Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Mani: Secret Galaxy by 6 Harts

This one I had a HARD time taking off... in fact, I didn't take it off until I *had* to because my whole pointer finger of polish fell off in the shower.  The tip wear on this was incredible, which is a testament to the high quality of the polishes I used.

Base coat by Northern Polish, two layers Willa by Zoya, two layers Secret Galaxy by 6 Harts, and top coat of Glitter Glaze by Girly Bits.  There is incredible sparkle to Secret Galaxy that I had a difficult time capturing on camera.  Holo only seems to want to be captured when the photo is blurry!  So you'll see that in some of my photos in an effort to show you that super sparkle.  Ignore my poor clean-up job - the macro setting is very kind to point out what the naked eye thought was fine!  All taken under studio lighting on a white background.  Love love love Secret Galaxy!

Let me know what you think of the color in the comments below!

Disclaimer: polishes purchased for my own personal use.  All opinions are my own.  No affiliation with Northern Polish, Zoya, 6 Harts, or Girly Bits.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

40 Great Nail Art Ideas: Week 4 Orange, Purple, and Green + Reciprocal Gradient

Oh, boy, was this a toughie of a challenge!  I had reciprocal gradient as the pattern challenge and while I was familiar with it, I couldn't exactly remember what it was so I had to look it up.  I was also a little apprehensive because I've not actually done a gradient at all yet, but I knew enough about this cool technique to wonder if the colors weren't going to work well or just look like a hot mess (spoiler alert: I was right).  Thanks to a great Youtube tutorial by My Simple Little Pleasures, I was quickly able to learn how easy it is.  Patience and time are the key!  So I sucked it up and dove in.

Picking colors from my stash was hard.  I don't really own orange, and not much plain green.  It also doesn't help all my polish is currently stored in boxes due to my living situation so searching is a litte harder.  :)  The recent A Box, Indied had all three colors, but I felt the purple was too sheer for this and didn't "go" well in tone.  I felt a plummy purple was more appropriate.  However, I worried this darker color palette would be difficult for a gradient, even though I liked the undertones of the color combo.  I decided to risk it anyways.

I used Different Dimension Witch & Fabulous as the orange and Colors by Llarowe Doctor Bombay's Potion as the green, both from the October A Box, Indied.  From CbL's fall collection 2015 I chose Aubergine Dreams as the purple.  Luckily, because I had been wanting to try a gradient for a while I already had on hand Glisten & Glow's Ctrl-Alt-Del latex barrier.  Despite being scented, it smells like bathroom cleaner to me.  Although it doesn't bother me, I have read reviews previously to be cautious that it does bother some noses.  It is incredibly easy to apply, but I do need more practice on where to place it to get best results (there's some cracks and cervices I missed).  This stuff is awesome enough, though, that I might use it on every mani!  Especially since I'm lazy and also not skilled with clean-up (which you'll see from my pics below).

Doing a gradient is incredibly easy - I just painted onto up&up latex free foam cosmetic wedges - it's the waiting part that's the hardest.  I had to do several layers to get the orange to show, but it did eventually (kind of) work.  I used chevron vinyls to create striping down the middle to reveal the reciprocal aspect.  I've recently discovered the awesomeness that is Girly Bits' Glitter Glaze quick dry top coat - dries super fast, super tough, and super glossy that makes holo and glitter pop.

While this isn't my most favorite mani I've done, I am proud of my sponging technique on first try.  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Shade lighting

Shade with indirect sunlight

Full sun in an attempt to show all the glitter and holo

Disclaimer: items were purchased by me for my personal use.  All opinions are my own.  No affiliation with the brands mentioned in this post

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday Mani: Polar Bear Club by Paint Box Polish

I've got some glittery goodness for you! This is a beautiful blue chock full of blue, purple, and green glitters. YUM! This was part of a collab box so the polish is not available by itself, and I think all the boxes are gone now. If you want to get your hands on this beauty, try searching in nail polish sales groups on Facebook or eBay. Check out Paint Box Polish for a lot of other glittery goodness today!



Full sun


Disclaimer:  products were purchased for personal use.  All opinions are my own.  No affiliation with Paint Box Polish.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

40 Great Nail Art Ideas: Week 3 Geek

This week's prompt is Geek, which brings to my mind geeks vs. nerds vs. dorks.  However, I was seeing others in the nail art challenge pursuing art that honors their favorite "geeky" tv show.  So I started thinking about Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Big Bang Theory as geeky shows I know....  Then I realized I geek out over Friends!  I own the original boxed set and I put it on in the background when I craft so I literally have seen it over 50 times, easily.  So I tried recreating the iconic logo.  I used multichrome rhinestones as the dots because the color pattern varied too much on the logos I was looking at on Google and even on my own box set.  I apologize for the streaking on the white - I'm used to indies drying quickly and this is a mainstream polish that appears to dry VERY slowly and I keep mis-timing when to put on the top coat.

Tell me in the comments what's your favorite tv show or what you "geek out" about!

Disclaimer: all opinions are my own.  Products were purchased by me for my own personal use.  No affiliation with Zoya or other products used in this post.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

40 Great Nail Art Ideas: Week 2 Teal + Pattern-on-Pattern

We're underway and getting down to the nitty gritty of the nail art challenge. :)  Hoping I didn't mess up my assignment!  Prompts are assigned in a really cool, but seemingly complicated, way so crossed fingers I'm on track. ^_^  This week, the color is teal and I was assigned the pattern-on-pattern prompt.

I am actually not a fan of pattern-on-pattern so I sort of dreaded this one, and creativity was difficult as I am uninspired by the prompt.  I feel like it can turn ugly and messy really quickly - I've seen even the best of nail art bloggers struggle with it.  I wanted all my colors to be teal, but I discovered I did not own as many teal shades as I thought.

Inspired by the experiment on my thumb in my last faux ombre pattern post, I used Just My Cup of Tea'l by Girly Bits as the base; Teal We Meet Again by Sephora OPI as the second color; and Swoon flakies by Girly Bits as the tips.  As my second pattern, I layered on mermaid scales vinyls by What's Up Nails using Teal Oops by Colors by Llarowe.  Per usual (ha), this didn't exactly turn out how I envisioned, but at least the scales are visible over the SOPI layer.  Because life is cruel (jk), you can see I accrued some tip wear before taking photos.  Too many layers of polish. :/

So I'm curious to know - what are your thoughts on pattern-on-pattern manis?

Shade with indirect lighting

Shade lighting

I used Dazzle Dry by Girly Bits before putting on the vinyls layer.  Trust me, this lives up to the hype.  I was blown away how much richer the color popped after putting it on.  Definitely am going to have to do a comparison post to show you what I mean!  Not only that, but I was pleased to see it dried very fast and created a very hard, resilient top coat.

Disclaimer:  I am in no way affiliated with the products mentioned in this post.  All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased for my own usage.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

40 Great Nail Art Ideas: Week 1 Hobbies

I have joined another nail art challenge!  Another great one hosted by Crumpet's Nail Tarts.  I am challenging myself to the one-a-week prompt style.  I typically post manis on Monday, so this'll be an adjustment for me at first.  This week's prompt is hobbies!

Now, I consider myself to have many hobbies.  Crafting has always been my number one, but since I'm living with my parents that's kind of gone on the backburner due to space constraints (and them not being fans of how much room it takes)... plus I wasn't sure how to do nail art on that.  I enjoying cooking and baking, but, there again, haven't been really able to do that since this isn't my house.  I'm slowly getting to where make-up *might* be a hobby; nail polish definitely is, but I have a feeling plenty of other manis will be about that.  And then there's a few hobbies I've mine I've let go dormant: photography, scrapbooking, crocheting....

However, the thing I am most passionate about is animal advocacy: I could easily do it as a full time job.  I currently volunteer for my friend's rescue as well as dedicate my time to being a helicopter mom to three kitties.  I am also the random weirdo in your local pet store teaching you (and sometimes the employees!) about proper pet care while shopping.  While this might not be considered a traditional "hobby," it IS what I am most passionate about right now.  And I could come up with some nail art for it. :)

I used three untrieds from my A Box, Indied stash to create this mani: Pahlish Fields of Gold (March 2015), Contrary Polish When in Rome (Aug 2015), and Different Dimension Witch & Famous (Oct 2015).  In conjunction with some white polish as well as cat vinyl decals I purchased from What's Up Nails, I created a mani inspired by the colorings of my three adorable furbabies.  This came out a little more Halloweenie than I intended, but that's bound to happen when I'm working with polishes I haven't tried on before this.  Also when what's in your head doesn't translate as well as one hoped.

I had some difficulty applying the Contrary Polish.  I am not sure if this is due to it not liking my basecoat or that is simply its consistency.  I have had this issue in the past with Contrary Polish.  While the first coat is streaky and drags, the second coat evens things out.  The Different Dimension I had no difficulties with, although I'm not sure how I feel about the bigger brush.  Pahlish is a brand I'm already familiar with and have quite the stash already, whereas Contrary and DD I'm newly introduced through ABI.

Tell me in the comments below what you think!  And let me know what your favorite hobby is that would inspire your nail art mani!

 pinkie = Maddie
ring = Brandon
middle = Annabelle
pointer is a fun decal :)

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the polish brands mentioned above.  All opinions are my own.  Polishes were purchased by me for my own personal usage.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Mani: CbL Rainbow Connection Birthday Exclusive Loving Every Moment

This past week, I have had the fun of spearheading a group buy for Rainbow Connection's exclusive Colors By Llarowe polish called Loving Every Moment that was made for RC's 2nd anniversary.  When I opened the box, I was blown away by the gorgeousness.  Seriously, this is some CbL to the next level.  And I instantly knew this would be hard to photograph.

Application was on the thicker side than I'm used to for the CbL's I currently own, but that may be due to the rich complexity and intense holoness of this polish.  It's opaque enough that you could probably get away with it being a one coater with the right application technique, but I did two to really pop out that richness.  My nails like CbL so the polish dried quick, and slightly gel like.  My kind of polish!  Depending on lighting, it can lean pink or blue.  I've noticed natural light it leans blue and artificial light it leans pink.  And the times it's a straight up purple the richness and depth is drool worthy.  This polish is one of those you appreciate even more in person and can't capture it fully on camera.

I tried taking lots of pictures in several types of lighting.  As a result, some are a little blurry - it wouldn't play nice with the camera and sometimes the blurry ones capture the essence best (perhaps you've heard sometimes blurry photos capture intense holo best?).  This beauty you can purchase from the Rainbow Connection site.  It's been selling fast and I don't know how many restocks there will be!

studio lighting

 indoors, direct sunlight

outdoor shade

outdoor shade with indirect lighting
These last two shots really highlight the pink, purple, and blue!

Disclaimer: I am no way affiliated with Colors by Llarowe or Rainbow Connection.  Products were purchased by myself.  All opinions are my own.