Thursday, August 23, 2012

Zoya Watermelon Nails

I was inspired by my Meg post the other day to try my hand at watermelon nails before summer is over.  I wore Meg on my fingers and toes back in July, and the manager at my local Sally Beauty Supply said she loved it and the color reminded her of watermelon.  When I finally updated the post the other day, an idea was born.  Since this was my first attempt and I wasn't sure I could pull this off, I decided to do the watermelon as an accent. 

For the base color I used Zoya Tracie since she's been sitting on my shelf for a while waiting to be used.  Tracie is from the Beach collection and Zoya describes her as: A faded, yellow-toned pistachio green with delicate silvery shimmer for a frosted pearl finish. Great for a fresh-looking twist on vintage avocado green.  I think it looks like a green tomato, with a slight pearly finish.  I have tomatoes on the brain since I have them everywhere in my garden.  The formula on Tracie was awesome, which is something I've come to expect with Zoya.  I needed 2 coats for full coverage.  I really love this color.  It is really different and I have nothing else like it.  It is the only pearly, shimmery shade in the creamy Beach collection.

Zoya Tracie
For the watermelon flesh I used 2 coats of Zoya Kimber, which Zoya describes as: Rich, bright and saturated medium magenta pink with strong gold metallic shimmer and a foil-like finish. A huge hit of color and a shot of shiny gold metal make this polish look electric.  Kimber is the perfect watermelon color, with a ton of gold flecks.  I'm not a pink girl, and I really like Kimber, she's pink, she's red, and she's a little bit orange

For the watermelon rind I used Zoya Meg and Tracie.  I used painters tape to do a french manicure once Kimber was completely dry.  Then I used my dotting tools to dot on Tracie to give it the striped effect.  You can't really see them though.  If you don't have dotting tools you can use a tooth pick, the ball end of a straight pin for sewing, or a bobby pin.

For the seeds I used my dotting tools and Spoiled's Visually Slimming, which is a great black for dotting or stamping.  And to add a whimsical touch, I felt the need to add a white seed with Spoiled's Correction Tape, also great for stamping and dotting.  You always get white seeds in your watermelon, even the seedless ones so a watermelon mani just wouldn't be complete without them.  What do you think?  My boys said they looked yummy and wanted to eat them.  My 2 year old actually tried to bite my finger.

Zoya is available via their website at and at Ulta and other select retailers.  Spoiled is made by Wet n Wild and is available exclusively at CVS, but not all stores carry it.  I got my dotting tools from Ebay for less than $2 but they can also be found on Amazon.

I purchased each of these colors myself and the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My favorite Cuticle Treatments

I used to bite my nails as a kid, so my nails were a mess for a long time. Then when I was nervous or bored I would pick my cuticles. Both are terrible habits. I can't stand it when I break and nail or hang nails. I have to something with them right away or I'll pick at them and make it worse. These days I keep a nail kit close by for nail emergencies, it has a file, buffer, clippers, and cuticle cutter in it and I've always got hand lotion and some type of cuticle treatment in my bag.

I have learned so much in the last few months about nail care and all the products available.  For the first time in my life I've actually got full, healthy cuticles on all of my nails.  These are a few of my favorite cuticle treatments that have gotten me there. 

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream - I have been using this and the peppermint lip balm for years, and it is my favorite.  I keep a tin of it in my purse, in my work desk, and by my bed.  It is a little greasy, but I've been using it for so long it doesn't bother me.  It is mostly made of oils (almond, sunflower, and vegetable) and waxes (beeswax and candelilla).  I get painful, swollen hang nails on a regular basis.  I put this on at night and wake up and it feels better and the swelling is usually gone.  You can buy it directly from their website or you can find it at most drugstores, grocery stores, Target, Wal-mart, etc for around $6 for the .6oz tin.  It lasts forever and in a pinch you can use it as a lip balm.  If you don't like greasy products during the day, I would recommend this at night.  I use it all the time. 

Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

European Secrets Hoofer's Choice Nail and Cuticle Cream - I got this at Sally Beauty Supply for $2.99 with my card for a 1 oz tub.  It is 3.49 if you don't have the club card.  Unlike the Burt's this is creamy and more like a lotion.  It isn't greasy.  I use this when I don't have hang nails or I got to bed without polish.  I smells a little medicinal, it has Menthol in it so it smells a little like Vick's Vapo-Rub.  I don't feel like I get as much moisture from this as I do the Burt's, but it's good when I want something that isn't greasy.  It does have beeswax, lanolin, soybean oil as the top ingredients.  A little goes a long way, but I apply it more frequently than the Burt's.  I'm not thrilled about the smell, but it goes away quickly.

A product thumbnail of Hoofer's Choice Nail and Cuticle Cream

Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea + Soy Cuticle Oil - I picked this up for vacation because I like to use cuticle oil on my nails after I finish painting them to help speed up the drying process and prevent smudging.  This is a tip I picked up from Tip Tip Nails South Africa's facebook page.  The tube is .21 fl oz/6.3ml and comes with a brush, and it retails between $5-8 and is available at most Sally Hansen retailers.  I needed something that would fit in my makeup bag and this fit the bill.  I'm hoping I can refill it when it's empty.  It absorbs pretty quickly so your hands and fingers aren't oily forever.

Nail Nutrition Green Tea + Soy Cuticle Oil - packaged
SuperNail Cuticle Oil - I pretty much only use this after I complete a manicure to help speed up the drying process.  I put some on a cotton ball and swipe it on each nail after the top coat has dried for a few minutes. You can certainly use it as a cuticle oil as well, and sometimes I do.  Another tip I got from Tip Top Nails was to rub cuticle oil onto polished nails before bed to keep the polish pliable and flexible so it doesn't chip.  It is $2.79 with card and $2.99 without at Sally's for an 8 oz bottle.  I use it every few days and it is lasting forever.  It absorbs pretty quickly, so you don't have oily fingers for long.  I noticed that if my nails are still wet this oil will bead on the nail.  The Sally Hansen oil doesn't bead.

A product thumbnail of SuperNail Professional Cuticle Oil

What are your favorites?  I hear Lush Lemony Flutter is great, but I haven't tried it yet.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Zoya Meg

Today I've got Zoya's Meg.  I wore this color back in July when I wrote this post, but I finally got around to getting the pictures off of my camera and using the photo software I got and haven't used much.  I'm using Pearl Mountain Image Converter which I won in a giveaway from the wonderful Beyond Beauty Lounge.

Meg is my latest and last addition to the Surf Collection.  I have to admit that Meg doesn't scream Summer to me, she reminds me of shiny Christmas wrapping paper.  I should put some red dots or something and do a Christmas in July mani.  I went to Sally's to pick up some polish of course and the Manager told me she loved it and Meg reminded her of watermelon.  

Zoya describes Meg as a light yellow-toned mermaid green with heavy gold and silver metallic shimmer and a sparkling foil finish. A light and fresh looking green with added sparkle and shine.  I think of mermaid's as a little more blue, so I would describe it as the color of fresh green grass.  It does have a ton of silver to give it the foil look, more so than the other's from this collection.

I loved the Surf Collection and so far I've loved all of the colors.  Meg is my least favorite in color and formula.  I like the color, I just don't love it.  I think I'll put her back on the shelf until December and giver her another try.  I didn't get as many brush marks with the other foils from this collection.  I did my toes with Meg and they look alot better than my fingers, I did paint them first and with alot more care. My left hand looks better than my right, so I think there was some operator error involved.  That's what I get for doing my nails at night after a long day.

I'm not going to give up on Meg just yet.  I think she'd be perfect for Christmas, I'll have to experiment with my reds to find the perfect match.  I ordered some striping tape from ebay and I'm planning a plaid Christmas mani with the red tape, but I'm thinking maybe a watermelon mani before summer is out.  I'm nail art challenged, but I just got my dotting tools and I've got some painter's tape in the garage.

China Glaze Rare and Radiant

Today I have China Glaze's Rare and Radiant from the Bohemian Collection.  I was super exited for this collection and was patiently awaiting it to show up at my local Sally Beauty Supply.  I did some retail therapy this past weekend and picked up all 6 colors.  I read many reviews and looked at alot of swatches before decided to purchase this collection.  I know alot of people weren't blown away by this collection, but I don't have many duochrome or chromes in my collections.  China Glaze dubs this collection Luster Chromes, which I think is appropriate because some colors look more duochrome in the bottle than they do on the nail.  I really like the colors.

Rare and Radiant is apparently a dupe of OPI's Just Spotted the Lizard and Chanel's Peridot.  I don't have the OPI or the Chanel so I can't compare them.  I keep trying to get my hands on the OPI version, as it is a lemming of mine, but it is very popular and always sold out.  It is a gold base that shifts to green and bronze.  I did 2 coats for full coverage, and used China Glaze base and top coats.  The formula was great, went on easily with no issues.  I did have a few brush strokes with only 2 coats, I did 3 coats with the other colors I used so far and the brush strokes weren't as evident.  I would recommend 3 coats with this collection if the brush strokes bother you, dry time is relatively fast with these so 3 coats shouldn't be a problem.  I need to get some better pictures.

I've got Unpredicatble, also from this collection, on my toes and it's a beautiful aqua/green with a gold shift.  I did need 3 coats for full color coverage with this one, but there were no visibile brush strokes.  I'll spare you pics of my feet.

As for longevity, I wore No Plain Jane over the weekend, which purple with a hint of orange shift.  We are finishing our basement some damage was done by one of the contractors, so we spent the weekend cleaning up the mess.  Which is why I didn't get pictures, but I'll be using it again.  I had 1 chip after 3 days of my nails being in and out of water and drywall dust, and that was on a nail that was badly damaged and weak before it was polished.  I blame the nail not the polish.  My other nails still looked beautiful, I could have just redone that nail and kept the mani on for a few more days, but I wanted to try my other colors.

I purchased this collection with my own money and the opinions are my own.  The Bohemian Collection can be found at Ulta and Sally Beauty Supply and various other beauty supply retailer/etailers.  It is a Limited Edition Collection that was released in August 2012.