Friday, December 28, 2012

Quicky with Zoya "Aurora" & "Storm"

I've been super-busy with the Holiday craziness and our impending move.  I cleaned off my Christmas nails and did a simple mani with a couple of my new Zoyas, but haven't had a chance to show you till today:
This is "Storm" and "Aurora" at about 2 days old, and after tons of packing.  And they are much more beautiful IRL.  I <3 Zoya!!

I can't wait till I'm settled in the new place and can finally do my nails!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lacquistry's "Wonderland of Sand"

I've had this mani on the entire work week since December 17, but just realized I haven't posted about it.  Anyway, I got an awesome bunch of Lacquistry polishes from her Winter/Holiday collection, and "Wonderland of Sand" seems to the the perfectly quintessential Christmas-y glitter polish.

I also used Zoya's "Sarah" (red) and "Ivanka" (green).  It was super-pretty all week at work, and it wore like iron!  It's much more sparkly in real life.  I used 2 coats of WLOS, topped with a coat of Gelous, and finished with Seche Vite.  BTW, I do have a layer of glue under that accent nail, so removal should be a breeze!  Christmas perfection!

If you've never tried a Lacquistry, GO NOW!!  At the time of this posting, she still has polishes stocked in her Etsy shop HERE.  Check out swatches on her FB Page, too.  Jenna's the BEST when it comes to gorgeous glitter bombs!  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

White Flag

I'm disappointed to say that I am officially admitting defeat, and withdrawing from Iced Lacquer's 12 days of Christmas Challenge.  My mom was just diagnosed with skin cancer (although her prognosis is very good), my moving-in date was moved up by 3 weeks, and all the Christmas shopping and festivities are just not leaving much time for challenge mani's.

I feel really bad, but I just had to take the pressure of these timelines off my plate.  I will definitely still be doing holiday-themed mani's, although just not at the challenge's pace.

Well, that's it for now.  I've cut down my nails, and I'll need to do something for the up-coming week.  Keep on admiring the other participants' creations, though! :-)

Mari522 (on Instagram)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 5 - 12 Days of Christmas: Holly/Wreaths

My Day 5 post is only 1 day behind!  Here's Iced Lacquer's 12 Days of Christmas Nail Art Challenge:

I decided to do holly nails inspired by THIS CUTE POLISH VIDEO.  You'll see I changed it a bit, and did red gems instead of dots for berries.  

Who knew holly leaves were such a biotch to paint?!?  I had to re-do these leaves 3 times!  I was trying to use a small paintbrush, but I ended up using a good ol' toothpick to finally get the job done ;-)

I used China Glaze "Merry Berry" and Sinful Colors "Last Chance" & "Snow Me White".  I like  how this manicure came out, and I think it's pretty festive! :-)

Check out the other challenge peeps and our hostess Iced Lacquer!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 4: 12 Days of Christmas: Candy Canes!

OK, this challenge is kicking my rear!! I just found out our escrow will close sooner than I had thought, so now we'll be moving next month, which means that packing & planning is in over-drive around here!  I'm going to have to nub the nails pretty soon to protect them from becoming victims of some painful misfortune with all of the manual labor ahead :-/

But in the meantime, here are Day 4's nails:
Candy canes made with stripers.  I'm not so impressed with my green striper because the polish was pretty thin, but the red was awesome!  I still need practice with my striping, but I always think I'm getting better :-)

OK, gotta go and get Day 5 done! :-)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 3, 12 Days of Christmas: Snowflakes!

Yesterday was my birthday, and my super-crazy family took me out for a really fun dinner after work, so now I'm a day behind on my challenge...but it was totally worth it! ;-)

For this challenge, I went ahead and scoured my stamping plates and found 3 plates with snowflake designs on it.  I busted out Zoya "Song" and "Raven", and stamped it with my go-to stamping polish, Pure Ice "Silver Mercedes".  

"Song" is sooo amazing!  It's such a gorgeous blue, and it's so shimmery!  Get it.  So proud of myself for not getting behind on my challenge! ;-)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 2: 12 Days of Christmas Challenge: Green

Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge is "Green".  I wanted to do a glitter, so I looked through my Indie stash, and found one by my absolute FAVORITE Indie Lacquistry with green glitter in it.  I really wanted to use red nails as the undies, but Day 1 was red, so I figured I could use silver as a base color again.

I LOVE the red nail!!  The glitter makes it look super Christmas-y, and now I regret not doing the undies red, or at least green!   And just what is this mystery Lacquistry polish?

It's one of her Halloween polishes "Witches Warts"!  I think it's got the potential for a very festive life after Halloween, don't you?

Check out the other cool peeps doing the challenge with me, and be sure to visit our hostess with the mostest, Iced Lacquer!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 1: 12 Days of Christmas Challenge

OK, so I did pretty well on my first nail art challenge with the Halloween Challenge in October, but it got kinda hairy towards the end.  So when I saw a 12 Days of Christmas Nail Art Challenge posted by Iced Lacquer, I was intrigued.  It's not an every-day challenge, but it's more structured than the last challenge I did, which is helpful for a procrastinator like me :-).

So, I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to this challenge, but I remembered that the last challenge really, well, challenged my creativity, and I even tried out some new techniques.  It's good to kinda get forced outside of my comfort zone :-)

Day 1 is "Red".  Easy enough.  But it's for the holidays, so what's a girl to do?  Stamp!!

With flash:

This is Zoya "Trixie" (silver), "Sarah" (red), and "Raven" (black - duh!).  I used a Bundle Monster stamp that I think looks like poinsettias.  This is my first time using "Sarah", and she is beautiful!  Very sparkly in real life, which you can't see in the pics.  I was nervous about doing the french tips on top of the pattern, since I couldn't use acetone to clean up any wonky edges, but I think it turned out pretty good! :-D

Check out the other participants too!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ninja Polish Real Gold Top Coats

I did a pretty simple Zoya mani at the beginning of the work week.  Just "Kelly" grey with a "Raven" black accent nail.  After 4 days, it had held up so well throughout the week that I wanted to extend it for just a little longer.  So I added my new Ninja Polish REAL gold top coats to spice them up:
On Kelly, I added "He Went to Jarred", a 12K White Gold Flake topcoat.  On Raven, I added "The Midas Touch", a 24K Yellow Gold Flake topcoat.  These top coats are also a great bargain at $15 per bottle, as opposed to the $30 price tag I've seen on some other brands' gold flake top coat.  So I basically got 2 for one! And I LOVE white gold!

Very cool, Ninja Polish, very cool! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Color Changing Garnet Really Changes Color!!

I don't care that Thanksgiving is over, and people are now in Winter mode, it's still Autumn to me!  I don't like seeing the Christmas decorations in November, and I'm holding out until December.  

So I wanted a mani that screams "Autumn" with all the colors of the changing leaves.  Enter the awesomeness that is "Color Changing Garnet" from Ninja Polish:

Isn't it absolutely breath-taking?  I used a base of China Glaze "Call of the Wild", then 2 coats of "CCG", then "COTW" for some quick tips.  For the accent nail, I used a leaf-shaped hole punch in painter's tape, then put the tape on the nail to make the leaf shape.  Because my nails are so curved, it wouldn't sit quite right, so it looks a little off-kilter, but still leaf-like! :-)

But look how the colors change!


Bronze-y Gold:

The color changes between the last 2 are much more apparent in real life.  It's so cool, like magic, and I just keep tilting my nails all day long to see the colors shift.  Very, very fantabulous, and all the colors of fall!!

Unfortunately, "Color Changing Garnet" is out of stock as of the date of this post, but you can get notified when it's back by signing up for an email.  I've ordered from Ninja Polish several times, and they are absolutely fantastic!  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Watermarble Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I was happy with my previous mani, but I had to do something for Turkey Day!  I wanted to do a turkey, but I knew my skills still need some refining.  So I got the bright idea to use a watermarble for the tail feathers.

After 5 tries to get the marbling just right, my right hand actually came out better than my left: 

 Here's my left hand.  This turkey is a little plump, and his feathers are wonky!

Here's the right again:

And again:

I love this little guy!  I used Sinful Colors "Big Daddy" (orange) & "Pull Over" (yellow) and China Glaze "Red Satin" and "Call of the Wild".  I made the turkey with dotting tools.  

I'm so thankful for my family and friends, especially my husband and my 2 wonderful little boys.  I hope you take a moment today to think about what you're thankful for! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blingy, Aqua, Leopard-y French Mani

Today I was browsing through my Must-Do-Mani Pinterest board for inspiration, and THIS ONE by "Pretty Nails by Mal" caught my eye.  I've been in the mood for some holographic bling, and I haven't tried my China Glaze "I'm Not Lion" yet, so this seemed like the perfect time.

So here's "INL", in the sun: 
It's actually much more bling-y in life.  Love it!

 So I was inspired by the aqua & cheetah print, and I came up with this:

If this looks somewhat familiar, that's because I did a similar mani HERE, but I really liked it, so here it is again ;-).  This is Island Girl "Aloha Girl" on the tips, and China Glaze "Mahogany Magic" and "Liquid Leather" for the cheetah spots.   I think it's cute like this! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dolli-Pop Color-Changing Polish

I've been really tired after work lately, so I'm not changing my polish as often...maybe I'm still getting used to the time change :-/

So it's Saturday, and I finally got to do my nails, so I wanted something really unique.  I'm a sucker for any "magic" type special effect polishes...glow in the dark, color-changing, crackle, magnetic, etc.  So I got this small polish from Pretty & Polished called "Dolli-Pop" which changes color based on your body temperature.  It's dark purple when cold, and a medium-ish blue when warm.  Because my nails are fairly long right now, I figured it would be the perfect time to try it out:

Room temp (what it pretty much looks like all the time):

Right out of cold water:

Right after holding above a skillet of sizzling bacon:

Another room temp shot (my hands were a little warm in this one):

Verdict:  Super-fun!  Built-in gradient effect = SCORE!  And it has little aqua glitter in it too, which goes with both the purple and blue shades!  This is 3 coats of "Dolli-Pop" topped with Seche Vite.  Because I'm generally a colder person, the color seems to stay light purple on me, with dark purple at the very tips.  

You can check out Pretty and Polished's Etsy shop HERE, and although it doesn't look like she has this one in stock right now, she does have other Color-Changing Polishes, including an orange & yellow one I'm really eye-balling.  She's also got plenty of other awesome stuff, and I have quite a few of her lovely creations, so check her out!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Metallic Fall French & Marble

Lately I have really been struggling with the decision about what to do on my nails.  I have so many awesome un-trieds, and there are so many beautiful and creative designs out there, that I am sometimes overwhelmed. It's really not a big deal, except that between my 10-hour-per-day job and spending time with my 9 & 7 yo boys, my mani time is limited, so I want to get the most bang for my buck, so to speak.

So anyway, last night I prepped my nails, so they were based-coated and ready to go.  But I still couldn't make up my mind.  Finally, this morning I just picked some pretty autumn metallic colors, and did this:

I ended up using Sinful Colors "Mercury Rising", OPI DS Glow, OPI Take the Stage, and Klean Color "Metallic Yellow".  Water-marbling these glittery polishes is tricky, but I think it still came out pretty.  

Anyway, I'm kind of meh with this.  But it's shiny, it's autumn-ish, and I can wear it to work tomorrow, so it's all good! I think I need to just chill, and not get all worked up about coming up with some amazing design...after all, it's only nail polish!  :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Coffee Cup Paisley

I bought a new, autumn-y coffee cup for the office, since my current one has flowers, berries & birds on it, and it just didn't seem right for the cooler weather.  

It's so cute, I did my manicure based on it:

Fun, right?  I think it's a pretty cool match! ;-)  These are Sinful Colors "Ruby Ruby", "Clementine" and "Pull Over" dotted with Ulta "Chocoholic".  

Friday, November 9, 2012

NPR - My Newest Elf Coat!

No new manicure (yet!), cuz I just haven't had time this week!  But, I do have a cute new elf coat that I made totally for myself:

I <3 it!

OK, new nails tomorrow.  I promise! ;-)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kate Spade "Belltown" Manicure

So I have a friend who has awesome taste in purses, and I blame her for my subsequent fascination with cute and unique handbags which cost way too much money ;-)

Well, I met her for lunch last week, and immediately lusted after noticed her new Kate Spade, the "Belltown" tote.  Here's a pic I found on the internet in an eBay auction:
Click HERE to see the original listing & more pics of this gorgeous purse (not affiliated, but these are the only decent pics I could find).

So, I did what any lacquer-head would do...I translated this handbag into a manicure:

I love this, and I think it looks just like the Kate!  This is Inst-Dri "Beige Blast" and the red is Zoya's "Diana", all topped with Sech Vite, the hands-down best top coat for not smudging your nail art!

Funny thing about my stash, when I was searching for an appropriate red polish, I found these:
All different brands of super-similar red cremes.  It might be time to stop buying.

Or not ;-)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Better Late Than Never: Nail-Aween Challenge Days 8,9, & 10

This week was horribly busy for me!  In addition to my full-time job, I ended up having to write a report for work till midnight one night, made the kids' costumes, went Trick-or-Treating, and worked on my little Elf Coat business, so manicures were hard to come by.  But I did manage do my last 3 days of the Nail-Aween Challenge, but have just now had the chance to download the pics & do my post.  So here they are:

Day 8:  Witch Nail Art
This is a lovely no-name polish by Love & Beauty from Forever 21 stores, and I was surprised by how much I liked totally reminds me of the night sky!

Day 9:  Pumpkin Mani
 These are beautiful holographic polishes by Chirality called "Just Before Dawn" and "Katydid".  BTW, I found out that Chirality basically means "chemistry" ;-).  The green "Katydid" is a much more linear holo than "JBD", and "JBD" is the absolute perfect shade of orange!  This is 2 coats of each, and the formula was a dream to apply.  Buy your very own HERE.

Day 10:  Any Halloween-Inspired Mani
Yes, I took the easy way out, and used my previous mani for this one (I was busy!).  This is "Pickin' Punkins in the Patch" by Lacquistry, and it is super-gorgeous!!  Jenna has some polishes in stock as of this posting, so click HERE to get your very own glittery awesomeness!  

This Challenge was certainly a challenge, and I had a lot of fun!  Many thanks to Sassy Nails for hosting it!  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nail-aween Challenge Day 7: "Spider Nails"

I'm getting behind on my challenge, but I have just enough time to catch up! :-)

Here are my Spider Nails!  Some of the little guys have some, er, issues, but they're still fun:

The orange is Sinful Colors "Courtney Orange", and it is a lovely shimmery orange with a great formula.  I stamped the webs with Pure Ice "Silver Mercedes", and the spiders with Klean Color "Black".  I tried to clean up some of the spiders's legs with black polish and a toothpick, but sometimes less is more ;-).

Here are the other participants in the challenge: