Sunday, July 8, 2012

$10 Llarowe Giveaway Alert!

Whimsical Glam's 250 Follower 

Enter for a chance to win a $10 Llarowe Gift Certificate via Whimsical Glam! No nail art required, just be a follower of her blog. You can also do little things for extra entries (up to 10). 

I've always wanted to try something from Ozotic's line of EPIC holographic polishes. If I had to choose, I think I would go with this one. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kyoti's Nails LGBT Pride/Support Nail Art Contest

So, my first ever nail art contest entry! This contest was held by my good online lacquerista friend and blogger, Jessica of Kyoti's Nails. Click to check out her blog! Also, here is the post announcing the winners of the contest.

I am a straight ally of LGBT rights, and was honored to  participate in this contest to show my support. Submission below. And as always, you can click to enlarge the picture.
Topcoat, Natural Light
I loved wearing this one and I kept it on for a good week, only taking it off last night because it was just getting too worn and chipped. It was great because I had all sorts of people commenting and asking about it, so I got to explain its significance as June is LGBT Pride month. Solidarity!

I painted each finger the base color and used the Spun Sugar technique (I'll link a tutorial to the end of this post). This was my first time trying this technique and it was surprisingly painless, if a little time consuming (I'm impatient!). All you need is a toothpick and a plastic-type of surface (not paper). You then proceed to wrap or "spin" tacky little strands of polish around your nails. And voila!

This mani is wonderfully textured without a topcoat (example below), but I needed to take a shower and no way was I going to let things get smudged or ruined. It was night time, so all I have are indoor photos.

No topcoat, Indoors
I was experimenting with objects to hold and pose with. Sneaky Snake is the best snake.

Whee, texture! Though my thumb is an example of what to try and avoid. I think I kept accidentally touching my toothpick to the nail during the spinning process. But the rest of them came out quite nicely; not bad for trying something new. :)

Rich and Famous by China Glaze
And here's what I went with for my off/right hand, because it's summer and I love this color and it looked pretty fab paired with rainbow nails, not gonna lie. Sorry about my middle and index finger being slightly goofed. This was rather hastily applied when I was quite tired, but I knew I had to get this color on and get the topcoat drying for at least 30 minutes before I could shower and crash into bed. Anyway, it cleaned itself up after a day or two of wear. Oh, and this is only two coats, did I mention how much I love this color?

Colors used:
Left hand
CG's Coconut Kiss (purple)
Zoya's Sooki (red)
OPI's In My Back Pocket (orange)
Sally Hansen's Mellow Yellow
CG's Entourage (green)
SC's Savage (blue)

Right hand
CG's Rich and Famous

And as promised, the tutorial for this technique. To be honest, this isn't the best video I've seen for this type of nail art. I first heard about this from blogger SimpleLittlePleasures (she has gorgeous stuff!) and I loved her tutorial, but I could not find it through Google or Youtube! =( But the following tutorial will give you a good idea of what to do if anyone wants to try it for themselves.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Week 36 - Summer

To me, Summer means bright colors, crazy-fun patterns, and Summer Sales!! So when I heard that Anthropologie was having a summer sale, heck yes, I was there. I needed something quick and easy to go with my favorite of the three blouses (see below) that I ended up with from the sale.

These photos kept wanting to come out looking like MySpace boob shots.
Nope, we keep things classy up in this blog.
At first I tried to do a sort of abstract flower bed of purple and orange petals (think daisies), but it was not coming to life in any recognizable shape, form, or fashion, so took that off and started over.

Since it was late and I had a big morning ahead of me, I decided to keep it cute and simple and went with some randomly placed double-dotting.

Index finger chip made me so sad.

I ended up being pretty happy with this! It was also very easy and straightforward to do. I just painted a base color of For Audrey and then went to town dotting in random places with a medium-sized dotting tool and some purple and orange polish. Then I went back with white polish and dotted white in the center of each dot. Topcoat and done! Just make sure that everything is dry when you go for the topcoat, otherwise you run the risk of smudging your design.
And voila!

So this was actually my off-/right-hand. My left hand was sportin' the sushi design I wrote about below. To end this post, here's a picture of me at Akon posing with some Henchmen from one of my all-time favorite shows, The Venture Bros.! These guys did an awesome job, major props.

R.I.P. #42

Colors used:
CG's For Audrey
CG's White on White
Zoya's Tru
OPI's In My Back Pocket 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 35 - Inspired by Food

So two things:
1) I trimmed my nails completely a few days ago because a some fingers were getting thin, bendy, and/or peely. Also, it was getting troublesome to type on my keyboard at work, so off with their heads!
2) I finally got a hold of some cuticle oil/butter from Lush and some proper Biotin vitamins. More about this in a post to follow.
3) I've been waiting so long for this theme and sushi nails had to happen!

Super adorbz.
I love how these came out and they were a lot of fun to actually do. The wasabi and the thumb roll are my favorites. Also, lol @ scandalous tuna sushi's "come hither" expression. I did follow this excellent tutorial by Miss Rainyday pretty closely, which can be found here!

The jist of things is to paint your thumb nail the dark color, your index, middle, and ring fingers white, and then your pinky finger green. The fish pieces themselves are pretty straight forward. The dotting for the eyes and the eye lashes were actually the most challenging part of this mani because you had to be really precise with your placement, application of pressure, and how much polish is actually on the brush (don't want to glob it all on there). 

Again, this has been really fun to wear and its gotten me compliments from friends and strangers alike! 

Look at my white polish, all battle-hardened. It's seen some action, man, and it doesn't want to talk about it.

Dotting tool
Angled thin brush (needs to be cleaned but eh)
CG's Glittering Garland
CG's Entourage
Essie's muchi, muchi
SC's Let's Meet
Orly's Peachy Parrot
Zoya's Kelly
CG's Red Pearl
CG's White on White

Monday, June 4, 2012

Week 33 - Orange

This week's theme was an excuse to do an other My Little Pony inspired manicure! Of course I went with Applejack.

Aaand this is what I came up with:

Her freckles made me want to do polka dots! I tried doing the darker orange as the base with the lighter orange as the polka dots, but it just didn't look right so I took it off. One thing I dont' care for though - I did a coat of Shine of the Times over the pointer, index, and pinky fingers to try and spice things up. I don't think it really added anything to the manicure though, and if anything, made it look less smooth and uniform. Also, the middle finger got a bit goofed... I think due to shrinkage caused by Seche Vite, as it may not have been quite dry enough when I applied the top coat... or maybe I bumped something, who knows! 

This was also the first time I tried the "make your own nail stickers" technique. I did this for the apples and the bow. For those not familiar, what you do is take a ziploc plastic bag and draw your design (in my case, apples and a bow) in polish onto a side of the baggie. Let it dry completely. Then peel off your design (it comes off easily) and place onto a tacky-wet base color with tweezers. And voila!

Since it was orange week, I went ahead and did a solid application of the darker orange I had used for dotting. It was pretty pretty on its own! Excuse the tip wear, it had been a few days and it really did hold up well overall. 

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by Sinful Colors. I had made an emergency run to Target for this mani and couldn't spend much. At $2 a pop, SC has been a little hit-or-miss for me in the past, but these two oranges worked out quite nicely.

Orly's Lucky Duck
CG's Red Pearl
Sinful Colors' Cloud 9  (orange)
Sinful Colors' Let's Meet  (light orange)
Essie's Shine of the Times

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Diablo III midnight release nails + hedgehog!

So the much-anticipated Diablo III came out May 15th (Tuesday) and it is AMAZING! My husband even pre-ordered me the Collector's Edition so I got all sorts of extra real-life and in-game goodies. But on to the nails!

Posing them with the skull-pture (hurrhurr) that came with my CE of the game. The hole in the forehead is where the Black Soulstone USB stick (with a copy of Diablo II + x-pac) can be inserted for display purposes. The Soulstone got in the way of my nails though, so it is not pictured here. :)

Right hand
Left hand
Each of the fingers on my left hand shows one of the five unique skill resources for each of the classes. I'll go more in-depth with comparisons later in the post.

My right hand is simpler, as usual when painting with my non-dominant hand, but I love how it came out. I continue to be impressed with China Glaze's beautiful matte polish Stone Cold - it is so unique and lovely! It surprised me because it's pretty durable for a matte polish, which you're not suppose to apply a top coat over (because then it becomes glossy like any other polish).

So on to close-ups!

In-doors... well, in my car while I was waiting in line at the bank, hehe.
From thumb to pinky, we have: Hatred/Discipline, Arcane Power, Fury, Spirit, and Mana. I'll be going in to detail with each nail shortly.
In-doors, perched atop my steering wheel.
I love how my Angiris/Archangel accent nail turned out! It looks particularly awesome next to the Stone Cold matte. For it I used CG's Seaspray, a light blue with a subtle frosty finish. To give it more of a frosted/pearl look, I applied some of Essie's Luxeffects - Pure Pearlfection. Then I did the gold french-tip with Orly's Luxe.



Next we have each of the skill resources represented on the nails of my left hand. I did all of the following with sponging techniques. My galaxy nails know-how came in handy for all of these. :)

Demon Hunter: Hatred (Orange) & Discipline (Blue)
Here I tried to capture the smokiness of the orange (Hatred). I didn't want it to look too similar to the Barbarian's Fury resource. For a base coat, I did a solid color of Zoya's Tao for a smoky back-color effect. Then I sponged on the color, including some white to help the blue stand out more easily. I originally used a darker silver for the metal separator bar, but it didn't look good overall, so I went over it with the lighter silver. This one got a blue rhinestone to mimic the glass-glare of the source material

Wizard: Arcane Power
The Wizard was by far the easiest - it is purple with pink flecks. Orly pretty much did the work for me with their lovely polish, Fowl Play. I took a few shots to give you a good idea of what it looks like, since it was difficult to capture. This one got a light pink rhinestone because, pink bubbles!!

I love when I have an excuse to wear Fowl Play; it is so unique and pretty. :) Click to have a better idea of the flakie distribution.

Barbarian: Fury
Next up is the class I am currently playing through as my main - the Barbarian! I actually think this one came out looking most true to the source, though the colors look a bit washed out in this photo... so scroll up a tad for a better idea of how it came out.

I used three colors for this one: the pale yellow creme base is Sinful Colors' Unicorn, with a sponged circle of SC's Cloud 9 (the orange)... then I added a touch of CG's Riveting but it was pretty intense and I didn't want to overpower the mani. So, I blended it in with some more of the pale yellow and orange until I got what I wanted. Added an orange rhinestone for the finishing touch.

Monk: Spirit
This one was kind of hard to photograph, but I liked how it came out. I did the same sponging process here as I did with the other nails, trying to capture that pearly-light-yellow look... it came out a bit more vibrant than I had hoped, but I think my yellows were just not pale enough. I went over this with a coat of Essie Luxeffect's Pure Pearlection, and topped it off with a diamond rhinestone.

Witch Doctor: Mana
Last but not least is the Witch Doctor's Mana resource. In an attempt to tone down the brightness of this great blue (CG's Dorothy Who?), I started with a base coat of Zoya's Tao, just like I did for the thumb. I painted a layer of Dorothy Who?, then sponged on some white to get the sphere/orb effect, and then sponged on more blue until I was satisfied. This one get's a pretty blue rhinestone.

So yeah, Diablo III is amazing and between the game itself and this midnight-release-manicure, a lot of fun has been had. I'll post a comprehensive list of all the colors I used when I get home, so enjoy a picture of my pet hedgehog looking ornery after a bath!

"It's okay hedgehog! It's just a camera, not a predator..."

Week 32 - Flowers

Flowers! So many possibilities for this challenge... it was a bit overwhelming. I went through three other design ideas before I settled on cherry blossom nails (since I was going to sushi later that day). I had wanted to try something new, but was fine revisiting this design using all-different colors from my previous mani.

I started with my pinky and worked my way left.

My thumb came out as my favorite. :)

And here is what I used for painting, dotting, and clean-up. The two Essie's are new and I really liked them. I've had the China Glaze for a little while but have never used it before now... and Elsbeth's Rose is an old favorite - it is so easy to stamp, dot, and generally work with.

Essie's Muchi, Muchi (light pink)
Essie's Mink Muffs (brown)
CG's Re-fresh Mint
Orly's Elsbeth's Rose

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Week 31 - Neon

Okay, posting this quickly because I'm at work. First off, please excuse the state of my cuticles! They've been impossible to keep moisturized in the first place and yesterday I had to wash my hands several times with some harsh soaps while going through things at work. I really need to figure out where a local Lush store is for me and pick up their cuticle cream that I hear only good things about!

I did these Saturday night and just got around to the chevron taping last night at about 2am, so these pictures are in the early morning of Day 3 for this mani. That considered, these held up quite nicely! Shown here is my right hand... I tried a color experiment with a pink and blue retro-looking accent nail on my other hand and didn't like how it came out. So, because I rarely photograph my right hand, I'm usually 10% less careful about coloring within the lines, so to speak, and also it was late at night.

The orange glitter shown here is China Glaze's Riveting and the bright orange neon is China Glaze's Japanese Koi. Neons are notoriously sheer, so what you see is probably 4 or 5 coats. Also, surprise surprise - Japanese Koi dries matte! I did not notice this before as it is only my second time using this color and first time using it all on its own. :)  But here it is made glossy with a coat of Seche Vite.

This is also my first time using Riveting all on its own and w-o-w, it is freaking gorgeous and I love it to pieces. Okay, so maybe this week's mani was an excuse to try-out and showcase Riveting rather than ACTUAL neons... I know I've enjoyed wearing bright orange on my nails these past few days.

Riveting by China Glaze
Japanese Koi (Neon) by China Glaze