Monday, December 31, 2012

China Glaze's I Herd That Chevrons with Purr-fect Plum

Happy New Year's Eve!! Well, it's still the 31st here in California so Happy New Year to anyone 9 hours ahead of me! ;) 

To celebrate, I put together this sparkly fun mani to ring in the new year :) I busted out the striping tape and got started. 
I used China Glaze's Purr-fect Plum (left) and I Herd That (right) for this mani and I really like how it turned out. I tried to make it look like the Chevron on my middle finger extends along the rest of the fingers. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Deborah Lippmann - Across the Universe

I was so spoiled this Christmas. Not only did I get to spend 10 days in Costa Rica, my boyfriend bought me enough polishes to keep me busy for a LONG time! Yay! He ended up getting me the entire On Safari collection from China Glaze which I fell in love with from the first moment I saw it. It's a Trap-eze! from their Cirque du Soleil collection was also included. If that wasn't enough, I got 3 new ButterLONDON's AND my very first Deborah Lippmann!!! To top it all off, I got a new Shany image stamping plate that I absolutely love. I can see myself using every single one of these stamps. I am so excited about all of them and feeling so fortunate for everything I have right now :)

I fell so hard for the Deborah Lippmann that I had to put in on immediately. I went with something simple and ended up using two of my new China Glaze's as well, Man Hunt (blue) and Exotic Encounters (green). And of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone so I added a stamp using my new plates! I really love this look...possibly because I am back to my favorite colors ;)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

LAST Christmas mani! YAY!

Although I was gone for ten days and began to dream about getting to paint my nails again, when I got home Christmas eve and started thinking about what my Christmas mani would be, I was incredibly uninspired. I still wanted something festive for Christmas time and did in fact stay with a Christmasy pallet, I think I've come to realize that while I love Christmas time, I'm really burnt out on reds, golds, and silvers. I'm excited for new colors! Yay!

I'm currently at my parent's house so I apologize for the image quality, but here is what I have been sporting the last few days! :)

Costa Rican Adventure!

I hope everyone is having a spectacular holiday season and getting to spend it with your loved ones! I was especially spoiled this holiday season because I got to go to the beautiful Costa Rica for my holiday trip!! I just got back from 10 days in paradise and I had so much fun. My sister and I traveled together and went to several places, all of which provided a unique experience. 

We started our trip in San Jose and managed to purchase bus tickets to our other two destinations, La Fortuna/Arenal and Jacรณ. We would never has made it as smoothly as we did if my sister hadn't be able to speak spanish so well. She did awesome and we had such a blast together. Here are a few photos from our trip and then I promise to get back to sharing nail photos! :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

China Glaze and Butter London Loveliness.

I've mentioned my newfound love affair with nail stamps before, but I'm seriously in love with them.  I'm going to ask them if they want to go steady later tonight, so wish me luck they say yes! The application process and the versatility of stamping in general is just so cool! This is actually the second time I've used this stamp (as shown in my previous stamping post) but I just think it is so darn cute and to be honest, I wasn't feeling some of the other stamps on the image plates I have. I guess that just means I need MORE :D That's not to say I don't love a majority of the stamps in my current set, I just wasn't feeling them for tonight's mani. Since it's almost Monday and I'm really not excited about it (though I only have a two day week! I'm going to Costa Rica on Thursday!! YEEE!) I wanted something fun but simple. 

December Nail Art Inspiration

Sometimes inspiration can be lacking. Here are a few different nail art challenges that are currently floating around. I found these on Instagram, but they are everywhere right now. 

Happy Polishing :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A little tutorial, if you will.

I've had a few people ask me about how I paint my nails and I wrote something out and made a sad attempt at explaining it but I've finally come to terms with the fact that I suck at writing. Instead, I made this visual guide of sorts. 

Step 1. Place a drop of polish in the middle of your nail near the cuticle (though not as close as the final polish line will be). Keep the brush in contact with your nail through step 3.

Step 2. Gently push the drop of polish towards your cuticle until there is about 1-2 mm of gap between the polish line and the cuticle (this distance varies depending on how much gap you prefer).

Step 3. From here, pull the brush off the end of your nail to complete the first stroke. Try and complete steps 1-3 in as smooth a fashion as possible. In other words, Steps 1-3 will eventually be completed in one smooth motion rather than individual steps. Be sure to keep your brush in contact with your nail the whole time.

Step 4-7. Repeat steps 1-3 on the left and right side of the nail. Don't wait too long between completing each stroke so that streaks don't occur in the polish.

Step 8. Complete this process on all your nails.

If your line isn't as clean as you'd like it to be, take some acetone and an angled brush or Q-tip and paint over what you'd like removed. I like to take the cap of my acetone bottle and use that to dip my brush in.

Most importantly though, practice makes perfect! The more you paint, the easier it will be. I hardly have cleanup now a-days but it wasn't always like that ;)

Let me know if this was helpful or if you still need some clarification. I'd be happy to eventually put up a video tutorial as well.

Happy Polishing :)

Sparkles and Glitter and Gold, Oh My!

Polish makes everything better. Adorably cute mini Essie Fall Collection polishes are even better. And  it just so happened that these lovlies appeared on my desk yesterday!  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Freehand Triangle Cutouts with Zoya's Aurora!

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been incredibly sick and had a bunch of down time in the last few days. I spent yesterday watching I Heart Huckabees, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, and The Dark Knight Rises and before/during/after I felt like I was going crazy from being stuck inside. Regardless of my aches and pains I pulled out my polishes and made an attempt at a new design.

I was originally going to do another entry (plaid themed this time) into the December Nail Art Challenge, and was somewhat inspired by one of my favorite new plaid flannel shirts from Urban, but when I painted everything on I was not impressed.

I restarted and grabbed Zoya's Aurora which is another stunning holo color from their Ornate Collection.  I'm also realizing I'm obsessed with Ulta's Concrete Evidence, which I've used before. I did this design free hand with my striping brushes and I really like how it came out. 

Nail stamps! I love you!! :D

I some how managed to come down with a horrendous flu bug that has left me out of commission for the past few days. I don't think I've ever been as sick as I was a few nights ago. I was so dehydrated and nauseous that I ended up at the hospital for medicine and an IV drip. I think I've finally overcome my fever but I'm sleeping a ridiculous amount and my head and body are not happy still. Everything hurts and I'm starting to go stir crazy so I figured I'd make a brief post until I can do my nails again. 

So! I just bought my first ever nail stamp and set of image plates and I'm so flippin' excited about them!!  

I know that stamping kits are not for everyone but I finally caved and bought myself a Konad stamper and a set of Shany image plates from Amazon. I recently got a brand spankin' new butter LONDON called Slapper that lovers of blue/green/teals should go out and immediately purchase. Butters aren't cheap, but you can often find them discounted on Amazon by up to $4 which makes them much more reasonable. Konad and Shany both recommend that you use their stamping polishes to ensure a good stamp onto your nail, but I didn't purchase these. Instead, I used an unnamed black polish from Urban Outfitters for the tree, and the white snowflakes are Milani's "White on the Spot." Both polishes were opaque and thick enough to transfer well and I think they will work for the time being. Anyway, I love this look and I'm excited to explore the nail stamping world! :)

Happy Polishing :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Snowflakes for December!

I'm going to talk about winter again because, well, it's winter! But also because I'm going to be going to Costa Rica for 10 days starting on the 13th so I will be missing half of my favorite time of year being away! I found this nail art challenge on Instagram for the month of December and thought I would give it a go! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I was busy! :(

Here are a couple manis that I did over the Thanksgiving break and wasn't able to post.

The first is Ulta's Concrete Evidence with Pinata-Yada in a reverse gradient.

While at home, I ended up raiding my Mom's polish collection and found Sally Hansen's Shell We Dance and...a sharpie! Shell we dance is very sheer and I had to do about 5 coats to get it to this color. I also discovered that Mom does not own a fast dry top coat and because I had to do so many coats of this, I spent about 2 hours waiting for my nails to dry :/ But here's the result!

Happy Polishing :)

Is it too early for a Christmas mani?

Autumn and Winter are by far my favorite time of the year. I love being able to bundle up on the couch next to the fire with my hot cocoa and a great book. Reading and nail painting are essentially tied for favorite things to do so don't make me choose! (Maybe I'll do some book reviews on here occasionally...hmm). Anyway! The past few days have finally begun to be gloomy and cold (only took to the end of November!..but that's what you get in California) and driving home after work with the sun already down and all the Christmas lights up really solidified the feeling that it is in fact winter! My favorite! 

I was feeling inspired by the time of year and landed on PRESENTS! Everyone loves to give and/or receive gifts and I've been slowly finding presents to give to friends and family so it seemed fitting. 

I used, YET AGAIN (sorry!) Sephora by OPI's Mr. Right Now because it is my all time favorite red and I am going to have to go buy more soon. My striping accents (you have no idea how many times I checked to make sure that didn't say stripping accents...) are Ulta's Concrete Evidence and a mini Sephora by OPI called Already Famous that came as part of their winter Tinsel Town Collection

Monday, November 26, 2012

Essie Beyond Cozy Gradient

It's winter! And after Thanksgiving it finally feels like it! Yay! My favorite! 

Err...well it doesn't snow in my part of California, but a girl can dream, right? I am pretty envious of the those in the cold snowy weather because all I want to do is get bundled up and go play in the snow all day long!

I suppose painting my nails wintery-ish will have to suffice for now, though. So! I present, another gradient look (this time done following proper technique!). I used Ulta's Smoke Screen and Essie's Beyond Cozy for my gradient colors (with a foundation of white).

Happy Polishing.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Let sleeping nails lie? Pfft!

I am incapable of just letting things be. I like to tinker. I will change my phone background every few days because I'm bored with the current one. My blog background, style and layout will no doubt change several times in the coming months. The same happened with my nails tonight. It's a wonder I've been with the same guy for 7 years ;) 

Tonight, I was especially jonesing to paint my nails but I was still completely in love with my mani from last night. So I started browsing patterns online that I could possibly make work with what I already had going on. About 3 pages in and I came upon this one: 
I could have gone with a free hand attempt at this, but I wasn't really in the mood for the potential screwup that could occur and the fallout afterwards. So I went with taping instead. Still a pretty terrible idea! 

I ALMOST gave up on this pattern and had to get pretty innovative in order to make it happen, but here is the result. 

I even managed to get both thumbs!

Happy Polishing.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Zoya Share the Love!

I just discovered a really cool deal from the people over at Zoya
From Zoya's website...

When someone clicks on your personal link and sets up an online account, a $5 coupon a coupon for a FREE Bottle of Zoya Nail Polish will automatically be placed in their account and can be used immediately on their current order. TIP: If you use this coupon and add 2 more polishes to your order, you get free shipping too! The coupon will appear in the "My Coupons/ Promos" section of their "My Account" Page.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal in my opinion! Here's the link that gets you a free polish :)

Happy Polishing!

Blue ombre makes my heart happy!

I used to think I was strictly a red/pink polish kind of girl. However, Essie's Butler Please converted me to blues in two seconds flat. Lately whenever I see a blue polish I've been snapping it up and I finally have enough blues to attempt an ombre look.

Most ombre nails I see have the thumb painted white and then the chosen color gets progressively darker as you move toward the pinky. I'm not always a fan of white and in this case I felt like it would have been far too drastic a change to go from white to dark navy blue. Instead, I went with a blue to grey sort of ombre effect and I love it. I get to use Butler Please, as well ast my new Zoya Natty!

From the left:

Electric blue with Butler Please all the way over to a shimmery/glittered out grey with I've got a Herring Problem. I wasn't sure I would like having the glitter mixed with all the cremes, but I think it adds some extra pizazz.

There are many color options for an ombre mani. I'm thinking as Thanksgiving nears I'll go with some oranges and reds for a fall look. 

Happy Polishing.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Zoya Blaze

A quick swatch of one of my newest Zoyas, Blaze. Blaze is part of Zoya's winter 2012/2013 Ornate Collection and oh my goodness is this a stunning color! Wow. I don't even...

It's a great full coverage purple with lots of holographic glitter that is incredibly easy and smooth to apply and makes me want to dance with how lovely it looks as it sparkles in the light. 

Happy Polishing :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Argyle For Audrey

The argyle pattern seems to be a growing classic for nail art aficionados. I thought I'd give it a shot myself and provide a quick and easy tutorial as well :) For this design, I used China Glaze's For Audrey as a base, Klean Color Neon Sapphire, and the white is Milani's White on the Spot. The sky is the limit on the color combos for this, as well as which nails or how many nails you do. 

I am right handed and my poor brain starts to hurt if I try and use my left hand for precise work, so painting my right hand was a bit of a challenge for me. If you're like me, the first few times of painting straight lines doesn't always go as planned. It might be the most traumatic event in your polishing day if your attempt at a straight line suddenly looks like a elephant decided to paint it by holding the brush awkwardly in his trunk and then lumbering by your nail, hoping to hit something. Likely, as soon as you see this happen you realize you'll have to restart.

Despite failed straight line attempts, the argyle pattern is not too difficult to complete. 

Once you've got all your line work done, add your favorite top coat, let it dry, and VOILA! Argyle wonderful-ness to make your nails happy! 

Happy Polishing. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Boyfriend, boyfriend.

I was struggling a bit with what colors to go with tonight so I asked my lovely (and possibly color blind) boyfriend to choose for me. He took the job very seriously--paused the show he was watching and settled in with my case of polish to find the perfect color. He started with a florescent, no. I had to remind him it was fall and that wouldn't fly. He finally settled on two Kleancolor polishes, Red Alert and Fuchsia Glitter. But here's the thing...these colors look pretty swell questionably colorblind boyfriend who often argues with me over the actual color of his shirt...chose some nice polishes...
Source: & Jurassic Park 1993
Okay, all joking aside, I decided to slap these colors on and go for it! I decided to add some Essie Matte About You because honestly, who doesn't love a good matte?

Happy Polishing.