Monday, July 30, 2012

Trashcan Nails?!

Got your attention, didn't I?  This post is meant to make you think.  Think about what inspires you, where do ideas come from?  Years ago, starting out as a bead artist, I learned to see inspiration in everything.  The way the colors in a room work together, the pattern on a bold fabric, the colors in nature and the designs.  I have taken some of this with me in this newer addiction.  Colors are everywhere, in everything we see.  As a nurse, lots of the modern scrubs have very bold colors with sometimes funky designs (unfortunately for me, I am stuck wearing nothing but navy; how boring!).  Some may find inspiration on Pinterest or as part of a group you belong to or a variety of other avenues...maybe even a trashcan.  Yup, you read right; I said a trashcan.  My "polish room" is actually part of my lampwork studio (which has been grossly neglected lately), my craft room, and my office all rolled in to one.  It's my own space to create whatever I feel like creating that particular day and I love it.  The walls aren't finished, and the floor is concrete but for my needs, it is perfect.  Anyway, back to the trashcan.  I found it years ago at Target, it was $1 and I liked the colors, so I bought it.  It sits beside my desk, unused because for here it is too small; but tonight it was inspiration.  The colors and the pattern, I though would translate well into some funky nail art.  I will let you decide for yourselves what you think.

Trashcan Inspiration
I used a black cream base and for the colors I used China Glaze Aqua Baby, OPI Did it on 'Em, and L'Oreal Paparazzi Pleaser.  I freehanded the stripes using a striping brush and used a dotting tool for the dots.

I was quite pleased with how they turned out, though I think I like them best with a matte finish.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Deep Desire for Leopard Print Plus Reviews

I have been trying hard to show more "budget friendly" brands here as I have seen a lot of people requesting more of this.  I love polish of all kinds and have bought everything from drugstore to higher- end polish and have been just as pleased with both.  For me, finding a polish is about the "thrill of the hunt".  I enjoy trying to find the ones I want at a bargain price and I tend to have pretty good luck at it.  I watch the sales through a variety of sources and I often check the same places.  One of my favorite places to shop is Ulta.  Not only do they tend to have a good selection of polish, but they go through periods where they have a large clearance section with OPI, China Glaze as well as Essie and sometimes others.  It can be quite dangerous for me!  Ulta also carries their own line of polish which I have been quite pleased with thus far and they also have some great sales on those.  One such sale is what lead me to this beauty!  I am a sucker for a deep luscious red and that is exactly what Deep Desire is.  I wanted to do something red with an accent nail in a leopard print but as I have said before, I am a very pale person so I have to be careful with the red I choose.  I can pull off several shades but I knew I would wear this mani for a few days (*gasp*) and also that it wouldn't be for any special occasion.  For those reasons, I wanted something that was deeper as it is more in my comfort zone.  I started with a base of CND Stickey to help prevent any chips, then applied two coats of Deep Desire on all but my ring fingers.  On the ring fingers I used two coats of China Glaze I'm Not Lion and  topped all of them with a coat of Seche.  Once dry I used Revlon Hot for Chocolate to stamp on the lepord print and sealed it with a coat of NYC.  I have tried some other brown cream polishes for stamping, but so far this is by far my favorite.

Ulta Deep Desire with accent of
China Glaze I'm Not Lion stamped with
Revlon Hot for Chocolate
I rarely wear a polish for more than 24 hours but this mani has been in place for more than 48 hours.  I will likely redo them tonight but they really wouldn't have to be.  I was careful to wrap the tips from the base to the topcoat and at this point, the ends of my nails are all that is showing wear; if I look at them straight on, there are no visible chips.  For a polish that I only paid $2 for, that is quite good to me.  If I wanted to extend the life of this mani further, I would add another topcoat (though not Seche as it needs to be applied to wet polish) and I am sure it would last a few more days.
So this ended up being quite the long-winded post but hopefully I have given you some insight or useful information! As always, I appreciate your feedback!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Circus Peanuts Swatch and Review

Circus Peanuts is the absolute perfect name for this polish, it is the exact color of candy circus peanuts that I used to love as a kid!  I have a few Finger Paints polishes now but really haven't gotten around to posting many of them here, I'm not really sure why.  I have a very pale skin tone and this one is almost *too* bright for me.  I am not really a fan of neon polish on my hands because I am so pale (seriously, I could fit in with the Cullen clan!) and this one ranks up there close on my particular skin tone.  That said, the formula of the polish was great to work with, I may have been able to get away with one coat but I did two out of habit. Topcoat of Seche.

Finger Paints: Circus Peanuts
One of the most popular search terms that brings people to my blog is "dupe for Julep Hayden".  I did a mani here using Hayden but I haven't found a dupe...yet.  Here is a bottle shot of these two for reference.  As bright as Circus Peanuts appears on me, Hayden is brighter and a bit more yellow.  I will keep looking for a dupe, if you know of one and want to share, fell free to let me know!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Purple Haze

Most of you know by now that I am a fan of All That Glitters so I don't really know why it has taken me this long to post this one!  I knew when I first saw it that it would be amazing and it does not disappoint!  I started with a base of OPI's Ulta Exclusive Talk About an Upgrade (also said to be a dupe of Planks a Lot which I don't have) and then added a coat of Purple Haze.  

Purple Haze is fairly easy to work with for a chunky glitter and I love the square glitter!!  If you don't have this one, you need to stalk her shop until you can get your hands on some!

All That Glitters Purple Haze over
OPI Talk About an Upgrade 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Challenge: A day at the Zoo!

 Today's theme is "A Day at the Zoo".  Since I already did a giraffe print for the jungle theme, I decided to mix it up a bit and do several different prints...mostly because I couldn't decide on just one!  

The stamping on the index finger didn't turn out quite right but that was the second attempt so I just said to hell with it and left it!  Index finger is essie Brooch the Subject stamped with Zoya Codie, middle is OPI Call me Gwen-ever stamped with black stamping polish from Born Pretty store (see link at right), ring finger is China Glaze Kalahari Kiss stamped with Zoya Coie, pinky is Zoya Purity and black stamping polish.  All finished with NYC Grand Central Station (pictured).  The ring finger was stamped with Bundle Monster BM-215, all others are Cheeky CH2.  What do you think?  Which is your favorite?

Summer Challenge: Red, Orange, Yellow

So I realize that by the time I get this posted it will probably be time for tomorrow's post but, I'm going to put it up anyway...cause I can.  I had lots of trouble getting this one to photo correctly, and it still isn't right.  The tips are more red than it appears, in fact the bottle in my hand is more red than it appears.  Lighting wasn't my friend this evening.  But alas, here it is.  A gradient using Sinful Colors Let's Meet and Essie Jag-U-Are stamped using Bundle Monster plate BM12 in black with a sort of flame design. Topped with NYC for the topcoat. Be sure and check out the others!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ulta Plum Street Swatch and Review

My most popular post to date is this one about an Ulta brand polish called Moody Blues.  I have several Ulta polishes and I am trying to get around to swatching them all but....frankly I have a LOT of polish in my "untried" list. (Ok, I'm not even organized enough to HAVE a list, but you know what I mean!)  At any rate, while I think the name Plum Street is a bit deceiving for this beautiful deep red, I found this one to have a great formula as well and it is super-shiny even without a topcoat.

Ulta: Plum Street
 Then, much as I did with Moody Blues, I added a matte topcoat, this time with Hard Candy Matte-ly in Love.
Ulta: Pulm Street
Topcoat: Hard Candy Matte-ly in Love

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Zoya Jana Review and Comparison

I have said it before and I will say it again, I LOVE ZOYA!  Their cream finish polish has the best formula in my opinion.  Zoya describes Jana as "a medium nude putty creme with grey, mauve, and purple tones".  It is a beautiful shade that applied like a dream.
Zoya Jana

Then one of my muggle friends said it looked like a Wet N Wild polish that she had.  I knew immediately which one she meant so of course I had to check when I got home.  I removed the Zoya from my index and ring finger and applied the WnW (Wet Cement).  There is a very slight difference in the two but not much.  Muggles likely wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  That said, the formula and the brush (WnW brush is TERRIBLE) is better with the Zoya.

Index and Ring finger: WnW Wet Cement
Middle and Pinky Zoya Jana
 Then I was putting these two away and came across my bottle of essence Walk of Fame and thought it looked rather similar as well.  By that time I had already redone my nails so I swatched the three of them on a nail wheel.  Mind you it is like 2am by the time I get that done and the lighting in my little room isn't great but I think you get the drift here.  To my eyes the essence is slightly more brown (though not as dark as it looks here), the Zoya is a tad more purple and the WnW is a bit more gray.  All in all, three very similar but different shades.

Can you see the difference?  Do you own any of these?  Would you purchase the others if you do?

Friday, July 20, 2012

OPI Call Me Gwen-ever Swatch and Review

Orange has to be one of the shades of polish I wear the least often so it is not really surprising that when The Amazing Spiderman collection came out from OPI, I was not drawn to this shade.  I saw some swatches on other blogs...still not interested.  Then one fateful day I walked into Ulta and there she was, the most beautiful dusky orange polish I had seen!  Sometimes you just have to see it in person I guess to grasp the true beauty of something.  On the whole, I do like orange, in fact it is probably one of my favorite colors as I tend to gravitate toward things that are more "fall" related; but enough about me, on to the polish!!

Two very easy coats and a topcoat (Seche here) and I wore this one for THREE days with minimal chipping.  That is an absolute record for me, I usually change my polish almost daily.  I did get loads of compliments on this color and a bit of flack from some of my co-workers who know of my obsession with polish on the third day (Are you ill?!).

What do you think?  Ever had a change of opinion when you finally saw a polish in person, good or bad?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Stroke of Brilliance

While cruising the aisles at Wags the other day, I happened across the essie display which has now replaced Shine of the Times with Stroke of Brilliance in the luxeffects line.  I had seen this one on-line already and thought it was a very pretty polish with lots of potential so, I picked it up.  For this very simple mani, I painted on black and white for the base and sponged Stroke of Brilliance on the tips.  The consistency of the polish is great and the glitter is pretty flat, I just used NYC for the topcoat; it is a bit bumpy but not bad, I suspect a coat of Seche would leave you with a perfectly smooth finish.  While I am disappointed to see the discontinuation of Shine of the Times, I am pleased with the addition of this one!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pucker Up, Buttercup!

 Today's Summer Challenge theme is "Buttercups".  I made this theme into a sort of mini challenge for myself to try to do it freehand and with only drugstore polish.  All things considered I'm pleased with the way it turned out, especially after yesterday's disaster.  I do sort of wish I had used a darker base color though; alas, live and learn.

Base: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure: Lavender Cloud
Flowers: Revlon Buttercup, Sinful Colors Pull Over and Olympia
Scrolls: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Golden-I
Topcoat: NYC Grand Central Station

What do you think?  Please be sure and use the tab above or links below to check out what the other girls came up with!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How NOT to do a Summer Love mani..

So today's theme was Summer Lovin'...this is not how I had this pictured in my head.  I'm not really sure what went wrong, too many metallics maybe?  IDK, I'm just not happy with how it turned out and almost didn't even post it but here it is for the world to see.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ski Teal We Drop Swatch and Review

 I have never been skiing but right now, anything that involves water or snow sounds amazing to me!  The temps here in the mid-west have been in the 100's for weeks and we have had no rain so it has been...unpleasant for those of us that are less than fond of summer in the first place (that would be me).  Maybe it isn't only the name that drew me to this color, but also the warmer color itself.  It reminds more more of fall really which happens to be my favorite time of year and I can't wait for the cooler temperatures!
On to the polish though, two easy coats with a topcoat made pure perfection.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another Water Marble

I have done a few water marbles lately as part of the Summer Challenge and typically I point out how I love the look but hate the process.  Today I forced myself to try again because, as we all know, practice makes perfect!   I did have to  make some adjustments, some of the colors I originally picked didn't work quite right for whatever reason.  Overall, this turned out to be the best so far I think.  It still isn't perfect, I still have bubbles that are infuriating to me, but I was pleased nonetheless. 

Colors Used: Essie Little Brown Dress
China Glaze Mahogany Magic
China Glaze Desert Sun
L'Oreal Walk On the Beach

Friday, July 13, 2012

She Sells Seashells

I have been dreading today's theme since I read it on the list.  I'm not sure why, I love the beach and seashells...I even have a sea-inspired bathroom.  But for some reason this challenge stumped me; I guess that's why it's called a challenge!  At any rate, I sort of had an idea in my head about what I wanted to achieve with today's mani and I think it came across relatively well.  I started by trying to use the two colors in a gradient but it really didn't work well (due to the opacity?) so I ended up painting on two coats of Cult Nails Princess a gorgeous dusky blue shade with a copper shimmer and sponging OPI DS Classic on the tips to resemble (sparkly) sand.  While that was still tacky I used a toothpick to apply tiny pieces of shells that I got in a nail art kit from Sally's and sealed with a topcoat.

Be sure and check out the other girls blogs as well!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pink and Purple Studded Nails

Today's theme for the Summer Challenge is "pink + purple".  I tried a few other designs that failed horribly before remembering that I had these great pink studs that I had yet to use!  And so a mani was created!  I wanted a cream finish base and oddly I don't have many purples (going to have to work on that!).  I finally decided on China Glaze Urban-Night which I think turned out to be the perfect complement to the studs.  I painted all nails with one coat of the base and then individually pained each nail and applied the studs with a toothpick.  Once I was done with all the nails I used a topcoat of NYC to seal them down and add some shine!  What do you think?  Have you tried any studs yet?  These are from Born Pretty Store, you will find a link to the right and if you hurry they are currently 20% off!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Late Nite Summer Challenge Post - Beach Towels

I struggled with what to do for this design, there are so many different things that can be done with today's theme and the ideas were overwhelming.  I finally decided to try a gradient design, I usually fail miserably at them and wanted to push myself a bit.  I ended up using the tutorial by Sammy at the Nailasaurs which can be found here.  I had tried this method once before and failed, I'm not sure what I did wrong but this one turned out better than I expected!  I started with a base of white and used Sinful Colors Fusion Neon (pink) and Why Not (blue) for the gradient.  The accent nail is China Glaze Kinetic Candy stamped in a stripe pattern (Cheeky CH6) with China Glaze Aqua Baby and then the seahorse design from with plate m27 (fake Konad).  The flip flop design is from the new Bundle Monster set and is plate BM-309.  Overall I'm pleased with how they turned out.  Don't forget to check out the others!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Flowers Are Blue-Ming!!

This evening I have for you one of the Ulta exclusive OPI colors!  This one is from the Summer 2012 collection.  It is a gorgeous blue shade with small holo glitter.  Mine was pretty thick, in fact I had to add some thinner to it to even get it on.  Shown here with two coats and a topcoat of Seche and it is still bumpy..very hungry glitter!  All in all the color is pretty but the formula was awful!

I hope to be back tomorrow with a Summer Challenge post!!  Night all!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Chevrons

Today's Summer Challenge theme is "summer chevrons".  I had not attempted this design before the challenge but had been meaning to give it a try so this was the perfect chance.  I started with a base of L'Oreal Walk on the Beach.  Once dry, I taped off the "v" and applied a coat of L'Oreal Now You Sea Me, and free-handed the gold accent between the two colors.  It is also a L'Oreal shade called Because You're Worth It.  Overall I was pleased with how this turned out and I'm sure it's a design I will do again in the future.

What do you think? Is the chevron design one you would wear?  Don't forget to check out the other ladies' blogs and remember to check out the Summer Challenge tab at the top!

An Awesome Giveaway!

Ya'll seriously need to go check out Kimberly's blog and enter her giveaway!! - GO NOW!!  :)
Here is the link

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mr. Bubble

I got my first Lush Lacquer order the other day and Mr. Bubble is the first of the four I ordered I decided to try.  I had a tough time trying to pick which colors I wanted to try but I knew I wanted this one!  You can find Lush Lacquer sold here.
For this mani I started with a base of Orly Bonder and three coats of Color Club Vintage Couture.  This polish is so packed with glitter and perfectly suspended that one coat was perfect and I really had no issues with application, I just applied it like any regular polish. (meaning I didn't have to dig or dab to get an even coverage of glitter)  I did put two coats on the index finger just for reference.  This is really a very "flat" glitter as well meaning that one coat of Seche left a perfectly smooth glossy finish.  I can't wait to try out the others and I'm sure I will be back for more in the future!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!!

 For those of us in the us today is the day we celebrate our freedom and those who have made it possible for us.  Lots to celebrate!

A while back I entered the Independence Day roundup over at Nouveau Cheap and was lucky enough to be featured in the top 40 found here with this mani.  I was pleased with how they turned out despite the shaky freehand stripes. The pics for the roundup had to be submitted early though so this was actually from a couple of weeks ago so I decided to try something different for today's Summer Challenge mani.

My camera has been acting up a bit lately and I'm actually on the lookout for a new one.  The colors I used are the same for both mani's; Orly Grave Mistake, Zoya Purity, and China Glaze First Mate.  The red looks more orange in this one, part of that though is because I used it to stamp with.  At any rate, I first painted on the Purity with a coat of Seche; once dry, taped off the top and used Cheeky plate CH4 with First Mate to do the stars and another coat of SV, taped off the stars and used Grave Mistake with the same plate for the stripes.  I freehanded the stripe of silver with Revlon's Silver Dollar and finished with one last coat of SV.  No big plans for me for today, going to have lunch with a friend and dinner with the in-laws...should probably go to bed since it is now almost 4:30 am!!  

Be sure and use the links below to see what the others have come up with today and also note that I have added a tab at the top of the page with the other participant's blogs, some may not have figured out the Inlinkz! :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Freedom Calling

As some of you may know, there has been loads of drama in the polish community over "indie" polishes.  Some good, some bad.  I have bought several indie polishes from several different sellers both on Etsy and ones that I found on llarowe's site.  Pretty and Polished will soon be available on both!  I have made several separate purchases from her and can honestly say I have had nothing but great service!  
On to today's nails!  I started with a base color of Revlon Silver Dollar (2 coats) followed by one coat of of Freedom Calling.  I like the look of glitter on my nails, but I also like them to be smooth so I added a coat of Gelous and a fairly thick coat of Seche.  They are still a bit bumpy but reasonably smooth.  I love that this polish has so much going on without looking like overkill!  The base is perfectly clear (*no bleeding glitter here*) and it is relatively easy to apply though I did have to "dab" in some places but nothing that would keep me from wearing it.  Be sure and check out Pretty and Polished on Etsy and see for yourself!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Man Glaze + Stamping

This is gonna be a quick post.  Base color of Man Glaze F*%# Off and Dye, stamped with black stamping polish with Cheeky CH5 topped with a coat of Seche.

*Please note, I altered the label on the bottle to hide the name.  While I think it is a funny name, and a great polish, I don't want to offend anyone who may stumble here. :)
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