Thursday, 28 June 2012

Summer Fun Challenge: Pool Party

The best part of adult pool parties is definitely the addition of frozen alcoholic drinks, don't you think? That, in conjunction with the name of this old OPI polish, was the inspiration for this manicure.

OPI Pooltime Lime is one of those few polishes I still have kicking around from back in high school. Some Googling told me that it was part of the 2004 Summer Collection, Summer Splash. Being a sort of margarita colour, it really helped me tie this idea together! It was somewhat brush-stroke-y, so I used three coats. The accent nail is Orly Dayglow with a freehanded margarita glass, for which I used black acrylic paint, Pooltime Lime, and a bit of Kleancolor Melon Green on the lime.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Some Recent Nail Mail

I've always loved getting packages in the mail - it always feels like getting presents, even when I bought it myself! Well, one of the packages I'm showing you here actually WAS a gift, and the other two are beautiful indie polish purchases, so they make up for it that way.

Awhile back, I entered my Great Wave nails in a nail art contest run by Manicured Mommas on Facebook, and I was the international winner! This is the lovely prize that they sent me.

A couple nail files, decorative French tip stickers, some floral nail stickers, and adorable green flower-shaped glitter pieces.

I also received my first order from Pretty & Polished. I'd wanted Jawbreaker for ages, and it does not disappoint! I also made my first foray into the black and white glitter craze with Valentino - and I'll be showing you both of these polishes on the nail very soon.

And something I'm very excited about - my first KBShimmers. I know, I know, I've claimed not to like glitters much in the past - but I'm starting to make some exceptions, especially for ones in coloured (jelly or otherwise) bases! Many of her polishes are on my wishlist, but these are the two I chose from Harlow & Co.'s first stock (click on over, there are still a few colours left!). I can't wait until she gets the Neon Collection in! I ordered these on Wednesday at 10pm, and they arrived on Friday - amazing! I'm so glad to live only a few hours away from an e-store that carries such beautiful polishes.

KBShimmer The Square and Vegas Bomb

Sunday, 24 June 2012

And The Winner Is...

First, I'd like to thank everyone who entered the giveaway, and all of my followers, both old-er and new! It is a pleasure to have you here, and I hope you've found something you like.

A quick reminder of the prizes to be had:

Three Essence polishes, two Oh My Gosh polishes, and the coveted Nail-Venturous Lacquers Floam. Even more coveted now that Amy of Nail-Venturous has announced that she will no longer be making and selling her polishes - though a few (including Floam) will continue to be produced and sold by Ninja Polish.

The winner isss: Anna! I've emailed her to let her know, and she 48 hours to get in touch before I redraw. Thanks so much for playing, everyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Summer Lovin': Summer Fun Challenge Day 2

The second day of the Summer Fun Challenge is "Summer Lovin'," which made me think of Grease/start singing the song to myself every. time. I read it. Grease is one of my favourite movies, and a delightful example of the aftermath of a summer romance. It is exactly like real life. Especially when Frenchie goes into that white room and they sing about dropping out of beauty school, and the bit where they don't really know how to end the big sing-a-long so the leads drive off in a flying car.

I elected to evoke some of my favourite characters with another mix up/skittle art manicure.

L-R: Frenchie, Sandy, Danny, and Rizzo!
I attempted to capture both the sweet and sexy sides of summer romance, as embodied by the characters of Frenchie, Sandy, Danny, and Rizzo.

The ring finger, my "Danny" nail, was inspired (blatantly ripped off from) the gorgeous studded v-gaps that I saw recently on Sincerely Stephanie. I tried to give it a leather jacket-collar vibe by off-setting it a little. Also, I screwed up the spacing, but we'll claim it was intentional! I used Orly Dayglow and Wet n' Wild Black Creme, in addition to the gold studs that I got from Born Pretty.

The index was glitzy yet sweet, just like Frenchie. I topped a base of Essence Ultimate Pink with a signle coat of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Rockstar Pink. The middle finger looks just like something the innocent and adorable Sandy would wear: Essie Pink-A-Boo with some tiny pearls, also from Born Pretty. This polish is, in my opinion, the weak spot in the 2012 Resort Collection; it was still a bit patchy after four coats.

The incredible Rizzo, by far my favourite character, got one of my favourite reds, Nicole by OPI OMB!, and the added drama of a black funky French tip.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Summer Fun Challenge: Grill Master and Giveaway Reminder

Welcome to the first day of the challenge! This one will be much more reasonable - only two days a week! I'm going to be doing Wednesday and Friday. Also, quick reminder that my Floam giveaway is ending in a few days. I appreciate all of my followers so much, so please do remember to stop by here and enter for your chance to win!

The first theme is Grill Master, as in outdoor barbecue fun! A highlight of the summer, if you live in the sort of place that allows you to have a barbecue. I don't, but maybe when I go home next week there will be some grilling happening!

I wanted to capture the glowing charcoal at the core of the BBQ process, which ended up being a bit trickier than I'd anticipated...

I varied each nail a bit, resulting in what I've decided to call Grill Skittles, or Grittles... No? Doesn't work? Okay, fine.

The index and pinkie used a base of China Glaze Smoke and Ashes, while the other two used Julep Kim. On the middle finger I used a dotting tool to apply Smoke and Ashes "charcoals," while on the index and ring I freehanded outlines in the reverse colour of the base. The glowing-fire highlights are China Glaze Riveting, and for the pinkie flames I used Julep Ashley and Nessa as well as Riveting.

We were also having photography issues this week, which led to some changes in the photo style. I think I like them, though!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, everyone! I hope that you are having a happy day, with your dads if you can or want to be!

I have a little nail art tribute to my dad today. My dad is pretty much the best guy I know (... sorry J. Close second?), and I am far away from him today and my card failed to arrive on time, so it is the least I can do! He has the unfortunate tendency of bringing out my impatient side, but since he no longer makes me late for school/band practice/everything on a daily basis anymore, it is much easier to forgive/forget those things! lol. We don't always agree, but he is unbelievably kind and soft-hearted and incredibly smart and good at what he does (and occasionally funny, but I try not to tell him that...), and he thinks I'm brilliant and talented and that kind of support is an incredible thing to have in your corner. That was a bit of a run-on sentence, but I love my dad and am really glad he's mine! Can't wait to see him (and my mom!) in ten days!

So the nail art! My dad's business is road construction, and I always thought it was weird how much he liked the smell of asphalt. Well, there's been lots of contstruction on the streets around me lately, and every time I smell fresh asphalt it makes me think of my dad and my home and I've grown to kind of like it. The holo rainbows in Layla Flash Black remind me of those oil spots on pavement that turn to rainbows on rainy days, so I combined those two concepts to achieve this:

With a direct light source to bring out the holo.
The index nail is the tail end of a roller that has just finished rolling freshly spread asphalt, and the other nails are, of course, the asphalt! The grey clouds behind the roller also suggest a rainy day and the oil-rainbows I mentioned above. For the art nail, I used a base of Orly Day Glow, and used Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme and Kleancolor Neon Yellow for the roller. The clouds are China Glaze Pelican Grey.
A "double-drum vibratory roller."

Friday, 15 June 2012

American Apparel The Valley with Black Studs & Layla Mercury Twilight

A short-lived recent manicure; sadly, it didn't even make it to the official-photos stage, so I just have a quick iPhone picture. I've shown American Apparel The Valley here before, but I wanted something quick and bright one day and tried to kick it up a bit with some matte black rhinestone-studs on the accent nail. It was kind of a cute effect, but unfortunately my Seche Vite topcoat wrinkled a bit around the 3D studs.

And a bonus shot of my recent mani with Layla Hologram Effects Mercury Twilight. I know this is nail-world blasphemy, but I don't think I'm crazy about this one. The rainbows in the sunlight are certainly pretty, but it is a very white-silver when not in the sun, and I don't really like the look of it on me. It also takes me at least four coats to get it opaque, and when the holo isn't strong you can still see a bit of VNL. I definitely prefer Layla Flash Black, the only other holo I own... for now!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Essence Swatches: Nude It and Where Is The Party?

Just a couple quick swatches for you tonight! I've mentioned repeatedly that I love these little Essence polishes - perfect size, awesome price. And a great opportunity to try out finishes or colours you don't really go for! I, for one, am not crazy about duochromes, nor do I usually go for nudes. But $1.49 is a great reason to branch out, for sure.

First up is Essence Nude It, a basic nude shade that looks alright with my skin tone.

Nothing awe-inspiring, but totally fine. The formula was good and easy, this was two coats with topcoat and almost no cleanup was needed. Am I satisfied for the price? Yeah, sure. Would I be irritated with myself if I spent $10 on this? Absolutely - so good thing I spent a fraction of that! It will be a good basic to have around.

Next is Essence Where Is The Party?, a member of the duochrome family I've seen described as "oil slick".

I was having trouble getting that duo-chrome effect to show, in person or in photos. I didn't put any topcoat on as I wasn't sold on it from the beginning, so that might have helped. Nothing wrong with this, and this kind of thing appeals to lots of people; it only seemed fair to give it a shot! Still don't think duos are for me, but I hope to try one of the Peridot dupes sometime soon, and I hear that stuff will convert anyone!

Any duochrome or nude lovers that want to advocate for their favourites? I'd love to hear about 'em!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Sally Hansen Violet Voltage Swatch & Simple Nail Art!

From my recent haul post, I have a swatch for you of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Violet Voltage. A simple yet pretty purple, with a subtle pink-ish flash to make it more interesting, this one had a really easy formula to go along with it. Good coverage, easy to control - and I was totally satisfied with the brush and it's useability, and this is the first polish I've bought from this line.

See? Nothing mind-blowing, but easy and pretty. This type of colour is one that I very much like.

But then I wanted to make it more exciting! But without much work or creativity... so I got out my dotting tool, of course. I know that I do polka dots allll the time, so I tried something a little different.

I used various sizes of dotting tool, starting with the largest, and made one dot with Essie Sure Shot. I fanned out from there with progressively smaller dots for a sort of "starburst" effect that was not entirely successful...  So I added Essence Space Queen, hoping some tiny, multi-coloured glitter might have a positive effect here. It was sort of pretty, but still not my favourite. I think that Space Queen would be perfect for a glitter top on galaxy nails, though! And for $1.49... I'm so glad we can get these awesome little polishes here in Canada now!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Luminato Nails Take 1

It is an exciting day, and one I've been waiting for! Today is the beginning of Luminato, an awesome ten day festival here in Toronto featuring all aspects of "creativity;" there's music, theatre, dance, literature, art, food, magic... everything you can imagine! And a huge portion of it is free!

It will be a busy ten days, as I am volunteering for the festival every day that I can (all but two), so blogging-ability may be limited, but I wanted to kick things off with some Luminato nail art.

The heart of the festival is the Hub, where there will be free concerts every night! They have transformed David Pecaut Square with a "Windscape"-inspired installation of curvy blue and orange windsocks. Trust me, it looks cool! So those colours have inspired a couple manicures, and first up is:

I painted most of my nails with the gorgeous Nails Inc. Baker Street, and did a thumb and ring accent with Joe Fresh Crush. Baker Street applies easily and evenly, and is very easy to control. And the colour is so rich! It did emphasize my slightly-weird index nail's shape, but that's not the polish's fault! Crush, while a lovely shade of light tangerine-orange, was brutal to apply. It was both sheer and thick, and kept leaving weird patches. This took four coats to get it looking decent.

A day or two later I decided to make it more exciting, and try out my new OPI Pirouette My Whistle. I loved this adorable glitter top coat! As I mentioned before, I think I need a full size one now!

Happy Festival, everyone! If you're in Toronto, I hope you get a chance to make it to one of Luminato's awesome free events!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

50 Follower and 50 Like Giveaway!

I've been waiting so impatiently for this! I am so. glad. that you are all here, and that I can give these lovely things away to one of you. I love that I get to share the beautiful things that amuse me, and that you wonderful folks are interested in seeing them! I think this is the beginning of a beautiful blogship. (Don't hurt me, Casablanca fans!)

The details:
  • Giveaway is open to US and Canadian followers - or, at least, mailing addresses.
  • The giveaway will end at midnight on June 23.
  • All entries will be verified; I'll check that the winner has actually completed the tasks they've claimed to! If they haven't, I will redraw for another winner.
  • The winner will have 48 hours to reply to my email with their mailing address. If they fail to do so, I will redraw for another winner.
  • I am not responsible for the items once they leave my possession; I will package them carefully, but I can't control their mail-life!
  • The only things you have to do are follow me here with GFC, and give me your email to get in touch. You can share the giveaway once each day to get an extra entry!
  • Please do ask any questions, and let me know if I've missed anything!
Since my first serious nail polish "lemming" was NVL Floam, I wanted to share on the love; when I had the chance to get it, I got an extra bottle to give to one of you! To go with it, I picked up some other polishes that either might go nicely with it, or just seemed awesome all on their own. You can play with them, and show me the combinations you come up with!

Click here to see my somewhat-failed attempt with Floam, and I found some swatches of the others for you to check out: here's one of Essence Where's The Party?, one of Lime Up at Lacquerized, some Modern Romance from Sincerely Stephanie, a Tweeted swatch of Oh My Gosh Apple Green, and a Vettelicious swatch of Oh My Gosh Cobalt Blue.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Just A Small Haul Post

A "haul," for the uninitiated, is really just some nail polish one has purchased. A "haul post" features photos of said purchases! And I found some good deals lately, so I thought I should share them with you!
L-R: OPI My Pointe Exactly, Care To Danse?, Don't Touch My Tutu, and Pirouette My Whistle; Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Rockstar Pink and Violet Voltage.
I found this set of some of the OPI NYC Ballet collection at Winner's for $12.99! As I am not generally into sheers, this was a great way for me to try out some of these (and stock up for jelly sandwiches!) without having to commit to full size bottles. Problem, though: the glitter topcoat, Pirouette My Whistle, is gorgeous! Now I want a bigger one...

And those two pretty Sally Hansen's were on 2 for $5 at Shopper's last week! With a regular price of $4.49, one of them was only .50 cents. I've already swatched Violet Voltage (on the right) and it is as lovely as it looks; you'll see it soon.

Monday, 4 June 2012

American Apparel Water Marble

Tonight I have the last full water marble that I did - and it was a little while ago, considering how long these things take me! Every time is a learning experience and a test of patience, as every time something goes a little bit wrong. But the effect is just too cool to give up on completely!

On a base of American Apparel The Valley, I marbled with it and American Apparel Raccoon. I wanted to do an accent with pink and brown, but I tried about four before I could get one to spread properly in the water, and I can't recall which one it was that ultimately worked. First mistake? When the first dip came out looking funny, I decided to just go for a do-over without removing anything! And that might be why it looks sort of lumpy haha.

The other hand went a bit better in some ways! The turquoise and the brown blended together a bit in certain areas, giving the whole thing a sort of mint-chocolatey effect. Which looks neat, but was an unfortunate association for me; I hatehatehate mint chocolate. That stuff is disgusting and a bizarre and horrific combination! If The Valley were the slightest bit more mint-green, I don't think I could have handled it.

... maybe a slightly overzealous response, but I've had too many horrible surprises when I've been happily eating a chocolate or mint, then discovered that there is one of the other hiding in the middle! It is much like that feeling when your water marble goes hideously wrong in the middle...