Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Nail Art

It's almost Valentine's Day! Whether you're all for Valentine's Day or more anti-Valentine's Day, I thought I would share some seasonal nails with you all.

To be honest, I'm not really into Valentine's Day too much myself, even in a relationship. However, like almost any holiday, I do love the decorations, themed nail art, and just having an excuse to do something a little special now and then. My boyfriend and I never really go all-out for holidays like this, but it's at least an excuse to go get sushi!

I wasn't really feeling any pinks or purples this time, but I was still hooked on red after my last manicure with red and white. I also loved the little gold studs I had used last time, so I thought I would go with red and gold! I used China Glaze Phat Santa, Rainbow Honey Honey Gold, and Milani Gold Glitz.

I used two generous coats of Phat Santa on each of the red nails. It's sort of a jelly or "crelly," so it's actually like a vampy sheer polish. I then used Honey Gold on my ring finger nail and thumb nail, and topped them with Gold Glitz for some added sparkle. I then used a medium-small dotting tool to try and make little hearts using Honey Gold. I didn't apply Gold Glitz to the hearts since they actually turned out very sparkly with just Honey Gold! I then topped each nail with a coat of Seche Vite for a glossy finish.

I'm very pleased with how these turned out, and I've been receiving quite a few compliments around the office at work and even at the doctor's office this week! I also love how Honey Gold is actually a scented polish, so my nails smell pretty sweet too.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

White and Red Stud Nail Art

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I was in the mood for some red nails. Since I rarely just wear red polish alone though, I decided to try something new! I accented the red with some white, but since the white was a little too stark and plain to me, I added some flat gold studs.

Also please excuse the terrible cleanup job around my cuticles! Even in Florida it has been pretty dry recently, and my cuticles have been suffering. They soaked the red excess right up!

For the polishes, I used Zoya Purity and Zoya Livingston. I applied two coats of each polish to each nail. I used Livingston on my index, pinkie, and thumb, and I used Purity on my middle and ring fingers. I didn't apply the studs right into the wet polish this time, but I applied a coat of Seche Vite and then laid them right into the topcoat.

It seemed to work well though! The studs actually stayed on all last week at work and while doing various chores around the house. I think it helps that these studs are pretty flat and just didn't catch on anything. I got both sizes of studs from Born Pretty Store. 

It's not the most amazing manicure, but I like it! Sometimes I like to have relatively plain polish, but focus on some studs or other accent instead. But now it's making me want to do more red nails for Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rainbow Honey - Stolen Dance

It's been a while since I got this lovely Rainbow Honey polished called Stolen Dance. It was from their Summer Mixtape collection last year, and it's just gorgeous! While it's amazing on its own, I decided to pair it with a copper-gold accent to dress it up a bit.

Stolen Dance is a gorgeous minty polish. It's a little more on the green side than most mints, but I'd still call it "mint." It's a little sheer, but it does build up, and it even has a gorgeous pinkish shimmer to it. For the accent, I decided to pair Stolen Dance with Cult Nails Blaze, which is a glittery topper that consists of copper and gold microglitters. I also decided to use a couple of rose gold studs.

I started off by painting all nails with Stolen Dance. It's sheer, so it took about three coats to build up, but it was worth it. The color is gorgeous, and the shimmer is just stunning! I then took Blaze and applied it to my accent nail (ring finger), and half of my middle finger nail (freehand). Blaze also took about three coats to build up to opacity, but this is also gorgeous! In retrospect, I should have probably applied just a solid copper under Blaze, but alas, hindsight is 20/20! 

I then applied Seche Vite topcoat to all nails to finish them off. While the topcoat was wet, I carefully placed a rose gold stud onto the index finger and pinky finger nails. They're a little plain, so I'm thinking I should have just dotted some spots of Blaze on at least one of the mint nails for some polka dots, but I'm still happy with the overall look.

Although my thumb isn't pictured, I also applied Blaze to my thumb and built it up to opacity. However my thumb had a bit of a break last week, so it's still not entirely presentable! At least the shimmer on my other nails, along with the neutral color of Blaze itself, helps hide the broken one!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ILNP - Brilliance

I finally got my hands on some of ILNP's Ultra Chrome Flakies! I bought quite a few of them, and they are absolutely stunning in person. So I'll start this off by saying that these photos do not do this polish justice! Each flakie is just amazing in person.

The first Ultra Chrome Flakie that I decided to try out is called Brilliance. This one is sort of a toxic lime green, which also goes into yellow, gold, and even orange and pink. It looks mostly yellow and green when looked at head-on, but it really transforms as you move your fingers in person.

I really wanted to see how Brilliance would look on its own, but without building it up tons, so I decided to apply it over Rainbow Honey Nyx. I applied one coat of Nyx and then two very thin coats of Brilliance. Brilliance covered so well that you could honestly probably achieve this look with one generous coat. I feel like two or three coats would actually get you full coverage! I was tempted to go for more, but decided to leave it as it appears in the photos for now.

I'm really stunned by how these polishes look. They are absolutely incredible, and if you haven't gotten any, I would recommend just about any of them! ILNP seems to have a color combination for everyone on their website: 
Each full size bottle of Ultra Chrome Flakies is $12.50.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Turquoise Stone Nail Art

Phew, I can't believe how quickly this new year is already going! Both work and graduate classes have been keeping me busy, but I managed to sneak in a little nail art. I decided to go for something a little more unusual (for me at least) and attempt something entirely new!

For the 2013 holiday season, I had gotten a nail art kit from Rainbow Honey.  The kit contained some metallic leafing papers in gold, silver, and copper. I never really used them extensively, so I figured I would finally give it a shot. I also decided to try a new (new to me, at least) technique for the black lines in the turquoise.

I started off by painting all nails with China Glaze For Audrey (my favorite China Glaze!). I then applied a little clear coat, and then applied the copper leaf in random spots. I didn't really plan any placement for these nails, as I wanted it to be more organic, like natural turquoise stone. It ended up ripping and getting a little messy, but it worked out for the turquoise look at least! After all, turquoise gets some of its color from idiochromatic copper!

After applying the copper, I then tried to do sort of a water marble, but just with black dots. I did this by dropping a few drops of Pure Ice Black Rage on the surface of a cup of water, and then sprayed it with a mist of liquid hand sanitizer. You may be able to achieve the desired circles using just water or rubbing alcohol, but I had this on my desk and thought I'd give it a try!

It ended up making lots of circles, which looked great on the water, but didn't transition as well as I had wanted. On the nail, the circles appear too small, and if I had used a large cup of water, they might have spread and gotten larger. Ah well, now I know better!

It's not entirely what I had in mind, but I still like it, and at least I know what I did wrong and what to improve for next time. I'll have to try more shades of blue and try to get larger circles for the black next time!