Thursday, August 30, 2012

Octopi, Octopuses, or ... Octopodes?

Day 7 of the Superfluous Nail Art Challenge is animal spots. I had to think about what to do for this one quite a bit, but then it hit me. I decided to do the Blue Ring Octopus. A quick google image search will show you that these octopuses are any color from a light beige to a bright yellow but they always have these vibrant blue rings.

And now for a little English lesson. I've done some research, and while all my life (and maybe yours too) I've been told that the correct way to pronounce multiples of octopus is 'octopi.' However, throughout history it has been referred to as 'octopi,' 'octopuses,' and 'octopodes.' Here is a nice little video about that, if you're interested.

I decided to go with the taupe/beige color for the base, and put a bright orange/yellow in the middle of the rings. I do think this manicure is sort of strange, but for some reason I can't stop staring at it, seriously, I just love it.

The colors used were Julep Alyson, Julep Parker, Color Club Chelsea Girl, and China Glaze Liquid Leather.

And, out of curiosity, what word to you use for multiple cephalopods?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Color Run 2012 New York

This past Saturday, I participated in the Color Run in New York. On their website the Color Run is described as "a unique experience focused less on speed and more on crazy color fun with friends and family. Color runners come from all different ages, shapes, sizes, and speeds; but everyone toeing the start line has a blast. Whether you are a casual morning mall walker or an Olympic athlete, the 3 miles of the Color Run course will be the most memorable and colorful run of your life!"

Of course, I had to do my nails for the occasion! I decided to base my design on this photo from their website.

I started with a white base, used black polish and a striper brush to create a path, and then used the splatter method with a straw to make the splashes of color.

For my right hand, i just used the splatter method, I'm not sure which hand i like better.

And here's a photo of my manicure after the run.

So. Much. Pink!

It was a lot of fun and I'll definitely be doing it again next year. Here is the Color Run website in case you're interested. 

For this manicure I used Sally Hansen Whirlwind White, Color Club Chelsea Girl, China Glaze Happy Go Lucky, China Glaze Four Leaf Clover, China Glaze Make An Entrance, Zoya Arizona, and a black Jordana striper polish,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

(Not Your Average) Galaxy Nails

Day 6 of the Superfluous Nail Art Challenge is Galaxy Nails!

This is my first time doing galaxy nails and I wanted to do something a little different. Obviously, these aren't the kind of galaxy nails that people are used to seeing with the black background and splotches of bright colors.

I love how the middle finger looks like it has swirls of fluffy clouds.

To create this manicure, I used the same technique as regular galaxy nails.

The polishes I used are Revlon Royal, China Glaze Black Diamond, China Glaze Frosty, China Glaze Snow, and Nox Twilight Disco Darling. Let me tell you, Royal was the perfect color for this, perfect formula and perfect dry-time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Windestine Swatch Spam!

Today I decided to show some swatches from the indie brand Windestine. This post is very picture heavy so let's get started!

First up is Spica *Swirl*. Windestine used to sell a polish just called Spica, which was very similar, but from the swatches I've seen, it looks more like a royal blue than a navy. Spica *Swirl* has a navy blue/turquoise base with various sized holographic silver and light gold glitters.

There are even little crescent moon shaped ones!

Each brushstroke is filled with all different types of glitter and I had no problems with glitter placement.

I used three coats for the above swatches. There was a teeny tiny bit of shrinkage that you can probably see in the photos but it wasn't as noticeable in person.

Next up is Bellatrix, which I would say is the sister polish to Spica *Swirl*. It has a dark maroon base with blue, pink, gold, and silver glitters. There are crescent moon glitters in this one as well.

This polish doesn't appear as glitter heavy on the nail as Spica *Swirl* is, but I'm not sure if that's because there aren't any larger glitters besides the moon.

I used three coats for the photos above and Bellatrix also had a little bit of shrinkage. The shrinkage could be caused by my topcoat; however, I've never had it shrink anything on me before.

Next is Asbestos, a polish with a clear base filled with tiny white square glitters.

I wore this recently in my ombré manicure. Love this polish.

I wore one coat of Asbestos over Zoya's Arizona (which appears to be a color my camera hates).

This last one is Carbon Copy. Carbon Copy is the brother... sister... (whatever you would like to call it) to Abestos. This polish is full of teeny tiny black glitters in a clear base.

There's also a slight shimmer to it, which isn't as present on the nail but can be seen in the bottle.

In the photos above, I used one coat of Carbon Copy over OPI's Stranger Tides.

Overall, the formula for all of these was thick, but I had no trouble with glitter placement for any of them. I was a little bummed about Bellatrix. When I saw swatches of it, I thought it was going to be my favorite; however, it just is kind of blah to me. Maybe it's just because it's still summer and the base color is so dark or it could be something as simple as I could have used another layer of top coat. Either way, I love all of the others.

Windestine polishes can be bought at either her Etsy or Big Cartel stores. Spica *Swirl* and Bellatrix are both $8 each for a full size a bottle, where Asbestos and Carbon Copy are $6 each.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Heat it Up

Quick post for today just to show off the manicure I'll be sporting at the MixTape Festival.

I'm really excited to see 98 Degrees, I  haven't seen them for probably over ten years (which makes me sound old... I'm not that old, I promise). I decided to do some fiery-looking nails for the occasion so I recreated Chalkboard Nails' Surface on the Sun nails. 

As always, I use this technique to create gradients and the polishes I used were China Glaze Happy Go Lucky, Zoya Arizona, and Pretty & Polished Phoenix.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ombré Hombre

Day five of the Superfluous Nail Art Challenge is gradient (or ombré) nails.

I wanted to do something more than just a regular gradient, so originally I was going to add white stripes. I had seen it on some guys swim trunks at the beach and I really liked it; however, when I started painting the stripes on my nails, they didn't look how I envisioned so I quickly removed them.

Then I remembered when Sarah from Chalkboard Nails used Windestine's Asbestos over her Springtime pink and green gradient and thought I'd borrow that idea. I seriously love this look, one of my favorite manicure's I've ever done, and to me it screams summer.

The gradient technique I used is The Nailasaurus's gradient tutorial. The only difference is, I don't use a kitchen sponge, I use one of those wedge sponges used for applying makeup. I've tried various ways of doing gradients but hers just works the best for me.

For this manicure I used Julep's Jessica and Taylor and Windestine's Asbestos. Asbestos is a clear base made of of itty bitty white square glitters. Windestine polishes can be bought through her etsy and big cartel.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Oh Baby!

I've seen a lot of topcoats recently that give your polish a duochrome look. Hits is the brand I'm thinking of, but I'm sure there are plenty more. When I picked up Pure Ice's Oh Baby! the other day at Walmart, I thought it would just add a nice blue sparkle to whatever I was wearing. I had know idea that it's name would be so fitting.

As you can see, it gives off mostly a blue sparkle and fades into a purple.

But at certain angles, it looks magenta.

I used Oh Baby! over OPI's DS Mystery because I liked how the blue and purple sparkle looked with the gold glitter, but it gives the same duochrome effect over black.

Pure Ice is an inexpensive, drugstore polish that can be purchased at Walmart for just $1.99. A much cheaper alternative to Hits, though Oh Baby! is definitely not a dupe for any of the Hits polishes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

'Cause I've seen more spine in jellyfish

So I did Day 4 of the Superfluous Nail Art Challenge, which is animals. I sat for awhile thinking about what I wanted to do and while I was on vacation it hit me–JELLYFISH! I love jellyfish and since I love Brand New even more, I figure I'd just go all out and do some Brand New jellyfish "Seventy x 7" nail art.

Brand New is an alternative rock band, I guess is how you would describe them, who have been my favorite for about eight years now. Of course, the closest I've ever gotten to seeing them live is when my university's annual festival was moved inside from the rain and only the lead singer was able to perform, but still better than nothing.

Anyway, moving onto the manicure. I'm very please with my ring finger, I actually wish I had done them all that way but I was going for this kind of look. The pinky probably took me forever because I kept trying to write "BR& NEW" and of course my finger nail is much too small. I didn't paint a design on my thumb, but now that I think about it, I could've put a "70x7."

Colors: I used Zoya's Tru and Zara for the jellyfish. The yellow background was just me mixing some white with China Glaze's Happy Go Lucky. If anything, this manicure has taught me that I really need to buy a nice pastel yellow.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Julep August American Beauty

Hey guys! It's my first post on a real blog. Pretty awesome, huh?
Anyway, this month was Julep's one year anniversary and they filled the boxes with variety of metallics. I'm normally an It Girl but this time I switched to American Beauty. Dakota was calling my name. On to the swatches and review.

Dakota is described as a "rose-gold metallic chrome" and that's just what it is. Absolutely gorgeous, applied like a dream. It was opaque with just one coat but I did two for the photos just even everything out a bit. I thought it would be really similar to Essie's Pennytalk, however, upon visiting WalMart, I've seen that it's not. This is a bit darker and is actually more similar to color of a penny, in my opinion.
Stefani is described as a "gold-flecked grey metallic." To be honest, this was kind of a let down. I thought the gold flecks would be more obvious, but honestly I can only see them because I know they're supposed to be there. They are more noticeable in the bottle than on the nail. This formula for this was okay, I've had worse. It bubbled a little but I'm not sure if that's my fault or the fault of the polish.
This month Julep announced a new product, their acetone-free conditioning nail polish remover. I've only used it for clean up on the above swatches so far so I supposed you can be the judge of how well it works. I really love the pump action bottle, it's something I've been thinking of buying for awhile now and haven't gotten around to it, so now I don't have to. The smell is okay, not bad but not good. I want to say it smells like unscented lotion and with a little bit of something else. It definitely conditions like it says it does. I'm very pleased with it so far.

If you’re not a Julep Maven yet, click here and take the quiz to receive your first box.  Use the code COLOR2012 or PENNY at check out to get it for only a penny! (If the codes do not work, please let me know)