Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The EYE... Of The Leopard

Cue music... "Dun! Dun Dun Dun! Dun Dun Dun! Dun... Dun... Dunnnnnn!"
Risin' up, back on the my blog
Had my weekend, did my gardening
Went the distance, now I'm back to the weekly slog
Just a girl and her will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You change your blogging passion for wedding plans
Don't lose your grip on the lovely readers that last
You must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the LEOPARD, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our busy schedules
And the last known survivor stalks her prey in the night
And she's watchin' us all in the eye ... of the LEOPARD!!!

Yes. I am weird. But very inspired for this week's mani. It's a simple leopard print done with 3 coats of Sally Hansen DVD, dots of Essie Mezmerize and lines painted with a black Migi Nail Art Pen. I went over it with a coat each of CND Super Shiney top coat and OPI RapiDry top coat.

My favorite part about DVD is how it's blue in some lights, but totally a gorgeous magenta outside. I tried to capture it in a photo...

Anyway... have I told you I'm getting married in 18 days? Life is CRAZY right now. In fact... I'm currently rocking -- GASP -- naked nails. Bitten, nasty naked nails. Horrible. Oh well... hopefully I won't be such a slacker in getting my next mani posted. Until next time...

Bloggin' it up, straight to the top
Have the polish, got the nail art
Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop
Just a girl and her will to survive

It's the eye of the leopard, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our busy schedules
And the last known survivor stalks her prey in the night
And she's watchin' us all in the eye ... of the LEOPARD!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Safari Time!

I hate to once again bring up my ugly feet... but I am still so in love with the zebra pattern nail art that Lyndsey painted. So, naturally, I had to attempt it myself.

And I will be the first to admit, Lyndsey is really good. And I wouldn't consider myself too bad at it, but since it was my first time I know I could have used some practice before I actually attempted to put it on my nails. But did I practice? Nope! I just started zebra-striping away and it turned out pretty funky and fun. I could have matched my toes almost exactly with a white glitter... but my white glitters tend to chip easily, so I went with the gold and shimmery China Glaze White Cap instead. Lyndsey, thank you for the inspiration!

These are the steps I followed for these zebra nails:
  1. Apply CND Stickey base coat to each nail.
  2. Polish on 2 coats of China Glaze White Cap (it's OK if there is still some visible nail line... the zebra covers it up)
  3. I put on a coat of Orly Love Each Other (to try to get some good purple, blue and pink shimmer as well) but it didn't show up...
  4. Using a dotting tool and some black acrylic paint (the kind you find at craft stores), squiggle lines across your nail to form a zebra pattern. The lines should be thicker on the outside of the nail and get thinner as they move toward the middle of the nail.
  5. Finish with 1 coat of CND Super Shiney top coat and 1 coat of OPI RapiDry top coat.
And that is it! Zebra nails couldn't be easier... though if I was a little better at them it would help. But not bad for a first try, right? (My pinkie looks bomb!)

OK, I'm a nerd. I didn't have a zebra-striped bouncy ball... so I used this sweet snake one. It's kind of a safari-themed photo. And yes, I love snakes. No, I don't own one. But I do speak parseltongue.

The cool thing about zebra nails done like this is 1) the acrylic paint dries super fast and won't smear when you apply top coat, and 2) it's OK if it's messy. In fact, my right hand looks almost better than my left hand. The most difficult part about this zebra design is making sure your stripes are evenly spaced and not too close together on some nails.

I honestly thought I had done an OK job... but then I looked at my toes and realized how much of a pro Lyndsey was.

Bummer, dude. Oh well. There's always next time. I can't wait to have fun with a bright purple/glitter base and some white zebra stripes!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Designer Toes By Lyndsey

I love to do my own nails. We all know this. But do you know that I detest doing my toes? It's not that it's hard... it's more along the lines of:
  1. I have ugly feet
  2. I'm a runner, and when I run my polish chips off really easily
  3. Sheesh, spending 30 minutes hunched over to do nail art on your toes is not only not worth it for me, but it's a pain in my back! Literally!
  4. Did I mention I have ugly, runner's feet?
Therefore, when it comes to toes, you can typically see me making a beeline to the salon for a pedicure. The problem is that no matter who, myself or the salon, does my toes with polish, it chips completely off after 2-3 runs. It's just horrible.

Recently, a super-fun girl who I went to high school with messaged me on Facebook and offered to do my toesies with some fun nail art. You know I wasn't about to turn that offer down! I went and visited her at the salon she works at here in Meridian, Idaho called Bermuda Tan. Conveniently enough, it's right by my house. SCORE. (Lyndsey, this means it will be convenient to stop by after work quite often... woo hoo!!!)

I went in expecting to have the OPI Axxium Gel done... but Lynsdey suggested an acrylic overlay instead. I was all about it. It's acrylic that is laid right over your natural nail. That means no crazy tips or long nails. It sounded perfect, especially since my runner's toes are quite distorted (I even have a black one from my most recent half marathon... gross) and she was able to shape them to look nice and pretty.

After looking at her incredible arrangement of colors (she had so many to-die-for glitters), I went with something a little fun and crazy. We picked out a white glitter acrylic and she did a zebra design on top with black acrylic paint and a dotting tool. Shoot... I thought I could do a decent zebra pattern... but she puts me to shame. She sealed the design with 2 coats of OPI Gel top coat and some UV light and I was set to go! Woo-wee!

This is the best my toes have looked in a long time. And not only that, but this will last a whole month. It is also super shiny... I'm just absolutely in love!!!

 OK, ladies. If you're in the Boise area you need to stop by and check Lyndsey out. This is not only cute, but affordable. And it lasts a whole month. You really can't beat it. Oh, and did I mention how nice and awesome she is? You will have a blast while she glamors-up your toes. In case you're interested, her number is (208) 412-3256. I don't think I even want to wait a whole month to go back! I'm definitely already thinking of what to do next :)
Lucy the Fuzz wanted in on the photo shoot. She said, "Mama! We match! Black & white!" ... Yes, I'm a dork.
 *I was not paid to write this post. My toes were done as a complimentary service.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hawaiian Flowers

Please don't be frustrated with me. I know I've been doing dotted flowers a lot lately, but I'm totally all about them.

My nails are currently at that length that is perfect for reds or blacks, in my opinion. I don't like using red or black polish when my nails are too long, because the red and black can make them look like witch claws, or when they're too short, because then they can make them look really stubby. Do you know what I'm talking about, or is it just me? So, I knew I wanted to use a bright red, and I really wanted to do Hawaiian-inspired dotted flowers on each nail.

I am so in love with this funky, flowered nail art:

Do they not remind you of cute, little white Hawaiian flowers? Here are the steps I followed to create this look:

  1. Apply 1 coat of CND Stickey base coat to each nail

  2. Paint on 2 coats of OPI Color So Hot It Berns

  3. Using a dotting tool and China Glaze White On White, place dots in a flower pattern on the nail. I tried to do about 3 flowers per nail with 5 dots each... but it didn't work perfectly every time so I just went with it

  4. Using that same dotting tool, drag each dot toward the center of the flower pattern. This creates the flower petal look. Usually, I place another dot in the center of each flower in a contrasting color, but this time I decided to skip it.

  5. Decorate each nail with this same technique... or just do an accent nail... either way!

  6. Note: If you apply top coat right away, it will basically blend the flower design back into just 5 white dots. To prevent this, I went to bed and waited until the next morning to apply top coat. Last time when my flowers blended together I was really bummed, and waiting about 12 hours really seemed to help... though I'm sure you probably don't need to wait that long...

  7. Finish with 1 coat of CND Super Shiney top coat and 1 coat of OPI RapiDry top coat (I like the combo of those 2 top coats together).

The most awesome part about this flower pattern is that it can be totally messy, but still look really cute! I will admit that I definitely messed up a couple of the flowers... but you can't even tell because none of them are perfect. Another bonus of this nail art is that it's easy to do with your non-dominant hand. In fact, my right hand might even look better than my left hand this time. Imagine that!

Also, Color So Hot It Berns is definitely my favorite red creme of all time. Oh my. It was opaque in one coat, but with 2 it was even more spectacular. I love love love it. What a perfect red!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Marnie's Mani

This weekend, my sister Marnie and her boyfriend Andy (who actually reads this blog on a regular basis... wow... love him) came to town. My sister doesn't ever go back to Seattle without getting her nails done... and I definitely don't mind doing them.

I let her pick out her own colors, but insisted on doing flowers on her accent nail. I was not about to let her crackle all her nails. That's just too boring.

In advance, I apologize for her cuticles. I pick my eyelashes... she picks her cuticles. No one is perfect, right? I also apologize that I didn't clean up her mani before taking pictures. We were in a hurry!

Here are the steps I followed for her mani:

  1. Apply CND Stickey base coat to each nail
  2. Paint on 2 coats of Sally Hansen Midnight in NY on each nail
  3. Apply a thin coat of Seche Vite to each nail to speed up the drying process
  4. Cover 8 of 10 nails (don't do accent nail) with a thin layer of China Glaze Crackle Glaze in Crushed Candy
  5. On the accent nail, using a dotting tool, create a pattern of 5 dots with China Glaze For Audrey (I also did this design here)
  6. Using a toothpick or your dotting tool, drag the center of each dot toward the center of the dotted pattern to make a flower
  7. Use the dotting tool to dot the center of each flower with China Glaze White on White (optional)
  8. Finish each nail with one coat of CND Super Shiney top coat and one coat of OPI RapiDry top coat
I love how Crushed Candy and For Audrey are so similar. They're perfect to use together. My sister loved her nails and said she got lots of compliments (yay!).

She has never used a crackle polish before and really thought it was cool, but so "not her." I think it's super fun! It's definitely very "me." :)
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