Friday, August 31, 2012

Sakura Matsuri

I don't know why it is so hard for me to remember "Sakura Matsuri".  As in the gorgeous polish collection recently re-released by the awesome Rainbow Honey.  I have recently bought a bunch of Rainbow Honeys, and you should too!

So one of my recent acquisitions is the "Sakura Matsuri" namesake.  It's so super-cute and full of girly sparkles and flowers!!  

First, I polished on my untried Zoya "Skylar", and used Zoya "Lotus" for an accent.

Sooo gorgeous!!  This is 2 smooth coats of each.  The shimmer in these is amazing in real life!  Zoya is my fave polish ever!!

Then I smothered it in 1 1/2 coats of "Sakura Matsuri".  1/2 just because I wanted 2 flowers on each nail, and 3 on the thumbs.  The flowers came out very easily, though, so minimal fishing was required:

You don't need me to tell you how beauteous this is!  I mean, you DO have eyeballs! ;-)

Rainbow Honey sells their fantastical polishes for $10 full size and $5 minis.  They are absolutely worth every single penny!!  They arrive in professional super-cute packaging, and the 2 I've used so far have literally been 1-coaters (click HERE for Koi Pond).  Visit the SHOP now!!! 

BTW, I used the Elmer's glue basecoat for this.  2 days later, I popped the nail polish right off with no damage to my nail.  I'm ecstatic with this painless glitter removal technique!! :-)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Glue Base Coat, Iguanas, and Jenna!!

When I was in grade school, I remember taking my bottle of white Elmer's glue and spreading a thin layer on my palm.  When it dried, I grossed my friends out by peeling the glue off my palm in skin-like layers.  Ah, those were the days!!

Now some 30 years later, when I saw THIS POST by Nails by Ms. Lizard, I had an epiphany, the angels sang, and a ray of sunshine burst through the clouds!  Use a coat of Elmer's (PVA) glue as a base coat directly on the nail, paint on your glitteriest Indie, then peel it off when you're all done!  Crazy lady say what?!  No sticking acetone-soaked cotton on your nails, no wrapping your fingertips in foil, no rubbing with felt until your fingers cramp, no waiting every other week to do a glitter mani because you don't want to deal with removal?  It was almost too good to be true!

So I tried it for myself.  I got a bottle of plain ol' Elmer's glue, and squeezed some into an empty mini franken bottle.  Then I painted on 1 full-coverage coat:
Then I let it dry completely till clear.  Took about 5 minutes:
When the glue is dry, it's smooth and not the least bit sticky.

Then I applied "Brash" polish which, although very pretty, did not win my heart since it took 3 coats to get to this opacity.  I got this at Payless Shoes, of all places.  

Now for the fun part:  Lacquistry's "Donald Trump's Iguana" on top:

Gorgeousness!!  But I figured it was a little too blingy, bright & fun to wear to work (I'm in Human Resources - blah!).  So I took my wooden cuticle stick, pushed gently against the polish around the cuticle edge, and it came right up, easy as pie:

I kept pushing till it got right to the end:

The leftover residue washed right off with soap & water.  No acetone was used at all in removing this glitter-bomb mani.

Is this not AMAZING!?!  I feel like Princess Jasmine, cuz I just found a whole new world where I can paint on glitter polishes without the ever-present "just remember you're going to have to remove all this" voice nagging me.  Glitter is not just for accent nails anymore!!  I can't tell you how excited I am!

And just one more thing about Jenna at Lacquistry.  If you don't already know by now, not long ago Jenna announced on her FB page that she was aware that some of the glitters in polishes she had sold MONTHS before were bleeding.  So, she took it upon herself to make replacements for EVERY one she had made, and mailed them out to her customers.  Amazing integrity, and definitely someone who has my unflagging loyalty.  If you've been a follower of mine, you know how much I love me some Jenna...she's an awesome person!  Not to mention she mixes up a mean glitter bomb!!

I got my package a couple days ago:


Saturday, August 25, 2012

My "Granite" Franken, Part II

Even though she had announced it a while ago, I'm still super-sad that Amy at I'm Feeling Nailventurous is no longer making her awesome creations.  I had so many of them on my "Want" list.  But she has made the decision for herself and her well-being, and I am really glad she was able to make that difficult choice...nail polish is not worth anyone's happiness.  She's such an awesome blogger, I'm glad she's still swatching away!!

So I'm trying frankening dupes of my fave polishes on my wishlist.  I have already taken a stab at making a polish similar to Nailventurous's "Granite" in THIS POST.  Here's how it came out (with different undies):
I liked it a lot, but I wanted to add extra glitters to make it look more like the original "Granite".

I didn't want to go too crazy, so I just added small black glitter along with some white matte glitters for more texture.  Here's what I got:

This looks more like stone!  It looks lumpy, but it's totally glass-smooth!  This is 2 coats over China Glaze "White on White".  Not a dupe, but it is truly a franken "inspired by" Granite.  I think it came out beautifully, which is interesting considering it's supposed to look like rocks!  :-)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Early TIOT with Utopia's Polish "Coral Reef" and Sinful Colors "Clementine"

My last manicure lasted almost a week!  I really love "Band Geek"!!  

I finally changed it tonight, keeping in mind that tomorrow is "Try It On Tuesday" on Jilltastic Designs FB Page., and picking "untried" polishes that have been malingering in my stash.

I also chose "untried" polishes with names that begin with "C", so I can participate in Lustrous Lacquer's "Alphabet Challenge" too.  

So I started with Sinful Colors "Clementine"

This is a perfect shade of orange for me, because it's not too bright against my skin.  But the formula was thick and streaky and it took 3 coats to even it out.  If a polish needs 3 coats, it is not welcome in my collection.  So I added about 4 drops of polish thinner, and I re-painted my pinkie with only 2 coats, and it went on much, much smoother, so it can stay!  

But this is a pretty tame manicure for me.  So I searched my polish names, and came up with Utopia's Polish "Coral Reef".  Because of the thickness of the glitter, I decided on trying partial glitter coverage except for the accent nails.

 With Flash:

Oh my glitterness, this is one serious bottle of sparkly explosion!  I used only 2 coats of polish, and my accent nail is almost completely covered.  I actually added some glamour base to my bottle just to dilute the glitter a bit.  I absolutely love these colors!  

You can visit Virginia's shop on Etsy HERE.  She's very nice and makes amazing polishes!  I have 2 more of her polishes that are "untried" too, so I'll have to keep them on the radar.  

Hope you like this combo as much as I do!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Band Geek" - Reppin' It!!

I am proud to say I was a Band Nerd in high school 20 years ago.  I played all 4 years, and I was in field marching AND parade band, with concert season thrown in for good measure.  All band, all the time.

My Freshman & Sophomore years I played clarinet & bass clarinet.  But then I realized that, no matter how hard you wail on that woodwind out on the field during a half-time show, you still can't hear it.  So for my Junior & Senior years, I switched to brass instruments:  baritone and euphonium, baby!!

I was part of the Blue Star Regiment, and my biggest claim to fame during that time was that we performed in the Fiesta Bowl, and I was on TV during the parade, since I was on the end of the row. :-)  I LOVED being in the band, and I made some very good friends during that time, and I was very proud of what we did.  We worked hard and tirelessly, were in Open Class and kicked ass, and we build a camaraderie that I have not experienced since.  I was a Band Geek, and I'm super-proud!!

So, for today's mani which is for Jilltastic Design's "Try It On Tuesday" and for the letter "B" in Lustrous Lacquer's Alphabet Challenge, I chose KB Shimmer's "Band Geek".  This is a beautiful black polish with the gold, silver and brass of the shiny band instruments thrown in.  How perfect is that?

This polish is absolutely gorgeous!!  And my treble clef from a Shany plate over Pure Ice "Jaguar" is the perfect accent, although I couldn't believe that out of my 5 sets of stamping plates, not a single one had music notes!  

I must admit, "Band Geed" is now one of my favorite polishes!  Visit KB Shimmer's website HERE and her Etsy shop won't be sorry, but your wallet might be! ;-)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Roses & Dots Inspired by Robin Moses

I got some cool new nail art brushes yesterday, and I've been itching to try them.  And I realzed that my nails have become so long that they are getting in the way and annoying me, and I'm having to be extra-careful to make sure I don't rip/snag/break them.  So  I took off the super-blingy colorful multi-Zoya mani, and decided on finding a nail art design.  

I browsed through my "Must-Do-Mani's" Board on Pinterest, and THIS ONE by Robin Moses caught my eye.  It's black & red & very cute!  My manicure is not just "inspired" by this video, it is a dead-on copy ;-)

I used Essie "Sold Out Show" for the base, which has a nice hint of iridescence.  The black is China Glaze "Liquid Leather", and the reds are Zoya "Diana" and "America".  I used a striper brush, a small art brush & a dotting tool to make the design.

My french tip lines need more practice, but I AM getting better! ;-)  I might need to just stick to my usual straight-line french tip, though.  But I really like my accent nail, and next time I'll make it my main design, with the french tip as the accent.

Robin Moses has like a gazillion designs and videos on YouTube, so grab a nice beverage and carve out some time to go through them and get inspired! :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Zoya Patchwork-y Stained Glass

I recently saw this awesome abstract art manicure by Chalkboard Nails, and I was instantly enamored!  She says you just randomly apply brushstrokes of different colors.  I know it would be a little more difficult than that, but I wanted to give it a shot! 

So I checked the stash for some pretty polishes, and came up with all Zoyas, except for one lone Orly.  I love Zoya!
L to R Top Row:  Myrta, Carly, Ivanka, Trixie
L to Right Bottom Row:  Glitz, Charla, Sarah, Valerie

So just started painting splotches of each color until my nails were completely covered:

Indoor Lighting:

Out in the sun:

These remind me of stained glass, but in a patchwork kind of way.  I learned that I have a hard time being random, because I wanted to make each nail exactly the same.  And I think I was supposed to have longer, lighter strokes, so the colors would sort of blend into one another, but I just couldn't do it.  So my version is more block-y and chunky.  Still pretty, but not what I wanted.

I think I'll be stamping something over this pretty soon...maybe a geometric-type pattern?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Killing 2 Birds with Zoya "Adina"

As you should know, Jilltastic Nail Designs hosts "Try It On Tuesdays", where you have to use an untried polish in your stash and post it to her wall on Tuesday.  I made it just in time!

I also saw that Lustrous Lacquer is starting an Alphabet Challenge, where you pick out polishes beginning with that week's letter.  I think they're supposed to be untrieds, but I need to double check.  I love that we will only do a letter once per week, which allows plenty of time to do the challenge mani, and also gives you the chance to do other stuff too!

So, I picked out Zoya's "Adina".  She fits the bill for both purposes.  I've been wanting to try her for a while now.  She's a beautiful shade of purple which flashes to green.  Sorry, but these crappy pics do nothing to capture the beauty:

I tried enhancing this one to show the green flash, but it is still so hard to see:

"Adina" went on smoothly in 2 thin coats.  I added a 3rd coat, but I didn't need to.  Also for this mani, I used the whole Zoya colorlock system, which starts with a swipe of "Remove", then "Anchor" base coat, your color, then "Armor" topcoat.  I used some NOPI fast-dry drops, though.  However, as you can see on the edges, most noticeably on the middle & ring fingers, the polish wrinkled b/c I wasn't patient enough before I got on with my life :-(.  I just can't do a non fast-dry top coat.  So, sorry "Armor", but I'm going back to my good ol' Seche Vite.

This polish is so beautiful in person!  If you can, getcha some!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Liebster Award

So I got a FB wall post from Cara at Fox Claws letting me know that she gave me the Liebster Award, and that "tag, you're it".  Whaaaa?  

So after reading the link to her blog, I'm still not sure what this award is, but it looks like you qualify if your blog has less than 200 followers.  Okee dokee.  I just did my nails so I have no new manicure to post about, so I accept this award and will follow the rules: 

1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the 'tagger' has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers and tag them in their post.
5. These lucky bloggers must then be told.
6. There's no tag backs.

11 things about me!
1.  I was born in Hawaii, and I live in Sunny Southern California
2.   I started my own little business last year "upcycling" pre-loved sweaters into fantastically fun "fairy coats".  Check out my "Intricate Simplicity" Etsy shop HERE
3.  I have a motorcycle license, and used to ride a Harley Davidson
4.  I was a band nerd in high school
5.  I have 2 little boys aged 7 & 9, and I love them to bits!!  They're such good, smart dudes and I'm sooo proud of them!
6.  I am the first person in my extended family to graduate from college
7.  I work in Human Resources, and got into that field by accident :-)
8.  I'm a die-hard "Rennie" and I love attending Renaissance Faires and Festivals!  I sew my own costumes and everything!  Steampunk is calling me!
9.  I love fiber arts and I taught myself how to hand-spin wool (on a spinning wheel and drop spindle) & to knit.
10. I am deathly afraid of heights
11. I have 3 tattoos

Questions from Fox Claws:
1. Who is your favorite YouTuber? (Doesn't have to be beauty related.)

2. If you could only wear one polish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Lacquistry's "Paean of the Bells"

3. Name 5 states/countries you have been to.
Mexico, England, Scotland, Arizona, Hawaii 

4. If you weren't blogging right now, what would you be doing?
Deciding on my next manicure

5. What is your biggest pet peeve?

6. Do you have any hidden talents?
I can hula dance

7. Who is your biggest blogger inspiration?
Things I Love At the Moment.  She's the first polish blog I ever read, and Michelle got me hooked!!

8. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
I'm a little embarrassed to say that I like to listen to Britney Spears 

9. Ocean or Mountains?
Ocean.  Can't SCUBA in the mountains!

10. Name 5 things within arms reach RIGHT now.
My hubby, a knitting project, knitting magazines, sewing books, and my cell phone

11. Post the funniest google image you can find. Explain why you chose THAT image.
I mean, don't tell me you didn't laugh at Ronald beating that kid!! :-)

My 11 questions for my tagged nominees:
1.  At what point did you realize you were addicted to polish?
2.  Who is your favorite Indie brand?
3.  What is your biggest polish lemming?
4.  How many times per week do you paint your nails?
5.  Of what achievement are you most proud?
6.  What is the name of your pet?
7.  Sunrise or Sunset?
8.  Which summer Olympic event is the most interesting?
9.  Where would you like to go on vacation if money was no object?
10.  What is the title of your favorite book?
11.  What is your favorite quote?

My nominees:
Enchanted Nails and Fluffy Dog Tails
Superficially Colorful
Cupcakes and Polish
Painted Nubbs
Polish Monster
Secretary's Nail Art

OK, that's it.  I've spent almost an hour searching for more polish blogs w/less than 200 likes and who have not already been tagged for this award, so I am officially giving up. 

I hope you find some cool new blogs to follow! :-)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wakey, Wakey, Eggs & Bac-y!!!

Who in the world would think of breakfast as inspiration for a nail polish?  Elizabeth at Tough as Nails Lacquer, that's who!!!  And you know what?  She's a freakin' genius!!

She created a polish based on bacon!  I mean, who doesn't like bacon?  It's a glitter bomb full of orange, red & black glitters of all different shapes.  She named it "The Baconian Method".  

"Go Sit on a Egg" (misspelling intentional) is a creamy white polish filled with orange & yellow glitters.  Super-pretty, and it is the perfect polish equivalent of an egg.

So I totally recycled my Zoya "Cola" mani for this, and topped those nails with 2 coats of TBM, and I removed the braided accent nail and painted on 3 coats of GSOAE:

 In the fading sunlight:
 With flash:

I am so charmed by these polishes, and I'm kind of amazed by how much they have completely enchanted me.  When I got them, I kept them out of the polish drawers, so I could keep them out and admire them daily :-)  I never knew eggs & bacon could be so dang pretty!!

You can buy polishes from Tough as Nails Lacquer HERE.  Elizabeth is super-nice, and these polishes are of excellent quality.  She sells these as a set called "Breakfast Combo No. 1".  At the time of this posting, she only has the "shorty" (mini) bottles available, but looks like she plans on re-stocking the full-sized duos soon, so keep an eye out so you can get your hands on these beauties!