Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hard Candy Mischief

I think this will probably end up being the last of the Halloween manicures I do. I bought this polish a while back, and having been anxiously waiting this time of the year so I could wear it. Here's Mischief by Hard Candy.

Mischief is TONS of orange glitter in a black base. The perfect polish for Halloween! All the glitter made my camera freak out a little bit, so the images aren't as crisp as I'd like, but I think you get the point. I love this polish! It's certainly attention grabbing. I can't stop staring at my nails, and watching the light bounce off all the glitter.

The application of Mischief was a bit of a pain, though. It was pretty thick, so it just kinda smeared all over. I should point out though, the bottle cap on mine is pretty severely cracked. You can see it best in the first photograph. The crack goes about halfway up the cap. It was like that when I purchased it, and naturally I didn't notice until I got home. I would have returned it, but it was the only one left, and the store is kinda far away (especially considering I do not drive). I did email Hard Candy about buying a new cap, but never heard back. Bummer! So, I'm sure that affects the consistency to some extent. And on that note, if you've got an extra Hard Candy brush (or one that will fit a HC bottle), let me know!

What are you guys doing over the Halloween weekend? I don't have any particular plans, but I am thinking I may bust out "Double, Double, Toil and Trouble" in a few (yeah, the MKA movie!). Are you dressing up?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Half Moons

I wanted to use some of my newly acquired polishes for a Halloween manicure, so I busted out China Glaze's Liquid Leather (which I won in The Phalanges Files' giveaway), and Missguided's Misstaken, given to my by Nicole in our recent swap.

Here's two coats of Misstaken. This applied so well!  It went on smoothly, and dried quickly. The color is great, and the bottle is so cute. I love the lacy peace sign. I really don't have much else to say about it because it is perfect.

Then I added one coat of Liquid Leather. This also went on incredibly smoothly, and dried to a nice shiny finish. The half moon lines aren't totally smooth (especially on my pointer finger), but for the most part I think it went well.  I think this is such a cute manicure for Halloween!

To get into the Halloween spirit, I've been watching The Search for the Next Elvira. The show is so bad, it's good. And who doesn't love Elvira?!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wet N Wild Behind Closed Doors & My Giveaway Winnings

Here's another Halloween manicure, with a polish from Wet N Wild's On the Prowl collection. Chi Chi from The Phalanges Files sent me this as an extra from her giveaway. I also have pictures of everything she sent at the end of this post. But first, here's Behind Closed Doors!

Having seen swatches of Behind Closed Doors on a plethora of other nail blogs, I knew it was in more of a smokey grey base, rather than a true black base. So I layered this over two coats of NYC Black Lace Creme. I did not photograph that on it's own this time, but if you're dying to see shitty, air-bubbly photos of your basic black creme, I did photograph it in this post.

I added two coats of Behind Closed Doors over the black, and I must say, the contrast between the red glitter and black base just looks so cool! It certainly does have a spooky, dark element to it (I'm reminded of Jack the Ripper for some reason... blood splattering in the night?). My only gripe is the amount of glitter that applied. I like my glittery polishes and top coats to be, well, glittery. I probably would have had to do like four coats of Behind Closed Doors to get it where I wanted it to be. That would have been six coats, not including base or top coat. Even though the glitter is more sparse than I prefer, it still looks pretty cool.

Now, here are some bottle shots of everything Chi Chi sent!

The Sinful Colors Adventure Island Collection. Easy Going, Beautiful Girl. Star Fish, Verbena, Adventure Island, Seaweed, Open Seas.

China Glaze White Cap, Fairy Dust, Flop Flop Fantasy, Liquid Leather.

She was awesome and threw in some extra treats! Sally Hansen Mystic Lilac, WnW Behind Closed Doors, and Nicole by OPI Too Rich for You!
I have obtained so many polishes lately, I had too add another Ikea box to my nail polish storage! And it's half full! I think it's time for another No Buy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Walgreens Glittery Green & Fantasy Makers Night Glow

I mentioned in my previous post that I was considering putting The Challenge on hold, in order to get a few Halloween manicures in. Well, I officially decided to do so. I'll get back to The Challenge as soon as Halloween is over.

For this Halloween manicure, I used a couple new polishes I found at Walgreens recently. One is an unnamed glittery green polish made by Walgreens, and the other is the beloved Night Glow by Fantasy Makers (Wet n Wild).

This is the glittery green. Walgreens had quite a few polishes like this one, but this was the only green on the shelf. I took that as a sign, and this guy came home with me. To be honest, I was expecting this to be really crappy. You know that nail polish you got when you were little that peeled off in like an hour, and was a globby mess? That's what I was envisioning. But this stuff actually applied really well, and so far has stayed put (I've had it on for a couple days). As you can see, it is pretty sheer, so visible nail line phobes might want to steer clear. I used three coats. I am pretty impressed with this polish. I love the shimmery light green mixed with the glitter. This was $2 well spent.

Then I added two coats of Night Glow, Fantasy Makers' glow in the dark top coat. It doesn't really change the look of polishes too much. It's a very light green/yellow, so any change in color is minimal, and hardly noticeable in person (if at all). You'd never be able to build this up to an opaque color on its own. It applied easily as well.

And here's the best photo I could get of the cool glow in the dark action! I'm sure you can imagine just how annoying taking photos of this polish was. Trying to sit still for the 20 seconds the shutter is open is no easy feat. But I got one successful shot, and that's all that matters. This stuff glows pretty well, and looks so neat. I like knowing that I've got something special on my nails that no one else can see.

And for fun, here's a kinda cool photo I got in one of my many attempts. I obviously didn't stay still very well for this one, but I liked the shapes the glowing bottle created.

Are you guys getting excited for Halloween? What are you dressing up as? I don't have any plans for Halloween, so I don't have a costume set in stone for this year. Last year, my coworker and I dressed up as Dorothy and the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. One of my favorites over the years was when I went as John Dillinger a few years ago.

I hope your weekend is going well!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Splatter Mani & Nail Mail

I'm on Day 20 of The Challenge, which means I'm at the end of the patterns section. Today is supposed to be a water marble manicure, but I just can not get into water marbling. So, I figured something similar, yet better looking, would be a splatter mani! And since Halloween is right around the corner, I figured I'd choose Halloween-inspired colors.

The orange I used was Atomic by Nails Inc. The green is OPI's Who the Shrek Are You? And the black is Black Lace Creme by NYC. People aren't kidding when they say splatter manicures are incredibly messy. I used a good amount of tape around my nails, and I still had a hell of a time trying to clean up. (Naturally, my clean up job looks 10 times worse in the photographs than it does in real life.) Don't skimp on the tape, people!

When I had my first hand done, I didn't really like it. I nearly decided to just photograph the one hand, remove it, and do something else. Which is not abnormal for most nail bloggers, but I am not a swatcher. But once I removed the tape, I ended up liking it. The more I got used to blowing nail polish out of a straw, the better they looked. Plus, I think the green oozing down my ring finger nail is just too cute. Overall, I'd call this a success. I'm thinking this will be the start of a few Halloween manis in a row, so I may put the challenge on hold until Halloween is over. We'll see.

The second part of my entry will feature lots of photographs of nail polish bottles! Recently I've acquired a ton of new nail polish. Most in a swap with Nicole at Top to Toe, and some I've purchased. Lots of pictures ahead!

I bought these three at Walgreens recently: Revlon Royal Cloak, Fantasy Makers (by Wet N Wild) Night Glow, & a sparkly green by Walgreens that has no name. On LiveJournal I purchased Borghese Menta & Sally Hansen Mystic Lilac (!). And I bought a couple A England's in their recent sale: Lady of the Lake & Tristam.

This is the start of what Nicole sent. Model's Own Cherry Pie, Blooboo, Peacock Green, Coral Reef, Purple Grey, & Juicy Jules.

Marks & Spencer Khaki, Emerald, Dusted Apricot, Gold, Bright Aqua, & Jewel.

Famous by Sue Moxley Dark Chocolate, Golden Plum, Purple Passion & Scarlet Sparkle.

Boots No 7 Salsa & Foxglove. Ruby & Millie Purple & Red.

Collection 2000 BMX Racer, Starlet, All That Jazz, Jitterbug.

Andrea Fulerton Naomi, 17 Fury, Missguided Splash Misstaken, & Accessorize Aztec.

Bath roses, a couple lotions, Soap & Glory shower gel and scrub, and some super cute jewelry!

Nicole completely blew my away with this swap! She went above and beyond, and really sent some amazing stuff! Lots of the brands I haven't tried before, so I'm going to have a blast trying all these new polishes. I really am so lucky to have a great swap partner and a great friend! If you'd like to see what I sent her - which looks measly and pathetic in comparison - take a peak at this post.

What do you guys think of the splatter mani? How jealous are you of all my new goodies?! Hope your week is going well!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Galaxy Nails!

I'm up to day 19 of The Challenge, and that means galaxies!

All of the polishes I used: Street Wear Mmoody, 17 Glitter Top Coat, Love & Beauty Charcoal, China Glaze Cheers to You, ManGlaze Mayo, Orly Galaxy Girl, China Glaze White Cap, Love & Beauty Light Green, and Essense Choose Me! Phew!

I started out with two coats of Charcoal by Love & Beauty. If I was wearing this alone, I would have done three because there are some bald spots. Charcoal is, as you can see, a black base with silver micro-glitter. Application was smooth, and it dried decently fast. It does dry to a gritty texture, so top coat is a must. My biggest issue with these Love & Beauty polishes are their names. Charcoal? Really? Charcoal is just plain black! Graphite would have been slightly more appropriate, as that actually has somewhat of a sheen to it. Come on Love & Beauty, put more than two seconds of thought into your nail polish names!

And there's the final product! They are not totally perfect, but I think they look pretty nice. The shooting star on my index finger is a bit too prominent, but I adore the one on my ring finger. Doing these galaxy nails was so fun, and far less time consuming than you'd think (especially considering the amount of polishes that go into creating this look). My coworkers liked 'em, and they could tell what I was going for. And if the general public can tell these are space-based, then I'd call it a success. And I do have to say, a camera can not really pick up the beauty of these bad boys. Do some for yourself and see what I mean!

I was too lazy to take process photos, but I'll break it down into steps:
1. Paint base color. Ideally something dark and shimmery.
2. Sponge on white in cloud-like manner.
3. Add an iridescent color on top of the white to tone it down. I used Mmoody, Choose Me!, and Light Green for this, alternating on each nail.
4. Add a darker iridescent color to parts of the "clouds" that are too bright. This is where Galaxy Girl came in handy.
5. Add shooting stars with a silver or a glitter or a silvery glitter.
6. Use more white to add stars. It's pretty cute if you add some twinkling stars to the mix.
7. Cover said stars with a glitter to tone them down. Cue White Cap.
8. Add as many glitter polishes as you can find. This is where I used two coats of 17's Glitter Top Coat. I wish I had Sally Hansen's Hidden Treasure (or similar polish) because the flakies add some great dimension.
9. Add some top coat and tada! The universe has exploded on your nails.

If, like me, you are a visual person, here are the tutorials I followed when doing my galaxy nails: Here Comes The Sun's video tutorial, and Rebecca's photo tutorial.

With that, I am off to "space out" (heh!) to It's Always Sunny and fall asleep!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Essie Carry On Half Moons

Day 18 of The Challenge is half moons! I absolutely love half moon manicures, and I've been excited about this part of The Challenge since I started it. I love when trends from the past come back, and this trend is so classy, and just plain ol' cool-looking. Thank you, Dita von Teese.

The color I used was Carry On by Essie, from this year's Fall collection. This is my favorite kind of shade: a vampy plum. I own quite a few that look nearly the same, and yet I never tire of them. My entire collection could consist of colors like this, and I would be content. My technique for creating the half moons is the same as everyone else's. I use hole reinforcements. Whoever initially came up with that idea is a genius. They are cheap, they work well, and you can cut them in half and do tons and tons of half moon manicures with the pack!

I prefer the half moon to be my natural nail, so aside from base and top coat, Carry On was the only polish I used. I used two coats, and they both applied very smoothly. This is the second Essie I've tried, and I've been more than impressed with their formula. Well worth the $8. Plus, their bottles are so aesthetically pleasing.

In the photos, you can tell the moon shapes aren't crisp, but from afar, they look good. I'm happy with this manicure, and I think it's pretty season-appropriate.

On a totally unrelated note, do any of you play The Sims Social on Facebook? I just started playing, and I am completely addicted! My stupid Sim just runs out of energy way too fast! Ugh!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Day 17 of the 31 Day Challenge is glitter!

Artificial lighting.

First, I started out with two coats of Maneater by Deborah Lippmann. This is one of the Lippmann's I found at Trade Secret for $3. When I bought it, I had no idea it was my favorite kind of finish - a jelly! You guys, this is a brown jelly! Amazing! It's so gorgeous, and perfect for fall. I kept it at two coats, because I like my jellies to look like jellies. A little sheer and very shiny. I'm in love.

This is how it often looks: red/orange with green coming through. But check out the bottle!

Then I added two coats of Chunky Holo Black by Kleancolor. As everyone knows by now, the people at Kleancolor are masters at getting glitter right! In a lot of lighting situations, this reflects the red/orange/yellow range, which I thought was perfect for this time of year, especially over the brown. Applying Chunky Holo Black was a bit of a challenge though. This stuff is pretty thick, and often times thickens up so much that you are just pushing globs around on your nail. You have to work kind of fast to avoid this. I was doing thicker coats though, as I wanted as much glitter on the nail as possible! It's also a top coat eater. I used two coats of Poshe and I feels like I didn't even add anything. But it's all worth it because this stuff is amazing! I can't wait to try it over, oh... every single polish I own!

To celebrate Maneater by Lippmann, I present Maneater by Hall & Oates!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Models Own Concrete Mixer & Nail Tattoos!

Day 16 of The Challenge is supposed to be tribal print, but I have some qualms about it. I feel a bit odd doing a print that is supposed to be "tribal" without knowing anything about the pattern itself, or the tribe it comes from. I see it posted a lot as Aztec nails, but do you know anything about the Aztecs? Do you know what that particular patterns means? Like, if the stripes are red, does that mean it was used in times of war? What about if the stripes are yellow? Time to eat bananas? I'm not picking on anyone whose done "tribal" print nails, I just don't feel okay doing it. If you want to learn a bit more about cultural appropriate/using culture(s) to be trendy, the tumblr My Culture is Not a Trend is a great starting point. It focuses a lot the recent hipster trend of white people putting on a war bonnet and some face paint and being all "look at me I'm an Indian lol," but I think it still pertains to stuff like this.

At any rate, I have modified the Challenge. Since Lindsay at Nailtopia sent me some nail tattoos, I decided to try those bad boys out!

I started with two coats of Concrete Mixer by Models Own. This is a really great medium grey creme, that applied pretty smoothly. It dried really shiny, even before adding top coat. I am loving this color. A great fall/winter shade. It looks a little brown in a couple of my photos, but it is a true grey. The second and fourth images are the most color accurate.

I am in love with the 50s/60s designs of these nail tattoos! So cute! I want wallpaper of these graphics. The nail tattoos applied just like temporary tattoos. Cut the design off the sheet, stick it on, press a wet cloth to it for a bit, and tada! you have some cute designs on your nails. The easiest nail art ever. The hardest part is trying to get them to be center, but I obviously wasn't terribly concerned about that. I can't wait to try more.

What do you think about the nail tattoos?

No doubt you've all heard about Steve Jobs's passing. What are your thoughts? I must say I am more saddened by it than I would have thought. Without giving too much away, I work at a place that I guess you could say was instrumental in making Apple products successful, so I feel more attached to him than I did before I worked there. Do you own any Apple products? What was your first? In the mid-90s, my family bought a Performa, and after that we bought an iMac G4 (which was like the coolest thing ever at the time). In school we had the candy colored iMacs, and we all fought over what color to use. The first computer I bought on my own was a MacBook Pro.

And speaking of work, I have to leave for it in a few. Happy Friday, everyone!