Monday, December 31, 2012

Good riddance, 2012!

I'm now "home" after a wonderful week at Home with my family.  I didn't do much polishing, and what I did do I didn't photograph.  Sorry!  But know that I did have a super-cute Christmas mani (China Glaze Champagne Kisses with Zoya Logan for holly leaves, red rhinestone berries, and a Christmas tree accent, kind of a mash up of many of my previous Christmas looks).  I wanted to do something fun and festive for New Year's Eve, even though I'm all by my lonesome, but was overwhelmed with possibilities.  So, I decided to do what my momma wanted: dark purple with silver glitter.  My momma's kind of the best.  She has been getting into nails lately too, and she said her students love it when she does.  This is what she gave me, all individually wrapped in a big box:

Out of control awesome, right?!  She went through my "want" tab and found a ton of them!  But now she also knows how much some of the things I waste my money on cost...hmmm.
So, I'm going with her New Year's Eve choices tonight.

*1 coat Hard as Nails Hardener
*2 coats OPI Vampsterdam
*China Glaze Fairy Dust
*China Glaze Techno
*1 coat Hoof Lacquer

I used Vampsterdam for the first time for this mani.  I only used 2 coats, and perhaps a 3rd would have made this darker, which was more of what I imagined.  It is a pretty polish, lighter on the nail than in the bottle, a deep raisin purple.  Like any OPI, the application is perfect and the coats build easily. 
I am still unpacking and catching up on some sleep, so I didn't dig out sponges for the glitter.  I just used the brush, concentrating the Fairy Dust fine holo glitter at the cuticle and stroking toward the tips.  I dabbed Techno on top, and then added just a little more thin Fairy Dust toward the tips.  I kind of wish I had sponged the glitter for better blending, but they are still super sparkly and festive!

2012 has been a crapfest of a year for me and my family.  I am more than ready for the clock to strike midnight!  2013: come at me!  I'll see you all on the other side with a brand new challenge (can I make it through another 31 days?) and hopefully a much brighter year.  Until then, be safe and I wish nothing but the best to you and yours as we welcome this new beginning!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"There had to be another way"

Let me be the first to wish you a very happy Festivus!  Yes, nestled between Hanukkah and Christmas is a holiday for the rest of us.  Thank you, Frank Costanza. 
(Sidenote:  I LOVE Seinfeld.  Like, quote it, made an unofficial fan club in high school with my friends, own all 9 seasons and watched them with commentary, passed an appreciation bill about it in mock Congress in high school LOVE it!)
I had to make time for a very special Festivus manicure.  But, to honor its creator, it also needed to be very simple--"I find tinsel distracting."

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener
*3 coats China Glaze The Ten Man
*1 coat China Glaze Fairy Dust
*1 coat Seche Vite

I used The Ten Man to represent the traditional Festivus pole.  "It requires no decoration...It's made from aluminum.  High strength to weight ratio."  I have become a bit obsessed with this polish lately.  It is really sheer, so 3 or 4 thin coats are really needed to wear it alone.  It is a cool silver base with fine silver glitter particles in it.  It builds easily and is so shimmery and beautiful!  I added Fairy Dust for just a little extra something, a fine scattered silver holo.  This look screams "Winter!  Holiday!  Class!  Celebrate!"  Can you hear it?

So, may your family be kind with their grievances and may you prevail through the feats of strength.  Gather 'round the pole and remember that no doll is worth what happens out there.  Here's to many Festivus miracles for you and yours!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dotty holidays!

Today I wanted to recreate two looks I found this year.  One was pinned by my momma and the other I spotted when browsing through the blogs I follow, by the one and only Melissa of Pinked Polish.  I got new dotting tools with my Amazon order and, because they are my most effective nail art, dove in.  My mom didn't really like the blue background of the candy canes she found, so I tried to find something else for a base.  I was going to go back to The Ten Man or Golden-I when I remembered my new (and kind of damaged :( ) bottle of Champagne Kisses from China Glaze.  Perfection!

*1 coat Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats China Glaze Champagne Kisses
*OPI Danke-shiny Red
*Sinful Colors Skip the Gift Wrap
*Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Green With Envy
*2 coats Hoof Lacquer
*1 coat Out the Door

I wanted to try the candy canes my mom found, but also the adorable tree Melissa did, so I used it as an accent.  I had intended to place it on my ring finger (my accent of choice) but was not very...alert.  After I dotted red on, I decided to accent my thumb instead!  I used two different sized dotting tools and Skip the Gift Wrap and Green With Envy, in that order.  I added a little red topper, like she did, and really like these little trees!

I used Danke-Shiny Red and Snow Me White for my candy canes.  Now, I was grading papers and working in very poor light (because I have not been motivated enough to change a blown out bulb...) so a couple are a little...unique.  But I love the idea of dotted candy canes!  Overall they are super cute and a great take on the design that I never would have thought of--my mind automatically goes to stripes.  Brilliant!

And the star of the show: Champagne Kisses!  Look at that shimmer and those little holo pieces!  Ahh!  This golden beauty leans rosy, very warm and sweet.  I almost left this alone and it was a tough choice to add art on top.  The ONLY downside to this glitter is that it dries really gritty.  I used 2 thick coats of Hoof Lacquer, one before and one after the dots, and then Out the Door to dry, and they are still a little bumpy.  The top coats make the gorgeous color even better, though.  This dries so fast that I probably should have done 3 coats, but really I can't complain because it is such an awesome color.  It's really interesting how the light can make it look more golden or rosy.  If you didn't grab this one, I highly recommend it!
So clearly I've gotten a little obsessed with dots.  Have you seen any cool holiday dot manis I need to try when I get home? Any other amazing uses for Champagne Kisses?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rockin' around the Christmas tree

This is a post where I wish my photography skills were better.  I am learning little by little, but still not so great with the pictures.  These nails were so much better in person, mainly because I killed them with my auto flash.  As soon as I saw Nailslide's Abstract Trees, I knew I wanted to try them (and apparently everyone else does too because they are awesome and popping up all over!).  I'm glad that I went back and looked at them again before I painted.  I had planned to do a gold base and green top, which would have worked out just fine, but I really liked the little gold trees!

*1 coat Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats OPI Skip the Gift Wrap
*1 coat China Glaze Winter Holly
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Golden-I
*1 coat Out the Door

 I was going to just layer Winter Holly up, but decided to use it over a base.  I used 2 coats of Skip the Gift Wrap (a dark, shimmery green that dries to a foil finish) for opacity and then 1 coat of Winter Holly for all of its glittery goodness.  I don't know if I will ever get tired of this green, gold, holo beauty!

I taped off triangles like she suggests and then tried out striping tape for the first time, which I won in a giveaway.  I was really surprised by how thin it is, laying very close to the nail, and how much comes in one little roll.  I made the strips long enough to stick to the Scotch tape, which made removal so easy--one careful pull and they were done!
Golden-I was a good cover, one thick coat over the tape and it was set.  I was a little unsure of myself, so I didn't get too creative with the garland/tape, but I really liked how they looked today.  I added a little rhinestone for the tree topper and, despite everything that screamed "add some more glitter on top!" (I know, I have a problem), I let them be with a good, thick top coat. 
In person, the definition of color is much stronger and sharper, but overall I really liked how these turned out!  Now I not only have rhinestones and new dotting tools to play with, but a whole lot of striping tape to try new designs with!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Deck the halls

I am loving my Christmas nails this week!  I know I've said it before, but my biggest regret has been that I didn't start them sooner so that I can wear them longer.  So it goes...
Today I wore holly nails.  I got an order from Amazon last night with some Christmas presents.  When I ordered I wasn't quite to $25 (and who doesn't go for free shipping?!) so I added on some rhinestones!  I found this awesome mani on Pinterest (sense a trend here?) by More Nail Polish and was dying to try it out.  Here are my holly nails!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Golden-I
*1 coat Finger Paints Elves Bells
*2 coats Zoya Logan
*1 coat Milani Jewel FX Red
*1 coat Out The Door

I loved the look of Golden-I and Elves Bells when I used them before, so I decided to use a gold base like my inspiration.  As I tend to do, I went to use a green I had handy when I remembered that I had some Zoyas that I had not tried yet.  I decided to use Logan for this mani, part of their most recent Ornate collection.  It is a really pretty deep green with shimmer that gives it a foil finish and great coverage.

I was going to use Ruby Pumps for my accent nail, like the one I found, but went with Logan instead.  To make it look a bit more like holly, I added Milani Jewel FX in red.  I used red rhinestones from my little wheel and some top coat to make berry clusters (except for my pinkies, which looked better with just one).  Once those were in place, I used a paint brush and Logan for the leaves.  I alternated where I placed the holly to make things a little more interesting (and forgiving!).

These are a bit classier than I usually go, a little more refined, and I love them!  I'm so excited to play with stones more and am sad to see these pretties go.  That's the beauty of a blog, though, right?  I can come back to them whenever I want!  As usual, these are so much cooler in the sun in real life, but they're not too shabby on screen either!

Oh Christmas tree!

Let me just say that I wore these little guys today and was SO sad tonight to take them off for a new mani for tomorrow.  I didn't give myself enough time to get through all the Christmas designs I wanted to wear this year (I'll do more "winter" ones I passed on in January) and have to move quickly.  That being said, I couldn't take my eyes off my hands today and think that I'll do these again for Christmas day.  Here are some cute little Christmas trees:

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats China Glaze The Ten Man
*1 coat China Glaze Fairy Dust
*Color Club Holiday Splendor
*China Glaze Angel Wings
*Milani Gems
*1 coat Out The Door

I have become pretty obsessed with The Ten Man.  I used 2 coats of the shimmery, glittery silver goodness for a base.  It is not quite opaque, which made for such a pretty, ethereal background.  It was like glowing lights and sparkling snow behind the tree with a thin coat of silver-holo Fairy Dust.  Gorgeous! 
I was going to just use Skip the Gift Wrap because it was on my desk when I thought about pretty little Holiday Splendor in the drawer.  I taped off triangles and used this squishy, holo green glitter for the trees.  I know I've said it before, but if you ever get your hands on this one, don't let it go!  The bright, minty greed has an amazing holo glitter to it with a jelly consistency.  A-mazing!

I was going to leave the little trees alone, with a dot of Angel Wings on top.  I saw some manis earlier this month (edit: Amber Did It was the one that sparked my interest) with with multi glitter as ornaments on the tree, and I knew I only had a couple of chances to do tree designs, so I dabbed on Milani Gems, a typical though really pretty multi glitter.  The big and small hexex in so many colors looked so cool on the trees!

When I sealed and smoothed it all up in a shiny top coat, it was so pretty!  This is just a huge glitter fest, but it's really cool because of all the different kinds of sparkle, from subtle shimmer to holo and chunky.  My pictures really don't do these justice--there is a real, pretty depth in person, especially with The Ten Man base.  Like I said, I think I'm going to do these again for Christmas day because I love them SO much!  Have you found a cool Christmas tree design that I need to try?  A new way to "decorate" your tree?  Let me know!

Monday, December 17, 2012

"You'll go down in history!"

I've been having a Christmas movie marathon for my "weekend" because I miss most of them while I'm working.  I LOVE Christmas movies!  Except Frosty--that one is really weird.  Anyway, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is one of my favorites, so here is my little homage to his story:

I love this movie!  Hermie's quitting makes me a little too eager to leave my job.  Yukon makes me laugh.  I love his dogs.  I want to cuddle the little dolly.  I even look past Clarice's "There's Always Tomorrow" and Santa being kind of a tool. 

 *2 coats Wet 'n Wild Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire?
*Sinful Colors Why Not
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out

Don't you just hate macro shots sometimes?  When I see those darn smudges in photos that aren't visible in real life it kills me!  This picture is really not color-true, either, but photo editing is a big world I'm not quite ready to dive into yet.  Why Not is a darker, dustier blue than this shows.  I used these cute yellow umbrellas that Holy Manicures painted (and their base) as my inspiration.  These little guys brought all of the misfit toys to children once Rudolph returned to Santa!

*3 coats China Glaze The Ten Man
*1 coat China Glaze Fairy Dust
*1 coat China Glaze Angel Wings

Good ol' Yukon Cornelius!  "Silver and gold, silver and gold,/ Mean so much more when I see/ Silver and gold decorations/ On ev'ry Christmas tree..."  Always looking for his silver and gold!  So, I gave him both here!  I used The Ten Man as my base, a gorgeous silver polish with micro glitter in it.  I added Fairy Dust for a little more sparkle and then taped off half of my nail and added Angel Wings.  This amazing gold holo glitter is part of their new Holiday line and so pretty! 

*2 coats Zoya Ginessa
*OPI Wooden Shoe Like to Know?
*China Glaze Mahogany Magic
*China Glaze Ruby Pumps
*Sinful Color Snow Me White
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out
"Do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?"  There are a number of really cute Rudolph manis floating around blogs and Pinterest.  I used Wooden Shoe for Rudy's face and Ruby Pumps for his nose to add sparkle.  Next time I'd leave a little more room for the antlers, but my nails are pretty short right now, so they're a little stubby.  I love that little red nose!

*1 coat Sinful Colors Why Not
*Sinful Colors Pink Cream

"We've a special job each year/ We don't like to brag..."  This is another shot of Why Not where the flash just makes it too light and bright.  I'm a little bummed about that because this is for Hermie and the elves.  This blue could be a one-coater with special attention.  I knew I was going to go over the tip, so I didn't add a second.  When I was little I thought those girl elves in their pink dresses and hats were so pretty!

*2 coats Zoya Ginessa
*OPI Danke-shiny Red

"We're on the island of misfit toys/ Here we don't want to stay!"  This nail took a lot of debate.  One of the things that makes the movie so magical and nostalgic is the coloring and quality of the stop motion.  I cannot tell, after a LOT of searching and watching, if the elephant's dots are red or pink.  I went with red.  I am second-guessing myself as I type.  ANYWAY, this is for the little polka-dotted elephant, Charlie, and all the other misfit toys who only want a child to love them.  Because I do! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Even stop lights...

Tonight I had to give Christmas light nails a try!  I was not loving my Santa bellies, mostly because I was lazy.  When I decided to scrap the original candy cane mani after I painted my left hand, I left my right hand white and just layered Ruby Pumps over it.  The effect was not nearly as deep and awesome as it is on its own, and I just got tired of looking at it with regret.  So, here is a little string of lights!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*1 coat Wet 'n Wild Kaleidoscope
*OPI Skip the Gift Wrap
*Zoya Myrta, Zuza, Kimber and Rory
*1 coat Out the Door top coat

I knew I wanted to give this look a try and agonized over what color base to use.  I wanted to do green, for the tree, but I also wanted to use green for the cord.  I finally went with white, but added Kaleidoscope to soften it a bit and to add some sparkle.  I love this glitter so much!  It is a silver holo with micro particles and scattered larger hex pieces.  It is sparse enough to not overtake a mani but can easily build.

I used OPI Skip the Gift Wrap for my green cord.  It is a shimmery deep green that dries to a foil finish, almost frosty.  It's really pretty and pretty perfect for Christmas.  Again, I debated colors for the dotted lights for a while and chose to go with the 4 from the Zoya Surf collection.  I NEVER get tired of using these beauties.  They shimmer like no other and have proven perfect for dotting.  The shimmer makes them glow in the sun, which is why I chose them for the bulbs.

I didn't get too particular about the shape of the lights or where they were placed.  I think that I like some shapes better than others, like my index finger and thumb.  Overall these aren't necessarily my best art, but they are so fun!  It's late, so I'm excited to see them in some good sunlight tomorrow!  Have you done lights this year?  Did you find some really good color combos?  Do tell!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Santa Claus is coming to town..."

This is not what I intended to wear today.  I had planned (and tried) to do a candy cane mani.  Last Christmas, when I was just beginning to read blogs and think beyond simply painting and layering polish, I did candy cane stripes on my thumbs with red nails (my first accent nail!).  I was going to do stripes again, but better.  I taped off thick red stripes and then added smaller ones to look more like candy canes.  They looked...not good.  So, late last night I went with another Christmas design that I think turned out pretty cute!  Here's a hint: it shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly...

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats China Glaze Ruby Pumps
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out
*butter London Fairy Cake
*2 coats Out the Door top coat

I was pinspired by this mani I found on Pinterest (which was also inspired by another blogger).  I realized after the fact that I made my buckle a little wrong.  I should remember to look back at photos as I work...
I started with 2 coats of China Glaze Ruby Pumps.  I hadn't used this red for a Christmas mani yet so I dug it out.  You'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't love this squishy, glittery red!  It's actually a bit darker than it looks in these photos and a-mazing.  I taped off a narrow strip and used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out for the belt.

I used butter London's Fairy Cake for the glittery buckle.  This polish is SO pretty!  It's dense, silvery, holo goodness in a bottle.  The one downside is that it is a glitter, so I had to do a couple of passes with the nail art brush to make the lines opaque, which made them less crisp than I would have liked. 
Aside from the buckles, the one thing I think I might change next year is using Ruby Pumps.  Half of me loves how uber-sparkly this is and half of me thinks that the pretty cream finish looks so nice.  I'm torn!  Have you done a fun Santa mani this year?  Any cool interpretations of him?  Do tell!

Monday, December 10, 2012

"I am one with the Yuletide"

"Know what I mean?"
Ernest Saves Christmas truly is one of the greats.  Watch it.  You will NOT be disappointed!
It was so sad to see my little snowmen go!  I got a lot of compliments from them, including my little cousin, and loved how they turned out.  BUT, then I made a list of the Christmas manicures I wanted to try, and realized that I'll need to change almost every day to squeeze them all in, so I had to say goodbye.  It was sad, but then I fell a little in love with this simple combo, so I might be over it.  Plus, you can rock snowmen again in January, right?  Right.
I initially wanted to do these nails(the pin doesn't lead to anything, but when I searched the watermark I found Linda165 on Youtube with a ton of tutorials!) for Thanksgiving, but I was really busy and didn't have quite the perfect colors, so it didn't happen.  Enter Christmas!

I have a tendency to use the same colors again and again, which means that I have a lot of pretties that go untried.  Meet Cult Nails' Annalicious!  I was about to use Danke-Shiny again, which is amazing, but saw this in my drawer and decided to give her a try.  This is a vibrant, bright red and gives a whole new look to this mani.  It's an orange/tomato red with tons of gorgeous red shimmer packed in.  The polished looked really thin with the first coat, but a second was all it needed.  I'm so glad I went with this bright, cheery red!

For my gold, I started with two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Golden-I.  This is a really pretty, shimmery foil gold with decent coverage.  I added a coat of Finger Paints Elves Bells over the top.  This pretty golden glitter is quite dense.  It has micro gold glitter and scattered, larger holo hex pieces.  It blends perfectly over Golden-I and adds just a little extra special.

I used some coupons and promos today and went on a little spree at Ulta and Sally's. This Finger Paints was the only one from Sally's, but I ended up with 4 free polishes from Ulta and a $5 off $10 coupon, ending up at less than half my original total. Score! One of my freebies was OPI Skip the Gift Wrap, a shimmery dark green with a foil finish.  I used 2 coats as the base for my pinkie and then added 1 coat of China Glaze Winter Holly, another Ulta find.  This green glitter is really dense, packed with micro dark green and gold glitter that flashes holo.  It's really pretty--don't take my pictures' word for it1


Because my nails are kind of stained (I'm sure you wouldn't understand that) I needed a nude base, so I used 3 coats of Julep Jennifer.  Then, with Annalicious, Skip the Gift Wrap and Golden-I, I dotted around the nail.  I used a thick coat of Seche Vite to seal it all up (I don't really have a choice there--my bottle's only about half full and now is SUPER gloopy.  Any recommendations?  Will thinner ruin the fast dry?).

I had a revelation tonight as I looked at these.  I am not very good at nail art.  I rush to take pictures and don't clean up well.  I neglect my cuticles (but I'm trying there!).  I am not perfect and envy the skills of almost every blogger I come across.  That being said, I'm not going to apologize or put down my work anymore.  I really like how this looks!  I loved my little snowmen!  I could critique their noses or cringe at the odd placement of dots here, but the reality is that I look down at my hands and it makes me happy.  This isn't a response to anyone but myself.  I could go on about how dots are all I can do and I wish I could successfully stamp, but I really want to stop that doubting, criticizing part of me and be a little gentler with myself.  I figure saying it publicly will hold me to it.  I love how sparkly and festive these are!  What are you loving about your nails?  How are you being good to you today? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I'm deep into the Christmas spirit now!  I picked out a tree tonight and got it decorated.  The only room I haven't Christmas-fied yet is my bathroom, but that will come tomorrow night--I needed to take a rest to take in the holiday goodness!  So, I lost a rhinestone and figured it was time to try another Christmas mani.  This is another one I found on Pinterest and then followed back to a favorite blog of mine, Top Coat It!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Julep Kate
*1 coat Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Disco Ball
*Cover Girl Candy Corn
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out
*1 coat Out The Door

I used 2 coats of Julep Kate for my white base.  I love that it is not "white out" white and has a little bit of a shimmery finish to it.  The almost-cream finish softens the white just a bit and I've come to really love it.

Over Kate, because I really don't feel like my nails are polished without a little sparkle, I used one coat of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Disco Ball.  This is pretty, though not really original.  It's your typical iridescent glitter that doesn't take away from the base but adds a little extra special to a mani.  I figured ice and snow sparkle, right? 

For the noses I used Cover Girl Candy Corn.  I loved their Boundless Color line and was so sad to see it go.  This orange is a favorite of mine, a little dusty in a perfect cream finish. Of course, I dotted on the face with my trusty Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out.  I sealed up the whole thing with a thick coat of Out the Door.
I am really pleased with how these little guys turned out!  I usually find a way to botch even simple dots. but these are pretty clean.  I think I went extra slow knowing how obvious smudges would come out.  My mom got really into snowmen at Christmas a few years back, so I really hope she likes these!  I think they are such a fun, easy winter/holiday design that I might have to try them again post-Christmas.  Have you done a snowman mani yet this year?  Do you have another design I should try?  Do tell!

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's beginning to look at lot like christmas!

This is my FAVORITE time of year!  It is insanely busy working in retail and we all have a ton of things planned to do, but I can't get enough of Christmas.  I'm started putting out decorations tonight, am getting my tree in the morning, and just did my first Christmas mani for the season!
I have been saving up a bunch of Christmas manis on Pinterest and am excited to try them out.  This first one is a little...rough...  My nail art technique and outcomes are not something to really brag about, but I'm excited to try new things and I like knowing that I'm being honest about my attempts.  Sometimes it gets discouraging to see all of the amazing nail art out there and know I don't measure up.  For the ladies like me out there, I want you to know you can still enjoy decorating your nails and be okay when it comes out a little...funky.
So, this inspiration came from Pinterest.  I tried to connect back to the original blog, but it's missing, so if you know whose this is, let me know so I can give credit!

My freehand bows are rough, but I don't hate them.  I used 2 coats of OPI Danke-shiny Red.  I love this rich, shimmery red and it's amazing coverage in two coats.  They go on so smooth and the finish is shiny and gorgeous.  I highly recommend this one from the Germany collection!

Over the top, I added a thin coat of the red glitter Snowman polish.  I picked up two of these little guys (the flaky/iridescent glitter and the shredded teal glitter).  BUT, what does my mom send me for Thanksgiving?  The red glitter, the pink, and the teal!  She's kind of the best.  So, I added this fine red glitter in a clear base over the top.  The color matches perfectly and just adds a little sparkle to Danke-shiny. 
I used my trusty Sinful Colors Snow Me White for the ribbons and added Spoiled Daddy's Credit Card for the silver accent.  On my thumbs and ring fingers I added a little silver rhinestone.  We'll see how long they last at work!

I'm VERY glad that you cannot see my right hand as well :).  I couldn't just paint bows on my left, though.  I kind of wish that I had just done one on my accent nails instead of all 5, but this is my week off of classes, so I'll have more time to paint without papers to grade.  Plus, I've got too much holiday excitement to not move onto a new design soon!
Are you feelin' festive?  Are your nails showing it?  What holiday designs are you rocking that you think I need to try?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

'Stache Celebration

Okay, it's technically December 1st, now, but this was planned for the last day of November until life got in the way.  It has a funny habit of doing that...
I want to thank you all SO much for your amazing response to the Movember movement and my own personal story.  You have created some amazing manis showing love to the men in our lives, letting them know that their health is important to us because they are.  I have been so humbled by your kind words, amazing art, and awesome response.  THANK YOU!
Today is my final Movember mani for the year, because the month is over.  Like breast cancer awareness, though, this is not the end.  These awareness campaigns are wonderful and really do cause people to pause and think about their health, but I worry that there is a danger in moving on afterward.  Yes, we think and talk a lot about breast cancer in October and prostate and testicular cancer in November, but what happens in March?  We need to be aware of our bodies and our health all the time, trusting our instincts and speaking up when we see changes.  Why?  Because it literally saves lives! 
So today I am celebrating.  Celebrating you, and all of your support that far surpassed my hopes.  Celebrating the promise that medical advances bring, thanks to pressure from the public and the hard fundraising work of people like you and me.  Celebrating my pappy, and his healthy new reality.  Celebrating early detection and the wisdom of those who have devoted their lives to saving others. 
 Celebrating the 'Stache!

I figured that I would pay tribute to all of you brave ladies that freehanded mustaches this month and do one of my own. Yup, it's a weird looking little guy! I know that the nails are a bit dark, but I really wanted to let the confetti stand out! However, that little mustache needed to show up, so I added an accent of Zoya Ginessa (2 coats).

I was going use my trusty Black Out, but instead tried out Jacob's Protection by Essence.  This was part of their Breaking Dawn quad.  I have no experience with the Twilight books or movies, but these polishes were pretty (and less than $2!).  This black base is full of a pretty blue shimmer, so I used 2 coats as a base and then again for the mustache.  Then came the glitter!  I wanted a celebration, but couldn't choose one glitter, so this also morphed into a comparison:

Insert more pictures here.

(Well, I'm at a bit of a loss right now.  As I was uploading photos I hit my 2G limit.  Now I have to decide how to continue this blog and how much I want to invest in it.  For tonight, though, no more pictures, I guess.  It's late and I have some decisions to make.  I do have shots of all of these glitters to compare though.  Oh well, this was really about something more important anyway!)

So there it is--glittery joy!  I love the names of the polishes, too, which are appropriate for this joyful post: Party of Five Glitters by Wet 'n Wild (pinkie), Milani Gems (middle finger), Pinata-Yada-Yada by Ulta (index) and Happy Ending by Cult Nails (thumb).  How perfect!  These are all so fun, with Gems and Pinata-Yada-Yada being the most similar (and my favorites).  Happy in a bottle! 

Life is short and can be scary, so why not embrace a little celebration?  Cancer can be so dark and daunting, but the reality is that there is hope and can be life after, which is worth some sparkling joy.  So thank you!  There has been a lot of good this month to celebrate and I can only hope that movements like Movember bring a lot more celebrations to many more people--here's to the power of the 'stache!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fantasy Fire comparisons

So, I have been sadly saving my teeny tiny bottle of Fantasy Fire.  I know--life is short, so wear the good stuff!  I think this needs to be my new motto.  Why spend money on polish just to have it to look at in the bottle?  What's the point in that?  I have just decided, right now, to wear this sucker and enjoy every sparkly moment of it!
BUT, because it is so small and hard to get in the US (hi international readers!  If you want to work out a swap in place of some outrageous prices this goes for, talk to me!) I have been looking for dupes/similar polishes.  There is one more that I want to nab (I just can't tell you yet because pay day is far off and I NEED this bad boy!  Once I have a bottle I'll let you know and then you can buy all you want!).  I do have a couple of polishes to show you now, though, that might satisfy a craving for this beauty!
Warning: there are a lot of pictures in this one.  I personally recommend that you keep going, but I'm putting in a page break in case you are tired of hearing about Fantasy Fire (but I can't image that's possible).  These are a bit messy because I was way too excited for clean up before my pictures in the little bit of sun coming through my window, but you really should click on the pictures for a bigger look at these lovelies!

Here's what I've got for you.  Can you guess which polishes these are?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fall into Winter

My Thanksgiving mani was showing some decent tip-wear (Black Friday can be rough on those of us who work retail!) so I looked for a quick change tonight.  There are still some colors that I wanted to use this Fall but never got around to, and this one by Spoiled is a good transition from the warm tones of November into the cool and crisp Christmas ones that are coming!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Spoiled I Got So Plastered
*2 coats e.l.f. Golden Goddess
*1 coat Seche Vite

I picked up I Got So Plastered (sidenote: I am really not okay with a number of the Spoiled names.  There are little girls who like to paint their nails that don't need that!) at with a buy two get one promo.  This shimmery rose gold is more sheer than I thought, but so pretty!  It really has a metallic/foil finish on the nail with all the tiny shimmer.  It's a bit cooler in real life than in the pictures and so pretty!

This was my first e.l.f. polish that I found randomly in Target one day.  I couldn't find any others and thought it was really pretty, so I snagged it.  It is a clear base with really fine gold glitter mixed in with some larger gold holo hexes.  I used two coats because it's sparkly, but not super-dense--a great glitter for layering and letting the base show through.

So what polish mode are you in?  Still loving fall/Thanksgiving colors, or moving into the winter/Christmas shades?  Have you tried either of these and found good combos for them? 

With Thanksgiving fresh on our minds, I want to give a couple of huge "Thank you!" mentions!  First off, in less than 2 weeks I have added another 500 views to my blog!  Than YOU, reading this right now, for stopping by!  Much of this is due to the wonderful ladies who are contributing to my Movember movement, which means more than you can know.  Your manis are amazing and the awareness and love that you bring is humbling and inspiring. 
Finally, I want to give a huge thanks to Mandy at Chameleon Stampede Nail Blog.  She is such a sweetheart and talented "nailista."  She featured me this past week in her "Featuring YOU!" post (which is such a cool series that she does).  Check out her awesome work and send a little love her way if you have a chance--she is one cool chickadee!