31 March 2013

OPI Can't Find My Czechbook and Polka.com

Aside from My Vampire Is Buff, these two were the polishes I was most looking forward to from the OPI Euro Centrale Collection, and when the Easter bunny nails I was trying to do last night went all sideways on me, they didn't let me down. This is OPI Can't Find My Czechbook under OPI Polka.com.

OPI Can't Find My Czechbook with Polka.com

Can't Find My Czechbook is a bright blue polish with a creme finish. I've seen swatches of it that lean more teal than this, and if I'm honest that's what I was hoping to see, but this is such a lovely shade of aqua that I really can't be disappointed. It's so pretty and cheerful, and it's unique to my collection! After a streaky first coat, it evened out very well on the second and was essentially opaque. I gave it a third, because that's how I roll, but two good coats should be sufficient for daily wear.

Polka.com (I groan, and yet I love) is a wonderful addition to the Euro Centrale Collection. The fuchsia, aqua, and purple hexes, along with the teeny-tiny micro-glitter, are a great match for several of the shades in this collection, and that definitely includes Can't Find My Czechbook. It also applied very nicely--about a coat and a half, plus the littlest bit of extra dabbing to fill in at the base and tips, gave me excellent coverage, and the individual glitters stayed where I put 'em.

OPI Can't Find My Czechbook with Polka.com

And this is where I make a graceful transition by mentioning that Czechbook is one of the polishes in the Euro Centrale mini set that's part of my Birthday Giveaway. Today's the last day to enter!

Yeah, that was one smooth segue. Nailed it. ^_^

29 March 2013

Baby Chicks Nail Art Tutorial

I'd really meant to have this up yesterday, but after I took all my pictures, I went and got possessed by the gripping and immediate desire to read a bunch of dry documentation and then write an essay. Yeah, I'm a hoot at parties. Anyway...

Last spring I did some hatching baby chick nail art that I'd seen online (wish I new where to credit, but it's been so long...). This was maybe a month before I started my blog, and I'd only just got my dotting tools, and I was so very proud of them! Of course, I peeked at the old pics from my camera phone a few minutes ago, just for the sake of comparison, and they're kind of hilarious (clean-up? what's clean-up?). Still, I loved them to bits. Husband apparently did too because with Easter coming up, he actually put in a request! I figured, why not, and while I was at it, I took some pictures along the way for a quick tutorial as well. But first, the finished nails!

baby chick easter nail art

I love nail art that reflects the season, and these baby chick nails are such a fun design for springtime and Easter. Like most of the nail art I've tried, once you break it down into the individual steps, it's not very difficult to do, so please click "Read More" if you'd like to see the tutorial. Just want to drop in a quick plug for my birthday giveaway, which is open for a couple more days, and away we go!

28 March 2013

Analysis of the FTC Disclosure Guidelines

Many bloggers have been concerned about recent updates to the FTC product disclosure guidelines and how they apply to bloggers in the US (and to bloggers elsewhere who wish to conform to established practices). Despite having no legal background myself, after several hours of carefully reading the 2009 and updated 2013 guides, plus some other FTC materials, I can comfortably suggest that the "new" guidelines won't impact nail (or other) bloggers nearly as much as some have feared.

In a nutshell, according to everything I've gleaned from both the 2009 FTC Endorsement Guide and the updated 2013 Disclosures in Digital Advertising document, as well as a brief FTC video on endorsement guidelines and the FTC's Question and Answer page about the 2013 updates, the guidelines apply to bloggers as follows:

Be truthful about your experience with a product, and if a company sends you free samples for review, it's sufficient to say so at the start of your post with a few words like, "Company X sent me some polishes from their spring collection" before you dive into the meat of it.

That's all we need to do.

Tweeting is a slightly greyer area, given its space constraints. I'm not a Twitter user yet, but the 2013 document basically says that if you're being paid to tweet on a company's behalf, the tweets for which you're paid should clearly say "Sponsored" or "Ad" at the start and not just have an ambiguous hashtag like #spon at the end, since readers may not know what that means.

But say you're a tweeting blogger, and Joosica sends you their new bridal polishes collection. Here's how my lay-brain interprets the documents. If you got the polishes for free and are just tweeting how nice they are without linking to anything, you may wish to incorporate some disclosing language like, "Joosica sent me the new bridal polishes, and they're gorgeous!" However, if you're linking your tweet to a blog post about those polishes, a disclaimer shouldn't be necessary in the tweet itself (unless you're making "specific claims," a term I'll discuss more after the cut), since the blog post you're directing people to should already have any applicable disclaimer at its start. And again, that applicable disclaimer can simply be mentioning that Joosica sent you the polishes.

So yeah, most of the guidelines' impact on bloggers is really simple. I think a lot of the worry about their potential intrusiveness comes from the regulations geared towards the advertisers themselves and mistaken impressions that those same standards apply to any and all posts or pictures on our blogs. But unless we're making "specific claims" (again, more on that after the cut for those interested), we don't need glaring, hyperlinked disclaimer images or paragraphs of legal-ese at the start of our posts. We don't need to brand our swatches with "Free Sample!" boilerplate. The FTC isn't gunning for bloggers or out to sue us. And the one I think will be the biggest relief to nail bloggers everywhere...

We do not need to bother with silly disclosures that say we bought our own polish with our own money.

For anyone interested, there's tons more after the cut about what I understood from the documents and materials linked above and the guidelines they contain about things like "specific claims" and affiliate links, but for most nail bloggers, that's pretty much it!

26 March 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Favourite Colour

This week's TT theme is our favourite colour, and for a refreshing change, an open topic like this didn't send me into paroxysms of angst and indecision! In general I don't really have a favourite colour. I have a floating pool of contenders...black, grey, pink, white, teal, lime green...that take their turns at the top, but none really stands out as the favourite. When it comes to nail polish, though, light teal wins hands down. Easily and every time. (Unless glitter counts as a colour...?)

Narrowing it down to "light teal" was simple. That still gave me a worrying number of options, given how many light shades of green-leaning blue I have stashed in my Helmer, but again, a clear choice won out. China Glaze For Audrey. Just barely teal, this beautiful blue is the reason for my polish addiction. It's the first polish I ever saw online and coveted enough to track it down. It is my favourite polish of all time and the one that inspired my obsessive love of light aqua, teal, and turquoise shades.

China Glaze For Audrey glitter gradient

Having accomplished one whole glitter gradient only just last week, I knew that was what I wanted to do with For Audrey. Silver just looks so right with this Tiffany blue! I used Sally Hansen Gem Crush Showgirl Chic and China Glaze Polarized for the gradient here.

China Glaze For Audrey glitter gradient

Also, adding the gradient let me include "glitter" as a favourite colour, which, yay! Still, China Glaze For Audrey and sits firmly in first place as my favourite nail colour ever.

There are still a few days left to enter my birthday giveaway, and I'm very excited and honoured to say that NailPolishCanada.com has featured my galaxy nails among their favourites of the week! For more "favourite colour" manicures, please swing by some of the other TT blogs. I have some suspicions, but I can't wait to see what everybody chose!


Amanda at Amandalandish
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Ashley at Art Evolve
Brandi at The Beaulieu Review
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Jamie at Polish, Please!
Katherine at Haul of Fame
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Nory at Fierce Makeup and Nails
Rachel at Top Coat It
Sarah at See Sarah Swatch
Tara at Polishy of Truth

25 March 2013

Daily Lacquer Mamoru and Chibiusa

I am a huge fan of Sailormoon. Enormously, unrepentantly, geekishly huge. Back in the day, I got up early to watch the US Sailor Moon series every morning before work. I spent evenings downloading clips of the Japanese original with my cherry 56K modem and collected all the toys and translated comics I could find. I can not stress what a raging dork I was...okay, still am...when it comes to Sailormoon/Sailor Moon. So when I found out that Daily Lacquer had made an entire line of glitter polishes based on the senshi/scouts, there wasn't even a question. I had to have them all.

Lovely Moon, the original set based on the Inner Senshi, has since been discontinued, but Maggy followed it with the adorable Father and Daughter Duo of Mamoru and Chibiusa.

Mamoru and Chibiusa
Mamoru and Chibiusa, image from The Oracle

First up is Mamoru, aka Tuxedo Kamen (also also known as Darien/Tuxedo Mask in the US). In his hero guise, Mamoru wears a tuxedo and cape with a white mask, and his calling card is a bright red rose.

Daily Lacquer Mamoru swatch

Mamoru, the polish, is a totally lush glitter topper. Packed with matte glitter, it contains medium white hexes, plus small black and tiny white, and on down to the most miniscule black dots and bars that I've ever seen. The bright, red highlight hexes give it a splash of colour, and if you look at my index and ring fingers you can also see a couple of platinum-white stars.

This is just one coat, applied normally, with a minimum of dabbed fill-in at the base, over China Glaze Pelican Grey. Remarkably, I didn't have to do any glitter-fishing to catch a couple of those stars, and one generous coat of SV made it all shiny and smooth.

Daily Lacquer Mamoru swatch

The other half of this duo is Chibiusa, aka Chibimoon (Rini and Mini Moon in the US), and like her costume, her namesake polish is all kinds of pink and white sweetness.

Daily Lacquer Chibiusa swatch

This is two coats of Chibiusa layered over a thin coat of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, but the layering wasn't really necessary. Chibiusa's white crelly base built up just fine on its own. It contains medium hexes in two shades of pink, plus pink hearts and holographic silver crescent moons.

I doubled up on top coat and did just a little bit of fishing to make sure I had a well placed heart, but the polish applied quite smoothly for one with this much glitter, and the glitter dispersed well without bunching up or rushing towards the tip.

Daily Lacquer Chibiusa swatch

Seriously, how sweet is that?! If I thought Mamoru captured its namesake well, Chibiusa's polish fits her perfectly. You don't have to know the characters to like these polishes, but the gimornous Sailormoon fan in me is absolutely smitten.

The Father and Daughter Duo can be bought together or separately at DailyLacquer.com. If anybody needs me today, I'll be parked in front of my DVDs watching Sailormoon SuperS.

EDIT: Duh, I knew there was something I meant to add--for anyone interested in entering, there's just under a week left in my birthday giveaway!

23 March 2013

BornPrettyStore Cute Hearts Stamp

When Born Pretty offered to send me something new to review, I was instantly smitten with this adorable stamping plate, QA10. In my excitement, I kinda forgot that I'm not very good at stamping yet, but the only way to get better is with practice, right?

Born Pretty Store nail art stamping plate QA10

I love the pretty swirls and the different hearts on this plate, and every one that I tried transferred very well. Okay, they transferred well given my level of skill...I had no problem lifting them from the plate intact. Actually placing them smoothly is still a challenge for me, but that's why I enjoy using combination images like these, rather than having to place larger ones. I'm still not exactly in charge of the angle at which things land--or where they land, in fact--but the smaller images on this plate look so cute all mixed together that I didn't really mind my lack of precision.

Born Pretty Store stamping plate QA10

I started with a base of OPI My Vampire is Buff and then added some scrollwork and hearts in various shades of Konad stamping polish... which apparently needs more than half an hour to dry, at least for the black, because even with plenty of SV and a very light touch, it still managed to smear enough to show in these close-up pics. Not the plate's fault, though. Before my top coating went and smoshed it, the images were nice and crisp, and even after, they still looked great from any reasonable distance.

Born Pretty Store nail art stamping plate QA10

Soon as I'm able to stamp with more precision, I'm going to incorporate those long-legged chicks into something--they're just so sweet! I also think this will be a very versatile set of images--depending on the colours, you could go Valentine's, springtime, modern, even dark and ornate. This is definitely a plate I'm going to come back to again.


BornPrettyStore.com offers free shipping worldwide with no minimum purchase, and you're always welcome to use my discount code, GSL91, for 10% off your order. In all honesty, I was impressed with the number of cute stamping plates they have now. Looking forward to trying a few more, once I'm better at it!


*Product provided in exchange for honest review

22 March 2013

OPI Liquid Sand

So...how 'bout that textured nail polish, huh? It's definitely the Big New Thing right now, with several collections out at the moment and several more on the way. No telling whether this trend will have real staying power, but it's a fun trend, and I'm always happy to see nail companies continue to innovate. I really enjoyed the two Zoya Pixie Dust polishes I tried--enough to want to get my hands on a couple more from that line--and while I'm not so totally sold on textured polish that I feel the need to collect them all, I also wanted very much to at least try out a couple of the OPI Liquid Sands. I started with Get Your Number, my favourite of the Mariah collection.

OPI Get Your Number Mariah Liquid Sand swatch

OPI Get Your Number is pretty much dazzling, a matte blue infused with tiny, round pieces of holographic silver glitter. There's a lot of sparkle in this polish, a great contrast against the sandy, matte finish. It's also nicely pigmented and easy to control, and it feels so much smoother than its textured appearance would suggest.

OPI Mariah Liquid Sand Get Your Number swatch

I like the way the glitter gives this polish a little extra depth and shine (and also the way that the glitter is glitter...I'm not a terribly complicated person), but it stops short of overpowering the pretty, matte blue. Maybe a little fancier than I'd want every textured polish to be, but it's unique and fun, and it made me smile. Totally kicking myself now for not wearing it an extra day with top coat over too, but it's one I'll wear again.

For a different look, I also picked up OPI What Wizardry is This?, from the Oz the Great and Powerful Collection, and it's definitely love. Finer and softer than the Mariah polishes, What Wizardry is This? has a bit of a steampunk vibe to it. No, really! There's a hint of green to this brown that combines with the lovely, yet subdued, sparkle to give it a hint of tarnished brass.

OPI What Wizardry is This? Liquid Sand swatch

What Wizardry is This? was so easy to apply, and the coverage was excellent. This is just two thin coats, allowed to dry between, which took hardly any time at all. I may have a magpie-like attraction to all things bright and shiny, but I'm just crazy about this tarnished brown.

OPI Liquid Sand What Wizardry is This? swatch

All in all, I'm surprised with how on board I've ended up being with textured polishes! I love how different each of the ones I've tried so far has been. Love the delicate shimmer of the Pixie Dusts; love the bright, sparkling blue of Get Your Number; and supercrazylove the grunge-glam finish of What Wizardry. Even if I don't feel the need to grab up textured polishes in every colour of the rainbow, these are some great additions to my collection, and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

PS: Topical and relevant plug...Get Your Number is one of the OPI minis in my birthday giveaway!

21 March 2013

Birthday Cupcake Nail Art

This past Saturday was my birthday, and it was a wonderful day! Husband took me to see the Sleeping Beauty ballet, and I just loved it. Hadn't seen it in years and years, but I still had that same feeling of innocent glee that I always did as a kid, watching ballets at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans with my parents. This ballet ended with a ginormous fall of glittering confetti, showering everyone on stage in sparkling pink and gold, and if I ever find a nail polish that recreates that effect, I might never wear anything else again.

Fortunately, my birthday also gets very high marks for not seeing a resurgence of the migraine that tried to crush my skull the night before. As a result of that, I didn't have the time (or the eyesight) to do the Sleeping Beauty nail art I'd hoped to try that night, but I still was able to fit in some quick, cute birthday cupcake nail art before we left for the ballet because birthday-less nails was not an option.

birthday cupcake nail art

The base is Skinfood BL003 Green Bean Milk, and then I painted 1/3 of each nail with Revlon Colorstay Passionate Pink. The rest of the design is acrylic paint, which I went with because it dries faster than polish, but nail polish would work just as well for these. I just striped on some lighter pink for the cupcake cup lines and swooshed around a couple coats of fluffy white for the icing. Some colourful dots made candy sprinkles, and then I added light purple candles. The candle flames are a very rough mixture of the orange and yellow from the sprinkles, only partially blended so that it could look just a little bit more like flame. Of course, you had to be within about two feet of my nails to notice that part... (^_-)

birthday cupcake nail art

So, cupcake nails and a lovely ballet, and after, we had a great dinner of Korean BBQ, where we ate all the kimchi and drank all the Hite beer, and my migraine didn't come back, and Husband got me a fabulous spa certificate and a sparkly princess birthday card (that dude knows me so well). All in all, a fantastic day!

PS, there's about 10 days left in my Birthday Giveaway! And with that, I've probably said "birthday" enough times for one post now, so, over and out!

19 March 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Polish Roulette

Today's Twinsie Tuesday is an experimental theme! The idea behind polish roulette is to take two random polishes from our stashes and try to make them work together. So, I closed my eyes and reached into my Big Box o' Untrieds and came out with China Glaze Trendsetter and Wet n Wild "Fergie" New Year's Kiss.

Definitely a random pair. I would not have picked silver glitter to go with Trendsetter's yellow-green. If I'd grabbed just about any other solid colour, I'd have felt pretty good about my chances of doing some sort of geometric or flowery design to pull them together, but this super-fine glitter topper kinda limited my options. Determined to do something fun with it, though, I buckled down and actually managed what I think is my first successful glitter gradient. So, big yay for that!

China Glaze Trendsetter glitter gradient

I'm usually so into ugly-awesome greens like this one, but I'm going to have to wear Trendsetter on its own before I really decide how I feel about it. Oh, and adding to the challenge? Trendsetter's brush was a bit wonky, and either New Year's Kiss had evaporated quite a bit, or I'd grabbed a bottle that people had been sampling pretty freely from because about 1/4 of it was already gone. But hey, that's roulette for ya'!

Wet n Wild Fergie New Year's Kiss glitter gradient

The more I looked at this combo, the more I did kinda like it, but that was mostly just being happy that I finally pulled off a glitter gradient. I still didn't think this pairing itself really "worked," so taking a cue from the lightly coloured, holographic bars in the glitter, I dipped into the Big Box again in search of one of the polishes I picked up in Tokyo over Christmas. The brand is Homei (no idea what the particular polish might be named), and it has bunches of little, holographic circles, as well as some larger, brightly coloured lavender stars and teal-blue diamonds. It also comes with a little slant-tipped stick to help you fish and place the individual, larger pieces, which, genius!

China Glaze Trendsetter glitter gradient

I think this might have done it! I'd say the extra colour plays well with the bright Trendsetter base and ties it together with the silver Fergie WnW. You can probably tell just by looking at the final result that this was an experimental manicure all the way, but whether it all "works" together or not, it was a lot of fun to play with!

Please swing by some of the other Twinsie Tuesday blogs to see how their polish roulette experiments came out, and if you're interested, there's still plenty of time left to enter my birthday giveaway. ^_^


Amanda at Amandalandish
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Ashley at Art Evolve
Brandi at The Beaulieu Review
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Jamie at Polish, Please!
Katherine at Haul of Fame
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Nory at Fierce Makeup and Nails
Rachel at Top Coat It
Sarah at See Sarah Swatch
Tara at Polishy of Truth

Deborah Lippmann True Blood "Forsaken" Duo

Today I have both polishes from the Deborah Lippmann "Forsaken" Duo, the "Sookie Sookie" set of Fairy Dust and Human Nature...

Deborah Lippmann True Blood Fairy Dust and Human Nature

As a True Blood fan, I was so excited to see these at the DL counter! I picked up one set for myself, plus another for my birthday giveaway. This is a great duo to represent Sookie (or, "Sssssookeh!") herself. Human Nature is simple, lovely, and unadorned, and Fairy Dust is at once subtle yet vibrant, a soft base with a fiery shimmer inside.

Got a few more pics than usual in this post, so please click "read more" to come see!

16 March 2013

Birthday Giveaway!

This contest has ended. Thanks so much to everyone to visited and entered!

Today's my birthday, and I felt like celebrating by having a giveaway. So, I'm having a Birthday Giveaway. True story!



As shown above, the prizes include...
  • The Deborah Lippmann True Blood "Forsaken" Duo
  • A set of OPI Euro Centrale mini polishes
  • A set of OPI "Mariah" Liquid Sand minis

This giveaway is open internationally. The only requirements are that entrants 1) be a public follower of Did My Nails via GFC (Google Friend Connect), and 2) leave an email address on the entry form so that I can notify the winner.

There are a few optional entries as well. One is to "like" Did My Nails on Facebook. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that...DMN has a Facebook page now! I've also recently succumbed to Pinterest and have boards for didmynails.com and other polish pics, so if you'd like to follow me (or even just the didmynails.com board), there's another optional entry. The last is to share this giveaway on your blog...y'know, if you have a blog and feel like sharing...No pressure, though. All optional stuff. ^_^

One winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter at the close of the giveaway, and I'll notify by email. S/he will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be chosen. I can't take responsibility for you receiving the email, so be sure to check your spam folder. I'll also post the winner's name here on DMN. Additionally, while this giveaway is open internationally, please be aware that if shipping to your location is complicated, I can only promise to do my best. I will provide accurate information on any customs/shipping forms and give the winner any tracking info I'm able to pass on. Oh, yeah, one more thing...and it makes me feel so old and responsible (shudder) to say this, but...please have a parent's permission to enter if you're under 18 because I'll need the winner's full name and mailing address in order to ship out the goodies. If I think of any more boilerplate I missed, I'll be sure to add it here, but I think that's it. Time for the widget!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I really do want to say thank you so much to everyone who has visited, commented, and even decided to follow Did My Nails. At just a couple of months shy of a year now, I'm amazed at how the time has flown! It's been so much fun, and it really is all thanks to you guys.

Cheers, and good luck! ♥

15 March 2013

Galaxy Nails

It's been a while since I did galaxy nails (since last May, in fact), and wow, a lot has changed since then! I've gotten better at shaping my nails, I think. I no longer feel the need to cram my awkward thumb into every other picture, and my cuticle gap isn't quite large enough for small children to play hide and seek in after school anymore. I've even started to wrap my head around the concept of adequate lighting and have at least a clue what my camera's white balance is for, so, yay for progress!

When it came to doing the actual galaxy nails, though, I did everything pretty much the same way as I did in my tutorial, even down to using most of the same polishes, and I love this look every bit as much as I did last year.

galaxy nail art

One difference this time was that instead of a straight black, I started with a base of Bandi G703, Glittering Dark Khaki. Oh, MAMA, this is a fabulous polish. I might wish for it to be a bit thicker--by the time it built to opacity, I was 4 coats in, and the "khaki" is only a hint of olive to the black. Whatever, next time I'll layer it. And top coat it so that all the pretty bits can really shine because it is packed with flakies and holographic glitter.

Bandi G703 Glitter Dark Khaki swatch

Yeah. Flakies and holographic glitter. I can only imagine what this is going to look like on its own, all top coated and shiny. If I hadn't had my heart set on galaxy nails, that's exactly how I'd have worn it, and I'm glad I thought to take a picture. Love! (Sidebar: Isn't it insane how pale my fingers get next to polish this dark?! Same lighting, but my hand is suddenly the Ghost of Manicures Past.)

galaxy nails

Of course, then I went and covered most of the base, so buh-bye, sparkling flakies, and hello, swirling nebulae! You still get a hint of the bits in back, though, so I'm definitely glad I tried the Bandi with these. I did sponge less of each colour this time and kept going without letting things dry--which let them blend and swirl together a little better, I thought--and I also did fewer stars. Didn't quite nail the attempted shine lines on the bigger ones, but I won't complain. I also added a drop of China Glaze Pink Plumeria to brighten the Max Factor Deep Mauve (for the fuchsia highlights), and I used Orly Shine On Crazy Diamond for the dusting of glitter on top. Oh, and I also mixed some OPI Don't Talk Bach to Me in with the OPI Did It On 'Em to mellow the lime green a bit, as well as sponged a tiny bit of Revlon Stiletto (black) along some of the edges of the clouds to blend them out.

galaxy nails

I forgot how much fun it is to do galaxy nail art! Definitely not going to wait another 10 months before I do these again--maybe next time I'll get really daring and try a new colour scheme! I'm in no hurry to take these off, but I'm going to redo my nails tonight because...drum roll, please... tomorrow is my birthday! Woot! Husband is taking me to the ballet to see Sleeping Beauty, and then we're going to eat all the Korean BBQ. I haven't decided exactly what I want to do with my nails yet, though. Part of me says something ballet-related; part of me wants some bright, colourful cupcakes. Part of me says pandas. Because pandas are cute. No telling where I'm gonna come down on this one.

Won't have those done and photographed to post tomorrow, but I will be posting something else--I'm having a birthday giveaway! ^_^

14 March 2013

Zoya Pixie Dust: Vespa and London

As much as I loved the fine, textured micro-glitters of China Glaze Angel Wings and Winter Holly, I've really been looking forward to trying some of the newer texture polishes. I started with Vespa and London, from the Zoya Pixie Dust line, and while they weren't quite the same as CG's holiday glitters, I still liked them both a lot!

It always feels like a cop-out when I say this, but pictures don't do these justice. Both (presumably, all of the) Pixie Dusts are infused with a sparkling, silver shimmer of micro-fine glitter that my camera flat-out refused to capture. I'm wearing the polishes here without base coat, as Zoya advises with these--I'm guessing to give the rougher formula a better surface to grip onto? Or possibly, I'm talking nonsense, and it's something else entirely. Whatever, they applied just great without base coat, and I had no drag or pulling with either polish. Blah, blah, details, onto the pictures already!

Zoya Pixie Dust Vespa

This is Zoya Vespa, a soft, sage green that's perfect for spring. Opaque enough at three coats, I'm wearing 4 for the sake of close-ups, and despite all the exaggerated detail of macro camera mode, the finish was sandy-soft. I loved the fine sparkle of the "pixie dust" glitter too! Very fresh and innocent without skewing too young...if that makes any sense. Note to self: Writing post copy on the wrong end of an all-nighter? Possibly not the best idea, but the last thing I need right now is more caffeine...

Zoya Pixie Dust Vespa

But like I was saying, Vespa! So much prettier in person than these pictures show. Soft and shimmering and very, very springtime.

Zoya London Pixie Dust

This is three coats of Zoya London, which thankfully behaved a little better for the camera. I love the deep, foggy grey, and the coverage was excellent. The sparkle contrasts the colour nicely, and the finish was every bit as soft & sandy as Vespa's.

Zoya Pixie Dust London

Actually both of these reminded me of the superfancy Easter eggs I used to love when I was little, the big sugar-molded ones that were hollow inside, and you could peek through a hole in the shell to see, like, a little duckling made of icing. OK, quick side trip to Google and... just like these!

panorama Easter eggs by Sleepy Cat Hollow
Sleepy Cat Hollow

Hah, that's actually a much better idea of what these pretty Pixie Dust polishes looked like to me in real life! Come to think of it, I may need the beige one after all...

12 March 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Polished by Someone Else

A while ago, my husband jokingly suggested that I should let him do my nails for Twinsie Tuesday. I don't think he actually expected me to take him up on the offer, but the TT theme this week is letting someone else do our nails (and the less likely the candidate, the better). Husband, your time has come!

I gave him a little advance notice so that he could decide what he wanted to do. I mentioned that he could just pick a colour he likes or maybe a pairing with some glitter (he likes it when my nails are sparkly ;p), even a skittle combo. Or if he was feeling fancy, he might have fun playing with my dotting tools. He told me he'd think about it and let me know. Then a few days ago, he said, "Do you have any googly eyes...?"

I am ridiculously proud to present Husband's masterpiece of modern nail art, The Bee.


Husband's bee nails

The whole design was Husband's creation, start to finish. Before he started painting he expressed some concern about being able to stay "inside the lines" and was super careful. At least, he was super careful when he started. Once he wandered onto my finger, though, it was like a dam had burst, and colouring inside the lines was old news. Now he was free to create without limits! I did ask, while wiping off the blurp of black polish that was about to drip off the side of my pinkie (not even the end, off the side of it), if he had any plans for clean-up, but he scoffed--literally scoffed!--and said, "That's your job. I'm the artist." Then he muttered something about how I probably thought Da Vinci cleaned his own brushes too.

Well, nuts to that. And who am I anyway, to tamper with such a work of art? The slight down side was that with all this "bonus" polish, I couldn't exactly moisturize my cuticles before I took the picture. Up side? They're nowhere to be seen.

I had such a blast getting these done! We both did, really. Husband particularly enjoyed getting to do something for my hobby that wasn't just...buying more polish. We were sad to see The Bee go. But, I'm super excited to see my fellow Twinsies' nails this week!




Amanda at Amandalandish
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Ashley at Art Evolve
Brandi at The Beaulieu Review
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Jamie at Polish, Please!
Katherine at Haul of Fame
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Nory at Fierce Makeup and Nails
Rachel at Top Coat It
Sarah at See Sarah Swatch
Tara at Polishy of Truth

11 March 2013

Apple Nail Art

The first manicure I tried today was an abysmal failure, so I looked to Pinterest for some inspiration. I've had this adorable apple manicure pinned for a while, thinking I'd hang onto it for sometime in autumn, but then I found out this morning out that today, March 11, is apparently Johnny Appleseed Day! Even better, I then found this tutorial from Rebecca Likes Nails, so with design, instructions, and the right occasion all coming together, today became apple nail art day!

apple nail art

My base colour is Revlon Bare Bones, and the red is none other than OPI Big Apple Red. After dotting on my apples (and brushing larger ones on ring and thumb), I used a teeny paintbrush to add leaves of Jessica Mint Mojito Green and some brown OPI Suzi Loves Cowboys stems. Then I top coated with SV and went all tralala for a good 10 minutes before I smacked my forehead. I forgot the white "shine" marks! So, Orly Crisp White nail art striper, another top coat (Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine, just to mix things up), and it was finally picture time.

Despite having two thick applications of top coat, my first batch of pics looked a little matte somehow, and I went, "Ooooooo." Another top coat! This time, NYC Matte Me Crazy. The apples themselves did look cute all shiny and bright, but the matte coat really brought the whole design to life.

apple nail art

I love!! ^_^

So, Happy Johnny Appleseed Day, everyone! Did you know it's also National Napping Day in America? It's celebrated every year on the day after the clocks "spring forward" to let people catch up on that lost hour of sleep. Genius!

10 March 2013

Silver Studs from BornPrettyStore

Today I'm reviewing the 1.5mm silver nail art studs I was recently sent from Born Pretty Store. I had so many ideas in mind for these but couldn't decide which one to do first--and then I saw this design by Polishaholic RiaG and was totally smitten.

heart nail art with silver studs over Sally Hansen Ion

My base colour for this manicure is Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Ion. I just got it in the mail from the fabulous Amanda and could not wait to use it! Gorgeously greige, fantastic formula, and so beautifully creme-y. I love it!

After Ion and my acrylic paint hearts were dry, I outlined the hearts in these silver studs. With a wet coat of regular OPI Top Coat on my nail (and a few drops on a paper plate), I just barely dipped a toothpick into the top coat and used that to pick up and place the studs. A nice, thick application of China Glaze Fast Forward on top of that, and these easily lasted all day (and probably would have last longer too, but I had some nail homework to do for Tuesday ;p).

These were so much fun to do! The first thing that struck me was how tiny 1.5mm actually is, and even though I probably used a good 50 of them on this manicure, I still have about a jillion left over. You get tons.

heart nail art with silver studs over Sally Hansen Ion
one jillion nail studs, +/- 50
I was very impressed with how unobtrusive these felt on my nail. They're essentially weightless, and with the generous top coat over, they didn't snag or stick out at all. I'm looking forward to trying these out with several other styles as well! Simple, single dots towards the base or a "ruffian" of tiny studs, maybe a border for a half-moon...there's lots that you could do with these! I would definitely get these again. If I ever run out, that is...

The 1.5mm silver studs are found here, in BPS's nail section, and you can use my discount code, GSL91, for 10% off any order. BornPrettyStore has free worldwide shipping, with no minimum purchase.

*This product was provided for honest review. But you probably already knew that.

09 March 2013

NOPI Mer-Maid For Each Other

Little by little, I'm working my way through that ridiculous haul from my last trip to the States. I've been saving Nicole by OPI Mer-Maid For Each Other because I had a feeling I was really going to love it. I was not wrong.

NOPI Mer-Maid For Each Other swatch

Mer-Maid came out last autumn, following a flurry of gold/green/teal duochrome (or, multichrome) dupes of Chanel Peridot. I have Peridot and OPI Just Spotted the Lizard, plus a backup for my backup of JSTL, and even if Mer-Maid had been the same shade in a different bottle, I probably would have bought it too. Instead, it's a variation on the theme. Where the Peridots are predominantly gold that shifts to the others, Mer-Maid is mostly green and teal shift with gold highlights.

NOPI Mer-Maid For Each Other swatch

This is two coats of NOPI Mer-Maid For Each Other, without top coat, and the formula was wonderful! The first coat was a bit thin, but it was opaque in just two coats! I'm also a huge fan now of the NOPI brush. It'll definitely be a bit wide for some people, but it was just the right size and shape for me. Plus it meant fewer strokes, which meant fewer brush strokes in the finish (always a thing with metallic duochromes), and that's a definite plus in my book.

Mer-Maid For Each Other was released as a Target exclusive late last summer, so I'm sure that's where I picked it up. If you can't find it, China Glaze Unpredictable, from the New Bohemian Collection, is a great dupe, so I'll probably end up getting that one soon too, given my total inability to resist this family of duos. 

NOPI Mer-Maid For Each Other swatch

I think I got a pretty good representation of Mer-Maid's colour shift with these pictures, but they still don't tell the whole story--as I type this up in my dimly lit computer room (aka my cave), my nails are flashing bright teal blue. So pretty! I've actually kept this polish on for 2 1/2 days now, which is a long time for me. I did some nail art after about half a day but took it off last night...and then repainted my nails with this again for today! I just wasn't finished enjoying it yet. ^_^

If there were just one tiny thing I'd change about this polish it would be the name. Or just the spelling of it. Or the hyphenating of it. If they didn't want to change the spelling to "Mer-Made," then why the frilly heck did they stick that awkward hyphen in there? These are the things that keep me up nights. Actually, it's the caffeine that does that, but it gives me something to rant about while I'm busy not sleeping.

08 March 2013

Nubar Rouge

In addition to the Jessicas I've been falling so hard for lately, I've also recently bought a few Nubar polishes, and so far, so very, very good! This week I tried Nubar Rouge, and it was love at first stroke.

Nubar Rouge swatch

Rouge went on like rich, creamery butter. Great consistency and easy to control. This is three coats, plus Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine, but that third was just for the fun of painting (and to satisfy my compulsive tendencies). Definitely raving about the formula. Also loving this gorgeous creme finish, and I'm crazy about the colour!

Nubar Rouge swatch

I don't buy a lot of pink polishes. I've got big love for particular shades of pink, but by the time I narrow those down to the ones I really like on my nails, the field can get pretty thin. I gotta say, though, that Rouge is right smack in the middle of my wheelhouse. It's adorably, cheerfully Barbie pink but with a slight blue undertone that mellows it somehow, giving it a nice hint of maturity. And if there's one thing I am all about, it's maturity.

(Pausing for the people who know me to finish laughing...)

Nubar Rouge swatch

This is where I should be typing my concluding thoughts to wrap up the review, but I think I've pretty much covered it. Nubar Rouge is awesome. Now please to enjoy some rich, creamery butter...


05 March 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Copycat 2

It's Tuesday again already?! Seems like time's been flying like crazy this year, but yep, the calendar assures me that it is, in fact, Tuesday the 5th. That means I am on-schedule (whoot!), and it means that today's TT theme is another round of copycat manicures! Like last time, none of us knows who was assigned to copy us or what past manicure they'll pick to do. We only know who our own lucky victim is, and this time mine is...Amanda!

I was actually surprised, looking through Amanda's posts--she's done more nail art than I thought she had! She's definitely done more half-moon manicures than I, so I thought I'd get in a little practice by emulating her first successful half-moon manicure. Amanda used L'Oreal Target Red and Milani Garnet Gems for a sexy-bold Queen of Hearts vibe. I don't have either of those polishes, but another pairing came to mind almost immediately.

Ruby Pumps and Lubu Heels half moon manicure

China Glaze Ruby Pumps and Lubu Heels! These two have always seemed to go hand in hand with each other (or possibly, shoe in shoe). Lubu Heels appears more blackened than Garnet Gems, but I think layering it over Ruby Pumps helps bring out more of the red shimmer. Amanda's combination also has a seriously pretty contrast between the shimmer and Target Red's bright creme finish, but once I'd thought to use Lubu Heels, I just couldn't resist the Ruby Pumps.

half moon manicure with China Glaze Ruby Pumps and Lubu Heels

I still need to practice getting my corner edges nice and crisp (Amanda's got me there with her tape technique), but this was a definite improvement over my own first attempt, thanks to Nory, who explained in her half-moon tutorial that snipping the hole reinforcements helps them lie much flatter against the sides. Now that I understand that part, I'm looking forward to doing half moons more often!

While our assignment was only for one manicure, there was a 2nd one I just had to do, a tribute to one of my favourite manicures of all time. Amanda's 3D nails: The Cheerio.



So excited now to see what everybody else did this week!
Which, I know I say that all the time, but it's really and for true!


Amanda at Amandalandish
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Ashley at Art Evolve
Brandi at The Beaulieu Review
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Jamie at Polish, Please!
Katherine at Haul of Fame
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Nory at Fierce Makeup and Nails
Rachel at Top Coat It
Sarah at See Sarah Swatch
Tara at Polishy of Truth
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