Monday, December 17, 2012

Manicure Monday: Christmas Spirit


What I Used
  • 1 coat Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat
  • 2 coats China Glaze "Running in Circles"
  • 1 coat The Balm "Goldfinger"
  • 2 coats China Glaze "Electrify"
  • 1 coat Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What I Got This Week [7]

China Glaze's brand new Cirque du Soleil collection! Well, 8 of the colors!

LtoR: Get Carried Away, Running in Circles, Def Defying, Creative Fantasy, It's a Trap-Eze!, Hanging in the Balance, Water You Waiting For, and Whirled Away

I ordered this for myself as my Christmas gift from my mom. LoL

It's A Trap-Eze! is easily my favorite of the bunch, followed by Def Defying and Running in Circles (the greens of course!). I didn't get any of the red/orange/pinks, since I don't wear red, and orange looks terrible on me, and for whatever reason, Sally Beauty didn't have the pink on their website, or else I would have  ordered it. Instead, I accidentally ordered two of Get Carried Away, but I love it and it takes three coats to wear it on its own, so it's fine.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manicure Monday: Unnamed


What I Used:
1 coat L.A. Colors Triple Play
1 coat Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat
2 coats China Glaze Harvest Moon
2 coats China Glaze Luxe & Lush
1 coat Prolinc Diamond Dry Top Coat
1 coat Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Monday, November 5, 2012

Manicure Monday: Funky French



What I Used:
  • 1 coat L.A. Colors Triple Play
  • 1 coat Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat
  • 2 coats O.P.I. My Boyfriend Scales Walls
  • 1 coat China Glaze Hook & Line
  • Sanrio Hello Kitty Nail Stickers
  • 1 coat Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Monday, October 29, 2012

Manicure Monday: Jack Skellington


What I Used: 
  • 1 coat L.A. Colors Triple Play
  • 1 coat Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat 
  • 1 coat China Glaze Smoke & Ashes (all but ring and thumb) 
  • 1 coat Finger Paints Black Expressionism (ring, thumb, details) 
  • O.P.I My Boyfriend Scales Walls (white details) 
  • China Glaze Rainbow (details) 
  • China Glaze Stone Cold (details)


Inspiration

Monday, October 15, 2012

Manicure Monday: October Birthstone


What I Used:
  • 1 coat L.A. Colors Triple Play
  • 1 coat Seche Crystal Clear Base Coat
  • 2 coats O.P.I. My Boyfriend Scales Walls
  • 2 coats China Glaze Rainbow
  • Sanrio Hello Kitty Nail Stickers
  • 1 coat Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

This one was impossible to photograph! But it does indeed shimmer in pinks and purples, and sometimes I get a little blue.

Opal stone.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What I Got This Week [6]



My mom surprised me with these Hello Kitty nail art stickers! I've never used nail stickers before, but these are super cute and will definitely get some wear.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Manicure Monday: Candy Corn

A simple tape manicure for Halloween.

What I Used:
  • 1 coat Seche Clear Base Coat
  • 2 coat Sally Hansen "Lite"
  • 1 coat China Glaze "Riveting"
  • 1 coat OPI "My Boyfriend Scales Walls"
  • 1 coat Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What I Got This Week [5]


  • China Glaze "Rainbow"
  • Seche Crystal Clear Base Coat
  • China Glaze "Swanky Silk"
    Seche Crystal Fast Dry Top Coat
  • China Glaze "Unpredictable"
  • China Glaze "No Plain Jane"

Monday, September 17, 2012

Manicure Monday: Set Fire to the Champagne


What I Used:
1 coat L.A. Colors Triple Play
2 coats The Balm Goldfinger
1 coat China Glaze Electrify
1 coat Prolinc Diamond Dry Top Coat
1 coat Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

Monday, September 3, 2012

Manicure Monday: Underappreciated

Grey is such an underappreciated color.

What I Used:
  • 2 coats L.A. Colors Triple Play
  • 2 coats The Balm Dodge a Bullet
  • 1 coat The Balm Disco Ball
  • 1 coat Prolinc Diamond Dry Top Coat

Monday, August 27, 2012

Manicure Monday: Royal Clouds of Gold



What I Used: 
  • 1 coat L.A. Colors Triple Play
  • 2 coats China Glaze Foie Gras
  • 1 coat The Balm Goldfinger
  • 2 coats China Glaze Electrify
  • 2 coats Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review: Finger Paints "It's An Original!"

Dim Natural Light


What I Used:
  • 2 coats of L.A. Colors Triple Play
  • 2 coats of Finger Paints It's An Original!
  • 1 coat of Prolinc Diamond Dry Top Coat

Color [10/10]
This is a super deep, dark purple. This is probably my favorite purple polish ever! In some lights it takes on a more indigo hue, while in others it looks almost black.

Flash

Application [9/10]
It goes on super smoothly! It's not too thin or too thick, but sometimes I did get a little too much polish on the brush causing some minor pooling. That's more a fault of my own, and something I've noticed more likely to happen with dark colors.

Finish [10/10]
This one is super shiny! It doesn't even need a top coat for shine. I still used one for extra protection, but it was most definitely not needed. I was very impressed with the amount of shine in this one.

Longevity [9/10]
The only chips I got while wearing this polish were after doing some heavy lifting (damn you, Costco!). Even then, it was only two nails, was quite minor, and the chips didn't continue to peel afterward. I imagine this one could last quite awhile if you don't work with your hands a lot.

Final Score: 9.5

Monday, August 13, 2012

Manicure Monday: Dragon Scales

With Flash


What I Used:
  • 2 coats of L.A. Colors Triple Play
  • 2 coats of Finger Paints Sketch N Etch
  • 1 coat of O.P.I Shatter the Scales
  • 1 coat of Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

Dim Natural Light

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Review: Zoya "Kissy"



What I Used:
1 coat L.A. Colors Triple Play (as base coat)
3 coats Zoya Kissy
1 coat Prolinc Diamond Dry Top Coat
2 coats Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

Color [10/10]

Kissy is a goreous fuschia glitter with multi-colored bar glitter. I absolutely love it! It's blinding in the light, but impossible to capture in a photo. With flash it comes out red with yellow bar glitter, but that is not how it looks at all. It's the perfect shade of pink and the bar glitter ranges from green to yellow to orange.


Application [7/10]

It's smooth as far as glitters go, but it was still pretty fussy on the first coat. The glitter is super sparse on the first coat, but is much denser on the second, with full coverage on the third. This may be a two coater if you get enough polish on during the first coat. Another issue is that the bar glitter can stick out over the edge of the nail. I just filed this away. It also dries very fast, so don't try to paint all of your nails in one go. Close that bottle up and give it a shake every few nails!

Finish [9/10]

Super sparkly and shiny, but most definitely needs top coat. Lots of top coat! This is to be expected because of the glitter, although the bar glitter lies surprising flat without even messing with it. Even with 3 layers of top coat it's not perfectly smooth, but the final look is beyond gorgeous.

Longevity [1/10]

The polish on one nail completely peeled off in 7 hours. It came off in one, nice, nail shaped piece. I was baffled. I repainted that nail, and the next morning it happened again. Then I took a shower and two more nails became polishless. I was able to easily peel off the polish from each and every nail in one perfect piece. The good news is that this one doesn't require any major scrubbing to remove. The bad news is that it obviously removes itself without warning.

I then tried it without base coat and the results were better but still awful. Within another two days the polish was again coming off in nice whole pieces. At least I can confirm that this polish is indeed chip resistance, which earned it and extra point. This is a one night only, special occasion polish. I'm going to continue to try to find a base polish that it'll bind to, because I really want to be able to use this beauty.

Final Score:  6.75

Monday, July 30, 2012

Manicure Monday: Black Tips


This week I just wanted something simple, and black. I used tape and hole reinforcements, and only colored my tips at approximately the nail line. I'm very happy with this look.

What I Used:
  • 2 coats of L.A. Colors Triple Play
  • 1 coat of China Glaze Smoke & Ashes
  • 1 coat of Prolinc Diamond Dry Top Coat

Friday, July 27, 2012

Flashback Friday: Newsprint


My last pre-blog manicure is a newspaper manicure. I was very excited to give this one a try, and I think it mostly came out great! I messed up both of my ring fingers, so I just covered that up with some glitter! I was very happy with my right thumb, since I wasn't expecting a comic to transfer so cleanly. I'll definitely be trying this one again.


What I Used:
  • Sally Hansen Continuous Treatment (as base coat)
  • 2 coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls
  • 1 coat of OPI Rainbow Connection (glitter)
  • Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I Got This Week [4]



I got these lovely polishes from a fellow blogger! I tested all three out, and I love them!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Manicure Monday: Seedless Watermelons


I've been wanting to do this manicure since I picked up Watermelon Rind! I also wanted to find a use for that dreadful Revlon polish, which was a mistake. I still like how it came out, but it would have been cleaner if I had used a better pink polish; that Revlon one is a nightmare to work with.

What I Used
  • 1 coat L.A. Colors Triple Play (as base coat)
  • 2 coats Revlon Strawberry Electric
  • 1 coat China Glaze Watermelon Rind
  • 1 coat Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

Friday, July 20, 2012

Flashback Friday: Storm Clouds


A few weeks ago, I gave Nailside's Freehand Cloud Tutorial a try. I think it came out really cute, but it didn't last long at all. It started chipping the very next day, so next time I'll try a different polish as the base.

What I Used:
  • Sally Hansen Continuous Treatment (as base coat)
  • 2 coats of China Glaze Stone Cold
  • 1 coat of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls
  • 1 coat of China Glaze Hook & Line
  • 1 coat of China Glaze Luxe & Lush
  • Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I Got This Week [3]

L2R: Zoya "Kissy", FingerPaints "Black Expressionism," "It's An Original!" and "Sketch N Etch"

First up is Kissy by Zoya. I'm super happy with the color of this polish! I love pink, but pinks don't love me, and this one is PERFECT! Unfortunately, the polish itself is awful. It doesn't bind to base coat at all, but does bind slightly better to bare nail. I just know I can never do a full manicure of this and expect it to last longer than a night.

Then I used my Sally's $5 coupon, plus Finger Paints was Buy 2 Get 1 Free, and free shipping! This package also contained another $5 coupon!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Review: China Glaze "Grape Juice"

What I Used:
1 coat LA Colors Triple Play (as base coat)
2 coats China Glaze "Grape Juice"
1 coat Prolinc Diamond Dry Top Coat

Color [8/10]

Upon seeing Grape Juice in the bottle, I wasn't overly impressed. It looks like just another shimmery purple, but after seeing it on the color spoon I changed my mind. Getting it on my nails, and wow! It's a very pretty purple with silver and pink shimmer. In fact, the first coat is quite pink, but a second coat makes it a nice medium purple with silver shimmer, that retains some of the pink in certain light. I am curious if this one would become even darker with a third coat.

Application [8/10]

The formula on this one is great! It goes on very smooth, and isn't runny or globby at all. The first coat is extremely sheer, but the addition of a second coat makes it almost perfectly opaque. I did notice a few small bald spots, so maybe a third coat is needed.

Finish [8/10]

This is not a particularly shiny polish due to the shimmer. However, a top coat takes care of that without hindering the effect. I would recommend a top coat with this one anyway, since it is a little grainy to the touch.

Longevity [7/10]

I typically wear my manicures for only a week, and while this one lasted the duration, I had noticeable tip wear after 2 days. I hadn't done much over those two days, besides typing and reading, so it probably shouldn't have been that bad. Day 5 had a whole nail peel off in one piece, same on Day 7. Other than that I had only one chipped nail. Perhaps I'll try this one again with three coats and a different top coat to see if it lasts longer.

Removal is pretty good. The color melts right off, leaving the shimmer which requires only a little extra scrubbing to completely remove.

Final Score: 7.75

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flashback Friday: Layering Experiment


While I love the entire Hunger Games Collection from China Glaze, a few of the colors just do not agree with my skin tone. Fast Track is unfortunately one of them. I think it's such a pretty color, but it's far too light for me. On the other hand, Mahogany Magic looks pretty good on me, but I find it boring. Then I decided to combine them just to see what happened. What I got was a very interesting, milky gold. It was extremely hard to capture in a photograph, but I really liked it. Although in some lighting it looked not so great.

What I Used:
  • Sally Hansen Continuous Treatment (as base coat)
  • 2 coats of China Glaze Mahogany Magic
  • 1 coat of China Glaze Fast Track
  • Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What I Got This Week [2]

Top: Pippa, Nova, Trixie, Mimi
Middle: Suvi, Gabrielle, Raven, Rina, Goldie, Edyta
Bottom: Kissy, Hope, Apple, Faye, Venus, Joy

I'd been debating about whether or not to order these, but last week I caved. I wound up ordering 16 polish spoons from Zoya. These are an amazing invention! There was one color (Edyta) I almost ordered after staring longingly at the bottle online, but after seeing it in person? I'm majorly disappointed! That one revelation was well worth the price! Since I did order 16, I had one bottle worth of credit. I managed to narrow it down to 4 (Rina, Apple, Hope, & Kissy), after being disappointed in some of the colors (Goldie, Edyta, & Suvi), while others just look odd with my skin (Joy, Faye & Gabrielle). My mom helped narrow it to 2 (Apple & Kissy), and then she picked her favorite (Kissy). Then my dad picked the same, so that's the one I ordered!

Pink is a tough color for me with nail polish. Half my closet is pink, but I have such a hard time finding pinks that look good on my nails. They're either too red, too orange, or too light. Kissy, however, is just right! I think it's the multi-colored bar glitter that help balance it out.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What I Got This Week [1]

Monday, I went into Sally's with the intention to just browse while my mom went to the bank next door. I started inspecting the Orly (how do you pronounce this?!) display, but found myself in front of the China Glaze display which had a sale sign: Buy 2 China Glaze, Get 1 Diamond Dry Top Coat FREE! Free is good, so I checked out the top coat, $7.49, so good deal! I also ended up getting a Sally's card, which I hope doesn't empty my bank account with amazing deals! I got a $5 coupon, which I'll likely use to get a bottle of Orly to try out.

L2R: Watermelon Rind, Grape Juice, Prolinc Diamond Dry Top Coat
Since my manicure is still fresh, I tested these lovelies on my toes. I'm in love! Watermelon Rind is especially gorgeous, but Grape Juice is lovely, too. I'll probably use one or both of these in next week's manicure.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Manicure Monday: Half-Moon

 
For this week's manicure I decided to try the half-moon design. I stumbled upon two packs of hole reinforcements a few weeks ago while cleaning, so that was lucky. I hadn't had much luck with tape manicures, because my only roll of tape is warped, but I think this one came out much better. The "moons" aren't even, taking up more nail on my left hand, but I think it was a good first attempt. I also smudged both ring fingers. For some reason, I always mess up my ring fingers; I can't figure out why.

What I used:
  • L.A. Colors Triple Play (as base coat)
  • 2 coats of OPI Just Spotted the Lizard
  • 1 coat of China Glaze Agro
  • Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Brief History of...

my nail health and care.

I didn't really become serious about my nails' look until this year, but I've been taking better care of them for over a year now. I've always liked nail polish, typically neons and black, but I always went for funky and cheap. I didn't care much for how they looked, but last year I started using nail hardener since I have super brittle nails that would break before getting any growth. It worked like a charm! I went through an entire bottle of Sinful Colors Nail Hardener, then moved on to a bottle of Salley Hansen's Hard as Nails. My nails grow extremely fast, and now that they aren't breaking so often I've attained great length. Although I have had to cut them to better function at school (it's very hard to write notes when your nails are digging into your palm!).

Earlier this year I discovered beauty blogs, specifically polish and manicure blogs. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities for my nails. Now I'm excited to try fun designs for my weekly manicure rather than just a plain, single color. I've also started building up a collection of quality polishes. I'm currently infatuated with China Glaze's Hunger Games Collection! I also cannot wait for OPI's German Collection this August. The colors are gorgeous, the names are fun, and I'm half German!

Anyway, I decided to create this blog to share my adventures in nail polish and nail art. Hopefully, by sharing pictures of my manicures I'll be more motivated to improve my skills. It'll also serve as a nice record for me as to what I was able to do, what I need to practice, which colors works with my skin tone, etc. So, here goes nothing!