Peach Perfect

I was looking on Design Seeds for color inspiration and came across this gorgeous springy palette.  I started with the diamond nails, and didn’t know what to pair them with – I had originally thought to do something floral, but that seemed like too much work.  Then I realized the colors would be perfect for this design by (who else?) Mr. Candiipants.  I did a simple gradient on the remaining two nails, and ended up with this super awesome manicure.  Love it!

peach perfect

The base color is OPI My Vampire is Buff.  The green is Sinful Colors Innocent, the gray is OPI Suzi Takes the Wheel, and the pink and peach are Nails Inc. Mayfair Lane and Wellington Square.

peach perfect

Don’t be surprised if you see more fruit nails from me in the near future – they were much easier than I thought they’d be, and they’re just so adorable!

Something Blu

Finally getting back into the swing of things with a relatively old mani.  This one features one of my favorite spring polishes (I think I did these in like February or March), and my favorite Mr. Candiipants inspired flowers!  They’re not the greatest, and my fingers are really dry (seriously, though), but I thought I’d show them anyway, so here they are:

something blu

I used Zoya Blu (see, the title wasn’t a typo) for three of my nails and the flowers.  The base is a sheer OPI, but I don’t remember which one – probably either Care to Danse? or Don’t Burst My Bubble.

something blu

 

What do you think?  I’m really loving accent nails like this – nude with a design in the same color as the rest of the nails.  It’s really simple and I love that it’s monochromatic, but still interesting.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone (and happy Sunday to my non-Easter-celebrating readers)!  I wanted to do something easter egg-esque this year, and thought it was a great opportunity to do an obnoxiously springy pastel mani.  Hope you like it!

easter egg nails

I used China Glaze Lemon Fizz, OPI Do You Lilac it?, Essie Boxer Shorts, Essie Mint Candy Apple, and Essie Where’s my Chauffeur?.  I tried to paint patterns reminiscent of old-school easter eggs.  I really like how it turned out!  I think my favorite nails are the index and pinkie.

easter egg nails

This whole color combo has me really excited for more spring nails.  I’ve been really busy with work (and computer problems) lately, but I have some great posts and even some tutorials planned.  And I will try to get back into monthly hauls and maybe favorites in April!

Pastel Flowers

When I want to do nail art but I’m lacking inspiration, the first place I turn is Mr. Candiipants.  She is always original and is amazing at my two favorite nail designs: geometric and floral.  These are her signature “bottle brush floral” nails, meaning they’re made with nothing but the brush that comes in the bottle.  They’re ridiculously simple, and don’t take long at all to do.

pastel flowers

For these, I used OPI My Vampire is Buff (one of Candice’s favorite polishes) as the base.  It was a bit sheer and patchy, so it took three careful coats.  I really love the color (it’s similar to Zoya Jacqueline).  The flowers were made with butter LONDON Mollycoddled, butter LONDON Sprog, Nails Inc. Baker Street, and OPI You’re Such a Budapest, with OPI Eurso Euro in the centers.

pastel flowers

Check out this tutorial if you’re interested in learning how to do these.  I think I still need a little bit of practice to perfect this look, but I can already see this being my go-to nail design for spring and summer.

 

Jacqueline

I wasn’t really drawn to the shimmers in the new Zoya Lovely collection, but I did get all the cremes, and I absolutely love them!  I used Blu and Neely in this manicure a few days ago, and today I’m wearing Jacqueline.  I can’t decide which of them is my favorite.

jacqueline

Zoya Jacqueline is a creamy, yellow, nude polish.  It’s rare that a creme polish is this unique.  In most lights, Jacqueline pulls nude on me, like a creamier, whiter version of my skintone.  But it’s almost a yellow.  I really love it, and I got a lot of compliments on it already.

Formula was a little bit finicky – this was one thin coat and one thick coat with Seche Vite.  I did have to pay special attention to a few patchy spots, but it levels out pretty well.

jacqueline

What do you think of Jacqueline?  Are you already craving pastels like I am?

Springtime Union Jack

I wanted to use some of my new polishes, and thought I’d take inspiration from a design I’ve done before.  I really loved the last Union Jack nails I did, but ever since I saw The Nailasaurus’s tutorial (which makes them ridiculously simple), I’ve been wanting to try them again.

pastel union jack

I think these turned out really nice (especially for free handing).  I love how subtle the pastel colors are.  I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls for the white base, and then painted the design using Zoya Neely and Blu from the new Lovely collection.

pastel union jack

I got some new nail art brushes yesterday (this set from Amazon) and I really love them!  So expect to see a lot of nail art in the near future 🙂

Some unrelated blog news:

I’m working on doing some videos (tutorials, stash, and reviews) so let me know what kinds of things you’d like to see.  I’m also thinking about doing some general posts on stamping, nail care, and nail art brushes.  I am also finalizing my Pantone Spring 2013 nail polish color guide, so look for that soon!

Do You Lilac It?

Despite the fact that winter is my favorite season, I have already started craving spring colors.  Looking through my polish collection, I decided to try a color that I bought a while ago, but hadn’t worn yet.  OPI’s Do You Lilac It? is a gorgeous lavender color that is absolutely perfect for spring.  I really love it!

do you lilac it?

The formula was great.  I used two coats of Do You Lilac It? with Essie Good to Go.

do you lilac it?

Do You Lilac It? should be fairly easy to find (I got mine at Ulta), but if you can’t find it, or are looking for a cheaper option, the new L’oreal collection has a pretty good dupe called Royalty Reinvented (which I actually picked up at CVS last week, not realizing it was a dupe).

P.S. Keep an eye out for my Pantone Spring 2013 nail polish color guide which I plan on publishing soon!  This color is going to be for spring!

Pretty & Polished Save the Dauphine Collection

This month, Pretty & Polished is releasing a new Marie Antoinette-themed collection called “Save the Daphine.”  I always love when indie brands release historically inspired collections!  Even if you don’t really care about the inspiration behind the polish, I think you will still be able to appreciate how gorgeous these shades are!

First up, Louis Louis:

louis louis

Louis Louis is a warm gold base with small navy blue glitter and medium red glitter.  I’m not normally a fan of glitter in shimmery bases, but this one is gorgeous!  It definitely reminds me of royalty.  I really love that the gold color is slightly dirty and antique-looking.  It is surprisingly flattering on my skin tone, and warm golds usually look terrible on me.  I almost didn’t get this one, but I am sooo glad I did!  I was completely surprised by how much I ended up loving it!

Application was great!  This was two coats with no topcoat.

louis louis

Next is my favorite of the collection, Hameau:

hameau

Hameau is named after Marie Antoinette’s cottage, and it is a shimmery ivory base with small green and purple glitters.  Everything about this polish is perfect: the color of the base, the amount of shimmer, the colors of the glitter.  I’m actually considering getting a back up of this one.  It’s that amazing.

Application on this was really nice.  I used two coats here.

P.S. I have no idea what is wrong with my fingers in these pictures!  I didn’t notice until I was editing them, and I didn’t want to try to remove the red at the risk of changing the color of the polish.

hameau

Next is Let Them Have Cake (the famous words Marie Antoinette never actually said):

let them eat cake

Let Them Eat Cake is a creamy pale pink base with tiny lavender glitter (you have to look closely to see it, but it definitely adds something special), small yellow squares, and small/medium glitter in yellow, white, and two different shades of pink.  I actually really like this one, though I found myself wishing for more of the darker pink glitter.  It kind of gets buried under the base and just looks light pink.  But still, this is a very pretty polish.

No problems with application, other than the issue with the dark pink glitter getting buried.  This was three coats.  I would recommend waiting between coats because this had a bit of a tendency to move toward my tips.

let them eat cake

And finally, we have The Diamond Necklace Affair:

the diamond necklace affair

The Diamond Necklace Affair is a glitter topcoat made up of small iridescent blue glitters, medium/small sheer white glitter, and iridescent medium white glitter.  Very pretty!  I chose to layer it over China Glaze First Mate, because I thought a dark color would show it really well.  If you’ve been following The Polish Squirrel for a while, you might remember that I actually did a mani based on the Diamond Necklace Affair (which you can see here).  I realized when I was doing these that I used the same base color – total coincidence!

Shown is one coat of The Diamond Necklace Affair over First Mate.

And here’s a bottle shot so you can see how it looks on its own.  Keep in mind that this is definitely a layering polish.

the diamond necklace affair

Overall, this is a great collection!  My picks are Hameau and Louis Louis, but that’s just because I not really big on sparkly or pink.  I think they are all great, though.  Definitely a collection to check out this year!

The Save the Dauphine Collection will be available in Pretty & Polished’s shop starting January 16th!

Almost Paradise

This is another color from Deborah Lippmann’s Footloose collection.  To be honest, I only bought this duo because I wanted the other color, Footloose, which I will hopefully get a chance to post soon.  I wasn’t expecting to like this.  If anything, I figured I’d kind of like it, but it would be too close to a color I already have.

I was wrong.  I absolutely LOVE this!  Despite the fact that I have more green polishes than any other color in my stash, none of them come close to this.  The closest are maybe butter LONDON Bossy Boots and Essie Navigate Her.  Almost Paradise is lighter than Navigate Her and much brighter and more yellow than either.  It’s like a neon lime with a ton of white mixed in.  It’s bright, but pastel at the same time.  My perfect summer green!  The only thing that will keep me from wearing this all the time is that it’s limited edition and I want to make my bottle last.  If it wasn’t for my recent polish buying spree (which included this), I’d buy another set!

This is three coats with Essie Good to Go.

Yet again, I was super impressed with Deborah Lippmann’s formula.  This one is a tad sheer, but goes on like butter.  Love it.

Let’s Hear it for the Boy

My first Deborah Lippmann!  I had completely given up on being able to acquire one of these amazing polishes until I get a real job.  I just can’t bring myself to drop $16 on a single bottle of polish as a poor college student.  As it is, I haven’t eaten a real meal in a week due to my polish buying spree.

Anyway, when I saw Deborah Lippmanns on sale at HSN.com, I couldn’t pass them up.  I picked up this half of the Footloose collection for $16 a few weeks ago – two for the price of one, which I thought was pretty amazing.  And then yesterday, I ordered the second half of the collection for… wait for it… $10!  Seriously, if you’ve been waiting to try Deborah Lippmann, now’s your chance!

This is one of four polishes that Deborah Lippmann released with the remake of Footloose a while ago.  It’s called Let’s Hear it for the Boy (which gets stuck in my head whenever I look at the bottle), and it’s a gorgeous bright powder blue.  Even though it’s a pastel, it stands out and it makes my hands look tan – which takes a lot.

This is two coats with a coat of Essie Good to Go.

This is the first Deborah Lippmann I’ve ever tried, and I have never dealt with a nail polish formula quite like it.  It actually took some getting used to because it was so different, but I absolutely love it.  The brush is amazing – it’s small and short, but also soft, so it spreads well and gets the polish exactly where you want it.  The formula is thin, but super smooth, and this only took me two coats to get it completely opaque.  It also dries lighting fast – faster than any fast dry topcoat I’ve ever tried.  While I do really like this, this is the part that took a little getting used to, because you have to apply it really quickly.

Overall, I am in love with this nail polish! Though it isn’t an everyday color, I think I’ll be wearing it a lot this summer.  And I will definitely be buying more Deborah Lippmanns as soon as I can – I have my eye on the Snow White & the Huntsman duo (which might just be my birthday present to myself).