February 17, 2016

Cloud Mani for Valentine's Day!

Hey guys!  Valentine's Day may be over, but I wanted to share my look for the romantic weekend with all of you. 

Looking through my Jamberry collection, I found the very pink wraps that I won last year in Jamberry's Mother's Day giveaway.  They're much more pink and frilly than I like for my everyday style, but they're totally perfect for Valentine's Day, so I decided to use two of them!


Thus far, every time I've donned Jamberries I've had to remove them within a day.  Despite my best efforts I always end up with ripples at my nail tips AND at my cuticles.  Ugh.  But then one of my friends showed me the baseball method!  Cutting a tiny notch out of the side (or two sides, if your nails are suuuuper curved) allows the wrap to actually lay flat on my nail.  It only took about an extra 30 seconds per wrap and it allowed me to don the wraps for a few days until I was ready to redo my nails!

This was also the first time I tried out the cloud mani.  It was super easy - although deciding what order I should arrange the colors in took a while thanks to my indecisiveness. ;)  The darker purple at my cuticles is Zoya Demi, the lightest shade in the middle is Zoya Rue, and the medium rosy pink at my nail tips is Zoya Kate.  (Yay Kate!)

I didn't think to make a tutorial for this, so here's a link to the one that I followed to achieve this look.  Some day, I will remember that I bought a tripod for my phone so I can take videos of my nail art!

Derek and I went out to dinner on Saturday night to our favorite Mexican place, and we spent Sunday watching Netflix and playing games.  (I may or may not have played Sims 3 for a couple of hours.)  What did you do for Valentine's Day?  More importantly, what did you put on your nails for the holiday?  Let me know in the comments!

February 10, 2016

Hello Kitty by OPI + Nail art

I was super in to Hello Kitty when I was a kid.  I had a pretty decent collection - pencils, a cute little set of rainbow erasers, tiny sticker books whose stickers I never wanted to take out, the GameBoy Color game, and even a fairly nice matching pen/pencil set that came in a tin case.  It's been years since I've seen any of this, but I seem to recall having a little Hello Kitty basket to store everything in.

So when I heard recently that OPI was coming out with a Hello Kitty collection, I was totally stoked!  I knew I'd have to snag a few of the polishes in order to honor my little past self.  At a recent trip to ULTA, I was disappointed to see that they didn't have the entire collection, just two different boxed sets.  One set had minis of several of the colors, but being regular colors like blue, red, yellow, and black, I wasn't too impressed.  My polish collection, as you know, has grown to such a size that I need to really feel that I need a polish in order to buy it.  The other set had a pink creme and a pink glitter, and it came with a Hello Kitty coin purse.  Naturally, this is the one that I decided to go with.

Look At My Bow!

Look At My Bow is an adorably delicate shade of pink.  It's a perfectly Barbie-girlie-Hello-Kitty-feminine-so-sweet-it's-almost-disgusting shade of pink, really.  Its formula is a little on the thin side, not quite watery, but thin enough that cuticle pooling is a hazard.  Two coats is mostly opaque, but I could still see a tiny bit of my VNL.  I almost wanted to add a third layer, but I swatched this one while my friend Allison was visiting me and she assured me that it was fine.

Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel

I honestly have no idea what the name of this polish refers to.  I was a huge HK fan, but I didn't really get in to her friends as much.  Nor did I care to learn much about her creator/s.  So, if anyone knows who Daniel is, please let me know!

This glitter is really fabulous.  It applies as smoothly as a creme - the glitters don't smear or cling or stick at all!  Its coverage is also very nice.  I have one coat of the glitter on top of Look at my Bow, and as you can see the base of the glitter is tinted a slightly different shade of pink.  I'm really impressed with the glitter coverage in just one coat!

Allison helped me with the Kitty on my middle finger.  I used Salon Perfect Sugar Cube to make Kitty's face, but I was nervous about the stability of my hand so Allison did the rest of Kitty's details.  The black is Finger Paints Ch-ART-coal Black, and the yellow for her nose is Zoya Darcy.  And I fished a bow glitter out of Ellagee Fancy Mister Waddlebutt.  Those bows sure have come in handy for nail art!

The coin purse that came with the two polishes is really cute!  It's almost big enough to be a clutch, or at least a wallet.  And as you can see, especially in the photo above, the glitter on Kitty's bow matches Dear Daniel super well!

I'm definitely glad that I bought these two polishes.  I'd like to own the other glitter in this collection, Charmmy & Sugar, as well, but sadly I haven't been able to find it anywhere!

What is your favorite polish from this collection?  Who else was a huge Hello Kitty fan as a kid (and/or remains one now)?  Let me know in the comments!

February 3, 2016

Winter Break Nail Art

I was super busy over the holidays!  Derek's parents came to visit us in mid-December, and we went to the Poconos for a week.  They were with us for the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, as were Derek's brother and his girlfriend.  Six of us in one apartment sure was crowded, especially for a whole week!  Derek's parents stayed with us until halfway through the first week of January.  And then two days later, Derek and I headed out for Jamaica for his former roommate's wedding!  It. was. incredible.  We stayed at the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, and it was absolutely paradise.  A week after we got back, my best friend since 8th grade came to visit us for a few days!  So, basically, I was in vacation mode from mid-December to mid-January.  It was a lot of fun but honestly kind of exhausting - I'm really happy to be back on my regular schedule.

Despite all of the awesome things I did throughout the month, I still had time to do my nails several times, plus Maddie's and Allison's.  Rather than spread everything out over the course of several posts, I figured I would just dump the month's nail art into one post.  Get ready, there are a LOT of pictures ahead!

First up is my first Christmas-themed manicure, which I did in the first week of December (I think. it's been a while.)  I used Zoya's Naked system to clean up the color of my nails and brighten my white tips, then painted on stripes using Spoiled by Wet n'Wild Show Me the Money, OPI Wocka Wocka, and OPI My Voice is a Little Norse.

This look was inspired by Juli of Juli's Nails and Co.  Her original post can be found here.  I loved her design so much that I had to recreate it using Christmas colors!

Right before we left for the Poconos, I once again recreated my favorite winter wonderland scene.  Only this time, I used a different color for the background: Julep Margaret.  The white is Salon Perfect Sugar Cube, and the glitter flakes are once again Nicole by OPI Heavenly Angel.  I also threw a coat of Nicole by OPI Confetti Fun on my middle finger, because more glitter = more fun!

Since we were in the Poconos for a whole week, I of course wanted to redo my nails.  We were planning on going to see the new Star Wars movie while we were there, so I did a sort of abstract representation of the Force: Dark Side/Light Side.  For this look, I used Gothic Gala Lacquers The Search For Spock, Sally Hansen CSM Hi Ho Silver, and China Glaze Fairy Dust.

I kept the Force look on for as long as possible, but sadly we didn't end up going to see the movie.  On Christmas Eve, I did both my nails and Maddie's for Christmas!

My middle finger nail was inspired by one of the Christmas ornaments that I made!  I used Sugar Cube as a background and topped it with Twisted Colors Elf Vomit and some Fairy Dust.  I also used Gothic Gala Make It So and It's Green, Sir

The overall idea for this look was vaguely inspired by an old mani made by 3girlsnails on Instagram.  I actually can't find a link to the original post because I can't find 3girlsnails anymore!  I've had a screenshot of her mani on my phone since last May, and this user must have changed her IG handle or something.  If anybody knows what she calls herself now (or if she has disappeared from the nail art community), please let me know! 

Maddie wanted a very similar look for Christmas, although she didn't want the glitter accent.  I used the same colors on her as I did for my own Christmas nails - after all, I only had a small assortment of polishes with me on vacation!  One difference I made for Maddie was that I used a thin layer of CDB Lacquer Spirited underneath the red and green to make the holographic features of the colors pop a little better.

Maddie and James have a pretty big group of friends who live quite close to us near DC, so we all went to party with them on New Year's Eve!  I wanted to have another chance to wear my gorgeous flapper dress that I won from Unique Vintage, so I asked Maddie to glam it up with me.  Only this time, I did my makeup and nails in a more modern fashion! 

I went for a glitzy gray-to-blue metallic gradient on my nails.  The blue is actually a thermal nail polish, but I think because of the gradient you couldn't really tell.  Either that, or because it's winter my nails were just constantly super cold ;)  I sponged CDB Lacquer Angelic Demon and He Sees All on top of Zoya Ryan.  The two CDB Lacquers are from the Apocalypse Averted collection, which I own in its entirety and will eventually get around to swatching!  And because I was feeling glitzy, I put two little star studs on my pointer and ring finger nails.

The main reason we didn't get around to seeing The Force Awakens is because Maddie had never seen the original movies, and she wanted to see them first.  We did manage to watch the three films over the course of the two weeks that we spent together, but unfortunately we didn't see Episode VI until their last day with us.  So after they left, Derek and I FINALLY got to go see the new one together!  (I solemnly swear to see the next two episodes on opening weekend.  Waiting three weeks to see this one was agony for me!) 

I of course wore my Han Solo dress from Hot Topic.  And I figured that if Han Solo was a girl (Hanna Solo?), she would totally paint her nails to match her favorite outfit.  So I did just that!

I used Zoya Demetria and Ling, and Salon Perfect Oil Slick and Sugar Cube.

I was quite proud of the vests I painted on my thumbs. :3

Naturally, I did paint my nails to match my dress that I wore for the wedding in Jamaica, but I didn't take any pictures of the look.  It was a very simple mani - Zoya Zuza with an accent nail of China Glaze I Brake For Colour.  Since I've swatched both of those polishes on the blog already, I didn't really feel like taking photos of it for the blog.

Allison's nails were something new for me!  Her nails are usually very short, but she got some acrylic tips put on right before she came to visit us.  I've never painted acrylics before, nor such pointy stilettos!  There were a lot of exciting things I would have liked to do, but Allison prefers a more simple look, so we went with a black and silver French manicure using Oil Slick and Hi Ho Silver.

 I like interlacing fingers with someone when I do our nails together:

Ugh, please ignore the giant ugly cut on my knuckle.  There will be more details on my pink nails next week!

What do you think of all of this nail art?  Which look is your favorite?  What kinds of holiday designs did you wear during the holidays?