Thursday, July 18, 2013

Take two!

I really loved the funky French that I did in my last post, so when it started chipping I decided to give it another go with slightly different colors.  I was a little less happy with this only because I went a little faster, which means that I made a couple mistakes.

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener
*2 coats Sally Hansen Insta-dri Man-go Team!
*Zoya Kimber
*1 coat Out the Door

Man-go Team! is another clearanced polish I found at Target.  This is a more orange, warm yellow, reminding me of marigolds.  It covers well in a clean cream finish.

You can see in the second photo that I got a little over excited and added my top coat too soon.  Ugh!  I need to learn patience, but it's so hard when you want to protect something that looks cool!  I just need to remember I'm doing more harm than good when I rush. 
I am so glad that I found my striping tape again.  I do have some trouble with it curling up though, which made for a mess on my right thumb.  Have any of you found a good way to avoid that?  Do tell!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The summer sun's callin' my name!

If you've read through my posts, it's no secret that I am not entirely original or creative on my own.  I do know awesome manis when I see them, though, and love trying my hand (no pun intended, but it is a happy accident) at what others have done.  I am also as straightforward as I can be about where I find designs and try to link back to pages and posts.  I am kicking myself right now because last Saturday I saw this look on Facebook.  There are a ton of nail pages I follow and I went back in my feed as far as I could, as well as through my blogger feed and cannot find my source.  So, if this looks like your mani or you recognize the original lady's work, please let me know so I can edit and give her credit, because I LOVE this one!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener
*2 coats Sally Hansen Insta-dri Butter-fly Stroke
*Zoya Myrta
*1 coat Out the Door

Target had a bunch of Insta-dri on clearance and I am always looking for a good, opaque yellow to use as a base for my sheer ones.  I used two coats of Butter-fly Stroke and it is perfectly opaque.  The first coat was a bit streaky, but the cream finish evened itself out with the second.  I don't own a lot of creams--I'm too drawn to shimmers and glitters!  I do love, however, how they contrast with more sparkly polishes, so I'm rethinking my instincts.  Myrta is a gorgeous orange and every time I pull it out I wonder why I wear it so rarely.  I loved these two together!

I found my roll of striping tape finally and used it for my tips.  It is so much cleaner and easier than Scotch tape that I think I should make the very small investment in more rolls.  These colors just screamed "Summer!" to me, and I'm not a fan of the hot season, but they've made me so happy!  I got a ton of compliments at work yesterday.  When I do a mani, I love the amazement when a customer asks where it was done and I tell them my couch.  It makes me feel good when they ask if I'm wearing "those nail sticker sheets."  While I tend to focus on my mistakes, it's so flattering when someone thinks they were printed on wraps!  What's your favorite thing to hear when you work hard on your nails?  

Friday, July 5, 2013

Land that I love

I know it's the 5th, but these were my 4th of July nails.  I tried my hand at this pin that links to Californails, but I couldn't find the mani on the tumblr feed, so I can't link to that.

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardner
*2 coats Cover Girl White Night
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Co-bolt Blue
*OPI Danke-shiny Red
*Sinful Colors Queen of Beauty
*2 coats Out the Door

The thing about macro shots is that they amplify every little detail that the perfectionist in me hates!  The reality is that these came out really cool and I'm pretty proud of them (even the right hand!).  Up close all I can think is I have NO idea how ladies get straight freehand lines!  Anyway, when these are a normal distance from my eyes, I really like them.  I got a lot of compliments on them the past two days.  What I found really strange was that at least a third of those comment came from men.  I guess Independence Day brings out some hardcore patriotism that men embrace, even if it is in nail polish!

I applied two thin coats of white for my base knowing the others would cover it well.  I taped off half of the nail and painted on Co-bolt Blue.  I really never get tired of how gorgeous this polish is.  It's much darker without a flash on it, but that shimmer is just as visible.  Then I freehanded on stripes with Danke-shiny and a small brush.  Finally, when I hoped it had all dried, I painted on the glitter stripe which shows up much better in real life.  It helped me worry a little less about areas where polish snuck under my tape lines!

This really got me excited to get back into trying more nail art.  I can polish and add glitter or an accent like nobody's business, but it's been months since I really tried to do anything beyond that.  Shaky lines aside, I really did like this design and now that I have some more free time, I'm feeling the itch to keep trying new stuff and branch out more.  Have you had a cool design that inspired you to get more adventurous with your nails?

Monday, July 1, 2013

The emblem of the land I love

This is another 4th of July manicure inspired by a pin I found.  Now, I don't want to really brag, but I find some awesome stuff on Pinterest (which is made by people much more talented than I am.  It may be the many hours that get lost once I log on that lead to these finds...) and you are more than welcome to check out my boards here:  I always want to attribute the manis I find and the pin linked to an Olympic compilation and the photo linked to this instagram: ohtammm.  I really liked the look, even though it moved me outside of my accent comfort zone!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats Loreal Queen of Hearts (thumb & pinkie)
*2 coats Zoya Song (ring and middle)
*1 coat Spoiled Daddy's Credit Card (index)
*3 coats Revlon Splendor (index)
*Cover Girl White Night
*1 coat Out the Door

I am really comfortable with an accent on my ring finger, but this changed everything up!  It's not really a skittle because not every nail is different, but I'm not really used to this kind of design.  My thumb and pinkie are red and white stripes.  I'm going to have to order some striping tape because I have no clue where my roll went and scotch tape is not ideal for small stripes like this.  I tried a different red, a brighter one than my last, that I've had forever and really don't use.  It's a nice one, though, with a subtle gold-leaning shimmer to it. 

Song was out still, so I used it for my blue base.  I knew I didn't have any silver glitter that I could build to full-coverage, so I used a sheer base of shimmery silver and added holo glitter on top.  I'm really annoyed with my impatience and forgetfulness.  These looked cleaner before I put on my top coat and used too many strokes, causing streaks all over the place.  In real life it's really hard to tell, but these pictures are a good reminder to be patient!  These stripes are a bit funky, but I'm loving the dots and silver!  Luckily, I still have at least one more mani I want to try for the 4th, so I'll change these stripes out soon. 
Do you have any great tips to keep top coats from streaking art?  Do tell!

My Country 'tis of Thee

So, I have been away from blogging for quite a while.  In that time, I really didn't do many manicures, leaving most of them on until they were chipped beyond recognition.
I've lost a job and a big chunk of my family and I need for life to start looking up.  After being laid off from my "night" job, I started looking at my options and am pretty set on going back to school.  Some changes need to be made because I just can't continue this way.  Hopefully this is a really good turning point!
That being said, I've not got a lot more free time for the summer and want to get back to things that make me happy--reading, movies, talking with my friends and getting a little sparkle on my nails!  So, this is the first of my patriotic/4th of July manis that I did. 

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*2 coats China Glaze Ruby Pumps
*2 coats Zoya Song (accent)
*1 coat Pure Ice Dazzle Me (accent)
*1 coat Out The Door

It's rare that I let my polish stand alone, so it was different for me to see Ruby Pumps all on its own.  These are darker and bolder colors than I've been wearing lately and I loved them!  (Forgive the tip wear--I didn't get these photographed until after a full day at work.)

Maybe it's patriotismc or simply complimentary colors, but I could not get enough of the dark blue and red together!  They both have a shimmer/sparkle to them and I loved the bold colors.  I used a little bit of Dazzle Me for stars on Song.  This is one of the only polishes I've bought in the past few months (maybe the only one?) and when I saw the mix of micro silver glitter and the medium holo pieces I really fell in love with it. 
Have you pulled out any good reds and blues for the holiday?

Coming back

Well hello and my apologies!  I have kind of dropped off the face of the earth, both here and in other areas of my life.  I know that no one expects anything of me, but you have been such wonderful readers and so supportive that I feel like at least a small explanation is in order.
Since the end of January I have really been battling depression.  There is not a whole lot that inspires or excites me lately.  On top of that, we lost my grandmother to a sad, difficult end.  Life has just been overwhelming and I haven't felt compelled to polish much, let alone post about it.  What I tell myself has just been "me" time is really retreating, though, and not all that healthy, so I'm trying to come back.  Fake it 'til you make it, right?  Right.  I'm hoping this will help me feel more like me.
That being said, I'm starting off super unoriginal and recreating an awesome mani that Amber posted over at the highly-addictive and awesome Amber did it!  My coloring is slightly different, but I couldn't resist the perfect summer mani she rocked!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails
*China Glaze Pool Party
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out
*Cover Girl White Night
*1 coat Hoof Lacquer
*1 coat Out the Door


I buffed my nails (now that the staining has grown out!) and opted to go nude for the French.  I was tempted to use a nude colored polish, but let my natural nails be the base instead.  I taped off the tips with Scotch tape and used Pool Party for the tips.  On my left hand I freehanded a second coat after removing the tape, but wasn't as confident for my right.  This is a little sheer and needs a couple of coats for the whole nail.  As a neon, it dries to a semi-matte finish, which I like to shine up with a top coat.  With that shiny top coat, though, they looked about the same.

On my accent, I used a dotting tool for the black and white dots, and then the opposite on top.  The one thing that Amber did and I wish I had more successfully copied was the size difference in the dots.  I was worried about making the larger ones too big, but they came out a little too close in size to tell a difference.  Either way, I love the neon pink with the black/white contrast!

I don't often end up doing a French, but I really like how this looks!  I have tons of funky French mains pinned, so I'll have to keep them coming.  This was a fun, easy, cute mani for me and I'm hoping to dive back into this little hobby.  Thank you, for coming back and for having patience with me.