Wednesday, May 30, 2012

C is for Cookie

Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C!!!!!  Ahhh Sesame Street, who didn't love that show as a child?!  Who wouldn't give anything to go back to the good old days where you would lay around watching Elmo, Cookie Monster, Oscar, Burt & Ernie, Big Bird, and the rest of the gang wander around that awesome place singing or doing whatever.  That show, along with Lamb Chop and Mr. Rogers were the shows I constantly watched.  I'm not sure how my parents put up with it, but they did.

Sadly though, Lamb Chop and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood have gone by the wayside, and kids are watching new shows like Dora the Explorer and the Backyardigans.  Both I find equally annoying.  I love though that despite all these new shows, one stands strong...Sesame Street is still loved.

I attended a first birthday party which was Sesame Street themed.  Of course I jumped on the opportunity to paint my nails to match the party theme.  I have seen on other blogs and YouTube cookie monster nails, so I figured, it was my turn to take part.





Colors Used:

  • Cookies
    • Zoya - Avery
    • Sinful Colors - Nirvana
  • Cookie Monster!
    • Sally Hansen XTreme Wear - Blue Me Away! (Broke my no buy for this)
    • Sinful Colors - Black on Black
    • Sinful Colors - Snow Me White
To create the cookies, I painted on the base of Avery.  Once that was dry, I took my dotting tool and dotted on uneven spots to resemble chocolate chips.

To create Cookie Monster, I painted on a base coat of Blue Me Away, which is by far the most amazing blue polish ever!  So bright and fun.  With one coat I had full coverage, but decided to put on two since I really wanted the blue to stand out.  Then, with a toothpick, I outlined Cookie Monster's mouth.  I made the top of his mouth a little uneven since he's a hairy lil monster.  Then with the dotting tool, I added some googly eyes.

Easy, simple, cute, and brought me back to my childhood, what is there to hate about these nails!?  Maybe I'll attempt Elmo in the near future :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!!

Happy Memorial Day everyone!!!!  I hope all of you (in the states) have enjoyed your weekend and have an awesome Memorial Day planned.  In honor of this holiday, I have a patriotic manicure for you all today!

I had a great manicure in mind, but when I sat down to paint, I realized that if I did what I was planning, the flag would have been backwards.  This meant I was back to square one.  I was talking the other night with @Arlyn531 on Twitter, she tweeted me a picture of her amazing Fourth of July manicure (seriously, click that link), which I fell in love with and in turn had to copy.  I love how she used rhinestones for the stars!  Thank you so much for sharing your picture/design with me!  This means that now I'm going to have to come up with something completely original for the Fourth since I hijacked Memorial Day :).

Without further ado, here are my Memorial Day Nails.  Instead of doing one flag, I did one on my thumb as well.  First two pictures are sun, last three are in the shade :)






Colors Used:

  • Blue Nails
    • Sinful Colors - Midnight Blue
    • Sinful Colors - Hottie
  • Red Nail 
    • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Red Carpet
  • Flag 
    • Sinful Colors - Snow Me White
    • Sinful Colors - Sugar, Sugar (Red)
    • Sinful Colors - Midnight Blue
I think Miss Arlyn's nails came out better.  My stripes aren't 100% straight and I don't have the rhinestones which I'm extremely jealous of.

For my blue nails, I wanted them to pop, I did not want them to just be a plain base color, so I added a glitter polish which I didn't really want to purchase in the first place.  Boy, am I glad I did, Hottie has quickly become one of my favorite glitters.  While this manicure doesn't show it, Hottie a blue glitter polish set in a very sheer jelly blue base.  The glitter just shines a whole lot of colors, I really can't explain it.  My next manicure I hope will capture it better.  

Since I was using Hottie on my blue nails, I needed to make sure my red nails stood out.  Red Carpet by Sally Hansen is a gorgeous red polish with very fine silver flecks in it.  When it is on the nail, it resembles ruby slippers, which I think would have been a much more appropriate name for the polish.

The flags were simple and were done with my usual tool, the tooth pick.  The lines were done with a striper, and with my shaky hand, they were a bit crooked, but oh well, the flag blowing in the wind isn't perfect.

Let us not forget our troops, past and present, who have fought and are continuing to fight for our freedom.  It is because of them we are able to freely live our lives.  God Bless our Troops and America :)

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Water Marble Rant

Yesterday was Day 7 of the SNAAARKM challenge and I did not post a manicure.  The main reason: I fail at water marble.  Now this isn't your "oh ha ha i'm sure you're great at water marble but only you don't like it" fail, this is literally a fail, fail.  I waste loads of polish and time trying to attempt this technique.

For those of you who do not know what water marbling is, please see the video below.  I'm sure though that many of my fellow nail bloggers will read this post and quickly relate.


Oh CutePolish, how I love you, but your video crushed my water marbling dreams.  I successfully attempted water marble once in my life.  Once.  Okay, that's a lie, I got it twice, but the second time wasn't on my own nails and it wasn't the most impressive.  It took forever to accomplish and we wasted a ton of polish.  The first time can be seen here.  This was my second attempt on a girl my best friend baby sits for.


The ring finger is a gradient of colors the girl wanted sponged on her nail.  I was happy she didn't want all nails marbled because I was getting exhausted just doing the 8 I had to lol.

When this challenge started, I was excited yet nervous to attempt another water marble.  I had dreams that it was going to come out perfectly and be the best water marble yet.  It was going to be one of those water marbles pinned on pinterest that gets 500 re-pins.  Sadly though, yet again, my dreams were crushed as soon as I sat down.

I had selected three colors, a pink, blue, and purple, which in the bottles side by side looked beyond amazing together.  I started dripping, and the polishes began doing their little bulls eye thing.  I was all happy, excited, never had the polish spread out so lovely before.  As soon as I took the tooth pick to it and draw the design, the polish was dried and it was impossible to draw anything into it.  It all gathered onto the tooth pick and in two seconds, my beautiful bulls eye was gone.

I didn't let that get me down, I tried another time, it did the same thing, and another, same thing, another, same thing.  Finally, I used two colors, the purple and the blue, since I thought I was spending too much time adding all the colors.  It sort of did the same thing but I was able to draw a design.  I marbled my finger, and guess what happened, I had about a million little water bubbles that made the nail look like it was diseased.  After attempting about 5 more times, I finally gave up, grabbed the bottle of acetone and angrily removed the failed attempt.

Despite having a clear and white base coat, my nails still were stained for the failed attempts.  To remove the stain, I was forced to cut my nails to the shortest they have been in the longest time.  While I don't have the longest of nails, these were baby nubs which I hate.  They're starting to grow back, but not quick enough.  This final attempt of water marble was traumatizing to say the least.

My Water Marble Advice (even though I stink at it)

First - Know your polishPolish Groupie had a great post on her blog entitled Water Marble Lessons Learned which I could relate to.  When I water marbled the neighbor girls nails, I used some polishes which I had never used before.  Just as Polish Groupie found out, this was a huge mistake.  If you're going to water marble, make sure that you've used the polish before, and know if it is a sheer or opaque polish.  I have found that the more opaque formulas tend to work better.  Sheer ones tend to disappear in the water, and are barely visible on the nail when the marble is complete.

Second - Work fast, but not too fast.  The faster you work, the more likely the polish will not be dried when you go to draw in it.  Do not work too fast though because that's when mistakes happen.  You can end up spilling polish or dribbling it everywhere (like I tend to do).

Third - Drawing the Design. Draw from the center of the design out, but do not touch the outer edge of the bulls eye and draw it back in.  The outermost circle of the bulls eye is going to be the one that dries first.  If you drag it towards the center and it's dry, it's going to clump up and ruin the rest of the design.

Fourth - temperature is key.  Room temperature water is the way to go.  If the water is too cold, the polish tends to dry faster.  If the water is too hot, I have found the polish won't spread, and instead will sink.

Fifth - It's all about the Brand.  Cheaper polishes tend to not work.  Which is a shame since majority of my collection is Sinful Colors.  I have found that OPI and China Glaze work the best.  I hate using these polishes though because you are throwing your money away with how much polish you have to use.

With that, I have come to the end of my water marble ranting post.  I hope you enjoyed it, or have had similar experiences.  I am sorry to my SNAAARKM girls that I was unable to complete the challenge.  I had a blast though the other 6 days.

To everyone else, have you ever tried water marble?  What have you found to work or not work?  Even though I'm not planning on ever attempting this technique again, I'm interested in seeing what others have found to work/not work.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 6 - Forever Mani

This is my last post of the SNAAARKM Challenge.  I know that the last day is supposed to be water marbling, but I can't do it.  I attempted it, and failed, and on Saturday I will post a rant post about how much I hate water marbling.

Anywhoo, here are the links to the last 5 days....


Today I bring you the forever manicure.  This is the manicure that I would wear the rest of my life if I had to. Planning wise, this was the hardest day for me to come up with.  What in the world would I want to spend the rest of my life wearing?!?!

As we all know, I love nail art, and I rarely do anything simple on my nails.  I figured if I was going to be forced to wear something the rest of my life, I needed to have something on it to make it pop.  Something simple but with a twist.  Here's what I came up with




Colors Used:

  • Funky Fingers - Queen Cupcake
  • Sinful Colors - Zeus
  • Essie - Shine of the Times
I wanted my Manicure to have purple in it since this is one of my all time favorite colors.  When I purchased Zeus, I wasn't sure how I felt about the polish.  After painting on the base for my Dot Flowers, I fell in love! It is this gorgeous grey purple with a subtle pink shimmer.  It is a polish you must purchase and try for yourself at least once.  If you hate it, swap it, but I can guarantee you will love it as well.

To match the pink shimmer in Zeus, I grabbed Queen Cupcake.  This polish is pretty in it's own way as well.  I'm not one typically for light pastel pinks.  I love dark or hot pinks...you know colors that stand out and scream HELLO I'M ON YOUR NAILS!  This pink has a pretty subtle gold shimmer in it which to me, makes it perfect.  I do not think I would like this polish if it was a flat.  It matches perfectly with the shimmer in Zeus that I had to use it.  Since this is the forever manicure, I figured that I should use my lighter, more subtle colors that would be workplace appropriate. 

Once painted on, I decided I needed to do something more, and I remembered a manicure I did a long time ago.  The Simple Dots were a tiny way to add some umph to an otherwise boring manicure.  This was the something more I needed to forever have on my nails.  Also, since I'm obsessed with Shine of the Times, I threw on a coat of that.  I think though, if I were going to wear this forever, I'd skip the Shine of the Times and just let the natural colors of the polishes stand out.

All together I loved it.  It also taught me that while I love nail art, simple nails can be just as fun and cute.

What did the other SNAAARKM girls pick to forever wear on their nails!?!? 


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 5 - My Favorite Effect

Good evening!  How is everyone today?  I hope fantastic!!!  Today I bring you my manicure for Day 5 of the SNAAARKM Challenge - My Favorite Effect.  Below are the links to my other days :)
I have to say, this was probably the easiest day.  Mainly because if I messed up my main idea for a manicure, I could just grab my bottle of OPI Shatter and paint it on over some colors.

In an attempt to avoid using Shatter, I decided to try something I have seen a couple of times on the internet and other blogs.  That is, the Saran manicure.  For those of you who do not know about this technique, it's rather simple.  First, you paint on a base coat of whatever color your little heart desires.  Once that is dried, you cover it with any color of your choice.  While that layer is still wet, you take a little ball of saran wrap and dab it on the nail to make a marbly/speckled/sponge painted look.

I have seen some great ones out there, but mine definitely do not compare.





Colors Used:

  • Sinful Colors - Cream Pink
  • Sinful Colors - Sweet Dreams
  • Sinful Colors - Amethyst
Before I talk about how this manicure did not live up to my expectations but I still loved it, I want to talk about Sweet Dreams by Sinful Colors.  This is the most beautiful blue polish I own.  It is a light blue shimmer which has complete coverage in two coats.  I am going to be using it in other manicures in the near future, so stay tuned!  Trust me, if you are looking for a pretty summery blue color, this is the one to get.

Anywho, the technique, as I said was rather simple.  It took a minute to get used to dabbing off a polish.  I'm a little OCD so I kept dabbing and dabbing to the point where I dabbed too much and the purple was almost off on all the nails.  In the end, the colors were amazing and popped brilliantly in the sun light.  I wish I could have gotten some outdoor shots of this manicure, but sadly, the weather was not participating with me, and when it did, my nails were chipped.

In a few weeks I'm going to try this again...we shall how it turns out!!!!

Until next time, check out the other #SNAAARKM girls Effect manicures!!!!!  And if you have forgotten, this is SNAAARKM :)


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 4 - Glitter, Rhinestones, & Fimo, Oh My!

Welcome to Day 4, my oh my how this challenge is flying by.  In case you missed, here were my previous days:


When I first started painting my nails a year ago, I was addicted to glitter polishes.  My first real glitter polish was New York Color White Lights Glitter which I typically top majority of my manicures with.  It makes the nail art pop off the nails more.  Sadly, my camera doesn't capture it quite to my satisfaction, but oh well.

Sinful Colors then was introduced in the local grocery store, and they had a giant glitter polish display.  My eye attracted immediately to Frenzy, the amazing small purple and blue fleck glitter.  Seeing that purple and blue are my favorite colors, I had to buy it, and I was not upset.  I started painting it on my nails with no base coat.  Three coats and my nails were so shiny and awesome.  I then started to take some baby blue polish and accenting the nails with diagonal tips.  It was love.

For this challenge, I didn't want to do my normal side swipe glitter.  Plus, I have many diagonal manicures.  I decided to attempt a glitter gradient, where the tips were most concentrated.  Without further a due, here are the nails....

 Shade Shot (You can really see the blue and purple glitters in the shade)
 Second Shade Shot
 Sunny
Sunny again

Colors Used:

  • Base
    • Sinful Colors Love Nails
  • Glitter
    • Sinful Colors Frenzy
As usual I'm in love with Love Nails and Frenzy.  I'm just not sure I love how it came out.

What do you think?? What's your favorite glitter effect?  Do you have a go to glitter polish you absolutely love??

If you have forgotten, this is the SNAARKM challenge:



And the awesome participants are:

Until Day 5, have a great one! :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 3 - Dotting Tool

Welcome to Day 3 of the SNAARKM Challenge!  Are you enjoying it so far as much as I am???

Today is the Dotting Tool manicure.  I have been practicing tons with my dotting tool just for this very day!  Okay, not really, but I have been practicing.  I have done flowers, I have done random dots, polka dots, you name it.

Today, I decided to build on a technique I did when using the dotting tool for my Rubber Ducky Manicure.  Remember the lovely marbleized dots?  Well, the thought came to my head to use this technique to create lilacs on my fingers.

Here is what I came up with....







The thumb is my favorite of all the nails :)

Colors Used:
  • Base
    • Color Club - The Unknown Sky Blue Polish
  • Lilacs
    • Sinful Colors - Amythest
    • Sinful Colors - Verbena
    • Sinful Colors - Snow Me White
    • Revlon - Charming
  • Leaves/Branches
    • Revlon - Sassy
    • Sinful Colors - Nirvana
The marbling technique is awesome.  You dab the colors on a paper plate which you want to marble.  Then with your dotting tool, you dunk the tool in each of the polish, then onto the nail!  After I had the lilacs, I added the details of the leaves and branches.

Easy, fun, cute, and Springy.

Bet the other challenge ladies did something simpler with more dots :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 2 - A Classic

Did you expect me, the queen of nail art, to do a classic manicure without going over the top crazy?? I can't do simple, so leaving a splotch of color plain is by far one of the hardest things for me to do.

For this mani, I originally was going to do Charming Chevrons - which was my lovely Charming by Revlon polish (a gorgeous lavender), with Sally Hansen Celeb City Chevron tips.  Sadly, the colors looked horrible together, and the mani failed.

I went out, purchased the binder stickers, and decided to do a half moon manicure, with a The Little Canvas twist.  Here are the results...(please excuse the water droplets on some of the nails, it was raining lol)



Colors Used:
  • Sinful Colors - Black on Black
  • Sinful Colors - Snow Me White
  • Sally Hansen - Celeb City
I have to say, half moon manicures are not too hard!!! With that little sticker, it comes out perfectly.  Sure, it was a little difficult placing the sticker, but I have had more difficult times with scotch tape.  I found out that you must make the sticker less sticky before placing it on the paint, otherwise it will chip off the polish.  When the nails dried, I added the zebra details and the silver stripe with a tooth pick and finished with a top coat.

Overall though, I'm not too sure how I liked this manicure.  When I first did it, I loved it, thought it looked so neat.  The next day, I felt Gothic with the black.  I typically use my black polish for detailing, and really never this much of my nail is covered.

Have you ever attempted the half moon?? I will be doing more of these with numerous colors in the next few weeks.  Especially since I have 500 of the stickers :)

As a reminder, the SNAAARKM challenge is....



<3

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 1 - Jelly Sandwich

Hello everyone and welcome to the first day of the SNAARKM Challenge!  I'm super excited yet super nervous all at once.  Not quite sure why I am nervous since I have been blogging for a few months now, and am used to posting/showing designs.  Maybe because I'm not the only one who is doing this specific manicure this specific day???  Who knows!

Anywho, today is the Jelly Sandwich.  This is my FIRST time ever attempting one.  I never owned, nor knew what a jelly polish was until I started blogging.  After seeing some other bloggers jelly sandwiches, I went on a search for jelly polishes.  Of course, when I wanted one, I couldn't ever find it.  I went to my mini stash, and to my surprise I already owned one.  That color was Sinful Colors Daddy's Girl, a gorgeous purple jelly with gold flecks.  When I sat down to paint though, it just was not right.  I didn't know what glitter I could later to make the sandwich really pop.

So, I went back to the stash and found an old beauty.  A polish I had completely forgotten about and which I'm 100% positive you cannot find in a store today.  When I originally purchased it, I didn't do so because it was a jelly, it was because I was in love with the pink shimmer with the little silver flecks of glitter.  This, I knew, was going to be my jelly sandwich polish....









Colors Used:
  • Sally Hansen XTreme Wear - VIP Pink
  • Sally Hansen XTreme Wear - Strobe Light
  • New York Color - French Tip White
I think both polishes went well together.  I need some larger hexed glitter for it to really work out well.  Originally, I was going to use Whimsical but I got impatient.

Strobe light is a very small glitter with some larger pieces.  Combined with the pink, it looked mostly like a super glittery polish.  In the end, I wish I had an Indie collection like Ave (Polish Pixelle) with all those amazing glitters

If you missed my post yesterday, this is the SNAARKM Challenge


 And the lovely paritcipants are Stephanie - Sincerely Stephanie, Nicole - My Nails. My Polish., Ave - Polish Pixelle, Amanda -Fashion Footing, Ryan - Dream a Little Dream of Polish, Kristen - In the Name of Polish, & Megan -Let There be Lacquer.

Until Day 2....have a good one folks! <3

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My First Challenge :)

Hello lovelies!  How are you all today??  I have been kind of missing in action for a while, but it was for a good reason....

Starting Monday, May 14th, I will be starting the 7 Day SNAARKM Challenge with some amazing ladies!!!  The challenge is as follows:


Instead of posts being completed on a daily basis, we have set up the following schedule.
  • Day 1: Jelly Sandwich - Monday, May 14th
  • Day 2: A 'Classic' - Wednesday, May 16th
  • Day 3: Dotting Tool - Friday, May 18th
  • Day 4: Glitter, Rhinestones, and Fimo, Oh My! - Sunday, May 20th
  • Day 5: Your Favorite Effect - Tuesday, May 22nd
  • Day 6: My Forever Mani - Thursday, May 24th
  • Day 7: The Dreaded Water Marble - Saturday, May 26th
The Participants are:
I could not be more excited for this challenge and can't wait to show you all what I have come up with!!!  Thanks to Megan for coming up with the original l 7 ideas and Ryan for the artwork! Hope you enjoy! :).

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dot Flowers

Lately I feel like all the ideas in my head are awesome, but when on the nail are horrible.  Design after design I have attempted and immediately taken off.  For example, I fail at Chevron tipped nails and have vowed to never attempt them again.  I'm sure it is probably a mind over matter thing, but no matter what, I feel they look AWFUL on my nails.  Maybe it's the shape of my nubs??  Who knows.  Either way, never again.

After 2 failed attempts at Chevrons, I needed a manicure.  Something with nail art and something I would feel comfortable doing.  While I am not 100% comfortable with a dotting tool yet, I have done flowers in the past and figured this would be my easiest option.  It originally came out perfect, but stupid me added a coat of glitter which beyond destroyed the manicure and I had to start over from square one.  With my patience finally gone, when this manicure was done, I looked at it and thought it was just another "meh" manicure.

After taking the pictures though, the "meh" feeling went away and I am rather happy how they turned out.  The weather here has been kind of cruddy and the sunshine has been limited, so outdoor sun shots have been a no go.  While sitting and waiting in the parking lot, I grabbed my camera from my purse and started playing around.  Never in a million years did I think that the pictures would come out as well as they did.  The car pictures destroyed the outdoor pictures.

Enough blabbing, time for the photos.....




Colors Used:

  • Base
    • Sinful Colors - Zeus
  • Flowers
    • Revlon - Sassy - Green
    • Revlon - Charming - Lavender
    • Color Club - Blue Ice or Factory girl aka the unknown polish - sky blue
    • Sinful Colors - Cream Pink - Pink
  • Top Coat
    • Sally Hansen Double Duty Strengthening Base and Top Coat
Can I just say what an awesome polish Zeus is??  I think it might be one of my new favorites.  It is a really pretty dark purple with a pink shimmer.  I can't wait until you all see my "Forever Manicure" for this awesome little challenge I'm doing in the next few weeks.  Hopefully you'll be able to see the beauty of the polish.  I may just have to do a plain old swatch for you also.  With Zeus being such a dark base, I was able to use brighter, Springy colors for the flowers without them looking odd.


With this design, I got some much needed practice with my dotting tool.  For the centers of the flowers, I used the smaller end of the tool, then the toothpick for the third dot.  Since it was late and my patience was gone, I slabbed on the top coat which ruined some of the dots, but oh well.

What do you all think?  Has anyone else ever been in a manicure funk??  As for now, I'm blaming my "meh" feelings that I'm having lately on the weather, and hopefully in the next few days I'll be back to my normal nail artist self.

Until then, hope you all are doing great and have a great day :)