#nailartjan Day 28 – Re-Creation

Late agaaaaaaain! There goes my promise to post on time :/ Oh well, today’s mani is for day 28, re-creation, and I ended up with something really quick but super blingy.

OPI Which Is Witch? and Color Club Harp On It.

OPI Which Is Witch? and Color Club Harp On It.

I really wanted to do a look from one of my favorite blogs, Blog En Beauté, and there were a few I was really into but I didn’t have the right supplies. I was running out of time but I saw her New Year’s Eve mani on Instagram and thought that would be perfect (and easy)!

Blog En Beauté's original creation from Instagram…

Blog En Beauté’s original creation from Instagram…

…and my re-creation!

…and my re-creation.

There’s really not much to this, just two coats of Harp On It and one coat of Which Is Witch? I took probably over a hundred photos because it’s just SO HARD to capture this perfectly, and I’m still not thrilled with the pics I’ll be using. Just imagine the colors as brighter and more sparkly, because in real life this is crazy in-your-face rainbows! (Also, the lighting/my skin tone varies wildly for the pics below, sorry!) Anyway, if you’ve never seen one of the Color Club Halo Hues before, they are INSANE. Check this out:

Yawza! (Taken in my lightbox.)

Yawza! (Taken in my lightbox.)

The Halo Hues sell for $10, I think, but I found them on this site for $6 (they’re $7 now, but that’s still cheap!). This place is awesome, free shipping over $35 and great customer service – they sent me the wrong bottles and when I emailed, they very quickly shipped out the correct ones but also let me keep the wrong bottles, so I ended up with the whole collection!

Taken near the warm light of a living room lamp.

Taken near the warm light of a living room lamp.

This collection (well, two collections, one came out in 2012, one in 2013) is amazing – great formulas and the holographic rainbows are suuuuuuuper intense. Curiously, I found that Harp On It’s holo died down considerably when I put Which Is Witch? over it, which is weird because top coat doesn’t dull it. I mean, obviously it still comes out in direct light, but it was way stronger indoors before I added WIW? on top. Maybe it has something to do with the competing holos?

Macro.

Macro.

What I like about both these polishes is that although they’re obviously best in bright light, you can see their sparkly rainbow goodness in all lighting, even the crappy, really low-watt indoor lighting of my apartment, as you can see below.

01-30-14 low light

Which Is Witch? is small hex and tiny bar pieces, and at first I thought it wasn’t worth buying – I mean, I have a lot of silver holo hex glitters – but because the bar glitters are so small/short, it looks like tiny rays of rainbows on your nails. I mean, it doesn’t get more delightful than that! WIW? is also surprisingly smooth, I didn’t even have top coat for two days; I’d forgotten to put it on because my nails weren’t super bumpy like they usually are with glitter.

Taken in my car in direct sunlight.

Taken in my car in direct sunlight.

Please buy these polishes if you don’t own them and see their lovely effects for yourself! I’m dying to put WIW? over a dark color now that I’ve rediscovered it, and I think a holo ombre with my Halo Hues colors is in order. Let me know if you have these/are going to get them!

Thank you for reading! I only have one challenge left, let’s see if I post it on time :) See you then – A x

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#nailartjan Day 25 – Match OOTD

This is late, because I only just put up the previous challenge yesterday, which was already like three days late. Sorry, I’ve been busy the last few days! I’m going to try my best to get the last three challenges up on time. Anyway, today’s challenge is to match your OOTD (outfit of the day), and I slightly cheated by basing my design off an outfit I wore Friday night, even though I did my nails late Sunday.

Polishes used:

Milani White On The Spot, Sally Hansen Black Out, Ulta Piñata Yada Yada, OPI Glitzerland.

Milani White On The Spot, Sally Hansen Black Out, Ulta Piñata Yada Yada, OPI Glitzerland.

The polishes were pretty basic, but the design legit took

Also, my nails look super terrible up close – the black polish bled and I tried to fix some parts but ended up scraping off the white underneath as well, and…well, I apologize in advance!

Here’s a shot with my nails with the outfit my design was based off of, a striped dress and glittery belt.

Please forgive my messy-ass living room in the background ha.

Please excuse the jewel-toned mess in the background that is my living room!

Pretty good, right? I started with a base of my (lumpy, gross, ugh I need a new bottle!) Milani White On The Spot on each nail except my ring fingers, which I painted with a base of OPI’s Glitzerland. When Glitzerland was dry, I dabbed on two coats of Piñata Yada Yada (fun name) to get all the glitter evenly distributed. Piñata Yada Yada doesn’t quiiiiiiiiite match because the belt is mainly gold/silver/pale pink with scattered blue/green/red pieces and my polish is a Happy Birthday dupe which has equal parts silver/gold/pink/red/green/blue but it’s close enough.

Looking at it now, I really wish I had used that metallic lavender Essie under the glitter, I bet that would've made it look more like the belt. Oh well.

Looking at it now, I really wish I had used that metallic lavender Essie under the glitter, I bet that would’ve made it look more like the belt. Oh well.

I did a coat of Seche over WOTS and then once that was dry I started painstakingly arranging my tape pieces. I meant to get a photo of my hand with all the tape pieces but it was taking a lot longer than I thought it would, and I honestly forgot once I was in the middle of it. (But you can see from the finished design how many pieces I used!) Once all the tape pieces were in place I quickly painted a coat of black over top. Unfortunately, a lot of the tape pieces weren’t staying down so Black Out bled a bit and I didn’t get the cleanest lines, plus the aforementioned “attempted to fix but ended up making it worse” issue. Blerg. Well, from a distance it doesn’t look that bad.

01-27-14 outfit shot  close

I’m still deciding what to do for the next challenge; there’s one I really want to do but I don’t know if I have adequate materials and/or patience for it. Maybe I should just pick something that’s a bit easier but will definitely turn out well? Hmmmm. Well, thank you all for reading! See you next time – A x

#nailartjan Day 22 – Studs

I can’t seem to post these on time! Today’s post features day 22’s theme, studs. I really wanted to do a cool design but I realized my little store of studs is almost out, so I stuck with something fairly simple. I did get to play with my new PixieDust polishes, though!

Zoya's Godiva and Stevie.

Zoya’s Godiva and Stevie.

When I was younger, my friends and I would always do a bunch of weird stuff to our nails (shock, right?) and I remember at one sleepover we put some glue on our nails and poured colored craft sand over them to get a cool finish. I’m not saying my friends and I invented the texture trend, or anything, but…okay, we basically invented PixieDusts at like, age nine. #nailgeniuses Before these I’ve only ever tried OPI’s texture polishes, but I like how PixieDusts are so sparkly! Godiva looks like actual sand on the nail, due to its sparkly nude color, and Stevie is a beautiful pinky-lavender. Godiva would be a really great color for a a conservative work place, actually, because it’s a fun take on a nude.

01-26-14 curled around bottle Godiva

I found the texture of Godiva to be way rougher than I thought it would be – it literally felt like pieces of sand on my nails. Weirdly, Stevie felt a little more smooth, and after a day both of them had gotten significantly smoother, which makes sense because of the normal wear and tear from things like showering, cleaning, etc. Godiva was super sheer, but I knew that going in from reviews I’ve read. I still have a bit of visible nail line after three thin coats on every finger except my thumb, which I painted with two coats of Stevie. Both dried fairly fast, but I waited a few minutes between coats to be safe.

01-26-14 diagonal

After I was sure each nail was totally dry, I took a some pieces of tape, stuck them to my palms a few times to make them less sticky, and placed them on my nails leaving a triangle shape coming up from my cuticles. Then I painted two fast coats of Godiva over my thumbs and one or two of Stevie over the other nails, and quickly peeled off the tape. I always have a hard time making each shape uniform when I use tape, but I think these came out pretty well. After these had dried, I put a little blob of Seche Vite and placed a stud on top with tweezers, pressing it in gently to make sure it adhered.

01-26-14 curled to the side

Even over the textured polish, these studs lasted the normal amount of time – I lost one the first day, and three more the next, but that was because of washing my hair, doing dishes, cleaning…so basically these will last 2-3 days if you sit perfectly still and don’t do anything involving your hands for a few days ha. I still love them, though, and I really want to get some neon ones or maybe some circular ones to play with in the future.

01-23-14 curled around bottle

I can’t wait to play with my other PixieDust, Dahlia, which looks really badass since it’s black, but that’s going to wait because there’s still three challenges left in January! Because I’m terribly late posting this, I just completed my next challenge so that’ll be up tomorrow. I hope you liked this look, and thank you for reading! – A x

#nailartjan Day 19 – Sweets

Ehhhhhh here’s another one that I’m not too fond of. I did this really late because I was so enamored of my previous manicure and wanted to wear it longer, and I’m kind of glad I have a new challenge tomorrow so I have an excuse to take this one off. For the “sweets” theme I tried to replicate those candy buttons. How gross were those things, by the way? The rainbow colors always drew me in, though :)

China Glaze Sunday Funday, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lightening, Nox Beauty Crush, Milani White On The Spot.

China Glaze Sunday Funday, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lightening, Nox Beauty Crush, Milani White On The Spot.

I painted two coats of Milani White On The Spot, which is reeeeeeally goopy and lumpy, and isn’t self-leveling anymore, so I really need to get a new bottle because I use it so much for nail art! Anyway, when that was dry, I got out my Konad stamping plate m79 with polka dots and brushed a little yellow in the middle of the design, pink at top and blue at the bottom. When I scraped, sometimes the colors would mix a bit and I’d get a some green or orange.

Annnnd as usual I made a huge mess!

Annnnd as usual I made a huge mess! And obvs I recycled this paper towel from my previous mani.

The problem is, none of these colors were very good to stamp with. Well, they were all opaque enough to show up, but were really smear-y, so lots of the dots didn’t look opaque or the shape of the dot is smudged. Sigh. Below is a pic of both hands, you can see that I got more of the cool gradient mixing on my right hand than my left.

Left.

Left.

Right. (Sorry for the chip on my pointer! Blame on my goop-master Milani!)

Right. (Sorry for the chip on my pointer! Blame on my goop-master Milani!)

This obviously isn’t an exact copy of the candy – the dots aren’t in straight columns or close together – but I was too lazy to attempt doing it with dotting tools. I have a really hard time making perfect dots with them, and that would’ve been a LOT of dots! The smearing really disappointed me but in theory I like this mani, I think it’s really fun! I’ll eventually try it again with colors that stamp better.

Ugh my hands look so red and weird in all these pics! I don't know what happened.

Ugh my hands look so red and weird in all these pics! I don’t know what happened.

In more exciting news, I got my polishes from the most recent Zoya promotion! Three PixieDusts are now mine, mwahahaaaaa. I need to think of a way to use them in the next challenge, because I’m dying to try them out!

Dahlia, Godiva, Stevie - my first PixieDust shades!

Dahlia, Godiva, Stevie – my first PixieDust shades!

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

#nailartjan Day 16 – Gradient

(I’m so late posting here, but I put my photo up on Instagram on the correct date so I’m still counting it as on time!)

Gradient challenge! I’ve only done a gradient once before, but this one is a million times better! It also used TEN POLISHES but sometimes you gotta work hard for something awesome. Here’s the lineup:

Clockwise from the mint green: Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet, Color Club Twiggie, CC Blue-Ming, China Glaze Too Yacht To Handle, CG Kinetic Candy, CG Electric Beat, CG Sweet Hook, CG That's Shore Bright!, Zoya Shelby, CG Hang Ten-Toes.

Clockwise from the mint green: Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet, Color Club Twiggie, CC Blue-Ming, China Glaze Too Yacht To Handle, CG Kinetic Candy, CG Electric Beat, CG Sweet Hook, CG That’s Shore Bright!, Zoya Shelby, CG Hang Ten-Toes.

To start I painted two coats of Shelby, Sweet Hook, Kinetic Candy, Blue-Ming, and Mint Sorbet. Because these are pastels, a few of them were still a bit streaky at two coats, but I knew I was going to be sponging over it, so that was fine. Here’s what those colors look like by themselves:

01-19-14 before curled

I’m not great at sponging gradient techniques – I somehow always get some texture and/or little pieces of the makeup sponges I use on my nails – but what greatly helps is something my sister taught me, to dip the sponge in water and wring it out until it’s just barely damp. Somehow the slight moisture really helps keep those tiny pieces from sticking your polish! I still got one or two, but they were easily picked off. Anyway, next I painted my color combos on my sponge, making sure to overlap them, and got to business! The combos were like they are in the bottle pic, but for easier reading, from thumb to pinkie: Shelby/Hang Ten-Toes, Sweet Hook/That’s Shore Bright!, Kinetic Candy/Electric Beat, Blue-Ming/Too Yacht To Handle, Mint Sorbet/Twiggie.

01-19-14 sponged1

Once I had gotten each nail to my desired opacity, I waited for them to dry and then did one thin coat of Lynnderella’s Connect the Dots, the famous matte black and white glitter. Lynnderella was one of the first indie polish creators, and I somehow managed to order five of her polishes a few years ago with relative ease despite the crazy wait list system. (In case you’ve never dealt with it before, highly sought-after indie polish makers’ wares often sell out in five seconds and this causes a great frenzy for their products, since most of them [back then, anyway] only made polishes as a side job and sometimes didn’t have them available for weeks or months at a time. Lots of people have real shops on Etsy and other websites now, but there’s still a few who people have to stalk Facebook and Twitter for updates about and order within seconds to get anything.) Lynnderella sells on eBay now but they’re way pricier – I think $20-$30 per bottle[!]? The good thing is, lots of easy-to-find polishes that are pretty good dupes are now available, I think Maybelline has one called “Spotted.” It does give me something of a lacquer-head thrill to own an OG Lynnderella, though :)

Gah sorry, I had some lotion on my hand that wasn't rubbed in!

Gah sorry, I had some lotion on my hand that wasn’t rubbed in!

Clean-up on gradient stamping is a bitch, I’m not gonna lie. I used those pointy makeup Q-tip thingies dipped in remover to clean up around each cuticle but I still managed to mess up my nice clean lines a bit. I used regular Q-tips dipped in remover to clean up the rest. I added a coat (or two, to fully cover some wayward bar glitter pieces) of Seche and voila! One of my favorite manicures ever was complete!

01-19-14 curled under

I got two little chips in two days, but I’ve touched them up because I want to wear this mani for as long as possible! I will definitely be late on the next challenge because I love this one so much. I’m so, so pleased with how this came out! I mean, it’s not perfect – the Sweet Hook/That’s Shore Bright gradient on my left hand isn’t great, and neither is the Shelby/Hang Ten-Toes on my left hand, but the CTD glitter distracts from any imperfections. Also, I think the Blue-Ming/Too Yacht To Handle colors are a little too similar so the gradient is reeeeeeally subtle, and conversely Sweet Hook/That’s Shore Bright are maybe a little too far apart color-wise to be a more seamless gradient, but that’s just my perfectionist tendencies nitpicking. I love these bright pastels together and will def do something with them again in the future. It just makes me happy when I look down and see this mani!

01-19-14 in car

Thank you so much for reading! See you next time! A x