Thursday, September 30, 2010

OPI DS Magic - Magical It Is!

  I was planning on doing a fun design for my next mani, but I have been really sick lately, and didn't feel up to taking the time to do a design.  So I decided it was time to try out this beauty - OPI DS Magic!

Indoors, natural light, no flash
  OPI DS Magic is a gorgeous dark blue with a purple-pink flash.  It is completely gorgeous, and I am in love.  This was three coats, although two would probably have been enough if I had been a tad more steady in my application.  Dry time was great as was formula.  It is super shimmery, like all of the DS polishes!

Outdoors, natural light, no flash
  It was kind of hard to get a good picture of the purple flash, even though it is very easy to see on the nails.  I tried to pick out a variety of pictures (of the 75 that I took!) that would show you the different looks of this polish, from pure sparkly blue to that duochrome-like flash!

You can see the purple well here, especially in the bottle!
  While I do not own Orly's Lunar Eclipse, I can see how this is very similar.  From what I have read DS Magic is a darker blue in color, and is more opaque.  However, I suppose if you already had Lunar Eclipse this may not be necessary.  If not, I would definitely consider keeping an eye out for this one.

  This is another polish that has got me staring at my hands - I love to watch the color shift as I move them ever so slightly!

  Remember that today is the last day to enter my giveaway!  I will be choosing the winner tomorrow, and should have another giveaway coming up sometime soon this month!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ruby Red Bandana - CG Ruby Pumps + Konad

   First off, let me say - WOW!  I have reached 100 followers!  Thank you SO much to all of you who follow, and an extra-special thanks to those of you who comment.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support as I have been getting this nail blog up and going!  I will plan to have another giveaway soon, after the current one has ended... ;)

  Tonight I have for you a really fun little mani using China Glaze and Konad.

Outdoors, partial sun, no flash
  For these nails, I used three coats of China Glaze Ruby Pumps, and I have to say, I am absolutely loving this red.  I don't do red too terribly often, so when I do I like it to be fabulous, and as such only have a few really red reds (not burgundy/etc).  This polish may have inspired me to do reds more often; it is just that fabulous.  The sparkly red glitter is delicious and will leave you staring at your nails.  I imagine I can't say anything that hasn't been said about this color, so I will not go on anymore.  All I can say is - if you don't have this one, you really should go buy it.  The one downside to this is that it is hard to catch the glittery awesomeness of this polish on camera, but I tried to pick out a few shots where you can see the glittery bling.

This glitter is amazing
Indoors, artificial light, no flash

  Although I was tempted to leave this one alone with just the base color, I decided to use this pattern that I have been dying to use since I bought this plate.  I used Konad m60 with Konad Special White polish for the design.  You can see my impatience in a few streaks from when I added a coat of Seche Vite - I really need to learn to wait just a bit longer before top coating my Konad designs!

Outdoors, full sun, no flash
  This is a really fun mani, even if it does seem a bit more summery.  I have promised myself to try to do something a bit more fall next - we will see how that goes over.  But it is just a few days until October so I will have to start using some of my Halloween design ideas!

  Remember to enter my follower appreciation giveaway if you have not yet... only a few more days to enter!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

NEW Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Swatches and Review

  Yesterday I came across a display of the new limited edition colors from the Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear line.  While I was tempted to pick up all of them, I had to limit myself to three.  I ended up with three of the glitters from the collection, since they looked fun and unique.

Blue Icing, Cherry Punch, and Golden Child
  Blue Icing - I will start off with my favorite of the collection.  Blue Icing is a frosty light blue, packed with small hexagonal and bar holographic glitter.  Perhaps it is just because I love blues that this is my favorite, but I found this color very pretty.  It was rather sheer, and took three coats to achieve opacity, but looked great once it got there and would also look really amazing as a top coat to another blue.

Ourdoors, shade, no flash
Indoors, artificial light - see the holo glitter!
  Cherry Punch - this is a muted red, with the same type of holo glitter as found in blue icing.  This one almost would have gotten away with two coats, but I really felt that the third coat evened everything out nicely.

Outdoors, shade, no flash
Indoors, artificial light
  Golden Child - this is a very warm yellow/goldenrod colored polish, again with the same type of glitter.  I feel that in this polish, the holo effect of the glitter was a bit muted, but still very pretty.  I didn't love this one quite as much as I did in the bottle, but it is still a fun color and I know it will be useful for certain designs and patterns I have in mind.  This was three coats as well.

Outdoors, shade, no flash
Indoors, artificial light
  Overall, I was mostly pleased with these polishes.  I do feel that they looked just a bit more amazing in the bottle than they are on the nail, but they are still fun.  They were all fairly sheer, but had a decent dry time and looked good with three coats.  They are also very bumpy, although I think that a decent coat (or two) of a good topcoat like Seche Vite would probably take care of that.  Overall the base shades are very nice colors, and the holo glitter is fun.  I am not sure how I am liking the bar glitter, as these are my first polishes that have it.  I think it is fun for something different but I am not sure it is my favorite.  Overall, however, I am liking these polishes and am glad I picked them up last night!  What do you think?

  Also, don't forget to enter my Follower Appreciation Giveaway if you haven't already!  Only a few days left.  :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

CG LOL and Essie Lilacism Konadicure

  This morning I decided to continue playing with my China Glaze OMG collection, and tried out LOL topped with Essie Lilacism.

Outdoors, full sun, no flash
  For these nails, I used three coats of China Glaze LOL as the base color.  Like 2NITE, the application was very nice and the dry time was super fast.  The holo purple was very pretty by itself, and I was almost tempted to leave it alone, but I wanted to try out my new Essie as a stamper.  Below is LOL on its own, with no Konad pattern.

Outdors, full sun, no flash
Close-up of LOL, outdoors in full sun
  I used Konad m78 for the stamping, with Essie Lilacism as the polish.  I feel that this stamped very nicely.  This is the first Essie I have owned or used, so I was excited to play with it.  I am also excited to try it as the main base color sometime soon!  I topped everything off with a coat of Seche Vite.

Pretty nails and pretty roses!
  I just got the Essie yesterday; it was part of my surgery present mini-haul.  I had to have some surgery yesterday, and to encourage me to walk around a bit, since it is best for me to try to move around as much as I can, Dan took me to a couple of nearby stores for some "surgery presents"  :)

Surgery Presents
  Yes, I picked out a plushy too.. I have a thing for big cats and I saw this guy and knew I had to have him, since I love clouded leopards.  From Beauty Brands, I got the new OPI DS Magic, CG Ruby Pumps, Essie Lilacism and Essie Little Brown Dress.  I also got an Essie top coat for free, and some CND cuticle/nail oil.  I am attempting to take better care of my cuticles.  :)  While I was at the hospital I think I got a comment from two of my nurses as well as my doctor how pretty my nails were (I was wearing the 2NITE/OMG combo still, just with one nail cleaned off for the procedure).  Always nice when people notice your nails!

  Which of my new polishes do you think I should try out next?  I am currently leaning towards OPI DS Magic, but I love them all.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

OMG! Holo polish 2NITE!

  After drooling on them for many weeks now, I broke down and ordered some of the China Glaze OMG! collection on the net.  I was super excited to receive them and to try them out!

Indoors, artificial light, no flash
   For these nails, I used three coats of China Glaze 2NITE as my base color.  Two was almost enough, and may have been enough if I had been more careful.  The application was amazing, and the dry time was SUPER fast.  I was very impressed.  I followed by adding Konad m78 in China Glaze OMG.  The result was very, very subtle.  I have seen people make amazing designs with this polish, and have read several places what great stampers these polishes are.  Any advice on how to stamp with these holos?  Even though it was so subtle, I still really like the effect!

Outdoors, overcast, no flash
  Unfortunately it is very cloudy and rainy today, so I was not able to get full sun pictures.  This loses a lot of its holo effect without direct light, but it is still super pretty and very shiny.

Indoors, direct artificial light, no flash
Finger close-up (excuse the messiness, please!)
  I love these polishes, and am excited to try the other two I got, LOL and TMI.  What are your favorite holo polishes?  Also, please let me know if you have any advice for stamping with these!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pretty Little Flowers - Konad of the Day

    First off let me say - I have made it to 50 followers!  I am very excited about this first follower milestone.  Thank you all so much for following, I am so glad you are here!  Don't forget to enter the Follower Appreciation Giveaway if you haven't yet, you can find the link at the top of the left sidebar.  :D

  Last night I decided to try out some new China Glaze polishes that I grabbed at Sally Beauty last time I was there, and got out my Konad for the first time in a little over a week!

Outdoors, shade, no flash

  For these nails, I used three coats of China Glaze Thataway, followed by Konad plate m64 using China Glaze For Audrey.  I just thought the colors looked so pretty together in the bottle that I needed to give them a chance together on the nail!  I was not unhappy with the results!  This is only my second time using CG - the first time being on my toes, which I have not showed you here - and I love this brand!  The polish went on very nice and smooth, and had a very decent drying time.  After stamping the design, I added small Konad gems to the centers of the largest flowers for a little something extra.

Outdoors, full morning sun, no flash
  I really like how these nails came out overall, I think they are fun and summery, which I have to enjoy these last few days of summer before fall is officially here tomorrow.  Dan and I bought some new Halloween decorations last night, and I am really excited to get them up soon!  I don't think I will be able to wait until October 1st.  I am planning out a bunch of fun Halloween designs as well, so I am getting really excited for the fall, and the "official" Halloween time, to get here!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Adventures in Marbling, Part Two

I decided to try out water marbling again yesterday, this time for the K-State vs. Iowa State game (KSU won, by the way)!  It was an interesting experiment.

Outdoors, shade, no flash
  For this marbling, I used OPI Purple With A Purpose, Sally Hansen Xtreme White On, and Nicole by OPI Positive Energy.  I ran into a bit of a problem with this marbling - the purple did not want to cooperate at all.  I think this was because it was older, a bit over halfway gone, and starting to get just a touch too thick.  I had a hard time getting it to spread out in the water - on three of the nails, this caused the polish to simply collect up and then didn't settle nicely when I dipped the nail into the water, resulting in a bit of a jumbled mess.  As such, I was planning on making a tutorial this time around, but decided not to since I was having issues.  I will try again soon and hopefully get something more workable!  The following is my right hand:

Outdoors, shade, no flash
  Also, please excuse the horrible clean-up (or lack thereof), since it was very late last night when I did this and I was in a huge hurry this morning when I was taking the photos.  They are not nearly that messy now.  :)

  I tried to get a bit more of a true marbling look this time, rather than just a few blocks of colors.  While I was more successful at that, I still lack any sort of clear pattern, even though I did all of the nails one-at-a-time this time around.  I blame my issues with the polish on this, although it is probably also inexperience.  Next time!

Don't Forget To Enter My Follower Appreciation Giveaway!

By September 30th

Thursday, September 16, 2010

L.A. Colors Color Craze Metallics - Swatches and Review

 I was at the CVS yesterday waiting for a prescription, and I noticed a really fun little four-pack of nail polish from a brand I had not heard of much before, L.A. Colors.  They looked really pretty - and were a great deal - so I snagged one.

Polishes are .44 oz each
  One thing that is odd about these is that they have no names or numbers on them.  I looked all over the web, on the official website, and could not figure out what these polishes were named!  Below is a picture of the packaging; if any of you know what the names of these polishes are, I would love to figure it out!  For now, I will just have to call them by what color they are.  :)

Mystery Polish?
  These are actually my little sister's nails, since I had just painted mine the night before and was still loving my mani.  Plus, I bought her a set as well for her services!  :)  I was also not able to get any good direct sunlight photos, so I have an artificial light photo and an indoors natural light from a cloudy (rainy) day photo.  I will indicate which picture I feel best represents the polish (natural on left, artificial on right)

Color Craze Metallics - Pink

This is a very nice medium pink, with a lot of microglitter.  I would almost call it a fuchsia.  It is not nearly as bright as it appears in the artificial light photograph; the natural light photo (left) was much more indicative of its true color.  This was two coats; application was mostly good, possible a little bit gloopy but I think that was really mostly my fault, not the polish.  Dry time was great, and the final result was very pretty!

Color Craze Metallics - Purple

  This is a dark, rich purple with blue tones and again, tones of microglitter.  For this color, the artificial lighting (right) was much better at capturing the true look - it is not nearly as blue as it seems to be in the natural light picture, as I think more direct light really brings this one out.  This color kind of reminds me of a non-duochrome version of Orly Out Of This World.  This was a three-coater for me; 2 coats was almost enough, but not quite.  Application was smooth and the dry time was pretty speedy.

Color Craze Metallics - Green

 This polish is a really pretty blue-toned green, and again very glittery.  Smooth, two coat application and fast dry time.  Natural light (left) is a bit closer to real color, as it is not quite as saturated as it appears in the artificial light.  This one stained pretty badly though - only had it on for a couple of minutes and her fingers had a slight green tint when we took it off.  This is definitely one you will want to use a base coat for!

Color Crazy Metallics - Gray

This gray really does look like metal on your nails!  It is a gorgeous medium gray color, loaded down with glitter.  The natural lighting (left) is probably your best bet on color for this one.  This was another two coat polish, like most in this collection, with speedy dry time and smooth application.  This may be one of my favorite grays ever.

   I really liked this collection - I thought all four of the colors were excellent.  I have never used this brand before and was fairly impressed with how it looked/applied/wore over time.  It really goes to show you that sometimes the cheaper drugstore brands can be just as great (if not better) than some of the high end brands!  I will have to pick up some more of this brand in the future.

   In the end, Becky decided to keep the gray on her nails, and added a coat of Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure for a subtle difference in color.  This did not show HT quite as well as the blue I showed you previously, but it is more noticeable in person and gave the mani a pretty cool effect.

 Have you all used this brand before, or another cheaper drugstore brand you love?  What do you think of the metallics collection?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blue It + Hidden Treasure

  I was thrilled to receive the Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure that I bought online in the mail this week!  It is amazing!  I had to play with it right away.

Sally Hansen Blue It + Hidden Treasure; artificial light, no flash
  I have read that Hidden Treasure is best over a darker base color, and I had a new polish from the Xtreme Wear line that I had not yet tried out.  After a base coat of NailTek, I used two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue It.  One coat was almost enough, but I used two for really full coverage.  Like most all polishes I have tried in the Xtreme Wear line, this one applied smoothly, dry time was great, and I am loving the formula as well as the bright color!  Blue It is a very rich sapphire blue in color with gorgeous microshimmer.  It looks great on its own, and I am guessing based on formula would work well for stamping or marbling (I will probably try both of these with this color at some point).  Below is a shot of Blue It by itself (no top coat).

Artificial light, no flash
  You can see on the middle finger that I am still patching up that nail.  I have had to/wanted to replace the patch with each painting to try to keep from having it break any further.  Unfortunately, I lost the length of the pinkie nail recently after it got damaged.  This was really sad for me, as the long thin pinkie nails are my favorites!  On that note, what is the best base coat/treatment that you have found?  I use NailTek I - Maintenance, but I see to be having several nail breaks lately.  I also still play with my nails a lot (at least I am not chewing/biting), so I know that weakens them, but any advice on base coat is appreciated!

  I added one coat of Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure over the blue, and it is absolutely gorgeous!  I am seriously tempted to buy another bottle of this just to stockpile it so that I never run out (at least for a long time).  I am in love with it.  I keep staring at my hands, looking at the colors change in the light.

Artificial light, no flash

Artificial light, no flash
  I really love that HT has the ability to transform any polish into something different and unique.  It is really quite amazing - I hope that perhaps Sally Hansen will decide to bring it back at some point!  Sorry that I do not have any good sunlight pictures today; it has been raining or very cloudy and dark out almost all day today and last night.  I tried to get the best true-to-color pictures that I could.

  What is your favorite color/type/brand to use under Hidden Treasure?  Do you have another glittery/shimmery/foil top coat that you love to put over a lot of colors?  Let me know!

  Also, do not forget to enter my Follower Appreciation Giveaway if you have not yet; you can find it below or click the link on the top left sidebar.  :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Purple Mist and Swirls- Older Konadicures

I realized today that I never got around to showing you my nails, or my sister's toenails, from when I was down visiting last week!  So tonight I will share these with you.

Outdoors, partial sun, no flash
This is three coats of OPI The Color to Watch, a gorgeous shimmery lilac purple.  I really love this color a lot; it is very pretty on the nail.  The application and dry time was very nice as well.  Over this, I used Konad plate m64 with Nicole by OPI Positive Energy, which I have found to be a great stamping silver.  I was still experimenting with Konad here, and on this mani was trying to find the perfect scraping strength to apply to get the best results.  Therefore, the Konad is a little messy here since it was all experimental.  But still I found that this looked very pretty, and was a delicate wispy pattern and color combo.  I enjoyed it a lot!

I also did my sister's toes while I was visiting.  Toes are harder with Konad, since there is no way that the pattern is going to fit on a big toe (at least not any of the people I have tried so far!) so you have to put the pattern on multiple times.  I think for the most part this worked out for me, although there is a tiny bit of a gap.

Indoors, artificial light, no flash
Outdoors, partial sun, no flash
For her toes, I used three coats of Orly Out Of This World (two probably would have sufficed), which is a gorgeous dark purple with duochrome effect.  The duochrome in this polish is less than with Space Cadet, but it is still very gorgeous.  It is harder to get pictures of, especially on toes, and with the Konad pattern - I will be using it on my nails soon, I am sure!  I used Konad plate m65 with Konad Special White for the pattern, which I mostly got lined up on that big toe!  This was done very late at night when I was very tired as well, so it is a tad more messy than usual, but oh well!  Overall some very cute toes.  I am sure she is probably still wearing these.  :)

Don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already (see below)!  Thanks to those who have entered so far.  I have some really great ideas for some larger, multi-winner giveaways in the future if I get more followers as well, so spread the word, I really appreciate it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

GIVEAWAY! Follower Appreciation :)

It is time for my very first giveaway!  This is to thank all of you for helping me start out here in the nail polish community - Thank you all so much for your interest, your comments, and for following!! :)

For this giveaway, I have 5 polishes from Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear.  I LOVE this stuff.  If you haven't had a chance to try this yet, I seriously recommend going out and finding some.  It is fairly readily available, comes in fun colors, and is not super pricey.  I have also always loved the application, dry time and finish.  This stuff is just really fun!  One of my personal favorite polishes, Blue Me Away! is included in this giveaway as well.  The polishes included are:

Red Carpet - A ruby-red microglitter
VIP Pink - A coral pink jelly with pink and silver microglitter
Ivy League - A shimmery light green frost
Blue Me Away! - A vibrant sky blue creme
Purple Potion - A shimmery purple with blue duochrome effect

I hope you like the polishes I have picked out for my first giveaway!  I have some fun ideas for later giveaways as well!  :)

To Enter: You MUST be a follower to enter.  Both US and International followers are welcome as well!  Current followers (at time of this post) will get an extra entry automatically when entering; new followers are definitely welcome and encouraged as well!  There are several ways to get extra entries.  Winner will be chosen with a random number generator.  If you win, you will have 5 days to respond to my e-mail; otherwise I will pick another number and another winner.  Please fill out the following information and leave it as a comment!  This will be open until September 30th, 11:59 central time.

Entry Form

1. Please give the name you are following under, as well as an e-mail I can contact you with if you win.

2. Are you a new follower, or are you already a follower?

3. Extra entry if you add me to your blogroll (please include link here)

4. Extra entry if you blog about this giveaway - in a post or on the sidebar (please include link here)

5. What is your one favorite, can't-live-without nail polish? (For one extra entry)

Thanks so much, good luck!