Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flaming Nails

 China Glaze Sun Worshipper over OPI Funny Bunny, Orly Emberstone, Finger Paints Black Expressionism
(in my lightbox)

Hello everyone!!  I can't believe that I have almost 600 followers!  Thank you all so much for reading, and I appreciate all your comments telling me you look forward to my posts.  I will do my best to continue posting nail art that makes you want to keep reading. :)

If you haven't noticed, I added a top link bar to my blog recently, which includes links to my collection and my wishlist.  I track these things on Evernote, which I love because I can access it from my iPhone with a free app, and I can also have photos attached to my list entries.  Please feel free to ask me questions about this if you have any!

Today's post is going to be my entry in the nail art contest Sarah from Chalkboard Nails is hosting.  The requirements are only that you have to use your dotting tools, no brushes (other than your polish brush!).  Also, you cannot use acrylic paint, only regular polishes.  The prize is a fabulous $25 gift card to Llarowe, who sells some gorgeous international brands and indie brands, such as Lynnderella, which I am desperate to have more of!  There will also be 2 runner ups, who will receive a surprise package from Sarah.

I decided not to do dots, to try to have my entry stand out a bit.  It took me a while to come up with something to do, but here it is!  I used only my dotting tools to make these flame nails, which is sort of a take on the drip mani.

 (Natural light)

My base color is 2 coats of China Glaze Sun Worshipper over 2 coats of OPI Funny Bunny to make the neon pop more.  I then added the darker orange sparkles to the tips of my flames, using Orly Emberstone.  Finally, I finished the tips with Finger Paints Black Expressionism to make the background for my flames.

(Natural light)

I really hope to win this contest, but there are so many fabulous entries!  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Neon Water Marble with China Glaze Poolside Collection

 China Glaze Pool Party, Sun Worshiper, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Kiwi Cool-ada, Towel Boy Toy
(Indoors with flash)

Hello everyone!  Here is a summer-y mani I did a few weeks ago.  After I did my first successful water marble with the China Glaze Electropop colors I knew I wanted to do another one with neon colors.  I used 5 out of 6 colors from the China Glaze Poolside collection, which were Pool Party, Sun Worshiper, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Kiwi Cool-ada, and Towel Boy Toy.  My base was 2 coats of OPI Funny Bunny

 Natural light

Lightbox with Ott-Lite bulbs

What are your favorite neon polishes?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Neon Green Leopard Hearts

 Charlotte Russe Jade, China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada, OPI Here Today... Aragon Tomorrow, Orly Instant Artist Rose

Hi guys!  Here is what I wore yesterday for Valentine's Day.  Mr. Sparkles loves leopard print, and his favorite color is green, so I combined them to come up with these.  I was inspired by a leopard heart mani I saw Jessica over at Nailed Daily.  She is a super talented lady, so be sure to check out her blog!

I started off with 3 coats of Charlotte Russe Jade, which was gifted to me by my friend Bethaney (thanks, love!).  I top coated with my quick dry tc, Essie Good to Go, before adding my art.  I made a rough heart shape using China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada, then outlined with Orly Instant Artist in Rose.  Finally, I went back and used my dotting tools to make leopard print with OPI Here Today... Aragon Tomorrow.

This was definitely a less traditional Valentine's mani but I was really happy with how it turned out.  And Mr. Sparkles liked it too! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Holo Valentine's Day!!

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Ruby Diamond
RA-101/Finger Paints Black Expressionism
(Direct sunlight) 

Happy Valentine's Day!!!  This post will be somewhat short because Mr. Sparkles and I are spending our day making macarons together, then we will go out to dinner and a movie for our date tonight, so we have lots to do.  I'm glad to have V-Day fall on my day off this year though, so we get to spend the whole day enjoying one another! :)

For this I used one of my Sally Hansen Nail Prisms in Ruby Diamond.  This color is a nice bright pink linear holo, and I'm so glad I have it in my collection.  My light box photos made the color look a bit washed out, the sunlight ones are more true to the color.

Then, to jazz it up for Valentine's, I used a Red Angel stamp from the plate RA-101, and stamped with Finger Paints Black Expressionism.  This was my first try with a french mani stamp, and I liked how it turned out.  I think I need to give these more use when my nails are on the longer side.

Direct sunlight 

 Ott-lite bulb, direct light

Ott-lite bulb, in light box

I will have one last Valentine nail design to post tomorrow, which is the one I'm wearing today.  Hope everyone has a great day and gets some love from someone, whether it is a significant other or a family member! <3

Valentine's Day Penguins

Hello everyone!  So for this mani I was inspired by Sarah over at Chalkboard Nails.  She did an adorable Valentine's owl mani, and I started thinking that maybe a Valentine's penguin design would be cute too.

For my penguins' bellies I wanted a somewhat heart shape, to make them Valentine-y.  I also used pink and red rather than traditional penguin colors.  For the black and pink guys I used Finger Paints Black Expressionism and Essie French Affair.  For the red accent nail I used NYC Big Apple Red and Finger Paints Papier Mâché.  On all of them I used Essie Braziliant to make the beaks and feet and Black Expressionism for the eyes.

What will you be wearing for Valentine's Day?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine's Jelly Sandwich

OPI Too Hot Pink To Hold 'Em, OPI Rainbow Connection
SH Insta-Dri Grape Escape, RA-106

Hi guys!  This post actually has 2 days worth of mani's in it.

I started off with the jelly sandwich on the first day. I used 1 coat of OPI Too Hot Pink To Hold 'Em (from last year's Texas collection), 1 coat of OPI Rainbow Connection, and then another coat of THPTHE.  I really loved how this turned out... I definitely see why the other name for jelly sandwiches is a candy mani... This certainly looks candy-like!

 OPI Too Hot Pink To Hold 'Em, OPI Rainbow Connection

 OPI Too Hot Pink To Hold 'Em, OPI Rainbow Connection

 OPI Too Hot Pink To Hold 'Em, OPI Rainbow Connection

Check out that macro!! Yum!

After I wore that for a day I wanted to spice it up, and I have been waiting for it to be closer to Valentine's Day to bust out the heart stamps!  I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Grape Escape to stamp a design from the Red Angel plates, specifically RA-106.

I have several more Valentine's manis planned for you guys for this week, so keep an eye out for those!

What nail designs are you doing for Valentine's Day?  Do you have a big date night planned out with your other half?  Do you do something that you know they will like on your nails?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nail Patch Nail Foils Review

Hello everyone!  Today I have a review for you.  I found these Nail Patch nail foils at a local nail supply store here in Houston.  I believe they are sold online at the Born Pretty Store website.  They had lots of patterns and most had a holographic foil finish.  There were 8 different sizes on the single sheet that came in the package, with 2 of each size, 16 foils total.

These are meant to be applied similar to Sally Hansen nail strips, with no heat.  However, I did see a video on how to apply these on YouTube (I believe it was from the BornPretty Store YT channel) which said to use a heat lamp or blow dryer.  I cleansed my nails with 90% alcohol before applying.  I didn't have too much trouble with application, although on my index finger I had some wrinkly spots that wouldn't smooth out.  I size each foil to my nail, applied and smoothed out with my finger and an orange stick, warmed with the dryer for about 10 seconds, then pulled and smoothed more.  Then I filed the excess off in a downward motion, just as directed on the package.

I was pretty happy with how these looked at first.  They were shiny, and holo, and cute!  I had applied these  at night before going to bed, and then I had work the next day.  By the time I got there at 1 pm, these were already driving me crazy!  Just from showering and washing my hair, they were already all lifting around the edges.  They very quickly deteriorated after that point.  I took them all off as soon as I got home from work.  Needless to say, I would not bother with these again.  They are supposed to last 11 days... I highly doubt anyone could get that kind of wear from these unless they wore gloves every time they put their hands in water.  And you can forget washing your hands!  So unfortunately, I can't recommend these to anyone, unless you only plan on wearing them for a couple hours!

I haven't tried the Sally Hansen strips, but I'm sure they are a better choice.  What do you guys think of nail strips or foils?  Do you have a favorite kind?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Motley Navy

Finger Paints Motley over Orly Royal Navy
(Indoors, under a halogen lamp with flash) 

Hi everyone!  A special hello to all my new followers, glad to have you here!  I hope you enjoy my posts. :)

This is a NOTD from last month that I didn't get around to posting.  It was from before I made my light box so I have a few differently lit photos for you.  My base color, Orly Royal Navy, was difficult to get an accurate photo of, but I believe the first picture came out closest.

I used 2 coats of Royal Navy, and then layered 1 coat of Finger Paints Motley.  Motley is a green and blue flakie from the same collection as Twisted, which I featured here.

I liked this combo, but it didn't really pop as much as I wanted it to.

 (Direct natural light, no flash)

(Indoors, halogen desk lamp, no flash)
This picture is not color accurate for the base at all, but I included it so you could see the green flakies.  They didn't show up too much in any other photos.

What are you layering these Finger Paints flakies over?  Any awesome combos you've discovered?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

100 Follower Giveaway!!

 Bottle shot of my personal OPI DS Sapphire to show the color better.  Giveaway prize is still in package.

I am so excited to announce my next giveaway!  This is in honor of my blog getting 100 followers, which I am thrilled about.  I enjoy sharing with my readers and making new friends in the polish community very much, and I hope to continue to meet awesome new people all over the world who share my love for nails!  Thank you to all my followers!

I am giving you guys the chance to win a bottle of OPI DS Sapphire, a discontinued holo.  I am going to make this an international giveaway, so everyone is free to enter.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Good luck!!

Your prize!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Charged Up and Twisted

 Finger Paints Twisted over Orly Charged Up

Hello Readers!  Today I've got a simple layered NOTD.  I used 2 coats of Orly Charged Up as my base color.  Charged Up is a vibrant grape creme polish.  I topped that with 2 coats of Finger Paints Twisted, a multi-colored flakie polish.  I can't believe I have had Twisted for a month and hadn't gotten around to using it yet.  It is a gorgeous polish and I want to try layering it over all different colors now!

What are your favorite layering combos?  Have you found something that looks great under Twisted?

Finger Paints Twisted over Orly Charged Up