Friday, August 31, 2012

Nails inc - Franklins Row: What I wore to the bridal shower!

Happy Friday everyone! I've decided to slough off this week's stress monster and just relax. Sure, I've got some reading to do but I've got a few hours to kill during out drive up to Utah today and a few more on our way home come Monday. Oh... did I also mention we'll be stopping at a Cracker Barrel for lunch tomorrow!? OMG I love that place even though I walk out of there feeling like a total piggy. It doesn't help that they give you enormous portions, enough food to fill you to your eyeballs! There isn't a Cracker Barrel in Las Vegas so we only get to nom when we go up to Utah. Also on this weekend's itinerary is a scenic drive through Cedar Breaks, a picnic in Zion, and various other off-road activities. Yay, nature!

So today, while I'm up at the crack of dawn making a Christmas Pie (its a kind of country style quiche, delish!) for our family breakfast, you all can enjoy my purdy nails. :) I'm showing you the mani I wore for the bridal shower I hosted a few weeks ago, Nails Inc. Franklins Row. This mani lasted me a whole week if you can believe it, and it wore like iron. I'm very pleased with the quality of this brand! This polish was very apropos for the event considering the wedding colors are violet and teal! I'll be wearing a teal dress along with three other bridesmaids and two ladies will be wearing purple dresses. I've already decided I'll be wearing this lovely on both my nails and toes for the wedding, the only thing left to figure out is what shoes I'm going to wear and what design or nail art to do!

These photos are showing two coats of Nails Inc. Franklins Row over base coat with the addition of Seche Vite for shiny-shine. Gawd, isn't this brilliant?? The first coat showed a dark berry colored base and the second coat really allowed the different dimensions of sparkle to come forward. There's a gorgeous blue shimmer running through Franklins Row that catches the light beautifully, and the big surprise of this polish is that there is a hint of duochrome! Can you see it? Its absolutely lovely. Formula was good, thin and very manageable with easy clean up. I didn't have any problem with shimmer fallout during clean up or removal but keep in mind that this removes like a microglitter. Those shimmery bits like to catch onto the cotton. I'm also happy to report there was no staining.

I hope all of you lovely ladies and gents have a spectacular holiday weekend, be sure to kick off your shoes and relax your feet! xoxox

PS. Don't forget to enter my "Back to School" Giveaway for a Zoya NYFW Gloss Trio!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Barry M Croc Effects

Today I'm going to show you guys my very first Barry M! How exciting is that!? I was never much into the whole crackle trend, I always felt like it made my nails look dirty. But Barry M Croc Effects is just enough different to pique my interest and convince me I needed a bottle. I'm a little disappointed that the only shade available is black since I'm not much of a black nail person, but I know there are plenty of ladies (and gents) out there who are! If I could have my choice, I would choose brown of all colors. Or green. C'mon, its called Croc Effects... let's have it look like crocodile hide!

Since black is so... black, I layered Croc Effects over Essie Pink Parka, a neon pink creme. I can't find my notes anywhere to give you an accurate account of this mani, but the formula of Croc Effects was pretty good from what I can remember. It was thin but not runny and spread pretty evenly on the nail without drying too quickly. Thinner coats gave finer cracks in the finished effect. One thing I do remember distinctly is how hard this was to clean up. For some reason, neither my acetone/glycerin mix nor pure acetone let could clean this off my skin or straighten up my cuticle area very well. Obviously it came off my skin, but making the polish edges near my cuticles neat wasn't working out so I gave up.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty neat effect. Much better than the other crackle polishes and effects I've seen, I prefer the more random effect to the more common vertical cracking/shatter patterns. Like I said before, I just wish it came in more or other colors. Oh, and out of all the designs that showed up on my nails I thought the one on my thumbnail was the coolest. It looks like a tree! This is one of the first nails I did and I used a thicker coat.

I hope everyone has a lovely holiday weekend. I'm doing my best to try and get posts scheduled to fill the weekend posts but there may be a day or two that doesn't get a post. I'm sorry guys, I feel crummy about not getting it done. This also means that I won't have a Stamping Sunday or MSMD post lined up either. That really bums me out the most. But, there's nothing I can do for it. I'm just swamped with everything going on! I will do my best, however, to have a Teal Tuesday post done.  I'll be back with some pictures of the great outdoors, hopefully, next week!

PS. Don't forget to enter my "Back to School" Giveaway for a Zoya NYFW Gloss Trio!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cirque Colors - Never Nude & Epoch: Swatches and Review

Good morning everyone, I hope your Wednesday is the best sort of hump day it can be! Today I'm showing you the swatches I did of the two Cirque polishes I showed in yesterday's Teal Tuesday post, Never Nude and Epoch. Let me say, right off the bat, that I absolutely adore these polishes and this brand has a new fan! Also, lets shed a tear for my new nubby nails. *sniff* Its always nice to cut my length down and be able to use my fingertips again, but looking at these pictures makes me miss my talons.

Cirque is a relatively new brand based out of New York, created by Annie Pham, and the two colors I swatched are from the brand's debut collection: Dark Horse. Cirque polishes use only cosmetic-grade pigments and glitter and are Big 3 Free (B3), meaning they do not contain toulene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate. Excellent, Annie, thank you! And these beauties smell lovely too, because essential oils such as lavender and clary sage have been added to the mix. I had to look this little nugget of info up specifically because I couldn't figure out why my nails smelled like balsam and if there were supposed to in the first place. Turns out what I thought smelled like balsam was actually lavender and sage!

Never Nude:

Never Nude is a delicate shade of champagne gold with what I consider to be a loose linear holographic finish. The holo is slightly scattered, but I think it lends itself to the softness of the shade. Even without the added bonus of the holo finish I would enjoy this shade, it works with my skin tone well. The formula was good, thin but not runny, and coverage is nice at two coats. Never Nude also dried quickly. I used no topcoat for these photos so you can see the finish dries just short of shiny, but I can attest to the fact that using Seche Vite does nothing to negatively affect the holo. Awesome, yeah!?


Oh, my gawd... can I be more in love with Epoch? The answer is positively no, its impossible. Epoch is a brilliant teal shimmer with a duochrome shift to purple. The shift is strong around the edges of the bottle but does show up well under certain lighting, such as my lamp, and at more extreme angles. The shimmer particles are fairly large and reflective so they catch a lot of light and make your nails just sparkle, so the duochrome can be hard to find if you are say, out under the desert sun. I used two coats for this swatch and the consistency of the formula was thicker than Never Nude. I had a little pooling at the tips but nothing that thinner coats couldn't fix. Interestingly, Epoch dried matte! I was not expecting that, so the shine you see here is thanks to SV.

Now for my thoughts on the extra bits. First, my order was processed within hours of my purchase from the Cirque Colors website and that thrills me to no end. I cannot stress how much I love timely shipping. My package arrived quickly in a bubble mailer and my two lovelies were both wrapped snugly in packing material. When I took off the protective packaging I found each polish packaged in their own private tulle bags with satin draw strings, very luxx! To top everything off, my packing slip/invoice was in a little baggies with some Worther's Original candies. Annie, how did you know that I love those!? These little attention to details, not to mention that I love the presentation of the bottle (square and sturdy with the sticker wrapping around the corner of the bottle), are why I have nothing but good things to say about these polishes and this brand.

So please, check out the Cirque Colors website and find them Facebook HERE, to be kept up to date with new collections and other news. Just so you know... there's a Halloween collection!

PS. Don't forget to enter my "Back to School" Giveaway for a Zoya NYFW Gloss Trio!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teal Tuesday - Cirque gradient masquerades as a funky french!

Good morning lovelies, I hope your Tuesday is going well. :)  Today will be short and sweet since I'm still scrambling to get my act together. So please enjoy this week's installment of Teal Tuesday!

This week's Teal Tuesdays theme is Funky French and I had this grand idea to do a dotticure funky fresh a la Chalkboard Nails buuuuut, since life has snuck off with all of my free time I didn't have the time to sit down and do the work. I'm super bummed. I had like six or so of my favorite teal polishes, including Zoya Paloma (wink, wink), all picked out and they're just sitting in my "to be" box. *sad face* So I hope you all will accept a manicure I pulled from the vault that is still maybe, possibly, technically, a funky french. I had this post lined up for later but now is a good a time as ever! I promise I'll get my fancy pants, million teal, dotticure done soon so I can share with you guys my grand idea. 

I created this gradient using two coats of Cirque Never Nude, a champagne beige holo, and sponged on the tips Cirque Epoch, a teal shimmer with a hint of a purple duochrome shift. They're both incredible polishes so I can't wait to show you my swatches. Sponging Epoch turned out to more difficult than sponging jellies! The teal shimmery bits float around in a sheer blackened base that doesn't build up color incredibly well on its own, all of the teal you see is from the shimmer. Needless to say, there was shimmer everywhere and it was a nightmare to clean up. Why do I always pick the hardest colors to sponge with!? lol

I hope you guys like my little cheat for this week, I'll make it up to you guys I promise. <3 In other news, I will be out of town for the holiday weekend so I won't be able to post any challenge manis. Having family in town just cuts my mani time down to zero, plus we're all scheduled out for the next two weeks! I will however, do my best to have scheduled posts up to make sure I keep with the daily posting. xoxox

Be sure to check out the other wonderful bloggers who are participating in Teal Tuesdays!

Missy/Gnarly Gnails -
Rhonda Nail Polish Marbury - 
Ariane/The Frenzied Polisher 
Kia~LacqueredLibra - 
Jess/Once Upon a Polish... - 
Jasmin/Subtletyisoverrated - 
Elysse/Elyssian Bauty - 
Gisselle/Ms.Meow - 
Allison/ Love In A Bottle- 
Arielle/Klutzy Hands Nail -

PS. Don't forget to enter my "Back to School" Giveaway for a Zoya NYFW Gloss Trio!

Monday, August 27, 2012

MSMD - I've been FRAMED!

Good morning everyone, I hope your Monday is going swimmingly! I'm on campus this morning so I've got a few hours of introductions and syllabi overviews ahead of me before I get to come home and finish scrubbing my house squeeky clean (this means mopping, blech) and sparkly all over for the incoming in-laws. *stress* Honestly, I forgot they were coming in Tuesday evening until the Mr. reminded me, thanks. I suppose its better than finding out Monday night!

Let's move on to the manicure, shall we? Hooray, its Monkey See Monkey Do Monday!

This week, rather than highlight a particular blogger I decided to try my hand at a style of nail art I've been wanting to give a whirl for quite a while - The frame mani. Only, since I drank half a pot of coffee before doing my nails I decided to try the version using my dotting tools. Which btw, is still pretty difficult when you can't get your hands to stop shaking! You'll notice some of my dots are larger than others, don't blame me... blame my caffeine addiction. :) Oh, and apparently I wasn't very meticulous with my polish clean up either since I didn't notice the extra polish on my skin until I was editing my photos. D'oh!

For this look I used three coats of OPI Did It On 'Em ('cuz its so damn sheer!) and used OPI Roadhouse Blues for my frame dots. I intended to do a reverse accent nail but somehow spaced it when I was prepping my base color. Oh yeah, I was moving my snowboards out of my office and into a coat closet. I'm amazed I didn't wreck this mani before it started! lol Next time I try this I want to use Did It On 'Em again but a lighter color blue, as it is now you can't tell my frame dots are blue at all. They look black!

Now tell me, have you tried the frame manicure or this version? I really like how this turned out and I'm sad to take it off for my Teal Tuesday mani! Oh, and this look really shows how high arching my c-curve is on certain nails. At certain angles you can't see the dots on the side!

PS. Don't forget to enter my "Back to School" Giveaway for a Zoya NYFW Gloss Trio!

PPS. Check out the other awesome ladies participating in MSMD!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Stamping - Pulsating Pink & Purple with a little bit of Obnoxious Orange

Good afternoon, lovelies. I don't know about you but I've had an absolutely wonderful lazy Sunday. Hunny bunny and I lounged on the couch most of the day and watched a redbox movie I picked up last night, the latest Sherlock Holmes film. I'm not a movie critic by any means, but this was a great sequel!

Today's post is coming a little late because, frankly, I am swamped. Last weekend it was a bridal shower and this weekend its getting the spare bedroom/my office ready for some in-laws. Not really a stressful affair, just time consuming as this room has only been set up recently and still sort of acts as a catch-all for my stuff. Lots of rearranging and going through old papers to clear off shelves and make drawers available. Oh, and have I mentioned I'm getting ready for the fall semester starting on Monday? I'm just a teensy bit spread thin, so I did this manicure this morning before Mr. OUaP was up.

This week's Adventures in Stamping group challenge was Pulsating Pink with the runner up being Obnoxious Orange. Since I voted for Obnoxious Orange I decided to include some anyway. :)

My manicure started with three coats of China Glaze Señorita Bonita that I then stamped with Konad Princess Polish in Psyche Pink (less opaque than I'd expected, btw) using stamping plate Mash-40. Since the swirls didn't show up as well as I'd liked I added some dots along the swirls using the stamping polish and accented the other swirls with dots using OPI A Roll in the Hague.

My stamping abilities are improving by leaps and bounds I think, but for some reason still not as I'd like them to be. I'm getting a good transfer of paint from my plate to my stamper, but not from my stamper to my nails. The image transfers but at least a third or half of the paint is left on the stamper. Like only half of the thickness of the paint transferred. Does this happen to anyone else? It doesn't happen with all stamping attempts but is still frequent.

So tell me, what do you think? Did I pull it off?

PS. Don't forget to enter my "Back to School" Giveaway for a Zoya NYFW Gloss Trio!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Zoya NYFW Gloss Trio "Back to School" Giveaway!

Happy Saturday everyone, are you ready for your last weekend of the summer? I'm not... so today I've got something I've been planning for a while and I'm super excited to share with you, another giveaway! And this time its with Zoya's NYFW Gloss Trio!

In the spirit of the back to school season and fall fast approaching, I wanted to share with one of my readers. If shelling out your hard earned cash for this semester's tuition, books, and school supplies has you lamenting over your recent "no buy," cheer up, here's your chance to score your very own brand new set of Zoya jellies. Plus, I'll be adding in some additional goodies!

I posted pretty late yesterday, but you can see my layering combos and comparisons HERE. I can't tell you how much I love these three jellies (glossies?) after playing with them for  yesterday's post and using Frida for this week's Teal Tuesday post. They're absolutely perfect for transitioning your bright summer polishes into more subdued autumnal hues.

What's more, this giveaway will be open internationally to residents of the US, Canada, UK, and France. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 24, 2012

Zoya Gloss Trio - Layering Combos!

Happy Friday ladies and gents, are you ready for the weekend? I sure am, but only because its my last hurrah before school starts. I tell ya, I'm so glad this is my final semester because I'm wore out on book learnin'! Who am I kidding, I have future plans of grad school. I must be a glutton for punishment. Although I'm not looking forward to the workload I've got stacked up this semester I am excited about two of my classes, Soil Classification and Resource Management and GIS for Land Use Management. It will be tough, but I'm EXCITED! Knowing how to use GIS software will be a valuable skill.

Ok, enough about schoolwork. Let's get to the good stuff, polish! Today I'm showcasing the Zoya Gloss Trio, one of the three sets of polishes in Zoya's fall lineup, the 2012 NYFW Designer, Diva and Gloss Collection. The Gloss Trio is a trio of jellies intended for layering over top of a base color or as you saw in my last Teal Tuesday post, these jellies can be used for making jelly sammiches!

The trio of jellies consist of Katherine, a "dark red-toned aubergine;" Paloma, a "deep fuchsia-berry;" and Frida, a "dark, warm-toned teal blue."

Instead of doing simple swatches with three to six coats to reach opacity, or something close to it, I opted to show you some layering options I came up with to give you an idea how each of these jellies enhances the base color its applied over. Paloma and Katherine were layered over Zoya Kimber and Orly Oui and I opted for a side-by-side comparison of the two so their differences could be contrasted. Frida was layered over Zoya Zuza and Orly Sweet Peacock, each individually. For all swatches I used one coat of gloss over two coats of the base color.

Paloma & Katherine over Zoya Kimber:

Over the bright pink and golden shimmer of Zoya Kimber, Paloma and Katherine are clearly different and provide very different effects. Paloma is hardly a noticeable change from the base color of Kimber, it serves as more of a color enhancement in this case giving Kimber a candy coat. Katherine on the other hand, completely changes the look of Kimber and transforms it into a candy coated deep berry-toned red. It reminds me of candied apples, actually.

What are your thoughts, do you prefer the subtlety of Paloma over Kimber or the complete change Katherine provides? I think Paloma is more of an enhancing gloss, giving other polishes a deeper look. Its Katherine that has the real transformative powers, perfect for transitioning a lighter more summery color to use in the Fall or for quickly changing up a mani when you don't have time for a complete nail makeover.

Paloma & Katherine over Orly Oui:

I hear that Orly Oui is a pretty spot on dupe for Zoya Daul, released as part of the Zoya NYFW Diva Collection. So I thought it would be a perfect choice to layer Paloma and Katherine over since I don't plan on picking up Daul any time soon. I loved Oui when it came out in last season's holiday collection and when I put it on the other night I remembered just how much! You can see my swatch (boy I've come a long way, haven't I!?) HERE. And you can check out Pointless Cafe's very helpful comparison swatch HERE.

Over the amazing golden shimmer and warm purple base of Orly Oui, Paloma and Katherine are less distinguishable than they were over Kimber but both still very pretty and different. The jelly finish of each serves to tone down the intense foil shimmer of Oui and my nails are positively glowing from within. I don't know if I can add much more to this commentary, simply because they are both so pretty! These pictures do the talking for sure. If I had to pick, I'd say I prefer the look of Paloma over Oui. Paloma gives Oui a more berry color while Katherine's effect is more of a wine color.

Frida over Zoya Zuza:

Zuza is an incredible silvery turquoise shimmer with a foil finish and I adore it, plain and simple. I showed you my swatches before and you can check them out HERE. The staining was pretty bad when I wore a glitter over top but I'm happy to say I didn't have any staining while swatching this time around. Frida turns out to be the perfect compliment to Zuza and the simplest way to turn a summer bright into a toned down fall shade. The difference is subtle but beautiful because Frida gives Zuza incredible depth, and Zuza's silver shimmer looks amazing under the candy coat of Frida. Love. Love. LOVE! A teal jelly... pure polish heaven!

Frida over Orly Sweet Peacock:

Orly Sweet Peacock is from the Birds of a Feather Collection and as it turns out, I've never shown it here on the blog! Don't worry, that will be remedied soon with swatches. Sweet Peacock is a royal blue foil that every blue polish lover should own, its simple and perfect. As a color, Sweet Peacock is so vibrant that it unfortunately didn't work that well as a base color for Frida.  Its just too hard to see a true difference in color. I should have done side-by-side nails to show you what it looks like with and without Frida. Hindsight is great, isn't it? But don't fret, Frida gave Sweet Peacock a beautiful glow! Its a very pretty combo but very subtle so I'm not sure if I'd combine the two again.

Whew, that was a lot to cover! And lots and lots of pictures. So tell me, which layering combo did you prefer? Do you have any other layering suggestions you would like me to try?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sation Neon Jelly Gradient!

Its Thursday and as promised, for your Sation viewing pleasure, I'm bringing you my gradient skittles! If it is at all possible, I believe that these gradient nails are brighter than my swatches were. Under LED lighting I had to hold my SV bottle so you could see the glowing colors, otherwise the Sation bottle of One & Only Orange was positively radioactive and too bright to see my nails if you can believe it!

This radioactive gradient was created using One & Only Orange, Hail To The Pink, Class Flirt, and Fan The Flames Fuchsia. Let me say for the record that gradients with jellies is a lot harder to do than I'd anticipated! I'll break it down by the nail:

Index: One & Only Orange and Hail To The Pink
Middle: Hail To The Pink and Class Flirt
Ring: Class Flirt and Fan The Flames Fuchsia
Pinky: Fan The Flames Fuchsia and One & Only Orange

For fun, and because I finally found a bottle of INM Northern Lights at a random Sally's Beauty Supply, I layered a single coat of Northern Lights over my Sation gradient. It isn't a look I normally go for but it was very sparkly!

Alright ladies and gents, what do you think? Which gradient nail do you like best? I liked my index and middle finger most. I want to try and use all four on a nail next, I think I'll try it over a white base to make it easier on myself! How about using Norther Lights? Are you a fan of sparkly top coats like this?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More Sation Swatches - with neons, and jellies, oh my!

Happy Hump Day, ladies and gents! How about some super bright, retina searing neon jellies from one of my new favorite brands, Sation? No, too early to look at colors this bright? Never! Just a warning, you might need some shades to read this post, because the colors I'm featuring are BRIGHT. Also, be sure to give Cynthia over at Of Life and Lacquer a big thank you for being my Sation enabler! Without her, none of this Sation love would be possible. <3

The nitty-gritty: all photos are shown with base coat but no top coat, I wanted to show the natural finish of the polish. Number of coats swatched varied with each polish.

One & Only Orange:

One & Only Orange is a neon tangerine jelly that covers well in three coats, but I used four in these photos since I nicked one of my nails during a cleanup attempt. This color reminds me of Zoya Coraline but I believe One & Only Orange is more neon and more pigmented. Where Coraline still showed VNL at three coats, One & Only Orange provides an excellent amount of opacity for a jelly! I had no problems cleaning this color off my skin and cuticles, and there was no staining upon removal. Formula was excellent, smooth and easily manageable on the nail. The Sation brush is wide but not so wide that it is slopping polish all over the place, a wide brush is nice for long nails since it holds more polish.

Hail To The Pink:

Hail To The Pink is a neon pink jelly polish that I consider to be an "electric strawberry." Do you see it? Its pink but not quite red enough to be considered a coral, so electric strawberry it is! I used four coats for this swatch and you can still see a little visible nail line. You could, if you wear shorter nails, get away with wearing only three coats. Formula on Hail To The Pink is just as good as One & Only Orange, only less pigmented and more a true jelly. Removal was easy and no staining occurred.

Class Flirt:

Now this is what I call a coral! Class Flirt is a neon coral jelly-creme that I have a habit of calling an "electric watermelon." Can a color be "electric" without being neon? This is something I've always wondered... For this swatch I used three coats but two would be acceptable on shorter nails. Class Flirt dries to more of a satin finish than either One & Only Orange and Hail To The Pink did, but it also has a thicker formula. More neon pigment, perhaps? Interestingly, the first coat of Class Flirt was completely pink! Also worth noting, since this polish is more pigmented I had to work a little harder to clean this out of my cuticles and off my skin. Good news is, there was no staining.

Fan The Flames Fuchsia:

Oh, fuchsia... the color almost no one can spell without google. That's ok, I know how to spell you and I still love you. <3 My method of choice? Dirty words "hooked on phonics." It works, people! lol

Fan The Flames Fuchsia is the one true creme out of the four swatches I'm showing today. I used two coats and as you can see there is no VNL, so it covers well.  The formula is good and the color is saturated but it dries to a satin finish so top coat is definitely needed for this beauty to shine. I had no problem removing Fan The Flames Fuchsia and there was no staining. Win!

Overall, I have nothing negative to say about these four polishes! I love each and every one of them and plan on dragging them out in the dead of Las Vegas' chilly winter. Don't laugh, but when its in the triple digits for half the year, 40 and 50 degree weather is too cold!  I've lived in much colder climes so I know how ridiculous this really sounds, but if anything know that it gets very blustery in these parts during winter. So it isn't a pleasant 50 degrees.

Wow! I really got to rambling again... lol Be sure to come back tomorrow for a gradient I put together using all four of these Sation beauties! Any thoughts on these swatches, have I driven you to an online purchasing spree yet?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teal Tuesday - Jelly Sammich (peanut Butter wasn't invited to this party)

Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm still in slight recovery mode today even though yesterday was spent on my couch snuggled with my leopard print snuggie watching Tombstone and snacking on spaghetti o's. Yes, my Monday was awesome. I hope you aren't jealous, because you should all know I would share with you if I could. :) Today isn't going to be quite as awesome, but still good nonetheless. Its laundry day, YAY.

This week's Teal Tuesday challenge was Jelly Sandwhich, a technique that I think is fun and looks good but don't normally do. Why not, you ask? Mostly because I don't like my nails to be super thick with polish and the layering and waiting usually takes too long for my impatient self to handle. BUT since I recently got my Zoya order with the new Gloss Trio and was dying to whip out Frida and take her for a spin, I was pretty excited to try this week. Even though I voted for patchwork. :)

For my jelly sammich I layered two coats of Frida over base coat, one coat of China Glaze Snow Globe, another coat of Frida, one coat of INM Northern Lights, and a final coat of Frida. That's a total of eight coats of polish, people! Holy moly, my nails were thick at this point. After all of that I added a coat of Seche Vite to help it dry. I wanted to do some stamping but knew it would take forever to cure enough to handle it so I waited a full 24 hours to stamp. Unfortunately, I didn't choose the best polish to stamp with as it didn't really show up over the jelly.

Here is my jelly sammy on day two after I stamped it with China Glaze Deviant Darling with Mash plate 49.  There wasn't enough contrast to see the stamped image so I matted the whole look with Essie Matte About You. The stamp shows up better being matted and I think the glitter in the jelly looks pretty good this way too. What do you think, do you prefer it glossy or matte? Oh, and am I the only one who thinks this looks a little like China Glaze Atlantis? I don't own it so I can't make this call on my own.

Now, for the news you've been waiting for... da dada da! The winner of my super quick and short Teal Tuesday Giveaway, for a bottle of China Glaze Rodeo Fanatic, is Melissa C! I've sent Melissa an email and she has 48 hours to respond and claim her prize. If I don't hear from her I'll pick another winner and let you guys know in the event of that outcome.

One last word on my jelly sammich. Since there were so many layers I tried to give each a little more time to dry than I normally would before adding my next layer. I wanted to help with the drying because I was worried (as I always am when applying jellies) that using Seche Vite over a jelly would cause major shrinkage. Also I've heard that there are formula conflicts between Zoya And Seche Vite that would exacerbate the shrinkage. Fortunately there were no major problems with shrinkage or formula issues, however, I did have some shrinkage when all was said and done. I think that the shrinkage, which was relatively minor considering the number of layers, was more a result of the number of layers and their combined drying/curing time than any issues between Zoya and SV. The photos I took of my mani once matted show only minor shrinking at the tips (there was also a little wrinkling on my ring finger) and at my cuticle, but nothing major or obvious to anyone other than a polish freak such as myself.

I may have rambled a bit there, but I hope this insight into my experience with drying and shrinkage using Zoya Gloss and SV helps!

Monday, August 20, 2012

MSMD - "Abstract Geometric Nails"

Good morning lovelies, I hope you're all having the perfect Monday morning! I am in recovery mode from yesterday afternoon's bridal shower and bbq. No amount of discussing the guest list can really prepare you for just how many people will actually flood into your home when you host an event like this. We must've had around 40 people over yesterday, including some young'uns that tagged along. One minute my house was clean and sparkling, then I turn around and we're fully decorated and guests are showing up all over the place! Even though my nerves were frayed the party was a success and I'm happy to have been able to host the shower for my friend, she deserved it.

Because I'm sluggish today and all I really want to do is to cuddle up on my couch with a cup of coffee and my leopard print snuggie (yes I have one and I love it) and do some reading. Or channel surfing. Or Downton Abbey marathoning. Ya know, the perfect "I'm not going anywhere" Monday. :) My point is really that today's MSMD post will be short and sweet! Because I can't stop thinking about my snuggie. lol

Today's MSMD manicure was inspired by a google hunt I did a while back when I was feeling a creative block. I stumbled upon a tutorial post circa 2010 posted by an Indian beauty blog, Indian Makeup & Beauty Blog for an "abstract geometric design." Her version was blue, black, and silver but in the spirit of wanting autumn to hurry up and get here I decided to play with a few cremes and glitters from the China Glaze On Safari Collection. I used Kalahari Kiss as my base color then free handed Desert Sun and Prey Tell on my tips. I finished the design using a striping brush and alternated I'm Not Lion and I Herd That for my glitter accents.

I thought I'd share with you guys the pre-glitter version since I liked it just as much on its own. What do you think, do you prefer the look with or without glitter? The glitter version makes me think of argyle, in an abstract way. Overall I'm really happy with how this design turned out and I'll be doing it again for a full mani in a few months. I'm also pretty damn proud of myself for free handing my tips. Because I hate tape. Ok, I don't hate tape it just causes me way too much stress and aggravation. :)

Alright ladies and gents I'm off to my couch to reply to all of yesterday's comments, catch up on my blogroll, and whatever else I feel like. Oh, my God. Can you tell how flippin' excited I am to just sit on my couch!?

PS. Don't forget to enter my Teal Tuesday Giveaway for a brand new bottle of ChG Rodeo Fanatic!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Stamping - Can't Wait For Fall!

Good morning lovelies, anything special planned this afternoon? Maybe, lounging on the couch? If so, I'm a smidge jealous. Today we're hosting a bridal shower and bbq so its busy, busy, busy around here! No joke, I've done 15 manis in the last three days trying to get my Sun/Mon/Tues challenge posts ready and stocking up on content. I kid you not, the week after next is a trifecta of stressful events. The new semester starts, in-laws are coming to visit, and hunny bunny might be called out of town for business. *stress* Alright, enough of my anticipatory venting... its polish time!

This week's Adventures in Stamping - Sunday Stamping Challenge turned out to be "Can't Wait For Fall." Which I find a little funny because I've been wearing vampy manis for the last few weeks just yearning for September and October and when I finally feel in the mood for some obnoxiously bright colors, the theme is AUTUMN! I admit, its a little amusing to me. :) And just so you're not surprised in January, you should know I'll probably be wearing brights and neons. It helps me fight off the SAD.

For my autumnal mani I wanted to do the cliched leaf stamp because last fall I didn't have any stamps and was envious of all the girls with pretty stamped leaves. It turns out that even with the four stamping sets and a jumbo plate I have now, I still don't have the stamp I want. Bogus. So I made due with the stamp on BM 316 that looked pretty close to leaves. What you see is two coats of SOPI 212-Sephora double stamped with BM-316 using Essie Very Structured and China Glaze Cross Iron 360. I don't know about you ladies, but I think it turned out pretty damn spectacular! The orange flakies in 212 look like falling leaves off of the tree!

So how did I do, does this make you think of jumping in leaf piles? Man, I hate raking leaves. I'm glad we don't have any to rake here in my neck of the woods, but I sure do miss the beautiful colors that come along with the changing of the seasons!

PS. Don't forget to enter my Teal Tuesday Giveaway for a brand new bottle of ChG Rodeo Fanatic!


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