Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Why hello there, blog. I believe I have been neglecting you. It's understandable, you see... the semester has just started, and I am making vain attempts to get all of my ducks in a row so that I won't be totally overwhelmed when February happens.
What? You aren't buying it? Fine. I guess.
Today I have for you a rather lazy gradient mani -- I added the sponged gradient tips when the original polish had started to chip too much for my liking! I also have super fuzzy photos, courtesy of f/2.0 and low lighting.
I used my usual Sinful Colors Basecoat followed by 3 thin coats of Hard Candy Mr. Wrong. He's the bluer-toned cousin of all of those pinky-purple & gold polishes that have been taking the world by storm (like Zoya Faye, OPI Rally Pretty Pink or It's My Year, ORLY Rock the World or Oui) ... and it's a fun color, although the finish is a little busy for me normally. It's difficult to combine these sorts of colors with anything else nail-art wise. Fortunately, ORLY Luxe is almost the same color as the glitter in Mr. Wrong, so I was able to sponge it on for a fairly smooth transition. And I finished it off with a topcoat of NYC Grand Central Station (yet again!).
What do you think of these super-sparkly colors?
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
|Outside, open shade|
Good morning, lovely readers! Today, I have for you some more stamping! I'm finally getting back into the stamping mode.
Also, if you're noticing the shredded, peely edges of my fingertips and going "Ewww, gross, why would you post that?" ...I was playing guitar for the first time in ever about a week ago. That's what it did to my fingertips. Also ow.
I think this design at Emerald Sparkled was floating around in the back of my head while I was doing this manicure. I was debating between white and silver for the stamps, and I think I might have preferred white, simply in the interest of not having two metallic colors on top of each other.
|Inside, compact fluorescent lighting. The green is a little blue-er than this photo.|
I used my Sinful Colors Basecoat, followed by two thin thin coats of Sinful Colors Black on Black. I made the dots by dabbing a bit of Icing's metallic Bright Green (also good for stamping!) on a bit of paper and using a pencil eraser as a dotting tool. I then used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep with the flower image (bottom row, middle image) on one of the Essence stamping plates I've found at ULTA. I had a little trouble getting a clean transfer here, although I'm not totally sure why. I may have been scraping too hard, or else the plate may not have been etched deep enough. It still worked for this design, though! And I finished it off with a top coat of NYC Grand Central Station.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Good morning! Winter finally decided to roll in here in the Central Valley, and it finally started raining yesterday. In rebellion, I decided to paint my nails neon green! Okay, actually... I got out my swatch wheels and made my boyfriend pick a color and then pick a number and went with that polish. But it is suitably un-seasonal!
So. Today's polish is Zoya Mitzi from their Mod Mattes collection. I picked up a bottle at ULTA on sale, because one can never have too many bottles of lime green polish.
I have mixed feelings about Mitzi. The color is fabulous... it's a yellow-leaning bright lime green. It stops just short of fluorescent... it looks quite dim when compared to, for example, my high-visibility biking vest. I'm not a super fan of the matte effect. I always think it looks nifty in pictures, but don't like it on my nails in real life. The application was a bit uneven, due to the quick-drying nature of matte polishes, but I think that was more my inexperience in dealing with them than a problem with the polish. I used three coats in these pictures, and it's pretty much opaque. I did apply my normal Sinful Colors basecoat... and while that usually works like a charm for me with Zoya polishes, I noticed chipping pretty quickly with Mitzi. I think it has something to do with the matte finish... I feel like it dries to a less durable finish than glossy polishes.
I think I'll give Mitzi another try when the weather gets a little brighter. I think I'll love this color more in the spring and summer, when it matches my mood and wardrobe better. I also think I'd like to try some nail art over it next time. A quick Google search brings in several good bits of inspiration.
How do you feel about matte polishes? What are your tricks for wearing it?
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Good morning, lovely readers! And hello to all my new followers... check out their blogs if you don't already follow them: MeMa's Manis, AllThatIsGorgeous, Glitter Obsession, I'm Still Thinking... & Kinetic Polish! And welcome to blog-less followers Marie, Marta, and Sally.
I hope you enjoy reading & looking! Today I have a purple chevron nail design. I had a few problems getting the stamps to transfer cleanly, but for the most part these look much better in person than they do in a close-up photo.
Unfortunately, even though I only painted them Monday night, I already had to take them off this morning! You can see I have a chip in the middle of my ring finger, the result of a tear in the nail. In addition, the polish on the other fingers started chipping off pretty badly last night. So, time to take off the polish and do a good file-down.
What was the culprit for the speedy chipping? I think it might have been my main color, Wet n Wild Eggplant Frost. I used two coats (I think?) for reasonable coverage, but my bottle is probably from the late '90s, so the formula is a bit off now. I stamped with a little ULTA mini in a metallic purple, and the chevron pattern from Bundle Monster image plate BM201. I'll have to use the design again soon, I really love how it turned out.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Good evening ladies (and gents, if there are any of you reading)... Today's manicure is a little on the silly and kitschy side. And you know what? I like it!
I have been having way too many shopping trips lately where I go to a store, have trouble finding anything I like, discover that none of it flatters my body type, and leave empty handed. In retaliation, I put on my foofyest skirt and my tallest heels and painted my nails red. That wasn't quite enough, so I decided to go a bit further and stamp some fabulous pumps on my nails with Bundle Monster Image Plate BM213.
I ended up liking the high heels stamp much more than I thought I would. It's silly up close, and it just looks like a bold pattern from a distance. I managed to muck up the thumb (I swear, that always happens!) but otherwise I didn't have much trouble stamping this design.
I used my usual Sinful Colors Basecoat, followed by one coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Rapid Red. I painted over that with one coat of Revlon Valentine, which is pretty much my perfect red. It's got a really interesting semi-jelly finish, which unfortunately makes building up opacity kind of annoying, especially for highly impatient people like me. So layering it over Rapid Red helps me get a decent depth of color with a quicker dry time. I stamped it with Essence Stamp Me! White and BM213, followed by a top coat of NYC Grand Central Station.
And then I went out shopping. With much more luck this time, I might add! I've really been inspired by Konadlicious and her fun vintage fashion, and a few months ago I bought myself a petticoat to wear under my fuller skirts. After hitting up a few stores for some fun jewelry and accessories and an awesome blue sweater, I headed to the local Joann Fabrics to get some goodies to test out my new sewing machine (an amazing Christmas present from my parents).
|Headband/Fascinator & Ring: Icing - Top: Aeropostale - Skirt: me! - Petticoat: Evangeline's - Shoes: Reflection|
So I grabbed some felt and made myself a circle skirt. I think I like it. Is anybody else having trouble finding flattering clothes with the current fashion trends? I just end up spending my clothes budget on nail polish after a frustrating day shopping... it always fits!
Friday, January 13, 2012
|All swatch pictures taken outdoors, in open shade|
Good morning, lovely readers! Today I have a swatch that's been tucked away in my photos folder for a few months. I found it today while I was sifting through for things I might have missed. I can see why I didn't post it at the time... look at those nubbins!
Today's polish is ORLY Lunar Eclipse from the Fall '10 Cosmic FX collection. Since my local ULTA put out all of the polishes on display with the Mineral FX collection, I now have all but one of them! Lunar Eclipse is obviously the bottle on the far right. It's a sparkly royal blue with a magenta duochrome effect.
Here's a straight-on view for maximum blue-ness.
I found Lunar Eclipse easy to apply, and I think I needed three thin coats for perfect coverage.
I know some bloggers didn't think the duochrome effect on this polish was as strong as the others in the collection, but I think it shows up pretty well... especially in open shade or under those awful fluorescent classroom lights.
That's all for today! I've just painted my nails again, and I'll be skipping outside soon to take some photos.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
|All photos outdoors, open shade|
Good morning, lovely readers! Today I have for you the manicure I did yesterday. I'm afraid it'll be coming off soon, since as you can see I rather royally smudged my index finger. I'm not quite sure how that happened.
I wanted to try out ORLY Rock The World, from their MineralFX collection, because it was one of the polishes my lovely boyfriend got for me for Christmas. I only used two coats in this picture, and I think I might have needed three to get it as dark as the bottle color. On its own, the color is nice but a little odd. It's a wine-ish purple-y red (or reddish purple) and gold foil. I decided to decorate it some with ORLY Glitz and Glamour.
|A bottle shot, with the mess that is my polish table in the background...|
I think the concept was sound: Once my two coats of Rock the World were dry, I used thin strips of Scotch Tape to mark off a "V" shape on each nail, and then painted two diagonal strokes with Glitz and Glamour, going over the edges of the tape, to create the upper gold border. Then I filled in any unpainted bits of the nail tip. Next I carefully peeled off the tape and applied a thin coat of ORLY Sec 'n Dry, which may be where I went wrong. I've never used Sec 'n Dry before, and I don't think it sets up as well as other topcoats I've used.
I really like how the chevron design turned out, in spite of the smudging problems I had. I think it looks a little better in photos than it does in person... both of these polishes are just so darn glittery that it's almost difficult to see the chevrons over the bling!
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Good morning, lovely readers. It has been a while since my last post, and despite what I said in that post, this is not a year-end review thingy! I thought and looked at my polishes and looked at my old posts and realized that my collection did not really have enough in it for me to say much about 2011 in nail polish.
So I won't.
Instead, here is the manicure that I'm about to remove. I had some difficulties with stamping, as you can see. I found that if I scraped too hard, the paint would come off of the middle of the designs, leaving me with kind of funny looking outlines. Mostly I was able to avoid that problem after a few tries, although there is a missing bit on my index finger and I don't know what happened on my thumb.
For this design, I used Butter London Victoriana as my base color and stamped with the shattered-glass sort of design from Bundle Monster Image Plate BM208 (which I had already put away when I was taking these pictures...) and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep. This design has potential to be really awesome, but I don't think I quite got it.
A bit about Victoriana: this is one of the polishes the awesome amazing boyfriend got for me for Christmas. It's an interesting shade of dusty teal absolutely packed with silver sparkles. It applies like, well, butter, and is opaque in two easy coats. It's also amazingly smooth and shiny even without topcoat... I've actually worn it a couple times that way without getting pictures for the blog because I kept forgetting until I was taking it off.