30 April 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Nationality, Culture, or...

This week's Twinsie Tuesday theme is one of those I had to rack my brain over before it clicked. With a broad theme of a manicure inspired by nationality, ethnicity, culture, or flags, I naturally started off thinking about my own heritage. I thought about MacGregor tartan, but I'm just terrible at straight lines. Tried a Claddagh for my Irish side, but my attempt at painting hands was just tragic. Back to the drawing board, and I realized it didn't have to be my ethnicity, culture or flag--I could choose from any culture on the planet! Ooh, come to think of it, why stop at just the one planet? Oh, yeah! My inner geek asploded with happy, and I had my flag.

original image from roddenberry.com

I am a gimongous Star Trek fan. Original series, new movies, and everything in between. It'd been a while since I watched enough Trek to remember what the United Federation of Planets flag looked like, but thankfully some quick Google-fu reassured me that I could manage a reasonable interpretation without having to draw any straight lines or hands.

Star Trek United Federation of Planets nails

Instead of an exact replica, I pared the flag down to some basic elements, and I really like how it turned out! The darker blue is Bandi F419 Royal Blue, and then I painted just my left index and pinky with Revlon Colorstay Coastal Surf. Then with white acrylic paint, those two got some laurel wreath-y swooshes, and I used a toothbrush to scatter-spray the stars. I really did think about trying to do the stars exactly like the flag on those middle fingers, but I had a startlingly clear vision of me going all neurotic perfectionist about getting them all just right and squished that madness before it started. Totally legal under the "inspired by" clause anyway, but I still did 3 dots for the larger stars just because. And now I give myself about 24 hours tops before I watch the last movie again because it is thoroughly and completely awesome, and imma stop here before I geek out completely.

For more culturally inspired manicures, please visit some of the other Twinsie Tuesday blogs!


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

28 April 2013

Pink Flowers on Silver

A little while ago I did some blue flower nail art over Jessica Fudge that was mostly based on this Robin Moses tutorial. I loved the look, the scrolling with the bright flowers on top, so I decided to give it another go, this time using the actual colours from the tutorial.

pink flower nail art

The base is Bandi M802 Metallic Silver. This silver foil was a bit thin, needing 3 full coats for opacity, but I was so impressed with how completely brushstrokey it was not. That's really rare in a polish this metallic, so well done, Bandi! Everything else is acrylic paint. I mixed up a silver for the dots to match the base, rather than using the polish, and had literally just top coated my first nail (SV) when it occurred to me that I could also have gone with some tiny silver studs. Might have been really cute, or it might've been a little much, with all the silver and black and bright flowers already, so I'll probably try it out soon on a manicure without quite so much for them to compete with.

pink flower nail art

Of course these aren't a patch on Robin's original manicure--her scrolling is always so smooth and delicate--but I was quite happy with the result! Definitely eye-catching but not too out there. I wore a loose, black top with a hot pink tank underneath, and they looked kinda awesome together...so long as you didn't inspect my right hand too closely because lefty is still way behind on the learning curve. Just gotta keep on practicing!

27 April 2013

Zoya Minka

I've always loved polishes that are bold and bright, but more and more soft, neutral colours are starting to catch my eye as well. Case in point, Zoya Minka, a beautiful beige that's essentially nude against my skin. Given I'm so pale that I'm practically translucent, it's so easy for a shade that really matches my skin to look too pink (or even too blue) to be "neutral" anymore. Minka, on the other hand, is about as close as I've come to mannequin, but it has a lovely undertone of yellow that stops it matching too closely, filing it more firmly to my eyes under "warm neutral" than "pale nude."

Zoya Minka swatch

Zoya Minka also has a hint of frosty, pearl shimmer that gives it a subtle and alluring glow. I'm wearing three coats here, with a coat of SV, and I have to say I thought the formula was really excellent. Two coats was sufficient for daily wear, and I had absolutely no streaking or pulling. It was also thick enough to control well and easily but thin enough to self-level like a boss.

Zoya Minka swatch

Between the warm undertones and Minka's soft shimmer, I think it would also look lovely on complexions darker than mine, for which this light beige wouldn't be a nude at all. That seems to have been the thinking behind the 2011 Touch Collection, a trio of pale nudes to which Minka belongs. I would really love it, though, if mainstream polishes would remember to include darker skin colours in their nude range as well. Even as a kid, it bugged me to no end that the "flesh-coloured" bandages and crayons we had back then only ever seemed to match pale people like me, and that's why I'm much happier calling this a neutral than a nude. But whatever words you want to use to describe Minka, I really do think it's a beautiful polish! Work-appropriate like mad, certainly, but I'm also looking forward to the nail art possibilities as well.

25 April 2013

China Glaze Water You Waiting For

I fell so hard when I first saw swatches of China Glaze Water You Waiting For, all blue and green and just so dazzling! This and Def Defying (my base here under Mardi Gras) were the two I knew right off I would absolutely need from the Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away Collection.

China Glaze Water You Waiting For swatch

Water You Waiting For is predominantly blue, with highlights of smaller green, and it's absolutely brilliant. Light honestly dances over it like water! It took me a little while to actually wear it, though, because the formula and I didn't quite get along at our first meeting. The first time I tried it, it was thin and runny. It pooled in my cuticles, and I didn't want to deal. Took it off and set it aside to try again later. This time, without doing anything at all but waiting a little while, it was very nearly the opposite! Remembering my first try, I started with a very thin coat and found it kind of gritty and hard to spread. It clearly needed a less hesitant hand--and it was most definitely not so thin anymore--so I went right back over that first coat and had a much better time of it. It was still thick, much thicker than other opaque China Glaze glitters I've tried (Angel Wings and Winter Holly, for example, or last year's On Safari golds), but then I guess that's not surprising, given that Water You Waiting For contains slightly larger pieces of glitter than the others. It wasn't prohibitively thick by any means, just thick enough that it's something to be aware of during application.

China Glaze Water You Waiting For swatch

I ended up doing three coats, thanks to my too-thin first, but two coats should be just right for Water You Waiting For. It's definitely a top coat eater, so even with two coats, I could have stood a third to make it perfectly, glassy smooth, especially if I'd planned to wear it for a few days.

Really hoping all this blathering about the formula doesn't take away from the polish itself, because it really is a beauty. So much depth and texture and colour and brilliance! China Glaze could do this polish in umpteen different colours, and I would probably need them all.

23 April 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Polishes Chosen By...

For Twinsie Tuesday this week we're wearing polishes picked by someone else. Still glowing from his triumphant masterpiece, The Bee, Husband was very happy to help out again, not only choosing the polishes but giving me an assignment of his own. See, I mentioned this theme a few days ago, while he was out of town. The next morning at the airport he saw a whole shelf full of Disney Princess books and returned home with a concept, which he described to me thus: "The way Sleeping Beauty's dress changes from blue to pink. And also there's glitter."

Sleeping Beauty gradient manicure

I loved the idea immediately, and he got to work choosing the polishes. Revlon Colorstay Passionate Pink is really the only medium pink creme I own, so that was an easy pick. The blues were a little trickier, since most of mine lean either teal or grey. He liked Essie Bikini So Teeny and Essie Lapiz of Luxury, though, so those would be the two blues of Sleeping Beauty's original dress.

When he asked about glitter--because there was glitter on one of the books, and he's a magpie like me and likes when my nails are sparkly-- I'm afraid I took a little too much delight in overwhelming him with choices. Should it build to opacity, or was he thinking about a topper, and what size should the pieces be? Blue or pink like the cremes, a basic silver or gold, or did he want a third colour that would compliment? How about a multi-coloured glitter mix that would incorporate both? Should it be regular, matte, or holographic? Drowning in a sea of glitter choices, he eagerly grabbed the lifeline I threw him by showing him a great glitter with the perfect name for this project. Boom, China Glaze Fairy Dust.

Sleeping Beauty gradient nails

His idea wasn't that I would do the actual dress. He just wanted me to use the polishes he picked to illustrate the theme (so conceptual, this guy!), and I thought a gradient was the way to go, using the two blues and then fading in the pink at the bottom like fairy godmother Flora had just hit it with a "Make it pink!" Husband wasn't quite sold when he saw the gradient on its own, but I told him to wait until I put the glitter on top. He gave an optimistic, "Well, glitter does make everything better..." (and how much do I love having a husband who understands that simple truth?). Sure enough some Fairy Dust did the trick. Like it always does because it's freaking Fairy Dust.

Sleeping Beauty gradient nails with Fairy Dust

Huge thanks to Husband for getting so into the spirit with these! Once again, it was really fun to get to do something hobby-related together, and I love it when my technology/business guy lets his artistic side out to play. Still don't think he's going to enjoy polish shopping with me anytime soon, but a girl can dream. Actually, I kinda love it when he comes along because where I'd spend five minutes staring at two polishes and trying to decide, he just wails, "Aaugh, just get them both and let's go already!" Everybody wins.

PS: I totally want that princess book with the glitter on it. ^_^

Please check out more of the TT blogs to see what they did with other people's polish picks!


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

21 April 2013

Rose Nail Art on Human Nature

I needed to do my nails again before dinner with my friend Yvonne, and she suggested some red roses. I've done lots of floral nail art lately, but strangely, not much red, so I hopped to it with a quickness! Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough and had to leave before top coating, which is a Bad Thing (TM) with acrylic paint, but I still loved the way they came out!

red rose nail art over Deborah Lippmann Human Nature

I did the flowers over Deborah Lippmann Human Nature, from the True Blood "Sookie" Forsaken Duo. They and the greenery wound up being a bit brighter than I originally intended, but I'm not fussed--I like they way they contrast with the taupe/mushroom base, and I finished it all off...eventually...with butter LONDON Matte Finish Topcoat (a gift from the amazing Tara of Polishy of Truth). So loving matte nail art these days! Unfortunately the top coat didn't happen until after I got home, and that's where I had a problem.

red rose nail art over Deborah Lippmann Human Nature

Since I was up against time to leave for dinner, I had to choose between top coating while literally on my way out the door and risking the acrylic paint for a couple of hours until I got home. Well, I chose wrong because I got caught in the rain on the way home. D'oh! Then I had to decide whether to try to fix the bits that chipped/washed away or go with it as-is. I chose to go with it, calling this another lesson in Leaving It Alone, rather than risk mucking up the whole manicure trying to fix it.

red rose nail art over Deborah Lippmann Human Nature

These tiny chips are exactly why macro camera mode and I are such frenemies. Macro captures details so much more clearly and lets you focus in really well at small distances that usually leave auto-focus whirring ineffectively in a sort of confounded panic (at least that's what it sounds like to me). But macro mode picks up EVERYTHING. And then blows it up enormously. I can't even count how many times I've thought I was done with my nails and taken pictures, only to find that random pieces of dust and flakes of skin that I can't even see with my naked eye have transformed my hands into some sort of gnarly, epidermal junkyard. Sigh, scrub hands, re-moisturize, wait for skin to absorb, re-photograph, and hope like hell that's got it this time... So in these pictures, those big chunks of paint that are missing from the tips? In real life, I could barely see them. I knew they'd look bigger in the pics, but honestly, philosophers have argued about how many angels could dance in a space that small.

All matted, it looks a bit like porcelain, so I'll just pretend it's some awesomely artistic, antique vase, which has chipped over the years but is nevertheless a treasured heirloom. That sounds a lot better than, "Oops, got caught in the rain." >_<

19 April 2013

Nfu Oh 51

Today marks my 200th post on Did My Nails! I wanted to celebrate with something special from my Big Box o' Untrieds, and Nfu Oh 51 was an easy choice. Please to enjoy an enormous picture of this stunning beauty!

Nfu Oh 51 swatch

I'm still adjusting to seeing my hands all blown up this large, but those flakies are just UNF! Had to go big again.

Nfu Oh 51 is a magical potion of flakie goodness. The colour-shifting flakes are suspended in a purple-blue base that can be built to opacity, but I'm wearing just one coat here over my go-to black, Revlon Colorstay Stiletto. I think I got a pretty good representative sample of the colours these flakies throw off, but green, gold, orange, and raspberry red are all there in abundance. Over a more purple polish, the flakies lean towards the bottle shades, and I can't wait to try that soon as well. For the first time, though, black was definitely the way I wanted to go.

Nfu Oh 51 swatch

This was actually my second time doing this manicure today, as I had a little trouble with 51 on the first go-around. It was thick. Crazy-thick and goopy, and even with SV and a good 45 minutes of drying time, I still dinged two of my nails as if they'd just been painted. I did manage to smooth the dings a bit and gave it some more top coat, but something about that killed most of the colour-shift, so I decided to start over. This time, I added some OPI thinner and gave it a good shake before I got started, and it went much, much better.

Nfu Oh 51 swatch

Nfu Oh recently saddened the nail blogging world by announcing that the Opal Glitter line, to which 51 belongs, is being discontinued, so I'm glad I remembered to be sure to show this beauty off before it's gone forever. There's no real word yet on what might be slated to replace this line, but it's gonna have some big--and gorgeous--shoes to fill.

18 April 2013

Color Club Kismet

It's been a rainy, dreary April so far, but we actually had some gorgeous sunlight a few days ago. And as usual these days, my first thought when I looked out the window and saw that bright, beautiful sunlight was, "Ooh! Time to swatch a new holo!"

I've been wearing Color Club Kismet as a pedicure for a couple of weeks now (my toenails hang onto nail polish forEVAR) and just waiting for the first really sunny day to do a manicure with this puppy so that I could get some good sunlight pics of the linear holographic shine, but I'd forgotten something about these Color Club Halo Hues: they don't need bright sunlight to look amazing.

Color Club Kismet swatch

Color Club Kismet, from the spring Halo Hues line, is a golden chartreuse, a sort of lemony lime linear holographic polish, and once again, I'm in love. Fully opaque in two coats, and top coating didn't dull the incredible shine. I spent the entire two days I wore Kismet in constant danger of hypnotizing myself, just lightly waving my fingers in front of my face and staring at the rainbows it kept throwing off, even in perfectly normal interior light.

Color Club Kismet swatch

Of course, I had to snap this beauty in sunlight as well, but the holographic flare was almost too much for my hard-working camera to handle. But yeah, flare this strong with the rich colours of the bottle. It was very literally dazzling. I did notice that in brighter, more direct light like this, the base leans more towards its lemony highlights.

Color Club Kismet swatch

Back inside, the holo wasn't quiiiite as strong, but this is an accurate representation of how it really looked. No special lighting or flashes--I just folded back the pillowcase that usually diffuses my light box lamp (yep, I got a high tech setup, me) and snapped my pics as usual.

Lesson learned from the winter collection, when I bought two at first and then had to go back and hope they still had more, I grabbed several of these spring Halo Hues this time. Now hopefully I can remember lesson number two, which is that I don't have to wait for a bright, sunny day to wear the others!

By the way, in addition to being fully awesome, Color Club Kismet also came in handy as a diversionary tactic. Husband was talking about something no doubt fascinating and vital, but I wanted to butt in, so I held up my nails and tried that little hypnosis wave I'd been doing on myself all day. Sure enough, he trailed off mid-sentence and started to stare, allowing me to comment at leisure. Go, Kismet!

(Yeah, I'm gonna pay for that one. >_< )

16 April 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Fictional Animal Print

Today for Twinsie Tuesday we're doing fictional animal print nails! I wanted so much to make up some colourful, fantastical new creature for this, but my brain just wasn't having it. Instead of "fictional" it got stuck on "mythical," and from there it went straight to dragons.

dragon scales nail art

The base is a roughly sponged gradient of OPI Big Apple Red, OPI In My Back Pocket (orange) and OPI Need Sunglasses? (which I desperately need a new bottle of because I barely had enough left to yellow up the tips). To add some fire, I used Essie Shine of the Times, a stunning flakie top coat, and then on top of all that, I painted scales in coppery-gold acrylic paint.

Next time I do something like this, I'm going to make the scales a lot bigger and not cover so much of these blazing flakies, because they looked awesome. Also, painting gold on top of shimmering yellow? Reeeally hard to see straight. >_<

fire dragon nail art

I decided to go specifically a with fire dragon because the colours are just so Hong Kong. Especially for New Year's, red dragons are absolutely everywhere. Dragons are said to be lucky, as are red and gold--red because it drives away evil and gold because gold is gold. Hopefully I can remember this design for next Chinese New Year!

(By the way, the larger pictures...good view of the details or just sodding enormous?)

Thanks for stopping in, and for more fictional animal prints, please check out some of the other TT blogs!


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

Guest Post at Amandalandish

I'm very honoured to be guest posting again today for Amanda, of Amandalandish! She's a completely amazing lady who is constantly adding to my shopping and wish lists with her beautiful swatches, and I'm very glad that I could pitch in while she recuperates from a sudden and tragic nail trauma.

floral nail art

Please swing by Amandalandish to see more and wish Amanda a speedy recovery! ^_^

14 April 2013

Nubar Geisha Blaze

My new whirlwind romance with Nubar continues with Nubar Geisha Blaze. This fiery fuchsia has a ghostly haze of glowing blue that takes it from bright to downright luminous.

Nubar Geisha Blaze swatch

The first description I thought of for this shade is atomic pink. Brighter than Barbie without going neon, this intensely radiant fuchsia is alluring and eye-catching without becoming in any way garish. I think it's the cooler tones and highlights that do it, that pull it back from the edge and give it a bit of intrigue. More obvious in the bottle but still easily visible on the nail, there's not so much a shimmer to this polish as there is an iridescent, blue sheen that gives it a gorgeous--almost ethereal--glow.

The formula wasn't quite Nubar's best, but then Nubar's best is such a high standard that falling a little short isn't much of a complaint. Geisha Blaze went on a bit thin at first and felt a little...I don't know, dry?...on the first coat, like it didn't really want to spread out, but subsequent coats didn't seem to have that problem. At first I wondered if it was a semi-sheer, but two to three coats was plenty for daily-wear opacity. I did a fourth on my left hand, just to be confident for close-up photos, and topped off with SV.

Nubar Geisha Blaze swatch

Geisha Blaze is sophisticated yet fun, girly yet glamorous. I don't tend to wear a lot of pink polishes, but between this and its warmer cousin Rouge, Nubar seems to be single-handedly turning that around.

13 April 2013

Milani Chocolate Sprinkles

One thing I miss about living in the States is being able to walk into a CVS or Target and just go nuts on the nail polish aisle (or even aisles...swoon!). And did I just not notice it before, or have "drugstore brands" seriously upped their game in the last few years? Case in point, Milani and the polish I'm wearing today, Chocolate Sprinkles, from their spring 2012 CVS exclusives.

Milani Chocolate Sprinkles swatch

Maribeth sent me this beauty in a Secret Santa swap, and I absolutely love it! Milani Chocolate Sprinkles is a rich, chocolatey brown with the most amazing, foil-like, golden shimmer. The brown is warm and appealing, and the multi-hued shimmer is fabulous. And the formula is awesome too! Easy to control and well opaque in two coats. Browns may not be everybody's thing, but this is such a rich, inviting shade, and the sparkling shimmer just kills me. So, so pretty!

Milani Chocolate Sprinkles swatch

I feel like I should be saying more about Chocolate Sprinkles, but the highlights are pretty easy to hit: 1) Gorgeous colour and shimmer; 2) Awesome formula; 3) I really do love it to bits! Thank you so much, Maribeth!

11 April 2013

Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful

So I was about to sit down to watch Doctor Who and paint my nails when I realized I knew exactly which polish I had to use. I wanted something soft and pretty, and next up on the DVD were "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit," the S2 episodes that introduced us to the Ood. Enter Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful and a great night of TV!

Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful swatch

Oodiful is a soft, grey jelly with matte glitters--small and medium white hexes, bright pink squares, and large, light pink, satin squares. The combination is soothing and so, so pretty! This is two coats of Oodiful over China Glaze Pelicay Gray (with a top coat of SV), but the layering really isn't necessary. Oodiful builds up beautifully on its own, and the glitter is sparing and flat enough not to become overly thick with multiple coats. Oodiful does dry just a smidge darker than the bottle, so if I decide to layer it again next time--strictly in the interest of stretching my bottle of this beautiful polish--I'll probably go with Zoya Dove instead.

Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful swatch

I'd originally expected the glitter to be a little denser, but I honestly think it's perfect just as it is. The glitter in the previous coat still peeks through, giving it depth and texture, but the polish isn't busy or flashy, and the white and pink accentuate the lovely grey without distracting from it. It really is a nice balance!

Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful swatch

The Ood themselves may not be as pretty as their namesake, but I really think this polish suits them, especially in later episodes when we get to know who they really are and hear their songs of captivity and freedom, and aaaah, I can't wait to get to my S4 DVDs and see that part! Can't skip S3, though, because Martha is so much awesome, and John Smith makes me cry all the tears, and "Blink" is one of the coolest episodes of anything ever, and...deep breath...yes, I'm a ginormous Doctor Who fan, but even if you have no idea who the Ood are, Nail Pattern Boldness Oodiful stands on its own as a truly lovely polish.

Nail Pattern Boldness polishes can be found on Etsy and at Llarowe.

09 April 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Sweet Sixteen

This week's TT theme is a fun one, manicures we'd have really liked when we were sixteen. I wore nail polish a lot at around 14, but by 16, I was naked nails again, so, no help there. There was a great shirt, though, that I pretty much lived in for years. It was bright yellow with these big, black roses that looked a little bit like leopard print. Totally 1980s in a way that wasn't really in style anymore, but I so didn't care. So, all full of nostalgia and missing my crazy-bright shirt, I decided to see if I could come up with some nail art that would have matched it.

saran wrap manicure with rose nail art

I started off with a base of China Glaze Stone Cold, a grungy, speckled, matte grey from last year's Hunger Games collection that I don't wear nearly enough. Then on top of that I did a saran wrap application of Revlon Colorstay Stiletto (black) and OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (near-white). After that, I dotted China Glaze Sunshine Pop for the flowers, detailing them in black and adding a little more colour with some Essie Going Incognito leaves.

saran wrap manicure with rose nail art

The final result was bright and obnoxious and therefore pretty much perfect. My inner teen approved, and I wore all black today to celebrate, with these nails standing out as a bold splash of colour. I took my pictures and got them all ready to post...and then I had one more thought. Even though the Stone Cold is mostly just peeking through the jungle of everything that's on top of it, I decided to matte it all, just for the fun of it, and sixteen-year-old me's head asploded. I think I'm going to be wearing these again tomorrow. Just wish I could find that shirt to go with them...

saran wrap manicure with rose nail art

For more nostalgic nails this week, please visit some of the other Twinsie Tuesday blogs!


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

08 April 2013

Different Dimension Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock

It has a blue base that goes great with teal, it's based on The Big Bang Theory, it's a glitter, it has "Spock" right there in the name...I pretty much had no option but to love this polish.

Different Dimension Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock swatch

This is one coat of Different Dimension Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock over Essie Where's My Chauffeur?. Just one coat! It spread evenly and smoothly, with nice glitter dispersal. I didn't have to do any fancy dabbing or "longbrushing" either, so yeah, definitely a fan of the formula.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock contains black, white, grey, light blue, and pale green hexes, as well as micro white hexes, in a lightly tinted, jelly-ish, blue base. If you compare these shots to yesterday's Where's My Chauffeur?, you can see that that the base's tint makes the teal underneath a bit darker and more cyan. I think it'd also be awesome over a dustier, greener teal like Zoya Bevin or a truer blue, such as China Glaze Kinetic Candy. Ooh, or maybe a pale grey or minty green! Yeah, I think I'm going to be wearing this one a lot.

Different Dimension Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock swatch

Here's the reference, in case you're not familiar...or even if you are, because it gave me an excuse to watch the scene again. I totally ♥ The Big Bang Theory.

Sheldon: Anecdotal evidence suggests that in a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, players familiar with each other will tie 75-80% of the time, due to the limited number of outcomes. I suggest Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock.
Raj: What?
Sheldon: Oh, it's very simple, but... Scissors cuts paper. Paper covers rock. Rock crushes lizard. Lizard poisons Spock. Spock smashes scissors. Scissors decapitates lizard. Lizard eats paper. Paper disproves Spock. Spock vaporizes rock...and as it always has, rock crushes scissors.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock is available at Different Dimension's Etsy Store.

07 April 2013

Essie Where's My Chauffeur?

I was so excited to spot Where's My Chauffeur? among Essie's winter collection this past year! Sure, I'd have to stop and think and probably do some advanced maths to figure out how many aqua-teal-turquoise-blue polishes I already have, but this is me not caring. I needed it.

Essie Where's My Chauffeur swatch

I'm wearing three coats of Where's My Chauffeur? in these pictures, on all but my index finger; that one was aces in two. The formula was typical Essie, which for me meant it was a little thin and patchy, but Essie's formula and I have always had an odd relationship. It wasn't hard to work with, though--I just made my third coat slightly thicker than usual and then top coated before it was totally dry, and SV smoothed any remaining kinks right out of it. I also had a little bit of staining when I finally took it off, but that wasn't a huge deal either--it wasn't anything a quick scrub and buff couldn't take care of.

Essie Where's My Chauffeur? swatch


Given the number of aqua-teal-turquoise-blues in my stash, Essie Where's My Chauffeur? might not be the one I reach for most often, but the colour is just so gorgeous that I still love it to bits. If you don't have China Glaze Aquadelic or For Audrey (or if you love these colours as much as I do, then even if you do have 'em), this would be a great shade to fill that hole in your collection.

06 April 2013

Butterfly Nail Art

I'd wanted to do some butterfly nail art for ages, and when I wore NOPI Mer-Maid For Each Other last month, I knew it was finally time to give it a try. I've also wanted to give Did My Nails a bit of a makeover for a while and spent I can't even begin to guess how long playing around with different ideas for it. Once I decided on butterflies for the design, though, I knew exactly what I was going to post first to go with the finished layout!

butterfly nail art

These butterfly nails would be relatively easy to do with a nail art striper, but I decided to go with acrylic paint, just because I find a paintbrush easier to work with, especially at different angles. The gorgeous teal duochrome of NOPI Mer-Maid For Each Other doesn't seem as prominent with the nail art covering it, but I'm really not fussed. For a first try, I was pretty happy with how these came out, and I'm already looking forward to doing these again, maybe skittled or with a brushstroke or blended pattern as the base.

butterfly nail art

I actually took some pictures along the way while I did these, and now that I finally have the layout up and finished, I can get to work on writing up a step-by-step tutorial...only maybe not tonight because tonight is already tomorrow morning. I'd forgotten just how many individual little things are are to tweak in these layout templates, and I think I have now officially taxed the limits of what I can achieve under the influence of caffeine.

Good morning and goodnight! ^_^

05 April 2013

Guest Post at Nailed

My friend Chelsea, of Nailed, put out a call a few days ago because she burned her hand (her swatching hand, even...ouch and double ouch!), so I did some flower nail art with acrylic paint to pitch in while it's on the mend.

flower nail art

I think I've mentioned before that Nailed was one of the first nail blogs I started reading, way before I ever thought I'd start one of my own, so it really is an honour to be able to help out. And more than that, Chelsea is such a sweetheart that it's a genuine pleasure, too. Hope that hand is feeling much, much better soon!

02 April 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Fruit Manicure

Today's TT theme is fruit, and I had my manicure all planned out ages ago, so of course I totally changed my mind at the last minute and went in a completely different direction. I don't think I quite nailed this one, but after I spotted this cute design on YouTube, I couldn't resist giving it a try.

french manicure with lemons

For this lemon-french manicure, I started with, appropriately enough, China Glaze Lemon Fizz. I was generous enough with it not to have any real cuticle pulling, but after the third coat I did rush my top coat (SV) to help even it all out. After that, I drew a rough French tip line with my Orly Crisp White striper, then filled in the tips with Bandi Snow White. There wasn't a lot of contrast between the white and the pretty, lemon meringue base, but I didn't worry about it, since I knew I was pretty much going to cover that line anyway.

lemon nail art with China Glaze Lemon Fizz

The lemon slices (and leaves) are acrylic paint, and I wish I'd paid more attention to the size of the slices vs. the little sections I was drawing, but I wish I had a pony too. Lesson learned for next time. You can't really see that part unless you're looking reeeally closely anyway, given how close these colours are. Overall, it's an adorably cheerful design that I'd love to wear again this summer--it reminds me of a cool glass of lemonade or a frozen, lemony dessert. ^_^

For more fruit-themed manicures, please swing by some of the other Twinsie Tuesday blogs!


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

OPI My Vampire Is Buff

Before I get to the review, I wanted to mention that I'll be adding a button on the sidebar soon with the option to follow Did My Nails with Bloglovin. Part of listing my blog is posting that bit of code in the link right there, which I have now done, so...

For all that I love bright, cheerful nail polish colours, My Vampire Is Buff was the one I was most excited about from the OPI Euro Centrale Collection. The fact that I'm a full-on Buffy the Vampire Slayer fangirl is total coincidence, I'm sure, but yeah, with all the pretty shades in this collection, I was instantly drawn to this soft shade of vanilla.

OPI My Vampire Is Buff swatch

OPI My Vampire Is Buff is an off-white, creamy creme. I've read reviews that mention the formula being streaky, but I was happy with it. Yes, the first coat had its share of streaks, but really, that's to be expected with just about any polish this pale. It built well with only a little pulling on the second coat, and was nicely opaque in the three I'm wearing here. I wouldn't say the formula is up to OPI's usual standard, but given the hassle--all the streaks, the patchiness, and the pulling--that's typical of such pale, pastel shades like this one, I don't have any complaints.

OPI My Vampire Is Buff swatch

I'm definitely crazy about the colour, though! More mellow than white, more white than beige, with a little touch of yellow, "vanilla" is about the best description I can come up with. I already have five or six nail art ideas I'd like to try and plan to grab a backup (or two!) the next time I see it. Between this and My Boyfriend Scales Walls, OPI is really getting good at these not-quite-white polishes!

01 April 2013

Birthday Giveaway Winner

Just a quick note to announce that Caitlin G. is the winner of the Birthday Giveaway! Be sure to check your email, Caitlin, because if I don't hear back within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I would like to say thank you, hugely and sincerely, to everyone who visited and entered. I'm closing in on a year since I started DMN, which I can hardly even believe, and I am so grateful to every single one of you for stopping by, maybe dropping a comment, even deciding to follow Did My Nails! ^_^
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