Thursday, May 30, 2013

Coral and Gem Net

For the last day of my Chicago vacation I wanted to do some real nail art. Something fancy. So I have on index, middle and pinky Sally Hansen "Straw-Ready" stamped with Milani "White on the Spot" and BundleMonster BM315. The ring and thumb are "White on the Spot" with 3 plastic rhinestones each. This marks only the second time I've worn stones and I have to say, I'm not sure I'll ever get used to them. By the  third day of wearing them I was itching to pick them off. They drive me nuts and just feel weird. Maybe they won't bug someone who is used to tips or acrylics or something, but I've never had much more than polish on my nails and they feel weird.

Oh, and to show that I tried to make posts on my vacation here is a shot I took in the hotel with my webcam. I think you can see why I waited till I got home to download the pictures from my camera.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chicago Holographic

My weekend in Chicago was a sunny one, so I packed a couple holographic polishes to show off. Thumb, index, middle and pinky were all painted black (Wet n Wild "Ebony Hates Chris") then with Layla "Silver Mercury". The black is supposed to make the holo pop but I really didn't care for it. It made it look muddy. The ring finger is China Glaze "Sci-Fly By" and I wish I'd just done that on all the fingers. Maybe with a little stamping or something. All well, I worked with what I had in the hotel.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pink Crackle

I've had a nice vacation, how bout all you? Sorry for the long break in posting, apparently I'm not as adept at the "schedule a post" thing as I thought I was, but I'm back now with some easy manicures.

I took some time off because a friend of mine was coming in from California and I wanted to show him around Chicago. I only packed a handful of polishes so I needed to get a few manis out of about 6 polishes. Here is what I came up with first.

Sally Hansen has a limited edition release of her Insta Dri collection for summer and this one is Straw-Ready a pinky coral that I think is gonna be a hot color this year. I love my greens, but a good creamy coral is beautiful too. On top of that is China Glaze's "Haute Metal" a pinky metallic crackle. Yeah the Crackle fad maybe over but I still love the effect. A very simple mani that I did in minutes in the hotel room. I did miss my whole nail polish laboratory, but you just can't take 300 bottles of polish with you when you travel. Heck narrowing it down to what would fit in a sandwich bag just about killed me as it was. Not to mention the accessories that go with manicures. Stamping tools, files, orange sticks, top and base coats.... just how can anyone expect me to go anywhere with out it all :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Black Lace

Yesterday nail polish just kept going wrong. I tried to do the Butterfly Wing mani on myself and while my orange/yellow gradient was beautiful, the freehand veins looked horrid. No matter what I did, it just got worse. I was about to be late for a funeral, so I just slapped some black polish over the messed up mani to cover it and a lacey white stamp to dress it up. Orly "Liquid Vinyl" Milani "White on the Spot" and Out the Door "Northern Lights" fast dry top coat. Sorry for the poor photo, I took it later that night in my room. The light just isn't any good in my room :(

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Nail Polish Lexicon ~ Dupes

When I got into the nail world, I ran into a lot of words I had never heard before. No matter how hard I looked I couldn't find a dictionary of these terms. So I'm gonna write one. First up is an easy one, almost self explanatory. Dupe, short for duplicate,  is used to refer to polishes that are so close as to be identical and usually from different brands. Here is a good example from my stash. Orly "Star Spangled", China Glaze "Ruby Pumps" and Fight Night Claw Polish "Voodoo". All are micro red glitter in a watery red base. There are minor differences, one is slightly more berry red and another more scarlet red, or the density of the glitter is higher in some than it is in others, but in all honesty? They are pretty much the same polish.

Orly, China Glaze, and Fright Night Claw Polish.
Orly "Star Spangled"
China Glaze "Ruby Pumps"
Fright Night Claw Polish "Voodoo"

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blue Pearl

Outside in the sun.

There is an additive you can put into car paint to make it holographic called SpectraFlair. Some, ok nearly all, the homemade holo polish you see out there has SpectraFlair in it. I've been wanting to get my hands on some for quite a while now and when I was picking the brain of a friend who loves cars about where I could get it, he mentioned that SpectraFlair isn't the only thing that can be added to paint to give an effect. He was in fact using something called Blue Pearl to give his black car a blue iridescence  He threw some into a clear coat and sent it to me to play with. 

Ok, first the official stuffs. This is an automotive additive and not a cosmetic grade glitter. I have no idea if there are legal ramifications in making and selling this in polish form, but I'm just putting this out there now. It's not cosmetic grade and hasn't been approved by whoever approves this kind of thing.

Indoors in the shade.

With the legal stuffs out of the way I'll say this is a pretty cool, but a limited use polish. I've only gotten good results over black polish, but over black polish this stuff is AMAZING! Even in shade and indoors it is a stunner. Outside in the sun and its a knockout. Here I have 2 coats of my blackest black polish, Orly "Liquid Vinyl" and 3 or 4 coats of the Blue Pearl topcoat. One or two would have been enough, but I got carried away :)
A well shaken bottle. He added the Blue Pearl powder to a Sally Hansen
clear topcoat.

One drawback is that it settles in the bottle quickly and needs to be shaken up constantly. Even between one coat and the next it started to settle fast, and that much shaking means air bubbles. I've tried the polish over other colors with various results, but black is the only clear cut beauty so far. With the other colors, the blue just doesn't come thru clearly or sometimes at all.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Heat Activated Color Change Polish

The idea behind heat reactive polish is it will be one color closer to your cuticle and gradually turn into another color as it gets to the edge of the nail where it is colder. A gradient effect in one polish. That's the idea at least. For some reason this polish just refused to work for me. I just could not get the purple color to show thru. I don't know if it is the brand, the ambient temperature that day or if I was doing something wrong, but this whole polish was a fail for me.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Faux Celtic Knot

I really want a plate with Celtic Knots on it, but the only one I've found so far is Messy Mansion and she's sold out of it right now. So for now I'll use BM322. It reminds me more of a quilt square I adore (Maze of Madness) and I wish it stamped the lines, not the empty spaces, but it will do for now. It's still a good stamp even if it isn't a Celtic Knot. Sinful Colors "Exotic Green", China Glaze "Running in Circles" and stamped with Maybelline Color Show "Bold Gold".

Sunday, May 5, 2013

How To Stamp

It's no secret I love stamping. Cheaper than nail polish strips or decals and easier than freehand, they are a simple way to get really complex looking nail art. But just what is stamping? What do you need and how do you do it? Well I'll do my best to go step by step and show you just how to stamp your nails.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Black and White Scrollwork

When I did my Thunderstorm mani I fell in love with the thumb. The combination of Orly "Liquid Vinyl" and Milani "White On The Spot" was stunning. So I decided to do that on the whole hand. I love it! Black and white mani's always seem so classy and elegant. My favorite fingers here are the middle and the thumb, the stamp just lined up better on those fingers.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Liquid Sand

Ok, so textured polish is all the rage right now and I figured I'd like to give it a shot. But most of these polishes are stupid expensive. So imagine my glee when I stumbled across someone selling polishes at a local farmer's market for 2.50 a bottle!! I got 9 Orlys (I only had one bottle of that brand so I figured now was as good as any time to fill up on that brand) and this OPI. It's from the Mariah Carey collection and its a lovely purple gritty glitter called "Can't Let Go".

I'm kind of torn when it comes to this "textured" fad in polish right now. It's cool to have new things and effects in polish, but the sandpaper-y feel bugs me. I'm not sure I can get comfortable wearing it. Check out close ups of this polish after the jump.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It Can't Rain All The Time

The weather has been gorgeous for the last couple days, but thunderstorms are rolling in and soon. I tried to do this mani as almost a progression of a storm. The thumb is the darkest heart of the storm (Orly "Liquid Vinyl" stamped with Milani "White On The Spot") followed by the dark grey clouds on the index finger (Pure Ice "Kiss Me Here" stamped with Wet n Wild "Ebony Hates Chris"). The middle finger shows the storm lightening up (Orly "Mirror Mirror" stamped with "White On The Spot" again). A rainbow on the ring finger (China Glaze "Hey Sailor", Sally Hansen "Lightning", Sinful Colors "Exotic Green" and "Sweet Nothing", and just a touch of Wet n Wild "Buffy the Violet Slayer" that barely showed up on the finger) And finally happy puffy white clouds on the pinky (Sally Hansen "White On" stamped with "Ebony Hates Chris" again) I almost stamped in a royal blue, but I really wanted the rainbow to be the only color on the fingers. I think it turned out alright. Stamped with BundleMonster BM312. Wow, that was ALOT of polishes.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mystery Polish

Most of us have them. Mystery polishes. Bottles so old you don't remember ever buying them. Maybe Mom gave them to me. Maybe it was some thrift store or garage sale years ago. Maybe they were here when I bought the house. However they got into my stash, these 4 bottles are so old the name brand has worn off and I'm very curious as to what that brand is. If anyone can help, post in the comments. I've included many shots of the bottles and swatches to help the sleuths out there.