Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Peppermint Candy Canes

  For my first Christmas themed manicure, I decided to go with a holiday classic treat, candy canes!  While I was originally planning on doing just red on white, I decided it needed a little bit of green as well...

Outdoors, shade
  For these nails, I started off with two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On, followed by Konad using Fright Night Claw Polish Toxic and Nicole by OPI Stuck In The Chimney on plate m65.  I carefully painted the red onto the solid stripes, and then carefully added the green on the dot-stripes, so that I could more easily get a multi-colored stripe look.  I think it turned out very nice!  Aside from the pointer finger, where you can see I was a little short on my stamping and attempted to compensate with a second stamp... should have just left it alone, haha.  I also apologize for the dry nasty cuticles - the winter is hard on them!  But I picked up some LUSH - Lemony Flutter at the mall the other day and it is already working its magic!  :D

  Hope everyone is having a great holiday season!  I am off to put up our Christmas tree with Dan now!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Holidays Giveaway!

  Well, here is my promised holiday giveaway!  It is just a small one, but I do plan on having a much larger 300 follower giveaway, so tell all of your friends to follow! ;) Here is what I have to offer you for this Happy Holidays Giveaway:

2010 Holiday Giveaway
  For this giveaway, I am splitting these up into two winners, as many of you requested in a previous post.  This gives you a slightly higher chance to win some gorgeous polish!  Here are the prizes broken down.

First Prize

  The China Glaze Merry Mint giftset, which includes Naughty and Nice, Mrs. Claus, and Peppermint Cuticle Oil.

Second Prize

Elf Holiday Nail Polish Trio, which includes Cranberry, Golden Goddess and Twinkle.

  This giveaway is open to international as well as domestic followers, and will run until Friday, December17th.  I will plan on announcing the winner sometime during that weekend, using Random.org to pick the winner as I have in the past.  Fill out this entry form and leave it in the comments section on this post!

1) You must be a follower of my blog on GFC.  Please tell me your follower name (+1 entry)

2) You must leave me an e-mail to contact you if you win! (+1 entry)

3) Blog about this giveaway, or add it to your sidebar/giveaway page/etc. Leave a link (+1 entry)

4) Include the first picture from this post in your giveaway post/sidebar Leave a link (+2 entries)

5) Add or already have Polishology on your blogroll.  Leave a link (+1 entry)

6) Follow Polishology on Twitter! @polishology Leave your Twitter name (+1 entry)

7) Tweet about this giveaway, including @polishology in your tweet. Leave the status link (+1 entry)

8) What is a Holiday design you would like to see on Polishology?  It could be specifics, or just color or inspiration ideas.  Stamping, marbling, free hand (which I plan on trying soon), etc ideas all welcome!.  I would love some great ideas from you! (+2 entries)

  This gives you a possibility of 10 entries total!  I may also add one entry to those of you who comment regularly on the blog if you enter, but I will do this at my own discretion. ;) Remember to get those entries in by December 17th!  Thank you all so much for following, I really appreciate it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Nails

  I had really meant to get these posted yesterday, but my day was crazy!  In a good way, though. :)  We started off by visiting my paternal grandparents for a morning brunch, and after visiting with them went to my aunt's for a huge family get-together of my mom's side of the family, with Thanksgiving lunch.  Then we drove over to Dan's parent's house for dinner with his family.  That is three Thanksgiving dinners.  I think perhaps I am still stuffed?  It was a really great day though, I love that I got to visit with everyone!

Outdoors, shade, no flash
  For my Thanksgiving nails, I decided to go with a beautiful fall orange and gold.  I started off with two coats of OPI Take The Stage, which is a polish I originally had not picked up from Burlesque, but looking at it the other day at Ulta I decided it was a really great fall orange and needed it in my collection - up until this point I only had two oranges, and they were both neon bright, medium-toned oranges.  This gorgeous burnt orange with sparkly foil-like finish had great application as well.

Indoors, artificial light
  On top of this, I used one of my new Christmas presents, Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow.  This is a really gorgeous gold glitter in a super-sheer gold shimmery base, with both large hex and smaller gold glitter.  I used a gradient effect on these, with one coat on the whole nail, a second coat on about half, and then a final coat on just the tips.  I think it gave these nails a really nice look.  I got several compliments from family members, including one from my two-year-old cousin, which was really sweet.

  Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving (if you are here in the USA, of course), and are having a great holiday season!  Expect my holiday giveaway up sometime tomorrow... ;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Deborah Lippmann! And The Cutest Baby... :)

  Last weekend I was visiting Christy - and her adorable baby Evie!  I just love my niece so much, I swear she is the cutest baby in the world.  Anyway, we went to the mall for awhile and wandered into Nordstrom.. and Christy shocked me by getting me my Christmas present early there - Deborah Lippmann polishes! :D

  I got the All That Jazz trio (Some Enchanted Evening, Razzle Dazzle, and Lady Sings the Blues), as well as Bad Romance, Boom Boom Pow and Wicked Game.  I was so excited - these are polishes that I have really wanted to have, but haven't been able to justify buying for myself.  The perfect kind of Christmas present, in my opinion!  Thank you again, Kitty!! :D
  There was much internal debate about which to try first, but I finally settled on Razzle Dazzle.  Be advised, I do have nubbins in these pictures. :(  My pinkie nail broke all the way down, and since I was already patching up another break and had recently lost the length of a thumbnail... I decided they just all needed to be short.  But this polish makes even my nubbins looks good!

Outdoors, shade, no flash
  This is three coats of Razzle Dazzle, which is a gorgeous dark berry jelly packed with glitter.  It is really a stunning polish, and I have gotten many compliments on it during the last few days!  Formula, application, and dry time were all great.  I probably could have done two coats if I had used slightly thicker coats, but mine were rather thin.

Indoors, artificial light, no flash
  This one can look really dark or fairly bright, depending on the lighting.  And that glitter really sparkles.  Overall, a very nice polish that I am definitely glad to own!  I am really excited to try out the rest of these!  Here is another picture of my nails:

  You see the nails in there, right?  Haha, okay so this is not really so much a picture of my nails, but tell me that is not like, the cutest baby ever.  She is three months old now, and starting to really develop her personality rather than just be the cute newborn that she was last time I saw her.  I can't wait to see her in a month for Christmas!

  Just because you can never have too many cute baby pictures.  ;)  I also did Christy's nails while I was down there, which I will be posting soon... along with my Thanksgiving manicure (using another Lippmann!) tomorrow and a Holiday Giveaway coming up this weekend!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

OPI Simmer and Shimmer

  Sorry for a bit of a delay in posting the last couple of days, I am visiting my sister, brother-in-law, and my adorable niece Evie this weekend!  It has been a lot of fun - Christy and I did some nail shopping and painting, which I am sure you can expect to hear all about in the coming days!

  Today I will share with you another amazing polish from the OPI Burlesque collection, Simmer and Shimmer!

Outdoors, shade, no flash
  Simmer and Shimmer is a really gorgeous, mostly blue glitter polish, although it has quite a bit of other colors packed in there!  This is three coats, which was needed to achieve full opacity.  The dry time was very decent on this one, and although the finish was a bit on the bumpy side, a couple of coats of a good topcoat will smooth this one.  I used the Essie Good to Go again on this one, and without Konad to smudge I really loved the topcoat!  This one did have a couple of small ships after two days of wear, but I have found that to be the case with several of these glitter-bomb types of polish.  This one was so gorgeous I wore it alone rather than continue my Konad-over-chunky-glitter experiment.  Check out all of the colors that are in this beauty!

Rainbow of colors!
  Although all of these colors are seen on close inspection, the overall color of the polish is definitely a nice wintery blue.  I got quite a lot of positive comments on this one while I wore it!  I was also able to help a lady at Ulta yesterday, who was looking at this collection and wondering if it was able to be opaque - I showed her my nails and told her how many coats to get it done.  That was fun! :)

Indoors, artificial light, no flash
  I am really loving these Burlesque glitters!  The only one I have that I have not tried is Sparklicious, and I am excited to try that one out soon.  I am really sad right now about my nails, one of them broke yesterday and I now how nubbins... but the polish I am wearing now makes even these nubbins look gorgeous!  Expect to see them in a day or two... :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Zoya Valerie and New Topcoat Trials

  Here is another stunner from the Zoya Flame collection!

Outdoors, shade, no flash
  This is two coats of Zoya Valerie, which is described by Zoya as: "Royal purple, dark violet, red, deep pink and gold iridescence amplified by a glittering sparkle finish."  This is a really gorgeous plummy purple with lots of sparkle.  Application was pretty amazing, as I have found with all of the polishes in this collection, with a really decent dry time.  It would have almost got away with one coat as well, so it is a very opaque polish.  I added the hear design from plate m59 using Konad Special White polish. 

Indoors, artificial light
  I also tried out a new topcoat for this manicure - Essie Good To Go, which I got free while back with purchase of Essie polish.  For the most part, I really liked this topcoat - dried really fast, packed a lot of shine, and no tip shrinkage, yay!  This is my main reason for wanting to find a new topoat - I love my Seche Vite, as it dries so fast and is very shiny... but the tip shrinkage!  I think every mani I use it on gets noticeable shrinking at the tips, and it is kind of sad.  Essie seemed to do the job - HOWEVER, it smeared my Konad a lot.  This leaves Seche as the only topcoat that I can use and either not smear my Konad at all, or only so minorly that it is only visible in photos.  So I will save the Essie for color only, no Konad.. and keep looking.  Any suggestions?

  Finally, a question for all of you: I am doing a small holiday giveaway coming up next week, and I have two smallish prizes for it.  My question to you, is whether you would prefer to have two separate winners that each receive one of the items, or one winner that receives both?  Let me know, and whatever you all seem to like most, I will do!

Also, if you have not yet, do not forget to VOTE IN THE GOLD MANICURE DUEL!
Thanks! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Classic Gold and Black - For Nail Art Contest!

  I was challenged to THE DUEL by Amy over at Starving Nail Addict - which is a really great new blog, you should definitely check it out!  The challenge was to come up with any manicure using gold.  I love gold as a fall color, and decided I wanted to go with something really classic - and classy!

Outdoors, last-bits-of-light shade, no flash
  For these nails, I decided to combine several elements, including marbling, stamping, and the use of some tip guides.  After two coats of Seche Recondition (which is what I have been using the past few manicures as a base coat), I started off with two coats of OPI Glitzerland, which is a gorgeous champagne-gold from the fall Swiss collection.  I then did water marbling with OPI Glitzerland and Sally Hansen Xtreme Black Out.

Indoors, artificial light
  I added a coat of Seche Vite in between at this point for fast drying, and then added black tips using SH Black Out and Orly tip guides, which I really enjoyed using for tips!  As the final touch, I used Konad plate m80 to add an intricate tip design with.  I topped it all off with another coat of Seche Vite!

Outdoors, last-bit-of-light shade, and flash
  I really like the way this turned out.  Black and gold is such a gorgeous combination that it was the first thing that came to mind when I read that the challenge was any manicure involving gold in the design.  I feel like this is so classy, yet also very fun with the whimsical water marbling pattern and the lacy tips!

Close-up in artificial light
  Now here comes the part where I ask you...

Please vote for me!
You may either vote here in my comments, or on STARVING NAIL ADDICT.  The rules for voting are simple: list the designs from your most favorite first!  Here are the other entries:

  Here is the official description on how to vote:

   And here's how you vote: Make a list of the designs, starting with your favorite one first. Make sense? List your favorite design first, then your second favorite, and so on and so forth. (I'm giving out points based on the ranking of the designs, but if you are torn between designs, then go ahead and clarify which ones tie for what place).
   Voting is open from now until about the end of the week (so ladies, get as many people to vote as you can!). Just put your votes in the comment box. Oh, and I don't care whose blog you vote on, I will be checking and double checking all of them.

  I would really appreciate any votes for my design you guys think it deserves!  Remember, you can vote here or on her blog, either will do.  Thanks so much, hope you like my classic black and gold mani! :D

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Manhattan 610K - And Its Next Destination!

  You may remember awhile back my POST about Manhattan 610K, a German polish that is making its way around our blogging network, and around the world!  Today I have for you my manicure using this fabulous polish, as well as its next destination!

Indoors, artificial light, no flash
  Manhattan 610K is a very gorgeous blue-toned purple creme.  While the picture above is artificial light (it was a cloudy, rainy, miserable day), it is fairly color accurate.  The application was amazingly smooth, and dry time was great.  This is two coats, which was definitely enough to reach full opacity.  After the polish dried, I used China Glaze OMG using Konad m57 to create the holo silver fishnet background.  I love this polish as a stamping polish on darker polishes, I can't wait to try it out again!

Check out that holo goodness.  Artificial light
  On top of that, I added the white swooshing tip pattern with plate m80 and Konad Special White polish.  I topped it off with Seche Vite.  This pattern is very cute (I am still wearing it now!) and was perfect for the KSU basketball game I went to last night!  Did you know that K-State is currently ranked #3 in the country?  I can't wait for this basketball season! :D

Artificial Light
Natural Lighting Lamp
  Above you can see a couple of pictures of Manhattan 610K by itself.  It is seriously a stunning purple!  I would totally keep this if I could, but it has to keep making its way around the globe!  I used Random.org to find out where this baby would go next, and the winner is...

  jbrobeck, from POLISH INSOMNIAC!  The polish will be making its way to her this week, and you can keep an eye on her blog for her manicure with this beauty, as well as another chance to have it sent to you!  Thanks so much to Kesha, who started this off, and to Sammy, who sent the polish to me.  It has been a lot of fun to be involved in this! :D

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow...

  It has gotten colder and I am starting to wish for snow!

Outdoors, shade, no flash.  2 days wear
  In a continuation of getting acquainted with Zoya polish, I started off with three coats of Zoya Crystal.  Crystal is an absolutely gorgeous light silvery blue, with a shiny metallic finish full of gold flecks.  It is so pretty on its own, I actually wore it alone for a day before adding the Konad design to it!  Application was very smooth, with great dry time.  Like Gloria, this one probably could have gotten away with two coats, but three really reached full opacity.

Outdoors, full sun.  1 day wear
Outdoors, shade.  1 day wear
Look how gorgeous this is close up!
  After a day of wearing this beauty by itself, I decided it was the perfect background for snowflakes.  I actually went to the mall to buy the snowflake Konad plate specifically for this polish, heh.  I used plate m59 and Konad Special White to add snowflakes to the nail.  I debated between fully spaced apart snowflakes and overlapping, and decided on overlapping... although I am still not sure which I liked best!

Indoors, artificial light - shiny!
  Similar to the other Zoya polishes I have tried, this wore really well during the three days I wore it, with some minor tip wear and one small chip by the end.  This might be my favorite Zoya I have tried so far - and it is the reason I ignored my budget to place an order with their BOGO deal... :)  A great blue to add to my collection!  Strangely enough, after painting these nails it seemed to warm up a bit here.  I guess that means I shouldn't expect snow anytime soon.  Although you never know, the weather changes at the drop of a hat here!

  Next up, I will be posting my manicure with Manhattan 610K, and telling you where it is headed next!  Look for it on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glorious Glitter and Flowers

  Today I have for you another amazing polish from the Zoya Flame collection.  In addition, I used yet ANOTHER polish from this collection for the stamping!  This was from the day I got my Zoya BOGO order in the mail.  I was super excited to try it out - can you tell?  :)

Outdoors, shade, no flash
  For this look, I started with three coats of Zoya Gloria, which is a stunning medium pink full of multi-colored, multi-sized glitter.  It has an amazing glittery foil finish, with larger gold chunks that really stand out among the rose and magenta glitter.  It is really a beauty!  I am totally in awe of pretty much the entire collection.  This one almost got away with two coats but I really thought the third coat was necessary to eliminate all visible nail line.  Application was smooth and dry time quick.  That is 3/3 amazing polishes I have tried from Zoya!

Artificial light - check out the glitter sparkle!
  I really debated over whether to Konad on this one or leave it as is.  As I was thinking about it, another polish from my order caught my eye... and I realized I just had to give it a try!  I used Zoya Valerie and Konad plate m64 to add the purple flowers.  Valerie is a totally beautiful color and I can not wait to try her on the full nail!

Outdoors, full sun, no flash
  I topped it all off with a coat of Seche Vite and wore it for three days with minimal tip wear and only the tiniest little chip at the end, so wear was pretty good in my book.  This was one of those more subtle looks, that from far the design was barely noticeable (if at all) but up close it really popped.  I loved wearing it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Zoya Sarah is on Fire!

  A little while ago, Sarah over at PRETTY IN DAYTON hosted a giveaway for a bottle of Zoya Sarah, from the new Flame collection, and I was one of the lucky winners!  I decided to take the collection title "Flame" to the next level and thus bring you... Zoya Sarah on Fire! :)

Outdoors, shade, no flash
  Zoya Sarah is described by Zoya as 'pearls of dark fuchsia, red-violet, and ruby tones in a bright sparkle finish."  I would say that description is fairly accurate.  This is an absolutely gorgeous cool-toned red, with lots of sparkle packed in there!  This is only my second Zoya ever, but I was once again totally impressed with the formula!  It was highly pigmented, with one coat almost being enough and two bringing it to full opacity.  Application was fabulous, as was dry time!  In full sun it took on a brighter red coloration, and you can really see a golden color shining through.  I would say the first picture is the most color accurate here. 

Outdoors, full sun, no flash
  I wanted to keep the Konad for this subtle and not take over the whole nail, since I was loving the color so much.  So I used OPI Glitzerland and Konad plate m73 to add little golden "flames" flickering on the sides of the nails.  It gave the mani just that little bit extra, and I thought it was pretty gorgeous!  It wore really well and I got several compliments on it.

Indoors, artificial light, no flash
  This was a really great polish, I am so glad to have won it!  Thank you so much to Sarah, and to Zoya Nail Polish for sponsoring her giveaway!  I can't wait to share a couple more Zoya polishes I got recently with their fabulous BOGO deal - instead of my sad one little Zoya, I now have six!  Yay!  :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And The Winner Is....

  So after counting and checking and making a nice pretty list, I have picked the winner of Polishology's second giveaway using Random.org!  First off, let me again thank you all for entering and an extra thanks to those of you who left comments, they have been really helpful.  One of the biggest things I noticed was a request for more tutorial (as well as more nail art in general), so I am going to try to work on that coming up soon!

  Now on to the part I know you are waiting for.  Congratulations to...

  Alexa!  You can find her blog over at ADDICTED TO KONAD.  Congrats Alexa!!

  As I mentioned before I will probably plan on holding a very small Christmas giveaway sometime within the next month or so, so keep an eye out for it!  Also, I will plan on a bigger, multi-prize giveaway once I hit 300 followers, so invite your friends to join!

  New nails coming soon, including the Manhattan 610K post where I tell you where the polish is going next!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hard Candy Swatches - and a New Pet!

  First off, thank you so much to all of those who took the time to enter my giveaway - the comments one what you want to see from this blog have been extremely helpful!  I will be tallying up and checking the entries throughout the day and should have the winner for you tomorrow!  I may do a very small Christmas giveaway coming up sometime in the next few weeks; keep your eyes peeled for it.  I plan to do a larger giveaway when we hit 300 followers. :)

  Today I have for you some Hard Candy swatches, from the small stash that Becky picked up a few weeks ago.  I had never used (or even seen) this brand before, so it was a lot of fun to try out something new!  The swatches are a bit on the messy side, from a combo of factors including super fast swatching and I am even messier when painting others nails than I am my own... so please excuse the mess and take then as the (hopefully) helpful swatches that they are!

Hard Candy Sky

Outdoors, no flash
   Sky is a really gorgeous light blue creme.  Although in the bottle it seems to have some very minor shimmer to it, I can't see it on the nails no matter how hard I try!  Application was very nice, and this covered well with 3 coats.  This is probably my favorite of the bunch, I love the super light blue color!

Hard Candy Mushroom

Outdoors, no flash
   A really nice medium taupey-brown creme.  I am totally blanking on how many coats this was (I swear I wrote it down, I just don't know where!) but I am thinking three as well... again, very nice application, and a great neural color.

Hard Candy Envy

Outdoors, no flash
   This polish falls into that category of really pretty almost-blacks.  It is a very dark shimmery green polish.  This one is totally packed with gorgeous shimmer, and I really love it!  It also only takes two smooth coats, which I love.  This is definitely a close runner-up for favorite of these three.

Really pretty shimmer
  The final bottle Becky got was a really nice chunky glitter topcoat called Break Up that for some reason we didn't get a picture of.  Perhaps I will be able to get a good shot of that at some point in the future.  It was a very nice topcoat!

  In other news... you might recall me showing you that snake we found on our driveway a couple of weeks ago?  Well.. a couple of days after that, I found him again, in my garage (I was so close to running the little guy over).  I put him in the backyard this time, but I kept going out to check on him and he really didn't move much at all,  all night.  So... Dan and I decided he needed a bit of help and we took him in.  It turns out he had a head injury that has left him probably blind in one eye, and he was supposed to be hibernating, so he was very cold and very hungry.  He is doing really well now though!  The vet basically told us he would have died pretty quickly if we had not taken him in, so I am really glad we did.  He is actually really sweet.  :)

Silv's cage - he is exploring up at the very top
He loves cuddling in my hand, what a cutie!
  So now I have a snake, something I never thought I would be able to say, haha.  That brings the pet total up to five - two cats, two gerbils, and a snake!  We are starting to turn into a zoo. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Space Beetle? Orly Space Cadet vs Hard Candy Beetle

  A couple of weeks ago Becky got a bit of a Hard Candy haul.  One of these polishes was Beetle, which looked very, very familiar to me... we decided we had to do a comparison!

Orly Space Cadet and Hard Candy Beetle
  As I am sure most of you are aware, Orly Space Cadet was one of the most popular and unique polishes from the fall Cosmic FX line.  Now Hard Candy Beetle seems to be a dupe in the bottle - so we tested it out to see if it could hold up to Space Cadet's amazing duochrome shine on the nail!  These were done on Becky's nails.

One coat each
  Above, you can see one thin coat of each polish, showing that they share the same greenish base color and very similar looks glittery shine.  So far, these are looking pretty similar to me!  I continued to add thin coats, coming up with a grand total of four coats of each polish - opacity continued to be the same for the two brands.

Outdoors, shade
Indoors, artificial light, no flash
  As you can see, both polishes share the same amazing duochrome effect, looking pink at one angle and a greenish gold the next.  Application and finish were the same on each.  I feel safe in declaring these two polishes dupes!  I still absolutely love this color, it is a great one!  So, if you had a hard time getting your hands on Space Cadet, I suggest you go find yourself some Hard Candy Beetle!  That being said, if you do already own one, you definitely do not need the other.  This worked out well for Becky and I, because she has been wanting to borrow my Space Cadet for some time now.. :)  To check out my full review of Space Cadet, click HERE.  More Hard Candy polishes coming up soon...

  *Edit: Changed the name to Space Beetle, sorry Becky.  It is better anyway.  :)

  Also, there are only two days left to get your entries in for my second giveaway!  If you have not entered already, I suggest you do it fast! :)