01 August 2014

Cyber Colors Blues Party

Oh my sweet, fancy word, this colour! Dusty denim cornflower with a hint of teal. Le SWOON. And it was great in just two coats as well! I don't know much of anything about this brand, other than the fact that it's available at Sasa, but I'm so excited to check out that rack again. (And because I've been watching Archer for about 11 hours straight, "Phrasing, boom.")

Cyber Colors Blues Party swatch

I like that cute little bottle too! Not nearly as much as I love this gorgeous colour, but still. It's cute.

Cyber Colors Blues Party swatch

I love it when I take a chance and stumble onto something awesome. Is Cyber Colors a thing wherever y'all are too? If so, keep an eye out for Blues Party because it's absolutely fabulous.

30 July 2014

Bohemian Flowers

I have a manicure "to do" list that's fast approaching five miles long. Complicating matters, I have a Pinterest board of nail art inspiration pics that are constantly cutting the queue. Most recent line-cutter? This adorable "Funky Bohemian" floral, with tutorial, courtesy of The Lacquerologist!

dotted flower nail art

What a cute idea for a pattern, honestly! Dotting and some swooshes here and there, but the sum total is bright and bold, modern, retro, delicate, funky, and awesome. If this print is not on a fabric somewhere, it needs to be.

dotted floral nail art

I tried not to stray too far from the original colours, but there are a few differences (there would have been fewer if I'd sat and read the whole tutorial instead of going, "Ooh, yes! Dotting flower fun time pretty yaaaaaay!" and then spun off into action without planning first, but I'm afraid that will always be how I roll). My lineup includes OPI My Vampire Is Buff, OPI Cajun Shrimp, Sinful Colors Black On Black, Skinfood BL003 Green Bean Milk, Skinfood PK006 Pink Milk, and my Orly Jet Black striper.

I will most definitely be trying this pattern again--thanks so much to The Lacquerologist for such a fun tutorial!

29 July 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Interlocking Designs

I had this whole fancy puzzle design in mind for today's Twinsie Tuesday theme, but then I smacked myself upside my own head and said, "Oi, genius! You have to get on a plane in, like, 36 hours, you still have a dozen posts to schedule, and you haven't even thought about packing yet." Also, there's the part where I've never, ever even tried something like this before, so yeah, let's maybe try walking for today. (Is that what sensible people act like all the time? It feels weird.)

interlocking dots nail art

And this is exactly why I enjoy having these TT prompts, because while I've literally had this technique on my to-do list for years, other stuff kept jumping the queue--but design this was legitimately fun to do, and I'm pleasantly surprised with the enormously gloopy mess that it somehow managed not to turn into.

Before I started, I thought it would look awesome to have these two similar shades but with the different finishes (China Glaze Recycle and Color Club Beyond). Then I got into the dotting bit and thought that what would look really awesome would be the ability to see what I was doing while I was doing a brand new thing where I still wasn't entirely sure what I was doing. So, note for next time, better lighting and/or a little more colour contrast will make it bunches easier on the eyes. I have to admit, though, I kinda like the greys.

interlocking dot nail art

For more interlocking manicure designs, please check out some of my fellow Twinsies' blogs!


Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Bridget at A Painted Nail
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Jessica at Blue Velvet Lacquer
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Lisa at The Polish Playground
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision

27 July 2014

Wayback Nails: Splatter Manicure

This is exactly why I'm glad I started this monthly Wayback feature. Last July all about how I was totally going to start doing more splatter manicures because ZOMG-LOVE!! Aaand now suddenly it's a whole year later and I'm looking at last July's manicures and smacking my forehead all, "Hey, I was gonna do a jillion of those!"

Sadly, I'm never gonna catch up with that goal, but as of today I have doubled my previous total.

splatter nail art

For this second splatter manicure I wanted to try a different background, so I chose NYC Sidewalkers (because grey is sooooo much more daring than white, you know). I picked out my other colours and was about to start, but then all of a sudden my mood swung in a totally different direction, and instead of neon pink I veered towards teals instead. Specifically, toward Sation RV There Yet? and Color Club Blue-Ming, with a splash of Sinful Colors Snow Me White, some barely visible OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window, and Revlon Colorstay Fall Mood (I have GOT to remember to wear it this actual fall!) for those shimmering, copper highlights.

splatter manicure

So this is me, falling in love with splatter manis all over again, and I can't wait to try them over some other colours as well! Hopefully it won't take me until next year's Wayback to do it this time.

26 July 2014

OPI Glitter Off Base Coat

I'm a big fan of the foil method of glitter polish removal, but the idea of a peel-able base coat is a total game changer! I've heard of a couple different ones, and even of just brushing on some good ol' Elmer's, and I kept saying, "Yeah, I'm totally gonna try one of those soon..." Then OPI introduced their own, and the time for procrastination was over--let the time for product testing begin!

OPI Glitter Off Base Coat
I wear glue on my nails; I look incredible.

OPI Glitter Off Base Coat comes with a little slip of instructions around the neck, instructions that say you should use thin coats. Easier said than done because it went on thick, like glue...which, duh, since that's pretty much what it is. It needs a little longer to dry than most base coats, and the instructions do say to let it dry completely. It's easy enough to see what that's done, though; the opaque, milky white dries nice and clear.

My first test was with Pure Ice Private Show, a finely milled glitter that was a perfect candidate. Application over this base didn't present any problems, and once the polish was dry, the wear test was on! Unfortunately, my right hand was chipping like mad inside of a day.


Suddenly a wild Cinderella hand appears!

I wouldn't want to generalise based on just this one trial with this one polish. The other hand, which got a second helping of top coat for the camera, didn't have the same chipping problem. But, I read more than one review of OPI Glitter Off Base Coat that reported an entire nail of polish just randomly falling off, and sure enough, my right index disappeared after about 18 hours (which I noticed while I was eating a piece of the spinach pizza I made us for dinner; I can only hope I didn't swallow the thing...). A second, from non-chipping Lefty, popped off whole at a little over a day, around 30 hours in.

So I can't really rave about the wear, but the removal? Wonderfully, gorgeously, ridiculously easy. I just pushed/slid an orange stick under an edge of the polish, and the polish pretty much fell away in a sheet. A couple of nails needed more...it's way too light to call it scraping, just a little extra encouragement, and then I went over all the nails with some polish remover to get any traces of whatever might be left over. Done and dusted. A total breeze.


My next couple of trials went a little differently. For this composite manicure, I used OPI Glitter Off Base Coat under a Liquid Sand, wondering how it might work, and while it held well--no chipping or popping off in the 2 days I wore the manicure--I was unable to peel the polish off the way I did when I used it under actual glitter. It came off super easy with remover, but it just wasn't having any part of the peeling protocol. I had a similar result with the fine, full-coverage glitter I used on my middle nail with this manicure. After the base coat, 2-3 coats of finely milled glitter, then 2-3 top coats, a simple peel-off just wasn't gonna happen; however, I was able to peel and push it up with an orange stick (without any worry that I was going to damage the actual nail) and then remover away the residue.

peel off base coat
Peel-age and the Gluey-Glue (children's book or 80s band?)

Some of my mixed results seem to stem from the "use thin coats" part of the instructions. It's hard to get a nice, thin coat of what's essentially Elmer's on your nails, but I did get it a little thinner after a couple of tries. Thing is, I suspect there's a fairly narrow window of optimal thickness where adhesion and durability really intersect.

Until and unless I can get better at hitting that hold/peel butter zone, here's my conclusion: I think OPI Glitter Off Base Coat is a great choice for those evenings you want to go big & glittery for a party or something, assuming you don't need the manicure to last a very long time. Considering the chipping, I'll probably save it for those occasions--and for swatching glitters, which it should be a huge help for!--and stick with a regular base + the foil method for normal/daily wear.

24 July 2014

Orange Blossoms Nail Art

I mean, they're not so much "orange blossoms" as they are "blossoms that are orange," but I had a soft, light teal polish on. Compulsion demanded that I do a flower thing.

orange nail art flowers

I don't think I'll ever stop loving little flowery branches like this, but I'm not sure how successful this colour combination is--I don't know if the orange acrylic paints bled, or maybe they're just not the right shades to go with the pale, minty teal...or maybe I'm just going cross-eyed from trying to schedule a month of posts at once and need to relax about it. Relax and possibly even get some sleep. Oh my gosh, I remember sleep...

orange floral nail art

Is it weird that I tried to mix the brown of the branches on the purple side so they'd kinda match the bottle cap? I know it's weird that I can't think of more to say about these, given how much I love little blossom-y flowers like these--and over a minty teal like SpaRitual Delight, I should be swooning like mad! Unfortunately, I think full-on panic has set in over my impending travel schedule, causing a sort of white noise feedback loop in my head that's not gonna go away until my bags are safely packed.

Next on my to-do list: pack some bags! And think about some sleep.

22 July 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Inspired by Nature

For this week's "Inspired by Nature" Twinsie theme, I finally tackled a tutorial that's been on my to-do list since...well, since December 2, 2012, because that's exactly when I commented that it was going straight to said list. It took me a while to work up the guts, but this is my attempt at Treesponge's aurora borealis nail art design.

aurora borealis nail art

Not quite up the original but sooo much better than I thought they'd be! I'll take it! And while I didn't do a full mani this time, it surprisingly is something I could actually manage with both hands too. For my polishes I ended up staying relatively close to the original script. My base is Color Club Baldwin Blues, with some CrowsToes Merope and Color Club Wild At Heart sponged across the tips (and by the way, in contrast to the terrible time I had with Baldwin Blues last time out, after some thinner and some time for it to sit and think about what it did, this beautiful blue behaved so much better this time around!).

Other culprits include some sponged Revlon Colorstay Blue Slate, Sally Hansen CSM Please Sea Me, and Revlon Colorstay Coastal Surf. There's a generous bit of Jessica Silver Holographic Top Coat for extra stars, plus Sinful Colors Snow Me White for extra-extra dotted stars on that. Water marble swirl is China Glaze For Audrey (and some clear OPI Top Coat), and the light show is China Glaze I'm With the Lifeguard with highlights of Illamasqua Rare. The squiggly trees (and attempted inlet/lake on my index finger) are China Glaze Liquid Leather.

aurora borealis nail art

Thanks so much to Treesponge for a well-written and really fun tutorial--I hope my fellow Twinsies had as good a time with their nature-inspired manicures this week!

PS: Husband saw these half-finished, so I told him I was doing aurora borealis. He said, "Wasn't he that guy on Buffy?"



Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Bridget at A Painted Nail
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Jessica at Blue Velvet Lacquer
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Lisa at The Polish Playground
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision

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