Sunday, July 6, 2014

Old Glory

So I did end up doing a second July 4th manicure on Friday afternoon, to wear for the rest of this weekend.  I posted a quick cell phone shot on Instagram Friday after it was done, but Saturday morning I was able to get some better shots in natural light with my Canon.  I wanted to break out a few Zoya PixieDust polishes because I thought they would work well for another flag design.  I'm so glad I did because I'm pretty sure this is now my new favorite July 4th manicure.

Initially, I was a little worried that the stars and stripes wouldn't show up that well over the darker colors, but the stamping actually came out more opaque than I expected.  I really like the way the white has just a slightly faded look to it.  Mixed with the texture of the PixieDust bases, it really reminds me of pictures of historic, vintage looking flags.

All stamping was done using Konad Special Polish in white.  For the blue base, I used 2 coats of Zoya Sunshine.  The red base is 3 coats of Zoya Chyna.  The stars design is off of Nailz Craze plate NC05 and the stripes are from Winstonia plate W107.

I can definitely see this being my go-to design for any patriotic holidays anytime I might have trouble coming up with something new to wear instead.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Stars and Stripes - Happy 4th of July!

Happy July 4th everyone!  Leading up to July 4th this year, I took part in an Independence Day themed swap on Facebook and my awesome swap partner, Cari, sent me a box full of Salon Perfect goodies and some candy.  So after I came down from my sugar high, lol, I got to work on putting together a look for July 4th.  Using a bunch of the items she sent me, here's what I came up with this year.

For my thumb and index nail, I started with Salon Perfect Blue Ribbon.  This was my first experience trying any Salon Perfect polishes and I was pretty happy to see I only needed 2 coats of Blue Ribbon for decent coverage.  The star designs are from a Salon Perfect decal kit that Cari also included in the swap package.  I topped these blue nails with 2 coats of Seche Vite, just to try and even out the edges of the decals.

For the red and white stripes on the rest of my nails, I decided to do a reciprocal gradient instead of regular stripes.  I started with one coat of Salon Perfect Sugar Cube, then sponged on a red and white gradient using Sugar Cube and Salon Perfect Paint The Town Red.  Once that dried, I placed 3 strips of striping tape onto each nail, then redid the gradient with the colors on the opposite ends as the original gradient and quickly removed the striping tape.  I finished off these 3 nails with just one coat of Seche Vite.  The gradient isn't quite as smooth as I would have liked.  But I didn't want to blend the red and white much more because I was hoping to minimize the amount of pink through the center of the gradient.

I've been wearing this all week and it's starting to show a little wear in real life compared to the pictures.  Since July 4th is a Friday this year, there is sure to be some celebrating all weekend long, so I may take this off and do another July 4th manicure sometime today.  Have a fun and safe holiday everyone.  'Murica!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

OPI Taupe-less Beach and Floral Double Stamping

Here's an older mani I hadn't gotten around to posting yet.  I put a pic of this up on Instagram about 3 weeks ago, and I actually had worn it about a week before I posted that shot.  This was another one of those designs that I didn't really have planned out ahead of time.  I just started by picking a polish that I wanted to wear anyway, then browsed through my stamping plates and messed with some ideas while my base color dried.  What I ended up with was this floral look, the result of some double stamping using 2 different designs and colors over OPI Taupe-less Beach.

Taupe-less Beach went on very smooth.  I had just picked it up not that long before at Sally Beauty.  When the Brazil Collection was first released, I started out only wanting, and only buying, 2 of the shades.  But thanks to a few sales and grabbing 2 more here and there, I've come to realize that I now own almost the entire collection, lol.  Taupe-less Beach is definitely one shade that I do not regret picking up though.  It is a great neutral color and was perfectly opaque in just two thin coats.  For the design itself, I started with a leafy pattern from Pueen plate PUEEN33, which I stamped using Konad Special Polish in white.  Over that, I used Konad Special Polish in dark purple to stamp part of a flowery design from another Pueen plate, PUEEN59.

A pretty simple and quick design, but I think this is definitely one my favorites so far in 2014.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

KBShimmer Summer 2014 Collection

Press Sample

KBShimmer just released their new Summer 2014 Collection this past Friday and I was able to try out 6 of the 12 polishes in the collection.  If you've been following me on Instagram, you probably already saw a few swatches that I had posted leading up to the release, but today I've got a whole lot more to show you.  Picture heavy post so follow the jump cut below to see all the swatches.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

China Glaze Metro Pollen-tin

Here's another look with my nails still a bit shorter than usual, thanks to a broken index nail.  This mani is about a month old.  Posting a manicure from Mother's Day a few days before Father's Day makes total sense, right?  Ha, well really it wasn't meant to be a Mother's Day look, except that I put this together during Mother's Day weekend and my mom ended up asking me to repeat it on her for Mother's Day itself.

I started out with 3 thin coats of Metro Pollen-tin, another polish I picked up from the China Glaze City Flourish Collection.  The first coat was a little streaky, but it was almost completely even by the second coat.  I ended up applying a third coat just to get it perfectly even.  After that dried, I stamped a floral pattern from Pueen plate PUEEN25 using Konad Special Polish in pastel orange (which isn't really pastel to me, but that's what Konad calls it).  I added an orange rhinestone to the nail on my ring finger as an accent, and topped everything with Seche Vite.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

China Glaze Grass Is Lime Greener plus stamping

My nails are starting to gain some length back, but I still have a couple manicures to post from when they were a little bit shorter.  Today's post is just some abstract stamping I had done on top of China Glaze Grass Is Lime Greener, from the Spring 2014 City Flourish Collection.

Grass Is Lime Greener was a bit chalky, but I didn't have a very hard time with it like I had read about in a few reviews.  I was relieved since I had bought it before I start seeing others post about it being really streaky and hard to even out.  I did end up applying 3 coats, but application wasn't troublesome at all.  I just made sure to take my time with each coat.  The stamping was done using Konad Special Polish in green and a design from Pueen plate PUEEN16.

I liked this manicure much more in person than how it comes across in the pics.  And even with having to be a little more careful with the application, I'm really glad I picked up this shade from the City Flourish Collection.

Monday, June 2, 2014

KBShimmer Partners In Lime Goes Wild

Corny title, I know.  But it was the first thing that popped in my head, so I'm going with it!  After swatching polishes from the KBShimmer Early Summer 2014 Collection, I loved Partners In Lime so much that I put it back on.  I wore it for a couple days just by itself, no top coat.  But then I decided to add a little stamping, and once again I was drawn back to the tiger/zebra print pattern on Bundle Monster plate BM-223.  I thought about going with a darker green to stamp with, but opted instead to use black for something a little more bold.

After stamping, I finished the look off with two coats of Seche Vite.  The first coat made the mani fairly smooth but, because of the texture, I decided to go for a second coat of Seche Vite to get a perfectly smooth finish.

As much as I loved Partners In Lime without top coat, it was so beautiful with top coat.  I loved the way the different color glitters sparkled between the black animal print design, especially when I was out in the bright sunlight.


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