Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Dot Mani

This Halloween Dot Mani was inspired (thieved!) from Kayla Shevonne's blog.   Hers looks much neater than mine, but she is a true nail artist and I'm just a mere amateur and copy cat.

For this mani I whipped out my dotting tools and used the following colors:

  • Black base:  Essence Black is back
  • Orange: Pure Ice Hot Tamale
  • White: Ulta Snow White
  • Purple: American Apparel African Violet
  • Green: Blush  no name 
Topped with a coat of SV and there you go.  

Happy Halloween!!

Loreal's - The Muse's Inspiration + Halloween Mani/Revlon Stencils

Loreal has really stepped up their game in the last year, releasing really nice polishes that are finally starting to catch my eye.  Today I have a polish from the Project Runway collection called The Muse's Inspiration.  I bought another 2 from the line, but have yet to swatch them.  Hopefully I'll get to them soon.

So here's The Muse's Inspiration.  It's a shimmery tangerine orange like color like no other I have in my stash.  It really is a rich color -perfect for autumn and the application was very smooth.  This is 3 coats of The Muse's Inspiration on top of a base coat of Bonder and then I topped with SV.   Think tangerine when you look at this pics because, as usual, my camera was confused by this color. 

Side note: please excuse my right hand, it's not as nice as my left. :o/

 Now for a Halloween mani!  I found these Revlon Nail Stencils at Walgreens for around 3-4 bucks and thought I should give them a chance.

I used Essence Black is Back for the stencil color.  Let it dry completely (or at least what I thought was completely) and then carefully peeled off the stencil.  This is the result:

Pretty cool, huh.  Now they're not perfect, by any means, but they did the trick.  I think one would achieve a neater, more crisp result with a stamping plate than with this, but if you don't want to spend the money on a stamping kit and plates then this is a nice little shortcut. The only catch is that they really don't seem to be reusable as then bend out of shape when you pull them off.   I'll be using the mustache stencil for a Movember manicure next month.  Can't wait.

What do you think?  Would you give the Revlon nail stencil a try?

Until next time!  ☺

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Effects - Stud-io Time

Howdy, folks!  I can't believe October is almost gone.  It just got here, didn't it?  You wouldn't know it's October by the temperatures were still getting here in AZ.  I can only hope that by Halloween our highs will only be in the high 80s.  :::crossing fingers:::  The evenings here are pretty gorgeous though.  I definitely have nothing to complain about when it comes to that.  Right now its 71 degrees out.  It's the perfect weather to have dinner out on the patio of a restaurant, which I did last night with several of my girl friends.  It was quite lovely.

So I have bought several of these Salon Effects kits and have never tried using them until a couple of weeks ago.  I don't know what it was about them, but I think I thought they wouldn't work and I wasn't ready to flush what I spent on them down the drain so quickly.  Well, I finally sucked it up and decided I would finally give them a try.  I bought this set at Ulta for half off about 8 months ago!  I opened the box and was ready to get down to business when I realize one of the sets of strips was missing.  The box is supposed to included 2 sealed packets of the various sized nail polish strips- one for your right hand and one for the left.  It's also supposed to have an orange stick and a small nail file.  This box had the orange stick and one set of the nail strips.  I was robbed!!!  Lesson reluctantly learned.  If you see these on clearance, check the box to make sure everything is there before you buy or be a sucker like me.

Because of the above, I decided to still use what I bought and came up with an accent nail mani using the Stud-io Time strips on every other nail, alternating with OPI's Sanguine.  I'm not going to go into the application process because you can watch a fantastic video instead, if you would like: Nail Strip Application Tutorial.

I wasn't sure what to expect with these nail polish strips, but they turned out to be pretty cool.  There was some very obvious lifting that occurred immediately on only my thumb nail near the cuticle line  (I think I should have watched the tutorial first!).  No matter how hard I pressed down on it, it kept popping up.  Even still, it wasn't really a problem - it didn't get snagged in anything and pretty much stayed the same degree of separated the entire time I had them on, which was about 4 days.

Here's how to make the best of half of a box of nail polish strips:

You can really see the lifting up of the strip on my thumb in this one. :(

What do you think?  Have you ever tried nail polish strips before?  If you have what was your experience?  Any tricks or tips for flawless application?

Until next time.  ☺

Thursday, October 18, 2012

OPI GoldenEye is GORGEOUS!

Hello folks!  I couldn't wait to put up some pictures of GoldenEye from the recently released OPI James Bond Collection because it is to die for.  I grew up watching James Bond movies on the TV with my dad so I was super excited when I found out there was going to be a nail polish line inspired by Bond.  And then to have that line be by OPI?  Swoon! The whole collection is pretty darn awesome, but this one is the one that grabbed me.  Let me tell you, I received many compliments on this polish and I could not stop looking at my own nails for the couple of days I had it on.  It's just ridiculously ah-mah-zing.  I have never seen a gold polish that can even hold a candle to this one.  The color is so saturated that is makes your nails look like they have been covered in sparkly gold leaf!

For these photos I used a base of Bonder, 3 coats of Goldeneye and a top coat of SV.  I noticed that the polish would seem to apply a little bit more sparse as I got to the top of the nail with the brush so I ended up having to splat some polish at the top first and then I would dip again and start application again from bottom to top.  A fourth coat probably wouldn't have hurt as it dried very well.

Here is GoldenEye - which I have been calling Goldfinger for the last 2 weeks (Gee, I wonder why).  Oops!

So what do you think of this shimmery sparkly golden goodness?  Gotta have it?

Until next time!!  ☺

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Back in action with butter London - Trustifarian

  As you know, my computer's hard drive crashed a couple of weeks ago and was subsequently confirmed to be dead as dead could be. Nothing from my hard drive was recoverable, so I lost a crapload of pictures and documents including my all of my nail polish swatches from 2012 and those that were ready to be blogged. :( That's what I get for not backing up to my external hard drive.  Lesson learned.  Grrrrr!
  I ended up buying a new little desktop and am trying to make up for lost time. Thank goodness for my Best Buy card. Whew! You really don't realize how much you rely on technology until it's no longer available. Trying to do everything I needed to on my smart phone was super annoying so I'm very happy to be back on my PC.
 While I was in PC limbo, I had the pleasure of taking a quick trip to the CA Bay to visit a couple of my girl friends. Of course I packed several polishes so that I could do a quick change while on my vacay. One of them was Butter London's Trustifarian, which I had picked up at Dillard's just before I left on my trip. Trust me when I tell you that YOU NEED TO HAVE THIS POLISH! This polish is Gor-ge-ous! Granted, butter London is not an inexpensive brand, so some folks may not even consider giving them a chance. Their polishes are $14 each unless you are lucky enough to pick them up on a BOGO promo at Ulta, but those are few and far between. Even still, butter London puts out polishes of excellent quality and in fantastic colors, so really they are worth the price in the long run. I bought Trustifarian with Scouse, which is a Dillard's exclusive color that I'll be posting about soon.
  The way I know that a nail polish is a winner, aside from my own opinion and what I read online, is based on the extent of compliments I receive.  Case in point, I was at a store on Haight in SF called Land Of the Sun, trying on numerous sterling silver rings with my friend, Nicci. While we were looking, there was a lady behind me that kept leaning in and hovering around.   I thought she was just anxious for us to hurry up and make our selections so that she could look at the rings as well.  Instead, she must have realized we weren't going anywhere any time soon and finally interrupted us telling me "I'm so sorry, but can you please just tell me what color nail polish you're wearing.  It's beautiful!" I ended up writing the name and brand and where she could buy it down on a piece of paper for her. The sales lady then chimed in "Write it down for me too!". How about that?!

 As you probably know, I am a nail polish NUT and I make sure that I read up on proper application and tips on removal and all that jazz.  Trustifarian is a holographic polish, so for this application I did not use a base coat and instead buffed up my nails to offer a smooth base for the polish to go on. I have read that most holos apply better if you do this vs using a base coat.  After the smoothing and buffing, I applied 2 coats of Trustifarian...although it may have been 3, but I can't remember.  I topped it with a coat of SV and voilà!  Gorgeousness incarnate! So enough talking this baby up, just check it out for yourself.

Trustifarian - hangin out with the Golden Gate Bridge

Trustifarian - enjoying the view of SF from afar

butter London's description ofTrustifarian - A golden holographic finish gives this delightful sage green nail lacquer a sophisticated edge. Per a Trustifarian is: A word that combines Trust-Fund with Rastafarian.  Privileged white kids who subscribed to the hippie lifestyle (because they can since they have no worries about money, a job etc.  They can then devote their lives to eating organic, following Phish, and wearing dreadlocks (no need for job interviews)

You can find butter London for $14 a pop @ butter London, at Ulta, Dillard's and Nordstrom's.  

How do you feel about Trustifarian and butter London?  Love it or leave it?

Until next time.  ☺