Monday, February 27, 2012

Recent hauls and MANicures!

So I went on a not so little spending spree and bought myself some awesome polishes! I even splurged on some Butter London polishes, which were super expensive compared to - say - Essie polish. But I just couldn't resist trying a "fancy" brand. Here's a pictures of the goods!

Also, my wonderful cousin who is also a nail polish fanatic sent me a super awesome package full of polish! And I absolutely love the colors she picked out. I always end up buying glitter polishes because I can't resist sparkly things, like a moth to a flame. And because of her I now have a bunch of beautiful creamy colors!

My boyfriend is a wonderful sport and lets me paint his toes whenever I want. He actually really enjoys mani/pedi time, as do I. He won't take it off right after either, he rocks it like a boss until it's pedi time again. Here is one I did for him that was Valentines day inspired. Watch out, hairy man feet ahead!

And here is a Reddit themed pedi I did for him :-) It was also the first "full" pedicure I gave him because I just couldn't take the state of his cuticles anymore. He winced and whined and considered it a form of torture. Needless to say he did not enjoy that part, but I sure had a laugh while doing it. They were so bad!

Here's to hoarding polish, love and men being good sports! Cheers!

Day 3 (Green) & Day 4 (Blue) of Nail Polish Challenge

I've been away from my blog for a while due to life stuff, and honestly some laziness due to stress, but I'm back! Why the sudden kick in the butt to post, you ask? Last night at my boyfriend's house, we were sitting in his room eating dinner in bed (classy right?) watching whatever on the computer when suddenly BOOM. The shelves above his desk just came crashing down onto his desk and right in front of our faces. Luckily we escaped decapitation and his computer wasn't demolished, but the room certainly was. Broken plates and glasses, broken cds and other belongings, drinks spilled all over the floor, dinner flung around (luckily that was in containers since we packed up our uneaten takeout). His possessions were everywhere.That forced us to do a thorough cleanup, and shifting through his stuff and his random little hoarding piles and paper garbage made me realize just how much he was in need of organizing his shit. And that made me think about how I needed to get organized and back into things I've been neglecting. Like this blog.

I had a hard time with the green challenge actually. I had a hard time coming up with ideas, and I don't really own much green polishes. But I do have two different manis to share.

The first was a plain mani, due both to lack of ideas and that I just really like this color green all on its own. This is Zoya Ivanka, a sort of forest green with green and gold shimmery flecks.

The other green themed manicure I did was a freehand green and pink leopard print manicure, my first time attempting leopard print! For this I used MatteseElite Neon 09 Flash, and pink and purple nail art polishes. Please ignore the few bits of glitter on my hands.


*with flash*

For the blue themed challenge I did a freehand sort of flowery line and dot design? I'm not sure what you'd call it, but those who have seen it seem to like it a lot so who cares what it's called. For this I used Wet N Wild megalast "I need a refresh-mint", Essie luxeffects "Shine of the Times, and pink/lavender/blue nail art polishes. One could argue that refresh-mint looks sorta greenish but I think it's one of those in-between colors. Plus I was really excited to try it. I had originally had a manicure done with Butter London "Victoriana" but I never took pictures of it :-( oh well.

*with flash, and a bonus cat eyeball in the background*

*in daylight*

What do you think? Hope everyone is having a great day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day # of Nail Polish Challenge: Yellow Nails

So just like the last challenge in which it was my first time ever using the color orange in a mani, this was also my first time ever using yellow in a mani. Can you believe it? I've always assumed I couldn't wear orange or yellow because it didn't really go with my skin tone, but as I have gotten many compliments from people in my life on these two manis I guess my assumption was unfounded - although you still won't catch me wearing any bright orange or yellow hued clothing, I don't think I could pull off that much lol. 

*Without Flash*

*With Flash*

Flower and dots mani: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear "Grey Area"; Revlon "Blue Lagoon"; NK Nail Enamel "Yellow" (some wear)

This mani was also my first time really using my dotting tools. So many firsts! Also, please excuse the bit of wear on this mani, I really must get in the habit of taking mani pictures once their done and not right before I eventually post them lol. It's a bit scratched and not at it's shiniest because I was doing a lot of cleaning, but it held up really well all things considered.

Also some great news: I purchased my very first Seche Vite fast dry topcoat! And my over-all consensus is... I'm in love! It applied like a dream and you could see the shine immediately (oOo shiny!). It also really smoothed out any texture the polish had acquired during dotting tool use, which was a great unexpected surprise. A lot of topcoats I've tried don't help and even sometimes enhance the appearance of polish texture (the cheaper and thicker/goopy topcoats do this more so in my experience). Also, considering the cleaning and wear-and-tear my nails went through the past few days, no chips! and the tips in general have held up really well. Perhaps the bad reviews have come from people who are extremely hard on their nails or forget to wrap their tips (tutorial thanks to the Polished Perfectionist).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 2 of Nail Polish Challenge: Orange Nails

(Right hand, Left hand) NK Nail Enamel "Orange" and Essie "Mesmerize"

I haven't mentions this, but it is why my pictures are usually of my right hand - I am a lefty. That is not to say that my right hand always comes out better than my left, because for me it switches up all the time. What it really means is that it's easier for me to hold a camera with my left hand. I'm not sure which hand come out better with this mani, I'll leave that for your eyes to discern. What I do know is that it was my first time ever wearing orange nail polish! It is also only my second attempt at taping. The tape I use is pretty pathetic - it is the only "scotch" tape I found in the house and I'm pretty sure the company who's box it was in perished in the 80s. The orange polish I used was a 99cent store purchase, and in that sense it was pretty good quality. It was kind of sheer and needed three coats, but it dried pretty fast. Essie is one of my favorite brands, and "mesmerize" is very creamy and opaque. Whenever someone notices my nails wen I'm wearing it they fall in love, as I am with the color.

If you are wondering, the topcoat I have been using as of late is OPI RapiDry. I absolutely love this topcoat. I need something shiny that dries fast and this delivers. It's not the tacky "kinda dry" dry, it is DRY. The brush is flat and wide, perfect for good all over application. It goes on smoothly with great consistency. I know a lot of people love Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in the red bottle, but I just find myself having had a bad experience with it. At first it was great, although not as shiny as my other favorite, Essie "ready to Go". It was kinda thin but smooth and covered nicely. But it quickly became thicker and thicker for no apparent reason until is was a goopy mess, impossible to apply and never drying (which defeats the purpose of buying insta-dry anything). And as mentioned, before it started getting bad it still was that sort of "tacky" dry that you couldn't really function normally with, leaving me on eggshells about messing up my new mani. 

I don't know if it's just me painting my nails a lot or what (I know I don't polish nearly as often as a lot of lacqueristas out there) but I go through topcoat very fast. The OPI while great quality is still very expensive (I paid $10 in Duane Reade, of course everything can be found much cheaper online), especially when I'm going through topcoat so fast. Everyone raves about Seche Vita, and the shine I see in pictures is incredible. But I have also heard reviews that it just doesn't work for some people, that there is a lot of shrinkage and chipping. I will most likely buy myself a bottle next time I see it in stores since I must try it myself, but I think I'll buy a bottle of Essie "Ready to Go" or OPI "RadiDry" as back up as well.

I am positively itching to go buy polish! I have a wish list I can't even keep track of. There are so many wonderful custom nail polishes online, such as Lynnderella, Geek Nail Polish, and NerdLacquer. I want them all!!!

What are your favorite custom blended nail polish colors/lines?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 1 of Nail Polish Challenge: Red Nails

I should have posted this sooner, as I did this mani three days ago, but I've been busy. It's a pretty simple one this time but I still think it's cute. It goes well with most outfits even, IMO. I almost never wear red nail polish, I'm not sure why. I know that it annoyingly stains my skin, and actually this is the only "red" red polish I own right now. 

Sally Hansen "Cardinal" red with black diagonal stripes (excuse the wear)

I'll admit I didn't spend a bunch of time thinking of something more creative as I did this very late at night when I was tired and drained from the day. There's always next time, lord knows I won't be giving up polishing my nails anytime soon ever. I had originally thought of stamping, but I honestly just haven't gotten the hang of it yet. I never seem to be able to get it on the nail completely, the edges left looking naked and weird. And I haven't experimented enough to know which of my polishes are best for stamping. I'm thinking of investing in some Konad brand stamping polish even though it is kind of pricey - I have a bunch of M.A.S.H. and Bundle Monster plates I received for Christmas that I haven't been able to really enjoy yet. Practice makes perfect... which isn't very comforting for those lacking patience (like moi). 

On to brainstorming an orange mani!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

31 Day Nail Polish Challenge

So I found this fun little 31 day nail polish challenge in this post on today, and I'm excited to start it. I'll be trying not to I won't be polishing my nails EVERY day because I should enjoy my manis for a few days when I'm happy with them. Also, nail polish costs money. I don't have a huge collection and I can't afford to try out all the new awesome collections like I dream I could lol, so I guess I'm a little paranoid of using them all up.

In the meantime, here's a mani I did a while ago. Actually, this is the very first mani I ever took a picture of, in all of its hipster/retro camera phone app glory.

Hot pink base with black zebra stripes.

All That Glitters Is Pink - Part Duex: Better Pictures!

Got up off my lazy bum and got out a camera. Not the best camera, but better... I think. So here are pictures of the mani from the last post. Silver base, Zoya "astra" horizontal stripes and accent thumb.

All That Glitters Is Pink

I’ve been playing around with Zoya “Astra” for three reasons. For one, I was getting the glitter itch. Two, I’m determined to play with my new Zoya polishes. Three, it’s February! You know what that means? Time for all nail polish/nail art fans to flip the F out over Valentine’s Day themed manicures.

~Zoya “Astra” stripes and accent thumb, over Creative Colors silver~

“Astra” has red, pink and silver glitter. The base is a silver Creative Colors, with the stripes and thumb being Zoya “Astra”. This mani is pink and glittery, but it is not a blatantly themed Valentine’s Day mani. I’m not crazy about those “in your face” themed manicures (though they’re so much fun to do), but staying within the color theme is a great way to keep it at the appropriate level for you, whether for work or personal preference.

Only now that I’ve decided to start doing this whole blog thing do I realize how much of a difference screen size can make. The pictures I take with my cellphone don’t seem that bad… until I’m looking at pictures on something other than my phone. Sure I have a camera that isn’t my phone, but then there are even more steps that are needed to get the picture onto the computer and into the post… I’m so lazy! So until I gather up some more gusto and get working with a real camera, I apologize for picture quality.