Monday, August 26, 2013

Hot Pink

So, instead of cleaning or any of the other things I probably should have been doing today, I decided to give my blog a little makeover!  I was reading through a blogging FAQ post that was posted on Tes Did It Nails today.  She has some interesting things to think about as you start or work on expanding your blog, but the best little nugget was her link to The Cutest Blog On The Block
Oh.  My.  Goodness! 
Their templates are so adorable and I while I really like my new look, I am so excited to try out a new one!  These ladies have so many amazing free templates for all different looks and seasons--I'm excited to keep playing around with them!

I had been waiting to do this mani that I found on Pinterest for a while and was so excited to get around to it!  I tried really hard to find the original post, mostly because I wanted to know what the glitter was, but couldn't.  I really hate when pins lead to collections of manis with no sources!  If this is yours, let me know so I can give you credit!  The funny thing is, the more that I looked at the photo trying to figure out the polish, I realized I already owned it!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener
*2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme wear Black Out
*1 coat Milani Hot Pink
*1 coat Out the Door

 This is such a simple combo of a black cream base and glitter top, but I love how it looks!  Hot Pink is a clear base with medium sized silver holo glitter and magenta glitter.  I realized, once I started putting it on, there is also a really sparse micro silver glitter in it.  I added a thick layer of Out the Door over the top.  The polish is a little tricky to maneuver because it's one with a thick clear base, which means you dab the glitter more than brush, but that is in no way a deal breaker!

The top coat and thick base make the glitter look almost suspended in real life, which was the coolest part of this.  So cool, in fact, that a customer asked to see it and then she kept touching my nails and asking how I "did that." 
I'm super flattered when my customers like my nails and let me know or ask about them.  I also notice their nails and will comment on the manis I like.  I know you look at nails too, otherwise you would not be spending time looking at this.  So, here's my question: do you ever feel like it's okay to grab someone's hand to check out their nails?  Is it super weird, or is it just me (which is ALWAYS a possibility)?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Techno Summer

I have been dying to do a neon green and blue mani for a while now.  I don't have any truly "neon" shades, and was a little bummed going through my collection trying to match the mani I was imagining.  I figured that I would go with these two because they were the closest I had, and I was bracing myself for disappointment, but they turned out to be a fun combo!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener
*2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blew Me Away
*2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Green With Envy
*1 coat China Glaze Techno
*1 coat Out the Door

I was not sure which color I wanted as an accent, and almost switched it up on my other hand, but left Green With Envy as the accent.  The two creams were brighter than I had thought, so they were closer to what I was looking for, but not quite the colors I dreamed of.  Adding Techno, silver holo glitter in micro pieces and medium hexes, brightened them up too.  I don't normally feel constrained by seasons and their color palettes, but I really can't resist the brights in the summer! 
Do you know of a good neon green and light blue for me?  Let me know!

Back to school...

I've been wanting to try chalkboard nails since the 31 day challenge at the beginning of the year.  A contributor in The Crumpet's Nail Tarts posted some and I forgot to write down her name, so if you posted them back in January let me know!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener
*2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out
*OPI Danke-shiny Red
*China Glaze Mahogany Magic
*Color Club striper in White
*1 coat Out the Door
*1 coat Hard Candy Matte-ly in Love

I fell in love this the pin I found of apple nails Cosmetic Cupcake did, so I added it as an accent.  I used a small paint brush and Danke-shiny Red for the apples and just a dash of Mahogany Magic for the stem.  I left these shiny and like how they turned out.

I used Black Out for my chalkboard base and painted in white over the top.  Things got a little dicey on my right hand, so these did not get worn out in public, but at least I gave it a shot!  I can never quite find the right brush to use when it comes to freehand art.  I was going to use a small paint brush for the letters, but decided to give my striper a try.  The brush on it is very thin but long, and did not give me the control that I needed.  Yeah, that was supposed to be a heart on the pinkie...oh well!

I really like how these looked.  I'm going to give them another go with a little more work on the art part, but if you haven't tried chalkboard nails, I recommend them--they are easy (in theory) and super cute!  More importantly, for me, they are a little love letter to my momma as she starts the first grade!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Plan B

I had a big, creative mani in mind.  I was doing French tips, dots, rhinestones...and it was something I thought up, not carefully copied.  I was excited.  And then, at 11:30 pm (even with my whole day free, I tend to wait until the evening to paint, just before bed.  I need to work on that.) I got impatient.  My dots weren't straight and I was at a sad point of no return.  So, I swiped the acetone and was ready to just wear a clear base today and regroup.  Then I decided to do a quick swipe of a holo...

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener
*1 coat Color Club Halo-graphic(?)
*1 coat Out the Door

I am not 100% sure that I have the right polish name.  My order was a wreck when I got it--a broken bottle, a leaking bottle, and missing labels.  It was a bummer, to say the least, and a group-buy site I'll never recommend or use again.  But enough of the sad stuff, onto the happy!

One coat!  One quick, fast-drying, sparkling, holo-y gorgeous coat!  Plan B wasn't too shabby...

As I looked that this linear holo goodness today, I realized two things. 
First, I think that I actually like scattered holos more than linear.  Do NOT get me wrong, I will not say "no" to a holographic polish, but I think I like the little sparkles just a little bit more.  Like how I like Phish Food just a little bit more than Half-Baked. 
Secondly, it was weird to just wear one coat of a polish and call it good.  I had a base and topcoat, and I know that's not what a "casual" polisher might do, but I felt sort of unfinished and realized that this is how many people paint their nails and they are perfectly pleased.  No extra mile for art or accents, just pretty polish.  It felt so out of character, but refreshingly simple.
What are your thoughts on holo polish?  Prefer one over the other?  Do you dig a simple nail polish from time to time?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My momma's birthday!

My mother is pretty spectacular.  I may be a little biased, because she's the one who gave me life, but she is objectively beautiful, talented, artistic, loving, and strong.  Today is her birthday!  I had big hopes for this one, and because she's my mom I'm sure she'll say she loves it, but it's not quite the masterpiece I envisioned.  So it goes.  I tried my hand at a little nail art just for her!

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener
*2 coats Color Club Fashion Addict
*2 coats Wet 'n' Wild French White Creme
*China Glaze Gothic Lolita
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Bubblegum Pink
*1 coat Out the Door

I tried a little cupcake for her!  She is an amazing baker and always made the most delicious, creative cupcakes and cakes for our birthdays.  People still beg for her frosting recipe and I'll never forget the little Easter egg cupcakes she made for my birthday one year. 

I used Fashion Addict for my nails--this is a beautiful, subtle lilac indoors and a stunning scattered, almost-linear, holo in the sun.  If my nails were cut short, this would be a one-coat polish, but I added a second to ensure nail lines weren't visible.

I used French White Creme for my cupcake frosting and base, adding Gothic Lolita for the wrapper to go with the Fashion Addict purple.  I added sprinkles with Mellow Yellow and Bubblegum Pink and a red rhinestone cherry on top. 
So, happy birthday, mom!  You are always on my mind and now on my fingers.  This one is just for you!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The only surfin' I do

I'm still making my way through all of the amazing polishes my mom bought me from my wishlist for Christmas.  This is one of them that I swatched while organizing and knew I needed to use A.S.A.P.! 

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener
*2 coats China Glaze Surfin' for Boys
*1 coat China Glaze Fairy Dust
*1 coat Out the Door

AHHH!  I never wanted to take this off!  It was the perfect summer mani!  Surfin' for Boys is a neon coral/salmon color.  It's hard to describe accurately, not really orange and not clearly pink.   It has a shimmer to it which doesn't show up really well on its own because this dries to a satin/semi-matte finish.  When you get a glossy top coat on it, though, the shimmer gives the color a lot of depth.

I was trying to think of art to do with this, but went back to my simple, Junior High school roots.  I added a glitter top coat of micro holo with Fairy Dust.  Then, I fell in love.  Just look at that shiny, shimmery, holo-sparkly goodness!  I could not get enough of this combo, especially out in the sun.  I need to paint my toes and just decided on what to use as I looked back at these photos!

It's My Year

I've been on a cleaning kick recently.  This is partly due to my new found free time after losing one of my jobs.  It's partly due to my parents doing a major clean and purge of our home 600 miles away from me.  It's also largely due to a marathon of "Hoarding: Buried Alive" on Netflix.  I was going through my polish and trying to organize and log it all.  I have actually not bough much polish since March or so, but I had a ton of polishes that I never tried (sort of like my bookcase full of books I haven't opened.  Yet!).  I keep my polish in drawers and cute photo boxes, but that means that I am really only seeing the caps when I look for a color.  I was a little hesitant to mark my bottles, but I used sticky labels to paint swatches of colors and punch a little dot for each lid.  Some (I'm looking at you OPI) were a little hard to neatly apply, but overall this has helped me so much when it comes to finding colors.  It also opened my eyes to some untrieds that I was truly missing out on!

 *1 coat Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hardener
*3 coats OPI It's My Year
*2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Golden-I
*1 coat Finger Paints Elves Bells
*1 coat Out the Door


 Forgive the tip wear--I have a habit of painting my nails at night, as I relax, and then going to bed.  In the morning, I often forget to snap pictures before work, so this was after I got off.  In real life, it was not nearly this noticeable!
It's My Year is one that I picked up on clearance at Ulta and never got around to trying on.  What a mistake!  That second picture is blurred to show how much sparkle is packed into this beauty.  The color is like a dark lavender, soft, and packed with golden sparkle.  I guess you might call this a foil finish, and it is radiant in the sun!

I added a gold accent to work with the warm shimmer in It's My Year. You can see how Golden-I, the gold base, is also loaded with shimmer for a foil finish.  I love Elves Bells, micro gold glitter with holo particles, and hadn't used it since Christmas, so I added a coat on top. 
Did you ever find a polish that you kicked yourself for leaving in the untrieds too long?