31 July 2012

Rose Nail Art

Even though I'm hoping to find gobs and gobs of new polishes in the States, I still have quite a few untrieds, so I reached into my stash and came out with OPI In My Back Pocket. I've used it here and there for decoration but still had no idea what it looked like all by itself. Well, once I put it on, I was totally smitten. In My Back Pocket is a vibrant, cheerful, almost Dreamsicle orange that's so very yummy and perfect for summer.

It's been a while since I wore a straight, creme polish without any shimmer, flakes, glitter, or other extras, and I really liked the look. Only, I've never, EVER been known for leaving well enough alone and decided to try something new: freehand rose nail art.

rose nail art

I grabbed my small dotting tool and 3 of my trusty standbys: OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, OPI Who the Shrek Are You?, and Jessica Mint Mojito Green. This was the first time I ever tried freehand roses, and while they aren't perfect, I'm very happy with how they came out. And they were so quick and easy, too! All I did was dip my dotting dool, drag a few semi-circular swipes, add a couple of leaves, and blam, that was it.

rose nail art

If all goes according to schedule, I should be in the air and on my way home when this post goes up, but I'm actually typing this up with all of an hour left before I head to the airport to start this whole trip. Talk about cutting it close! Total panic mode, but it's what I do. I hoped to have another post in the queue in case of unforeseen travel delays--or the more likely "me still trying to get my jet-lagged butt back in gear"--but I'm officially outta time. Hopefully I'll have some great, new polishes from the States to play with when I get back, and I hope everyone's had a fantastic July!

29 July 2012

Lime Jelly with Sprinkles

Today's nails were originally supposed to be a jelly sandwich, but when I saw how brightly lime green the base colour was, I decided to go with a pale glitter for contrast and leave the sandwich open-faced.

The Face Shop witih glitter

After a "primer" coat of OPI Did It On 'Em, I used about a coat and a half of The Face Shop GR501, a shimmery, near-jelly, practically neon lime green. It's translucent enough for a bolder glitter to show through, but like I said, with such an intensely bright colour, I thought subtler was the way to go, so I added a coat of OPI Pirouette My Whistle on top.

The Face Shop GR501 and Pirouette My Whistle

Radioactive kiwi, anyone?

26 July 2012

Ice and Snow: Nail Color NK-26

Today's post is another find from the bins at Colourmix (and another polish that deserves a much prettier name than it left the factory with), Nail Color NK-26. A thick, white jelly full of iridescent flakes and holographic glitters, there's so much going on in this little beauty! In my head I've dubbed it Fairy Blizzard.

Nail Color NK-26

23 July 2012

Swatch & Review: Zoya Meg

From the first preview swatches of the Zoya Surf Collection, my eyes were drawn to Meg. This dazzling, grassy green somehow manages to be refreshing and intense at the same time, and the shimmery foil finish is incredible.

Zoya Meg swatch

Meg's formula and coverage were great. Easy to apply, totally opaque in two coats with no pulling or streaking, and good drying time too. My second swatch pic seems to over-emphasize the brushstrokes and frosty finish (macro camera mode, you do great work, but sometimes you need to relax), which are the two things I dislike the most in a nail polish, and are the two things that gave me trouble with Rory, but Zoya got the balance just right when it came to Meg.

Zoya Meg swatch

I tried to show a little self-restraint with the Beach and Surf polishes and not buy too many, but I'm really starting to think I need more of these in my life.

20 July 2012

Orange Jelly Sandwich

Finally--finally!--I have a jelly sandwich manicure to share, courtesy of another fantastic find. The Face Shop OR203, a Korean polish I found in the bins at Colourmix, has the most incredibly squishy texture, and it's richly pigmented while still being alluringly translucent. I've paired it here with OPI Servin' Up Sparkle in a double-decker jelly sandwich.

orange jelly sandwich nails

16 July 2012

Saran Wrap Manicure: Totally '80's

Since my first saran wrap nails worked out pretty well, I've been looking forward to using this technique again. I wanted to try something besides a stone/marble look this time, though, so I took some inspiration from this summer's neon trend and went totally '80's.

saran wrap nails

13 July 2012

Swatch & Review: Sasatinnie FCGL002

What's in a name? A polish by any other name may be as pretty, but one this awesome deserves better than the alphanumeric soup that is Sasatinnie FCGL002, a recent find from the bins at Sasa. It's a deep purple polish with gorgeous little flakes of opalescent colour. But unlike with a typical "flakie" polish, these don't depend on the changing light; the multi-coloured awesomeness is built right in!

Sasatinnie FCGL002 swatch

Shown above is 2 coats over Revlon Colorstay Bold Sangria, which is a good match for FCGL002's dark purple base. It probably would have layered up just fine by itself, but I figured I might as well conserve the awesomeness (I sure am saying "awesome" a lot about this polish!). From all the swatches I've seen online, FCGL002 is a very near dupe for Orly Fowl Play and OPI Merry Midnight, both of which are extremely hard to find these days, and it costs less than $3 US a bottle (downside, I have to doubt it's 3-free). It hasn't killed my Fowl Play lemming, but FCGL002 is definitely a fantastic find. Another score for the Sasa bins!

Ooh, in scheduling this post, I just realized it should be going up on Friday the 13th--good luck today, everyone!

10 July 2012

Watermelon Nails

With summer in full swing, I thought it would be fun to finally try some watermelon nail art. I've had these on my to-do list for ages now--they're so cute and colourful and, I think, perfect for summer.

watermelon nail art

One of my favourite early memories is sitting on the patio with my mom, eating watermelon under a big umbrella to beat the heat. She put a little bit of salt on hers, which I thought was so weird until I tried it, and it turned out to be delicious!

07 July 2012

China Glaze On Safari Glitters

When I first saw the early swatches for the new China Glaze On Safari Collection, I thought the glitters looked nice, but didn't see any need to have two of them. I'm really more partial to silver than gold anyway, but I figured I'd still maybe pick one of them, just for the fun of having a new glitter to try. Then I saw the bottles in person, and the choice was easy: I had to have them both!

China Glaze I Herd That swatch

Both polishes are beautifully gold, but they have decidedly different hues. I'm Not Lion has soft gold and silver glitters that make it look like super-sparkling champagne. I Herd That is more yellow, with red/copper accents, and the combination is all kinds of fiery brilliance. The formula was great on both as well. Totally opaque in about 2 1/2 coats (pay no attention to the little bit of VNL on my index finger--outside of macro camera mode, there's nothing to see but glittery awesomeness). Coverage was nice and even, with no pulling or streaking, and they're thick and rich without being in any way gloopy or heavy. Seriously, these glitters are a dream. The finish is a little rough, as you'd expect, but two top coats made it smooth enough.

China Glaze I'm Not Lion swatch

Did I really think having two gold glitters in the same collection was a little redundant? Each of these polishes is uniquely gorgeous--I'm so glad I got them both!

04 July 2012

July 4th Fireworks...ish

For today's nails I wanted to do something semi-Independence Day related without being strictly red, white, and blue. Not knowing exactly where I was headed, I grabbed some colours and a dotting tool and kinda just had at it. The result actually looks little bit like fireworks! Batik, mosaic, interpretive, firework-esque, maybe, but still...I like it.

dot nail art for July 4th

The colours are Revlon Colorstay Midnight (dark blue), OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (what don't I use this near-white for these days?), OPI Need Sunglasses? (yellow), Revlon Colorstay Red Carpet, and Revlon Colorstay Coastal Surf (medium blue). With a little more planning I might have been able to make the dots a little more uniform and tidy, but eh, I'm not fussed. I had fun just playing around this time without a specific goal in mind.

So this Friday, I'm headed to the States to spend the rest of July with family! Really not looking forward to the long flights ahead (14 hours just to get to San Francisco, after which I get to trek all the way to the east coast and back), but it's always worth it to see everyone after so much time away. I've been painting my nails like mad, getting some scheduled posts ready to run while I'm gone. Crossing fingers, they should work, and if I don't get much time to visit and comment on all the great blogs I follow while I'm away, I'll be looking forward to catching up with what everyone's been up to when I get back. And in the meantime, I've got my nail polish shopping list all written up to take along with me--I can't wait to see all the pretties I can't get here in Hong Kong!

01 July 2012

Zombie Nail Art

This morning I did zombie nails--Grr, Aargh! A few weeks ago I saw Missy's totally adorable ones at Gnarly Gnails (as well as the originals by Mariko) and knew it was only a matter of time before I tried them for myself. The result is dedicated to my zombie-loving buddies Mabel and Jen. ^_^

Zombie nails

The base colour is...well, it's a bunch of stuff. First down was Revlon Muse, a light, pretty olive which I sponged over with China Glaze Recycle (grey), OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window (med/dark olive), and Revlon Elegant (a good 'nude' for me). The eyes are dotted with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (near-white) and Revlon Colorstay Stiletto (black). After that, I dotted on some Revlon Colorstay Velvet Rope for the blood and used an Orly Jet Black nail art striper for the mouths.

I was in such a hurry to send Mabel a picture of these that I started snapping away before I remembered to add a top coat. I actually think they look pretty cool without it, though. The rough sponge texture kind of adds to that whole "zombie flesh" look, and the drops of blood look a little more like, well, like drops of blood.

zombie nail art

Y'know, if you're into that kind of thing. ;)
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