Thursday, May 31, 2012

Challenge Day 24- Inspired by a Book

Well hello everyone. So far today has been one horrible day for me so I hope you all are having a bit better luck. Within an hour of being awake I had tummy troubles, sneezing coughing bad from a head cold and I thought I just stubbed my toe, but actually I scraped off a chunk so I was bleeding and it hurt. All in all me = not a happy camper today. Oh and of course the child I am looking after isn't feeling well today either because of some vaccines she got so she is cranky too. What a wonderful day! Sorry...enough of my bitching. Onto nails! So I am of the generation that really grew up reading and loving the Harry Potter books. I have read each book of the series probably at least 20 times over and I still love them every time I read them. So for this manicure of course I was inspired by my favorite series of all time. I started off with two quick and not clean coats of Finger Paints "Lemon Sour" then I free hand striped some gold using Wet n Wild's "The Gold and the Beautiful" then I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in "Cinna Snap" to add more free handed stripes to the top and bottom of my nails. Then I topped it all off with the iconic HP lightning bolt using Jordana's black nail art brush and then topped that off using an angled eyeliner brush dipped in some more Finger Paints "Lemon Sour". The overall effect is kinda cute, but definitely could have been improved with a bit more precision. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Challenge Day 22/23- Inspired by a Song/Movie

Hi everyone! Well today I am going to cheat a little since my inspiration came last night when I was watching one of my favorite movies and a song in particular as well as the whole movie inspired me for this challenge.  I was watching Across the Universe when my favorite part/song came on, which is Strawberry Fields! So I bring you strawberry nails today! I have to admit I could have done them a lot better technique wise, but you will have to forgive me since I was rushing because it was already really late and I was tired. I started with two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in "Cherry Red", which was a dream to apply and I could have probably gotten away with one coat if I hadn't been rushing. Then for the tops I used Orly's "Wandering Vine" and added accent stripes in "Green with Envy" from Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear. For the "seeds" I used Jordana's black striping brush, which I believe may be why they turned out a bit on the wonky side. All in all I think it is adorable, but I think the execution could have been a bit better.

So you be the judge for yourself, but I think it works for my inspiration and I hope you don't mind my combo mani for two challenges. :-) Well then until next time! :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Challenge Day 21- Inspired by a Color

Hello again everyone! When I was little I used to love reading and re-reading fairy tales. I had one particular book of fairy tales I still read whenever I have trouble sleeping. I think part of the reason I always loved this one book of fairy tales the most was because I loved the color! So for today's challenge I bring you my book of fairy tales, which I have loved since childhood and still love to this day.

I used three coats of Essie's "Turquoise and Caicos", which is a color I used to see used by other bloggers and every time I saw it I would say "Oh I love that color what is it?". Then I would see that it was the beloved by many "Turquoise and Caicos" and I thought that I didn't really need it and it is fairly hard to find so I put it out of my mind until I recently found it at my local Walgreens! They recently started to sell Essie's and in their brand new display I found one bottle of this color so I decided to take the plunge and buy it. I don't entirely love the formula since I definitely needed three coats for full and even coverage, but the color is amazing! It also happens to be the EXACT same color as my book of fairy tales, which brings me back to my original point. :-) Well, I hope you enjoyed this and I will try and get somewhat more caught up with posting tonight. Until next time though! :-)

Challenge Day 20- Water Marbling

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! I know I did! Sorry for being MIA, but I was visiting my sister and I was much too busy working very hard on my tan. :-) So back to this challenge then! I have to say I am not very happy with how my water marbling turned out for today, but I do hope you all enjoy it. So I started off with two coats of "Break Through" from Essence. Then I did one drop of each in this order: Sinful Colors "Paradise", Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in "Bubblegum Pink" and NYC Long Wearing in "Empire State Blue" for the marbles. I think I needed some more contrasting colors to get a better effect, but I do think I finally have gotten the technique down. I also used scotch tape to cover the skin around my nails and then coated the backs and a bit down my fingers with vitamin E oil. This combo made clean up an absolute breeze! All I had to do was clean up a little bit right next to my cuticles and a bit under the edge of my nails. So without further ado here are the pictures!

Unfortunately the blues didn't really show up too much and the pink sort of blended in with the base color I used. Next time I know that I should go with a more neutral background and more contrasting colors for the marbling. So hope you enjoy this and I will try and post again later to catch up a bit. Hope you enjoy this nice hot weather too!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Challenge Day 19- Galaxy Nails

Hi everyone! Wow what a crappy week weather wise! I have to say that this is my (and I am sure most others) least favorite type of weather. I am constantly feeling like I can't keep my eyes open for more than a minute! Oh well, enough complaining and onto some nails!

Well I had been kind of looking forward to this day/terrified of it. I really like some galaxy nails, but I feel like it is easy to go overboard and ruin it, which I now believe even more! I feel like I definitely need to try this again with someone else watching me to tell me to quit while I am ahead! So first I am just going to show you all the polishes I used because I ended up doing each nail a bit differently in a slightly different order and some colors were not used on certain nails and others were used more and less on some and...yeah...I didn't do them all the same, but all of these polishes were used on at least one nail.

Ok so left to right we have: Zoya "Crystal", Kiss Nail Art in white, OPI "Metallic 4 Life", Ulta "Denim Glitz", Finger Paints "Where Art Renoir?", Avon "Lagoon", Sally Hansen Insta-Dry "Jumpin' Jade" 

So I started off with two coats of Essence "Holographic" nail polish in "Blue Ray". I say "Holographic" because it isn't. It is not at all holographic, but it is a super awesome duochrome. I took a few pictures of it on its own because I thought it was super pretty. 

You can see there is a strong teal-purple flash/shift that to me looks like a peacock in a bottle! :-) I will have to use this one again whenever I attempt some peacock lookin nails. :-) 

Anyways, after that I used a makeup sponge to add a streak of white going sort of diagonal across my nails then I just started layering a bunch of colors in different orders and such on top of the white. I mainly used the Avon, Zoya and Ulta colors on top of the white and on a few I added a touch of the green Sally towards the edges. I then topped them all with a very thin layer of "Metallic 4 Life" so I got some "stars" on there with the chunky silver hexs and the black base helped to blend all of the other colors together a bit more, which I can't decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing. After that though I sponged on some of the Finger Paints Renoir on the edges to darken them a bit and try to give it a bit more depth. All in all the end result could have benefited from some more lightness, but I am really really enjoying it still. I am already thinking about what I could do differently next time so stay tuned for that after I am done with this challenge...or maybe this might have to be the one I recreate for day 31...hmm... :-) Ok well enough of my blabbering here are the pictures. 

 Well I hope you enjoyed! Until next time! :-)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Challenge Day 18- Half moons

Good morning all! Well I am pretty pleased with how today's look came out. I had been thinking about trying the half moon look for a while so I had the reinforcement things that everyone says works so well and I have to say I agree that they do work pretty well. I started off this look by painting my whole nail with Sally Hansen's Insta-Dry in "Silver Sweep", which looked really freaking cool actually! I thought it was going to be super streaky and uneven since it is a metallic, but the formula was awesome and I happen to love the inst-dry brush so no real brush marks!

Anyways, so I let the silver get completely and totally dry and then I placed the reinforcements at the base of my nails so they would create the half moon shape. Once they were in place I painted the top portion above the reinforcement with two coats of "Metallic 4 Life" by OPI. As soon as I had two coats done I immediately removed the stickers so the polish didn't get too tacky and start causing problems. On a couple of nails I actually didn't get the stickers off quickly enough and the top color started sticking to the paper of the sticker more than the nail so the sticker took more polish with it than it should have. (I hope that makes even a little bit of sense) So after that I just added some top coat and cleaned it up! It really wasn't hard at all except next time I will be much more careful with the placement of the reinforcements because I ended up with some very uneven half moons. Each of my nails has a different size moon because I was so worried about sticking them down properly I didn't pay all that much attention to consistency across the nails. Okay well after all that here are the pictures of the final product! Hope you enjoy!

Okie dokie folks! Well enjoy and see ya next time!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Challenge Day 17- Glitter

Hello everyone! Now this is a challenge I can get behind! I have to say I feel like I should have come up with something better for this one since I love my glitter so much, but I kind of got overwhelmed and just decided to go with a simpler approach. Now this is a glitter I fell in love with the moment I laid eyes on it and yet I still hadn't used it! So here it is for your viewing pleasure...drumroll please...Nicole by OPI "Follow me on Glitter"! I love this polish! The formula was amazing totally opaque in two coats and honestly it was opaque in one, but just not dark enough to get the full effect of those tiny colored hexs floating around in that fabulous gunmetal glitter base. I love it! So here goes the pictures!

This one has that wide brush, which is really okay for me when it is such a great formula polish so I had no problems at all getting this on nice and evenly. Overall, this is a really quick and easy, but special glitter polish that I have a sneaking suspicion will be landing on my toes soon as well! :-) SO! I hope you enjoyed it too and until next time! :-D

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Challenge Day 16- Tribal Print

SORRY EVERYONE!! I know I said I would post yesterday (Monday), but I had nothing to post! So I have a confession to make...I hate tribal print manicures. They are just very much the opposite of my style since I like nice uniformity and consistency and well not tribal type patterns. So I kind of procrastinated with this one and honestly only did one hand and as soon as a photo was taken I removed it. I honestly, didn't even take the time to clean it up and take a proper photo...I just wanted it off my nails. So for all of you who are huge fans or even just moderate fans of the tribal print more power to ya! This one is just not for me that's all. So anywhoooo! I started with a color I hadn't used before from Sephora "Myrtille" and it was a royal pain to work with! I have the mini bottle (not sure if it comes in a full sized one) and that was very awkward to hold, the brush was very large and fluffy, which was okay except the formula was like glue! I don't actually have polish thinner so I just added a bit of remover (bad I know, but I had to make do with what I had) and that did help a little, but it was still a really thick and difficult polish to work with. After I had the base color on I sorta just winged it. I used my light blue nail art polish from Color Club, my silver glitter nail art polish from Kiss, and a black nail art polish from Jordana. So without any further is the one and only picture. Sorry if it stinks, but I truly did not enjoy this one folks. :-/

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Challenge Day 15- Delicate Print

Good day all! Well I have to say that I just spend about an hour outside sunning myself and I feel GREAT! I am such a summer baby! (Born in August) Sorry, I just had to share my excitement about this amazing SUMMERY weather that just makes me so super duper excited! :-D So now onto nails! Today's mani is actually a really old one that I never got around to posting. I really enjoyed this mani and looking at these pictures makes me want to try it again soon. So I started with about 3 coats of Revlon's "Plum Night" and I believe that the formula on this one was a bit of a nightmare trying to get it all evened out without lots of bald patches. Then I used my as seen on tv salon express nail stamping kit with Rimmel "Wild Orchid" for the little star burst and then I did a tiny dot of silver glitter in the center of the star burst. Sorry about the pictures...this was before I had any idea of how to take pictures to show my nails properly.

I did actually have a lot of trouble with this manicure between the formula on the "Plum Night" and my own inexperience with stamping as well as the quality of my stamper it was a bit of a nightmare. I remember only doing the middle and thumb nails because I had no patience whatsoever to try and do any more than that, but I am definitely going to have to try again when I have some time to play around with it. Anyways, I probably won't be able to post tomorrow because I have a party in Connecticut for my cousin who just graduated from college, but I will be sure to post something on Monday for ya! Until then have a great weekend and I hope you all have weather like this! :-)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Challenge Day 14- Flowers

Hi all! So! I was pretty nervous about today's challenge not because I can't do flowers, but because I couldn't decide what I wanted to do! I had about a million and a half ideas running around in my head and I just couldn't narrow it down. So when I finally went to do this mani last night I had an AWFUL time removing the Sally Hansen complete manicure "Fairy Teal" and by the time I went to do my nails I was fried! I apologize in advance if you can see how blue my entire hand is in some of the pictures due to the staining from the teal. Anyways, I have been drooling over "Nite Owl" by Orly ever since my sister bought it for me a few weeks ago and I thought a more neutral background would be good to highlight the flowers. You can be the judge if you think that worked or not, but personally I LOVE the color, but it didn't quite work out how I had hoped. I really do love the end result, but I think if I ever try this again I would used a different background that might make it pop just a smidge more. So, like I started to say, I started off with a base of "Nite Owl" and I did 2 coats because I knew the flowers were going on top so it didn't have to be perfect. Then I followed Nailed It's Pansy Tutorial using Sinful Colors "Amethyst" for the purple part of the flower, a nail art white by Kiss for the white and Finger Paints "Lemon Sour" for the yellow center. Thanks to the tutorial this was actually really easy to do and I think it turned out adorable. I also really love how "Nite Owl" shines in the sun, the shimmer seems so bright and amazing it almost could be a holo. Well now without further ado here are the pictures!

Oh and I apologize for the state of my cuticles they have been a bit mad at me since I started doing my nails every day versus every couple of days. :-) So until next time and as usual I hope you enjoyed!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Challenge Day 13- Animal Print

Hello! Well Today's manicure was one that I was honestly terrified of at first. I couldn't think of any easy way to do animal print without a paintbrush or a stamp so I have to give myself a pat on the back for what I ended up with. I actually really really love this manicure and I will be super sad to take it off. So at first I thought okay there are enough cheetah/leopard print tutorials out there and really that is just blobbing so I can handle that...well that's what I thought. In the end I tried a few times and had no real luck so I went looking for something easier. Enter the zebra! I found a tutorial online that made it sound super easy to use a nail art brush to create zebra print nails so I decided to give it a try. Now I don't know how this happened, but somehow I do not actually own a black nail art polish. So I went with my trusty Art Club light blue for the stripes and Sally Hansen's complete manicure in "Fairy Teal" for the base color. After that I topped the stripes with a bit of silver glitter just to give them a bit more shimmer and dimension. It was really easy to get this pattern since I laid my brush down on my skin and dragged it onto the nail wiggling and lifting as I went and you can judge the results as you see fit.

This was obviously before I cleaned it up and just to show what I meant when I said I started off on my skin.

So I hope you all enjoyed this one too and I hope you are all enjoying this whole challenge as much as I am so far. :-)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Challenge Day 12- Stripes

Hi there everyone! Well today I have a manicure that I am fairly proud of. When I saw the stripes challenge I kind of figured I would just do another tape manicure to create some nice even stripes, but that isn't what I ended up doing. I did attempt a tape mani and I was disappointed with it so I started over and decided to give my nail art polishes a try and I am very happy with the end result. I started off with 2 fairly thick coats of "Coat Azure" from Essie, which is a really pretty blue with a bit of subtle shimmer to it. I then used my Color Club or Art Club nail art polish in a very pale almost white blue and painted a stripe diagonal across each nail. Although not all the stripes were even or exactly in the same place on each nail I like the overall effect, but it needed more. I didn't want to stripe my whole nail because I really liked my base color and I didn't want to cover it up too much. I also decided that I needed a way to even up the stripes just a little bit so I used a silver glitter nail art polish by Kiss to add stripes on either side of the pale blue ones. By doing that I was able to make some of the lines look narrower and others I could straighten out a bit. In the end it might not be perfect, but I am really proud of how well it turned out considering it was all done free hand. So here you go judge for yourself if it works. :-)

Well I hope you enjoyed and I am trying to keep up with this challenge and I hope you don't mind that I am a bit off schedule. I will try my best to cram a few more in to catch up some more, but until then...see ya! :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Challenge Day 11- Polka Dots

Hi again! Well for today's challenge I actually pulled a really old manicure that I just realized I never posted, but I really loved a lot. Sorry, but I can't quite remember what polishes I used for this one since it was a while ago, but it doesn't really matter since they were all drugstore polishes and of average quality. This was one of the first manicures I did using my dotting tool so I was having lots of fun doing dots inside of dots. So without further blah blah blahing here are the pictures!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Challenge Day 10- Gradient

Hello again everyone! Well today I have a very special manicure for you. I tried the gradient manicure thing once before and honestly, I wasn't too thrilled with the result. I think I can now blame that on the polishes I used and my technique a bit. Last night I was fooling around with a bunch of different ideas for this challenge and since I am still obsessing over how much I love Essie's "Play Date" I really wanted to use it somehow. I also have been thinking about using some of the polishes from China Glaze's Prismatic collection since I drooled long enough over them that I broke down and bought a couple. I thought I might be able to do a gradient with the Prismatics because they have so many different sizes of glitter. Well it did work! I think it actually worked mostly because the formula on China Glaze "Prism" is a bit thicker and it seems to dry fairly quickly on the brush. So I started off with two coats of "Play Date" then I wiped most of the polish off of the brush and painted a thin but globby (I know not a real word, but it works) line across the tip of my nail with "Prism". Before it had a chance to really dry I just lightly and carefully dragged the brush from the top down so it grabbed some of the polish and spread it lightly down the nail. I can't really explain exactly how I did it, but I just went slowly and carefully to try and get the gradient look. After that had dried a bit I went back and dabbed some more "Prism" on the tips so they were much more solid and the gradient then looked a bit more dramatic. Overall I LOVE this look! It is so...Pretty! I just realized that if I had used a bright pink instead of "Play Date" it looks a lot like the infamous Effie Trinket manicure everyone has been going gaga over. :-) Anyways, hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I am enjoying the real thing! :-)

Challenge Day 9- Rainbow

ARGH! Sorry everyone...I had a whole nice long post here about my adventures in creating a rainbow mani, but it got erased! ARGH!!!!!!!! Well here goes take 2 then....

So I started off thinking I was going to stripe all of my nails to make them all look like little rainbows. I did actually get my thumb nail done, but it took forever! So that plan got axed quickly. Next I thought I could sponge some rainbows on and that was a miserable failure. Finally I thought I would do polka dots in all the colors of the rainbow and I did like the end result although I do wish I had done it on a light blue base instead of white because then the yellow would have shown up a lot better. So here are some pictures of my rainbow mani! (Sorry the original post had a bit more detail, but now I don't really remember what I had lol)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Challenge Day 8- Metallic

Hi again! Well for this one I thought I would use a metallic that literally has metal in it! A while back I bought a bunch of magnetic polishes from Icing so I decided to use the pewter-ish one. I had read about how to apply them properly to get the best results with the magnet and I was super careful to apply a nice even, but thin coat and hold the magnet still and I did it for longer than suggested as well. Even with all of this I still had a lot of trouble getting the pattern to really show up on the nail. You can judge for yourself, but I think that it was a little disappointing and I think I need a lot more practice with my technique.

The formula on this wasn't actually that bad and honestly I really liked how it came out even before I used the magnet so I think this is still a keeper, but I am not sure the magnetic effect is really for me. Oh and the marks by all of my fingers are from the finger rest on the caps so you can avoid touching your nail to the magnet.