Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rococo Mani

All summer long, I've been craving sky blues. I want a truly sky blue polish, a blue that's soft and bright at the same time. I haven't found the perfect one yet, so I've been stashing any number of not-quite-perfect ones. It's a terrible affliction. ;)

The base color for this mani is Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect Air. I stamped the pattern using Red Angel place RA-111 and Sally Hansen Gold Chrome, which is my favorite gold stamping polish. Finally, I added some pink gems for the finishing touch.

The overall design was inspired by the shapes and colors in French Rococo design. I'm thinking about starting a series of designs based on movements in art and architecture, but I've been so sporadic about posting that I'll probably wait until I'm doing it more regularly.

Like this.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Across the Galaxy Part 2

As I discussed in a previous post, I'm on a quest to find a blue polish to layer with Milani Teal to recreate Deborah Lippman Across the Universe on a smaller budget. This is my second attempt at it.

The blue polish in this attempt is Ruby Kisses Regaled Out Blue, which looked like the perfect color in the bottle. For this mani, I used one layer of Milani Teal between two layers of Regaled Out Blue. As it turns out, Regaled Out Blue is a little too opaque and covered the colors in the glitter. Based on swatches online, Ruby Kisses Blue My Mind and Deal With the Devil are also candidates for this. Since Ruby Kisses is a low-cost brand, I may try one or both of those to try to close the gap to my dream polish.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Starry Night Nails

For this manicure, I decided to try stamping in two colors at once. I've read various thoughts on how to handle this, but I basically just put each color of polish on a different part of the plate, scraped in the direction that would avoid smearing them together, and went for it.

 The base color is Cover Girl Rhythm and Blue, which I got as part of a two pack at the Dollar Tree. For the stars at the top of the image I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep, and for the grass at the bottom, I used Sally Hansen Color Quick Green Chrome. Sadly, the silver and green are so similar it's a little hard to tell the difference.

The image is from Red Angel plate RA-105. Again, I was a little disappointed to find that the details in the stars didn't stamp very clearly. To add a little more interest and cover some spots that didn't transfer well, I used my dotting tools to add some dots of Finger Paints Key to My Art to the stars. The final product reminds me a little of The Starry Night.

Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sinful Sinful Colors

As many of you undoubtedly know, there has been an incident with Sinful Colors in which they used photos from nail blogs on some of their promotional materials without permission. In fact the photos in question didn't even show their polishes. Revlon, which owns the company that produces Sinful Colors, has apologized and states that they are working with the effected bloggers. I've decided that I'm going to hold off buying any new SC polishes for a while, but in the meantime, I'll still use (and post) the ones I had before all this came up.

That said, this is one that I was really excited to get in the late spring, since I've been obsessed with sky blues all spring and summer.

In addition to the sky blue base, Sinful Colors Cinderella has some pink shimmer that was tricky to photograph. It showed up more in real life. You can just get a hint of it on my thumb in this photo.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Broken Glass Mani

When I was thinking about what to wear under China Glaze Luxe and Lush, I wanted a dark color since they seem to show the flakes best. On the other hand, I didn't want to use black just because I've seen it worn that way a lot. Instead, I decided to go with a dark red.

The base color I went with is Borghese Bella Berry. Then, I added just one thick coat of Luxe and Lush. It's thick enough that I had to kind of pat it on to avoid dragging the particles back off.

This picture's a little blurry, but it shows the colors of the flakes in Luxe and Lush better. The shape of them reminds me of pieces of broken glass, which makes me wonder what it would look like over a lighter color, like maybe a light brown or tan. I'd also really like to see a polish with similar flakes, but in blues - maybe for winter.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chain Link Mani

For some reason it's taken me forever to find the right use for the chain design from Bundle Monster plate BM12. It's been one of my favorites since I got the plates, so I don't know why I haven't gotten around to it before.

For the main base color, I used China Glaze Stone Cold from the Hunger Games collection, which is matte on it's own. I stamped the chains with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep. For my accent nail, I used a background of China Glaze Icicle and stamped it with KleanColor Black. I put a coat of Essie Matte About You on everything (including Stone Cold, to make sure the chains were matte too).

I really LOVE the way this looks! Sadly, it wasn't very durable. As you can see in the picture, just showering the morning after doing my nails was enough to give me some tip wear. By the end of day two, Stone Cold was coming off in big chips. I don't have many matte polishes, so I'm wondering - are they usually this fragile?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shawl Inspired Nails

I have to admit that I often dress to match my nails, not the other way around like normal people. However, there are some exceptional outfits that require a coordinating mani.

One of my friends knitted me this beautiful, light, soft shawl. We both love purple, and he started knitting shortly before I started crochet. So, we've been learning and sharing our work as we both progress in our skills.

To go with my lovely shawl, I chose two coats Maybelline Colorama Grape Crush for the main color and added an accent nail with two coats of KleanColor Vegas Nights over one of Grape Crush.

I felt like we needed another picture of the awesome shawl. I've been seeing people out and about where I live with an index finger accent nail. I don't know why, but I feel like it looks so different when it's just two nails over!

Any thoughts? What's your favorite accent nail? Or your favorite outfit to match your polish to?