Friday, April 27, 2012

Geek Nails: Coin 'n Carry Edition

Today's mani was inspired by the new biggest source of not getting other things done: Coin 'n Carry (this is a referral link to note that I sent you). The premise of the game is that you're a shopkeeper, who needs to make money and increase the popularity of your shop. To do that, you play mini-games that reward you with resources you can use to make items to sell in your shop. The mini-games are quick and fun, and the shopkeeping requires a bit of strategy. So, best of both worlds. If my blogging pace slows down, blame this. Here's a short demo video.

And now, on with the nails. For each nail, I chose something from one of the mini-games to stamp on. I was having trouble making my pinky design show up, so I decided to go back over it with my dotting tools. Now, it looks awful. Seriously. Don't look at it.

The base polish for all my nails is KleanColor Blue Pearl. The stamp designs and polishes are:

Thumb: Crab - Fauxnad B78, China Glaze Aztec Orange; Crown - Bundle Monster BM08, Sally Hansen Color Quick Gold Chrome
Index: Strawberry BM05, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Rapid Red
Middle: Diamonds BM09, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White
Ring: Lime BM04, Revlon Top Speed Emerald
Pinky: Hearts and Clovers BM 03, Revlon Top Speed Bubble and Emerald; Stars BM14, KleanColor Neon Yellow

I won't explain what games these symbols come from; you should come play and find out. However, I do want to note that there's a crown on my thumb because I currently have the month's highest score in The Claw, which involves grabbing sea creatures out of the water. The crab gives you the most points, and I attribute my success to muttering "crab grab" under my breath while launching my claw at it.

So, if you decide to come play, leave a comment or email me at the address in my profile with your shopkeeper name so I can add you to my friends. Just don't plan on beating me at The Claw!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

China Glaze Instant Chemistry

China Glaze Instant Chemistry is the last of the three Magnetix polishes that I got a couple of months ago. (You can see the first two here.)

I definitely had the most trouble getting the pattern to show up with this one and the final result is more subtle. The color is really pretty, a very dark metallic berry, so I don't mind too much. On the other hand, if you really want to see the magnetic pattern stand out (and why else would you be buying magnetic polish?), I'd recommend going for one of the other colors in this collection.

It turns out that Pull Me Close was my surprise favorite from this collection. What did everyone else think?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Geek Nails: Rue Edition

As you know by now, I recently got really into The Hunger Games. When China Glaze came out with their Hunger Games polishes, it gave me all kinds of ideas for themed manis. The first one was inspired by Katniss, and this one is based on Rue. Specifically, it's based on Katniss' tribute to Rue.

The base color is, appropriately, China Glaze Agro, the District 8 color from the Hunger Games collection. I absolutely love this color; in fact, it was my favorite from the collection. It has some gorgeous, if subtle, multi-colored shimmer that you can't really see in my photos.

The texture on this seemed like a dream going on - it could almost have been a one coat polish - but it bubbled a lot afterwards. So, I'll probably thin it a little next time I wear it.

I did the stamping with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White and finished off with a few flower-shaped jewels in two sizes.

My cuticles could have used a little work, but I'm happy with how the mani turned out.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bits of Pink Mani

I didn't have a lot of time for this mani, so I decided to just stick with a little quick layering.

This consists of two coats of Essie French Affair topped with two coats of OPI I Lily Love You. Sadly, I don't think these two really go well together. French Affair's appeal is that it's super light and springy, but I Lily Love You made it darker. On the other hand, I think I Lily Love You would look better over something darker with more contrast. Oh well, you can't win them all.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Azalea Nails

These nails were an attempt to recreate a mani I did back before I started blogging.

I started with a base of China Glaze Laser Lime from last year's Tronica collection (the holo's a little more obvious in person), then stamped it with Bundle Monster plate BM16 and Revlon Top Speed Bubble. I used the small cluster of flowers a few time on each nail, then the full nail image for the accent nail. I did have a bit of trouble getting close to the cuticle for some reason.

So, this is the older mani I had in mind.

My manicuring and photography skills have gotten a bit better in the intervening year, but I actually like the way I did the stamping better on this old one.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Geek Nails: Girl on Fire Edition

As I mentioned in a previous post, my newest geek obsession is the Hunger Games trilogy. Sadly, I haven't been able to see the movie yet, but I loved the books. I have a couple of  ideas for Hunger Games themed manis, but I had to start with my Katniss tribute (making it a tribute tribute?).

This one was taken in full sun.

I decided to try to make a gradient manicure that looks like fire and embers. Personally, I think I succeeded pretty well. I started with a base coat of China Glaze Riveting, then working from the bottom up, brushed on China Glaze Lubu Heels, ELF Cranberry, and some more Riveting.

This one was taken in partial shade.

Next, I used a bit of make up sponge to add more of the same colors and blend them. It turned out that Lubu Heels was darker than I liked so I sponged some of both of the other two colors on top to lighten it up. The end result had a depth that definitely resembles coals. I finished up with a little bit of Cover Girl Boundless Color Gold Rush to add sparks to the tips.

This one was taken in complete shade.

I loved this look so much I wore it until the tips were chipping and it was really grown out at the cuticles. It's definitely one of my favorite manis I've done in a while.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sally Hansen Girl Flower

I picked up a box of Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips in Girl Flower almost a year ago, but it's taken me this long to use them. I just kept thinking, I'll just polish my nails instead. This week, inspired by spring's early arrival, I finally gave them a try.

These were easy, though not especially fast, to apply. The box said you don't need to, but I went ahead and put top coat on them. There are quite a few of these in single colors or two color designs that could be created with stamping that I don't think I'd bother with. On the other hand, this and a few of the other multicolor designs are cool enough that I'd consider getting them again for a special occasion despite the relatively high price tag.