Blue Aztec

I’ve been wanting to do a design like this for forever, but I honestly just couldn’t get it right.  After I bought some professional art brushes to replaces some of my nail art brushes (and then trimmed them into nearly nothing), I decided to give it another go.  And I kind of love it.  New brushes for the win!

blue aztec

The blue on most of my nails is Sonia Kashuk Rain Check.  On my index finger, I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls as a base, with Rain Check, Sinful Colors Blue La La, Orly Frisky, and Nina Ultra Pro Solar Flare for the design.

blue aztec

If you’re really into DIY nail art, I would definitely recommend investing in some nice brushes.  I’ve had my Mash set for over a year – and actually just bought a replacement – and while they’re definitely great brushes, these new ones definitely made a huge difference.

 

 

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Advent Calendar Day 10 – Lights

To be honest, I think this mani is kind of “meh.”  It’s not bad, but I’m not super excited about it either.  I feel like I would like it a lot more if someone else had done it haha.  But, it’s ok, and I didn’t have the time or ideas to attempt something else, so here it is.

I just went with basic Christmas lights for this one.  I’ve always loved the old-fashioned multi-colored ones, so that’s what I went with.  For some reason, when it comes to Christmas (and a lot of other things, now that I think about it), I always prefer the older, simpler, more nostalgic versions of things.

christmas lights

I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, Sonia Kashuk Emerald City, Zoya Pippa, China Glaze Man Hunt, Essie Snap Happy, and Essie Pretty Edgy.

What’s your favorite type of holiday lights?  Blue or white icicles?  The giant multi-colored ones?  The red and white candy-cane striped ones?

P.S. Check out my new Christmassy background!

Go Green for Fall (and Winter)!

It’s no secret that I love green nail polish.  And rich, jewel-tone greens are my absolute favorite colors to wear in the colder months.  If you’re not adventurous with your polish, this is the time to experiment – it’s easier to start with a vampy green than with a summer neon.  I thought I’d share some of my favorites, mostly because I use blogging to justify my obsession.  But maybe you’ll find something that you like.  I’ll link to the swatches I’ve already posted, and you can expect to see the rest of these in the next few months.

1. Deborah Lippmann Don’t Tell Mama: One of my all-time favorites.  It’s a black base with a gorgeous emerald shimmer.  Like velvet for your nails (without the weird texture of velvet nails).

2. Sonia Kashuk Emerald City: A creamy emerald green (that’s less blue-toned than most), great formula, and the only one of these with a price tag under $5.

3. OPI Live and Let Die: Thisclose to being black, with gorgeous green/gold mini flakes.  Did I mention this is a one-coater?  Yeah, you should probably go get it now.

4. Butter LONDON British Racing Green:  If you want classic, this is it.  Gorgeous dark green, with just enough shimmer to make it something special.

5. a-England Saint George: Emerald green.  a-England’s flawless formula.  And tons of holo goodness.  (Also check out Dragon.)

6. Butter LONDON Stag Do: So, technically (according to the BL website), this is blue.  But it’s definitely on the teal/green side, and it is filled with gorgeous green shimmer.  It still works, right?

7. Essie Going Incognito:  For me, this is the one that started it all.  My first (grown-up) green polish.  It’s the perfect balance of light, dark, green, and blue, with a bit of dustiness that makes it more wearable.  Love!

8. OPI Cuckoo For this Color: This one’s for you metallic lovers out there.  It’s gorgeous and rich, with a crazy amount of shimmer.  This one screams “holiday season” to me.

9. Julep Diane: Dark forest green with no creaminess, shimmer, or blue.  Beautiful and deep.

10. OPI Jade is the New Black: Medium jade green.  Leans a little blue, and is just dusty enough that it’s not “too green.”

11: Essie Stylenomics: This one is almost-black, but still a gorgeous color.  It’s on the teal side, but you almost can’t tell. If you like black polish, you’ll love this.

12: a-England Tess D’Urbervilles: A blackened green base, with an insane amount of coarse green/gold shimmer.  Reminds me of light peeking through dense trees.  Gorgeous!

Dime a Dozen

Somehow, I ended up with the entire Sonia Kashuk fall nail polish collection (even though I only needed three of the five).  Anyway, here’s one of them.  This is Dime a Dozen.  It’s one of those dark, shimmery, charcoal, metallic colors – in the same family as OPI Number one Nemesis or Chanel Graphite, only a bit different.  Dime a Dozen stands out with the addition of more brown tones.  It’s a pretty color, and a great edgy fall option for those of you who prefer warmer tones.

I believe this was two coats with topcoat.  Application was easy, but it’s a bit difficult to get this looking smooth.  Overall, not too bad.  I’ve included two pictures so you can see how in some lights, it looks more gray (above) and in others, it turns brown (below).

I think it’s a really interesting color, and a really interesting twist on some pretty popular polishes.  Depending on your collection, this could be either a great (much cheaper) substitute for a polish like Graphite, or a slightly different addition to your stash of similar colors.  Either way, I think this would look great on everyone, and if you like colors like this, it’s a great, inexpensive option.

Blank Slate

I’ve been really into gray polishes lately.  I’ve also been kind of obsessed with Sonia Kashuk polishes.  I haven’t had access to Target (where Sonia Kashuk is sold) in a while, so I was excited to be able to get my hands on these after moving home!  Blank Slate is my most recent Sonia Kashuk polish purchase and I love it!

It is a dark gray creme, about as  dark as Essie Power Clutch, but this one is different because it has cool instead of warm undertones.  In the bottle, it almost looks like a dark, super smoky blue.  On the nails, it’s definitely gray, but there is clearly some blue in there.

 

Formula was good – I believe this is two coats with Essie Good to Go.  I have six Sonia Kashuk polishes so far (there isn’t a huge color selection), and all of them have great formulas.  They’re not amazing (like butter LONDON for example), but they’re definitely better than quite a few more expensive polishes I’ve tried (like Essie or OPI).

You can get Sonia Kashuk polishes (and makeup) at Target for $4.79.  Blank slate is included in the small core collection, which is currently available along with the gorgeous fall collection.  You should definitely check them out if you haven’t already!

LDTTWC Day 1: I should have been born in…

As some of you already know, today begins the Let’s Do the Time Warp Challenge sponsored by Nail Polish Canada and Neverland Nail Blog!  I signed up immediately, mostly because I’m a history nerd and thought it was an awesome idea, but also because it would force me to do more nail art.  For those of you who are curious, here’s the schedule for the next four weeks (two posts a week):

I seriously considered being a total nerd and picking a decade from the 17th century or something, but I went the easier route and picked the 1920s!  I’ve always loved the 20s: it was a decade of luxury, freedom, and opportunity.  People traveled around the world, and sat around partying or went to secret speakeasies.  Plus, almost every great gangster movie is set in the 20s.

For this challenge, I was inspired by the gorgeous art deco elements that made their way into almost everything during this period.  Here’s what I came up with:

I used Nails Inc. Hampstead Gardens, Sonia Kashuk Dime a Dozen, Sally Hansen Plum Luck, Sally Hansen Onyx, China Glaze First Mate, and Finger Paints Go Van Gogh.

I’m not entirely happy with them, but I decided I wasn’t patient enough to tape off all the lines, so oh well.  I love the colors and the design, I just wish I was better at straight lines.  Definitely improving, though.

This challenge is a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I’m having a lot of fun with it!

Click here to see the amazing designs from other Time Warp Challenge participants:


Fall Favorites

Fall is one of my favorite seasons.  I just love the cooler weather, cozy knits, and deep colors.  Since my nail polish collection has probably quadrupled from what I had last year, I thought I’d share the polishes that I will be using a lot this fall.  These are just some of my favorites, but you can also check out my Fall Color Guide if you want to see what this season’s trends are.

1. Essie Chinchilly: because I love gray, and this one is pretty near perfect (plus, the name is super cute).

2. China Glaze Jungle Queen: as close as I will ever get to Chanel Particulare, I love the dark neutral with the unexpected fuchsia shimmer.

3. a-England Tristam: gorgeous navy and holographic microglitter… need I say more?

4. Sonia Kashuk Two Cent: rich metallic copper that seriously glows, this is like fall in a bottle!

5. Deborah Lippmann Don’t Tell Mama: one of my favorite dark polishes, it’s subtle, but the green shimmer is beautiful.

6. Essie Stylenomics: another so-dark-it’s-almost-black green, but without the shimmer – still gorgeous (in the sun)

7. Nails Inc. Hampstead Gardens: it’s kind of an ugly color (my little sister nicknamed it “mustard poop”), but I still love it!

8. China Glaze Man Hunt: cobalt is big this fall, and I love that this is almost navy, but still super vibrant (I’m also loving CG First Mate for a great fall blue)

9. Orly Mirror Mirror: a beautiful, clean gray for those days when I don’t feel like wearing a dark polish

10. Essie Wicked: a classic. I think I’m on my third bottle.

11. Nails Inc. Tate: the perfect, classic, slightly blue-toned dark red

12. OPI Germanicure by OPI: (the only one of these I don’t own yet) gorgeous vampy shimmer – something completely missing from my collection

13: Julep Stefani: metallic charcoal, set apart by the addition of tiny gold flakes – love!

14: China Glaze Mahogany Magic: because when else can you wear warm brown polish?

15: OPI You Don’t Know Jacques: an oldie, but a goodie. I’m still obsessed with dark taupes

16: Essie Bordeaux: blood-red (or wine, I guess) colored jelly – another favorite!

17: Sonia Kashuk Emerald City: the perfect dark emerald green (Essie Going Incognito is another good one)

18: China Glaze Desert Sun: the color of pumpkin pie, butterscotch, and caramel apples

19: butter LONDON All Hail the Queen: slightly holographic nude, appropriate for any occasion, but still really special – it’s my “good luck” polish

20: OPI Number One Nemesis: an almost-dupe for Chanel Graphite, this feels super edgy, trendy, and expensive, but still easy to pull off

These are just a few of the polishes I’m looking forward to wearing a lot this fall, and hopefully I’ll get around to swatching them soon.  What are yours?