Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Leopard Print!

It's been like a week since I've posted! I'm sorry. I've just been so into the nail art lately, that I've been wearing it longer than usual.

Day 13 of the 31 Day Challenge is animal print. I chose leopard print. I can't even put into words how much I love leopard print. I love wearing a leopard print blouse with a pencil skirt. I have a leopard print fleece blanket that I love snuggling up with in the winter. If it has leopard print on it, I want it. But, I've never done a leopard print mani before. I was always so intimidated by them. As it turns out, they're much faster, and much easier then I expected. The nice thing is, even if you don't have a steady hand, it can still turn out nicely.

The base color I used is Barefoot by Bonita. This is a really lovely nude color. The first coat is pretty transparent, but it evens out really nicely with the second. It's also really shiny - it reminded me of a jelly because of the shine. Maybe it's one of those creme-jellies. At any rate, it applies really smoothly, and I loved this color against my skintone.

You guys, I'm so happy with how these turned out! For the spots, I used Cappuchino by Santee and NYC's Black Lace Creme. Basically I just painted random blobs, and outlined those blobs in black. Like I said, I was so pleased with how easy it was. My BFF said they looked like printed nail polish strips, not something hand painted, so that made me happy. I'm more into natural leopard print colors, but I can't wait to play around with other colors on my nails. What's your favorite color combo for leopard print?

Recently, I ordered a plethora of things online to send to Nicole in an upcoming swap. I also got a few things for myself, because I have no self control.

I ordered a bunch of mini candles from B&BW. 3 for $5!

Sorry for the blurry photo. New B&BW scent, Kleencolor Winter Wonderland, NYX Carnical, Kleancolor Chunky Black Holo.
Hope your week is going well!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Today has been one of those days where anything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. Murphy's Law at it's finest, folks.

It started when I woke up, and went to the Ulta website to partake in the fabulous Butter London buy one get one free deal. By nine o'clock this morning, they were completely sold out! Like, not a damn nail polish available. Not even a couple lonely reds. NOTHING. Okay, fine, probably better for my wallet - I moved on.

Then, since a friend's birthday is coming up, I decide to make cupcakes. I have one box of cake mix left, which had expired about a year ago. I figure, you know, it's just powder, no biggie. So I start mixing ingredients. It calls for three eggs. I crack the first egg, and as it's falling into the bowl, I notice the egg is bad. I've never had this happen before, but I could tell it was not like a normal egg. It was a weird consistency, and it smelled BAD. So that batch goes in the garbage. I'm feeling okay, because I can just make cake batter from scratch! That seemed to go well, but the cupcakes NEVER BAKED. Like, I had them in the oven for over a half hour, and they just baked halfway, and then got lazy and didn't want to bake anymore. UGH. No cupcakes for my friend. And no cupcakes for me. Lots of cupcake batter for the trash can.

Now we move on to the nail polish related shit. It's Day 12 of The Challenge, and that means stripes! I do a Google search for some inspiration (see below), put some Ghost Hunters on, and get to work. I decide to use a white base, and blue stripes. Well, my white has officially gone to shit. It needed three coats, which is pretty typical for whites, but it just would not dry. I think I smudged half of my nails! Then I added the stripes, which just did not go well. I quickly took it off. Then I decide to go with a soft pink instead of the shit-tacular white. And things went slightly better.

The pink I chose is the cleverly named Pastel Pink from Models Own, sent to me by Nicole at Top to Toe. This polish actually applies really well for a pastel. It's on the thicker side, but not oh my god so thick! It just takes two coats, and then it's nice and smooth! It's so cute! I wouldn't typically consider myself a pastel pink kinda gal, but there's something I love about this color against my skin.

After the pink base, I added blue stripes. I chose Ski Teal We Drop from OPI, one of my favorite polishes! It's not quite as stark of a contrast as it was against the white, but it still works. I then added cute heart decals, also sent by Nicole. You can see that the color smeared off the hearts because of the top coat. Bit of a bummer, but not as noticeable in real life. I do wish I had a steadier hand, but I suppose if I did stuff like this on a regular basis, I would. I did have to do a couple nails over - Murphy at it again! - but overall I'm pretty happy.

This is what I based my mani on. Pretty cute, right! Do you think those are striper decals, or does this person just have an insanely steady hand?! Or maybe they're those nail polish strips or whatever?
I was going to end this post with a video from the Brendan Leonard Show (which I'm sure none of you remember) about Murphys Law, but I couldn't find that. So, here's a different one!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Brown & Blue Polka Dots

I'm on to the patterns portion of the 31 Day Challenge. Day 11 is polka dots. I chose Seafoam by Love & Beauty and Miss Mole by Gosh.

Seafoam is a frosty light blue. It's very late 90s/early 2000s. It seems like something Buffy or the cast of Popular would wear. I found it at Forever 21 recently, and it called out to me from under the flourescent lights. I love it. Even though it's kinda dated, and the nail blogging world pretty much collectively hates frosts, I love them because they're dated. They remind me of middle school and Lip Smackers and choker necklaces. Seafoam applies pretty easily. With two coats it's lookin' good. Except for my index finger, I know. I bumped it and it smudged, and since I was gonna put dots on top, I said fuck it. $2.80 well spent.

Miss Mole is, as of now, one of my favorite polishes!  The wonderful Nicole at Top to Toe sent this to me. This gal is a one coater! She also applies so smoothly. Plus, she reminds me of delicious warm drinks like coffee and hot cocoa. It's a very chic autumn color, and I imagine myself reaching for it a lot this season.

I love the way these colors interact with each other, but... I don't know... I'm just not feelin' it. It doesn't look so bad in the photos, but I'm just not in love with it. I think I'd like it more if the dots were smaller. It was my first time using the dotting tool Lindsay at Nailtopia sent me, and I must say, it went pretty well, despite they're size. I'll have to experiment more, as I do love polka dot nails in general.

And on that note, in honor of the greatest show ever created, I present some screen caps of Popular. If you haven't seen this show, do yourself a favor, and see it! Most people have no idea what I'm talking about when I bring the show up (perhaps it was cancelled after only two seasons because I was the only viewer!), but seriously, people, one of my favorite shows of all time!

Good night!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Red & Gold Gradient

I'm up to Day 10 for The 31 Day Challenge! And Day 10 is gradient nails. For this look, I was inspired by Rebecca's gradient nails, which can be seen here.

Here we go. So, first I started with a base of Burgundy by Santee.

At my previous job, we sold Santee polishes for a buck. I got 50% off, and really should have purchased more. Burgundy is an appropriate, albeit not very creative name for this polish. My favorite color - a deep, berry red. The application process was not great. The polish was pretty thick, and I kept smudging it. It also seems to want to hang out in my cuticles, no matter how much acetone I use in clean up attempts. My apologies for that. I used two coats for opacity.

Next, I sponged on a light coat of Sea How Far You Go from Nicole by OPI.

It's hard to give an accurate description of how applying it went, considering I only sponged one coat on. But it did sponge on easily! I love the antique-y feel this polish has. So pretty!

Next, I sponged a coat of Sally Hansen's Set the Stage over Sea How Far You Go.

The glitter pieces were a bit hard to pick up, but with the sponge it was easier. I imagine it is sort of a pain using the brush to apply this.

Overall, I'm really pleased with how this turned out. It's sorta regal and Elizabethan-y meets gore and goth meets glitz and glam. For a while I thought it seemed too Holiday-like, but today it reminds me of Gryffindor, so I guess it depends on my mood. A friend of mine really loved them, and said they need a matching fancy party dress. What do you guys think? I can't wait to try more gradient manis like this!

You might have noticed my nails are shorter than they were last post. A couple nails broke on my right hand, so I took that as an excuse to chop 'em all down. While I like how they look when they are longer, especially for the blog, I do feel much better with them shorter. They're so much more comfortable at this length. When they're longer, I feel like they're in the way, and I never really get used to them. I know that my "longer" is pretty short for a lot of nail bloggin' ladies - I have no idea how you guys do it! But, I am glad this mani looks good even on shorter nails, because I worried it would look odd.

Today I had my interview with that gallery. I think it went okay. It was pretty short, and not very discussion-based, but hopefully I make the cut.

Also I think I'm developing a dairy allergy. Bleh!

What have you guys been up to?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rainbow Nails!

Now The Challenge is getting to the fun stuff! Post 9 is rainbow nails!

So, for my rainbow manicure, I decided get a lil' skittle on you guys. I think it turned out pretty darned cute, and the colors work really well together. Given that I'm doing this Challenge to use more of my untrieds/unphotographeds, they're all colors I haven't shown before. I somehow managed to get dust all over my nails between painting and photographing them, so do me a solid and ignore that!

Here's what I used:

ELF Mango Madness - A lovely coral color! I used three coats, as this seemed to have some jelly qualities. It's so pretty, and it's begging me to use it as a full manicure.

Nicole by OPI One Voice - A shimmery yellow. I was going with a creme theme, but I realized I'd chosen a shimmer too late! This was sort of streaky and thin, so I used three coats, but it wasn't impossible to work with. It's a very pretty color, and I love that it leans a little mustard.

OPI Who the Shrek Are You? - Lime, but not neon, colored creme. Surprisingly easy to work with. This was two easy coats.

Essence My Boyfriend's Jeans - What a stupid freaking name. But what a pretty color! The first coat seemed a little gloopy, but it all evened out with the second.

OPI Done Out in Deco - LOVE this polish! A really lovely lilac creme. Super duper easy to work with. Absolute perfection in two coats.

What do you guys think?

Today is the last day of my long "weekend," and I am so not looking forward to going back to work. This weekend has been a nice combination of productive and lazy.

I got myself a caffeinated lil treat today, and sat my butt down to work on more grad school stuff. I also found out I am a finalist for a Solo Exhibition Program at a local gallery here, so I have been working on stuff for that, too. Crossing my fingers I make the cut! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

L.A. Girl Chromium Green

The 8th post for The Challenge is metallic. I chose L.A. Girl's Chromium Green, from their Metal collection.

Chromium Green is an emerald foil, composed of green and silver particles. It leans a little blue, so it can look a little on the teal side. An emerald-teal hybrid of sorts. It's a very pretty color. These L.A. Girl Metal collection polishes seem to give off a glow. They're eye-catching no matter what lighting condition they're in. Last night, I had been lying in bed, reading for a bit. I got up and went into the bathroom, and turned on the light. When I looked down at my nails, it actually HURT my eyes to look at them! The glowyness was shocking after being in dim lighting.

This stuff applied flawlessly! It was so easy to work with. I used two coats with attentive application. If I hadn't been paying attention, I would have needed three, as it has a tendency to leave bald spots. It dries fast, and the silver and green pieces come together perfectly on the nail! I really love this polish, and regret not picking up the entire collection. I own a couple other colors I've yet to show.

How did you US kids enjoy your Labor Day (if you were lucky enough to not have work)? It was the first year I didn't have to work (good lord I hate retail), and I enjoyed it by doing no labor whatsoever! I sat around and read for a good while, watched some TV, dinked around on the internet. It was awesome! I finished reading Middlesex this morning, and if you haven't yet read it, I suggest getting your hands on a copy. It deserved all the hype and awards it got!

On Saturday, the family and I moved my sister into her dorm. It was pretty uneventful, but I did get this shot of a cool looking cloud on our drive up north.

And with that, I'm off to attempt being productive!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Deborah Lippmann & China Glaze White Cap

So, the next post up for The 31 Day Challenge is black and white. I couldn't think of anything I really liked for this, so I did things a little differently. Initially I was thinking of doing black with white accent nails. But that reminded me too much of my mall goth/totes punk rock days of doing all black with red on accent nails, so I wanted to stay far far away from that. I decided to use black, and use China Glaze's White Cap over it. Hey, it has white in the name, and it's in a white base! Close enough, right?

Fade to Black is, you know, your usual black creme. I would have never spent $18 on a basic black nail polish, but I found it on clearance for $3 at Trade Secret. And I'm all about things on clearance for $3. It applies like a dream. It glides on so smoothly, and dries fairly quickly. I used two coats, and it looked so chic, that I had trouble putting anything over it! I do wish the brush wasn't so freaking tiny though.

White Cap is bottled perfection! It is such a pretty polish, and I can't imagine a color it wouldn't look good layered over. I love that it can look gold or green, depending on the light. It also applied smoothly, and dried quick. I just wish it hadn't taken me this long to use it!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nina Ultra Pro Purple-Xing

Next up for The Challenge is purple. I chose Nina Ultra Pro's Purple-Xing, which Nicole sent me for my birthday!

This polish is a GLITTER PARTAY. Caps necessary. There's purple, silver, and blue micro glitter mixed in with larger holographic glitter. It is AWESOME! Believe me when I say these pictures do not do it justice. It's like bottled unicorn blood or some shit.

As a result of all the, you know, glitter, this stuff is thick. It's gloopy and globby, but surprisingly, not terribly difficult to work with. It also dries lightening fast, which is great. But it does also dry super gritty, so you need a couple coats of top coat to make it somewhat smooth.

If you're at all a fan of glitter polishes, this is a must have.

This "weekend" had some ups and downs for me (weekend in quotations because I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off). The ups included new nail polish! The downs included a funeral, that was harder than expected to deal with. Not fun. But you know what is fun? Retail therapy. Today, my sister and I hit up Ulta and Forever 21.

OPI I Eat Mainely Lobster, Pixel Naughty Bit Nice, Essie Carry On, & Butter London Wallis.

Love & Beauty Peony, Purple, Seafoam.
I also found this necklace of a London telephone booth, which seemed fitting, considering all my grad school stress. (I'm applying to a couple schools within the University of the Arts London, for those curious.) It felt like an omen, and there were only two left, so I picked it up to be my good luck charm of sorts. Also, it was $3.80, and I'll buy just about anything for $3.80.

Hope your week is going well thus far! Happy Hump Day!