Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Non Konad Nail Art

Recently I have seen several pictures of some simple geometric nail art that I thought I had a pretty good chance  of replicating.   The first was the Zoya nail designs for the Leanne Marshall show during fashion week in NY.
The second are the designs that All Lacquered Up reported were being used by CND for the Diego Binetti show.

I liked the look of both of these but I had no idea how to accomplish either (I can't freehand) until I discovered this manicure from On Beauty and Polish and the swoop technique from Lacquer Laine.

I really liked the idea of a holo design (mainly because I thought it might hide an goof with the shininess) so I started with a base coat of China Glaze DV8.  Let me take a minute here to rave about how incredible DV8 is.  This is hands down my favorite holo that I own.  Some holos don't really look holo in certain lights but DV8 glimmers in dim and bright light, artificial and sunlight.  Aside from the holo...the color is fantastic.
China Glaze DV8 (2 coats) with top
Next, I used French manicure strips to tape off part of my nail and painted the bottom half with China Glaze LOL.  I used 2 coats because my first coat was a little uneven, this mad the overall manicure a little thick but it still looked pretty good.
CG DV8 and LOL
I was happy with how this turned out but as the day went on I felt more an more like a court jester because the colors were so bright.  Next time I am going to try it with more subdued colors or only one bright one.  Its interesting that the linear holo pattern stayed the same even though it was bisected in the middle of the nail.  Does anyone else have any unique ways to use french manicure strips?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rock the Red Pump - China Glaze Ruby Pumps

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness day and keeping with that theme today I wore my red patent leather peep toe pumps and a China Glaze Ruby Pumps mani. 

Ruby Pumps is one of my favorite polishes, it is a perfect color red for me, it has glitter, and it is a jelly.  I mean what more could a girl ask for?  Oh and it gives complete coverage in two coats without any of the lumpiness of a regular glitter.  Its nice and smooth like a foil.  This is one of those polishes that even non lacquerheads and people who like mom colors can appreciate...I mean its red nothing wrong with that and the glitter stands out but its not in your face (like the glitter in a polish like Dorthy Who?).
China Glaze Ruby Pumps (2 coats) with top

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Konad Plate Contest from Painted Lady Fingers!

Diana at Painted Lady Fingers  is having a contest for 8 Konad plates.  Even better this it for the 8 NEW plates.  This is a totally awesome opportunity to add to your nail art stash ladies.  Go check it out.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Franken - The Deranged Milliner

Alice in Wonderland comes out today and I am very excited, I love Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, and Helena Bonham Carter.  I had planned all along to pick up OPI Absolutely Alice and Mad as a Hatter for the weekend of the release but I am an epic procrastinator.  So when I went to Ulta last week to grab some and found that they were all sold out I was a bit annoyed.  My week was too busy to get down to the nail supply stores in the metroplex so I decided to use my shopping failure as a topic for my Friday Franken.

My goal here was to dupe Mad as a Hatter and I think I did pretty well though there are some differences.    From the pictures I saw there is a royal blue and more gold in Mad as a Hatter and I didn't have the right blue available.  I compensated with a little aquamarine.  Mine is darker it seems, I had a really hard time finding good close ups of Mad as a Hatter.
Deranged Milliner (3 coats) with top
Deranged Milliner close up
  • Various Martha Stewart Glitters (list is at the bottom)
  • Wet n  Wild Clear
  • Pinch Dash Smidgen Measuring Spoons
  • Funnel
  • Ballz 
  1. Measure out 1 smidgen of each glitter, mix them well in a container while dry.
  2. Add clear and ballz.  Shake.
The mixed glitter before polish

I used a bunch of Martha Stewart Glitter in this, at least one color dissolved  but I'm not sure which it was, I suspect orange and green but I need to test them.   I grabbed these at Michaels in packs.

Does anyone know which glitters do/do not dissolve?

Mega list of glitter....
Garnet, Orange Sorbet, Yellow Barite, Charoite
Sour Apple, Aquamarine Crystal, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli

Blueberry Slush, Watermelon, Feldspar, Sugar Plum
Sterling, Onyx, Hematite

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Metal Madness - Failed Manicure and an Old Konad

So I had planned to swatch New York Summer Hot Metallic Gold for today but last night I decided to upgrade my computer.  So after a trip to Fry's and 2.5 hours spent swapping out my memory, processor, cpu fan and motherboard (read that as take the entire damn box apart and rebuild with the new parts) it was late and I didn't have time to change my polish.  I did have time to bleed all over my jeans as the cooling fan has sharp bits on it.

So instead I am posting one of the first pictures I took of my nails. This is China Glaze Avalanche (lavender metallic) with the zebra pattern from M57 China Glaze Millennium stamped.  I haven't swatched/reviewed either of these yet but I have used multiple times.  The Avalanche is pretty but you end up with pretty awful brushstrokes, totally alright if you are Konading with or over it though!  Millennium is great to Konad with though it does tend to dry really fast.

Sorry about the crappy photo quality, this was taken with my phone and no flash.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Metal Madness - Fingerpaints Easel Come, Easel Go

Last week I was in Sally hoping for awesome clearance nail polish and I stumbled across a Fingerpaints that looked more like a bottle of Minx than polish.  The best part is that it had a giant orange clearance sticker on it, yay!

Easel Come, Easel Go is a silver foil that looks like molten silver in the bottle.  I just knew it was going to be more than the average silver nail polish.  The formula was amazing and I had glossy, metallic nails in 2 thin coats.  Up close there is a slight texture but at arms length it really looks like my nails have been chromed.  The best response about this little gem is something one of my students said during lab today, "your nails are very distracting today, I was having a hard time paying attention to notes because they are so shiny."

I think this a a pretty close dupe for Orly Shine from the new Foil FX Collection but I still haven't bought that one yet.   

Has anyone else tested out Shine and Easel Come, Easel Go?
Easel Come Easel Go (2 coats) with top
Ooooooh shiny! Easel Come Easel Go up close and personal
I match my coffee mug!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Metal Madness - Orly Iron Butterfly

For my second metallic this week I choose Orly Iron Butterfly (also in the recent package from Head 2 Toe).   Let me start by saying I love this polish...LOVE.  I saw swatches on line and new that I had to possess it. I even liked how this one looked matte!
Orly Iron Butterfly 3 coats no top, excuse the dirty cuticles please, this stuff is a beast to get out of dried skin.
It applied nice and thin and smooth, though that means all the ridges in my nails are apparent.   Again as a matte, foil-like polish it dried pretty much instantly.  Application was easy and full coverage was easily attained with 2 coats (though this is 3 since I had issues with 2 chipping).  As a matte this looks like really tarnished silver or pewter, a blackened silver if you will.

I am not sure If I can really call this a metallic, I mean it has silver in it but it also has a lot of black/charcoal.  It reminds me a lot of Man Glaze's Matte is Murder except more sparkly.  Up close it was almost like a black matte with silver micro glitter though.
Close up of Orly Iron Butterfly without top.  Its blurry but you can see the weird mottled pattern that is present in the Orly Metal Chic Metallic Matte collection.  The Glam Rock has a similar pattern.
I had a REALLY hard time keeping this on my nails, it just kept chipping.  I'm not sure if it was my base coat or what (I am thinking about trying the Orly Bonder with it, has anyone used it?).  Eventually I just touched up the chips and slapped on a top coat to solve the problem.  Interesting side note...when you remove this polish (and the Glam Rock) you end up with a nice smooth layer of just the silver initially.  The remover seems to take the gray or copper polish off before the silver foil (I think its foil).  This made touch ups easy as pie since I could use a dab of polish and have a nice smooth surface of silver foil to paint.  No weird ridges from filling in chips. 
Iron Butterfly (3 coats) with top
As much as I love this as a matte, I love it even more with a topcoat on it.  It gives the polish a whole different look.  Much more black and silver glittery and less tarnished metal.  The gloss seems to accentuate the individual silver bits and make the charcoal look darker.

Iron Butterfly with top coat up close and personal
I didn't get the Solid Gold as it reminds me a lot of OPI Bling Dynasty, well the antiqued gold part does.  I know the style of polish is completely different but I already have 3 antique gold polishes.  Does anyone have both Solid Gold and Bling Dynasty?  How close are the colors?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Metal Madness Day 1 - Orly Glam Rock

Ok so for day one of Metal Madness week I decided to try out my brand new bottle of Orly Glam Rock.  I fell in love with both this and Iron Butterfly after seeing them on Scrangie recently.  Of course I had ignored them for months at Sally's and had to order them from Head 2 Toe, but happily they were still available and it gave me an excuse to place an order.

This is an interesting polish, I think it is a foil but I am not 100% sure.  It applies thin and covers completely in 2 coats (though I did 3).  On a side note, don't try to paint your nails with polish that has been sitting on the porch all day after being delivered when it is below 40 degrees outside. The polish looked mixed, I shook it even more and its still applied funky.  I painted at night and had some inconsistencies so I waited until morning and then started from scratch with a nice room temperature bottle.   It dries to a matte finish which I wasn't crazy about on the Glam Rock, but it does dry very quickly!
Glam Rock (3 coats) with flash
I had a really hard time capturing how copper this polish looks.  It is kind of a mottled copper with silver up close.  I wasn't loving it matte so I put on a nice layer of Seche.
Glam Rock (3 coats) with top.  Again it isn't nearly this gold in person 
This photo show how copper Glam Rock really is

See how the silver and copper are mixed together on the nail.  Its really unique.
One of the things I love about copper is it seems to look great on everyone.  One of my friends painted her nails with it too and we took a picture so you can see how nice it complements a wide range of complexions (because yes I am pasty white).

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Friday Franken - Bronze Medal

Yeah I know its not Friday.  I wore this Friday and took the photos Saturday night but I got distracted and forgot to post it.  Has anyone seen Up?  "My master made me this collar so that I could SQUIRREL!"  Well that is me lately.

So the Olympics got me in the mood for some metallics so I am declaring this week metal week, well I might save a couple days for Alice in Wonderland themed polish since the movie is out Friday.  I realized after watching the USA take the bronze medal in woman's bobsled that I don't own a bronze polish.  So I set out to make one that matched the bronze medal from this years games.

2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Bronze Medal
  • Wet n Wild Shine Clear
  • Sinful Colors Mercury Rising
  • NYX Ultra Pearl Mania Loose Eyeshadow (Oro or Mink, the label is missing)
  • Ballz
  1. Mix 1/2 a bottle of WnW clear with 1/2 tsp of NYX eyehadow and 3 ballz, mix well.
  2. Add 20 drops Mercury Rising (this just adds some depth and makes it less gold)
  3. This only makes about 2/3 of an ounce.
This was by far the easiest Franken I have done, the NYX dissolved instantly.  I will definitely be buying more of it in different colors for future mad scientist, frankening pursuits.  Anyone have a favorite NYX color?
Bronze Medal
Bronze Medal (3 coats) and top with flash , excuse the tip wear I wore this for over 24 hours before I remembered to charge the camera batter.
Bronze Medal in sort of sunlight, minimal tip wear after almost 36 hours, pretty amazing actually.

Since the actual medal is a combination of  brushed and shiny bronze I decided on day 3 to Konad using CG Matte Magic. This was utter fail as the Matte Magic kept drying before I could get it stamped and then I ended up with white film hanging off my nails.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eureka! I Have Found it - OPI Merry Mignight

Ok so some of you know that I have been traipsing all over the city looking for Merry Midnight from the 2009 OPI Holiday Wishes Collection with zero luck.  I checked nail mecca.....nada, Trade, Pennys and Ulta also came up big zeros.  I even tried stopping by some of the local salons and just asking, "Hey do you have a bottle I can buy, I don't even care if its new."  One lady told me to check Sally's.  SALLY'S!  Seriously?!  I had to tell the nice lady that Sally's doesn't carry OPI.

I was sad.  I made the decision to order it online and was really surprised to discover that I could only find a couple bottles on Ebay and 2 random online vendors that listed it.  I wasn't familiar with either vendor so I was dragging my feet hoping it would magically appear and had basically given up on it.  Luckily a fellow nail polish crack head reminded me that Victoria Nail Supply might have it....DUH.  So we set up an order of things we didn't need and prepared to send it in.  That afternoon we happened to be stopping by a store new to me that carries Zoya (I posted about that earlier this week) and the gods of nailpolish must have smiled down on me because there it was in all its purple, foil, glittery glory....Merry Midnight.

OPI Merry Midnight (3 coats) and top

The formula on this was perfect, even I was able to apply nice thin coats.  I had full coverage in 2 coats but the color was more pink than the bottle so I added a third.  Let me just say this...I love foils, they go on so nice and thin, and smooth, and holy nail polish batman...they dry in no time flat.  The glitter in this is really small also so there isn't any of the lumpiness of a normal glitter.

Can anyone recommend any other foils? I just picked up Orly Glam Rock and Iron Butterfly and I have Finger paints Icy Iris and Easel Come, Easel Go but I want to try some in other colors.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Zoya Ciara

The Zoya sale last week prompted me to go track down a bottle of Zoya so I could try it out before deciding if I wanted to order or not.  I stopped by Blooming Beauty, which carries the full range of Zoya and a ton of OPI and Nubar (though no Prisms yet darn it!).  I walked in expecting to buy a bottle of Gwin but decided that it was too bright and that I should really try a creme first rather than a duochrome or frost.  I tend to have better luck with creme application and there is usually fewer brush marks and  drag issues so to be fair I picked up Ciara.  This is not a typical color for me, it is a lot brighter than it looks in this photo. Well in daylight it is, in dim light it looks almost like a red plum. 
Zoya Ciara (2 coats) with top.  The ridge line on my ring finger is from poor application of Seche, I was in a rush to get my dog to his best friend's birthday party.....yes birthday party for a dog.

Let me preface this by saying that I like thick polishes, it lets me be lazy and do 2 coats. Besides I fail at applying thin coats so thick polishes make me feel like I am doing something right as there isn't any streakiness. This polish applied like cement, or white out...remember painting your nails with white out in middle school?  Anyway it was REALLY viscous and didn't flow off the brush at all and was very slow to dry.   Next time I use this I am definitely going to add thinner.  On the positive side the color was very vibrant and it really didn't smell as much strongly as many other polishes.  I mean it smelled still, just not as much.  

I really like the idea of investing in some less stinky polishes, I feel like I am gassing my poor husband and friends regularly.  Does anyone know if all the Zoya's are thick or did I just get a partially dried out bottle?

And just so you believe me....
My puppy Indy...yes we named the dog Indiana

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lemming Luck - OPI My Private Jet

About two weeks ago I was trolling through my favorite nail supply store in DFW looking for OPI Merry Midnight.  It was nowhere to be found but as I strolled down the discontinued OPI polish aisle I saw a dark bottle sitting in an old OPI Brights display tucked away on a top shelf.  As I picked it up I got a little excited....could it be?  I flipped the bottle over...YES.  OPI My Private Jet, the holo version, and it looked like the old version.  I am not 100% sure though on whether this is the original batch or not as this is the only bottle of MPJ I have ever seen in real life. 
OPI My Private Jet
Initially I tried this with a top coat but it was just not as shiny or holographic that way so I slapped another coat of polish on top.  I like this but I think I like Color Club Revvvolution better from looking at it on other people.  I still want to try Revvvolution and Daimond Cosmetics Chainmail Charm.
OPI My Private Jet
OPI My Private Jet with flash

OPI My Private Jet sunlight

Close Up

So what do you guys think, is this the original My Private Jet Formula?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Franken - Panama City Beach

The last three weeks of snow and rain have resulted in a fairly severe case of spring fever....when is spring break?  In my quest to cheer myself up I am focusing on all things vacation...aka, the beach!  My husband and I try to spend some time every summer at his mom's house in Panama City Beach and the inspiration for this Franken is a combination of Rescue Beauty Lounge 360 and the deep, blue gray of a summer sky in PCB.

  • China Glaze Up All Night
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Green With Envy
  • Wet and Wild French White Creme
  • Sinful Colors Out of This World
  • Wet and Wild BlackCreme
  • Ballz
  1. I used an empty New York Summer bottle and added 1/4 Up All Night and 1/3 WnW French White Creme.  
  2. Add 1/4 bottle Sinful Colors Out of This World
  3. Mixed in 20 drops Green with Envy and 30 drops WnW Black Creme
  4. Add 3 ballz, shake.
 Panama City Beach
I am very happy with this color.  It looks pretty gray in some light and much more blue in other light.  It ended up being super pigmented (even though I didn't add any raw pigments) and was bottle true with one coat.  I used two coats here anyway and a fairly thick layer of the store brand top from my local nail supply mecca.
PCB 2 coats with top

PCB in sunlight

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not Nfu Oh.....Sad Panda

OK, I am seriously lemming for several of the Nfu Oh opal flake polishes.  When I picked up NYX Pink Ave earlier this week it was with the hopes that I could layer it over a duochrome and come up with something that has the same feel as Nfu Oh 51 or 52.  Along those lines I put together a really quick manicure.
Glacier bay Blues (3 coats), NYC Pink Ave (1 coat), and top
My pointer in this photo show a bit of the green in the Glacier Bay Blues.
I used 3 coats OPI Glacier Bay Blues as my base and put a coat of NYX Pink Ave on top.  Glacier Bay Blues is a fairly fantastic polish as it looks blue straight on but has both green and purple duochrome tendencies.  The Pink Ave is much less opal flaky and much more giant glittery, but it is still iridescent and I got several compliments on this for the 5 hours I left it on.

I had two problems with this mani.   The first was that the glitter looked lovely iridescent  right until I put a topcoat on, then it just looked rainbow, and frankly kind of dull even beneath a coat of Seche.  The second, and much bigger issue, was that this manicure never fully hardened.   Five hours later I was still having dents and fingerprints in my nails.  I am not sure if it was the combination of NYX and OPI or the Glacier Bay Blues itself.  About 2 months ago I used the Glacier Bay Blues with Color Club topcoat and had a similar issue.

Has anyone else had issues with either OPI or NYX not curing properly?

Mardi Gras

You know what the best part about a Mardi Gras manicure is?  I FINALLY got to use my week old bottle of OPI Jade is the New Black.  The entire week of Valentine's Day I had this green gem sitting on my nightstand taunting me.  I just couldn't bring myself to put it in the Helmer with the rest of my stash, it provided emotional support in a sea of red, pink and purple (and I really love red and purple). 

This color is simply luscious....I didn't know green could be luscious but this is.  Application was smooth, though it was a bit thin and required 3 coats.  This is one of those colors you just can't help looking at all day.
OPI Jade is the New Black (3 coats) with top
Initially I wanted to do something simple, a nice 2 color blended stamp on just part of the nail.  I choose floral cluster from plate M51 and painted Rimmel Night Before (purple) across the base of the design and New York Summer Hot Metallic Gold across the top and then stamped it at the end of my nail.  This resulted in kind of a striped purple, gold.
The photo is complete crap and frankly I didn't really like the effect.  I think it would have been better with purple at the tip and gold in the middle.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Beauty Credit Haul

I stopped at the local Korean Market on Monday and found a bin of "clearance" Beauty Credit nail polishes.  Will power in the face of untried foreign nail polish brands escapes me.  Oh and while I was there I picked up a couple NYX polishes too.

Beauty Credit Lovely Art Nail Spring Pink (yes I know it is lavender), Ice Green, Black Drop (oooooh gold glitter in there), and Sugar Orange.

I am fairly certain that the Ice Green and the Sugar Orange would be sheer with 7 coats but I bought them to layer.   The Black Drop is so cool my husband actually suggested that one.

NYX Pink Ave and I smell a blue/green duochrome?  Fingers are crossed, actually I have a feeling I will be frankening these together.

I found a brief thread about beauty credit on MUA, but there wasn't really much on the polishes.  Has anyone used Beauty Credit nail polish?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Nail Maintenance Blog Link

Ok I am in the process of moving my office/craft room out of storage and my husbands office into my own space.  I am very excited as this will give me space to keep my stash, all my sewing junk and my dance costumes.  The only down side is since I am furnishing the room from Ikea I have to put all the furniture together.  So this weekend I built 2 desks and moved a bunch of stuff and in the process split 4 nails (2 on each hand).

Luckily for me I had read Colette at My Simple Little Pleasures tutorial on repairing split nails with silk wraps on Thursday.  So off to Sally to pick up supplies, and happily I only had to cut one of the 4 down.  The split was close enough to the side of the nail that the wrap wasn't supporting the nail well and it finally just broke despite the wrap. 

If you haven't checked out Colette's tutorials pop over and watch/read a few.  She has some really amazing holo water marbles in addition to great nail care tips.

Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day/Chinese New Year Manicures

I am late posting these because my parents were in town this weekend (a major production since the airports were non functional part of the weekend).  They thought me photographing my nails was funny but I didn't want to push my luck by busting out the Photoshop and starting to Blog.

This is my manicure from Saturday the 13th.  I have been a belly dancer for the past 10 years and Saturday my troupe danced at a Mardi Gras fund raiser so I wanted to get in the spirit.

I started with a base of Fingerpaints Icy Iris, which I have had for a month but hadn't had an opportunity to use yet.  EVERYTHING you have heard about Icy Iris is true.  It applies smooth, with full coverage in 2 coats and it is freaking gorgeous.  For those of you that haven't seen it, this is a deep purple with lighter purple/raspberry foil particles.  The foil is very small so it looks like very small glitter but it is sooooo much smoother, it also dries really fast. It was slightly dull to my eye once it dried but nothing a layer of top didn't fix.
Fingerpaints Icy Iris 2 coats with top.  The foil is pinker in person.  Yes that is 12 inches of snow in Dallas in the background.

Once I had a nice purple base I grabbed Rimmel Camouflage and New York Summer Hot Metallic Gold and Konad plate M69.  I painted the bottom of the ribbon design (well they look like ribbons to me) green and the top half gold and as Emeril would say BAM!
   Mardi Gras konadicure with flash, yes I am that pale.  The light box comes tomorrow hopefully photos will improve.

By Sunday I was tired of all things Valentine's Day and was really looking forward to a nice Chinese New Year mani in red...thats enough Valentine's Day cheer right?  Last week on my snow day I grabbed a new Konad plate I have been wanting to experiment with, M66 the one that shows parts of an Asian landscape.

I borrowed this picture from but I have never used their site for anything but looking at Konad plates, they have HUGE pictures of each.

Anyway I had been wanting to use little bits and pieces of the whole plate on different nails so each nail was different.  Chinese New Year gave me a great excuse to buy the plate and try this out.
China Rouge (2 coats) with top

I began with 2 coats of my favorite red creme, China Glaze China Rouge and then stamped New York Summer Hot Metallic Gold (hey its my go to gold stamping polish).  The overall manicure ended up being very subtle as the lines on most of these designs are very thin.  Black or silver would have provided more contrast.  It looked nice but you didn't really notice the designs unless you were close to my hands.  Photographing this was a complete nightmare, I couldn't get pictures that showed the details at all.
This is the best one I was able to get:
pinky - chrysanthemum (I think thats what it is)
ring - bamboo
index - woman
pointer - lotus
thumb - cherry blossom (not in picture though) 
I almost didn't post this as the photo looks like poop but I like the idea, I just need to use colors with more contrast between them.