Monday, July 29, 2013

piCture pOlish- Blog Fest 2013!!

**The polishes featured in this post were provided by piCture pOlish**

We are so happy to be a part of piCture pOlish's Blog Fest this year! This year's theme is the "Year of the Blogger". Bloggers from all over the world have been challenged to create our own most amazing nail art manicures ever with piCture pOlish shades. Keep your eyes out for a piCture pOlish Blog Fest 2013 Pinterest board for all of the amazing manicures. Three winners will be chosen to come up with a collaboration shade for piCture pOlish!!

Ok, let's get started. I'm so excited! Here are the colors I used for my mani:

Citrus- A bright orange polish with a crelly finish. Not quite a creme, not quite a jelly. Squishy and shiny!
Marine- A bold teal blue creme with one-coat coverage!
- Hope- Created by Vernis en Folle, a dark blue/green jelly holo (scattered) with a soubtle smattering of cobalt glitter designed to come alive with a little shake of the bottle.

These colors go so well together, I just couldn't settle on one idea! Here's what I came up with:

Each finger has a different look and here are the tools I used to make it happen:

A few different sized dotting tools, a flat tipped clean up brush, metallic microbeads, and striping tape.

Now, let's go through how it was done! 

I started with a skittle mani using all three colors. Seriously, there was no forethought in this order! I used two coats of each color and made sure to top with a quick-drying top coat. The quicker your mani is dry to the touch, the quicker you can start adding your designs!

I started with my pointer finger and decided to add a fun polka dot design. Here's how to get the look:

1. Use a piece of cardboard or plastic as a sort of throw-away artists palette. I usually use a piece of junk mail before I toss it in the recycling bin. Having your dotting tools handy.

2. Use the nail polish brush to drop blobs of each color onto the cardboard. Be sure to use polishes that are sure to give you full opacity in 2 coats!

3. Dip the tip of your dotting tool into the polish blob (we're being very technical here!)

4. Touch the dotting tool to your nail. Perfect dots every time! Using different sized dotting tools with result in (duh) different sized dots.

5. Be sure to work quickly so your polish blob doesn't dry up! If it starts getting tacky, just add more polish to the blob.

6. The new dots on your nail can be thick and looked raised. If this is the case, give your nail a few extra minutes to dry before you add your top coat. You don't want any smears! Once dry, your top coat will help level out the mani so you won't be able to see the raised dots anymore.

On to the next nail! I decided to do a checkerboard/lattice design using striping tape. Striping tape it a great tool to have in your nail art kit. I picked up a bunch of rolls in various colors for CHEAP at my local nail supply store.

1. Pre-cut your striping tape. I prefer to use a plastic place mat and a craft knife to do this. Pre-cutting makes working quickly much easier.

2. Use your pre-cut strips to make a checkerboard design on your nails. Tip- Place all the strips going in the same direction down first, and THEN place the strips that go in the opposite direction. It will make removing the tape later much easier!

3. Work quickly and carefully to apply polish to the desired blocks on your nail. Do your best to stay in the lines! If you slip, you can use a flat-tipped brush to make corrections.

This is one of those designs that doesn't look good until it's done!
4. Apply your last color carefully and quickly to the remaining blocks. It's important to work even quicker this time! You can fix mistakes with the flat brush again.

5. Remove the striping tape carefully. This is the reason you wanted to work quickly in the previous steps. If the polish gets too dry, sometimes the polish will get picked up from the nail along with the tape! Do your best to remove the tape when the polish is still tacky-wet.

Not there just yet!
6. Use your flat-tipped brush dipped in pure acetone to clean up around the edges,
7. Wait at least 5 minutes before applying your top coat. Since Citrus is a crelly, I had to apply it thick in order to get it completely opaque. Don't want any smears again!

Top coat makes everything pretty.
I decided to use these microbeads I picked up at my nail supply store on my ring finger. It was much easier than I thought it'd be!

1. The palette of microbeads has a clear plastic case that swings open. Make sure you're working on a flat surface.

2. Have a top coat (not quick-dry, just regular clear polish), open and ready to go. Find your thinnest tipped dotting tool.

3. Dab a thin coat of top coat to the end of your nail, just a small area at a time. I started with the  cuticle end.

4. While the top coat is still wet, dampen the dotting tool and use it to pick up a single microbead. How should you dampen the dotting tool? I used my tongue :x  I suppose a damp sponge would work too.

5. Place the microbead on your nail and repeat! I worked in rows to create this pattern.

6. Wait a few minutes and apply your clear coat to the entire nail. This will help hold them in place. Keep in mind it will take much longer to dry this way so be careful!

For my pinky, I decided to do a quick color block design using striping tape and scotch tape.

1. Place a piece of scotch tape along either side of your nail. Tip- First, stick the tape to the inside of your arm to remove most of the stickiness. This will stop the tape from picking up your base color when you peel it off!

2. Place pre-cut striping tape strips across your nail to create blocks.

3. Carefully paint each block. Be sure to stay in the lines!

4. Carefully remove the striping tape first, then the scotch tape.

5. Wait a few minutes and then apply your top coat.


I hope you enjoy this mani! I really had a lot of fun creating it. Check out your favorite blogs to see who else is participating in Blog Fest 2013. This has been a top secret project, so I'm not even sure who else is involved! 

Check back on our blog, Facebook, or Twitter to get the link to the piCture pOlish Pinterest Blog Fest 2013 board to vote for your favorite mani. I hope it's mine!! 

piCture pOlish links:

**The polishes featured in this post were provided by piCture pOlish**

Saturday, July 20, 2013

More Shimmer Polish! Jenny, Erika, Irene, and Carmen

Hello! We've all been super busy lately but don't think we forgot about you! Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. We're still swatching away and preparing new awesome review posts for you. We're also considering branching out into more beauty products other than nail stuff. What do you think?

Well, today I have more Shimmer Polish swatches for you. If you're not familiar with Shimmer yet, you should be! We've already posted lots of swatches in the past, but they are always coming up with something new. If you're a glitter lover, you'll definitely find a few Shimmers for you.

This is one coat of Jenny over two coats of Pure Ice Strip Tease. I ruined the label on Jenny. These polishes were sent for review and they were sent to Erin's house. Erin's son LOVES getting involved with the exchange of nail polish when I'm there. He's a toddler. Toddlers are sticky. When I got home this bottle was covered in toddler sticky. And since I'm super smart, instead of trying to rinse it off with water, I wiped the label with acetone. Way to go, Anna!

I tried a little nail art with Erika over Sinful Colors- My Buoyfriend. It was pretty easy to apply these stripes with a simple thin striping brush.

I also did a full coat of Erika so you can see the even glitter coverage. This much sparkle makes my camera have a seizure though!

Irene is a full coverage glitter that is loaded with mostly tiny silver glitters but there's a bunch of other colors mixed in as well. I wanted to have a little fun with it. I started with 2 coats of OPI-Bubble Bath and free handed some French tips with Irene. Then I took two different sized dotting tools and made large dots under the French tip. I used the dotting tool and a little more polish to connect the dots to the tips to make it look like dripping glitter. I love the way it came out!

Carmen is a coppery gold glitter with lots of holo sparkle. This is one coat over Sinful Colors- Anchors Away.

Shimmer Polish can be purchased through their Etsy shop or from Harlow & Co. Keep up with new collections, colors and sales by following the Shimmer Polish blog and liking them on Facebook.
*The products featured in this post were provided for an honest review*

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lac Attack- Summer 2013 Beach Daze Collection

**The products featured in this post were provided for an honest review.**
Today I have the awesome new summer collection from Lac Attack, Beach Daze. This collection really has a little bit of everything. A holo, a glow in the dark, some matte glitter, shimmer and a jelly base. It's so much fun!
Fireworks at Midnight is a glow in the dark neon glitter topper. Yeah, GLOW IN THE DARK! I tried and tried to get a picture, but I just couldn't get it. I promise, it GLOWS! Here is one coat over OPI My Vampire is Buff.  The polish looks murky in the bottle, but that's from the glow in the dark pigment. It goes on clear.

Surfing the Sun is "a bright pinky coral base with golden/orange shimmer with a mix of different gold and fuchsia hexes - reminiscent of a gorgeous sunset on the beach." This polish was a little on the thick side so I would suggest two coats of your favorite top coat to give it that glassy shiny look. I used two coats for the swatch below.

Endless Summer "contains a rainbow of matte hexes suspended in a clear base: green, blue, light pink, yellow, hot pink, creamsicle orange, and some tiny white hexes thrown in for fun!" This is such a fun polish, I didn't want to take it off! I love the bright matte glitters with the tiny white hexes. Here is one coat over China Glaze Man Hunt.


Magic Below the Water "contains blue/green shifting iridescent hexes swimming in a bright, yet deep, blue jelly base." These kind of darker jelly bases are tricky for my camera to figure out. It made this polish look much more "squishy" than it looks in real life. I feel like the picture look like 4 thin coats or something. Not the case. This is only two coats! Perfect jelly coverage and even glitter placement.


Sunset in Paradise "is a dusty purple scattered holo. The formula is opaque in 1-coat if you're careful, 2 for good measure." Here is another gem in the collection. Definitely my favorie and definitely a one-coater! I had the hardest time capturing the holo of this polish inside. It's been raining here in Baltimore for DAYS so I tried a few of the different lamps in my house to see if I could get some of that holo sparkle to show up on my camera. The first two shots are color accurate from under my OTT light, but the holo didn't want to come out and play. The last two shots are under my desk lamp and came out way more yellow than I'd like, but you can see the holo much better!


Sand Goddess "is a slightly-gritty matte glitter topper. It contains a rainbow of tiny glitters - including black, white, orange, pink, yellow, and blue."I had a lot of fun playing with different looks for this polish. I found out it looks best over pastel colors so here is one coat over Spa Ritual Energy. 

You can purchase this collection from Lac Attack, Harlow & Co or Beauty So Fly. Keep up with new collections by following the Lac Attack blog, liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.
**The products featured in this post were provided for an honest review.**

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fancy Friday: butter LONDON Backstage Basics

butter LONDON is currently having a special promo where you get 20% off your entire order plus free shipping! (Enter promo code FLASH13) This is a great time to get their Backstage Basics kit, right? The kit includes their Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat, Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat, a 2 fl oz bottle of Powder Room Acetone-free Lacquer Remover, a curved double-sided nail file, and you get to choose whichever color polish you want to add to the set, although if you live near a Nordstrom you might want to get it there because they are also including a bottle of Thames, so you get two polishes! The color I chose was Artful Dodger. If you want a nice teal blue but Slapper is too bright for you, this is a great alternative — it's a much softer, slightly grayer shade of teal.
Artful Dodger, three coats plus topcoat
Anna had said that she felt that the butter LONDON base and top coats really did make a difference with their own polishes so I decided to give this a wear test. Their Nail Foundation basecoat is a ridge-filling one so it gave a super smooth starting point even though I don't really have much of a ridge problem. I used two coats of Artful Dodger but some nails showed a few patchy spots so I decided to add a third coat, then one coat of Hardwear. I'm not sure if the third coat made much of a difference, but here are my nails after four days of hard wear (heh heh) doing dishes, tapping on keyboards, hauling computers around, rummaging around in my purse and camera bag, etc. There was a little bit of tip wear on a few fingers but overall it still looks fabulous. I'm pretty impressed!
After four days
This set is a great buy if you want to try some of their other nail products because the base and top coats normally sell for USD$19, the nail file is $2, and the remover is $8. Add $15 for the lacquer and it comes to $63 but this set is $44 on their web site and with the discount code it's just over $35, although at Ulta the price is $39 so if you don't want to wait for it to be shipped you can have it now for a few dollars more. If you get the Nordstrom set you don't get the discount but you do get that extra polish, Thames.
Here's the box to look for
I have to say that I really loved the Powder Room remover! The scent was delightful and it has some sort of conditioner so that it wasn't at all drying but, unfortunately, $8 for 2 fl oz of remover is way too pricey for me so I will have to enjoy this bottle while it lasts.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ninja Polish - Pacific Coral

Happy Thursday!  I have couple pics of a NOTD I wore last week.  It was actually a nail of the week because I think I wore it for 5 days and I only took it off because I broke a nail and that nail chipped.  Ninja Polish Pacific Coral has been my go to polish of the summer.  Anna got it for me for my birthday in May and I think I've worn it four times since then. It wears like iron, I get a ton of compliments and it's just plain gorgeous.

What do you think?  Can you tell why this is the ONLY polish I want to wear right now? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rainbow Honey - The Summer of 199X

***Products provided for review.  All opinions are my own.***

Hi everyone!  I have some gorgeous swatches for you today from Rainbow Honey.  RH always comes up with such innovative, creative and cohesive collections and The Summer of 199X is spot on.  Here is a description from Dee, the creator:  “Another video game that holds a special place in my heart! I wanted this collection to bring me back into the game, and I think each new lacquer takes me to a special moment or reminds me of a certain boss that resulted in one too many Game Over’s...Part I is made up of 5 new glitterbombs bursting with shimmer and color - they all layer to opacity but can be used over other colors as well. Part II is 3 new shimmer-dusted cremes and 2 new glitter toppers that give each creme a bold or sweet look. I am so excited to add these all to our lineup!” 

First up, The Kraken:  a marine jelly with a blue and green glow filled with glitters, shimmer, and the sea monster’s own holographic Crashing Boom Bang!  I could not stop staring at my nails with this polish.  It has so much depth, more than I've seen in a polish in a long time.  Love it.  I used 2 coats of The Kraken and one coat of Out The Door.

Pink Cloud:  a hot pink jelly with holographic glitters and iridescent shimmer - perfect to meditate on and Carrot Key not needed!  So pretty and girly.  The iridescent glitters really make this pop.  I also used 2 coats of Pink Cloud for these swatches and one coat of Out The Door Top Coat.

Fire Spring:  a coppery orange shimmer, is bursting with holographic glitters and the glowing embers of the last sanctuary!  I saved my favorite for last.  I adore orange polish and the name of this is perfect.  It was like having a glowing fire on my nails.  Gorgeous!  2 coats of Fire Spring and Out The Door. 

So what do you think of these?  I really love all of them and I NEED to get Tessie!  What are your picks from this collection?

Rainbow Honey polishes can be purchased on their website. Keep up with new collections by liking them on Facebook and following their blog!

**The products featured in this post were provided for an honest review**