Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Last Halloween Nail Design

I know this is last minute, but I love this design so much I had to share it. I wanted to do sort of a take on candy corn but with a twist. This bright beauty is what I came up with, and I am absolutely in love with it!

This one isn't difficult to do, but it is fiddly. First I painted the nail with pink, orange, and yellow. I went with vibrant, almost neon colors because I wanted a strong, graphic look to them. I also didn't worry about a neat line, since I wanted that sort of candy corn feel to it.

Once that layer was dry, I very precisely laid out stripes using three pieces of striping tape next to each other, then skipping around that much space and adding another three pieces side-by-side. This gave me much thicker lines than I would have had just using the single pieces of striping tape. However, you could use whatever size tape you like.

I then painted the entire nail with a black creme polish. I pulled the tape pieces off while the polish was still wet, being careful not to smear the still-wet black. I let this dry for several minutes before adding a coat of quick-dry topcoat. That sealed the colors together and let them look glassy and seamless.

Can I just say how much this design makes me smile?? Seriously, I want to do all my nails like this! The bright colors look all the more bright next to the black, and I think thinner lines of color contrasted with thicker lines of black could be a fun spin on this idea. Clearly, I have some experimenting to do!

Speaking of, I may have some nail sets up for sale soon, so if you're looking for some sparkly nails for the holidays I just might be able to help you out! Keep an eye on this space... :D

Some polishes were provided by the brand for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Doctor's Remedy Breast Cancer Awareness Colors

I have another post I've been intending to make for a couple of weeks now. Stupid body has been uncooperative, but I've finally got the photos for the post! Dr.'s Remedy has three gorgeous colors to help you observe breast cancer awareness month.

First up is Purity Pink, a delicate translucent pink creme that would be absolutely perfect for a french manicure. I'm not really one for the visible nail line look, so this color isn't my cup of tea. However, it's definitely perfect for women who want a delicate, work-appropriate nail color. These photos show three coats of Purity Pink.

Next up is Hopeful Hot Pink, a bright bubblegum pink creme color that definitely made me smile. This color is much more me, while still being work-appropriate for most jobs. It's not a super-vibrant hot pink so much as a softer pink that makes me think of Barbie.

I only needed two coats of Hopeful Hot Pink to have beautiful, even coverage. As usual, this polish applied almost effortlessly. I'll wear this one again.
Finally there's Defense Deep Red, a deep dark red creme that almost comes across as a very warm black. I used two coats of this and was very happy with it, although you can see I had a bit of dragging at the base of my nail on one finger. I blame my poor application on that one, though, because I swatched these while I was feeling poorly. This is definitely a color I like, and it's one I'll wear again I'm sure.

Unfortunately, since this red is so incredibly pigmented it can be a pain to clean up around the edges. You can see that my fingers have some leftover red around the edges. That's after I cleaned up with acetone and a brush, so be careful when you apply this one!

Dr.'s Remedy polishes can be bought at their website, and they cost $17 per bottle. Dr.'s Remedy polishes are not only big 3-free, they're also enriched with ingredients to help protect and strengthen your nails. It's one of my favorite brands, and I love wearing their polishes.

Dr.'s Remedy Breast Cancer Awareness polishes were provided by the brand for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Effects - Halloween!

Hi there! Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated! I've been sick for entirely too long this time, but after lots of antibiotics and incredible amounts of rest, I'm finally feeling like a human being! Thanks to this, I can show you a couple of items that I want you to see before Halloween is over with!

If you're like me, you want to do fun Halloween nails to go with your costume, even if your costume is simple. Sally Hansen has just the solution for you! The ones I'm wearing in this image are called Numbskull, and they're just the cutest little skulls and crossbones!

There's one thing that I really dislike about these, although it's a small thing. The pattern is unidirectional, meaning it only goes in one direction. This means that if you happen to use both ends of the strips, you're left with skulls facing in two directions! I'm neurotic enough that this does bother me, although at a glance they look perfectly fine.

I also learned something else about these strips. When I applied them last night, I had sections of the strips that weren't actually sticking to my nails worth a darn, and I was sure they'd be peeling by morning. However, I pressed everything down as best I could and went on to bed. Once I woke up, I found that they'd settled down and are now solidly adhered to all my nails!

So don't worry if they aren't perfectly adhered right at first. They will settle down! Just press them down as well as you can and leave them alone for a few hours.

Overall, I really like this design. I also think it would be lots of fun as accent nails, or trimmed down to use as french tips. The little skulls are so cute!

Also, have I mentioned these strips tend to wear like iron? If you haven't read it, you can see my wear test for these starting here, where I rave about how amazing they are. I wound up finally removing the strips after 15 days of wear, and the only problem with them was a chip at the tip of one nail where I'd broken it!

This year's Halloween collection includes five designs- Numbskulls (shown here), How Corny (a silver-white background with repeating candy corn that looks the same whether it's upside down or not), Batty For You (black bats on a purple background that can be worn either way), Patch-O-Lanterns (orange jack o'lantern faces that can be worn either way),  and Spun For You (black spiderwebs on a silver background that can be worn either way). These can be found in drugstores near you for $9.99 a box. Go get some, before they're gone!

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Numbskull was provided by the brand for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Celebrate Halloween With Us At Mazeparty!

If you've been following me for very long, you probably have noticed that I love to color. I don't know why, but I find watching the color evenly fill the page bringing an image to life. I enjoy adding shading and highlights to my coloring pages so that they look vibrant and fun.

I couldn't resist coloring this guy in Photoshop!
If you have little ones who love to color (and most kids enjoy it) you may want to visit, my husband's website. It's got lots of mazes and coloring pages for kids, and even for their parents if they like. I've even drawn a few of the coloring pages there!

Since Halloween is coming up, we've added some great new spooky pages to color. I'm pretty fond of the jelly monster shown to the right. He looks like he'd be a fun guy to hang out with once you fill that empty tummy with some yummy cupcakes or something!

So be sure to stop by the Halloween coloring pages at Maze Party and print out some pages for your kids. They're totally free, and we update all the time!

Coloring is fun!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I'm Seeing Stars

I've got another Halloween nail design for you! I wanted to do something with a bit sparkle to it for this design, but at the same time I didn't want it to be too complex. I think I hit just the right balance with this one!

Instead of trying to paint stars and keep the glitter in the spots I want it, I went the opposite direction. I started this nail out with a bright, deep orange. Once that was opaque I topped it with a golden-coppery glitter and added a coat of quick-dry topcoat.

I then let things dry for half an hour or so. Once things were dry, I took a piece of masking tape and punched little star holes from it. Those stars are the key to this manicure!

A quick tip: Make sure the sticky side of the tape is facing the opening of the punch instead of toward the die-cutting part. This way you can use tweezers or a dotting tool to remove the star cutouts.

While I was punching my stars, I stuck them to the edge of an Altoids tin to keep them organized and sticky. Once I had them punched, I applied them to the nail in a simple pattern. I tried to leave enough space between them to make sure they would show up as stars in a black background. It also helps with removal to have a piece of the star hanging off your nail.

Once my stars were in place, I topped things with a coat of black nail polish. I used an opaque black so I would only need one coat. Before the polish dried, I peeled the stars off leaving the bright orange sparkly stars behind. I let this dry for a minute or two, but I should have waited longer because I did smear the edges of my stars on one side.

Once your top coat is on, you're done! You could do this with any shapes you want- even round dots from a traditional hole punch would look adorable!

Leave me a comment if you like this one. I'm really enjoying it right now!

Some polishes were provided by the brands for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Another Halloween Nail Art Design

Today's halloween look is super simple and super easy. Again, instead of being an obvious nod to the holiday, this design uses halloween colors to get you in the holiday mood.

I started with a bright orange polish. You can use whatever orange you have, which means you can go with a pumpkin tone or a neon orange, a pastel orange or anything else that makes you smile. I went with a very saturated orange, but not quite neon.

Once that was totally dry I added a beautiful water transfer from the WDBLE981 set that's available at KKCenterHK. I absolutely love these decals! I love that there are many choices in one style, so that your nails don't look so obviously done with decals.

I'm also very glad to share that these decals acted much more like the decals I'm familiar with than the last set I used. Thankfully, these slid right off the backing once it was wet. Then I was able to slide them onto my nail and position it the way I wanted.

Keep in mind that these water decals will continue to slide around whenever they get wet, so you definitely need to top them with topcoat. The clear topcoat helps meld them with your nail polish so that they aren't going anywhere.

Once again, after I got the decal in place I wanted to add a rhinestone to give it a bit of flair. What can I say, I love shiny things! This stone came from the Fing'rs Nail & Body Jewels kit. I really like this kit because the stones are tiny and you get such a great selection of shapes and colors.

Once everything's on and mostly dry I added a coat of ProFX to protect everything. I really like the end result. This could be a beautiful accent nail or you could do all your nails with these decals. Whatever you do, they'll be pretty.

So go ahead, play with your nail art stuff. You may end up with a design you love!

Some polishes were provided by the brands for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Jordana Halloween Nail Art Contest

Hey! Do you love nail art? (Of course you do, that's probably why you read this blog!) If you do, then do I have a contest for you!

The lovely people at Jordana are hosting a halloween nail art contest, and it's open to YOU (as long as you live in the United States or Canada)! All you need to do is show them your best halloween nails, and you could win one of several prizes!

Eleven people will win prizes, which I think is pretty fantastic! So what are you waiting for? Go enter your favorite halloween nail art!

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

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Zoya Suri topped with Zoya Daul

Have you ever had one of those days where you just felt the need for some glam? That was me a couple of days ago. I was feeling blah and I wanted a bit of sparkle to cheer me up. I wanted something purple and glitzy, and boy did I get it!

I started out with a base of Zoya Suri from the Diva collection. I didn't get a photo of this, unfortunately, but I know the photos are out there. Suri is a gorgeous shimmery purple that is absolutely fascinating. The depth of Suri is absolutely delicious on its own, but it wasn't quite enough for me. I wanted more!

Since my Diva collection was still out, I saw Daul and decided to do an accent nail with it. The accent nail quickly turned into a full manicure, and I couldn't have been happier. Zoya calls Daul "a medium red-toned purple base with heavy purple and gold iridescent metallic sparkle," and they're not kidding at all.

From some angles Daul is a bright sparkling gold that completely overwhelms the purple base of Suri. From others, Suri's deep purple is visible with bits of sparkle from Daul. It's a shimmering, sparkling smorgasbord of color that seems almost ever-changing.

Application of both of these polishes was easy, as I've come to expect with Zoya polishes. Cleanup was easy enough, and these polishes are wearing nicely.

If you look at my middle finger in the photo to the left, you can see a bit of bare nail at the tip of the nail. This isn't tip wear. Instead, this is shrinkage from my quick-dry topcoat.

For whatever reasons, some quick-dry topcoats shrink as they dry. This can pull your nail polish back from the edges a bit, and in extreme cases it can even lift your polishes off your nail, causing it to peel off in a solid chunk. I've found using thinner coats of topcoat can help with this, as can wrapping the tips of your nails. Apparently I didn't wrap the tips of my nails as thoroughly as I thought.

I'm including this out-of-focus shot to show the amount of sparkle this polish has. It's a real show-stopper!

Overall, I think this combination is an absolute winner. What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Zoya polishes were provided by the brand for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween Nail Art

Halloween is coming, and I wanted to share some nail art designs with everyone! I've been experimenting with some nail tips, and I've come up with a variety of designs. I'll be sharing these designs over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully these will give people some more ideas for Halloween.

This more traditional design uses black, orange, and gold in a nod toward the holiday. It's simple to do: paint the nail with a shimmery orange, then add stripes in black and gold. I finished with some black hexagon glitter pieces as an accent.

I've got a doctor's appointment today, so I'm going to cut this short and try and sleep a bit. Wheee!

Halloween is my favorite holiday!
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Goodies from Sally Hansen and NYC

Halloween is coming up fast, and I'm noticing some fun things for nails showing up on the shelves. For example, NYC has the creepy Demon Glow, a black-light reactive top coat you can wear alone of on top of any polish you like.

I can't wait to get my fingers on this one, and then to get it on my fingers! Hopefully I'll be able to take some photos for you guys with a black light. This should be fun! This retails for $2.49, and seems like it's totally worth it!

Then there's the Sally Hansen offerings this season. Once again, Sally Hansen has come out with some adorable Salon Effects nail polish strips. Have I mentioned that I absolutely adore these? These are $9.99 for the box, and if you have short nails like I do you may be able to get two manicures out of the box. The prints are cute as can be, too!

Again, I'm hoping to show these to you soon, because my nails can't wait! Go check out your local beauty departments, because these might just sell out before you get yours!

Information and images were provided by the brands.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Layering With Pomegranate Polishes

Today's look features another spin on Curator, the black polish with gold and silver glitter from Pomegranate Nail Lacquer's latest collection. I was able to choose two polishes from Pomegranate to try out, and I chose Cardigan for my second color. I had a plan, and I couldn't wait to try it out.

I chose Cardigan for a couple of reasons: I love the color, and it's a jelly polish. While I'm the type of person who hates visible nail line, I'm also the type of person who absolutely loves layering polishes. I had a sneaking suspicion that I could layer Cardigan over Curator to create something spectacular.

Because Curator is a neutral polish, I imagined that the sheer teal of Cardigan would tint everything so that the black would become a deep velvety greenish with sparkling spots of brighter green and teal where the glitter showed through. For some reason, this brought to mind images of lost jungle tribes, lush greenery and golden treasures covered in moss. (What can I say? I really loved Indiana Jones as a kid!)

In reality, I had a bit of trouble keeping the teal layer even, and there's enough pigment in Cardigan to build up brighter streaks over the black. This didn't bother me, though, because it somehow didn't detract from the overall look. The gold glitter shined through with an almost lime green sheen, and the silver showed more of Cardigan's blue tones. All in all, I called it a win.

Surprisingly enough, I wore this polish for 3 or 4 days. That's odd for me, since I get bored so easily and I have enough polish to change my nail lacquer every day without repeating for... oh, let's just say a long time. I don't want to count how many bottles of nail polish I have now. It's starting to frighten me!

Here, have some more photos of this delicious sandwich.

Pomegranate Nail Lacquer is available for sale on the Pomegranate web site for $9 a bottle. However, if you like Curator, now is the time to buy it, because Pomegranate is selling the cutest Halloween treat bag! In it you'll find one bottle of Persimmon, one bottle of Curator, sweet treats and seasonal decorations, and it only costs you $15! This is the perfect treat for your friends who love nail polish. It's worth picking up two- one for you and one for a friend!

What do you think of this combination? Would you wear it, or are you just shaking your head at me, wondering why I do this weird stuff? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Polishes were provided by Pomegranate Nail Lacquer for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Friday, October 5, 2012

It's finally here- a tutorial on how to do laser print nail transfers!

Some of you may remember that a while back I posted a pretty photo of colorful nail art, saying I was working on a technique to share with everyone. I finally figured it out, and then the world blew up, so to speak. However, a few people gently reminded me they were still anxiously awaiting this technique, so I finally got off my butt and finished editing the video that's been waiting all this time. I'm so happy to finally share this technique with all of you!

As you may have noticed from the title of today's blog, these nails were done using color laser prints. That's right- no special tools needed, no store-bought decals or fancy papers or anything. The supplies to create these nails are very basic, aside from the laser prints themselves.

You'll need:
  • Color laser prints - inkjet prints will not work for this project.
  • Acetone or nail polish remover
  • A soft paintbrush
  • White or very-light nail polish
  • Base coat and top coat as usual
The process to apply these transfers is simple, but it can be fiddly at times. It took me over two weeks of playing with this daily to achieve what you see in the top image of this post. But if you take your time and make sure your image is actually transferring to your nail before you lift the paper you can come out with a fantastic finished image.

Once your transfers are done, you can finish your nails off any way you like. You can add glitters, stones, stickers or even additional nail polish. The only real limit here is your imagination!

So what are you waiting for? Watch the video!

That's it! You can use your own scanned-in images, things you've drawn or photographed, images from the internet... anything you can print can go on your nails!

Remember, if you do your nails with something inspired by my blog, leave me a comment and a photo. I love seeing what you come up with, and I love knowing I've inspired someone!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!
Haven't you always wanted a monkey?
See my disclosure statement for more information.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A fun floral look

While using the camera flash, the colors
are washed out but you can see the depth
of the blue background.
Whew, I just woke up from sleeping almost 24 hours! I'm not exaggerating, either. My husband was in the hospital over the weekend, thankfully for a false alarm. But I spent 3 days "not sleeping" on the awful pull-out loveseat, being worried sick and waking up every time something beeped. In short, I didn't really sleep for 3 days.

I'm super-thankful, though, because my husband is ok! All the tests showed that his heart is strong and healthy, so now we get to follow up with the primary care physician and go from there. We can do that. I just want to keep him around. 20 years together is a good start, but he can't go anywhere yet. :D

The good news is that while we were waiting (and waiting and waiting!), we came up with a TON of great blog ideas! Since it's going to take me a while to get them started though, you get to see this older nail doodle I did and then forgot to post. Oops!

This is actually a very simple look to create. Let me list the polishes I used before I get started, just to make it easier.
  1. Nutra Nail Gel Perfect in Two-Step
  2. Jessica Strawberry Shake It from the Gelato Mio! collection
  3. Jessica Tangerine Dreamz from the Gelato Mio! collection
  4. Jessica Lime Cooler from the Gelato Mio! collection
  5. Zoya Evvie from the Designer collection
  6. Orange loose glitter
Natural light shows the actual colors of
the polishes I used.
I know, it looks like a lot. It's easier than it seems, though, I promise! I started with Two-Step (1) to create a gorgeous background with a lot of depth. I then put down a drop of both Lime Cooler (4) and Evvie (5) next to each other, then
dipped my brush into both. This let me slightly mix the two, but still get striations of both colors through the leaves and stems. I think this gives an interesting look to them.

For the flowers, I put down a large drop of Strawberry Shake It (2) on my palette, then used my large dotting tool to make 5 dots in a circle around the top of each stem. I went back with a bamboo skewer and drew from the center of each dot to the center of the circle the dots made. This gave me a five-petaled flower at the top of each stem!

To complete my flower, I put down a dot of Tangerine Dreamz (3) in each flower center. After that dried, I realized I wanted a bit more sparkle there, so I put a dot of clear polish on each flower center, then put a bit of loose orange glitter on top of the clear polish. Unfortunately, it went everywhere, and I didn't notice that until after I'd put a coat of Seche Vite over everything. That's why there are bits of glitter on the petals and the stems.

Overall, I like this. It's fairly simple to do once you get started, and it's a fun happy design! You could use any background and flower color you like!

As for what's coming up? Stick around, it could get fun in here!

Polishes were provided by the brands for consideration.
I make no money from the links provided. They're just for your convenience.
See my disclosure statement for more information.