Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cult Sale!

I love me a good polish sale and have decided I need to let you all know about them when I come across them.  No bonus for me, just wanting to share the polish sale love and maybe receive some polish karma! (tee hee)

Cult Nails is having a flash sale now through 4/29/13.  I have several Cult Nails and love the formula on them!  Their Wicked Fast Top Coat is one of my faves.  Use the following codes:

  • BUY2GET1 - Three for $24 
  • BUY4GET2 - Six for $48 
  • BUY6GET3 - Nine for $72.  Add a Wicked Fast to get free shipping (all purchases $75 and over) 
Cult Nails can be found HERE.  Happy shopping!

Contrary Butterflies

As always, coming in at the last minute for the final challenge of the month.  This is my favorite of all the pastel manis I did for April challenge for The Nail Challenge Collaborative.

I have been on a gradient kick recently and thought you might like to see how I make my gradients neatly.

This entire mani was made with one of my favorite polish collections, Contrary Polish's Love Lyrics.  The base is two coats of Somebody Loved.  It is a dusty pale pink with a subtle copper shimmer that you can barely see in this photo.  Please forgive what looks like dry cuticles.  It is actually dried PVA glue, part of the process I use for gradients.

I start by painting the PVA on the skin around my nails.  The next "secret" to my gradients is what I do with my sponge.

After each sponging I do, I let the polish dry on the sponge for the next gradient.  This hardens the edge and makes it easier to cut the end off in this fashion.  With the hard edge, when I cut it, it causes the new end to be concave, like this.

The sponge now "hugs" the nail, making it easier to get the gradient on the entire nail surface without too much mess.  Look at my poor hoo.  By the way, I wore Somebody Loved for three days before Creating this mani, which is why it isn't very close to my cuticles.  You can also see how well it it held up....except for my poor thumb.

Next I paint the sponge.  The top is more Somebody Loved.  Below that is Contrary Polish Play Me.  I hope to have a swatch of this gorgeous dusty purple with green shimmer posted soon.  On the bottom is Contrary Polish The Way I Am.  If you want to see this lovely olive green with purple glitter on it's own, check my post HERE.

So you can see, using the glue and concave sponge, this creates very little mess.  

What mess is there can just be peeled off, leaving very little clean up.

Finally I stamped with Contrary Polish Desert Fruit, LeaLaC XL B plate and dotted with with more Somebody Loved.

If you are interested in any of the beautiful Contrary Polish Love Lyrics Collection, you can find them at Llarowe HERE.  They are even all in stock right now.

What do you think?  Is it your favorite of the pastel challenge....or is it just me (tee hee).  Next months theme is STAMPING!  Can you tell I am excited?

Thanks for looking!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Guest Post

Check my guest post for Lisa's Nail Obsession HEREBack soon with my last Autism Awareness post.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Love Me Some Pastels

Second to the last Pastel mani for The Nail Challenge Collaborative.  I have never thought of myself as a pastel type of girl, but I have really enjoyed this months challege.  I am saving my favorite for last though, so check back on Saturday.

I'm kind of cheating with this mani.  It is one I did back in February that never got posted.  I was going for an argyle look, only with hearts instead of diamonds.  I wish I would have used black or brown lines instead of silver...and a thinner striping brush.  I'm sure I will try this again sometime to get it "right".

All but the ring finger are done with two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Quick Sand.  The ring finger is two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Petal Pusher topped with hearts made with a dotting tool, more Quick Sand and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Slick Slate.

Thanks for looking!

Is It Summer Yet

One last Tri-Polish.  Can't wait for next month!

I had the hardest time photographing this color combo, a gradient of Julep Hayden and China Glaze Mimosa's Before Mani's.  For some reason the gradient just wasn't showing up.  Imagine the gradient on my index finger on all the nails....that's what it looked like in real life.  This is such a summer look, and with 5 inches of snow on Sunday, I am ready for summer!

And to add to the summer look, I stamped with Shany SH223 and Konad Special white

Now it is time to put away these three lovely polishes and pick next months colors!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tri Leather

Today is the third day of the Crumpet Tarts April Tri-Polish challenge.  Need a reminder of the colors I am using?

China Glaze Exotic Encounters, Julep Hayden and China Glaze Mimosa's Before Mani's

Just a simple mani, but I really like it.

I started with two coats of Exotic Encounters, then added one coat of Nails Inc Noho laterally down the nail.  I have to admit, I have a huge polish crush on Noho.  It is a subtle textured polish in their Leather Effects line.  It really does remind me of leather, which suits my personality just fine.

Finally I dotted along the line with more Noho and Mimosa's.  Simple but stunning!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Catching Up Blue

Just a quick post for today's Light It Up Blue....and last Friday's too!

Friday's theme was Awareness Ribbons.  My camera had such a hard time capturing this.  Took about 12 pics and this was the only one that turned out semi decent.  Must have been the matte/glitter combo that was freaking it out.  This is one coat of Orly Blue Suede (, which is why my nail ridge is showing).  The ribbon is Wet n Wild Fergie Duchess.

Today's theme is braids.  I decided to do a braided french tip.  I wish I had gone nude for the base, but I didn't.  This is base of China Glaze Splish Splash.  The braid is made with China Glaze Water You Waiting For, Splish Splash and Pop Beauty Denim Metal.

Thanks for looking!

Carmina from Cubbiful
Cordia from Seriously Swatched
Jessica from Nail Polish Anonymous
Kelly from Peace Love Lacquer
Laura from Little Laura Loves
Nicole from Dipped in Lacquer
Paulina from Paulina’s Passions
Rachael from Rachos Nail Love
Roxana from Beautylicious


Bria's Butterflies

Some of you may have noticed that I have been MIA recently.  I overloaded myself with commitments and was feeling a bit unbalanced, but I am back on track.

Today is another Monkey See Monkey Do mani for Crumpets Nail Tarts.  This design has been floating all over the blogosphere, but I am going to give credit to the first time I pinned it.  Gwen from Sweet Sugar used a stamp to create her nails, but I figured I could recreate it freehand.  Check her gorgeous wings HERE.  

This glitzy butterfly started with an amazing polish....want to see it?  Course ya do!

This is three coats of CrowsToes Shoot the Butterlfy and one coat of Sech Vite!  Isn't that just the most perfect name for this black jellie filled with orange and white glitter?  If I was to do this over again, I would start with a black base, instead of nakid nails.  It doesn't make a difference IRL, but the edges would be much neater in the photos (my perfectionism rears its head).  

This beauty applied easily with minimal futzing with the glitters.  I purchased this gorgeousness from Llarowe HERE.  This one of THOSE polishes....perfection in composition, quality and creativity.  I can't say enough about my depth of feelings for Shoot the Butterfly!  It is currently sold out, but you can be notified of restocks by signing up for Llarowe's mailing list.  Just scroll to the bottom of any page on Llarowe's site to find the "sign up for our mailing list" entry.  They don't spam and send out notifications a day before restocks so you know when to stalk the site (tee hee).

Okay, on to the art.

I used a medium striper to add the "veining" with Aly's Dream Polish Copper.  If you want to see this holo beauty swatched, check my post HERE.

Next I used my thinnest striper and dotting tool to add the black detailing.

Although I love this, I still am not totally satisfied with it.  Let my wishes provide you some direction if you want to try it.  

  • Wish 1:  Black base coat.  I would still use 3 coats of Shoot the Butterfly, because I love the depth it provides, but you could get away with 2 coats if you use a black base coat.
  • Wish 2:  Although I love Aly's Copper, I wish I would have used a different color for the veining.  Not that it doesn't compliment Shoot the REALLY does!  But with this design, it covered up too much of the beauty of this polish.  Instead I would use a solid copper or gold with my thinnest striper.  Maybe Revlon Copper Penny or Essie Good as Gold.
  • Wish 3:  Wider nails!  I really wanted to do these beauties on Bria's nails, but they are sooooo skinny (just like her tee hee) 
So there you have it, glitzy butterfly wings.  Bria LOVES them!  Thanks for looking and check out the other MSMD manis.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Contrary Ruffians

The theme for day 5 of the Different Shades of Blue challenge is ruffians.  No, this does not mean bad boys, although have some of those at my fingertips would be nice (tee hee).  A ruffian is like an inverted half moon mani.  Here's what I came up with.

The ruffian is not my favorite design.  Don't know why, but I am not wild about them.  Thought maybe if I used a lighter color at my cuticles I would like it better....Nope.  However, the polish redeemed this!

This is my favorite indie polish and you will be seeing more Contrary Polish this weekend.  Why do I love Contrary so much?  Not only are the formulas perfect, but the colors are inspired.  They are not the glitter filled polish that you see all over the indie world.  These are shimmers and complex cremes.  I have yet to purchase one that does not exceed my expectations!

I started with two coats of Contrary Polish Aruba, a teal creme with an even lighter teal shimmer.  I then added two coats of Contrary Polish Anna Maria, a muted dark green teal with a gold shimmer, to create the ruffian.  I wish my good camera was working so I could have better pictures of these beauties, but this will have to do.  These gorgeous shades and others can be purchased at Llarowe HERE

Time to check out the other ruffians!  Thanks for looking.

Carmina from Cubbiful
Cordia from Seriously Swatched
Jessica from Nail Polish Anonymous
Kelly from Peace Love Lacquer
Laura from Little Laura Loves
Nicole from Dipped in Lacquer
Paulina from Paulina’s Passions
Rachael from Rachos Nail Love
Roxana from Beautylicious

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April's Tri-Polish Challenge

I think that the Tri-Polish challenge is the most challenging challenge I have done so far (tee hee).  True, it is only 4 manis per month, but coming up with 4 unique designs using the same colors, and usually colors that I would never use together, takes for a lot of creative brain power.  Can you smell the smoke coming out of my ears?

The colors for this month are...get, turquoise and pink.  I would not have come up with this combo...not in my wildest dreams!  So these are the colors I chose.

China Glaze Exotic Encounters, Julep Hayden and China Glaze Mimosa's Before Mani's
Okay, Exotic Encounters may be considered a teal by some, but it fits turquoise in my book.  And Mimosa's leans towards coral, but is still pink to me.  Cut me some slack, okay!  So here is my first design!
  I don't know why I love this so much, but I do!  First off, two coats of Julep Hayden is so gorgeous!  This actually dries to a matte finish, which I hope to show during one of these, but here it is with a topcoat.  This soft pastel orange is so flattering on me.  It makes my fingers look tan!

Next I stamped with Exotic Encounters and one row of this image from LeaLac XL B.  Sorry about the poor quality.  I need to make a different image of this plate soon!  Anyone who follows me know that this is a reoccurring theme for me, a straight stamp design, slightly off center, straight down the nail.  It gives the illusion of longer nails, and I just like it!  Stamping Exotic Encounters over Hayden made it look more green than turquoise or teal, which was fine with me. 

Finally I put some Mimosa's Before Mani's on my palette and thickened it up by stirring it for awhile with an orange stick, like you would for spun nails.  When it was the consistancy I wanted, I dotted it on.  This gave it depth and texture.

So there you have it.  A gorgeous base color, vertical stamping, texture and depth.  The stamping is not perfect, nor the dotting, but I love it despite it's flaws!

Thanks for looking and feel free to check out the other Tri-Polish manis.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Today is a Bria Day!

Before I start this post, I want to acknowledge the events of the day.  My prayers go out to those in Boston and to my country.  Although my heart is heavy, the manis must go on.

Today is Monday, which means another Monkey See Monkey Do challenge run by The Crumpet Nail Tarts.

Today's mani is another one on Bria's nails.  It was inspired by Missy from Gnarly Gnails.  You can find the post HERE.  I have always like the look of a quilted mani, but hated the work it took.  I have a love/hate relationship with striping tape and all those perfectionism made getting it "right" a total pain!  Missy used a business card to to make the lines in almost dry polish.  Genius, right!?!?  Here is what I did.

I started with two, totally dry coats of Zoya PixieDust NYX.  This seems like a simple color, but in actuality, it is very complex.  Sometimes it looks grey, others it looks pale blue.  The color differences don't seem to be effected by lighting, but more what surrounds it.  Don't quite know how to describe it, but just Google it and see what I mean.  And of course, this is Pixie Dust, so it has an awesome texture.

After the first two coats were dry, I added a third coat and let it dry a bit, then used a business card to make the lines.  I found that if I didn't rotate the card a bit and use a different portion on each nail, the polish would build up a tiny bit on the card and make the lines a little thicker.  It took me a couple of tries to get it to a place that I liked it.  I think it would have been better if I had waited a bit, or added a quick dry topcoat so it would be a bit tackier.  Maybe it was the finish on this polish, but my card kept slipping. 

Finally I added some rhinestones.  I really wish I had some of those microbeads that Missy used.  Just another thing to add to my list of wants.  Finally I added my thinnest topcoat, OPI, to secure the rhinestones while still trying to preserve the texture of the polish.  As always, the inspiree did much better than the inspired, but I will definitely try this again.

Once again, thanks for looking!  And don't forget to check out the other inspired manis.


Bria's Nails are Puzzling

Today is day 4 of the Different Shades of Blue challenge.  The theme is puzzle pieces, one of the symbols of Autism Awareness.  Once again, Bria was my hand model.

Bria is the one who designed this, picked the colors and the patterns on each finger.  Look how long her nails are getting!  I LOVE her nail beds and long skinny fingers.  I am so lucky to have her as a nail model!

This started with two coats of Nina Caribbean Blue.


Then I stamped the thumb and ring finger with Bundle Monster BM-321 and all the others with Bundle Monster BM-319, per Bria's request.

So what do you think?  Didn't she do an awesome job?  Go check out all the other puzzles!

Carmina from Cubbiful
Cordia from Seriously Swatched
Jessica from Nail Polish Anonymous
Kelly from Peace Love Lacquer
Laura from Little Laura Loves
Nicole from Dipped in Lacquer
Paulina from Paulina’s Passions
Rachael from Rachos Nail Love
Roxana from Beautylicious

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring Wishes....Again!

The theme for Adventures in Stamping this week is Spring colors.  I think I didn't quite succeed.  Its more summery than springy.

 I really like how this turned out!  Mostly because it started out with this awesome polish.

This beauty is Lush Lacquer Neon Lights.  Isn't she luscious?  It starts with a milky white base, then is filled with different sizes of matte neon hexes in orange green yellow and pink!  These hexes are sooo thin, they are almost translucent.  This is three coats, mostly because I wanted to get a good scattering of glitter.  Most of the glitters applied with little fiddling, but the big ones you see on my ring finger needed some coaxing.  These are the only two that came out, since I wasn't fishing.  I'm not a huge fan of mega glitters, so that was okay with me, but if you want those humongo glitters, you will need to fish.  Well worth the trouble though, if you're into them.  I purchased this from Llarowe HERE. but you can also purchase from Karin and Lexi's Etsy store HERE.

Next I stamped with Bundle Monster BM-207 and Barry M Grapefruit (told you I love these gellies for stamping!).  Then I dotted with China Glaze Tree Hugger.  Fun, Fun, Fun!

As always, thanks for looking!  I'll see you tomorrow.