Clearly On Top as my topcoat for this manicure and was very impressed. It didn't smear the nail art when I applied it, and it dried really speedily. Definitely worth looking into if you are in the market for a new topcoat.

After finishing the manicure I decided I wanted to make it matte. I don't use my matte topcoat often enough! It can really transform the entire look of whatever it's used on.

So, I added a coat of Hard Candy - Matte-ly In Love. I'm actually almost out of it, and I don't think that Hard Candy is producing it anymore. I'm going to give the OPI Matte Topcoat a shot next.

Which way do you prefer this manicure? While I normally prefer glossy, I think in this case I like it better matte. Both have their advantages, though!
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