29 April 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Hometown Nails

This week's TT theme is a manicure inspired by our hometowns, and for me that's the great city of New Orleans! One of my favourite parts of growing up there was going to all the New Orleans Saints games with my dad, back when Archie Manning was quarterback and dinosaurs roamed the earth, so for my New Orleans nails I dressed 'em up for a trip to the Superdome!

New Orleans Saints nail art

I knew exactly what I wanted to do for these, and then I found out that my brilliant idea had already been done. I thought about changing things up, but nuts to that. I liked the idea too much, and there is always room in the world for more of the black, white, and gold. Geaux, Saints!

The base for these is my trusty Zoya Ziv, and the index and pinky got a dabbed coat or so of Different Dimension Social Suicide. Striping tape, China Glaze Liquid Leather, and...one of my white polishes... did the black and white helmet stripes, and I stunned myself silly by managing to pull off a not completely lopsided fleur-de-lis with acrylic paint.

New Orleans Saints nail art

I still well up with tears of joy when I think of the 2009 Superbowl. Of course being in Hong Kong I had to get up before the sun on a Monday morning to catch the pregame show and all, and there's something just...weird...about cracking open a beer at 6am once you're past, say, college age. But my neighbours had all been informed well in advance that I would be doing a LOT of screaming that morning, and I did not let them down. Bless you, boys!

Okay, fellow Twinsies, lemme see your hometown nails!



Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Heather at Peace, Love and Polish
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision
Traci at DrinkCitra

27 April 2014

Wayback Nails: Matte Roses on Human Nature

This month's...okay next month's, but I'm scheduling so far ahead at this point and it's still March right now...where was I? Oh, right, April's Wayback Nails are a visit to some of my favourite flowers I think I've ever done...and I've definitely done a bunch of flowers! These were red roses with green, leafy swirls over my very favourite beige, topped off with butter LONDON matte. And now for this month's revisit, in which I barely changed a thing...

rose nail art

As you can see, the beige is Deborah Lippmann; it's Human Nature from one of the True Blood sets, and I so wish I could buy about a dozen bottles of it to keep on standby at all times. It's deceptively simple and just a fantastic nude for me.

matte floral nails

Right, and then there's the acrylic paint flowers and stuff! I'm so excited about how the swirling stems came out this time--it's such an improvement over the original ones, and I really think it adds a lot.

nail art roses

I also think the matte top coat lends itself especially well to this design. There are some manicures I never seem to get tired of seeing or doing, one of which is cherry blossoms over a soft, pretty teal. Well these matte roses are definitely joining those ranks--and that is some great company to be in.

25 April 2014

Orly Star Trooper

From the latest Orly FX glitter collection, this is Orly Star Trooper...

Orly Star Trooper swatch

Orly Star Trooper is a cola-brown jelly with translucent white hexes, sparkling bronze shimmer, and tiny, silver and matte white glitters, and while I wasn't 100% sure about this in the bottle, in person it's adorable! I will say I'm not super-smitten with the formula, as it's a bit thin, yet also sticky and stringy somehow, but it turned out not to be that much of a problem. Two generous coats of Star Trooper would be plenty for daily wear, but this is three, for the sake of my various compulsions.

Orly Star Trooper swatch

I love when big brands take a chance on something different, and Orly Star Trooper most definitely qualifies!

23 April 2014

Barielle Pink Diamond

A few days ago I was checking out the bins at Bonjour and spied the Dazzling Diamonds Collection, a set of five glitter polishes, on sale for about $12US. Yes, please! First one I could not wait to try was Barielle Pink Diamond.

Barielle Pink Diamond swatch

Softly pink and full of sparkle, Pink Diamond is a full coverage glitter, and I'm wearing it here at three coats. Two coats was pretty good, in fact, but three was well opaque, even to my VNL-phobic eyes. And the formula was also great--easy to spread, good glitter/polish flow, and the glitter didn't try to clump or slide.

Barielle Pink Diamond swatch

It puts me in mind of a softer, paler butter LONDON Rosie Lee, and I'm actually really surprised by how much I love both of these glitters! In most things I just don't seem to care for rosy pinks, but make it glitter, and I am hooked.

Less than $3US for a full-size Barielle glitter this fabulous? SCORE! ^_^

22 April 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Matte and Gloss

Grr! I had such a cute idea for this theme, but it just refused to cooperate (and my flight to the US leaves in exactly 12 hours, EEP!). Sorry I can't participate this week, but please visit my fellow Twinsies' blogs for some combination matte/gloss manicures!


Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Heather at Peace, Love and Polish
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision
Traci at DrinkCitra

21 April 2014

Girly Bits Into the Night

With the coming of spring I've been going nuts with all manner of soft, teal colours, so I thought it was about time to veer off in a different direction for a minute. Soft teals are pretty much my favourites, though, so I needed to pick something steeped in awesomeness--and I found it in Girly Bits Into the Night.

Girly Bits Into the Night swatch

With its black, jelly base, I layered two coats of Into the Night over Nfu Oh JS01 (a plain, black jelly), but I wouldn't be surprised at all if people with less obnoxious free edges than mine were perfectly happy with those two coats of it alone...and this is just about the end of me sounding all put-together and impartial and what-not because the fabulousness of this polish is killing me to death!!

(*insert extremely obnoxious noises of giddy glee*)

Girly Bits Into the Night is filled with multi-coloured micro-glitter, as well as scattered, holographic particles, and a bit of pink shimmer...according to the Girly Bits website. Me, I'm far too busy being hypnotized by this rainbow of teeny, tiny sparkles to break it down in such a rational manner.


Accidentally on purpose took a really blurry pic of Into the Night. Kindly dig the insanity of that holographic shimmer!

Girly Bits Into the Night swatch

Seriously, I do not possess the ability to talk in a calm and collected manner about how much I love this polish. At the risk of sounding pushy, just oh my gosh, if you like black or holo or glitter or rainbows or anything that is fabulous, you will LOVE Girly Bits Into the Night.

Girly Bits // Llarowe

20 April 2014

China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On

From the China Glaze Avant Garden Collection, spring 2013, this polish's season finally came around again. Liberated at long last from the Big Box o' Untrieds, this is Keep Calm, Paint On.

China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On swatch

All pale, minty teal and shimmering, if there was just one polish I wanted from last spring's Avant Garden Collection, it was China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On. I eagerly awaited its arrival, stalking my store's website until it finally came in, and then...then I just kind of forgot to wear it before it was lost in the Untried Shuffle.

At first I wasn't that enthused; the first coat was crazy-streaky, all patchy and pulling, and if I did open it up when it first came home with me, that just might explain its time in the Big Box. The second coat, though...it was a total 180. Smooth and easy with good coverage. I gave it a third coat for compulsion's sake the camera and was smitten.

China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On swatch

So maybe China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On is a little pale on against that already-pale skin, and maybe I reallyreally don't care. I can not resist a mint--especially one that shimmers all pretty-like! I don't know what nonsense kept me from throwing some nail art on top of this one, but I do not expect that state of affairs to continue. This needs some delicate flowers on it and soon.

18 April 2014

Cherry Roses on Julie G

Deciding to wear a polish longer by adding some flower nail art? No way! What a totally revolutionary idea that I absolutely did not just do in the post right before this one!

vintage rose nail art

Yes, I showed Julie G Shark's Cove a little while ago (link? no link? previous post strikes again!), and yes, I wanted to keep wearing it just a little longer. Also yes, my favourite way to extend a polish's stay is to plant a garden on it. This time, though, I did the flowers in nail polish.

Since I was hoping for the vintage rose nail art look with these, I went with probably the most vintage nail polish I own, Revlon Cherries in the Snow...and then I used the decidedly less vintage Skinfood PK006 (Pink Milk) for the petal highlights. The leaves are a couple of teal-ish greens I mixed up for the occasion.

nail art roses

Wow, is it physically possible that I might get all these posts scheduled before I leave town in the morning? When this post goes up I'll still have a couple of weeks before I'll be back and posting "live" again, so I'm knocking on so much wood that these are appearing as planned... and that I can get this one more manicure done and photographed before I pass out from exhaustion tonight. You'll never guess what I'm doing... it's FLOWERS!

16 April 2014

Flowers on Zoya Dream

After I wore Zoya Dream and got lost in its amazing shimmer I decided to extend its stay by dressing it up with some flower nail art in orange and blue. If there's a link in that previous sentence to Zoya Dream, then hooray for me, for figuring out how to update these scheduled posts with my iPad! And if there isn't, then hooray for having such a great time with my grandparents that I completely spaced on looking into that. Hey, flowers!

floral nails

The idea with these was to keep the flowers clustered around the edges of the nails so that the shimmering blue could still show through. Ideally I'd have made them a little bit smaller, but this is about as small as I can see and still pretend to be in charge of where those little petal lines wind up. (>_<)

flower nail art

nail art flowers

One thing I'm trying to do more often is mixing my acrylic paints without fully blending them together. I think it gives you some nice texture, like I managed to get with some of these leaves, and in a nutshell that's one of the things I'm continuing to enjoy so much about nail art. I've done a kajillion manicures with flowers, using both polish and paints, and while I'm able to get results I'm very happy with, there's still so much room to keep improving. Not every idea I try works out for the best, but when I manage to pull off something big, like succeeding at a brand new technique, or even something much smaller...like thinking the leaves look kinda cool when they're not totally blended...I get all excited to see what else I might be able to do.

And when I don't feel like getting all Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey about nail art, I can just enjoy the flowers and the sparkly, blue fingernails.

15 April 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Gift Polish

This week's TT theme is gift polishes, and I was so giddy and grateful to receive China Glaze Strawberry Fields as a gift from the wonderful Amanda!

China Glaze Strawberry Fields swatch

China Glaze Strawberry Fields is a cool-toned pink packed to bursting with a warm, golden, glassflecky shimmer. The first coat was slightly patchy, a little bit watery, but the second was awesomeness. Many could probably stop right there, but I needed that third coat for opacity. And also for maximum fabulousness, which it possesses in abundance.

China Glaze Strawberry Fields swatch

It really is the best feeling when a wish list polish lives up, and I'm so happy with Strawberry Fields! It reminds me very much of Deborah Lippmann Sweet Dreams, which is one of my favourites in history of ever. No idea which might be the chicken or the egg, but it puts them both in damn good company. Thank you so much, Amanda!



Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Heather at Peace, Love and Polish
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision
Traci at DrinkCitra

13 April 2014

Watercolour Nail Art in Neon

The first time I tried to do watercolour nail art the results were... No, let us not speak of it. Here, for the very first time ever and don't listen to any talk of other times, I finally tried my hand at watercolour nail art, and it was so much more fun than I expected!

watercolour nail art neons

With a solid base of white under a well dried coat of SV, I started applying my polishes one nail at a time, one colour at a time, and just a couple of tiny dots at a time. Without giving those dots time to start drying I dipped a paintbrush (bigger than those I use for any nail art) into some acetone and then dabbed the acetoned brush onto the dots. This has the effect of both lifting paint on to the brush and diluting the dot with acetone. Further dabbing spread the "watery" mixture around the nail, and by the time I'd applied all the colours I wanted to use, the white background was covered in watercolour neon.

(and if none of that made sense, there are tons of tutorials for this technique on YouTube)

neon watercolour nails

These were mostly China Glaze, from the 2012 Summer Neons--Flirty Tankini, Surreal Appeal, Hang-Ten Toes, Splish Splash, and I'm With the Lifeguard--and I mixed in some Illamasqua Rare and Milani Neon Fresh Teal. Next time I do these I'll probably use about half as many colours to keep it less crowded and really let the watercolour consistency of the application show through. As it is, though, I'm quite happy with how these turned out!

11 April 2014

Emily de Molly Flutterby Garden

It's practically criminal how long this one spent waiting in the Big Box o' Untrieds, but I busted it out just as soon as spring was here again--this is Emily de Molly Flutterby Garden.

Emily de Molly Flutterby Garden swatch

One dabbed coat of Emily de Molly Flutterby Garden over CQ Mint Green, and I am officially in love. There are green, silver, lime green, and pink hex glitters; teeny, green bar glitters so small they barely even register to the naked eye; sweet, little, matte pink squares; and of course the star of the show, the butterflies, all holographic and sparkling and so cute I can hardly even stand it. LOVE!

Emily de Molly Flutterby Garden swatch

Can anyone recommend more butterfly glitters? Because I need about a million more of them in my life. Pretty much immediately.

I think Flutterby Garden may have been an LE because it's not currently listed at EmilydeMolly.com or Llarowe, but I did spot it at Norway Nails.

10 April 2014

Zoya Dream

From the Holiday 2013 Zenith Collection, this is the incredible Zoya Dream...

Zoya Dream swatch

Zoya Dream is a brilliant, sapphire blue polish infused with scattered holographic particles...which may or may not be the same thing as the glassfleck-looking shimmer particles that are in there... All's I know is it's an intensely beautiful blue that's chock full of wizardry.

The first coat was a bit patchy and rubbery, not really up to Zoya's usual butter-smooth application, but the second coat was bliss. Can't swear I didn't give it a third, though, because that's how my compulsion rolls.

Zoya Dream swatch

Zoya Dream is so 3-D you could practically fall into it. I didn't get a ton of rainbow from the scattered holographic particles, but even as "just" a shimmer it's all kinds of glassflecked gorgeousness, showing off Dream's beautiful depth and texture and yeesh, it's just so pretty!!

08 April 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Fave Glitter Topper

Today for TT we're showing our favourite glitter toppers, and for me that's China Glaze Fairy Dust. I use it all the time, especially to finish off gradient manicure, such as here and here, or to add some sparkle to galaxy nails or cherry blossoms. But Fairy Dust also has a lesser-known sister polish, Golden Enchantment, which is gold to Fairy Dust's silver, and that's the one I decided to use today.

gradient nail art

This is such an autumn gradient to be wearing in spring, but these were the colours my eyeballs demanded to see under the golden glitter--from the China Glaze On Safari Collection, I used Kalahari Kiss, Desert Sun, and Exotic Encounters. You can definitely see the warm, golden tint the glitter adds, and this is just one coat of it too. Like Fairy Dust, China Glaze Golden Enchantment has great glitter density and spread. Also like Fairy Dust, its teeny little particles have a holographic sparkle that is fully insane.

gradient nails

In the end I think Fairy Dust might be just a little bit more versatile, and being a silver fan, it's always going to be my favourite. I'm so glad I found about Golden Enchantment, though! I've only used it once before, and both times it has put me in a full-on glitter trance. It's easily making its way up the list of my very favourite glitters!



Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Heather at Peace, Love and Polish
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision
Traci at DrinkCitra

06 April 2014

Tropical Zebra Stripes

This manicure started with me thinking it's been a while since I did any leopard print nails, but then they went in a whole different direction. They did manage to stay in the animal kingdom, though, and I'd forgotten how much I love doing zebra stripes!

zebra stripes nail art

I'd thought to start these with a base of China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around, but after five coats of it I still hadn't reached opacity (smeesh!). So I put a coat of it over Pure Ice Superstar!, and even in close-up you can only just barely see the shimmer. Time well spent and still no zebra! So, enough grousing and...


zebra stripe nails

I did the zebra stripes with acrylic paint I mixed up in shades of lime green and teal. And I love how they turned out! The wavy lines also make me think of sunlight glinting off ocean waves at sunset, so I may give that a try in the future and see if it's something I can manage to do intentionally. Some of my favourite nails are the ones I stumble upon accidentally on purpose.

Husband called these Fruit Stripe nails, so I'll probably try that too. (^_-)

04 April 2014

Ruffian in Mustard and Silver

After a day of smitten bliss with Zoya Trixie I wasn't ready to take it off yet, so I decided I try a ruffian. It's been ages since I did one of these!

ruffian manicure

Over the Zoya Trixie base went Sally Hanen Complete Salon Manicure Butterscotch...which I'd have called more of a half-dried French's mustard, but they neglected to consult me. (It's not quiiiite as bright yellow as it looks in these pics, but I didn't want to go over-tweaking and risk screwing up the colour balance.)

ruffian manicure

The CSM brush made this type of application so much easier, which was a huge help, considering how long it's been since I last ruffian'd. Over a year, in fact! I probably don't do them as much because Husband doesn't care for them (tactful understatement), but I don't shave for Sherlock Holmes, and I don't do nails for Husband. Except for when I do because I love the way he gets all hypnotized when they're extra-sparkly.

03 April 2014

Julie G Shark's Cove

I picked up this polish on my last trip to the States, after which it spent far too long waiting its turn in the Big Box o' Untrieds. Now, considering I'm back in the US again and probably adding to the Box's totals as we speak, it felt long past time to give Julie G Shark's Cove a try, and wow, I am so glad I did!

Julie G Shark's Cove swatch

Julie G Shark's Cove is a minty teal with a big lean towards green and a whole lot of silvery shimmer. There's enough shimmer, in fact, that it's nearly a frost, but it pulls up short. And it's not brushstrokey in the least; there's just beautiful boatloads of shimmer.

The first coat of Shark's Cove was pretty streaky, going on all uneven and draggy, but the second coat was loads better. I gave it a third coat for full opacity (and because sometimes I can't stop myself).

Julie G Shark's Cove swatch

Sitting there being all smitten with this pretty, shimmery, minty teal, I thought something about it seemed familiar, and sure enough, I've seen it before--Amanda featured Shark's Cove during the Teal Week I challenged her to do (in exchange for the week of purples I had no choice but to do because she double-dog dared me). I haven't tried a lot of Julie G polishes, but I've loved the ones I've tried so far. I'll be very surprised if the Big Box o' Untrieds doesn't see a few more Julie G's when I get back from this trip!

01 April 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Purses and Bags

This week's TT theme is a manicure inspired by our purse (or backpack, bag, etc.), and I knew exactly which purse I was going to do. I picked it up for cheap on the road last summer, not intending to use it very long, but as it started to grow on me I also thought about how it might translate into nail art. And then I set it aside a few months ago and forgot to do that manicure, so yay for a theme to remind me!

nail art flowers

First off, yes, that is shatter--OPI White Shatter--and I don't think I've ever liked it more! I know crackle and shatter are so 2011, but I truly think it looks awesome underneath the bright flower nail art. Never would have thought of it without this purse...

flower nail art inspiration

So the base is OPI San Tan-tonio with the White Shatter, and then the rest is acrylic paints. I painted some rough backgrounds for the flowers in white and then mixed up the colours with a whole bunch of water to make them more watercolour-ey, dabbing pink and orange and green, then giving it some black outlines and adding a few white highlights.

nail art flowers

As often as I do floral nail art, it was really fun to try a new way of doing it, and I am definitely going to try incorporating shatter again sometime! Really did enjoy this theme, and I'll have fingers crossed that while I'm on the road I'm able to check in and see what inspiration my fellow Twinsies found this week in their purses and bags!


Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Anne at Grape Fizz Nails
Casey at Casey Lane Loves Polish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
ChiChi at I'm Just Me...ChiChi
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Erin at Paint Those Piggies
Heather at Peace, Love and Polish
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined & Polished
Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished to Precision
Traci at DrinkCitra
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