Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Copper patina

Finally got around to using matte top coat. I keep staring at all the cool things other people do with it, and I've had this one for a while, but never used it. Until...

...I had this neat idea. Two coats of Finger Paints - Tiffany Imposter is the base color, which reminded me of the green oxide on old copper stuff. So to kinda keep with that theme, I used Wet & Wild Craze - Free, Free At Last (gold crackle) in a light and patchy way, then topped it off with Hard Candy - Matte-ly In Love. 

This looks so much better in person. My photography skills are... not that good, really.

I love all the punny names for matte top coats. They make me smile. :D

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Vampy sparkles

Just a little quickie layering today. 

I managed to not paint all over my fingers! Be proud of me!

I started with one careful coat of China Glaze - Seduce Me, added another careful coat of Wet & Wild Wild Shine - Night Prowl, and then halfway down a layer of Revlon - Scandalous.

Both Night Prowl and Scandalous are purple glitters in a black jelly base, but Night Prowl only has microglitter while Scandalous has microglitter and hex glitter. The jelly base lets Seduce Me show through in good light, giving it a more purple-pink tone behind the black and a very subtle gradient look.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I promised nail art with the rest of the Sparks & Stripes collection. Here it comes.... 
 I started with a base of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Golden-I, and sponged on skittles with the glitters to get decent coverage. 

Thumb: Beautiful But Dangerous
Index: Light With Caution
Middle: School of Pyrotechnics
Ring: Explosions After Dark
Pinky: Spontaneous Combustion

After two coats of fast-dry topcoat to smooth out the super-gritty results of the sponging, I painted on one thick coat of Wet & Wild Wild Shine - Black Creme and immediately pressed a crumpled up plastic bag into it to remove the polish in a random pattern. Then another two topcoats.

My index finger turned out best, I think. The rest look more messy than firework-y.

The bag method definitely turned out better than my original idea of using black crackle polish over the glitters. It didn't crack well and the bits that did crack didn't have the firework look I was going for.. it really just looked weird, and I quit after two fingers and went for the bag.

Someday I'll learn to do my nails without making a mess of my fingers. I think I'm finally getting the hang of cleaning up the disaster at least. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Eclipse nails!

So who watched the solar eclipse yesterday?

My boyfriend has a 8" telescope with a sun filter. Guess what got brought out for the occasion? That's right. :D

Took some fun pics, and got inspired to paint some special nails. Ready for it?

At the peak of the eclipse from my area; I didn't get to see it go total

Eclipse shadows!

And then we took the filter off the telescope and did some cool camera tricks with it (the filter, not the filterless telescope. It's a Really Bad Idea to try to look at the sun through a telescope without a filter. Think of how you can start a fire with a magnifying glass... now imagine how much more a telescope magnifies... Got it? Good. Don't try it.)

Oh look, the sun stuck to the phone hehe!

It likes me!

Ok, ok, on to the nails! I started with Finger Paints - Art Nouv-Yellow as a base, then used a black L.A. Colors striper to paint the various degrees of eclipse. Super easy, but so very awesome. 

I have horrid thumb hangnails. Many apologies.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

First half-moon

The other day I stumbled across a display of Wet & Wild's Sparks and Stripes collection. Fantastic set of glitters. Four repromotes from the Spoiled collection, and two new polishes, one of which I'm showing off today along with my first attempt at a half-moon mani:

For this I started with two coats of Wet & Wild Wild Shine - Wild Card, let it dry, and marked off my moons with old garage sale price stickers. Then I added one coat of Revlon - Smoldering, removed the stickers and topped with two coats of Wet & Wild Fast Dry - Stars and Stripes. 

I have a weakness for holo glitter... and this is not only holo, but holo STARS and two sizes of holo bar glitter. I've never seen a polish like it. 

The stars required fishing and fussing with to get them placed, the base is super thick and goopy, and the bar glitters are sparse, but it has a really cool look (and the thick base helps keep the points on the stars from sticking out and snagging on things). I placed the stars with the first coat, then intentionally avoided getting any more stars in the second coat to smooth out the surprisingly few snaggy bits.

For the rest of the collection, I have some fantastic nail art planned. Hopefully it will turn out as well as I imagine it...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mermaid prom queen nails

I mentioned in my last post that I badly wanted Night Sky (from Claire's) to go opaque. Well, I managed to get it there with four coats... I might could have done with three, but I was sensitive about the yellow stains Oledia left me with. :(  Next time I think I'll put this over something to conserve the fabulous glitter. It dried a bit gritty, took 3 coats of topcoat to smooth out properly.

My camera doesn't like rainbows apparently... but trust me, those glitters are HOLO

This is so incredibly sparkly IRL. After putting on layers and layers of Night Sky I thought it needed something extra to fancy up the bling and OMG RAINBOW, so I fished medium holo hex glitters out of one of the polishes from the Precious Metals set and lined them up along the edge of my nail to make a skinny french-tip effect. I cannot get over how awesome this looks!

Seriously. Night Sky throws off moderate rainbows in shade and artificial light... in full sun it's nearly blinding.

Totally prom-queen appropriate, and it keeps making me think of mermaid princesses. I really do not want to take this off, and I've already been wearing it three days. Despite several of the tip glitters having come off and minor chipping thanks to work being hard on my hands, I can't bring myself to reach for the acetone just yet. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Layering madness!

The nails I'm rocking today started as an attempt to kill my huge lemming for Color Club's Take Wing collection by layering Sinful Colors - Glass Pink over something bright and shimmery. I figured it was sheer enough to not mess with the base color, but it's deliciously glassflecky. Sounds like a good idea, no? It came pretty close.

Please pardon the tiny bitten-off nubbin nails... all my horrible nervous habits have been kicking in full force lately

This is one coat of Glass Pink over two coats of Sinful Colors - Oledia. (I've only ever seen one bottle of Oledia, the one I bought... I think Oledia is pretty similar to Let's Meet, though I only own Oledia so can't make a proper comparison. From swatches I've seen, Let's Meet might be more glassfleck instead of shimmer, and possibly a slightly lighter/brighter yellow.)

Edited to add: Oledia stains. Double base coat highly recommended.

I think this idea might save me from having to buy ALL of the Take Wing gorgeousness, though I did give in and buy the green at Claire's (they have the Claire's logo and different names, but a little tiny Color Club logo on the back so I bet it's the same polish). I'm trying so hard to be good and not buy things that there's a good chance I'll just have to pack up and move, but I had a moment of weakness after dealing with trying to get my half-dead phone replaced. It was frustrating and I guess I was going for retail therapy... More on that later.

Anyway. This morning when I did my nails, I kept them to the two layers for a while and then decided I wanted something a little fancier. I thought of doing some nail art, but as I was rummaging around in the stash for my stripers and dotting tools something else caught my eye.

So I layered on one coat of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength - Glass Slipper. I love the sheer silvery flakies!

This was better. I still wasn't quite happy with it, but decided to give it a chance to grow on me and do my errands. Which involved the mall for phone replacment and the resulting retail therapy.

Claire's caught me. I walked out of there with two mini-bottle collections and three single polishes, one mini and two full. All fabulous. Since I wasn't really loving my nails, I decided to go ahead and layer one of the new lovelies on top. I picked the black-and-holo from the Disco Inferno set (mini's didn't have individual polish names that I can tell).

The set has a clear base silver holo bar glitter, a creamy shimmer hot pinky-purple with micro holo glitter, a gunmetal glassfleck, a hot pink creamy shimmer with silver microglitter, and the jewel of the collection (the one I used), holo bar glitter with black bar and small hex glitters, also in a clear base.

Finally happy with this mani :D

Love it. The glitter was sparser than I would have preferred, I had to put it on fairly thick and fuss it around to get a look I liked, but in the end it was totally worth the trouble. The glitters lay nice and flat on the nail, which is fabulous. One layer of topcoat was enough.

I'm looking forward to playing with the rest of the Claire's mini bottles. I also picked up the Precious Metals set, which is all medium hex glitter and clear base, one straight silver holo, one with a lavender and a slightly darker purple, one with green, teal and pink (reminds me of a peacock :D), one with just teal and pink, and one with silver holo and black. To be completely honest, the ones I would have picked out on their own would be the two with black glitter. I had nothing in my stash with black glitter, and it's just so differently awesome. 

I mentioned I picked up the lime green glassfleck, Claire's has them as the Starstruck collection, and they look like pretty much the Take Wing collection without yellow and light blue. For Claire's the particular polish name is Blast Off.

The other mini is a sheer tan shimmer with small silver glitter, bubblegum scented. It was on clearance and too cute to pass up! It smells super yummy too. My first scented polish! I've been wary of them smelling horrid... nice to be proven wrong at least in one case!

And finally (last but certainly not least) I picked up Night Sky. Tiny silver holo and dark blue glitters in a clear base. I'm hoping really hard that it won't be as sparse as the others seem to be, I want to wear it on its own!