Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cool skittle


Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing fine. For this post I have a skittle to share with you from some time ago. I was playing around with some cool toned colors, trying to find an interesting color scheme, and these are the polishes that I used:

China Glaze - For Audrey
Essence - Tryin' To Be Cool
China Glaze - Secret Peri-winkle
Essence - Movie Star


Then I used my favorite chunky glitter topper from Essence: Blaire! I love the different sizes of glitter and they're even prettier when they're mattified! Speaking of matt, I just bought a new matt topcoat from Claire's and I used this opportuntity to try it out (see last picture). But I think I'll stick to my #1 matt topcoat from Essence, the finish from the one from Claire's is more satin-like and that's just not matt enough for me ;)



I do feel like the combination of colors I used is a bit odd, but at the end of the day it's not that terrible, right? Hahah. What do you guys think of it?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sushi inspired nails


Hi everyone, now that the contest at Nail Polish Art Addiction is over I'd like to show you what would have been my second entry. In the end I decided to submit the citrus mani because I thought it was more fun and complete and I was happy to have made the right choice after I saw several other sushi entries from other contestants (beautifully executed though!). Unfortunately my entry wasn't good enough to win any prize at all, hahah. Oh well, you can't have everything! But thanks so much if you did vote for me :) Have a nice day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tutorial: Zigzag pattern tape mani




Hi everyone, welcome to my fifth tutorial! This time I'm going to show you how I create the zigzag pattern using tape. It's not very hard but it does require some patience because it involves two times of taping and the layers of polish need to be completely dry in order to do that. To speed up the process I recommend using polishes that cover in one coat or a fast drying topcoat for on top of polishes with a longer drying time. So pick three colors and let's start!



Begin with the base color you like (if necessary with a basecoat underneath) and let it completely dry. You can apply a fresh color or use the current polish you're wearing (to practice). Since there will be two more coats of polish applied on top, it doesn't matter if there's a little bit of VNL or tipwear.


Now cut some triangles out of tape to make the zigzag pattern. You'll need two pieces with each layering color. The reason why I use individual triangles is because seperate pieces of tape addapt better to the round surface of nails unlike one piece of tape with the whole zigzag cut out of it in one time, which also tears a lot more easily. (The same goes for the lightning bolt design.)
Place two triangles next to each other on about a third of the nail, with the points towards the tip. Make sure all the pieces of tape are completely stuck to the nail, if not use your finger or a tweezer to push them down and if needed reattach them.
Then apply your first layering color with a thin coat...
...and carefully peel off the pieces of tape right away. Let the design dry for a while and use a fast drying topcoat to shorten the drying process if needed.
Of course you can leave the design this way if you're starting to lose your patience by now, fanatics continue with step 5! :P

When the polish is entirely dry, repeat step 2, 3 and 4 with your second layering color, but now place the triangles a bit more towards the tip, covering up part of the first layering color like shown in the picture.
At last apply your topcoat, clean up and you're done! Don't forget to moisterize your cuticles afterwards, because when you've had tape on your skin so many times, it can get a bit dry!
Use the design for a full mani for eye-catching nails or cut it down to a few accent nails if you want to keep it simple or feel lazy ;)




Finally some useful tips:

  • For my tape manis, all I use is regular stationery tape. But you might prefer something else, so just experiment with different sorts of tape to figure out what works best for you.
  • For your base color you can use any polish you like, however one-coaters will allow you to place the tape much sooner because those are usually fast drying. Of course you can also quicken the drying of polishes that require several coats to cover, by applying a fast drying topcoat. (I use Seche Vite). 
  • Your layering color(s) can be either a one- or two-coater. Because you've already applied a base color, most polishes that usually take two coats to cover now will do with one.
  • Though I mention cutting the tape strips as step 2, I admit it is safer to cut before applying the base color. However, if you've learned how to cut the tape without having it touch your polished nails, it can save you a lot of time.
  • You might want to leave the cut strips somewhere else than the edge of your desk/table, to prevent them from getting stuck to the surface while you're busy. You do not want to have to peel them off with your freshly painted claws!
  • Apply your top color in one thin (but opaque) coat, this will create crisper lines.
  • When you're removing the tape strips, try to remove them individually, if you can, because most of the time your design will come out neater this way
  • Using tweezers to remove the tape strips can prevent your freshly painted nails from getting smudged.
  • It's not always necessary to start all over if you've messed up your design, often a little touch-up with a nailart brush can solve the problem.
  • If you want to use a matt topcoat, use a regular one underneath. My experience with matt topcoats is that they smudge the design very easily, even when it's completely dry. Applying a normal topcoat first will prevent that.
  • Moisterize your cuticles afterwards, because the tape can really dry out your skin!
  • You can practice this tutorial on your old mani that you applied a day (or more) before. If you succeed, you've got yourself a fresh mani, otherwise you were going to remove it anyway!
  • If you feel like this design is too time-consuming for a full mani, you can also use it for an accent nail (or two).
  • Have fun and practice makes perfect ;)


    I would absolutely love to see your attempt on my design, so feel free to leave a link to your creation in the comment section!


    Polishes I used in this post are OPI Big Apple Red, Color Club Where's The Soiree? and Essence Chuck.

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    More zigzag


    Hi guys, I'm still zigzagging... Today was a very hot and sunny day, so I did a zigzag in a red and turquoise combo, one of my favorites, it's so in-your-face! Which is fine by me, and it matched nicely with my turquoise flip flops :) I used Rimmel's Ruby Me for the red base, it's a beautiful, glossy orangy red jelly. With two coats, there was still a bit of VNL but fortunately I got rid of that after I applied Essence Bella on top with the zigzag pattern. The reasons why I love Bella so much, besides that it's turquoise and a creme, is that it has the perfect formula and covers in one coat, just like another fabulous Essence creme: Chuck.
    I hope you like it and enjoy the rest of your day!


    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    Kleancolor - Chunky Holo Purple



    Hello everbody, for today's post I have a purple pretty to show you, it's Kleancolor's Chunky Holo Purple, so unbelievably gorgeous and sooo smelly. Chunky Holo Purple is probably what heaven should look like, and hell should smell like... I really can't stand the smell, it's like pure toxic! Each time after I polished one nail, I just had to run to the other side of the room for some fresh air, no kidding... It was truly the most unique and crazy looking way of polishing I've ever done, lol.
    Anyhow, Chunky Holo Purple is a multichrome glitter polish with a medium purple base. The color of the average sized glitters shifts from yellow, orange, red, to green, turquoise and blue. It's like a rainbow of glitters in a bottle, so pretty! However, the polish was really sheer on its own and it didn't look like it was going to build up so I applied two coats of it over two layers of OPI Funky Dunkey. Though the yellow, orange and red side of the multichrome showed up better on the nail than the other colors, it looked stunning. But, it was also very hard to capture in the photographs! I'm still not sure what it was. There was plenty of sunlight, which is usually a good thing when I take my pictures, but maybe this time it was just a bit too plenty? So imagine what you see in the pics, but with a hundred times more of the yellow/orange/red shimmer of the glitters, this especially counts for the bottle! Also it leans less towards blue, my camera isn't very good in picking up purples!


    I heart close-ups! :)



    So here I mattified it. Now you can see how much glitter there actually was on my nails. In the pics of the glossy version the glitter seems very subtle, but they were really present and sparkly in real life.



    Thanks for stopping by!

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Ahoy, mummy!


    Hello dear readers :) For this post I've got something from the vault again. The weather pretty sucked this week, so I haven't been able to do a lot of photographing. I hope it's going to get better from now on, because I'm dying to take some decent pics again! Let's go to the mani then. I was wearing Ahoy! from China Glaze as my base color. But since I found it a bit sheer I applied it over two coats of NYC Rosy 
    Knows. The day after I did the mummy tape pattern on top using Color Club Where's The Soiree?. I intentionally let the black top color cover all the tips, so you can't see my tipwear anymore, shhh! ;) Thanks for reading!


    Friday, June 24, 2011

    V-gap


    Hello everyone! For this post I'd like to show you another tape mani I did this weekend. I was wearing OPI Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ and the next day I wanted to spice it up, so this is what it became. It's not Sophy Robson's famous V-gap, but still a V-gap right? ;) It wasn't an easy choice finding a color other than black to suit the burgundy red of Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ, but then I remembered saying in a previous post how China Glaze Jitterbug just goes with any color, so this was my chance to prove it, haha. I think Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ looks really pretty with Jitterbug and that the whole design looks kind of editorial. I also mattified it to see what it would look like and I still haven't decided yet which version I like better... Help me out! Haha.
    Thanks for reading! :)


    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Mummy XS

    Hi dear readers! Today I've got something from the vault to show you. It's a mummy mani I did the other day, using extra small tape strips. I was wearing Orly Ancient Jade as my base color and on top I used Essence Chuck. As I told you yesterday in the comparison post, Chuck is very well pigmented and has a great formula, which make it a perfect polish to use for tape manis.

    I also wanted to tell you all that I'm working on a bigger post with tips and tricks to improve your taping skills, because I know some of you still have trouble with that. So if you have any questions regarding tape manis you'd like me to answer, just post them in the comment section of this post and I'll include the answers in the upcoming 'Tips and tricks' post. Have a great night :)


    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Comparison: Blues


    Hi everyone! This comparison is specially made for Ivana, who was wondering how similar OPI's Dating A Royal and Essence's Chuck are. I also included two other blues that were worth comparing. The difference between all four polishes was hard to see in the bottles, but once applied one the nail their true colors became more noticeable. The blues I used from left to right:

    China Glaze - First Mate (1 coat)
    Diamond Cosmetics - Blue Bell (2 coats)


    Formula-wise all of them are decent, with OPI and Essence with the greatest. First Mate's formula is a bit thicker than the others but still manageable. And I love the fact that in can cover in one thicker coat. In the bottle it's harder to see, but once on the nail the difference between the navy blue of First Mate and the royal blue of Dating A Royal is quite clear. The formula of Dating A Royal is bit thin, but really nice to work with. And even though it does require three coats (or 2 thicker ones) for opacity, the great formula, short drying time and nice brush make it a very fine polish! Next is Chuck, which I don't have anything to complain about. The formula is just perfect and I love how pigmented it is. As you can see Dating A Royal  and Chuck are close but definitely not dupes. Chuck is brighter and consists more purple. One that I would call a Chuck-dupe is Blue Bell, which I wasn't that happy about. It applies quite uneven with the first coat and even though a second, thicker coat fixes that and makes everything smooth and opaque, the too flexible brush was a bit of a bummer. So clearly, Chuck's my favorite of the two, plus it's cheaper and I like the bottleshape better, haha.

    So I hope this comparison was useful to some of you, and just let me know if there's anything I can change. Good night!


    Bonus pic! I added China Glaze Calypso Blue on my thumb, turning this comparison mani into an ombre (of course it would've been better to have a lighter blue on my pinky then...)

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Citrus inspired mani


    Hi guys! I participated in yet another nail art contest :) This is my entry for the Good Enough To Eat contest at Nail Polish Art addiction. My entry had to be food-related and food seemed like a really fun and broad subject to me, but I had such a hard time coming up with something! After a lot of branstorming I finally had citrus fruit in my mind but it took me until the last week before the deadline to translate it to a design on my nails. I simply loved the stylized shape of a sliced citrus so I used that to create a summery, abstract pattern with exotic colors.

    Please have a look at all the other creative, delicious entries at Nail Polish Art addiction and vote for your favorite. There are 48 of them, so you don't want to miss that! :)

    Dating a laser mani


    Hi guys! For this post I have a laser mani to show you. I used yesterday's mani for it, OPI Dating A Royal. And on top of it I used China Glaze Jitterbug, a stunning must-have polish, in my humble opinion. It has a dark grey base with a foil-like shimmer finish, which looks edgy on its own, but matches any other color as well. I like it a lot :) To make the laser pattern show up better I added a matt topcoat afterwards, the one I use is from Essence.

    If you like to do this look yourself, just have a look at the tutorial. It's quite simple and a fun way to combine different colors or finishes. Thanks for reading!



    Monday, June 20, 2011

    OPI - Dating A Royal


    Hi guys! Today I'm wearing OPI Dating A Royal, a pretty royal blue creme which almost looks navy depending on the light. I probably didn't really need this color but I just love OPI's pro wide brush and most of the time their polishes have a great formula too. Together they make application flawless! So to me that was a good enough excuse to buy another blue creme :) Though some OPI polishes are quite sheer (I used three coats of Dating A Royal), the drying time is pleasantly short and besides, with a fast drying topcoat bad drying time doesn't have to be an issue anymore, right? ;) Take care!

    Edgy zigzag


    Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I know I did. Yesterday I celebrated my boyfriend's birthday together with some friends and this is what I was wearing on my nails. I felt kind of lazy haha, so I just kept the nail art to a few accent nails :) For the zigzag pattern I started with one coat of OPI Big Apple Red. Normally this polish takes two coats to get opaque, but because the VNL would be covered by another two coats of polish later, more than one wasn't necessary. Then I used Color Club Where's The Soiree? on top and for the tips I used Essence Chuck. All in all this mani took a reasonable amount of time to make because Big Apple Red and Where's The Soiree? dried so fast on their own that the only time I used fast drying topcoat was in the end just to smooth out everything. Good night :)


    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Funky zigzag


    Hi everyone, hope you are all doing well. For today's post I have another tape mani for you. After having done this zigzag design in my flamingo mani, I liked it so much that I wanted to do a full mani with it, in a few of my favorite colors. I used Essence Bella as my turquoise base color, then my fave black Color Club Where's The Soiree? and finally H&M Pink Summer for the tips. I added a bottle pic of Pink Summer again, because it's way too cute to be seen only once :)
    Enjoy you weekend!


    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Pink Teenage Summer Dream


    Hi guys! So this is yesterday's mani, H&M Pink Summer, which I layered with one coat of OPI Teenage Dream. And now I keep hearing "Could it BE more girly?!" in my head, with the voice of Chandler Bing, lol. The moment I saw Teenage Dream I knew I had to have it, simply because it looked so mesmerizing in the bottle. But unfortunately the polish on its own doesn't fit my skintone, so I like it better layerered, sparkly! Thanks for reading :)


    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    H&M - Pink Summer


    Hey everyone, I felt it was time for some pink again! For today I have a new Hello Kitty polish from H&M called Pink Summer. I have to admit I only bought this because of the extremely awesome bottle (see the last picture), I probably already have something similar in my stash, but I don't feel any regret buying it. Not only is the packaging pleasant to the eyes, the polish itself is really nice too. It's very pigmented, even almost a one-coater. But I did two for complete opacity. Another big plus was the drying time, it dries to the touch in several minutes. So despite that it's not the most unique color, I am loving it. It makes my nails look like a Barbie's and I have nothing against that :) Thanks for stopping by!

    Price: €2.95 for 0.5 fl.oz./15ml


    To-die-for-bottle!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    W.I.C. - Edinburgh


    Good evening dear readers! For today's post I want to show you the first polish I swatched from the W.I.C. collection. This green pretty is called Edinburgh, it's a forest green with strong gold shimmer. When I opened the bottle, I noticed how extremely sheer it looked. So instead of bothering to build it up with who knows how many layers, I applied it over two coats of OPI Jade Is The New Black. And the outcome looks pretty similar to the bottle color, yay :) The first time I saw Edinburgh in stores, I thought it looked ugly and kind of tacky, but still I grabbed it everytime I saw it because I just couldn't stop looking at it. It was such an interesting shade. And I still think about it that way, only now I love it! It's an odd color but oh, so beautiful. What do you think about Edinburgh? And what color from W.I.C. would you like to see swatched next?


    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Flamingo inspired nails


    Hi guys! There are many nail art contests hosted lately. The last two I entered have just ended and I'm already participating in the next one. This time it's the Animalistic nail art contest at Spooky Nails. I found it hard to come up with something animal-related which was original at the same time. Finally I came up with the flamingo bird, I was attracted by its corally pink color and the long, curved neck. So I went googling for some images and found some beautiful ones where the flamingos are relaxing in the water. Their pinky color formed such a nice contrast with the water and I immediately knew that I wanted to make something that would capture that contrast. I tried to keep the overall look simple by using the flamingo design as accent nails only. The colors I used were Essence You're The One (corally pink), China Glaze For Audrey and Rimmel Sky High for the tips. I also added a layer of White Cap over For Audrey on my accent nails, which is barely visible in the pics. But in the second picture below, where I didn't add the birds yet, you can see it a bit better.

    There are many others participating in the contest, so please visit Spooky Nails to have a look at all the creative entries and vote for your favorite!

    EDIT: Unfortunately my entry didn't win in the contest, the winner was Mada with a cute and simple, sillhouette cat creation. But I really want to thank you if you had voted for me! :)