Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 4

This week D is for Dotticure and Denim Dash!  Obviously, a nail art design for the letter D is pretty simple, especially since dotticures are my favorite nail art technique - because they're easy!  For this mani, I started with a base of Denim Dash from the Maybelline Color Show line. Denim Dash is quite unique as it is a dusty blue full of silver shimmer that dries matte!


I actually did this manicure in a two night process.  I painted my nails with Denim Dash one night and did the dotticure the next night.  However, because I didn't want to have to repaint my nails the next night, I put topcoat over Denim Dash to preserve it.  Though I instantly wished I hadn't as soon as I put it on!  Here is what the mani looked like post-dotticure, but before I put matte topcoat over the whole thing to make it matte again.


 Definitely not as pretty in my opinion!  And the topcoat killed the silver shimmer, even though you can see it in this picture.  I also, apparently, only took a macro shot of my thumbnail before I added the matte topcoat.


You can definitely see the silver shimmer in the macro shot.  Denim Dash is definitely a gorgeous polish that I will definitely be wearing on its own at some point!


The colors I used for the dots are Zoya Robyn and Sally Hansen Pumping Iron.  I LOVE how my dots turned out!  This is the first time I've really been successful with doing the dots down the side of the nail.  And you can see that I did the dots on the opposite side of the nail on thumb.  This is because I had a ding in my nail and decided to do a dot over it. ;)




Overall, I LOVE how this mani turned out!  Definitely a favorite and it was fun, but not super bold, which is always good for work!  I know I missed the letter C last week, but I will likely be going back and doing that letter, just because I want to do all 26 letters.  I already know what I'm going to do, I just didn't have time to do my nails last week - yes, I had naked nails for almost half of the week.  Anywho, bare with me as I rarely have time to update Facebook or the blog over the next few weeks as I am currently focusing on job hunting!  Wish me luck!

--
Sarah

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

First Attempt at Stamping

Hello!  I know I've been away from the blog and Facebook a lot lately, but right now is one of those times where the personal life just has to come before blogging!  Not to fret, I am still painting my nails, I just barely have time to take pictures and blog.

Today I bring you my first attempt at stamping.  I showed a sneak peak of this mani on Facebook back in March, and yes, I am just getting around to posting it now.  For this mani, I started out with a base of Ulta Tutu Cute, a dusty purple, and then stamped with Sally Hansen Pumping Iron.



I am so ridiculously proud of how this came out for my first attempt at stamping.  It was a lot harder than I expected, but with practice, I know I'll get better.  Hopefully sometime soon I'll incorporate stamping into one of my ABC challenge manis.


I have the Salon Express stamping kit (a steal at Ross for only $6!).  The design I chose was a flower shape, but everyone who commented on my nails thought it was a bicycle wheel.  Oh well, at least they noticed!


Surprisingly, I only had to redo three or four nails out of all ten nails between both hands.  Pretty good for a first timer! The thumb was definitely my favorite as it is centered on the nail, and the whole design actually fit on my nail.  It was a super pain in the butt to do my ring and pinky fingers since the nails are so curved compared to the others, but I managed.





Yes, this is definitely a photo spam kind of post. ;)  But that's ok, I was super excited with how this turned out.  And the stamping was subtle, so in case I made any severe boo-boos they weren't noticeable.  But I mean, check out the macro below!  So glossy and shiny!  And centered!!



Overall, this was a really fun mani and I am certainly looking forward to stamping again.  Just writing up this post is inspiring me to go stamp again!  Maybe the letter "E" will involve stamping, we shall see!  Sidenote: Uh-oh, hope I have a letter E named polish!  Or I might have to come up with some creative nail art for this one! Make sure to check back later this week for the letter D.  I'm wearing that mani now, and I LOVE it. :)

--
Sarah

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 2

This week B is for Braided Mani!  I had a coupon and picked up two of the CoverGirl Outlast Nail Slicks last weekend and REALLY wanted to use them...even though they had nothing to do with the letter B.  (Though, I suppose I could have waited until next week for the letter C, but oh well!)  So I decided to have the letter correspond to the nail art this week.

The polishes I used are: Covergirl Reliable Red, Covergirl Peaches and Cream, and China Glaze Magical.  Coincidentally, these colors also look AMAZING together in my opinion.  Unfortunately, they were kind of hard to photograph and are not quite color accurate.


Peaches and Cream, though it definitely looks peach in the pictures, is actually closer to a pastel pink or coral.  Reliable Red is definitely more hot pink than red too.  I think its funny that in real life they don't look like their names, but do in the pictures!  I then evened out the braid using China Glaze Magical, a taupe metallic.


Yes, my pinky nails is abnormally long compared to the rest of them...and it looks even more so in the above picture.  I suppose I should probably file that one down, lol.  Peaches and Cream almost looked like a nude (but more pink) on my pale skintone.  The base of Peaches and Cream is just two coats!  I was super excited about how opaque it was from the start.  I did a second coat just to even out some of the bald patches.



Unfortunately, you can see the smooshed lines from where the topcoat wasn't QUITE dry before I went to bed (ERG, I HATE IT!).  So...I may need to just invest in Out the Door or Seche...because I'm tired of lines from my sheets on my nails.  I did put another coat of topcoat on the next morning to try and smooth them out, which helped a little bit.  There's also a few small bubbles in Magical, but those are less noticeable because of the smooshes.


Overall, I am super pleased with how this braided mani came out.  I've attempted this once before, for the first nail art challenge I ever participated in, and I did NOT like the outcome very much.  This is much simpler and elegant.  And my straight lines have improved. :)  Here is my early braided mani from the September nail art challenge.  Yay, for improvement!

--
Sarah

Friday, April 5, 2013

OPI Liquid Sand - The Impossible

TGIF!  This has been an insane week, and I'm glad its almost over!  Today I bring you The Impossible, the second of four Mariah Carey Liquid Sand polishes.  I know OPI has since released (and are about to release) more Liquid Sands, but these are the originals!  As you can read in my post here, about Get Your Number, I picked up the mini four-pack of Liquid Sand polishes at Ulta on a whim, back in January.


Ok, so first off, ignore the right hand swatches!  I had a really bad break on my middle finger of my left hand, and couldn't bear to make everyone would look at it, lol.  As you can see, I pretty much had nubbins on both hands, but believe me, the left hand was MUCH worse.


As you can see with the two macro shots, The Impossible, was sort of impossible (see what I did there?) to get nice looking at the top of the nail.  But fortunately, in real life, and not in macro shots, it looked just fine. :)


The Impossible has mostly been described as being more red, but I definitely think its more of a hot coral.  I LOVE this color.  I thought the blue would be my favorite of the collection, but I think this one might win.  Get Your Number was definitely more holographic than The Impossible, but I felt like there was more depth to this polish.  And it was definitely more wearable.


In most lights, the polish definitely looked more pink, which I liked.  It is definitely a great color with my fair complexion.  In these swatch pics, I used two coats of The Impossible, and no top coat.  The formula was exactly the same as Get Your Number, though fortunately, no wonky brush!  I also don't know if there was any VNL, because, well, I had nubbins, so there were no tips!


My favorite shot of the bunch. :) So fancy! So pretty!


And, in this final picture, you can finally see the holo glitter light up on my thumb.  I liked this polish because unless you looked closely at it, you wouldn't necessarily see the glitter, the texture, etc. and I think that is what is neat about some of the textured polishes out there.  That its a subtle effect.  

Anywho, eventually I will bring you the final two Liquid Sand polishes in the collection, Can't Let Go and Stay the Night.  But I haven't even worn them yet, lol.  So what is your take on textured polishes now that everyone and their brother and mother makes them?  I'm not overly interested in any of the others, but I wouldn't be opposed to trying them.  The JulieG gumdrop polishes are the most interesting to me.  Anyone else have a favorite textured polish, or one they want to try?

--
Sarah
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