Friday, December 7, 2012

It's time for Christmas?!

The neighbors have their lights up, so it must be... I have done a couple of manis, I just haven't been good about taking pictures, or posting.

Here's one I think you might be interested in seeing.  Maybe. I was terribly excited to get my hands on this polish. Maybelline Mirror Image. Someone tipped me off to it being available on ebay and I nabbed one.

I decided to try some layering tests since the bottle is not that big. My pointer I put the Mirror Image directly on my standard base coat. My middle finger and pinkie finger I used the enclosed base on top of my base coat. I used Orly Luxe as a base on my ring finger.

Here it is at two coats on all except my ring and pinkie. They each had only one coat of the Mirror Image.

My pinkie actually looked the best at one coat. The directions said two to three coats. I went ahead and stamped it with SdP 72 from Dashica. I dotted a few "berries" on and stamped a bow using KleanColor Metallic Red and Cheeky plate 24.

I did not expect this to hold up more than 24 hours, but it held up well over 3 days with the pinkie taking the worst of the wear.

This is my first Christmas mani. It took me 4 days to think to take pictures of it... fail. By that time, I had knocked a chunk out of my nail. This is China Glaze Emerald Sparkle and Ruby Pumps. Two old favorites. :)

Hope your Holiday plans are coming along!
Have a great day! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! or

Happy Thursday as the case may be. If you are celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you are having a great one! I have already eaten too much and will eat more. :) I'm wearing a turkey mani with leaves. This is the first time I've worn a specific Thanksgiving design. I usually stick with something generic and fall like.

For my turkey mani, I used repeating colors on all nails, but as you can see, the dotted nails look very different than the stamped nails. This is Sally Hansen Lustre Shine Lava, a prototype green, Aisha Gold from Lilacquer and the rest are stamping colors, with the exception of the turkey's head and body. I used China Glaze Hi-Tek. I stamped using Bundle Monster 04 and 314.

I was very busy cooking and washing before I could take pictures. Lava shows quit a bit of type wear, I apologize. 

What is your Thanksgiving day mani? Would you leave me a link please.
Have a great day! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rawr - Hungary for my Honey by OPI

I recently acquired OPI Hungary for my Honey in a swap box. If you are not familiar with swap boxes, they are pretty wondrous sights. If you have a chance to participate, I recommend it. :)

OPI Hungary for my Honey is a black label OPI meaning it is not B3 Free, but I'm ok with that. It has a great shimmer, it is almost a green cast like a true old copper would have. I haven't seen an online picture yet that does it justice. In my third picture, right below my middle finger, you can see the green a bit in the bottle.

I used OPI Gold Shatter and Orly Day Glow, and just dabbed them on a bit to get the effect I wanted for my base. The shatter did not really have much of a chance to shatter as I went right in with the Orly and in some spots more OPI Hungary for my Honey. Then, I stamped using Konad Black Gold with Bundle Monster 223 and Konad m57. I wanted each finger to look unique.

My inspiration for this mani was this great blanket from Journey. It has similar colors and also has some shimmer to it in certain lights. It is a great blanket. I carried it with me to my treatments earlier this year, and two of the nurses ordered one. It is crazy soft.

Do you still have a favorite blanket? :)
Have a great day! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Streaks of Blue and Styx

Last week started off with a Blue Streak mani, Ulta Blue Streak that is. I topped it with Milani Teal and then stamped it using Bundle Monster 310. It was part of a challenge to stamp on a glitter. Not too much of a challenge as I'll stamp on anything :)

We ended the week at a Styx concert. On the advisement of others, I used a base of the silver polish shown, the Orly Luxe. Stamped it using DRK-B and Konad M64 (DH chose this plate). I added a top coat of Out the Door Northern Lights.

I had planned to take it off quickly, so I used a glue base. :) It worked. I don't think I will use it often as I did see one of my nails peeling a tiny bit even though I had moisturized them really well before hand, and the glue didn't seem completely dry even though the polish was! lol It's still interesting to see.

Have you tried the glue base yet? Did yours peel?
Have a great day! 

Filing and Favorites

I've been working on this post for a while. It will be linked on the Tips page (up there ^).


I use a NailTek file (from Ulta).
It's glass and comes in a mini for my purse 
in addition to the larger size. It's a pretty fine grit, so not great for taking off length (although it will), but great for maintaining length which is basically what I try to do.

Be sure your nails are dry. Damp/wet nails damage easier when filing. Also, filing with clear base coat, at least, protects them. Some people prefer to file with a darker polish to get an even shape. I can't do it that way. I always seem to file them unevenly. Other people find this to be the best way. I file better with naked or clear polish.

Filing one direction takes some getting used to, I tend to drag down. Try angling the filing hand, rather than angling the file. I often file mine when I'm watching tv, so I'll lay my hand on my leg and then file perpendicular at a right angle. Or I hold my hand flat, palm facing away, fingers pointing toward the ceiling, and file straight across the top. Then file the corners. Check the back side (palm side frequently) for eveness.

When I have my nails the length and shape I want, I drag the tip across the file as if I were scratching it. It cleans the excess out from the edge. I don't file the top edge of the tip unless I have some ridging and then only very lightly and only with a buffing board. I like the Tropical Shine pink files ultra fine side. I find them at WalMart and Sally, as well as online.

For more filing tips, Loodie has several informative posts.


My very favorite polish remover is Zoya Remove.  It is a bit spendy however, so I don't always use it. I do save the wonderful little pumper it comes in. I'll then use the Onyx remover at WalMart (the purple one). I refill the pumper with the Onyx and squirt about a half a teaspoon of glycerin in it. You can usually find the liquid glycerin at WalMart or other drug stores where they have the first aid supplies.

I use this same glycerin in straight acetone for cleanup. I keep two bottles of acetone. One that has glycerin in it for cleaning up my nails/cuticles and one without for cleaning my stamping plates.

My favorite cuticle removers are the Blue Cross available at Sally Beauty Supply and Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover available at most drug stores and discount stores.

With the Blue Cross, you can put a little in an empty, clean polish bottle and paint in on your cuticles. You can also squirt some into a foot bath so that the water looks milky and soak your feet about 10 minutes for super soft feet.

The Sally Hansen just squeezes directly onto your cuticle. After a couple of minutes, push your cuticle back gently and wash it off. As with any product, be sure to use as directed. You can use them too much! I use a remover once a month at most.

Base coats are something I rotate around. I have yet to find one that I love more than any other and think my nails cannot live without. Several have worked very well for me for a long time and then seemed to stop. I think this is normal behavior and have decided it is a good idea to rotate the ones that actually touch my nail. 

That being said, the one I use every time is Salon Sciences Instant Artificials. It always goes on second at least. That's right, I use one or two base coats every time and this is always in the line up. I buy it at Sally Beauty Supply. I like it for providing an extra smooth surface for me to work on and protection against any staining. I read an interesting article about it here.

When I had really bad peeling nails, I used a small bottle of Nailtiques II Plus (note the Plus because there is a Nailtiques II as well). I found it at CVS. It seemed to work good and help get my nails back into decent shape. I knew it was probably protein based, so I wanted to move away from it. If I experience peeling, I will use this again in rotation.

I then went to Barielle Hydrating Ridge FillerI wanted something that would be moisturizing and help keep my nails healthy. It worked great and I still rotate to it frequently. If I want a really long lasting manicure, I do not use this one, but for most of my manicures, it is my favorite.

I still have a bottle of Sally Hansen Nail Quencher.  I like it and wonder why it is no longer on the market. I'll use it from time to time as well. Especially if I am using and older polish. 

Everything you want to know about base coats is on Loodie's blog.

I have a variety of Top Coats too. However, I use the same ones over and over for different reasons. I almost always use Nubar Diamont Seal and Shine after I polish with my main color. When I first discovered this product several years ago, I bought a big refill bottle and have been going through it ever since. So, I've had the same product for a very very long time. I understand it has gone through some changes since then. Hopefully, it is back to the great product that I have and love as my refill bottle is almost empty and I've bought a new bottle. (See blog post here... and here.)

If I am stamping, I will use Barielle Manicure Extender This seems to work best with the Diamont and causes less smearing. I also like it if I am trying to extend the wear after a day or two on a mani.

For my pedis, I love Seche Vite.  I think I started using it for my pedis just because I had a bottle. I liked it and it became a habit.

I've tried using Sally Hansen Diamond Flash for Holos or stamping. It seems to do okay, but does not seem to help dry the entire manicure like some of the others I use. So, I will not be repurchasing it.

The other top coat that I love and use is OPI Designer Series Top Coat. It is not a quick dry, but seems to help with those finicky holos which do dry fast, so quick dry is not that much of an issue.

The final category I think of is Lotions and Potions. I love several different ones. I use Lansinoh Lanilon on my cuticles every night. I've used Mango Mend, but this seems to work better. 

When I'm removing polish, I use Vaseline to protect my cuticles from the acetone. Especially if I'm doing Glitter Removal. I particularly like the little pot this one comes in for storage in my nail polish area.

My favorite hand creme is Lavender No Crack CremeIt works great for me and it is not terribly expensive. It also lasts a long time. I depot it into the little pots you can buy in pairs at WalMart to carry in purse or to share with others. They also have an unscented version that I have not tried if Lavender is not your favorite.

I also like Lush Lemony FlutterMine was a gift, I need to find a Lush retailer. It seems like it might be a bit expensive, but oh my does it smell wonderful!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

OPI Over Exposed in South Beach

Love this color for my skin tone! OPI Over Exposed in South Beach is the perfect berry. Many of them look great in the bottle, then on my pale skin they appear so much darker. This was perfect. Ironically, my pictures seemed...over-exposed or something. I didn't get a single good one, and I tried on two different days. So, you will see some eventual tip wear because I wore it several days. :)

It has a lovely shimmer that is visible, but not overwhelming. I stamped it using China Glaze Robotika and Bundle Monster 314.

What would you call this color? Is it in the wine, burgundy family?
Have a great day!