Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spriiing

I am lusting for Spring. I just can't wait any longer. I'm personally a huge fan of pastel creme polishes, so OPI Done Out In Deco is definitely a lovely one to help bring me into spring.


This was a simple flower mani. Also, I can't believe I've never posted a flower nail art design before. Maybe because it was winter... but STILL! Flowers are my favorite (though I'm still practicing them) nail art to do. In addition, I'm not sure why I chose lavender + blue... originally I had planned on including yellow in the mix... but it looked OK without it and I didn't want to risk messing it up. So I just left it as is :) Here are the steps I followed:
  1. Apply 1 coat of CND Stickey base coat to each nail
  2. Apply 3 coats of OPI Done Out In Deco
  3. Using Stripe Rite stripers in white, freehand a white flower on to the base of your ring finger and thumb finger. It doesn't have to be perfect. Some of my flowers had 3 petals and some had 4.
  4. Outline the white flower with Stripe Rite polish in light blue. Again, this doesn't have to be perfect. I like to see the brush strokes sometimes to make it look a little more hand-painted.
  5. Paint on a couple leaves with Stripe Rite green.
  6. Use Migi Nail Art Pens in white to fill in the remaining area with tiny white dots.
  7. Finish with a coat of CND Super Shiney top coat.
I almost wish I hadn't drawn on the little green leaves, but the dots helped make it look OK. Here is the detail on the flower nail art:


To be quite honest, Done Out In Deco ended up being a lot more gray than lavender on my nails. That was OK though. It looks nice in the photos, but I wasn't super pleased with it on my nail. Also, I think I applied topcoat too fast or too thick, because I had a bubbles pop up on a couple of the nails. All in all, since I wasn't too happy with it, I went over the non-decorated fingers with OPI The Color To Watch.


The Color To Watch is a cool color! I have never used it before and I'm glad I layered it because it's super sheer. It took 2 coats to go on evenly, but I am very pleased with the result. It's a very fresh and spring-inspired manicure and I hope it lasts all week!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Luna Love

I bought China Glaze Luna in a haul a little over a month ago. I've been dying to try it ever since! Luna was found in the CG Glitters collection. I didn't really ever think about wearing it by itself (I don't like doing multiple coats of glitter since it's so hard to get off), so I layered a coat of it over China Glaze Bahamian Escape.


I added a little nail art on the accent finger just for fun. These are the steps I took for this mani:
  1. Apply 1 coat of CND Stickey
  2. Apply 2 coats of China Glaze Bahamian Escape
  3. Apply 2 coats of China Glaze Luna (on all nails except for accent nails)
  4. With Stripe Rite white & black stripers, create little starbursts on the accent nail
  5. Top off the glittery nails with 1 coat of Gelous
  6. Finish with 1 coat of Seche Vite
If you can't tell, I was slightly in a hurry. It's not perfect, but it's fun. To be quite honest, I thought that Luna was a lot prettier in the bottle than on my nails. It gave more of a silver/foil finish that I was expecting. But it's still really fun and glittery.

For some reason, the foil finish did not want to photograph. I had a hard time capturing it.


But isn't my Paris bouncy ball fun? I wish I could say I bought it in Paris. Boo. Unfortunately I've never been... maybe some day. Overall, Luna is a really fresh, springtime color. I like it layered over Bahamian Escape a lot, and from other swatches I've seen it looks like it is pretty by itself as well.


I hope you liked "Swatch Week." I'll be returning to normal posting and nail art now. Posting every day is quite hectic! I don't know how some bloggers do it. Props to you all :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Aruba, Jamaica, OOH I Wanna Take Ya...

Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go
Down to Kokomo
We'll get there fast
And then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go
Way down to Kokomo...

Honestly, when looking at the China Glaze Bahama Blues collection, I sing this song each and every time. I also hummed this song over and over for the entire week that The Hunk and I planned our Honeymoon. We aren't going to Kokomo, but we did seriously consider the Bahamas (we decided on Kauai)... and I think I drove him crazy because I couldn't get Kokomo out of my head! And of course, you know I was singing it while I painted on 2 coats of this lovely color, Bahamian Escape:


This is my favorite blue creme that I own. In fact, I'd say it's in my top 10 favorites of all time. I wish I could have gotten the color to show up better. Depending on the time of day and my skin color, sometimes this is a robin's egg blue, or sometimes it's a very vibrant ocean blue. Today it looks like it's a grayish blue... But it's seriously just so awesome.


I'm really not sure why it's showing up so light here. Bummer! But, I am excited to let you know that tomorrow I will be posting some nail art that I layered over this. Finally. Nail. Art. Kind of. It's more of a layering of polishes + some random stuff. But you'll just have to wait until tomorrow, I guess :)

Oh, and while writing this post, I couldn't help but turn on Pandora to my Beach Boys station. And I think I just might leave it on all day. Even though it's cloudy and gross in Boise. 'Cuz you know where I wanna go... way down to Kokomo...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sweet Like Cotton Candy

I'm sorry for all the negative posts about swatches I've done so far this week. They are probably no fun to read and as boring to you as the polishes have been to me. I've definitely decided to do "Swatch Week" and not "Swatch Month." I'm just all about the nail art and fun mani's. It shouldn't have to be "work" if I'm not being paid for it, right? (Oh but please, if you desire to send me polishes to review and swatch, I'm all for it!)

Oh- and I want to thank each of you!!! I've reached 300 followers and this is so unbelievable to me. Thank you, No Naked Nailers!!

Today I have a beautiful shimmery/sparkly/shiny pink to show you. It is such a sweet color to me, just like cotton candy (yummm). It's China Glaze Jetstream.



It's a sheer pink with blue micro glitter. I'm not usually such a big fan of visible nail line, but this polish is just so diverse! In some lights it is a light glittery pink, and in some it's hardly noticeable!


See what I mean? I really like this color and I think it would be great layered over black. I applied 2 coats and it showed up really nicely. OOH, but layered over a dark black, navy or plum would be exquisite!

Friday, March 25, 2011

San Tan-Totally Not My Color

OPI, I love you. But for some reason, your San Tan-Tonio does NOT like me. I am bummed. It looked so pretty on Michelle over at All Lacquered Up, though she didn't even like it so much. Well, gosh dangit ya'll! I thought I had a winner with this one!


It looked so nice and "tan" in the bottle to me. I actually bought it because I thought (and still think) it would make a nice base to a leopard or giraffe print mani. But plain? No way, Josè! Next time I wear this one I will have to do some cool animal-inspired art on top so you can see what I was looking for when I bought this polish. But as for today? Not my favorite. I like the polish... but just not with my skin tone.



Oh, and I'm sure you can tell... I'm changing my mind a lot this week. Whether it's with polish, Swatch Week vs. Swatch Month, or my blog style, layout and colors. I came to a realization that the more simple the blog layout - the better. Do you agree??

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Normally I Cherish Green, But...

Not this time. Today I swatched China Glaze Cherish. I don't know what happened with all the colors I picked to swatch this week (you'll see in upcoming posts), but they just do not look good on me!


I'm not a huge fan of metallic polishes. For Cherish I was able to get by with 2 coats, but even with a Seche Vite top coat it still looked streaky. I can't stand when polishes show brush strokes. Yuck. Also, this one shows any little imperfections. I accidentally had a piece of cotton from my cotton swab on my ring finger and it was very obvious. Embarrassing. This is just one metallic frosty color that I do not "cherish."

I will say that I do like Cherish for french manicures and nail art. It's also really fun to put Cherish on as a base and then layer with glitter, like China Glaze Sour Apple, or do black nail art. I wish I had done some before I took this off. I bet Cherish is also great for stamping, as I have heard that other colors from the Romantique Collection konad well.

(See the piece of cotton? Whoops!!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Piña Colada Pop

Today I'm swatching Revlon Piña Colada Pop. Bleh.


Sorry, Revlon, but this is a huge bust on me. This is 3 coats and is still streaky. I'm sure it would be opaque in 4, but I'm just not that patient. I have had this color FOREVER and I think it's about time to throw it out.


The only cool think about it is that there is awesome micro glitter that can be seen in the sun. Other than that, pass on this one.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Woo Hoo Blue!

To begin Swatch Month (which is probably going to turn into Swatch Week... sorry... it's just no fun), I decided what better to start with than the polish I won from Natalie's Nails! I won her Holographic "Onesie" Giveaway and she mailed me China Glaze High Def along with some other fun goodies.


I figured I would start with a swatch of this guy. Now, I thought High Def was not going to be as holographic as it is, but I was pleasantly surprised.


That is 2 coats of High Def. It applied so well. I was very impressed. Lucy decided she wanted to help me take pictures:


She had just come back from a skateboarding run with The Hunk and she was ready to model!

High Def was really nice. I really wanted to try a matte look with it, so I applied Essie Matte About You over top. It made the polish look like it had a suede finish, and unfortunately took away some of the holo effect, but I really like the final look!


So, will you be horribly disappointed in me if I just swatch for a week and not a whole month as promised? I miss nail art already!!! Also, do you like the new layout? Two thumbs up or down?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Polish Dilemma Results

The results are in!  Your votes have been tabulated and...
  • Would you prefer a MONTH of swatches only? 

The winner is clearly "YES!" Oh boy... what have I gotten myself into?

  • How often should I post?
Seriously. What did I get myself into?

Well, it looks like starting ... (well, when should I start? Now?) I will be posting EVERY DAY with new swatches. No new nail art for a whole month. Boo. Maybe I'll throw in an accent nail here and there. Would that be OK?

I hope you enjoy it...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

HoT and SpicYYY

Sundays are fun days. Most of the time. In fact, before the sun was even up here in good ol' Boise, Idaho, my mom and I were heading into the foothills on a 10 mile run. It was just miserable my cup of tea.

Thank goodness I had cute nails to keep me going :)


I began with OPI Hot & Spicy. What a fun color. It looks so much more coral in the bottle than it actually does on my nails. I was rather surprised! Though I loved the color, I couldn't help but think how super-fab China Glaze White Cap would look over top of it.

The whole look has 2 coats of Hot & Spicy, 1 coat of White Cap, some Migi Nail Art dots on the accent finger, and 1 coat of Seche Vite top coat. Very simple, but it sure got a lot of "ooh's" and "aah's."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

N^3 Polish Dilemma

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! I'm all decked out in green and don't have any new nails for you, but...

TODAY I HAD AN IDEA.

Weird, I know.

But really, I was thinking about all of my "untried" (I may have used them in the past but not since I started this blog) polishes that I own. Honestly... there are a lot. I tend to use the same ones OFTEN and wanted to branch out a bit. So I was looking at my Lacquer List and thought, "Gee, that sure is a lot of polishes. Whichever shall I choose for today?" (And yes, I talk like that all the time).

So... then my idea hit. BAM. What if, instead of spending so much time creating stellar nail art, I try something new and just do swatches for a whole month? Is that a good idea? Then you could see more of my polishes and I wouldn't have to think so dang hard about what to paint next. Or is it a horrible idea? Is the only reason you visit my blog because of my super-fab (I wish it was super-fab) nail art?

Well, since I stumped myself from thinking so hard, I created a poll for you to take. Hopefully you can help me out. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Luck o' The Irish

Happy Saint Patrick's Day (in 2 days...)!! If you can't tell, almost all the nail bloggers out there have been beating the green stick to the bone this month. I'm no exception. Today I want to show you some GREEN GLITTER TIPS! Woo hoo!

Glitter tips are my absolute favorite. Some may call them boring, easy, too overdone... whatever. I love 'em. So, I figured I could give you a glitter tip tutorial! Here we go!!

Here is everything I used for this manicure. The nail polishes are CND Stickey, CND Super Shiney Top Coat, China Glaze In The Lime Light, China Glaze Watermelon Rind, China Glaze Sour Apple, and China Glaze Atlantis.


Glitter tips are fun because they're easy. They don't require a lot of effort. Next up, this is my essential step each time I put on nail polish. I use my brush and put acetone on the WHOLE NAIL (after washing my hands, of course).


This really helps get rid of any oils and dirt that can still be there after washing your hands. After I put the acetone on my nails, I added CND Stickey to the tips of my nails only. I only put it on the tips because it would get removed from the rest of the nail later on... so there's no point in putting it on the whole nail.


Next, I painted on 2 coats (only on the tips... messy is OK) in alternating order of China Glaze Watermelon Rind and China Glaze In The Lime Light. After 2 coats, it's a little messy and the tips are over-exaggerated and large.


If you're steady with your hand, you can leave it like that. Personally, I prefer to clean it up and make more of a curved smile line. I took acetone and my brush and freehand the smile line.


(The Hunk took this picture... what a gentleman)
 After painting the smile line onto each nail, they looked like this:


Sorry about that picture quality... it was night and my iPhone didn't like me. Now, I totally could have just left it like that. It looks really nice! BUT - they're not glitter tips if they're not slathered with glitter. DUH. So... I alternated China Glaze Sour Apple and China Glaze Atlantis to be painted over their respective light and dark greens. In the end, it turned out like this:


Fun! I had to show you the picture of my sweet spiky light-up bouncy ball. It's pretty cool, right?  So... what do you think of these green glitter tips? Are you going to test out your "luck o' the Irish" and give them a shot??

Sunday, March 13, 2011

N^3 Winner and Feedback!

My very first giveaway has finally come to an end. I'm sad that it's over, but that means I'll just have to begin another one, soon. Right? :)

So, the final tally came to 189 people who entered and exactly 900 entries. And the winner is... [drum roll please]...

True Random Number Generator  821Powered by RANDOM.ORG
**Sorry it shows 100 up there instead of 900. Not sure why it is doing that** 

Naudii Beautii! Congratulations :) Make sure to check your email so I can get your prize package out to you!

Also, I wanted to give some feedback regarding some suggestions you all had for me. Read if you want, but no worries if you skip it:
  • A LOT of people requested Konad nail art. Unfortunately, I don't have a stamper or any plates. I don't plan on getting one quite yet. I still have a lot of freehand designs that I want to test out... but maybe in the future you will see some Konading.
  • Some of you suggested that I change my layout/background/header. I changed the background and layout a little... do you like it? I'm working on the header :) I have a guy that should be making a logo soon. Any suggestions?
  • One awesome reader, Melanie, suggested I create a list of polishes and include the mani's I have done with each. If you check out the top tab that says Lacquer List... that would be it! Hope you like it.
  • There were lots of requests for more tutorials. I'll try to include them as often as I can! 
  • For those of you that asked for makeup reviews... head to my other blog at www.lastlash.blogspot.com. You'll find mascara/beauty stuff there!
  • I'm sorry my pictures aren't more crisp. I'm currently using my iPhone 4, but hopefully in June I'll have a new camera and will be able to clean up the pictures.
  • Many of you asked for just plain swatches. Unfortunately, I can never really just do plain nails. There has to be some sort of nail art on them for me to be happy... but some designs are more basic than others and some have only one accent/funky nail... so hopefully that helps.
And that's it! THANK YOU to each and every one of you that gave me constructive and positive feedback. It helps tremendously!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shreddin' Pinks

After a failed attempt of a manicure earlier this week, I wanted to try something different. I decided to pull a design from Chloe's Nails out of my bag of tricks and give it a shot. It's the same as the shredded mani I did before, but with the tape just flipped around so you paint the tips of your nails to create a modified french tip.


I began by cutting 10 pieces of Scotch Tape into a zig-zag design. Then, I gave each nail a coat of CND Stickey. I layered on 2 coats of OPI Princesses Rule! and oh my... that bottle of polish was thick. I think I need a new one because I've had it for years. I also applied one coat of Seche Vite to each nail to prep them for taping. As soon as the SV was dry, I began by taping and polishing 2 nails at a time. I would tape them off (so that you had to paint the zig-zags on the tip of your nail) and polish right over the tape. For 8 of my fingers I used OPI Ate Berries In The Canaries. On the ring fingers, I decided to spice it up a bit and instead used OPI DS Extravagance. When I was finished with all 10 fingers, I applied 2 coats of CND Super Shiney Top Coat and off I went.


I'm not sure I like the accent nail with a different color. Sure, it's fun... but this mani is already kind of out-there so I'm just not sure if it needed it. Oh well. It was a super-fun mani to create. Thanks to Chloe's Nails for the inspiration!

ALSO - MY GIVEAWAY ENDS IN 2 DAYS!!! Good luck!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Green & Brown Makes Me Frown

This polish pair/design could have been really cool. Due to the brown holographic awesomeness of OPI DS Illuminate plus the cool duochrome green shimmer that it has, I thought that adding a lime green design to it would make it awesome.

Not so much.

I began by cutting two pieces out of strips of Scotch Tape to create some racing-stripe lines.


Then, I applied CND Stickey Base Coat. After a moment, I painted each nail (except my ring fingers) with OPI Designer Series Illuminate. I painted 2 coats of China Glaze Tree Hugger on my ring fingers. I also added a quick coat of Seche Vite to the ring fingers to prep them to be taped. As soon as the Seche Vite had dried, I taped off my ring fingers and filled in the negative area with Illuminate. I pulled the tape off and was all finished. I sealed the whole mani with 2 coats of CND Super Shiney Top Coat.


This one was super-simple and took about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, I did not think it looked great with my skin tone and just couldn't bring myself to like it. For some reason, when you put topcoat over Illuminate (or if you're indoors all day like I am), the green duochrome doesn't pop like it should. Therefore, you're stuck with a mani in green and brown and it's sure to make you frown. Gross... not my favorite.

Here it is in my office... BORING:


And here it is with a typical blurry shot so you can see the awesome potential that Illuminate has:


It's such a fantastic polish... but not when I'm ghostly white, and not when paired with green. Bummer, right? What a mess. Let's just say this one lasted one whole day (barely). I usually like to get at least 5-7 days out of a mani, so I was pretty upset that I had to take this one off already. If only I had a konading set... I would've covered the green up in a flash with some pretty stamped designs!

*These polishes were purchased by me at Sally's and CosmoProf.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

AAH 200 No Naked Nailers!

You guys make me so excited! I can't even believe it!!! THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT!!!

This is me (3 years ago)... doing a big-time BACK FLIP for you!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Don't Mess With Zebra

As you read yesterday, my nails were not my favorite. The swirls just didn't work. So I decided to redo the accent nails. And here's what I came up with:


I'd been lusting to do a zebra print design for a while now. I've never done one before, so I was rather nervous. But I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

I began with a layer of China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat on each nail. A base is really important here because OPI Don't Mess With OPI stains your nails like crazy. I put 2 coats of Don't Mess With OPI on each nail except for my ring fingers. That polish is flawless and I love it so much. It's a perfect ARMY green and I can't wait to try it in a camouflage design. I also love it's opacity and creaminess with 2 coats. It is just wonderful.

For the accent fingers, I painted on 3 coats of OPI Designer Series Illuminate. That color is gorgeous. It's a light brown/amber/tan (who knows) holographic with duo-chrome green. I love it so much and would have painted all my nails that color if they weren't already stained with Don't Mess With OPI. After 3 coats of Illuminate, I put on a quick coat of Sally Hansen InstaDri Top Coat to make sure I didn't smudge it with my nail art. After it dried for a couple of minutes, I whipped out my green Migi Nail Art Pen. I painted on a random mix of V's and lines to create the zebra effect. I'm not sure how "zebra" it turned out, but I really like it.

I finished the whole mani with 2 coats of CND Super Shiney Top Coat. The entire thing took about 30 minutes. Maybe it's my love of green and holographic polishes, but this mani is just too fun. I'm definitely digging it.

*These polishes were each purchased by me at CosmoProf.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Matte At This Swirl!

These nails did NOT turn out how I wanted them to. They were an idea from The Hunk (yes, he even gives me nail design ideas) and they just really didn't work.

He suggested paining my nails a color (I picked jade green), and then on the accent nail he said I should use my craft punches to create a swirl in a lighter color (mint green), and then make the whole nail matte. It sounded like a sweet idea... not so much.


First of all, OPI Don't Mess With OPI is an a-maz-ing jade green. I love it. Unfortunately, my swirl craft punch and OPI Gargantuan Green Grape didn't get along. Also, I've never messed around with a matte top coat before... and after attempting this look... not sure it's my fave. But it was worth a shot.

So here's the process. I began by painting each nail with China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat. I applied 2 coats (which went on effortlessly) of OPI Don't Mess With OPI to each nail. On the ring fingers, I applied Essie Matte About You (I should NOT have applied it first... it took forever to dry). I then used my swirl craft punch to cut out a swirl shape in Scotch Tape. I used the large piece of tape and discarded the small swirl cut-out. Then, after Matte About You dried (took quite a while), I taped off my fingers using the Scotch Tape. I filled in the cut-out swirl with OPI Gargantuan Green Grape. After waiting a few seconds, I pulled off the tape. It didn't look so great (the Matte About You messed with the tape). Instead of leaving the nail matte and the swirl shiny, I decided to put another coat of Matte About You on top of the whole accent nail. I then applied a coat of CND Super Shiney Top Coat to the remaining 8 nails. This whole mani took about 45 minutes with drying time for the Matte About You included.

Needless to say, the swirls just didn't work this time around. My swirl craft punch just doesn't like me for some reason and it was just a super messy mani. And after experimenting with matte, it's just OK. I'll have to try it again on all my nails (maybe) to see if I like it.

While I was attempting to take pictures, my fuzzy kids wanted in on the action... here's Oso Fluffy trying to see my new mani:


And here's Lucy The Fuzz and Mister Oso peeking in on the photo shoot. I think they really just wanted the bouncy ball. Who can blame them, right?


Anyway... I didn't like this mani. I promptly took off the accent nail and re-did it. I'll have that new design for you tomorrow. Oh, and I had read on Polishology that Don't Mess With OPI stains... and boy was she right. Do yourselves a favor a use a base coat with that bad boy. I hope you don't mind 2 days in a row with the same nail color...

P.S. I've been doing just a design on an accent nail more often to feature a fun design and some regularly painted nails so you can see the color swatch. Is that OK?

*These polishes were each purchased by me at Cosmoprof.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nail Care

I've received a lot of feedback from my N^3 Giveaway that you would like to see how I care for my nails. It had never even occurred to me to post about nail care so I'm incredibly glad that you all suggested it!

In fact, I'm rather embarrassed to say that I'm a slacker extraordinaire when it comes to nail maintenance and care.

Here are my basic tools for nail maintenance:


And I'm lucky if I use even all of these regularly. What you see are SeaCret Cuticle Oil, cuticle clippers, a really old nail file from Sephora, and a very rough file from Sally Beauty Supply. When it comes to nail care, I'm such a slacker! I don't buff my nails and I don't usually clip (or even push back) my cuticles... I just sort of file my nails until they're nice and square and that's it. Is that terrible?

I thought I'd show you a "before and after" of my nail maintenance. Here's the before:

(Ewww... peely nails)
See how there are some hang-nails waiting to happen? Also, my nails need to be filed and my cuticles need to be pushed back. I did each of the above. I knew I could have buffed my nails, but that usually just leads to my nails peeling so I skip it. Below, the "after" is pictured:

(Please don't judge my peely/stained nails! This is why they're NEVER naked!)
See, this is why I don't bother with nail care. I don't feel like anything changed. Once my nails are polished I can't really tell anyway... so... oh well. Can you see my nails are still stained blue a little? I can't wait until that has finally grown out!

So what do you think? Do you care for your nails religiously? Do you forego nail maintenance and just say "Who cares?" Or am I the only one?
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