Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nails for Doctor Who Series 8 Premiere

I'm a Doctor Who fan and yesterday (Aug. 23) was a very exciting day with the Series 8 premiere. YAY!



But, alas, I'm in the U.S. and do not have BBC America so I have to wait for it on Hulu. Despite the wait, I felt it necessary for my nails to reflect my excitement. This is most certainly my most detailed mani ever and it was so much fun to do!

DoctorWho;TARDIS;Dalek;Galaxy


Left hand: All four doctors from the new series (from left 12th: Capaldi, 11th: Smith, 10th: Tennant; 9th: Eccleston) and the TARDIS. Is it weird I have the chests of 4 different men on my nails?

12th, 11th, 10th, and 9th Doctors - sun

12th, 11th, 10th, and 9th Doctors - indirect sun

12th, 11th, 10th, and 9th Doctors with the TARDIS

I am especially proud of the 'Police Box' lettering on the TARDIS. It's not perfect, but it's legible! Success.

TARDIS;DOCTORWHO



Right hand: Galaxy nails, a Dalek, a Cyberman, and the Union Jack. Painted with my non-dominant hand. My left hand skills seem to be improving, but it's still so awkward. The Cyberman isn't my favorite, but it'll do. I love how the Dalek turned out. Exterminate!

Dalek;Cybermen;galaxy;doctorwho

Dalek;Cybermen;galaxy;doctorwho


So this took me an obscene amount of time to complete...cough...5 hours...cough.

What?!

The doctors took an especially long time as I wasn't completely sure how I was going to accomplish them until I actually started. I love how they turned out. The 5 hours was totally worth it in the end and now I can wave my nerd flag high and proud.

I used 21 different polishes and black and white acrylic paint, also striping tape and rhinestones to complete this mani. I don't ever want to take it off and I can't stop staring at them. Now to watch some more Doctor Who!

Happy Dance!


Thanks for reading! Anyone else do Doctor Who nails for the premiere? I'd love to see!





Thursday, July 17, 2014

First Attempt at a Stamp Decal

Well, hello there! It has been many moons since my previous post, but I promise I'm still here. I'm not planning on having so many moons between now and the next post,

I had a strong desire to use Geminids from Model City Polish this week. As I rarely use a single polish in my manis, I decided I needed to include a gradient to match. This would normally be plenty, but after watching a stamp decal tutorial (below), I realized I couldn't live without that either. I put all these things together and got this:
Direct sun

Indoor daylight

Arty cat fur backdrop (thanks, Gatsby!)

Unfortunately, I can't find the exact video I watched, but this one from Lucy's Stash is pretty similar to what I did. 



A couple things I did differently: I didn't add top coat on the stamper, but rather, painted a background color, let it dry, and then placed it on my nail over wet base coat. After placing the decal on my nail, I cleaned up around the edges first and then applied top coat. If I applied top coat like she did in the video, I'd surely make a huge mess.


Polishes and tools used for this mani:

Add caption

From top left:
Konad Special Stamping Polish - Black
butter LONDON - Royal Navy
Zoya - Robyn
Zoya - Wednesday
Zoya - Arizona
Zoya - Ziv
Model City Polish - Geminids
Orly Bonder (base coat)
Seche Vite (top coat)
Vivid Lacquer squishy stamper and scraper
Beauty sponge (for the gradient)
Mash Plate #39


What do you think? Have you tried this stamp decal method? Questions? Comments? Please post below! This definitely won't be the last time I play with this technique. So much fun!


Thanks for reading :3


All items used in this post are from my personal collection and were not provided for review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ombre Nails with Flakies on Top

I am a little obsessed with teal right now and decided to try an ombre style mani with a variety of different polishes. I also wanted a good reason to slather Zoya Maisie over all my nails because it's just so pretty. This mani is from a week ago so it's not as pristine as a fresh mani, but I think it held up amazingly well.

These are the colors I used. It ranges from Black to teal to mint green. The lighting is lousy and doesn't really show off the true colors. The Julep is a matte black (Julep calls it a latex finish), but I put a top coat on it to make it shiny. BL Bluey is the only shimmery base color I used. Slapper, Wednesday, and Re-Fresh Mint are all cremes.



All of the following photos were taken in shaded outdoor lighting. The direct sun photos didn't do the polish any justice.



 The only pic with my thumb. The others turned out weird and didn't show it off well so I didn't include them.

Shaded outdoor lighting

I love Zoya Maisie so much! I love how it looks different, yet similar on each nail.

Shaded outdoor lighting

This picture shows off the shimmer of the ring finger nail with BL Bluey as the base. I didn't think I'd like Maisie with a shimmery base, but it looks pretty nifty after all.



I used a base coat of OPI Nail Envy and Seche Vite for top coat. In the photo with all the polishes, you might've noticed some numbers on top of the bottles. That's part of my cataloging system (that I'm a tad behind in updating), but I'll do a post about it another time. 


Thanks for reading!
-Melissa



All polishes presented here are from my collection and were not provided for review. All opinions are my own.








Friday, March 21, 2014

A Beach-Inspired Mani

Well, hello there! My goodness, it's been a while since my last post! Time seriously flies by. I went into this blogging thing thinking I'd post at least a couple times a week, preferably more, but, man it has been difficult to find the time lately. I have lots of pictures to post, it's just getting around to doing it. Sometimes I'm quite the procrastinator. Over the next month or two, posts will likely be limited as I'm finishing up my dissertation so I can (finally) graduate this Spring. Basically for the next several weeks, I will have no life and will live in a cave, but I will emerge with unyielding glory and triumph (or something like that).

I have some pretty nails to share with you today. During my recent unplanned blogging hiatus, I went to Hawaii for a wee vacation and needed appropriate nails. (Note: Pictures were taken on camera phone and the lighting isn't the greatest.)




For this mani, I used Zoya Zuza on my index, middle, and pinkie fingers. The thumb and ring fingers were done using a damp sponge to create the gradient. I did a base layer of Essie Marshmallow (to make it squishy looking and to help the neon pop). Then I put a line of China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, a thin line of Essie Marshmallow, and a line of China Glaze For Audrey on a damp makeup sponge and dabbed it on the nail. The glitter topper is Elevation Polish - Stay Behind, Catch A Wave--one of my absolute favorite polishes. Unfortunately, in the thumb close-up, Essie Marshmallow doesn't really show up. I dabbed it a bit too much, but you can see it on the ring finger.

I love the sparkling ocean effect the glitter gives. The turquoise color looks just like the water in Hawaii and the white from the Essie polish is meant to look like the foam from the ocean. And the neon? Well, it's fun and sunny...like the beach!

Thanks for reading!

-Melissa



All polishes used in the mani are from my own collection and were not provided for review.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Multitude of Cats Nail Art (with a Sharpie!)

Happy Caturday! I am a cat lover. You might call me a crazy cat lady, but I only have 2 so, in my opinion, it hasn't reached crazy levels quite yet. In any case, when I'm doing nail art, I often look for inspiration in the things around me--patterns, colors, scenery, objects. Today, I decided to try my hand at matching my phone case...because cats.

nail_art-because_cats-sharpie
It's probably the best phone case ever.

nail_art-because_cats-sharpie

For this mani, I painted my nails white with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and let it dry completely. Then I used an ultra fine point Sharpie (yes, a Sharpie) to draw the cats. I used Seche Vite for a top coat, but later found out that Seche and Sharpie ink don't really mesh so well. It can cause streaking. I read somewhere that when using Sharpie on your nails, it helps to seal it with hairspray before applying top coat. I didn't do this and I have no idea if it works, but I might try it next time to avoid streaking.

What do you think? Sharpies for nail art? Yea or nay?

Thanks for reading!



Friday, February 7, 2014

Purple Skittles Mani for World Cancer Day (and pre-Valentine's)

Happy Friday!! I have another "skittles" nail art mani for you. I had a hankering for a purple mani so I grabbed several of my favorite purples and made one. It was also in commemoration of World Cancer Day on February 4, 2014.

Purple_Skittles_Mani for World_Cancer_Day

Purple_Skittles_Mani for World_Cancer_Day

Purple_Skittles_Mani for World_Cancer_Day


Thumb and ring finger are Whimsical Ideas by Pam - Persian Violets over Zoya - Purity.
Index is Zoya - Trixie for the base. Then I used striping tape to block off 3 sections and filled with Julep - Gayle, Essie - Play Date, and Julep - Simone.
Middle finger is Color Club - Eternal Beauty with a stamp on top (plate: Bundle Monster 317 with Konad Black).
Pinkie is Essie - Play Date for the base, Julep - Gayle for the heart and the dots are Zoya - Trixie.

You might notice the smudging on my middle finger. I was a little too heavy-handed with my top coat and it smudged the black. Sometimes top coats can be tricky. The stamp didn't work out as well as I'd like either, but it wasn't really cooperating, in general, so this was as good as I could get it at the time.


Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Finger Lickin' Lacquer Tooth Decay Collection

It's been a little while since I last posted, but I have a boatload of photos for you today. I was able to review a few polishes from a new indie polish brand called Finger Lickin' Lacquer. This brand makes scented polishes, although you can opt for the unscented versions if you prefer.

I have 3 polishes from the Tooth Decay line: Not A Peep, Fairy Floss, and Truffle Shuffle.

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Tooth_Decay_Collection
From left: Not A Peep, Fairy Floss, and Truffle Shuffle

First is Not A Peep. This one is modeled after those Peep candies that used to only appear in the Spring, but now seem to be omnipresent. It is a bright, shimmery yellow base with with small white glitter--both round and square, clear iridescent square glitter, and a very small amount of  small black glitter (for the eyes!). It smells like Peeps.

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Not_A_Peep
Direct sun

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Not_A_Peep


Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Not_A_Peep
Shade
This polish goes on very smoothly. I didn't have any trouble with the small glitter, although there wasn't very much black glitter in the bottle so I had to search a little for it. Glitter lays flat. The scent was very sugary sweet, much like the candy, but it also had a chemical smell to it, which I did not like. After it dries down, the chemical smell dissipates a bit, but I still noticed it. The above photos are 3 coats with top coat. It would be fine in 2 coats, but I wanted to build it up a bit more as it is a little sheer.

I also tried Not A Peep with a base color (undies). For these, I used Butter London Jasper.





Next is Fairy Floss. This one is a sheer pink base with a bluish iridescent shimmer. It contains white hex glitter of varying sizes, light pink glitter, white bar glitter, matte silver and gold glitter. It smells like cotton candy.

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Fairy_Floss
Direct sun

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Fairy_Floss
Shade
I think this one is very pretty. I'm usually not into sheer polishes, but I love how this one adds a touch of fun (and fairy dust?) to my nails without being in-your-face. I used 3 coats with top coat here because I wanted to see if I could build it up, but 2 coats would be fine. No problems with the glitter. This one smells like cotton candy, but like Not A Peep, it also had a chemical smell. It is not as sugary sweet as Not A Peep, but still sweet. I wore this one for 24 hours and I could still smell the cotton candy after numerous hand washings and a shower.

This polish would make a good topper and because of the iridescent shimmer, I had to try it on a darker base...for science. The following is Fairy Floss over Julep Cleopatra (a black polish).

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Fairy_Floss_over_Julep_Cleopatra
Indirect sun

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Fairy_Floss_over_Julep_Cleopatra
Direct Sun

It's like an entirely different polish over black! It really allows the blue shimmer to show through. For good measure, I also put it over a red, Orly Crawford's Wine.

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Fairy_Floss_over_Orly_Crawford's_Wine
Indirect sun

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Fairy_Floss_over_Orly_Crawford's_Wine
Shade

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Fairy_Floss_over_Orly_Crawford's_Wine
Direct Sun

Lastly, this is Truffle Shuffle. It is a sheer brown base with a gold shimmer, orange and green glitter of varying shapes—hex, square, circle—and a smattering of matte gold glitter. Smells like chocolate. Sadly, the sun was being shy behind some clouds so I couldn't get a direct sun shot.

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Truffle_Shuffle


Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Truffle_Shuffle


I used 3 coats here with top coat, again, because I wanted to see if I could build it up. I like the depth that you can achieve with this polish. No problems with the glitter. It really does smell like chocolate, but with that same chemical scent present in the other two.

I tried this one with two base colors and posted comparison pics. For base colors, I used Essie Sand Tropez and China Glaze Mahogany Magic.

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Truffle_Shuffle_over_Essie_Sand_Tropez_and_China_Glaze_Mahogany_Magic

Finger_Lickin'_Lacquer-Truffle_Shuffle_over_Essie_Sand_Tropez_and_China_Glaze_Mahogany_Magic


Finger Lickin' Lacquer polishes will be available beginning February 17, 2014 at http://fingerlickinlacquer.com/shop/. Bottles are $8.50 each.

Thanks for reading!


Finger Lickin' Lacquer polishes were provided for review. All opinions are my own.