Friday, March 30, 2012

It's Giveaway Time! Sponsored by Verve 360 hair salons in Pittsburgh.

EDIT:  I knew I'd forget something! I added two more ways to enter to the Rafflecopter widget. Also, this giveaway is open til April 10, 2012. Sorry, I'm a goofball.

Life is good! Not only have I had an awesome bump in readers lately, I've also had some really great emails. One email was from Verve 360, a fantastic group of hair salons in Pittsburgh, PA. They'd seen my recent post on making custom nail decals with scrapbook punches and really liked it!

After several emails, we decided that we were going to do a giveaway together! I'm really excited about this one, because the prize is two absolutely gorgeous Zoya polishes. I kind of wish I could enter my own giveaway!

The winner will receive two brand new bottles of Zoya polish from their True spring 2012 collection- Skylar and Lotus. Skylar is described as "a medium steel blue with a softened, dusty look and speckled by visible gold and silver shimmer flecks. A soft blue that's bold without being too dark, bright or flashy." Lotus is described as "A saturated, red-toned grape purple with speckled shimmer that reflects gold, orange and red. Bold and saturated warm color made even more interesting with color-shifting shimmer."

Entering is really simple, too. I've fallen in love with Rafflecopter for my giveaways since it makes things so easy, both for entering and for picking a winner! Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open for the continental US. One of these days, once I'm a bit ahead financially, I plan to do some international giveaways. For now, I'm limited though... I hope you guys understand!

This giveaway is open until April 10, 2012. So, go ahead and enter! :D

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This glitterbomb needs a name!

Expand this for full-on
glitter madness!
Ok, it's official. I'm over my dislike of bar glitter, at least for this particular application. I've said more than once that I don't really like bar glitter, mainly because it looks like your nails are hairy.

Seriously. Who wants hairy nails??

Then a polish came along to change my mind a bit- OPI's Save Me from the Nicki Minaj collection. I don't know why, but the little strings of holographic glitter worked for me in this one.

I kept seeing it every time I went to the local big box store, because the salon inside it sells OPI. But I'm cheap, and I'm broke. I didn't want to buy it if I didn't have to...

I kept wishing and wanting, and thinking I could do this myself. I won a contest from Viva la Nails and got some holographic bar glitter, thinking it would come in handy to franken my own... and then last night the final piece fell into place.

My husband wanted to stop by the Dollar Tree to grab a couple of things, and as usual my first stop was cosmetics. Sure enough, there was a nice selection of Sally Hansen polishes in the two-for-one blister packs! I picked up a couple, including Twinkle Twinkle in Xtreme Wear. It had the large hex holo glitter as well as the base silver I wanted.

I used a bottle of clear Wet n Wild polish for the base. I added a healthy blob of Twinkle Twinkle as well as some Chin Glaze Techno, then added a lot of the string glitter. Finally, I added some small holo glitter I bought literally 16 years ago for a crazy Mardi Gras. I threw in a couple of balls from TKB trading and shook like I was trying to dance in the 80s...

This is the result.

The only problem is that something this spectacular needs a name. I'm at a loss for words, so why not leave me a comment suggesting something?

Magpie, me? Whatever makes you say that...
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Viva la Nails Order Unboxing!

I love getting nail mail! I recently placed an order with Viva la Nails using the gift certificate I won recently. I spent ages trying to pick out what I wanted to order! I finally narrowed down my choices, though, and I'm so excited to see what I got!

Since I was so excited to open my package, I decided to share the fun with you guys. Watch the vid, and get a sneak peek at some of the goodies I'll be using in upcoming nail art!

Some of the items I bought were on clearance, so I can only link you to the category. The rest, though, I'll link directly to the items so you can get your own if you like!

Neon Green Glitter Dust (clearance)
Water Decal Nail Wraps #29
Green Dazzling Sticker Paper
Blue Striping Tape
Silver (holographic) Super Flitter
Crimson Nail Art Feathers
Purple Dazzling Paper
Thanks, Viva la Nails, for hosting such a fun giveaway!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jessica- Dazed Dahlia

Wow! You know how sometimes you'll get a positive spike in blog readers, then it'll die down after a couple of days? This totally didn't happen this week!

Instead? OMG, y'all, I've had SO MANY PAGEVIEWS this weekend! Like, 20,000 on Saturday alone! I've been sitting and watching, and expecting the numbers to fall down again, but so far, it's not happening. So, umm...

... Hi, everyone? :D

You may have seen me on Pinterest, or on various blog posts. I love to write, and I love doing nail art. I really enjoy making tutorials, whether with photos or with video. Most of all, though, I really love to be silly. You'll pick up on that if you stick around, which I certainly hope you do! Feel free to make requests of what you'd like to see, too.

So... Back to the polish! After the weekend's revelry, I've been absolutely pooped! Too much dancing, not enough resting, and my spoon supply has been greatly depleted. Still, I can't complain, it was absolutely wonderful spending time with family and friends! Still, I wound up having to go for a simple manicure today... good thing it's a pretty one!

Enter Jessica's Dazed Dahlia, from the Heavy Petal collection. I love that name! It suits me in so many ways... Dazed Dahlia is a gorgeous red-violet creme, deep and saturated and absolutely perfect! Not only is it a beautiful color, not only does it dry nicely, it's a one-coat polish!

That's right... I'm wearing one coat in these photos. I'm in love with this polish, because it's everything I could hope for. Well, it doesn't do my laundry, but then again what polish does?

I'm also happy because I remembered bottle shots for this one! I don't know why I forget those so often, but I do. Ah well... I guess that's not a huge deal. Do you prefer seeing bottle shots in a blog post?

Then there's the stamping. Sadly, it doesn't show up well on black, but that's ok... it's gorgeous on white! I used the Salon Express stamping plates to test it with, and absolutely love the result. I wish they made additional plates!

Now, since it's getting close to midnight and I'd like to sleep eventually, I'll leave you with the rest of the photos I took. You can find Jessica polishes for $7.50 each at a salon near you, or at the Jessica Cosmetics website. With over 200 colors, you're bound to find something you love!

 Til next time!

Polish was provided by the brand for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Easter Means Crawfish!

Boiled crawfish and a sliced bulb of garlic, yummy!
Ahhh, Easter. I'm not religious, but most of my husband's family is Catholic, so every year they throw a huge crawfish boil. It's the perfect occasion for catching up with family, eating til you think you're going to explode, and just letting the good times roll.

Oddly enough, I'm really not a big fan of crawfish. I'll eat them in things like crawfish etouffee or crawfish pie, but I'm just not fond of peeling boiled crawfish. So, I end up sitting and eating a hot dog or something while everyone around me slurps and cracks and does all those other icky things. :D

Anyway, on to the fun stuff- nails! I'm kind of frustrated, because while this was an adorable design in my head it just didn't work so well in reality. I did a base coat of China Glaze Dance Baby, followed by two sponged coats of a gradient from Fuchsia Fanatic to Gothic Lolita (both China Glaze as well). Then I stamped on some flowers in Scherer Chameleon's Blue Sky. I topped it off with my Best Nail Treatments topcoat, which I've found works beautifully for stamping.

I think I would have liked this better with a lighter stamp, or a lighter background. The Chameleon polish stamps really nicely, but it just didn't show well enough on this background. The pink-to-purple gradient was nice enough, but... I don't know. Something about this just didn't work for me.

Ah well. It wasn't awful, it just wasn't what I had hoped it would be. I did get compliments on it today, though, so all's well that ends well. And now, picspam.

Mmmm, nothing like small boiled crustceans.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Spring Garden Fail

Once again, I've got an interesting story to share, and a somewhat failed manicure at the end of it all. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't altogether successful, either. It all started in the scrapbooking aisle...

We'd gone walking again, as we so often do. I don't like going for walks outside for several reasons- temperature fluctuations, bugs, traffic, etc. But mainly I find that it's really easy for me to overdo, and with the fibro I often won't realize I've done too much until exhaustion slaps me in the head and I just can't go any more. If we're walking at a shop, most of the time my husband can go pick up a scooter and I can make it back out to the car without having to call 911.

Having to call 911 isn't fun. People stare. :D

So, a few days ago we were walking through the scrapbooking section of my local big box store and I saw a punch I absolutely needed to have. It's the cutest little flower, and while it's a tiny bit large for nails, it's definitely doable.

Of course, the moment I saw it, I could envision so many ways to decorate it- adding a rhinestone in the center of it, adding glitter pieces to the center, making polish strips with swirls or gradients to use with it.

I knew this was going to be a fun one. I just didn't realize how MUCH fun it would be!

The first thing I did when I got home with it was to make some polish strips to punch flowers from. Once again, I primarily used the China Glaze Electropop polishes, simply because they're so versatile. I did several patterns- basic yellow with a topping of Love My Nails Dazzling, a set of diagonal stripes. a set with blobs of color painted on semi-randomly, and a strip of light pink topped with round stamps of yellow and red.

I knew these strips wouldn't result in actual flower-like patterns, but I was ok with that. I wanted something whimsical, and this worked pretty well!

While those were drying, I decided to experiment with a piece of foil my son had brought me. He'd gotten a jar of Nutella and thought the seal from the jar might make interesting nail decals. He's so sweet! He was right, too... the foil was sturdy enough to punch and lightweight enough not to be problematic.

I managed to get 28 decals from the foil. The best part? They're double-sided, gold on one side and silver on the other. I get to choose what side I want to be the top when I use them.

Once the strips were dry, I punched them as well. I got a lot of decals from the few strips I made, and I let them dry for a couple of days before putting them in the box to store them.

I love how these turned out. The colors on them ended up looking sweet, and there's so much variety even with the few I made. Note the decals that aren't complete- these aren't a waste. I use these on the edges of my fingers to make it look like the pattern continues off the nail. Don't toss the incomplete ones!

Speaking of storage, I went with this cute little favor box I found on sale after Valentine's day. I got twelve of them for something like a dollar. LOVE sales!

Since I have so many of the boxes, I decided to label the top of this one and make it clear what was inside. Instead of writing on the box, I dabbed on a bit of clear polish, then pressed a decal into place. Another coat of polish on top and now I know at a glance what's in the box!

Finally, the manicure! This was easy, but took quite a bit of time. I ended up using quite a variety of things to make the centers, like loose glitter, glitter polishes, and rhinestones. I think I'm wearing five different colors/shapes/sizes of stones! Over the top? Actually, it kind of works.

And since it's once again 3:30AM and I'm tired, I'll just share the photos. The process for these was easy- base coat, 3 coats of Gaga for Green, dabs of clear polish to set the flowers into, dabs of clear polish to set the stones and glitter into place, and finally quick dry top coat to finish it all off. Took me about two and a half hours, but lots of that was me trying to decide what to use for centers!

The big blue rhinestone is from Born Pretty, the pink flower is from my Fing'rsnail gem kit, and the black rhinestone is from Viva la Nails.

Unfortunately, my polishes didn't play well with my quick-dry top coat this time. Maybe it was the number of layers of polish, I don't know. But the next morning, I noticed these two enormous gouges in my left thumb! So sad.

I didn't remove this, though. I figured you couldn't really see the gouges unless you were super close to  my nails, so I didn't worry about it.

Frankly, if someone is 6 inches from your nails, you've got bigger things to worry about than your nail polish!

Ok, now it's time for me to see if I can convince my brain to shut off for a while so I can sleep. I'm starting to feel better overall,which is making me feel more creative. Unfortunately, creative doesn't mesh well with sleep!

Various items have been provided by the manufacturers for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Curling your hair with... socks??

Have you guys seen I just got a link in my email and clicked over, and within moments found the coolest idea... did you know you can make gorgeous heat-free curls in your hair using socks??

I'm blown away. I had no idea, and now I'm looking at my socks with a new eye. There may be pictures to come soon. You know, after I sleep. :D

Rainbows and Holos and Zebras, Oh MY!

Tonight, I am exhausted. I didn't sleep last night, and I only napped for a couple of hours this afternoon. Then, I taught a 3 hour guest-lecture in my husband's photoshop class. It was loads of fun, but now I have not only used up my spoons, I've borrowed from next week's spoons. I am utterly and completely spoonless.

So, instead of writing up how I made what I'm wearing, I'll simply post pic spam. Let today be known as Spammy Tuesday! If you have questions about how I made this, just ask.




Jessica Holographic Topcoats were provided by the manufacturer for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.