Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nails Inc Basil Street

For my first post-Challenge manicure, I wanted a palate cleanser. And it just so happened that my Christmas present from Nicole came, which included Basil Street by Nails Inc.

Basil Street is a nude polish, which is jelly-ish. Maybe a jelly-creme. It was kinda hard to tell on my short nails. They're shorter than I'd like, but of course one broke down pretty far, and the rest had to go with. I guess it's nice to start fresh with a nude polish and shorter nails. Anyway, Basil Street applied really easily, and needed just two coats for opacity. I realize my two photos are color corrected inconsistently. Basil Street is closer to the second picture. It isn't necessarily attention grabbing, but I still can't stop staring at my nails!

My full gift from Nicole! An adorable card; 17 Glitter Top Coat & Nightshade (from the Electric Disco gift set); Models Own Aqua Violet & Purple Blue; Nails Inc Piccadilly Circus, Tate, Basil Street, & Victoria; Revlon Gold Get 'Em, yum yums, and a cute bracelet!
Well, it was bound to happen. After a handful of swaps & gifts, we have a casualty. The third member of the 17 Electric Disco set snapped off at the base, and ended up in the box and on the bag. Both are airing out and will be salvageable. The empty nail polish bottle went in the trash. RIP.

For those of you who celebrate a winter holiday that involves gift giving and receiving, what gifts did you get?! I am not religious, but I do celebrate Christmas, and it was pretty solid. I got a juicer, a Jade Harmony yoga mat, and a cute dress from my parent's. I have been juicing up a storm, and the yoga mat is amazing. I also bought myself a Kindle, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have always been an avid reader, but I've been reading even more than I used to with it. Recommend me some books! I will read pretty much anything.

Also, do any of you have Pinterest? I just signed up. http://pinterest.com/jumpoffcliffs/

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Vintage Floral Nails Take II

I have officially made it to the very last day of The Challenge! Day 31's prompt is to recreate my favorite challenge. I decided instead to recreate your favorite challenge! The challenge post with the most views is the vintage flower nails I did on day 14. It's actually one of my most popular posts even outside of the challenge! So, with that said, here's my next take on floral nails.

I started out with a couple coats of Revlon's Minted. Had I been wearing this on its own, I would have done three, as there are some bald spots. Minted is a mint green, obviously, with a really subtle shimmer. You can see the shimmer in the photos, but it's nearly non-existent on the nail. Application wasn't too bad. A little thick and finnicky, but nothing terrible.

I then used Sinful Colors' Star Fish to create the flowers, my Omega Labs striper brush to make the petals, and Scenery Greenery by Finger Paints to make the leaves. I think they turned out pretty cute this time around, too.

So there we have it. I've completed the Challenge! I know it took me forever, but I am glad I followed through with it.

I hope you are all having a great holiday season! I am currently curled up on the couch with my sister watching Harry Potter. Not a bad Xmas Eve.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Inspired by a Tutorial: Plaid

I'm on the second to last post of The Challenge! Today is day 30, a manicure inspired by a tutorial. I spent some time peeking around YouTube, and finally found a plaid tutorial I thought was cute. I'll show the tutorial at the end of the post.

I started off with two coats of And a Cherry On Top by Sephora by OPI. I bought this polish about three years ago, and it's been one of my favorites since. It's red, and a jelly. My favorite combination! The consistency is more on the thin side than thick, but it applies really well. Every time I apply this, I'm reminded of why I love it so much. It's perfect!

And here's the final product! The black is Liquid Leather by China Glaze. The white is Mayo by Man Glaze. And the gold is Model's Own Gold Rush. I think it turned out pretty cute, and rather festive. I've had a fair amount of compliments on it, which is always nice.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Inspired by the Supernatural: Nicole by OPI Too Rich For You

I am just a couple posts away from finishing the 31 Post Challenge! Today is the 29th post, which is a manicure inspired by the supernatural. I've been looking forward to this one since I started the challenge. I love the paranormal and supernatural. I've had some unexplainable experiences myself, and I also love shows like Ghost Hunters. First I'll show you the polish, which is Too Rich For You from Nicole by OPI, then I'll explain more for those of you interested.

Too Rich for You has been on my wishlist for a while now, and Chi Chi at The Phalanges Files was kind enough to send it as an extra with the polishes I won at her recent giveaway. It was so kind of her to not only host a giveaway, but go through the effort of looking at my wishlist and sending me a couple items from it. What a sweet lady!

The consistency of this polish is on the thin side, but still quite easy to work with. There was no flooding around my cuticles, and it only needed two coats. On top of the easy application process, Too Rich for You is one of the prettiest polishes I have ever used! It just glows! It has lots of teal shimmer packed in a smoky base. It gives off an ethereal sort of vibe, which I thought fit well with the challenge. I love that it can look dark and vampy in some lights, but then really shine in others. It reminds me of deep scary parts of the ocean and rare jewels, depending on the light. I encourage you to look at the larger versions of the images, and let yourself by mesmerized by the shimmer. I can't get enough of this, and I also got a ton of compliments on it! It's one of those polishes that when people said, "Nice nail polish," rather than thank them, I was all, "I KNOW!!!!"

Now, on to why I chose this color, for those of you still reading. Beyond the ethereal quality this polish has, it also reminds me a bit of a paranormal experience I had (well, experiences really). I wouldn't call myself a medium or psychic or anything along those lines by any means, but I do feel I am somewhat sensitive to the paranormal, and I have had dreams come true (as well as some other things potentially too weird to be coincidental).

My parents' house was built in the 70s, by the people who owned it previous to us. So I figured it's far too new to have any spirits attached to it. But probably about five years ago or so, I started noticing this figure in the basement. I always see him in the same spot, and he never moves or acknowledges me. He's solid, and not transparent at all. He wears an older style suit (I would say somewhere between the 1920s and 1950s) and fedora, both navy blue (hence my choice of nail polish). Like I said, he's always just standing there, and never moves or looks at me. It's a bit strange, but not scary. I'm not sure why he'd be hanging around my parents' basement, but maybe he's got some attachment to the land it's built on. Who knows?

Have you had any paranormal experiences? I want to hear about them!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Inspired by a Flag: Barry M Buzz

I'm on the 28th day of The Challenge. This challenge was the toughest one yet. I took me a long time to get inspired by something. I was Googling all sorts of different flags (I even looked up Hello Kitty flags TWICE). Eventually I remembered flags I had seen while on vacation on Fire Island last summer. The community of Ocean Beach has these super cute Elvgren-inspired flags all over. I guess technically they are banners, but let's not go there, okay?

How cute, right? I love the use of color in them. Sure, they've got the red, white, and blue which is pretty typical for a lot of pin-up inspired stuff (especially in the nautical realm), but I really love that they added in the mauve color. I would have never thought that would work with the theme, but it gives it a uniqueness that I appreciate. So, I decided to do a mauve mani!

I used Buzz by Barry M, sent to me in my very first swap with Nicole at Top to Toe. It's not an exact match, I know, but I either had colors that were too pink or too brown, but not the right amount of each. Also, it's not nearly as pink in real life as my photos would lead you to believe; my camera just couldn't pick up the color accurately.

The application was fine. I used two coats, and had no issues with it being too thick or too thin. It did smell horrible though. I'm talking Kleancolor bad. It dried quickly to a nice shiny finish. However, it did not get along well with my Poshe topcoat. I made these photos about an hour after applying the polish, and I was already getting shrinkage. Doesn't bother me in real life, but it's a real eyesore in up close photos of my nails, and for that I apologize.

I think, for most people, this color would probably be a bore. It seems like one of those colors you'd find in your grandmother's cabinet, and would avoid. But I actually quite like it. It's got an old fashioned appeal, like something from the days when nail polish only came in shades of red. Plus I think it works well with my skin tone.

With that, I am off to work on some crafty holiday gifts, and grad school stuff. Yippee.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Inspired by Artwork: Model's Own Coral Reef

I'm alive! Sorry about the length of time in between posts. Between the holidays and finishing up graduate school applications, I've been a bit busier than normal.

I'm still continuing on with the 31 Post Challenge, and I am on day 27, which is a manicure inspired by artwork. While searching for inspiration for an unrelated project, I came across a painting by Ray Caesar that I loved.

I love that she's painting her long-ass talons red! So, I decided to go with something in the red range as well: Coral Reef by Model's Own.

Coral Reef is a pink leaning coral, and has one of the best consistencies I've come across. It applied so smooth! I used two coats, though I have a feeling most people would use three. There was a bit of visible nail line with just two. I've been wearing this for about five days (told you I've been busy!) and I have minimal tipwear and no chipping! I can't say enough good things about this polish! Perfect!

A huge thanks to Nicole for Top to Toe for sending this to me in our recent swap.

I hope everything with you guys has been well. Did you US kids have a good Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Inspired by a Pattern

I am on Day 26 of The Challenge, which is a manicure inspired by a pattern. I just Googled "vintage pattern" to find a pattern to base this manicure on. Here's the pattern I started with:

The one in the upper right. Minus the birds because I am lazy.

I started with three coats of Pixel's Naughty Bit Nice. This is a really pretty soft cornflower blue, and it's clearly a jelly. I adore this on its own. It's a unique color and finish, yet not too attention grabbing. Perfect for when you want a palette cleanser, but don't want to do something nude. I think this would be great for creating your own dupe of Lippmann's Glitter in the Air, and a great polish for a jelly sandwich.

Next I used a dotting tool to apply OPI's I Eat Mainly Lobster, which is a shimmery pink-leaning coral. Not my usual type of color, but I was drawn to it for some reason. For the leaves, I used Open Seas by Sinful Colors. I knew I wouldn't be able to make circles for the petals, so I went with simple dots. I also would have liked to stick with the orange color palette, but didn't have a color that matched it quite right. And I wasn't even about to attempt the birds! But I still think it turned out cute. It's a simple way to create something adorable.

For those of you in the US, Happy Thanksgiving! I don't eat meat, so I won't be partaking in turkey, but I will be eating the shit out of some side dishes!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Inspired by Fashion: Model's Own Blooboo

I'm all the way up to Day 25 of The Challenge! So close to being done! Day 25 is a manicure inspired by fashion. I chose to base my nails on a Elvgren painting. In case you haven't been paying attention to this blog at all, I love all things vintage. Especially pin up girls. And Elvgren is the king of painting cute gals. Nails first, Elvgren second.

For this manicure, I used Blooboo by Model's Own, sent to me by Nicole. I love this color. It's such a pretty sky pastel blue. In the bottle you can see a pretty shimmer, but that gets lost on the nail unfortunately. Luckily it's still really pretty even without the shimmer. Application was a pain though. It's thick and applied unevenly. I used three coats, and it was still a bit uneven. It does dry fast with some topcoat though, which was nice. I did also get a fair amount of air bubbles. But all in all, it's a really pretty polish, and I see myself using it a lot in the future.

Here's the Elvgren painting I based my nails on. I covet a cute vintage bathroom, with blue walls like this (I'd take pink, too). So, yes, I based my "fashion inspired" nails on the color of walls in a painting of a girl whose not even wearing clothes. WHOOPS.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Inspired by a Book: ManGlaze Mayo

Day 24 of the 31 Day Challenge is a manicure inspired by a book. I chose the book Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan. Brautigan is a post-beat generation hippie novelist and poet, and his work is seriously amazing. Brautigan's work is often satirical, and it often deals with some hippie counter-culture shit (such as living in a commune). I also love that his work, particularly his poetry, is about banal, everyday life. He's kinda like the writer version of William Eggleston. Anyway, he once said, "I have always wanted to write a book that ended with the word 'mayonnaise'." And that he did. Trout Fishing in America's last chapter is called The Mayonnaise Chapter.

So, without further ado, I present Mayo by ManGlaze.

Like all of ManGlaze's polishes, Mayo dries to a matte finish. One thing I love about the brand is that they add some shimmer to the polish, so they have a bit of dimension, instead of just drying flat. Unfortunately, the stark white freaked my camera out, so it looks pretty flat. But I assure you there is a nice shimmer. Everyone raves about ManGlaze, so I don't think I need to tell you how amazing they really are.

I used three coats here, but I should have stopped at two. The third coat turned a fast drying polish into an extremely slow drying polish. I went to bed about an hour after applying this, and got sheet marks on every nail. And mattes are known for their speedy dry times! So, take note, stop at just two coats!

Here's The Mayonnaise Chapter in it's entirety:

"Feb 3-1952

Dearest Florence and Harv.

I just heard from Edith about the passing of Mr. Good. Our heart goes out to you in deepest sympathy Gods will be done. He has lived a good long life and he has gone to a better place. You were expecting it and it was nice you could see him yesterday even if he did not know you. You have our prayers and love and we will see you soon.

God bless you both.

Love Mother and Nancy.

Sorry I forgot to give you the mayonnaise."

Like I said, I highly recommend reading some Brautigan. My favorite book of his (and one of my favorite books period) is In Watermelon Sugar. So good! I want to get the word mayonnaise tattooed on me someday in honor of him (and also another of my favorites, Vonnegut - in a chapter of Cat's Cradle, I believe, he references mayonnaise). Brautigan also reminds me of my dad, so if there are more of you out there with hippie dads, you might be especially interested in him.

Happy weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Inspired by a Movie: 17 Fury

I'm up to Day 23 of The Challenge, which is a manicure inspired by a movie. Being a lover of the 1950s (aesthetically), I naturally have a thing for greasers. I'm automatically attracted to someone who is wearing rolled up jeans and a leather jacket, with hair slicked back (bonus points for traditional tattoos and a vintage car). So, as a result, I love any movie that features greasers. And probably the best one of them all is "The Outsiders" (I also love the novel by S.E. Hinton). Probably the most well known quote from the book/movie is, "Stay gold, Ponyboy," a reference to Robert Frost, of course. And that inspired me to put on some gold nail polish!

The gold I chose is Fury by 17, sent to me by Nicole at Top to Toe. Fury is GORGEOUS! I can't get enough. It's the kind of polish that glows in any type of light. I love the way it shifts in the light, too. It's not a duochrome, but the gold can go from looking bright and shiny one moment, to a darker, more antique-looking color the next. If it had some green, it could be quite similar to Peridot by Chanel.

The application process was a breeze! It went on in two coats, but I probably could have gotten away with one. It flowed really well, and dried to a nice shiny finish.

I am so glad Nicole sent this in our recent swap. I think it has become one of my favorites!

I dare you not to cry!

The next few are some screenshots I've had saved for years. I don't know the original source, unfortunately.

If you haven't watched or read The Outsiders, I encourage you to get up and fix that! Amazing stuff!