Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 12

Hello!  I just want to start out saying this may be my last post for a few weeks.  Tomorrow I'm having surgery to remove a cyst from my left wrist, and will likely be unable to paint my nails for at least a week.  I will then be going out of town next weekend.  I was hoping to at least get an "M" mani done before my surgery, but unfortunately that didn't happen.  I do have at least one scheduled post I'll try to get in, but I will probably miss the next few weeks of the ABC Challenge.

But onto the letter L!  This week, L is for Zoya Lana.  Zoya describes Lana as "A very different rich red metallic duochrome.  A frosty hint of orange creates a unique 'oil-slick' look."  I mostly see a red-leaning orange polish when I look at Lana on the nail.  Unfortunately, the "oil-slick" look doesn't translate as well from the bottle to the nail.  It is still a gorgeous polish though, and one of my favorites!


In these next two shots, where I am holding the bottle you can really see the orange duochromyness in the bottle.  Such a pretty color!  I decided to try my hand at stamping again to much improved results!  This time I used the Konad stamping polish and stamping plate my mother got me for Christmas, and holy crap!  What was I waiting for!?!  Now I know why the Konad stamper is SO much more expensive then the Salon Express kit, and the polish alone is totally worth it!  It completely made the entire stamping process super easy.  Now I want to stamp everything!!


Anywho, I used Konad plate m54 for the random flower design and tried to place the image in a slightly different place on each nail.  And due to the shape and curvature of my nails, it was actually pretty easy.



Here are two macro shots of my nails.  Typically, I do a macro shot of my thumb, but I actually didn't care for the way I stamped my thumb, so I bring you my pinky and middle finger!  And I apologize in advance for the cat hair stuck in the stamp on the middle finger nail.  Note: be sure to remove all hair from the stamper if you drop it on the floor BEFORE stamping.  I had hair on almost all of my nails and then when I pulled the hair off it pulled off a bit of the design.




Overall, it still was not a perfect stamping manicure, but I'm so excited that I had this much success for only my second attempt.  I really love Lana; if I remember correctly she was my first Zoya and I got her for free on Copious last summer.  She is such a fun summer color, and I will definitely have to wear her on my toes soon.  Hope everyone else is having a good summer!

--
Sarah

Thursday, June 13, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 11

Ok, first off, I want to sincerely apologize for the massive amount of photo spam you're about to sit through, lol.  I took over 80 pictures of this mani (yes, you can pick your jaw up off the floor now), but was able to narrow it down to 11 pictures.  I was trying to capture all the beauty in this mani, which was so difficult!

The week K is for Zoya Kimber.  For this mani, I used two coats of Zoya Kimber for the base.  I received Kimber last year during Zoya's Pinterest Trio promotion.  I also received Zuza and Myrta.  I love Zoya.  It's definitely one of my favorite brands, even though I don't own many.


As you can see by the fill line, Kimber has been well loved since I got her a year ago.  Kimber is such a gorgeous an unique color!  Kimber is a bright magenta pink with gold shimmer that really glows in the sunlight.  I decided to enhance and bring out the gold shimmer by adding a gold flakie.  I did one coat of Pretty and Polished Heist over each nail.  This added so much dimension and more gold shimmer to each nail.


And, because I've been trying to do more nail art each week, I decided to pay homage to one of my favorite bloggers, Polish All the Nails, and do individual glitter placement for an accent nail.  And while it certainly isn't anything up to par with some of her extravagant designs (I honestly don't think I'd have the patience to do an entire mani), I love how it turned out.  I decided to keep with my gold them and picked out my Sephora by OPI Only Good For Me Polish, and picked out the gold hexes and applied them to the nail.


I know I did not do it the most effective way.  Polish all the Nails always recommends to put a coat of slow drying topcoat over the nail you're going to stick the glitter to, but since I didn't decide that was what I was going to do until I started doing it, I didn't topcoat it first.  But fortunately, I've learned to not be a perfectionist when it comes to my nails, or I would hate everything I did.  So I don't care that my lines aren't straight!  IT'S PRETTY AND THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS.




The above picture, is pretty color accurate.  I just took ten million pictures to try and capture all the shimmer in this mani.  You can really see the shimmer and flakies in the macro shots below...even on the glittery nail!




And finally, I conclude with my favorite shot of the bunch.  I need to remember this hand pose because I REALLY like it!  And I don't even remember doing it!  Oh well...but this was a super bright and fun summer mani that I've worn all week.  And the tip wear is only starting to be noticeable today (day four!).  I love Kimber so much...I really don't want to take her off.  But luckily, I really like my "L" polish, and it's another Zoya, so I'm looking forward to sharing that beauty as well. :)

--
Sarah

Friday, June 7, 2013

Graduation Mani!!!

No, I didn't graduate, but my sister-in-law (who shares my polish obsession!) graduated from high school last Friday!  Her school colors are blue and white (and sometimes orange), so I decided to do a blue and white mani in honor of her graduation!


I also stole one of her polishes to do this mani - China Glaze Dorothy Who?  All nails, with the exception of the accent nail are three coats of Dorothy Who?  The formula for this polish was great for as dense of glitter as was in this polish.  This was the first time I had used Dorothy Who?, even though it isn't my polish. ;)


For my accent nail, I did two coats of NYC FrenchWhite Tip and then used my double-ended dotting tool to add the dots.  Each dot was just one coat of Dorothy Who?.  I thought the different opacities of dots was cool looking!





French White Tip was also an untried, simply because I just bought it!  I am constantly going through white polish!  French White Tip was a little thick, and applied streaky on the first coat, but leveled out well for the second coat.  Overall, I am really pleased with the way this mani turned out, especially since I'm usually not one for accent nails.  :)

Congratulations Julia and good luck in college; I'm proud of you!

--
Sarah

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 10

I can't believe we're already 10 weeks into this challenge!  We're almost to halfway.  Time certainly has flown this way.  I again thank everyone for bearing with me during this busy time in my life, since I'm only getting one post out a week on average.

Anywho, this week is the letter J.  My first thought of course was Julep.  I then went through my Julep polishes to pick out an untried.  I settled on Julep Mila, which is described as a "charcoal, multi-colored glitter."  This description certainly doesn't do Mila justice.  It's full of metallic glitter in pink, yellow, green, orange, and silver hex glitter, and boy is this sucker dense!  I only used one coat for this mani!


My sister-in-law described this polish as "birthday cake" just because it seems like lots and lots of sprinkles! So I thought it fitting that this was also my one-year blogiversary mani last week (May 26).  I of course wanted to layer Mila over another color, so I found another J, Julep Jessica.  Which I have swatched before, in this post from almost a year ago (one of my firsts!).  Jessica is a great baby blue creme.  I love this shade of blue!


Mila could certainly look great over any color.  I thought about layering it over Julep Daphne (seen in this mani), but when I remembered I had Jessica, and went with the J instead, lol.



You can really see all the colors of the glitter in the macro shot, above.  This mani was so flashy and sparkley, I loved it!  Normally, I wouldn't wear such a glitter bomb to work, but I did end up wearing it for two days and no one said anything negative about it, so that was good!


Ok, I promise - more nail art for the letter K!  I know the last few weeks haven't really involved a lot of nail art in my manis, but I'm also just trying to use this challenge to get through some of my untrieds.  Which I have been pretty successful in doing!  Hope everyone has a good rest of your week!

--
Sarah
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