X marks the spot

Tuesday's challenge for the Purple Crumpet Fairy Spring challenge was Spring stripes.  As you can tell, I'm a bit behind on the challenge at the moment since this is going up on a Friday! But you win some you lose some and as I'm working on some exciting things for my blog (like a giveaway soon!) I think it's OK to fall behind a little bit.  I'm also heading into my last week (or two days rather) of Nail Tech school and I'm really excited to get my business cards circulating and start a new career doing something I love and am so passionate about!  But on to the nails!  I started with a base coat of butterLONDON Scoundrel, a gorgeous pinky purple.  Then I taped of some stripes on my accent nail and used butterLONDON Lady Muck to create the accent.  I was surprised how much I ended up liking these two colors together. Lady Muck is rather pale and muted while Scoundrel is fairly bold.  But it worked out well in the end. Hope you enjoy and thanks so much for following!

Royal Matte-astrohpe

These nails were sort of inspired by a design I found in a nail art magazine.  They're also an attempt on my part to start using some of the million 3-D nail art supplies I currently own!  I don't know what it is about rhinestones and beads and stickers but I just can't seem to get motivated to use them. Could be that I change my nails every other day?  At any rate I started with a base of ManGlaze Royal Matterimoaning.  Royal Matterimoaning is a velvety navy blue with a ridiculous amount of shimmer to it.  It's SO gorgeous both matte AND shiny which is one thing I love about ManGlaze.  There is no wrong way to wear them!  They also have an incredibly lush formula. This is one coat of Royal Matterimoaning and it lasted with ZERO topcoat and no chips for almost four whole days.  That's a record for me with most non-matte polishes so to have a matte perform that well for me is a win.  I used Revlon White on White and a nail art brush to paint on the swirly design at the top. I left it gem free for a good while but then I felt like it was missing something so I popped a rhinestone on.  I hope you all enjoy and thanks for following!! :)

I Want Candy...

Today's Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge was subtle glitter or flakie bomb.  I have to admit...I have no subtle glitters!  I thought about doing a color/color glitter. Just gold glitter over a gold polish or the like.  I also debated using the one semi-subtle glitter I have, a Deborah Lippmann gold glitter.  But...I just didn't like the effect. So I went in a different direction. It's not really glitter...or flakies...and it's not terribly subtle. But it's darn cool and it screams Spring.  I've seen these in a lot of different places and I'm reading that they're going to be the next big thing (in fact, some companies will reportedly be selling kits to DIY this at home with!).  They look wicked cool but I was worried about the wear ability of it.  Actually, this was super easy and it didn't chip off or get caught on everything like I thought it would.  I would like to find a way to topcoat it more thoroughly though because those little buggers are SHARP and I scratched my skin up a bit with them!  Nothing serious, no broken skin mind you but enough for it to annoy me. Anyway the base on these is China Glaze Sweet Hook and Kinetic Candy.  I held my nails over a bowl and mixed up a bunch of Martha Stewart glass beads which I then sprinkled over the semi-wet polish.  I lightly top coated with Seche Vite but you really have to be careful top coating because it can leave holes or come out SUPER SUPER thick on your nail.  I hope you all enjoy and thanks for following!! 

How do you feel about my candy nails?

****UPDATE: Ciate has trademarked the term 'Caviar manicure/Caviar nails' and is now forbidding bloggers to use the term. I have removed all mention of "caviar mani" from my blog as per request.****

Roses are red, daisies are...

Today's Purple Crumpet Fairy Spring Challenge was large flowers.  These flowers aren't LARGE persay but they're also not tiny so I think they count! I used Models Own Feelin' Blue as a base and then broke out the LA Nail Art striper brushes.  I used pink, yellow, blue glitter, and red glitter to make the flowers, swirls and dots.  It was fairly easy and it came out pretty cute!! They didn't last long though! I'm putting my clinic hours to good use and I have a lot of exciting things coming up for you guys when I graduate in a week! I can't wait! Thanks for following and enjoy!!

The Ugly Duckling

Today's Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge was ducklings.  I thought I had a pretty good idea for this one, but it turned out less than cute on my nails.  I just really don't think yellow and orange flatter my skin tone...and the ducky's eyes are a bit...I don't know...weirder than I envisioned!  But still I think you can tell that they're ducklings and that's half the battle!! I used ManGlaze Butt Taco as a base coat.  It's a GORGEOUS suede orange with little micro orange shimmer in it.  It looks stunning matte as well as shiny but it's just not doing anything for my pale skin!  I then used Color Club Almost Famous to make a reverse french so that my ducks would have little bills.  And last I used Revlon White On White and Hard Candy The End to dot on breathing holes and eyes!  I hope you all enjoy and thanks for following!! It finally feels like Spring here in the mid-west. How are things where you live?

A Day Late and a Design Short

So these were my St. Patricks Day nails. And they are obviously a day late.  They are also quite obviously lacking in the design department.  I had literally ZERO time to do my nails for St. Patricks which makes me epically sad because I love holiday nails and last years were so much fun!  I got through one hand before I fell asleep and then when I woke up from my accidental nap I had to haul butt to get to work with yes, one hand polished. *sigh* Maybe next year!  Anyway the base on these is Color Club Twiggie. Then I stamped shamrocks on with China Glaze Agro, Orly Luxe, and Barry M Spring Green. Enjoy and thanks for following! Hope you all had a fun (and SAFE) holiday!!

Birds Nest View (Courtesy of Pauline)

Ok, most of you probably know by now that in late January I started school to become a nail tech.  My ultimate goal of the course was to learn more about nail health, artificial nails, and hopefully improve my nail art technique.  As it turns out a lot of what I already knew about nail health was correct and while I learned loads about artificial nails, I'm learning more from a classmate who has been doing them for awhile!  On the nail art front...well...yeah. They actually don't even really cover nail art in school.  So that was a fail.  This is no fault of my teacher, who is amazing and has helped me tons.  It's just the way things are.  The bright side of the schooling is that I can now (or will soon be able to) do people's nails either as a living or on the side and it will be 100% legal.  That's right ladies, polishing your friends nails for any kind of payment is actually illegal.  Nice, no?  At any rate I've made some awesome friends in the course and one of them is Pauline.  Pauline is not a nail artist.  She is however, a great paper and pen artist (and one of the funniest people I've met in a long time)! So I finally convinced her to do some nail art on me.  This is the second nail art she's done on me and it was the first time she had a theme to work with.  I told her I needed a birds nest with eggs (for the Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge) and it only needed to be an accent nail.  And this is what she came out with.  I think it actually looks pretty good!!  And I love the color choices! :)  The base coat is Barry M Blue Moon.  The nest is OPI Suzi Loves Cowboys and China Glaze Mahogany Magic.  The eggs are China Glaze Electric Beat and more OPI Suzi Loves Cowboys with some Accessorize Truffle.  How do you guys think she did?

Thanks for following and enjoy!!

Mary had a little...

Today's Purple Crumpet Fairy Challenge was lambs.  I had a few ideas on what I would do for this one, but ultimately I just didn't love any of them after they were on my nails.  So I ended up with this little cutesy lamb and some grass.  I think it's fitting for the theme and it's also very Spring-like! :) I hope you all enjoy! 

Base is: China Glaze Electric Beat. Sheep is made with Revlon White on White, Hard Candy The End, Orly Prelude to a Kiss, and Acessorize School Skirt. Grass is Color Club Twiggie!

Put Your Dupes Up: Wallis vs. Edyta

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

Zoya: Edyta
Retail Cost: $8
butterLONDON: Wallis 
Retail Cost: $14
Wallis is a polish I've been seeing 'dupes' of a lot over the past few months.  I bought Wallis the second it hit stores and I LOVE it.  The cost is the most common reason I hear from others as to why they haven't bought it yet.  It's so worth it and I'd love to find a dupe so that those of you who don't have $14 to drop on one polish can enjoy the subtle glory of it. But funny enough, when I swatch these polishes next to Wallis, even though they look SO similar in the bottle, I've yet to find one which looks anything similar on the nail. Odd how that happens, no?  So how did Edyta stack up? Well let's see...
L to R: Wallis, Edyta, Wallis, Edyta. Photo taken in natural light, partial shade.
Well here we go again.  Wallis is a green/gold color.  It reminds me of a golden apple.  It has a darker green base but a very noticeable olive/gold shimmer going through it.  While Edyta has the same dark green base, the gold shimmer in it is much less compact, much less large and much less noticeable.  It has an overall hunter green kind of appearance and while it shimmers in the sunlight and is very pretty, it just lacks the complexity of Wallis. 
 A close-up picture gives a better idea of what I'm talking about. Edyta is on the left in this picture and Wallis on the right.  If you blow the picture up (and please do!) you'll see that while the base color is very similar, the shimmer is less apparent and more true gold on the Edyta while it's more olive and much more noticeable on the Wallis.  
Verdict: Not even close.  I still really think Wallis is a must have polish for any collection.  It has a very complex and luxe look on the nail.  The formula on it is a little on the thin side and it does require three coats for opacity but it can also be layered over other things to create super cool effects.  The Edyta was a bit underwhelming for me.
Availability: Wallis was released as part of the Winter 2011 collection and can be purchased at Ulta, Nordstrom, and butterLONDON.com.  Edyta is part of the Zoya Wicked collection and is available at select Ulta stores and online at Zoya.com.  

PS: you'll remember awhile back I compared Wallis to Loreal Owl's Night.  I swatched the Edyta next to Owl's Night as well (just to see!) and Owl's Night is much more brown toned than the Edyta.  So no dupes on that one either!!

Thanks for following! Do you have either of these polishes?

Blue Skies Ahead...


Today's Spring Challenge was Mr. Blue Skies. As I've been ill with the flu these past few days I'm using this picture of a mani I did back toward the beginning of February.  I was doing a Spring mani to cheer myself up from the wintery weather at the time and now it seems all too fitting for the theme!! I used Zoya Kirsten as a base and then added clouds with Revlon White on White.  Then I added a little flower using Leighton Denny Hepburn, and Zoya Pippa. Then I added a little bee using Hard Candy The End and added some little dots to make a "bee trail" with the same polish.  The green stems were an off name Indian polish one of my classmates loaned me!  Hope you enjoy and thanks so much for following!!

More skittles please...

Thumb to Pinky: China Glaze Sweet Hook, Zoya Caitlin, Models Own Feelin' Blue, China Glaze Kinetic Candy, OPI Thanks a Windmillion

Today's challenge presents a valuable lesson in why I hate doing my nails in clinic at school.  A little background on what clinic first, in case some of you are unsure.  I started school for Nail Technology on January 18th.  In my state, the law requires that I have 200 hours of practical work before I can graduate and take the state board exam to obtain my license.  This means I must spend 200 hours working in a salon in order to graduate.  Since an actual salon cannot hire me until I have graduated, or at least, not to actually work on clients, we get to work in the school's on site Spa/Salon where we work on clients to get our hours.  Some days are wicked busy and I have client after client.  Other days are incredibly boring and those are the days when I usually do my nails or one of my classmates (usually Pauline...you'll see some of that VERY soon!).  Or occasionally, I actually do them in class.  The good thing about clinic is that it's usually pretty fun and it's a lot of free time where I can do my nails.  The bad thing about it is that it means I spend 70 or more hours away from my house which makes me extremely tired during the week. :/  The nails above were done in clinic.  Our clinic uses OPI products, though we have a handful of Orly and China Glaze polishes, and most of the polish choices are from the Pirates of the Caribbean collection so I usually bring my own.  Have you ever tried to bring 600+ nail polishes to school with you?  Yeah. Not so much.  I estimate that I have between 70 and 100 that I am able to comfortably (sort of ) take with me from home to school everyday.  Apparently I should have included more pastels in that count.  I chose the most pastel-y colors I had for this one and it still came out kind of bold for a pastel skittle.  So...when I got home I did them over...

Much better, no?  For the second skittle I used Orly Prelude to a Kiss and Models Own Bloo Bloo, Beth's Blue, Pastel Pink, and Utopia.  I'm going to try to be more prepared for the next few challenges!!  Thanks for following!

Which skittle do you prefer?

Just because tulips have met....

Today's Purple Crumpet Fairy Spring Challenge was tulips.  Again I have to apologize for the state of the picture because I keep forgetting to bring my camera to class and then on the one day I DID remember I somehow forgot the memory card.  Seventy hour weeks will do that to your brain!!  But I'm surprised how well I've been keeping up with the challenges despite my camera issues.  :)  I just managed to get the entire China Glaze Magnetix and Hunger Games collections and I'm thinking of swatching them for you guys soon.  My swatches aren't the greatest so I'd love feedback from you guys as to if it's something you'd be interested in seeing here. :)  I will be swatching some of them anyway though alongside some polishes I have which are similar to them.  I also am going through my collection slowly but surely and trying to shave my growing 600 + collection down into something more manageable.  So watch my blog sale page closely! :)  Anyway back to the nails.  I used Catrice Am I Blue or Am I Green for the base, OPI Dutch Ya Just Love OPI? for the tulip and Zoya Pippa and Hard Candy The End for the stamen.  Enjoy and thanks for following along!!

Put Your Dupes Up: The Greens

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

Illamasqua: Viridian
Retail Cost:$14.99
Ulta: Envy 
Retail Cost: $7.50
Model's Own: Peacock Green
Retail Cost: £5 (approximately $8) 

I noticed while going through my collection recently, that I have quite a few of these shimmery greenish blue polishes.  Of course they are all gorgeous, but the real question is, are they different? In the bottle they all look very much the same.  The Illamasqua seems to have a bit more shimmer running through it and a bit more of a blue flash to it, but otherwise they seem more or less the same.

So let's check them out on the nail shall we?

L to R: Models Own, Illamasqua, Ulta, Models Own

Pretty much sums it up, no?  The index and little finger in this picture are the Models Own Peacock Green.  It was the only of the three that needed two coats for opacity but I did two coats of all of them anyway.  It's clearly much more blue toned than the other two and surprisingly so since in the bottle it looks VERY green.  It also lost some of it's shimmer when it went onto the nail.  In comparison, the Illamasqua seemed to get MORE shimmery and it's clearly a bit darker and a hair more blue than the Ulta Envy as well.  While it looks teal-ish in the bottle, the Ulta Envy is really more of a true green than the others.

A full sun picture seals the deal.  Of the three, I think the Illamasqua is my favorite.  It has this really amazing blue flash along with a shimmery greenish tint.  It feels and looks very luxe on the nail.  The shimmer in it was also FAR more apparent in person than with the other two.  Overall though, these all have nice finish and texture to them and even though I forgot to use a basecoat (bad me) none left stains on my nails either.  :)

Verdict: Not even close.
Availability: Illamasqua's can be purchased at Sephora.com for $14 each.  Ulta polish is available at Ulta.com and Ulta stores nationwide. Models Own can be purchased at ModelsOwnIt.com.


The Spring Challenge for today was inspired by Daffodil's.  I actually did several nail art designs for this but ultimately, I hated them all.  I'm not super into flowers on my nails and daffodil's are tricky to make look appealing anyway.  So I decided to look at it from a different perspective--the inside.  I was loosely inspired by this picture:

See how the orange stamen sort of creep up the yellow inside of the daffodil?  Pretty, no?  And as there are more floral challenges to come it kept me from having an entire month of flowery nails!!  I hope you all enjoy these, and thanks so much for following!! I noticed that I've now surpassed 200 followers and it's so exciting to me how many of you are following along with me.  I'm still not sure how I feel about giveaways, BUT something very special will be coming soon I promise!!

Base is: Zoya Pippa and orange is Models Own Tangerine Queen

Patch Me Up

Today's Spring Challenge was patchwork pastel nails.  I was a little intimidated by this one.  I've seen some really nice patchwork nails and then some not so nice ones.  I've played around with patchy nails in the past and didn't really love the results but I must say I rather impressed myself with this one.  It came out pretty nice on the first try!! I think adding the white lines was really what made it come together because before that it looked like a hot mess!!  I don't know that my colors are really 'pastel' per say but they're very Spring!!  I started with a base of Barry M Peach Melba and then added random lines using China Glaze Kinetic Candy, Models Own Pastel Pink and Orly You're Blushing. Then I added white lines with an LA Art Nail Art striper in White.  I hope you all enjoy and thanks for following!!

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