Friday, November 30, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 10

Alas!  It is the final day of Erica's Nails and More November 10-Day Nail Art Challenge!  It's been so much fun, even though the month of November ended up being wayyyy busier for me than I thought.  But I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and had a lot of fun seeing what all the other lovely ladies had created for each day's theme as well.  I definitely look forward to more challenges in 2013.  I just won't be able to do any in December, due to the holidays.  But definitely keep an eye out for holiday nail art from me.  I've got a few ideas semi-planned out, that I hope will be able to come to fruition.  And I PROMISE I will post regularly, or as regularly as I can, even though I'm not doing a nail art challenge! :)

On to the nails!  The theme for Day 10 is "Recreate your favorite."  One of my favorite manis of the challenge was Erica's polka dot manicure on Day 2.  She used one of my current favorite polishes: China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy, which was also a selling point that I needed to recreate this mani!

For the alternating polka dots, I used Sally Hansen Hard As Nails White Tip for the white dots, and Maybelline Denim Dash for the blue dots.  On a side note, I can't wait to do a full mani with Denim Dash!  It's a gorgeous dusty blue with lots of silver shimmer.  In a few of the shots, you can actually see a bit of the shimmer in the blue dots.

For some reason, my camera didn't really want to pick up of the true neon goodness of Flip Flop Fantasy.  It came out sort of peachy is most of my pictures.  You will note that in some pictures, like the ones above and below, the brighter neon color is more evident.

In my opinion, I actually had a lot of good shots of this manicure, unlike some of my more recent ones, so there are a lot of pictures.  I think the next one down is my favorite though. :)

Yay!  I have completed my second nail art challenge.  I'm so glad I'm participating in these challenges because it's forcing me to try and learn the techniques that I'm sometimes too scared to try.  Or have failed horribly at and don't want to try again (like water marbling).  Anywho, make sure to check out what everyone else did for today's challenge!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 9

I can't believe it's Day 9 of Erica's Nails and More November Nail Art Challenge!  We only have one more day!?!  I'm glad it's winding down, though I have had a lot of fun doing it.  I just wish I had more time to devote to my nails.  I dedicate almost 13 hours a day to work and getting ready for work.  And I try to get seven hours of sleep a night, and there just isn't enough time for anything else!  Maybe in the Spring I'll have more time to work on my nails since football season will be over!  Because that takes up most weekends in the fall. :)

Anywho, so today's challenge was water marbles.  Well, I attempted to water marble back around the Fourth of July, and let's just say it did not end well...  I ended up doing a gradient which can be seen here.  I since have not attempted another water marble.  But when I started this challenge, I knew that the water marble would be the most difficult thing for me on the list.  So after much trepidation (yay big word!), I attempted another water marble.

I decided to use neon colors for my marble.  Little did I realize at the time, neons dry faster than some other types of polish, as Erica reminded me after the fact. ;)  So, I'm sure that caused some of the problems I had.  The colors I used were China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy (my first CG!), LA Colors Tangerine, and Sally Hansen White Tip.  I had planned on using LA Colors Sea Foam as well, but for some reason I just couldn't get it to spread out in the water.  So I just went with the pink/orange/white combination.

The colors are not true to life in the above picture, but you can really see the detail the best in this one.  My favorites were the ring and pinkie fingers.  I actually only had to redo two nails the whole time, though I wasn't particularly pleased with how the ring finger came out, but I decided to go with it.  The thumb is actually sort of interesting, so it doesn't show up well in most of the pictures, in the tip part above the white line there is actually a pink-orange-pink gradient going on, which looked pretty neat.

Unfortunately, I never could really get the polish to do what I wanted in the water, so most of the time I just tried to pull it apart and separate the colors so that it looked sort of marbled.  But I figure with practice I may be able to get a bit better at marbling.  I also want to try out the plastic bag technique where you place a baggie over the polish in the water to collect the design, and then after it dries you can cut it up and apply it to your nails.  I know I've seen a tutorial for this method, but you'll probably just have to google it.

I'm actually sort of eager to try to marble again.  Because though it was extremely tedious, I enjoyed the process a lot more than I thought I would.  I also want to try more colors!  And using my Milani holos to marble!  Maybe I'll marble again for my Day 10 nails, but we'll see.


Friday, November 23, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 8

Yay!  We're almost done!  I have enjoyed this nail art challenge a lot more than the last one because I just don't feel as rushed...even though I still wait until the last day to do the mani lol.  I'm slightly worried about the water marble...  I've not had a lot of success when attempting them before, so I'm hoping to get something at least slightly decent for the next post lol.

Day, today is Day 8, which is gradient nails.  Gradients are probably my favorite just because they're easy to do.  I have not yet mastered the technique I like the best for gradients, so I tend to do them differently each time.  Today, I did the gradient by painting the nail a solid base color, then with a second color painting two-thirds of the nail, the half the nail, and then one third of the nail.  I really like how it turned out, and I LOVE these greens!

The greens I used for this gradient were Spoiled I'm So Jaded and Sinful Colors San Francisco.  Both colors had great application and each have shimmer in them!  So gorgeous!

Oddly enough, even though green is my favorite color, I very rarely wear it on my nails.  In fact, this might even be the first green mani I've featured on the blog lol.  I was trying to come up with something different that I hadn't done before for the gradient challenge, since it is a common technique I use.

Anywho, I love this mani and it was super simple and easy to do!  Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 7

So...I'm going to have to try to take a few more pictures of this mani later, because I only came up with three that I sorta liked...out of the 20 or so that I took!  My camera also didn't want to focus on the glitter!  So tonight or tomorrow, when there is better light, I will take a few more pictures.

Anywho, today's theme is stripes.  I originally planned on doing a tape manicure, where the lines were horizontal across the nail and then sponge on another...color but it didn't look right when I tried it out last night.  So I decided to pull out my striping polishes and get to it!


The polishes I used to create my design were L'Oreal Rainy Piccadilly, and two LA Colors Art Deco striper polishes in Black and Ice Breaker.  I picked up Ice Breaker a few weeks ago at my local dollar store (for a dollar!) because I really wanted a sliver striper polish.  This one is actually a bunch of small and micro silver glitter in a clear base.  Which made it a little bit difficult to draw the stripe!  I also got the L'Oreal on sale at CVS a couple months ago, and I had a dollar off coupon.  This was the first time I had ever used it.

Rainy Piccadilly is a deep cornflower blue, almost navy, but leaning more towards teal than purple.  This picture is the closest to it's true color that I was able to capture.  I used flash on the other two, which illuminated the color more.  The application was not as good with this polish as some of the other L'Oreal's I own.  It was splotchy and wouldn't apply smoothly.

I do really like this manicure though because of how versatile it is.  It looks professional, but is also fun since I used the glitter.  And because I did the nail art only over one third of the nail, when I look down at my nails from above, I don't really see the design, it just looks solid blue.  Which is sort of cool, lol!  Anywho, I hope all my American friends have a great Thanksgiving, and everyone else has a great weekend!  I will also be taking advantage of some Black Friday deals and going shopping!  Hopefully, some of the polishes I've been lusting after will be on sale too!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 6

Finally!  I didn't do this mani last minute the day of the challenge!  The theme for Day 6 is "Inspired by Someone Else's Nails."  The nails I chose to emulate were BeautyGnome's mani for Artsy Wednesday on November 7.  The theme that day was "creative crackle."  I know most folks don't like the crackle polishes, but I still do!  I just love how unique each nail can be when using crackle polish.

I really liked the idea of color-blocking with the crackle polish so I definitely wanted to try it out myself.  And so here is my recreation of BeautyGnome's crackle mani!

The only thing I would do differently, would be to block off more of the green, to have more of the crackle.  And unfortunately, for some reason, the crackle polish on my ring finger didn't really crackle.  The best nail was definitely my thumb.

This picture is probably one of the more color-true picture of the bunch.  The green I used is Julep Daphne, which I actually had not used before.  But it is a beautiful mossy green creme.  It also had great application, and this is two coats.

The silver crackle I used was Sally Hansen's Crackle Overcoat in Fractured Foil.  I also had trouble during clean up, trying to get the silver crackle off the skin around my nails.

These final two pictures are probably my favorite two of the ones I took.  Overall, I really like how this mani came out and I would like to try the same design using different colors!  I have several colors of crackle, so there could be some pretty cool combos out there!

Also, my giveaway ended at midnight today, and I have already heard back from the winner!  Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and thank you for following my blog and Facebook page! Have a great Sunday!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 5

Ugh!  I promised I wouldn't procrastinate my Day 5 mani, but guess what -- I lied!  I've been super busy the last week, and I don't see things letting up anytime soon, unfortunately.  That and I couldn't find a color combination I really liked for my half moon mani.  The final result was a blue and purple combination.

Since I knew everyone generally uses hole re-inforcers to create their half moon manis, I went on a mission to find some this past weekend.  I actually found some at the dollar store (originally priced at a dollar for 544 stickers) in the clearance section for fifty cents, and then they rang up as twenty-five cents at the register!  Score!  Unfortunately, I still failed at the technique.

I also don't have a lot of time to blog tonight, so this is to be continued, and I will finish the post on Saturday when I have more time.  I just wanted to make sure to get on the Inlinkz in time.


And I'm back!  Now I will finish my post for Day 5's half moon manicure.  So the main reason it took me so long to do this mani was I actually did it twice!  I had trouble deciding what color combination I wanted to use.  I initially decided on NYC Long Wearing in Charming Rose Creme and Sally Hansen Color+Care in Satin, which can be seen in the next picture.

I liked the color combination of the rose-leaning purple (it's closer to a true purple than the red-pink the picture shows) and the pastel pink...but the hole re-inforcers I used did not want to stick to my nails, or my skin for that matter, and the top color leaked around the edges.  I then tried to use the brush to fix some areas...and just ended up making it worse.  I took pictures, but I really did not like how it turned out.

So I painted over the whole thing with Charming Rose and wore it the rest of the day.  Then when I came home that night I tried again with the re-inforcement labels.  This time it worked slightly better...I'm still not overly impressed.  I'll have to try free-handing the moons if I ever attempt this design again.  I did wear this combination for the whole day and it didn't bother me too bad.

The blue I used in the final manicure was Navy Baby from the Sally Hansen Salon Complete Manicure line.  This is a gorgeous blue and I definitely look forward to using it again.  I know it looks almost black in most of the poorly lit pictures I have, but this final one is my favorite because you can see how bold the blue is in direct light.

So we're finally half way!  Only five more days left!  The half moon was definitely the hardest thing of the challenge so far.  I just hope the water marble isn't too bad!


Monday, November 12, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 4

Sorry for the short notice on Day 4 - just squeaking it in on time!  Day 4's theme is Delicate Print.  It was difficult for me to come up with what I wanted to do for this day, since in most challenges I've predominately seen folks use stamping sets for a "delicate print" design.  Also common, is nail stickers.  Neither of these things do I have, lol!  So I decided to improvise and attempt some nail art.

I've seen some cute manicures using stiches, so I decided they could pass as delicate.  I also thought about being "pun-ny" and doing a newspaper nails manicure.  But since I've done one of those, I wanted to try something a little different.  If I was to attempt this mani again, I would try using a toothpick instead of my dotting tool, because I felt the stiches came out thicker than I wanted.

For this mani I used two coats of Spoiled's Let's Get Sushi.  Which is an orange/coral creme.  Unfortunately, application was pretty awful.  The polish was very thick, and it took two coats, just to even out and remove the streaks.  I know most people don't like the brushes on the Spoiled polishes, but I've never had a problem with them.  The application problems were definitely polish related and not due to the brush.

I then taped off half of the nail and used Sally Hansen White Tip to paint on the white.  I then took the small end of my dotting tool to add the little dashes, "stitches," along the divide between the white and coral.

Anyway, on to the next challenge!  Day 5 is half moon mani, which I have also never done before!  I'm really looking forward to it. :)

Also, don't forget to check out my giveaway, which ends next Sunday (11/18).  I want to send out a special thank you to Lacey of Lace and Lacquers, who featured my giveaway on her Manic-ure Giveaways Monday post.


Friday, November 9, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 3

Sorry this post will be a short one, if I have time I may update it with additional pictures later this weekend.  Day 3's theme was inspired by a tutorial.  I based my laser mani on Nailside's tutorial, which can be viewed here.  I really liked the idea of having the sparkly silver as the base coat, so I decided to use that in my manicure as well.  I used LA Colors in Live, which was opaque in one coat.

I cut tape into thin strips and applied them to each nail.  I then topped each nail with one coat of Zoya Zuza.  I did each nail individually, and removed the tape slowly.  The placement of the tape strips was better on my right hand then my left. 

I got Zuza in the Zoya Pinterest Trio this summer, and this is actually the first time I've used it.  While in the bottle it looks like a teal-leaning blue, one coat over the silver appears teal, even a little seafoamy.

Overall, I really like this technique and it was quite simple to accomplish.  I look forward to trying this out again and maybe someday with actual striping tape!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

No H8 - November 8

Bullying is not funny. It is not cool.  It is not right.  And more imporatantly, it is not okay.   Most of us are, thankfully, residents of countries that support tolerance and many of our families have settled in these places simply for that reason.  Generations later, it is our responsibility to perpetuate that message of tolerance across our new social platforms, including the internet.

As members of the nail polish blogging community, we all share a love of beauty, color, and lacquer.  Other than that, we are remarkably different: from our race to our religion to our hair color...even our polish application techniques.  To marginalize anyone because of theose differences is completely unacceptable and today I take a stand against that.  I refuse to allow other people's view of "normal" dictate how I behave, believe, and blog.

In solidarity with a multitude of bloggers linked below, my purple manicure represents my proud commitment to the No H8 movement.  Today, November 8, I dedicate my post to ending bullying of any kind and to encouraging diversity and imperfection among our colorful community.


I can honestly say, I was affected by bullying in the nail polish community.   Once when I shared a photo on someone else from the nail polish community's Facebook page, someone commented on how horrible the clean up job was.  And while it was pretty discouraging, I do not want pity!  I know I do not do the best cleanup jobs, or have the most beautiful nail art, or the healthiest cuticles, or can afford to have expensive tools and polishes to help me.  I like being resourceful and I'm proud of what I put on the blog, no matter how "awful" I think looks.  I'm a harder critic on myself that anyone else.   And when I saw the blog that initiated this No H8 response, I immediately felt less about my abilities.  Now that the whole thing has blown up, I am proud to be a part of the community that embraces us for our differences, and our application techniques.  While I do still feel critical of myself, and desire to bring you the best looking pictures and manicure possible, and I don't worry what anyone may say negatively.

Since I didn't have the time to do my nails again today, due to the nail art challenge, I enlisted the assistance of my sister-in-law (who is a polishaholic in training) to be my hand model.  She is an advocate of Stomp Out Bullying, so I thought it was fitting to feature her in this blog post.

She is wearing two coats of Spoiled's 2 Weeks Sober.  I used this color in my Halloween manicure for the purple dots.  It's a gorgeous dusty purple, with gold micro glitter and shimmer.  I have been looking forward to trying this polish out, so I'm glad to feature it today.  You can really see the shimmer in the next two pictures.

Look at all that shimmery goodness!  I love this polish so much on its own.  It's the first purple I have owned that I have really loved, since I don't have very many purples at all.  And since today is all about not discriminating, we didn't do any cleanup on purpose. :)

To see what all the other bloggers are doing to support No H8 check out the list below.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November Nail Art Challenge - Day 2

Yes, I decided to wait until the last minute to do my Day 2 manicure!  But I wanted to do a patriotic themed manicure to encourage everyone to go vote in the election today!  Regardless of your views or who you are voting for - do your civic duty and GO VOTE!  I voted a few weeks ago, via absentee ballot.

I had never done border nails before today.  I wasn't a big fan or border nails when I had seen other folks do them, but then somewhere along the line I saw someone do the border with dots and I was sold!  I had originally planned on using the new suede polishes that I received in this month's Julep Maven box, but since I wanted to do a manicure for Election Day, I decided to wait.

The colors I used for this mani are Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Rapid Red, LA Colors Static Electricity (blue), and LA Colors Energy Source (white).  I just love how quick and easy dotticures are!  It only took me about 25-30 minutes to do both hands.  Dry time is also faster with dots, especially if you don't have to go back a second time over the dots (which I didn't on this mani).

And eww, I'm sorry that my clean up job and cuticles are pretty much horrendous.  I didn't even realize how bad it was until I uploaded the pictures to my computer.  Normally I just use my left hand for pictures, but since I already chipped my left thumb (you can see it in some pictures), I chose to take a picture of my right thumb for the closeup.

Overall, I really like how this mani turned out, it came out a LOT better than I expected it to be.  If it wasn't already chipping, I'd probably wear it another day.  (Does anyone else have problems with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes chipping quickly?  Because I used basecoat and everything and I had already chipped my nails twice before leaving for work this morning.)  Either way, I'm still excited to be participating in Erica's Nails and More's November Nail Art Challenge and loving the spaced out days!


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