Thursday, September 26, 2013

NOTD: Zombee Stamping

If you happen to follow my blog regularly, you know that I had an unfortunate nail incident when I found myself locked out of my apartment just over a week ago. The screen door took a few of my nails in the battle leaving me with nubbins.

This is the mani I was wearing that day. 

I'm a bit sad this picture can't be clearer because I am in love with this color. Zombee is a neon yellow green holo created by one of my favorite makers- Lilypad Lacquer.  <- Seriously, I'm a fangirl. When I type Etsy into my google bar, it automatically fills it in to go to her store :)

Nicole is a genius with her color choices. This color is an homage to one of her close friends who owns a car by this same name and color!

Why is this not clearer? Well, if you stare really hard,  you can see the split down my communication finger on the right side of the picture. After I pried off the door, I knew that I would have to cut my nails down but I didn't want to lose this mani before it could be photographed. I ran back on my deck, risking being locked out again, to snap some quick shots before the nail succumbed.

The upside was when I cut these down to nubbins, the color looked fab on my stumpy nails too! I am also planning on ordering a super squishy stamper to help me apply stamps onto my uber curved nails too :) Be prepare for some more stamp jobs pairing Zombee with other awesome Lilypads.

Lilypad Lacquer Zombee stamped with Wet n' Wild Black Creme and sealed with HK Girl.

Nicole is on some much needed RnR right now (though she is still making new colors!), but she can be found at her Etsy store and on Facebook. Keep your eyes open on Oct. 1 in Australia because she will be rolling out some new colors- including a Halloween holo :) 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NOTD: Lei Down the Law

Lei Down the Law is a Limited Edition glow in the dark topper created by Serum No. 5. As a law student, I had to acquire this just for the name. It helped that it is a pretty polish too. Eventually, I will own all the law related polishes if I can find them. 

This polish has been most swatched over white so I wanted to go to the complete opposite spectrum. I used China Glaze Smoke and Ashes which is a blackened base with green micro flakies in it. Over this, I painted to coats of Lei Down the Law. The only downside with this combination is that the glow in the dark pigment makes the clear base slightly milky which dulled the black base. I have since purchased an awesome pinky purple I want to use as a base next time. 

The only downside I found with this polish is that it is a topcoat eater. I had to put three coats of TC on to get it relatively smooth. This is common though with glitters and with glow in the darks since their pigments tend to be coarser. The glitter also made it tough for my camera to focus since there was so much depth to this mani <- never a problem in real life :) 

Lei Down the Law over CG Smoke and Ashes in the shade

Lei Down the Law in the dark gives off a pure white glow!

This was my first time attempting to photograph a glow in the dark polish. I think next time I will set up a tripod and let the bottle and my nails charge a bit longer before photographing it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Colors by Laura K.

A fellow nail polish lover Laura K. has ventured into polish making :) She reached out and asked for some of us to test her creations. I jumped on it seeing as I love new indie makers and we all know I'm polished obsessed. She sent me four beautiful colors and I have two of them for you today.

The first polish is called He Took Me to a Leafs Game. This is a deep denim blue holo that has holo glitter mixed in as well. The holo glitter gives this a punch inside as well as a gorgeous scattered holo outside in the sun. The final formula of this polish a slightly deeper blue and is definitely a must buy. Once she released it for general sale, I snatched up a full size bottle for my collection :)

He Took Me to a Leafs Game in the shade outside

You can see the beautiful glitter flecks shining through!! 

The second polish I have has yet to be released for a general sale. This is a textured polish called Landshark. It has a complex texture and color that just could not be properly photographed. This has a slight metallic silver sheer base and contains tons of aqua and silver glitters to give a textured finish. I thought this would pair awesomely with the monograms I had on so I painted two layers over top of my Sparkling Garbage to let this beauty take center stage. I sealed it with a thin layer of top coat to leave the texture present. This will make your fingers shine! 

Look at that bottle shot 

Landshark in the full sunlight

Rotated to show the decal right side up :) 

You can find Colors by Laura K. on Facebook and at her BigCartel Storefront. Use the code cblklaunch13 to save 20%!

Monday, September 23, 2013

NOTD: Sparkling Garbage meets the Forgotten Treasure

As you've probably already guessed, I love holos! I also love a good holo glitter. Orly's Sparkling Garbage is the perfect holo glitter. These green holo glitters are suspended in a green tinted sheer base which screams look at me in the sun. An awesome friend sent this polish to me after I searched for it for a while. I finally decided to do a full mani with it. To make the glitter pop, I used a mint polish base. 

At the same time, I got these amazing decals in the mail. A friend of mine has started her own shop cutting vinyl decals. I was so excited when I saw this and went on a monogram spree. My laptop, phone, and now even my nails have been monogrammed by The Forgotten Treasure

Heather is constantly coming up with new monogram designs and has the best customer service. She also offers bulk discounts and a wide color selection. I picked up nail decals in two colors, mint and white. I just love them paired together! When I decided to go with a mint base, I knew I had to add the white monograms to my accent nail.

Below is two coats of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Jaded, one coat of Orly's Sparkling Garbage, and these fab decals by The Forgotten Treasure! I love the monograms so much, you will see how I recycle them into my mani for tomorrow's post :) Tomorrow you will also see me rotate the picture around since I applied these where they would face me forgetting that it would photograph backwards- oops! 

I have my decals, now how do I apply them? 

You can do this one of two ways, wait until the polish is dry and apply them or do it when it is slightly tacky. I chose to do it when my base was slightly tacky because I find it helps keep edges down better on my super curved nails. If you go this route, follow these steps. 

  1. Paint your nails and wait for them to get slightly tacky, not dry
  2. Peel the white paper off the decals
  3. Use a pair of tweezers to peel each letter off the clear paper and position them on the nail. You have to be fairly precise since you cannot remove it without smudging the polish. I started with the middle letter and placed the rest around it.
  4. Cover with two healthy coats of topcoat to seal it all in :) 

If you choose to wait until they are dry:
  1. Take the white backing off and press the whole decal down to the nail
  2. Carefully peel off the clear sheet leaving just the decals
  3. Coat with two layers of topcoat

You can find The Forgotten Treasure on Facebook and at their StoreEnvy Storefront

Sunday, September 22, 2013

All Lined Up

Bonus Post! I have dedicated M-F as my posting days, but I'm here at work and couldn't help but take a quick study break and post this cute design. I'll also follow it up with some ways you can make it!

Making lines can be scary. My worry always was that my hands are shaky and my lines will never end up straight. Well, here are some tips on how to get this look:

  1. Fake it. Add striping tape on top of your base color. Cut your strips to length and add them on top and then put a nice thick layer of clear coat over the top to seal it all in.

  2. If you want clean lines but don't want the tape to stay on then tape off the space where you want our base color to show through. Then paint over each portion with the color you want to be your lines. If you want to do multi colored like the picture, you can carefully paint all 4 colors at once or do one color at a time and use clear scotch tape to protect the other section. Wait a few moments for the new color to be slightly tacky, but not dry and peel off your striping tape. Your base coat will shine through and you will have perfect lines! Tweezers can help you grip those tiny pieces of tape to pull them off. Pulling at a 45 degree angle will help it come off cleanly.

  3. Use a polish with a striping brush. These brushes are so long and thin that you barely have to do any movement of your painting hand to get a nice clean straight line. Alternatively you can use a small thin short paint brush, but these show shakes more when you are making long lines. 

What do you think? Will you recreate this mani? 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Animal Nail Art Tutorials

Today I am at a Bankruptcy CLE all day and won't have time to paint my nails. This is a good thing though, because the nubbins still aren't very swatch friendly. While I'm filling in with nail art and some past photos that I have yet to edit off the camera, I'm going to do some intensive rehab on my nails and cuticles. The cuticles have taken a beating with all the acetone and lack of hand creme I've put them through lately. All that is going to change and once it is done, I'll give you all an inside look into my hand care routine!

To tide you over, take a look at the adorable animal art below and see just how easy it is to do! Once my nubbins grow out, be prepared to see some pandas!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

10 Easy Nail Art Designs

While I am trying to get things back on track, I am going to share some of my nail art tutorials to help you get some inspiration. Things have been so hectic lately with school that I feel awful I haven't had a chance to update regularly. However, I have a log of photos to upload soon that will easily be two weeks worth! This will put me back on track and get you seeing posts from me Monday-Friday again :)  Feel free to leave comments with links to some of your favorite nail tutorials too and you might find them featured.

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's a Sad Day in the Nail World

As a quick insight into my sad nails right now, I figured I'd give you a glimpse of my current hodgepodge mani where I used my hands instead of swatch sticks.

I finally had my nails to a happy long length and I was getting used to them being long. It was super exciting until a fairly embarrassing incident. This weekend, I wanted to enjoy the nice weather and did some homework on my tiny sad patio that only fits a chair:

I left the sliding door open and just shut the screen while I was outside. The screen was fully closed to keep the kitties from escaping. I don't know how, but the screen lock slid down and locked the screen shut. Thankfully, I am on the first floor and could hop over the railing and I was able to get to my spare key for my front door, but it did me no good. I keep both bolts locked when I'm home so the key only would open one bolt from the outside leaving me stranded outside my apartment. Since it was the weekend, I couldn't call the front office. The only way in was to pry my sliding screen door off the track, which was harder than it sounds. I broke three nails in the process and got lots of weird looks from my fur babies. 

To make the long story short, I now have nubbins. I am wearing a base of Lilypad Lacquer Oceanic (my favorite brand!!) and swatched on top are two beauties I got from Australia that you will see reviewed in the next week. Oceanic is on my pinky and the rest if my fingers have a layer of the other polishes. 

Aren't these nubbins sad?! I can't wait til they grow so I can swatch again!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Treasures by Tan

Holo lovers like me are always looking for great indie makers who you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for. Treasures by Tan is an up and rising indie maker who I stumbled upon in some groups I'm a member of and I want to show you two of her polishes today. Tanya, the polish maker and owner, describes her passion as:
I am stay at home mommy of 3 amazing kids. I love making jewelry, crafts, sewing, and have a passion for polish! It has always been my dream to have my own business with my own creations and Etsy has been a great starting point! I hope to one day be able to open a "brick and mortar" shop as well. Something my kids can be proud of!
The two I have to show you today are from her Summer Holo Hangover Collection:

First we have Aftershock which is a cherry red jelly holo and has all of that fabulous holo goodness with the addition of the squishy feel of a jelly. This polish is super versatile and I love it! It is thin enough to be used as a grey canceling red holo topcoat, but easily build-able that I had full opacity within three coats. As a blogger I err on the side of caution so I added a fourth coat here just because the camera tends to find VNL that the naked eye can't see. The coats were super fast drying and did not streak which is important for a holo polish.

Treasures by Tan Aftershock in full sun showing that holo! 

Treasures by Tan Aftershock in the shade still showing that holo! 

Next, I have Amazon Dreams which is a dusty coral pink creme based holo. This polish went opaque in just two coats and just like Aftershock, it had no streaking problems! The holo in this one is more subtle than in Aftershock, but it is a beauty! 

Treasures by Tan Amazon Dreams under my white lamp. The sun hid from me at this time :( 

Here is a close up of the holo beauty that is Amazon Dreams! 

You can find Treasures by Tan on Etsy and you can follow her at her Facebook page for updates on her new collections. She just released a Barbie inspired collection and some wonderful Fall chocolates! 

I was offered a discount in exchange for my honest review of these polishes. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

I promise I'm alive!!

You might or might have noticed my MIA spurt. Well let me tell you why because it has been insane lately.

I've started back to my 3rd and final year of law school! As result, each weekend, I've had full training sessions for my Juvenile Justice Clinic and Trial Advocacy classes. They will end after this weekend so I can have weekend blogging time again!

My parents went to our family reunion in Texas so I went to their place and baby sat all of my nieces and nephews. After 5 days with them, I am certain that only my cat children are destined to be in my near future! They are 8, 5, 4, and 3 months old! We did go to the zoo in Asheboro, NC one day so it was a pretty awesome time. Other than that, those days were spent breaking up fights and being bathed in baby puke- ew.

The biggest thing for me though is I GOT A JOB. A REAL LIFE ADULT JOB!!  In the fall, I will be starting as an Associate at Mullen, Holland & Cooper practicing in Federal Bankruptcy law. I could not be more excited. Since I have taken no bankruptcy courses prior, I promptly switched my schedule around so I'm trying to play catch up and learn 2 weeks of material before my first class after my transfer next Tuesday.

Whew! I am tired just reading about all of that! I've still been painting and photographing so I have a healthy back log of reviews and manicures to show you when I get a chance to sit down and load them into Photoshop.

To satiate your nail hunger, here is a quick photo of an 11pm swatch fest I had trying to avoid my bankruptcy book. These are all new babies and they have not yet made their way onto my nails yet!

Here are several Mentality Polishes, NailNation 3000, Colors by Llarowe, Philly Loves Lacquer, Too Fancy Lacquer, Julep, Lilypad Lacquer, and Crow's Toes :)