Archive for the ‘Nail Art’ Category

Ultra Belated Valentine’s Day Mani – Essie Status Symbol + Maybelline Clearly in Love

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Essie - Status Symbol + Maybelline - Clearly in Love

I know what you guys must be thinking – is she really posting a Valentine’s Day mani… in September. I know, I know, but I’m trying to catch up on my mani photo back log. Back in February I decided against posting this mani, mainly because everyone else’s Valentine’s Day manis were so elaborated and beautiful. Mine paled in comparison.

I’m a pretty big fan of the Maybelline heart polishes. Sadly, I’ve only been able to snag one bottle over the years because the displays are ALWAYS empty when I find them. My sole lonely heart polish is Clearly In Love and it’s comprised of medium grain silver glitter suspended in clear polish with silver holographic hearts. Some girls complain about the application of these polishes. They’re finicky because the hearts are big and heavy enough to make it fairly difficult to apply strategically using the brush. If you want a random pattern of hearts, like in my picture above, just use the brush. If you want your hearts strategically placed, try using the fine point of an orange wood stick to pick the hearts off the brush and position the hearts carefully on the nail. This mani used two coats of the Maybelline Clearly in Love.

The base color here is Essie Status Symbol, a mid-tone pink and a semi-jelly consistency, from the Spring 2009 Collection. Speaking of Essie – take a minute to take their survey. They’re trying to fine tune their customer service and you can get a promo code for a prize after completing the survey.

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Disclosure: Status Symbol was sent to me for review by Essie.

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The Mad Konad Skills Elude Me Once More

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

m-dsm-chg-viii-konad-65

I am overwhelmed with sorrow whenever I see The Nailphile’s KOTDs. I die a little inside because I know that no matter how hard I try, Konad will always hates me. In this pitiful state I’ve learned to love, and see beauty in, my failed attempts… it’s not an ugly konad failure, no I say, it’s um… art deco. The accident pictured above is just such an example, the stamp is not supposed to look like that, but in this case I actually like the final product. This konadicure is Misa Dirty Sexy Money (one of my favorite new colors for Spring 2009) and China Glaze VIII used with Konad plate 65. VIII is a gorgeous deep purple creme, however, the formula is too thin so it’s not really suitable for Konad. The result is similar to a linoleum stamp print. The look works with this particular pattern, perhaps not with others. I actually don’t own very many Konad special polishes. I don’t know why but I just can’t bring myself to buy them without first exhausting my stash for a normal polish that works well with Konad. I haven’t found a good purple Konad polish substitute so I think I’m finally going to give in and get their purple polishes using The Nailphile’s WowSoCool 20% code. Unless you guys have any suggestions for me?

I haven’t gotten a chance to reply to recent comments yet but I will soon, I promise.

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Disclosure: Dirty, Sexy, Money was sent to me for review by Misa.

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Lancome Pink Irreverence Collection Spring 2009

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I know I’ve been apologizing a lot lately but I have one more. My computer caught a horrendous virus last week and I haven’t been able to do anything on it since then. My images are okay, but sadly all the notes I’ve taken on all the colors I’ve been swatching were lost. That means I have to go by memory and some of these colors were swatched so long ago I’ll only have a vague recollection of my impressions. Also, if you’ve sent me an email or left a comment, I swear I’m going to get to it soon, I’m just totally disorganized and I’m trying to get everything together.

In any case, to get back into the regular flow of nail polish blogging I’m starting off with the Lancome Pink Irreverence Collection which is in stores now. I have the Lancome Le Magnetiques but this is my first rodeo with their Le Vernis line. These are some pricey polishes but I have to say I’m pretty impressed overall. The formula for both these colors is excellent – smooth, perfect application. The brush size and wand length is absolute perfection. The wand is just long enough to keep the polish flowing consistently without cuticle pooling. The brush is like a toned-down version of OPI’s Pro-wide, making Lancome’s brush shape and size just perfect for the shape of my nails. My one major critizism is that Lancome opted to go with the non-removable square cap. Other companies like Chanel and Butter London make the square cap removable, which is preferrable because square caps can be awkward to hold. With that said, I love the over all style of the bottle – mirrorred cap and a sleek bottle body with a mirrored silver rose stamped in the corner.

lancome-piha-black

(Ahhh, I’m kicking myself right now because I had such elaborate meticulous notes concerning this color.) Piha Black is black (I’m captain obvious) with glass fleck glitter. My picture doesn’t properly exhibit the sparkliness of the glitter – it’s visible but not in an ‘in your face’ kind of way. There are a few blacks with glass fleck glitter that have varying prices and are different degrees of rarity on the market. Just to name a few, there’s Dior Black Sequins, Sally Hansen Salon Raven’s Wing, OPI Baby It’s Coal Outside, Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Black Diamond and Pure Ice Electric. You can see comparisons of a few those on Steph’s Closet and if I can ever get it together, I’ll have comparisons of the latter 3. Without having side-by-side swatches for true comparitive value and by only eye balling the bottles, my initial impression is that none of these look exactly alike. There are slight variations in the depth of the black as well as the luster and density of the glitter for each polish, however, if you’re on a recession budget the lower end polishes (that Pure Ice will only set you back $1.50, tops) might be worth your consideration. What makes Piha Black stand out from the others, at least for me, is that it’s completely opaque in one coat. Making it not only perfect for nail art as pictured below, but also saving application and giving you double bang for your buck.

lancome-sassiness1

Sassiness is a soft translucent pink, perfect for french manicures. The subtle genius of the Pink Irrevence Collection is the dichotomy between the edgy black and the feminine pink… which together… kick butt. Instead of doing a traditional funky french, I decided to do a chevron and a half moon just for illustration purposes, I absolutely love the way these colors compliment each other. My index and middle fingers are 4 coats of Sassiness. It applies perfectly so one coat looked excellent but I wanted to test buildability. Sadly, it doesn’t build. Sassiness looks pretty much the same at 4 coats as it does at 2 coats, which is pretty much the hallmark of a good french manicure base color. I can only hope that the colection’s designer, Aaron De Mey, is secretly attempting to usher Lancome into the realm of nail art. I hope Lancome takes the plunge.

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by Lancome.

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My Failed Attempts at Konad

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Siobhan over at The Nailphile has almost completely forgone regular manicures for what she calls konadicures. Konad is nothing short of awesome but there is definitely a learning curve and it takes several failed attempts before it finally looks right.

As you can see from my two poor konad attempts, I’m still on the low end of the curve. I love the konad but, sadly, it does not love me back. One.. day… one day… my konadicures will look right. I don’t use my konad very often only because I really love unadulterated nail polish. That’s the reason why you don’t see me layering very often either. The first time I wear any color, I like to wear them in their pure form, then if I get bored I might pull out the konad or a layering polish.

If you’re konad deficient like I am check out these links (Mastering the Konad and How to use a Konad stamper) for helps hints and instructions.

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Barack Obama Nail Art, Continued – UPDATE – CNN JUST CALLED IT FOR OBAMA!

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As promised, here are some nail art images from other nail polish loving Obama supporters. First up, Luckypenny’s Hope symbol mani. I stole the idea for my own Obama mani from her. I really like the combination of colors she used. China Glaze Blue Sparrow and China Glaze Ruby Pumps look really great together.

Next is Soaper1. She used China Glaze For Audrey and custom printed Hope symbol decals. I’ve been hearing so much about these custom printed inkjet decals in the comments section and I keep seeing consistently great results using the clear inkjet waterslide decal paper, so I’m definitely going to give this a shot. (Thank you Kayce for alerting me to this.)

If you have your own Obama nail art, send it to me. It doesn’t need to be elaborate. I’m planning to update periodically throughout election day with new Democratic-themed nail art.[1. If you're doing a McCain/Republican mani, send it to me too. I might be willing to put aside partisanship and reach across the aisle for nail art. Maybe. lol.]

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Barack Obama Nail Art

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Nail art is a silly way to support a Presidential candidate, I know, but seeing as how some ***shat turd-wad stole my Obama sign [1. Actually, funny story - I saw someone walking past my window with an Obama sign, then I looked out to see that my own Obama sign was missing. I immediately thought, "Holy ****, that guy took my Obama sign!" So I ran out the door like in insane woman, my hair all disheveled, my nails all different colors (I was swatching at the time), in an over-sized pink pajama top and fluffy pink slippers with a crazy blood lust gleam in my eye. I couldn't chase him on foot so I actually got in my car to chase him down. I lost him a few blocks away from where I live but I didn't give up the search. I drove around aimlessly asking people if they had seen a man with an Obama sign. My boyfriend turned to me and said, "You realize, you look crazy right now?" At that point I thought it better to just give up and drive back home. Only then did I realize that Joe Biden held a rally here at the University today and that poor man who almost faced a violent end by my hands was probably a poor Obama supporter walking home from the rally. My sign probably met its end on Halloween night and I just hadn't noticed its absence until today.] I figured I might as well sport my endorsement on my nails, since presumably some McCain supporter can’t abscond with them. I’m not the only one, check out Eve’s custom Obama print. Only in my wildest dreams could I do anything that elaborate so I decided to copy Luckypenny (a fellow nber) and do a Obama hope symbol manicure.

I used China Glaze Bermuda Breakaway as a basic democratic blue. For the hope symbol I used OPI Vodka & Caviar and China Glaze Caribbean Blue. The stripes were done with Art Club by Color Club White.

I used notebook paper reinforcements to get the shapes right – sort of a pain, but definitely worth it. If you are planning to do an Obama or Democratic Party inspired manicure for election day, please send me your images. I would love to show our support for the Party by posting all that democratic creativity on Election day. And, I hope this goes without saying, GET OUT AND VOTE!

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Disclosure: Bermuda Breakaway, Caribbean Blue, and White striper was sent to me for review by their respective companies.

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