Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2012

Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Checkin' it Twice

For as long as they've been available, I've been completely addicted to Sally Hansen Salon Effort nail strips. Despite having the longest name, they actually work and actually have interesting patterns.  In fact, it was me wondering whether I could reproduce some of the patterns myself that got me into nail art in the first place.  Therefore when new patterns come out, I have to buy them.
Checkin' it Twice is a black and silver checker pattern, with the silver being a slightly sparkly metallic.  I like these as they aren't the pattern-printed-on-white that some of the strips are.  While they might have the prettiest patterns, they just don't last as long.  Application was as easy as ever, following my usual steps for applying the strips.  Not a whole lot more else to say, other than I wish I could paint this pattern myself? 


Monochrome Water Marbling

Yeah so when I finally figure out how to do something, be it glitter mosaics, water marbling, one day stamps, I have trouble thinking of anything else.  I'm so happy I've finally figured out water marbling I just can't stop doing it.  Thus, moar water marbling!  I'm so addicted to making patterns in the polish.
Like my other water marbles, I started with two coats of Orly Dayglow, my current go-to white.  After taping all my fingers off, I created the water marble using Nicole by OPI Razzle Dazzle and more Dayglow.  In case you were wondering, I've found the best way to tape off your nails is to take a reasonable long piece of tape and line it up to one side of a nail then wrap it around so it hugs the tip of your finger and lines up to the other side.  Then add a piece of tape to bridge the gap against your cuticles.  It's always better to back off from your nail a bit too, as there's nothing worse than having a gap where the tape overhangs your nail.  I …

Electric Mermaid Nails 2 - The Mermainening

Alllll the way back in March I did a glitter mosaic called Electric Mermaid Scales.  It has been my most popular post by a long shot, getting over twice the pageviews as my next most popular post.  It's been posted - uncredited, mind you - to Pinterest, tumblr, instagram, Buzzfeed and too many other places to count.  A cropped version got 16,083 reblogs on tumblr, ffs.  It's not the lack of accreditation that bothers me but instead how much better I am at photography and doing my nails I am now.  To celebrate getting a more sparkly new light, I present to you Electric Mermaid Scales, Take 2.
To start, I applied two coats of Sally Hansen Co-Bolt Blue.  If I'm doing a full coverage glitter mosaic I like to try and match the base colour as closely as I can so if you have gaps near the cuticles or tips it's not that noticeable.  Starting with my thumb, I added a stroke of top coat - I'm using Essie Everyday Top Coat, but you can use anything that isn't quick dryin…

Week 9: Rainbows! Glitter Over Water Marble

Weekly challenges and I have a fickle relationship.  I pretty much just do them when I feel like it.  How, though, could I not do a mani when the theme is rainbows?  I can't not do it, that's the answer.  The hardest part was trying to decide what kind of rainbow to do.  I'm not especially down with taping or neat stripes so it was either rainbow water marbling or hand-placed glitter.  Then it hit me: WHY NOT BOTH. Yesssssss.
To start, I applied two coats of Orly Dayglow then got to work with my black and white water marbling.  I did the same thing as this post but kept the marble really simple.  I then got to work filling in the white parts with rainbow glitter, using my usual technique.  A coat of Seche Vite or two and I'm done.  I'm not happy with how the glitter bled on my thumb but you only really notice it when you fill an entire camera frame with said nail.  



Review: Peek-a-boo, Splitter Splatter and Glitter Girl from Lush Lacquer

It is time that I actually review all the indie polishes I get off Etsy! I order a selection every time I get paid but then they end up sitting on my desk for a while.  I recently ordered a set of eight mini polishes from Lush Lacquer and they're so pretty I had to use them.  Let's take a look at the first three from my set.  
SO MANY PICTURES AHEAD, BRACE THYSELF
First up, Glitter Girl, a mix of black, white and pink matte glitter with lilac holo micro glitter.  I loved how this one looked in the bottle, so pink and girly.  Once I layered it over Joe Fresh Fuchsia though, I wasn't too ecstatic about the lilac glitter.  The black, white and pink were perfect but the almost iridescent micro glitter just made it a bit strange.  It could just be the colour combination though, I want to try this over a dark purple.  Don't get me wrong, it's still a really pretty polish, just harder to work with the micro glitter. I did find also that this one benefited from standing u…

Review: Butter London Scuppered

My first encounter with Butter London with Knackered wasn't the greatest.  Application was incredibly difficult and just didn't look right.  I thought it deserved another chance though, mostly because Scuppered looks so amazing in the bottle.  I don't think "bespoke" nail polish is actually a think, even though it claims to be, but whatever, pretty polish.  Man, I'm all over the shop today with this intro but can't be bothered rewriting it.
Scuppered is a beautiful bronze sparkly foil polish with green glitter and pink sparkles.  I certainly don't have anything else like this in my collection.  Application was good - you could get away with two coats but I prefer three.  Because I can't just do a normal mani, I added a fancy french with Nicole by OPI Razzle Dazzle.  Perfect name for a black!  Anyway, this isn't too hard to do, just cut a triangle out of a piece of tape, stick it on your palm first then make sure it's stuck down evenly on …

Water Marbling with a Clear Polish Over Glitter!

If I see someone doing something cool with their nails on the internet, Imma wanna jump on that bangwagon.  Yesterday, it was water marbling over glitter polish to make poinsettia nails - like this. Given it combines my new obsession of water marbling and glitter, I'm on it!  
To start, I applied two coats of Sally Hansen Celeb City - my favourite silver foil - followed by two coats of China Glaze Pizazz, a lovely rainbow glitter mix.  I have a bunch of other glitters like this like Sephora by OPI Spark-tacular, OPI Rainbow Collection and Nicole by OPI Rainbow in the Sky-lie but seriously, I cannot get enough of them.  The Sephora polish was one of the ones that started this obsession for me so of course I'm going to buy more.  Anyway, once that was done it was on to the water marble.  This was a little tricky as it was not easy trying to find a clear polish that would spread properly in the water.  I tried multiple base- and top-coats with no luck.  In the end I went with Es…

Rainbow Glitter Stripes

I kinda wish I was the sort of person that could just do a single colour mani.  As my recent posts will attest, that's just not me.  I wanted to water marble again last night but I don't want to wear out my welcome with too many.  Glitter it is then!
As much as I love my tiny holo glitter, it was bugging me that I didn't have green in there.  The only green glitter I have is quite a lot larger than the rest so it was the perfect candidate for stripes.  After applying two coats of Nicole by OPI Razzle Dazzle, I got to work with my glitter and Essie Everyday Top Coat.  I found it easiest to start in the middle of the nail then stick the glitter on using my usual technique.  What I love about these stripes is that it looks like the world's strongest multichrome.  One side is red-orange, straight on is green-blue and the other side is blue-purple.  Magical.  And sparkly.

BIG SIDE NOTE: BUBBLES AGAIN ARGH.  I figured out that it's Out the Door top coat doing it.  There…

Review: Color Club Halo Hues in Water Marble

So I went to Buffalo last week and I was lucky to come across the Color Club Halo Hues collection.  I'd hear they were crazy holographic but pfft, thought I, I won't be that excited, they can't be that good.  Holy crap balls ladies, they are actually that amazing.  They don't need babying with a aqua base coat, they don't drag, they aren't dulled with top coat and they light up with rainbows in general room light.  Seriously, they're that good.  The problem is though that my lightbox is where holo rainbows go to die so taking good photos is a serious challenge.  Yesterday morning was sunny so I managed to get light coming across my desk so finally, FINALLY, I can show you just how amazing these polishes are. 
I've been on a bit of a water marbling kick lately and I wanted to see how these polishes would fare.  AMAZEBALLS, as it turns out.  Using my new black polish (consistency seems to matter - newer/thinner seems to help) and all six of the polishes…

Glitter Herringbone Nails, Take 2

I just want to cry looking at these pictures.  I mean, it looks awesome if you make the pictures super small and squint at it from a distance but the second you get closer you can see how my top coat betrayed me.  I'm so super sad right now guys :(
I'm going to pretend the millions of bubbles aren't there for a moment and just talk about what was supposed to happen.  A while ago I did this mani, rainbow herringbone nails.  I wasn't happy with the execution then and I'm still not so I decided to redo it so that the glitter all sat down properly.  Using the diamond shaped glitter is always a PITA because of how easily it sticks up and catches on stuff.  I've found though that if you use my usual technique but make sure to tamp each piece down into the top coat as you go, you can make it all smooth and nice.  All was going perfectly until I was brutally betrayed by my combination of Essie Everyday Top Coat and Out the Door Top Coat.  I don't even know how it …

What Happens When a Blogger Living in Canada Goes to the US for the Day Again

Yeah so have a guess what happens when a polish blogger living in Canada goes to Buffalo for the day.  Now, you may think that it couldn't be that bad, surely Canada has all the same stuff the US does.  NOPES.  Not even a bit.  To make matters worse I went with my lovely friend Tara (hi Tara!) who is just as in to nail polish as I am so we spent the whole day driving around to find nail polish.  That's my idea of an awesome day but ow my wallet.  Let's take a look at what I got, shall we?

I know it's a little hard to see in this first one but it gives you an idea of scale.  Also, what my lightbox looks like.

Notable here is the full Halo Hues collection from Color Club that is so amazing I could literally die, Sally Hansen Lustre Chromes that I haven't seen here yet, OPI DS Temptation, three free OPI crackles, a gorgeous new Butter London and a whole bunch of cheapie China Glazes, Icing polishes, Sally Hansens, the cheap one that isn't Sinful Colors, Milanis a…

Reddit Week 7: Black and White Nails

Aww yeah, I'm going to lead off today with announcing that this mani is a success because my male co-worker noticed my nails and commented on them!  Considering I'm a programmer in an all-male office, this is quite the accomplishment.  Anyway, Reddit is currently running a 52-week challenge over at /r/redditlaqueristas and the theme this week is black and white.  Give I've been having more success with water marbling lately I wanted to try and reproduce this pattern.  I actually think I got really close!
I've been playing around with different combinations of water temperatures, cup sizes and polishes and I think I found the right combination as my polishes spread out absolutely perfectly last night.  After adding two coats of Orly Dayglow as a base colour, I dropped in Nicole by OPI Razzle Dazzler and more Dayglow into coldish water - not the warmer water I used the night before.  It seemed to make the difference as the polished behaved just like all the videos.  I e…

Review: Gosh Holographic Hero

There are tons of different polishes I'm incapable of passing up but queen of them all are holo polishes.  A true linear holo polish is a truly magical thing to behold and I've spent a lot of time trying to track down the best ones.  Imagine my surprise when I found a re-release of the infamous Gosh Holographic Hero in Shoppers the other day!  I totally didn't buy two of them.  The problem of course though is how my lighting setup for photos is the WORST for trying to capture a rainbow.  When we had that rare sunny day in Toronto last week, I had to run home and take photos.
Like Nfu-Oh 61, application is a little bit tricky as the polish tends to drag around the cuticles.  I found though that if you do three thin coats and let it dry throughly between coats, you can get it nice and even.  Also, holos benefit from the "top coat sandwich".  As top coats tend to dull holos just a little, adding two coats, a coat of top coat then another coat of polish means you ge…

Getting Closer to a True Water Marbling Success

Ok so yesterday I talked about my most recent attempt at water marbling and I just wanted to say thanks to all those that commented with suggestions on how to improve my technique.  I saw a few areas I could improve on and look!  It looks so much better!
First of all, size of cup seems to be important - thanks Amanda for suggesting using a cup with a smaller diameter.  I found that the polish didn't spread so thin it dried before I could get the second drop in, so that helped.  Next, I kept an eye on the temperature of the water, making sure it wasn't hot or cold.  I stuck with using OPI polishes, alternating between I Wanna Be A-Lone Star and Russian Navy.  Finally, I cleaned my pin off between each drag which made for cleaner shapes.  I used two coats of Orly Dayglow as a base, taping off my fingers.  I found it easier to tape all my fingers off first as I have a tendency to wang a wet nail with the tape going on.  Finally, I found near the edge had a very thin section of l…

Urgh, I Hate Water Marbling

I hate water marbling, mostly because I'm intensely jelly of all those out there that manage to make these amazing manis that I just can't seem to reproduce.  Every time I try, my polish just doesn't spread out.  If it does, after two or three drops, it stops spreading and I get sad.  I've tried different polish brands, different temperature waters, bottled water, seemingly everything with no consistent results.  I combed through some more videos and tutorials and noticed that some people used just OPI polishes with good results, so I tried that.  
To start, I applied two coats of Orly Dayglow, my current favourite white.  Then, after taping off my fingers, I got to work with four different OPI polishes.  I filled a small plastic cup with room temperature water and got to work.  I found the best way to do it was to get an almost-ready-to-drip drop of polish and dab it in the water, then repeating as quickly as possible.  I found though that after five drops, it stoppe…

Review: Lacquistry You're Invited

Here's one of the many things I find annoying about Halloween.  You have all these beautiful polishes, but they are all always orange, black, purple or just generally spooky-themed.  This is all fine, but what happens November first?  What happens especially when the polishes don't even arrive until the 5th? Yeah, that's what I thought.  My challenge then is to make the lovely Lacquistry You're Invited into something November 8th appropriate. 
I always love how much glitter there is in Lacquistry polishes.  So many times I've completely ruined a mani because you need a million layers to get decent glitter coverage.  Not You're Invited though.  Being a mixture of black, silver, holo and orange glitter in hexes, squares, micro and diamonds, you get good coverage without having to fish around for anything large than a micro piece.  Application was really good, this polish works super well in a gradient without even really trying.  To make it non-Halloweeny, I lay…

Sparkly Blue Nails for Obama!

I may be an Australian living in Canada and thus the American election doesn't really effect me but omg I'm happy Obama was re-elected.  Sanity prevails! What better way to celebrate than with super sparkly blue glitter nails?
I have a lot of glitter.  When I get bored, I go on ebay and search for "glitter", sort by buy it now and price lowest + shipping.  You can get a surprising variety of glitter for under $3 delivered.  Plus, it takes so long to get here from China I've usually forgotten about it and so glitter surprise! Anyway, I realised I had a lot of blue glitter that would be perfect for a Democrat win.  To apply the glitter, I used my usual technique, using Essie Everyday Top Coat as a base for the glitter.  Given I was using larger glitter than normal, I modified my routine slightly.  For sticking the stars and large hexes on, I applied a thick layer of Essie then used a toothpick to make sure that all the corners and edges of the glitter were stuck d…

Review: Lacquistry AshBerry Freeze

AHHHHHHH I'M KIND OF EXCITED RIGHT NOW AS I JUST GOT NEW LACQUISTRY POLISHES IN THE MAIL.  You may not think this is that big of a deal but Jenna makes the most amazing polishes and finally has stock again!  She also sent me the most amazing box of glitter but that's totally beside the point.  Look how awesome AshBerry Freeze is.
If you've been on this site for more than a moment, you might have noticed I have something of a thing for glitter - especially holo glitter.  I swear there's a patch in my brain that bribes me with dopamine to look at sparkly things.  I'm not a brain...person but that sounds right to me.  That's just a bit why this polish with it's mix of micro, small and medium fuchsia holo glitter mixed with silver appeals to me so much.  Application was a little tricky but if you keep up-ending the bottle, you get a good mix of glitter.  This is two coats over Sally Hansen Celeb City. 


Review: Joe Fresh Nail Strips

So it seems as though everyone's doing the nail strips these days, huh?  I was in Joe Fresh the other day an found a set of three Christmas-y themed nail strips for $10.  Not bad, let's take a look at how they actually are on.  
Because their website is terrible, I can't actually show you which ones these are but they came in a gift packaged box with three designs - snowflakes, red and white stripes and a silver glitter.  I'm usually a little sceptical of nail strips, especially after a rather disastrous run-in with China Glaze strips.   Looking at them closely, they did seem to be nail polish strips instead just stickers.  I can't stand the stickers, they peel off almost immediately and are difficult to get to fit to your nail.  I cleaned my nails ready for application and got to work - I have a tutorial here, if you want to see how I apply them.  They seemed to apply like the nail polish strips but soon I noticed peeling.  Peeling! On my thumbnail!  After 15 min…

As Military as One Can Get With Purple Nail Polish and Glitter

So I found a really great blurple in Joe Fresh....colour I can't remember and the internet is not helping me and now feel the need to use it EVERYWHERE.  The annoying thing is that it looks different on this monitor at work than it does at home and on, but trust me, it's right in the middle between blue and purple and looks awesome.  As I was contemplating using it, my favourite holo gold glitter sprouted a month and yelled at me until I put them together.  NOT CRAZY, THAT HAPPENED.  I thus present to you the most military-y mani you can make with blurple nail polish and gold glitter!  Oh yes, that's a great intro paragraph.
Anyway, the mystery blurple Joe Fresh polish is a really nice to use creme, I only needed two coats to get the coverage I like, and I like a lot of polish.  Next, starting with my index finger, I added my military triangles.  I know there's a term for the shape, I just can't think of what it is.  Googling "fancy names for triangles/arrows…

Review: Maybelline Color Show Duochromes!

So I have a problem whereby I buy a lot of nail polish.  Not that much and it helps me stop buying other things I don't need, but enough.  What it does mean though is that I have a lot just sitting around that I then feel I have to integrate into some horribly complicated design.  I never just WEAR a single colour.  Last night though I decided that I might just have to swatch a few polishes as they're really pretty and need to be seen.  So, let's take a look at some new Maybelline duochromes I found in Rexall on sale the other day. SO MANY PICTURES INCOMING.
First up, Maybelline Color Show Boho Gold, a gold-green duochrome much like Chanel Peridot, OPI Just Spotted the Lizard, etc, etc.  I have a bunch like this but never get around to actually using them - I really should do a comparison.  Anyway, this polish is absolutely gorgeous, so shiny and metallic.  I'd have liked it to colour shift a bit more but it's so shiny I'll let it off.  Application was decent,…