Monday, April 29, 2013

MSMD - White Roses on Green and Black

It's Monkey See, Monkey Do Monday and I chose to copy this absolutely gorgeous manicure from Raggio di Luna.

I love all of her nail art, I really do. Even this manicure shows how much better she is than me at leaving empty space, and it makes all of her designs look so much more elegant than mine. She shows up on my Pinterest board a lot for inspiration.

To copy her amazing design, I managed to make an all-Sinful Colors manicure. I started with a base of Mint Apple, and my black curve was done with Secret Admirer. The roses are Snow Me White, and I painted the leaves in white as well, then covered the white with San Francisco and added a swoop of Call You Later to each leaf.

Raggio di Luna is also much better than me at photographing her nails. :)

Check out these other blogs to see what they came up with for Monkey See Monkey Do Monday!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April Tri-Polish Challenge: Day 4

I was so sad. I love it when my nails get long enough that I have to type with my nails rather than my finger pads. My best friend V trims her nails when they threaten to get that long, but I actually enjoy the click-clack. I'm easily amused! So I was very very sad when my index fingernail decide to peel off right at the quick this past weekend. I trimmed the rest down drastically so the difference in length isn't so pitifully obvious, but there's no helping that index finger. It looks so poor and downtrodden you just feel bad for it!

Anyway, my final entry for the Tri-Polish Challenge for the month of April brings to you the only manicure of the four in which I did not use all three of the colors! I did a plastic wrap marble with China Glaze For Audrey and Sinful Colors Orange Cream. I did try it with my Wet N Wild Sunny Side Up on a few accent nails, but it just looked...ugh. It was seriously icky. You don't even wanna know.

After that I used my largest dotting tool to make white scallops along the edges with my standard Milani Whitest White, then used the smallest and second-smallest dotting tips to make an attempt at lacework. My off-hand looks more like random splotches on the white, but at least two people in my office nail-art-admirers recognized it as lace, so I don't feel too bad about it. :)

My 9-year-old daughter said it looks like Easter Eggs, and if you turn it the other way I think it looks like a cupcake, but whatever you want to call it, at least everyone agrees that it's pretty. :)

As much as I loved doing this, I'm glad it's over for the month. It's hard coming up with four different manicures with the same three polishes! I think I'll make sure next month there's more contrast between my three choices. Having them all be sheer pastels was awkward. Well, For Audrey wasn't sheer, but it was pastel...and the other two were very sheer which made for layering difficulties.

Next month's colors for this challenge will be blue, grey, and red. I'm looking forward to it! In the meantime, check out everybody else's fourth entry to this month's colors:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April Tri-Polish Challenge: Day 3

Here is my third entry for April's Tri-Polish Challenge, brought to us by Crumpet's Nail Tarts. We're given three colors at the start of the month, and we have to choose one polish for each color, and then create four manicures that each use at least two of those three, and at least one of the four has to use all three. We're also allowed to use white, black, gold, silver, and clear-based glitter in our creations.

April's colors are pink, turquoise, and orange, for which I chose Sinful Colors Orange Cream, China Glaze For Audrey, and Wet n Wild Sunny Side Up. For today's mani I also used Milani Whitest White and Color Club Antiquated. I'm not sure if Antiquated counts as silver or gold, as in some lights it looks one, and sometimes it looks the other. But I figure that it's close enough that I won't get a slap on the wrist for it, right? ;)

My inspiration for today's nail art came from this amazing manicure by the delightful Kathleen:

Isn't is GORGEOUS? I can't do it justice, but it certainly inspired me. I hope you enjoy my rendition of it as much as I enjoyed having it on my nails!

Now let's see all the other pretties my fellow Nail Tarts have created!

Monday, April 22, 2013

MSMD -AND- Weekly Challenge Theme

As the subject line suggests, I'm doing double duty with today's post. This is both a Monkey See, Monkey Do Monday, and it also follows this week's theme for the 52-week challenge I'm following.

I got the idea when I saw this post from Marie's Manicure Madhouse, which in her case was inspired by clothing, but I saw both cobblestones and scaly skin in it, as well. Whichever way you look at it, it's a gorgeous manicure:

This week's 52-week challenge theme is "animal print", so I combined that mani inspiration with this snakeskin print...

...and this is the manicure that came out of it!

The base color is Maybelline Color Show Twilight Rays, and the snakeskin print used OPI Wooden Shoe Like to Know? and China Glaze Kalahari Kiss.

Let me know what you think of my monkey-see-monkey-do snakeskin, and check out these other entries into today's MSMD Monday!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

52-Week Challenge: 4/15 - Flowers

I've never been any good at french tips. I love the way they look on other people - very classy and sophisticated. But even if I use a tip guide to get a good line, I'll get one finger too far down or up compared to the other fingers, or something else will go wrong. It's never quite the way I want it to come out. But with this manicure, I was able to cover the worst of the issues!

The two base colors for this manicure are both brand new untried polishes for me. I've been picking up nudes here and there for the last couple of times I was polish shopping, and I've finally found one that actually looks nude on me! NYC Carrie'd Away is the underlying color of these nails, and then I used China Glaze Midtown Magic for the french tips.

After that, I drew the flowers with a detail brush and Milani Whitest White. Then I painted over the white with Color Club Take Me To Your Chateau on some flowers and China Glaze Sugar High on the others. I used more Whitest White to draw little lines for detail on the flowers, then added some Primark Beauty neon yellow for the centers.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Tri-Polish Challenge: Day 2 - Watercolor

Here we are at my second installment for my newest challenge addition - the Tri-Polish Challenge from Crumpet's Nail Tarts! As I mentioned last post, April's colors are pink, turquoise, and orange, and the polishes I chose to use for these colors are Sinful Colors Orange Cream, China Glaze For Audrey, and Wet n Wild Sunny Side Up. I chose to use the watercolor technique for this manicure, and it came out even better than I had hoped!

If you're not familiar with the technique, what you do is start with a base of white nails (I used my normal Milani Whitest White) and seal it in with a topcoat. Then you take your polish and put tiny dots, spaced out, on your nails, then dip a brush in acetone and blot it on the polish dot. This thins out the polish and lets it spread out like watercolor paint. The end result, with this combination of polishes, is this lovely pastel fusion which reminds me of a close-up of flowers in a Monet painting. :)

As is usual for me, being the night owl that I am and working office hours, I tend to do my nails late in the evening. Imagine my surprise when I got up the next morning and realized...I'd skipped over one nail when painting one of the colors! Check out this right hand - one of these nails is not like the other! :)

Let's see what everyone else did with their three colors today...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April Tri-Polish Challenge: Day 1 - Dotticure

If you haven't noticed, while I love having the hobby of painting pretty things on my nails, I suffer from a lack of creativity. So I use other people and challenges to plan ideas. So when I saw a bunch of other bloggers suddenly posting a new challenge, I looked into it. And I liked it! So this month sees me joining in on the Tri-Polish Challenge! Here's how it works: three colors are picked for each month, in this case, we have pink, turquoise, and orange.

You have to choose your three polishes for the colors (hence the "Tri-Polish" name of the challenge) and do four manicures with those three polishes. Each manicure has to use at least two of the polishes, and at least one of the four has to have all three colors. You can also use white, black, silver, gold, or clear-based glitter.

I don't really have any polishes I would consider "turquoise". Honestly? I like turquoise - the stone - but I don't really care for the color on anything else. I love blue, and I love green, but I'm not much of a fan of combining the two. :P I don't remember if I bought China Glaze For Audrey or if someone else picked it up for me, but it is in my stash, however little I've used it, so that's what I pulled out for this month. Oddly enough, the color I picked for "pink" has the word "orange" in the name! It's Sinful Colors Orange Cream, which, especially put up against Wet n Wild Sunny Side Up, clearly is PINK, not orange! Admittedly, it is an orange-tinted pink, but dudes...PINK! Why did you call a pink "orange"?

What's always my first thought for a manicure using disparate colors? Dot those puppies, of course! My co-workers were ooohing over how very springy my nails were! And since it's finally stopped raining nearly every day, I managed to get some outside daylight pictures again. So of course I'm treating you to picture spam. ^_^

Check out the other bloggers following this challenge!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Universe in Browns

I'm mostly on a no-buy these days, as I'm waiting on my exchange packages to trickle in, bringing me new polishes from several wonderful ladies and one awesome guy. But occasionally you just have a bad day...or in this case, a bad week...and impulse purchases happen. This, of course, was one of those. I have been eyeing the Revlon Moon Candy's for quite a while, but when Soflajo posted swatches last month of two new colors, I looked up her previous swatches and figured out just which ones I really wanted, and which I could live without. I ended up deciding that Cosmic, Moondust, and Universe were three that were gorgeous and significantly different than any other flakie I already had. (However, based on Nouveau Cheap's review last summer, which clarified that even though it looks a lot like it in pictures, Orbit is significantly different than Green Ocean in real life, I think I need to add that to my list.)

Anyway, I was wandering through the nail polish aisles of my local wally-world, looking for a treat on payday after a stressful week, and I ended up purchasing Universe. I decided to show it off over a skittle of browns, as you can see here.

Starting with my thumb, the base colors are Elevation Polish Temperance, Cherimoya Cappucino, Elevation Polish Cascade, China Glaze Brownstone, and finally the base color that comes in the Universe duo. I love my new brown almost as much as the topper! I tried to take pictures at a variety of angles to show how the flakes shift green-gold-pink. I did do a compilation, showcasing the changes, but what I never could quite capture was how bright the colors were when looking at a 90-degree angle (with the nails directly facing your eyes). If I used a flash, it drowned out the color, and without it, at that 90-degree angle, the nails weren't catching enough of my light source to see it as well in the photo as the eyes can pick up. If it had been a sunny day, I might have had better luck, but I had to make due with internal lighting, and I don't have a light box setup.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April Polish Days - 7 Deadly Sins

"Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Unless you're a saint there's a chance you're guilty of at least one.  I'm leaving this one up to your imagination though, so however you chose to interpret the theme, it's up to you! Afterall, who am I to judge your sins ;)"

It's Polish Days again, and as you can see, this month's theme is the 7 Deadly Sins. It was hard for me to take this one seriously, though, because I'm not a Christian. As a pagan, I believe that while emotions can sometimes lead to evil actions, it's not the emotions that are the evil. Your emotions hurt only yourself - only your actions can hurt others.

So here's my interpretation of two of the "deadly sins".

There's Pride and the Grapes of Wrath for you. :) I started with a base of Rimmel London's Sage All the Rage, which is such a pretty shade of dusky light green on its own, but when I put these bright colors on top of it, it washed out to nearly gray. The colors used in the rainbow, in order, were: China Glaze Salsa, Wet N Wild Sunny Side Up, China Glaze Solar Power, OPI Jade is the New Black, China Glaze Man Hunt, NYC Purple Pizzazz Frost, and Sinful Colors Snow Me White.

For the grapes I started with a dotting tool and Rimmel London I Lilac You. I then dotted Purple Pizzazz Frost on top with a slightly smaller dotting tool, and then used a detail brush to make light reflection curves with I Lilac You. Jade is the New Black made the leaves, and a good coat of Seche Vite tops it all off. I was really happy with the way the grapes came out - they look almost like decals sometimes when I look at them! :)

Check out all these other interpretations of 7 Deadly Sins today!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Cult of Plastic Wrap

March was my month to receive from my nail exchange buddies, and as anyone who knows me can tell you, I do not have many untried polishes in my stash. Ever. Because those brand-new polishes sit on my desk rather than getting put away on the shelf until they go on my fingers. ^_^ So when I received a package that contained my very first Cult Nails polishes? All four (three colors and a quick-dry top coat) went onto my nails that very evening!

I started with two coats of Let Me Fly on all my nails except the ring fingers. I used Scandalous on those. And then I cut up a strip of plastic wrap so I had ten little squares ready to go. One finger at a time, I put a generous layer of My Kind of Cool Aid on a nail, balled up a piece of plastic wrap, and daubed it on the wet nail. I have had a hard time getting this all-over texture from plastic wrap before, but I think I've finally got the hang of it! Also, I have to comment on this quick-dry top coat. I have two other top coats that are considered quick-dry: Seche Vite and one from Sinful Colors. However, I have to say, this is the FIRST top coat where I can actually feel it causing evaporation! Seriously, it makes the tips of my fingers feel cold for a minute! I still love my Seche Vite because I love the shine and the thick, lacquer-like feel of it. But lately I've started using the Cult Nails top coat first, and then topping it with my SV for the final look.

My exchange buddies also know that I like weird patterned socks. It's kind of my thing - I actually do wear these puppies to work, whether I'm wearing boots or shoes where the socks show. I love being quirky! So far every package I've got from my exchangers, that didn't get shipped straight from the polish company, has contained cool socks! See my cool socks?

More pretty nail pics, and I'll shut up now! :)