Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fireworks Mani

One of my other hobbies is playing video games on my Nintendo DS. My spouse got it for me largely so I could play what was, at the time, the newest version of the game Animal Crossing. The finished mani in this post reminds me of the celebratory fireworks that happen a few times a year in that game. (Sorry in advance for the hideous state of my cuticles. I'm spending today moisturizing and getting them back into decent shape.)


I started with a base of China Glaze Hologram from the Tronica collection, which is a silver polish with a holographic finish. The formula was just the right texture: thick enough to easily control the placement, but thin enough to go on smoothly. I used three coats to maximize the sparkle, but it was basically opaque after two. I really like all the Tronica polishes that I have, and this one is no exception. Here's an indoor picture that shows the holo effect a little better. It still doesn't really show the full sparkly awesomeness.

For the stamping, I used a round flower pattern from one of the older Bundle Monster plates. I stamped the pattern randomly twice on each nail, once in Revlon Top Speed Bubble and once in Revlon Top Speed Royal. The Revlon Top Speed cremes are great for stamping, and these went on easily.

And now, for comparison purposes, one more mani picture with a picture of an Animal Crossing fan (it was surprisingly hard to find a good picture of the AC fireworks online).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gilded Berries Mani

I was feeling a little low on inspiration when it came time to do my nails this time around. So, I decided to let my sweet spouse do the choosing for me. I handed him my stack of nail wheels and told him to pick any color. His choice was OPI Cabernet for the Lady. I've had this polish in my collection for long time. Longer, in fact, than I've had "a collection." I can't actually remember where I got it, but it was apparently a Trade Secret exclusive back in 2005. I'm pretty sure it's one of the older, chemical-ly polishes as it had that good old fashioned chemical smell and a long, thin brush. Despite its age, it doesn't seem to be particularly rare or expensive online and is readily available for purchase at normal OPI prices.


Cabernet for the Lady applied beautifully (as I would expect from a polish full of evil but helpful chemicals). It was opaque and smooth in two coats. I prefer a wider brush, so that posed a bit of a challenge, but it was otherwise perfect. I've also just picked up Sally Hansen Antiqued Gold, one of their new Crackle Overcoat polishes. (In my area, these seem to available only at Walgreens.)  I wanted to add a little something extra to Cabernet for the Lady, so I decided  to add some crackle. Antiqued Gold was nice and thin and applied quite easily. It didn't seem to crackle quite as much as some of my other crackles, but it still adds a little sparke. I was so in love with the base color that I didn't want to cover it up, so I stuck with accent nails.

Where do you come down on the chemical-free issue? Good for you or health-nut nonsense? What are your favorite evil old polishes?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Awessome Aussie Polish Giveaway

Gilded Nails is a great polish blog from a fellow colonist in Australia. Carina has put together several lovely prizes that might give us US polish addicts a chance to pick up something new and different (or older and amazing). Check it out at http://www.gildednails.co/2011/05/1500-follower-giveaway.html.

Monday, May 23, 2011

China Glaze Midnight Kiss

Y'all, my gold quest is over. I've been looking for that perfect, edge-of-Bible-pages gold for a while now, and it's mine at last. China Glaze Midnight Kiss is from the 2010 holiday collection, 'Tis the Season to be Naughty or Nice. The silver from this collection, Cheers to You, has been my favorite silver for a while so I had high hopes for Midnight Kiss, and I'm not disappointed.


Midnight Kiss is a true gold foil. It was completely opaque and evened out beautifully in two coats. It doesn't show brush strokes, dried quickly, and really didn't need a top coat (though I applied one anyway to prevent chipping). The color is, as I already said, perfect. My next favorite gold, Finger Paints Key to My Art, is a little too cool and several others I've tried are too brown or green. This is far and away my favorite. I think I'll have to grab another bottle of Midnight Kiss and Cheers to You while they're still available online. Both of these just make me happy to look at, and I'm going to want them in my hoard for a long time.

What polishes do you love so much you need back ups?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spellbinding Nails 500 Followers Giveaway

Spellbinding Nails loves nail stamping! To celebrate reaching 500 followers on her blog, she is holding a giveaway that includes some stamping plates from Chez Delaney, which includes some designs I haven't seen anywhere else, as well as some lovely polishes. Check out the details of the giveaway at http://spellbindingnails.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-second-500-give-away.html.

Nail Night Mani - Awesome 80's

As I've mentioned before, my nail polish obsession started with the periodic Nail Night get-togethers held by a friend. Several ladies (and a couple of colorful gentlemen who do their toes only) get together to share nail polish and friendship. Two of these ladies have extensive nail polish collections and knowledge, and introduced me to nail stamping and nail blogs. In order to make it easier for them (and increasingly, me) to narrow down what to bring to nail night, it's been decided that we'll start having themes each time we get together. The first theme, given what a big trend it is right now, was crackle.


I'm still working my way through trying all of my crackles (I'm intentionally spacing them out a bit so I don't get tired of the look) and trying different ways of applying them. This time, used China Glaze Broken Hearted, which is a bright pink, creamy textured crackle. Like all the colored China Glaze Crackle Glazes, it's thick and dries quickly, but it wasn't really hard to apply. I decided to apply it horizontally, but just to slap it on a little differently on each nail. I took pictures of both hands, so you can see all the different results I got. My favorites are the nails where I applied short strokes from the edge to the middle of the nail from both directions. You can see this best on the ring finger of my left hand in the picture below.


The base color on this is Ruby Kisses Green Tomatoes, which I borrowed from on of my Nail Night companions. In the bottle, it looked like a very bright shimmery green. However, it was not very thickly pigmented, so even after three coats, it still looked much more yellow than green on the nail. It also made for very thick edges for some reason. You can even see in the pictures how a few of my nails have these jagged ridges around the edge, and I couldn't seem to get rid of them. So, I couldn't say I'm a fan of this polish.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

BB Couture For Men: Huh?

I've never tried BB Couture polishes, but some of the colors are pretty cool. I don't know where you can buy them in person, but they're readily available online. On the whole, I'm convinced I'd like to try it. My only remaining question is: what's up with the men's line? Several of my favorite men like to do their toes (and might do fingers too if the job related Powers That Be wouldn't object), so I'm down with a line for the menfolk. What's odd to me is that all the pictures of these polishes on the BB Couture website are on women. What's up with that?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Very Stylish Girl Manicure

I absolutely LOVE Audrey Hepburn in general and Breakfast at Tiffany's in particular. So, even if China Glaze For Audrey wasn't a great color, I would have been tempted to pick it up. Fortunately for me, it is a great color. It's is a glossy, smooth creme that is clearly meant to be similar to "Tiffany Blue." I don't think it's an exact match as I'm given to understand that exact color is trademarked, but it's close enough. For Audrey is similar to OPI Mermaid's Tears (see my review of it here or link to any of my previous reviews on my Stash page), but it's brighter and bluer. It's sort of Mermaid's Tears perkier cousin. The formula of this polish was also nice, it was smooth, opaque, and flawless in two coats.


To continue with the Breakfast at Tiffany's theme, I wanted a 60's style pattern to stamp on top. I used this all over pattern from one of the older Bundle Monster plates. It reminds me of patterns I've seen on everything from textiles to bricks from the 60's. I stamped it over For Audrey using KleanColor Black. I've been wearing my nails a little longer lately, and it made it hard to get the pattern to cover the whole nail. You can clearly see a little line of bare polish at the bottom of each nail. I love the final product, if I do say so myself. I also got a lot of comments on it, so I guess I'm not the only one.

The new Bundle Monster plates are bigger than the old ones or even Konads, so they should work a little better in terms of covering a whole long nail. Sammy of Nailasaurus has done a nice review and comparison down to the millimeter. So, that's one more incentive to pick up the new plates eventually.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

First Silver Shatter Mani

I've been excited about this polish for a while. It's the new OPI Silver Shatter from their Pirates of the Caribbean collection. This polish and Mermaids Tears were the two I've had my eye on, and I surprised myself by wanting to try Mermaids Tears first once I had them in hand. Once I'd tried that, this had to be next. Since finding out about it, I thought it was a little odd that OPI decided to release Silver Shatter with a collection full of pale, muted polished. I've always thought it would look better with a darker color that would give it more contrast, so I went with that look for my first try.


I started with a base of Revlon Plum Night. This polish looked like a creme in the bottle, but in fact it's a dark jelly. It's a thickly pigmented dark purple with a brown tinge. Once it's on, it looks almost black. It was thick and opaque in two coats, but I had to use a light touch and be careful not to drag thin spots in the polish with the brush on the second coat. Silver Shatter is thinner than the other crackle polishes I've used, which made it easier get a thin, consistent coat. I actually don't think that is a good thing, as I feel like thicker, more random coats make for more interesting crackle patterns. I'd also read that Silver Shatter changed its color depending on the base coat, and I think that's why it looks almost gunmetal over Plum Night. I want to try it again over something a little lighter and compare the colors.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sleeping Beauty Manicure

It's been a rough week here at Digit Decor headquarters. However, there have been some bright spots: being appreciated for my work, having really great in-laws, and fabulous nails. I did these before the proverbial excrement collided with the whirling blades of my week, and I was in a cheerful, springy mood. There is some particular variety of rosebush that is planted lots of places in my town that has these very bright, yet dark, pink flowers that are in bloom right now. They were the inspiration for this look.


The base color is OPI Mermaids Tears from the Pirates of the Caribbean collection. First, I love this color. No, seriously, I LOVE it. It looks almost mint green in this picture, but in person, it's closer to a light sage. I think OPI described it as a sea green, and it does a good job of evoking that to me. The application was ok. The texture of the polish is a little thick, meaning it didn't spread out as easily as some things, but it wasn't bad. I still got uniform, opaque coverage in two medium coats, I just had to pay a little more attention to do it. Overall, a definite winner for me.

Next, I stamped little bushy plants over about the bottom 1/3 of my nail using Revlon Top Speed Emerald. I finished it off by using a toothpick to apply pink dots of Revlon Top Speed Bubble. I tried to make the dots big enough compared to the leaves to read as flowers rather than berries. I've mentioned it before, but I find that the Revlon Top Speed cremes work really well for stamping because they're thick, very opaque, and really do dry quickly.

This is one of my favorite manicures that I've done in a while. I think I'll get the plates back out and do some more floral stamping this weekend, as those often turn out to be my favorites.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Purple Prism Mani

For my last manicure, I tried my first neon polish, China Glaze Shocking Pink, and had some trouble with it being thin and streaky. I only have one other neon polish in my stash, China Glaze Flying Dragon, so I decided to try it next and work on perfecting neon application.


Flying Dragon applied very differently from Shocking Pink, in that it is much more thickly pigmented. I used three thin coats, but I think my usual two medium coats would have worked just fine for this one. It also went on smoothly and evened itself out nicely. Flying Dragon is a bright purple base with blue and red micro-glitter. In person, it's dark enough not to come across as shockingly bright. Here's an extreme close up that really shows the nice glitter.



On top of Flying Dragon, I added some Fingrs metallic decals, which didn't work that well. They were neither flexible nor sticky enough to be easy to add. I finished with two coats of Out the Door top coat. As the pictures show, I ended up with some weird texture to the finished product, but I'm pretty sure that's due to my sleepy application of top coat over decals not anything to do with the polish.

I like the look of the components of this mani, but for some reason, I'm not in love with the finished product. Maybe it's bad decal placement? odd texture? my mood? I don't know, but I think I'd be happier if I'd stuck with Flying Dragon by itself.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Polish Milestone

This week, I reached a polish milestone: 100 polishes in my stash. Lucky number 100 was this unnamed Hot Topic grass green polish, which was a gift from one of the circle of lovely ladies who gather from time to time for Nail Night. As Nail Night is where my interest in polish started, this is highly appropriate, and I like that the milestone was reached with a gift. So, thanks to Ms. A for bringing my stash up to a big, round number.


Of course, having reached such a milestone, the logical thing to do was to pick up a few more. I've been looking forward to the OPI Pirates of the Caribbean collection for a while, and they've hit Athens this week. For some reason the Georgia Square Mall Trade Secret did NOT get them in, but the Regis salon, almost right across the mall from Trade Secret, DOES have them, so I snapped up a couple. The first thing on my shopping list was Silver Shatter. I also wanted Mermaid's Tears, and interesting greyed green, which seems to be one a lot of people are eagerly awaiting. I expected to want Plank You Very Much, since I love purple, but in person it was pretty similar to some other shades I have. I ended up with Steady As She Rose, a very light and also sort of grey-ish pink, as it was the color that was the most different from anything I already have (well, except for the one that totally didn't appeal to me, i.e. Skull and Glossbones).

And with that, I intend to stop adding to the stash for a while, as there isn't anything (that I know of) coming out that I have to have. So, now I just need to get busy and do some cool mani's with my new-and-improved  100+ stash.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Princess Sparkle Pony Manicure

I noticed that my last few manicures have had a definite blue/grey theme. So, when an impromptu nail night was convened, I decided I wanted to do something totally different. I imagine that if a Barbie Princess were riding a My Little Pony Pegasus, this is what her nails would look like.


I looked for a REALLY bright polish to use as a base and reached for China Glaze Shocking Pink. I really like the color of this polish, which is best described by the name. It is a very bright pink that almost seems to gather up the light in a room, it's so bright. This is my first experience with a neon polish, and I had the main problem they're known for. I put on two medium thickness coats, and it was still quite streaky. I think that a third thin coat would have evened it out, but I decided to add glitter on top instead.

Our nail night host had a bottle of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Disco Ball in her collection, so I added two coats of that on top of Shocking Pink. It didn't photograph well but this is a clear base with lots of very small, very iridescent glitter. The glitter is a nice balance of several colors, so it doesn't end up looking predominately one color like some similar polishes I've tried. The polish applied a little gooey, but that made it an ideal base to add the stars to my accent nail. The stars are party confetti re-purposed for nail decoration.

I finished off with two coats of Out the Door quick dry top coat to even out the texture of the glitter. The final product is very sparkly and eye catching. We've had lovely weather with plenty of sun the last couple of days, and these nails are perfect for it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Darkseid Manicure

My spouse, a DC comics fanatic, recently acquired a long sought after Darkseid action figure. This happened to coincide with my acquisition of several China Glaze Crackle polishes. He noticed a similarity between the finish produced by those polishes and Darkseid's craggy skin, and he's been campaigning for a Darkseid themed manicure.

Being a comic's fan myself, I've looked around and found several superhero themed manicures on the interwebs. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman seem to be the most frequent characters to get nail representation. However, I feel pretty safe in saying that this is the first Darkseid themed mani out there.


For the base color, I used China Glaze Frostbite, which I absolutely loved. It is an electric blue shimmer that was BRIGHT, shiny, and opaque in two thin coats. I wish I'd taken a picture of it before I added the crackle, but I'm sure it will make another appearance. Next, I added a silver streak on one side of each nail with a Kiss striping polish to give it a glint of metal. Finally, I added a layer of China Glaze Cracked Concrete on top of both. I found Cracked Concrete a little easier to work with than CG Fault Line as it didn't seem to dry quite as quickly and went on a little thinner. I applied the crackle horizontally across my nail, rather than from base to tip. This was surprisingly tricky and very messy. I like the result, so the extra clean up time was worth it. It's a little hard to see the silver in that first picture, so here's an extreme close up where it shows.



I'll close with a picture of the mani with it's inspiration.

Darkseid does NOT approve.