Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Skittles

I'm always jealous of skittle manicures.  I love them when I see them, but my brain goes completely blank if I try to create one of my own.  I can never think of designs that will be cohesive and so I usually scrap the whole idea and do something else.  But I was determined to do skittle nails for St. Patrick's Day this year, and I think I actually pulled it off.

I'm really happy with them, I think they turned out pretty damn cute!  I already had a basic idea in my head for what to put on 2 or 3 of my nails, so I started there and came up with the rest as I went along.

I started with 2 coats of China Glaze White On White on every nail.  On my index finger, I stamped an argyle pattern from Konad plate m60, using Konad Special Polish in pastel orange.  For the Irish flag, I used striping tape to mark off the nail into thirds, then used OPI Don't Mess With OPI for the green stripe, and OPI Where Did Suzi's Man-Go? for the orange stripe.

For the nail on my ring finger, I used Konad Special Polish in green to stamp the larger shamrock from Winstonia plate W105.  Then I used the two tiny shamrocks from the shamrock design on Bundle Monster plate BM03 and randomly stamped them around the rest of the nail.  And on my pinky nail, I used dotting tools to randomly dot Don't Mess With OPI and Where Did Suzi's Man-Go? around the nail in 3 different sizes.

Finally, on my thumb, I double stamped the plaid pattern from Konad plate m60, first using the Konad green Special Polish and then the Konad pastel orange.  The plaid is a little wonky but the Konad full nail patterns are a little small for my thumbnail, so it was a bit hard to stamp it smoothly while trying to make sure I had it lined up on my nail just right.  In retrospect, I probably should have put the plaid on another nail, like my pinky, and dotted my thumb instead.  But by the time I decided on doing the plaid design, all my other nails were already finished.

In real life though, looking at it from a distance, the plaid looks much better.  And I'm not expecting anyone to be grabbing my hand to get in nice and close like how it's zoomed in tight in the above picture, so I'm satisfied with it.  And I absolutely love the overall look of all 5 designs together.  If I had to choose though, I think the dots would be my favorite.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

KBShimmer Spring 2014 collection

Press Sample

The new KBShimmer Spring Collection for 2014 has been announced and is set to go on sale later this week, on March 14th.  There will be two parts to this new Spring collection, The Glitters & Holos, and The Creams.  Christy will be releasing 16 new shades in all and I have 4 of them for you to preview today.  Follow the jump for swatches of all 4.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mantis Shrimp and Zoya Mitzi Glitter Gradient

Here I go with Zoya Mitzi again.  I love green in general, it's my favorite color.  But I really adore obnoxious shades of green like this.  I realized this even more the other day as I looked around the room and realized that my cell phone case, my laptop mouse and even my hair brush are all this exact same color green.   As usual, Mitzi was streaky, so it took 3 coats to get full, even coverage.  The reason for pulling Mitzi out of the stash again, despite her streaky ways, was that I thought it would make a great base for a glitter polish called Mantis Shrimp.

Mantis Shrimp is a glitter combo that a friend in a Facebook group made for herself.  We all went crazy over it, for good reason, and Sarah agreed to make a few more bottles for those in the group who were interested.  If you're not familiar with what a mantis shrimp is, check out the inspiration behind the polish on The Oatmeal.  And while you're at it, check out Sarah's own Facebook page, My Lacquer Family.  The glitter pairings that she comes up with are just brilliant.

I thought a glitter gradient would be a fun way to layer Mantis Shrimp over Mitzi.  I also needed an excuse to practice the technique because my previous attempts at glitter gradients have been just all sorts of fail.  But this one turned out awesome!  I was so happy with the final results.

I have seen many posts by other bloggers on glitter gradients, all explaining generally the same technique.  But the one that seemed to help me the most is a post from just a few weeks back by Lucy's Stash, which includes a video tutorial.  The video is actually an update to another tutorial she posted a little over a year ago.  I highly recommend checking out both videos.  They definitely helped me.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine 2014

Look at me, all posting a holiday mani on the actual holiday instead of a week later (or two weeks in the case of this past Christmas!).  Not that this post went off without a hitch.  I was originally planning to have this up Wednesday and then do another Valentine design Thursday, since I had the day off from work.  But then word came of the impending snowpocalypse and schedules got switched, I ended up going in to work only to come back home when we shut down at noon because it was so bad out, and by then I...well, I just pretty much said screw it, ha!  So without further ado, here is what turned out to be my lone Valentine manicure this year.

For this design, I started with 3 thin coats of China Glaze White on White.  The design is from Winstonia plate W102.  The polishes used are all Konad Special polishes: red, pink, pastel pink and dark red.  I dabbed the 4 colors onto random spots of the design so that they would blend slightly during scraping.

At first, I felt like they needed something more, but the longer I wore them, the more I enjoyed them just the way they were.

Even though I'm not really one to celebrate Valentine's Day, I do seem to like doing Valentine themed designs. Maybe it's just because they are so many darn heart patterns in each stamping set I own.  I also find that I really enjoy the outcome when I use white as a background for nail art, and this design is no exception to that.  So this was definitely a win-win in my book.

Monday, February 10, 2014

DIFFERENTdimension Just Keep Swimming and Dueling Unicorns

Here are a couple simple stamping manicures I did towards the end of January, using some gorgeous holos from DIFFERENTdimension.

I bought these two polishes back in November and finally decided that they had been sitting in my untrieds for way too long.  This might be a bit picture heavy, because I can't resist showing some swatches of these pre-stamping, so this seems like a good spot for a jump break.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Second Blogiversary!

Wow, so I don't even know where my head has been (or where the hell January went for that matter!), because I just now realized that today is my two year blogiversary!  It did occur to me a few weeks ago that it was approaching, but then it slipped my mind again and the next thing you know, BOOM here it is!

Anyway, I just wanted to put up a quick post to thank everyone who follows my random ramblings here on the blog, and to thank everyone who might also follow on Twitter or Instagram and anyone who's ever commented or liked anything I've sheepishly shared.

I really appreciate the support and feedback you've shown the past two years!  Thank you again!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Color Club The Wanderlust Collection

I have a few manicures saved on my computer that I just never got around to posting before and this is one of them.  I think I mentioned these back in November yet when I posted my autumn pumpkins design.  The manicure itself is even older than that, I did this back in September using all 4 polishes from The Wanderlust Collection by Color Club.

The Wanderlust Collection is a Birchbox exclusive.  I stopped my Birchbox subscription quite a while ago, but I had some points built up on my account and I really loved the swatches I saw online when this collection came out.  I had missed out on it when it first was released, but it eventually came back into stock, so when it did I used my points towards buying the set.  I ordered two sets actually, since the bottles were minis, and I'm glad I did because I love all 4 colors.  The nude color I used for my base is called Mod in Manhattan and this was two coats.  

For the design, I just used two different sized dotting tools and randomly dotted the other 3 colors in the collection.  The neon coral color is called Reign in Spain, the lavender shade is called Pardon My French and the bright green is called London Calling.  Once the dots had dried, I topped everything with a coat of Seche Vite.

And here's a rare shot of my thumb because this was my favorite.  I did my thumb first and tried to repeat the general pattern on the rest of my nails, but they didn't quite have the same curve as on my thumb.  I chalk that up to my thumbnail being wider than the rest of my nails, so I had a little extra room to work with.

Application was super smooth for Mod in Manhattan.  I haven't worn the other 3 colors yet, other than in this design, but I really need to soon, especially that green!


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