Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Break Goes Out With A.... POP! of Color

Well my spring break is coming to a close, and starting Monday I'm back to being a semi-professional (the kids at my school LOVE checking out my nails but I don't fell comfortable when meeting with parents and other professionals), so I figured I'd go out with some brights!  I've seen a lot of pink and yellow color combos lately (Nail Addicts Anon, Nail Polish Art Addiction, Nailside) so that was my first thought.

I like this quite a bit, I think.  It feels a little bit like a circus tent, which is fine by me!  It seems so cheerful.

Products used:
ELF Summer Ready Collection: Fuchsia
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri: Lightening, Silver Sweep
Bundle monster plates BM20 and BM05

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Monarch Butterfly Mani

Finally completed that butterfly manicure I attempted a few days ago!  I think it came out pretty nicely!  My right hand- not so much.  But I'm pretty proud of how this turned out!

Before I attempted to clean some of the skuzz from my cuticles

Not too shabby, right?

Products used:
ELF Summer Ready collection- Mango Madness
Sally Hansen Nail Art pen- Black
L.A. Colors Art Deco- white
Top Coat: SV

ELF Summer Ready Collection: Mango Madness

A few weeks ago I saw ELF's Summer Ready collection in Target and snapped it up.  I liked the colors at first glance and couldn't resist the 5 dollar price tag.  I've just now got around to busting open the box and testing them out, and I decided to try some designs using them.

For now, here's Mango Madness for your enjoyment.  We'll see how my design turns out late this evening.



It goes on about how you'd expect for a one dollar nail polish.  This is two coats on top of a base coat, and I could probably have gone for a third but I am very impatient most of the time.  It's a lovely color for summer- bright but not quite neon (though I do love neons).  Application was easy, kind of streaky with two coats but not terrible.  If I was wearing it plain I would've done a third, but since I'm planning on trying out some monarch nails again (after failing miserably a few days ago) I figured two would suffice.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vintage Inspired Spring Rose Manicure

I knew that daisy french wasn't going to last very long!  Like less than 24 hours.  I decided that since I only spent 5 minutes on my nails last night, I'd spend some time attempting something I've wanted to try for a long, long time but didn't have the time or patience.

I've seen these vintage looking rose designs for a while now, but I never knew how they were done.  So I kind of just made it up as I went along, and I am so excited and proud of my results!  It's one of those things where it's been done before (and better) but I am just so happy that I was able to do it myself and have it come out mostly decent!  I am definitely going to try to take care of these for a while.

This is me not yet mastering the self-timer on my camera 
but still trying to cram all 10 fingers into one frame

Products used:
Base coat: OPI ridge filler
Base color: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Whirldwind White
Base color (ring finger): China Glaze- For Audrey
Roses: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Rapid Red and Flashy Fuschia
Leaves: Revlon Matte Suede- Emerald City
Top coat: SV

Monday, March 21, 2011

Daisy French Manicure

Well the good news is that my "interview" nails from Thursday night lasted all the way until Sunday!  That's basically a record for me.  Since they were too short to wrap the lip, they started looking a little bit worn about the ends so I preemptively removed them instead of waiting to peel them off later in the day.  I attempted a monarch butterfly wing manicure and FAILED miserably.  I didn't even attempt my right hand, and removed the whole shebang almost immediately after I completed it.

But I needed to do SOMETHING... bare nails for me are just asking to be gnawed down to nubbins.  So I went with something super quick and simple (it was like 1am, I had just gotten home from a night out at the pub with some friends from class- we were all drowning our sorrows and talking about how terribly our interviews had gone) and springy to welcome not only the first day of Spring, but my first day of Spring break.

My thumb looks WAY worse in the photo than in person.  
Don't know what's up with that!

I don't expect these to last a remarkably long time because I have tons of ideas up my sleeve and an entire week to experiment.  But I thought they were kind of cute for a five minute mani.

Abby tush

Products used:
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Whirlwind White
L.A. Colors Art Deco in Dark Blue
L.A. Colors Art Deco in Yellow
SV topcoat

Friday, March 18, 2011

Interview Appropriateness

In case you didn't know, I am a graduate student in my second year of a three year program.  The third year is an internship year, for which we have just started interviewing.  My goal was to find a nice neutral nail that I could wear on these interviews.  My issue is that I kind of hate baby pinks and I wanted to try something new.  I definitely have a favorite taupe and a favorite "greige"ish, but I wanted something lighter.  I started with a french mani using essie Guchi Muchi Puchi- but I HATED it.  I don't have any pics because it chipped the morning after I painted them and by that afternoon I had peeled it all off angrily.  It was just too baby pink for my taste.  So I rummaged through my box of polishes and stumbled across OPI's Moon Over Mumbai, which I purchased who-knows-when and have never worn.  I figured "why not, at least it isn't pink" and put it on over the OPI ridge filler base coat.

Fuzzy blankets worn like snuggies make excellent backdrops, right? 

I really feel that these photos don't do it justice!  I really like it a lot.  This is three coats on top of the ridge filler base coat and SV on top.  I wish I had done another layer, because I am neurotic about streaks and ridges and I think one more layer would have really done it for me, but I really really do like this.  

And of course my dog, Abby had to get in on the picture action.  This might end up being a blog feature, considering how in my face she always is, especially when there's a camera involved.  


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Looking Back

I went through my files and pulled out some of my favorite nail polishes/designs from the past year.

This "major award" inspired fishnet french was from January 2011. 

December 2010 I tried these Christmas lights (everyone say hi to my dog, Abby, in the background)

This purple zebra mani is from September 2010 when I got my first knonad plates!

In August 2010 I tried water marbling with the primary colors.

So there was a quickie run-through of some of the designs I've tried in the past.  I was going to do a plain old french mani tonight since I have and interview for internship this week (yikes!) and I want it to more professional than.. say... purple zebra stripes... But I've been battling a migraine for 9 hours today and I'm really not feeling the nail polish fumes right not.  So instead I'm going to slap on a clear coat and cross my fingers that I don't gnaw off what little "white bits" I've got left tomorrow.  If the french doesn't work out I'm just going to go with a pale pink or neutrally taupe.  I never ever do plain pink by itself so that will be.. interesting?  We'll see!  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Starting Point

Thursday night I had class and by the time I got home I had bitten/chipped off nearly all of my nail polish.  Which is not a new occurrence, but I figured it would mark the perfect starting point for my new goal.  So heads up, this isn't pretty:

I know, right?  Look at those cuticles.

I didn't even try to put on lotion or anything, because let's be honest, I have a problem that I've been working on for years and this is still what my hands look like on a normal basis.  It isn't as bad as it could be (or has been in the past) but I'm working to make it awesome.

So anyway, this is my starting point.  And to begin I decided to try a matte royal blue.  

Not too shabby, right?  They don't look terrible when the polish is on.  

Products used:
Sally Hansen Age Correct Growth Treatment (I've been using this for years and I love it long time) as basecoat
Revlon Top Speed in Royal
Essie Matte About You topcoat

I painted these on Friday afternoon and they lasted until... today.  They were chipped up by Saturday, and I tried repairing them but by my shower this morning my repairs had worn off and I chipped the rest off all by myself while wandering through a book store.  

This is going to be harder than I thought.

It looked nice while it lasted.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hi and stuff

This isn't going to purely be a review/swatch nail blog.  It is going to be (hopefully) me tracking my progress to finally kick the nailbiting habit through sheer will and determination and nail polish!  Maybe having it out there for other people to see and say "shame on you for biting them all off, they were looking so good!" will be that little extra push I need.

Until finals week rolls around, and then all bets are off.