Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Marsh Gradient and Butterfly Charm

Another gradient. Okay, maybe by now you're thinking, "That's quite enough of those." But I just love wearing them! They're an awesome way to turn up the volume on a simple manicure without requiring too much detail work or going too crazy.

The colors in this one reminded me of a marsh! I used three China Glaze shades.
China Glaze - Def Defying
China Glaze - Sunday Funday
China Glaze - Man Hunt

I also added a butterfly no. 1 charm from Hex Nail Jewelry. I love nail charms so darn much. The curve on this one fit my thumb nail perfectly.

Here's the naked gradient, sans charm!

I just loved the colors in this gradient so much. I don't think they've quite beaten out my 70's gradient in my heart, but they are definitely darn close.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tiny Chowder Nail Decal

If there's one thing you need to know about me, it's that I'm obsessed with my dog, Chowder. You may have familiarized yourself with him when I did nails for his 5th birthday, or maybe you follow my Instagram account, where I occasionally post pictures of him! Either way, he is the best and everyone knows I love him ALMOST too much.

Imagine my absolute delight when I opened up a gift from Michelle (Sonoma Nail Art) that contained two sheets of custom decals... THAT HAD CHOWDERS ON THEM!

She used a digital illustration that I made of Chowder and modified it to work as a decal. He's got his little front paws up like he does when he stands up on his hind legs. How cute does baby Chowder look on my nail!?

I used Lime Crime Milky Ways as the base of this manicure.

I ended up wearing this manicure for something like six days and loved every second of it. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get it posted, though!

Thank you Michelle for such a thoughtful and personal gift - you clearly know me well!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Different Dimension You've Got a Friend In Me Set

I'm pretty sure that there isn't a person alive on this planet who didn't like the movies in the Toy Story series. And if there is, I'm not so sure I want to know! The Toy Story movies are touching, funny, thoughtful, and they appeal to adults and kids alike. Today we're going to take a look at the Different Dimension You've Got a Friend In Me Set, a two-polish duo inspired by the movies.

Reach For the Sky is a polish inspired by everyone's favorite toy cowboy - Woody! I remember when the first movie came out and my dad couldn't stop using "reach for the sky" as his own catchphrase. It's a yellow polish with yellow and red glitters, and it also seems to have some iridescent pieces. I used three coats for this swatch.

To Infinity and Beyond is of course inspired by a sometimes-delusional spaceman, Buzz Lightyear. This clear-based glitter topper is packed with green, purple, and white shades. Here I've shown one coat over OPI You're Such a Budapest. And as an added surprise, much like Buzz...


I love the inspiration for this set, and I think Missi totally nailed it. Each polish really reminds me of its character.

These polishes are only available as a set, but you can pick them up in mini or full size versions via the Different Dimension Etsy shop. You can also keep up with the brand on FacebookTwitter, & InstagramIf you are making a purchase, be sure to enter the code "CBN20" at checkout to receive 20% off!

Friday, July 26, 2013

MINIONS!! - Despicable Me Nail Art

Last weekend I went to go see Despicable Me 2 with my sister, and I just couldn't resist doing minion nail art! I have seen so many cute minion nail designs (most recently from Rebecca Likes Nails, though I don't think she has posted them up yet) and I knew I wanted to try one out for myself.

I had a lot of fun assembling the pieces for each of their faces -- eyes (both placement and quantity), mouth, general expression -- they are all unique!

For those of you unfamiliar with the minions, here's a good YouTube montage of minion clips. The minions are basically the main character's creations, and he uses them to help him execute his evil plans. They like to goof off though, and are a huge part of the comedy in the movies! Very endearing.

For my version, I started with a base of Lime Crime Crema de Limon.
Then, I added the eyes in white, and the irises in China Glaze Call of the Wild. I outlined the goggles with A England Fated Prince and added the strap in black.
The tongues are done with Zoya Renee.
Lastly, I added their overalls in American Apparel Mount Royal, and distressed them a bit with China Glaze Secret Peri-winkle.

The movie turned out to be really cute, and I liked knowing I was watching it with my own little minion buddies!

Plus, we went and got Dairy Queen afterwards... Choco Cherry Love Blizzard!

Have you seen Despicable Me 2 yet?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

TUTORIAL: Beauty and the Beach Summer Nail Art

To date, one of my most positively received nail art posts has been my entry for last year's Beauty and the Beach contest. I can't say that I'm surprised -- who can resist the combination of nail art and the beach? I know this manicure has me dreaming of the cool ocean breeze and aqua-colored waters.

Chalkboard Nails: Summer nail art tutorial

Chalkboard Nails: Summer nail art tutorialChalkboard Nails: Summer nail art tutorialChalkboard Nails: Summer nail art tutorial

In the spirit of summer, I've made you guys a video tutorial for this look! There are a lot of different techniques involved, and I did my best to demonstrate all of them while still keeping the overall video length reasonable. Please be sure to comment if you have any follow-up questions!

Here are the products I used in this look:
Cult Nails Tempest
OPI Did You Ear About Van Gogh
American Apparel Hassid
China Glaze For Audrey
OPI My Paprika is Hotter Than Yours
It's So Easy Nails Stripe Rite in White
Nail art brush
Makeup wedge
Cleanup brush/Q-Tips

Will you be trying out this summer nail art tutorial? I have to say, my favorite part is the little baby starfish. What do you think his name should be?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thermal + Neon Glitter = Magic

Here's a manicure that I wore for a few days and totally loved. It combined two amazing things: thermal polish and neon glitter!

The base polish is Dance Legend Thermo Trio No 001. If you can believe it, all three colors below are the same polish! The Thermo Trio polishes are amazing because not only are they temperature sensitive, but they transition between three colors instead of the usual two.

In this case, it goes from a pale blue-purple when warm... to a medium pink when cool... to a dark purple when cold. In the photo below, my pointer and ring fingers show the cool-to-cold transition, and my middle and pinky fingers show the normal warm state.

I also added one coat of Lush Lacquer Clowning Around to the manicure. I really liked how it looked with the default blue-purple shade, kind of speckled like an egg! I'm not sure why it looks pitted on the cold nails -- it really didn't look like that in person.

Here's what the manicure looked like most of the time for me. It's the "warm" state of the polish.

Below is the manicure transitioning from cool to cold. You can see a bit of the warm shade at the top of my pinky and pointer nails.

And here's one final shot of the manicure. The pointer and ring finger nails are ice cold, and the middle and pinky are warm.

Dance Legend is available via the Dance Legend website, Ninja Polish, and Llarowe.
Lush Lacquer is available on Etsy.

What do you think of this look? Have you had the chance to try out any Dance Legend polishes yet?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

No Sponge Required: Spotted Syrup Gradient

Good morning! Today I have some deceptively simple nail art for you. It's a gradient, but without a sponge! Perfect for those of you that don't want to spend the time fussing with tools, cleanup, and blending, or for ladies that are intimidated by the sponged version and want to try something easier first.

I got this idea from Rebecca Likes Nails, who used the jellies from the China Glaze Sunsational collection to create a gradient. GENIUS -- be sure to check out her tutorial! Next, the technique was picked up by Kayla Shevonne. I know Polish Insomniac has been a fan of this style, too!

Basically all this involves is using a jelly polish to create varying coverage, with the greatest amount of coats at the nail tip.

For this particular look I began with a base of 3 coats of China Glaze You Drive Me Coconuts.
Then, using the polish brush and China Glaze Are You Jelly? I painted on one, two, three, and four coats, with the fourth coat being the shortest and ending closest to the nail tip. (Again, if you're confused, stop by Rebecca's post. It's hard to explain and she has a great visual aid!)

You may be saying, "That sure sounds like a lot of coats Sarah." And yeah, technically it is. But these polishes are sheer and thin, so they definitely build well without getting thick. Truly, this didn't feel any thicker than my normal manicures. Winning!

To finish off the look, I added one coat of Maybelline Clearly Spotted. There are three reasons for this.

Reason #1: I love black and white glitter.
Reason #2: I had just purchased it and was eager to use it!
Reason #3 (the most important one): Putting something over the top of the gradient disguises the fact that the gradients created with this technique aren't as smooth as the ones that are sponged. Nothing wrong with that though, the time and mess trade offs are huge.

I am obsessed with the way this turned out. I imagine most of the China Glaze Sunsational jellies would work brilliantly for this and I will be trying out some more combinations soon! Thanks for the inspiration, Rebecca!

The China Glaze Sunsational collection is available this month at fine salons and beauty supply stores nationwide, & I picked up the Maybelline at Walgreens.

What do you think? Have you ever tried a syrup gradient?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Candy Floral

Another day, another floral! Well, at least I'm predictable.

Recently I placed an order for a couple of Candy Lacquers: Licorice Allsorts and Summer Circus. When they arrived I knew immediately that I wanted to do a manicure with Licorice Allsorts. I thought it would be neato to do a floral pattern that mimicked the colors as the glitter.

I chose OPI My Vampire is Buff as a base (shock), but it didn't end up having the contrast that I expected against the lighter colors in the manicure. Still, in the right lighting, the neon would just pop. Isn't it strange how neon often is brightest in the shade?

The mix of colors is just the cutest! I think the black is totally important to the balance here. It is a nice anchor for the rest of the glitter.

I used the same technique for this floral as I did in my Rodarte dress tutorial, so be sure to check it out if you want to try this manicure yourself!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Great Green Gradient - Barry M and CrowsToes

Today's look is a pretty simple one with big impact! Glitter gradients are always fun, and lately I've really been loving the ones that start at the cuticle instead of at the nail tip.

I began with a base of Barry M Key Lime, which I received from the lovely Ms. Polly Polish! She was kind enough to send me a couple of UK black and white glitters for my comparison post, and thoughtfully included Key Lime as an extra.

The glitter I used is CrowsToes Frog's Breath, a gorgeous mix of green and gold. I love the different sizes in it -- they range from big and shiny to tiny and cute! The glitter is packed in, too, so creating the gradient was really easy.

Chalkboard Nails: Glitter gradient with CrowsToes Frog's Breath

Chalkboard Nails: Glitter gradient with CrowsToes Frog's Breath

Chalkboard Nails: Glitter gradient with CrowsToes Frog's Breath

I really loved wearing this look! I'm sure all you green fanatics support this combination, too.

You can pick up CrowsToes from Llarowe and OverallBeauty. Additional international distributors are detailed on the CrowsToes blog. You can also keep up with the brand on Facebook.
Barry M polishes are available on Ninja Polish.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Illamasqua Inspired Speckled Nail Art and Eye Look

A bit ago, Illamasqua released their I'mPerfection line that included their Speckled nail polishes (among other makeup items). The varnishes were inspired by the irregular markings on bird's eggs, and part of the advertising in the campaign included an eye look that took inspiration from the same source.

As soon as I saw the eye look, I knew I had to try it out myself. But recently I got to thinking -- how can I recreate the style of the eye makeup on my nails? Here's what I came up with.

For this nail art I began with a base of DIOSA Dime Piece. I considered using nude as my base color but I did want this to be slightly different from the makeup. Then, using the brush that came with the polish, I painted a stripe of American Apparel Hassid down the center of the nail. Finally, I used a small nail art brush and Milani White On the Spot to add the irregular markings.

Of course I had to do some shots of the eye and nail look together! This is the first time I've tried to do photos of an eye look for my blog. Gotta say, it wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done!

I used L'Oreal Lineur Intense Liquid Eyeliner in Carbon Black, my Milani Color Play Felt Tip Liquid Pen in white, and L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes mascara in Carbon Black.

If you like this eye look and want to try it out yourself, Illamasqua has released a tutorial that will show you how.

I hope you've enjoyed this post -- it's a little bit different while still being about the nails. I know I had fun doing it!

Friday, July 19, 2013

GlitterDaze Easter Explosion Collection

The GlitterDaze Easter Explosion collection is a set of four fun glitter toppers. The set originally came out for spring but I think these glitters are so cute that you could wear them all year round! I really like the variation in these toppers; glitter lovers of all types will find something to enjoy.

Chicky Chicky Boom Boom is my favorite of the bunch. It has a mix of pink, purple, and yellow glitters. This is just one coat -- the glitter is super plentiful. I layered it over Nicole by OPI Alex By the Books to add another dimension of pastel, springy cuteness.

Bombastic Bunny is a shiny, futuristic mix of blue, pink and silver glitters. The pink is a little more pigmented than I was able to capture. I wanted these light glitters to stand out, so I layered one coat of BB over LCN Tokyo Expression.

Dynamite Duckling is an interesting and somewhat faded mix of green, pink, white, and gold. I like the color mix of this one, it's surprising! Again, lots of glitter in this one -- I've shown one coat here. Unfortunately I can't recall what I layered it over... shame on me!

Eggsplosive is packed with pastel and white glitters, plus a little bit of iridescent sparkle. There are a lot of shaped glitters in this one! I've shown it here over Misa Great Grape.

I also had the opportunity to try out the nourishing nail polish remover. This acetone remover has the potency of pure acetone, but without the drying effects and chemical smell. I liked using it -- it definitely does a good job of nourishing my nails and cuticles. The only downside is that the floral smell is really strong. I suspect that it has to be to cover up the smell of the acetone, though. I know I will continue to use it, and will definitely finish the bottle!

It's also really cool for me to see indie brands getting into other manicure-related products besides polish!

Which one of these glitters speaks to you most?

All of these products are available on www.glitterdazenp.com. You can also keep up with GlitterDaze on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
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