Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nail Challenge Collaborative: Dots #4 (NYE)

Hi everyone, Happy New Year! Phew, I'm making it just in time! I did this quick simple dotticure in silver and gold to celebrate the new year. I love it! :)

I had one more dotticure to do for the Nail Challenge Collaborative and I knew I wanted to do something for New Year's. These are the colors that spring to mind when I think of NYE  - black, silver and gold. I used a base of Sinful Black on Black and dotted with Zoya Trixie and Color Club Winter Affair (Sally's version). I used Seche Vite topcoat. I've been using these Color Club 2012 holiday shades a lot this year, and I'm not mad about it! I forgot about them and they really are pretty colors. :)

This is a quick and simple look anyone can recreate. It's a little late for NYE now, but it can be used for really any celebration where you want a fun, confetti-like look with an elegant color scheme.

I'd love to hear what you guys think of this look! I'll be heading to work here shortly (BOO!) but I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year's, and I hope you are lucky enough to spend time celebrating loved ones.

Thanks for all the support in 2014, I sincerely hope you all will stick around for 2015 and see what amazing things are to come! :)


Monday, December 29, 2014

Nail Challenge Collaborative: Dots #3 (Christmas Presents)

Hi loves! I've got another dotted look to share with you today. It looks like I'm going to finish out this theme just in time - again! I think this was my favorite look I did for this theme. I used one of Christabell's designs from Instagram for inspiration. I chose some different colors to emphasize, but the idea is all hers! :)

I started with a base of Sinful Snow Me White on the middle two fingers, and Color Club Berry and Bright on the outer two. Even though it is from a couple of years ago, Berry and Bright still has a bit of the yummy berry scent left over! :) I love this shade of red for the holidays. I used a dotting tool to dot with Berry and Bright, Color Club Ho Ho Holly, and Essie Good as Gold. Then, I used a striping brush to create the stripes and the bow on my ring finger, using the same colors. I love how it turned out!

I used HK Girl to top it off, and luckily I waited long enough this time that I didn't smear my dots haha! :) I got a lot of compliments on this mani and several "Did you do those yourself?" which I haven't heard in a while. Always nice to hear! ;)

I didn't want to take this mani off, I loved it that much! I have to start looking to Christabell for inspiration more often - she's got some awesome designs.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out the other blogger's Week 3 looks!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Nail Challenge Collaborative: Dots #2 (Christmas Trees)

Hi everyone, and Merry Christmas (to those who celebrate it)! Unfortunately, I am spending my Christmas at work. :( But, I was able to spend Christmas Eve with my mom's side and my fiance got to meet them for the first time which was great. I was desperately trying to get all my Christmas manis posted before Christmas was over, but I didn't quite make it. I have one more after this one to share, and even though it will be late, I really loved it so I definitely want to share it.

Today, I have some dotted Christmas trees that I came up with after seeing my new Azature purchases I ordered during their December 6th sale. I was feeling like doing some holiday nail art, and since this is dots month for the Nail Challenge Collaborative, I thought this design would be perfect! So, here you have my dotted Christmas trees!

I used all Azature nail polishes for this mani, except the topcoat, which is HK Girl. I started with a base of Azature Red on the first two nails and Azature Horizon Diamond on the last two. Then, I dotted my Christmas tree shapes using Horizon Diamond and Azature Ruby Diamond.

The formula on these was absolutely phenomenal! Of course, it's beyond cool that there is a black diamond in each bottle, so I was excited on that alone. But these polishes are super pigmented. They were opaque in two flawless coats and went on like butter. No issues at all to report.

Fiance didn't quite get that these were Christmas trees at first glance, but I kind of like the abstract look, and it felt perfectly Christmas-y to me! :)

Overall, I really loved this look. It was simple, but still eye-catching, and the polishes really stood alone, in my opinion. I didn't feel like I needed to go super over the top with nail art because the polishes were stunning enough even on their own! I can't wait to try the rest of the Azature polishes I got during the sale! If you haven't already, you should check out Azature's selection of luxury nail polishes. Granted, the sale is over, but even at full price, these polishes are a great idea for when you want to treat yourself. :)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this look below.

Thanks for reading, and happy holidays! <3

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nail Challenge Collaborative: Dots #1 (Snowmen)

Hi loves! I have my first look for the Nail Challenge Collaborative's dots theme. I did a very simple, wintery nail art look today - some cute little snowmen!

I used Sinful Colors Snow Me White for the base and then dotted using Sinful Colors Black on Black. The orange I used for the noses was a Kiss nail art striper I received in a Nail Art Society kit forever ago. I topped off with HK Girl, but as you can see I didn't wait long enough and I smeared some of their teeth. :( This seems to happen to me no matter how long I wait and no matter what topcoat I use - gah! Oh well, I still liked this look! 

Overall this is a really quick and easy look for the holidays. If I were to change anything I did, I would definitely suggest waiting longer before topcoating. The little smiles were so much cuter before I smeared them. :/ Next time I do this, I might also add part of a hat or a scarf to add another pop of color. :)
Thanks for reading! <3


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Detonate Snowflakes!

Hi everyone. I hope you're having a great weekend. I've had a few days off so I'm happy! :]
Today I've got a fun wintery stamping look to share with you! As soon as I got Mentality Detonate in the mail, it inspired me to do a winter nail art and I wanted to stamp some snowflakes. :)

I started with a base of a plain black creme, then stamped using Mentality Detonate and some various plates I found throughout my collection. I was surprised I didn't have more options for snowflake plates, but I think I found only 3! I still like how they came out though. This polish stamped fabulously - transfer came out perfectly crisp and clean. I loved how the colors change in different lighting! In the bottle, Detonate appears predominantly blue, but a lot of the pink flash comes out when it's stamped so the snowflakes can appear pinkish in certain lights!

I thought this was a really fun look for winter and I can't wait to try more stamping with the Jellychromes. They are amazing to stamp with and I love the contrast over black!

I loved this look - I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! And be sure to check back to see how else I will use the Mentality Jellychromes in nail art! :)


Friday, December 12, 2014

First Attempt at Stamping Decals!

Hi guys. I'm sorry I've been such a bad blogger lately! I don't really have any good excuses haha, except it was my birthday, and then fiance's graduation from the police academy and his family visited, and then I had a birthday re-do because the first one sucked! And tomorrow it's fiance's birthday! December is always so busy, it seems. Luckily, I have a fair amount of posts from the vault that I still need to share, so I have one of those for you today. 

This was my first ever attempt at stamping decals!

I did these nails last spring back when I had my talons. I had just received some MoYou stamping plates and I wanted to play with them while trying out this technique I had seen on chichicho's blog post. It was super easy to follow her instructions, and you end up getting vibrant, multicolored stamps with hardly any effort and no worries about placement or whether the stamp will transfer the way you want it to! :)

I started with a base of OPI Did You Ear About Van Gogh (seriously, these puns - my goodness) to give me a neutral sort of canvas for the decals. I wanted the bright colors to really stand out! Then, I followed the tutorial I mentioned from chichicho. I'm not going to go into great detail about it here, because it wasn't my tutorial - if you want to try it out, click here for the original post that I followed. You should end up with little decals that look something like this once you peel it off your stamper! I smeared this one a bit when I topcoated it on the stamper. :/

The MoYou plates (I used Scholar plate here) have larger images, which is usually great for stamping, but it does add an extra step in that you'll need to trim these down before trying to place them on your nail. I did a layer of a slow-drying topcoat and then just stuck the images on. You can add another layer of topcoat overtop of your placed images if you want to. I thought it helped with hiding the lines from around the decals.

So what do you think? For my first time, I thought it could have been worse! Definitely some aspects need work, but it will get better with practice. I think this technique really is perfect for those who aren't great at getting crisp, clean stamping transfers (ME!) or who want to add a pop of color to their stamping designs. I think it's such a fun idea, and I can't wait to get better at it so that I can try more difficult designs. :)

Thanks for reading!
<3 Kelly

Friday, December 5, 2014

Swatches & Review: Mentality Jellychromes!

*Press sample*
Hi everyone! Sorry for the silence for a few days there - I was busy swatching away to bring you this post, so fair warning - this one is very pic heavy!

I got the notification awhile back that the Mentality Jellychromes were on their way to me. I'm waiting, waiting...then I start panicking that my beauties are lost in the abyss somewhere because Mentality packages always arrive to me super quickly. So, I email Hillary to check on tracking...and it turns out the package had been delivered a couple of days before then - to the apartment front office! No note, nothing - and the office doesn't call us to let us know we have a package, GRR! Anyway, by the time I found out it was there, it was after closing time, so I thought, I'll get it in the morning. WRONG - the next morning was Thanksgiving!! AND, they were closed the entire rest of the "long weekend" so I had to wait until Monday to get my package - it was torture! To make matters worse, when I picked up this package, they handed me another one that had been delivered - in August. >:o

Anyway - I'll get to the point - the Jellychromes! Waiting to swatch these was tough, but once I looked at them, I couldn't even be mad anymore - they are gorgeous! There are 4 polishes so far in the Jellychrome collection (but I hope there will be more!!), two mattes and two holos. I am going to start with the holos first.

From the Mentality website:
"Detonate is a blue holographic jellychrome with glass flecks that shift red, orange, yellow, to green." 

Direct, natural sunlight
Detonate is a truly stunning polish, and it has great coverage! I used 2 coats here, but I think on shorter nails, this could be a one-coater! Formula was great, it applied perfectly with no issues to report, and no staining for me. I received Mentality's Fast-Dry topcoat along with my Black Friday order, so I tried it out over Detonate. It didn't seem to dull the holo effect at all. We only had a few minutes of sun on the day I took these, but I ran out into our stairwell like a crazy person (it has big windows) to catch what sun I could. I wasn't able to totally do this polish justice in photos - it was way better in person!

Direct, natural sunlight
The holo effect in these polishes was very strong - I love it! Detonate really gives me the urge to do some icy winter nail art... ;)

Indirect natural sunlight, with flash for filler
I found my macro lens recently, so I've been playing a bit! :) I love all the colors that come out when Detonate is in different angles. I think the red flecks in this one kind of turn purpleish when paired with this blue base. I love the flash of pink/purple/magenta you get sometimes!

Artificial lighting, macro lens
Artificial lighting, macro lens
Next up is Detonate's sister, Shatter!
Mentality's description:
"Shatter is a red holographic jellychrome with glass flecks that shift from gold to silver."

Artificial lighting
I know this is described as a red base, but it leaned more fuschia to me, like a cool, blue-toned dark pink. Maybe that's just me though! Whatever color you call it, this is a striking polish!

Artificial lighting
Just like her blue twin, Shatter has an amazingly strong holographic effect - we had zero sun when I took these, so I had to use the lightbox, but it didn't matter! Rainbows everywhere! :) I used 2 coats here and Mentality Fast-Dry to top it off. No formula issues to report, it went on smoothly and applied perfectly, but I did notice some very light staining after taking it off, nothing that a baking soda scrub won't remove. Staining doesn't really bother me, because I never have naked nails, but I know it's important for some people, so I thought I would mention it. And so far, I'm the only person to report this problem, so I think it might have been the basecoat I used. I used Seche Clear base coat for this mani, and for the others I used HK Girl Stuck on Blu, and this was the only one I had any staining with. So, I'm thinking Seche Clear might just not be a very protective basecoat. 

Artificial lighting
Again, I've included a couple macro shots. I couldn't even begin to count the colors that show up in this holo Jellychromes, it really is amazing to look at them up so close!

Artificial lighting, macro lens
Artificial lighting, macro lens
Now for the two matte jellychromes. First I will be showing you Gala! Here is the description from Mentality's website:
"Gala is a blue matte jellychrome with glass flecks that shifts red, orange, yellow, to green."

Artificial lighting
Gala was the polish in this collection to me that felt most like a jelly. I needed to build it up a little bit more than the holos. I used 3 coats for full opacity, and no topcoat. The formula itself was great -  matte polishes tend to have a quick dry time, and Gala definitely did. I also had no staining, which can happen sometimes with blues. This polish was definitely matte in person, but the photos in the lightbox are still showing a bit of shine for some reason. You can really see the matte finish in the natural lighting photos below. 

Artificial lighting
I do see the orange and green glass flecks mentioned in Mentality's description, but the first thing I notice when I look at Gala is a strong pinkish shimmer. I think again, the red flecks come across as pink/purple to my eye. This might just be me though, I'm beginning to think I'm colorblind lol! 

Indirect natural sunlight
Indirect natural sunlight
The macro photos of this one are so cool! I love how you can really see each color of glass fleck in the polish. This is one of those polishes that looks different in every angle and every kind of lighting you look at it in. I loved that it was always surprising me. :)

Indirect natural sunlight, macro lens
Indirect natural sunlight, macro lens
Last, but certainly not least - in fact, I think she may be my favorite of these four! - is Spree.
Mentality's description:
"Spree is a red matte jellychrome that with glass flecks that shift from gold to to silver."

Artificial lighting
I absolutely love colors like this, Spree reminded me a bit of a supercharged, shimmery, matte version of Zoya Happi, which is one of my favorite pink shades! Speaking of pink, I'm so sorry to have to say it AGAIN haha, but this really came across more pink than red to me. 

Indirect natural sunlight
I used 3 coats here, but I probably could have gotten away with 2. No topcoat here, I just love the look of the matte finish with all the shimmering glass flecks. It's such a pretty contrast! No issues with formula whatsoever, and I had no staining. This one also felt like it had the quickest dry time for me. Just a perfect formula overall!

Indirect natural sunlight
Direct natural sunlight
And again, I've included a couple of macro shots so you can actually see all the little glass flecks in gold and silver. The base is so packed full of flecks that it creates a really stunning overall look when the sun hits it. Spree is just happy and bright and cheerful - it's one of those polishes that just brightens your day and puts you in a good mood when you wear it. I love those! :)

Indirect sunlight, macro lens
Artificial lighting, macro lens
You can purchase the Jellychromes here for $8.25 apiece for the mattes, and $8.50 apiece for the holos, or just check out the entire Mentality shop for all sorts of lovely polishes. I bought a few new ones on Black Friday that I will be swatching soon and I'll have those up for you. In the meantime, be sure to follow Mentality on social media, such as FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to keep up to date on new releases and collections! I know I'm personally hoping for more Jellychromes - no clue if that's even remotely a possibility but a girl can dream, right?!

I'd love to hear what you think of these!! Let me know below! :D

<3 Kelly

The products in this post were provided to me in exchange for my review. This review reflects my full and honest opinions of these products. Please see my Disclosure Statement for more information.