Sunday, January 29, 2012

What a compliment!

Another quick way I like to spice up my mani is by putting complimentary colors together. In the same way I did in the Modern Gold Diggers mani. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

Revlon "Hot for Chocolate" accent finger Milani "Gold Glitz"

Ulta "Mint Condition" (thumb, middle, pinky) Orly Bailamos

Ulta "Total Eclipse" accent nail China Glaze "Brownstone"

Close to My Heart

There are some colors that truly touch my spirit as corny as that sounds. These colors make me feel so gorgeous, and applying them only enhances my initial love for them in the bottle. They are definitely Close to My Heart. Thoughts? Feelings?  Concerns?

Essence "Date with the Night" is one of my all time favs. This is $.99 of pure joy

Nina Ultra Pro "Mossy Britches" is the prettiest green I own. It combines emerald. peridot, with gold undertones. Gorgeous!

OPI "Designer De Better" the first swipe of the brush I literally gasped in awe. It's like liquid platinum with flecks of gold. Amazing!

Ulta "Dance Teal Dawn". This is so deep and true to it's name. Literally the color dances in the light and switches from blue to green and back again. Great teal. 

Orly "Ingenue" reminds me of OPI "Its  My Year" It goes from fuchsia to the golden tan sparkle you see below. Another one that dances in the light.

China Glaze "First Mate" is a great blue that reminds me of my favorite jeans. Its the only blue that in my mind feels like a neutral color that I can wear with anything. 

China Glaze "Unplugged". I was looking for a metallic chocolate brown and I found it in this color. I have a love of earth tones and metallics and this color combines both. 

SH Diamond Collection "Save the Date" This is my absolute favorite color I have EVER worn. Not ever seen, but I have to say when I picked this up I didn't think I would love this so much. Lets' just put it this way: if the house was burning down I'm coming for this bottle. 

Opposites Attract

When I saw the magnetic polish on a fellow nail polish bloggers site (I can't remember which) I just had to have it. I was fascinated by the idea of drawing designs out of magnetic properties in nail polish. Especially since I'm design-challenged, this was perfect for me and seemed so easy to do. My first magnetic polishes were gifted to me by my husband for Christmas 2011 and he picked out the Golden Bronze and Changing Lilac from the Layla brand. This brand is cheaper than Nail, Inc. and doesn't have the lip guard attached to the top of the magnet. The magnet is also not that strong, but the colors are lovely. Then I heard that Icing was coming out with an even more affordable set of magnetic polishes so I had to try. I called this Opposites Attract as a pun on opposing forces of magnets. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

Very blue under the light and the designs show through nicely. 

Will add the other 3 magnetic colors I have in a later post. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nati's Speckled Egg

I cannot say enough about American Apparel colors. The first two I bought were Peacock featured here and the Lopez Canyon. Before American Apparel my collection consisted of lots of metallics, frosts, glittery, flat toned polishes. Then I found my soul with these colors. They speak to my style and how I would describe myself in colors. For whatever mood I'm in I can match it to an AA color. So here is my version of a speckled egg. My little cousin said that's what the ring finger looked like so I felt it appropriate to name this mani after her. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

American Apparel "Peacock" accent nail Old Navy "Tight Taupe" with Confetti "Tazmanian Devil"

Crackin' Up

When crackle first came out I was intrigued but not sure if I like the deconstructed look. Then I started seeing all kinds of combos and decided to try some for myself. As with most new nail polish fads I chose to experiment with the ring finger or thumb as an accent. I have many more manis to come with crackle since I saw how cool they can look in triangles and other fun shapes. I called this Crackin' Up as a pun on the crackle effect. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

Revlon "Cloud" with SH "Ink Splatter"

Ulta "Capri Coral" with SH "Fractured Foil"

Ulta "Dance Teal Dawn" with SH "Fractured Foil" accent nail

Take your Best Shot

I wish I was as talented as many of the nail blog artists I see online, but I'm not in area of drawing and imagery. So SH Salon Effects is the next best thing in my case. I like these because obviously the designs are pre-made, varied in nature, and can be complimented with other polishes. The only drawback to SH Salon Effects is that they have to be applied quickly to the nails otherwise the design will stretch and become distorted. The remaining applications in the package will dry out if you don't use them quickly, so unless you seal them in something air tight, you don't get to use all that's in the package. Here are a few of the designs I've used in conjunction with my other polishes. I call this Take Your Best Shot because this is my best shot at making elaborate designs. Lol Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

Design is Laced UP (I think because its discontinued) and the nail polish is SH Quick Sand

Design is Misbehaved. This one is my favorite by far. The bling alone, along with the design I felt was very flattering. I left this on for 8 or 9 days which is a long time for me.

Design is Brattlesnake

Design is Cut It Out and nail polish is Ulta "Concrete Evidence"

Design is Kitty Kitty and nail polish is Ulta "Lotsa Luxe"

Gradually Gray

Sometimes I have trouble coming up with a concept and I ask my husband for suggestions. He sees all my manis, and he has his own preferences as well. So this time he said "paint your nails gray, you haven't done that in a while". So I looked through my grays and taupes that were slightly similar and thought wow, these looks like a gray rainbow. So I tried with the grays that I have to create a gradient effect. Its a good way to compare colors, but it's also a subtle effect on an otherwise bland manicure. I call it Gradually Gray because I started with taupes and then went into grays. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

From thumb to pinky: Ulta "Taupe on a Rope", Ulta "Fine Pruned", Revlon "Stormy", Essie "Chinchilly, Ulta "Concrete Evidence.

Since this mani, I have acquired two more grays that I would like to add in place of the 2 taupes. Part II to follow on another post. 

Cold Kiss

Typically I wouldn't wear a color combo like this. I am definitely not a red and black girl, but I had to support my friend's band SoulSwitch. Check out their page here So inspired by one of their songs named Cold Kiss I named this mani, since the base is red and it made me think of lipstick. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

Revlon "Right Said Red" and SH Crackle "Ink Splatter"

Best of Both Worlds

Here is another creation that I saw in InStyle magazine last year. Firstly the concept of Matte nail polish was foreign to me. In all my years of being exposed to nail polish the concept was in total contrast to the purpose of top coat. To shine, seal and deliver the new look of the mani, not to dull it down and make it look like chalk. So when I saw this black mani showcasing both finishes, I had to try it. I call it Best of Both Worlds because it shows both finishes together beautifully. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

Nicole "Razzler Dazzler Matte" and Seche Vete topcoat on tips. The only thing with this mani is you have to be careful when applying lotion to your hands. It takes away from the intense contrast of the finishes by moisturizing the matte polish. A suggestion would be to add an actual matte topcoat first and then add the SV to the tips. 

Metal-bling French

For the longest time I couldn't do a freehand french manicure with the deep curve that I prefer. It always seemed to come out straight across, some edges wider than others, or too curved with a slight V in the middle. When I started wearing my nails in the oval shape it helped me make the exact type of french tip that I prefer which I think looks much more natural. I call this Metal-bling French because of the silver and gold parring. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

Ulta "Lotsa Luxe" for base and Pure Ice "Silver Mercedes" on the tips

Strike One

The half moon mani was the coolest thing to me and I was determined to try it when I saw it in InStyle's magazine last year. Such an easy style, and quick way to save your 2-3 day old polish when the edges are wearing thin. I call this Strike One because not only was it my first attempt, but I also didn't like the combination of colors I picked out. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

Half moons are in Ulta "Fine Pruned" and body is Sinful Colors "Secret Admirer" For some reason the SC looks blue, but this is a sparkly black color. I imagine its due to the effect of the purple under color. 

Modern Gold Diggers

Simple designs like this I feel showcase complimentary colors well. I call this Modern Gold Diggers because it's a cleaner version of the sponged gold tips I've seen on other nail polish blogs. Very easy and draws a lot of attention, even the guys at work commented on this mani. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

 HM "Looks Good on You" and "Gold Treasures" 

Tracks on a Dusty Road

I was thinking about good books that I have read which inspired me and I came up with this mani. I call it Tracks on a Dusty Road because the crackle looks like tire tracks and the color I used looks like dust. The book which inspired me was Dust Tracks on a Road by: Zora Neale Hurston. She chronicles her life and the color I thought was close to her skin color as well.

The base color is Ulta "Taupe on a Rope" and the crackle by SH "Ink Splatter"

Crayola Bonanza

I have so many colors that I love so I decided to start using them together. These colors are all inspired by Crayola Crayons. For added effect I added some glitter, because of course glitter makes everything better. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

From pinky to thumb Revlon "Right Said Red", China Glaze "Westside Warrior", American Apparel "Lopez Canyon", China Glaze "First Mate", HM "Wanna Pepperoni". Confetti "Tazmanian Devil" as glitter on top. 

Christmas 2011 Mani

Once I got my dotting tools I was anxious to put them to use. I came up with a simple design that I thought was going to have the cutest effect. I realized that just like the striper I need to allow the tool to do the work. I pushed the dotting tool too far into the polish when I was trying to add the green, so I then had to drag the polish around the moon to create one fluid line. I still like how it came out. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

Colors I used where OPI Designer De Better (half moon) Rimmel Rags to Riches (stripe) Pure Ice All Nighter (red body)

Kiss Nail Dress

One of the new inventions in polish that I love for design-challenged people like me is the peel and stick designs. I typically use SH Salon Effects because the designs are just so gorgeous, but I was intrigued when I saw Kiss Nail Dress for $3 less than SH Salon Effects. What's more is that it boasts for tips and TOES! So I had to try it and here are the results
 After about two days I added Sinful Colors in Secret Admirer to add the Half-Moon Mani below. The quality of the strips is very good. They are easy to apply and take well to lots of manipulation where SH Salon Effects doesn't. They also don't all have to be used at once, like SH Salon Effects which dry out if you don't use them all at once.
 For my toes I added the black tip to bring out the design more. They fit my toes pretty well, except for the bug toe on the left side. I centered it as much as I could and I don't think it was noticeable. I was able to remove the strips like a sticker and then rub off the excess adhesive. Def repurchase. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?

American Apparel Stripes

This is my first attempt at stripes using an actual striper. I was going for the wall paper post that Cute Polish on YouTube did. My version was a lot more bold and contrived if you ask me. I have to get used to using the striper and letting the brush do the work. I used all American Apparel colors and they are definitely my favorite kind of polish. The formulation is great: creamy, rich, consistent, and the bottle is big and the brush is nice and long. So here is the result:

The base color is Butter, then from L to R: Peacock, Lopez Canyon, Port. Next time I will space the stripes out more and let the base color show in between. I was so focused on getting them completely straight that I ended up making them touch. Thoughts? Feelings? Concerns?