Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pretty & Polished Tuesday Taurus

I had never heard of Tuesday Taurus until my friend Alyson at Beads. Nails. Food asked if I would be interested in it.  At the time, I didn't even know what it looked like.  I knew it was on a lot of people's wish lists so I said "sure".  It is definitely different from anything else I have in my collection, that is for sure.  Even though it is in a light teal base, it is quite thin so I layered it over China Glaze's For Audrey.  This is two coats of each......

Here is a bottle shot of each so you know what For Audrey looks like...

Not a great picture but you can see the glitter settles quite a bit in the bottle.  I shook that baby up for a long time and there was still quite a few stubborn glitters that wouldn't budge so it was tough getting enough on the nail.

It was, however, a really unique look that was another good conversation mani at work.  The glitters vary greatly in size and color and textures as well.

Pretty & Polished has an Etsy shop and I suggest you take a look because she has some great color changing polishes that are really cool and some other looks in time for Halloween....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Smitten Bluebird

I must admit when I first saw this on Smitten's Etsy Store, I was not really that into the polish.  Amazingly because I tend to gravitate towards things that are different. Once I got it, I realized it was kind of cool looking and a great conversation topic at work.  I used Essie Glamour Purse as a base coat and then followed up with two coats of Bluebird.

It reminds me of a bluebird, doesn't it?

I wanted to share with you all that I have not had a great 24 hours.  I have had some vary sad news in my life and I am having a very hard time coping.  Normally I am very private but I feel like I am in need of support and have been grateful to this community for all that they have given me.  I just ask that you keep me in your thoughts and encourage me to keep pushing through and blogging because this process keeps my mind busy and is therapeutic.  I am sure many of you feel the same way.  Just know that your comments and support have always been important to me and I am grateful to have you all there when I have needed you.  I hope I have done the same for many of you.  Thanks for listening....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Amy's Nail Boutique Cherry Blossom

I have another polish from Amy's Nail Boutique for you today.  It is called Cherry Blossom and it is amazing.  I layered this over Zoya Petra which is a pretty mix of purple and brown.  If you sort by color, it's one of those polishes you always want to put into two different categories.  I used one  layer of Petra (should have used two) and two layers of Cherry Blossom to achieve this look.

I just love the look of this layering.

Great polish as always.  Amy makes some amazing things and is super easy to work with.  She has great customer service.

You can see that Cherry Blossom has some nice shimmer in the base which is an added bonus.  Here is a bottle shot of both polishes.

You can buy polishes from Amy at her Etsy store.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pretty & Polished Sand Art

I bought this in an Etsy Store frenzy quite a while ago.  It was in such demand so I knew I wanted to test it out.  I have to be honest, it isn't my favorite polish.  Not because there is anything wrong with it.  It is different and applies nicely but I guess I had it in my mind that it was going to be my favorite polish of all time and it sort of let me down a bit.  I decided to layer it over Zoya Wednesday.  Now, this may be another reason it is not my favorite but I will get back to that in a minute.

This is two coats of Zoya Wednesday with two coats of Sand Art.

I elected not to use a top coat at all because I liked the gritty feel and felt it was appropriate due to it's name.

It has a unique set of matte glitters mixed in together which would allow it to be layered over anything really.  Recently Katee over at A Girl and her Polish reviewed it and did a gradient over white.  I really liked the way that turned out and thought, I may try it again over black using a similar technique.

When I removed this polish using my standard technique for glitter removal that you can find here.  I ended up with green fingernails.  You can see how bad they were by checking out this post where I was able to get them clean with a product sold at Sally's.  At first I blamed Zoya Wednesday but I heard from others that they didn't have that problem which makes me wonder whether or not the acetone melted the Sand Art glitter and stained my nails.  I plan on testing this sometime in the future and will let you know.



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Candy Lacquer Purple Argyle

Here is one of my first Candy Lacquers.  I loved Argyle when I first saw it and planned on getting it but when I saw Purple Argyle I knew that would be the one instead.  I layered it over one coat of Revlon Charming. 

This is two coats of Purple Argyle.  No problem getting out the glitters but they wanted to stick to each other and overlap and so it took a bit of playing around to separate them from one another.

I love how they remind me of a pretty winter sweater when the glitters turn just the right way.

This is a mix of diamond purple silver holo and black glitter and white, silver holo and black bars glitter along with tiny holographic specks.
Here is a botttle shot.....

You can buy Candy Lacquer on Etsy.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guest Post at Polished Prisms

I was invited to participate in Glitterific over at Polished Prisms.  In order to see my glitter mani, you have to go check out Hannah's blog here.  Hope you enjoy.....

Monday, August 20, 2012

Enchanted Holos With Stamping

About a month ago, I went on a huge buying splurge and got a whole mess of Enchanted holographic polishes.  I heard that quite a few were being retired so I didn't want to pass up the chance.  I am glad I did.  I like them a lot.  Some are really holo and can hold their own with my Jades.  When they first arrived, I couldn't decided which one to use first.  I made it easy on myself.  I used four at once.  On my left hand I have Awesomeness and Gummy Worm.  Both are incredible. I just painted around the nail in various spots with one and filled in the gaps with the other and then stamped using black special and some Cheeky Plate.  I am terrible at this right?  I would really be terrible at tutorials.  Here is the left hand.....

On the right hand, I used Disco Barbie and Ocean Potion.  I was not thrilled with the holo of Disco Barbie.  I was disappointed but I have heard from others that they think it is amazing so maybe I just didn't get a good bottle.  It is still pretty but nothing in comparison to my pink Jades.  Take a look.......

Of course these pictures do not do the sparkly holo any justice but the day I took them, it was cloudy out.  I do like the random color blocking under the stamping though.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Smitten Polish Pink Lemonade

I bought a bunch of Smitten Polishes about a month ago and I have to say that I am totally "smitten" with them so far.  This one, Pink Lemonade, I fell in love with when I saw the bottle shot online.  Love the color combo.  Yellow and pink really go great together.  I decided to throw in an accent nail because I wanted something a little less conservative.  I added a Betty Boop Water Decal.  Love Betty!!!

This polish is definitely in my top five favorites.  I just think the blend is so pretty.  Great summer colors.

Here is a close up of Betty Boop...

I think she made a nice addition.

If you are interested in Smitten Polish's Pink Lemonade, you can check out Noelie's Etsy store.  I see she has Pink Lemonade in stock now.  She also has a bunch of other great polishes but this is my favorite so far.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Glitter Removal...... Ditch The Foil Method!!

When I first started getting into nails after biting them for so many years, it was through Shellac or Gel nails.  I was given a gift certificate for Valentine's Day to a spa and I was talked into trying Shellac.  I loved it because it instantly put a stop to my nail biting but that stuff is a pain in the neck to get off.  I went back to have it done a second time and had to pay extra to remove it.  The girl at the checkout desk gave me a great tip when I went to pay.  She told me to have it removed before I came back to have the new polish put on because they charged 11 dollars for removal.  She then gave me a handful of finger cots to take home and instructed me how to use them for removal.  Shellac sold pricey removal packages and some of my friends talked about how they used tin foil but I figured, I have these little things so I might as well use them.  Worked like a charm.  Every now and then I don't plan ahead and run out and I am forced to use tin foil for a bit and hate it.  You have to put a ton of acetone on the cotton ball and when you squeeze the foil to make sure it presses the cotton on your nail, the acetone runs down your hand.  Yuck.  If you are using tin foil, forget about it....this is what you need. 

First off, let me show you how I set up for a manicure.  I have multiple fabric storage boxes like the one below.  They have several compartments in different sizes.  I use another for my stamping and acrylics and another for various other nail art like rhinestones and fimo. 

You can see in the middle section on the right, I have my finger cots with the cotton balls in the next compartment behind them.  Here is what they look like up close....just like little condoms.

You can purchase these in multiple sizes.  People use them to protect their nails, like when you are doing dishes but they also can be used if you have dry cuticles but don't want to wear gloves on your hands.  I buy them in medium and it is a great fit for me. Next step is to moisten a cotton ball in acetone and place it on your nail.

Now your ready to hold it in place by using that finger cot and rolling it onto your finger.

Here is what they look like when one hand is finished.

Now all you need to do is wait five to seven minutes and then pressing the cotton down on your fingernail, slide the finger cot right off the nail.  The glitter has melted (or the Shellac or Gel) and polish and glitter slide right off with the cot.  The best part about finger can hang up your clothes, iron, do the dishes, walk the dogs (if you don't mind people seeing your hands like this), you can even play on your ipad because the ipad allows you to scroll and use the touch screen even with the cots on your fingers.

If foil is still your go-to, that's cool.  Just know you have another option.  I usually buy my finger cots off e-bay because you can get a box of 144 for under $5.00.

Addendum:  After I put up this post, my friend Veronica from Gorgeois told me she had posted on the EXACT SAME THING earlier this year.  She, as usual, did a much better job displaying this method through photos and carried it through all of the removal.  You can check it out here.  If you are not following her already, you should.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Love Luxe and Lush

This is a very simple look but I really love it.  I am a fan of Pure Ice.  I like the application, its easy to get your hands on it, and they have a lot of great stamping polishes.  This particular polish, No Means No, is one of my favorites.  I added some China Glaze Luxe and Lush over the top to give it a little pizazz. 

It was so pretty...but...the next day I received in the mail Madly Matte by Kleancolor. So I figured, what the heck!!!

Awesome.  I like them both.  Do you have a preference??

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

China Glaze Wizard of Ooh Ahz Gradient

I really loved this collection.  I have since given several of them away but I am still partial to a few.  Love the shimmer in them.  Decided it would be perfect for a gradient.  I chose China Glaze C-C-Courage and Good Witch.  Then I stamped on top with Cheeky 12 using Konad White.

I wanted to add a few general statements here of things that you may or may not find interesting.  I like to learn things about bloggers I follow, so I figure I would share a bit of what is on my mind.  Briefly of course because I am not long winded.

1) I do not use photo shop.  It is way to expensive and beyond my scope of ability.  I use Picmonkey and only to crop and add a watermark.  Love me or leave me.....warts, hangnails and all.

2) I do not accept free products from anyone.  I do this purely as a hobby.  I will never change my opinion on this.  I have no beef with anyone else who does or who uses blogging to supplement their income.  More power to them.  It just isn't for me. 

3) I hate Blogger for automatically forcing new bloggers to use identity verification codes when followers comment.  PLEASE, PLEASE, if you are a new blogger, check your settings.  Unless you remove this setting, you are tormenting all of your followers by making them type in those stupid anti-words.  And now they have added some stupid thing that looks like the numbers on the side of your house and was taken by a bad photographer.  I like to comment on blogs but do it from an ipad.  It AUTO-CORRECTS EVERYTHING!!!!!  If you keep it on, you may lose comments that you deserve to have and enjoy.

4) I don't comment on all my comments.  I think it is admirable that some do but I find more value in spending that time commenting on other blogs.  I LOVE all of the comments people leave.  I cherish every one of them.  If you ask me a question, I will always respond.  I just want to spend my free time painting my nails, blogging and following all of yours.

Thanks again for following.  I am coming close to 300 followers and am planning a giveaway.  I was thinking the new Cheeky stamping plates but worried that may not be a good giveaway if most of you don't stamp.  Opinions?????

Monday, August 13, 2012

Subtle Stamping-Shine On Matte Plum

I am kind of excited that the challenges are done for a bit because I can play around with different things.  I wanted to do a subtle stamping with similar colors.  I put a lot of thought into finding just the right combination.  Finally settled on plum colors.  I love plum!!!  I think it is my all time favorite.  I used Finger Paints Pretty as a Portrait and then I used a coat of Essie Matte About You to make that dull finish.  I then used Cheeky 07 and Zoya Carly to stamp on top.

I am totally in love with the finished product. The colors work really well together. Carly has just the right amount of shine.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Failed Mani....I'll call it prom nails

After posting my stained and gross nails yesterday, I decided that I would go all the way and post a failed attempt at a manicure.  I love it when people post fails.  It makes me feel like I am part of a humble community and that is what I love most about blogging.  I love polish, and nail art but sometimes I suck.  Sometimes I feel great at it.  It's give and take and that's how we get better.  So this is really old.  Like a few months.  I almost posted it back around prom time because....well....let's be honest, they look like prom nails.  Not the nails that teens wear today.  Most of them get them done in a salon.  It looks the the prom nails of the 80's-90's.  You know, the kind that is worn by someone with big hair???  Sound like anyone here?  I bet it does.  For this amazing manicure, I used Finger Paints Silver Sculpture, which I gave to a co-worker's daughter because it emphasized every little imperfection and ridge on my nails.  I used some striping tape and China Glaze's Prism over the top and accented with some gaudy purple gemstones.  It is very hard to write this up as a serious post......

I am thinking this would go over great at a children's party if I ever decide to do one.  People ask me regularly but I am certain there is not enough money to pay me to do it.

And just for some added humility, I am including a picture of my senior prom dress.  No sexy, slinky number for me.  And, NO....those are not curtains, it is legitimately a dress.  I saw it in a magazine and HAD to have it.  OMG!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Stained Nails Product Reviews

OK, if you are grossed out easily, you should probably not scroll down through this post.  I purposely put the product pic first to avoid anyone looking at a blog roll to freak out.  I have a problem with yellow and often stained nails.  I usually use a base coat.  Sometimes Revlon Color Stay and sometimes Orly Bonder.  Sometimes Essie, sometimes OPI, etc.  I am not partial to one because I have not found one that really works 100% of the time.  When I did my survey a while back, I asked about base coats.  More than any other question, people were all over the map.  Top coat was like 99% Seche Vite but base coat was a complete free for all.  Just wanted to point out that I do use a base coat when I polish.  I also am learning that not everyone has the same response to polish.  A facebook group I am in recently added a doc to list polishes that stain.  Amazingly, not everyone had the same experience to each polish.  Does it have to do with oils in our nails?  Ridges? Genetics?  The age of the polish?

Anyway, a while back I had read that Sally's sells something called Bubble White that whitens nails.  Some people had good luck with it.  I decided to give it a try.  This is Bubble White in the packaging.

It says it whitens and brightens nails in minutes.  It is powder hat you add to a dish of water and then basically soak your nails.  I tried it and took pictures but never posted because it didn't work for me at all.  I have no problem writing about a product that I don't like or that didn't work for me but I was embarrassed to show my gross, unpolished nails.  Well here it goes....prepare yourself...first the before picture...

And then the picture of what they looked like AFTER Bubble White.....

I think it bleached my skin a little whiter than the Irish I started with but ZERO change in my actual nails.  I basically gave up and resigned myself to the fact that I can never wear a sheer polish again.  Or.....maybe not!!!

So I bought some Zoya's recently and I am trying to try on all my untrieds before my next nail art challenge begins in the fall.  I put on Zoya Wednesday and Pretty & Polished Sand Art.  I will be showing them in a post soon but when I removed the nails were green.  GREEN!!!!  Not cool at all.  I can deal with yellow tinge but green nails actually taints the polish I put on top of it.  Something had to be done.  So, someone told me about another product, also found at Sally's.  It's called ASP Whitening Nail Paste.  Figured I would give it a try.  Here is what the packaging looks like.

This is in a tube like toothpaste and you put it on with the brush wet and gently scrub your nails.  OK, I am reluctantly going to show you the before pic but only because I am impressed and want you to see that amazing transformation.  Prepare yourself....

I know....there are no words for this.  But, on the flip side....check this out....

I did not even buff these.  Just a quick rub of Burt's Bees Cuticle Cream.  This is a product I can stand behind.  WOW!!!  I think I might throw on something from the OPI Ballet Collection.  Just because I can. :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

F4 Polish-Blue Galaxy

Here is another winning polish from F4 Polish called Blue Galaxy.  This is a blue jelly polish filled with colored glitters.  I used no base polish here and this was two coats.

Polish went on smoothly, no problems with glitter placement....

I really like the look of it with no undies....

Those glitters are a great combination of blue, purple and green.

If you are interested in F4 Polishes, catch them at their Etsy store.  Although they are on vacation right now, they generally have polish in stock and ship super fast.  They also have been known to do a custom order or two if you ask nice.  :)