Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Silver Holo and Black Splatter Stamp

For this manicure I used China Glaze Hologram for the base color and Sinful Colors Black on Black with stamping plate m70. Cute and really simple! It's funny, I remember when stamping seemed like a huge production-- now that I've done water marble, splatter manicures, and space nails, this feels as straightforward as putting on a base coat. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Galaxy Nails, Episode II

So, I realize that title is completely dorky. I'm gonna own it and go with it anyway. 

Ever since I saw these galaxy nails, I've wanted to recreate them. This is my latest attempt. I haven't quite got it right yet, although I think this is a respectable result. I stuck to black and blue for the background, and white for the stars, as the photo seems to, but it still didn't come out quite the way I hoped it would. I think next time I'll try for more blue, less black, and smaller stars. I'm determined! 

What I Used and What I Did

OPI Black
Sinful Colors Secret Admirer
Orly Star of Bombay
Wet n' Wild French Creme

Techniques: painting, sponging, dotting, cleanup with thin paintbrush and acetone

Background: black
accent: Secret Admirer, white, blue
stars: white

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Galaxy Nails!

This manicure was epic, but totally worth the effort. I've been trying to do a successful space manicure for a while and failed until now! While I can certainly improve, I'm very pleased with this result. I was inspired to try again after seeing Rebecca's galaxy manicure.  I also saw this awesome photo, from which I borrowed heavily. I also googled "galaxy stars" and used the images to get some other ideas. Some of the photos I especially liked were these newborn stars, this galaxy, and this star formation. I'm going to to keep working on this manicure, but I'm pleased with my progress :) 

What I Did and What I Used

Techniques: Painting, sponging, dotting, cleanup with acetone and a narrow paintbrush

Background color: OPI Black Onyx
Accent colors: Orly Star of Bombay, Orly Royal Velvet, Wet n' Wild: Sunny Side, Candy Corn, and French White Creme, Sinful Colors Full Moon, NYC Taxi Yellow Creme. 
Top Coat: Seche Vite

1. I applied a black manicure.
2. I sponged on some on the SC Full Moon (gray-black with very subtle charcoal glitter) leaving some of the nail black. 
3. I sponged on the WnW White (click the link above and follow Rebecca's tips on this-- I found them really helpful). Don't overdo the white; you can always add more. 
4. I sponged on a little of each the two Orly colors. I used very little and mostly to deepen the black and the soften the white. 
5. I lightly sponged on NYC Taxi Yellow, then just a tiny bit of the WnW Sunny Side (orange) and even less of the Candy Corn (orange-red). 
6. I used the dotting tools to create stars. For this, I used mostly white, slightly less yellow, and a few orange. I tried to keep the dots very small and of various sizes. 

Next time I think I'll add some planets! :D

Winner of Tin Roof's First Day of Fall Giveaway!

I'm so pleased to announce the winner of The First Day of Fall Giveaway: Shala D.!!! :)  
I have a lot of fun working on this blog, and so thank you to my fellow polish-lovers for reading and for entering my first giveaway!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Here is my first franken! It's a frankenglaze, which are perfect for glitter sandwiches.  I discovered that I only had one polish that was sheer enough for glitter sandwiches, so I decided to make my own. The nice thing about this is that you can use colors you already have (and like). I found that adding clear polish to a pigmented polish did not achieve the milky quality I wanted, so I added some white. 
*Note: I mixed the franken in a mini polish bottle.

Base Color: Sinful Colors Seaweed
Glitter: Wet n' Wild Party of Five Glitters
Frankenglaze: 1/3-not quite 1/2 Sinful Colors Seaweed 
1/2 Wet n' Wild clear
 A few drops Sinful Colors Snow Me White
Et voila! A glitter sandwich glaze in the color of your choice! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Two Variations of Pink Dots Manicure

***First, don't forget to enter my First Day of Fall Giveaway! Today is the last day to enter! 

On to today's manicure: I got dotting tools this summer and, well, I've gone a little nuts with them. I originally saw this manicure on Very Emily, and decided I had to try it myself. Here are two slight variations of a pastel dots manicure. 

Background Color: OPI Steady As She Rose
Dots: Sinful Colors Nirvana
H&M (not named, it's the camel color from the Spring 2010 pack)
OPI Sparrow Me the Drame
American Apparel California Trooper
Sinful Colors Seaweed
Seche Vite

Below is a version I did using fewer colors, smaller dots, and keeping the dots in the center of the nail rather than near the cuticle. I think I like it better. It seems to have a simpler and cleaner look. 

Background Color: OPI Steady As She Rose
Dots: Sparrow Me the Drama
Sinful Colors Nirvana
American Apparel California Trooper

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sinful Colors Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is a lilac creme. I got it on a whim during Walgreens recent "It's so cheap we're practically paying you to take them off our hands" 99 cent sale for Sinful Colors. The color is pretty, the formula is fine (two coats for opacity). I think I'm a little off of pastels at the moment because it's fall, and I'm more about the flaming fall colors! Next spring, though, I'm breaking this beauty out. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ULTA Deep Desire

Happy almost-fall, everyone! I was not ready for fall until two days ago when the weather turned cool and crisp and GORGEOUS. Now, I think I'm ready! So, to celebrate the impending change in the season, I have a beautiful fall maroon for you! I am a new fan of ULTA polishes. I bought a few to try and I've been really pleased so far. This one is a deep burgundy creme that is opaque in two coats. The formula is a little thick, but that can easily be remedied with a few drops of polish thinner. Deep Desire is an interesting color because I think it works as a neutral and can be nudged toward a more defined look depending on the rest of your style. I think it could be either vampy or demure. It reminds me a lot of OPI Sanguine a.k.a., Royal Rajah Ruby except DD has no shimmer or depth; it's a straight creme with some of the "squishiness" of a jelly. Shown below with top coat (Seche Vite). 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Finger Paints Gallery Glam

First, please excuse my gorgeously dry cuticles. I'm using the photos anyway because the polish color came out nicely, which is sometimes a difficult thing to capture with almost-black colors. Gallery Glam is another Finger Paints polish with a great formula. It needs two coats for opacity. The color is a dark navy blue with a super-glossy finish-- it's so glossy it's reflective. I was not wearing a topcoat in the photos, and the gloss is so strong that the finish looks satiny. I have Orly Star of Bombay, which is very similar to this and also has an excellent formula, but the gloss on Gallery Glam is amazing. 

One general note about Finger Paints: I find that I am often underwhelmed by the colors, but their formulas are consistently good. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fall Splatter: Convergence of Autumn Rhythm and American Apparel

Here's an autumn splatter for you. It's another homage to Jackson Pollock-- the look I was shooting for was Autumn Rhythm (#30) but, color-wise, I ended up somewhere between that and Convergence. I wonder if it would amuse or horrify Jackson Pollock to know that I'm using his paintings as inspiration for my manicures. I figure if the Mona Lisa can be turned into a screen-saver, then being an inspiration for something as pedestrian as a manicure shouldn't be too demeaning, right?

For the base I used American Apparel California Trooper. The splatters were American Apparel Army Jacket, Essie Chinchilly, Barielle Cowl of the Wild, and Barielle Aura Angora. Topcoat is Seche Vite. 

Below: photos without flash, in weak daylight. 

Below: With Flash

And here's the mess! I definitely recommend taping your fingers to speed up the clean-up. 

Anyway, I seem to be getting more adept at this; the paint fumes were more bearable this time.
 Tip: You essentially have four steps in this manicure: 
1. base coat and base color
2. tape and splatter L.
add topcoat. 
3. Tape and splatter R
add topcoat.
4. Add A LOT of time in between steps
 to air out your space, especially between steps 2 and 3.  

Other tips:
I used a bobby pin for flinging the paint. I dipped the bobby pin in the polish bottle, and using it like a bubble wand, I blew the polish on my nails. I've tried using a straw, but I am unable to make it splatter; it just sends big globs of polish at my nails.

A paintbrush dipped in acetone works much better than a q-tip. Much more precise. 


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