Tuesday, July 30, 2013

NOTD: The Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Blues

6 Week Mani Challenge Week 1: Blue

Yesterday you saw my neon mani attempt and today I have a quick blue swatch for you. I was going to do some complex nail art in shades of blue, but when I got this in the mail, I knew it HAD to be my blue choice!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a teal blue jelly with gold, red, and brown glitters. Application is a dream and the brush is fantastic. I used two quick coats over Nail Pattern Boldness's Glitter-A-Peel. This was my first Scofflaw purchase and it definitely will not be my last if the formula on all the rest is this great. It also has turned me into a jelly lover! It is a much richer teal in real life, but camera was intimidated by this jelly.

Scofflaw Varnish in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot topped with HK Girl in natural sun. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

NOTD: Neon Stamping Mess

Today starts the 6 Week Mani Challenge I put together with some help from my friends in a Facebook group I'm involved in. You can find the details here.

I decided to start with a neon manicure. I picked up the Urban Decay Showboat set which had three neons I wanted to try. I paired Fishnet, Woodstock, and Showboat from the set with E.L.F. Teal Blue and Julep Daisy.  I was inspired by a tribal neon mani I saw on Pinterest and wanted to stamp a sweet design over them from my BM221 plate. I tried using Sally Hansen Black Out for the stamping polish. However, the black was not pigmented enough and it dried faster than I could stamp resulting in some patchy transfers. I was disappointed in the final product so I tried to fix it with some Enchanted Castle on a Cloud. This made it super pretty and holo-y, but still not a final product I was happy with.

This mani is rated a weak one as far as my hopes for my nail art skills, but that is what this challenge is all about- trying new things and working on my nail art skills. I'll embrace the failures and keep on pushing forward :)

Urban Decay: Showboat, Fishnet, and Woodstock with E.L.F. Teal Blue and Julep Daisy. In natural light prior to the holo top coat. EEK! Look at that smudgy patchy stamping :( 

In natural light with Castle on a Cloud

Show me your manis!! :) 

Here is where you can get the group links: 
get the InLinkz code

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Threads of the Day: Catch-up

The blog has been all nails lately so here is a catch-up of outfits I've loved lately.

Cardigan: GAP Outlet - Dress: Old Navy - Shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: A. Kisby Designs
Dress: GAP Outlet - Belt: Banana Republic Outlet - Shoes: Charlotte Rousse 
Necklace and Earrings: A. Kisby Designs
Shirt: Banana Republic - Skirt: Tori Burch from Nordstrom Rack - Shoes: Clarks Purity Wedge 
Shirt and Pants: Banana Republic Outlet - Shoes: Clarks Purity Wedge - Belt: Nordstrom Rack

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Why no nails today?

You might wonder where my nail post is today. Well I got caught up sewing some baby blankets for my adorable nephew and spent the day with my sewing machine and forgot to do my nails!

So you don't feel shorted, here is some of my nail mail from this week. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

NOTD: Glitter-A-Peel & Paradise

Today I was really excited to show you a piCture pOlish that I finally found in stock: Paradise. Paradise has a teal jelly base with coral hex glitter and a beautiful teal/blue shift with microglitters. This has a nice shine and a mild texture when dry. I used three coats since it did have a jelly based and I loved it! This polish has so many colors in it, it looks brand new depending on your viewing angle. The downside to showing you this is that my polish is no longer on my nails. How so? Keep reading!

On the same day, I also had just gotten a a bottle of Nail Pattern Boldness's Glitter-A-Peel in the mail. GAP was designed to be worn with stubborn glitter polishes as an alternative to PVA glue bases. Once you get tired of the polish, you simply peel it off! How great! No more messy foils or acetone soaks to get your glitter bombs off. It also dries very quickly, unlike PVA bases.

I painted two coats of this on before my Paradise mani so I could test it out. The important thing with this is to seal your edges and your tips so it won't accidentally start peeling. I did this and it lasted through my shower and morning routine the first day. I forgot to reseal the tips on day two and this morning, I lost a nail's polish in the process of washing my hair. I just peeled off the rest in less than a minute and slapped on a sheer shimmer for work. This was a bit of a pain, but could have been avoided if I remembered to reseal my tips.

While I won't use this base for simple manis simply because I'm usually too lazy to reseal my tips when needed, I will wear it for my glitter bombs because I HATE HATE HATE taking glitter polishes off! This will be a lifesaver for my love of glitter and all the new indies I have coming in!

Since I lost my mani before I could photograph it (I know, shame on me for not doing that as soon as I put it on), here are my paint chips showing you how great the color is and how great Glitter-A-Peel is at taking it off in mostly one piece. The best part is, I had no damage to my nails from the peel off basecoat!

Two coats of Glitter-A-Peel and three coats of piCture pOlish Paradise

Thursday, July 25, 2013

NOTD: Hayden's Freckles

My love for Lush Lacquer's Neon Freckles led me to use them again before trying out some of my other new polishes :) I used my new Julep Hayden and Salon Perfect Sugar Cube as base colors. My accent nail has two coats of Neon Freckles and the rest have just one quick coat.

I nicked my index finger and tried to fix it so excuse that little mishap!
Julep Hayden, Salon Perfect Sugar Cube, and Neon Freckles topped with Out the Door

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

6 Week Mani Challenge

After some talk on some of the polish swap boards I'm on, I've decided to host a 6 week manicure challenge. This challenge is a bit different because it is somewhat more free form and flexible than your typical 30 day challenge.

This challenge begins on Monday July 29th and will continue through the week of September 2. Feel free to join us at any time even if the challenge has already started.

Here are the "rules":
  • Each week has several topics. Pick as many topics from that week's list to complete as you want. If you are limited on time, I've given a plain color for each week- pick something in that tone that is new for you! 
  • You can participate as little or as much as you want. If you only do one, it's fine. If you do all 6 for the week, that's great!
  • The 7th day of the weekly challenge is your free day. Play with a new color or make a challenge for yourself :) 
  • No skill level required! All attempts are welcome, even if you only complete 1 nail. 
  • At the end of each week I'll pick a Top 5 and post them to my blog each Monday morning. You can enter your best attempt of the week, or every attempt you've made! Submissions can be entered via the Inlinkz code found here until 5 p.m. each Sunday: find the code at the end of this post. Just copy the relevant HTML and add it to your blog post or upload your own image if you don't have a blog. The code also allows us all to see everyone else's entered designs :)
  • If you need inspiration, I've tried to post at least one thing from each topic on my Pinterest Nails! board: http://pinterest.com/akisby/nails/
Here are the challenge topics broken up by week: 

Week 1: July 29th 
  1. Blue
  2. Neon
  3. Nautical
  4. City inspired: Paris, New York, San Francisco, London, etc.
  5. Black and White
  6. Holographic or Metallic 
Week 2: August 5
  1. Green
  2. Stripes
  3. Stamping
  4. Book inspired
  5. Food inspired
  6. Skittles: each nail is a different design, but all are in the same color family
Week 3: August 12
  1. Yellow
  2. Argyle
  3. Non-traditional French manicure
  4. Fan brush/Sugar spun
  5. Feathers
  6. Movie inspired
Week 4: August 19
  1. Purple
  2. Gradient
  3. Flower
  4. Shapes: hearts, circles, squares, triangles, etc
  5. Beach inspired
  6. Matte
Week 5: August 26
  1. Red
  2. Tape mani
  3. Animal
  4. Stars
  5. Text
  6. Water Marble
Week 6: September 2
  1. Orange
  2. Dotted
  3. Glitter bomb
  4. Back to School
  5. Chevron
  6. Ikat

The code wouldn't link, so just copy and paste this in your HTML: 

<!-- start InLinkz script -->

<script type="text/javascript">
document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src=http://www.inlinkz.com/cs.php?id=298037&' + new Date().getTime() + '"><\/script>');

<!-- end InLinkz script -->

I look forward to seeing all of your designs! Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor for the top 5 :) 

Monday, July 22, 2013

NOTD: Lady of the Lake

This beauty came from a swap and it was on my In Search of List for a while. This is the first A England polish I've gotten my hands on and it definitely will not be my last. I am hoping to get Rose Briar soon too!

I love deep purples and this one was just perfect. It has a deep amethyst shimmer to it. It went on smoothly and was perfectly opaque in just two coats.  I topped it with a coat of Seche and some cute lotus stamps in a silver holo. The silver holo shows up in direct sunlight and really pops in the shade. Both polishes have tons of shine and pair well together. I'm going to wear this for a little longer than usual because I love it so much! That and I'm still recovering from cutting over 10 acres of grass this weekend! I was helping my parents out and it took two days to finish!

A England Lady of the Lake topped with Urban Decay silver holo in the shade

In direct sunlight

Sunday, July 21, 2013

NOTD: Art Deco- Gatsby Inspired

Here is the manicure I've been wearing for the last two days. I'm late on posting it because I went on a nail polish finding spree going to my local Nordstrom Rack, Ross, and TJ Maxx. Here is my final haul including a Benefit purchase from Ulta in a quick iPhone snapshot.

Benefit Stay Flawless, The Body Shop Vanilla Duo Body Butter, Butter London Scented Polish Remover, Butter London Dosh, Smashbox Lip Stains, Elf Beautifully Bright Set, Butter London Nail/Lippy in Shambolic, Urban Decay All Nighter/Primer Pack, Urban Decay NailPolish Collection, Smashbox Lipstick, Stila Mascara

Now for my Nail of the Day

There has been a trend to do Art Deco inspired tape manis after The Great Gatsby came out. I figured the deep Emerald Angela from my July Julep Maven Box would be perfect for this. The taping took forever to do, but wasn't difficult to execute at all.

I had my sister and her three kids here while I was painting so my nails got some dents and smudges from having a 4 and 5 year old at each elbow watching! I used a coat of Seche Vite after Felicity and after applying Adele to seal everything off.

This manicure has a base layer of Felicity, topped with Angela, and with a coat of Adele over the top. I wanted to use Adele because I figured it would give it a glamorous shimmer. In the end, I wasn't happy with the choice to put Adele as a topper. The colors popped much better with the emerald on gold combination. Adele also make it almost impossible to photograph in the shade or the sun. If I repeat this manicure, I will leave it a high contrast design instead of adding the extra shimmer.

Julep Adele, Angela, Felicity

In direct sunlight. The whole manicure tends to take on an overpowering Adele gold shimmer in the sunlight :( 

In direct sunlight

In direct sunlight

In the shade showing more of a dark emerald shimmer

Friday, July 19, 2013

Mint Manis for Talia Joy

If you haven't heard of Talia Joy, you might be living in a bubble. Talia was a beautiful talented makeup artist and nail artist. At just thirteen she was fighting two types of cancer, neuroblastoma and preleukemia. She fought hard, but unfortunately the cancer won the battle this week.

Cover Girl made her an honorary Cover Girl :) 

Nail bloggers have banned together to make today a day of remembrance for Talia. The last picture she posted to her Instagram account before passing was a mint colored manicure she got with her mother. Nicole at Nail Polish Wars came up with the idea to have everyone paint their nails mint in honor of Talia.

Talia and her mother's mint manicures

I decided to make an extra special Talia themed mani for #mintmanisfortaliajoy. For the base mint color I used Orly Jealous, Much?. I then chose to top it with Enchanted Castle on a Cloud. I chose this topper because the holographic effect would be shimmery, which she loved, and the name was a perfect fit for the day. On top of these polishes, I added some silver stars to coincide with the border on her IG picture and a few white hearts to represent the love this girl shared and her passion for spreading the word about childhood cancer.

My first Enchanted :)

This baby had so much holo my camera was going crazy. It was also so humid outside that all the glass fogged up horrendously causing issues.  This polish has a blue/pink/purple shift that is just AMAZING in the sunlight (no sun out today)

Here is a picture with the blue shift and the decals

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag Review

As you all know, I got my first Ipsy Glam Bag last week. Today, I'm going to review all of the products now that I've had time to use them!

My glam bag contents all laid out

What they say:
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben Free
  • Ultra Sheer
  • Anti-Aging
  • Water Resistant (40 minutes)
  • No nano-sized particles
What I think:

This tint is definitely ultra sheer. The product itself was tinted; however when I applied it, I saw no tint coverage or evening of any skin tone. If a product claims tinted, I would except to see at least a bit of smoothing or pigmentation once applied. That said, it did apply and dry to a silky soft finish. I like that it has an SPF because my current moisturizer does not have it built in. I didn't experience any pore clogging with this like I do some sunscreens. I did experience some extra oiliness, but that might be a trade off for the SPF protection. The price tag is high so I probably will not be repurchasing this product, but I will use the sample on days when I'm in the sun for sure.

Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray:

What they say:

WEATHER PROOF is a high-performance humidity resistant spray that promises to leave your hairstyles intact, removing any chance of humidity attacking mis-haps.

What I think: 

The weather in North Carolina has been rainy and humid for the last month or so. We've seen over 20 consecutive days of rain. This wrecks havoc on my hair! I used this several times in the last week with favorable results. While the humidity wasn't completely stopped from ruining my hair, the amount of puffiness and curls that I would usually get were reduced significantly. I really liked using it for the baby hairs by my face since those are the first to go crazy. I'm on the fence of whether I will repurchase since I do have a chemical straightener in my hair, but I will see how it all goes. 

What they say: 

These extra-nourishing balms gently bounce onto lips, creating a plumped & pillowy pout and leaving them with luscious, long-lasting colour in a super-smooth texture.

What I think: 

The color I got is the Rose Romance color on the left. The shade was designed for those of us that like nudes. I must be more of a brown nude fan because this color was not what I wanted at all. It was a pale pinky color that I felt washed me out and was not made for my skin tone (you'll see in the picture at the end). I made it work by applying a rosy lipstain underneath so I can still wear it. The color does not last very long either. I felt like this wore off within an hour leaving me with semi-dry feeling lips. I would love to get my hands on the Coral Crush to give it a second chance, but right now the Rose Romance left me feeling deflated and unsatisfied which is a shame since this is a full size product. 

What they say: 

Since this is a sample size of three products, they don't have anything written for it. However, these were inspired by the cities listed. 

What I think: 

I am really enjoying these colors. I created an eye look, which you will see later using all three shadows. I use San Francisco all over the lid and a bit above, Malibu in the inner corner, and Hollywood on the outside. Both SF and Malibu have a great color payout and glide on easily. Hollywood has a sad color payout though. I have to rub my brush pretty vigorously in it and layer it on to get the depth shown in the pan. I have a million eye shadows, though I will look into this brand. They were long lasting and a joy to use. 

What they say: 

Our original rose-tinted stain is kiss-proof, see-through color for lips & cheeks that lasts for hours. Naturally sheer & sexy on all complexions...it’s innocent yet provocative.Originally created for an exotic dancer in the 1970s, benetint has soared to cult fave status. It's loved by celebs, makeup artists and gals around the world. It's the sexiest flush you can get from a bottle

What I think: 

I was originally super excited to get this since everyone raves about it. On my first application though, my excitement died and I was left wondering why it was so loved. I had to layer this on about three times to get the color I wanted and my fingers were terribly stained. What left me wanting to love it was that it did last all day long! Determined to make it work as a cheek stain, I searched for tips and read about trying a brush to spread it instead of my fingers. I used a little Avon Kabuki brush I had sitting around and now I'm sold! The formula is very runny so you have to work quickly before you get a rose tinted streak down your face. I put a crescent swipe on the apple and an line up my cheek bone right before I quickly buff it around with the brush. This makes the formula a one coater and I have no stained fingers! I am definitely going to be repurchasing and actually have a sample of the ChaChaTint in the mail so expect a review of it soon too! 

A quick picture I snapped of my Glam Bag look before washing it off. You can see the Rose Crayon was too pale for my lips, especially with the lighting. The eye  shadows show a nice gradient look and my cheeks are rosy pink :) 

Overall thoughts: 

This bag is definitely worth the $10 I spent on it. The benetint alone makes this bag fab. Combine that with the fact that I will use it and the BH shadows on a regular basis and I am satisfied. Here is the overall cost payout of the bag: 

Product Haul Total: $27.95
  • Coola Moisturizer: $5.04
  • Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity Spray: $7.80
  • Pouty Pop Crayon: $4.17
  • BH Cosmetics Eyeshadow: $2.94
  • Benetint: $8.00

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NOTD: Sea Dust dupe for Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream

I was attempting to find some of Urban Decay's holographic nail polish which went on clearance for $.99. Unfortunately they were sold clean out in my Charlotte store. I did find two other polishes of theirs, one of which I will swatch today.

Sea Dust is said to be a pretty close dupe for Deborah Lippmann's Mermaid's Dream. At only $4 for a bottle instead of $20 a bottle, I'll take close as a great thing! Here are picture of both polishes in the bottle:

Urban Outfitters in Sea Dust

Deborah Lippmann in Mermaid's Dream
Here are my swatches of this polish:

The images wanted to photograph more on the green side of the shift rather than the teal/blue side. The blue side is there and is beautifully paired with a silver shimmer in the sun! There is teal micro-glitter in the polish as well. I used three thin coats to get full coverage, each of which dried super fast! Other bloggers say the Lippmann has more of a texture to it, but I like the smooth finish this polish has!

The chip on my pointer finger is from the fact that I opted to use a PVA basecoat for this polish, which is likely unnecessary. I just got my PVA basecoat bottled and was eager to try it out. After two days of wear, I just have some minor chipping near the tips three nails. It is wear much better than I thought it would!

Monday, July 15, 2013

NOTD: Shocked!

Indie polish maker Ninja Polish created a polish reminiscent of the childhood toy Floam. It was blue and green matte micro-glitter that perfectly mimicked the Floam I remember. However, at $9.00 a bottle + shipping, I didn't quite buy into the trend yet. Salon Perfect picked up on the same trend and created several dupes for this polish in their Neon Collision collection which retails for only $3.98. 

These polishes are a Walmart exclusive, though not all stores are carrying them. My store in Durham, NC has a full display of every color. Over the next week I'll show you swatches of Shocked, Kaboom, and Exploded. 

Shocked is filled with neon fuchsia and cobalt blue micro glitter. I recycled my mani from yesterday for the base coat on this polish. You can see hints of purple peeking out on all the nails except on my accent finger where you can see pink peeking through. I put two coats of this polish over top and sealed it with one thin coat of Seche.

To be a full coverage glitter, you would need to paint at least 3 to 4 coats of this. It goes on smoothly and I had to do minimal placement with the glitter. A loaded brush will give you better coverage when you paint it on with a light hand. 

 My suggestion would be to pick a complementary base and paint over it. I much preferred the look of the purple since the pink and blue glitter stood out against it and created a tri-colored mani. The pink base blended in with the pink glitter making it more of just a blue speckle finish. Some people use a few coats of topcoat to get a mirror finish, but I liked the textured finish which is more like the Floam from my childhood! 

Salon Perfect in Shocked over China Glaze Are You Jelly? and Orly Passion Fruit (accent nail)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

NOTD: Are You Jelly?

I received China Glaze Are You Jelly? in the mail last week and wanted to give a quick review for you all. This polish is one of their jelly polishes in the Sunsational collection. I paired it with two other polishes I've recently gotten because I couldn't wait to use them for something!

Are You Jelly? is a sheer jelly polish. This means it takes many more coats to reach an opaque finish, but it was designed to be used as a fairly sheer polish. In using this, I discovered the sheer polish look isn't quite for me so I used 4 coats to get a pretty opaque finish. Each coat dried quickly and went on smoothly. The first two coats were streaky for me, but the third coat evened it all out. The color on this is wonderful! I'm guilty of loving a good rich purple polish and this one has a nice depth to it. In person they have both tones of pinky purple and blueish purple depending on how the light falls. With a coat of Seche Vite topcoat, they also shine like crazy!

Cover Girl Glosstinis in Appletini - Orly in Passion Fruit - China Glaze in Are You Jelly? 

The accent nail has two other new polishes. I painted a base of Orly Passion Fruit which is a great bright pink with orangey undertones. It seems to have a hard time drying which is something that bugged me though. I topped it with some Seche Vite after waiting for it to dry and getting frustrated. Other than that issue which can be solved with a quick dry topcoat, the color is one that can be worn easily and might find itself as a staple in my arsenal. My toes are coated in this too with some black nail art on top (I am going to spare you the toe pictures!). 

The polka dots were made with Cover Girl Glosstini in Appletini. I have been coveting these minis for a while and my mom bought me one while we were picking up some last minute things for my jewelry show. The color is a great keylime green without being too yellowy or too neon. The mini bottles are only $2.49 at Walmart and boast a super shine. Since I was using this for dots, I can't attest to much about this polish though its color payout was great for dotting. My only negative thing about it as a dotting polish is a plus as a regular polish. This polish is thick and quick drying. This means less coats will be needed and less drying time in between! I will do a full mani with this baby soon.

Photographed in natural light shade showing the gloss and bluer tones of this polish. I am seeing that I could have used some cuticle cream here! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

TOD & NOTD twofer: Neon Freckles and Casual Friday

Right after I make the great spiel about being on my toes with my blog I run off and skip a day! As an apology here is a twofer from the last two days.

I picked up this polish about a week ago after lusting after it for two weeks. Neon Freckles is made by Indie polish maker Lush Lacquer. I found them while surfing around on Etsy and was originally drawn in by their Neon Lights polish. Both have neon translucent glitter suspended in an easy to apply base. I ended up buying Neon Freckles over Neon Lights because of the versatility.

The makers of this polish are unique because it is a mother daughter team! I thought that was so cute when I went to purchase this and puttered around their site a bit :)

Lights is suspended in a creamy white base making it an all in one polish. Freckles comes in a clear base making it a topper over white polish if you want the same look. I liked the idea that Freckles could be worn over anything which is why it won the debate!

When I pulled it out of the package, I immediately swatched it over my pinkie when I had my OPI summer mani. It looked amazing over Highlight of my Summer! For my first full mani with this, I wanted to swatch it over white to highlight just how amazing this polish is. I used a silver accent nail for some variety, but I would have been happy with a full white mani with this. I need to get a new nail cleanup brush because my acetone destroyed mine part of the way through cleanup on this mani.

Two coats of Neon Freckles over Salon Perfect Sugar Cube and Pure Ice Silver Star. Ignore the weird ring finger. My topcoat did some weird texture thing to it. 

Yesterday also was my first day back to work after my jewelry show and our big computer overhaul. It was casual Friday so I opted for a cute blouse and some white denim. I forgot to take a picture before work so my pants are little worn from sitting at my desk all day and running errands after work. 

Top: Banana Republic clearance- Pants: American Eagle clearance - Shoes: Antonio Milani at Dillards - Earrings: bought by a friend in India :) 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ipsy Bag Reveal

I got my Ipsy bag in the mail today! It came so fast since my bag was shipped from NC :) Here is a sneak peek. Later this week I'll do a full review of the products.

I just finished a big jewelry show in Raleigh last night, so I'll be back on my toes blogging for the foreseeable future since the big event is out of the way!

BH Cosmetics California Collection (3 shadow sample set) - Benetint - Coola Tinted Rose Essence Sunscreen - Pop Pouty Pop Crayon - Big Sexy Hair Weather Proof - Pink Vinyl makeup bag

Von Maur Manicure Monday Winnings

I recently entered a Manicure Monday contest with Van Maur. While I wasn't quite quick enough to be one of the first 15 to win Ciate polishes, they did send me a prize anyways! Here are the Essie strips they sent me which I can't wait to try out. I've been dying to test polish strips but could never convince myself to purchase them. 

Isn't the packaging adorable!?

Strips in So Haute!