Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nail Look: Blurple + My Current Project

Hey everyone! First off I just want to say "hi" to all the lovely new people who have become followers on my blog. It means a lot that you would take the time to follow me and my (not-so-little) obsession. :)

I normally get right to the manicure, but I just wanted to let you know about my current project: swatching all of my polishes. As of today I have 258 nail polishes, not including nail art polishes - ie: Art Deco, etc. Thankfully my husband is a *really* good sport and helped me organize them. He even created an Excel spreadsheet for me as a reference guide. :) With all that said, let me know if you would like to see them once they're all done. I know I love seeing what polishes other people have!

Anyway, onto the manicure. I wore this look about 4 days ago and it lasted a whole 3 days! *gasp* I know. A rarity, but it does happen. The funny thing is, I would have taken it off sooner but my husband went away for a couple days and took the camera so I couldn't take any photo's. Lame.

Base colour is Sinful Colors "Crystalline"
Diagonal swipe is Wet'n'Wild Fast Dry "Buffy the Violet Slayer"
(Sorry that it's blurry - I was in a rush.)

The next day I added a glitter polish to make things a bit more fun.
Sinful Colors in "Purple Blue Glitter"

The glitter matched perfectly - score!

You can really see the tip wear in this shot.
I painted my base colour and then taped off my nails to add the purple diagonal swipe. I usually do this free-hand but ever since I tried my tape mani I have grown to like the "exact-ness" (I made that word up...) of the line it creates. When I added the glitter polish I just free handed it, being careful to keep it only on the purple area.

Thanks for reading. :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

First Leopard Print Mani

I'm back with a new look that I created last Sunday. I wanted to try out the leopard print that everyone has been showcasing lately. I will admit that I really dislike how it turned out but it was definitely a learning process.

Base colour: L.A Colors "Mega Watt" - 3 coats
Spots: OPI "Brisbane Bronze"
Outline: Black Water-Based Acrylic Paint

My mother-in-law said it looked like I had "measles".
Grrrreat ... haha, I do love her, I promise.
Lesson learned? 
1.) Make irregular shapes for the spots instead of using a dotting tool and making perfect circles.
2.) Do NOT use acrylic paint to outline, use black nail polish. 

I found that the acrylic paint wasn't going on opaque enough for my liking and was leaving bald spots. Needless to say this manicure lasted a total of 3 minutes - just long enough for me to snap a couple pictures. I firmly believe in showing both good & not-so-good mani's so that way we all can learn something. :)

I have a lot of different colour combinations and ideas for future leopard print looks in the future. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Teal & Flower Inspired

Hello, hello. I recently went on an OPI buying spree and picked up 17 of them in the last month. (Thank goodness for tax returns, haha.) Mind you, I did get them for $5.00 each so I don't feel *so* bad. One colour that I picked up and was really looking forward to using was "Austin-tatious Turquoise" from OPI's Texas Collection. It had been sitting on my nail polish shelf staring at me for a few days when I found this picture:

I decided I would use this picture as my inspiration for the following look.

Base colour: 2 coats of ACO "Aruba Wave"

I layered OPI "Austin-tatious Turquoise" over the "Aruba Wave" on my accent nails and I used two coats.

With Flash. I then stuck a nail sticker on top. I didn't center it perfectly (ugh) and it looks like it's coming up but it was very secure under a thick coat of SV (Seche Vite).

I didn't have much time to do this look (I was headed to work) however, I was glad to be able to use my Austin-tatious Turquoise. 

What do you think of mixing the creme finish with the shimmer finish? I kind of liked it. 

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Inspired Mani: Flash

Is anyone familiar with the comic book character 'Flash'? Well my husband loved that comic book growing up so I did a nail look inspired by it. For all who don't know what he looks like, see below.

Source: http://www.desktoprating.com/wallpapers/flash-wallpaper.htm
Now, onto the look!

I painted all my nails, except my ring fingers with OPI "Malaga Wine". The ring fingers were polished with Wet'n'Wild Fast Dry "The Gold & The Beautiful".

I added SV (Seche Vite) on top of the gold and once it was dry I cut a piece of tape and placed it on my nail sideways. The exposed area was polished with OPI "Malaga Wine". I pulled the tape off as soon as my nail was painted.

To finish the look I used my Nail Star Two-Way Nail Art polishes in Black. I roughly outlined between the red and the gold and added my top coat. (Seche Vite)

I didn't do any clean-up before I took these pictures so I apologize for that. (*Ahem* ring finger) I figured you'd rather see this look than not at all, so I'm sure a little polish mistake won't take away from the look. :)

I hope you're all having a great Wednesday!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sister Mani: Gone Dotty

I went to visit my sister a couple weekends ago armed with a lovely bunch of polishes and dotting tool in hand. She mentioned that she liked my "Polka Dotting Fun" look that I posted earlier this month and so I re-created it for her on her cute (short) nails.

Polishes Used:
Base Coat - Rimmel 60 Seconds "Clear" 740
Base Colour - Rimmel 60 Seconds "Silver Bullet" 730
Polka Dots
Essence Colour & Go "Check Me Out" 18 (Green)
Essence Colour & Go "Sundancer" 23 (Yellow)
L.A Colors Color Craze "Atomic" NP420 (Teal)
L.A Colors Color Craze "Nuclear Energy" NP417 (Purple)
L.A Colors Color Craze "Static Electricity" NP421 (Blue)
Wet'n'Wild Fast Dry "Everybody Loves Redmond" 221C (Red)
Wet'n'Wild Fast Dry "How I Met Your Magenta" 233C (Pink)

This time around I chose an opaque pearl finish base colour rather than a sheer one. I feel like it allows the dots to really pop. I like the contrast between the pearl base colour and the polka dots with their creme finish*. Personally, I prefer this take rather than my first try. Experimenting always pays off. This could be really fun with a creme finish base colour and shimmer or glitter polishes for the dots as well.

* "How I Met Your Magenta" has a slight shimmer but because so little polish was used they appear to all be creme finishes. (Noted for those who are polish-obsessed and know that she isn't a 100% creme finish.)

Thanks for reading. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Catch Up" Round 2

Today I'm posting the last of my 'old looks' that I created a couple weeks ago. Apparently I was having a boring streak where all I did was add a glitter polish on top of a base colour.

NYC "Manhattan" as my base colour with OPI "Wing It!" layered over top.

Please excuse the extreme shortness of my nails. I had to cut them down when I got my thumb jammed in a door latch and split it ... owie. This was about 3 weeks ago, they are growing back now.
Wet'n'Wild Wild Shine "Caribbean Frost" as my base colour with Wet'n'Wild Fast Dry "Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire" (holo polish!) layered over it.

Sinful Colors "Dream On" as my base colour with Wet'n'Wild Fast Dry "Hannah Pinktana" (holo polish!) layered over top.

"Dream On" is hard to capture but this shot shows it best.

NYC "Park Ave" with Wet'n'Wild "Kaleidoscope" on top.

Sinful Colors "Flirting Nails" with Wet'n'Wild "Kaleidoscope" on top.
I know, I know ... boooring. I wasn't very inspired and kinda blah about my nails when I did these looks because I had to file them down. This was due to a very painful accident involving my right hand thumb nail and a metal door latch. Either way, it'll take another month for it to get decent looking again.

Look out for some fun, new looks in the next few days!

Thanks for reading. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

OPI: Silver Shatter

I received OPI 'Silver Shatter' as a gift from my mother-in-law the other day and I was so excited to try it out. I wanted to practice with this polish first so I painted it over the polish I was already wearing. (I honestly have no idea what I was wearing as a base, oops!)

No Flash - Index finger not shown because I smeared it just before taking this photo.

With Flash

The next two photo's are from the look I posted yesterday. I wanted to fiddle around with the application of my Silver Shatter and really like how it turned out over the blue. (Trick: apply your Shatter with a very thin coat. I find it "shatters" better that way.)

I wasn't too fond of the shatter polish with the tape mani, I think I would rather choose one or the other, but I am getting better at applying this (rather thick) polish. I skipped on the Black Shatter but I think I may just have to pick one up. Wouldn't it look fierce over red? I think so! :)

Let me know, do you own a shatter/crackle nail polish? If so, what do you think?
Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 20, 2011

First Tape Manicure!

Today I'm posting my nail look that I did Wednesday morning and wore until last night. I have to say that I'm getting bad at leaving my nails alone. I don't think I've worn the same look for more than 2 1/2 days for a while now. Oh well, it gives me more stuff to post for you! Also, I've been trying to get better at photographing my finished look, so let me know if you like seeing the different angles, etc.

My base colour is two coats of OPI 'No Room For The Blues' on all my nails.

On my accent nail (ring finger) I did two diagonal lines with Sinful Colors 'Timbleberry' and  'Irish Green' leaving two blue spots above and below the lines I created.

After the lines were created I added a coat of SV (Seche Vite) and allowed it to dry for 8-10 minutes.

When the SV was dry I took regular clear tape and cut strips out of it. I placed them on my accent nails and took my Wet'n'Wild 'Ebony Hates Chris' and painted it over top of the tape. Before the black polish could dry I pulled the tape off very carefully and got this look. I sealed everything in with another coat of SV.

I got this idea from the amazing Erika over at Chloe's Nails. She does some pretty spectacular nail looks using Scotch Tape and definitely inspired my first attempt. 

This being the first ever attempt at this type of manicure, I was pleased with how it turned out. It was definitely a learning experience. (Note to self: cut thinner strips of tape!) I really enjoyed my first "tape mani" and have some fun ideas for future looks. Please comment and let me know your thoughts. (I had a friend say that it looked like a sticker, which I took as a compliment - stickers don't have any flaws. ;) Haha.)

As always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mani "Catch Up"

Today I have a few nail looks that I'd like to share that I created during the month hiatus from my blog. I mentioned in a previous post that I had been waiting on some supplies from eBay and during the month that I didn't post I received about 80% of them. These three looks were created using the materials I purchased. Look out for a review of them in the next week or so.

This first look is a french mani outlined in black with detailing on the accent nails (ring fingers) and was done free-hand, with no guides. I consider this to be a "nail-fail". I removed this as soon as I got the picture. I didn't like the difference in my nail lengths. Either way, I posted this to show what you can do to 'spice' up either a new manicure or an old one. (I used rhinestones, my dotting tool and nail art polishes to create this look.)

Please excuse my hideous cuticles in this photo, I promise you I did fix them after this picture was taken. Clearly my priorities were out of whack when I took this photo. (Picture & then make them look good?? Seriously...) Anyway, I painted them a medium blue with no shimmer and then added a silver/white rhinestone and surrounded it with six chrome coloured hexagon glitters. I wasn't completely in love with this look, but I do love this nail polish colour. (Nina Ultra Pro in 'Sailor') I removed this the next day.

This is my favourite look out of the three. Again, I used rhinestones and only on the accent nails. My was a shimmery wine colour, which I love. (Nina Ultra Pro in 'Molten Ruby') I added a coat of SV (Seche Vite) and while it was still wet I applied the rhinestones. Then I topped that nail off with another coat of SV to keep everything in place. I kept this look on my nails for 3 days.

That's it for now! Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring Flower Manicure

I'm back with another nail look. I did this manicure a few weeks ago (before all my nails got chopped off...) and I really liked how it turned out.

Orly - To Have And To Hold (2 coats)
Wet'n'Wild - Hannah Pinktana (3 coats)

I realize the tips aren't completely perfect and my cuticles could be a bit neater, but since I only wore this for just over a day I was pleased with it. I did two different styles of daisy's in this nail look: one that is spaced and the other which is joined. My preference is the spaced one, however it requires more patience and precision. I added a pink glitter polish to the tips and added my Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat and it was done!

Comment & let me know: flowers - yay or nay?

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Belated Mother's Day Flower Design

I'd like to wish a belated 'Happy Mother's Day' to all the Moms who might happen across this post. I created a look especially with my Mom in mind.
Base Colour is 4 coats of Revlon 'Lilac Pastelle' 185
The flower detailing was created using water based acrylic paints purchased at any craft store

Her favourite colour is purple and we used to have toll-painted candlestick holders that I remember vividly so I decided to combine the two. I started with a pale, pastel lilac colour for my base. I then took my dotting tool and using the smaller end I used pink water-based acrylic paint and made a small dot in the upper corner of my nails. I flipped my dotting tool over and using the large end created the four white dots (water-based acrylic paint again but in white). Then I took a small detailing brush and created the petals using a light green. For added effect I went back in using a dark green and created a 'shadow' on the petal. If you click on the image you can see this in greater detail.

I wore this look for two days before changing it up. My nail polish collection seems to be steadily growing and I am always so excited to try new looks out, hence the short lifespan of my designs. At least they are 'immortalized' here. Haha.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Nail Tools Collection

Good afternoon! As promised in my last post today I will be sharing my nail tools collection. Here are a few photo's of what I have and below is an explanation of what each product is.

Along the back (left to right) you will see:
- Q-Tips (great for fixing mistakes when you're finished your manicure/pedicure)
- Konad nail stamping plate *
- Konad nail stamping set *
- Nail polish thinner (when you want to thin out a thick polish)
- Nail polish remover (self explanatory)
- 100% acetone polish remover (this is FANTASTIC, I will explain more below)

The front part has some miscellaneous items that are pretty generic, the include:
- Makeup sponges (great for creating a 'gradient' effect - tutorial on its way)
- Various nail files
- Small toothbrush (great for cleaning under your nails)
- Cotton pads (removing your manicure)
- Tweezers (for picking up rhinestones to put on your nails)
- Cuticle trimmer (a must for me)
- Nail clippers
- 'Orange' sticks (great for cleaning up around nail edges)

The white pencil is used for colouring under your nail to create a fast french manicure. My dotting tools are the five tools sitting between the 'orange' sticks and the yellow tweezers. Below is a better picture of them.

These dotting tools are double ended (large and small ends). I found mine on eBay: 5 for $1.99 with free shipping. (I searched 'dotting tools'.) You can create lots of different looks with a dotting tool and they also double as a glitter/rhinestone 'picker'. Dip the end in clear polish, choose a stone, place it on the nail and gently push it down for 5 seconds. They're great!

* The Konad products pictured above will be explained in detail in an upcoming post. Keep an eye out if this interests you!

Also, I mentioned above about loving my 100% acetone nail polish remover. Some people highly dislike any polish remover with ANY acetone in it. Personally, I see nothing wrong with acetone. I've listed my pro's and con's of this type of polish remover below.

- Removes regular polish (full manicure) in about 1 minute.
- Removes heavy glitter polish (full manicure) in about 3 minutes.
- Extremely fast clean-up around nail edges when manicure is finished.
- Cost is low for a lot of product. I bought mine for less than $3.50 at Wal-Mart.
(Onyx Professional)

- Dries out skin around nail.
- Evapourates quickly.

The con's that I've listed are easily remedied. I use Beauty Secrets Cuticle Oil to replenish both my nail and skin around my nail with lots of moisture. (Bonus: the cuticle oil smells like almond oil! De-lish.) As for the evapouration, keep the bottle closed between applications, simple as that. I reapply remover to my cotton pad between each nail with regular polish, so I don't find it evapourates off the cotton pad.

I hope this has given you some helpful tips/ideas!
Next post: New Nail Look.

Comment and let me know: Have you ever used 100% acetone polish remover?

As always, thanks for reading and commenting ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Polka Dotting Fun

I'm back! It's been almost a month since I posted, I can't believe I have slacked so much. Shame on me. I haven't been twiddling my thumbs though, I have been creating lots of new looks and have the photos to prove it! (Haha.) Below is one that I created with the idea of spring/Easter in mind.

I started off with a base coat and then chose 6-7 of my favourite colours and dotted them on my nails. I finished with a rainbow glitter polish and then a top coat.

If you have one, you can use a dotting tool for the polka dots or you can straighten out a bobby pin and use the tip. One other idea is to use a sewing pin, the kind that look like they have a bead/pearl on the end. For extra grip, I find it easier to push the pin into an eraser so you have something better to hold on. (You can find these at the Dollarama, I saw them last week. Hehe.)

This is a really simple look for spring and/or Easter. If I were to do this again I would probably do it on my toes and use a solid background color. Maybe pearl white or black? I did an assorted colours for my polka dots but feel free to change the colors of your dots as well.

Next post: My Nail Tools. (My dotting tool included.)

Comment & let me know: would you try polka dots?

Thanks for reading!