Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Penelope Spiced Up

There a times when one needs to be dressed very professionally for work.  On these instances I have a stash of appropriate wear to work polishes, such as Zoya Penelope.  Penelope is a dusty, mauve pink that doesn't really stand out on her own.

Pretty, but not that flashy.

There are also times that one is scheduled to head out with friends right after work and wishes that their nails had a bit more sparkle.  Enter Essie Shine of the Times - flakes of glitter that seem to range in colors from red, orange, gold, and green.

Much better!

Have you used a special effects type polish to spruce up a plain manicure for a night out?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week 5: Newspaper Manicure

The challenge for the fifth week of the year was to try a newspaper manicure.  This was my first successful attempt at doing a newspaper manicure and it's one I'd like to try again, but with more meaningful things than random pieces of newspaper.  I'm thinking comics?  I'd still like to try a periodic table of elements one of these days; I'm on the lookout for a paper copy in either of my research labs that I could use.  We'll see.

For this manicure I used pieces of newsprint from the classifieds section because the print is much smaller and therefore much more dense.  I thought I'd have a higher success rate of at least getting some image to transfer if I had a dense transfer image.

For this I used three coats of OPI Skull & Glossbones as the base, dunked my finger in isopropyl alcohol for five seconds, then pressed the newspaper down for fifteen seconds to create the newspaper images.  Finally I topped everything with a coat of Seche Vite to make it all shiny.  I found that the final top coat image really helped to enhance the newsprint image - did anyone else notice the same thing?

Friday, January 27, 2012


"Say my name, say my name.  If no one is around you, say baby I  - "

Oh, hi there!  I didn't see you come in.  Today I have a quick post to show you one of the polishes I picked up during the People Magazine Zoya holiday promotion.  This polish is Kristen from their Winter FEEL collection. And I was thrilled, thrilled! when Zoya decided to spell this polish as Kristen and not Kristin, Christen, Christin, Krysten, Krystin, and so on and so forth.  Because anyone named Kristen would tell you that this is the best way to spell the name :D

Okay - on to the nail polish!

I think Kristen is a beautiful, soft blue-grey color that looks amazing.  The blue gives the grey the little extra oomph it needs to stand out from other greys I've seen.  I received numerous compliments on this color while I was wearing it and will probably be sporting it again soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jamaica Me Crazy

I picked up this polish while I was back home visiting my family for Christmas and I love the super bright color of it.  Essie Jamaica Me Crazy is a great pick me up for the winter!

A lovely fuchsia color with little hint of shimmer.  The shimmer on the nail is less noticeable than in the bottle (sad) and it didn't play well with Seche Vite (see pointer and middle finger).  But the color is still bright, opaque after a coat and a half, and makes me smile when I look at my hands.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week 4: Plaid Manicure

The challenge for Week 4 was plaid and this quickly turned into a hot mess on my nails.  The vision I had for this was more uniform and layered, this is streaky and just...not what I imagined.  Also?  It looks much better from a distance.  Here it is:

I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hard as Wraps Sheer Lilac Gloss as the base, then using Konad plate M60 stamped Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Whirlwind White followed by Konad Special Polish in Black.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Week 3: Color Block Manicure

Week 3 Color Block Manicure was a test of my taping ability.  For this challenge I used the following imaged I pinned on Pinterest for inspiration (BTW if you know the original source for this image please let me know!):

Source:  thenailbank.tumblr.com  via Kristen on Pinterest   

Here's my take:

What do you think?  I started with a base of Essie Eternal Optimist, followed by taping off areas to paint Sally Hansen I Pink I Can, Zoya Areej, and Butter London Rosie Lee.  In between each layer I used a coat of Seche Vite so that the tape wouldn't pull off the layers below.  I forgot what an absolute pain in the bottom this type of manicure is half way though it, but thanks to Hulu I finished it.  And its been much too long since I've worn pink on a Wednesday!

Finally, here is a shot of Essie Eternal Optimist on its own.  This is my go to wear to work polish color.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Week 3: Color Block Manicure

Week 3 Color Block Manicure was a test of my taping ability.  For this challenge I used the following imaged I pinned on Pinterest for inspiration (BTW if you know the original source for this image please let me know!):

Source:  thenailbank.tumblr.com  via Kristen on Pinterest   

Here's my take:

What do you think?  I started with a base of Essie Eternal Optimist, followed by taping off areas to paint Sally Hansen I Pink I CanZoya Areej, and Butter London Rosie Lee.  In between each layer I used a coat of Seche Vite so that the tape wouldn't pull off the layers below.  I forgot what an absolute pain in the bottom this type of manicure is half way though it, but thanks to Hulu I finished it.  And its been much too long since I've worn pink on a Wednesday!

Finally, here is a shot of Essie Eternal Optimist on its own.  This is my go to wear to work polish color.

Today I'm joining Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, Craigslist, and others to urge action against SOPA.  

Don't just sit there, please make the call to your congress person.  

Not from the United States? Tune in tomorrow for the regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week 2: French Tip Manicure

Last week was Week Two of the 52 Week Challenge.  My apologies for not getting this up sooner (you know, like last week...)!  The boyfriend decided he needed to build a new computer, which meant I got a new computer.  Everything is still in a transition phase as my old computer becomes our file server.

For this manicure I chose to do the Zoya French Twist manicure instead of doing a typical french tip manicure.

Definitely not great, but I feel better about how this looks than a white on soft pink base.  I need to work on my ability to free-hand tips.  The base is Zoya Caitlin, the tips are Zoya Dove.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fowl Play

Fowl Play is a polish I've had for a while now but just haven't gotten around to wearing.  It's a darker color that I would normally wear so I'm guessing it's the less than hours of sunlight that's drawing me to use this color.  I am ready for spring to be here!

Anyway, here are the glory shots of Orly's Fowl Play:

Predominately, this is a dark purple jelly polish with large orange flakes.  I saw other photos of this polish where the orange flakes would turn other colors (like red and green) but all I see is orange.  There are however little bits of blue and red glitter, plus even smaller pieces of silver microglitter that combine to make this a polish that is ever changing its appearance.  

Fowl Play is still not one I'd wear on a regular basis but is a nice color to have on hand for when a darker color strikes my mood.  Does anyone else feel the same way I do about this polish?  From the way I've heard people rave about the color I definitely feel like I'm committing some sort of nail polish color sin.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Week 1: "Make It Sparkle" Manicure

New Years weekend I was in Minnesota vising my family.  Away from my large assortment of polish materials, I packed only the essentials: remover, base coat, top coat, and one polish.  That polish that I packed was Wet and Wild's ColorIcon Cost is No Issue from their Ice Baby Collection.  I wanted something loaded with glitter for New Years Eve and this color sat in my untrieds begging to come along.

I'm completely envious of those who can paint their nails with glitter and either do it neatly or do fabulous clean up.  I was moderately neat and clean up was terrible.

Cost is No Issue is a pretty teal glitter with a few dark blue (larger) glitters tossed in.  It's very bright and sparkly but absolutely ravenous for top coat.  I used four coats of Cost is No Issue to get adequate coverage and two coats of Seche Vite but the top glitter.

I'm completely behind one getting the ball rolling this year with posting my manicures.  I usually schedule my posts in advance because, well, life keeps me busy and I don't have time to paint my nails and write a post about it all in one.  I've been gone the last three weekends in a row but this weekend I'm home - perfect for getting caught up!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Orly Nail Rescue

Vile Wrench Holder
I have fallen in love with Orly Nail Rescue.  I bought it this past fall and used it a couple of times then, but it wasn't until now that I've gotten the hang of using it where I can get good results.  The other day I was trying to pull out an 8 mm wrench from its wrench holder and wound up causing a break between the nail plate and the free edge for half of my nail.

I had two options:
1) Carefully remove the broken piece
2) Use Orly Nail Rescue and save my "long" nails!

Option one involved reducing the length of my nail by a little over 1/4th of an inch (yeesh!) so I chose option two.  The Orly Nail Rescue kit, which I bought at Sally Beauty, includes brush-on glue, repair powder, and a little file.  I haven't used the file because I find its shape awkward and hard to hold.

The kit is very easy to use.  Simply paint a little glue over the crack, then dip your finger in the powder.  I've found that if I complete three full cycles of glue, dip, brush off excess glue that the break will stay held together really well.  It also helps just to put glue along the crack and not anywhere else on your nail.

Check out this before and after using the nail rescue kit:

Filing the glued area till it's level ensures that the fix is invisible under nail polish.  Okay - sometimes it's a little lumpy (look at my pinky and middle fingers in this post) but I'd rather have lumpy that stubby.  I've had this crack in my middle finger since December 19th and I'm pleased that I've been able to keep my nail long until I can file the nail to match the others.

I prefer this kit to the tea bag method because I suck at cutting bags that match the shape of my nail bed and I find that I file away the tea bag way too easily.

Have you used Orly Nail Rescue before?  What are your thoughts on fixing breaks?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 21: Inspired by a COLOR

Welcome to the most ambiguous day of the Longest 31 Day Challenge (stretches over two years now!).  I arrived at this design in a very round about way. I had my significant other pick a color (he chose blue), then I started wanting to do a gradient sponging of different blues and maybe stamp something on top.  What I ended up doing was using three coats of Sinful Colors Gorgeous as my base, then stamping Bundle Monster plate BM-212 on top with Konad Special Polish in Black, followed by alternating diagonal rows of dots of Zoya Charla and Zoya Ivanka.

How does this fit with the theme of "Inspired by a Color"?  Let's just say that I was inspired by the aqua-green-teal colors in Gorgeous to add Charla and Ivanka.  I'm glad I was - the colors compliment each other so well and this design turned out much better than I had originally hoped for.

One of the perks of photographing my right hand instead of my left is that I can experiment with my final design on my left before coming up with a design I like.  For example, my pinkie and ring finger on my left hand just have Zoya Charla dots.  My index finger has alternating straight rows of dots, and my middle finger has diagonal rows of dots.  Since everything is in the same color family, the differences aren't noticeable from a distance and don't bother me.

And once more!

Monday, January 2, 2012

52 Week Challenge

LizMarie from I'm Simply Complex posted a 52 Week Challenge on the Polish-aholics Anonymous group on Facebook and it sounds like a really fun idea.  I've been liking my slow pace with the Longest 31 Day Challenge and I like that this new challenge will only require once a week.  I also feel like the 31 Challenge has helped me grow my nail polishing and photographing skills and with the 52 Week Challenge my skills will be able to grow even more.

For this challenge I'm excited to join:
The challenges are:
1. Jan. 1st - "Make it Sparkle" Mani. 
- Pull out your Best looking glitter, flakie or holo and bring in the New Year with a "Bang". 
2. Jan. 8th - French Tip Mani.
3. Jan. 15th - Color Block Mani. 
4. Jan. 22nd - Plaid Mani. 
5. Jan. 29th - Newspaper Mani.
6. Feb. 5th - Half-moon Mani.
7. Feb. 12th - "Valentine's Day" Mani. 
8. Feb. 19th - Corset Mani. 
9. Feb. 26th - "Vintage" Mani. 
10. Mar. 4th - Polka Dot Mani
11. Mar. 11th - "St. Patrick's Day" Mani.
12. Mar. 18th - Skittle Mani. 
13. Mar. 25th - Ruffian Mani. 
14. Apr. 1st - Striped Mani.
15. Apr. 8th - "Easter Day" Mani. 
16. Apr. 15th - Dotticure Mani. 
17. Apr. 22nd - "Earth Appreciation" Mani.
18. Apr. 29th - Cartoon Mani. 
19. May. 6th - Floral Mani.
20. May. 13th - Bows Mani. 
21. May. 20th - Fruit Mani.

22. May. 27th - Splatter Mani.
23. Jun. 3rd - Ombre Mani. 
24. Jun. 10th - Flag Mani. 
25. Jun. 17th - Pride/Rainbow Mani. 
26. Jun. 24th - Neon Mani. 
27. July. 1st - "Canada Day" Mani. 
28. July. 8th - Gradient Mani. 
29. July. 15th - "Rockstar" Mani. 
30. July. 22th - Water Marble Mani. 
31. July. 29th - Crackle Mani. 
32. Aug. 5th - Needle Marble Mani. 
33. Aug. 12th - Galaxy Mani. 
34. Aug. 19th - "Bling" Mani.
35. Aug. 26th - Cupcake Mani. 
36. Sept. 2nd - Tape Mani. 
37. Sept. 9th - "We Remember 9/11" Mani. 
38. Sept. 16th - Metallic/Magnetic Mani. 
39. Sept. 23rd - Dry Marble Mani. 
40. Sept. 30th - Animal Print Mani. 
41. Oct. 7th - "Thanksgiving" Mani. 
42. Oct. 14th - "Pink 4 Breast Cancer Awareness" Mani. 
43. Oct. 21st - Spider Web Mani. 
44. Oct. 28th - Halloween Mani. 
45. Nov. 4th - Tribal Mani. 
46. Nov. 11th - "Mustach, 4 Movember; Prostate Cancer Awareness" Mani. 
47. Nov. 18th - Patchwork Mani. 
48. Nov. 25th - Feather Mani. 
49. Dec. 2nd - Glitter Sandwich Mani. 
50. Dec. 9th - Snowflake Mani. 
51. Dec. 16th - Red Mani. 
52. Dec. 23rd - Christmas Mani. 
Dec. 30/31 - you've learned enough; go all out and show 2O13, what its all about!

Look for the first challenge later this week, then each new week's challenge on Sunday!


Last week I walked into a local Walgreens hoping to find Revlon Scandalous or perhaps Revlon Whimsical.  I'd seen photos of them thanks to Nouveau Cheap so I knew what I was looking for (source here and here).  I think Whimsical is dreamy and I'd really like to get my hands on it.  Sadly, I didn't find Whimsical.  What I did find was an almost full case of the Walgreens ColorIcon Ice Baby polishes (did this Walgreens forget to set them out or what?) and Revlon Scandalous.  Score!

To achieve this manicure I layered two coats of Revlon Scandalous over one coat of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Black Out and topped it with a coat of Seche Vite.

From a distance Scandalous is much darker and the glitter is hard to see.  It felt like I was wearing plain black polish for most of the day.  I love glitters that can bounce light around but this does not.


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