Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Very Merry NOTD, with rhinestones!!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! It's a quiet one for me this year, most of my family visiting will be next month due to work restrictions on my time right now - but that gave me time to do a nice mani tonight!

I wanted something that was still in the holiday spirit but wouldn't be too Christmassy and immediately out of date come Boxing Day! So I settled on a mixed metal glitter mani with rhinestones!!

First, the pics:

I love how these turned out!! They look festive but I would totally wear them any time of the year. Funny enough, taking these pics I learned a great way to take indoor pictures of my nails - I always had trouble taking indoor pics in macro mode because everything would turn so yellow in the picture! But for these, I used my camera's "food" picture setting! LOL So weird but hey, it works! Now I don't have to wait for a sunny day (not many of those this time of year) to take outdoor pictures.

The rhinestones were generously sent to me for review by Born Pretty Store. There are 12 colours included and they come in a great little case that lets you turn the window to get at whichever colour you need. I'm very excited to finally have my hands on some of these and I can't wait to do more manis with them, especially with having so many colour options! Definitely try these out if you want a good variety of rhinestones, it's less than $4 for the package and they ship worldwide! See them here!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

recent nail polish haulage!

I feel like my nail polish acquisition always comes in big spurts! I'll go weeks without getting any, and then get several in a very short time. Which leads to lovely little haul posts like this!

Sorry about the lighting! It was very cloudy and dark out today, not prime lighting conditions for taking photos! The first four were from a Cherry Culture haul and of them, I am most excited about the glitters, especially the silver! Sooo pretty!! Can't wait to do some manis with them! The Nails Inc one in the middle was a Christmas present from my roomie and it's gorgeous!! My first Nails Inc polish - they call it a 3D glitter and it's got a dark purple microglitter base with larger multichrome iridescent glitter flecks all through it that change colour in the light! So cool!

The next three are all polishes from Icing by Claire's and might I say, I will definitely be going back there to beef up my glitter polish collection! One is bright blue microglitter, the second is a really beautiful combo of blue, purple and pink and one is a mixture of black and gold. Last but not least, a lovely Sinful Colors polish that's a deep blue green shimmer shade.

And then right up front we also have my new glass nail file my roommate gave me - it is sooo nice, my nails feel so smooth when I file them with this!

NOTD Dec 20/11

I'm so excited about these because I've been wanting to do them for sooo long, and now they are ON my nails! Whoop!

The funny thing about this huge Christmas sweater nail art trend happening right now is that I swear I had a psychic premonition about it! LOL No seriously!! Back in the summer tribal nail art was super huge, and I remember thinking to myself about what other kind of complex patterns might look cool as nail art - and I thought to myself, fair isle! I even did a bunch of searches for it but I realized at that time that my nail art needed a little more practice before I was up to it, and that also it wasn't quite seasonally appropriate for midsummer! So I held off... and then winter approached and I started seeing the design popping up all over the nail art world! So there - even though I did nothing to actually start the trend, I was right on the nose for sensing what was gonna be big soon!

Aaanyways, I've finally pitched in with the trend and I just adore the outcome! I did these on false nails because I couldn't fit the design I liked onto my own short nails!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nail Wheel the Sixth

Finished this last week actually but finally snapped a pic! Got a few fun Christmas designs! I'm crazy about the Christmas sweater one up top! Not toooo stoked on my attempt at the monarch mani, but I do love the teal gradient underneath it!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

NOTD Dec 10/11

I wanted to do something else Christmassy and with snowflakes, so I went for something that has the more traditional Christmas colours! I really love this, it turned out so festive!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Gift Ideas for All the Ladies!

This time of year, there's really no shortage of amazing beauty related gifts for anyone on your list, but not all beauty lovers were created equal! Different strokes for different folks, if you will! I've trolled through many of the offerings available and found things that would work well for all the people on your list. Check them out!

For "The Natural Beauty":

Sephora Favourites Collection Beauty and the Bride - A makeup collection targeted towards brides works perfectly for lovers of the natural makeup look. Bridal makeup is all about being soft and natural, so why shouldn't anyone cop that look too? This is an incredibly well-rounded set that comes with everything from mascara, lipstick and eyeshadow to nail polish, primer, blotting sheets and perfume! It even includes a voucher for a complimentary special occasion makeover at Sephora! At only $50 it's a hell of a bargain too!

For "The Makeup Newbie Teen":

Hello Kitty Noir Eyeshadow and Lip Gloss Palette - Maybe she's your sister, niece, cousin or a family friend - but she's young and she's just getting into makeup! Something fun and cute combined with a range of colours for her to experiment is perfect for a girl this age! This adorable palette comes packaged inside Hello Kitty herself and has 25 shadows and 10 glosses for her to try out, along with a double ended brush! $34 makes it an excellent value too!

For "Mama Dearest":
Tarte Radiant & Rested: Volume II Universal Complexion & Color Collection - The more skin ages, the more TLC it needs, so mom will appreciate a beauty bundle that gives her glow some real oomph! This package from Tarte maximizes skin radiance and will make her look glowy and fresh. It comes with all sorts of highlighting and glow-enhancing products like blush, eye brightener pencil and a skin brightening, illuminating serum. $42 is all you'll pay for this beauty!

For "The Drama Queen"
Too Faced Smokey Eye Shadow Collection - The drama queen loves smokey eyes and daring looks, and this palette makes that happen in several combinations! Three different easy looks are put together for day, night or something extra fashionable and fun! Or try mixing and matching between shades! How-to lesson cards are included in this cute little package, selling for only $36.

For "The Nail Polish-aholic"
Sephora by OPI Glimmer Wonderland Eighteen Piece Mini Nail Colour Set - 18 different polishes in adorable mini bottles, with a range of colours from pastels to brights to darks, and finishes from cremes to shimmers to metallics! A little bit of everything for the polish lover who loves everything! $48 for the set!

Monday, December 05, 2011

NOTD Dec 5/11

My first wintery manicure!! I love this one, it looks so delicate and pretty on the nails.. soft sparkly blue and snowflakes with little dots, which I really think pulls the manicure together nicely.

Friday, December 02, 2011

NOTD Dec 2/11

This look was inspired by the sunrise! Not that I'm really ever up early enough to see it... but I guess that's why I can live through it vicariously via my nails! Complete with a glittery topcoat because really, glitter improves almost everything!

I've been really noticing certain aspects of my nail polish skills improving lately, and for me the biggest one is actually one of the simplest - I can finally paint my nails and get pretty much no nail polish on the cuticles or off the sides of my nails onto my fingers! It is so satisfying to finally be able to paint your nails and not spend just as much time cleaning it up afterwards (or living with the messy nails if you were lazy like I sometimes(usually) was). And this only transpired after about four months of painting my nails 2-3 times a week, so I guess with this kind of thing practice really does make perfect!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NOTD Nov 29/11

I am seriously in LOVE with this mani! It's a four colour sponged base with black leopard on top. I really love how it turned out and I can't stop checking it out on my nails!

It was partly inspired by Rebecca over at Rebecca Likes Nails, and her watercolour nails with leopard. It got me wanting to do something like that, and then the other night I was watching The Big Bang Theory and Penny was wearing this shirt:

And that just cinched it! This is a photo of my TV, I actually paused the show to grab my camera and snap a picture (my boyfriend definitely rolled his eyes at this!).

So last night I painted my nails lavender, and then sponged on baby blue, light seafoam green and light pink and then used a nail art pen to draw on the leopard print and voila!

Hope you enjoy as much as I do! <3

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nail Wheel the Fifth

Featuring the first of my wintry/Christmassy designs! I really want to wear the snowflake one, and I think the candy cane one is so cute!

Review: Make Up Forever Microfinish HD Powder

You know a setting powder is good when you derp and knock it off your counter, spilling it everywhere, and you spend the next 5-10 minutes frantically trying to sweep up the powder up with a makeup brush onto a tissue to funnel back into the container. This may also be because the powder is ridiculously expensive, but I have to say in this case it's worth it!

This is the mini-size because at around $17 it's much more affordable than the over $30 full size version, especially for trying the first time. But after trying, if I had the money to spend up front I would definitely spring for the full size!

The powder is just incredibly soft and finely-milled, and a little goes a loong way! I use a very soft kabuki brush to apply, and my method is to tap a small amount out onto a square of toilet paper to dip the brush into. Once applied it makes a big difference in the look of my skin, making it look a lot smoother and more even-toned. It definitely seems to have some light-diffusing qualities! It leaves my skin with a smooth, satin looking finish, and my skin even feels smoother with it on.

If you're looking for a great setting powder that really improves the look of your skin, look no further! Pick this up!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NOTD Nov 26/11

This one was inspired by fair isle patterns! They're everywhere this season and I'm loving them, and although they aren't the easiest thing to translate to nails I had to do it! I'm thinking of painting patterns like this onto some fake nail sets and wearing those, because they're a lot longer than my own nails (which just DO NOT like to grow!) and I could fit a lot more of a pattern onto them!

In the meantime though, here's my little nubbins in their fair isle patterns!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NOTD Nov 22/11

Sure, this is a little summery for late November... but who cares? LOL I just love this design but I'd never actually worn it on my own nails so I couldn't wait until next year! You can check this set out for sale in my Etsy as well!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New hair!

I have this compulsion where every few months, I need to fiddle with my bangs. Usually it's just a very minor trim, maybe a bit of a part change... nothing crazy. But this time, I knew I wanted something more! I went a little crazy with my scissors and although there were some points where I thought, "Uh oh.... I've really gone and done it this time..." I kept fussing with it and moving it around until it looked right, and here I am!

One thing I reeaaally love about them is how they look when my hair is up! I love wearing my hair up but before it just never looked right... I couldn't put my finger on it but I always felt like my hair looked a little off. Now the bangs give it enough visual interest that even a super quick messy bun looks soo much better!

NOTD and FOTD Nov 19/11

Double feature today!! I needed a quick mani to do last night because my last one was totally chipped and I was short on time! So I did a little glitter gradient! A baby blue with a yellow-gold glitter fade - over the blue it turned out to have a bit of a green cast to it!

Then my FOTD! Well, eye in this case - I couldn't get a good shot of my whole face! I went for silver and grey on the lids and then a navy blue around the lashline for something a little different! I really like this look, I'm totally doing it again! I love navy on the eyes but I can never seem to find ways to wear it - til now!

Friday, November 11, 2011

DIY Nail Decal Tutorial

As promised, I made a tutorial for you guys on how to make your own nail decals! I kind of adapted this technique that I had seen in a few places, the first time being on cutepolish's Nyan Cat tutorial, but I wanted to try doing it for the full nail, kind of like the Sally Hansen polish strips. My freehand nail art skills on my own hands were kind of slipping, especially for my non-dominant hand since I'd been doing so much art on nail wheels and sets for my Etsy!

So here's the step by step process! It's really fun and pretty easy too! Give it a shot!

First, the supplies you'll need! A basic plastic ziploc sandwich bag. Use just the basic sandwich/snack type, not the heavy duty freezer ones because the plastic won't be flexible enough, and saran wrap will be too thin. You'll also need a Sharpie or other thin, permanent marker, and a pair of small manicure scissors.

Open up the bag and start by sticking your thumb inside, and close the zipper around your finger, like so:

Take the Sharpie and trace around the shape of your thumbnail. It's best to tighten the bag around your thumb a little bit, but don't pull it completely tight so it's wrapped around your thumb, just pull it a little taut so it curves around the fingernail a bit.

Continue this for each of your nails. I start with the thumb in the middle, then outwards towards my pinky (the pinky is the extra one on the bottom). It's best to do it this way so you can keep track of which decal fits which nail, especially if you're doing a mani that's a picture that travels across several nails and each needs to be in the right spot for it to make sense, or even just a mixed mani that you want to be in a certain order.

Leave the tops open - it's best to paint them longer than you need so you can be sure they will fit, as it's easy to trim them down!

Now, within your guidelines, paint your designs! I flip the bag over and actually paint on the other side, not directly on top of the Sharpie lines because I don't want to risk any pigment transfer from the Sharpie into my nail design.

Here's my shabby chic roses design from my last NOTD! DO NOT put top coat on these while they're on the bag!

You'll want to let these dry for a good long time, at least overnight. They'll feel dry enough to peel off after a couple hours but they will still be too flexible and will stretch out if you try to take them off.

The next day, gently peel them off the bag one at a time. Make sure you do this before you do any of the steps on your own nails as it will be a pain to do it after! You can save the bag to use for another set of nail decals so you don't have to trace your fingernails again!

Prep your nails as usual, including base coat. Then paint a quick coat of nail polish that is the same as the main base colour of your decals - for this one I used white. Let it dry for about thirty seconds to a minute so it's a little tacky, then lay your decal down on the nail, and roll another finger over it in gentle, even motions to smooth it down - make sure the edges especially are stuck down well. Use your manicure scissors to trim the excess off the ends of your nails, and then cover with top coat - make sure to wrap the tips! You're done!

Here's another look at how it looks!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NOTD Nov 10/11

This design was achieved using the full nail decal technique! I've actually got a bit of a tutorial in the works for that technique because I think it really opens up your options for nail art, so stay tuned for that!

This design is also available for purchase at my Etsy! Thanks for checking this out! :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

great excite!!

Just a real quick post to celebrate the fact that today I got my first sale in my Etsy shop!!! WHOOO!! I'm so excited right now!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

What's On the Wishlist? Vol. 6 - Jewelry Edition!

Recently I've been really wanting to beef up my accessory collection, and Forever 21 is really the perfect place to do it! I've gotten a couple of necklaces there and the prices are always amazingly cheap and the selection is just HUGE! If there's a Forever 21 near you and you haven't hit it up for accessories yet, do it!

Here's a sampling of some of the stuff I'm lusting after from there!

Polished Deer Head Necklace ($4.80)

Caged Bird Necklace ($6.80)

Feather Necklace ($4.80)

Riddled Leaf Earrings ($4.80)

Beaded Chains Bracelet ($12.80)

Monday, November 07, 2011

NOTD Nov 7/11 and the joy of homemade nail decals!

This is a manicure that took a couple of attempts, but once I employed a new technique, it all came together!

I had tried doing this freehand on my nails but aspects of it would not turn out right, particularly the stripes - they looked lumpy and uneven and slanted very noticeably! Overall they just were not what I had envisioned in my mind - and this manicure came to me in a flash of inspiration that just about knocked me over, and I was so excited to make it happen - so it had to be right!

From thumb to pinky: pirate's gold, skull and crossbones, pirate-style stripes, an eyepatch and the ocean!

So for my second attempt, I decided to use the homemade nail polish decal method. Here's a great Nyan Cat nail art video tutorial by cutepolish that shows the method. For this mani I made decals for the entire middle finger, the skull and crossbones and the eyepatch. I painted each nail with a coat of polish (black under the skull and crossbones, white under the stripes and nude under the patch) and while it was still wet, placed it over the nail and gently smoothed down the edges with a pair of tweezers. The decals that weren't the full size of the nail did have visible edges but they completely disappear once you add topcoat!

So, your end result is a super cool mani that requires no left-handed trickery or holding your hands at awkward angles! Voila! Hope you likey!

FOTD Nov 7/11

This is going to be a very fast FOTD post... the reason for that being that this was my makeup a couple days ago, but I forgot what products I was wearing when I took this photo!! So it's just a quick couple of photos of the look, with no products!

Monday, October 31, 2011

FOTD Oct 31/11

Just a quick face I did today, day off so nowhere really to go but I wanted to do my makeup, so here we are!

  • from the Sephora 5-in-1 palette shades 28 and 27 on the lids, a blend of shades 2 and 7 in the crease, 7 and 8 under the lower lashline
  • UD Sin on the inner corners, UD Virgin on the browbone
  • NYX Fig Round Lipstick
  • MAC Petting Pink Lip Conditioner patted over top
  • Wet n' Wild Color Icon Blush in Pearlescent Pink

Nail Wheel the Fourth

Yeehaw!! Four nail wheels done!! This one has lots of nails inspired by items I found on the Forever 21 website! And my first galaxy nails I've been happy with - I've tried them several times but never liked how they turned out, but I think I finally found the right colour combo and technique!! Hope you like. :) Click to enlarge!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

new nails in the shop!

Finally did a new set of nails for my Etsy :) Earthtoned tribal, I love this one! Wish I had the patience (and left handed skills) to do it on my own nails! Maybe one day ;)

See them in the store!

NOTD Oct 29/11, another (older) NOTD... and a haul!

Got myself a nice little haul this week including two of those amazing Revlon glitters that have been all over the blogs this fall!

 From left to right it's Revlon Facets of Fuchsia, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mint Sorbet (picked up to replace the almost gone Revlon Jaded - they look almost identical in the bottle but I've still got to swatch to see just how close they really are!) Sinful Colors Envy and Revlon Blue Mosaic!

I had to test out one of these beauiful glitters so I did a coat of Rimmel Green With Envy (a shimmery teal green) and then a couple coats of Blue Mosaic over, and got this!

This looks even more amazing in real life - it looks so shiny it's almost glass-like! I'm in love!

I also had a look I somehow missed out on posting on here when I did it last weekend! I had a party to go to that was black tie themed, so I decided to interpret that by painting my nails black tie! I got the tuxedo design from Wah Nails for my index and ring fingers, and then went random for the other nails. I actually really love how the thumbs look, I want to do a redux of this type of design for my whole hand!