30 March 2014

Illamasqua Grab Negative Space Mani

I've been seeing negative space manis all over Instagram lately. I wanted to try out my own design and went with something simpler.

First I painted a base coat. Then I taped off the space I wanted naked or negative. I painted the remaining space with Illamasqua Grab. I'd recommend using a one coater for this part.

After I peeled up the tape, I used a small brush and Barry M Silver Foil to freehand the lines. Other than messing up my pinkie a bit, it turned about really well! It was surprisingly easy to do too! 

28 March 2014

Safari Leopard Nails

When I do my nails, I don't often like to do the same on all of them. I LOVE accent nails, but I like to switch up my normal (ring and thumb accents) sometimes. I did that today!

I've already been really wanting to do a leopard print on top of a super glittery polish. I decided on China Glaze I Herd That and used two coats.
When I was grabbing out polishes and holding them up to see what I should use an accent, I ended up with China Glaze Exotic Encounters and decided it was perfect since they are both from the On Safari collection.

I finished this up with dots of I Herd That on the index and middle fingers. The black for my leopard print is my standard Wet n Wild Black Creme.

25 March 2014

Springy yellow gradient

I've had the idea for this mani floating around for a while. I just haven't gotten around to it, but since it's finally spring (even though we got snow overnight....) I thought I'd finally do it!

I did a base of Illamasqua Load on all my nails. On the ring and thumb, I added one good coat of Dollish Polish Hylian Princess. I REALLY loved the mani at this point. Not that I don't love the outcome, but I just loved that so much more. I may end up sporting that some time soon.
Anyways, then I did a gradient of Zoya Pippa over that and stamped using a Bundle Monster plate (bad blogger! I'll put the name later) and Konad White. The flowers are super subtle and honestly the gradient looked better with out them.

23 March 2014

Midwestern Beauty Bloggers Roundup! 3/22/14

Manifest Destany: Check out this Mortal Instruments nail art by Manifest Destany!

Life In Color!: Skittles ... taste the rainbow!!!

Darling Nails: Darling Nails shares nail art based on a geometric throw pillow.

Ruby's Nails: Ruby's Nails has recreated one of her first manicures: a cherry blossom manicure that is perfect for spring!

22 March 2014

Orly Rage skittlette

I purchased Orly Rage a bit ago during a BOGO sale at Sally's. I don't have anything quite like Rage which is why I decided to get it.

I can't remember how many coats I used, but probably 2-3. On my middle and ring fingers, I placed some chevron nail vinyls, painted over with Wet n Wild Black Creme, and took the stickers off right away. My index and pinkie fingers are also a base of Wet n Wild Black Creme plus some gold studs.

19 March 2014

Cherry Blossoms Redux

I decided to recreate my very first mani that I posted on this blog over two years ago. The concept was good (cherry blossoms), but I definitely could improve on the execution, clean up, etc.

I really wanted to do a lighter base with something like China Glaze For Audrey but stuck to the original spirit of things.

The new mani uses a base of Rimmel Blue My Mind.
For the original, I used only nail art pens in black, red and white. This time I used brushes and dotting tools. The vines are Essie Little Brown Dress. For the cherry blossoms, I dotted using Zoya Shelby. Then I mixed Shelby with a bit of Wet n Wild French White Cream and dotted on that. Finally I added dots of French White Cream and top coat.

Here's the mani all on it's own:

17 March 2014

St Patrick's Day: water marble and holo goodness

Here's another St. Patrick's Day mani that I did. It's also my last one so it's fitting that I'm showing you today.
I continued with my "theme" of not doing traditional designs but rather just sticking with green polish (which I LOVE!).

I've got Nfu-Oh 66 on my thumb, index, and pinkie fingers.
On my middle and ring fingers, I did a base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. I water marbled on top of that using OPI Don't Mess With OPI, SpaRitual Eye of the Beholder, and a tiny bit of Zoya Bevin.

11 March 2014

St. Patrick's Day: Green Studded Skittles

I love green nail polish so St. Patrick's Day is a great excuse to use all of them!!! LOL

This year, I decided to forgo the usual St. Patty's designs of shamrocks, rainbows, and leprechauns and just focus on using green polish.

For these skittles, I used a combo of Essie Mojito Madness and A-England Dragon, both fabulous one coater green polishes.
I also used straight nail vinyls to create the design. I REALLY like these. While striping tape is super cheap on eBay and nail art supply sites, I don't find that it sticks well enough and nail polish often seeps underneath the tape. These vinyls also come in three different widths which make designs super easy to do. I used the skinniest vinyls for my ring finger and the medium one for my index.

My manis don't often get seen (except on the internet, lol) since I'm a stay-at-home mom. But the children's librarian complimented this one during baby story time which made me day!

Northern Star Polish Cuticle Oil review

This post is a bit different than my normal posts.

I did a secret Valentine's Day swap with Polish-aholics Anonymous. My secret Valentine was the lovely owner of Northern Star Polish. With my package, she included a tube of her Mintastic cuticle oil.
OH MY, is it amazing!!!! It's a super light fruity spearmint scent. It comes in a tube with a doe foot applicator. I love the packaging, and it makes it super easy to use. I keep the cuticle oil by my spot in the living room and apply a few times a day. I've done this in the past with other cuticle oils/creams, but I never used them like I should. I think the scent and packaging inspires me to use them more often (CONFESSION TIME!!! I secretly smell my hands a few times after applying this oil. Sorry, I'm strange!). I have noticed a definite improvement in my cuticles as well as my nail growth and strength.

Anyway, I got a few extra dollars and decided to purchase more since I love them so. I had 4 that I wanted, but had to narrow it down to two. I ended up buying Cranberry and Sweet Orange. Cranberry is pretty amazing. It again has a light scent, but it's wonderfully sweet smelling. I was a bit disappointed in Sweet Orange though. It's VERY light, and the smell is almost indiscernible. I love citrus smells so I was really looking forward to this one.

Kristen is ever generous though, and threw in a bottle of one of her new scents: Lettuce! How intriguing! Lettuce is a herby, earthy scent that offers an alternative to those who don't like fruity or floral scents.

All the cuticle oils are vegan and crueltry free which is a bonus in my book. Northern Star Polish is based in Cottage Grove, MN so she's a fellow Midwesterner!

10 March 2014

Green Glitter Gradient

I'm not a person who is super big into fashion. I'm a jeans and tshirt kinda gal. And when I say tshirt I mean the kind with pictures on them like from Threadless. My husband is the same way, and we buy similar stuff for our little guy like this super cute shirt we just order from Kohls!

Anyway, I was browsing some photos from Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week for some inspiration. I came across the Zang Toi Fall 2014 collection inspired by 1930s Shanghai. It's beautiful! He used mostly a black palette with pops of emerald green. The designs are timeless and seem very wearable too. Zang Toi also worked with Zoya for this show (as the two have in the past)

I picked one of the cocktail dresses and created a mani inspired by it.

started with a base of Wet n Wild Black Creme. Then I added a gradient at the tips using NYX Girls Emerald Forest. Finally I added a super sparse layer of Orly Mermaid Tale to the whole nail.

Here's the mani by itself. I love how it came out, and my husband did too. He said it was "cool" which is sorta big because he hasn't said anything lately about my other manis :P

07 March 2014

Grey with neon polka dots

Just a quickie post for today.

Rimmel Grey Matter
Lime Crime Peaches <3 Cream

05 March 2014

Spring Green Flowers

Is spring here yet?!? We just got more snow over the weekend and yesterday here in the great white north. And Sunday it's time to change the clocks for Daylight Savings Time. It does not feel like spring!!

But my hands do! I usually don't reserve certain colors for each season, but flowers are definitely a spring thing.

Colors used
SpaRitual Eye of the Beholder (two easy coats)
White acrylic paint
Barry M Gold Foil

02 March 2014

Revlon Autumn Spice

Let me just say that I love this color! It's been a major lemming since I first saw Scrangie swatch it.
I finally got my hands on it about two weeks ago.
I used two thin coats for this mani. It chipped easily on me, but all polishes have been lately. The smell isn't super strong either so that's nice.