Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Evolution of a Halloween Manicure

Things have been insane around here lately with work, school, and trying to plan a vacation that includes three dogs!  I had no real plan in mind while working on this Halloween manicure but I knew it needed to include some of the amazing test products I got from KKCenterHk.  They contacted me a while back about testing some of their products, you will be seeing more from them in the future!!
I started with three thin coats of Julep Parker on all nails except my ring finger and painted those black.  I selected a few decals from this set.  I tried soaking them for a few seconds and sliding the decal off (typically how water decals work) but couldn't get it to work so I just pressed it to the nail and that worked perfectly.  The only difference is if you do it that way, you will end up with a silver decal and your design will be flipped.  (I did go back later and try it again and they will slide off with enough time in water, 20 seconds or so and some pressure) Remember to seal it with a topcoat!

Then I added a coat of Lush Lacquer Hey Jack! to my index finger, (amazingly easy to use glitter with a clear base) added a decal on my ring finger and sealed it all with a coat of Seche.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Simple swatch of a gorgeous polish!  I wanted to go ahead and post this one tonight in case I don't have time to post tomorrow.  Wicked is a beautiful sheer green polish packed with various shapes of glitter and can be purchased directly from Pam via her Facebook page found here.  I wanted this one to really pop so this is shown layered over OPI Did it on 'Em.  Perfect for Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sometimes you have to be a Villian

 This has been a crazy week so far!  I have fallen way behind in the Halloween Challenge and it makes me sad.  I thought I would have more time and I just haven't.  C'est la vie I guess.  Although I have't done well keeping up with the Challenge, I do have something AWESOME to show you today.  I had heard that some Walgreen's stores had Disney Villainous Villains makeup sets and after scouring countless stores, I could never get my hands on any.  I did see some of the artificial nails, and while some of them had some cool designs, they just weren't for me.  However, on a recent shopping trip with some friends of mine we stopped into a Disney Store and happened upon a set of Villains Varnish!!  Now we're talking!  Of course I bought a set and today I have the swatches for you.  Each is inspired by a Villain in one of Disney's movies.

First a shot of the boxed set.

Now on to the swatches!!  First up is Ursula, a gorgeous frosty silvery-lilac shade with silver microglitter.  This one was much more pigmented than I thought it would be, I expected it to be sort of sheer but it isn't at all.  Does need a topcoat to minimize the texture from the glitter.

Next up is Queen of Hearts, a sort of "old gold" shade with gold microglitter.  This one went on very well with two coats as well, again you will need a topcoat here due to glitter.

Then we move on to Mother Gothel, the first of two cream shades.  WOW, I know the deep burgundy color isn't really that unique but I am in LOVE with this shade!  The perfect vampy burgundy with a flawless application, shown here without a topcoat; look at that shine!!

Next up is Maleficent, a beautiful teal shade with a sort of frosty metallic finish (but without the dreaded brushstrokes!!)  Very easy to apply, also shown without a topcoat.

The last glitter in the set is Evil Queen.  This one has a black base with purple microglitter.  (Similar to Wet n Wild Night Prowl but with a much more pigmented base)  The base here is pigmented enough that what you see here is one coat with a topcoat. I had a tough time getting the glitter to really show up on the nail.  Sometimes it looks sort of reddish, and other times it is more purple...

And last but not least is Cruella DeVil a luscious red cream with orange undertones.  This one is two coats, no topcoat.

As a huge Disney (and nail polish) fan I was thrilled to see this set and even more thrilled to see how great they are.  It would be amazing if they put out other sets as well.  For reference this set of 6 was $29.50 and can be found online through the Disney store website (where it is on sale for $22.12).

What do you think?  Will you be picking it up?

Sunday, October 21, 2012


So I'm slipping this one in maybe a little late for the "once a week pink" plan depending on what day you count as the  first day of the week.   I made this franken for a friend's little girl's birthday party a few weeks ago and had enough left after making the party favors for me to keep some.  I hadn't had the chance to try it out yet though so today was my chance.  It goes on kind a sheer and the glitter doesn't show up on the nail as well as I had hoped.

I think I will probably leave the polish-making to the experts!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Colors of the Fall

I know I have been horribly behind lately and it seems to be showing up in every area of my life including my blog!  I hope to get back on track very soon!  Every so often I push myself to try another water marble because I love the way they look so this is another attempt.  For this one I used all OPI colors; We'll Always Have Paris, Call me Gwen-ever, Uh-Oh, Roll Down the Window, and I Break for Manicures.  The colors all worked together really well in a lovely fall-colored water marble.  I have read several places that suggest room temperature water works best and others that swear by bottled or filtered water.  This time I tried the bottled water method and it did seem to yield better results for me.
OPI Water Marble

Have any of you attempted a water marble manicure?  How did it work for you?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Challenge - Freestyle

Short and sweet post coming your way!  I didn't have much time to get today's challenge done and it is late but here it is.

Be sure and check out what the others have come up with, they are a talented bunch!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Challenge - Witches

I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to go for with the "witch" theme.  I thought about several different things from focusing on the Halloween "traditional" green faced, wart nosed witch to just focusing on accessories like the cauldron, hat, broom and such.  In the end, I went with my original idea.  For me, the most iconic witch is the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, and the most iconic thing about her, let's face it is the shoes!  I struggled with what color to make the background in order for everything to "pop" the way I wanted it to so I just went with a sort of natural base using Petal Pink by essie.

I wish I had taken pictures along the way but I was too busy focusing on trying to make it look like I wanted it to.  I started with the shoes and sort of sketched them with white acrylic paint and a striping brush.  Then I used black acrylic paint to do the outline of the socks.  Once that was done, I went back with the white and painted the socks.  Once dry, I painted the stripes in black and added black micro-glitter.  Then using (what else?) China Glaze Ruby Pumps I painted in the shoes and outlined them with black and sealed with a topcoat.  Be sure and check out the other girls' take on today's theme!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Essie Check Up Swatch and Review

I know today was supposed to be Zombies for the Halloween Challenge, but I have been sick lately and just haven't felt like doing much of anything.  Quite disappointing really because it was the only theme that piqued my husband's interest (He is a huge fan of The Walking Dead).  Maybe somewhere down the line I can fit in some zombie nails.
My challenge to myself is to have at least one pink mani a week this month in honor of breast cancer awareness, so this is that post.  Check up is part of the 2012 Breast Cancer Awareness line from essie.  This one is a gorgeous dusky mauve color with a creme finish.  Just slightly darker than I am Strong.
essie Check Up
To step it up just a bit I took the awareness ribbon image from the Bundle Monster BM-321 plate and stamped my ring finger using China Glaze Make an Entrance.

I have a poll going on right now at the top right of the page to see what my readers would like to see more of on the blog.  If you have a sec, please vote and let me know.  If you want to see more of something not on the list, leave a comment or shoot me an email.  Thanks for your feedback!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Essie I am Strong Swatch and Review

A second pink post for this week in honor of BCA!  I am Strong is part of essie's new Breast Cancer Awareness Collection.  This is one of four in the collection, one of two that I own.  I am Strong is a beautiful sort of dusky pink shade that essie calls a "creamy, optimistic pink".  Very pretty shade, great formula, two coats shown here without a topcoat to show the shine it has on its own.  This is a really pretty shade for fall as well.
essie I am Strong

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another Nail Challenge

I had a blast doing the Summer Challenge with the girls over at Crumpet's Nail Tarts so when someone suggested a Halloween Challenge I knew I would be in!  I missed the first day for several reasons but I am in the game now and ready to see what everyone comes up with!  The theme for today is Black Cats.  It has been a while since I have done much of any sort of nail art so I wanted to try to freehand at least part of it.  This one started with a base of Ulta Celbutante, a lovely true purple creme.  I used black polish to freehand the cat then Zoya Meg for the eyes and China Glaze Riveting for the collar.  The tiny little nose is Essie Raise Awareness.   On the index finger I used Julep Kate  and Bundle Monster BM13 for the spider web.  The other nails are dots of Meg and Riveting.  I love the way this turned out!  I know my freehand work still needs some improvement but from where I started I am proud. I can't wait to see what the others come up with, be sure and check out their blogs as well!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Today is October 1.  I am sure all of you know that and that you also know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer research is a cause that I feel very strongly about for many reasons.  As a nurse, I have had several patients in various stages of this horrific disease   On a personal level, it has touched many people in my life.  A very dear friend who has been a survivor for nearly ten years now, and more recently a friend who lost her battle at the age of 32 just last month.  For those reasons and for all the other women out there fighting, this blog will be as pink as possible for the month of October!  Every week there will be at least one pink post to help remind us to be alert, support each other, and if you are a woman "FEEL YOUR BOOBIES".  Self breast exams are one of the best and easiest ways to detect this horrible disease in its early stages.  Feel free to share your stories here in the comment section, or via my Facebook page or Twitter.

I am sorry I don't have a "new" image for today but here is a compilation of some of the other pink manis that have been featured in the past.

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