Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"I'm feeling very Olympic today!"

"How 'bout you?" (Major kudos if you can place those words with Sanka in the classic Cool Runnings!)

So, to start this off, I love the Olympics.  I didn't have cable for Beijing.  I work two jobs now, so my days are spent trying to survive retail until I can make my escape and my nights are spent hunched over my laptop working with writing classes for an online university.  Me time is hard to come by. 
Luckily, by a twist of fate, I have a new class that does not have papers due until the end of their second week.  This means my nights are free for two weeks--Olympic weeks!  While I should be getting to bed earlier and resting, I can't turn off the games. 
I did not do an Olympic-themed mani for the opening ceremonies because it was the night of my friend's wedding, and I decided to opt for something more sedate.  Now I can embrace the girl who swoons over the gymnasts' uniforms and hair plastered with glitter!  I took this as a great opportunity for a skittle:

The Olympic Rings.
There is an obscene amount of polish on my nails now:
*All nails: 1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails, Petites 24k Gold on tips, 1 coat Out the Door fast-dry top coat and 1 coat Healthy Hoof Lacquer
There is an obscene amount of polish on my nails now:
*All nails: 1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails, Petites 24k Gold on tips, 1 coat Out the Door fast-dry top coat and 1 coat Healthy Hoof Lacquer
*Pinkie: 3 coats China Glaze Dorothy Who?
*Ring finger: 2 coats Color Club Almost Famous, 1 coat Confetti They Call Me Mellow Yellow, 1 coat Savvy Touch of Glitter
*Middle finger: 1 coat Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out, 2 coats Icing Twilight
*Index finger: 2 coats Color Club Holiday Splendor
*Thumb: 2 coats China Glase Ruby Pumps

I looked for the most glittery colors I could find because last week was rough and I need some sparkle in my life. I tried out 2 of my new Wizard of Oohs and Aahs polishes (I love the Wizard of Oz and needed this collection in my life!). Dorothy Who? is so pretty and such a different blue from anything I have right now. I could have stopped at 2 coats, but the 3rd added even more depth to the glitter and color. It is such a prety medium blue--not quite her dress color, but lovely anyway. Ruby Pumps is also quite beautiful and will do for a stand-in until I can get my hands on a new Color Club Ruby Slippers. It is close, but not quite the same. If I had not loved Color Club first, I'm sure I would be compeltely smitten with this!
I used Almost Famous as a base. This is a nice, bright yellow that covers better than most in two coats. I added Confetti They Call Me Mellow Yellow over the top for the soft shimmer that it brings. This is a really delightful yellow, but very thin. Even with the shimmer, though, it did not quite match the intensity of the glitter that the others brought, so I added Savvy Touch of Glitter to it. This is a clearance find of mine from Sally's Beauty Supply. It is a small, sparse, silver holo that adds sparkle without overshadowing the polish base. Love it!
I used Sally Hansen Black Out for a base to Twilight. The polish looked too sheer, so I had to build it up. I used two coats of this one over the Black Out. It is a black base with small silver glitter and really cool when you have full coverage.
I love Color Club and can usually find it at a decent price, so I favor the brand when I can. Holiday Splendor is what I do that. It. Is. Gorgeous! This bright green holo is squishy and amazing and I make any excuse I can to wear it! My words and photos do not do this justice. If you can get your hands on it: DO!
I thought about stopping there. The skittle was awesome and I was really pleased with the colors. But I have plenty of time on my hands this week, so I kept going. I was worried I would hate the tips and have to redo all of those layers, but I really liked the gold! 24k Gold is a warm gold glitter with good coverage and sparse red flecks throughout. Some thick topcoating was needed to even out all of these glitters, but I was surprised at how much I liked the tips! My lines and nails could be straighter, but I really like the outcome!


Are you rocking some patriotic colors? Loving the games? Missing Doug E. Doug?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sweet on Strawberry Fields

This past weekend I attended my dear friend's wedding.  The ceremony was beautiful, full of joy and life, goofy and accessible--just like her.  I am so excited and happy for her and her new husband, who's is a wonderful guy, and all that their future holds!
I could not go celebrate with naked nails, especially because there is still some yellow staining that I am working to clean off.  So, with a million things to do before I left, I had to find something simple to cover up with.  I was wearing a green dress, but did not want to match my nails, so I looked for something that would go well with a few outfits.  I settled on my Strawberry Fields, which I had not tried yet, and figured I'd splash on a little Luxe & Lush for an easy accent.  Man o man!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as nails base
*3 thin coats China Glaze Strawberry Fields
*1 thick coat China Glaze Luxe & Lush
*2 coats Health Hoof Lacquer

I am in love with Strawberry Fields!  This is a richer pink than I usually wear, darker and more sedated.  The berry shade seemed like one that would be appropriate with a few different outfits.  I could see the golden shimmer in the bottle, but was not prepared for how clear and gorgeous it would translate on the nail.  In the sun, I cannot take my eyes off of this one!  I was going to stop at 2 thin coats, but there was a bit of nail line visible in the light, so I used a third.  Then, I put a coat of Luxe & Lush on my ring finger.  This flakey shard glitter is so pretty and unique.  I have only used it a couple of times, and always forget how much easier this is to apply than I expect.  There is a little work to get the flakes to fill in like I want, but it's not nearly enough work to turn me off.  I use Healthy Hoof to help even out the flakes and to amp up the shine. 
I am so sad that it has taken me so long to try out this polish!  Strawberry Fields is just amazing and will soon become a go-to for me.  The Luxe & Lush has enough of its own golden tones and reflects the pink well, letting the polish still show through.  I loved this mani and, while I have some extra time and am itching to try something new, I hate to think about taking this one off!

Before I go, I want to tell you about a very generous giveaway that Kaki is offering at Glitter Obsession!  There is a set of 5 China Glaze OMG polishes up for win!  They are amazing and she is being incredibly generous for her 1500 follower giveaway--CONGRATULATIONS!  The giveaway ends 8/15.  "May the odds be ever in your favor!"

Monday, July 23, 2012

Joining the Cult

As I began to read nail blogs, I heard a lot about Cult Nails.  The swatches that I saw were gorgeous, to put it mildly.    I ordered 2 when she had a generous $5 sale.  As soon as I got Captivated and Iconic home, I knew that pictures cannot really do these justice. 
I tried Captivated and loved it on my nails, but that was before I was regularly photographing them or keeping track of coats or anything. I remember that it lasted a really long time, though, without chipping much.
My nails have become rather stained, so when I took off my polish this afternoon, I knew I needed a quick cover up.  Tonight I simply stared into my drawers, waiting for something to call to me. 

*1 coat Yello-Out base coat
*2 coats Icing Teal for Real
*1 coat Cult Nails Hypnotize Me
*1 coat Healthy Hoof Lacquer

Hypnotize Me.  Oh man, will it!  I was worried that my photo skills would not do this enough justice to make it worth posting, but this polish speaks for itself.  I didn't want too many coats of it, so I did two thin coats of Teal for Real.  This was an odd duck.  It is pretty sheer with a teal shimmer in it.  It dries to a satin finish, nearly matte.  I did a second coat and it was much more opaque than I though.  If I wore it alone, I think I might add a third just to be thorough, but I was pleasantly surprised with it.  Then came the magic.

Hypnotize Me is gorgeous!  It is a much thicker, goopier formula than I expected for such a fine glitter/shimmer, but I'll get over it.  It has an amazing teal/blue sparkle to it that seems to glow when the light hits it.  Overall the polish looks teal, and Teal for Real was a perfect match, but if you look closely, the glitter looks like a light blue sparkle.  I am afraid to drive to work tomorrow because I am sure I won't be able to take my eyes off of this in the sun!
I tried to get a good picture to capture the glow of this, but I'm not very good with a camera.  You've got to try this one on for yourself.  It really looks like it is lit from within.  The polish is a bit gritty when dry, and I really don't ever go without a topcoat.  I used the Healthy Hoof because it is a shinny, glassy finish and makes sparkles come alive.  It takes longer than Seche Vite to dry, but it's worth it!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Giveaway love!

Here's another installment of love for ladies being very generous!

*This one ends in just a couple of hours, so speed over to facebook and get your entry in for an exciting, limited edition original! http://www.facebook.com/KBShimmerBathandBody?sk=app_228910107186452

*OhThreeOhFour has a really exciting giveaway going with some gorgeous indies up for win!  Her blog is new but wonderful, with awesome pictures and really cool indies to see!  She is also the best that I have ever seen at linking all of the polishes that she uses, which makes tracking them down so much easier!

*The Do It Yourself Lady has a huge giveaway going!  She is being incredibly generous and there are so many sparkles and pretties offered!  I, personally, would love to get all of those rhinestones for my collection!

Thank you, ladies, for all of your generosity!  In addition to sharing your talents daily, you are offering up some really spectacular polishes and extras for all of us.  Head to these pages, get your entries in, and enjoy all of the awesome polish that they swatch and create with. 

"May the odds be ever in your favor!"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pinterest inspiration

As soon as I spotted this on Pinterest, I knew that I wanted it on my fingers!  I followed the link to All That Is Gorgeous and quickly decided that Jenn is a polisher after my own heart.  (No, seriously, go check out her awesome work!)  So, I looked through my stash to see if there was something that I could recreate the look with.  No go.  So, since the polishes are cheap and easy enough to track down, I nabbed both and decided to give it a try.

(I have such a hard time figuing out flash or no flash...neither was good)

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails base
*3 coats Sinful Colors Unicorn
*1 coat Sally Girl gold glitter
*2 coats Seche Vite

I was determined to love this yellow.  I have others that are shimmery, golden polishes, but nothing that is this soft, baby chick yellow.  I read reviews that bemoaned its streaks, but I was determined...
I wanted so badly to love it.  One coat was thin.  Two coats streaked.  I went for a slightly thicker third.  It was full coverage, which is great, but it streaked, no matter how hard I tried.  It is due more to the creamy polish than the color, I think, but I was so frustrated.  So how do you fix that?  Slap the glitter on and some thick top coat and hope for the best!
The glitter did help even out the look a lot.  I was sorta satisfied with the look, though my photos do not do it justice like hers do.  It was a nice look, the light yellow and bright gold.  I actually got a number of compliments about this one, too, despite my streaks (that no one but me seemed to notice).  I even had one lady ask where she could find the stickers I used.  When I told her it was polish she was amazed and said the glitter was too uniform!  Well, if that doesn't make your day...
So, I think that this is one I would do again.  The yellow will be great for dotting because it is so creamy when most are sheer.  If I can put my perfectionist aside, the color is gorgeous and a little glitter can hide most any of the imperfections!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Some love for these ladies!

Here are some more awesome giveaways that are happening!  These ladies are being VERY generous, with their talents and their prizes, so take some time to check out the giveaways and their blogs!

*Rebecca Likes Nails: This giveaway is really cute and themed!  There are some really cool polishes AND some handmade jewelery being offered.  Once you enter, make sure that you have some time before you start to browse through her blog, because you'll be there for a while!  It's hard not to want to see what gorgeous mani she has on the next page...

*Glitter Obsession: First off, if you don't fall in love with that name, we may not be able to be friends... Her giveaway is for some very generous giftcards to Llarowe!  Also, take some time to look at the amazing nail art she has here!  I am in awe of all of you who can paint scenes and characters with such precision--I feel brave when I go for a dot art flower.

Thank you, ladies, for your generous giveaways!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bottle Betrayal!

Tragedy struck my stash as I prepared to give myself a 4th of July mani!
My beloved bottle of Color Club Ruby Slippers is stuck shut!  It must have leaked or not been closed tight enough when I traveled with it at Christmas.  I love that red!  It is so shimmery and the perfect shade.  I had big plans for it... (Side note: if you know of a way to save it, please let me know how to free my brush!  I used a q-tip and acetone, cleaning off the bottle and trying to get under the cap, but it's not budging...)
So, I had to improvise a bit, already having a blue nail and four white ones on each hand. 
My answer to any problem or mistake is always glitter, so I turned to my old friend:

I dove into my beloved Muppets collection by OPI and put Gettin Miss Piggy With It to work.  I got this for Christmas, along with a bunch of the other glitters, but hadn't used it yet.  I was worried it would be a dupe for Sally Hansen's Gem Crush Cha-Ching, but the two lines are pretty distinct.  I chose Getting Miss Piggy With It because the red glitter is much less dense, letting the white show clearly.  My line up was:

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails base coat
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White (all but ring finger)
*1 coat OPI Getting Miss Piggy With It over white
*1 coat Wet n Wild Kaleidoscope over that, just for good measure
*2 coats Sally Hansen Co-Bolt Blue on ring finger
*1 coat Icing Written in the Stars over blue
*2 thick coats Seche Vite over all nails

Whew!  I had planned to do red stripes over the white, but that clearly didn't happen...  Snow Me White is a typical, highly pigmented white.  Clean, bright.  It made for messy cuticles (please don't judge my lack of clean up).  I love the Co-Bolt Blue, though!  It is a nice, deep shade of blue with subtle shimmer that comes alive in the sun.  It is great coverage with two thin coats, drying immediately.  Written in the Stars is a fun mix of small and large holo silver hex glitters with blue holo stars mixed into a lightly blue-pigmented jelly base.  As expected, the stars fought coming out, so I fished out three for each nail, which was really all they needed.

(again, my apologies for the mess around the nails...I need to pull it together!)

Overall, I was kind of disappointed with this one.  I loved the accent nail, though the stars were a bit of a nightmare and, even under two THICK coats of Seche, were pulling up the next morning.  Oh well, the Olympics are coming up, so I've got more patriotic displays to work on!

"Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country." ~Sinclair Lewis