Monday, June 30, 2014

I Love Nail Polish Blue Steel = SO MANY RAINBOWS (Just Add Sunlight)

Afternoon lovies. So today, I am beginning this blog post with a confession: I have just discovered holographic polishes. 

I know that must sound ridiculous. I have been blogging for a bit over a year and consider myself pretty up to date in the nail polish world. I have used cremes, metallics, glitter toppers, fuzzy-coat polishes, textured polishes, polishes that shatter...and yet I am telling you that I have just discovered holo's. 

Okay, let me try and explain that a little better. I have just discovered the awesomeness of holographic polishes. Yea, I know I'm a little late. For some reason, I never found myself that interested in holo polishes. Yes, they were pretty and sparkly but it seemed like to get the effect, you needed tons of coats of polish. I had also heard that some holo's got dull when you added a top coat and needed a special topper. It seemed like too much work. But I recently discovered a brand called I Love Nail Polish (known as ILNP) and after seeing some swatches of her holographic polishes, I immediately fell in love. Luckily I had just graduated and had gotten cash as presents, so I decided to spoil myself and pick up a few. Best decision ever.

So one of the colors that I purchased is called Blue Steel and it is the color that is featured on the left side of the photo you are seeing (the blue one lol). The color on the right is Julep Cameron, and while it is a pretty purple shimmer, clearly it is no match for Blue Steel.  In indoor light or shade (as you can see below) Blue Steel is a pretty, shimmery, blue-grey. The formula on this polish was amazing. It went on perfectly smooth and was completely opaque in just two coats (unlike some holo's which need like 6 lol).The results were gorgeous. 

But you know what happens when you add sunlight? SO MANY RAINBOWS

*Cue Hallelujah Chorus *



But wait! Let's add more sunlight!

You get a rainbow and you get a rainbow! Everyone gets rainbows! Yayyyyyy!

So long story short: when all else fails, buy holographic polish and just add sunlight.

XOXO, On Wednesdays, We Wear Polish

Julep - Cameron
ILNP - Blue Steel

Friday, June 27, 2014

Blue Beats and What it Means for Indie Nail Polish Makers

So today I have something for you that was inspired by the lovely Sarah over at Chalkboard Nails. About a month ago, she did a really pretty pink and blue gradient mani and added a matching glitter topcoat. The concept of the design seemed super simple, but really had a nice effect.

So I decided to use the same concept for my design. For this mani I used Milani White on the Spot (base) and China Glaze Aqua Baby to create a gradient.

But what really make this mani pop is the little beauty below from the Maybelline Color Show collection, titled Blue Beats. Hands down, the Maybelline Color Show collection is probably my favorite main stream brand of polishes. The collection has tons of unique polishes, this one being no exception.

Blue Beats is a glitter topper, so basically bits of glitter in a clear base. This polish contains small, medium, and large, black and aqua blue hexagon glitters, tiny black and aqua blue circle glitters and finally, small aqua blue bar glitters. That is a lot of fabulous in one bottle.
And with all that fabulous, it's kind of hard not to create fabulous manicure.

I think what really makes Blue Beats interesting is that, without the Maybelline label, it could easily be mistaken for an indie polish. For those of you who don't know (but really, who doesn't these days) an indie polish is a polish made by an individual person or small time company (i.e. made in someones living room and not by Revlon, Sally Hansen, etc.) From my own observation, a few years ago, the majority of indie polish makers focused on creating glitter top coats. Actually thinking back, the first indie polish I ever saw (and immediately fell in love with) was Connect the Dots, by Lynnderella. At the time, I remember not really understanding the concept of what an indie was. I started looking around, wondering why I couldn't find this polish in any store. When I finally found the polish, it was selling on Ebay for $22. Ouch.

Swatch from
I know when I first discovered indie polishes, cremes and jellies and holo's weren't really for sale. But there was glitter everywhere. And they were selling like hotcakes (do hotcakes actually sell?). I think what made glitter indie polishes so unique and desirable was exactly the problem I had; they couldn't be found in stores. Yes, you had your typical gold glitters and silver glitters and other glitter colors made by Revlon and others,  but indie maker's offered us more. They gave us different shapes and sizes and color combinations, so of course, we fell in love instantly.

But that was a few years ago. Indie makers have certainly broadened their horizons and now sell a great variety of polish types (i.e. holo's, glitter, color changing), as most of us already know. And yet, there is something really conceptually interesting about Blue Beats.What makes this polish interesting is that it shows main stream brands (e.g., Maybelline) are finally starting to pay attention. It seems that main stream brands have noticed our obsession with indie glitters and are currently trying to snatch a corner of that market. So although 4 years ago when we walked into Duane Reade, we could only find cremes and shimmers, now we can find these...

While it is awesome to go into a regular drug store and pick up a unique glitter polish for $6 (instead of $22) I do wonder how it will affect indie sellers. Will indie's (which average $10 a bottle) have to lower their prices? Will they have to top, the glitter topcoat and come out with something completely new? Will indie maker's lose their popularity? Who knows.

But honestly, I doubt it. One of the things I love most about the nail polish community is the amount of support we give to each other. So yes, Milani may have a $4 FX glitter collection and Sally Hansen may make a $7 fuzzy coat, but there is something wonderful about buying handmade nail polish and knowing we are helping to support one individual. They are helping support our hobby/obsession, so why not show some support back? While we will continue to buy mainstream, my gut feeling is that, we will continue to buy indie as well. So I am not affiliated with any of these (and get no compensation for recommending them), but these are some of my favorites: ILNP, KB Shimmer, Starrily, LynBDesigns, Glam Polish.

What's your favorite indie brand?

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

Milani - White on the Spot
Maybelline Color Show - Blue Beats
China Glaze - Aqua Baby

*Maybelline Blue Beats, Maybelline Color Show Collection and Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat Collection images were found using google. These are NOT my photos*

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The "Helmer Fudd" aka The Helmer (Nail Polish Storage)

Hi everyone! So this post is a little different from my usual in that I don't have a manicure for you today. Instead, I have a review of a nail polish storage item that I just purchased.
Stay tuned for a quick review and some funny pictures!

So, a while ago I posted a picture of my old nail polish storage box. I purchased this three drawer item at the Christmas Tree Shop several months ago. It's really more of an office storage item which can be purchased at any Staples-esque store. However, it served it's purpose. It allowed me to separate my creme's from my glitter's and gave me some visibility when looking for polish.

But in doing some research on polish storage, I found an awesome post from Manicurity which discusses the two most common and widely used items for polish storage, Helmer's and Melmer's. As you will learn from Manicurity, a Helmer is a 6 drawer storage item (Width: 11 " Depth: 16 3/4 " Height: 27 1/8 ") that is sold by Ikea for $40. It comes in 3 different colors (Red, White, and Silver) and can easily be decorated using spray paint, stickers, etc. It can hold between 400 - 600 bottles (Manicurity states that 500 is a good estimate) and is pretty compact. 

A Melmer on the other hand, is a 3 drawer storage box that is most commonly used for craft supplies. Melmer's are sold at most craft stores (e.g. Michaels) and are also used for polish storage. These cost between $30 and $40. However, if you are looking to purchase this item, do not go into Michael's and ask for a Melmer. I am actually not sure what the "offical name" of this item is. It seems that this storage item is called a Melmer because it comes from Michael's (as opposed to the Helmer from Ikea). So basically, it's just the Michael's version of a Helmer. Hence, the Melmer. 

Each piece of storage has it's pro's and cons, most of which are discussed in the Manicurity post. It's very well written and pretty descriptive, so if you are nail polish storage shopping, I would take a quick glance at it. 

So after reading the post, I decided I needed to get myself a Helmer. On a whim, the boyfriend and I went to Ikea yesterday, just to look around. But as we passed the storage section, I noticed a Helmer and let out a girlish squeal. Said Helmer was then purchased by the boyfriend and assembled last night (also by the boyfriend). The assembly part really wasn't too complicated. It took about twenty minutes for assembly and required minimal use of tools (although having a screwdriver handy would be good). Although the pieces seem a little flimsy at first, once you lock all of them together, it becomes a nice, sturdy, yet compact piece of furniture. It fits my polishes nicely (Julep, OPI, China Glaze, Essie, Sally Hansen, etc) although if you have some taller bottles, I would double check the height dimensions to be safe.

My boyfriend has affectionately named my nail polish storage "The Helmer Fudd".

*no cartoon characters or nail polishes were harmed in the construction of this object*

Stage 1: The Instructions

Stage 2: Organizing the Pieces

 Step 3: Beginning Construction

Step 4: Confusion

Step 5: Successful Completion 

Also, can we talk about how my first blog anniversary was yesterday and I totally forgot about it? lol That's my life. Hope you enjoyed this post!

On Wednesdays, We Wear Polish

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

First Review - Born Pretty Store Water Decals

So today's post is kind of an exciting one for me. I have been blogging for quite a few months now and have finally been given the chance to do my first review! 

So if you guys have been following my blog from the beginning, you probably already know that I have a small obsession with the Born Pretty Store. Most of the extra's I put on my nails (studs, sticker's, water decals) have been purchased from the Born Pretty Store. 

So let me start by saying that they carry some really cool nail products. Aside from decals and studs, they have stickers, spikes, nail polishes, top coats, stamping plates, foils, loose glitter, brushes, and tons of other nail related items (They also have jewelry and make up which I haven't yet experimented with). The majority of the items are affordable, with most studs and stickers ranging from .99 to $5. I think the nail polishes are a bit more expensive. But the best part? They ship worldwide with free shipping. I don't know about you, but I get a little excited when I hear free shipping. And as a little bonus, every time you leave a review of one of their products on their website or upload a picture of how you used their product, you earn points (which are converted to money) towards your next purchase. Yay!

But there is a small downside. I am not entirely sure why (maybe it has something to do with shipping internationally) but once you place an order, it will take a while to get to you. Like maybe a month or two. Therefore, if you want to order special decals for Valentine's Day or gold spikes for Halloween, it is best to place your order 2 or 3 months before you need your items. 

I have been ordering from them for a while now and I find it best to buy everything you want at once, several times during the year. Hence in February, I might order all of the nail art I might want to use during future seasons (spring, summer). And then I might place another order during the summer for everything I want for the fall. So with just a little more thought/preparation you can definitely get everything you want sent to you by when you need it.

So yes, waiting a month or two for nail stuff can be annoying but I think their products are definitely worth the wait. Most of the time, I forget I ordered something and then it comes in the mail as a pleasant surprise lol  My packages have never gotten lost/been misplaced, but for those of you who are a little skeptical, they also offer tracked shipping for a mere 3$. 

Now, onto the nail art!

So about a month ago I received these very pretty rose water decals from the born pretty store. At first, I wasn't sure what to do with them! I mean, of course I could just throw them over a solid base, but that would look too ordinary (As Jim Moriarty might say...kudos to those of you who know what I am talking about). So instead, I decided to place them over a water marble base of several Zoya colors. And bam! Instant fabulousity.

I am happy to report that these decals were super easy to use. First, cut out the design you want to use and soak it in water. After a minute or two, you can slide the decals 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! Just add topcoat. So in sum, with a bit of patience and accurate placement, you are good to go with these decals.

As I said, these were easy to use and I will definitely be purchasing some in the future. Also, you can use my code CJCX31 for 10% off your next born pretty order! Happy shopping!

I hope you enjoyed my first review!

*This Post Contains Items Sent for Review

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

Zoya - Neely (light green)
Zoya - Bevin (light blue)
Zoya - Taylor (light cream)
Zoya - Brigitte (mauve/purple)
Matte Top Coat - Born Pretty Store
Rose Decal - Born Pretty Store

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Antique Rug Design

Happy Sunday all! So today I am playing the "let's clean out my old drafts" game. I did this mani a while back, but for some reason, hadn't posted it until now. I think when I did this mani, I had just received a Zoya polish order, and wanted to experiment with my new colors. 

So for my base I used Zoya Bevin and added Essie Penny Talk with a make up sponge, giving this design a sort of "antiqued" or "aged" feel. In thinking about it, Bevin is actually a hard color to describe. On the Zoya website, Bevin is described as a medium sage green cream. However, in certain light (and in pictures I have googled) Zoya Bevin can come across as having more of a blue tint than green. I think Zoya Bevin is really more of a soft teal creme. But that's just me. 

I finished this mani with my Seche Vite Dry Fast topcoat, as I always do. But the finish just wasn't doing it for me, so I decided to mattify it (see pictures below). 

So what do you think, glossy or matte topcoat?

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

Zoya - Bevin
Essie - Penny Talk
Born Pretty Store -  Super Matte
Konad Black

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Inspired by Jewelry

Afternoon ladies and gents! So last week I posted The Yellow Horror, a mani that I was not super pleased with. I am glad to report that this week's mani is the total opposite. It's funky, a little mismatched, and tons of fun.

So if anyone has been following my blog, you probably know that I am a bit of an accessory queen. In previous posts, such as this one, this one, and this one, I have shown off a bit of my jewelry collection. And today's mani was inspired by another piece of jewelry, a very cool ring I recently purchased at a flea market. I matched this piece with black, white, and deep bronze polishes to pick up the colors in the ring. Also just a quick note: The "white polish" is actually a layering combo. I didn't have a white holographic polish, so I did one layer of a normal white polish and added a layer of the Sally Hansen Satin Glam color, Crystalline, which is a white holographic polish. Originally, I did two coats of Crystalline but noticed the two coats were not completely opaque, which is the look I wanted. Hence, my decision to use a solid white base with Crystalline on top. 

So totally random, but I really am a ring person...meaning if I were to walk into a store, I would most likely buy a ring over earrings, a bracelet, necklace, etc. Do you have a jewelry preference? Also, I only like to wear rings when my nails are done. We all have quirks right?

Now, get ready for photo spam!

And that's it for today! Thanks for stopping by :)
XOXO, On Wednesdays, We Wear Polish

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

Milani - White on the Spot
Sally Hansen Satin Glam - Crystalline
Julep - Candace (brown)
Maybelline Color Show - Bold Gold (stamping)
Konad - Black
BM 416 - splatter
Moyou London Pro Collection (XL) 01 -  criss-cross pattern
Studs - Born pretty store