Friday, July 19, 2013

Mint Manis For Talia Joy

  Hello to all!  I know this poor blog has been collecting cobwebs and dust the past few months - life has been crazy.  I will tell you all a bit about what has been going on lately in another post (I do plan on trying to get on here at least once a week or so if possible) but right now I want to talk about what has brought me back today.

  As many of you might know, the beauty community recently lost one of our own in 13-year-old Talia Joy Castellano.  She fought a long and hard battle with cancer and earned her wings this week.  One of the last photos she posted to Instagram was a mint manicure she, her mother, and her sister all wore together.  The nail community decided to honor her today by posting "Mint Manis For Talia Joy," headed up by Nicole of Nail Polish Wars.  I had to come back to pay tribute to this amazing little girl!

  For this mani, I recreated an old favorite in mint colors.  I used China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint as a base, OPI Jade is the New Black and Konad White for the stamping using plate BM-315.  The white doesn't pop against the mint quite as much as the blue from the original but I actually love the subtle look.

  I think it's great that so many in the community are showing their love and support for this wonderful person and her family.  She touched a lot of people's lives and will be greatly missed.  My thoughts and prayers to all of her family and friends!

Monday, March 18, 2013

31 Day Challenge, Day 4 - Green: St Patrick's Day!

  I had really meant to get this posted yesterday, but the day turned out sort of crazy and I didn't quite get to it.  So now here is a super fast post of my St. Patrick's Day manicure for Day 4 of the 31 Day Challenge!

  These nails started off with a base of three coats of Zoya Ivanka on all nails, followed by a coat of Shimmer Kelly.  On all but the ring finger, I had originally put on straight, free-hand tips using Zoya Ziv but decided I didn't really like how it looked as well... so I sponged on Shimmer Tracy, a gorgeous gold glitter that I just realized I haven't posted on its own yet, even though I have some fabulous pictures, so expect to see that soon, haha.  The tips ended up a tad gloopy looking with all that on it, but they are still really pretty!

  On the ring finger, I used Zoya Dannii, Song, Ivanka, Ziv, Tanzy, and Reva to paint the rainbow using a striping brush.  Then I used Zoya Raven for the pot and Zoya Ziv with a dotting tool for the gold.  I'm really pleased with how this accent nail came out!  Don't forget to check out Becky's Day 4 nails!  Hope you all had a really great St. Patrick's weekend! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

31 Day Challenge, Day 3: I Choose You, Pikachu!

  Day 3 of the 31 Day Challenge is yellow, and I had a really hard time coming up with an idea for this one.  I don't wear a lot of yellow polish, and I really only have two or three truly yellow polishes in my stash of over 500.  I was very tempted to recreate my bumblebee manicure but wanted to try something new.  After coming up with and dismissing several different ideas, I finally realized that the perfect yellow manicure had been staring me in the face the whole time!  And I do mean that literally, as this has been the show I have been watching while I paint my nails the last couple of weeks.

  I have been a pretty big Pokemon fan since back in the good old days of Pokemon Red and Blue.  For Christmas, Becky got me the entire first season on DVD and I have been happily enjoying the nostalgia of what used to be one of my favorite cartoons as a kid.  What better yellow nails than some Pikachu nail art?  I used Nicole by OPI One Voice as my yellow base, and Zoya Tamsen, Zoya Raven, and Zoya Purity for the red, black, and white.  For the pokeball, I started off with a base of Tamsen and added Purity to the lower half, followed by a strip of black and a rhinestone in the middle.

  I got a lot of comments on these nails - from my residents, fellow students, nurses, the lady at the coffee shop... the two days I wore these I think I had around 15 people stop me and tell me how much they loved my nails.  Only half of them knew it was Pokemon without being told.. but that's okay, haha.  Loved this manicure a lot (although I clearly need to figure out how to put topcoat on dots without smearing them).  So much fun!

  If you are interested in a tutorial on this or any look, don't hesitate to ask (although this one is fairly straight forward).  Don't forget to check out Becky's blog to see what she came up with for Day 3!  I will have Day 4, green for you on Sunday, St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

31 Day Challenge, Day 2 - Orange: Monarch Butterflies

  Hello all!  Orange didn't end up being a very hard prompt for me - it only took me a few seconds to settle on a design that I have been wanting to try for quite awhile, but never had the proper tools (or the confidence) to actually try.  This look has been done by many others and I am glad to have finally recreated my own version!

  For these monarch butterfly nails, I started off with two coats of Zoya Tanzy, a light orange shimmer.  I then sponged on China Glaze Riveting to give a gradient effect from light to dark shimmery orange.  I used Zoya Raven and a striping brush to paint the lines, and Zoya Purity and a dotting tool to add the white dots at the tips of the wings.. I mean nails.  :)

  I really love how these turned out, especially with the gradient!  I think after doing this once I am getting a better feel for how to use the striping brush well, and it makes me want to totally recreate the look because I think I could do a much better job, haha.  Maybe this summer!  It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and aside from horribly smearing some of the dots, I really loved it.

  Also, my starting the 31 day challenge prompted my sister Becky to do it along with me!  We are a bit off-synch right now but we'll probably get caught up soon.  Check out her day one nails!  Now I'm off to brainstorm what do to for day three... check back Friday to see what I come up with!

Monday, March 11, 2013

31 Day Nail Art Challenge! Day 1 - Red

  After years of wanting to jump into this challenge and not feeling ready, I have finally decided to take the plunge - with a caveat.  Since my schedule is a bit too hectic to paint my nails daily, I won't actually be completing this in 31 days.  However, it will still hopefully serve to inspire new creative nail art and I am super excited!  So let's get going... day one is red!

  For this challenge I decided to do a fun ladybug manicure - I am in the mood for spring and this was the perfect way to express that on my nails!  I started off with two coats of Zoya Tamsen, and then used Zoya Raven and Zoya Purity for the details.  I finally got the nail art brushes I ordered quite awhile ago and I was excited to get to try them out!  They are definitely easier to work with than the brushes I was using before.

  These little guys were super cute and I got an awful lot of comments on them - even from some of my patients, which was fun.  It is getting a bit warmer here and almost all of the snow from Snowmageddon 2013 has melted... bring on spring!  Although I was not a huge fan of "spring forward" daylight savings time yesterday.  Ugh - I much prefer "falling back" in that regard.  Anyway, if you want to recreate the look, here is a little tutorial I put together!

  Check back Wednesday for Day 2 - Orange!

Friday, March 8, 2013

OPI Oz The Great and Powerful Collection, Spring 2013 - Swatches and Review

  Happy Friday!  Today I wanted to share with you all the new OPI collection inspired by Disney's new film, Oz The Great and Powerful, which opens today!  I am really excited for this movie but am not sure whether I am going to have time to go see it in the theater or not... if you go, let me know what you think of it!  This new SoftShades collection features three sheer cremes, three glitters and one new liquid sand.

Glints of Glinda

Sheer neutral beige.  I found application on this to be a touch too streaky and balding at anything less than four coats.  I actually originally swatched this with three coats but looking at my pictures I had to redo it.  Looks lovely with four coats though and it applies easily so the four coats is not such a big deal.  I also wasn't wearing a base coat so that might help a bit!

Don't Burst My Bubble

Sheer whitish pink.  This had the same application as Glints of Glinda, and similarly I felt like it looked a bit too balding and streaky at anything less than four coats.  Again, base coat might fix that problem so I will let you know next time I wear it.  This is a really pretty, refreshing color, perfect for spring.

I Theodora You

Sheer light pink.  This one had no formula issues and applied great at three coats.  I like this one a lot!

When Monkeys Fly

Large gold hex glitter with medium and small silver holographic hex glitter in a clear base.  By now most of you have heard or experienced first hand the problem with this polish - those gold glitters curl like tacos.  Otherwise this is such a pretty glitter, but I can't take the curling.  It's pretty bad.  Just last night, OPI posted on their Facebook that they are looking into the issue, so they have heard us loud and clear on the taco glitter.  It's too bad, because I would so love this without the curling.  Perhaps they will fix it and re-release it?  Haha, who knows!  Shown is one coat over three coats of Glints of Glinda.

Which is Witch?

A fun combination of holographic silver medium and small hex, bad, and microglitter in a clear base.  Absolutely love this one!  This applied really nicely with good, even coverage.  Will definitely grab this again in the future.  Shown is one coat over Don't Burst My Bubble.

Lights of Emerald City

 White and opalescent square glitters in a clear base.  I love that we have some unique glitter shapes here, so much fun!  This is a fun yet clean and elegant look, I actually worse this as a full manicure for a party I went to.  Shown is two coats over I Theodora You.

Outdoors, full sunlight

What Wizardry Is This?

 Shimmery bronzed brown liquid sand.  This one seems to have a bit more of a fine grit to it than the Mariah Carey polishes, and as such doesn't feel quite as bumpy as they do (not that they felt all that rough either).  It applied beautifully in two coats, and even when matte you can really see that shimmer in the sun!

Outdoors, direct sun
Texture detail
 Of course, add top coat and the shimmer totally pops.  Check out all that red and gold in the sunlight!

Outdoors, direct sun
Overall Thoughts

For me, this collection contains mostly big hits and that one unfortunate miss.  It is not often that I flat out don't like a polish, but personally I can't take the curling glitter of When Monkeys Fly.  That said - there is a lot of other great stuff going on in this collection!  The sheer cremes look really nice when you build them up a bit, and I am especially loving the pretty pink of I Theodora You.  Both of the other glitters are bit wins in my book - they are both fun yet sophisticated and I could definitely wear them to work without any worry.  I also love the liquid sand, although I do prefer it with a topcoat - of course, I am a sucker for gloss, so I prefer most things with topcoat!  Overall the collection is very solid, and I am pleased that OPI has responded to our concerns about the glitter in When Monkeys Fly - it is great to know that they listen!  Extra credit in my book.  Which polishes are your favorites from the collection?

The polishes featured in this post  were provided to Polishology by OPI for review purposes.  This is an honest and independent review and was in no way influenced by the company.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Euro Stamping

  Today I want to share with you all a basic stamping manicure using two of the blue shades from the new OPI Euro Centrale collection.  When I first saw these two sitting next to each other, I knew they would make great stamping buddies!

  I started off with two coats of OPI Can't Find My Czechbook and added the design using OPI I Saw... U Saw... We Saw... Warsaw and plate m60, one of my very favorite Konad designs.  The colors go perfectly together, as they both have a touch of green and dustiness to them.  These two were already some of my favorites of the collection but I like them even more now that I have seen them together - definitely a combination I can see myself using again!  Click here for swatches of these polishes (and others of the collection).  Have an awesome day!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Let's Get Star-ted

  Good morning all!  Hope you all had a great weekend and are ready for the week ahead.  The last two weeks I only had to work 3 days a week because of all of the snow, so I've gotten sort of lazy, haha.  Time to buckle down and learn some neurology.  But for now, a fun design inspired by a beautiful KBShimmer creation!

  This look started out with three coats of KBShimmer Let's Get Star-ted, a sheer milky white base with medium and large black hex, medium and large blue hex, small and large purple hex and black star glitter.  While I love the polish on it's own, the colors were calling to me to add something else, and I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Blue Streak and Zoya Mira to add the swoopy tips, and Zoya Raven to outline the purple.  On the ring finger I added star rhinestomes from a Cheeky nail wheel.

  Let's Get Star-ted applied fairly smoothly for a glitter, and I was very impressed that I didn't have to hunt around much at all for the stars.  Placement was also fairly easy and I only moved around a glitter once, for the most part it spread out really well.  I think I am going to have to invest in a few more of these fabulous glitters, I am really impressed!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Zoya Nyx

  Hey guys!  Sorry for my absence the past week, I had an exam that was supposed to be last week and then got moved to Monday after we got snowed in, and overall it's just been a crazy week.  Today is our fourth snow day out of the last five weekdays, it's crazy!  That is the nice thing about still being school - even medical students get snow days!

Outdoors, shade
  Today I wanted to share with you Zoya Nyx from the Pixie Dust collection.  This is a periwinkle blue with silver glitter in a matte, textured finish.  It applied nicely and took three coats for full opacity.  Like the OPI textured polishes, this doesn't really feel all that rough when it is dry like you might expect it to.  I wore it for several days and didn't have a problem with chipping either, which I was a bit concerned about.  I didn't try this one with top coat yet but I am sure I will wear it again and might give that a go.

Indoors, light box
  I wasn't too sure about the textured trend when it started but I am really loving it now.  I didn't get any more of the Pixie Dust polishes but I might have to consider picking up a few more.  I am excited to see how this trend evolves over the year!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Butter London Disco Biscuit

  Good morning!  I wore this polish sometime last spring, but somehow never got around to getting it up on the blog.  It is too pretty not to share.

  This is Butter London Disco Biscuit, a bright pink squishy jelly packed full of purple and silver microglitter.  Gorgeous polish and great name.  I can't remember how many coats this is, but I think it was three, but I do remember that it applied well.  I stamped the purple hearts using Color Club Wild At Heart and plate RA-114.

  Thanks to Becky for letting me borrow this beauty!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lady of the Lake

  Hello all!  Quick post today as I am focusing my week on studying - psychiatry shelf is on Friday and I am soo not ready.  While I have shown this polish a few times as layered, I have not given it the proper solo post it deserves.

Outdoors, sunlight
  a England Lady of the Lake is a deep purple scattered holographic.  The application is pretty near flawless, and while one coat is almost sufficient two is perfect.  I absolutely love my a England polishes!  This is sort of a medium holo - not super subtle but not totally in your face, either.  It is pretty amazing.

Outdoors, sun
Indoors, light box
  If you haven't tried a England polishes yet I highly recommend them!  I only have a few in my collection but I love them all and hope to add more over time.  Have a great weekend, and I will have the winner of the giveaway for you soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

  Happy Valentine's Day to all!  I had originally planned on one final Valentine nail art today, but unfortunately I have been sick the last couple of days and wasn't able to get around to it.  Instead, I chose a sparkly pink glittered look as my Valentine's Day manicure.

Outdoors, shade
  Shimmer Amy is a multicolored mix of glitters featuring pinks, reds, and blues in a light pink jelly base.  Here I used one coat over Orly Artificial Sweetner.  Like all of the previous Shimmer polishes I have featured before, Amy applied perfectly and gave great coverage.  I love the rainbow of colors in this one!

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sunlight
  As always, Amy and other Shimmer polishes can be found at Cindy's Blog or Etsy Store.  Hope you all have a fabulous day!

The polishes featured in this post  were provided to Polishology for review purposes and represents my honest and unbiased opinion. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Valentine Look with Shimmer Eva

  Today I have for you all another amazing glitter from Shimmer - this time featured in some Valentine-inspired nail art.

Outdoors, shade
For this look, I started off with two coats Zoya Izzy on all but my ring finger (and thumb).  For those nails, I used two coats of Shimmer Eva alone.  Eva is a deep burgundy jelly with red and silver fine glitter.  The layering of the jelly base gives it a lot of depth, making some of the silver glitters take on a pink hue.  This applied really well and two coats gave full coverage.  I then used Bundle Monster plate BM-317 and Zoya Trixie to stamp on the hearts, added Eva to the tips and used Trixie to create the silver line.

Indoors, light box
  This was a fun look and pretty simple to create.  Eva looks great both on its own as well as layered, and as always I was impressed with the quality of the polish!  Eva and other Shimmer beauties can be found at Cindy's Blog or Etsy Store!
The polishes featured in this post  were provided to Polishology for review purposes and represents my honest and unbiased opinion. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras!

  Happy Mardi Gras!  While I don't have any fun celebration plans for the day (I mostly plan to go to work, come home, and study), I of course had to plan out a fun Mardi Gras manicure.

Indoors, light box
  For these nails, I used three coats of China Glaze Glitter All The Way, a multi-colored glitter made up of gold, green, purple, and red glitters in a clear base.  As soon as I saw this color in the Holiday Joy collection, I just knew I would be wearing it for Mardi Gras!  On the ring finger, I tried out my very first fishtail pattern using Zoya Ziv, Tru, and Holly.  It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be and I really love the look!  I will definitely have to use this technique again soon.  Hope you all have a great day!

Indoors, light box

Monday, February 11, 2013

Red Hot Hearts

  Quick post today - here is a stamping manicure I did with OPI My Paprika Is Hotter Than Yours and BM-317.  Rhinestones and half-pearls from a Cheeky wheel.  Hope everyone has a great Monday!

Outdoors, shade
Indoors, lightbox

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Love-ly Look with KBShimmer Elle

  Although I have been trying to hold off on buying many polishes lately (medical students don't exactly get paid... anything), I couldn't resist ordering a couple of KBShimmer polishes to add to my collection.  I've seen so many wonderful pictures, it was hard to pick just two to start with, but I finally narrowed it down!  Today I have for you nail art with KBShimmer Elle!

Outdoors, overcast
  Elle is a soft gray jelly base with dark pink, light pink, gray, white, and holographic silver glitters in a variety of shapes and sizes.  I used OPI If You Moust You Moust (dark pink) and Nicole by OPI Up and Kim-ing Pink (light pink) to paint/dot on the hearts and tips.  A very fun look for Valentine's week!

Indoors, lightbox
  Elle is so pretty, I had a bit of a hard time covering any of it up with nail art.  Shown is four coats.  It applied very well, with the glitter spreading nicely on its own - no glitter manipulation required!  I did give it just a bit of extra dry time between the last couple of coats to make sure I didn't push around the glitter too much.  The color combination is soft and feminine, and the many different sizes and shapes of glitter give it a nice complexity.  Please note: you will definitely see this polish again!  :)

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sunlight
  I'm really happy with my first KBShimmer experience, and I cannot wait to try out my second polish soon!  And possibly find some room in the budget for a few more...