Sunday, April 29, 2012

Feeling Studly

Hello, girlies! I was going to post this mani Friday but with my nails breaking I held off. I managed to fix two of the nails with the teabag method. I really wish I had taken pictures to share but I was so focused and panicked at the time to think of it. I definitely recommend trying this method next time your nail tears. I've never had any of the fixes I've attempted before last this long. Do a search for the instructions and keep the supplies handy! You'll be happy you did.

Onto my Friday mani.

These are 2mm silver nail studs I bought from Born Pretty. I also picked up some black and gold studs that you'll definitely see used later. The Customer Service department was wonderful when I received two gold and a black. They immediately shipped out a package of silver for me and told me to keep the extra gold pack! Use the code EMILYW21 for a 10% discount if you place an order with Born Pretty.

I think I'm becoming obsessed with these things! They look even better in person. 

I was so very, very sad to take these off so I could fix my nails. I didn't even get any really great pictures. I was waiting until Saturday when the weather was supposed to be less cloudy. I'll have to do these again and get better pictures. :)

Friday, April 27, 2012


I just had to get out of what was to be a nice, relaxing bath to do emergency work on a broken nail. I reached up to turn off the water and my hand slipped off the knob. Sadly, my nail caught and broke. I'm thankful that it wasn't a clean break as this gives me a very slight chance of saving it.

I was happy to find that I had some left over nail glue and managed a temporary fix. However, what I'm asking is ... does anyone know how to save my nail? It's a fairly deep break right down the side. I know you can go into some of the local salons and have them fix it up for you but I don't have the transport, the time, or the money for this option. Are there any do-it-yourself options? Any products I can look for locally?

Pretty Camo

Hello, girlies! I tried my hand at stamping again today. I still haven't got it down yet, but I might be getting better. What do you think?

I think of this mani as deconstructed camo or my attempt at 'pretty camo'. While doing this design, I kept in mind the camo that uses various shades of green and tan to create leaves and a wood texture. I think it turned out very nice with this flowery, girlish stamp.

For some reason the middle nail smudged horribly when I stamped the design. Can you push too hard while stamping?

The two polishes used come from the Revlon Colorstay collection which just arrived in my small town. They are Bare Bones and Spanish Moss. I picked them up with a slightly different mani in mind but they looked far too much like camo colors to do anything else with them. :)

I'm still not sure how other bloggers get such perfect and whole stamps, but I'm just happy to see more than half the stamp on my nails this time!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Twinkling Hot Tamales

First off ... whoa, what is up with the new posting feature?? Was anyone else horribly confused and panicking a bit? I thought I pressed the wrong button or something!!

Right, onto the post. I'm not sure how long I can keep this daily posting up. Maybe another day or so if I'm not too lazy to paint my nails today, so enjoy it while you can! Today, I bring you Twinkle and Hot Tamale both from Pure Ice.

This alternating mani is two coats of Hot Tamale, the darker polish, and two coats of Twinkle, the lighter polish. I'm just noticing now the slightly visible nail line on some of them. They could probably use another coat or three. I guess this means they're more sheer than I thought.

Twinkle showed up fairly dark in most of the pictures I took. I managed to find a handful of true to color. Twinkle is a simply lovely shade of coral pink or maybe a salmon. It contains a slight hint of orange but I'm not sure if that's just the gold shimmer playing tricks on my eyes or not.

Hot Tamale is a darker color that I think nearly overwhelms the delicate Twinkle. The closest I can come to describing Hot Tamale is an off shade of vermilion, sometimes known as cinnabar. I think this shade works best because vermilion is described as being similar to scarlet but with more orange and less red. Hot Tamale certainly has it's fair share of orange and mixes nicely with the gold shimmer the polish contains.

 Twinkle and Hot Tamale close-up shots.
You really get to see the true shades of these colors up-close in direct sunlight.

Hot Tamale shows it's gold shimmer much less than Twinkle. The gold shimmer blends too well with Hot Tamale's metallic finish to really pop. That certainly doesn't mean Hot Tamale doesn't pop all on its own. While pink is my favorite color I don't think I can wear a shade as delicate as Twinkle ... at least not without Hot Tamale to carry it along.

What I didn't know while buying this polish was how closely Hot Tamale resembles Riveting from the China Glaze Hunger Games collection. Riveting has slightly more depth to its color; the metallic finish of Riveting shifts subtly darker than Hot Tamale. However, Riveting leaves Hot Talame in its gold shimmering dust. Riveting has a much, much more present shimmer. The gold flecks are also bigger and brighter; they really shine out of the polish. As you can see from the picture below, Hot Tamale is not an exact match to Riveting but you might be able to make a fairly passable fraken dupe out of it by adding a thicker shimmer.

Will any of you be trying Hot Tamale in place of Riveting? What about Twinkle? Will it work better with your skin tone than it does mine?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Shimmering Mauve

Today I bring you a swatch. Not my usual lately, I know. I'm more of a nail artist to be honest, but I've had this color sitting in one of my polish drawers since Christmas. Looking at it now, I really don't know why I never used it before.

This is Orly brand polish in Shimmering Mauve. Personally, I wouldn't call this mauve. To me, a color has to have at least a hint of purple to qualify as mauve. I would say this is more one of the many rose shades. Rose vale, maybe? 

And yet, no matter the specifics of naming, it is gorgeous! Shimmering Mauve is a polish I mistook for a pearl in the bottle and might contribute to why it sat around unused for so long. Even on my nails it still has a slight pearl finish in certain lights.

It goes on very smoothly. I found it had little to no streaking. It is also very opaque. It was simply habit that had me putting on two coats. This can certainly be a one-coater polish! Every girls dream, right?

Taken in the shade. It looks nearly pearlescent here, doesn't it?

This color reminds me of old fashioned elegance with a new age flair. This is a color that can travel generations. It's a color, without the pearly metallic, that I recently saw my 103-year-old Great Aunt wearing. God rest her soul, she's no longer with us as of last week. This is a color that my mother would love and a color that I am greatly enjoying wearing.

What do you think? Is it a color for you?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Circus, Circus

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages ... today I present circus nails!!!

Okay, being truthful. I was a bit disappointed with both the circus and these nails.

This is two coats of China Glaze Riveting with a coat of Wet n Wild Party of Five Glitters and though I didn't count after the first three coats ... anywhere between five and ten coats of Fantasy Maker Night Glow, a glow in the dark polish from the creators of Wet n Wild.

This picture is more true to color. The glow in the dark polish is cloudy and somewhere between a cloudy clear and a cloudy yellow/green. You can see that Riveting has lost its bright and fiery gleam with so many coats of glow in the dark polish. I wouldn't have minded so much but Night Glow is very old and has lost most of its glow. I did not know this when I was layering it on. I expected for the lights to go out at the circus and my nails to grab nearly as much attention as the circus acts themselves ... at least from my nieces.

Sadly, this didn't happen. The nails didn't glow at all during the circus!

I only managed to get the glow in the dark pics by quickly holding my nails to the bathroom light, flicking off the lights and snapping the pictures. These pics are also taken through my editing program and the glow brightened so you can actually see it! Very disappointing!! I will have to look into getting more of this polish.

Here is the original, unedited version of the first glow picture. You might see the glow if you highlight it first. The unedited second picture is even worse and not worth posting.

The only thing more horrible than a bad nail design is a polish that's gone bad ... even worse when it's gone bad unnoticed. :(

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day

Hello, my lovelies! I'm getting this post out a bit later than I was hoping. I went to the circus with family yesterday and overslept this morning. I woke up to a rainy, cloudy, just plain yucky day so pictures took longer too. However, I have pictures of my circus nails for tomorrow to look forward to. Yay!

For today though, it's Earth Day nails. I had so many ideas for this design but then I stumbled across the Earth Day Network Philippines 2011 logo and it was perfect. 

It combined everything I thought of when I thought of Earth Day. The sun, the trees, the water, and the air. I changed the design very slightly slightly to make it work on my nails.

Cloud nails were something I've been dreaming of doing, and I'm happy I finally got my chance. Of course, I used my new favorite color for the sky: I Need a Refresh-Mint. You guys are probably getting sick of it!

I also used China Glaze, Blue Year's Eve. I use this whenever I need water. The shimmer floating in the sea of gleaming blue just screams water to me, like a deep refreshing pool of water. ♥

Did you gals do anything special for Earth Day? Paint your nails? Plant a tree? Hold a fundraiser?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Product Review - Nail Tees

I decided to make today's post a product review. I don't usually do these, and I'm sorry if you were expecting something more but I really want to share my new find with you.

What am I talking about? I'm talking about Fran Wilson Nail Tees. I picked them up at my local Sally Beauty last weekend when I went in for some new nail art brushes. They were just hanging there at the counter. After a previous (fruitless) search after hearing tips like these mentioned by a friend ... well, I had to have them.

I'm not sure exactly how much I paid for these in store, but the Sally Beauty website has them for $3.29. I used my loyalty card for a discount, so likely about $2.99 for 120 Tees. It's a bit pricey when compared to the 500 tips you get in a package of Q-Tips for nearly the same price.

However, the Tees are specifically created for nail clean-up. They're not the end all, be all that I hoped and dreamed they would be. I thought they would be perfect to get in around the nail for precision clean-up with such formed tips, but the sharp tip collapses slightly when wetted with nail polish remover. However, it's still sharper than a regular Q-Tip and does a pretty great job cleaning up once you get the hang of wielding the Tee.

As you can see, some ends collapse easier than others.

I'm thinking of trying to use the sharp tip dry immediately after painting each nail. I figure this might work slightly better than using nail polish remover. I'm hoping the Tee will keep its pointed shape and the polish, while wet, will be easily swept up.

All in all, I'm sure there are many other methods of cleaning up your nails. Some probably cost you nothing at all. However, I'm pleased enough with this product to say I will not only continue using what I have but I will buy it again.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sun Rays

Another post already?? Yes! And you'll be getting one tomorrow too and maybe the next day! Are you excited? I know I am.

I'm pretty proud of these nails. It is my first time doing a design like this. I wasn't sure of it at first but I came to enjoy the overall look. I do wish I had gone with my first thought and used brighter under colors, but it is what it is. :)

I started off with two coats of a white polish over my base coat. Then I used a flat nail art brush to paint on each color, beginning with a dabbing motion and using a clear polish to blend them together. After the polish dried I used tape to create a sun ray design. I think this was the hardest part because I don't own striping tape. This meant I had to cut pieces of tape to the correct size. I went through a lot of tape before I finally got the hang of it!

Once everything was taped up, I used one coat of black over the tape, let it dry for a moment and peeled the tape off. It left behind a near perfect sun ray design. Be very careful not to leave the tape on for too long! I did this very thing on my right hand and the tape peeled off a strip of not just the under colors but the two coats of white and my base coat!! Thankfully I was able to touch them up but you could totally ruin your entire mani this way!

The first three pictures were taken in the shade and brightened with my camera's light filter. (My first time using this filter. Let me know what you think.) The last picture was taken in full sunlight. The colors are truer with the last picture.

Polish Used

  • Borghese - Brilliante
  • LA Colors - White
  • LA Colors - Black
  • China Glaze - First Mate
  • China Glaze - Secret Peri-Wink-Le
  • Revlon - Blue Lagoon
  • Funky Fingers - Sugarplum Fairy
  • Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chessur Disaster

Not all my nail designs work out. I, like everyone else, have off days and disasters. I call today's post the 'Chessur Disaster'.

For those who don't know, Chessur is the Cheshire Cat of Tim Burton's, Alice in Wonderland. This is one of my favorite movies and I dream of one day having a Cheshire tattoo complete with the Mad Hatter's top hat. I love any Alice in Wonderland but Burton always adds a certain flair to everything he touches that I simply adore.

In addition to being a simple tribute to such a wonderful movie, it is National Pet Month. I have my own pets that I adore, but I would love a Cheshire Cat of my own. Who wouldn't??

As you can see, this isn't my best mani. I tried something a bit different and it didn't work out. It happens to all of us. The thing to remember is: don't dwell. Seriously! Pick yourself back up, mop up those tears (if there are any), and move on. Thankfully, I realized what a disaster this was before I completed more than this hand. Yes, this turned into a one-handed design! The polish stayed on only long enough to take these pictures and then I moved on. C'est la vie!

Polish Used

  • Borghese - Brilliante
  • New York Color - Sidewalkers
  • New York Color - East Village
  • LA Colors - Black
  • LA Colors - White
  • Sally Hansen HD - Resolution
  • Sally Hansen - Fuchsia Power

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cracked Neon

Hello all you lovely followers! I hope everyone is doing okay. I was going to have this posted sooner but I got horribly sick this weekend. I'm happy to say that I'm feeling much better now though.

Today's post is a very simple mani, but one that I think is so perfect for summer.

Summer is the perfect time to catch the eyes of those around you, and what better way than with such of burst of color?

The thing to remember with neon polish is that you get the most color when it is layered over white. That's why, for this mani, I used two coats of white polish under two coats of neon before adding one coat of white crackle. This makes the neon color really pop.

Polish Used

  • Borghese - Brilliante
  • LA Color - White
  • Funky Fingers - Kingston
  • Funky Fingers - White Scales
  • Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri

Friday, April 13, 2012

From The Vault: Simple Glitter

... or maybe not so simple glitter.

This post is coming to you from the vault (or what I call my forgotten nail folder) since my nails are still painted Ocean Sunrise. They're holding up very well, showing simple tip wear on only one finger. Amazing! So, I decided to keep them until they start chipping.

With this in mind, I decided to post my before Easter mani. This mani was painted for one day of wear; between Paint Splatter to Hoppy Easter. I didn't want something I wouldn't want to take off so it had to be kept simple. This is what I came up with.

I used the polish that is quickly becoming a favorite of my collection. Maybe not my all time favorite but definitely within the top 10 ... maybe even the top 5 of the polishes I own. This is 2 coats of Wet n Wild Megalast in 'I Need a Refresh-Mint' with one coat of Funky Fingers 'Flashing Lights'.

Flashing Lights is a blue (or blue/green) based holographic glitter that I picked up at Five Below last month. The glitter is always catching the light and shifting colors. My two-year-old niece was fascinated by this mani and wouldn't let my fingers go for nearly five minutes, insisting she wanted her nails to look like mine. It must be something great if it can keep a kid that age distracted for any length of time!

What glitter post is complete without a blurred photo? This is just one coat of holo polish; you could certainly get a more eye-catching look with more glitter. However, I tried to keep the glitter (and thus the cleanup) to a minimum.

I thought I would take a moment and add a picture of the bottle so you can see what I mean when I call it a blue based holo. This is Flashing Lights compared to Sand & Stilettos, a purple based holo.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ocean Sunrise

I am so excited for today's post!! The women of my family started what we hope is a yearly tradition last year by going on vacation together. My mom, my sister, her three girls, and myself went to the beach for a few days. We're going for a full week this year!

My favorite part of being at the beach (besides everything!) was sitting on our hotel balcony every morning with a cup of coffee watching the sunrise over the ocean. I think I got more pictures of that than nearly anything else.

I don't think this is a design you look at and immediately think beach, but I'm getting a gym membership soon in hopes of toning up a bit for the beach. I needed motivation!! I look at my nails and see the overwhelming beauty of every sunrise I saw over the ocean. It's just what I need.


I had such fun doing this mani. It was like truly painting on tiny canvases. I mixed up my own colors and swirled them around on my nails to get just the right look. I put the sun on my ring finger and edged the sunrise out to the purple and blue of a night sky just being touched by the sun's rays.

So, what do you guys think of my motivational beach nails?