Sunday, January 29, 2012

Geek Nails: Drusilla Edition

Today's nails were inspired by the villainous Drusilla of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She's not necessarily my favorite character on the show, but she does have the best nails. So, I decided to try to replicate on of her two main looks.

Since my tip color, Wet N Wild Smooch, is the lighter color,  I started with two coats of it. Then, I used French manicure guides to block the portion I wanted to leave cream and covered the rest of the nail with Nyx Girls Blach Plum. The only problem I had with either polish was the Smooch took forever to dry, but since I can't even remember when I got it, I assume that's because it's so old.

And here's a picture that shows the look I was going for:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Goes with Digit Decor?

Long Skirts...I Want Them

Long Skirts...I Want Them by sckesler featuring floor length skirts

I have always loved long skirts. Really, really long ones that brush the top of my feet. As skirt length trends change, I'll find lots for a while, then see long barren stretches with no long skirts. It's one more reason that I'm hoping to revive my meager sewing skills in the near future.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Orchid Swirls

As I've already mentioned, I received a number of new stamping plates for Christmas, which has put me in a stamping mood.

 The base color for this Banana Republic Orchid Blossom, a pale purple creme that tends more toward the blue end of the purple spectrum. The formula and application on this were fine. It looked a little patchy on the first coat, but leveled out nicely on the second.

On top, I stamped a full nail image from Red Angel plate RA-102 using Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Bronze Ablaze. In the bottle, Bronze Ablaze looks darker and browner than it stamped, but it made a nice crisp image. I would definitely use it again to stamp on top of light colors. I'm also curious if it would look more metallic over a dark color or if it would just disappear.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Crochet Matching Mani

I've recently taken up a new crafty hobby, crochet. I've tried knitting in the past, but didn't get into it, so I thought this might be a better way to go. So far, I'm really enjoying it, and I've already finished several small items. The very first was a ruffly scarf, and I was so excited that I painted my nails to match.

This is Sally Hansen HD Hi-Def, which is a light lime green shimmer with a slight gold duochrome effect. It applied easily, but is very, very thin, so it took four coats to get a good degree of color saturation. That's basically been my experience with all the HD polishes I've tried, but they do have great colors. So, I'll leave you with a picture of the polish and it's inspiration.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Purple Glitter Mani

Sadly, today's mani is not one of my favorites, so let's just get on with it, shall we?

The primary color in this mani is Confetti Happy Birthday!, which has a purple jelly base with pink micro-glitter. This polish applied easily, but is lightly pigmented, so even after three coats, it's a little patchy. Also, on the nail, the glitter doesn't really appear pink, but does add a nice shine.

For my accent nail, I used one coat of Happy Birthday!, topped with two coats of Wet 'n' Wild Back Alley Deals. This polish has a sheer purple base with small purple glitter and larger fuchsia hex glitter. I had to be careful not to drag the hexes off my nail during application, but otherwise it went on easily.

This mani chipped really quickly, and I think I would have been happier wearing Back Alley Deals alone. Also, I got a lot of shrink with Happy Birthday!, as this photo was taken less than 24 hours after application. I seem to have that problem with almost any jelly regardless of what top coat I use, so I'd love some suggestions on how to avoid it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Nail History - 1938 Edition

So far, I've been sharing information about the pre-polish history of nail care, but today's post shows the earliest newspaper reference I've found to actual colored polish. From the January 14, 1938 edition of the Red & Black, the University of Georgia's student published newspaper (which is still in publication):

I assume from  the fact that this outfit made Costume of the Week, that it was pretty sensational but not generally disapproved of. On the other hand, the editor of the society page did feel the need to hint that black nails looked a little dirty.

Before starting this research, I assumed that anything other than white, pink, and red polishes were a recent innovation, but it seems I was wrong. Modern nail lacquer was invented in the 1920's, and Revlon started selling the first widely popular polishes in the 1930's. By the end of that decade quite a few colors, obviously including black, were available. The more outrageous colors were most popular with college age women.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

OPI Warm and Fozzie

This will be a short post, since I just had time for a quick polish change when I did my nails. I haven't picked up many of the OPI Muppets collection because, while I love the theme, most of the polishes didn't blow me away. One exception is OPI Warm and Fozzie.

Warm and Fozzie has a sheer base with large particles of dark gold, bronze, and brown shimmer. The result is a gorgeous warm metallic finish. It applied smoothly, but did take three coats to be completely smooth and get rid of a little patchiness. As much as everyone I know is used to seeing my nails done, this one attracted several compliments.

I know a lot of people have been very excited about the Muppets polishes, so what are your favorites?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Snow Flowers Mani

So far we've had a fairly warm winter here in Georgia. Last year, north Georgia had it's first white Christmas since 1882, but this year I haven't worn my heaviest coat once. While I am a southern girl and don't like too much cold, I do enjoy a little winter. So, this week's cooler weather has been a treat. January is our most likely time to get a little snow, so here's hoping.

The base color for this mani is Maybelline Colorama Glass Slipper, which is a pale blue with silvery shimmer. It's pretty translucent and the formula is thin as well, so I had to put on four coats. As I've mentioned with the other polishes in this line, I'm really okay with that given the nice color range and low price point (I got them in three packs for $1).

On top of Glass Slipper, I used white flower decals, which in this context really look like snow flakes. I wish I could remember what brand these are because they really work well. They're very soft and flexible, which means the edges never try to peel up. I think I remember where I bought them, so next time I'm there, I'm going to see if I can find another pack and make note of the brand.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Birthday Fairies Mani

Today is my birthday, and I decided to celebrate by creating a mani celebrating some of my favorite things: lots of color, fairies, and my favorite polish ever.

The base color is China Glaze Cheers to You, which is pretty much my favorite polish. I should have gotten a back-up bottle as it seems to be sold out pretty much everywhere at this point. This year's China Glaze Icicle looks pretty similar, so maybe I'll grab one of those before they're all gone.

On top of Cheers to You, I stamped a different fairy image on each finger using several different polishes. My thumb, middle finger, and pinky are all images from Chez Delaney plate D10 stamped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Mint Sprint, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Thinking of Blue, and Mint Sprint again respectively. For my pointer finger, I used Red Angel plate RA-112 stamped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Presto Pink, and for my ring finger I used Red Angel plate RA-113 stamped with Revlon Top Speed Grape. I finished by adding accents with a flower cluster image from Bundle Monster plate B17 using the same polishes.

I have been wanting a few of the Chez Delaney D series plates forever, and received them as a gift for Christmas, so you'll be seeing more of those in the near future. My Red Angel plates are also new, also a gift, and also sure to make lots of appearances. One note of caution about the Chez Delaney plates: they have a very sharp edge, and I cut myself pretty badly trying to get the protective film off (worth it).

Cheers to You is so sparkly, that I had to take most of my pictures in the shade so you could see the stamps clearly. Here's one in the sun to show the awesome shine!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Nail History - 1921 Edition

This article from the November 12, 1921 Athens Banner-Herald offers "simple" beauty methods from the "famous Spanish prima donna" Lucrezia Bori. Ms. Bori provides tips on moisturizing, cleaning, and polishing the nails, so that the reader can avoid such "distressing appendages" as hang-nails. I chose this article to share because it includes recipes for the home production of some of the nail care products referenced in a number of contemporary articles.

Being unfamiliar with the first two ingredients in the polishing paste recipe, I did a little online research and found out that tragacanth is a plant product still in limited use as a binder in some products, though I couldn't find anything about it's use in beauty products. I really can't even guess why you would want it in your nail polish paste. Stannous oxide is a tin-based compound, which I gather was (or possibly still is) used to polish glass and gemstones, so I assume it is abrasive and that was it's purpose here.

You can view the full page this article was taken from, which includes some really lovely 1920's art, here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! Mani

Happy 2012 everyone! Honestly, 2011 was a little rough for me, so I'm hoping that 2012 will be a good year. I'll be turning 33 in just a few days, and I'm wishing for the magic of fairytale numbers to bring me good things. If last night is any indication, it's already working!

My New Year's Eve outfit was built around a vintage duster-style dress that a friend gifted to me earlier this year. Naturally, I had to do a mani to match!

I was originally thinking about sponging the multicolored background, but finally just decided to brush it on in patches. Working free-hand, I placed the colors in similar locations on each nail to give it some consistency. The four background colors are KleanColor Neon Yellow, KleanColor Neon Purple, Color Zone Magenta, and Color Zone Traffic Cone Orange. On top, I stamped a full nail design from Bundle Monster plate BM20 using KleanColor Black. I stamped it twice on my thumb for width.

Here it is with the fabric that inspired the look as a background. I basically don't believe that you can be too matchy, so I'm super happy with how close the colors are.

As an added New Year's bonus, here's a picture of the rare occurance of me wearing eye makeup.

A friend gave me a set of the Paperself Deer and Butterfly Eyelashes for Christmas, which I added to my look for last night. Each full lash is made up of three smaller designs, so I decided to snip out the designs and use them separately, as the full lash seemed like it might be too much. These were a lot of fun to wear, and despite what the packaging says, I think they can be reused. They're currently on sale at Sephora, and I'm totally coveting the Peacock and Under the Sea designs.

Happy New Year!