Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Parliament of Owls

Hello girlies! I don't know about you but I've been seeing owl nails everywhere. Sometimes just colorful owls like SuPa Nails Oh Oh Owls! Sometimes not so colorful like JawsOfKita-LoveHim's Owl Nails. There's also those with one owl like cutepolish's Cute Nail Art tutorial. Or those with designs that incorporate all nails like Chalkboard Nails Valentine's Owl Nail Art or Unhas da *micktuti*'s owl nails.

With all these awesome owl nails I wanted to try some of my own. I saw this design on Pinterest first and just had to recreate it. It's originally from Chalkboard Nails and was then recreated by Let them have Polish as part of a challenge—inspired by a tutorial.

Parliament of Owls Owl nail art nails


I couldn't have chosen a worse time to do this design though. It was very hot and humid; the kind of heat that nail polish doesn't dry well in. I also had very little time to do my nails before I had to start getting ready for my niece's dance recital. I thought I could do it though. How hard could they be? Well, I'll admit they weren't that hard. I didn't think out the color choices very well. I mostly just reached into my nail drawer and grabbed the closest colors.


Parliament of Owls Owl nail art nails


The base colors worked well together but once I started lightening it for the chest, dotting on the chest spots, and adding the beak everything just kind of blended together.


Parliament of Owls Owl nail art nails


The spots and beak look nearly perfect on the mint and purple, shows up slightly less on the pink and red, but really just blends completely on the orange. If I had more time I'm sure I would have tested each color on paper before using them, but I was in a rush.

Parliament of Owls Owl nail art nails

How much of a rush you ask? So much of a rush that I didn't realize I had scraped the eye off my thumb owl and dented the tip of the middle finger owl until I was in the car and far away from my nail supplies. I told my nieces that the orange owl was evil and attacked the pink owl. *giggle* I'm so mean. :)

Parliament of Owls Owl nail art nails


I'm actually pretty proud of how well my right hand turned out all told. I'm right handed but through much practice I've gotten my left hand able to do much of the fine detail work. Still, it's never as good as doing nail art with my right hand. However, besides the googly eyes on the red owl I think everything came together very well.


For those who are wondering ... a groups of owls is called a parliament, hence the title. Yeah ... I had to look it up too. ;)


Polish Used

  • Revlon - Base Coat
  • Wet n Wild - I Red a Good Book
  • Wet n Wild - I Need a Refresh-Mint
  • Wet n Wild - Club Havana
  • Wet n Wild - Bite the Bullet
  • Wet n Wild - Tropicalia
  • Sally Hansen - Mellow Yellow
  • Sally Hansen - Sun Kissed
  • LA Colors - Black
  • LA Colors - White

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moo MiniCards Review

This post has been a long time coming. I always seem to have more pressing posts though, but not this time! This is a product review of some custom business cards I bought last month from Moo. Always be on the lookout for Moo sales. I ordered these the moment I got the email saying they were selling their 100 custom business card sets to 500 of their customers for only the shipping cost. That's only $5.00!!


Moo custom business cards printfinity


This is the pack my cards arrived in. All 100 of them! It's a really nice case, just about crush proof. However, I found it too big to carry around with me, so be sure to either have a business card holder on hand or purchase one with your Moo order. I already had one on hand.


Moo custom business cards printfinity


The bottom of the case tag contains information about the company. Personally, I think that's pretty cool, but that's just me. Another thing I think is cool? The Moo case is free with Business Cards and MiniCards. It is recyclable and made from recycled pulp.


Moo custom business cards printfinity


Here is the inside of the Moo case. You get your first look at the cards themselves. The cards are matte laminate so they have only a faintly reflective quality. This means, even on the brightest day, if you hand out your business card the recipient will certainly be able to see it! They are also made from paper product sourced from sustainable forests. I went with Moo's Classic Paper but there is also the option to order your cards on Moo's Green Paper. Green Paper is ecofriendly, 100% recycled paper. It's something to think about if you decide to order.




Moo custom business cards printfinity


I ordered the first business card through Moo's free Business Card sample pack last November. I got 10 standard Business Cards with Moo's Printfinity. This is simply Moo's way of saying you can choose a different image for each of your business cards at no extra cost. What other business card company will print 100 different images on 100 business cards? The second card in the picture is one of my new MiniCards. You can see the size difference immediately. The MiniCard is about half the height of the standard card and slightly less wide.




These cards also have a customizable back. Use this to put your name, your number, your email, your blog, anything you could possibly want your business cards to say. Moo also allows you to change font, font color, and the background color.


I found the MiniCards absolutely adorable. However, they are slightly unwieldy. I found I had trouble sorting through them to find a specific card to hand out. They catch slightly on each other and you can't get your fingers positioned just right on their smaller surface to scan through them quickly.


Another con for the MiniCards is that they are a bit more grainy looking than the standard Business Cards. Still, this might be my new camera causing the image graininess. The classic Business Cards I ordered had images from my older, better model camera while the images on the MiniCards were taken with an emergency camera purchased when I dropped and broke my old camera at the beach. I found no difference between the photos on the computer but that may not translate as well to print.


Still, Moo is now offering a free sample pack of all their products. Again, this includes free shipping. You don't get to choose the images like I did for my Business Cards. These are pre-printed Moo products. They include a sample of their Business Cards, MiniCards, Postcards, Stickers, and Labels. If you are looking for a company to purchase from I would definitely order Moo's free sample pack and check out the great quality of their products before making any decisions.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Swag Bucks

Hey everyone! I hope everyone is having a great day, hopefully with family and friends instead of work. :)


I want to take a moment from my day to tell you about a site that was recently recommended to me. Some of you will surely know about this, but it's Swag Bucks.


Swag Bucks Search & Win


How did I find Swag Bucks and what is it? Well, I was looking for cool things I could use as a giveaway prize. Swag Bucks lets you use the points (or Swag Bucks) you rack up from doing searches, taking surveys, watching videos, using coupons, and so much more to 'buy' prizes and gift cards. It's like a carnival; you earn tickets and redeem them for prizes. The more tickets, the better the prize is likely to be.


I've only been doing this for a few days and I'm already over 1000 points. I'll have a gift card giveaway for you in no time at this rate.


Don't want to wait for only a chance at a gift card or want to help me earn it? You can start racking up your own points and help me earn points by using my referral link to sign up for yourself. Your searches will help me earn points while still earning you points. That means you can earn yourself a gift card and still have a chance of snagging yourself another gift card in my upcoming giveaway.


You can also use the Swidget to the right for searches and help me that way. It's a lot like Google so don't be afraid to use it.


So go to Swag Bucks, sign up, and start earning points for gift cards and cool prizes.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

Hello girlies. Tomorrow is Memorial Day in America, a day to honor the men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces. In national cemeteries, many volunteers place American flags on each grave as a way to honor them. These nails are my way of honoring the fallen.


Memorial Day nail art nails stars stripes red white and blue


I was hit with inspiration Friday night while looking through some tape manis. What if I used the elements of an American flag and put them on a nail? A red and white striped nail showing through outlines of stars. It could be just like a tape mani if I used stickers.  It was brilliant. I just needed some star stickers in various sizes.


Memorial Day nail art nails stars stripes red white and blue

It was amazingly hard to find the sizes of stars I wanted ... or to find any star stickers at all! I thought of nothing beyond the sizes I needed. Silly of me! Anyone else seeing the problem? Yes, they are stars in various sizes. Yes, they are stickers. Why yes, that does says adhesive gems!! Instead of putting star stickers on my nails and painting over them like tape I had to put these hard gems on my nails and carefully trace around each one since they didn't conform to my nails like a true sticker would. Then I had to fill in the entire nail around the star outlines. It went from being such a simple mani idea to an all night and all morning job. I got one hand done before I was too tired to see straight and had to do the other hand first thing in the morning.

Memorial Day nail art nails stars stripes red white and blue

Some of the stars turned out amazing, nearly perfect, while others were a bit deformed.


Memorial Day nail art nails stars stripes red white and blue



Still, my original idea came through pretty well I think.


Memorial Day nail art nails stars stripes red white and blue


Here is a look at what is under all that blue which is China Glaze First Mate if you were wondering. I started with a base of OPI Alpine Snow and drew in a few messy stripes with China Glaze Poinsettia. I just wanted to show you that, for a design like this, the stripes don't have to be perfect because you'll be seeing only a very small portion of each one. Looking at the finished nails you would never think something this messy was under each one! :)

New Features & Guest Bloggers Wanted

I would like to direct your attention to the right of your screen. Scroll down and view the new 'Blogs I Read' feature I finally got around to installing. Yay!! If you don't see yourself there ... well, don't feel bad. I haven't gotten around to adding all the blogs I read yet. However, if you don't think I've had a chance to view your blog yet and you want to be added to the list, I'm giving you the chance to leave a link in the comments section now! *poke, poke* Go on, do it now!! There is no need to add my blog to your own list or post about it anywhere. It would be nice, but it's not something you have to do to get added to mine.


Onto other new features. I've also taken the time to add a translation button powered by Google which can also be found to the right of your screen. There is also a Search bar now that will allow you to search my posts, also to the right. Direct your eyes thataway. --->


I have one more thing to mention. I'm looking for Guest Bloggers to help round out my posts in the coming months. I'll be going on vacation in August for a full week, and I'll be looking for one blogger to keep my blog active that week with two-four posts so I can completely relax without worry! I want to get the hang of Guest posts by then.  If you are open to being a Guest Blogger I ask that you send me an email instead of posting in the comments. You can find my email in the Contact Me section. Tell me about yourself and your blog(s), the types of things you post about, if you have done any guest posting before, and include a link to your blog.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bonsai

Wow! I am like dead on my feet. I've been going to my sister's place every day. Sometimes we go shopping, mostly we go tanning. I'm getting a nice jump on some summer color. She also has three little girls: the older two in school and a two-year-old with her constantly. So, I've been getting run ragged by a little girl who wants to play with her 'Annie'. I was talked into throwing a softball for her and the middle girl yesterday. This is why I have a dog! Children expect you to run after them and get involved unaware that you are many years older than them and have nowhere near the amount of energy they have ... a dog will run and bring the ball back perfectly content if you stand in the same spot the entire time! Lol. I've had no time or energy to create elaborate nail art so I used a stamp and my dotting tool for this one.


Revlon Colorstay Bonsai green nail polish nail art stamped


I picked this color up last weekend during a shopping trip to Walmart. They have changed their entire selection of nail polish. They now offer new brands of nail polish and new collections from old brands. As always seems to be the case though, the one collection I was there looking for was the one collection they seemed not to have. With my luck, I simply overlooked it.


Revlon Colorstay Bonsai green nail polish nail art stamped


I did manage to snag Bonsai from the Revlon Colorstay collection. I'm not the kind of person who can pull off many shades of green without looking sickly, but Bonsai is a really pretty shade that worked well with my skin tone. This might have something to do with the very light yellow gold shimmer.


Revlon Colorstay Bonsai green nail polish nail art stamped


 You can see in the pictures that the shimmer is very hard to see though. That wasn't the only problem I had with this polish either. The polish was very hard to get on the nail, streaky and with large gaps where the polish wouldn't lay. I had to use three coats to get total coverage. It wasn't such a big problem since I was using a design over it, but it is something to think about if you enjoy one color nails.


Revlon Colorstay Bonsai green nail polish nail art stamped


Another downside is that this polish only stayed on for one day! Not even that long because it showed signs of wear almost immediately and began chipping that night. I know I've been going non-stop and have likely put my nails through some hard times but that was ridiculous. Especially from the Colorstay collection which touts long wear, 11 days of wear if worn with their base and top coats. I did not wear this with their top coat but I did use their base coat. That should add something right?? I will allow that maybe I got a bad batch or some other kind of error because I have never had this many problems with the other polishes I own from this collection. But ...


Revlon Colorstay Bonsai green nail polish nail art stamped


All in all, pretty though it may be, I don't think Bonsai will become a staple around my house.


The stamping was done with Sally Hansen White On. I found this worked very well with my image plate but that might have something to do with White On being very old and thick. If you have some old lying around give it a try with your stamper. Or try it with new and let me know how it works.


I'm off to get ready for another day on the town. Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kickin' Converse

I am so sick of my broken nail. It has been years since I've had a nail this short, but I've decided to make the most of it by doing designs that can be worn on nails that are long as well as short. I'm hoping to let those with short nails, by choice or not, know that you don't need long or squared nails to still have pretty nails! With this in mind I bring you pictures of Saturday's Converse mani worn to a niece's birthday party — my short nail is uncovered in these pics so look away if this bothers you.

Kickin' Converse Shoes nail art

I decided to start with a partial Skittles mani, my thumb is done in red, done with the help of tape. Two coats of each color before I added two coats of white to the tips.

Kickin' Converse Shoes nail art


After that it was fairly simple to use my dotting tool to add small dots of silver for the lace holes and my smallest nail art brush to add the black half circle and laces.

Kickin' Converse Shoes nail art

With this design, I think the short rounded nail somehow works better. It gives a more realistic 'shoe' look. So if you have short nails don't be afraid to give this mani a try!!


Also, if you're as easily amused as I am ... I got a kick out of 'kicking' people while wearing these nails or doing the finger walk. It looked so weird with little shoes on my fingers!

Polish Used
Red: Borghese 'Che Bella Red C'
Orange: Wet n Wild 'Club Havana'
Pink: Wet n Wild 'Tropicalia'
Blue/Green: Wet n Wild 'I Need a Refresh-Mint'
Purple: Wet n Wild 'Bite the Bullet'
Black & White: LA Colors
Silver: Sally Hansen 'Celeb City'

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Caged

'ello lovelies! I'm kind of embarrassed to post today. These are nowhere near my best nails. They just look so messy to me. Also, I decided not to use a smiley with this mani. The broken nail on my left hand isn't so noticeable in the two pics I got of that hand.




I tried something new and then used another stamp over top. I loaded a large brush with four colors and attempted to do a one-stroke nail. Things didn't work out as I hoped.




Since I was only allowing myself one stroke I used a white base in hopes the colors would really pop.




Sadly, the one stroke is much harder than it looks. The polish got everywhere except my nails! It flooded my cuticles and smeared all over my fingers but would not stay on my nail. One stroke turned into many as I attempted damage control.




It was all so messy that I looked for a stamp to cover some of the mess. I decided to use this stamp, Born Pretty m64. Even after all that I still wasn't satisfied and was really glad to take this mani off.




Here's an attempt to explain the title of this mani. The finished nail makes me think only of bird as it looks out through the bars of its cage at the setting sun wishing more than anything to fly free. I tried to think of a title that would make more sense but that's all that I could think of.

Friday, May 18, 2012

All Wrapped Up

Hello, girlies. I write a post filled with sadness today. It will be the last post for a while that you will get to see my lovely index nail. I will have to use my right hand, which is never as pretty, or do as other bloggers do and post a smiley over the nail. Why you ask? I broke the nail completely while out yesterday. I was in a hurry and wasn't careful enough and the nail split right down the middle. As I was away from my supplies, I had no way to do an emergency fix and had to take the clippers to it. :'( It's now cut clear down and will take a good while to grow out. Enjoy its loveliness with this mani while you can.

white Stamped Bows nail art on pink


For the base of this mani I used Wet n Wild Tropicalia. As for the bows, I bought a 16 piece set of image plates from Born Pretty and found myself very impressed.

white Stamped Bows nail art on pink


I could never understand why everyone loved stamping so much. I had so many problems with the image plates I owned that I couldn't imagine anything but frustration. I couldn't get a whole image on my nail to save my life! Another bad thing was that the polish set very quickly that sometimes I didn't even get it onto the stamper before it was dried up and refused to budge.


white Stamped Bows nail art on pink


Well, now I understand the enjoyment.


white Stamped Bows nail art on pink


As you can see from these pictures I had no such problems with the Born Pretty plates. I managed to get the entire image with every stamp. The only problem I had was inexperience with actually stamping that image onto my nail. I figure with a bit more practice on lining the image up I will have nearly perfect stamps.


white Stamped Bows nail art on pink


The last image I have to share is probably one of my favorites. It was a rainy day and once the rain let up I stepped outside in an attempt to get the most light. Well, I stepped too far off the porch and got dripped on. For some reason, I love the water droplets splattered all over my nails and the polish bottle.


That's all, folks! I guess I will see you in a few days with another post. That post will surely be without the index nail visible and you will get to see the ever elusive right hand.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Concrete Life Preserver

Welcome to another post. *bows deeply* I'm feeling really silly today so forgive me for the craziness. It might have something to do with having over 50 posts now!! Can I applaud myself without looking like a dork?


China Glaze Cracked Concrete Life Preserver

Today, I bring you two polishes from my most recent Sally Beauty order. You gals know me; I can't resist a sale and Sally was certainly having a sale. Plus, I added a coupon onto their sale price and got an amazing deal. I ordered four polishes but one was out of stock. So, I got three new polishes for $10!!! That's including shipping. Without the shipping they added up to only $8.49.


China Glaze Cracked Concrete Life Preserver


The first polish is China Glaze, Life Preserver. I'm not sure why some colors just don't take pictures well, but Life Preserver is one of them. It pictures with a very, very red tint. In person this is a slightly muddy burnt orange with maybe a hint of coral. It's definitely not the bright oranges you see everywhere for this season. China Glaze calls this color a highly pigmented poppy creme.


China Glaze Cracked Concrete Life Preserver


Next up is China Glaze, Cracked Concrete, from their Crackle Glaze line. I bought these two colors especially for this reason after finding this post from My Latest Obsession. There was just something about these two polishes together that called to me.


China Glaze Cracked Concrete Life Preserver


Her polish seems to have cracked a bit better than mine. I found the China Glaze brush unwieldy for applying crackle polish. I had to double dip for every nail but my pinky ... triple for the thumb. I'm not saying it didn't turn out looking gorgeous because it did! I'm just saying the application was much harder than it could have been with a slightly different brush.


China Glaze Cracked Concrete Life Preserver


Besides, I paid $1.99 for Cracked Concrete. For that price, I'm really not going to complain!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bloglovin'

Hey girlies. I'm attempting to link my blog to Bloglovin'. I've never done this before so bear with me.


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Spring Fling

Another day, another post. I know I mentioned it somewhere before, whether here in a post or on my Facebook page, but I was asked to do a set of nails for my niece for her Spring Fling dance. I'm happy to say I got them completed and didn't mess them up while helping her glue them on. They looked amazing with her dress!


Spring Fling black dots French tips silver red rose nail art


She was my personal hand model for the day and was nice enough not to complain when I twisted and repositioned her fingers into what was surely uncomfortable positions. :)


Spring Fling black dots French tips silver red rose nail art


The nails also looked adorable with her enormous ring and oversized earrings!


Spring Fling black dots French tips silver red rose nail art


Alright, gals, say hello to my niece. She was finally all decked out for Spring Fling and ready for pictures.


Spring Fling black dots French tips silver red rose nail art


Can you imagine dancing in those shoes???

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Mommy Mess

Happy Mother's Day  to the mothers out there. Today's post is for my own mommy.




I thought long and hard about this design. I didn't want a generic Mother's Day design. What I really wanted was something personal to my mother. Well, my mom's favorite flower is the lilac. Best of all? Her favorite color is also purple! Talk about perfect.




Sadly, I found the lilac flower almost impossible to recreate into something people would look at and think, "Oh, that's a lilac!" In my opinion, it's a bit of a mess.




However, my mom was kind enough to point out that her knowing what it was was all that should matter. This mani was created for her after all, and she loves it.




I started with these nails. I'm not usually one for a French mani. I always end up with streaks when using a 'natural' polish, which was no different with this mani. But I became pretty fond of these. I used two coats of OPI Bubble Bath with one coat of OPI Alpine Snow on the tips. I was feeling very steady handed that day so I went ahead and free handed the tips.






These last two pictures are of my left hand. This is the hand I usually use for my pictures, but I found myself liking the nails of my right hand better. But, I guess the lack of precision worked better for this mani. Go figure.


Polish Used
Borghese - Brilliante
OPI - Bubble Bath
OPI - Alpine Snow
OPI - Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window
Sally Hansen - Green with Envy
Sally Hansen - Lacey Lilac
Pure Ice - New Lilac
LA Colors - Purple
Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bowed Skulls and Hearts

'ello, Girlies! It's been a really busy week. I've barely had time to do my nails let alone post anything. But that's why I'm here now, isn't it? To post something!


Today's post is a mani I absolutely adore, but am very sad about. I'll explain in a moment. For now, gaze upon the awesomeness.




I was going to do this mani using my nails studs right up until it came time to add them and I panicked. It just didn't feel right. The hearts were a last minute decision but worked so much better.




Think you've seen this mani before? Well, you just might have if you follow MixedMama! I honestly had no idea that I was doing an almost exact replica of another blogger's work. And I would have posted this with no idea if I hadn't stumbled across a picture of her mani while tagging the Bite the Bullet nails on my Facebook page. I was absolutely stunned and completely crushed to know this design was already done, but I guess that's the way nail art goes. You win some and you lose some.


I would also like to lay some credit at the feet of ProfessionalDQ over on Youtube. I first got the idea of bowed skulls there.


So, if you don't follow MixedMama or haven't watched some of ProfessionalDQ's nail art in action I definitely recommend heading over there next. :)


Polish Used

  • Borghese - Brilliante
  • LA Colors - White (2 coats)
  • OPI - Strawberry Margarita (2 coats over white)
  • Sinful Colors - Beautiful Girl (bow)
  • LA Colors - Black
  • Sally Hansen - Insta-Dri