Monday, December 19, 2011

Black and Gold Snowflake Mani

Yikes, it's been over a month! Been so busy with finals and the holiday celebrations have begun already. Here's my current mani:
I copied the design from one of my favorite nail blogs, Mini Nail Blog. She did a much better job of course, but I am really happy with the result! I love the conventional snowflakes with the unconventional color scheme. I used American Apparel Hassid as the black base, the white is Chanel Pearl Drop, and gold acrylic paint for the designs. 

Of course, with all the holiday shopping, I had to buy a few things of my own!

This was my Urban Decay haul from actually a while back. I bought two lipsticks in Jilted and Lovechild and they came with the free deluxe lipstick cap! I also bought liquid liners in Radium and Ecstasy, a green matte shadow, an olive green pigment, the Urban Bride set, and some Urban Defense tinted moisturizer. Can't resist a sale!

I bought this OCC Lip Tar set in Nearly Neon on Black Friday. The colors are Harlot, Hoochie, Queen, Beta, and Anime. It also includes their lip brush.

More of my growing lip obsession! I bought Hourglass lipstick in Fever, Nars lipsticks in Red Lizard and Schiap, and MUFE lipstick in #9. I also bought the UD 24/7 Shadow blending brush and used some of my Sephora Beauty Insider points for a deluxe sample of Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and NARS primer. I also found some NYX matte lipstick in Shocking Pink (not from Sephora), which is supposed to be very similar to MAC Candy Yum Yum (which I missed out on).

Hope everyone is having a nice holiday and gets the stuff they want!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ghost Mani and Some Shopping!

I've been so busy lately with midterms and papers, whew! Finally have a little time to post.

This mani is a bit late for Halloween but I wanted to share anyway:
This was inspired by a design by Asami. I used China Glaze Frostbite, Sinful Colors black nail art striper polish, and white acrylic paint. My ghosts aren't as good as hers but you get the idea. I added the little gems for a little extra sparkle. Happy belated Halloween!

So what is better for all the school stress than a little retail shopping? Or a lot, actually...
The new Hello Kitty x Tokidoki collection is too cute! I couldn't resist. 

More shopping hauls to come later. Can't resist the sales!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Candy Corn Mani

Whew, can't believe it's been so long since I posted! Things were pretty hectic for a while with midterms and papers but it's a bit calmer for now. I actually did another mani with spiderwebs but I forgot to take pictures and it didn't turn out quite the way I had hoped anyway, so here's my second Halloween-themed mani:

Yum, candy corn! One of everyone's favorite candies, I'm sure! 

This one's easy to do. I started out with MAC Vestral White as a base, then used Zoya Sienna for the orange, and Milani Yellow Whiz for the tips. It was a bit too many coats though, so next time I'd recommend doing the entire nail orange and then adding the white and yellow on top. 

Of course, I just had to buy some candy corn for the picture and ended up eating almost the entire bag.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hello Kitty French

I did my friend Sara's nails recently. The design was her idea, she wanted pink polish with a Hello Kitty French tip accent (with a pink bow). I wish I had been able to make it a bit neater but I think it's pretty cute overall!

I used Hello Kitty for MAC Something About Pink and Vestral White.

Who doesn't love some Hello Kitty? ^^

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dodgers French

They were giving out Dodgers Hello Kitty plushes a couple weeks ago so I had to go, of course. I did my sister's nails for the game.
It was a collaboration between us, both the design and the work. She did the lettering, I did everything else. The blue tips were done with Blue from Love & Beauty (Forever 21) and red glitter heart was done with Milani Red Sparkle. The letters were done with acrylic paint and we added some jewels and I did a 3D acrylic blue bow. She added Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure and an iridescent glitter polish on top for some extra sparkle.

Go Dodgers! :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Purple Tips and Lunula (with Bling and Bow!)

Finally, I had some time to do some proper nail art! Here was my inspiration:

Unfortunately, I still need quite a bit of practice when it comes to doing ruffles. Here are some of my practice attempts:

Getting there, but definitely not there yet. So, I decided to tweak the design a bit. I started out with Orly Bonder base coat and then, alternating tips and lunulas, did two coats of Essie Lilacism and Catrice Plum Play With Me (less red IRL).

Then I added rhinestones, a tiny pop ball chain, and a couple acrylic bows:

Ta-da! My bows still need a bit of work but I'm happy with the look overall. Obviously not the same as the picture but I still think it's super cute and got lots of compliments! Now I'm all ready for the weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chanel Paradoxal

*Sigh* So, as I said before, I haven't had much time to do my nails lately so I've been mostly sticking to solid colors. I do have some time on weekends though so hopefully I can still do some more interesting stuff.

Anyway, I can't believe I hadn't tried this color yet! I guess I was waiting for fall to come around before wearing it.

(Ignore the bubble on my ring finger.) It's a really interesting purple-y brown, I love how it kind of shifts between both colors. There's also a very subtle purple shimmer, most of the time it's invisible but I think in certain lights it makes the polish lean a bit more purple. I've found that Chanel formulas are kind of hit and miss but this one is a definite hit. It went on smoothly and evenly, very easy to control, perfect consistency. I am wearing two coats in the picture. I know some people have issues with staying power when it comes to Chanel polishes but I guess I'm just one of those people whose body chemistry happens to work with them. I even put Seche Vite on top (mixing 3-free and non-3-free) and after almost a week of pretty intense wear and tear there's only some tip wear and a bit of chipping on the thumbs. I didn't used to be the type to care about how long polishes lasted because I would just change mine every few days but because of my new time constraints it's something that does matter to me.

For some weird reason I am up at 7:30 a.m. on my short day (only five hours of school as opposed to eight). Back to bed!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Navy/Pink with Hearts

Blah, been so busy with school lately! I'm a full-time student x2 so I don't have as much time to do my nails. I'm trying to make some time, though. It's a hobby of mine and I do it to relax. I did find out that my esthetician class allows pretty much anything on your nails as long as the polish isn't chipped and your nails are short, yay! 

Anyway, here's what I've had on my nails recently, first pic is from a magazine. Please ignore the tip wear, these were taken a couple days after I did my nails (oh, and a couple pieces of glitter are missing!).

I tried using the little gold bullion beads but it was too difficult, the beads and glue were getting everywhere. It would have been a lot easier to use a tiny pop ball chain but I don't have one (yet). So, I thought some hex glitter would be a pretty good substitute. Also, in the magazine it looks like they used both pink and a peachy color, but I thought it would be a little too random-looking. It ends up looking pretty random anyway but I actually got lots of compliments (I think people like hearts!). The navy blue jelly is Nfu-oh 119, the pink is Essie Neo Whimsical. I do really like the contrast of the navy and pink, I'll have to keep that in mind.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Black and White Op Art Mani

I recently started school and I thought it would be fun to do something special for the first day. Here is the design I wanted to try:

Op art! It kind of reminds me of one of those Escher poster you see in every dorm room (including mine back in the day). I've wanted to do this one for a while now and it's not as hard as it looks! If you look closely, basically every nail is painted in three sections. To get started, I did one coat of base coat and then taped off the first sections:

Next, I painted them either white or black:

I then added the stripes, pulled off the tape, then taped off the second sections:

Again, I painted a white base and then added stripes. For the second section, you have to be careful not to paint over the first section too much, as the tape only protects the tips of the nails, not the part that has already been painted.

Peel off the tape:

No need to tape off the third section, just be careful not to paint over the second sections:

Add stripes:

This is what is looks like after some clean-up:

I don't have any pyramid studs so I finished it off with clear and black square rhinestones instead. They're unnecessary though, I think I'll skip them next time. Add some top coat and you're done! Here's the finished product:

I used American Apparel Hassid for the big black sections and MAC Vestral White and Sinful Colors Time Off (their black striper polish) for the stripes. I wouldn't recommend either of these. If you can, choose a one-coat white (I've heard Sally Hansen Whirlwind White from the Insta-Dri line is good) and my own striper brush. I found that the one that came with the Sinful Colors polish was really messy. The polish itself was also a bit thick, it might have been easier to use acrylic paint instead. I know better for the next time I do it but I still think it's pretty cool!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sally Hansen Silver Lining

I was craving something light and shiny and saw this in my stash so I thought I'd try it out.

This is Sally Hansen Silver Lining, it's from one of the limited-edition Tracy Reese collections (same collection as Hidden Treasure). It's a really pretty silver with lots of blue microglitter and every once in a while at the right angle it looks faintly lavender-ish. The formula was pretty easy to work with, the only bad thing is that it's really sheer, I am wearing five coats in the picture. It is supposed to be a "complete manicure" though, so I thought I'd try it without base or top coat, and it lasted very well on me. So, even though it took five coats for opacity, it took about the same time to apply it as a three-coat polish. You could wear less coats for a more sheer effect because it applies really evenly and not streaky at all. I think it would be nice to layer with.

School starts tomorrow, ackkkk.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zoya Ivanka

Yikes, I've been away for so long! I've been pretty busy lately and school is starting soon so I probably won't be able to post as often as I'd like. :( Oh well, here's a nice swatch for now!

This is Zoya Ivanka with Zoya Apple on the ring finger. Ivanka is a green jelly with green-gold flaky glass flecks, so pretty! Apple looks like a paler base with the same flecks but more concentrated, almost like a foil. Both are lovely greens for summer! Zoya really does this finish well in many colors, it has the sparkle of a glitter but it dries smooth and is easy to remove. I think this is four coats? I tend to do thin coats, though.

Hope you all are ready for fall!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Inglot (Vegas) Haul and Swatches!

Went to Vegas for a few days with the BF and his family, just got back yesterday. Of course, I went shopping!

Bought a necklace and bracelet from Forever 21:
I have a thing for spikes/studs, clearly.

I've heard great things about Inglot and always drooled over the colors on their website, but the closest store is about an hour and a half away so I was never able to check them out in person. I took the opportunity to visit when I went to Vegas and as luck would have it, the round shadows are going to be discontinued so they were 30% off! The colors are just beautiful, I had a really hard time deciding, but here's what I ended up with!
Polishes (flakies!): 202, 203, 204, 205
In the palette: 474, 403, 25, 56, 44
Singles: 22, 429, 428, 46

Here are the eyeshadows swatched over MAC Paintpot in Painterly as a primer (click to enlarge!):
Left to right: 474, 403, 25, 56, 44, 429, 22, 428, 46

474 is a matte lemon yellow with silver glitter, 403 is a dirty yellow gold shimmer, 25 is a goldy-peach shimmer, 56 is a matte olive green with gold glitter, 44 is an olive green shimmer with gold glitter, 429 is a pale blue shimmer, 22 is a red-based purple shimmer with silver glitter, 428 is a navy shimmer, and 46 is a pale pinky-peach shimmer.

The shimmers are really amazing, they're kind of a matte shimmer, if that makes sense? Kind of like brushed metal. They have a beautiful iridescence to them, almost duochrome-like. The glitters are gorgeous too of course, adding just a little more interest to the already-pretty colors. The pigmentation on these is good, not great. Some of them are better than others, I found the yellow, gold, and peach to have the best pigmentation. The matte colors are really soft, there's a lot of "crumbs" left when you pick up the color with your brush and there might be a bit of fallout when applying, similar to loose shadows. Also, be aware that the palettes themselves are sold separately, empty. It can get a bit pricey when you put it all together.

Overall, I'm really happy with my purchase (except for that fact that 56 and 44 are a bit too similar). I'm excited to try the polishes and already contemplating another purchase and possibly making that hour-and-a-half drive to the store...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mint Green Jewels

I was in the mood to do something fun so I decided to try this mani:

I simplified it a little bit because my nails are so much shorter than the ones in the picture, but I like the results!

First, I painted my nails with Revlon Minted as the base. Then, I used a small brush to paint an outline with Diamond Cosmetics Party Hearty. It's a rose gold as opposed to the regular gold in the picture, but I think it works well enough. Lastly, I added the rhinestones and bullion beads. It's actually not as complicated as it looks! Gluing on the beads/stones takes a little bit of time but it's so much easier and faster than, say, painting a floral print. I love the placement of the stones but I think my favorite part is actually the gold outline, I like the way it frames the mint green. As I've said before, I love doing manis with lots of rhinestones because it looks ornate but isn't a lot of work. You can obviously experiment with different colors and placements as well of course. If you're intimidated by nail art, try something easy and sparkly!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Set

Woohoo, I just picked mine up!

I got it at my local Sephora. It was in the back, not on display yet so if you are looking for one, call or ask the sales associates to check the back! I wasn't sure whether to get the Naked palette for the longest time because although the colors are very useful, I didn't want to spend so much on just neutrals since I really like color. This palette is a great compromise because it does have lots of neutrals but also plenty of bright, beautiful colors. Also, the packaging is just beautiful! I love that there's a space beneath to stash some other stuff. It retails $55 and according to customer service it will be available on their website sometime next week. Definitely worth the splurge!