Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ABC Challenge Wrap Up

Hello!  It is the last day of 2013!  I want to start off by thanking each of my fans - thank you for sticking with me through my blogging endeavor!  It means so much to me when you read and comment on my posts or interact with me via Facebook.  I hope 2014 will bring new ways for me to interact with you all and I hope to get more regular with blogging.

The main challenge I participated in this year was Erica's Nails and More ABC Challenge.  This twenty-six week challenge featured a different alphabet letter each week.  I did my best to keep up, but do to surgery and moving, I fell off the wagon mid-way through the challenge.  When I returned from my mini-hiatus, my goal was to keep up with the rest of the challenge and eventually complete it before the end of 2013.  And I successfully completed my goal!  Here is a quick collage of all of my manis for each week:


And here are the links to each individual week:


Thank you again for sticking with me and I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

--
Sarah

Monday, December 30, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 21

Yes, with this post, I have now completed the ABC Challenge started by Erica’s Nails and More back in March.  It was a little slow going for me during the summer months as I had surgery on my wrist and moved, but I made a goal for myself to not give up and go back and finish all the letters of the alphabet before the end of 2013.  And I have successfully done so on 12/30/13!

Today, I’ll be bringing you a polish my boyfriend got me for my birthday (or Valentine’s Day – my birthday is two weeks before Valentine’s Day, so I forget)  It is Sun-Sational from the UIta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer line.  I have four of the Ulta brand polishes and all have great formulas.  I believe Tutu Cute is the only one I've featured here on the blog. 


Sun-Sational is a yellow-mustard kind of color.  Not the typical darker yellow that you associate with the color mustard, but this polish is 100% yellow mustard (the condiment) colored.  Perhaps this is why my boyfriend picked this polish out for me – I HATE mustard.  I’m also not a big fan of yellows, but it is handy to have a couple in my stash for nail art purposes.


I used two coats of Sun-Sational as the base for this mani.  The formula wasn't horrible, but was about average for a yellow.  The second coat definitely evened things out and I was good to go.  I then used the Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat polish, Peach Fuzz, on top.  I picked up Peach Fuzz on clearance at Target a few months ago and this is the first time I've used it.  I also have one of the other Fuzzy Coat polishes, Fuzz Sea, but I have not worn it yet.


Peach Fuzz is made up of short pastel pink and yellow bar glitters.  I actually kind of liked how the shade of yellow of Sun-Sational complimented the yellow bar glitters in Peach Fuzz.  That way you could still see them and they didn’t get completely lost in the yellow background.  The formula on Peach Fuzz was a lot better than I expected since the glitter was so dense.  Once I rolled the polish bottle back and forth in my hands a few times, it was perfectly mixed and good to go. 




Overall, even though I’m not the biggest fan of yellow polish, I really like how this turned out.  I also got to use two untried polishes, Ulta Sun-Sational and Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat Peach Fuzz.  I also think for a future manicure that Peach Fuzz would look good layered over pink.  Even though the polish is named Peach Fuzz, it kind of screams pink lemonade to me.   Tomorrow, I’ll bring you a wrap up post with a summary of all 26 weeks of the ABC Challenge.  Thanks for sticking with me!

--
Sarah

Sunday, December 29, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 20

Yes, we're in the homestretch!  This is my second-to-last installment for the ABC Challenge!  Today, I'm bringing you the final of the original four OPI Mariah Carey Liquid Sand polishes, Stay the Night.  Here are links to where you can view the other three: Get Your Number, The Impossible, Can't Let Go.


Stay the Night is a black colored polish with pinkish-red glitters.  It is definitely one of the most unique polishes I've ever seen, let alone owned!  And while it is unique, I do have to say it is probably my least favorite of the four.  The texture and formula were great, but the color on my nails, just didn't do it for me!  I like how it looks in these pictures, but while I was wearing it, it was just kind of meh!




I am glad that I picked up this box of minis back in January (yes, it only took me nearly a year to swatch them all!), as they were fun to try out.  I just felt like I had charcoal on my nails while wearing this polish.  I am looking to try more of the textured polishes...especially the Zoya Pixie Dusts.  Anywho, onward and upward - only one more ABC Challenge post to go!

--
Sarah

Saturday, December 28, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 19

SNOW!!!  No, unfortunately, it is not snowing here in Florida but today I'll show you my snowflake mani I wore for Christmas!  I'm actually still wearing it now, and it's holding up surprisingly well for five days of wear!  This mani will also serve as my letter "S" for the ABC Challenge!


I started off with a base of Maybelline Color Show Navy Narcissist, a gorgeous navy blue metallic polish.  This polish was almost a one-coater!  I only had to add a second coat to some nails to smooth out the few imperfections.  It is such a vibrant blue, I can't believe it took me this long to wear it!  I will certainly be wearing it more often!


Once Navy Narcissist dried, I added topcoat and then got ready to stamp!  I used Konad's special white polish to stamp with and the snowflake design from Vivid Lacquer's VL006 plate.  I am in love with this plate!  I can't wait to use it more!  I bought it specifically so that I could do snowflake manis this winter.  After waiting for the white to dry as much as possible, I added another layer of topcoat.  I apparently didn't wait long enough because some of the snowflakes smeared, but luckily it isn't too noticeable.





You can see how bright and vivid the blue really is here in macro.  It reflected almost like a mirror before adding the stamping.  I'll definitely have to feature this polish on its own here on the blog.  Sorry about the clean up job in some of these pictures, I was rushing to finish my nails before going to visit my little cousins on Christmas Eve!


I hope everyone is having a very happy holiday season!  I'm currently visiting my parents, who live in the Orlando area, but I will be making the trek back north tomorrow.  Safe travels to everyone and I hope you have plenty of time to spend with family and friends.

--
Sarah

Friday, December 27, 2013

Florida Gator Nails - Week 11

Yes, I know I'm depressingly behind on these Florida Gator nails!  But I can't help it if it was a depressing season.  At least with these nails, from the Georgia Southern game weekend, I now only have the nails that I wore to the FSU game to show you.  So only one more week to go!


Ok, so to be honest, I'm not a big fan of how this came out.  I decided to use my orange and blue crackle polishes over white.  I started with a base of NYC French White Tip, and then used Julep Sabrina (orange) and NYC Crack Me Up Broadway Smash (blue).  Unfortunately, Broadway Smash always crackles in this weird vertical lines...and doesn't really give it the "shattered-look" appearance.  I love this color blue, and these are nearly perfect as far as Gator Blue and Gator Orange, but Broadway Smash just doesn't do it for me!



All in all, we ended up losing to Georgia Southern (yes, a DII team), 20-26.  Yes, I'm glad it was on Pay-Per-View so that I didn't actually have to watch it, lol.


This was the first time I had used Broadway Smash.  I picked it up for my sister in law to use when she graduated from high school in May (her school colors were blue and white), but I personally had not used it.  I have used Sabrina before - which you can see in one of my Florida Gator manis from last season.  Last time I layered it over blue instead of white.  I also chose to go without topcoat this time, to leave more of the textured finish, but of course that made the whole manicure more susceptible to wear and tear.

--
Sarah

Thursday, December 26, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 18

Hello!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Today, I bring you my next installment in the ABC Challenge - the letter R.  Today, R is for Revlon.  I previously featured China Flower, of Revlon's new Parfumerie line, well today I'm bringing you the other scented polish I picked up, Wintermint.


Wintermint is a SUPER sheer metallic/pastel green with blue and green hex glitters.  I've read that it is a dupe for Deborah Lippman's Mermaid Dream.  Since the formula was sheer, I decided to layer Wintermint over another color.  I chose JLB Cosmetics Jade.  I love the JLB Cosmetics metallics set that my boyfriend picked out for me awhile back - they're all one-coaters that dry super fast!  They're great when for when I want a polish change, but don't feel like putting in a lot of effort.  I belive he got them at Ross for $10.


Wintermint definitely had a minty smell to it.  It was not as strong as China Flower (which was a good thing!), but I wish it had been more spearminty smelling instead of peppermint smelling.  Yes, I'm picky about my mints!  In all the swatch picktures, this is one coat of Wintermint over one coat of Jade.


In the above macro, you can see the golden shimmer in this polish, as well as the blue and green glitters!  I love this polish combination!  Green is my favorite color, but I rarely wear it on my nails.  This color was definitely wearable, and the glitter wasn't too in your face.


This is a great winter and even spring polish, and if you're going to pick up a Parfumerie polish, this is one I recommend.  Unless you really hate mint scents.  Otherwise, it's not too strong of a scent and is a great color.

--
Sarah

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Party Nails

Hello all!  Merry Christmas Eve!  In an effort to bring you SOMETHING holiday-ish before Christmas tomorrow, I'll share with you the nails I wore to my office Holiday Party.  I organized the entire party, including staying two and a half hours to finish clean up after the party (it was held in a historical building with LOTS of special cleaning instructions).  So I wanted a mani that would hold up to doing some heavy lifting and not show a lot of wear and tear.


I picked up one of the new Sinful Colors holiday polishes - Holiday Rebel a few weeks previous and knew I wanted to use it in a Christmas/Holiday mani.  I started with a base coat of NYC Broadway Burgundy, a red jelly with red microglitter.  I then layered one coat of Holiday Rebel over top.  Well Holiday Rebel is an EXTREMELY dense glitter bomb...moreso than I had seen in swatches.  It looked like Christmas had thrown up all over my nails...and not necessarily in a good way.  Because I didn't have a lot of time, I ended up just throwing another coat of Broadway Burgundy over top and went with it.




For some reason the macro shot shows Broadway Burgundy being much more of a true red than the actual burgundy/dark red color that it really is.  You can clearly see all the glitter inside that sandwich too!  There are red, green, and holographic gold hexes in various sizes throughout Holiday Rebel.  I actually used Broadway Burgundy to do a few jelly sandwiches last year for Christmas as well - you can check them out here.


Overall, this was a quick and easy mani, which sparkled in direct light.  It was definitely festive!  I hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful Christmas tomorrow!  I'll be spending time with both my family and my in-laws tomorrow.  I'm actually starting to finally get excited.  I can't wait to share any polish goodies I get with you guys!

Merry Christmas!

--
Sarah

Monday, December 23, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 17

Yes, I'm slowly getting these ABC Challenges complete!  My goal is still by the end of 2013, but I'm hoping I've got everything planned out so I can accomplish that.  It was tough this week because I've been so busy, so that's why there hasn't been a new post until now!

Today, I'm bringing you letter Q for the ABC Challenge.  I decided to go with a quilted pattern using my two new Julep polishes from my December Maven box.


This was the first time I've ever done a quilted mani, so I chose to use striping tape.  I started with the base you saw in my last post, Misti with Joelle layered on top.  I then put striping tape in a criss-cross, quilted pattern as accent nails on my thumb and ring finger.  I then used Misti to paint over the striping tape to create the quilted pattern with all the sparkle underneath.  I then slowly pulled off each piece of striping tape and added topcoat once Misti dried.





Ahh!  I LOVE how this mani turned out!  It was so awesome!  Now I want to do all kinds of quilted and striped nails using my striping tape. I always dread having to cut all the short pieces of tape, but I love the end result of the mani.  I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season - I still have to work all the way through Christmas Eve.  Hopefully, I'll be able to bring you my Christmas mani before Christmas!

--
Sarah

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December Julep Maven Box

Hello!  Today, I'll be bringing you the contents of my December Julep Maven box.  Believe it or not, this is the first Julep box I've gotten since December 2012!  Yes, a whole year of skipping.  This was also the first time I've not picked a profile other than It Girl - this time I went with the Boho Glam box.  Each box came with two polishes, Misti and Joelle, the Julep Sweep eye shadow pallet, and as a bonus two hair ties.  Since this is a polish blog, I'll only be featuring the polishes.


First up is Misti, a blue-grey creme, which is a gorgeous color and a fantastic formula!  Misti was almost a one-coater, but I went with two to even everything out.



Next up, is Joelle (is it me or did anyone else think the names of these polishes should be reversed?), a densely-packed silvery-white holographic glitter topper.  Here I've layered one coat of Joelle over top of Misti.




This was such a fabulous color combination - and definitely wintery!  I even wore this to work for a few days!  In direct light Joelle sparkles beautifully, but in indirect light it looks silvery.  So it just looked like a metallic blue polish, which I definitely can pull off at work.  I really love both of these polishes and am glad I decided to get this month's Maven box.  Even though I got it for free since I had enough Jules saved up!  I haven't tried the eye shadow pallet yet, but I love neutral shadow, so I'm sure it will be great.  I'm glad I got to try these new hair ties in this month's Julep box, and that I didn't pay for a full pack of them because they don't hold my thin, fine hair at all!  Anywho, only 10 more days until Christmas!

--
Sarah

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fall Gradient

Yes, I know it's officially almost winter, but when I did these nails it was still fall!  These are the nails I wore on Thanksgiving.  I originally had inspiration to try and do a gradient with magnetic polishes (as is seen here), but unfortunately it failed, so I just turned it into something equally as awesome!


I started out with a gradient of the two LA Girl Magnetic polishes - Magnetized and Attract.  I've blogged about each of them before, here and here.  This time I used a piece of sponge I cut from a dish-washing sponge.  It worked SO much better than the cosmetic sponge wedges I have been using.  This will be my new go to sponge for gradients!  After the gradient dried I added a quick coat of Out the Door and waited for that to dry completely.



I then used Sally Hanson Pumping Iron to stamp on the star image from one of the plates in the Salon Express stamping kit.  I then finished everything off with topcoat.  For some reason, when I am uploading the macro picture to Blogger, the color is being changed...but I have included it anyway.  Just know that the full hand pictures are true to color and the macro is not.



This is definitely one my favorite manicures I've done in awhile, possibly ever!  I do want to try the magnetic gradient again some time, but I am completely and 100% pleased with the way this turned out.

--
Sarah

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Florida Gator Nails - Week 10

Hello!  I know I'm super behind on posting my Gator manis since the regular football season is over...  But here are the nails I wore the weekend we played South Carolina.  Unfortunately, we lost again, 14-19, but we tried valiantly!  Which was good since this was the first game we played with our third string quarterback starting...


This was my first ever attempt at doing a "cloud" mani.  Here is a link to the tutorial I used to create this mani. I found out that though many of the tutorials out there make it seem like you should just use the polish brush to create the "bubbles" or "lines," I have a feeling it would actually help to have a detail brush to help with curving the lines of the cloud.  I just used the polish brush for this mani.


I was also in a bit of a time-crunch when I did this mani, so the white edge is not as crisp and opaque as I would've liked it to be.  If I had had more time, I would've done a second coat of the white before adding the blue on top.


The polishes I used in this mani are" Covergirl Go-Go Mango, NYC French White Tip, and Pure Ice Celestial.  Yes, these are my go-to Gator colors!  Maybe by next year, I will have found a non-metallic Gator blue, so that I can have all cremes.

 

Sorry about the clean up job on the thumb in the macro - I was in a hurry and wanted to get pictures before I messed the whole thing up!  I also had a pretty bad break on my middle-finger nail that week...and I was still in denial about filing all my other nails down to size.  It's almost grown back out now, but the next few posts you see it will be a nubbin.

--
Sarah
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