Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Water Marble

I am a bit late posting this, but I have been enjoying my time off from work.  I have come to the conclusion that there is a very fine line between being a perfectionist and being insane.  I keep trying this water marble thing because it just looks so cool.  Too bad it is so hard to accomplish!  I usually end up with a gobbly-gook mess.  I worked hard on this one and it is pretty acceptable.  I might just try it again.  LOL!

To start, I used these:

  • Pure Ice Lost In Vegas
  • Pure Ice Platinum
  • Pure Ice Not Now
  • China Glaze Fairy Dust
I wish I could tell you how many drops I used for my bullseye or the pattern I drew in there, but in all honesty, I was just trying to get it to work!  The polish dries fast, it is hard to draw a pattern and my aim is just awful!  Excuse my dry cuticles...I forgot to moisturize before taking photos.  We just moved my light box and I was eager to try it out.
Maybe I should just stop trying to get it to be perfect and enjoy what ever comes out of it.  LOL!  I am not giving up just yet.
I used one coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust for some sparkle.  I hope you will give it a try...it really can be beautiful.  :)

On another note, I am working on a new blog look for 2014...so it may be a while before I post again.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gift Wrapped Nails

I love pretty packages!  I am not a very good wrapper though.  I actually suck at it.  LOL!  I am very well known for gift bags.  Anyway, I saw a photo on Pinterest that really struck my fancy.  Take a look!  I also took inspiration from a photo on Facebook from another nail art enthusiast (Andrea aka Plasmaspeedo) that showed her Christmas tree with lovely, color coordinated packages underneath (here).  With all of that inspiration check out what I came up with...
Starting with the polish choices:
  • Ulta Snow White
  • Ulta Pinata-Yada-Yada
  • Sinful Colors Tokyo Pearl
I started with 2 coats of the Ulta Snow White.  This was my first time using this polish (in case you didn't already know, I am trying to show all of my polishes some love and affection and use them all in some nail art) and I have to say that I wasn't overly impressed with the coverage.  Even after 2 coats, it wasn't level coverage enough to wear by itself.  Fortunately, I was doing more so I left it as is.  I then added 2 coats of the glitter polish Pinata-Yada-Yada.  This went on much better!  The glitter spread easily and I didn't need to worry too much about coverage as I wanted it to be fairly sparse.  Once that was dry, I added one very thin coat of the Sinful Colors Tokyo Pearl to mattify the glitter a bit, but keep the white look.
I topped all of that off with my trusty Seche Vite and let it thoroughly dry.  Once dry, I began adding the striping tape.  I used a gold color as I just wanted it pretty and not overly Christmas-y.  Once the tape was all in place, I added one little gem to each nail.  I use a cheap clear polish to do this because I go over everything with Seche Vite again - and again.
I just love this!  I have done the majority of my Christmas shopping already, thankfully.  I did pretty much everything online this year.  We don't have a tree up but there is more than enough snow on the ground to make it feel like Christmas.  Oh, and by the way, I had everything gift wrapped from the merchant.  LOL!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December Holiday Party Look

Today, we had our annual holiday gathering at work.  It is only the 10th and we are forcing ourselves into the Christmas spirit.  We had a little lunch and the fun secret Santa gift exchange.  Can you guess what I got?  Yep!  Polish!!!

For my nail look, I sported some green and red!

  • Neutral: Sinful Colors Social Ladder
  • Green: Ulta Envy
  • Red: China Glaze Just Be-Claws
I wanted a half-moon look but needed to leave room for my gem.  I started with 2 coats of Social Ladder.  Using reinforcements, I taped off my half-moon region and alternated the red and green on all of my nails (2 coats each).  

I used the opposite colored gem on each nail and adhered it with a little clear polish.  I topped everything off with a coat of Seche Vite.

This look actually reminds me a little of some gross fruit cake with green and red maraschino cherries.  But, Envy and Just Be-Claws are perfect Christmas colors!

Happy Holidays!!

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

It IS still Fall!

OK, it IS still technically Fall.  I didn't manage to do a single Fall inspired manicure before the snow flew here so this is my homage!  I will walk you through my thought process on this one...I went to my untried brown swatches and dug through them until I found this combo:

Which Translates to:
  • Sinful Colors Leather Loose
  • China Glaze Delight
  • Milani Sassy Brassy
  • Milani Tricky Treat
  • Zoya Parveen
I went for the Ombre look:

I started out with just this but knew that a stamp would really make this shine!  I dug through my untried gold stash and found China Glaze Passion that would be perfect!  

I used Bundle Monster Holiday (BM-H11) collection for these wonderful leaves!  I singled out one leaf for the pinkie and a few leaves for the ring and index fingers.  I used Sinful Colors Leather Loose to stamp my ring finger.  This polish dries extremely fast and it was hard to move quick enough to get the pattern.  This took several tries but it was worth it in the end.  I used the full image on my middle finger and thumb.

I topped it all off with a coat of Seche Vite and I love the result!

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Friday, November 29, 2013

November Double Duty

I am using this manicure for two challenge entries.  Why?  Well, several reasons but mostly because of time.  This manicure was also pushing me to my frustration breaking point!  This really should have been a very simple one too!  Just a stamping manicure - no big deal, right?  Wrong!  Everything went wrong!  My stamp wouldn't pick up, I smudged the polish, I stamped completely crooked, etc., etc.  After many heavy sighs and yelling at my husband (his suggestions really weren't helping at the time - LOL), I got something presentable to share.

So, for the final Tri-Polish Challenge entry for November and the final entry to the 2013 Favorite Color Challenge in the Nail Challenge Collaborative, this is what I did:

I'm using these:
  • Blue: Sinful Colors Midnight Blue
  • Purple: China Glaze Fancy Pants
  • Grey: Orly Boho Bonnet
As per usual, I started with one coat of Milani White as a base color.  I then added 2 coats of Fancy Pants on all of my nails except the ring finger which is 2 coats of Boho Bonnet.  I wanted to use my new MoYou plates so the hubby and I collaborated on an image on Pro Collection - 01.

I chose not to get too many of the XL stamps because my nails are usually pretty short.  However, the MoYou images, for their regular sized ones, are still fairly small.  I was stuck between way too big and a little too small.  With having a squishy stamper, I have learned to stretch the image a bit to better fit the larger nails (thumb, middle finger).  I used Midnight Blue to stamp over the purple and Fancy Pants to stamp over the grey.

After some manipulation, I got these to work fairly well.  Also, because the images are etched so deep on these plates, they have to be picked up slightly differently on the stamper.  I found that rolling the stamper over the image got the best results.

I can't believe I managed to use all 3 polishes in every manicure this month!  What a way to wrap up November!

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Monday, November 25, 2013

November Tri-Polish Challenge #3

It is another Pinterest inspired look for today's mani.  LOL!  You can see it here.  I had to break out the tape again for this one - and a dotting tool.

Here is a refresher to what I used:

I'm using these:
  • Blue: Sinful Colors Midnight Blue
  • Purple: China Glaze Fancy Pants
  • Grey: Orly Boho Bonnet
I started with my usual undie polish - Milani White.  I just use one coat to get a light base but I don't worry about great coverage.

I then put 2 coats of either the blue or purple shades on all of my nails.  I then put a layer of Seche Vite on there to help with the taping portion of this look.

Working on one nail at a time, I taped off a triangle shape at the base of the nail and added 2 coats of the grey shade (immediately removing the tape, while the polish is still wet).  Once that was dry, I added two dots of the opposite color and topped it all off with another coat of Seche Vite.

It is super cute and the color saturation of the blue and purple is amazing!  It really looks so luxe!  Today I was complimented on my work and was asked if it was a "gel" polish because it looks bullet proof!

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

November Tri-Polish Challenge #2

For this one, I decided to try another new-to-me technique from The Nailasaurus: Waterfall.

I'm using these:
  • Blue: Sinful Colors Midnight Blue
  • Purple: China Glaze Fancy Pants
  • Grey: Orly Boho Bonnet

I started with 1 coat of Milani White as an undie polish to make the grey really pop.  I then put 2 coats of the grey on each nail.

After a coat of Seche Vite to help dry the base color, I used a small nail art brush to carefully add each line of color with the blue and purple colors. I added a little black and white to the stripes for extra pop!

One final coat of Seche Vite to seal it all in.  These colors work great together and I am pleased with the outcome!  This is another technique I will want to try again!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November Tri-Polish Challenge #1

It's time to start the monthly Tri-Polish Challenge with the Crumpets.  I am trying a new-to-me technique introduced to me by The Nailasaurus.  Nimbus.

This month is Blue, Purple, and Grey.  Here is what I used:

  • Blue: Sinful Colors Midnight Blue
  • Purple: China Glaze Fancy Pants
  • Grey: Orly Boho Bonnet

I started with 2 coats of Milani White on each nail.  Following the tutorial from The Nailasaurus (here), I started with the darkest color and went right to it.  I dotted each layer in random places on each nail.

I found it a bit challenging to get it exactly like I wanted it, but I learned a few things while at my first attempt.  Start dark!  I thinned it out a bit too much to start.

I actually love how it turned out and will definitely be trying this technique again.

I topped it off with one coat of Seche Vite.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2013 Favorite Color Challenge #3

More purple!  I love this challenge and it has made me appreciate all of the purple polishes I have in my stash.  Once again, I have justification for my hoarding skills.  LOL

Today I used:
  • China Glaze Grape Pop
  • Zoya Perrie
  • China Glaze C-C-Courage

I started with a base coat and 1 coat of Milani White as an undie.  2 coats of Zoya Perrie on all of my fingers except the ring finger.  There, I used 2 coats of China Glaze C-C-Courage.  

I applied one coat of Seche Vite to seal in the color before stamping.  I used CH6 with China Glaze Grape Pop to stamp.  I love this image!

I topped everything off with one more layer of Seche Vite.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

2013 Favorite Color Challenge #2

My 2nd mani for this challenge is also my 2nd attempt at this technique.  A Jelly Stampwich is such a cool concept and I so want to be able to do it.  Katee at A Girl And Her Polish does a phenomenal job at them!  I got my inspiration for this look here.

What I used:
  • Zoya Paloma
  • OPI Designer...De Better!
  • Milani White on the Spot
  • Milani Black Swift

I started with one coat of Zoya Paloma, then stamped RA-113 alternating fingers with the black and white. On top of the stamping, I followed up with 2 more coats of Zoya followed by a coat of my trusty Seche Vite.

I used the OPI on my thumb as an accent nail.  It is a really pretty gold with pink shimmer in it.

I have to say that these polishes typically stamp really well.  I struggled with the plate.  I haven't been overly fond of my Red Angel plates.  I am not sure if I got a bad batch of them or if it is user error, but this one was a bit of a challenge.

Overall, I really like how it came out.  I wish the stamping had been a bit more defined...

I will definitely be trying this technique again.  I love the subtlety of it!

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