Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nail Challenge Collaborative: Around the World #4

Last but not least, for an Around the World themed challenge, I HAD to do a tribute to my homeland - Ireland!
Okay, so I'm not really FROM Ireland, per se, but I do have Irish heritage on both sides of my family. In fact, that's pretty much all we have to my knowledge. Way far back on my Dad's side, we have some German, but our most recent ancestors came from Ireland to Western PA. Can you tell I had way too much fun with my free trial? Haha - anyway, onto the nails!

I chose to do an Irish-themed skittle for this mani. The base on all fingers but my thumb is Zoya Midori. My thumb is the Irish flag - for some reason, my camera was picking up the orange as more red-toned than it came across in person. I used Sinful Colors Exotic Green, Milani White on the Spot, and Milani Jiffy Orange. The glitter on my index finger is Candy Lacquer Kiss Me I'm Irish, and the glitter on my pinky is Sinful Colors Green Ocean. I drew a simple Celtic knot on my middle finger using my Orly water-based striper in Platinum, and the braid on my ring finger is an unnamed orange striper from Kiss, my white Stripe Rite striper, and Exotic Green again. PHEW - did you get all that!?

The knot design is actually based on a necklace my boyfriend parents got me from the Renaissance Faire last year. I LOVE it! The braid design is based on one I found on Google by Madam Luck. If you click on the link, she even gives a video tutorial! :)

Overall, I liked this, but still need to work on my freehanding skills for the knot. I think my favorite nail is the braid! :) What do you think? Do you have a favorite nail? I'd love to hear your thoughts below! <3


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nail Challenge Collaborative: Around the World #3

Hi guys! I've got my third Around the World mani for you today! My original plan for this one was to do a map background and paint and airplane with dotted lines touching down in several cities. I quickly realized that was going to be really hard to execute, so I settled for a treasure map instead. That counts for "Around the World", right?? I say yes!

Full credit for the inspiration for this has to go to Christa of ChrissyAi. I found her mani while browsing Google for "map nails" and I fell in love! I wasn't quite able to replicate her awesome treasure map exactly, but it definitely got the creative juices flowing! Here's a photo of hers:

And here's a look at my take!

For whatever reason, I had the hardest time with glare in these photos, no matter what I did! I suppose that's Seche Vite for you. For this mani, I started with a base of Essie Yogaga, and then I sponged a bit of Essie Mink Muffs for the darker edges to attempt at making the map look aged. For the black and white, I used my trusty Stripe Rite stripers. I drew the letters using a toothpick (that could have gone better haha)! And I used my Sinful Colors striper in Be My Valentine for the X!

Overall, I loved how this turned out. I especially love how the sponging made the map look old. I thought this was a really fun mani and I feel like it captured the essence of the challenge theme. :)
I'd love to hear your thoughts! <3


Monday, August 26, 2013

Nail Challenge Collaborative: Around the World #2

 Hi loves, Happy Monday! I'm remaining true to my usual routine and cramming in the last three challenge manis in the last week of the month. :) August's theme is Around the World. This design popped into my head right away when I heard about the theme. I knew I wanted to do something sort of Moroccan-inspired, so I came up with this!

I hope no one takes offense if this isn't really Moroccan-looking, lol...I could be totally wrong, but ornate looking gold patterns with purple and red is what popped into my head! I used Zoya Pinta and Mentality Sexy for the base colors, and I stamped using Maybelline Bold Gold. I messed up the thumb a bit...I've accepted that I'll probably never be a perfect stamper, but I'm okay with that. :)

What do you think of this design? I really loved how it turned out. I think the colors go really well together! :)
Be sure to check out the other ladies' Around the World nails!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Guest post over at Karine's Vernis Club!

Hey everyone! Today, my post is over at Karine's Vernis Club! I love Karine's blog, so naturally I was super excited when she asked me to guest post for her while she's traveling. And, I did a pretty fun nail art tutorial for you guys.

Wanna find out how I did this koi fish design? You can check out the tutorial by clicking the following photo. Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: Cellairis iPhone Case in Gazette Diary with Matching Nail Art using Pomegranate Nail Lacquer

Hi loves! I'm so excited about today's post! A little while back, I got the opportunity to work with Cellairis and Pomegranate Nail Lacquer to create a cell phone case-inspired nail art look. I had seen other bloggers post these review/nail art posts, so I pretty much jumped for joy when I got this chance. I already own two Cellairis cases for my iPhone (nail art inspired by those two will be up shortly!), so I knew I would like whatever I got, but I decided to try something a little different than I would normally pick. Here is the case I chose, the Gazette Diary in Mint, and the matching Pomegranate Nail Lacquer, in Beach House - what a perfect match!!!

From the outside, this may look like your normal phone case, with a little jacket on it. The rectangle that reads Cellairis is a magnet that holds the case closed. This was actually handy when I went on vacation. It shielded the screen from the sun, and also kept sand out. But there is more than meets the eye in this phone case...

But what makes it unique is that inside, it has slots for your credit cards and money! I thought this was genius. I, personally, hate having to juggle my phone, keys, and wallet or wristlet every time I go to get groceries. Either that, or lug my entire giant purse with me, which is no fun either. This is the perfect solution! Now I only have one thing to keep track of. It definitely makes shopping a LOT easier.

I obviously blocked out my personal info to be safe! Here you can see the slot where you can slide paper money. I normally don't carry much, if any cash, so this little pocket is the perfect size for me. If you typically carry a lot of cash, this may not be enough space for you.

I'm in love with this case! Not only is it functional, but it's so pretty too! I love the color and the design. It made creating matching nail art easy. Here's what I came up with:

I used two easy coats of Beach House (wonderful formula!) and added a coat of Seche Vite before I stamped using Zoya Zuza. I bought the Winstonia stamping plates specifically for this basket-weave design, because I thought it matched perfectly with the phone case!

I'd love to hear what you think of this mani and its matching cell phone case! Would you use a case like this? Do you own any Cellairis cases? What's been your experience with them? I'm in love - I doubt I'll ever buy cases from anywhere else! :)

Thanks for reading! <3

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nail Art Society: Orly Stripers

**These products were provided to me, in exchange for a full and honest review.**
Happy Tuesday everyone! I am finally getting back into the swing of things after my vacation and then traveling home for a good friend's wedding. Today, I'm showing off some awesome striper brushes from Nail Art Society!
Some of you may have been members of NAS before they took a little break, but they are back in action, and I could not be happier! You can subscribe by clicking here. For only $9.95/month, you receive a kit full of nail art goodies, and personally I've felt that the NAS kits were always well worth their price tag. 

Anyways, enough talk - onto the photos. The next NAS kit will include some of the water-based stripers by Orly. This was my first try using water-based paint, and it was definitely interesting!  

I decided to try a simple starburst-type design using the stripers and a bright base coat. I chose Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Fast Fuschia, because I thought it would go well with all the colors I had in stripers. Here's the look I came up with!

For the most part, I thought the water-based formula was just like a regular lacquer. I did notice a different smell than regular nail polish, not a bad one, just different. And, another thing I noticed - while I was painting my starbursts, if I messed up a line or went crooked, once the paint dried, I could easily scrape off the excess using a metal nail file. It almost sort of flaked off, but only where I scraped with the file. Super useful if you are doing stripes or a design where your lines need to be straight - a mistake doesn't mean you have to start all over! Other than that, they were very opaque, which was nice! I added one layer of topcoat and noticed no smearing - they dry remarkably fast! :)

What do you think of my starburst design? Have you ever tried water-based paint before? What was your experience with it? I was pleasantly surprised!

And don't forget to head over to Nail Art Society to check out the subscription. It's really an amazing deal for $9.95/month! While you're there, you might just check out the Guru pages, if you feel so inclined. ;) You may find a familiar face, or several! It's a great group of very talented ladies.

Thanks for looking everyone! <3
These products were provided to me in exchange for my honest review and opinion. I am not being compensated for this post. Please see my Disclosure Statement for more information.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Review: Chirality Hologeddon!

*These products were provided in exchange for my honest opinions. I am not being compensated in any way for this post.*

Hey guys! I've got another review post that's better late than never! Today I have swatches of Chirality's Hologeddon collection: Dystopia, Echelon, ED-209, and Marauders. 
First up is Dystopia, a light lavender-toned grey holographic polish. This is 3 coats of Dystopia with 1 coat of Seche Vite overtop.

Chirality - Dystopia
Chirality - Dystopia
Chirality - Dystopia
Next up is Echelon - I think this one was my favorite of the collection, though it's a toss up with Marauders! Echelon is a teal holographic polish, and these photos show three coats with Seche Vite.

Chirality - Echelon
Chirality - Echelon
Next is ED-209, a silver holo. I've seen similar shades of this color in other brands, but this is a really pretty version with a very strong holographic effect. Again, this is 3 coats with Seche Vite. This is also right after I re-shaped my nails into rounds (for like, a day lol). 

Chirality - ED-209
Chirality - ED-209
Chirality - ED-209
Last, we have Marauders. This is the other one that ties for my favorite of this collection! It's described on the site as a grayed copper holo, but I can also see tones of a sort of sandy pinkish color. It's gorgeous!

Chirality - Marauders
Chirality - Marauders
Chirality - Marauders
And, just for funsies, I had the boyfriend take a couple photos of my newly shaped nails, while wearing ED-209 on one hand, and Marauders on the other. I think they came out really pretty!

I'd love to hear what you think of these! In my opinion, Chirality never disappoints, and these polishes are no exception! Be sure to check out Chirality on all their sites to keep up to date on new releases and restock information:
Chirality on Big Cartel
Chirality on Etsy
Chirality on Facebook
Chirality on Twitter
Chirality on Instagram

Thanks for looking! <3

*These products were provided in exchange for my honest opinions. I am not being compensated in any way for this post. See my Disclosure Statement for more information.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Nail Challenge Collaborative: Around the World #1

Hi everyone! Playing catch-up here with my NCC manis. Here's my first Around the World design - this one isn't really inspired by a specific place but it just popped into my head. It's sort of a tribal-looking snake print design, so it reminded me of an exotic destination. :) This mani was done right after I went crazy and decided to try rounding my nails. This is the first time I have EVER changed the shape of my nails. I've always had squovals (or, when I was younger, bitten nubs :o) but I felt like I had to do something different. Check it out!

I used two coats of my favorite Mentality polish to date, Bandit. It's a gorgeous emerald green matte. I had been searching for something to squash my lemming OPI Here Today, Aragon Tomorrow Suede. My search is officially over! It's not an exact dupe, but it's close enough for me. Such a beautiful green. Then, I used Mentality Proper to stamp with. I can't remember the exact stamping plate, I'm sorry! I believe this was one of my Pueen plates. No topcoat in these photos.

Then, I decided to see how it would look with topcoat, so I added one coat of Seche Vite. And my brain exploded. Bandit is even MORE beautiful with topcoat!! Check out all that sparkle! I love these colors together :)

I guess I wasn't quite done playing, because after I got photos, I got my file out. Even though I had just rounded off my nails, I wasn't quite happy. So, I made stilettos! Or at least, as close as I could get while my nails were at this length. I absolutely love the shape!!

What do you think of this mani? Can you get the tribal/exotic feel I was going for? What do you think of the shape? I love it, so I'm keeping it for now! I'd love to hear your thoughts! <3


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pokemon Challenge: Gen II - Fire Type

Hi everyone! I'm back from my vacation and trying to get back into a normal routine with blogging. I've got tons of posts to catch up on. First up, today I'm sharing my Fire-Type mani for the Gen II Pokemon Challenge. I chose to paint Cyndaquil!

I think Cyndaquil is adorable, so I thought he'd be fun to try to recreate. Overall I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

Polishes used:
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri - Lightening
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri - Heat Flash
Sally Hansen - Ion
Sinful Colors - Ardoise
Stripe Rite black

So what do you guys think of my Cyndaquil? I think he turned out pretty cute! :) Check out everyone else's Fire-Type nails as well!!