Friday, May 30, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: A thermal nail fail (plus a special announcement)

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Hi everyone! Before I get to the Neverending Pile Challenge, I want to tell you about a special event that is starting today. 

Last month, four-year-old Lily Quintus was killed in a tragic accident in Florida. Over fifty indie polish makers have teamed up to raise money for Lily's family and the other children affected.

Each of us has created a one-of-a-kind polish in Lily's memory, and they will be auctioned off in lots. All proceeds will be donated to the families. Here's my contribution:

The auction will take place on Facebook; it starts TODAY at noon and runs until Monday. Please join this group to participate. Thanks!

OK, on to the nail fail! The Neverending Pile Challenge prompt for today is solar/thermal. I have never actually bought a thermal polish before, because, first, the thermal pigment degrades after about a year, so your polish essentially has a shelf life; second, it just seems kind of gimmicky to me. Plus you need long nails for the effect to really work! Or not, as we shall see...

In one of the Pretty & Polished subscription boxes I got Good Vibrations, which is a thermal that changes from a dark magenta when cool to a brighter purple-pink when warm. It also has a scattered holo shimmer. I made sure to let my nails grow nice and long before I swatched this in order to get that French tip effect. But, as you can see, I was sorely disappointed.

Pretty & Polished Good Vibrations. Two(?) coats with Out the Door topcoat.

You can see my free edges through the polish--look how long they are! Yet I only got the "warm" shade. Very weird. I decided to resort to some trickery to show off the cool color. This is the best I could do:

You see the slight darkening at the tips? That's from holding my nails against an ice pack. (Cold water had no effect.)

OK, so maybe the polish itself is a dud? Nope, check it out on the swatch wheel:

It's quite happy to show off its cool shade here (I squeezed the tip with my fingers to show the warm color too). I have seen swatches of this on other people where the thermal effect works quite well. So I can only conclude that I'm just too hot for thermals (awww yeah!!).

In all other respects the formula was fine. If other thermals have worked for you, I imagine Good Vibrations will too. It can be purchased here ($9 for 15 ml).

Total untrieds tried: 49 + chevron decals + 1 stamping plate

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review: May Ipsy Glam Bag

Good morning! I'm skipping the Neverending Pile Challenge for today because I don't have any untrieds that fit the theme. Instead, I'm going to show you what I got in my Ipsy Glam Bag this month!

If you haven't heard of Ipsy, it's a $10-per-month beauty and skincare subscription service. Each month you get 4-5 full size or sample size products. You can review each product to help Ipsy customize your next bag. You also get exclusive deals from all the featured brands each month. Here's my referral link if you're interested!

You might remember that I was slightly disappointed in last month's bag, but luckily this time Ipsy got back on its game! I only had one real dud, and it's a doozy. I'll start with the good stuff though...

1. Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer in Bloody Mary

Nailtini Bloody Mary. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Yay, nail polish! I've known about Nailtini for a while but never actually owned any until now. Bloody Mary is a vibrant scarlet that I would call a crelly or very thin creme (you can still see my nail line a little after two coats). It's a bit darker in real life than it appears in my photo. The formula was thin but not too runny. The brush was a little wide for my tastes--I think if you're going to go with a wide brush, you should pair it with a thicker formula that stays in place on the nail, or people will make a mess of their cuticles (as I did). On the whole I would try Nailtini again, although with a more exciting color than red!

2. Hang Ten Classic Sport SPF 50

Since we're rapidly approaching summer (although it still feels like April here today), I was glad to try some new sunscreen. This stuff is a more natural take on sunscreen and has lots of organic ingredients. I especially like the fact that it uses only natural extracts for fragrance; it has a nice subtle tropical scent that's a far cry from the usual overwhelming fake coconut smell of most sunscreens. And it was definitely less greasy than your average sunscreen. I tried it on my arms and could barely tell I was wearing anything. Good stuff!

3. Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo in Celestial/Opal

I have been on an eyeshadow kick lately, especially for warm neutrals, so I was excited to get this duo. (Note: I'm not actually sure which shade is Celestial and which is Opal, so let's just assume the pink one is Opal, OK?) They're "coconut-infused", whatever that means (there's no coconut in the ingredients list, so I'm assuming it's some coconut derivative). Sadly the color payoff on these shadows was not great, as you can see from my swatches. Opal is a peachy pink shimmer which you can just barely see on my arm, even though I slathered it on. Celestial is a light warm brown with metallic gold highlights. I had a lot of fallout on my cheeks from this one.

Here's a crappy picture of me wearing these shadows over primer. I used Opal on my inner eye and browbone, and Celestial on the middle of the lid--on the eye the brown kind of disappears and you only see the gold, so I used an additional brown shadow on the outside corner to round everything out.

So these eyeshadows were not too exciting, but I will probably still keep them around for subtle looks.

4. Pur~lisse Pur~moist Hydra Balance Moisturizer

I love trying out new moisturizer! Even though this is for "normal-dry" skin and I'm on the oily side, my skin tends to be dehydrated due to my acne treatments, so I love super hydrating stuff. This moisturizer has a gel-cream consistency, spreads on very nicely and feels great. It doesn't sink in completely on me, but I wouldn't say it feels too greasy. The scent is very light and reminds me of my grandma for some reason!

I should note that despite the natural additives it boasts (if you can't read my bad picture, it's got "blue lotus, white tea, soy proteins, sea silk, lupine peptides"), this isn't an all-natural moisturizer. But it does avoid a lot of unpopular ingredients like parabens, petrochemicals, and artificial colors/fragrances. Those natural additives are supposed to do all sorts of good things for your skin long-term, which obviously I can't comment on.

The full-size product is a whopping $55 for 1.7 ounces, so even though I like this moisturizer, I won't be buying it anytime soon.

5. Avene Thermal Spring Water

OK, time for the most bizarre product I've ever gotten in a subscription box. Kindly direct your attention to the ingredients list...yes, this is a spray-can of water. An 18-dollar spray-can of water. It is supposed to sooth irritation after cleansing, skin treatments, sunburns, etc. and otherwise be all-around good for your skin. I read through their entire brochure attempting to find out what made this water different from...y'know, regular water (special minerals from the spring?), but somehow they managed to completely avoid saying anything concrete about how this is supposed to work.

I dutifully tried this product anyway (several times!), for the sake of my gentle readers. I sprayed it on my face after cleansing, let it sit for a minute, then patted dry as directed. Of course, it felt nice and cooling on my face, but so would tap water. I don't have sensitive skin, so maybe I'm not the target audience for this stuff, but I didn't notice any actual effects on my skin. I was surprised to read so many positive reviews on Amazon, and I wonder if there really is something to it or if it's just the placebo effect (I mean, it's French, so it must work, right?).

OK, so aside from the overpriced water, I was satisfied with this Ipsy bag. Don't forget you can use my referral link to sign up if you're interested!

Monday, May 26, 2014

FingerFood's Theme Buffet / Neverending Pile Challenge: Snakeskin stamp from MoYou

Happy Memorial Day! Let's all take a minute today to wish for an end to all violence!

Today I combined two challenges again: FingerFood's Theme Buffet prompt nature and The Neverending Pile Challenge theme untried stamping plate. I bought MoYou's Pro Collection 03 plate a long time ago and somehow never used it! It's full of animal prints, seashells and other outdoorsy things.

I decided to use the snakeskin stamp alongside two untried polishes: Nails Inc. Bruton Mews (a very dark green creme) and Essie Penny Talk, a copper chrome. Penny Talk works great for stamping, as you can see!

I couldn't quite get the stamp to cover the length of my nails (partly due to my stamper--I don't have one of the super squishy ones) but I guess it looks a little grunge that way! I do think this stamp is totally badass. :-D

Total untrieds tried: 48 + chevron decals + 1 stamping plate

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Chevron decals from YouPolish

Some of the products in this post were sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Happy weekend! Do you have any fun plans for Memorial Day? I think we're just going to have burgers!

Today's prompt for the Neverending Pile Challenge is untried art supplies. I originally thought I would have to skip this one, since I don't have many nail art supplies except striping tape and stamps (that's for next time!), but luckily just last week I got an awesome set of nail decals from YouPolish to try out! Lauren sent me a whole bunch of different shapes to play with; today I'm just going to show you the chevrons, but I'll show off the others later!

The chevron decals come in two sizes and can either be used like tape (painted over and then removed) or trimmed and left on the nail. (All the decals at YouPolish come in a large range of colors in case you want to leave them on.) I decided to go with the first option.

I started with a base of Color Club Kismet (an untried!) and then Out the Door to make sure everything dried. Then I stuck on my chevron decals and painted two coats of Revlon Stormy Night on top. While that was still wet, I removed the chevrons to reveal the holo underneath! I waited a while before adding my final topcoat to avoid smudging the design.

The decals were very easy to use! They stick to the nail really well, so there's little risk of polish leaking in underneath them and making your design messy. (Since they are so sticky, you have to make sure your base color is absolutely dry before applying the decals, or they'll tear up the polish when you remove them.) They peeled up very nicely without smudging, as you can see! I definitely recommend using tweezers to manipulate them, especially the smaller ones--it's just a whole lot easier.

Here's the sheet of decals I received. (This is after I did my mani, but you get the idea.) It has 40 large decals and 63 small ones, enough for lots of manis! I believe you get this sheet if you order one of the sample packs of eight decal designs for $12.50. You can also order sheets of 100 large or small chevrons for $5.50. That sounds like a good deal to me!

If you love the chevron design but don't want to deal with cutting up bits of Scotch tape, these decals were made for you! YouPolish has TONS of other decal and stencil patterns too, so go check them out!

Total untrieds tried: 46 + chevron decals

Some of the products in this post were sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

FingerFood's Theme Buffet: Yet another galaxy mani

Good morning! For this week's FingerFood's Theme Buffet we're doing galaxies. I think this is my third attempt at a galaxy mani. My previous efforts were mediocre; I think this one is the best I've managed so far.

I'm actually most proud of the fact that my star placement is pretty random--I really have to struggle not to make everything symmetric! I used Zoya Storm for the base (because really, how could I not?) and Maybelline Porcelain Party, Color Club Age of Aquarius, Julep Bea and Revlon Passionate Pink for the rest.

This mani reminds me--have you been watching Cosmos? I think it's great to have some real science on TV again, since all the "educational" channels have switched to reality shows now. I think the show does a great job communicating the mindblowing-ness of nature! If you like it, you should definitely read some of Carl Sagan's books--he was an all-around amazing human being.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: matte gradients

Hey folks! Today's Neverending Pile Challenge prompt is gradient. Another great excuse to use multiple untried polishes! For this one I decided to go all neutral and all matte (I have a surprisingly large number of matte neutrals!). I think this is the first time I've done horizontal gradients. I made each nail carry on one of the colors from the previous nail so each blends into the next.

I'm not sure what this reminds me of--TV static maybe? (Do you guys remember static??) The polishes I used were Maybelline Mod Moss, Julep Noelle, Julep Nora and Julep Amber. Interestingly, I tried this mani with a topcoat and didn't like it--I think it accented the different colors and made the mani look kind of confused.

Total untrieds tried: 45


Monday, May 19, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Bejeweled skittles

Happy Monday! Today's Neverending Pile Challenge theme is skittles. Definitely a good opportunity to burn through some untrieds! If you read my Museum-Worthy Manis post for April, you might remember the beautiful gemstone nails done by Chalkboard Nails, who also created a tutorial for them. Well, Cait at Polish Hound suggested I try to recreate this mani for the Neverending Pile Challenge--what a great idea! So here goes nothing!

So they aren't as good as Chalkboard Nails' version (duh), mostly due to the fact that I can't paint an even line to save my life. But I couldn't help staring at them anyway! I have always had a soft spot for jewel tones. The polished I used were Zoya Giovanna, Zoya Song, China Glaze Coconut Kiss, and Orly Radiant (all untried), plus Revlon Stiletto and Maybelline Porcelain Party for creating darker/lighter shades.

This was a fairly time-consuming mani (about two hours to do four nails), mostly because I had to do a lot of mixing to get all the shades of each color, but technically it was pretty simple, so you should definitely give it a try!

Here's an in-progress shot I took where you can see my "palette"!

Total untrieds tried: 41


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Quick swatch: Glam Polish Leapfrog

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Hey all! I just wanted to show you what I'm wearing on my nails today, because it's awesome! I had never gotten to try the amazing Aussie indie Glam Polish before, but they're discontinuing a bunch of their polishes right now and they're all on sale (plus they ship to the US!). So I took the opportunity to grab some I had on my wishlist before they disappeared forever!

Boy am I glad I bought this one! Leapfrog is a teal crelly with neon green, yellow and purple glitter. Very fun and summery!

Glam Polish Leapfrog. Two coats with Gelous and Out the Door topcoats.

Sadly, Leapfrog is now gone from Glam Polish's shop, so I guess it's sold out. :-( But you might be able to get it used from someone.

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Two discontinued polishes

Good morning! Hope everyone's survived the week! Yesterday after I finished tutoring, my husband and I walked around Boston and got some really good burgers. We don't eat out very often so it was a special treat!

Today's Neverending Pile Challenge prompt is discontinued. I started with a base of a very old untried, Sephora by OPI Just a Little Dangerous (a dark purple shimmer). I got this polish around Christmas 2012 in that Tinsel Town set of minis. I thought Sephora by OPI was completely gone, but apparently they still make gel polish!

Then I added a coat of Hot Mess Lacquers Fuego. If you've been familiar with indie brands for a while, you might remember Hot Mess--I think she was pretty popular, but she closed up shop suddenly about a year ago and vanished off the face of the earth. She was also a member of the forums I frequent, but I wasn't really into indies yet when she left. This winter, someone at the forums kindly gifted me a bottle of Hot Mess Fuego for a Secret Santa swap.

Fuego is a topper with beautiful orange-yellow-green color-shifting particles--I think it's the same color shift as in the famous Max Factor Fantasy Fire! Check out my photos!

Sephora by OPI Just a Little Dangerous, two coats, plus Hot Mess Lacquers Fuego, one coat. Out the Door topcoat.

Beautiful, no? I'm really glad I have a bottle of this stuff! Must Fuego-ize everything!!

Total untrieds tried: 37


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Spell Polish Troll

I won the product in this post in a giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Good morning everyone! Today's Neverending Pile Challenge theme is giveaway/blog sale polish. I've only won a couple giveaways (but I keep on trying!), but here's one I won but haven't worn yet: Spell Polish Troll.

Troll is a clear base with lots of teal/green/gold shimmer that shifts in the light (almost a frost/metallic finish), plus a smattering of holo glitter.

Spell Polish Troll. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Very pretty and ethereal--magical even (hey, it's Spell Polish after all)! This is supposed to look good over black too. Since there's no base color backing up the shimmer, it's a fairly sheer polish. Application was fine.

I did have a couple problems with the formula though. First of all, it was very slow drying. By that I mean it took forever to reach the point of "tacky but non-liquid" that most polishes hit pretty quickly; while I was cleaning up my cuticles I kept accidentally making the polish slide around on my nails. Once I got my topcoat on, it seemed to dry normally.

The second issue I had was the smell: this polish has a very strong, unusual smell (not due to any of the "big 5" chemicals, just a characteristic of the particular suspension base used). It was so strong I had to breathe through my mouth while I was applying the polish. For someone who plays with nail polish all day, that's saying a lot! The smell kind of hangs around until the polish is dry. If you are very sensitive to smells you might have a problem with this brand.

On the bright side, the bottle is beautiful, and I got a free sticker along with the polish.

Troll is available at Spell Polish's shop ($17 for 15 ml).

Total untrieds tried: 35

I won the product in this post in a giveaway. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

FingerFood's Theme Buffet / Neverending Pile Challenge: Flowers for Scarlett

Happy Monday! It feels like summer around here--need to break out the shorts and start painting my toenails!

Today I combined the Neverending Pile Challenge theme texture and the FingerFood's Theme Buffet prompt for Scarlett (Scarlett is Sam @ FingerFood's daughter, and her birthday is this week!). Scarlett likes flowers, so I decided to do some colorful textured blossoms--perfect for May!

This mani was very easy to do! I started with a base of Color Club Age of Aquarius, then used a dotting tool to make concentric circles of dots, starting with large circles of JulieG Hot Cinnamon (an untried), then smaller circles of JulieG Sugar Rush (also untried) and finally dots of JulieG Tangerine Dream in the middle. I think the end result is really fun and kind of retro-looking, don't you?

Total untrieds tried: 34


Friday, May 9, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Indigo Bananas Medusa Transducer

The product in this post was given to me as a gift. All opinions are my own.

Happy Friday! I think my interview this morning went well! I still need to take a little test so they can make sure I know how to use Excel...I think I should be fine. :-P

Anyway, today's Neverending Pile Challenge prompt is glow-in-the-dark. As far as I know, I only have one glow-in-the-dark polish, and luckily it's an untried! Indigo Bananas Medusa Transducer is a very sheer charcoal grey jelly with orange-green iridescent glitter and little silvery flecks. Plus it glows teal in the dark!

Indigo Bananas Medusa Transducer. Four coats with Out the Door topcoat.

This is a super spooooky polish! I'll need to wear it again in October! It is very very sheer--I needed four coats to get it opaque--so next time I'll definitely layer it over something else. The formula was excellent as per usual with Indigo Bananas, although I would have liked more glitter payoff per coat. I don't think it took too long to dry.

Here's the teal glow! I charged my nails under my lamp for a while and then in the sun for just a few minutes, and the sun definitely charged them more quickly.

Total untrieds tried: 32

The product in this post was given to me as a gift. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

FingerFood's Theme Buffet #18: Thai motif

Hey all! I have a job interview tomorrow!! It's only for a temporary job, but money is money, right?? I have to decide what to wear on my nails...

Anyway, this week's FingerFood's Theme Buffet prompt is Oriental. I have always been in love with Thai art and architecture, since it seems to be such an interesting mix of South and East Asian influences. So I Googled for some Thai art motifs and picked a (simplified) one to do on my nails.

I still need more practice freehanding (and maybe an even tinier brush!) but I had a lot of fun doing this mani! I used Deborah Lippmann Just Walk Away Renee, Maybelline Bold Gold and Revlon Red Carpet.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Color Club Cosmic Fate

The product in this post was given to me as a gift. All opinions are my own.

Heyo everyone! Today's Neverending Pile Challenge is holo, and do I really need an excuse to wear holo polish? NOPE!

Here's Color Club Cosmic Fate--wow, look at those rainbows!!

Color Club Cosmic Fate. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

The holo effect in all the Color Club Halo Hues is just amazing. (And remember, this photo was taken under a lamp indoors...imagine what this polish looks like in sunlight!) The base color of Cosmic Fate is a sort of brownish coral, but the holo pigment makes it look coppery a lot of the time. It has a great formula, very forgiving for a holo--you can do several strokes per nail without dragging, and you don't need to use a special base coat. The polish's consistency is just about perfect. And topcoat doesn't weaken the holo effect, as you can see!

I have four polishes from this collection and I definitely need to get the rest at some point! ($10.00 at Color Club)

Total untrieds tried: 31

The product in this post was given to me as a gift. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review: April Ipsy Glam Bag

Well, I'm finally getting around to reviewing my Ipsy Glam Bag from last month! It took me forever to try out all the products! If you're not familiar with Ipsy, it's a beauty subscription service that sends you 4-5 sample or full-size products each month. Bags are somewhat customizable according to your preferences and reviews. Ipsy costs $10 per month; if you'd like to try it out, here's my referral link! (If you use my link, I get points to spend on free stuff!)

This month's bag was a little disappointing for me. There were a couple products I won't use, plus there were a few others in the monthly collection that I really wanted but didn't get (including nail polish!). I'm hoping that my reviews of this month's bag will help me get better stuff next time!

1. Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion

This is a good physical exfoliator, although I have to say it's the most painful one I've tried. It does get the job done though, and my face felt really smooth after use. It smells kind of like lemon drop candies. Given how expensive the full size tube is, I think I'll just use up this sample and then go back to my old exfoliator (Dermadoctor Physical Chemistry, which is both a physical and chemical exfoliator!).

2. Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Apple Pink

It took me a little while to figure out what was going on with this funky container, but then I realized that there's a brush in the cap! Unfortunately the brush is so tiny that it takes forever to get my lips covered evenly. This lip balm definitely doesn't feel very balm-y; it's pretty dry and matte. It contains only synthetic moisturizers, no oils or butters that we might look for in a lip balm. It does have nice pigmentation and seems to be fairly durable. This one gets a "meh" from me.

3. Sexy Hair Root Pump Volumizing Spray Mousse

I let out a sigh when I saw this stuff in my bag. My hair is ultra ultra fine ("like baby's hair", a hairdresser once told me) and basically every leave-in product just weighs it down and makes it grimy. But for the sake of my gentle readers I tried this mousse anyway. You're supposed to work it into your roots and a few inches down from the roots when your hair is damp, then blow-dry.

My first hint that things were not going well was that I had a hard time brushing my hair as I blow-dried it. Sure enough, my roots were sticky and had a visible residue. I did notice a slight increase in volume below the roots (where I put less of the product), but the volume was mainly horizontal and not vertical. My roots themselves remained flat. Oh well!

4. City Color White Gold Shadow & Highlight Mousse

This eyeshadow mousse is a bright, sparkly light gold. It has really nice pigmentation--probably a little too bright for my taste actually. Unfortunately I found it to be a bit sticky and hard to spread, so it wasn't easy to get it diffuse enough for a more casual everyday look. I'm not sure if you could really use this as a highlighter in areas besides the eye because of how pigmented it is.

5. Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil in Black Velvet

If only I used eyeliner, this would be the star of my bag! Unfortunately, as I've said before, I'm hopeless with eyeliner because I flinch so much. But I might keep trying with this pencil! It has a really soft, almost liquid-feeling application, and the color payoff was very nice. As you can see, it doesn't make an ultra-sharp line, as it's intended especially for blended-out looks. I think eyeliner fans would really like this product!

So there you have it. Only two, maybe three products that I'll probably keep using. It is a nice consolation that I only spent $10 for all this, and Ipsy is still the best subscription service I've tried, so I'm not going to quit yet!

Did you like last month's Ipsy bag?

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Neverending Pile Challenge: Vampy gradient

Happy Monday! Today's Neverending Pile Challenge prompt is vampy. This wasn't hard for me, since I'm constantly buying dark polishes (I think I'm a goth at heart).

I started with a base of China Glaze Lubu Heels (a beautiful black with red microglitter) and sponged on Revlon Saucy at the tips. This would make a spooky Halloween mani!

Total untrieds tried: 30

Saturday, May 3, 2014

He Picks My Polish: Orange and blue dots (plus a nail fail)

Double post today! I had to squeeze in a round of He Picks My Polish before the deadline! You may remember that for last time, my husband picked colors to match the superhero Jean Grey. This time he went for his other favorite female character: Dr. Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Do you think he has a thing for redheads?)

The polishes Mr. ALIQUID chose were Zoya Robyn, Zoya Amy, Revlon Stiletto and Revlon Trendy. I actually ended up doing two manis, just like last time. I'll show you the second one first:

This mani was loosely inspired by this dots-and-stripes mani by My Adventures in Nail Art. My stripes aren't even, and I think I made the middle finger a little too busy, but overall I like the result. It kinda reminds me of a circuit board--very sci-fi!

OK, here's my slight "nail fail" first attempt. It started out fine at first, although the lines aren't as clean as I would like, but then I added matte topcoat too soon and it got all bubbly. Don't you hate it when the last thing you do to a mani kind of wrecks it?

Oh well. I like the pattern, so I'll probably attempt this mani again sometime.

April's Museum-Worthy Manis!

Hey there! Any fun weekend plans? I have lots of nail-polish-related business as usual!

Today I've got my (slightly belated) favorite nail art from April for you! All five are amazing freehand works of art! Don't forget to check out my Pinterest for more awesome nail art from around the web, and please visit the artists' posts to read more about their manis!

1. Blue and Orange Daisies by Wondrously Polished

I adore this mani--the orange just pops against the blue background, and I love the semi-abstract style of the flowers. I also think she got amazing mileage from what looks like pretty simple techniques; I think I might even be able to recreate this mani decently! I'll need to give it a try sometime.

2. Medusa Nails by PiggieLuv

As a classics geek I have to love this mani. It's so creepy! Plus the freehanding is just flawless. I'm always jealous of PiggieLuv's skills!

3. Precious Gems by Chalkboard Nails

Chalkboard Nails is one of those bloggers who not only does consistently beautiful nail art, but also makes her nail art accessible by providing tutorials for nearly everything. So you can visit her site to reproduce these stunning gemstone nails for yourself! My favorite bit is the little white "gleam" lines that make this mani look so realistic!

4. Baroque Quilt Inspired Nails by Lacquerstyle

I was shocked to read that this mani was done entirely freehand--not even any striping tape! Now that's talent. I love the contrast of the baroque/damask patterns with the more modern clean stripes. Plus that green really pops against the neutral colors!

5. Grungy Peacock by Will Paint Nails for Food

How beautiful are those feathers?? You must go read Meghan's description of her process for these nails--you can tell she has artistic training. I love how she captured the wispiness of the feathers perfectly!

I don't know about you, but looking at amazing nail art always inspires me to try something new! Are you inspired by any of these manis?

Friday, May 2, 2014

FingerFood's Theme Buffet / Neverending Pile Challenge: A cloud of untrieds

Happy Friday! I'm doing yet another multi-challenge post today! This week's FingerFood's Theme Buffet prompt is something new, and the Neverending Pile Challenge theme is use as many untrieds in one mani as you can. Well, I didn't go crazy trying to cram a million polishes into one mani, but I did manage to knock six polishes off my untried pile!

To satisfy the something new prompt, I decided to try a technique I had never used before: the cloud mani. This kind of nail art, like the fishtail I did recently, seems simple on the surface but requires a decent amount of motor control. Mine isn't perfect, but I really like how it looks! (Pardon the glare in the's the bane of my existence.)

On three nails, I used Zoya Dove, Zoya Wednesday and Essie Mind Your Mittens. On my accent nail I used Julep Eden, Sephora by OPI Break a Leg Warmer! and Julep Evelyn. I love the combo of greys with all sorts of colors!

Total untrieds tried: 28

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April's Gimme That Polish!

Good morning! It's time once again for Gimme That Polish! (I realize I'm slightly late, but hey.) I'm going to show you the five polishes I lusted after most in April. This time they're all indies! You can see my entire wishlist on my Pinterest board. Check out the polishes below and make sure to give the original swatchers some love by visiting their review posts!

1. Cadillacquer - Survivor

Both I and Debbie at The Crumpet are totally in love with this polish! Simply put, it's a purple lover's dream. (Cadillacquer shop | swatch by The Crumpet)

2. Contrary Polish - Strange Changes

I am just head-over-heels with this style of pale, sheer polish with amazing shimmer. I have a zillion on my wishlist and I'm even planning to make one for an upcoming collection! I love how ethereal this one looks. (Contrary Polish shop | swatch by Vampy Varnish)

3. Delush Polish - Medusa's Verde

Delush Polish's spring collection has been all over the blogosphere lately. Since I'm a glitter crelly fan, I like them all, but this one's my favorite. I think it's the combo of pale green with metallic glitter that gets me! (Delush Polish shop | swatch by Let Them Have Polish)

4. Maya Cosmetics - Beach Baby

Not only do I love glitter crellies, I'm also a sucker for well-executed microglitter bombs. This one is actually reminiscent of a polish in my own shop! I love the orange/pink tones in Beach Baby--doesn't it make you think of a beach at sunset? (Maya Cosmetics shop | swatch by Things I Love at the Moment)

5. Powder Perfect - Secret Passageway

Another fantastic glitter crelly! Love the warmth of the metallics against the cool grey backdrop. (Powder Perfect shop | swatch by Gnarly Gnails)

There you have it! What's your biggest lemming lately?