Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Nail Blogger's Worst Nightmare

The worst broken nail I've ever had: behold it in all its horrific glory. I knew I was tempting fate keeping my nails so long. They're pretty strong up until a certain point, but too long and the breakage starts. I had torn a different nail the day before (not too badly) and had tried out the tea bag trick to patch it up. That was holding up pretty well, but I knew I needed to cut them soon. On my drive home from work I decided that I would cut them as soon as I got home to prevent any further damage. So of course as I was getting out of my car I somehow accidentally jammed my nail into the car roof and almost tore it half off.
I think the the most ironic part of it is that I was one day short of having gone an entire year with no broken nails. Since I've started blogging I've been taking much better care of my nails. Regularly using a strengthening base coat and lots of coats of polish definitely helps to keep them strong. Lesson learned: keep em at a reasonable length. At least it wasn't on my blogging hand, so don't worry. I'll still be posting as usual.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Red on Red

Hi everyone! It feels like it's been forever since my last post. I've been enjoying a nice long semi-lazy weekend at home for the Memorial Day holiday. Sometimes it feels so nice to just stay home and catch up on some TV shows. Today's nails are simple, but I love the two-tone effect of this red on red gradient. My nails are also the longest they've ever been which is resulting in some crazy curling of the first two finger nails. Does anyone else have this problem?

I started out with one coat of Spoiled, Hit The Brakes. This polish has really great coverage in one coat, but the formula is a bit runny so you have to be careful to avoid pooling at the cuticles. I created the gradient by painting Sation, Sparkling Ruby directly onto a sponge and then rolled it over the tips of my nails.

Since my nails are so long I couldn't resist finally trying out this trend and painted the underside. I used Richelle by Zoya. It kind of looks like I dipped my nails in gold. I really love how rich this whole manicure turned out.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Meme Week Challenge: Coming Soon

I just finished up the Laid-Back 31 Day Challenge and I was pondering what I felt like painting next for the blog since my options are now pretty much unlimited. Right away I came up with the idea of memes and started wondering just how many would translate well to nails. One of my favorite bloggers, The Nailasaurus has done a couple totally cute ones here and here. I know I'm not the only one who loves memes so I decided to make it into a challenge so anyone can join in. It'll be starting in a couple weeks and it's open to anyone who's interested.

Join the Meme Week Facebook group for more info and inlinkz codes.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Recreate Someone Else's Mani

Day 31 has finally arrived. I have so much respect for the ladies who did the normal challenge all in one month. There were some times when I didn't know if I'd be able to keep up and this version only posted twice per week. There have been some truly awesome manicures during the challenge, but one in particular stuck in my head and I had to try it.

I recreated the Merge or Melt mani by Ashley of Smashley Sparkles seen here. Mine isn't anywhere near as sparkly or vibrant, but cute in its own way.

I started out with two coats of Orly, Winter Wonderland which is a sheer off-white sparkly polish. I sponged on Distant Memory and Fuzzy Dice by Spoiled using Ashley's method of painting the polish onto a make-up sponge slightly overlapping in the middle and then dabbing it onto my nails. I don't own very many stamps yet so Bundle Monster plate BM-315 was the closest I could get to the circles. I stamped on the mesh pattern using my Born Pretty stamper and Wet n Wild, Black Creme.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jelly Stamping

As promised yesterday, here's part two: now with stamping. I think it looks interesting with the glitter peeking out from underneath the stamped design.

Ugh.. fast dry top coat over stamping. Why didn't I listen to everyone's warning about this. I got a lot of smearing because I was too impatient to use a regular topcoat. This is the same polish from yesterday- Love & Beauty, Grey/Hot Pink. I used Bundle Monster plate BM-314 and Wet N Wild, French White Creme for the stamp and Out The Door top coat.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Jelly Sparkles

Sunday is going to be the last post for the 31 Day Challenge so I thought I'd ease back in to some "normal" posts with this fun Love & Beauty jelly glitter polish from Forever 21. I'm slowly starting to acquire more of these polishes. A lot of their polishes seem like the same old polish I find everywhere else but every so often I find something different like this jelly that I can't resist throwing it into my bag.

I'm wearing two coats of Love & Beauty, Grey/Hot Pink. Has anyone else noticed they have the worst names for their polishes? This one is a grey jelly with large turquoise and pink hexes along with some tiny purple glitter. The formula was a little sheer with one coat, and it still looks a little thin at the tips with two coats, so something underneath wouldn't hurt, but no fishing was required and the glitter coverage was good.

Of course I justified this polish purchase because it matched perfectly with the skirt I was getting. Or maybe I needed the skirt because it matched the polish.  Let's be honest- that's probably more accurate.

Check back tomorrow for part two: when I couldn't resist finding out what it would look like with stamping over a glittery polish.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: My Favorite Nail Art Technique

Can rainbows be a favorite nail art technique? I've been obsessed with chromatic groupings of colors ever since I got a Rainbow Bright book as a kid. I was mesmerized by all the red things on one page and all orange on the next. That's just the way colors should be right? One tragic day that book fell between the slats in the porch deck never to be seen again (well, at least not until several years later when the siding finally got rickety enough for me to pull apart a gap wide enough to squeeze through and rescue my now water damaged and moldy book). To this day I still arrange everything in my closet by color.
Ok, so maybe rainbows aren't, in fact, a nail art technique. I'll go for hand painted then. There's something satisfying about painting freehand. Even though the lines are a bit crooked I still feel a sense of accomplishment I just don't get from striping tape or stamping.

All stripes were painted with a nail art brush or the brush that comes in the bottle. Colors used (I think this may be my all time record): 30 plus base and top coat. I also stuck in a few glequins from Born Pretty for extra sparkle. Here we go- thumb to pinkie, base to tip.
Ulta, Vintage Violet
Love & Beauty, Purple/Gold
Savvy, Deep Amethyst
Zoya, Julieanne
Victoria's Secret, Game On
Sinful Colors, Calypso
China Glaze, Shower Together
Petites, Corduroy
Spoiled, Distant Memory
Ulta, Mint Condition
Spoiled, Permission to Proceed
LA Colors, unnamed green
Sally Hansen Hard As Nails, Limestone
Finger Paints, Guggen I'm Lime
Nina Ultra Pro, Mossy Britches
China Glaze, Holly-Day
Revlon Colorstay, Rain Forrest
Zoya, Gabrielle
Wet n Wild, Sunny Side Up
Spoiled, Did I Dye It Too Blonde?
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, Expres-so Yellow
Sinful Colors, Unicorn
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, Golden Rule
Sinful Colors, Easy Going
Spoiled, Plastic Flamingo
Ulta, Eye Popping Poppy
Spoiled, Hit The Brakes
Finger Paints, Romanticism Ruby
Sally Hansen Hard As Nails, Brick Wall
Wet n Wild Megalast, Haze of Love

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Inspired By A Blogger

Today I'm inspired by the talented Robin Moses. I love her designs because they look so intricate and complicated, but the videos explain everything so well it's like you're a nail art pro in minutes. I chose her video Badass Steampunk Nail Art Roses and Stripes Vignette as my inspiration for today's challenge. The roses also seem really appropriate for mother's day. I have the most amazing mom ever and since I can't send her real roses (she lives in another country at the moment) at least I can paint some for her.

The video probably does a better job with the how to portion
so I'll just skip ahead to what I used:
Wet n Wild, 2% Milk
Wet n Wild, Black Creme
Zoya, Richelle
Nina Ultra Pro, Mossy Britches
Wet n Wild, French White Creme
Color Club, Berry and Bright (smells like berries)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Inspired By My Favorite Color

I think I see a theme starting: Tuesdays are now nubbins from the archives day. I love Sunday's manicure so much I'm not ready to take it off yet. My favorite color is purple so I dug this one up to show you today. I remember this being one of the first manicures I did that I was really proud of. If I ever get a time machine future me can go back and tell past me about how to do a gradient. Still though, you almost can't go wrong with glitter.

Lets just pretend like this second picture is blurry to show off the gorgeous flakies. Yes, I'm sure that's exactly what I was going for.

Show here are my beautiful bare nails before becoming ravaged by a year's worth of nail polish stains. I painted 2 coats of Savvy, Deep Amethyst about half way up from the tip. Then I dusted on loose craft glitter from Michaels with an eyeshadow brush. I topped it off with a coat of Finger Paints, Flashy (a red/green shift flakie). I had forgotten about adding the flakies, but looking at the pictures they're definitely there. I like the added sparkle. Good choice past me.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Laid-Back 31 DC: Inspired By Me

Today's manicure is inspired by me. Things I love: rainbows, sticking things on nails, abstract art. It's all here.
I've had this idea bouncing around in my head for a while and this was the perfect challenge to use it. When I'm painting small details I put dots of polish on a piece of plastic. After the dots dry they pop off the plastic sheet really easily and it gave me the idea to re-stick them to create a different kind of dotticure.

I started with two coats of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Ion to create a neutral base for the dots. Then I used an orange stick dipped in polish to pick up the dots and place them on a fresh coat of clear polish. I used the side of the stick to gently press the dots into the polish and smooth down the edges. It's all topped off with a coat of Out The Door. I love how this came out. What do you guys think? 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

(Purple!) Wedding Nails

A couple weekends ago some good friends got married and I was honored to do the bride's nails for the occasion. This was one of the sweetest weddings I've ever seen. The couple has been together now for longer than they've been apart (18 years) and were finally able to have the ceremony they wanted. It was a really fun renaissance theme. I'm so glad I obsessively brought my entire polish collection instead of just the wedding-y type colors. It turned out so pretty and matched her dress perfectly.
I started with a base of Zoya's Richelle, a pretty coppery gold color and then applied striping tape (sooo much striping tape) to create a grid pattern. I painted one nail at a time with Spoiled, Checkin' Into Rehab which is a purple jelly with tiny flecks of gold shimmer. Then I used an orange stick dipped in clear polish to place pearls from Born Pretty at the place where the lines crossed. I topped it all off with way too much top coat. It looks a little thick in the pictures, but I didn't want any of the pearls coming off. The bride reports this manicure lasted perfectly for a whole week.