Friday, November 28, 2014

Because It's Not Cold Yet

Revlon Brilliant Strength Captivate Swatch Fall Manicure

 I know a lot of the country is buried under a blanket of snow, but here in CA it's way too hot for this time of year. It's been in the 70's all week. Since it doesn't feel very wintery (and since I didn't get this posted yesterday) I'm going to sneak in one last fall manicure before the onslaught of Christmas nails. This shade from the Revlon Brilliant Strength line is called Captivate. It's a really glow-y burnt orange metallic color. 

Revlon Brilliant Strength Captivate Swatch Fall Manicure

I'm wearing two coats here. The formula was easy to work with. Also, I swear it smells a little like green apple Jolly Ranchers, but my husband insists I'm going crazy. I just checked it again right now, and yeah, definitely has a different scent than the typical polish smell. 

I tried out Nail Vinyls for the first time to create some fall nail art and I loved them. I've tried in the past to go cheap with scotch tape and pinking shears, but these are infinitely easier to work with. I made random splotches of color over my orange base and added a layer of top coat to help it dry faster. Once the polish was dry I applied the vinyls one finger at a time and painted over with Seeing Red by China Glaze from The Giver Collection. I immediately pulled up the vinyls while the polish was still wet to prevent any pulling or sticking. I waited a bit for the red to dry partially so I wouldn't get any streaking and then finished up with more top coat to smooth it all out. This is such a quick and easy way to create interesting looking nails. I ordered a combo pack of vinyls and I can't wait to try out the other shapes.

Nail Vinyls fall nail art zig zag

Nail Vinyls fall nail art zig zag

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday Polish Sales- Retail Edition

I'm always looking for great sales, so what better time than Black Friday to get some polish deals along with the rest of your Christmas shopping. I've put together this retail shopping guide with all the polish related deals I could find. Most of the sales are are sets which seems typical for this time of year. These would make great presents for someone just starting a collection or maybe a little something for yourself.

I pulled ads from the retailer's own site when available, and the rest I looked up on I've tried to be as accurate as possible, but of course check your local ads to confirm sale dates and to make sure these deals are running in your area.

Big Box Stores

Target - $8 for e.l.f. lips, eyes or nails sets. This sale is running Nov 27-29.

Walmart - $9.88 for assorted beauty sets starting at 6 am on Friday. It's a little hard to see from the picture exactly what's included, but the Walmart website says it's 30% off the regular price of their assorted sets.

Kmart - 56 pages of Black Friday ads and finally on page 55 I find the only nail related item. See how hard I'm working to find you the deals? Here you have a free Kiss LED Gel Lamp when you buy the Kiss Everlasting Gel Polish starter kit which appears to be selling for $29.99. I know I was curious about this so I went right over to Amazon to look at reviews. 5 out of 5 people seem to like it. Hmm.. I might have to check this one out myself. This is part of the 3 day sale going on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Drug Stores

Rite Aid - No polishes at all in Rite Aid's Black Friday ad, but but they do have some standard weekly sales (Nov 23-29) I might as well mention.

Sally Hansen- Buy one get one 50% off

Revlon ColorStay- Buy one get one 50% off

Walgreens - Just one nail polish item here- $4 Sally Hansen top coats. These usually retail for $5.99 so this is a good time to stock up if this is one of your favorites. Three day sale: Thursday - Saturday.

CVS - Revlon polish for $4.99 and Wet n Wild sets for $3.88. The WnW looks like it's minis, but it's so hard to tell in this picture. Thursday - Saturday.

Beauty Stores

Ulta, unsurprisingly, has quite a few nail polish sales going on this week. The regular weekly sales aren't bad, but they have some great Black Friday deals as well.

Sally Beauty Supply - A few polish deals to be had here too. I couldn't find a specific Black Friday ad. It seems they're just continuing their ThanksGifting Event sale that's been going on throughout November where you get a free gift with a qualifying purchase.

$14.99 OPI kit- comes with 2 cosmetics bags and two polishes. There's also a $13.99 option that comes with 2 polishes and a free scarf.

$12.99 Finger Paints LE Patent Leather Manicure Kit- two colors plus a top coat

Free phone wallet wristlet ($9.99 value) when you buy two Finger Paints polishes

Free Orly polish remover when you buy any 1 Orly polish

China Glaze deals- Buy 2 get one free entire stock
Free coin purse/mirror with the purchase of holiday gift sets at $12.99 each

Let me know if I've missed your favorite store and feel free to post any great sales you've found in the comments. Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

NYC City Samba Collection- Amazon Green

NYC City Samba Collection Amazon Green Swatch

*This polish was sent for review*
I'm such a perfectionist this entire post is going to drive me crazy. I had a ton of trouble with this polish! I love the color and the other polishes I tried from this collection had really nice formulas, but I had no luck with this one. I think at least part of it was my fault to be fair. I was painting outside in the middle of summer during a mini vacation and it was way too hot. It's not exactly the environment to give a polish its best chance. I'm sorry, Amazon Green. I'm going to try you again sometime when we're both in a better mood to prove that you're not entirely misbehaved (hopefully).

Edit: I just spotted the City Samba collection today at my local Dollar Tree. Even though I had a little trouble with the formula on this one, I picked up a couple of the others I was missing because I enjoyed the line overall.

NYC City Samba Collection Amazon Green Swatch

 I found the formula to be pretty thick and goopy which made application a little tricky. On top of that it has a pearly finish which makes it look a little streaky when dry. As you can also see I had some trouble with that whole drying process. I got some serious bubbling going on, but I think that was more about the hot/humid weather than the polish itself. I'm going to put a little thinner in and see if that helps next time I use this one.

Despite everything I can't help but really want to love this polish.. look how the pearly finish is similar to green milk glass. Did I ever mention my other addiction is antique dishes? I can't hate something that reminds me of old Fire King.

NYC City Samba Collection Amazon Green Swatch

Monday, November 17, 2014

NYC City Samba Collection- Jacaranda Flower

NYC City Samba Collection Jacaranda Flower Swatch

NYC City Samba Collection Jacaranda Flower Swatch Bottle Shot

*This polish was sent for review*
This purple beauty is Jacaranda Flower from the City Samba Collection by NYC. I'm a little late in posting this one as City Samba was a summer collection, but it's not for lack of enjoying the polish. Life got really crazy these last few months and I'm finally posting my way through all my summer archives. This polish has just a touch of jelly to it, but is perfectly opaque in two coats. The formula was nice and easy to apply as well.

NYC City Samba Collection Jacaranda Flower Swatch With Orly Pixie Powder

I've been doing more swatching lately but my addiction to nail art means I still have a hard time wearing just one solid color. The Mercurial Magpie makes a good case for Fairy Dusting All the Things, but I propose an alternative: Pixie Powder. It's Fairy Dust's less holographic, slightly purple cousin. As someone whose favorite color is purple I highly recommend layering Pixie Powder on anything that could use a little sparkle. It's a very fine shimmery purple glitter that I suspect would look even more amazing over a darker base.

NYC City Samba Collection Jacaranda Flower Swatch With Orly Pixie Powder

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Assassin's Creed Nails

Assassin's Creed Nails

Hey, look- I'm actually doing nerdy nails again. I used this manicure in my new header, but hadn't gotten around to posting it yet. It's about time too. Assassin's Creed is one of my favorite series. I played the first one soon after it came out and I was hooked. The second one took all the good parts, chucked most of the bad and got me even more addicted. I'm almost done with Brotherhood (the 3rd one), so I can't speak for the rest (there are 8 so far!), but it seems like they improve a bit with each game. I love running through the cities in the game and then seeing pictures or documentaries on TV and I really feel like I've been there. They did a fantastic job with the artwork and atmosphere of the game. Plus I'm learning about history (probably) so it's making me smarter too. I've been grabbing the rest of the series on Steam sales as they get cheap, but seriously.. so many games, so little time. I'll finish them all someday even if it takes me 40 more years.

Assassin's Creed Nails

Now for the technical stuff. For the gradient I started with two coats of Sinful Colors, Snow Me White. The medium grey is China Glaze, Recycle and the darker grey is Nina Ultra Pro, Inkling. I cut a makeup sponge to about the size of my nails and painted all three colors of polish onto it, then rolled it over my nails, moving it up and down slightly to blend the colors. I repainted the sponge and applied to my nails about 3-4 times to get the opacity and blending I wanted.

Now lets talk about the foil nail. Tragically that day I had ripped this nail almost half way across, but I really wanted to paint these AC nails and wasn't ready to cut it down yet so I used the tea bag method to patch it up. The patch is pretty smooth, but I think the shininess of the foil highlights every little bump which is unfortunate. I wanted to make the middle finger look like metal to replicate the hidden blade that Altair and Ezio use to stealth stab their enemies. Because what's better than sneaking up behind someone and stabbing them in the throat right? The foil I used is Pewter from Dollar Nail Art. It has a cool brushed metal look that was perfect for my blade. Don't worry, no throats were harmed during the wearing of this manicure.

The logo nail- I used black acrylic paint and my tiny nail art brush and I free handed that sucker onto my thumb nail. It's a pretty simple logo, so it wasn't as hard as some I've tried, but you will need a steady hand if you want to try this. Half the time I end up painting my art on crooked because I have my hand turned a funny direction, so I was really happy with how this came out.

Assassin's Creed Logo Nails

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fall Fashion Inspired Nails- Macy's: Fashion Rocks

Inspired by Fall Fashion at Macys- Bar III Short-Sleeve Mixed-Media Paneled Dress Fashion Rocks

Fall Fashion at Macys- Bar III Short-Sleeve Mixed-Media Paneled Dress Fashion Rocks

Since I didn't get to see the actual fashion show at Macy's I went to their website and picked a couple outfits to use as inspiration for these fall fashion inspired nails. 

For my first look I picked this black and white Bar III Mixed Media Dress because I loved the graphic print and the rose gold zipper accents. It's kind of hard to see the zippers in the picture above, but if you check it out on the Macy's site they have a nice picture that you can zoom in on to see the details.

Inspired by Fall Fashion at Macys- Bar III Short-Sleeve Mixed-Media Paneled Dress Fashion Rocks

I started with two coats of Sinful Colors, Snow Me White. Next I used the distressed technique to create the print of the dress. This technique is done by wiping most of the paint off the brush before lightly dragging it over the base color. I used Sinful Colors, Black on Black for all the black accents. For the insets I used a small nail art brush and started by outlining the half circles at the side of each nail, then filled them in with black polish. I went back after that was dry and outlined the black areas with my rose gold polish- Orly, Rage. 

This is my favorite look of the two. I just needed an excuse to use Rage again. Such a perfect rose gold color that I don't get to use often enough.

Inspired by Macy's Fall Fashion-  RACHEL Rachel Roy Long-Sleeve Cutout Marble-Print Dress Fashion Rocks

Macy's Fall Fashion-  RACHEL Rachel Roy Long-Sleeve Cutout Marble-Print Dress Fashion Rocks

My second set of nails was inspired by this Rachel Roy Marble Print Dress. I had some gold marble foil that I thought would be perfect for this manicure. I started with two coats of white polish. I used a cleanup brush and acetone to erase the triangle cut out on my index finger to mimic the neckline, but remembering to tape it off in the first place would have also worked. I painted all the white parts of my nails with foil glue and waited for it to get clear and tacky before pressing the foil onto my nails. This Laced Gold foil is from Dollar Nail Art. For the black accents I mixed a drop of black with a drop of clear polish to give it the smoky look the dress has and painted on random lines with a small nail art brush.

Inspired by Macy's Fall Fashion-  RACHEL Rachel Roy Long-Sleeve Cutout Marble-Print Dress Fashion Rocks

I loved doing these fashion inspired nails. Which look is your favorite?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fall Fashion Inspired Nails- Leather and Plaid

Fall Fashion Inspired Nails Black Leather and Red Plaid

I've got a funny story for you. I arrived at Macy's early last night to get a good spot for the fashion show, but after looking around everywhere it was clear they didn't have anything set up. I ended up asking 4 different employees and one finally called a manager over. They all had the same story- the fashion show was the previous night (the 6th) and the PR agency must have gotten the date wrong. The press release and even Macy's own website (you can't see it online anymore since the date has passed but I have screenshots) showed the date as the 7th. I'm really disappointed that I didn't get to see the show, but I do have some fall fashion inspired nails to show you anyway. These are based on my favorite fall outfit.

Fall Fashion Inspired Nails Black Leather and Red Plaid

I took my inspiration for the plaid nails from my red dress and a little logistical help from the amazing Chalkboard Nails. I started with two coats of a nice bright red color from See San (a bottle I picked up in Thailand) and then hand painted black squares and tiny lines using a small nail art brush and Sinful Colors, Black on Black.

I used Sinful Colors, Whipped from their matte line for the leather inspired nails and then topped them off with Wet n Wild, Matte Top Coat for extra matte-ness. The shiny silver nail is a base of China Glaze, Recycle which I covered in Pewter nail foil from Dollar Nail Art. The leather and shiny nails perfectly match these boots that I would be completely in love with if they weren't too tight and incredibly uncomfortable after about five minutes. I need to work on stretching them out so I can actually wear them all day without wanting to throw them across the room when I get home.

Fall Fashion Inspired Nails Black Leather and Red Plaid

Since I didn't get to see the fashion show I'm going to troll the internet for more fall looks to base some nail art on. What fall trends are your favorites? I can't get enough boots with legging and skirts.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fashion Rocks at Macy's

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Fashion Rocks at Macy’s. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 

I love fashion inspired manicures as you can see here and here. That's why I'm so excited about the Fashion Rocks show at the Fresno Macy's on Friday, Nov 7th. Macy's has put on a series of music inspired fashion shows throughout October and November to show off the latest fall trends. Fresno is one of the last events on the schedule (check out the full listing in this press release), but if you like this kind of thing keep an eye on the Macy's events page because I'm guessing they'll have something similar coming up for winter soon.

If you're in Fresno and looking for something to do on Friday this is where I'll be starting at 6 pm. Afterwards I'm going to do a few manicures inspired by the fall fashions seen at the show. Fall is my favorite season for clothes. I'd wear boots and sweaters all year if I could get away with it so I can't wait to see what they have planned.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A New Look

Grey stripes on white background with orchid accent nail

My blog design has been long overdue for an update and I'm happy to say it's finally happened! I've made a few little changes here and there, but had a hard time coming up with ideas so I put the project on the back burner until recently when I thought up this design. I wanted something that would show off my the theme of my blog a bit more and I think the new header does that perfectly. Most of all I love the bright purple and white which I think feels much more modern than my old dusty purple shade. What do you think?

Grey stripes on white background with orchid accent nail

I did some nails to match my new design in celebration of the change. I started with a white base (two coats of Sinful Colors, Snow Me White) on every finger except my pinkie which I painted with Sinful Colors, Dream On to match my bright purple text. I hand painted the grey stripes with China Glaze, Recycle using a small nail art brush. I know I should probably use my striping brushes, but I kind of like the wobbly look this little brush gives. I didn't want the lines to be too perfect (thank goodness, because they're definitely not). Fun nails for a fun new blog design!