(Just Another) Mani Monday: Olympic Nails
First off, I’d like to say again- THANK YOU for all the support, and for all the interest in the giveaway!
As I mentioned on Facebook, I drew the names of the winners last night, and they have already responded! So big congratulations to Tina, Patricia, and Cayce!! 2 of the 3 winners will have their packages on their way to them tomorrow- the 3rd (at her request) will be getting hers mailed as soon as the Olympics are over. My first international winner!
Be sure to post pictures on my wall when you make a fuzzy monster mani, guys!
Now onto today’s post- Olympic Nails. Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which is always possible, I’m fairly in the dark with news a lot of times), you know that the Olympics began this weekend. Go Team USA!
I will freely admit, this is not my best work. But the kids were screaming, and I’m sure it’s fun to see the ‘fails’ as often as the wins. The idea is good though, in my opinion! Maybe you can recreate it a bit better 🙂
Here’s the first round of polishes I used. This is OPI’s DS Radiance, Essie’s Penny Talk, a franken thrown together 5 minutes earlier by me, Color Club’s mini gold with no sticker (from May’s BirchBox), and Julep Kate. (Or in other words- you need white, gold, silver, bronze, and (optional) patriotic topcoat)
I had planned to use Pretty and Polished’s Freedom Calling, but I couldn’t find the bottle for the life of me. I know it’s around here somewhere. That is a good one to use though, it’s fairly similar to this one but not identical. Same idea- red, white and blue mixed glitter.
I painted white on my thumb and pinky, and did the 3 medal colors across the inner fingers, like so:
I think using all 3 colors from Essie’s Mirror Metallics would be good if you have them. This gold and silver did not play nicely when it came to cleanup, because of the glittery effect.
Next round of colors:
You’ll need black, green, yellow, red, blue, and some straws (cutting them is up to you- but you’ll need 5 ‘sides’). I used Cult Nails Nevermore, Julep Emilie, Sinful Colors Pull Over, Zoya Sooki, and Sinful Color’s Rain Storm. For cleaning purposes, I also used a paper plate, but a piece of paper will also work.
Now we’re going to use these colors to create the Olympic rings on our thumb!
To make the rings, I dipped the tip of the straw into a little blob of polish. If you don’t know off the top of your head (I didn’t), the rings go blue-black-red, and then yellow-green below them. So I began with blue, and worked my way down!
Here’s the tip of the straw with polish on it. Then you’ll place the straw end where you want the first ring, and gently rock it around to ensure the polish gets on the nail around the entire circle. On my first circle, I lifted up after just placing it on my nail, and 1/2 the circle was missing. When I re-did it, it made it look a bit ‘off’. Do make sure you have a good bit of polish on the straw, but it doesn’t have to be dripping.
My nails, in addition to being shorter, are not very big. I could *barely* fit the rings on my thumb, and they were all overlapping each other. If you have slightly smaller nails, I’d advise trying out a coffee stirrer straw instead of a standard one. If I had any, that’s what I would have used!
My ghetto rings. At least it’s obvious what they’re supposed to be!
I didn’t take photos of the next step (because my husband wasn’t home to help with pictures), but I wrote ‘USA’ in red and blue polish on my pinky. I did this using a paintbrush, but you could easily do it using nail art stripers, or maybe even a standard brush if you’re patient.
I then finished it all off with my red, white and blue topcoat over the gold, silver and bronze nails. Obviously, if you’re not from the USA, Britain, or another r/w/b country, you can use something else to represent your colors!
Believe it or not, I DID clean up those metallic nails. The gold and silver really don’t like me!
And I didn’t realize my USA was upside down in the swatches until after I’d taken pictures. I didn’t want to redo the entire nail, so I hope you guys understand 🙂
If you do any kind of Olympic mani, even if it’s completely different from this, please link up on my Facebook page- I’d love to see it and feature it!
NOTD: Essie Blue Rhapsody and Stroke of Brilliance
Hello again all! Today was supposed to be Try It On Tuesday, but since I’m highlighting newer colors that probably disqualifies it. I may still post an untried later!
Today I’ll be showing 2 brand new shades by Essie: Blue Rhapsody and Stroke of Brilliance.
Blue Rhapsody is part of Essie’s new Mirror Metallics line, and as you can probably guess from the name- is blue. Stroke of Brilliance is a brand new addition to Essie’s LuxEffects line, and is a pretty blue glitter topcoat.
I actually only bought Blue Rhapsody because I knew I’d be eventually adding Stroke of Brilliance to my stash when I found it. So the moment I finally spotted it at Walgreens, I came home and paired the two up as planned! And they make a very stunning combo!
First up: Essie Blue Rhapsody
This is a very pretty blue metallic polish. I’d honestly say it’s more like a chrome than a mirror (when I think of mirror, I think of Layla Mirror Effects or those pure-foil Minx), but it’s very pretty. This is only 1 coat! These polishes are all true 1-coaters… which also makes them PERFECT for stamping.
The only downside to this type of polish is that it will show every single ridge or bump on your nail, as you can see in my photo. I was wearing a base coat, too! So to really get a great effect wearing these colors I would recommend buffing.
Then I added 2 coats of Stroke of Brilliance!
I did a bit of dabbing for glitter placement, though it wasn’t really necessary. This was 2 coats of Stroke of Brilliance- so you can tell it would probably take a LOT of coats to wear it alone.
The shades aren’t identical, but close enough that it makes what could be an over-the-top, blingtastic glitter very subtle. Of course, subtle is relative when you’re walking around with shining, chrome blue nails 😉
Both colors retail at around $8, and can be found at most drugstores, Target and Walmart. I haven’t seen Stroke of Brilliance anywhere but Walgreens yet, though. Be sure to check the regular Essie display and not just ‘special’ displays- at one Walgreens, I found this on a special LuxEffects display in the front, but at a second Walgreens it was found just in the normal LuxEffects spot on the standard shelf.
I haven’t decided what I’ll be doing for tomorrow’s Indie Wednesday yet- but on Thursday, I’ll be highlighting the other 1/2 of the Target Nicole by OPI exclusives- MerMaid for Each Other, Iris My Case, and You’re S-teal the One! (seriously, who makes up these names for OPI??)
See you then!
Flakie Friday: Essie As Gold As It Gets
I love gooooooooooold!
I’m sorry for the delay in posting this, guys! I had everything done earlier, but didn’t get a chance until this evening to sit down and write it out.
So for today’s Flakie Friday, I decided to go in a tiny bit of a different direction- Essie’s As Gold As It Gets!
As Gold As It Gets is part of Essie’s LuxEffects collection, which can be found in most drugstores, Target, and Walmart. It’s a beautiful GOLD flakie!
This is also packed with a very fine, pretty iridescent shimmer. The flakes are very delicate, so you won’t notice any chunkiness wearing this. I stuck to the basics again this week- pairing As Gold As It Gets over Cult Nails Nevermore, my go-to black polish. Even though it can get ‘boring’ sometimes, black is almost always the best underwear to really show a flakie off!
All of these photos were taken outside in the sunlight, which is where I try to take most of my pictures. We’ve had rain (hallelujah!) every day this week though, so this is the first outdoor shot of the week.
See the faint microfine glitter? It adds a pretty rainbow effect to the topcoat. This is REALLY noticeable outside!
This was 1 coat of Nevermore, topped with 1 coat of As Gold As It Gets. That’s just 1 coat! As an added bonus, having a manicure with just 1 coat + 1 topcoat means it’s dry FAST.
Essie can be purchased for around $8 at most stores. Be sure to check out the newest LuxEffect, Stroke of Brilliance! It JUST appeared in my local Walgreens, so they’re beginning to hit the stores! I’ll be doing a bonus post on Sunday to show off that gorgeous new color 🙂
And as a fun bonus picture: Here’s a comparison shot of Sephora’s It’s Real! 18k gold topcoat.
Disclaimer: I don’t actually own this polish (though I have every intention of buying it hopefully soon). I did this exact manicure (AGAIG over Nevermore) about a month ago, and we happened to go to the outdoor mall that is home to Sephora that day. I happily used the tester of It’s Real!, and then came home and took photos. Because that’s totally what normal people do.
Anywho- you can faintly see AGAIG under It’s Real! if you look close enough. So this should be a pretty good way to show how different they are! It’s Real! was absolutely stunning on my fingers, I could not stop staring that day. As soon as I
save up get the guts to chunk down $30 on a topcoat, it will be mine!
Be sure to check back tomorrow and Sunday- while I don’t normally do weekend posts, I have a lot to share so I’ll have 2! Tomorrow will be featuring some new indie colors generously given to me (that will be available Sunday for sale!), and Sunday I’ll be showing off Essie’s new Blue Rhapsody and Stroke of Brilliance!
(Just Another) Mani Monday: Oreo Nails with Lush Lacquer Salt N’ Peppa
Hey ya’ll! Let me just say, I’ve been reading the comments as they come in for the giveaway post, and it’s been so much fun! And really depressing, because I would seriously like to give everyone a bottle. We’ve already gone over what I had originally planned for giveaway #2 and it’s only the second day of the first giveaway- so I think I’ll just play that one by ear!
So I’m not sure what has taken me so long today to get things moving with this post… I made the mistake of not doing my nails last night, and then I just kept putting it off to do things around the house, clean, etc. Time REALLY flits away too quickly!
Onto the polish…
Since I’d already been too lazy to start last night, I knew today would have to be something fun but fairly straightforward- no attempting my first ever water marble today! I’ve had this Oreo Jelly Sandwich mani from Sarah at Chalkboard Nails pinned on Pinterest for a few weeks now, and I decided that would be fun to do. I just LOVE the way it looks!
(SQUIRREL!: If you need an invite to Pinterest, just send me an email and I’ll invite you! If you sign up manually you may have to wait awhile. If you have a nail board, please leave a link in the comments for me to follow! I also have a personal account, so I only follow nail boards on the blog one.)
So this is a borderline Mani Monday FAIL.
I used Essie Marshmallow and Lush Lacquer’s Salt N’ Peppa- 2 coats of each, alternating.
First, while I LOVE Salt N’ Peppa, it didn’t lend itself well to this look. It would probably look amazing on longer nails, but with my tiny nubs (one chipped again the other day, so back down to the quick) it just didn’t look that great. I think if I get my hands on Samurai Princess, like Chalkboard Nails used, it would look better- or if I had used Valentino from Pretty & Polished.
I just couldn’t achieve much of a jelly effect- the top glitter coat completely covered any of the under coat.
Plus, since my nails are so short, 4 coats of polish made me look like I was wearing nub-acrylics. And even with top coat, it wouldn’t dry. I took the photos, and then removed it.
Long story short- I still LOVE this look, but just couldn’t pull it off for this post. I’m going to try it again with another glitter and maybe update again.
But hey, the pictures still look pretty! So here they are 🙂
Ok, so I guess you CAN see some of the jelly effect. Its very, very subtle though.
I found it serendipitous that we had Oreos in the house… normally my husband inhales them within 24 hours of purchase.
I think my only major complaint is that it looks like I basically added a topcoat over white- the jelly effect is lost. I will try again!
Nubbin acrylics, lol.
I need to try out more jelly sandwiches- can you believe this was my very first ever! It’s such a beautiful effect (when you can tell…) 🙂
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Just check out yesterday’s post for more details!
Mani Monday: Neon Rainbow Snow Leopard Stamping with Cheeky
I hope everyone had a good weekend! Ours was ok… quiet, relaxing, but slightly boring. Back to the busy week!
Once again I’ll be starting off the week with a Mani Monday! As I sat down to work on this yesterday, I struggled with what to do- and then it hit me! I just recently ordered my very first stamping plates- Cheeky’s 2012 Collection bundle– and hadn’t used any yet!
When I say hadn’t used any- what I really mean is that I have never used a stamping plate- ever. I’d long drooled over designs that I saw people do with the plates but had never bought any. Laziness, again. Stamping plates aren’t something you can just pop into the drugstore and buy.
There are a lot of various brands you can buy stamping plates from- Konad (my stamper is from Konad), Bundle Monster, Cheeky, Red Angel, Shany, Mash… and many stores offer their own line. Ninjapolish.com offers some really interesting ones, Llarowe just announced that they’ll be carrying a line, and you can even find them on etsy, like at Vivid Lacquer’s store!
How cool is that, though? She makes her OWN stamping plates!
So back to the mani… One of the major designs I’d seen people do was a leopard print design… or more specifically, a NEON snow leopard design. Be still my neon-loving heart.
I honestly don’t remember the first place I saw this crop up, though I do have have Steffel’s post on it saved in Pinterest, so that’s the one I’m going to credit. She used the Bundle Monster plate, which is a little different than the Cheeky design.
For this, I used a base of Essie Marshmallow (can anyone suggest a good, plain white? My only one is Sinful Nails Snow White and I’m not a fan), Cult Nails Nevermore for stamping, Cheeky plate CH2, and my Konad stamper. I pictured the Konad scraper, but I ended up using an old gift card (I’ll explain below).
For the neon accents:
I have a lot of neon colors. I picked these out mostly for their brightness factor, but also because they seemed to work well together. From left to right: Sinful Colors Pink, China Glaze Sun Worshipper, Sinful Colors Neon Melon, Color Club What A Shock!, Color Club Pure Energy, and Color Club Ultraviolet. The last 3 are part of Color Club’s Electro Candy neon set from 2009, and I won’t lie- they’re by far my very favorite neons of every color- especially Ultraviolet. You can still find this collection (cheap) at Ross sometimes, and can definitely find it on Amazon.
I didn’t detail the stamping process. I had planned on it, but the photos my husband took just turned out terrible- I probably should’ve given him a clear cut list of how I wanted things, but I was working quickly with both kids screaming for dinner. Luckily, there’s a ton of amazing tutorials and videos all over the internet.
Basically, you paint over the design to be stamped on the plate, scrape off the excess (leaving paint in the design indentations), smoosh-roll (new word) the stamper across the design, and quickly roll it over your nail. Almost every nail blogger I’ve read suggests using an old credit card/gift card instead of the scraper included- and I 100% agree! I initially tried out Konad’s scraper, but was having absolutely no luck. It wasn’t getting all the excess paint off, and by the time I went over it again I’d lose paint in the design or the design would be dry. The first time I tried a gift card was the first time I had a successful stamp on my finger!
*SQUIRREL* moment incoming:
Did I mention my very favorite animal ever is a snow leopard? Has been since I was really little 🙂 We took the kids to the Chattanooga Zoo in September, and I was so excited to see the Snow Leopard was not only hanging out right by the glass… but she had a baby! They quickly became Syd’s favorite animal, too!
So here’s my nails without the neon accents, looking like lovely snow leopards:
Time for neon! To add the neon, I used toothpicks. I didn’t want to have to clean paint brushes, so I simply dipped the end of a toothpick into the color on the brush, and then dabbed it where I wanted it. After I finished all the colors, I added 1 coat of Poshe Fast Drying top coat.
As an afterthought, I threw on a topcoat of fine glitter. Because really, the only way to make neon better is to make it sparkle. Or am I the only one that thinks that??
I wanted the effect to be subtle (believe it or not), so I used the finest glitter I could find in my Helmer. This Avon glitter is simply called ‘Purple Glitter’ (yes, it used to be purple) and it’s from approximately 2003. I also have ‘Pink Glitter’ and sadly it looks the exact same as this one 9 years later. Proof that my nail polish hoarding began a long, long time ago 🙂
So there it is! I apologize for not having a thorough explanation this week, but I’ll be happy to answer any specific questions you may have- just leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you! See you all tomorrow for Try It On Tuesday! And if you haven’t hoped over to my Facebook page, please do! I love being able to interact with everyone!
Monday Mani: Splatter Manicure with Zoya Sooki and Essie Marshmallow
I wanna do bad things to you…
Hi everyone! It’s my very first Mani Monday, and I decided to start off with a tutorial I’ve had bookmarked for awhile, the blood splatter effect. Why, in the middle of June, you ask?
I’m a pretty big True Blood fan, though I’ll admit- I love the books more. That always seems to be the case though! Season 5 premiered on HBO last Sunday night. We had out of town family staying with us that week, so I wasn’t able to watch until tonight- so I got 2 episodes back to back. To celebrate the show’s return, I decided to turn to a tutorial by Dollface22772 (who most of you probably know because her amazing line of indie polishes, Dollish Polish). This tutorial was originally posted just before Halloween to celebrate the start of Dexter, but it fits True Blood just as perfectly! You can find the tutorial I used here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47dWovqryvc. I highly recommend watching it! I’m not going to do a full explanation, but you can see her demonstrate the technique perfectly in the video. You can find Dolly here on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dollface22772.
First off, you’ll need supplies! At least 1 straw, your polish (base coat and splatter coat), tape, some form of protective surface (I just used some foil), and wine. Ok, the wine is totally optional, but if you’re of legal age it’s always a fun addition (yes, I’m drinking from a tea glass… we don’t have real wine glasses. Don’t judge!).
This picture is a little outdated- I started with Sinful Colors White, but had some streaking issues that multiple coats did not help. I removed it, and used Essie Marshmallow instead (totally smart right, replace the original with a sheer color that’s going to take 4 coats? Couldn’t have been the wine!).
Anywho… you paint all your fingers your base coat (in this case, white) and allow to dry completely. I went ahead and used Poshe Super-Fast Drying topcoat to speed up the process. For having 4 coats, I had absolutely no trouble with smudges or other issues that normally plague me when I put that many coats on. I’m unsure if it’s just because Marshmallow is a sheer color and thinner, or if it’s a trait of Essie (I don’t have many Essies), but it was great to work with. Took forever to build up of course, but that’s not unexpected.
After that, it’s time to get down to business! You’ll want to work with each nail one at a time, and tape around the nail to protect the skin. You can skip this step, it just causes a lot more cleanup time afterwards. Especially with a vibrant red that stains! I took a picture to show an example:
*Interrupting this nail discussion for eye candy*
Anyways, where was I… ah ha! Splatter time!
So for the blood splatters, you simply make a pool of polish (a few large drops from the brush should do), and place the end of the straw in the paint, hold above your nail, and blow on the straw quickly and forcefully. This *should* cause the paint to splatter out. The distance from your nail determines the extent of the splatter- the closer you are, the bigger the initial blob. You’ll be able to see these size variations on the photos I’m about to post: my index and ring finger both have blobs from being closer. I did have a little bit of trouble with this- it definitely worked, but I think my straw (one that bends at the top) wasn’t ideal. It would take multiple tries to get paint out most of the time. Even with that, it was an east mani to do! I highly recommend watching the video to see the process in action.
Of course since this mani was done in honor of True Blood, the *only* polish I felt was acceptable to use would be Zoya Sooki. In the books her name is spelled Sookie, but honestly 1 letter doesn’t make a huge difference! I adore that this polish is a bright, blood red.
You can see the topcoat caused a bit of bleeding, even though I applied it after I gave the red time to dry on each nail. It’s not as noticeable in person, but on a macro shot it stands out very clearly.
So that’s it for my first Mani Monday! I had a lot of fun with this one, and I’m happy to finally scratch one effect off my to-do list. This look can easily be switched around to different colors for completely different looks, like the 80’s neon paint splatter!
Till next time!
~Diana, The Polish Monster