Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer meets Fall

"There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part. 
So just give me a happy middle and a very happy start."
-Shel Silverstein

It's the last weekend of the Summer. 
Because we are heading into Fall and I am not ready for summer to be over, 
I decided to do a Summer meets Fall mani. 
Featuring some nail art using one of the Essie Fall 2013 collection polishes paired with leopard print and of course, NEON!

Essie The Lace is On is a gorgeous cool, deep and shimmery fuchsia. Perfectly opaque in 2 stunning coats, this polish seriously radiates from within. I love the depth and shimmer in this! This is my favorite from Essie's Fall collection.

I paired The Lace is On with an accent nail of Layla Soft Touch 01, 2 coats.

Using a dotting tool and Essie The More the Merrier (green) and Fresh Paint Guava (neon peach), I added spots on my index and my ring fingers.

I used a smaller dotting tool and an Art Club black striper to create the circles around the spots. I filled in some empty areas with solid black dots.

I love how this came out and I definitely think I am capturing the best of both Summer and Fall!

Are you ready for Fall?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tips On Tuesday: Polish Revival

One thing I am glad about with the cool weather coming is less goopy nail polish! When the weather is nice, I love to paint my toes outside by the pool or on the porch. But the heat always causes my polish to thicken up, which makes it harder to work with. 

Just recently, I bought my first bottle of Poshe Polish Reviver from Ulta to thin one of my polishes that had thickened up. Polish thickens up for a lot of reasons. Sometimes I have a brain fart and leave a bottle of polish slightly uncapped on my desk overnight. It happens. 
Other times, it is a favorite polish for nail art and I am always opening and closing it. Or it is just an older polish that has been sitting for awhile. Whatever the reason, a polish thinner will definitely liven it back up! Don't ever use nail polish remover to 'thin' a polish! It will ruin it!

This is the Poshe Polish Reviver I picked up. I had never thinned a polish before, despite having several that needed it, so I followed the directions on the back!

I grabbed the Poshe Reviver and Essie In the Cab-ana that had gone goopy on me.

All I had to do was uncap the polish, clean the neck of the bottle, and drop 1-2 drops into the bottle. Because this was my first time I started with 1 drop and checked the consistency before adding more drops. I used 2 drops in this polish.

After adding the Reviver, I rolled the polish between my hands. I did give it a couple good shakes to make sure the Reviver was fully distributed in the bottle.

The polish was good as new after and had a much better consistency than before. I have been using this to thin several of my polishes. I even used it on an NYC Top coat that had thickened up as I got down to the bottom of the bottle. It didn't change how fast or clear the top coat dried and worked perfectly to thin it up. I am pretty happy that I picked this up, because I definitely would not want to throw out a polish when I can use a thinner to make it easier to use!

Have you ever used a polish thinner before? Do your polishes tend to goop up on you in the summer?

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

No Shoes Nation

I refuse to accept that fall is coming until I attend CountryFest at Gillette Stadium every year.
Kenny Chesney has headlined for the past 3 years, with some pretty great openers. This year Kacey Musgraves, Eli Young Band and Eric Church opened. 
I love Eric Church (those sunglasses!) and he was really amazing live. 
Kenny always puts on an amazing show too!

The tour this year was called No Shoes Nation and the tour flag was a skull and crossbones.
I really liked the tour logo so I wanted to incorporate the skull into my mani somehow, while still keeping it light and little country.

I started with a SH base coat and 2 coats of Julep Eloise. Eloise is a rich deep blue and is one of my favorites. I  will most definitely be using it a lot in the cooler weather.
The skull and crossbones is from an Elegant Touch sticker set I got at Ulta. I thought it was pretty close to the skull on the tour flag!

Not bad, not bad.

I wanted to offset the skull with something dainty and flowers were just the thing.
Using CG White on White and one of my nail art paintbrushes, I painted on long petal flowers. I used Essie Bass Fiddle for the reddish pink centers.

Using a dotting tool I dotted some small dots coming from the flowers using Color Clubs Harp On It. While it wasn't my favorite design, I think it came out pretty cute. I used one coat of NYC topcoat over all to seal in the design. 
I like my index and pinky fingers the best. Side flowers are a lot easier to create!

I had so much fun at CountryFest this year! Maybe too much fun because I spent most of Saturday in bed watching The Newsroom (all 6 episodes of Season 2...).

Until next year, I guess I am just going to have to rock out to country 'concerts' in my car.
What do you have to do before summer can end? Did you attend any concerts this year?

Happy Sunday! 
(Next weekend is a long weekend! Woot!)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Once in a Blue Moon

Once in a blue moon, I skip Tips on Tuesdays. 
Tonight, I am going to replace ToT with a space theme mani because of the 
BLUE MOON that can be seen tonight. 
The moon isn't actually blue, but like the saying, it means that it is a rare occurrence. 
There are usually 3 full moons in every season, but every once in a blue moon awhile there are 4 full moons in a season. The 3rd full moon, out of the 4, is the "blue moon". 
Go see it then come back and read! This type of blue moon won't be around again until at least 2016. 

Galaxy Mani's use quite a few different polishes. But all you need besides polish is a makeup sponge and a paper plate! They are so easy to do, and the design always comes out really cute.

I started with a SH base coat, and 2 coats of Carpe Noctem Cosmetics Pro Amico, a deep purple, with a pink shift, that is almost blue here in these photos.

Dripping polish onto the paper plate, I used a makeup sponge to create a line of Color Club Twiggie (green) on all my nails. Then I sponged a line of Sinful Colors 24/7 (hot pink), and then a line of Layla Soft Touch 01 (silver glitter).

Because of the many layers of polish used in creating this, I waited a little before I added a top coat of my Carpe Noctem custom glitter topper. Then I added one layer of NYC top coat!

Will you be stepping out to get a good look at the blue moon? Have you tried a galaxy mani?

Happy moon viewing! I am off to check that baby out!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Traveling Postcard

Sunday! I don't even care that the weekend is over, because I am so pumped to get this week under way. This coming weekend, I am going to Country Fest at Gillette Stadium to see Kenny Chesney, Eric Church (!), Eli Young Band and Kasey Musgraves and I couldn't be more excited. My friends and I have been going every summer since we graduated and summer just can't end without live country music.

So every now and then I think I might do a post like this that talks a little bit about my interests outside the world of nail polish. With nail polish of course!
On a recent trip to Walmart, I finally spotted the Fing'rs display that I have seen numerous bloggers talk about. I ended out picking up 2 sets of nail tattoos, that reminded me of 2 of my other hobbies.

Here's a snapshot of one of the packages. The front and the back with directions.
When I am not working, blogging and doing regular life things I am most fond of being:

A Traveler and Postcard Collector. 
I didn't manage to travel anywhere this summer, but several of my friends and family members did! And they sent me postcards along the way, which makes me so happy! 
My goal is to one day have a postcard from all 50 states.

I am well on my way with postcards from 27 states.

And 18 different countries.

From several different continents.
I store all my postcards in a fancy box I found while antiquing in New Hampshire.
I have hundreds of postcards. I am pretty proud of my collection.

I was super happy to find these nail tattoos from Fing'rs, especially since I could tie them into my other favorite hobbies. These were super easy to use. I painted my ring and middle fingers with 2 coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. I cut the paper to size, peeled off the plastic covering, dipped in water for 10 seconds and pressed it onto my nail. The design slid right off onto my nail and I used polish remover to clean up any over hang around my nails. It was just like those temporary tattoos you had when you were little!
You have to be sure to use a topcoat or the design will come off when it gets wet!!

Unfortunately the design only lasted about 2-3 days for me before it started to rub off when I got it wet. I don't think I put enough top coat, but I really liked how easy they were to use and how cute they turned out. Anyway, my accent nail is a road map design, to symbolize the traveler in me. My middle finger is the postmark from a postcard, with writing. Which reminded me of this:

My oldest postcard, postmarked February 23rd, 1925. The 1 cent stamp is still attached. Turns out, my grandmother's family has a whole bunch of travelers! I started collecting postcards when I was 7 or so, my first trip ever was a trip to Florida (to visit Disneyworld), where I got my first postcard.

My grandmother let me have all of the old postcards she had from her family. I have taken good care of them. I have a bunch with the stamps still attached!

Here is another photo of my fun traveling mani and a postcard I received from my friend who is off in Texas this summer learning how to be military police for the Navy. As you can see, we can't wait to be reunited!

What do you collect?

Polishes used in this mani: Carpe Noctem Cosmetics Gallifreyan Sunset and OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Water Water Everywhere!

During my most recent giveaway, I asked you all to write a blog post comment answering the question "What is your favorite summer activity?". 
A lot of you answered SWIMMING! Only one of you answered Concerts. 
Which happens to also be my favorite summer activity!

The pool water inspired this most recent mani. 
I've also been pretty into using Saran Wrap to create some funky designs on my nails, which is what I used for this!

I love the Saran Wrap technique because it really is super easy to do and you can get some great results! I started with a SH base coat and 1 coat of Wet n Wild Teal Me Slowly.

Then using the Saran Wrap technique I lightly dabbed on Essie Avenue Maintain and China Glaze White on White on top of that. My index finger is 2 coats of SH Gem Crush Showgirl Chic over a PVA base coat. 
PS. I am testing out a lot of the questions I had gotten surrounding PVA Glue after my post HERE.

I put one coat of NYC top coat of all to seal in my design! 
I am not sure if this ended out looking totally like the way water looks in the pool with all the reflections, but I think I got close!

Have you tried the Saran Wrap technique? Tips on Tuesday Tutorial coming soon, maybe?

Now the sooner I get to sleep, the sooner it will be FRIDAY! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tips on Tuesday: How My Custom Polish was Born

Ever since I discovered indies, I have always wanted a custom polish. But, I didn't think I was creative enough. I didn't have a vision of a polish that I wanted knocking around in my head. And the thing that stopped me the most from requesting a custom was...
What if I didn't like what was made for me?!
That would just be the worst.

After talking a bit with Emily from Carpe Noctem Cosmetics, I decided to take a leap and request a custom. But I wanted 2, a solid color and a glitter topper. I like 'sets' of things.

My exact words to Emily when purchasing my custom were as follows:

"I like mint greens, fuchsia and purples. Pinks too. I really don't know what else to describe since I have never ordered a custom before. So maybe I would like a duo chrome (since those seem like your fave to make) and then a glitter topper? Do you need more information?"

Good thing these polish making peoples are creative, because if that was sent to me, I would have NO idea what to do with it...

All throughout the custom making process, Emily conversed with me. She talked to me about different size glitters she has, different duochrome shifts and different colors I like. 
I mentioned I have an affinity for vampy purples.

And Sapphire Abyss was born. 
You can name your polish if you want, but I let Emily go ahead and name my customs. Probably because she wanted to mail them to me, and I still hadn't come up with any names.
I am SO bad at naming things. 
God help my children, because I have pet birds and their names are their colors. 
Gray Bird and Yellow Bird. 

Sapphire Abyss is a vampy purple with a blue shift. Up close there is such a nice shimmer to it. Without even knowing what kind of polish I wanted, I got exactly what I wanted!

Emily sent me swatches via facebook message to make sure I liked what she had created. She showed me several different sets of swatches in all different lighting and heard any concerns I had. If you check out her facebook albums, you will see just how many swatches she will take for you!
My main concern: I didn't want it too dark. I didn't want it to appear to be black with 2 coats.
Swatches here are shown as 2 coats and you can see that it is not too dark at all!

Next up is my glitter!
During my conversations with Emily and talking to her about different glitters, I told her I like dot glitters. She worked to incorporate a fuchsia dot glitter into my custom. Since I didn't give Emily much direction, she messaged me to ask me if I like gray and pink together. Why yes, yes I do!

Emily named this polish something silly, so I am going to call it my Princess Glitter. My Princess Glitter has fuchsia dots, gray hexes and blue flakies/shards. When Emily sent me the initial swatches of my glitter, I thought it needed something extra.

I searched through some of the photos on Emily's Etsy shop, to get a better idea of some of her holographic glitters. She even sent me photos of some of the holo glitters she had. I asked her to add a sprinkling of small holo glitters (as seen in Holo Hex). 
She did and sent me some new swatches to look over.
Viola! I had my polish!
My Princess Glitter is shown here as one coat over Sapphire Abyss, with topcoat.

She was such a pleasure to work with even though I had no idea what I had in mind for my polishes. 
She was in constant contact with me and showed me several different swatches. I felt comfortable voicing concerns to her and telling her what else I wanted added to my color. 
I am so happy with her customer service and with the outcome of my polish! 
Thanks Emily!

A custom polish is $12.74 and you can find the listing here.

Have you ever ordered a custom? If you have, how was your experience? If you haven't, why not?!

**This was based on my experience with Carpe Noctem Cosmetics. I have never purchased a custom polish from any other indie maker and do not have another experience to compare to**

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I have a Secret!

Most Sunday's sneak up on me. Bam weekend over. However, being a Rhode Islander, I have tomorrow off. We still observe a controversial state holiday, called Victory Day. 
Google it. 
Yep, we're jerks.

Tonight I have 2 of my most coveted polishes ever. 
2 polishes, 1 from each of the Color Club Halo Hues collections.
I have shown you a Scattered Holograhic polish around these parts before. One of A-England's finest. You can check out Tristam HERE.
But I have never shown you a linear holo.

Did you think it would be prettier? 
This is why I love holo polish...It's like you have a secret on your nails. 
Inside, or in the shade, this polish is pretty boring.

I will wait a minute until you can pick yourself up off the floor after the faint that just happened.
Eternal Beauty is a lovely light purple, that outshines itself in the sun.

Check out that halo! (The oval rainbow that is created by sun hitting the holo particles).
I used a base of Orly Ridge Filler, 2 coats of Color Club Eternal Beauty (2013 collection). No top coat.
I use a ridge filler when wearing these polishes because they tend to show every imperfection in your nail for some reason.

Eternal Beauty was opaque in 2 coats. This polish was a little on the thin side, but application was pretty flawless. I waited between both coats to avoid any dragging or balding. 

Kind of looks like a sticker, huh? Maybe a little like the ones you used to get out of the vending machines at the grocery store when you were little?

Next up is Harp On It from the 2012 collection.

Again, this one is pretty dull in the shade. HOI is a classic silver holo. A must have in my opinion.

Harp On It, is shown here as 2 coats over Orly Ridge Filler, no top coat. 
The halo doesn't seem as strong in these photos as Eternal Beauty but I assure you, that this polish is absolutely astounding in sunlight.

This polish was a little on the thin side, like Eternal Beauty, but again application was pretty flawless. I waited between both coats to avoid any dragging or balding. 

Despite what appears to be a very 'glittery' type polish -- holos are so finely ground up glitters, that removal is like any creme polish. BONUS!

What do you think? Need them? Have a holo that is even better than these?! Let me know in the comments, because I want it!

Check the Color Club website, Ebay or Amazon for these pretties! I believe I bought mine from Ebay, as that is who had them cheapest at the time I was searching them out!

Happy Sunday! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tone it down NEON!

All caps is sort of how I feel about neons, sometimes. They're like your parents when you were a teenager, you feel like you can't take them anywhere! 
Too loud, too bright, too bold.
I get it. 

So, how do you tone down a neon polish?
You could wear it without a white base. 
You can see in that post, that some of them are a lot less bright without a white base.


Tips on Tuesday ALERT!
Do a neon French Tip!

Whenever I have a strong desire to do a neon on my fingers, I usually do tips. That way, I can still get away with wearing such a loud polish to work, because it isn't too stand-outish. You get the little bit o' pop without all the wham-bam in your face kind of color.

You can follow my Easy French Tip Tutorial HERE to get this look!

Polishes used:
First 2 photos: SH base coat, 1 coat Essie Mademoiselle (a light pink to cover staining), 1 coat Essie Pure Pearlfection (some sparkle!), Fresh Paint Guava (bright peach), and I used a base coat of CG White on White with WnW Nerd Alert: Screech (green), top coat NYC
2nd 2 photos: SH Base coat, CG White on White for the base before WnW Nerd Alert: Screech (green) and Sinful Colors 24/7, top coat NYC.

What do you think, reader? Fancy new fun way to wear some neons?