Sunday, July 24, 2011

Looking Back part 2

More designs from my sordid past (part one):

A split-screen scotch tape mani from June 2010

Another scotch tape mani from January 2011

Valentine's day konads from February 2011

Blue with gold hex glitter, matted, from May 2011

Polka Dots and Roses from May 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mini Haul- Swatches, Picture Heavy (Revlon Metallic, Sally Hanson Crackle, Shimmer and Bright Blue!)

I went to Target yesterday and came home with this cute little mini haul!

Sally Hansen Angel Wings, Sally Hansen Crackle in Fuchsia Shock,
Revlon Top Speed in Metallic, and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Blue Me Away!

I wanted to try one of the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes, because I've been eyeing them for ages but have never gotten one.  At my local Fred Meyer, they are like two dollars more than they were at Target!  So I'm glad I waited.  Anyway, this color is called Angel Wings.  It's this lovely sheer with shimmery pink.  First I swatched it alone.  It's really pretty, but super sheer... not that I expected anything else.  So then I tried it on top of black, white, grey and pink.  I LOVED it on top of the black!  The pink shimmer was so pretty and quite more obvious than the other colors.  

Angel Wings- two coats

Angel Wings- three coats on thumb, on black, white, grey, pink

The next thing that caught my eye was the Sally Hansen Crackle collection.  There were literally only three bottles left!  Two pinks and I think a white maybe.  My fiance, Scott, was the one who said "Oooo look at this!"  Really, he was the one that convinced me to get it, but don't tell him that.  I thought that the pink would look really great over a bright electric blue, which is great because in the display beneath the crackle I found Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue Me Away!  It was perfect!  And so cheap.  So I grabbed those two bottles and went on my way.  

I really love Blue Me Away.  It'a a bright, happy color perfect for the dreary summer we are having here in Portland right now.  Here it is with two coats.  Don't mind the crinkles on the middle finger, that always happens when I polish before bed :)

So then I put Fuchsia Shock on top.  I was a little disappointed that this turned out kind of purple on top of the blue.  I was hoping it would be as pink as it is in the bottle, but I still really really love this look.  I'm a little bit surprised, because I kind of really dislike the way that color crackles look!  But I love this!  It reminds me of cotton candy.  I used one thick layer of Fuchsia Shock on top of Blue Me Away! and used Seche Vite as a top coat.  Also, FYI, the brush for Sally Hansen's crackle is not the best.  It was really difficult to get a thick layer.  I way more prefer the brushes she uses for her Xtreme Wear and Insta-Dri, that thick flat brush, as opposed to this one, which was really thin and round.  Oh well, it still works!

While crouching down to grab the bottle of Blue Me Away!, my eye tripped over the Revlon collection (beauty sections in the store are like that, aren't they?  A domino effect of desire) and lingered on a few different bottles.  I picked up and set down three colors before settling on Metallic.  I'm a sucker for a great metallic color!  I tried it alone, and then decided to test it's Konadability (this is a word, promise).  I really wasn't expecting it to work with the stamps, but insert foot into mouth!  It's totally awesome for stamps!  Which means I have to go back and get the gold/copper one that I was fondling.

Perfect Konadability!

So there you have it.  I'm really excited to try Fuchsia Shock on top of Metallic!  I think that will be a really fun look.  

Progress (Warning: Ugly Nails)

Here's my nails from almost exactly a month ago:

And here they were from earlier today:

Progress, right?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ELF Purple Pleaser vs OPI Pamplona Purple

I was sitting at my desk trying to decide what to do with my nails.  One hand was painted, the other hand wasn't.  Do I want to remove it and do another swatch?  Do I want to work with it?  And as I sat and pondered, something caught the corner of my eye.  It was OPI's Pamplona Purple!  I picked it up and looked at it, and compared the bottle to that of ELF's Purple Pleaser and thought, EUREKA!  A comparison swatch!

So here we are, my very first comparison swatch!

Purple Pleaser on Thumb, Middle and Pinky
Pamplona Purple on Pointer and Ring

Inside, with flash
Purple Pleaser on Thumb, Middle and Pinky
Pamplona Purple on Pointer and Ring

Purple Pleaser on Thumb, Middle and Pinky
Pamplona Purple on Pointer and Ring

So there it is.  They look less similar on my nails and in the sun than they did in the bottles in my shady house. You can see that Purple Pleaser has more red/pinkish tones to it than Pamplona Purple.  

I think I might prefer the ELF polish over the OPI even considering the fact that it needed one more layer.  I just think I prefer the color, and the cost is sweet too!  What do you think?  

ELF Summer Ready Collection: Purple Pleaser

I've finally gotten around to swatching more of that ELF Summer Ready Collection from Target.  Today it's Purple Pleaser, a pretty awesome purple that I think will be great for fall and winter.  It's pretty streaky and I could've probably benefited from another coat, but overall I think it's a really nice color.  I've been really impressed with this collection!  Totally worth the cost, for sure.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chalkboard Nails

I had this brilliant idea.  I've been wanting to do a mani with crackle tips, and I've been wanting to do a mani with matte pastels, so I thought "why not combine the two!"  Well... I tried it.  And I kind of don't like it at all.  The pastel green with the matte topcoat reminds me of sidewalk chalk.  And I guess I'm just really bad at doing tips or something, but I also kind of hate the crackle tips on me... on everyone else they look so awesome!  Maybe if I'd been able to find my silver pen and do a line in silver like I wanted to, rather in black...

But anyway, here it is!

Products used:
Revlon Minted
OPI Black Shatter
Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Black
Essie Matte About You

And here's another one for good measure: 
We haven't seen Abby in a while, but she made her presence known today!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter Premiere

I went to see Harry Potter last night.  The movie was awesome, and so was using it as an excuse to make some fun new things!  I painted these nails on Tuesday, which was pretty ambitious of me (believing that they'd last that long), but the good news is... they did survive!  With only a few small chips.

Once again, the design looked much much better in my mind than in actuality.  I was inspired by the last battle between Harry and Voldemort, shown here:

Here's what I ended up with:

Ignore that black splotch, it's fabric paint from the t-shirt I made

If you can't tell, it's supposed to be the two wands and their stream/spells reaching across and colliding together.  And on my thumbs I have HP in gold and silver.  

I think it turned out ok.  My friends really loved it.  I also tried a splatter background for the first time, and I think with practice that's going to be a new technique I use fairly often.  

Also thanks to my awesome fiance for taking these (and bout 40 other) photos for me, since it was impossible for me to do.  

Products used:
Zoya Kelly
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Pronto Purple
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in Wet Cement
Pure Ice in Frosted Ice Celestial
LA Girl Disco Brites in Can U Dig It?
LA Colors Art Deco in Bright Green
Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens in Silver, Gold and Red
Seche Vite Topcoat

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Camera Failed Me

I have tried SO HARD over the course of two days and so many different settings and locations to catch the True Color of this manicure, and it just won't happen.  Indoor, outdoor, flash, no flash, macro, far away, I just can't get it recorded.

When I bought Love & Beauty Light Grey, I assumed it would look as it does in the bottle- grey with pink shimmer- but as a sheer.  So when I went over to a friend's house on Sunday to watch True Blood, I grabbed it and Zoya Kelly, figuring I'd layer the sheer on top of the darker grey-purple.

And it caught me totally off guard!  Light Grey (what a dull, boring name) is not very sheer at all!  I can't wait to swatch it on bare nails and see what it looks like alone.  On top of Kelly it creates this amazing gunmental metallic pink/grey duochrome feel and it is AMAZING!  I just haven't been able to capture the pink shimmer at all on my camera, so you'll have to take my word for it how awesome these colors are together.

This was as close as I could get to capturing the pink.

If you look reeeeally closely you can see some pink shimmers.

I do love the gunmetal metallic going on here.

Products Used:
Zoya Kelly
Forever 21 Love & Beauty in Light Grey
Base/Top coat: Sally Hansen Double Duty

Bonus photo of my awesome new bracelet:

It's made by a local artisan (website) out of old antique silverware.  My particular design is from a set from 1938!  If you're local to Portland or Eugene, Oregon, and you can make it down to the Eugene Saturday Market, definitely go check out Ben's booth.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stars and Stripes (and Fireworks) Forever!

Happy Birthday, America!  I couldn't decide what design I wanted to do.. So I did them all!

Products used:
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in: Lightening, Whirlwind White, Rapid Red, Brisk Blue, Silver Sweep
NYC: Black Lace Creme
L.A. Colors Art Deco: White
Base/Top Coat: Sally Hansen Double Duty
Bundle Monster Plates: BM02 and BM20

Monday, July 4, 2011

Forever 21 Swatch- Love & Beauty: Orchid and SUPER EXCITING NEWS!

I mentioned yesterday that I went home for a few days for a mini vacation and had some exciting news.  Well...


My boyfriend (fiance!!!) proposed to me while we were visiting!  My brother and his girlfriend (Josie of Josie's Nails) and my parents were all in on it and I was COMPLETELY oblivious.  After the proposal we went back to my parents' house where there was another surprise waiting- all of my family were there for a secret surprise BBQ!  It was super awesome.  My only regret is that I had peeled off all of my nail polish (the rainbow leopard print I posted about yesterday) during the movie that we went to see, so my nails look like the above in all the photos!  So now I will be super motivated to QUIT NIBBLING!  

I knew that I needed to paint my nails for when I wanted to take photos of my ring, so I decided to put on hold the 4th of July manicure I had in mind and went instead with a super fast mani using a new polish I had gotten from Forever 21 earlier that day.  This is Love & Beauty in Orchid.

As you can see, I had a really hard time capturing the color with my camera.  It didn't help that I was in the car on the way to the airport!  Orchid is really a beautiful color, and for less than 3 dollars, a total steal!  I wasn't expecting a whole lot, to be honest, but I was really impressed and I can't wait to try the other two Love & Beauty colors that I purchased.