Friday, June 29, 2012

It's All in the Family: Claire's, Riley's, and Morgan's Manicures

I visited my good friend over the weekend, and her sister and her two beautiful little girls came over. Naturally, I offered to give them manicures-- matching manicures for all three! Riley picked out the colors: OPI's Into the Night and American Apparel Rouge. I did polka dots and a flower on the ring fingers (it came out more like a pinwheel, but it's still cute). 

Below: The super-deluxe six-handed manicure! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

More Pride Nails

Here's another take on Pride Week Nails incorporating the rainbow flag. For this one I did a base color of American Apparel Cotton. I stamped a rainbow heart using Finger Paints Hue Rang? (purple), Sally Hansen Pacific (blue), Sinful Colors Envy (green), Spoiled Designated Driver (yellow), Wet n' Wild Sunny Side Up (orange), and China Glaze Hey Sailor (red). I like the simplicity of this design. It's a little more subdued than the one I did yesterday. Anyway, hope you enjoy, and Happy Pride Week! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pride Nails Pics and Tutorial!

It's Pride Week again in NYC! I'm going to celebrate from Connecticut (thought about going in, but in the end, felt like having a quiet Sunday at home) with some Rainbow Pride Nails! I will say that I don't consider this manicure a total success. The sky-blue top-color (Revlon Cloud) is a thick polish that doesn't work well for taping. It's not as neat as I would have liked. 

Rainbow Polish Colors:
Red: China Glaze Hey Sailor
Orange: Wet n' Wild 
Yellow: Sinful Colors 
Green: Sinful Colors Envy
Blue: Sally Hansen Pacific Blue
Purple: Wet n' Wild Megashine 

Sky-Blue Top-color: Revlon Top Speed Cloud
Top Coat: Seche Vite
Iridescent Glitter: Pure Ice Oh Baby
Tape: blue painter's tape (but whatever you like will work)

Painting and taping
The exercising of superhuman patience

  1. Paint base-coat
  2. Paint rainbow stripes starting with purple (the darkest)
  3. One layer topcoat (if you mess up the next part, you can take off the polish with acetone without having to re-do the rainbow. This only gives you one extra chance, though, since the acetone will eat through all the coats if you apply it more than once). Let the topcoat dry thoroughly.
  4. Once the topcoat had dried thoroughly, use striping tape (or you can just cut pieces of painting, masking, or scotch tape). Put the tape on your nails in a design you like. 
  5. Apply sky-blue color over the rainbow and tapey mess. Don't let it dry before you start peeling off the tape. 
  6. Once you've removed the tape, revealing your cool rainbow stripes, let it dry. 
  7. (optional: Add one coat Seche Vite. I do because SV doesn't drag my nail art). 
  8. Add one (or two, if you're me) Pure Ice Oh Baby.
Voila! Rainbow Nails!  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Vacation Manicure: Glimmer by Icing

I went to the Cape this week, and the weather was PERFECT. I love the summer. I took the swatch photos on the beach so I could get the ocean in the shots. Massachusetts Bay is a pretty lovely backdrop. :) I bought this polish a while ago, because I thought it looked like shimmery sand. I underestimated how sparkly it is, but I still like it a lot. It has a nice formula that is opaque in two coats. One criticism for this polish is that it looks really bumpy, as if it's a real top-coat eater. The funny thing is, it isn't. One coat of Seche Vite made it respectably smooth to the touch, but I think it needs several coats of topcoat anyway just to smooth out that rough, bumpy look. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Two-Tone Aqua Mani

I was never much of a teal or aqua lover, but it's turning out to be one my favorite colors for manicures. Hey Audrey is one of my all-time favorites, and Finger Paints Vintage Velvet is a dusty, faded teal cream and has a great formula. I don't have a ton of Finger Paints in my collection, but I've noticed that of the ones I have, many are quite dense and saturated and can be one-coaters, which means that they are good for stamping. The lighter aqua is China Glaze Hey Audrey (base color), and the darker is Finger Paints Vintage Velvet (stamping color). I used Red Angel stamp 114. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

American Apparel Cotton

Oh, American Apparel Cotton, you are a high maintenance little minx. Such a pain, but worth it. Cotton is a slightly dirty, off-white, cream. The color is so nice, which is odd, considering how simple it is. But the formula-- ugh! The formula is sooooo baaaaaaaad. It's such a pain. First, it goes on in streaks. Then, it gets thick quickly and won't lie flat no matter how I manipulate the brush. So why this polish? Why not go for one of the many whites and off-whites out there? Answer: I love the color and the finish. There is not even the faintest shimmer or pearliness or glass-fleck. It's the color and finish of milk. It's the nail polish equivalent of a pretty little white cotton sundress-- so sweet and simple. I regret to say it, because of the tricky application, but I think I've found my first summer polish. Right now I'm wearing it on my fingers and toes, and have worn it for FOUR days. For a nail polish hookup queen like me, that's true love right there. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Green Bandana Nails

For this manicure, I used American Apparel Cotton (review forthcoming) as the background, and Icing All That Glitters is Green. ATGIG is a dusty, pretty, medium green with tiny gold glitter (very tiny, more like gold dust). I was surprised to find that this is a good stamping polish, and I was happy to discover that you can see the fine gold particles in the stamp-- take a look at the macro shot below.  Anyway, I was feeling like a cute, summery manicure, and this one hit the spot. :) 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tutorial: Beach Gradient!

Here is a summer manicure for you. I think this one would be particularly cute for kids. Enjoy! 

What You Need

Sand Colored Polish (American Apparel California Trooper)
Lighter sand colored polish (American Apparel Cotton)
Aqua colored polish (China Glaze Hey Audrey)
Medium-dark blue polish (Sally Hansen Pacific Blue)
Orange-red or coral-red Polish (Sinful Color Thimbleberry)
Fine brush for cleanup with acetone
cotton swabs
Makeup sponges

Dotting (with dotting tools or toothpicks)

What You Do
  1. One coat of sand colored polish. I used California Trooper by American Apparel.
  2. Add a second coat of sand-colored polish. Allow to dry. 
  3. Get ready to do your sand and water gradient. I used almost white (American Apparel Cotton), sand (American Apparel California Trooper), aqua (China Glaze Hey Audrey), and cornflower blue (Sally Hansen Pacific Blue). If you want a little assistance with how to do the gradient, I recommend you look at this awesome tutorial by Nailasaurus. Girl has skillz. Yes, her skills are so good, they get a "z." I modified her formula slightly: instead of painting a stripe of the last color of the gradient, I dotted it. 
  4. Behold your pre-cleanup gradient in all its messy glory. 
  5. Behold it from another angle. 
  6. Do some cleanup using a cotton swab dipped in acetone for the larger areas around the nail. Use a brush dipped in acetone for the area very close to the nail. This will let you get nice, clean lines without ruining your design. 
  7. Add a topcoat. I recommend Seche Vite. 
  8. Using toothpicks, freehand a tiny starfish using a coral-red. Think of making each arm of the starfish like a tiny comma with the dots all in the center. Practice it a few time on a piece of paper or tin foil before you do it on your nail. 
  9. Paint another layer of topcoat on the nails that you added the starfish design. 

I hope you like it! :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

American Apparel Rose Bowl

So, I was walking past American Apparel yesterday and I picked up... actually, let me be honest: It was much less casual than that. I drove to the mall with the single goal of going to American Apparel to buy nail polish. When I got to the mall, I stopped at the information booth to pick up a pamphlet with a map so I could find the store faster, and then walked there very deliberately. (I was temporarily waylaid by Sephora, but was frightened out by their exorbitant prices.) I love American Apparel polish. I think they are masters of opaque creams. Anyway, they were having a sale, which was kinda great. I bought six polishes (photo on the bottom) Cotton, Rose Bowl, Rouge, Cameo Blue, Echo Park, and a backup bottle of California Trooper, my most often-used polish. Boring, yes; surprising, no.). 

Here, I'm reviewing Rose Bowl. The formula is a solid two-coater. I liked the bottle color, which seemed more delicately pink, or rosy, as indicated by its name. On the nail it's a full-on, bright, salmon pink. Yowza. The color is also just a little on the mom-polish side. I have mixed feelings about this. Pro: it's not a bad color for my skin. Con: I feel like I should have a fried-out poodle perm, bolero pants, and high-top Reboks. Pro: the 80s are having a renaissance. Con: The 80s are having a renaissance. You see my quandary. Anyway, I've decided to live on the edge and leave it on. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

And the Winner Is...

The winner of the OPI Spiderman minis is Judy M.! Congratulations, Judy! And thanks to everyone who threw their hat in the ring for the drawing and for reading Tin Roof Nails! 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Orly Buried Alive in Daylight

The photos in my review of Orly's Buried Alive were taken in my light box, but here are some additional photos that I took today in sunlight. It looks nice in the lightbox; it looks gorgeous in sunlight. I mean, Good Lord, look at it. It's like molten bronze. So pretty. Okay, I'm done gushing now. Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway

Orly Buried Alive Swatch and Review

Okay, first of all, let me say that I really like this polish. I love the color; it's like glass-flecked burnt-toffee, or dark, caramelized onions. It's rich and warm and interesting. The formula is somewhat gloppy, but I solved this easily with polish thinner. My larger criticism is that I'm not sure what it's doing in a spring collection. I have the same criticism for China Glaze's Hunger Games collection, which was very disappointing and just odd. All those subdued, dark, rich hues, and the dusty rose, and the flaming orange-- those suggest fall to me. I hope this isn't part of a growing trend, and in September, when I am in the mood for burnt reds and oranges, I will be presented with hyacinth-blue and lilac. However, I bought Buried Alive because it's gorgeous, and come fall, when I automatically reach for colors like this, and it's no longer easily available to buy, I'll be very happy I bought it out of season. Some of my favorite colors are in this family: OPI Holiday Glow, OPI Shim-Merry-Chic, and Sally Hansen Bronze Ablaze. In fact, these three colors are pretty hard to find (and in the case of Holiday Glow, almost impossible), so if you like these bronzy, burnished, slightly blackened colors, I recommend you get this one now, while it's easy to find. 

*Also, this is the last day to sign up for the Spiderman Giveaway

Friday, June 1, 2012

OPI Number One Nemesis

I like this polish. I know that the Spiderman polishes have received some criticism for being a little uninspired, especially considering that two of the colors are dead-on dupes for Chanel colors (I Spotted the Lizard = Peridot, and Number One Nemesis = Graphite). While I understand that point of view, I think this color is complex and gorgeous, and frankly, since I hope I will never, not ever, fork over $25 + for a single nail polish-- unless in addition to nail polish, the bottle also contains a genie-- I'm totally fine with two Chanel dead-on dupes. Thanks, OPI! :) Formula and application were standard OPI. In other words, good and 2-3 coats. 

Aaaaand, in case you didn't know, this polish just happens to be included as a mini in my giveaway! If you haven't entered yet, throw your hat in the ring. New followers are welcome to enter! 


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