Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fat Tuesday 2015

A couple of years ago I visited a dear friend of mine in New Orleans and fell a little in love.  I know the city has plenty of problems, but my when you first fall, you only see the good things: wonderful hospitality, delicious food and drinks, gorgeous architecture, beautiful old neighborhoods nestled in sweeping trees, a joyful, resilient people, and a deep, in the moment, love of life.  I was smitten.

So, on this, their day, I celebrate a little Mardi Gras hundreds of miles away.

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Zoya Haven
*2 coats Zoya Logan
*1 coat Salon Perfect Champagne Toast
*Zoya Severine
*1 coat Out the Door

Haven is a beautiful, shimmery purple.  When I saw swatches online I knew this was one color I really didn't have and wanted for my collection and I am NOT disappointed!  Logan is a pretty dark green packed with gold shimmer.  There is no hint of nail line in real life, so I'm really surprised it's so pronounced here.  For swatching I guess you want 3 coats, but 2 is just fine for wear.  I added some gold holo micro glitter on top because you can't sparkle enough for Mardi Gras!

I added some gold polka dots and love them so much with Haven I kind of wish I had covered the whole nail.  My trusty Golden-I is M.I.A., so I used Severine, one of the Zoya mini mystery trio (totally disappointing, but it got me 3 other full-sized for $15, so I can't complain too much!).  The coverage was great, not much different from my other gold.  I preface this with the fact I am not a stamper, but it was easy and opaque and might be good for stamping too.

So there's my little love letter to NOLA, where the streets are now quiet.  Fun fact I learned: the only time bars are required to close in New Orleans is at midnight on Mardi Gras so that they can clear and clean out the French Quarter.  (I also learned that if you've made it to midnight on Mardi Gras you weren't doing it right, because most people begin "celebrating" very early in the day and are goners long before the stroke of 12)

A Couple of Late Valentines...

As I've focused on decorating my apartment (only about 6 months AFTER moving in) and trying my hand at a Pinterest craft or two, my posts got a little forgotten, but the manis didn't! 
Overall, I really enjoyed my Valentine's Day manis this year.  Here are the last 2 that I wore:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Sinful Colors Cream Pink
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*1 coat China Glaze Make A Spectacle
*1 coat Out the Door

This one was inspired by this pin (if you know its origin, please let me know so I can credit the creator!)  Cream Pink was a bit brighter than I remembered, but just as pretty.  It's not a cream at all, but a gorgeous pink packed with golden shimmer.  I used Make A Spectacle, an iridescent multi-sized glitter, to add some sparkle to my white accent and added a heart sticker that I recently found while cleaning out my mani drawer.  I didn't love the sticker, but overall liked this bright look!

Then there was my actual Valentine mani:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*2 coats Zoya Gaia
*Zoya Kimber
*Zoya Rory
*1 coat Out the Door

This was a twist on a Christmas mani I did, inspired by The Swatching Sprite.  I'm not sure why, but I think I liked the first one better--maybe I sized the dots a little better.  This was still fun, though!  I used Gaia, a sheer "white" polish that is really more of a gold shimmer, over my base.  Then I used the amazing Kimber (magenta) and Rory (lavender-pink) from the Surf collection shimmers that I NEVER get tired of.  I was a bit down on this one at first, but it really grew on me.

So that's the end of Valentine's 2015 (although it's never the wrong time for a pretty pink mani)!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Young Love

Despite some coverage issues that killed me with this one, I'm sorta adoring it!
Here's the quick and dirty:

*1 coat Gelous base
*4 (and 5 on my ring finger) coats of OPI I Think In Pink
*1 coat Out the Door

This is SUCH a sheer pink--I always forget how many coats it takes to get mostly opaque.  I love the shade, though, so I get sucked back in...I had to add an extra coat on my middle finger because I smudged it and couldn't recover.  It didn't make much of a difference, though.

Coverage aside, I like the pink and red combo for Valentine's day.  The adorable stick figure decal is from RLR Creations and part of the same sheet I used on my last mani.  The kid-o drawing just makes me smile :)
I was tempted to add some shimmer or sparkle, but restrained myself (mostly) and added a red rhinestone to the cream finish and called it a night.  I'm glad I did--I was pleasantly surprised by this one!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fairy Love

My love-hate-mostly-love relationship with Valentine's day is in full swing.  Bring on the pink!  Bring on the sparkles!  Bring on the hearts!  Bring on the love!  (Pretend to ignore my lonely singleness!)
Here's my first mani for the season.  I wanted to have some sparkling red on my nails, and went from there once I got some new decals in the mail that I ordered from RLR Creations.

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Zoya America
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*3 coats Butter London Fairy Cakes
*1 coat China Glaze Fairy Dust
*1 coat Out the Door

America is 2 easy coats for perfect red coverage.  Adding Fairy Cakes as a second accent was a last minute decision, but I'm glad I did it.  Sometimes too much red makes me feel...old.  I like breaking it up like this.
I used Snow Me white as a base for my red heart decal.  This comes in a really cute Valentine's set.  I was kind of off as I was finishing up this mani and left the first decal in the water WAY too long and it got folded as I slid it off.  This one lost a little bit of the red as I patted it on, which is really only noticeable up close.  I've never had this happen with these decals, so I'm assuming it was a fluke--we'll see with some of the others from this set that I can't wait to use!

I was having a rough day when I I painted this, so I figured a little more sparkle was in order.  I added a coat of Fairy Dust, the perfect micro holo glitter, and then shined it all up with a top coat. 
I've been doing a lot of cleaning/decorating/crafting lately, so I've gotten some chips on my right hand.  At first I was bummed because this was such a fun look, but now I'm a little happy because it gives me an excuse to move onto the next festive look!

Do you have any "love" looks you love?  Let me know!