Monday, September 30, 2013

Florida Gator Nails - Week 4

Good morning!  Now that the ABC Challenge is "over" (though I do still plan on catching up on the weeks I missed), I should be able to get my Florida Gator manis up faster.  They were definitely becoming an after thought to getting the challenge post up on time.  It's just so difficult these days!  My next post will be about the new challenge I'm starting the "Untried Polish Challenge" which I plan on doing weekly.

Anywho - back to the orange and blue!  The Gators pulled out another win this weekend over Kentucky (24-7)!  I'll actually be attending the game this Saturday against Arkansas and I'm so excited!  We went to a bunch of games last season, but this is only our first this year.


For this week's Gator mani, I started with two coats of Wet 'N Wild Fastdry in 9.0.2.1.Orange.  This polish has an obnoxious to type name, so I won't be repeating it, but it's such a gorgeous orange with lots of glass-fleck shimmer to it!  I then placed a blue rhinestone at the base of each nail. 


This is the first time I've used rhinestones or studs in a mani before.  I have been wanting to for awhile, but have never gotten around to ordering any.  I found a small rhinestone nail art kit a few months ago in Family Dollar (or maybe Dollar Tree? I don't remember anymore lol) and picked it up purely for the blue rhinstones!  I knew they would be perfect for Gator manis.  The kit also has yellow, pink, and green rhinestones in various shapes.




It may have been user-error since this was my first time applying rhinestones, but these suckers are hard to keep on!  I probably should have used topcoat over everything after I applied the rhinestone...but I didn't.  They applied easily, but I lost two or three while sleeping overnight and then all but two of them while showering and getting dressed the next morning.  So note to self: apply rhinestones in the morning or use WAY more topcoat to seal them in!  Overall, I do like how this mani turned out, but it was more subtle of an effect than what I was expecting.

--
Sarah

Friday, September 27, 2013

Florida Gator Nails - Week 3

Hello!  Today I'm bringing you the orange and blue nails I rocked last weekend for the Gator game!  Last week we played Tennessee, so obviously I didn't want to incorporate TOO much orange in my mani.  We did win the game, 31-17, but unfortunately, our quarterback was injured and will be out for the season - luckily his replacement is pretty good.


I got a TON of compliments on this mani - everyone thought I'd had my nails professionally done.  It did take almost two hours to do, just because I wanted it to be perfect and not mess it up before the lower layers dried.  However, I cannot take full credit for the inspiration of this mani.  I actually got the idea from a mani that FingerFood did back during the summer.  I absolutely fell in love with her mani and couldn't wait to recreate for my Florida Gator nails series.




Gah, I love this mani.  Definitely my favorite orange and blue mani I've done to date.  AND I did my right hand to match!  Yes, it didn't look as great as my left hand (my left hand shakes a bit when I try to do too much detail work), but they matched!  I wanted to take a picture with both hands lined up together, but never could convince anyone to take it until the mani started chipping.


For this mani, I used two coats of Pure Ice Celestial for the base, and then dotted on NYC Color French Tip White and China Glaze Thataway.  I actually have a funny story about Celestial - my father in law bought it for me!  My sister in law (his daughter) goes to USF, so he got her yellow and green, and got me blue for UF (he couldn't find the right shade of orange)!  Too funny!  You know you're obsessed (and everybody knows it) when, lol.


I love this mani.  And except for it being a little time consuming, it really wasn't hard to do at all.  I love dotticures - they're definitely my favorite nail art type, primarly because they're so easy!  This weekend we play at Kentucky, so expect my next mani to be predominantly orange! Go Gators!

--
Sarah

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 26

This is my 100th post!  I can't believe how far I've come in the roughly year and a half that I've been blogging - it's amazing!  Thank you to everyone who has been here from the beginning and those who have joined me along the way - I truly appreciate every single one of you!

Today also marks the end of the ABC Challenge!  I've had a great time doing it this year - I only wish I could've completed all the challenges on time!  But I do plan on going back and doing all the letters I missed - starting next week.  My goal is to "officially" finish the challenge by the end of the year.  I definitely think that's possible!


This week I did a saran wrap mani, with a sandwich baggy.  I've found it's harder to ball up a piece of sandwich bag than a piece of saran wrap, so my mani looked more like a splatter mani.  But hey, I've never been successful with the whole straw-splatter mani thing, so I'll take it! (and yes, my hand is super over-exposed in the picture, but it was the only way I could really get the colors to pop like they did in real life).


Since this week is the letter Z, I decided to use a bunch of Zoyas!  I started with two coats of Zuza for my base.  I then "sponged" on Myrta and Kimber.  All three of these polishes were from the Pinterest Trio of June 2012.  And I LOVE these colors.  They are probably my favorite Zoyas...but then again I don't have a Zoya I don't like. :)


This week I have two macro images!  The top one, the thumb nail was my favorite of all five nails.  Below, is my middle fingernail, which was my boyfriend's favorite (which, unfortunately came out blurry).  I also had a male co-worker comment on this mani!  He thought it was camo, which I guess I could see from a distance.



Here is the mani in natural light.  I took these pictures at work this week (I am the unofficial photographer for my office, and someone needed a new picture taken for the website.), so I was able to play around with the lighting a little bit more.  Overall, I'm not completed satisfied with my execution of this mani, but I do like how it turned out.  And I liked the "abstract-ness" of it.  Most of my nail art tends to be a little more uniform, so this was definitely a fun mani.

Thanks to Erica for hosting the challenge and all the ladies who participated!

--
Sarah

Friday, September 20, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 25

Holy cow - only one more week!  This week's manicure is less nail art and a more spur of the moment use of a new polish.  My "Y" for this week is Zoya Yvette.  Also, I'd like to go ahead and send a shout out to my sister in law, also named Yvette, who is turning 22 today!  Happy birthday!!  I thought this combination sort of reminded me of sprinkles on a cupcake!  And yes, I intentionally waited to post this until the day of her birthday. :)


I started out with a base of two coats of Yvette, a very shiny, but not metallic hot pink.  I then layered a coat of Salon Perfect Kaboom on top.  I hadn't originally planned on putting Kaboom on top of Yvette, but when I picked up the floam dupe at Walmart over the weekend I couldn't wait to try it out.  And just in case, I googled shots of "floam over pink" and "kaboom over pink" to make sure it wasn't going to look weird together.


I love Yvette.  The formula is fantastic, but the odor is stronger than on most of my other Zoyas.  I don't know if its an older polish from before they were 5 free or what.  I did get this polish for $0.01 on Copious last summer.





In case you're not familiar with Floam, it was a highly sought-after creation of former polishmaker NailVenturous.  I got into the polish scene about the time NailVenturous decided to no longer make polish...so all of her polishes were scooped up quickly and everyone wanted them.  Floam was one of her creations, made up of the tinest blue and yellow microglitter.  Soon after, dupes were popping up and then earlier this year, Salon Perfect released a line of microglitter polishes which can be found at Walmart.  My Walmart only had this one, but there are several I would LOVE to own.


See, from far away the blue and yellow together look green.  But close up, you can actually see that it is blue and yellow glitters and there is no green at all.


Overall, I did really like this mani.  It wasn't quite as bright in person, so I had no problems wearing it to work.  Interestingly enough, from a distance, the yellow and blue glitter over the pink almost made it look like you had multi-colored glitter on your nails.  It was cool!  And apparently I need to work on the settings on my camera, because all of a sudden I feel like my hands look grey and dirty in most of my pictures...

--
Sarah

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Florida Gator Nails - Week 2

Yes, I know I'm behind on my Florida Gator nails posts, but hey, at least I'm doing the manis in time for game day.  I'm working on my mani for this week (Florida vs. Tennessee) as I write this.


And yes, I still had super-nubbins at the time.  My nails are just finally back to a semi-normal length.  I've been looking at pictures from earlier this year...and boy do I miss my long nails!  Hopefully I'll be able to get back there in the next few months.  And for some reason my hands look dirty in all of these pictures...




I started with a base on Mentality Brute on my thumb, index, and pinky nails and China Glaze Thataway on my middle and ring fingers.  Once that dried, I laid two strips of striping tape down the middle of Thataway, to simulate racing stripes.  I then did one coat of Brute over the top and pealed off the tape.  We were playing the University of Miami this weekend, so I didn't want to do a primarly orange-based mani since their school colors are orange and green (barf).  Here are some close up shots of my nubbins, I mean the racing stripes:



And though I've shown it before, here is Brute on it's own (with topcoat, as Brute on its own has a matte finish).







Overall, I took entirely too many pictures of this manicure...that or too many came out better than usual lol.  I love Brute and I'm so glad I got it.  I knew I would use it in a TON of Gator manis this year.  This mani was extremely quick and easy.  The longest part was waiting for Thataway to dry so I didn't pull the base color off with the striping tape.

Unfortunately, the Gators didn't fair so well against the Hurricanes.  We ended up losing the game 16-21.  Hopefully, we put on a better show at home this weekend against the Vols!  Go Gators!

--
Sarah

Saturday, September 14, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 24

Hello!  Yes, almost too late this week for the letter X!  I wasn't able to paint my nails at all this week until today, even though I had my X manicure all planned out.  This was my first attempt at a "skittlette" mani.  However, as soon as I finished it, I realized I didn't quite do it right.  I still like how this mani came out - exactly as I planned - which doesn't happen very often.


For the base, I started with three coats of Sally Hansen Salon Perfect Shrimply Devine.  I needed a third coat due to streaking and slight balding in some spots.  I'm sure you can still see imperfections in the coats.  The formula wasn't horrible, but it wasn't fantastic either.  I then used Konad Special White to stamp on the "XOXO" stamp (the X portion of my mani) on my middle and ring fingers.  I then topped the pinky nail with one coat of Maybelline Color Show Clearly Spotted, from the new Polka Dots line.




Here are the instructions I loosely followed for how to do a skittlette mani, from ChitChatNails.  My failing with this mani was the fact that I forgot to use a second base color.  I had originally planned on stamping with a red polish, but then decided that the white tied in the white glitter in Clearly Spotted.  It wasn't until I was done that I realized I should have probably used a different color for my index and thumb - perhaps black or white.  If I had done the red stamping, I could have added the red polish in elsewhere or used a different glitter.  Oh well - it's all about learning and I can try again next time.


I am now inspired to try more skittlette manis.  So look for more of them in the future.  It was actually a lot of fun seeing a mani come together exactly how I envisioned it - it doesn't happen very often!  I can't believe we only have two more weeks of the ABC Challenge!  I already know what polishes I'll be using for the last two weeks, I just have to decide on what nail art to do.  Hope everyone has a good rest of their weekend!

--
Sarah

Friday, September 6, 2013

Florida Gator Nails - Week 1

Hello!  Today I am featuring the Gator nails I rocked last weekend for the Florida vs. Toledo game, the first game of the 2013 college football season!  In case anyone wasn't around last year, I am a HUGE Florida Gators fan (and not just of the football team!).  Last year I decided to do a different orange and blue manicure every Friday during football season.  These manis can be seen at the tab at the top of the page titled "Florida Gator Nails 2012."  I will not only be blogging each week's manicure, but I will post a summary of my 2013 series in the Florida Gator Nails 2013 tab.

 

For this manicure, I used two Sally Hansen Sugar Coat polishes in Razzleberry (blue) and Candy Corn (orange).  I picked them both up at Target a few weeks ago - if you can find them still, they had the original Sugar Coats on clearance.  I did pay full price for Candy Corn, but it was so worth it!



The Sugar Coat polishes are the second type of textured polish I've tried.  The first being the OPI Liquid Sand polishes (the original Mariah Carey set).  I really like the Liquid Sand polishes (I have reviewed three of the four on the blog here, here, and here).  Their texture is similar to an plastic nail file or emery board - rough, but with an overall smooth finish.  I found that the Sugar Coats were slightly rougher than the Liquid Sands, as my hair caught on them the first day or so, and I scratched myself once or twice (not badly, just enough that it didn't feel good).



Each nail was two coats of the respective color.  The formula was great and had a pretty quick dry time.  I did give the first coat a little extra time to dry because I didn't want any dragging, but I had no problems at all.  This was also the first time I did a double accent nail with the thumb and ring finger. :)

Overall, I did love these colors and got a ton of compliments at work (I work at UF).  Once I got used to the rougher texture I loved these textured nails just as much as the others I've tried.  You can see in the below macro shot how rough the tips were where I wrapped them.  Once that wore down, they were great.



As far as the game went, we beat Toledo 24-6.  Tomorrow we play Miami for the first time since 2008.  I've already got my nails done for that game and will hopefully share them early next week.  Hope y'all have a great weekend!  Go Gators!

--
Sarah

Thursday, September 5, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 23

I can't believe we only have three more weeks left of the ABC Challenge!  Of course, I missed a dozen or so during the last few months...but I will catch them back up.  Today I'm excited to bring you one of my favorite polishes and an untried!


For the letter "W" I chose to use Zoya Wednesday and Revlon Whimsical.  I have had Whimsical for quite a while (I searched forever for her until I finally found her at Kmart).  Also, sorry for the super nubs.  I can't seem to grow my nails out at all without breaking one or two.  I think part of my problem is that I don't keep them polished seven days a week like I used to.  I tend to be naked at least one day a week in between polishing and that's always when I have my breaks.


I started with two coats of Wednesday, which I know I've used before, but apparently have never blogged about!  I absolutely love this minty green, it's probably one of my favorite polishes I have.  I got it during a deal Zoya ran earlier in the year when I also picked up Robyn and Demi.  I then layered two coats of Whimsical on top to give it a slight jelly sandwich look.  One thing that I think is most disappointing about Whimsical is how sheer it is.  I knew that even when I picked it up, but I still wanted it.  It is best used for layering over another color.  I initially layered it over white...but let me just say that was really ugly, so I took it off.




I particularly like this macro image. :)  I do apologize for the clean-up, or lack thereof.  I was home sick yesterday and didn't have the energy to put into clean-up like I usually do.  I just wanted to take the pictures before I messed them up!


Anywho, I will hopefully be posting again tomorrow with my Gator mani from last weekend.  College football season has officially started and I will be rocking an orange and blue Florida Gator mani every Friday for the next three months!  I'd like to try and get them on here faster, but with the Labor Day holiday on Monday, I didn't get anything nail related done.

--
Sarah
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