Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NOTD: Gelish Polish, crystals and Konad

Maybe I went overboard with this one ... but, I must say that I love it!!!

I decided, initially, to use a Gelish polish on my nails.  I used a beautiful color by Harmony, named Light Elegant.

Unfortunately, the camera didn't capture the color that well.  It is a lovely shimmery, peach color.

Maybe I should have left well enough alone, but I decided I wanted a little something else - so, I started going through my Konad plates to see what might be complimentary.  I ended up, using M56.  I chose the bow pattern.

I wanted it to be subtle, so I decided to use a silver by Revlon - named Silver Dollar, to stamp with.

I really, really, really... like how well this polish stamped!  It stamped beautifully!!  In the picture below, you can really see the nice shimmer of the Gelish gel polish!

For some bizarre reason, I decided even this was not enough - and I decided to add some crystals.  I almost never use crystals (for me at least).  But, for some reason, I wanted to this time.  So, I decided to embellish the center of the bows with crystals.

I'm not sure how long the crystals will hold up - but, hopefully for a few days at least.  I used 2 thick coats of Seche Vite top coat.  And, even though I did a gel polish, I did a light color and I didn't put a gel over the stamping - so, it should be easy to change up - when I (inevitably) bore of this look in a couple of days... LOL

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quick Pedicure

I had a few minutes yesterday and I decided to refresh my pedicure.  I previously purchased a crackle polish by Sally Hansen, but had not used it yet... So, I thought I'd give it a try!

I just had to share this picture, because I thought it is so funny ... and, it made me laugh... lol.  So, this is the before...

In addition to the crackle polish - "Antiqued Gold" by Sally Hansen, I used a beautiful OPI polish called "Cuckoo For This Color". 

I think that it turned out cute... and, finally, I've used this crackle polish.  I can't even remember how long I've had it ...  I should start a challenge for myself to try and use all the polish that I have, which hasn't been used yet.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gel Nail Polish ... An old mani - but, a review.

In addition to loving to try various nail polishes and painting techniques, I also enjoy occasionally doing gel nails (either with the addition of nail extensions or not).  I have found that I can get a better result in the comfort of my own home, than I got MANY times at the salon.  And, the wear is just as good, too.

I've tried both the gel products from Harmony - Gelish and the new line carried at Ulta - Red Carpet Nails.  Hands down, I prefer the Gelish polish.  It goes on more smoothly, lasts better and just looks better!

When I do a french manicure, I will typically add white tips prior to doing the gel (just looks much more 'clean' than anything I could paint on (or stamp on, I've tried doing the french stamps from Konad - I kinda stink at getting it lined up correctly)).

While you could certainly use just the foundation (base coat) and the top it off (clear top coat and final step), I like to use a middle layer of the Gelish Sheer Pink (as shown in photo above).  There isn't a lot of color to it - but, I think that there is enough of a nice 'natural' pink to it, that it is worth it.

I started out doing my gel nails / gel polish with a cheap UV lamp - but, given how much I was using it, I decided to upgrade.  The lamp that I use now, while not a top of the line / salon grade lamp, works great.  This is the one that I purchased from Sally Beauty Supply

If you're going to try your hand at doing a gel polish, I think that it is well worth it to spend a little bit more and get the better lamp.  A big plus (over the smaller ones marketed for at home use) is that you can cure all fingers (including thumb) at same time.  With the small ones, you have to do just 4 fingers at a time, and then thumbs separately.  This may not be a huge deal - but, I find that I REALLY appreciate being able to cure all nails on one hand at a time.

I also do the gel polish quite a bit for my little girls - who are VERY rough with their manicures - as it is the only way for them to have a 'lasting' manicure.  Even if I just polish their nails with regular polish, I will often top it off with the Gelish top coat for durability.  As long as the regular nail polish is completely dry, it works great!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NOTD: Very, Very Girly!!

Because I wasn't necessarily 'thrilled' with my manicure from yesterday, I decided to re-do it today.  My husband thinks that I'm crazy - he doesn't understand changing you polish that often ... lol

Anyway - I decided to go very girly today.  I used 2 polishes. 

I, again, used Orly Rage... and, I paired it with Pure Ice Spit Fire.  I love the two together!!!

The combination of these two remind me of a pair of heels that I owned a million years ago.  Much like these pictured:

Only, SADLY, not Louboutin's... I wish I had those shoes back... Or, better yet - the ones in the picture above!!

While, normally, I might not do too much glitter - I really, really, really - love this combination!!!

I hope everyone has a girly, pink, glittery day!!! :)

A bit of an experiment - gone bad?? Hmmmm

Yesterday, I went to the doctor and found out that I have strep throat and a double ear infection ... so, of course - I came home and decided to try a new manicure.

I decided to use these three polishes:

They are:  Orly - Rage, Hard Candy - Beetle and Essie - School of Hard Rocks

I first used the Essie polish (one coat), and then two coats of the Hard Candy Polish.  When all was good and dry, I used the Orly - Rage to put a 'tip' on. 

I think that I like it okay.  The biggest 'problem' that I had was fully covering the Essie polish with Hard Candy (this is probably something that no one else struggles with - but, for some reason, I really struggled yesterday - I'll blame the strep throat ... lol).

I definitely think that the color combinations turned our really well.  The Hard Candy polish looks awesome over the Essie.  Both of my girls loved it too.

I'm not sure - is this an experiment gone good or an experiment gone bad?  hmmmm

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NOTD: Inspired by the Spectator Pump

Who doesn't love a classic spectator pump?  Yeah, I couldn't think of anyone either!  I was thinking about the classic-ness of these pumps (and, I DO LOVE ME SOME SHOES!!!), and came up with the design for today's nails. 

While you see spectator pumps in all colors - I, personally, prefer a taupe and black ... and, my nails reflect that!!  Before I get to the nails - isn't this a GORGEOUS pair of shoes???  They are Brian Atwood, and to die for!  Wish I had been able to afford them!!

Look at that detailing ... That's the inspiration!

I used Ulta's Set The Nude and Sally Hansen's Midnight in NY.  Again - I really love the Ulta polish!  And, you can get it so cheap!  Right now, for example, Ulta has it on sale buy 2, get 2 free.  Definitely worth it!!  This Ulta polish is an easy one coater!! 

Doesn't that just remind you of a spectator pump???  I so love this look - and, it would - of course, work with a multitude of colors!!

My first post...

So, for a while, I've been scouring the web - looking at all the WONDERFUL nail blogs.  And, while I am not nearly as talented as the ladies that author these blogs, I thought that I'd like to start a blog where I can share some of the nail designs that I do for myself and my 2 daughters.

I use to be a faithful 'salon girl' and always had someone else do my nails - but, with two daughters getting to the age of wanting that same pampering, let's be honest - I needed to learn to do it myself.  Who can afford salon trips for 3 ladies???  Well, I guess some people can - but, I'm not one of those people! ;)

I've had acrylic nails, gel nails, solar nails - any kind of nail that a nail salon can have on their 'list of prices' in their shops.  And, no matter what - no matter how good it turned out - I always left feeling like some little something wasn't quite right... (that's the perfectionist, type-A personality coming out, I guess).  And, for some bizarre reason, I never felt like I could say too much about it ... Like it would be terribly offensive for me to tell someone that I wasn't 100% pleased with their work....  That's another reason that I decided to start doing my own nails.... I don't mind telling myself that what I did sucked... lol

This blog will show nail art and swatches on natural nails and gel nails... I still like to do nail extensions sometimes... but, I do enjoy my natural nails as well.  I'm not a great artist, but I do like to take the easy route of doing Konad stamping ... and, some 'simple' nail art.

For my first post - I think that I will share the manicure that I had yesterday.

I started with Ulta - Army of One ... I lovelovelove this polish.  It goes on smoothly and can easily be a one-coater.  One caution - DON'T FORGET YOUR BASE COAT - this one will stain terribly.

While I loved the army green, I wanted something that was just a little 'more special'... I decided to layer it with a top coat of OPI's Teenage Dream (from the Katy Perry collection).  I loved the effect!!

There it is - my first post!!  And, since I changed my mani today - I may just do two posts today!