Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dotted Gradient Manicure - A Born Pretty Store Review

Dots, dots, and more dots.  I told you that once I received my new dotting tools I was going to become dot obsessed.  My last manicure, you know, the gorgeous dot and gradient manicure, were done using my new tools.  These dotting tools I used were from the Born Pretty Store!  They are the five 2-way dotters.  I cannot begin to tell you how much I love them.

When I sat down to do a dot-icure, I had the plan to copy my pajama pants, which are a light gray with multi colored pink polka dots.  Sadly, instead of copying the pants exactly, I tried to go overboard with some accent nails and it turned into a major disasticure.  After two more disasticures, I grabbed my favorite polish, Sinful Colors - Mint Apple, and got to painting.  I decided to attempt a dot gradient now that I have 10 different size dots.  Before, this wouldn't have been a success, but now...it totally was.  

Let's take a look.  Ew dry hands and blurry-ish pics.  My lightbox kind of let me down on this one.  I originally took them using the black background and it made my hands look like I was jaundice or something.  Definitely loving my lightbox, but it's a learning process! 



 Colors Used:

  • Sinful Colors - Mint Apple
  • Sinful Colors - Black on Black
  • Sally Hansen - Celeb City
I love the dotting tools from the Born Pretty Store.  I own one dotting tool from Sephora and it has a wooden body.  These tools are made with a clear plastic, which makes them a bit heavier than Seophra's.  I wasn't sure how I was going to like it, but now after using them twice, I can tell you I am in love.  The heaviness of them makes it easier to work with and maneuver.

I always love how black and silver polishes look paired with Mint Apple, so I knew right away that I wanted to use them for dots.  I started with the silver dots first.  With one of the larger dotters, I did a few large silver dots, then flipped the tool over and used the smaller side to create the rest of the gradient look up the nail.  I did the same thing with the black polish.  As you can tell, my black polish was finick-y and left those stupid little streak lines after the smaller dots.  Kind of annoying, but it happens.

Regardless, you can still see the perfect round shape that was achieved using these tools.  If you need a set for yourself, click here to purchase your own set!  If you use the code AMBK31, you will receive 10% off your purchase!  Not to mention, all purchases over at the Born Pretty Store include free shipping, so you can't go wrong!



What do you think?  Love the colors, hate them?  Have the dotting tools and love them??

Now I shall start my Valentines Day manicures....I think.  Maybe I'll sneak another dot manicure in or maybe even a tape mani!!!  We shall see! 

**The dotting tools were provided by the Born Pretty Store (www.bornprettystore.com) for promotional purposes. All expressed opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure page for more info**


Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Young, Wild, and Polished Manicure

Oh how I love, love, LOVE this manicure, and I'm sure you all are going to agree.  It is serious perfection, and it was dreamed up by the amazing Nicole of Young, Wild, and Polished.  If you are unaware of Nicole, you need to head on over to her blog or Twitter, or Instagram and take a gander at her gorgeous nails.  She is the queen of the kitchen sink manicure, and of course dot-icures.  Back in November, I attempted some dotted flowers and copied one of her manicures.  It by far turned out to be one of my all time favorite manis. Now, this manicure has become my new favorite.

Nicole posted this gorgeous dot mani mixed with a beautiful 3 color gradient.  As a lover of purple, pink, and blue, I immediately fell in love.  I stared at it on Instagram, drooled over it on twitter, and needed to copy it.  Since I received some new dotting tools from the Born Pretty Store, and some amazing new polishes from Sally Hansen, my time to attempt this manicure had arrived.  

Here's how they turned out.  Oh how I love my lightbox, the pictures are coming out so much better!




Colors Used:

  • Bases
    • Sinful Colors - Black on Black
    • Ulta - Snow White
  • Gradient and Dots
    • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri - Blue Away!
    • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri - Fuchsia Flare
    • Ulta - Tutu Cute
    • China Glaze - Fairy Dust
I'm so happy with how this manicure came out.  My dotting skills have far improved, along with my gradients.  I can partially thank the amazing Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes for this.

Dotting with fast dry polishes I thought was going to be a huge problem.  My Sinful Colors Black on Black which I frequently dot with tends to dry up and leave those awful little lines behind.  These Insta-Dri polishes did none of that!  Working with such bright colors on a black base would have shown this, but clearly you can see that I had perfect dots each time.  

The Sally Hansen polishes were just AMAZING as well when it came to the gradient.  As I normally do when creating a gradient, I start off with some white undies.  Then, on a make up sponge, I paint on the colors I want to gradient   For this manicure, I started with a swipe of Blue Away! at the top, then Tutu Cute, ending with Fuschia Flare.  After sponging twice on the nail, I didn't need to go back and touch up the gradient at all.  Typically I do, but with these polishes, I had no issue.  I added my top coat and the gradient blended perfectly.  I was nervous that since they were quick dry they wouldn't blend as easily, but boy, they did and it was gorgeous.

I cannot wait to use Blue Away and Fuschia Flare as bases in manicures.  They're the perfect, bright, cream polishes.  After seeing how they work with a gradient and dots, I am convinced they will make the perfect bases!  Beyond gorgeous, if you need a baby blue polish or a bright pink perfect for Valentines Day, head on out to the store and purchase!!!!  They're must haves.

Can I also say how AMAZING Born Pretty's dotting tools were?!  The dotting tools I received were these!  There are 5 dotting tools with 2 dotters on each size, giving you 10 different sized dots.  Amazing.  The polish adhered to them amazingly, and the tools themselves were simple to use!  They weren't too light, and they weren't too heavy, so I was able to maneuver them with both hands with ease.  If you want your own set, head on over to the Born Pretty Store to purchase some!!!  Use the code below to receive 10% off!



Now that I have rambled and rambled, what do you think??  Do you love this manicure?  Think Nicole is a genius?

Thank you Nicole for the idea and continually inspiring me!!! <3  One more post and I might be starting some Valentines Day Manicures....are you excited?! 

**Sally Hansen Insta Dri - Blue Away and Fuschia Flare were provided by Sally Hansen for promotional purposes.  The dotting tools were also provided to me for promotional purposes by the Born Pretty Store (www.bornprettystore.com). All expressed opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure page for more info**

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Polar Bear and Penguin Nail Art :)

These nails I am bringing you today may or may not be one of the cutest manicures I have ever done.  I would have never thought of this idea if it weren't for the wonderful Amanda from The Nail Polish Enthusiast!  For those of you who haven't heard of Amanda's blog, head on over and check it out!  She's the queen of rainbow glitter, and well in my opinion, all glitter.  Love her nails!

The other night when I was debating on what to do, I took to Twitter for some ideas, and Amanda came to my rescue!  I wanted to use one of my new white polishes, but really had no idea what I could do nail art wise.  Amanda suggested a snow scene with polar bears.  The idea sounded beyond adorable, so I had to try them.

After my little manicure that never came to be, I fell in love with the colors, so I decided on using Revlon Dreamer and Orly Angel Eyes as a base.  I grabbed my dotting tools and brushes, and started painting the little scene!  Let's take a look!



Colors Used:
  • Revlon - Dreamer
  • Orly - Angel Eyes 
  • Ulta - Snow White
  • Sinful Colors - Black on Black, Unicorn
  • Zoya - Lianne
I cannot begin to tell you how much I absolutely love Dreamer and Angel Eyes layered like this.  I used two coats of Dreamer followed by one coat of Angel Eyes.  To be honest, I wanted to keep my nails plain with no art because I could not stop staring at the blue sparkle and how it was jumping off the light blue base.  Gorgeous.

I pushed past the gorgeousness, and started painting on the snowy french tips.  With my nail art brush, I painted wavy, tips to represent snowy hills.  Once dried, it was time to add the details of my lil polar bear and penguin buddies.  For the polar bear, I used my dotting tool.  Using Snow White, I created a medium sized circle for the head, and a large circle for the body.  Since every polar bear I have ever seen tends to have a yellow tinge to them, I used Sinful Colors Unicorn to embellish the face and belly.  I wanted it to look like he was sitting down, so with my dotting tool, I added paw prints to make it seem like his feet were facing up towards us.  I then added the details of the mouth, eyes, ears, and nose with tooth picks and dotting tools.

For the penguin, I used my nail art brush.  I outlined his body with black polish, then filled it in using the same brush.  When that was dried, I took the same brush and created around belly.  With the dotting tool, I added two white circles for eyes, then made the pupil and such with smaller dotting tools.  For his beak and feet, I used a tooth pick.

My thumb was my absolute favorite, and I wish I was able to get a close up picture of just the thumb.  Sadly, this manicure was my first using the lightbox, so since I was getting used to it, I couldn't capture a picture of it.  As you can see from the full hand shot, you can see that the lil guys are holding "hands".  Such happy little things.  Love it.

What do you think??  

I sincerely thank Amanda for the idea!!!  Hope to brainstorm manicure ideas with her again in the near future.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rubber Ducky Nail Art Revisited!

Rubber ducky, you're the one!  Devotees will remember that I did this manicure last year.  The other night when I sat down to paint my nails, I had literally ran out of ideas.  Okay, that's a lie, I just got kind of lazy and un-inspired.  I was going to do a zoo manicure with a bunch of different animals, but my head started to hurt and I was too lazy.  Plus, after doing one lion in a color that was not lion-ish I got frustrated and just gave up.  

I was thinking of re-visiting that simple mani I just bored you all with three days ago, but I couldn't do that to all of you!  I wanted to bring you all nail art!  A nice, unique, cute, Little Canvas manicure.  With my one year anniversary of the blog looming, I'm looking back on all my manicures and itching to re-do all of them.  These duckies were one of my favorites way back when, so I thought now that my nails are longer, my skills are more refined, and I have actual nail art tools, why not?

Let's take a look.  Apologies about the photos, this was one of my last manicures photographed without my lighbox.  Actually, since it took me over an hour to just get these two photos, this was the manicure that birthed the lightbox idea in my head.



Colors Used:

  • Revlon - Dreamer
  • Ulta - Sun-Sational
  • China Glaze - Splish, Splash
  • Sinful Colors - Midnight Blue, Snow Me White, Black on Black
  • Zoya - Lianne
Quack, quack, cute.  I got the idea originally from a tutorial on cutepolish.  In her manicure, she only did accent nail duckies, I obviously both times decided to do all my nails.

To get the duckies, you take your dotting tool and make a large dot for the head, and a slightly larger dot for the chest.  Then with a small dotter, you put a dot where the tail should go.  Then, in the cutepolish tutorial, she fills in the rest with the dotting tool.  I, however, decided to use my nail art brush.  When the body was dried, with my dotting tool, I added on the eyes and the beak.

Next comes my favorite part, the marble bubbles!  These are so simple to do!  You take whatever three colors you want to use for your bubbles and drip them onto a paper plate.  For me, I picked Midnight Blue, Snow Me White, and Splish, Splash.  Then, with your dotting tool, you dip it into each of the polishes a couple of times.  Dab it once onto the plate and then onto the nail, and you will have cool swirled polka dots!

So which attempt is better...this years or last?  I wish my photos were better!  Ugh! Hopefully might light box will fix that!

Until next post <3

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Little Mani which had Potential but Never Came to Be

Le sigh, I had such high hopes for this manicure, but it never came to be anything.  The other day I had to go out to the store and did not have time for a big fancy smansy nail art extravaganza.  I didn't want to go naked, so I decided to paint on a base coat and when I came home I had a plan to do a glittery masterpiece.  Of course, when taping up a package to mail out, I ripped the paint off.  Then when at the store I smashed another nail good and chipped it.  Then one nail decided to peel at the tip....just...ugh it was a mess.

Despite it not coming to be anything, I still took pictures since it featured the gorgeous Angel Eyes by Orly and people have been asking my opinion on it, I thought I would share.  In a few weeks, I will revisit this mani and go for my glittery extravaganza.  I have revisited it slightly using the colors in different manicures, but that's to come ;).  Until then...let's take a look at sheer simpleness.




Colors Used:
  • Orly - Angel Eyes
  • Revlon - Dreamer
Angel Eyes, just sheer glitter perfection in a bottle.  Well not sheer, the polish itself is rather opaque because there are so many tiny flecked glitters in it.  With three thin coats I had complete coverage, but if you used 2 thicker coats, you totally could have gotten away with it.  With just one coat it distributed amazingly.  There weren't any areas which were more glittered than others.  Next time I use it, I may wear a blue polish undie so I don't have to use as much of this gorgeous polish.  I really loved it.  It was so sparkly in the sunlight, especially with those larger holo pieces.  I'm really sad that it didn't hold up due to my own roughness.

Dreamer is always a win in my book.  This polish is a dusty baby blue cream which I bought last year after my bright baby blue went dry.  While it is differently colored, it's still gorgeous, and I recommend it to anyone. It works really well for nail art, be it polka dots, stripes, swirls, or gnomes :P.

Do you have either polish?  Thoughts?  Feelings?

I hope you enjoy my next few manicures featuring one or more of these polishes :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lightbox Tutorial

Good morning all!  I've decided to share this post before the every 3 day mark because I have oh so many pre-published posts to share.  Plus, this post has nothing to do with nails, just how I will be taking pictures of my nails from here on out.  My first post featuring the lightbox photos I believe will be on January 21st.  Stay tuned ;)

I know, there are a couple of these tutorials out there, but I had to share mine because I feel super accomplished after making my very own lightbox.  As many of you know, I have been having issues taking pictures inside.  In the summer, it is easy, I go outside, stand in the sun, and take some pictures.  In the winter though, that isn't a viable option.  Where I live, it literally becomes grey from November until about April.  Sure we get some sunny days, and a nail blogger like me can sneak out and take some pictures with a snowy background, but still, the light is just not the same.

So what is a poor girl like me to do?  For the weeks now I have fought with lighting by my desk.  Taking pictures using a mini tripod with paper for background.  Lately, I've become lazy and just snap and post whatever picture I can get.  They've been blurry, grainy, and just weird.  My frustrations have mounted and finally, I decided to do something about it before I decided to quit blogging until summer.  That something was a light box!

Alright, enough of my babbling, time to get onto my mini tutorial!!!

Things You'll Need:
  • Box
  • Ruler
  • Scissors and a Box Cutter or Exacto Knife
  • Tape
  • Tissue Paper
  • Poster Board or Copy Paper

1.  Find or purchase a box.  The box I used for this was 12 x 12 x 12.  If you're going to photograph your nails or polish bottles, then this size is perfect.


2.  Make the box a box!  I taped the bottom of the boy using regular packing tape then put it on it's side.

3.  Cut the excess flaps from the top of the box.  I kept the bottom flap on as to know where my base was when working.


4.  Create a square in which you are going to cut out.  With your ruler, measure an inch and half from the edge of the box towards the center.  I then outlined a square using my ruler to ensure the lines were straight.

5.  **CAUTION - I do not want any missing fingers after you complete this step**  With the box cutter or exacto knife, start cutting out the square.  DO NOT cut towards your body, please cut away.  If you slip, you will hit yourself and could cause serious injury!  Hold the opposite side of the box while cutting to keep the box steady.  Do not hold the same edge you are cutting again in case you slip.

6.  Take your tissue paper and lay it over the squares on the box.  I drew a larger square than the one I cut out onto the tissue paper so I could follow a pattern when cutting.

7.  Tape tissue paper to the sides and top of the box.


8.  Cut a piece of black or white poster board to size and tape the top of it to the top of the box.  For this 12 inch box, I cut it to 11 inches.

9.  Light up your light box and start taking pictures!


I'm so excited to start using this light box.  After making it, I tested it out just a tad, but nothing too big.  From what I could see, it was already taking better pictures.  I need to play around with the lighting a little still, possibly light up the sides instead o the top?  I'm not sure yet.  I may also change the interior to black.

Regardless, I'm excited and feel accomplished!  I hope that I will be able to bring you guys some nicer photography in the near future!!!  Let me know if you decide to make your own light box!

Until next time <3.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Puzzle Piece Nail Art - Essence Off to Miami!

Hola amigos!  How are you today!  I have another awesome Essence polish to show you, which I have paired up with some fun nail art!  Have you been liking the Essence polishes you've seen so far?  I seriously suggest you go out and purchase them, right now!  Well, maybe after this post.

Today's polish is Off to Miami!  A super fun orange coral.  At first when I saw this bottle I had no idea what to do.  Since it's January, and this color screams summer, I was at a loss.  I just did an awesome doticure with Ultimate Pink, so I didn't want to do another.  I came across a super cute teddy bear tutorial over at Polish Pedia and I thought that I would do that with this polish.  Boy, was that a disasticure, totally wrong shade for that mani.

The color was so pretty alone, but I'm The Little Canvas, nothing can be just a one color manicure with NO details what so ever.  Earlier in the day I saw on Instagram an awesome puzzle piece nail art design, so I figured, hey why not do that with this manicure?  First I did an all black puzzle piece, but it hid the beautiful color of the polish, so I went through my stash, grabbed some colors, and viola! 

Let's take a look!




Colors Used:

  • Essence - Off to Miami!
  • Sinful Colors - Mint Apple
  • Revlon - Dreamer
  • Ulta - Flamingo
  • Sinful Colors - Black on Black
Scale of 1 to 10, the multi colored puzzle nails ranked as a pain in the butt.  First I, the hater of tape, taped off the bottom half of my nail.  I painted on a coat of Mint Apple and Flamingo at the top, removed the tape, then added Off to Miami and Dreamer.  When dried, I added the dots, but the dots were darker than the rest of the polish I painted on since it was just one lil coat.  So, I grabbed my nail art tools and started painting and filling in the color blocks to make them match the dots.  Problem: the lines were uneven.  ugh.  That meant it was time for some black polish!  With my smallest nail art brush and a toothpick, I outlined the puzzle pieces.  If I didn't have such issue with the thumb, I probably would have done all the nails.  I may do all the nails when I revisit this design at a later date with just two colors.  The four color thing, whew, girls who have done it on all the nails, I give you such credit!

Now, isn't Off to Miami! a gorgeous coral color!?  I love it.  It reminds me a tad of Sasha by Julep, only more orange.  Sasha is more on the pinky side.  I'll have to swatch them side by side to truly see.  Just like my other Essence polishes, I had complete coverage in two coats.  The brush = awesome.  Perfect width, love the rounded tip.  I seriously wish all my brushes were shaped that way.  I didn't flood my cuticle once when using it.  For nail art it worked well too.  The polish didn't dry up or become hard to work with when I was using my nail art brush and making the color block darker.  I will be using this polish for roses or funky animal prints this summer.  Oh the possibilities!

What do you think?  Love it, hate it?  Ever done the puzzle pieces?  Have Off to Miami?  Love the Essence Brush? 

I have such a huge back log of posts to share with you.  It kind of happened that when I painted this mani, earlier in the day I painted a base on, so I may be posting a super simple manicure.  Then the other day I did one mani, then refreshed it the next day so that may fall into two posts.  I'm starting to ramble here.  Anywho, we shall see what happens!  Then the beloved (ha) Valentines Day is coming up so I will hopefully have some cool manicures to show you then....maybe I'll be original lol.  Oh and my one year anniversary of the blog is happening soon too!!!  Ahh exciting times!  Okay rambling done!  See you soon! 

**Essence Off to Miami! was provided by Essence for promotional purposes.  All expressed opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure page for more info**

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pink Dot-icure - Essence Ultimate Pink

You know what holiday is right around the corner?  That's right, Valentines Day!  Also known as the holiday I absolutely hate the most.  I really think it's stupid, but we shall wait until my Valentines Day posts to see why.  This manicure I did using Essence Ultimate Pink reminded me of the holiday due to the very pink colors!  If you need a perfect pink for your holiday manicures, I suggest this.

As stated in my last post, Essence sent me a couple of polishes to review, which I have been super pleased with.  Each have surprised me and made me now want to wage a war with Ulta to ensure that they are always stocked in my store.  For those of you who have never used or seen an Essence bottle, the bottle top matches the color of the polish IDENTICALLY.  Seriously, it's amazing when you have a hefty stash of polishes.  It annoys me looking down into my drawers and seeing tons of black caps and little snippets of color.  I usually end up taking out 10 polishes before determining which one I want to use.  With these Essense polishes though, there is none of that.  All companies need to take a lesson from them.  Oh and also, their caps are awesome because they kind of snap shut.  You have to use it to know what I'm talking about, but I love it because I know that my polish is truly closed.

I'm rambling, time to take a look at the awesome pink manicure that I wish I kept on longer!  I cannot wait for my new dotting tools...you guys are going to be spammed with so many dot manicures, it will be crazy.





Colors Used:

  • Essence -Ultimate Pink
  • Funky Fingers - Queen Cupcake
  • Finger Paints - Hue Left a Message
  • Sinful Colors - Black on Black
Essence Ultimate Pink is a gorgeous pink.  I really, really, really loved it.  When it was combined with the other pinks too, it was even more jaw dropping.  I had complete coverage with two coats.  As I said in my last Essence post, I loveeee their brushes!  They aren't too thick, and aren't too thin, and literally with two swipes your whole nail is covered with polish.  It was very easy to dot with too for as fast as the polish dried.  Usually dotting with fast dry polishes is impossible because they quickly get goopy and they leave lines behind, but I had no issue with it, and I got the perfect dots!

What do you ladies think??  Love, hate?  I'm seriously falling in love with Dot-icures. 

Until next post <3

**Essence Ultimate Pink was provided by Essence for promotional purposes.  All expressed opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure page for more info**

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mosaic-ish Nail Art

So remember a few days ago when I posted a simple manicure?  Well if you know me, then simple is a no go for a long time on my nails.  After wearing the plain colors for a day, I decided that some nail art was needed.

I sat for awhile trying to determine what I was going to do.  Since the manicure was already colorful, I wanted to use the same colors and not add more into the mix.  I think if I would have, it would have been way too confusing.  I was going to attempt polka dots, but with my one lonely dotting tool, they never look right.  Seriously cannot wait until my new dotting tools come!  

Then I thought I would attempt some form of a tape manicure, but scotch tape and my nails never works.  Even if the polish has been dry for over 24 hours, it always seems that the tape rips the polish off my nail.  Plus, I can never cut it in a straight line, or the polish bleeds under the tape....it's just a mess.  You can also imagine that I cannot wait for my new striping tape to come in the mail!  Ahhh so excited for all the manicures I will be able to do!

So, I decided to use the colors and create a mosaic on my nails!  I attempted a patchwork manicure which will never see the light of day on this blog and was kind of nervous when I started these.  I'm so happy I followed through and finished the mosaic, because this became one of my favorite manicures yet!





Colors Used:

  • Essence - Break Through
  • Sinful Colors - Frenzy, Sweet Dreams, Black on Black
So pretty, right?  They were beyond shiny and sparkly as well in person!!!  Best part, they were extremely easy!!!

First, I took my black polish and nail art brush and drew abstract black outlines on the purple nails.  Once they were dried, with my nail art brush, I filled in random areas with different colors.  I then took the black polish and re-outlined the black lines to clean up the and really make the colors look like they were placed in each area.

I think when I do these nails next time, I will use my smaller nail art brush for thinner lines and have the abstract shape areas be a tad smaller too.  This way, I can fit more color on the nail.  I think what I love about this design is I can combine so many different colors and still have a unique manicure!  Plus, since it's so simple, it takes a small amount of time and still makes people believe you spent hours on your nails.

What do you think?  Have you done a mosaic look on your nails before?  Or should we call it stained glass?

Again, I'm writing this post at 1am, so I hope it makes sense, I'll edit it probably around 5pm tomorrow when I come home and have the time too!!! hahaha  Until next post <3

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Simple and Bright Mani - Essence Break Through

Why hello all!  How are you this fine day?  Today I have a simple post for you, which will segue into my next post!  Originally, I was going to post these nails with the corresponding art in one post, but since I wore them with no art for a day, I thought they deserved their own post.  Plus, the colors made for a fun and cute manicure!

This is my first post using an Essence polish!  I was beyond thrilled I received these polishes from Essence since every time I have stepped foot into Ulta to purchase one of their polishes, they are ALWAYS sold out!  I've had a hell of a time dealing with the staff at my Ulta, so I never have gotten into an argument as to why they don't properly keep their Essence section stocked.  Now that I have used their polishes, I may have to start a little war.

The colors which were sent to me are such fun colors.  Purple is my favorite color, so when I saw that I received Break Through, I had to use it first.  I grabbed a purple glitter to accent, and another bottle to accent the glitter, and began painting!  Let's take a look!  The first picture makes my nails look all different lengths, but I swear they aren't.  Well, maybe the ring finger is due to a break, but meh.




Colors Used:

  • Essence - Break Through
  • Sinful Colors - Frenzy
  • Sinful Colors - Sweet Dreams
Pretty right??  Purple and blue together  in my book, are a huge win.  You have no idea how happy I am that Sinful Colors bottled a glitter with these exact colors.  Frenzy was my first glitter polish last year, and quickly became one of my most used glitter polishes.  Since I have grown a stash in the past year, it has been tucked away and not used as much as I would like.  So as you must know, I was beyond thrilled to see that it matched Break Through perfectly!!!  It also matched Sweet Dreams perfectly as well.  Sweet Dreams is one of my favorite blues from last year, but has a kind of iffy formula.

Essence Break Through is a pretty purple cream polish.  It is a tad lighter on the nail than in the pictures.  With two coats, I had full coverage, but technically could have gotten away with  one coat, which is an automatic win in my book.  The polish dried so fast as well!!!  No lie, this polish was dry in less than 2 minutes.  It reminded me of an old school 50 second Maybelline fast dry I had in high school.  I do not like using fast dry polishes usually because they start to dry mid application and I can never get them to be "smooth" on the nail.  I'm shocked by the fact this polish applied so smoothly for as fast as it dried.

The polish brush was wider than what I was used to.  I'm not a huge fan of wide brushes, but this one was a win in my book.  It was a rounded brush at the end, which fit the shape of my nail perfectly, and led to barely any cuticle flooding.  If you have trouble and are bothered by flooded cuticles, then you will love this brush!

What do you think?  Love the color combo?  Use an Essence polish?

In my next post I'll bring you some nail art I did using this base.  Kind of wish I kept the mani on longer than I did because I was so in love with it!!!  Hope you all like it when you see :)

**Essence Break Through was provided by Essence for promotional purposes.  All expressed opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure page for more info**

Thursday, January 3, 2013

When Nail Art Fails, Use Some Magnetic Polish!

So it seems I've hit a manicure funk again.  Well maybe I haven't and the ideas in my head were just too big for even my skills.  I was planning on doing Spiderman nails originally for my nephews superhero birthday, but well, I'm not as awesome as the Nailasaurus.  I then was going to do some really super awesome Batman nails, but I didn't want black nails.  I found a city skyline batman nail and since I've done skylines before I knew I could do this.  I was so excited and was even going to make the sky look awesome using some magnetic polish, but after 2 nails, I was hating it.

It really wasn't that I was hating it, it just was too much work for what I was in the mood to do.  I did one nail, but did not wait for any of the layers to dry.  It looked super cool with the starburst magnetic design, the fairy dust stars and the little building.  It was my tester nail, so to say, and well, when I went to do the other nails, I was soooooo unmotivated.  Then to do a Batman logo on top of it? Nuh uh.  I was lazy, my head hurt, and I just wanted something simple and cool. 

Thank goodness my base was the awesome China Glaze Magnetix Polish provided to me by Big Daddy Beauty (who is holding a sweepstakes if you haven't already seen)!  When you have a failure in the nail art department, or you are just too lazy to complete a design, magnetic polish is the way to go!  Let's take a look!





Colors Used:
  • China Glaze Magnetix - Pull Me Close
This is my first successful attempt at using a magnetic polish.  When Sinful Colors first introduced their line of magnetic polishes, I purchased one, but quickly returned it after swatching one nail.  I personally did not like the effect.  I think it was user error on my part, no matter what I did, I could not get the magnet to make the design even on each nail.  It came with this small ring with the magnet attached to it and I don't know why, but every time I held it over the nail (perfectly centered) the design came out crooked or it would partially magnetize my polish.  It was awful, and I was so upset because it was a really pretty purple color with holo glitter flecks found in a polish like Fairy Dust.

This China Glaze polish though is a hole different story.  Sure I had some user error fails on a couple of nails, but that was only because I wasn't paying close attention, put the magnet on sideways, or slipped and it hit the wet nail.  I'm miss careful as you can tell.  Unlike the Sinful Colors magnetic polish, China Glaze sells their magnets separately from the polish itself.  This really doesn't bother me because it allows you to pick which designs you want.  I believe there are 6 magentic designs total China Glaze has created with their red magnets.  The one provided to me was the starburst design, chevron, and single lines.  The other one I believe is swirls, checkerboard, and maybe straight lines (don't hold me too it though).  These designs were perfect for me and personally i like them better than the checkerboard ones I've seen floating around the blog-o-sphere.  Below is the magnet and the polish.



As you can see from this picture and my swatches, Pull Me Close is a blue/black polish.  I am a sucker for blues, so when I received this polish, I was really happy.  I was even happier when I saw how the effect showed up on the nail.  I had complete coverage of the polish in one coat, but when using a magnetic polish you want to use at least 2 coats.  If your first coat isn't thick enough and you try to use the magnet, you'll end up with some naked spots on the nail.

I loveeeed how the polish looked after the magnet was held over it.  The black came to be so apparent and really created an amazing contrasting 3-D look.  I'm looking at them now as I type this in awe.  It is so simple, and yet leaves you with nails that almost look fake.  I'm very pleased with this over the Sinful Colors magnetic polish.

What do you think?  Ever used a magnetic polish before?  Ever use a China Glaze Magnetix? 

Like what you see and can't find it in a store?  Then click here to purchase the polish from Big Daddy Beauty for $3.99.  The magnet can be found here for $3.49.  Great deal considering the retail on these polishes over at Ulta are $10.00 and then another $6 to $10 for the magnet!

Have a great day everyone!


**The China Glaze Magnetix polish was provided by BigDaddyBeauty.com for promotional purposes. All expressed opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure page for more info.**