Saturday, July 31, 2010

Vampire Nails!

This was my entry for Polish Hoarder Disorder's weekly challenge: Vampire Nails!

My nails look like little mouths!  This is a coat of Wet n' Wild  (WnW) Black with OPI Dim Sum Plum (mixed with white) for the tips.  I used WnW white for the teeth, and WnW red for the blood with some China Glaze Ruby Pumps for the glitter on top!  Hope you like them.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe

By now, I'm sure you've all seen many swatches of this brilliant beauty.  I've been sitting with the bottle for a while, but I just haven't felt like wearing it until today.  I think I needed a nice sunny day to show off such a gorgeous glitter!

This is three coats of ATU on one coat of Beauty Secrets Ridge Filler and a coat of Orly Bonder, and topped with a coat of Seche Vite.  The glitter in this polish is amazing--small bits of sky blue, mixed with larger blue and green hex sequins.  It is gorgeous--and all floating in a navy jelly base.  Three coats made it perfect, though I had to wait for it to dry between coats in order to allow the hex glitter to settle in its spot.  It was slightly bumpy to the touch, but the SV seemed to smooth most of that up.

All of these pictures were taken in the sunlight.

Bottom line: you need this.  I cannot stop staring at my nails; they remind me of the scales of a fish, or the tail of a mermaid.  It really looks like my nails are made of sequins!  Gorgeous, Deborah Lippmann.  Well done!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

H&M Summer Nails Set

Hey folks!  I just got back from a three-day power outage!  We had terrible windstorms on Sunday and it pulled power lines down all over the DC metro area.  It felt like I was Amish!  Oh well...power is back and here are some swatches.

I stopped into H&M this weekend and came out with this "Summer Nails" set of minis.  H&Ms here never have polishes and so I grabbed these.  They had some single colors too but I figured I only needed this for now.  Each polish is 0.1 fl. oz. and while they don't have the best brushes, I thought it was a nice sized kit for only $4.00.

Look at those creative names!  Purple, Green, Blue, and Pure White.

We'll go in reverse order.  All of these are two coats.

Pure white was exactly that--this white was a nice formula and was opaque in two coats.  It felt as if I had white out on my nails--not something that I necessarily hate, but I'll probably use this more for frankening/nail art.

Blue was quite comparable to Zoya Robyn.  I loved this fresh, smooth shade of sky.  So perfect for summer!

Green was a deep jade with a hint of shimmer.  I love this muted green and can see myself wearing this a lot.

Purple is the one I chose to wear for the day.  I adjusted the color on my computer so you could see how red this purple is, so excuse the weird skin.  Again, perfect application in two coats with a bit of shimmer.  I love these kinds of purples.

Overall, I think this is a great kit for the price.  There's nothing original about the colors, but they certainly are perfect for summertime.  And this would be great to take on a trip for touchups or to keep in your purse.

And of course, I had to add a bit of Hidden Treasure to the second day mani.  Love those flakies!

Do you have any H&M polishes?  I'd love to try some more!  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Urban Outfitters Grey 1 + Konad!

Urban Outfitters currently has a bunch of their in-house polishes on sale.  Though they are regularly 2 for $8, I saw a bunch for only 99 cents and so I had to pick up a few colors.  They also had a bunch of their "sparkle" colors on sale, which looked like flakies, but I decided not to get those.  Does anyone have the UO sparkles?  I was intrigued...

One of the shades I picked up was Grey 1.  Though it's not the most creative name, I kind of like how they maybe decided to choose simplicity over cheesiness.  Grey 1 is a very dark green-tinged grey in the bottle.  On the nails it's a dark charcoal.  I really like the darkness of it.  The cap/brush are a bit difficult to polish with, but the color was smooth and opaque after two coats.  I then used the geometric pattern from konad plate m64 with white stamping polish.  I topped the whole thing off with a coat of China Glaze matte magic--this looks soooo much better matte.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Maybelline Twinkle Twinkle

This is Maybelline Twinkle Twinkle which I received as a gift from a very nice person!  It's a lovely navy with teeny silver microglitter and some claim it as a dupe for the coveted Essie Starry Starry Night.  The formula was a bit thick and the brush was a bit wonky, so it was difficult to polish with--I think I'll need to thin it out a bit.  It's not my favorite summer color (and I wish I had applied three coats instead of just two) but it's beautiful nonetheless.

It truly does remind me of stars in the dark sky.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ALU-inspired Gradation Manicure

It's been a little bit longer than usual since my last post.  I went to the beach with the boyfriend this weekend and, though I had an awesome manicure, I forgot to take pictures.  Though the Orly Luxe/SH Hidden Treasure combo held up awesomely well through the surf and sand, it was a bit too chipped to show you guys when we got back.  I have something much prettier anyway.  I saw Michelle Mismas' "Quick & Easy" gradation manicure last week and knew that I had to try it myself.  I couldn't wait to attempt it on my own nails.

I didn't intend to use the same colors as she did (I hope to try more combinations in the future!) but Urban Decay Toxin is one of my favorite jelly polishes and I just loved how her manicure looked!  I first polished on two coats of Zoya Charla and then proceeded to follow her method for layering the purple polish on top in four separate layers. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!  What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

American Apparel Berry Konadicure

I was in the mood for a tone on tone konadicure today.  This is two coats of American Apparel Berry--a perfect berry red-violet.  All of my AA polishes go on smooth and glossy.  I used this pattern from the bm10 plate and stamped it with Sally Hansen Chrome in Burmese Ruby.  SH Chromes are the best for stamping!

I'm happy with how this turned out, but I still have trouble keeping these full nail plates completely straight!


In the sunshine!

Just the berry...indoors at night.

And here's the design I added to my Zoya Robyn mani the other day.  This peacock on bm15 is my favorite design on all of the bundle monster plates.  I just wish my nails were long enough for the entire design to fit!  Look at how pretty the tail is--I'm going to work on this one.  This was stamped with SH Copper Chrome:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Zoya Robyn and an NYX Girls Enchanted Forest Snafu!

Though I'm sure you've all seen many swatches of Zoya Robyn...I've got one more!  This is a beautiful bright cerulean blue creme with the perfect amount of pigmentation.  Two coats and one of Seche Vite and I was good to go.  It's everything a bright blue creme polish should be:

This color is pretty accurate.  In the sun...

And indoors.  Look how glassy and smooth!

Of course, I only decided to polish on Robyn last night after a failed glitter manicure that had to come off.  It was a bit too blingy and uneven for me--I know, who thought too much bling was possible?

This was two coats of Pro 10 (not to be confused with 10 Pro) nail lacquer in Muse, a pretty pale yellow creme (Dollar Tree find).  On top I polished three coats of NYX Girls Enchanted Forest.  EF is a green-tinted clear base with various sizes of green glitter.  There is tiny green glitter, small hexagons, medium hexagon and big hexagons.  It was just too much--and really gloopy.  It didn't dry.  I took a few pictures just to show you--but then I took off the whole mess.  This would have been much prettier had it worked.  I did like the spring green tinge that the yellow took on once I layered the green over it.  Oh well!

And I baked the most delicious blueberry buttermilk muffins yesterday.  Here's the recipe if anyone is interested...they were TDF! for blueberry muffins!

Does anyone have any good NYX Girls colors (or regular NYX)?  I just cannot get their polishes to work on me...thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chanel Paradoxal...and some other recent endeavors

As a high school English teacher (I know...the enemy!) I've found myself trying to explain the meaning of a paradox more than a few times.  Next time, I may just have to bring in a swatch of Chanel Paradoxal, the newest color in the Chanel polish line.

As soon as I saw other bloggers swatch this, I knew it had to be mine.  I walked my butt over to Neiman Marcus...then left Neiman Marcus to go to the ATM, because I forgot that they only take cash, AmEx, or an NM card...and then walked back into Neiman Marcus to complete my purchase.

Paradoxal is lovely (like every other Chanel polish I've tried) and it dries to a smooth, glassy finish in two thin coats.  I could have gotten this to look good with one thick coat, but I'm a two coat kind of girl.  The color is hard to describe.  Inside it looks like a dusty plum, or even a dusky grey.  Outside it's a purply, taupey shimmer that is just so beautiful.  I am in love with this color and I cannot stop putting my nails in the stream of sun coming through my window.  It's Chanel and it's lovely.


In the sun

Violet shimmer!

A more mushroomy side of Paradoxal

Bottle color!

I also tried a new eye last night, so I thought I'd share--I rarely go all out with eye makeup (even though I have a lot of it!)  However, I do love glitter as much on my eyes as I do on my nails:

This was a whole mess of Urban Decay colors (my favorite) with Chanel inimitable mascara.  I really like more neutral, taupe yet shimmery, eye makeup in the summer.  I finished this off with peach blush and a nude lip.

Lastly, I've been taking a watercolors class this summer.  It's the only paint medium I have never worked in, and boy is it hard!  I decided to make a brush roll for my new watercolor brushes so they weren't mixed in with all of my other painting supplies.  I made this on my sewing machine from a $3 placemat and some brown satin ribbon:

Hope you enjoyed--thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

For Audrey--animal style!

Animal style...a phrase I know to be associated with Californians who enjoy their In-N-Out burgers while I only hear tales of their mythological existence here on the East Coast.  However, today's "animal style" manicure actually refers to my favorite of animal prints--the leopard.  Leopard nails are my favorite.  I used to do them freehand all of the time before I was spoiled by my konad stamper.  Perhaps one day I will go back to my simpler ways.

This leopard mani is two coats of China Glaze For Audrey with the full nail leopard stamp from konad plate m57 (stamped with Wet N Wild Black Creme).  I then used a dotting tool and Essie Exposure for the pink accents, all with a coat of Seche Vite to make them shiny.



Fierce!  I'm thinking about adding some glitter to it--what do you think?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Savina Black Pearl

I found Savina nail polish at a beauty supply shop and decided to pick up one color as I had never heard of the brand before.  The bottle looks very similar to China Glaze, except that there are long S shapes on the cap.  This color stood out to me immediately--Black Pearl is, like its namesake, a darkened blue-teal/purple duochrome with a shimmer.  Here are some lovely black pearls for you to look at :

Ah, so pretty.  I wouldn't say that the formula was as smooth as China Glaze--but the color is to die for! And it definitely lives up to its name...look at this pearly finish:

Look, it's purple!

And now it's blue!

Here is the shimmery bottle.


I wanted to bring out a bit more of the purple, and so I added CND color effects in Violet Shimmer.  This didn't ruin the duochrome, but enhanced it!  I love this effect (and all CND effects) but they are hard to find around here.

The formula on Savina Black Pearl was really nice--not too brush-strokey.  This was two coats over Seche Recondition with one of Out the Door...and then a single coat of the CND effect.

Thanks for reading!

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