Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Yellow Horror

So a few posts back I mentioned that I had done a nail fail and I was debating about whether or not I would post it. Well, here you go. The Yellow Horror. (Yes Whovians, a reference to the Crimson Horror, an episode of Doctor Who).

So it's definitely not my favorite mani, but I've decided to post it to show that even the "experts" have bad days. Really bad days, in this case. I am not quite sure what I don't like about it. Maybe if I hadn't added the studs, it wouldn't look so bad? It kind of reminds me of a 5 year old's birthday, complete with party hats and Bozo the clown.

Anyway this mani was originally done to showcase a gorgeous Milani polish I recently purchased, called Sugar High.

Stunning, isn't it? It is a lovely glitter topcoat immersed in a clear base. I can't even tell you how may colors are in here. Peach, navy blue, pale yellow, light blue, light pink, and orange matte glitters to name a few. And in trying to find a polish to show off this topcoat, for some reason, I picked yellow. As I mentioned in my previous post, it sort of feels like I had a one night stand with this manicure. Seemed like a good idea at the time. But the next morning,  I asked myself, "what were you thinking?"

Win some, lose some, right? What color would you have used to highlight Sugar High? 

Julep - Catrina 
Milani  - Sugar High
Studs - Born Pretty Store

Friday, May 23, 2014

Edgar Allan Poe meets Pop Art

So normally I have a back story. Usually my mani's are inspired by clothing, T.V. shows, the weather, everything and absolutely anything. But not today. I can honestly say I have no idea how this came about. Ladies and gentleman, absolute randomness at it's finest. 

I think this originally started a few months ago after I came upon the nail design below from The Nail Polish Project blog. After seeing this gorgeous grey and yellow mani, I knew I had to get my hands on those fabulous feathers!

Turns out she had received hers from the Born Pretty Store, one of my favorite nail art suppliers! So I placed an order and patiently waited. When I finally received the feather water decals I was super excited...but had no idea what to do with them. So I grabbed a few colors, threw on some feathers, and experimented away. But the polish with just the decals looked kind of boring. So I thought, feathers remind me of birds, and stamped one of those on there too. And then studs, just because. 

So I would say the water decals were definitely worth the money. As I stated, I purchased these (not a review) but I can give you my opinion of them anyway. They were pretty simple to use. After your base coat dries, you cut out the feather you want to use and soak it in water. After a minute or two, the decal will simply slide off it's backing, so you can put it onto your nail. I would recommended using tweezers or your finger tip (which you should also wet) for accurate placement. This is the tricky part. Once you put the decal on your nail (on top of your dry base), 9 times out of 10, your decal will not move. Hence when you slide it off the paper, make sure you put it exactly where you want it to be on your nail, because you will not be able to move it around or peel it off and replace it. If you do, most likely you will damage the decal or make it stick to itself. They are super delicate. 

However, I found that if I first place a topcoat on my base color and then once that is dry,  wet the nail and THEN place the decal on the nail, I can move it around to adjust it a bit. But that involves a little extra work and a little extra polish, so really its easier to just make sure you place it right the first time. After you place the decal, you are all set! The only issue I had with these was that after I placed the decal, I used my normal Seche Vite topcoat. As you can see on my pointer finger, for some reason, the topcoat appears to have melted the decal a little. I didn't care too much, since it added to the effect of it being a torn feather. However, I was a bit more careful with my pinkie and used the brush more gently, so it didn't rub the decal too much. So in sum, accurate placement and gentle brush strokes for your top coat, and you are good to go with these decals. Definitely worth the purchase : ) You can use my code  CJCX31 for 10% off you order!
So I definitely love this mani for it's randomness. It took me so long to post because I wasn't sure what to call it! But when a friend commented that the lone bird reminded them of Edgar Allen Poe ("Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'") It suddenly hit me. Edgar Allen Poe meets Pop Art.

China Glaze - Sunshine Pop
Love and Beauty - Teal
Julie G Gumdrops - Sugar Rush (orange)
Moyou London Pro Collection 07 (XL) - bird on barbed wire
Konad Black
Feathers - Born Pretty Store
Studs - Born Pretty Store

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bad Hawaiian Shirt Mani

So we all have that friend. That one person who insists on tropical themed shirts. Or better yet, Hawaiian themed shirts. And despite the 365 days within the year, said person seems to never run out of Hawaiian themed shirts. So this manicure is dedicated to them, just because.

I know, I'm so dramatic. Anyway, I can't remember exactly when, but I'm pretty sure I did this mani a few weeks  in between the madness of studying and finals. Perhaps the Hawaiian theme  and cheeriness of the design was an expression of my need for a vacation. Whenever I got too stressed, I would tell everyone that I was dropping out of school, moving to the Bahamas, and selling surfboards.

Well I am happy to report that I am done with school, still living in the states, and am NOT a surfboard sales woman. And because it's going to be a summery 80 degrees today, I thought I would break out this fabulous mani.

So this design came totally out of the blue. It was only after I finished it, that I realized it was similar to a Hawaiian shirt lol. I had wanted to experiment with some of the Moyou London plates I bought and the Mundo de Unas stamping polishes I purchased a while ago. OMG I am obsessed with these polishes! Although the formula they use is a bit pungent, they are definitely worth it. As far as I know, Mundo de Unas is the only company that manufactures really good stamping polishes in a variety of colors (but someone correct me if I am wrong). Konad makes stamping polishes too, but the color in the Mundo de Unas formula is a lot stronger/brighter, as you can see in the photos (they also stamp well over black). My only mistake with this mani is that the pink polish is a smidge lighter than the blue, so when I stamped the pink flowers over the blue background, a teeny bit of the blue shows through. But eh, practice makes perfect, right?

Like what you see? Check out my other designs on pinterest!

Sally Hansen Satin Glam - Sun Sheen (orange)
Mundo de Unas - 24
Mundo de Unas - 55
Moyou London Pro Collection (XL) 11 - 3 petal flowers
Mash 43 - Individual Flowers
Studs - Born Pretty Store

Monday, May 5, 2014

Stained Glass Inspired Mani

Hello lovies! I am finally back after a much needed hiatus. Between classes, school work, my internship, and regular job, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. So much so in fact, that my nails have been naked for the past month. My friends were beginning to become concerned.

For example, I had this conversation with a coworker recently...

Colleague: Hey, how are you doing? Haven't seen you in a bit.
Me: Doing good, things were kind of crazy with finals.
Colleague: (looks down at my hands) You're nails aren't done. OMG, are you okay?

Fortunately, I found some time this week to practice self care and do my nails. Unfortunately, I am completely dissatisfied with how my nails turned out. I did this weird combination of yellow and studs and glitter that I loved the minute I finished, and hated the next morning. It sort of feels like I had a one night stand with my manicure. Seemed like a good idea at the time. But the next morning, I could feel myself doing the "walk of shame" when I got to work and my coworker's wanted to see my latest design.  Now looking back at the night of the manicure, when I pulled out that yellow bottle, I keep asking myself, "what were you thinking?". 

Well, you can't win em' all, right? I am debating if I should even post my "nail fail" and maybe get some suggestions on other combos I should have tried. For those of you that blog, what do think of posting nail fails?

Thankfully, the manicure I have for you today is definitely not a fail. I did this one several weeks back, when my nails were still long, gorgeous, and taken care of. Ah, the good old days.

So a few weeks ago I had some free time and decided to go to my favorite museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I have never been the greatest artist, but have always loved art history, and even minored in it :) One of my favorite pieces in the museum is what you see below, the Autumn Landscape, created by Tiffany Studios in 1923. This lovely stained glass window was commissioned by Loren Delbert Towle for his Gothic revival mansion in Boston. Ironically, despite it's beauty, this piece was not created to stand alone or be the center of attention. Believe it or not, this gorgeous piece was created to light the landing of the houses main stair case. But really, who has that much money? Who thinks, you know what these stairs could use? A really expensive stained glass window. But maybe that's just me. 

Anyway, after seeing this piece, I felt inspired.  I knew I wouldn't be able to recreate the exact design so instead,  I came up with my own design using the color's from  the stained glass. After going through my entire collection of polishes, I picked these 9 for my mani. And yes, I really did use all 9 bottles in this mani. Took FOREVER. But totally worth it, and totally pleased with my results (which explains why this post has so many pictures...the more happy I am with a design = the more pictures lol).

And bam! My stained glass mani :)

I also don't want to talk about the mess I was left with after using 9 polishes and I don't even remember how many make up sponges. But SO worth it. 

Thanks for stopping by! : )

Like what you see? Check out my other designs on pinterest!


Julep - Francis (light green)
China Glaze - Turned up Turquoise
China Glaze - Aqua Baby (teal)
Maybelline - Mystic Green (metallic green)
Maybelline - Fierce N Tangy (bright yellow base)
Zoya - Katherine (deep purple plum)
LA Girl - Deejay (cerulean blue)
Essie - Penny Talk (amber gold)
L'oreal - The Muse's Inspiration (metallic orange)
Konad Black
Moyou London Pro Collection 07 (XL) - "stained glass" pattern