31 October 2012

Halloween Nails: Henry Franks

With all of about 8 minutes left on Halloween here I have one more nail design to share, dedicated to a good friend whose first novel was just published!

Henry Franks Halloween Nails

I did these nails to go with Peter Salomon's YA horror/thriller novel, Henry Franks, about a young man who wakes up after an horrific accident with a body covered in scars and no memory of who he is. I'm about halfway through and am all kinds of creeped out--in a very good way! I still don't know who the killer is, I'm totally unnerved by the dreams and the box of clues in the basement, and what the hell is in the backyard?!

Halloween nail art

I used several neutrals for these that I thought would make some good skin tones on me: OPI Did You Ear About Van Gogh?, OPI Tickle My France-y, OPI San Tan-tonio, and Revlon Elegant...and also OPI Stranger Tides because I thought the greenish tint would look kinda cool. ^_-

Congratulations, Pete, on an awesome debut, and to everybody, Happy Halloween!

Henry Franks cover art

30 October 2012

Twinsie Tuesday: Halloween Nails

Today's Twinsie Tuesday theme is, appropriately, Halloween nails! With several more designs I wanted to try before tomorrow, I was having a hard time narrowing down my choices, until I decided not to choose at all and just have at it. In the end they turned out a little rough around the edges, but they were so much fun to do!

Halloween nails

When I was little, I got so excited every year when my parents took the decorations out of the attic for Halloween. As much as I've always enjoyed this spooky holiday, though, I've also always been a total chicken. I like my creepy with a healthy dose of cute, which is why I especially loved these little monsters. They're not terrifying; they're just misunderstood!

29 October 2012

Skull Nail Art...ish

So the plan was to post some Halloween skull nails today, unless I just completely failed at that idea. And, well, I didn't completely fail at it...

Halloween skull nails

I actually think they came out pretty cute! Only, those teeth are just way huge. So huge that these look less like skulls and more like baby, albino Cthulhus, which is why I went with the bone on my pinky, to at least suggest that if you squint a little and look at them in the right light, they may kind of be a general skull-ish shape. I still like 'em, though, ginormous teeth and all.

Halloween nail art

The base colour is Sally Hansen Lickety-Split Lime, and the bones are China Glaze White on White. I dotted the eyes with China Glaze Liquid Leather and used my Orly striper in Jet Black for the stitches (and the little eyelashes on Ms. Cthuluskull). The blood droplets and the bow are Orly Grave Mistake.

So yeah, next time, smaller teeth, but these were still a lot of fun to do. I was so tempted to try those two fingers over again, but I (just barely) managed to restrain myself and just enjoy the little squidly-bones as they are.

28 October 2012

Candy Corn Gradient

Top of my Halloween nail art list to try, practically compulsory, was some candy corn nail art. At no other time of the year do I ever say, "Ooh, know what I could really go for? Some candy corn!" But come October, it's the go-to candy; no other sweets say Halloween like candy corn can. Except for maybe candied apples, but the only time I ever tried eating an actual candied apple, I was so convinced I was going to lose a tooth any second that it was more of an exercise in caution than an actual, y'know, snack.

So yes, I'm on the candy corn nails bandwagon with a gradient...

Halloween candy corn nails

The colours are all OPI: My Boyfriend Scales Walls (off-white), In My Back Pocket (orange), and Need Sunglasses? (yellow). Much as I use and love these polishes, it's nearly time to get back-ups of all three of them--and hopefully I'm not running as low as I think I might be because they've still got some work ahead of them this week!

candy corn gradient nails

Next up: skulls! Or if I completely fail at that idea...something totally different!

It's nice to have a plan. ^_^

27 October 2012

China Glaze Ick-A-Bod-Y

With all of four days to go before Halloween gets here, the holiday spirit has taken forever to hit me this year. Possibly because it's only just starting to feel like autumn in Hong Kong, and possibly because aside from a couple of store displays and the occasional costumed child wandering around the mall, it doesn't seem like Halloween is really a big thing here. (Though, it's worth noting that it isn't out of the ordinary to see a child at the mall dressed as a Disney Princess or Spider-Man on any given day...Seriously, I love this town.)

Anyway, now that it's finally here, I decided to celebrate with a polish I can't believe I was actually able to find just a couple of weeks ago, China Glaze Ick-A-Bod-Y, from the 2010 Awakening Collection.

China Glaze Ick-A-Bod-Y swatch

25 October 2012

BornPrettyStore Striping Tape

When BornPrettyStore asked if I was interested in reviewing a product for them on Did My Nails, I jumped at the chance to try their Nail Art Striping Tape. And I'm very pleased with the results!

nail art striping tape

What I received is the standard order, one dozen rolls of different-coloured tapes. They come in white and black, plus ten metallic shades including gold, silver, bronze, red, green, blue, magenta... The colours are bright enough to be a decorative accent, or you can use it to create designs like the one above (and after the jump!).

nail art striping tape

23 October 2012

Twinsie Tuesday: First Swap Polish

Today's Twinsie Tuesday theme is a polish from our first swap ever, and I have a gorgeously droolworthy one that I've been saving for just this occasion. I just wish my pics did it better justice because "in real life" it's downright fabsexulous.

Orly Mysterious Curse swatch

This is Orly Mysterious Curse, from the Dark Shadows movie collection, and it was given to me by Brandi just this summer in my first ever swap. She took a guess with this one, thinking I might like it, and dang, was she right.

22 October 2012

Neon Brushstrokes

Just when I thought I was all set to dive into some autumn polishes at last, I was gripped with the need for some neon. I had quite a few of them sitting in my untrieds, though, so instead of narrowing down my choices, I decided to take a page directly out of Veronica's book and use ALL the neons!!

neon abstract brushstroke manicure

19 October 2012

Deborah Lippmann Sweet Dreams

It's been kind of a blah week, full of migraine-y not-goodness, so I haven't gotten a lot of nails done. Fortunately I've been saving some pictures of a beauty of a polish for just such an occasion: Deborah Lippmann Sweet Dreams.

Deborah Lippmann Sweet Dreams swatch

Sweet Dreams is a perfectly Barbie pink with generous amounts of golden flakes throughout that somehow manage to make it both more girly and more mature at the same time. I love this polish!

16 October 2012

Twinsie Tuesday: Triple Layer Experiment

Today's Twinsie Tuesday theme is a triple layering experiment. The idea was to layer three different polishes together just to see what we come up with, and it was inspired by this post by Cordia. My own experiments with the theme had some mixed results (some of which, just trust me, do not need to appear here or anywhere else), but a couple of them turned out...eh, you guys can be the judges. (^_-)

The first of my semi-successes involves two metallic greens and an itty bitty glitter. The idea was to combine the lime green base colour, Wet n Wild I Got a New Com-pewter (from the Chrome collection), with a similar crackle/shatter, with a layer of tiny red and gold glitter in between. Only the crackle I thought was "similar" turned out to try "nearly identical" so that it ended up looking more like one lime green polish with just a light dusting of glitter.

14 October 2012

My First (Successful) Stamping

I really enjoyed Zoya Dove on its own for a couple of days, but Jenni Lee got me thinking about what I could do on top of it. And since it seemed as good a time as any to give stamping another try, I went with the ink splatter on Konad plate m21.

Konad stamp m21 ink splatter

Ermagerd! It worked! Sort of. But I'm not going to complain because "not a total failure" was a HUGE step forward for me!

11 October 2012

Zoya Dove

After having this beautiful creme on my wish list for a while, I was so excited when I finally found it. This was exactly what I needed in the aftermath of those massive glitterbombs!

Zoya Dove swatch

Zoya Dove is perfectly named; this dove grey polish is so soft and pretty! It's practically a pastel, which makes it a great shade for spring, but it's easily versatile enough to wear in any season (because I'm so worried about being seasonally appropriate, right?). It was opaque in two coats, but I added a third for these photos, just to be safe. It's worth mentioning that it wasn't a great self-leveler, but rushing my top coat (SV) smoothed things out just fine.

Zoya Dove swatch

As much as I love glitter and shimmer and all things fancy, Zoya Dove is the first creme I've worn in a while that I haven't immediately started thinking about embellishing with some sort of top coat or nail art. It really is refreshing!

09 October 2012

Twinsie Tuesday: Layered Glitterbomb

Welcome to another Twinsie Tueday--this week's theme is layered glitterbombs! I had a couple of ideas about how to tackle this one. On one hand, I thought it'd be fun to try coming up with something that actually matched, where the glitters complimented each other. On the other hand I kinda wanted to go nuts. Just throw any pretense of taste out the window and go full-on madhouse. In the end, I did one of each.

Essie Luxeffects glitterbomb

My first try, definitely the prettier of the two, started with a base of China Glaze Polarized, which is a full-coating silver glitter with tiny pieces of different colours mixed in. Then over the top of that I used all three of the Essie Luxeffects glitter polishes.

08 October 2012

150 Follower Giveaway Results...and More!

Congratulations to hermetic for winning my 150 Blog Followers/15000 Pageviews Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

hermetic, your email has been sent! If you don't see it, be sure to check your spam folder; if I don't hear back within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Along with the congratulations, I also want to say another HUGE thank you to everyone who has visited Did My Nails and to everyone who has followed this blog. I'm truly grateful to the 150 of you who helped me reach my first milestones, and I'm thrilled to welcome so many new people here as well!

Because of all of you guys...and I can't even believe this...I've also just crossed 300 blog followers since this giveaway began, so to celebrate I'm going to have...another giveaway!! I just have way too much fun shopping for nail polish, even if it isn't for me, so I'm all about having another excuse to do it. ^_^

Before I start shopping, though, I thought I'd ask...what would you like to see in my next giveaway? If OPI/China Glaze/Orly/Zoya, should I pick stuff from new collections or a variety of classics? How about mini-bottle collections? Or maybe an assortment of Sasatinnie or other polishes that may be harder to find outside of HK/Asia? Would a couple of Deborah Lippmann or Chanel polishes be good, or is it more fun to go with quantity and variety?

I know indies are always a popular choice, but it's a little $$$ for me to pay to have them shipped here, just to turn around and ship them somewhere else. Plus even if I ordered them tonight it could be weeks before I get them. Maybe for a future giveaway, though...

What do you guys think?

Revlon Popular

Revlon Popular is a delicate blend of pale silver hex- and micro-glitters in a semi-sheer, milky pink base. Another re-release, it originally called Starry Pink. It's also the 4th of the Revlon glitters in my giveaway, which closes in just under 12 hours!

Revlon Popular over OPI Pedal Faster Suzi!

I've seen lots of swatches showing Popular to be practically opaque in just two coats, but knowing how stubbornly visible my nail line insists on being if given half a chance, I knew I'd need at least four before I reached that point, so this is two coats of Popular over OPI Pedal Faster Suzi!, from the recent Holland Collection.The pairing makes it a little darker and maybe even the tiniest bit lilac, but I think it's in keeping with Popular's soft, delicate tone.

Revlon Popular over OPI Pedal Faster Suzi!

After trying these 4 Revlon glitters, I have my fingers crossed that they and other mainstream brands will continue to experiment in this area. I know they probably won't ever go as glitter-riffic as a lot of the indies--and I know it'd be overkill if they went all glitter all the time--but I think there's more than enough room for them to stretch out every now and then into some indie-adjacent territory (or at least keep making the occasional foray into Lippmann Land). After Popular, Scandalous, Whimsical, and Radiant, I'd love to see what they might come out with next!

07 October 2012

Revlon Scandalous

Previously released as Facets of Fuchsia, Revlon Scandalous is a black, jelly-based polish that's packed with fuschia/purple hex- and micro-glitters. Just in the bottle, or looking at my nails in the living room, I thought the glitter was straight-out purple, but when the light hit it, I could definitely see that fuchsia tint!

Revlon Scandalous swatch

This is two coats over a base of China Glaze Liquid Leather. The first time I tried to swatch Scandalous it was kind of a hot mess, all gloopy and chunky and uneven. I'm more than willing to accept, though, that my application was to blame--in trying to get the black jelly base to coat evenly and fully, I ended up with more glitter than I knew what to do with. So this time, I started with that base of black and then stuck to thinner coats of Scandalous. That way I didn't have to worry about getting it opaque, and the glitter spread all beautifully and evenly...it made all the difference, and this time I loved it! After it was dry I doubled up on top coat (Gelous and SV), and the shine on top of this deep, sparking colour was amazing.

Revlon Scandalous swatch

Scandalous is another one of the prize polishes in my current giveaway, which ends in just under a day and a half! I can't even believe how many people have stopped by since it started, less than 2 weeks ago, so I want to say thanks again, very sincerely, to everyone who has visited Did My Nails!

05 October 2012

Guest Post at Nailed

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm very excited today to be doing a guest post over at Nailed. I wanted to do some nail art for this post, with some specific aims in mind. I wanted to use colours that were autumn-appropriate but not overtly seasonal, and I wanted the look to be fun enough for a night out but not overly complicated or hard to recreate. Mostly, though, I wanted to do a nice job for Chelsea. Hers was one of the first blogs I started reading when I got into nail polish, and it's a genuine pleasure to be able to fill in while she's on the road.

dotting tool rose nail art

For more, please stop by and visit Nailed, and if you're interested, there are 2 1/2 days left to enter my current giveaway. Cheers, and have a great weekend!

04 October 2012

Revlon Whimsical

Today I'm swatching Revlon Whimsical, another one of the polishes from my current giveaway. This is easily one of my all-time favourite glitters--it's just so light and pretty!

Revlon Whimsical swatch

This is 2-3 coats over Bandi S709 Muse Mint, which Husband picked up for me on his last trip to Seoul. It's a beautiful baby blue with the teeniest hint of green and a subtly frosty finish. More about it in a future post, but it delights me way more than it should that he got it in the Gangnam district. Yes, my nails are now Gangnam style!

02 October 2012

Twinsie Tuesday: Indie Polish

Usually when Twinsie Tuesday rolls around I spend all this time angsting about what I want to do. Should I reach outside my comfort zone (a la poison frog nails), stick with something I'm more confident in (like my go-to favourite, cherry blossoms) or fudge it somewhere middle-of-the-road like I did with my fugly polish choice? This week, though, was simple and easy, no waffling or debating necessary. The theme is indie polishes, and I own exactly one.

Pretty & Polished Jawbreaker swatch

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