Monday, January 27, 2014

Green Dream

Today was so cold that they canceled school.  So, to keep myself busy I painted my nails.  I'll take any excuse!

I don't have my nice camera here in Minnesota, but I am thrilled to death with the camera on my iPhone 5s.  I'm using an app called CCD, which takes beautiful photos with really accurate colors.  Technology is so cool!

For this look I started out with two coats of OPI Tiffany Case, from the Bond Girls collection, on my thumb and pinky.  Tiffany Case is a stunning blue, sparkly, textured polish with round blue glitter.  I then used OPI Mermaid's Tears on my middle and ring fingers.  Finally, I painted two coats of Essie Vested Interest on my index finger.  Once all of the polish dried completely I stamped both my index and middle finger with Pueen 24 using Tiffany Case.  I'm really happy with how the stamping turned out - it come out wonderfully subtle and metallic.  

For my ring finger I painted two square studs with Tiffany Case and placed them using a dab of top coat.  I then topped my index, middle, and ring fingers with Essie Good to Go top coat.

 I'm really happy with how this turned out.

Thanks for reading.  Stay warm tonight!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Look Who's Back!

I dare say it's been FIVE months since my last post!  Since then a lot has changed.  I met a dear sweet man named Mitch, moved back to Minnesota and the most exciting news of all - wait for it - I'm attending school to become a real, live nail technician!

One may wonder why it took me so long to take this leap.  The answer is simple - I had my priorities all f'd up and had a major epiphany this fall.  What am I waiting for?  Why have I been shying away from the beauty industry which has given me joy and fulfillment for so many years?  I will spare you the long list of reasons why, but I will say that I'm done with all that.  I am pursuing my dreams come hell or high water.

Enough of all that gossip, let's get to the real reason we are all here: a beautiful new manicure!

You can call me crazy - it's okay.  It's happened before.  Many times.  But I LOVE winter in Minnesota.  I love the crisp chill of the air, the snow, and the need for excessive bundling.  It all makes me happy.  Minnesota gets more sunshine than one would expect, but we do have our share of dreary, grey days.  I am a huge fan of grey, but wanted to add a little bit of cheer to my all grey manicure.

I started out with two coats of Zoya Marina on my thumb, index, and pinky fingers.  Next I used Zoya Caitlin on my middle finger.  And finally, Zoya Megan on my ring finger.  All of these greys have a touch of blue to them, which I absolutely love and helps them to blend nicely with one another. 

Once the polish dried I stamped my middle finger with a medium sized flower from Cheeky Jumbo Plate F.  My ring finger got a small flower from the same collection.  I then adorned the middle of each flower with a single clear rhinestone.

I hope this will be the first return-post of many to come.  I will keep you posted on my adventures on nail school and of course, keep sharing photos of my favorite manicures.

Love you all and thanks so much for reading!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Zoya Satins Collection Swatches

I LOVE getting new nail polish but I HATE swatching it!  It's so boring and all I want to do is create something interesting by stamping it, bejeweling it, dotting it, and/or sponging it.  I try to be a good little nail blogger, but it's always my creative side that is itching to come out.  What I'm saying is don't count on me for swatching the latest collections in the future... :-)

That being said I am so in love with the Zoya Fall 2013 Satins Collection!  All of the colors are so regal and beautifully saturated and the collection comes with a glitter top coat!  Seriously, what more could a girl want?

First up is Neve, a deep shimmery royal blue.  I've mentioned several times before that I'm not a big fan of blue, but this one is a definite exception.  Two coats.  Below I am showing Neve with one coat of Maria Luisa, which is a copper-gold top coat.

Next is Mason, a to-die-for bright shimmery magenta.  I am showing two coats here.  Unfortunately, this color had trouble self-leveling as you can see from the photos.  Below I am showing Mason with one coat of Maria Luisa dabbed on top.

Next is Claudine, which is a dark shimmery charcoal with the slightest hint of green.  The formula is flawless and goes on smooth as glass!  Below I am showing Claudine topped with one coat of Maria Luisa brushed over the top.

Next is Channing, a bright coppery orange.  I love the color of this one, but like Mason it had a hard time self-leveling and it went on fairly streaky.  Despite that I was able to get good coverage with two coats.  Below I am showing Channing topped with one coat of Maria Luisa dabbed on.

Last, but certainly not least is Giovanna, a deep shimmery teal green.  I was so enthralled with this color that I was unable to stop myself from adding embellishments before I had taken photos of Giovanna alone.  

For this look I started out with two coats of Giovanna on each nail.  I dabbed one coat of Maria Luisa on my pinky and stamped my index and middle fingers using Cheeky plate CH37 with Color Club Angel's Kiss.  To finish it off I placed two small metal studs on both my ring finger and thumb.

What do you think of the Zoya Satins collection?  What color is your favorite?

Thanks for reading.  Toodles!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Color Club Holographic and Water Slide Decals!

I have two exciting new things to share with my readers today - holographic polish and water slide decals!

I've seen holographic polish all over the internets lately but the allure of it was lost on me.  However I am never deterred by personal disdain - as any good nail-polish-addict I decided to give it a try anyway and well...I'm sold!  It is so beautiful and dimensional on my nails and the holographic polish gives off an amazing rainbow sparkle when in the sun.  Goodness knows we have enough of that here in New Mexico!

The next exciting news is that I decided to give water decals a try.  Not just any decals, but decals that I printed here at home!  You can buy water decals in myriad designs online, however the only ones I found online that I liked ship from Hong Kong - who has that kind of patience?  Especially when you can order your own water slide decal paper on Amazon and have it in two days?

So I poked around on Google Images, found some designs that I liked, threw them into Illustrator and printed up a sheet of water slide decals.  It really is that easy!  The only thing I didn't know until I received the paper is that you need to use a fixative spray when using an ink jet printer.  Thankfully I didn't have to make an emergency run to Hobby Lobby as I had some fixative spray on hand!

Have I blathered on enough?  Are you ready to see the pictures already?

The holographic polish is Color Club Kismet, which required three coats to achieve the opacity you see here.  What do you think of the paisley water decals?  They turned out a bit more translucent than I was expecting, but overall I am thrilled with the results!

If you would like a water slide decal tutorial let me know and I will get to work on it.

Thanks for reading.  Toodles!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Grayscale - White to Black Gradient with Flower Stamp

I'm back!  The last week-and-a-half has been busy; filled with lots of family time and LOTS of driving.  On July 23rd I began the journey back to my home in North Dakota.  It was so great to see my kitties, sister-in-law, nieces and nephews.  We did find some time to have fun, but I spent most of my time getting settled into my new home, which I moved into a few months ago. 

This past Wednesday I journeyed (by 'journeyed' I mean drove the 1,100-something miles) back to New Mexico to be with my mom for her impending shoulder surgery.  We have a little time before she goes under the knife so I thought I would take the time to share with you all a manicure I did while in North Dakota.

From thumb to pinky I used the following polishes for the white to black gradient: Essie Blanc, OPI Moon Over Mumbai, Zoya Dove, Zoya Kelly, and Essie Licorice.  I then stamped each finger with Bundle Monster stamping plate BM02 using Konad special polish in black and white.

Hopefully I will be able to post more frequently now that I am getting settled back in here.

Thanks for reading.  Toodles

Friday, July 19, 2013

Neon Polka Dots

The neon nail polish trend reminds me of when I was a child and neon Crayons were all the rage.  I remember hoarding the coveted neon Crayons and spending time looking at my collection with great pride.  Now that I have matured beyond a Crayon collection and moved onto a massive nail polish collection I am still reminded of those wonderfully waxy colors, although Essie surely has managed to achieve much more saturated colors.

I started out with three coats of Essie DJ Play That Song from the Neons 2013 collection.  This luscious magenta goes on a bit streaky, but offers full coverage with three coats.  Interestingly it dries to a satin finish - I'm curious to see if the rest of the collection is the same.  I did, however, top it with a generous coat of Essie Good To Go top coat.  

On my ring finger I used two coats of Essie The More the Merrier from the Naughty Nautical collection.  Two coats shown.  I then used a tooth pick to add polka dots to my ring finger and thumb.

What do you think of the neon polishes?

Thanks for reading.  Toodles!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

DIY Aztec Nail Wraps Tutorial!

I can't count the number of times I have seen a new nail technique online and thought, "Why didn't I come up with that?"  Moments of brilliance are rare, but I am proud to announce that I had such a moment a few days ago!

Here's the result of my light bulb moment:

***Disclaimer: this manicure is not up to my standards, however I am one of those people that lacks patience.  I was so excited to post this tutorial that I decided to put my perfectionism aside this time.***
Before I get into the tutorial let's first back track a bit...  The Aztec nail trend has been a frustrating one for me.  I have tried numerous times to free hand the intricate designs.  I've tried using striping tape, scotch tape, striping brushes, and toothpicks, only to create an embarrassingly messy manicure that I wouldn't even show to my best friend. 

Since I've been in New Mexico without all of my fancy nail art supplies I've had to be creative with what I do have AND I've had the opportunity to try out some techniques using household items that I was always too busy to try.  One such technique is do-it-yourself nail decals, created using a Ziploc bag and nail polish.  This tutorial on Gnarly Gnails is a great step-by-step post on creating your own nails decals, the only difference is that she uses wax paper instead of plastic.

My next thought on how to create an Aztec manicure was to paint my nails with a base coat and create a collage using small pieces of dried polish which I would adhere to my nails using a touch of polish.  This technique was a step in the right direction, but I was still dissatisfied with the results.

And then it hit me!  Why not create my own nail wraps?  I would have the ability to use both of my hands to create them, I wouldn't have to worry about messing up wet polish, and my lack of ambidextrousness wouldn't be an issue!  Light bulb moment!

- nail polish (duh!)
- Ziploc or comparable bag.
- fine tip Sharpie
- Scotch tape
- X-acto knife
- tweezers

1) Wrap the Ziplock bag around each finger and trace the cuticle of each nail.  This will give you guide lines for creating the correct shape, width, and length wrap for each nail.  Cut out the set of guides and tape down to a flat surface with the side you drew on down,
being careful to pull out any large wrinkles in the plastic.

2) Paint 2-3 coats of your base coat onto the plastic.  Stay within the lines on the top and sides but paint a bit extra at the end to allow for extra length.

3) Paint squares of polish onto a different piece of Ziploc bag.  Allow ample drying time.  Peel from plastic.  (In order to save time this can be done up to 36 hours beforehand.)

4) Cut shapes out of the squares of polish and place them onto each nail wrap in the desired location.  (When I did this the base coat was still a bit tacky, therefore I was able to place each piece without the need for wet polish to act as a bonder.)  Once all of your shapes have been placed paint each wrap with a thin layer of quick drying top coat.

5) Once the top coat has dried use a fine point Sharpie to draw your black lines and dots.

6) Now comes the fun part!  Peel up your nails wraps and think, "Holy sh**!  It worked!"

7) To apply paint a thin layer of base coat onto a nail and press the corresponding wrap onto your nail.  Use a file to remove excess length and top with a coat of quick dry top coat.

I still think my Aztec nails need a bit of work, but they are certainly better than any other attempt I've made, and considering this is my first attempt at creating my own nail wraps I am super pleased with the way they turned out.  What do you think?

Thanks for reading.  Toodles!