Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 13

Yes, I am slowly but surely finishing off each of these overdue posts for the ABC Challenge.  This week is the letter "M" and I'll be featuring Mentality Proper.  Technically, this is the same polish I used for the letter "P," but I wanted to feature this polish on its own since I used it for stamping in my previous post.  Proper is also a gorgeous cocoa color, which is quite fitting for fall.


I am in love with this polish.  In certain lights it seemed to change color from cocoa to copper to rose gold.  It's so amazing!  And all the while has an amazing holographic sparkle to it.  I've included a lot of similar hand position pictures to showcase the color shift a little bit.  So if you click on each picture to make them larger, you'll be able to see some of the differences.


The formula on this polish is amazing -smooth as butter!  I love all of my Mentality polishes and desperately want to add to my collection (I also own Brute and the Holo Topcoat).




Look at that holo!  I definitely think I prefer a scattered holo to a linear holo.  Which is why I love all my Milani, Zoya and Mentality holos!


You can pick up your own bottle of Proper, here at Mentality's Big Cartel shop, for the reasonable price of $7.75.  Proper is from their "Stampers" collection which features unique polishes designed to be great at stamping.  Definitely check out some of their other polishes as well - I'm currently lusting after the Candy Jelly Holos.  I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels this weekend.  I don't go TOO Black Friday crazy!

--
Sarah

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Maybelline Color Show Brocades - Beaming Blue

Hello!  Today is day 2 of my short work week!  I'll probably try to bring you one more post tomorrow before the holiday weekend.  I'll be going to my parents' house for Thanksgiving on Thursday, and then going to the Florida vs. Florida State game Saturday, followed by Thanksgiving part two with my boyfriend's family on Saturday night.  Several members of his family (including my boyfriend) work in retail, and have to work on Thanksgiving (boo-hiss!)

Anywho, onto the mani!  Today, I'll be featuring Beaming Blue - a striking blue polish from the new Maybelline Color Show collection "Brocades."  Here you can see the other polishes in the Brocades collection.  If I have the chance, I would really like to go back and pick up Gilded Rose, Crushed Cinnamon, and Emerald Elegance.


This is one coat of Beaming Blue over one coat of JLB Cosmetics Deep Sea.  I'm not sure if I've ever written about any of my JLB polishes, but my boyfriend got me a set of seven metallics at Ross (I believe).  I had never heard of this brand before, but the formula is fantastic on these metallics!  They are my go-to shades for my toes. :)  They are all one-coaters and are a great range of colors.


I included both of these photos to show you the great color shift that Beaming Blue has, as well the holographic microglitter.  Beaming Blue could likely be built to opacity on its own in two or three coats, but I chose to layer it as I'm not a big fan of chunky layered glitters that aren't in a jelly base.  I know - picky-picky!


While blue in most lights, the polish can also look teal due to the gold shimmer.  I bet this polish would be gorgeous with a mermaid/fish scales stamp over top.  I'm hoping to get more stamping plates for Christmas!


Even though this macro is blurry, you can clearly see the various sizes of hex glitter (all of which are holographic, as well as the shimmer and microglitter throughout!  I got this polish basically for free at CVS a couple weeks ago.  I love their coupon machine!  I got a $4 off $12 cosmetics purchase, so of course I bought nail polish.  It was on this excursion that I also bought the two Revlon Parfumerie polishes, China Flower and Wintermint.


This is definitely a polish I will be wearing again.  I look forward to trying it with new combinations, including stamping and maybe a gradient, if I am able to pick up another of the Brocades.  I've heard some talk of problems with the formulas on some of them, but I didn't have a problem with Beaming Blue. I hope everyone has safe travels over the next few days!

--
Sarah

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Florida Gator Nails - Week 9

Hello - yes, I finally got caught up on my Gator nails series...just to get behind again.  This is the mani I did for the Homecoming game against Vanderbilt.  This is the first time in four years that we haven't gone to the homecoming game - it was weird!  But we will be going to the FSU game next weekend...even though we'll probably get our butts kicked...

Anywho, I tried my hand at watermarbling this week.  I don't completely hate the way this came out, but there are definitely nails that are better than others lol.


I was a little disappointed that the other colors bled into the white polish...causing there to be pastel orange and blue in there as well...  But I do have to say that I am in LOVE with the way my middle finger turned out.  My lease favorite is probably my thumb...which you only a little bit of a look at in the next photo.  I put the tape too close to my nail and it ended up pulling a lot of the polish off when I pulled off the tape...or it just didn't get any polish on the edges in the first place.


It really is an art to get a good watermarble.  I'm looking forward to practicing this technique more, now that I've at least had SOME success with it.  This is the most pleased I've been with any of my attempts...and I didn't redo any nails - this was the first try on each nail.  The polishes are used are NYC French White Tip, Covergirl Go-Go Mango, and Pure Ice Celestial.



You can really see the shimmer in Celestial in the macro shot!  Here are a few things that I did differently, that seemed to help: (1) I used new polishes that weren't thick and gloppy, (2) I used tap water - we now have well water and no water softener, so I think that may have helped, (3) I cleaned the toothpick I used to create the design after every pull through the polish...and got a new one if it got too bad.


Overall, I really like how this turned out.  And now I want to watermarble everything!  Or start to try creating decals...  Put it was a lot more fun process than it has been for me in the past.  I think its because I've finally stopped making myself feel bad because I know I'm not the greatest at nail art - but I do usually like how the things I come up with, turn out.  But I definitely know my nail art skills have improved tremendously over where they were a year ago.

I also liked that even though I used orange and blue in this mani...the colors kind of came out untraditional, which was kind of nice for a change.  I still think I like using my Gator Orange and Gator Blue, but this mani turned out pretty cool.  As far as the Gator game went...we lost to Vandy (first time in 22 years.......) 17-34.  It was pretty bad...

--
Sarah

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

ABC Challenge - Week 3

Haha, yes, I am finally going back and catching up on the alphabet letters I missed from the ABC Challenge I participated in this year.  My goal is to finish the remaining letters (C, M, N, Q, R, S, T, U) before the end of 2013.  Today, I will bring you the letter C!


I only took a few pictures of this mani since I didn't do any nail art! Yes, I know this is supposed to be a nail art challenge, but I've recently had a struggle finding inspiration for nail art (though my Pinterest boards beg to differ).  But instead I wanted to feature a new polish I just picked up! :)

This is China Flower from Revlon's new Parfumerie line - which means they're scented!  I picked up China Flower and Wintermint  on a buy one get one half off sale on Revlon polishes at CVS a few weeks ago.  I haven't tried Wintermint yet, but I love mint everything!  You know all these people who are excited about all the pumpkin stuff during the fall? - well that's me during winter with EVERYTHING mint, peppermint, spearmint, you name it!


China Flower has a sweet, yet musky sort of scent...I can't quite narrow it down.  I like the scent, and its subtle enough to not cover up or interfere with any perfume you wear.  I wore this polish for three days (with only minimal tip-wear and one chip by the end of the third day), and while you could still smell the polish, it had significantly faded.  It kind of smelled like a perfume that a little old lady would wear...  It wasn't a horrible smell, but I'm glad it's temporary!


I do have to add this funny anecdote at the end of the post.  So, I got home with the polishes, and I was telling my boyfriend how they were scented.  Next thing I know, I turn around and he has China Flower open and trying to smell it...  I had to laugh at him, but then let him know that it doesn't smell until AFTER it dries.

Overall, I would recommend this polish to anyone who scents don't bother.  I know some people are really sensitive to scented things...  My only drawback is that because this is a red polish...it makes cleanup horrible!  Which is why all around my nails and cuticles looks severely inflamed...yuck!  Luckily this did fade but then when I took it off...yuck.  There was a little bit of staining, but I used a basecoat, so I would highly recommend you do as well.  Have you tried any of the Revlon Parfumerie polishes?

--
Sarah

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Zoya Wednesday

Hello!  So sorry to leave everyone hanging!  We had a four day weekend last weekend, and I stayed busy for most of it and I've had a crazy week at work on top of it all!  This post is actually one from the vault.  I have featured both of these polishes on the blog before, but this was a combination I really enjoyed wearing!



I started with a base of Zoya Wednesday, which I believe was three coats.  Wednesday is one of my favorite polishes - in fact Zoya is my favorite brand!  I picked up Wednesday, Robyn, and Demi in a sale Zoya had earlier this year...but I can't remember what the exact deal was anymore. :)


I then layered a coat of Sephora by OPI Only Gold for Me over top of Wednesday.  I love this polish as well!  It came in the Sephora by OPI mini set my brother got me for Christmas last year (this was the full-sized polish in the set).



I hope everyone is having a good week!  I know I mentioned this on Facebook earlier today, but I hope everyone is enjoying the nice cool weather!  It was 36F this morning in North Florida!  Awfully cold for this time of year!

--
Sarah

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Florida Gator Nails - Week 8

I'm finally semi-caught up on my Florida Gator nails posts!  This is the mani I wore this past weekend, when we played Georgia.  Unfortunately, we lost again (20-23), but at least we showed up in the second half!


This is my first attempt at a spun sugar mani.  It is actually kind of time consuming, just trying to get the polish to the correct consistency in order to make the strings.  I had considered doing a mummy mani for Halloween using this technique, but now I'm kind of glad I didn't!  I am glad I used a white base and layered the orange and blue over top - I think it makes the colors pop more.


I started with a base of NYC French White Tip.  To speed things up a bit, I then added Out the Door topcoat on top...while I started getting the blue polish stringy!  I did the blue first, using Pure Ice Celestial.  I even used an older bottle I had thinking that I an older, slightly more dried up polish might make better stringys, but I don't think it really mattered.  Once all the blue polish was dry I started with the orange polish.  I used Wet 'N Wild 9.0.2.1.Orange, which never really got to the correct consistency...it ended up not being very stringy at all, and ended up more like blobs on the nail.




Don't look at my cuticles in the macro!  Eww, I'm sorry!  If I realized they looked that bad when I took the picture, I would have put lotion on or something.  But that seems to be the nature of my cuticles after doing cleanup now that I'm using pure acetone.  Can anyone suggest something to help with this?  I'm currently using cocoa and shea butter lotion for my hands (love the scent of the Suave brand!), and it does the job, I generally don't like putting it on immediately after doing my nails in case things aren't completely dry.


Overall, I do mostly like how these turned out.  I like the abstract look of them, but I would really like to find polishes that make stringys better!  Maybe I'll try creme polishes next time...  I just wish that had looked as awesome as some of the other spun sugar manis out there.  Also, I did not apply topcoat, as I wanted to keep the textured look and feel.  This weekend is UF's Homecoming - it's the first time in four years that I haven't gone to the homecoming game.  I'm kind of sad, as I like to keep traditions like that, but I'm trying to look forward to the Florida vs. Florida State game I'm going to at the end of the month...

--
Sarah

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Candy Corn Nails!

Hello! I know I promised you this post on Friday, but instead here it is now!  These are the candy corn nails I wore on Halloween.  I used Adventures in Acetone's candy corn nail tutorial as my inspiration for these nails.  I love Jacki's tutorials and can't wait to try more!


For this mani, I started with a base of NYC French White Tip.  Then I free-handed NYC Taxi Yellow Creme onto half of each nail.  Once those layers had dried a added a coat of Out the Door before adding the orange.  Once the topcoat had dried, I begun adding stripes on the center of the nail using and orange Sally Hansen nail art pen.  I went back and touched up in some places for opacity.




I love the yellow shimmer that is in Taxi Yellow Creme!  I am typically very anti-yellow (I believe I only own two, one of which was a gift), but I may have to try this in a full mani or as the base for some nail art at some point.


Unfortunately, I did get an air bubble in my thumb nail when I added the final layer of topcoat over the orange.  Most of the nails I was bubble-free however.  I also wish I could've gotten a picture that was better in focus, but I suppose you would have seen even more mistakes. ;)


Overall, I loved how this turned out - candy corn is my favorite Halloween candy!  I could literally eat an entire bag by myself. :)  I also got a ton of compliments at work.  We can't dress up, so I did my nails instead!  While these definitely aren't as awesome as Jacki's, I still like how they turned out.  Also, random side-note: ACETONE IS AWESOME.  Why did I not get a bottle of pure acetone sooner?? It makes clean up and removal a breeze!  I no longer dread having to do clean up or taking off polish!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!

--
Sarah

Friday, November 1, 2013

Florida Gator Nails - Week 7

Hello!  Yes, I'm still behind on my Florida Gator manis...but hey, last weekend was a bye-week and I went on vacation, so they aren't stacking up without being blogged about.  Unfortunately, this mani goes along with another loss, this time to Missouri, 17-36.  It was a rough game.  And tomorrow we play Georgia...

I know yesterday I said I would be posting my final Halloween mani (candy corn!), but instead of editing photos last night I watched Halloween movies with my family. :)  So you'll have to wait another day for that one...


I again used Covergirl Outlast Go-Go Mango for the base (love this orange!).  I then layered on one thick coat of Jindie Nails Chomp Chomp.  If you're a fan of Jen's creations - check out how old my bottle is!  It's from her first run!  I don't think she makes Chomp Chomp anymore, but its a great orange and blue glitter topper with metallic and matte square, hex, and bar glitters.




I'm not sure if it's my camera or layering on the topcoat, but the mani as a whole, ended up looking a little darker orange than whats in the bottle.  Not complaining, but since this topper is over a year old, maybe the blue glitters have started to bleed a bit.  Overall, I was just happy that after storing Chomp Chomp upside down for about a week and some occassional shaking, that I wasable to rejuvenate this polish as it had gotten kind of thick and clumpy since I last used it.



I absolutely love this polish!  I mean look at it.  It's everything I could want in an orange and blue glitter polish.  I even like how the orange glitters are subtle over a glitter base.  I've already worn this over and blue, white, and another orange base last year, which you can see by going to the Florida Gator Nails 2012 tab at the top of the page.

Yes, this week I got a little lazy and ran out of time to do nail art, but I promise you'll get more nail art during the final five weeks of the season.  Oh, and I'll have to do something awesome for the Florida vs. Florida State game...since I'm going!  My boyfriend surprised me with tickets for our anniversary!  Though I know it is equally as much a gift for him as it is for me. :)  Go Gators!

--
Sarah

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