Folksy Flowers

I really wanted to use this beautiful blue polish from the China Glaze spring collection, but I had absolutely no idea what to do on it.  I briefly considered some Cinderella nail art, but I was feeling kind of lazy, so I ended up with this.  I was inspired by some folk art floral prints.  Not my favorite, but I don’t hate it.  I do love the colors together, though!

folksy flowers

The base is China Glaze Dashboard Dreamer, which is a gorgeous pale blue with peachy pink shimmer.  You can just barely see the shimmer, and I love the slight glow it gives with the matte topcoat.  The flowers were painted with Essie A-List and OPI Aloha from OPI.  I’m trying to use my untried polishes for nail art because I feel like I’ve been using the same bunch of colors a lot.  This was my first time wearing both Dashboard Dreamer and Aloha from OPI.  Dashboard Dreamer is a favorite for me (despite the fact it needs three coats), but Aloha from OPI is a bit unoriginal.  In fact, China Glaze came out with an almost-dupe in the same collection as Dashboard Dreamer – I Brake for Color.

folksy flowers

This is for sure a color combo I’ll be keeping in mind from now on!  I really love how they look together.  The nail art is definitely not my best work (can you tell it was one in the morning?), but it didn’t turn out all that bad.  Let me know what you think!

Matte Leaves

These were inspired by two of my favorite nail artists.  I’ve been following Mr. Candiipants for forever, and love the frond design she does.   I also recently discovered Cotton Coney, and am completely obsessed with her intricate patterns.  I do not have the patience for the designs she does, but they are incredible!  I had both of them in mind when I did these, and I love how they turned out!

matte leaves

For the base, I used China Glaze Out Like a Light.  It looks black in these photos, but it’s really a beautiful dark gray.  The ferns were done with Zoya Josie.  I topped them with Essie Matte About You, because I don’t remember the last time I did matte nails, and I love the look of Cotton Coney’s matte designs.

matte leaves

I think these are definitely up there with my favorite TPS nail art.  I just wish my matte topcoat hadn’t added those little white dots – anyone know how to get rid of those?  Or do I just need a new bottle?

matte leaves

I think I’m going to be doing more matte designs in the future.  It gives them a completely different dimension, and I especially like the look of it over a pattern.  I just need to fix the weird white spots issue…

The Golem and The Jinni

Time for another book inspired post!  I may have perviously mentioned that I’m a huge fan of – I spend at least two hours a day in the car driving to and from work, so being able to “read” in the car makes me feel more productive.  Right now, I am listening to an amazing book called The Golem and The Jinni.  It’s kind of a historical fantasy novel, and I am really loving it. I’ll admit, it’s a little long and it took me a while to get into/get invested in the secondary characters, but it was totally worth it.  I’m about two thirds of the way through, and I actually just purchased the physical book so I can read it when I’m not in the car.

the golem & the jinni

My ring finger is OPI Taupe-less Beach topped with Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat.  My middle finger is a water marble using Essie Fear or Desire, Sinful Colors Chick Chick, and Essie Snap Happy.  The rest of my fingers are OPI Ski Teal We Drop sponged with OPI Unfor-Greta-bly Blue and OPI Frog in My Throat.  I tried to represent the beautiful book cover, the Golem, who is made of clay, and the Jinni, who is made of fire.  I didn’t realize until I was writing this post that the watercolor fire looks kind of like a face, which is just so perfect!  I couldn’t do it again if I tried.

the golem & the jinni

I would 100% recommend this book.  It is a very interesting story and extremely well written.  If you’ve read it, let me know what you think in the comments below – no spoilers please!  If you’re on Goodreads, add me as a friend here!  And please feel free to share your book recommendations below.

Matte Black

I’m not a huge fan of matte nail polish.  But, I do wear it occasionally (mostly to tone down glitter).  I’m one of those “why get a ton of matte polishes when you can just get the topcoat?” people, partially because I’ve had awful (insane chipping) experiences with matte polishes.  But, I’ve always disliked how matte topcoats kind of make dark polishes lighter and cloudy-ish.  So when I saw this polish in T J Maxx, I thought I’d give it a try.  And I ended up kind of loving it.  As much as I can love a matte polish.

matte black

On three of my fingers is SpaRitual Body, which is a matte black polish.  It is super black, super matte, and super smooth.  Up until now, I’ve hated applying matte polishes.  They’re hard to work with, and get clumpy too easily.  But Body was one of the smoothest polishes I’ve ever applied.  I will definitely be looking for more SpaRitual mattes (if there are any).

matte black

I happened to have purchased Revlon Elusive the day before, and was surprised to find that it was also matte.  While I actually like this one a little better with topcoat, I thought I’d combine the two, since they’re the only two matte polishes I own that I actually like.  It was hard to photograph, but it’s a black polish with green and teal glitter.  So pretty!

Advent Calendar Day 6 – White

I went super simple for today’s post.  I actually really like how it turned out, though I can’t decide if this is more “winter” or “spring.”  Either way, the names of the polishes I used are definitely more “winter,” so it works.  Right?

snow globe & alpine snow

For this mani, I started with OPI Alpine Snow and topped it with China Glaze Snow Globe (maybe I should have saved this for the “snow” themed day of the challenge).  When glitter is super sparkly like this, I like to tone it down with a matte topcoat (which also helps it photograph much better).  I used Essie Matte About You here.

Two random things about Snow Globe: First, this is the strongest-smelling polish I own.  Anyone else have that problem?  Because I seriously hate opening the bottle.  It’s bad.  And second, has anyone seen the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure dupe of this with the same name?  I saw it at CVS today, and totally had a “hey, wait a minute” moment (right after getting lectured by two old ladies about how the $8 polish in my basket was way too much and I shouldn’t be spending that kind of money. If only they knew…).

snow globe & alpine snow

Anyway, I have LOVED hearing all your favorites this week, and since this is the last color themed day of the challenge, I have to ask: what is your favorite white polish?

Happy Holodays

Today I have some more new Pretty & Polished colors!  The Happy Holodays (get it?) duo is comprised of a gorgeous red holo jelly and a very Christmassy glitter topper.  Individually, they rock, together they are holiday perfection.

First up is Ruby, a deep red jelly with scattered holographic microglitter.  It kind of reminds me of Zoya Blaze (which I don’t have, but have seen plenty of swatches of).  This is beautiful.  I actually really love how subtle the holo is – the red is center stage, the holo just makes it extra special.

Here’s another pic where you can see that gorgeous, lit from within quality Ruby has.  So, so pretty.  This is two coats of Ruby with Essie Good to Go.  Ruby dries a bit dull, so you’ll definitely want some top coat to bring out the sparkles.

And here it is with the Glitter Topper.  The glitter topper is made up of two sizes of small red glitter, small lime green glitter and smaller kelly green glitter.  Compared to a lot of Christmas glitters I’ve seen, this is relatively simple, but oh-so perfect.

And mattified so you can see the glitter better. This is one coat of the Glitter Topper over Ruby.  The glitter was easy to apply.  There was no fishing or dragging.  I really love how it looks matte!

Pretty and Polished’s holiday collection with be available this Friday, November 9th in her Etsy shop.  I have three more of them to show you this week, and they’re equally amazing.

What do you think of her new polishes so far?

Day 31 – Recreate Your Favorite Challenge – Herringbone

It was really hard to decide what I wanted to do for today’s post because there have been so many designs I loved over the past month.  But in the end, I picked one I enjoyed wearing the most: the herringbone pattern from day 26 of the challenge: inspired by a pattern.

For this version, I decided to play with textures and paint  a glossy pattern on a matte background.  I think I like the original a little better, but I still love how these turned out!

I started with a base of OPI Russian Navy Matte (which I accidentally bought instead of the regular version) and painted the design on with Essie No More Film.

I can’t believe I actually finished in 31 days! It’s been so difficult, but so much fun!

What was your favorite challenge?

Stone Cold

This is Stone Cold from China Glaze’s Hunger Games collection.  It is only the second matte polish I’ve bought (the first was an accidental purchase of OPI Russian Navy Matte – instead of the regular ol’ glossy).  I think technically the shimmer in this one makes it a suede, but whatever.  I’m a glossy creme person, so it really surprised me that I liked a matte shimmer so much.  It’s a dark graphite base with tons of sparkly silver flakes.

This is two coats with no base or topcoat.

However, the wear on this is HORRIBLE.  I know mattes are notoriously bad, but I was expecting to get at least a day out of this.  The tiny chip you see on my ring finger happened about ten minutes after it dried, and within an hour, a huge chunk had chipped off of the middle of my index finger nail.  I tried using two different base coats with this, but the polish just slid right off, so that wasn’t helpful at all.  This does also look excellent with a topcoat (sorry I couldn’t get a picture before the disaster happened – but you can see it here), so I might experiment with that a little bit more.

Overall, love the color, hate the chips.

Do you guys have any experience with mattes?  Would a matte topcoat extend the wear a bit?