New technique: Needle Marbling!

This is my very first attempt at needle marbling.  I think it came out pretty well.  The purple is the needle marble and then to make it a little more festive (and to cover a few mistakes...shhh) I added some silver lines with a striping brush.  I actually really liked this mani and it lasted a few days which is a record for my nails, but it was a bit time consuming since it was my first try.  I'll definitely be trying this technique again in the future though!! Today is my last day of regular nails before I attempt the Purple Crumpet Fairy's 31 Days of Christmas challenge.  This time of year is HELLA hectic for me so I make no promises! But I'll try to do as many as I can. :)

Enjoy and thanks for following! Have you ever tried needle marbling?

Base is: butterLONDON Muggins
Marble is: Barry M Indigo
Stripes are: Orly Sea Gurl

Stripe attack!

Lately I've been SO sick and SO tired. I literally went to bed at 7PM twice this past week.  I've been busy during the day and a week long migraine only added to my misery.  Last night I finally started to feel better and after I packed up a few swap packages I took off my polish.  I intended to re-do it this morning so I sat down with a nail wheel last night and played around with some designs.  This was one of them.  It took me some time this morning to get the motivation to actually do the art and then after I finished I realized I forgot the shimmer polish and had to start over. Hate that.  But I think my technique improved the second time around!  This actually looks much more intricate than it really is.  It took me no time at all to do from start to finish but everyone who has seen it thinks it's professional and has mentioned there's NO way I did it myself.  I'm even more proud of the fact that it's done entirely free hand.  Even the leopard print which I normally would use my trusty Konad stamp for, is free handed on this one.  I may do a tutorial for it in the future if I get enough interest because it really is SUPER easy and it looks really cool on your nails!!

Enjoy and thanks for following!! I'm off to set up my Christmas tree! :)

Base is: Models Own BlooBloo with one coat of Piggy Polish in I and Love and Blue
Leopard is done with: Models Own Concrete, China Glaze Ingrid, and Models Own nail art pen in Black
Stripes are done with LA Nails striper in White and dots are China Glaze Blonde Bombshell

The Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge: Week Three

I had the pleasure of choosing the subject for this week's Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge and I chose: 
You least favorite polish in your collection
It didn't take me any time at all to figure out what I would wear this week.  
The color: China Glaze Classic Camel

I picked up this color a few months back at an Ulta for around $2.  At the time I was stoked about finding it because I had every other polish from the Vintage Vixen collection and I thought the nude color looked gorgeous in the bottle.  Well...guess what? It looks hideous on my nails.  If you need reminding how bad it looked, you can check out my original post here.  Almost three hundred polishes later and it's still my least favorite. Why do I keep it you ask? Well, I guess I just can't bear to break up the collection!  I recently picked up some Essence Rock You top coat from a friend in Spain and I was excited by the prospect that it might make this polish more wearable for me.  The results?

I actually like it.  It's still not my favorite color and I could use some practice working with the Rock You topcoat because you can see some visible streaks.  But otherwise, I think it made the polish a much nicer color!  It remains to be seen if I'll wear it again!! But I'm excited to see what other results I can get from the smoky finish topcoat!! I put some Catrice In The Bronx on the tips for a little added twist! :)

What's your least favorite color of polish in your collection?

Don't forget to check out what Debbie, Claire, Kerrie, Zoeand Emma came up with for their worst polish mani's!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

So I pretty much totally slacked off on the Halloween nails and I wanted to try to make up for it on Thanksgiving!   When I thought of Thanksgiving the first thing that came to my mind is those handprint turkeys that everyone makes at some point during their childhood. You know, trace your hand, draw feathers on the fingers and a turkey head on the thumb?  So I instantly thought that was what I wanted to do.  But then I kept thinking about it and it seemed like something everyone else would be doing.  So I asked my go-to person (my wonderful husband) what he thought I should do.  He said, 

"Why don't you make your fingers feathers and then do a turkey head on your thumb?" 

So I thought, if both of us think it's a good idea, it must not be half bad!  I searched the web this morning and was surprised that I actually couldn't find any turkey nails like mine.  So I'm glad I chose to do them after all!! Choosing the colors was the hardest part.  I wanted pastels at first but it just didn't jive with the fall vibe so I ended up with red, yellow, green and orange.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday (those of you who celebrate) and are able to enjoy time with your families! :)

Pinky is: Revlon All Fired Up
Ring is: Barry M Spring Green
Middle is: butterLONDON Cheeky Chops
Index is: butterLONDON Jaffa
Gold on feathers is: Color Club Gingerbread Man
Thumb is: Orly Prince Charming, Orly Orange Punch, Revlon All Fired Up, Ulta Snow White, and Hard Candy The End.

Get in loser, we're going shopping...

Pink Wednesday is here again.  This week I sort of stumbled onto my pink mani because I happened to get a free Zoya in my monthly Birchbox.  The color was Izzy and really, while I LOVE this color I don't think it's appropriate for my age range! My husband pointed out that it sort of looks like those little girls press on nails you buy at the store.  I do love the color though so I'm hoping I can find a way to use it that looks less childlike!  The flowers were from another free polish, Trophy Wife, that was gifted to me recently. :) You can't beat free polish!!

Enjoy and thanks for following! How do you feel about foil finishes?

Base is: Zoya Izzy
Flowers are: Essie Trophy Wife and Nicole by OPI Give me The First Dance

The Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge: Week Two

This weeks Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge was chosen by Kerrie. The challenge was to do a mani using your birthstone as the inspiration.  My birthstone is the amythyst.  The Greeks believed amethyst gems could prevent intoxication, and medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle. Amethysts are believed to heal people and keep them cool-headed.  This was a bit challenging for me because as it turns out, while I have MANY purple polishes in my collection, not many had the pinkish purplely glow about them that I felt an amethyst should have.  So I did some hunting on the web.  I was starting to think I'd never figure out a great amethyst mani when I came across this picture:

I've seen a lot of amethyst in my life, but never one like this.  I love the way that the soft pink play s against the white and the deep purple.  So I rounded up my polishes and set out to replicate it.  This is what I came up with:

I originally intended to do a flat base and then use chevron mani guides to cover the tips while I painted over them with the deep purple.  That plan was quickly scrapped when I found out I had no guides.  So instead I loosely sponged on the purple and then did a glitter gradient from the bottom upwards.  You can't really see it in the picture, but the purple color also had a sublte shimmer about it which made this mani incredibly sparkly and really interesting to look at!  Enjoy and thanks for following! 

Don't forget to check out what Debbie, Claire, Kerrie, and Emma came up with for their birthstone mani's!

Base is: OPI Steady as She Rose
Purple Sponging is: China Glaze Senorita Bonita
Glitter is: Ulta After Party

It's not my fault you're like, in love with me, or something...

It's been awhile since I did a simple french manicure.  I usually like to have something more 'artistic' on my nails but there's something to be said for the simplicity of a fancy french as well!  It was also a good opportunity for me to test out my striping skills!! I didn't love the stripes I created so I threw some dots in there to cover it up! I think the end results was pretty good. :)

Enjoy and thanks for following!  Have you ever covered bad nail art with MORE nail art?

Base; Deborah Lippmann Bring on the Bling
Tips: Ulta Snow White
Smile line stripe: LA Nail Art Pens in Gold Glitter
Accent nail: OPI The One That Got Away, Orly Sea Gurl and Models Own Nail Art Pen in Black

Elven Gold

Awhile back I got a TON of nail supplies in the mail.  I mean, a TON.  Decals, stickers, foils, lazer foils, striping name it.  Foils were one thing I was really excited and yet terrified to use!  I've heard it's tricky, it takes practice, it can be a I picked the foil I liked the LEAST from the ones I had received and gave it a go on one nail.  It came out rather nicely though I did learn some things from round one.  The most important thing I learned: make sure there's glue on every surface of the nail!! No glue = no foil.  And there's no going back if you mess up.  Anyway a few tries later I felt I had a good handle on it so I decided to incorporate it into a mani.  The execution of this manicure isn't the problem.  It 's the concept.  The foil wasn't as gold as I thought it was and the gold I used at the base of my nails wasn't so much shiny as sparkly.  So it looks a little wonky.  But it made it 24 hours still which is a miracle given that it's foil and matte!!  

Enjoy and thanks for following!! Have you ever used nail foils?

Gold is: Orly Luxe
Green is: Zoya Veruschka
Ring finger is done with Elven Gold nail foil.

The Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge

 A few weeks back two of the wonderful ladies in my International Swap group started up their own weekly challenge.  I don't know about you, but some days it's really a challenge for me to find nail inspiration. Especially this time of year when it seems like I'm always running a mile a minute to get everything done!! So they were kind enough to let me join in on the fun. :)  That means every Friday I'll be doing a new Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge!  You can join along as well (all the ladies involved are SO sweet and helpful!) by clicking the link on the side of my blog.  Or just sit back and enjoy the fun along with me!!

This weeks challenge was: The Oldest Nail Polish You Own

I actually LOVE this idea because it gives me a chance to give you guys a little background on my polish love.  I've been painting my nails since I was around 13.  In fact, for Christmas one year my parents bought me a little Konad-esque nail stamper.  I loved that thing...until it inevitably broke.  When I got older I started playing tennis and running track and in between sports and other activities I kind of lost the passion I had for painting my nails.  And let's face it, polish and sports are not conducive! I can't tell you how many times I broke my nails playing tennis.  So I mostly kept them wicked short.  :/  This past January I stumbled across a nail art blog called The Daily Nail.  I'm not even kidding you I spent about three hours on that page perusing EVERY single blog Melissa ever posted.  I was in love.  More so, she had stamps.  I used to have stamps.  I was  hooked.  Not just by the idea that stamping was still in existence but by the fact that there were so many possibilities to what you could do with your nails with just a few basic tools.  I rounded up EVERY single bottle of polish I could find around my house.  I ended up with 17 (which is probably still more than average) most of them were pink or sheer. Gross.  Still...I grabbed some toothpicks, some art brushes (I also like to paint!), and all my polish and I made some pretty hideous nail art!!  I also ordered some stamps.  Since then I've discovered new brands like Orly and OPI and my most favorites: butterLONDON, Barry M and Models Own.  I've learned about (and collected) dotting tools, nail art brushes, top and base coats...and a lot of stamps. Which honestly I don't use as much as I thought I would.  It's been a fun journey. And here I am, over three hundred polishes later, frantically searching my collection for the oldest polish I own.  And boy is it a doozy.  If my polish were a child it would be in high school right now because I bought it nearly 14 years ago. Without further adieu:

 Mary K Crystal Ice.  Don't fall too in love with it, 'cause I'm sure there's no buying it now!! I got this color in a grab bag at a Mary K party I attended with a friend.  Two things I learned at that party: 1) I am allergic to Mary K cosmetics, and 2) I hate sheer nail polish.  At the time, I hated the sheer, shimmery, paleness of this color.  And as a result it's been sitting in my drawer for...well, round about 14 years as I only ever used it once.  It has a pretty decent formula though, as I didn't have to thin it and it went on and dried excellently. When I bought it I didn't know about layering or multiple coats or half of what I know about nail polish now.  When I pulled this out of my drawer I was DREADING trying to use it for nail art.  And I learned that...well...I kind of love it.  It's not really a sheer polish like I originally thought, but rather, it's a jelly.  This is three coats and while it's not opaque I love the way it makes my nails look sophisticated and neat.  It reminds me of another favorite of mine, Essie Like Linen but it requires less coats and has a wonderful, subtle, shimmer to it.  So I decided to do some simple, retro nail art over the top.

 I added some tips and side 'panels' with some Barry M Peach Melba and then a little stripe of Zoya Caitlin and some dots in Orly Frisky.  Easy, pretty, and still super jelly-fied! LOVE :)  

What's the oldest nail polish you own?

Don't forget to check out what Debbie, Claire, and Kerrie came up with for this Friday's challenge!

Leave it at matte

I love matte nails.  The only thing I love more than matte nails is suede nails!! This is Suzi Ski's in the Pyrenee's and this particular color reminds me of pencil lead! It's flat, but shimmery and the perfect color of grey.  I love the OPI suede's too because they seem to have better formula than other brands.  I had a similar color in my polish stash which I keep thinking I'm going to get around to swatching as a matte to see if they're dupes.  It turns out that once matted, China Glaze Jitterbug (seen on the tips) is NOT a dupe.  But they look incredibly similar in their natural states! Anyway I have an epic post for tomorrow: My very first Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge! And I'm so excited to share it with all of you! So I'll keep this one short and sweet. :)

Enjoy and thanks for following!

Put your Dupes Up: Wallis vs. Owls Night

It's time for another edition of Dupes Up! This weeks contenders:

butterLONDON: Wallis from the Winter/Fall 2011 collection.
Retail cost: $14
Loreal: Owl's Night from the Project Runway Colors Take Flight Collection.
Retail Cost: $5.79

It's starting to look like the color of Fall might be olive green shimmer.  I've seen this same color from butterLONDON, Loreal, Julep, and numerous others recently.  I bought the butterLONDON Wallis when it first came out a few months back and I LOVED it.  Still, how many of the same shade does one collection need?  I skipped signing up for Julep because, even for the $5 start up fee it seemed silly when the polish I was meant to receive was a close relative of Wallis.  So naturally, when everyone started going crazy over Loreal's Owls Night, I remained unimpressed.  I saw it a few times in various stores but always felt the same, "Isn't that JUST like Wallis?"  Well, eventually, I broke down and bought it.  And here's the answer:

In the bottle, they do look quite similar although they are most certainly NOT dupes.  The real question is, dupes or no, is it still necessary to have both in your collection?  Wallis is much more olive than Owls Night.  And it's shimmer is more compact.  A close up reveals the difference:

Owls Night is on the left here.  You can see that it's a deep olive/brown base with golden olive shimmer.  It's not as compact as Wallis and the base is more evident.  Wallis is brighter, greener, and has more compact gold shimmer throughout.  Here's the results on my nails.  These pics are artificial light and no topcoat.

Dupes? Definitely not.  Similar...well, maybe.  But in my opinion they're not even really cousins.  Owls Night could be mistaken for a brown rather than a green (although next to the browns in my collection it looks decidedly olive) while Wallis is unmistakeably green.  Wallis also has an obvious gold flash to it while Owls Night is more of a subtle shimmer.  If you can still find Owls Night, it was part of the Project Runway Colors Take Flight Collection,  it's definitely worth having in your collection.  Both were opaque in two coats and both are shiny and smooth on the nail.  If I could only have one of them, I'd go for Wallis since I feel the color is more unique.  But they're both beautiful!

Thanks for following! What's your favorite color for Fall?

and the peacock said...

'What is the point of this silent beauty, if I am defeated by the sound of my own voice?'

Has anyone else seen the play, Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey?  I had a chance to read it recently, and it ran at the Abbey Theatre from September 21 up until yesterday evening.  It's not a happy play by any stretch as it's about the impact of the Irish Civil war, but it's informative and definitely worth seeing or reading if you're able.  Having read the play (and after seeing a lot of peacock nail art!) I thought why not do some peacock nails myself?  Of course I didn't do such a literal interpretation of them!! But I think you can see the influence. :)  Have you ever done nail art after being inspired by a book or play?

Enjoy and thanks for following!

Base is: Catrice I SeaYou
Circles are: Orly Luxe
Dots are: Models Own Prussian Blue
Top Coat: Seche Vite

La Moss only grows on the north side of the tree...

A few weeks ago I went to Michigan for a few days to relax and get some down time.  I needed a mani that was going to not only last for three days but also, that I wouldn't get sick of!  So I perused through my swatch wheels and landed at La Moss.  This color was on my wishlist for a LONG time before I finally snagged it during a BOGO event at Ulta.  In true Ulta salesgirl style, the girl who came to 'assist' me tried to talk me out of La Moss.  She told me it was not pretty on the nail, not dark enough, and not the color of the bottle.  And she tried numerous times to sell me Teddy Girl instead despite the fact that it: a)looks NOTHING like La Moss and is therefore not a good substitution and b) I had already told her a hundred times I already have Teddy Girl.  So I finally made it out of the store with La Moss and then it ended up in my drawer for awhile.  I have to say, it's everything I dreamed it would be.  It's very nearly black and yet still very clearly red.  This is three coats and it's definitely bottle color.  It's also a jelly so it has this nice squishy quality to it which I love.  And it shined like....IT SHINED.  I got SO many compliments on this mani.  The accent nail was a gift I received in a swap.  It's a Sally Hansen nail strip.  I had been wanting to try them and I was stoked to get a set for free.  It was amazingly easy to use and even though it's a glitter it was dead smooth on my nail.  No topcoat needed.  This mani went through three days of rain, freezing weather, wind, driving, and everything in between and there wasn't a chip in sight when I returned home.  Oh and the glitter removal.  A breeze.  You can't beat that!

Enjoy and thanks for following!!

Deborah Lippmann Dance Music

Last week was extra crappy  for me.  I had SO much to do and not nearly enough time to do it all.  And the combination of running here, there and everywhere, PLUS being sick...just didn't work out too well.  I paid for it earlier this week when I spent two days in bed with a fever over 100.  Fun.  To cheer me up my lovely husband bought me some new Lippmann glitters. Let's face it glitter IS the way to a girls heart. :P  Part of what he got me was this mini set called Dance Music. It has three glittery polishes; blue/green, grey/holo, and pink/purple.  On to the swatches!! These are all taken in natural light, three coats, and no topcoat.

 First up is Just Dance.  I think this might be my favorite of the three.  It has blueish greenish micro glitter in an aqua jelly base.  Of the three, I found that it seemed to have the most depth and the color built the most quickly with this color.  I also liked that while the other two have several glitter sizes and colors, this one was simply a blue which glinted green in the light. It was subtle, but lovely.

 Next up is Dancing in the Dark.  To me this is a glitter version of Orly's Rock Solid.  I wasn't a huge fan of Rock Solid and that didn't change with this glitter.  The base is a concrete grey and it has tiny silver glitter and larger, round holo glitter.  To me, the holo glitter seemed to break up the harmony of the silver glitter.  I liked that they glinted in different colors in the sun and I can see how a flat grey/silver glitter might have been boring but I think I'd have liked it better if all the glitter were a uniform size.  Still, it's a gorgeous shade. The jelly base on this one was the most sheer.

And finally, we have Flash Dance.  Flash Dance is a pink/purple glitter in a magenta base.  Like the Dancing in the Dark, this glitter has multiple sizes; the pink is much larger than the purple.  It's pretty obvious in the picture but in person it has a much more uniform appearance.  I liked the fun colors in this one though. It feels a bit like a party on your nails!  Second to the Just Dance, this was the most opaque in the collection.  It also seemed to pack the most punch on the nails.  Gorgeous.

Thanks for following! Did any of you pick up this mini set?

Makes me feel all warm and...

This is Warm & Fozzie by OPI. It's from the new Muppets collection and honestly, upon seeing the swatches, it was the only one that made me say, "I NEED THAT."  It did not dissapoint.  This is two coats and it's opaque, sparkly, and totally smooth.  You can't tell so much from the picture but it has tiny flecks of red and green and blue and copper and gold and...yeah. There's a lot of colors in there!! When it dries it looks like a copper foil with incredible sparkle factor!  I decided to let it shine and just threw a bit more bling on the tips!  A perfect, easy, fall mani. :)

Enjoy and thanks for following!!

Base is: OPI Warm & Fozzie
Tips are: butterLONDON West End Wonderland
Top Coat: Seche Vite

Nothing's Gonna Change My World...

These nails were sort of spur of the moment nails.  I got a TON of nail art supplies from Dollar Nail Art and I've been itching to use them.  I've seen a lot of bloggers and artists using striping tape in various ways and I thought I'd try it out on something simple.  I also wanted to try out my new Orly Mineral FX collection so I started with two coats of Orly Stone Cold.  It was pretty. VERY blingy.  But a bit TOO much for me.  So I covered that with one coat of Deborah Lippmann's Across the Universe.  It's a beautiful color (which unfortunately does not play well with my Seche Vite) and it looked great over the Stone Cold.  Then I decided it was a little too So I popped two quick tape stripes over the ring finger and...voila! Instant nail art.  (These weren't even totally dry when I got a compliment on them from a clerk at the electronics store!).  You might notice that my thumb is MIA in some of the pictures recently.  It's because it split halfway down my nail and rather than patch it and baby it for weeks I just cut it off. The growing back process is slow :(  I think I might like the pics better without the thumb though, so I'm debating whether to leave it out or give it an encore when it grows back. Time will tell and opinions are appreciated! :)

Enjoy and thanks for following!

Base is: Orly Stone Cold
Glitter is: Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe
Top Coat: Seche Vite
Striping Tape: Dollar Nail Art

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