Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Challenge - Rainbow

Hi everybody! It is sadly time for the last installment of the Spring Challenge created by the lovely Mateja at Purple Glitters. For all the rules and info, you can go to the great write-up she did right here because I am horrible at explaining things. I've met a lot of really nice people through this whole experience and I'm very glad I got brave enough to join this challenge, so a super huge thank you to Mateja for creating this and another one to all the friendly and wonderful bloggers who took part.

Today's theme is rainbow. While I love a good Nyan Cat, I knew I needed to go in a different direction. Perhaps you could say one that was about 20% cooler. That's right, Rainbow Dash nails. I am a nerd for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (yes I am an "adult" and no I don't even care, I love these freakin ponies :P). So I did some rainbows inspired by this mani from Simply Rins and added an accent nail with Rainbow Dash's cutie mark. I had so much fun painting these it was kind of ridiculous. I did a photography experiment today as well, so pardon the super close up of my angry cuticles and weirdly wrinkled fingers. Apparently I am slacking a lot when it comes to moisturizing, I'll work on that. Take a look!

Polishes used:
  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Essie Blanc
  • Orly Snowcone
  • Assorted acrylic paints

Color Combinations
Pink and Green
Blue and Purple
Yellow and Green
Orange and Pink

Check out what all the other wonderful ladies on this challenge did!

I attacked a paintbrush to make it a bit smaller and it seems to have worked out well for this challenge. There are still tiny mistakes but I don't even care cause I had way too much fun with this. I'm sad I have no more themes to look forward to but I have definitely tried a lot of new things I otherwise wouldn't have. Once again a big thank you to Mateja and all the other bloggers for this experience and helping me grow! The challenge may be over but during the course I have picked up a few new tricks and also some new goodies, so come back for more on Wednesday!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ruffian Party

Happy Friday everybody! (I totally just typed Firday, I think it's like Friday for trees.) After some chocolate therapy and sleep, I've decided that I was totally too hard on myself about the last spring challenge entry. I really need to just relax and enjoy the process because otherwise what's the point, right? So before we start, a big thank you to all of you who were super nice and encouraging to me when I was being a spaz.

In an effort to embrace my new "whatevs, mistakes are cool too" attitude, I tried something new. I've been intrigued by ruffian manicures ever since I saw my first one. Recently the Claire's here finally had a bottle of Candy Shop and I have never picked something up off a shelf so fast. Depending on who you ask, Claire's Candy Shop may or may not be an exact dupe for the Deborah Lippmann of the same name. I don't own the Deborah Lippmann version so all I can say is the Claire's is a fun polish. I'm usually not big on pink but this stuff is like a birthday cupcake in a bottle, it just yells party. Since it was so bright and happy I went for the most opposite thing I could find for my other color, black! Granted my black has sparkles in it cause I don't actually own a flat black creme (shame on me), but I think it's still okay. A polish packed this full of glitter probably wasn't the best choice to try a ruffian for the first time but like I said, it's the whatevs mistakes are cool phase. Looky!

This one is indoor light.
Polishes used:
  • Sinful Colors base coat /  Seche Vite top coat
  • Claire's Candy Shop
  • Sally Hansen Black Diamond

I am having a lot of fun with this mani, even though it's not perfect. I'm in a party mood so it's pretty darn fitting if I do say so myself. This weekend is the first beta weekend for Guild Wars 2 and I am such a giant gaming nerd, it's kind of sad how excited I am. Thanks for reading everybody, I'm off to hop around the house like an excited idiot while my game client finishes downloading!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Challenge - Bugs

Hi everybody! It's time for another installment of the Spring Challenge created by the lovely Mateja at Purple Glitters. For all the rules and info, you can go to the great write-up she did right here because I am horrible at explaining things.

Today's theme is bugs. When I first started looking at nail art online, I was always amazed at the butterfly manicure. I knew one day I wanted to try it and with a theme of bugs how could I resist? But I didn't want to do just the same butterfly wing everywhere, I wanted to try to make it a bit different. Enter my inspiration, this manicure by Wickless & Polished, who also drew inspiration from the amazing videos by Tartofraises.

Just a warning to you all, this ended up in a total failure. I am very not pleased with my results but I know exactly where I went wrong, so I will post it as a what not to do :P The color combo I had left was pink and orange. No big deal, pink to orange gradient was applied without major incident. Then the acrylic paint came out and it all went downhill. Protip #1: Make sure you have the right size brush. None of my paint brushes are actually for nail art and so they of course aren't the right size. My smallest was still leaving very thick trails and it was very sad. I had to go back with a toothpick to scratch some away but it just made it worse. Plus I ended up covering most of what was a pretty nice gradient I had going. Protip #2: For the love of chocolate let it dry before you apply top coat. I am such an impatient person. This coupled with the fact that I am at the bottom super spazzy part of a bottle of Seche Vite and you can see for yourselves what happens. Learn from me, people. On to the horror show...

Polishes used:
  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Sally Hansen First Blush (lightest pink)
  • Sally Hansen I Pink I Can (medium pink)
  • Sinful Colors Hazard (dark coral pink)
  • Pure Ice Hot Tamale (orange)
  • Assorted acrylic paints (black/white/orange/pink)

Color Combinations
Pink and Green
Blue and Purple
Yellow and Green
Orange and Pink

Check out what all the other wonderful ladies on this challenge did!

After being so unhappy with my attempts I tried several other ideas and just ended up making my cuticles very angry with all the polish remover and myself very tired and cranky. Protip #3: Plan ahead so you don't frustrate yourself for no good reason. If I had followed my own advice, I would have seen I didn't have the proper tools to attempt this and I would have given myself a good backup plan and time to actually execute it. In the end, lessons were learned. Not a total failure, right? After all this I'm gonna go put on a solid creme and just appreciate a nice two coats of polish.

If you made it this far thanks for reading! Come back for the last installment of the challenge on Monday (April 30th), rainbow day. I WILL REDEEM MYSELF!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gold Tooth

This post has nothing to do with teeth other than the fact that I went to the dentist this morning for my regular cleaning. Thinking about teeth coupled with the fact that today I will be showing you Essie As Gold As It Gets from the Luxeffects collection, I really couldn't help myself. The title wrote itself, I had no control.

I am very pleased with this polish. Application was super smooth, the tiny flakies stayed down nicely and they are dense enough that one coat gives a very nice coverage. It was a bit hard to photograph and I couldn't really get a good shot of the different size flakes but I assure you they are there. So far I've tried it on quite a few different base colors and I haven't found one I didn't like yet. I've found it works well with both dark and light shades, giving a nice soft effect on the lighter and being a bit more sparkly on the darker. For today I've paired it with a medium brown (Orly Prince Charming) for no other reason than I was curious. I was not disappointed by it, take a look!

There was a weird spot of gold right at the corner tip of my pointer finger, it's not chipped it just photographed weird >.<

Polishes used:

  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Orly Prince Charming
  • Essie As Gold As It Gets
I am glad I picked this one up and I already have many plans for it. Nail art aside, it makes a great way to get a bit more mileage out of your mani. I can already tell I'll be reaching for this one a lot after a day or so of wearing a creme (or anything that isn't already metallic really).

Come back tomorrow for another edition of the Spring Challenge, it's bug day! Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 23, 2012


It's Monday and raining. I will now show you happy things in an attempt to counteract the blah. I love most Sanrio or San-X stuff, but my all time favorite is Monokuro Boo. Something about monochrome pigs just makes me ridiculously happy. Also they make great neutral decorations, I have a pair of fairly large stuffed versions that hang out on my bed as little piggy pillows. One day while browsing nail art online I came across this glorious piece of adorable by Polish Art Addiction and I knew I would end up trying it but wasn't sure when.

This past weekend our city held it's annual Pork In The Park barbecue celebration. Local businesses set up booths for shopping, there are small carnival rides, live music and local food places hold a barbecue competition.  It's kind of like a tiny county fair in the local park. I happen to have a ridiculous amount of acrylic artist paints so I figured what the heck, what better time to try this out. Really, there was no way I could resist piggies on a pig themed weekend, I tried for like an hour and failed miserably. I was already wearing the base for a few days so I could jump right into pig territory. (There are a few things in life you don't ever expect to write, "jump right into pig territory" was one of those.) There was quite a bit of trial and error and I'm not exactly happy with my end result. I do however view it as a learning experience and I feel like with some practice I could have a new weapon in my nail art arsenal.

This is the base I started with.

Pardon the tip wear, had this on for a few days already.

Dramatic pig shot. (Best caption ever?)

Really it was just cloudy and I had to jump on whatever sun beams I found.

Polishes used:
  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Sally Hansen I Pink I Can
  • China Glaze Rainbow to lighten up the pink
  • Orly Fifty-Four for some peachy pink sparkles
  • Kiss Nail Art striper in white for the dots
  • Black and white acrylic paint
Overall I've learned quite a bit from this experiment. Just like with any form of art you really need to find what works best for you. I tried following the tutorial and blocking shapes out with black first but it just didn't work as well for me as going straight for the color. For me personally it was easier to outline in black rather than go over a whole bunch of black with white. Mine came out way more lumpy than the tutorial but hey, first time. I really enjoyed the process though and I have to say it was nice to paint with actual paint again for the first time in a while even if it was only on my nails. I will definitely be trying more of this in the future, consider yourselves warned. How do you guys like working with acrylic paints?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring Challenge - Fruit and Dots

Hi everybody! It's time for another installment of the Spring Challenge created by the lovely Mateja at Purple Glitters. For all the rules and info, you can go to the great write-up she did right here because I am horrible at explaining things.

Today's challenge theme was fruit and dots. I knew as soon as I read the challenge that I was going lemon-lime so of course I saved the green and yellow color combination for today. I had so so many ideas for this one it was really hard to choose between them, it really took me days. My best friend has a love of yellow and lemons and so I decided to draw inspiration from her. I wanted something clean and classic yet not the same old thing. It needed a twist (ha, a twist... like a twist of lemon, get it? Whatever, I made myself laugh don't judge me). In the end I settled on a french made up of dots, a look that was inspired by this Easter mani at Jems From Jenny. I apologize for the pics, it has been super rainy out for the past few days so artificial light was all I could give you. Have a look!

This one was after a top coat on the fruit.

Polishes used:

  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • OPI Skinny Dip'n In Lake Michg'n (my poor excuse for a nude since I own none)
  • Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet (light green)
  • Sally Hansen Emerald City (dark green)
  • Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow (light yellow)
  • Sinful Colors Let's Meet (darker yellow)
  • Cina Nail Art fruit slices

Color Combinations
Pink and Green
Blue and Purple
Yellow and Green
Orange and Pink

Check out what all the other wonderful ladies on this challenge did!

The pictures make it look a lot darker than it is in person, stupid rain. I started out with Mellow Yellow but then decided it needed help against the two other greens so I went over those dots with a bit of Let's Meet for some more color. This was my first time using any kind of fimo slice or big thing that sits on the nail and it wasn't too bad. The application was easy enough, we'll see how well they wear. So far I haven't caught them on my hair or anything like I expected I would so that's a plus. I think this part of the challenge went well and I'm looking forward to the next one. Hope you all had a great weekend, thanks for reading!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Is It or Isn't It?

Happy Friday everybody! Today I have a question for you all. What do you consider the criteria for a flakie polish? All flakes and no small glitter pieces, a mixture of the two? I ask this because I recently brought home the lovely Sinful Colors Green Ocean which I found sad and alone, away from it's friends in a different section of the drug store as I bought super cheap post-Easter Peeps (don't judge me :P). Of course I couldn't leave the poor orphan there and when I got home I naturally started looking at swatches online. Some people considered it a flakie and some didn't, which as someone new to polish types other than just flat creme was a bit confusing. Regardless of what you may call it, I think it may be in the top two of my favorite sparkles in my collection. (I also brought home Essie As Gold As It Gets but I haven't had a chance to give it a proper testing, so we'll see where that one comes in at a later date.) For testing purposes I went with a dark blue color for the base, take a look!

Polishes used:

  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Sinful Colors Midnight Blue
  • Sinful Colors Green Ocean

I've been searching for a flakie for some time and I think this qualifies. I definitely don't have anything else quite like it and I'm loving it. I can't wait to try it on top of all kinds of colors both light and dark. How flipping amazing would this look with a matte coat? Sadly I do not have any so I can't show you, I can only dream. Though I can pretty much guarantee that the day I get my hands on some this will be one of the very first things I mattify! Since I just psyched you out about the matte coat and I feel kinda bad for it, I can show you how it looked after I got bored a day later and stamped all over it. (Salon Express plate SE22 and Kiss Nail Art striper in white for those interested.)

And as an added bonus, Chewie the very unimpressed cat.

Did you seriously wake me up for this crap?

So flakie or not, I enjoy this polish and I'm glad I found it. I did have some pieces of flake that stuck out a bit like other people who have reviewed this but it was easily remedied by pushing it down a bit with an orange stick and the top coat held it down just fine.

Thanks for reading and come back on Sunday (April 22) for day three of the Spring Challenge! It will be dots and fruit and man I am looking forward to it!

My First Award

Hey guys, look at this! I was nominated by Hema from Rainbow Nails for the Versatile Blogger Award. Super huge thank you to her for my very first award!

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated me and give them a shout out
  • State 7 random facts about yourself
  • Pass on the award to 10-15 bloggers
  • Post the award pic to your blog

Super huge thanks again to Hema, it is really encouraging to know someone actually reads what I take the time to write. ^_^

Seven random facts about me:

  • I love seltzer water, doesn't matter what flavor.
  • I make fine and sterling silver handmade jewelry with my own metal clay kiln.
  • I get homesick very easily. (I am such a big baby ^_^;)
  • Anxiety and me go way back, thus I do not travel very well even though I like seeing new places.
  • I'm originally from Woodstock, NY and I went to art school. Shocking amirite?
  • I kept a houseplant alive for a year as part of a deal with my husband about getting a cat. (I won, we have a cat)
  • I currently have 12 active Scrabble games going on my phone and I am winning them all.

Passing the award along to these other great bloggers:
Jennius at Gold Speck Nails
Rie at Nails and Noms
Linda at Copy That Copy Cat
Ingie at fyeahilovenails
Mateja at Purple Glitters
The Nail Buff at The Nail Buff
Ashley at Follow the Yellow Polish Road
Kat at Hooked On Polish
Kelly at Kelly's Nail Blog
Lydz at  Sekhmet's Purple Castle

All of these blogs were chosen for different reasons. Some are the first sites I came across when starting my nail adventure and others because like me they too are just starting out in the nail art world. I really enjoy them all and learn quite a bit from them so thank you to all of them for being awesome and sharing their experiences and growth with us all!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Challenge - Flowers and Stripes

Welcome to day two of the spring challenge! If you missed the post for the first day, this challenge was created by the lovely Mateja at Purple Glitters. For all the rules and info, you can go to the great write-up she did right here because I am horrible at explaining things. I just realized that the colors I've chosen for each challenge just happen to be in the order listed on the rules page, but it isn't necessary to use them in that order. 

Today's theme is flowers and stripes and the colors I've chosen to use are blue and purple. I was originally going to use dotting to make my flowers but then I saw these cute little nail stickers and couldn't resist trying them out. Also something new, some Orly polishes. I've never used this brand before and I have to say I was not disappointed. I started off with a blue base on all fingers except the ring finger which was purple, then did stripes of the opposite color and two white stripes on each. After that I decided it needed some sparkle and went with Orly Love Each Other, which is a clear base packed with lots of super fine purple/pink holo glitter. Not very visible in normal light but when they hit the sun this stuff sparkles like whoah! After that some stickers and top coat and I was set! Take a look!

Look at that bottle glitter! I wish I could get it to look that dense on the nail.

The sun finally decided to show itself so I took this attempt at a blurred pic to show the glitter but I just couldn't seem to make it happen.

And a bonus photography experiment. Getting slightly closer to my macro goal maybe kinda sorta.

Polishes used:
  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Sally Hansen Lacey Lilac (purple)
  • Orly Snowcone (blue)
  • Orly Love Each Other (purple sparkles)
  • Kiss Nail Art striper in white
  • Cina Nail Art flower stickers

Color Combinations
Pink and Green
Blue and Purple
Yellow and Green
Orange and Pink

Check out what all the other wonderful ladies on this challenge did!

Overall I think they came out pretty cute. I'm just sad I couldn't get a good photo to show the sparkle because it really is nice in person. The stickers were super easy to use and though I'm not really a flower kind of person I would purchase these again in another design. I also surprised myself with the white striper. It wasn't as scary as I imagined and even the ones on my dominant hand came out pretty decent. Painting the base colors went a little smoother than usual, I can't tell if it was luck or I'm just getting a little better at not flooding my cuticles to death. I'm excited to try something new (again) for the next part of this challenge, fruit and dots! Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pink Glitter and Stripes

Hi everyone, hope you all are having an acceptable Monday. Today I have an experiment to show you. I've had a set of nail stripers for a while but I never really got adventurous with them until now. It all started when I saw this blog post about Sally Hansen Gem Crush over at Kelly's Nail Blog. I happen to have the pink version called Razzle Dazzler and was inspired to give it some love. I didn't feel like doing three straight coats of a glitter, especially since this one tends to be a little top coat hungry. A white base coat seemed like it would be a nice way to showcase a single coat but once I got the white on I was like eh, this is gonna be kinda boring. Enter the stripers! I was a total wimp and got scared and had to youtube tutorials before I got the courage, but eventually some weird tiger/zebra thing happened. Take that, boring background! After that a quick coat of the Gem Crush and I was pretty satisfied with myself. I actually kept them on for a few days, the true mark of success. Check it!

I had a lot of fun with these. Pardon the giant blob on my ring finger, it stood out way more in pics than it did in person for some reason. I swear it wasn't that weird looking >.< I loved how the white peeked out more in some spots.

Polishes used:
  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Essie Blanc
  • Sally Hansen Gem Crush Razzle Dazzler
  • Kiss Nail Art striper in black

Also for this experiment, I decided to work on photography and try some macro shots. I aspire to take gorgeous shots like over at Nails and Noms one day. Such great macro shots on that blog I could drool all day! If you haven't been there before I highly recommend it. Drool with me, you know you want to. Anyhow, I failed miserably at taking a shot of this mani on my fingers but I did manage an okay shot of the bottle so at least you can see the glittery goodness for yourselves. Clicky for full size sparkles!

A big thank you to all my new followers, thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Wednesday when it will be time for day two of the Spring Challenge hosted by Mateja, flowers and stripes day!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Challenge - Love and Life

Before I begin, I just want to say hi to all my new followers! Thanks so much for reading!

Today begins the spring challenge hosted and created by the lovely Mateja at Purple Glitters. For all the rules and info, you can go to the great write-up she did right here. The basic idea is five different manis following the themes while using four different color combinations (without repeating except for rainbow day). Today is a day of many firsts for me, not only is it my very first challenge but it is also the first day I'll be using my brand new stamper! Yes, I am already in love with it and cannot wait to get my hands on all kinds of plates.

Today's theme is love and life. For my color combination I chose pink and green and I actually redid these nails twice. I tried to get the general idea across with freehand brush work but none of my paintbrushes were quite up to the task of acting as a real nail art brush. So I happily switched to the shiny new stamper! My overall concept is spring life, growing as grass/plants and hearts (love) growing with it. Take a look! (Please pardon my super dry skin, I was previously wearing a super thick glitter and we all know what taking that off is like >.<)

Polishes used:
  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Sally Hansen I Pink I Can
  • OPI Skinny Dip'n in Lake Michg'n
  • Sally Hansen Emerald City
  • Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet
  • Pure Ice Siren
  • I originally tried the hearts with Sinful Colors Hazard but it just wasn't dark enough, you can still see some traces of it though when I re-stamped with the red.

Color Combinations
Pink and Green
Blue and Purple
Yellow and Green
Orange and Pink

Check out what all the other wonderful ladies on this challenge did!

Overall it wasn't quite what I imagined but I can definitely tell I will be having a lot of fun with this challenge and the stamper. For all of you out there with stampers how was your first attempt at using it?

Friday, April 13, 2012


In my last post I told you all about a crackle polish that came to live with me. I am not in love like I hoped I would be. I knew there would be a learning curve but this was a little rough. There were so very many re-applications and I got very frustrated that first day. So I started watching and reading all kinds of reviews and tutorials to see what I could do differently. I tried thin coats, then I tried thick coats and normal coats. Not so hot. At one point I had one super awesome nail out of ten but I had no idea how the hell I did it, so that was not very helpful >.< I then figured it was because I was being impatient and my base coat wasn't completely dry. Thus you all got stuck with a swatch of brown while I waited a day for it to be completely crackle ready. Fast forward to the next morning and I was all like "Yeah, it's totally gonna work and look awesome!" and then about five minutes later I was all ".... I quit".  I just could not make this work the way I've seen in so many swatches and tutorials. Not sure if maybe I got a bottle with a weird formula or I'm just too stupid to handle a crackle top coat. Brace yourselves, terrible crackle is coming. (Yes a Game of Thrones joke, I am so sad that I don't have a way to watch season two. I might reread all the books.)

Polishes used:
  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat (I just accidentally typed "top cat" and thought you should know)
  • Sally Hansen Bittersweet
  • Sally Hansen Antiqued Gold Crackle Overcoat

One thing that did surprise me about this polish was that it was actually a matte, though all the pics above are shown with top coat. Not very crackled right? Perhaps since the gold is a more glittery formula and not a solid color creme I had more trouble with my first attempt? After more reading and looking at swatches/reviews I'm not giving up on crackles though I think I will be holding out for some OPI Shatter colors instead of Sally Hansen. What kind of experiences have you guys had with different crackle polishes?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I was planning to do a green gradient for today's post but it just wasn't working for me. I tried all morning to make it look decent but all I ended up with was what looked like leprechaun puke. Since this week a crackle polish found it's way into the house I was like okay, plan two. I'll just play with that. I then learned the very hard way (through about 4 cleanings and reapplications) that crackle polish really just wants a completely dry base coat. So in anticipation of said crackle polish (and really I was just sick of polish smell at that point) I decided today would be a swatch day. Since the crackle I got is a metallic gold I went with a brown for my base color. It's really rather dark for spring/summer but whatevs, it will be mostly gold soon anyhow. In the meantime, enjoy this lovely dark brown shade. (Please ignore any smudgy parts, it's my cuticle cream that I accidentally got on the polish and it refused to go away.)

Meet Sally Hansen Bittersweet. This is a really nice creme with a smooth application. It could almost be a one coater if you went thick enough but these pics are all two coats. In person the bottle color is a bit of a lighter chocolate color but it applies darker. I was actually kind of disappointed at how dark it went on but I really should have known better since I have another of this type of Sally Hansen color and it also is darker than the bottle would have you believe. Oh well, lesson learned. All in all I really love the formula and how rich the color is.

Polishes used:

  • Sinful Colors base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Sally Hansen Bittersweet
I think my cuticles are almost starting to not look horrible, yay!  Now to work on the photography. Stay tuned for some crackle fun later in the week! Thanks for reading!