Sunday, December 30, 2012

Guest Post at Nailed It

Today I'm posting over on Nailed It while Katy's away on vacation.  Click the picture to be taken to her blog for more pictures and the full post!  :)


Friday, December 28, 2012

Candy Canes

I'm back after a (long-than-anticipated) Christmas hiatus to show you my Christmas day nail art, and I've included a quick tutorial at the end of the post!  :)


I started with 2 coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and a coat of Seche Vite to speed up the drying.  After taping off stripes, I used Essie Macks for the red and topped the whole look off with two more coats of Seche Vite to smooth out the stripes.  


I say that this was my Christmas day mani, when in reality it only lasted the first part of the day.  Of course, thanks to Christmas and review packages arriving, I now have an obscene amount of untried polishes (and a storage rack!) so I had to paint my nails on Christmas day! 


Here's a quick picture tutorial for this look; it's pretty self-explanatory since I mainly made it to post on Instagram, but if you have any questions just leave a comment! 


My pile of untried and to-review indies has grown to the size of Mount Doom, so I'm planning to do a month of everyday indie polish posts.  I usually post sporadically so posting every day will be a challenge, but I'm really looking forward to it!  I hope you'll follow me along the way!  :) 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Silver Snowflakes

Another Christmas-y manicure today!  Christmas is less than a week away (*gasp*) and time for Christmas nails is is running out, so let's get right to it!  :)



I started with two coats of OPI The Spy Who Loved Me and one coat of Seche Vite to speed up the drying before stamping the snowflake design from BM-323 with Essie No Place Like Chrome.  I finished the look by placing silver holographic glequins from the Born Pretty Store in the centers of the larger snowflakes, and applying one last coat of Seche Vite


OPI The Spy  Who Loved Me is a gorgeous bright red with a goldish-red glass fleck/shimmer.  It applied so perfectly, and is a great holiday polish! 



I really liked this look and was planning on wearing it for two days, but I got a huge dump of indie nail mail the next day, so off it came!  :P  

Christmas seems to have come so quickly this year, and I'm going to try to get in as much Christmas nail art as I can!  I'm still stuck on what polish to wear on Christmas, but I'm not really sure how much it matters since I'm pretty sure I'll be getting some polish for Christmas and will probably do my nails multiple times that day anyways, haha!  

Have you decided what your Christmas manicure will be?  A favourite polish or nail art?  :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Goldeneye Stripe

A quick post today with a mani I did a couple weeks ago using OPI Goldeneye and black striping tape from the Born Pretty Store.


I used 3 coats of Goldeneye, followed by the striping tape and one coat of Seche Vite.  The formula on Goldeneye is pretty easy to apply, but is such a pain to clean up and remove due to the foil finish.  


I really like this polish, the shade of gold is very flattering and I love the foil finish!  


We've seen a few similar polishes in other holiday collections this year; do you have any?  Which one is your favourite?  :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Skittlette

Skitt * lette : a manicure consisting of two, or three, different accent nails on each hand. 

I just did my first skittlette manicure for a contest being hosted by Marta at ChitChatNails.  I've never tried one, and I decided to give it a go for the contest!  Take a look!


I used my three new Butter London polishes (thanks mom!) to create this nail art.  The magenta-plum creme is Queen Vic, the deep pink microglitter is Fiddlesticks, and the green is Jack The Lad.  The gold glequins are from the BornPrettyStore (code for 10% off: PPJ61) and the gold microglitter on my index finger is Orly Prisma Gloss Gold.  Sealed with two coats of Seche Vite (Fiddlesticks is a hungry one.)


I'm not really a pink person, but without question I'll make an exception for Fiddlesticks!  A rich-toned base with dark flecks and glowing microglitter?  Yes, please!  Queen Vic is an absolutely perfect two-coat creme, and Jack The Lad is such a stunner, although the gold glequins don't let the true beauty of this polish shine through.


I'm obviously not as talented at artsy pictures as Marta, haha!  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be to come up with multiple different nails that would all look good together and form a cohesive look.  I have so much respect for Marta who constantly comes up with stunning combinations for her manicures! 

I'm looking forward to wearing all of these polishes alone, but I also really enjoyed wearing them together!  What do you think of my first skittlette?  :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

One Ring

The first installment of The Hobbit is coming out this weekend; who's as excited as I am?  :)  I got really into The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in the spring when I decided to read all the books, and I've been in love with Middle-Earth ever since.  Prepare yourselves for an awesome Lord of the Rings post!


This is hardly original in terms of nail art, but I'm really proud of it!  I used two coats of Essie Good As Gold for the base, and painted the script with black acrylic paint.  


This is the rhyme from which I took the line to write on my nails.  In the book it's written in the Common Speech, but I painted it on my nails as it appears on the One Ring itself: written in the Black Speech using the Elvish form of script as invented by the Elf FĂ«anor, Tengwar


The script on my nails should say "One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them," though it's probably missing the last two words because of my lack of ability to space words properly.  Cue artsy picture with a book. 


I could get all into the history of the One Ring but that isn't exactly relevant to a nail polish blog, so if you're interested, you can read more about it here.   

I'm not seeing the movie when it comes out on Friday; as much as I'd like to I have a dress rehearsal that night and a show on Saturday night.  However, I'm super excited for Sunday because I'm going to my friend's house at the crack of dawn to have a Lord of the Rings movie marathon (yes, all 10 hours) followed by going to see The Hobbit!  :) 

Are you planning on seeing The Hobbit?  Anyone as excited as I am and willing to geek out with me?  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

**Voting for Nail Polish Canada's Holiday Nail Art Challenge Week 3 is open until December 12th! Don't forget to vote!  See my entry here, and click here to vote!**

I've had this nail art on my to-do list for almost a year now, since I first saw this reindeer nail art by The Nailasaurus last December.  Since Christmas is sneaking up on us so quickly and I've been diving into more freehand nail art recently, I decided to give it a go!  


I started with a base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.  Everything past that was done with acrylic paint, except for Rudolph's nose which is China Glaze Ring In The Red


The reindeer may be looking a little worse for wear, my mom had the camera with her and I'd been wearing this for almost two days by the time I got to take pictures!  I touched it up multiple times, and I'm pretty sure I have at least three coats of Seche Vite on there... haha!


For those of you who are wondering, yes, I did do my other hand.  I took some pictures but the lighting was awful, so you'll have to take my word that the ones I painted with my left hand were only slightly deformed.

From thumb to pinky, left hand to right hand, I named them as follows:  Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Rudolph, Vixen, Comet,  Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Olive. 

You know, Olive the other reindeer?  ;)

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Nubzen Claus

**Voting for Nail Polish Canada's Holiday Nail Art Challenge Week 3 is open until December 12th! Don't forget to vote!  See my entry here, and click here to vote!**

I'm so tired this morning; I had rehearsals and a performance last night and didn't get to leave the theater until 10:30pm, then I had to be back at the studio this morning for ballet class at 9:30am and I have matinee and evening performances later today!  (And this isn't a scheduled post, because I'm awful at planning ahead when it comes to blogging!)

Anywho, I've got pictures of two pretty polishes from a new-to-me indie brand, Nubzen Claus.  Take a look! 

Vampire Eyes is a stunning warm-toned dark brown polish with a blue colour shift and scattered holo.  The  brown is very flattering, and the colour shift can make it appear black, charcoal, brown, or blue depending on the light.  

I used two coats here; it applied easily and covered fully, but at certain angles there were slight bald patches near the cuticle.  One coat of Seche Vite. 


I think that the holo glitter is a nice touch, and I actually ended up liking the brown/blue colour shift a lot than I thought I would!  Overall, a lovely vampy polish. 


Castle Rock is another interesting polish; a light grey creme/jelly with micro bronze square glitters, small gold hex glitters, and medium brown hex glitters. 


It covered in two coats, and I think the balance of the various types of glitter works well.  Application was pretty easy, only a little dabbing here and there for a couple glitters that had clumped together.  One coat of Seche Vite, though I'd recommend two for a completely smooth finish. 


This polish apparently wasn't inspired by anything in particular and just ended up looking like limestone bricks in European castles, but I'd like to stay in my little ignorant bubble and pretend that it was inspired by my favourite show, Castle.  It totally works.  (Castle Mani Monday, anyone?)



I'll also mention that on the sides of the bottles, there's a perforated label that says "Unleash the Pretty", and it breaks when you twist the cap to open the polish.  I love details like this on indie polishes!

You can find Nubzen Claus Nail Pretties on Etsy here.  I have two more polishes to show you in a couple weeks, but for now which of these polishes is your favourite?  :)


Disclaimer: Products in this post were sent to me for review and my honest opinion. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Trim the Tree

This is the third and final week of Nail Polish Canada's Holiday Nail Art Challenge, and the theme is "trim the  tree" (holiday decorations).  Since my water marbling skills have recently become more reliable, I tried a Christmas tree water marble!  


I started with a base of Essie Mojito Madness and marbled with that polish and China Glaze Holly-Day.  After marbling, I painted on China Glaze Twinkling Lights with a striper brush to decorate the tree.  I topped the tree with a star-shaped stud, and two coats of Seche Vite. 


I'm really glad that I was able to get all the nails looking *kind of* the same; I've really been enjoying water marbling recently!  My favourite nail was the index finger, so I'm borrowing a hand pose from Chalkboard Nails to better show that one.  ;)


I felt so festive wearing little Christmas trees on my nails!  These were very popular among my friends, who are now all asking me for Christmas nails!


Thank you all so much for your votes last week, my Christmas meme nail art placed third in the Week 2 vote.  However, it's not over yet!  I really need your help this week, you can vote for my Week 3 entry here!   I really appreciate every vote!  :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Aphrodite Lacquers: Birthday Collection

Yet again, Aphrodite Lacquers has put out a collection that stands out from the crowd.  We had spring colours in the fall, and now we've got a collection of gorgeous jellies and glitters to celebrate her winter birthday!  I'm constantly impressed by Rebecca, the creative mind behind Aphrodite Lacquers, (Exhibits A, B, C, and D) and this collection is certainly no exception!

It's My Party is a hot pink jelly with silver micro shimmer.  I thought the end of photographing neons came with the turn of the season, apparently not!  I used this polish as undies in a post last week, see it topped with a black & white glitter here!


I'm honestly not really one for bright pinks (or bright colours at all), though I did enjoy wearing this topped with the black & white glitter.  It was certainly an attention-grabber in December!  


The formula on this was easy to work with, though I still had a little bit of VNL with 4 thin coats.  It dried to a slightly satiny finish, so swatches are 4 thin coats with one coat of Seche Vite.  Photo below is the most colour-accurate. 


Never Too Old  is described as a black matte polish with silver and fuschia shimmer, though the gorgeous shimmer looks more silver/blue/purple to me. 


I think that this is a very versatile polish, the shimmer is so pretty and makes it much more interesting than a plain black creme!  Wouldn't this be lovely as a base for galaxy nails? 


I love the satin finish of this polish, the matte black with a hint of shimmer looks so classy!  Photos are without top coat to show the natural finish of the polish, though the shimmer comes out even more with a glossy top coat.


I used three coats on all fingers except the index, for which I used two.  It appeared fully opaque in two coats, though I'd recommend a third to add depth to the finish.  The photo below shows the difference in direct lighting between two and three coats.  (L-R: 3 coats, 3 coats, 2 coats.)



Saving the best for last, this is Wrapping, Ribbons, Bows. It is a purple jelly polish packed with tiny glowing purple glitters.  When I tell people my favourite colour is purple, THIS is what I'm talking about!  


So much depth and richness to this polish!!  It became one of my all-time favourite purple polishes before I had even painted on a second coat.  Simply stunning!


If memory serves, this is three thin coats (I did so much swatching over the weekend, I really should start taking notes!)  Formula was easy like the others, but one coat of Seche Vite left it a little grainy (as in the photos).  Just barely. Probably wouldn't bother most people, but I'd use two coats of top coat for a perfect glass-smooth finish. 



You can find Aphrodite Lacquers always fully-stocked on Etsy, and keep up to date on Facebook.  To see my previous posts on Aphrodite Lacquers, click here


Overall, another absolutely amazing collection from Aphrodite Lacquers!  Which polish is your favourite?   Will you be picking up any of the polishes from the Birthday Collection?  


Disclaimer: The products in this post were sent to me for review and my honest opinion. 

Monday, December 03, 2012

Secret Santa

**I've entered my Christmas meme nail art in Week 2 of Nail Polish Canada's Holiday Nail Art Challenge.  Don't forget to vote here! Voting ends Wednesday, December 5th.**

Time for another Castle Mani Monday!  This week's episode is called "Secret Santa" and is the first Castle Christmas episode ever, so needless to say I'm super excited!  :)


I got the idea for this mani from one of the episode stills that was released; see Castle's shirt?  


I used my first DS OPI polish for the first time, DS Mystery.  It's a stunning deep brown-ish purple with gold micro-flakies, and an amazing almost-one-coat formula.  LOVE!  Artsy sideways photo, anyone? 


I stamped an image from BM-321 with Essie Good As Gold (probably my favourite stamping polish) and topped with one coat of Seche Vite.  The stamp doesn't really match his shirt as well as the paisley BM pattern would have, but I wanted to try an image that I hadn't used yet and I really liked this one.  


Yesterday I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how to use Photoshop Elements to do my colour-correcting, and I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.  Though I still need to find the exact skin tone that's as white as I am without making me look like a ghost! 

Unfortunately there's not going to be another Castle Mani Monday post for 5 weeks due to the show's winter hiatus, so look for a new one in January! What do you think of today's installment?  Will you be watching Castle and Beckett's first Christmas tonight too?  :)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Bond Gradient

**I've entered my Christmas meme nail art in Week 2 of Nail Polish Canada's Holiday Nail Art Challenge.  Don't forget to vote here!**

Just quick post this afternoon, my sister and I are going to plug the computer into the TV and watch A Very Potter Musical!  I did this gradient mani last week using two of my new OPI Skyfall polishes, following this tutorial from Lucy's Stash. 


I started with a base of two coats of Live And Let Die.  This was the one polish from the entire collection that I knew I had to have, and it didn't disappoint!  I got the Bond Minis set, but I'll definitely have to get a full-size of this one!  (I did a jazz dance to a mash-up of Live And Let Die along with other songs from the Bond movies and Charlie's Angels a few years back, so I'm a little biased because of the name.)  ;)


I used OPI Goldeneye for the gold gradient; it gave a really cool effect with the foil polish!  I'm wearing Goldeneye as a full mani right now, so you'll see that on the blog soon. 


I was really backed up on indie swatching, but I've caught up this weekend!  I must have painted my nails at least twelve times since Friday, but it feels good to not have to worry about those!  Expect to see a couple more indie posts as well as lots of Christmas nail art over the next few weeks!  :)

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Glitzology

**I gave my blog a Christmas makeover!  Leave a comment, let me know how you like it! :)**

Today I've got five unique polishes from a relatively new indie brand, Glitzology, to show you!  I found out about Glitzology in an indie polish group on Facebook when Stacy (the owner) announced her shop opening.  She was looking for bloggers to review her polishes; her glitter mixes looked so unique and I jumped at the opportunity!  Let's take a look.  :)

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