29 November 2011

24 Days of Christmas Challenge

Kristyn at Paint That Nail has come up with a great idea! She has thought up a new challenge, this time centered around Christmas! The challenge is only 24 days since most of us won't want to do designs on Christmas Day.  This is the first challenge I've participated in, and I'm excited!

Here's the list:

Anyone else going to particpate?

28 November 2011

Monday Mani: Fierce Accent

This week's Monday Mani as decided at Polish-aholics Anonymous is . . . Fierce Accent!

I took this to mean bling, bling, and more bling!

With flash
 On every finger but my ring, I used Milani One Coat Glitter Purple Gleam. It actually need 2 coats to cover fully, but it looks amazing.

I followed it up on the ring finger with 2 coats of China Glaze Blonde Bombshell to make it super sparkly and to prevent bald spots. Then I put on Milani Jewel FX Gold over that. I put on one coat of this and then blobbed it on the to cover up the rest. It covers really well, actually!

With flash

Both of these pictures are without top coat. This picture shows the major bling the best. The purple looks gritty here, but it's not that bad. I really should have put on a top coat though.

26 November 2011

First time stamping

So I ordered some MASH stamping plates on Amazon. They were cheap, and I've wanted to try stamping. I don't have any pictures of the actual plates though. They have a nice paper backing (I've heard Konad are like this) and no sharp edges (I've also heard that other stamping plates have this).
They are etched fairly well.

I do have a major complaint though, the full size image plates are tiny! I have small hands/nail beds and they didn't cover my nails. They were cheap and had plenty of smaller images that work well. I guess I'll just buy some Konad plates for their full images.

Rimmel London Sunset Orange with Mash plate M01
 After my base coat, I used 2 coats of Rimmel London Sunset Orange. Then I used Mash plate M01 and Sinful Colors Black on Black and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White to stamp.

Rimmel London Sunset Orange with Mash plate M01
I'm still practicing my stamping and really need to work on it. I've got the basic idea of it down, but I need to work on speed and placement.

24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know this is a bit late, but I'm not celebrating Thanksgiving until Saturday (my husband works every year on the actual day) so....  : P

Turkey nails! I made them like the hand turkeys we used to do when we were kids. This idea is from several other bloggers/nail people.
Whole turkey
 I'm not going to name the colors I used because I used tons including layering some to get the colors that I wanted.
Close up of turkey
 I tried to make a waddle on the turkey face, but I think it turned out a bit funny.
Turkey feathers
These are my favorite part of this mani. The orange smeared a bit because it just wouldn't dry! I did it one time with Sally Hansen Insta-dri and then the second time with Seche Vite...and this is what still happened. Ugh.

Well, enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving holiday! As for me, I'm leaving shortly to head out to do some Black Friday shopping!

22 November 2011

Glitter swatches

I've bought a bunch of glitters lately so I decided to swatch them. I didn't have a chance to do all of them, but I will! I did each by themselves, then over Finger Paints Paper Mache (white), Sinful Colors Black on Black, and one other color.

First up, Revlon Blue Mosaic.
Revlon Blue Mosaic
My pinky finger shows two coats by itself. It went on well, and I had no problem getting the glitter where I needed to. Ring finger shows two coats over white, and middle finger is 2 coats over black. On my index finger, I put 2 coats over Sinful Colors Why Not.

My favorite combination is over black and Why Not. Over Why Not, it kinda of looks mermaid-esque and reminds me of the ocean. Perhaps I'll do a gradient with blue/green and put this glitter over it.

Next, Revlon Starry Pink.
Revlon Starry Pink
I used 3 coats on my pinky finger. This one was harder to go on and was pretty streaky because of the milky base. I needed the 3 coats to even out the streakiness. Then I used 1 thick coat over both black and white. Index finger is 1 thick coat over Rimmel London Wild Orchid.

I'm not a super big fan of this glitter because of the streaky quality. Also, the glitter isn't as dense as I'd like it. I like it best over Wild Orchid, but I'm still not a fan. Maybe I'll franken with it.

Now, China Glaze Twinkle Lights
China Glaze Twinkle Lights
This is my kind of glitter! Super dense and great application. I used 2 thick coats on my pinky, and you can see how good the coverage is. Then I did 2 coats over white and black again. Finally, I did 2 coats over Sally Hansen Flirt. It's a dark-ish, purple red so you can't tell a big difference between the black.

Honestly, I love this color any way I can take it! I plan on using this a lot for Christmas.

More glitter! China Glaze Blonde Bombshell.
China Glaze Blonde Bombshell
Amazing! Two coats on pinky, ring, and middle fingers. I put it over China Glaze Trendsetter on my index finger.

It is stunning over black. I will incorporate that into my New Year's Eve manicure some how. (I may just do tons of glitter!) I really like it over Trendsetter too. It makes the gold color seem richer.

Finally, LA Colors Jewel Tone.
L.A. Colors Jewel Tone
Not my favorite glitter, but it only cost $1. I did a few coats on each nail, it's pretty sparse. It's over China Glaze Sea Spray on my index finger. 

I really like it over black. I ended up doing a full manicure with it over Sea Spray and Seche Vite over it. The manicure just wouldn't dry, and I ended up smudging it pretty bad. Not sure if it was the glitter or Seche Vite.

Which glitter combinations are your favorite?

21 November 2011

Monday Mani: Lace

Over at Polish-aholics Anonymous, we decided this week's Monday Mani theme is..... LACE!

I had a hard time with this challenge. I would have stamped on a pattern since a Google search showed many other doing so, but I don't have my stamping plates yet! I also would have used real lace, but I don't have that either, so freehanding it was.

I redid this whole manicure twice. It frustrated me so much. As a base, I used O.P.I. Stranger Tides. I don't know about others, but I had a hard time applying this. It was a streaky mess and wouldn't even out.
With flash

I placed several black dots in a diagonal in Sinful Colors Black on Black. I just used my brush, but you could use a dotting tool. Then I filled in the space with black up to the tips. Under the black diagonals, I sorta outlined it and added tiny black dots using a Migi nail art pen. You could use a small paintbrush or toothpick. Finally, I added dots of Stranger tides on top of the black using a bobby pin (my dotting tools haven't arrived yet) where each of the black swooshes are.

Natural Light

Even though it was a PITA, I really love this manicure and can't wait to try it in several different colors.

20 November 2011

Weekend Haul

So here's all the stuff I got from this weekend.
O.P.I. Stranger Tides, Milani Jewel FX Gems, Milani Jewel FX Gold, Milani Purple Gleam
 3 out of 4 of these were on my wishlist so I'm pretty happy about that. I ordered Stranger Tides from Amazon.com, and I bought the Milani at K-Mart. Look at those shinys!

Sinful Colors Easy Going, Essie Brooch the Subject, Rimmel London Sunset Orange, Wet N Wild Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire, Wet N Wild Black Creme, Sally Hansen Whirlwind White
 Easy Going is to have a base for french manicures/something to cover up the yellowing. Mine isn't as bad as others, but I do have some.
The Rimmel London is not really my color, but it was on super sale for 2.39. I couldn't pass it up, and now the color is growing on me. I can't wait to wear it on my toes, especially in the summer.
The last two (black & white) are for stamping (I'm expecting some Mash stamping plates --my first!-- along with rhinestones and dotting tools to come any day).

Here's a closeup for Wet N Wild Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire. Tiny, dense, blue glitter. So pretty!

So I kinda feel like I've been buying a lot of polish lately, and I know I really don't have to justify it to you ladies, but I kinda feel like I should anyway. I have a regular job, but I also work on the side babysitting for a few families. My husband doesn't understand my addiction, but he somewhat supports it and lets me spend my babysitting money on nail polish. Isn't he sweet? Anyway, this time of year is always very busy for me as a babysitter so I've been earning quite a bit.

My total number of polishes is a bit over 70, which is no where near as many as some of you! I've been realizing, though, that my collection is pretty well rounded out. I have a few colors that I need to round it out (very light grey, lilac, a true teal, and a real "normal" green). I also of course have some colors that I'm lemming, and I'll probably end up buying more than what I "need" but oh well?

I also noticed that green is the color I have the most of, and it's not even my favorite color! I have tons of glitters and most muted tones.

What about all of you? Any trends in you polish collection?

18 November 2011

Matte glitter tip nails

So once again, I had a professional thing so I needed to stick to a tamer manicure. This time I had parent-teacher conferences. I had 2 parents show up, 2! Granted, I only have 21 kids total (I'm part time), but still!
Anyway, I used O.P.I. Russian Navy Suede and put down 2 coats. I then used a striper (Jordana Star Designer) to add the glitter tips.
I finally had a sunny day, plus I found a great spot in my house to take pictures. This is direct sunlight. Look at that shimmer in Russian Navy. Gorgeous!

You can see even more of the shimmer here.
One final shot. Love it!

The thing that really sucked about this manicure is that it lasted less than 24 hours before I had major chippage. Most of it with at the tips with silver glitter. I normally can't get glitter off my nails, but this just chipped off.

But then when I went to take it off, it took forever and was so hard to take off! The glitter tips were hard, but the shimmer in the matte when all over the place. Talk about glitter herpes! Ugh. I ended up just sticking my fingers in my Zoya+ Remover hack and then wiping it off. Worked so much better! I used this method for my swatch fest today, and it worked so much better. I just poured the excess back into the bottle. I'm gonna find a tiny glass container (maybe even a small candle holder?) and use that for dipping my fingers into instead of the polish remover cap.

16 November 2011

Leopard print

I've seen all these lovely leopard print on other nails and wanted to try them for myself since it seemed easy.
You know what?! It is easy!
With flash
I really like the ring finger accent so I decided to do that with my leopard print. After putting down my base coat (I normally use CND Stickey), I did two coats each of O.P.I. Parlez-vous O.P.I.? and Essie Sew Psyched (I love this color). Then I added sorta oblong dots of the opposite color on each nail. Finally, I used my Sinful Colors Time Off striper to add the black outlines and random bits in between.

With flash because I don't think we've had sun for days in Wisconsin


This is the most color accurate. I love this manicure. I was sad to have to take it off (I wore this before I had the field trip so I had to change to professional nails.

15 November 2011


I just want to take some time to thank my followers! I know I don't have very many but I appreciate each and every one of you.

I didn't expect to get too many followers, but all of a sudden I had 1, then 2, and 3, and 5, and 8, and 11!  My blog is growing a tiny bit everyday.

So I want to thank my followers, but also ask advice.
*What do you want to see more or less of in the future?
*How can I improve my blog?

I'm open to all suggestions so please give them!

14 November 2011

Simple decal nails

So remember that fail from yesterday? Well, I was trying to create a somewhat professional nail design. I'm a teacher, but I can get away with pretty much anything on my nails as long as it's appropriate. However, I was asked by the DECA (a business club) adviser if I would help supervise an overnight field trip as part of a conference. I said sure! The kids (and staff) need to be dressed up really nice, so I decided to go professional on my nails.

I sucked majorly on the gradient and was fustrated so I just decided to go for something simple.

After putting on my base coat, I did 2 coats of O.P.I. Cuckoo for This Color and some flowery nail stickers, then Sally Hansen Top Coat. Simple, easy, and not frustrating.

13 November 2011

Gradient Fail

I tried to do black/gray/white gradient nails today, and they turned out bad. Ugh. I'm posting a picture here so ya'll can see my fail.
I'm not even going to go into what I used because it's not worth it. You'll see some glitter on the pinky finger because I hoped that might help, but it didn't. This is my right hand (normally I take pictures of my left since I'm a righty) so sorry for the weird picture -- it's hard to use a DSLR to take pictures plus I didn't care about getting a good picture. I just wanted this off.

Any suggestions for how to do gradients in the future?

More polish!

So I earned some extra money this weekend babysitting, and my wonderful husband let me use it to buy nail stuff.  Some of the stuff I got what on my wishlist so I was pretty excited.

 I still have plenty leftover so I think I'm going to buy some stamping plates from Amazon or Born Pretty. Any suggestions?

Revlon Starry Pink and Blue Mosaic
 I got both of these at Target. I would have gotten Facets of Fuchsia too, but there wasn't any :(

China Glaze Blonde Bombshell, Trendsetter, Twinkle Lights, and Sea Spray
 These are my first China Glazes! I got them at Ulta. These are a bit expensive for my taste (I know, I know! but I'm a cheapskate. I'm not sure how I'll ever be able to shell out the money for the Illamasque or Debroah Lippmann's on my wishlist), but there was a buy 2 get one free sale, and Sea Spray was on clearance for 3.99

L.A. Colors Jewel Tone & Art Deco 24K Glitter
I got both of these at my local dollar store. I'd heard the other bloggers sometimes find polishes there so I thought I'd check it out (plus I needed to get some shelf liner). My store had about 10 colors of the full size polishes, plus 6 different strippers. These were the only 2 that I thought were unique to my stash.

10 November 2011

Pumpkin nails

I decided to paint some pumpkins on my nails. They kind of fit in for Halloween, but they work well for fall too, especially since I made them regular pumpkins and not Jack-o'-lanterns

With flash
I started with a base of Sinful Colors Nirvana (after my base coat, of course!). I used two thick coats to get full coverage. Sorry for the messy job, but I was going to add more and only wanted to do one clean up job.
With flash
Here's what I did on my nails. I didn't take pictures of the steps, but I put down white polish first. The orange is Wet N Wild Sunny Side Up. The stem is Essie Little Brown Dress. For the vine, I used a Migi nail art pen. The highlights on the pumpkin were done by mixing the orange with yellow and red/black.

Without flash, artificial lighting

08 November 2011


Here's some swatches of the newest polishes that I've gotten.
Nina Ultra Pro Purple-xing
I got this color about 2 weeks ago at Sally Beauty. It's a super awesome 1 coat purple glitter. If you look at the polish, it is super textured and definitely needs a top coat (which I didn't put on since I was just going to take it off). Like the other Nina Ultra Pro polishes that I have tried, it goes on super great.
Julep Alfre
This is a swatch of Julep Alfre that I got in my Julep Maven box. It went on really great in two coats. It seems a little light in this picture, but it's not really the color. It's actually a bit darker. I've had nothing but cloudy weather here so photographing anything is awful. I would best describe this color as a metallic silver with a hint of purple.
Julep Cameron

I'm really not a big fan of this color. Bright, almost neon pinks like this are not my thing, nor do I think it goes well with my skin tone. It went on pretty good in two coats, but probably could use another coat.

Finger Paints Paper Mache
 I got this color at Sally Beauty this week. I really needed a white polish to use for nail art. All I had before was my Migi nail art pens, E.L.F. White that takes forever to get opaque, and french tip white. This is two coats. I know that whites can be streaky, but this one looks pretty good for two coats.
Sally Hansen Flirt
I got this color at my local grocery store. It was on sale for $2.79, plus I had a $.50 off coupon that doubled making this only $1.79! I'm not sure what's going on with this picture though. I put on two coats of the color, and it looked completely opaque. In this picture, though, I clearly needed a third coat! It looks pretty red here, but I'd say it's more of a maroon-ish, dark purple with a hint of shimmer.
Finger Paints Sparkle Top Coat
This has been on my wishlist! I was at Sally's this weekend and saw it by the register so I snapped it up! Luckily I did because the cashier said it was the one of the last 4 they had! It's this beautiful micro glitter with crazy shine! I probably won't wear this by itself (it does have top coat in it's name, lol), but I wanted to show you'll what it looked like on its own.
Then I layered it over all the colors I just swatched above to see what it could do.
Finger Paints Paper Mache, Sally Hansen Flirt, Julep Alfre, Julep Cameron
So I was not a big fan of Cameron plain, but with the Sparkle Top Coat I like! I also like Flirt this way. I don't think there's much distinction when it's over white so I don't think I'll do that again.
Which one is everyone's favorite?

07 November 2011

Mustache nails!

The TraceFace Philes (along with other bloggers/nail people) have organized a Moustache Mani Monday in support of Prostate Cancer awareness in November.

Here's what I did. I did 6 different mustaches, 3 on each nail, along with stripes on the thumbs and dots on the pinkies. I chose to put the mustaches sideways so I could be silly and use them as fake mustaches, hehe.
My left hand
Right hand
Base coat: CND Sticky
3 coats of Revlon Minted
I drew the mustaches and dots with Sinful Colors Black on Black and use Sinful Colors Time Off stripper for the black lines.

06 November 2011

New Polish

I got some new polishes this weekend.
Sally Hansen Flirt, Finger Paints Sparkle Top Coat & Paper Mache, California Mango  Miracle Cuticle Remover

I got these at Sally Beauty supply, except the Sally Hansen which at got at my local grocery store.
Here's a close up view of some of them.
Sally Hansen Flirt
Finger Paints Sparkle Top Coat
So pretty!!

I also got my first Julep Maven box!
The box
Inside was a cute little gift bag with all my goodies
All the goodies including 2 polishes, Facial for Hands, and 2 samples (Facial for  Hands & SPF 30 hand cream)
A close up of the polish. Alfre is on the left and Cameron is on the right.
For those who have never heard of the Julep Maven program, here's some information straight from their site:
"Being a Maven, gives you exclusive access to COLOR!  You get it first, and YOU decide how often you want to receive your beauty editor Sneak Peek Box
You receive over $40 worth of trendsetting polish colors and cutting-edge treatment products each month customized in a gift-able Sneak Peek Box
Each Sneak Peek Box features new, never before released colors and treatments FIRST to you, before anyone else
Your box also includes hits and cult favorites - the products we like to keep on the top of editors' minds

20% off all julep.com purchases
FREE shipping on ALL your purchases
Each box also comes with a surprise and delight element- something to look forward to!
Receive additional membership perks throughout the year
Each box costs about $20. They send you a preview email, and if you don't like the colors that are being offered you can request a new shelf pull, send it to someone else, or cancel it for that month. 

04 November 2011

Wolf half moon

I was inspired by this post by Sonoma Nail Art and decided to try my hand at it. Her's is a lot better than mine.
To start off, I painted my nails white using my Migi nail art pens (there's a brush as well as a pen there and I don't have any other whites). Then I used page reinforcement stickers to block off the moon and painted over it using Rimmel Play Fast Chill. I had to use several coats of it, and it was still splotchy! Maybe the color would have worked better if it didn't have to go over another one.

In this moon on the ring finger where I added the wolf, I used Maybelline Express Finish Sunshine to add some highlights.

Close up of the wolf

This wolf was super hard to do! I tried practicing it a bunch of times of paper and could never get it quite right. Then I decided I needed to trace it somehow. I remembered this post by Nails in Nippon showing you how to make your own nail art stickers. I ended up cutting out a piece of plastic and placing it over my netbook screen and then traced over the design with a Migi nail art pen in black. Finally I filled it in and placed on some top coat.

I really like this technique to make my own stickers. The only problem I had is that I didn't put on a thick enough top coat or let the whole thing dry enough so that made application a bit hard. I'm not the most artistic (and it's hard to do my right hand when I am right handed!) so I plan on making my own stickers in the future.