Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Stamping with Skull & Glossbones

Sometimes I get it in my head that I want to do theme nails (like I've done for Bunco the last 2 months). This month my book club was discussing "Fifty Shades of Grey" so naturally I started thinking about what I could do with grey and black polish.  I thought about doing a water marble or something, but ultimately went for something way easier, some more stamping with my Essence plate.

I started with a base coat of OPI Skull & Glossbones, then used Sinful Colors Black on Black for the stamping.  It worked really well as a stamping polish.  I LOVE this manicure.  In fact, I am still wearing it 12 days later, which is pretty much unheard of for me.  I have some wicked growout at this point, but I don't see the point in doing something new when I need to go get a fill in 2 days.  One thing that's interesting is I have almost zero tip wear, and NO chipping.

I feel like my base color looks a little lighter/less saturated gray in the photos, in real life this looks so sophisticated.  I will definitely stamp with this color combo again!

Friday, May 25, 2012

My First Gradient!

Right now, gradient manicures are THE thing.  I have a ton of them pinned on Pinterest, including this great tutorial from The Nailasaurus.  I have seen people using her technique on multiple blogs I read, and they come out with these gorgeous gradients that I just drool over.

I decided to try one and bought some makeup sponges.  I used a base of China Glaze for Audrey and then mixed it with Wet N Wild Bite the Bullet, a kind of smoky purple, for the gradient effect.  It turned out okay.  I'm not sure if I was not using enough polish, not mixing the colors enough, or not moving the sponge up and down enough, but it did not turn out NEARLY as smooth looking as the other gradients I've seen pictures of.  I may just need to practice more.  It looked pretty cool from a distance, but in the photos you can see the sponginess of it.  I'm going to have to try again soon, and see if I can get it to turn out better.

Have you tried gradient nails yet?  I really want to try a rainbow gradient, so maybe I'll try that next time.  It seems like maybe using more colors could help make it smoother?  We'll see!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nicole by OPI Turquoise Texture

I recently wanted to do something fun, but not too complicated.  I decided to use one of my texture coats that I haven't really worn before, Turquoise Texture from Nicole by OPI.  I saw online somewhere that the crackle will follow your brushstrokes (duh!), so I was excited to try something a little different, a diagonal stroke.  

For my base coat, I used Sally Hansen Fire Opal in Amber Opal.  It is one of the polishes in my collection that is absolutely gorgeous that I totally forget about.  I tried to get a couple of shots of it, but they really don't do it justice at all.

Next I used the texture coat and did a kind of diagonal stroke.  I love the way it turned out.  The color combination was awesome, especially when we got out in the sunlight at the zoo the next day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Essence Stamp Review

About a month ago, I discovered that Essence now has a huge display at the Fred Meyer near my house, and they have a bunch of nail art stuff for super cheap.  I picked up a bunch of stuff to try out, and one of the things I've been dying to try is stamping.  I haven't really wanted to spend the money to get stuff from Ebay, so I thought this would be a good way to try it out.  I definitely paid under $5 for both of these items together.  

I bought the Essence stamping polish in black, and honestly, it sucked.  I only tried it once and it dried before I could get the stamp onto my nail.  I didn't try it again.  For this mani, I used a base of Revlon Perfectly Plum then used Sally Hansen Black Pearl Chrome for the stamps.  From what I've seen, chrome and metallic polishes usually work really well for stamping.

I like how it turned out!  I used a flower design with some dots and a swirl, then I filled just the flower and stamped that on for a little extra pretty.  It was easy to fill only a part of the pattern to make that little accent.  One bad thing about this stamping kit is the scraper.  It sucks.  It's metal and not completely flat, it doesn't wipe the polish off clean and drags on the metal plate, plus it was leaving some scratch marks.  Not good.  I got out an old credit card and used that and it worked like a dream.

The only other downside to these stamping plates is that the designs on the rectangular plate are not very big.  I think I could get most of my nails covered with maybe little gaps on the sides that wouldn't be that noticeable, but they're definitely not big enough to cover my entire thumb.  It seems like everything Essence makes is kind of miniature.

All in all, I'm super glad I bought these.  I love stamping just as much as I thought I would, and I can't wait to get some more plates when my budget allows it!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mustache Mani!

Last night was my monthly Bunco night, and our theme this month was mustaches!  I had seen the most adorable mustache nails on Pinterest, so I decided to give it a go.  I think they turned out adorable!

These are actually super easy to do.  All you need is some black polish and a couple of dotting tools.  I have a small dotting tool, but for the larger circles that form the middle, I used the other end of a small paintbrush I have.  I used Wet N Wild 2% Milk for my base coat, and Sinful Colors Black on Black for the actual mustaches.  And of course, a topper of Seche Vite, though you want to make sure the black is completely dry before putting that on so it doesn't smear or bleed.  I watched the tutorial video here to learn how to do this! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ulta Bam-blu-zled

Sorry for my lack of posts lately!  I have a bunch in the works to show you, but I need to edit the photos and get them up here.  I did my first gradient nail recently, and also stamped for the first time, so I'm hoping to get those up later this week!  For now, here are some swatches of one of my newer polishes, Ulta Bam-blue-zled.  I thin I too these before using it as a base for something else I was doing.  It's a pretty light blue cream with a hint of purple.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Enchanted Polish Fun Dip and Dragon Spit

Indie nail polishes are the biggest thing in nail polish right now.  A lot of the independent sellers who are on Etsy make a glitter polishes.  To be honest, I'm not such a huge fan of a lot of the glitter polishes.  They're okay, and sometimes I do like them, like Oh Yes I Did by Laquistry and Floam from Nail-venturous.  But for the most part I don't drool over them.  

But I HAVE been drooling over a lot of linear holographic polishes.  I had one in my collection - Sally Hansen Magical in Copper Cauldron, which I love.  I came across Enchanted Polish on one of the blogs I read and I knew I had to have it!  I was lucky enough to be using my computer last time she put her store back online, and I got Fun Dip and Dragon Spit.  These are the most expensive polishes I own, I think they were around $12?  Totally worth it.

Here they are in the bottle - so pretty!

Fun dip on it's own, in indirect sunlight.

The first set of photos are in indirect sunlight.  You can see the color of Fun Dip is actually a light kind of lilac purple.   Indoors, the purple really comes out.  I just couldn't wait to see both polishes, so I did an accent nail with Dragon Spit.  The holo is not quite as noticeable in it, but it's still pretty.

And now for some photos that really show how much these polishes shine - outside in direct sunlight.  Look at that gorgeous linear holo!

I LOVE these polishes, they are amazing!  I am totally contemplating getting my hands on some Spectraflair and trying to make my own holo polishes at some point... I've never even done a Franken, but it seems inevitable sometimes.  I will definitely buy from Enchanted Polish again - Ocean Potion is gorgeous and I think I need to have it!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Guilty Pleasures - 37 Color Water Marble

Yeah, I wore 37 colors at once.  Let me explain...

I am part of a monthly Bunco group, and this month it was my turn to host.  My theme was "guilty pleasures," so we had scorecards with things like Jake Gyllenhaal, fried chicken, Britney Spears CDs and fruity cocktails on them.  We had Cheetos and some delicious cupcakes and mini corn dogs.  We had a REALLY delicious cocktail with marshmallow vodka, creme de cacoa and cream soda.  While I was thinking about MY guilty pleasures, of COURSE nail polish came to mind immediately.  So it got me thinking... how many different colors could I wear at once, and how would I put them on?

I thought about a patchwork mani, but I eventually settled on a water marble.  With experimenting with colors, it took me a couple of hours to finish this, but it was worth it - people loved it!

I had several turn out the way I've wanted my others to turn out.  I used distilled water this time and it seemed to help with getting the polishes to spread much more than I've ever gotten them to do before.  I was surprised how much I like the glitter nail and that China Glaze Riveting turned coral, and it was fun getting to know which of my polishes work best and ideas for new color combos.

The colors I used, from left to right:

Pinkie: Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Bronze Pink, Revlon Matte Ruby Ribbon, OPI I'm Suzi & I'm a Chocoholic, Sinful Colors Bare
Ring: CoverGirl Nailslicks Starry Blue, Revlon Color Illusion Purple Twilight, Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Rock-a-bye, Revlon Perfectly Plum, CoverGirl Nailslicks Wild Plum
Middle: Ulta High Roller, Pure Ice Silver Mercedes, China Glaze Swing Baby, Pure Ice Iced Copper
Pointer: Pure Ice Splash, Sally Hansen HD DVD, Sinful Colors Cinderella, Pure Ice All Night Long, Ulta Bam-blue-zled
Thumb: LA Colors White, OPI Skull & Glossbones, Sinful Colors Black on Black

Thumb: Revlon Double Truffle, OPI Wooden Shoe Like to Know, Wet N Wild Cocoa Shimma (This one turned out pretty crappy, so no close up shot)
Pointer: Sinful Colors Bare, Sally Hansen HD Byte, Pure Ice Super Star, Zoya Jacy
Middle: Pure Ice Oh Baby!, Sinful Colors Frenzy, Ulta After Party, Sally Hansen Gem Crush Glitz Gal
Ring: Sally Hansen HD Resolution, Ulta Limelight, OPI Jade is the New Black, Ulta Jaded, Piggy Polish Envy
Pinkie: China Glaze Riveting, Ulta High Roller

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

OPI Skull & Glossbones

I recently picked up OPI Skull & Glossbones thinking it would be a good base for something - maybe marbling or some type of nail art. I painted it on to one nail to see the color and I was amazed at how much I LOVE this. It's so simple, and it's not a color I would ever have thought I'd be wearing on it's own, but it's just chic and beautiful.

What polishes do you have that pleasantly surprised you?