Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday blues

I've been working a lot between both of my jobs lately and trying to deal with some tough stuff with my family, so my posts have been pretty sparse.  I'm hoping to fix that now, but this week I have final papers to grade, so I'm not going to make any promises.  I do know that I needed a break for feeling obligated to post and, the funny thing is, it has been really good for me but I really miss it!  I needed some rest and quiet time, but I really miss posting here, which is a good sign that I have not burned myself out.  It also means I'm going to try a little harder to work it into my schedule.  Here is the second Liquid Sand polish that I picked up and loved!

*1 coat Yello-Out
*2 coats OPI Get Your Number
*2 coats Orly Angel Eyes (accent)
*1 coat Hoof Lacquer
*2 coats Out the Door

Again, this Liquid Sand is much more sheer than I thought with visible nail lines after 2 coats, which is what the bottle recommends.  This also dries quite gritty, like sandpaper, which I hated.  The color is amazing, though!  The polish is a medium blue jelly packed with silver holo pieces.  I bought Angel Eyes at Ulta with a coupon after this and worried that the two were the same, so I painted them together for a comparison.  Luckily, they are pretty different.

Angel Eyes is a clear base packed with micro blue glitters.  It is similar in color to Get Your Number, but not opaque.  There are scattered iridescent pieces in the bottle that looked holo in the store, but they are much more subtle on the nail.  I'm a little disappointed with this polish, but think that it will make an awesome topper for other polishes. 
I LOVE how Get Your Number looks with top coats in this last picture!  I reminds me of the sun shinning off of water.  I even like the jelly look it has, though I think I'll go with 3 coats next time.  The top coats really bring out the holo flashes, which always wins me over.
Have you given the Liquid Sands a try?  Did you like the feel of the texture?  Did you try a great topper that smoothed them well (mine were still a bit bumpy with 3 coats of 2 different ones). 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stay the night (maybe not)

When I was at Nordstrom Rack last week I picked up a couple of OPI Liquid Sand polishes.  I had been looking at them on blogs and hated the idea of a rough polish, but liked the look of a couple.  The first I wore was Stay the Night.

I used a base of Yello-Out and 2 coats of Stay the Night, like the bottle instructed.  When it dried, it was really gritty, almost like a nail file.  I knew I would hate it a lot.  My plan was always to add a top coat to this color.  I added 2 coats of Julep Rose as an accent because it is the closest color I could find to the glitter, but it's really not a very good match. Stay the Night is a black base with a magenta micro glitter throughout.

I added 1 thick coat of Hoof Lacquer and 2 thick coats of Out the Door.  This was still not as smooth as I had hoped, but not gritty like it is meant to be.  I was really surprised at how sheer these polishes are.  In the future, I think I will use a black base for this to eliminate the nail lines.  I was not as in-love with this as I was when I looked at swatches, which was a bit of a disappointment.  I'll hopefully love it more when it is more opaque.  Have you tried any of these yet?  What did you think?  Can you stand the gritty finish?


I love and hate Valentine's day.  This year was a pretty crappy one, due mostly to an insane amount of work between two jobs.  I felt, to be honest, like I should reflect this attitude in my mani:

*1 coat Yello-Out
*2 coats Color Club Ruby Pumps
*2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out
*1 coat Out the Door

This was a really simple one.  I used Ruby Pumps and Black Out for my accent.  I freehanded a heart on my thumb (which was...interesting...on my right hand).  I would say that I love this red, but I've learned that I am not allowed to fall in love with a red polish.  It's been more than a year and my bottle of Color Club Ruby Slippers still won't open (I can't bring myself to toss it) and I opened my box of indies this weekend to find that Annalicious had been killed!  I have no idea how, but the bottle broke right at the neck.  The top was laying next to the rest of the dry bottle.  I was going to buy a replacement this weekend with the promo, but just couldn't justify it.  I was so bummed!

A disappearing act

Sorry!  I sort of fell off the face of the Internet last week.  Between some serious family stuff, extra papers to grade and picking up as much work as possible (including some quality babysitting time) I've been a bit short on sleep.  Nails trump sleep, but sleep trumps blog.  So, here come some quick catch-up posts!
First, this is what I wore the day before Valentine's day.  I LOVED this one and it wore well, but I felt like I needed to switch it out.  I was bummed to see it go, though!

*1 coat Yello-Out
*2 coats OPI DS Reflection
*3 coats Zoya Gaia
*Savina Hearts
*2 coats Out the Door

I used Gaia for my accent nail.  This was 3 coats and still a bit streaky and transparent, so I will use it over a more opaque white (or color) next time.  This white is so pretty!  It has a gorgeous pink-gold shimmer to it that softens the white to get away from "white out" nails.  I picked up this Savina polish at Nordstrom rack last week.  Like chunky glitters, it's a nightmare to just use the brush for a coat.  It's adorable, though, so that's okay!  I used a dotting tool to fish out hearts and placed them along the tip of my nail.

I was dying to use DS Reflection and figured that this was the perfect chance! It applies in 2 dream coats--I probably could have just used 1 and been just fine. This is such an awesome polish. It was a bit different from the other ones I've worn. It is a gorgeous pink (a warm strawberry-ish color?) with scattered holo particles, but there is something else to it.  It has a golden non-holo shimmer to it too.  When I looked at it in the sun, it didn't really look like a polish with scattered holo particles sparkling.  It has an almost 3-D look to it, like a magic eye poster.  Bottom line: awesome!

So, this is just the beginning!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras!

One of my dearest friends has made New Orleans her home.  She graciously let me come visit a while back and I fell a little in love with the city.  I had decided to give myself a little rest and time when it came to my nails, and God decided it wasn't enough.  I had planned a couple of other Valentine manis for the past few days, but I got a nasty little cut right along my cuticle that I did not think would mix well with, they'll come later (it's always the season for hearts and pink!) and today I'm showing a little Fat Tuesday love! 

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Cult Nails Flushed
*3 coats Julep Jennifer
*1 coat OPI Fresh Frog of Bel Air
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Golden-I and Purple Pizzazz
*Zoya Logan
*1 coat Out the Door Northern Lights

Last year I did something similar to this, but  with a ton more layers and pretty much the same effect.  I'm getting more efficient!  I used Flushed as my purple base.  This is really similar to the beloved Fantasy Fire, but not a dupe.  This is a lighter purple, not quite a lavender, that is packed with a magenta shimmer.  You can really see it in the first picture and on my pinkie in the last.  I love this color--it's just gorgeous when you see it in the sun.  If you don't have this one, it is well worth getting!

I added a thin coat of Fresh Frog of Bel Air over the top.  This is a small green glitter in a clear base with scattered silver hex pieces.  On my accent I used Jennifer, which is a pale peach that is a pretty good nude for me.  It is sheer and a cream, and I was sure I would hate it when I saw it in my box, but I've come to love it.  I used Logan, Golden-I and Purple Pizzazz to dot on some bead strands because Mardi Gras NEEDS beads!

I finished everything off with a coat of Northern Lights, a micro scattered holo glitter in an Out The Door top coat.  In real life, it shows up much more, but you can see it flashing in my pinkie.  I almost chose a clear top coat because these are busy nails, but there's no such thing as "too much" when it comes to Mardi Gras!  I'm excited to see these out in the sun tomorrow.  I need to decided on a Valentine mani or two, though, which is proving hard--there are way too many ideas I want to try out!  Anyway, enjoy a little indulgence today!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Something Lady Like

I've been a bit M.I.A. the last week.  I had the best of intentions for the 31 day challenge, and did a lot better than I thought.  I also was really stoked to do the Flip Flop challenge in February.  Then, I just got very overwhelmed with everything going on in my life.  I needed some time away, some rest, some perspective.  I had a couple of manis that I decided not to photograph and share, even though I really liked my Super Bowl one.  But really, it just wasn't important.  Taking a deep breath was.
I thought I would try to catch up or jump into the Flip Flop challenge, but I think that I am going to keep that for another time.  Instead, I'm going to enjoy my nails a bit more.  When I was changing every day, I didn't get to savor them, and there were some looks I really liked!  I know that is why I started this blog in the first place--to keep track of the manis I did so that I can come back to ones I liked--but it was a little sad to work hard and then wash it all away.  So, I won't be posting daily, but I'm okay with that.  I hope you are too!
I have a love-hate relationship with Valentine's Day.  I love love and pink and flowers.  I hate being alone when everyone else has love and pink and flowers galore.  I'm sure you would NEVER understand that... I've been saving up some Valentine mani ideas that I'm excited to try out.  Like I said, I love love and pink...


*1 coat Yello-Out
*2 coats Essie Lady Like
*Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*1 coat Out The Door.

This first look comes courtesy of Mixed Mama.  I found this simple but lovely mani on Pinterest a while ago and have been dying to try it out.  This is the reason that I ended up getting Lady Like!

Lady Like is not a polish I would ever say is "me."  It is a cream, dusty mauve of sorts, almost beige.  It's a little old lady-ish.  It applies like a dream--I used 2 coats for a smooth finish, but 1 careful coat is really enough.  A one-coat neutral!  Maybe it's because it's really different from what I wear.  Maybe it's because I've been loving this look for so long.  Maybe I'm just an old lady at heart, but I really like this color!  Sometimes, I think I need something more subtle and soft, and this is both in such a perfect way!

I used a dotting tool to draw on the hearts with Snow Me White.  I tossed this bottle when I was done--it's gotten really thick and makes little strings as soon as it's out of the bottle.  I have a back-up already, too, but just wouldn't get rid of this.  When it messed up this mani, that was the last straw!  I had waited too long to let thick polish get in my way!

I like how simple and quiet these are.  It feels so weird to have no shimmer or glitter on my nails, and I considered adding some iridescent glitter to the hearts, but I'm glad I didn't.  I waited for Valentine's Day-ish to try these, but I think they might be a simple, mostly-neutral go-to look from now on!

Friday, February 1, 2013

New 31DC: Inspired by me

I had a lot of different ideas for this challenge, and they'll make an appearance sooner or later.  Right now, though, life is a little overwhelming.  I fell off a bit at the end of the challenge, and am just kind of exhausted right now.  It's only been a month since I was home-home, but I'm missing it a lot right now.  There are a lot of things that I miss when I get homesick, but a bit one is the stars.  I miss dark skies at night and millions of stars coming out.  The big city has its benefits, but sometimes you just can't beat a small town...

*1 coat Yello-Out
*2 coats Zoya Song
*1 coat Savvy Touch of Glitter
*1 coat Wet 'n Wild Kaleidoscope
*1 coat Out The Door

I could have done a full-blown galaxy nail, because I kind of love them, but that defeats the purpose of this.  I want simple, easy, perfect night sky.  I just got Song in my Zoya promo mail today.  This is a gorgeous dark blue with a shimmery/foil finish to it.  I was worried that this would be a dupe for Co-Bolt Blue, which I have and love, but this a brighter blue (I'll compare them soon).  It is more of a deep blue than a dark one.  It was 2 easy, smooth coats to get this color, but 1 careful one would still be pretty--a little lighter.  It is actually quite a bit darker than these pictures show.

I added Touch of Glitter, a micro silver holo in a clear base that is pretty sparse, then Kaleidoscope.  These actually ended up more dense than I had imagined, but that's okay.  Every time I get home and see the stars, they are always more beautiful and numerous than I remember.