Advent Calendar Day 2 – Gold

Today’s mani didn’t really end up like I had envisioned it, but I thought I’d show you anyway.  I had the idea to do some stamping with two different shades of gold, and went with my favorite pattern – houndstooth.  I do have to say that this looked better in real life, but, in addition to orange and purple, my camera also hates shiny (I’m looking into getting a new one).  Anyway, I did like this, and think it would look equally awesome with a brocade pattern.

gold houndstooth

For the base, I used OPI Goldeneye (from the James Bond Skyfall collection) and stamped the houndstooth with Bundle Monster plate 322 and Essie Good As Gold.

And here’s a really awkward angle so you can see the pattern better.  I really hate how Goldeneye has a tendency to get everywhere.  Word to the wise, do not get this on your cuticles.  Ever.

gold houndstooth

For someone who doesn’t really wear metallic polishes, I actually have quite a few golds.  What’s your favorite gold polish?

Charcoal and Gray

I have no idea what inspired this mani other than me wanting to use some of my new polishes.  And I feel like I need to post more nail art (ideas are welcome!) rather than just swatches.  Either way, I really like how this came out – especially the gradient nails (even though they were a pain to clean up – you can still see the sparkles on my skin).

For the light gray base, I used Orly Mirror Mirror – my favorite light gray creme.  The metallic charcoal is OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous, which I bought a few days ago.

Here you can see how impossible Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous was to clean up.  And clean up with gradients is an inevitability.  Needless to say, I probably won’t be doing this again soon, but I really liked it, so you never know.

Pirates!

Another stamping manicure! I really wanted to use the pirate image from the stamping plates I reviewed yesterday, and ended up with this.  This is the first time I did nail art on both hands – usually I just do one, take pictures, and then take it off.  As much as I enjoy doing nail art, I don’t really wear it out of the house much – my hands are usually just a solid color, or maybe a gradient, but usually nothing more.

I used KKCenterHk plate M80 for the pirate image.  I already think I’m getting a little better at stamping!

I chose to use a sandy color with some sparkles because it reminded me of buried treasure.  Although very few pirates actually buried treasure – Blackbeard, the most famous treasure-burying pirate, buried his on an Island off of New York – preferring instead to spend it as fast as humanly possible.

I love the relative simplicity of these – they were actually pretty easy (they had to be if I could replicate them with my non-dominant hand), but definitely stand out.

I started with a base of Essie Sand Tropez on three of my fingers, with OPI Pros & Bronze on my thumbs and pinky fingers.  Then I added a gradient of Pros & Bronze on my ring and index fingers, and stamped the skull and swords image on my middle fingers with China Glaze Smoke & Ashes.  I kind of wish I had used Windestine Jeweled Sand (and OPI Skull & Glossbones, which sadly, I don’t have), but I do really love how these turned out!

Rage

Sorry about not posting the past few days!  When it’s this hot out, I don’t get much done.

Anyway, this is Orly Rage, which I’m sure many of you have seen before.  It’s a rose-gold metallic foil.  This isn’t one of my favorites, but if you like metallics, you’ll definitely love this one!  It’s great for summer!

This is two coats with no topcoat.  This applies really well, but as you can see, it’s not that easy to remove – my fingers are sparkly just from the cleanup.  And if you use a topcoat with this, use one you don’t care too much about – the sparkles tend to get caught on the brush and end up in the topcoat bottle, even if it’s dry.

For me, Orly is kind of hit or miss.  Even though I don’t really like this color on me, Rage has a great formula (unlike Charged Up, which I will show you soon).  I do like the rubberized handle on the bottles and the fact for the same price as say Essie or OPI, you get more polish in Orly bottles.  I don’t have that many of them, but there are a few on my wish list I’m looking to try soon.

What’s your favorite Orly?

Pros & Bronze

Today I have a pretty polish and a sad story.

I found OPI Pros & Bronze at CVS last week.  I bought it on a whim, and had it sitting on my coffee table for a few days.  My cat likes to play with my polish bottles, and usually I let her, since it keeps her from destroying expensive things (like my macbook charger).  She batted this around for a while, and then took a nap.  The next morning, it was gone, and I tore apart my apartment looking for it.  Sadly, it is nowhere to be found.  I’m hoping it didn’t somehow end up in the trash, but am starting to accept that it may be gone.  At least I took pictures before it disappeared.

It’s a bronze foil filled made up of copper and gold flecks.  In some lights, it can look like a dark rose gold. It is a really pretty polish, and unlike anything I own, though since I don’t have many metallics or foils, that’s not saying much.

This is three coats with Essie Good to Go.  It was a little sheer, and a pain to remove (I think I still have gold particles under my cuticles), but easy to apply.

I thought this was a very pretty color, but it just wasn’t me.  To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have worn it again, but may have used it for nail art.  I did want to try it over a base color to see how that turned out, but I guess that won’t happen. If you’re a fan of foils and can get your hands on this, I would definitely try this one!

And here is the polish thief.  Her name is Squirrel.  Don’t let her cuteness fool you – she’s evil   😉

Day 8 – Metallic – Needle Marble

I wanted something simple for today, but couldn’t decide between two different colors, so I decided to try a new technique and use both.  I’ve seen this done quite a few times, but have never attempted it myself.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s called needle marbling or dry marbling (as opposed to water marbling), and is very easy – there are a ton of YouTube tutorials.  It does however have a much longer dry time because you need to apply the polish pretty thickly.

Because of the shininess of this manicure, I couldn’t really capture it accurately on camera, so sorry if you can’t really see it!  The thumb is a pretty good representation of what this looks like in real life.  I love how it turned out, especially since this was my first attempt.

I used Essie Loophole and Orly Rage for this manicure.

I’m not really big on metallic nail polish (on me – I like it on other people), and this is a little bright and shiny for me to wear everyday, but I will definitely be using this technique again!