Sunday, December 30, 2012

Germainicure by OPI

This manicure is from Thanksgiving, but I am just getting around to posting it.  We had family in town for Thanksgiving, and before that I was looking for a new job.  Then I started a new job, so needless to say my life has been super hectic since mid-November.  Before I knew what happened it was Christmas and I hadn't posted anything for a while.  I have the next few days off so I'm going to try to catch up on my old posts and post some new stuff too.

So onto the polish, here I have Germanicure by OPI from the Germany Collection from Fall 2012.  I don't have anything else like this in my growing collection.  This polish is gorgeous.  It is burgundy, the main hue is brown but it also has strong red and even purple undertones.  I don't have a lot of brown toned polishes but I'm glad I opted for this instead of another one.


Application was flawless.  This collection has the pro-wide brushes.  I like the wide brushes and find that for me, I have a much cleaner painting experience with them.  I know not everyone likes the wide brushes, I think you either love them or you don't.

I purchased this with my own money and the opinions are my own.

Salon Express Snowflakes and Beginner Tips

I got a Salon Express Stamping Kit at Walgreen's a few months ago for $10.  I have tried to get it to work and have failed horribly at getting any of the images to transfer to my nails.  I didn't want to invest any more time and money into stamping if operator error was the problem.  I've been seeing so many beautiful stamped manicures particularly the Bundle Monster 323 Plate with the snowflakes.  Determined to give it another try and get it to work, I did some reading in my polish groups on Facebook and got some tips.


I already had on OPI's I Vant to Be A-Lone Star, see the post here, as a base and went to work with China Glaze Frost Bite and Spoiled Correction Tape for the stamps.  I used the SE20 plate that came with the kit.  I tried to use this image back in the summer for fireworks for Fourth of July, but it was a total failure.  Here some of the tips I came up with and that I picked up from the lovely ladies that are better at stamping that I am:
  1. Rough up the rubber part of the stamper with a file to pick up the image.  I used my glass file and lightly filed the end of the stamper.  I saw much better results picking up the image after doing this.
  2. Use an old credit card or gift card instead of the metal scraper that comes with the kit to scrape away excess polish.  I had an old gift card and it gave me much better control since the card is flexible and pushed the polish into the image grooves better.  You can get a better angle with a plastic card too.  The metal scraper scratches the stamping plates.
  3. Wipe everything down with acetone or remover after each stamp.  Use a qtip if needed to get into the lines of intricate images.  I like the pointy ones.  Make sure the plate is dry before applying polish again or the polish will run.
  4. Roll the stamper over the image plate to pick up the image and then roll over your nail to transfer the image.  I tried to pick up the image using an up and down motion on the plate and that just doesn't work.
Once the stamps were dry, I added a coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust to give it just a hint of sparkle and a coat of Seche Vite to seal everything up.  It gives it the look of snow crystals in the sun.  I'm really proud of this manicure and really excited to share my first stamping success.

What do you think of stamping?  Now that I've go the hang of it I think I want to buy some more plates. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fiver and Frosty

I wore Butter London's Fiver earlier in the week, you can see the post here.  I decided to dress it up with some glitter with one of my new indies.  This one is from Amy's Nail Boutique, or you can find her on Facebook, she makes amazing polishes and has super fast shipping.  Frosty is only available through the end of December so get it while it's still available.  I have a few of her other polishes that I can't wait to try.

Fiver is an amazing spring color, but Frosty is perfect for winter.  In my opinion they were a perfect match.  The blue hex glitters were almost the same color as Fiver so they were a match made in polish heaven.

Frosty went on packed with glitter and I didn't have to fish to get the glitter out or manipulate it to get it where I wanted it.  This is 2 coats of Frosty.  Application was good.  I used a coat of Gelous to tame the glitter and a coat of quick dry top coat.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Influenster Holiday VoxBox 2012

I'm very excited to have received another VoxBox from Influenster.  In my opinion this is a great box.  It has a lot of great stuff in it that I can't wait to try out.  So what is in the Holiday Box?

EBOOST Pink Lemonade.  I've had the Orange before in another box and it was pretty good so I'm looking forward to trying this flavor.

Quaker Real Medley Oatmeal cup in Cherry Pistachio.  I love oatmeal, and I am always looking for something quick and on the go.  I usually add stuff to my oatmeal anyway like raisins so I'm anxious to try this. 

Kiss Nail Dress, nail polish strips.  I'm a nail polish junkie so these are perfect for me.  They are covered in bling so they are perfect for the upcoming New Year's celebrations.

NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine.  I love lip gloss and keep it with me all the time so I'm happy to try out a new one.  I've only ever used NYC nail polish before so I'm anxious to try their make up products.  They are very inexpensive and readily available.

Goody Quikstyle Brush.  This brush looks funny for sure, but I'm interested to see how well it works.  I blow dry my hair almost every morning before work and anything that speeds up that process is a welcome addition to my beauty drawer.

A coupon for Sole Society.  I've been admiring Sole Society's shoes for a few months now but haven't bought anything, in the box is a coupon for $25 off your first purchase.  Their shoes start at around $50, so that's a pretty good deal.  UPDATE:  The code is INFLUENSTER25 for $25 off your first purchase ..

Butter London Fiver

So Santa must have thought I was a very good girl this year because I got lots of Butter London goodies for Christmas!  One of the lovelies under the tree for me was Fiver, one of the Spring colors that is set to be released tomorrow.  Not sure how Santa, AKA my awesome husband, got ahold of it, but he did a really good job picking colors that I didn't already have.  It helps that I don't have many Butter London's.  I was very excited to get nail polish for Christmas, let alone an unreleased Butter London color.

Fiver is a really pretty mint green.  It will be perfect for spring.  The other colors in the collection are pastels as well, and I can't wait to see what they look like.  If you are a mint green polish lover I really recommend this one.  The first coat went on a little thin and streaky, but the second coat was fine.  Everything went on smooth and leveled nicely after the initial coat.  I did have some balding on 3 of my nails after the second coat so I did 3 coats on all of my nails just to be safe and even everything out.  That was operator error, not the polish.  I always get bald spots on my thumb and right index finger no matter what polish I use.

Butter London is available on their website and Fiver should be available at Macy's soon, since that's where my Santa picked it up.  Butter London will be releasing more information about their Spring Collection on December 26th.  If you are a pastel person and you love Butter London, I recommend checking them out.  Keep and eye out on their Facebook page for sale updates and news.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

OPI I Vant to Be A-Lone Star

I have been MIA for a while, I was looking for a new job from September until just before Thanksgiving.  Fortunately I found something pretty quickly.  Then it was Thanksgiving and I hosted 9 of my inlaws for a few days which was awesome.  We had a really good time.  I cooked dinner for 15 people, which is the largest meal I've ever cooked and everything turned out really good.  I've since started my new job and life has been pretty hectic as I figure everything out.  Now it is almost Christmas, and I can't believe another year is about to come to a close.  Needless to say I have been doing manicures and taking pictures but haven't been posting much.  I finally have a minute to myself so I'm trying to catch up.

I did this manicure right after Thanksgiving since it was cold and snowing here in PA.  I have had OPI's I Vant to Be A-Lone Star from the Texas Collection for a while and I haven't used it.  I got it on clearance at Ulta when I first started my polish buying obsession back in the spring.  I know it was from the Spring 2011 line but I think it is the perfect winter blue.  It reminds me of snowflakes.


I used 3 coats to even everything out.  I still had visible nail line after 2 coats with this.  I loved the pearly silver shimmer that this color has to it.  I've had this polish on for several days with Seche Clear and Seche Vite as the base and top coats and it is wearing like iron.

Bloggers Unite for Peace, Non-Violence, and Remembrance of the Innocent

In light of the horrific tragedy in Connecticuit yesterday, the Nail Polish Community has come together today in wearing white manicures for Peace, Non-Violence, and Remembrance of the Innocent.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families who lost someone yesterday and to the entire school and community as they grieve.  As a mother of 2, I am particularly upset and saddened by what happened and can't begin to fathom the pain and anguish of the parents in Sandy Hook who lost their babies yesterday.  While I know my manicure isn't going to physically do anything, to help anyone but with all of the wonderful women in this community coming together I hope that with every page view the power of thought and prayer reaches those in Sandy Hook and that our thoughts and prayers reach them and bring them some comfort on this sad December night.  I also want to send some thoughts and prayers to Oregon to those who were touched by violence in the mall shooting this week as well.

I chose Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Polar Bare and OPI Pirouette My Whistle.  What you see here is 2 coats Polar Bare, 1 Coat Pirouette My Whistle, and 1 Coat Polar Bare.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kisses for St. Nick

Today I have an Indie Polish for you.  This is Liquid Lacquer's Kisses for St. Nick.  It was a limited edition holiday polish.  You should her out on Facebook for info on her restocks and pictures of her other polishes.

I actually don't have a ton of indie polishes and was actually my first indie purchase.  I didn't jump on the indie bandwagon right away, so I only had 3 before this purchase and I won those in giveaways.  I've only recently purchased some indie polishes from makers that I have really come to trust through blogger reviews and other interactions, and Melissa from Liquid Lacquer is one of them.  She really makes some beautiful stuff.  I am anxiously awaiting her next restock and can't wait to use the other polish that I bought.

Kisses for St. Nick is a white base packed with red and green glitter in several sizes in hexes and squares.  The large red sqares are my favorite for some reason.  The polish went on like a dream.  Sometimes glitter packed polish is pain to apply.  What you see here is 2 coats over 2 coats of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Pink Slip which is what I had done my nails with earlier in the day before work.  Pink Slip is a sheer milky white-pink that builds, so it made a perfect base for this.  I  used a coat of Gelous to smooth things out, and topped it with a coat of Diamond Dry.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cyberspace & Sunshine

The sun is finally out in PA.  It is chilly, but the sun is shining.  I took all of these pictures in direct sunlight.

Today I've got Milani Cyberspace which is one of the 3D Hographic polishes.  It is a scattered holo versus a linear holo.  I picked it up during a B1G1 50% off sale at CVS.  CVS is the only place around me that sells Milani products that I've come across so far.  I first saw Cyberspace on Tall Girl in Heels and fell in love, and finally got my hands on them when they went on sale.

Cyberspace went on like a dream.  It does need 3 coats for full opacity.  You can get away with 2 but you will still have visible nail line in certain lighting.  I went with 3 just to be safe.  Dry time was quick so I didn't mind.  I can't wait to try out the other 3 that I got.

Blurred to show sparkle

I purchased this product with my own money and the opinions are my own.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Pumice

So I finally got my hands on Pumice from the Alexander Wang for Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Collection.  It was a Target exclusive, release for Fashion Week to coincide with his 2012 collection.  He did 3 colors, Bandage and Ion were the other colors.  Bandage is a fleshy nude and Ion is a greyish white.  Pumice was the only one calling my name.  I got the very last one on the display and they were on clearance.  

I'm loving the grey-green earth tones that all the polish makers brought us this summer and fall and Pumice is an earthy green with a grey stone colored hue to it.  Inside it looks green, outside it looks grey and I love it.  I'm no stranger to Sally Hansen products and polish, but this is actually my first experience with Complete Salon Manicure polish.  I've always wanted to try them, but they are expensive for a drugstore brand.  They are base coat, polish, and top coat in one, so overall you are getting a great deal in one bottle.  I just picked up a whole bunch last week on clearance at Walgreens, and I'm excited to have them in my collection.

Pumice required 3 coats for full coverage.  It was a little streaky after 2 coats but dry time was actually really fast so 3 coats was no problem.  The  brush on these polishes is wide, so it may take some getting used to.  I  personally like wide brushes.  I had a coat of Sally Hansen Miracle Cure 4 in 1 treatment on as a base and I didn't use a top coat.  The polish lasted about 4 days for me before I had to remove it.

What do you think of Complete Salon Manicure polishes?

I purchased this with my own money at Target and the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

China Glaze Swanky Silk

Today I have Swanky Silk from the China Glaze Bohemian Collection.  

Here is what they look like on a nail wheel.  There are a total of 6 Bohemians.  I really like them, the formula is decent on all of them.  They all need 3 coats to even out brush strokes and get full coverage.

L to R: Rare and Radiant, Swanky Silk, No Plain Jane, Unpredictable, Deviantly Daring, Want My Bawdy
This is the most neutral of the shades, and probably the most work appropriate if you need to wear conservative colors on your hands at work.  Swanky Silk is a shiny metallic taupey beige with a coppery or rose gold colored shift, every once in a while you get a little bit of green too.  It is also perfect for fall with the rose gold.  I think this is one of the more duochrome colors in the collection.  I normally don't wear neutral colors, but I had a professional meeting to go to and didn't know how a more bold color would go.  I went with this because it is neutral yet interesting.  It was tough to get a good photo of the flash and duochrome nature of Swanky Silk.

Attempting to catch the flash, you can see the rose gold on the right

My husband said it looked like Humpty Dumpty from Puss n Boots, which we had just watched with the kids, when he dressed up as the golden egg to steal the gosling that lays golden eggs from.  Needless to say mama goose is not happy wants her baby back.

The the formula is a bit sheer, but the pigment was great.  I had some staining from previous manicure, and you couldn't really tell after the first coat.  The formula is also a little thin, but not terrible.  I recommend 3 thin coats.  I had some pooling around the cuticle, but found that wiping the excess off the brush and doing thinner coats took care of that problem.  Once I got used to the formula I had no application issues and almost no clean up.  I did 3 coats for full coverage and to get rid of visible nail line and even out nail blemishes.  The first coat is a little streaky, but the 2nd and 3rd are better and the brush strokes almost completely disappear on the 2nd coat and are gone by the 3rd.  Dry time is pretty quick so I didn't mind 3 coats.  The camera is unforgiving with this polish, you can see the blemishes more so in the photo than you could on my nail.  I would have never taken pictures otherwise.  Since I already had take the photos I thought I'd post them and explain what happened.  You can see that it looks like I have shrinkage in the photo, but in reality the end of my nail peeled and it really shows in the photos.  I think next time I would use a creme polish as underwear if I have damage or get a ridge filler to help clear up damaged spots.

I purchased this with my own money and the opinions are my own.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Contest Nails

Check out my submission to the Polished Zombie's Nail Art Contest.  I by no means am an artist but this is what I came up with. I had been wanting to try out some different techniques and this was the perfect opportunity.  I also got to use some polishes I hadn't tried out yet.

Thumb - Mummy - Orly Decades of Dysfunction with China Glaze Stone Cold done with Striping Tape
Index - Monster Eye - Spoiled I Only Eat Salads with Sinful Colors Snow Me White and Black on Black and a mix of Orly Grave Mistake and Forever Crimson
Middle - Splatter - China Glaze Elephant Walk, Sinful Colors Black on Black, Spoiled I only Eat Salads, and Orly Grave Mistake - I used a cocktail straw and taped around my nail to make clean up easier. 
Ring - Black Wisdow - Sinful Colors Snow Me White and Black on Black, I used dotting tools to make the body and striping brushes to make the legs.  I used a the same mix of Orly Grave Mistake and Forever Crimson for the dot on the body
Pinky - Jack-o-lantern - OPI Deutsche You Want Me Baby and Sinful Colors Black on Black.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

This weeks Mega Haul all under $50

Some of you may know that Sinful Colors Nail Polish is on Sale for $0.99  this week 10/21/12 through 10/27/12 at Walgreen's.  You have to get the new "balance rewards" card though.  I signed up and got a $5 off $20 purchase but it was only good for 48 hours, which I put to good use.  The nail art polishes are on sale too.  I picked up 13 on Sunday and a few more on Tuesday.  I only buy Sinfuls during this sale, they retail for $1.99 anyway, but why not save the extra $1. Here's what I got:

Muse, Jungle Trail, Smokin, In the Mist
Hot Spot, Gone Platinum, Hot Wired, Moss Have, Precious Metal
Last Chance, Irish Green, Happy Ending, Mesmerize
Also at Walgreen's, the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes are on clearance for $1.89 at my stores.  The CSM line is being reformulated and re-released so they are on clearance at Walgreens.  Target has certain colors on clearance as well.  They've been on clearance for a while so most stores are cleaned out, but I hit the mother load.  I found a store that didn't know they were supposed to be marked down.  They were on clearance in the computer but they didn't have the stickers out.  I had been to 2 other Walgreen's in the area looking for cheap polish as CSM polish is $7-8 or more depending on where you shop.  The stores I went to were pretty much wiped out, but the 3rd one I went to had a full selection.  I was able to get all of the colors I wanted except 1, but they didn't carry that color anyway.  I'm was on the hunt for Pumice, which is a Target exclusive color.  I got used my $5 off of $20, so I got 11 CSM colors for $16.74 after tax.  My receipts says I saved over 80% and over $66.  That's a great deal in my book!  If you can find a Walgreens that still has some of these I'd recommend trying them.  I never picked them up because of the price before. I went back to buy Halloween candy at another Walgreens and got 4 more which is all they had left.  Here's what I got:

Pedal to the Medal, Pat on the Black, Greige Gardens, Plum Luck, Good to Grape
Sheer Me Now, Pink Slip, Polar Bare, Hidden Treasure
Raisin the Bar, Wine Not, Haute Chocolate, All Fired Up, Right Said Red, Black Platinum
I shop at Target alot and polish is always on my list.  They had a bunch of L'Oreal stuff on clearance and some Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicures on sale.  Of course the first Target I went to didn't have Pumice which for some reason I had to have.  It was a LE color by Alexander Wang for Sally Hansen for Fashion Week to go with his new 2012 runway collection.   I went to another Target later in the week and I scored the very last one.  Pumice was really popular to begin with, and now they are starting to mark down the SH CSM fashion week Target colors.  I had coupons for the L'Oreal and the Revlon too.

Pumice, Rainy Piccadilly, Notting Hill Blues, Moon Candy Cosmic
I can't wait to swatch all of these!  I'm going on a no/very low buy now.  I have so many untrieds its unreal.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

China Glaze Fast Track

I am looking for a new job so I've been doing tons of phone screens and phone interviews.  Of course I've got every color of polish under the sun and can't go to an interview or a meeting with a headhunter or staffing agency with crazy nails.  I have to get the job first.  I picked up Fast Track from the Hunger Games Collection when the collection went on clearance at Ulta and Sally's a while back.  China Glaze released a 12 polish collection in honor of the movie a while back, 1 color for each district in the books/movie, Fast Track being one of them.  I haven't seen the movie or read the books yet, but I plan to, I'm a busy mom and I rarely get to read or go to the movies.  Fast Track was one of the only colors I wanted from the collection, but it was one of the more popular colors in the collection and was hard to find even at full price.  I was able to get a whole set when they went on clearance and the stores were trying to clear out their stock.

Fast Track is a beautiful taupe colored nude with golden sparkles.  It is a great color for the office or a more conservative workplace.  I wore it for a coffee meeting with a staffing agency.  It is neutral, but the gold flecks dress it up.  I'm not a fan of neutral or nude creme polishes, but Fast Track doens't fit in that category at all.

I did 3 coats of Fast track for full coverage, depending on your application you might be able to get away with just 2, the first coat was pretty sheer.  The formula built nicely and I had no application issues.  Dry time was normal for China Glaze. 

I purchased this with my own money and the opinions are my own.

French Tip with Band-Aid

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So I saw this on Facebook from Nail Impressions.  She used a round band-aid as a french tip guide.  I thought that was kind of brilliant.  I almost never use the round band aids that come in the first aid kit becasue they are too small to use on any substantial injury or they fall off after 10 seconds anyway.  They are the perfect shape for a nail guide and unlike the french tip guides I've used in the past and they actually stick.  I've used scotch tape and painters tape to get a straight line, but the band aids actually give you the curved line.  I've freehanded a white line with a brush and acetone before for a traditional french mani, but it never looks quite right and it isn't as crisp as I would like.  This way you can do a funky or a traditional french and you can actually tell where the line is going to go.

Start with a completely dry base color, here I have Pixi Real Rose, see the full post here.  Cover the dry nail with the band-aid.  You can do this on a bare nail if you want to do a traditional french o over your base coat if you are using white as your accent.

Add your french color, here I'm going with China Glaze Full Spectrum.  If you are doing 2 coats do it very quickly while the 1st coat is still wet.

Peel the band-aid off as soon as you are done while the accent color is still wet to get a clean line.

Pre top coat and clean-up
Let the accent dry for a minute and cover with top coat.  Clean up as you would normally.

The final product
A few tips:
  • Make sure your polish is completely dry before you apply the band-aid.  You'll get weird marks on your nail if you don't wait.
  • Make sure the band-aid is completely pushed down along the side of your nail so the polish doesn't leak underneath.  You can use a cuticle pusher or pointed nail file to help.  In the beginning you can use a dry nail.
  • Make sure you don't get any polish on the back of the band-aid, it will transfer to your nail.
  • Just like with any other tape, remove the band-aid while the accent polish is still wet to get a clean sharp line.
  • Depending on how fast the polish dries on the top of the band-aid and the quality of the adhesive you can use 1 band-aid for all 10 nails, you might need 2.  I needed 2 for both hands.
So what do you think?  Would you try band-aids as a nail art tool?  I have a bunch of these in a drawer that won't ever get used.  I will totally use this technique again.  It was fast and easy, and used a household item I already had onhand.