Saturday, September 29, 2012

NOTD Sep 29/12 - intricate floral on periwinkle

This one was kind of hard to think of a name for! Intricate floral on periwinkle? Sure, I guess that works!

This is another design based on a vintage fabric pattern. I painted it on a set of falsies this time, and I really love how they turned out! I think this pattern is so beautiful! It's roses, leaves and vines and also some little blue flowers interspersed!

 There are many colours involved here, so if you are curious about any particular one feel free to ask in the comments! I will say that the background colour is Revlon Dreamer!

Friday, September 28, 2012

FOTD Sep 28/12 - no eyeshadow and darker hair!

This is a look I pretty much NEVER go with, but it was born of necessity this time! I have no idea why but recently my eyelids have been really dry and irritated, which is something that has never happened to me. I don't know why it's happening but I'm trying to keep from irritating them further, so when I did this look (actually yesterday) I tried to do a look that didn't have any eyeshadow. Well, that's not entirely true - I did a tiny bit of shadow just along the lashline on the outer corners for a bit of definition. But nothing on the lids themselves!

Since I'm not used to going without shadow, it was a bit of an experiment for me! I decided to balance out the lack of eyeshadow with extra mascara, bright blush and pinky nude lips.

And as you can also see, my hair is back to darker! I was overdue for a re-dye!

I styled my hair by twisting the hair back and pulling more hair into the twist as I went back, and then pinning it on the back of my head. And then lots of hairspray and pins to keep the shorter bits from falling out!

There were a couple new elements in my makeup too, besides the lack of eyeshadow on the lids! I finally decided to try out another mascara, after only using Cover Girl Lashblast waterproof for the past few years! I picked up Essence Get Big! Lashes in Waterproof... and I'm glad I did! Although it's not replacing my CG Lashblast (I still love it the best!) I like it for layering. I've found to get a ton of volume on lashes you want to layer two different kinds, one coat after another. I did that with the CG and the Essence mascaras and was able to get a lot more volume.

Also new was a kind of lipstick hack I did. Last year I bought Wet n' Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Just Peachy (903C) and I loooved the colour but found that the matte finish just didn't work on me. My lips are very dry and tend to get really flaky, very quickly. So matte is not an option for me. But I didn't want to lose that awesome colour! So I bought some little plastic pop-top containers from the dollar store, and created a gloss out of it instead! I mixed the lipstick, some Vaseline, and a bit of two kinds of lip gloss (one more pink and one more nude-peach) together and created what I'm wearing on my lips! It's got a glossy finish but a really opaque colour because the lipstick was such an opaque shade. I love it!!

I also wore two bright pinky blushes here, a cream with a powder layered on top.

Have you ever had to change up your usual makeup routine or try something totally different unexpectedly? How did you adapt, and what did you have to do?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NOTD Sep 26/12 - owls

Sort of a fall inspired design, some cute little owls! I created these using those paper sticker hole reinforcements and I have to say, not a technique I'm eager to try again. Everyone raves about those but they just do not work well for me... I think my nail bed is a little too curved or something, because they stick fine to the middle of my nail but lift away from the sides and then the polish just bleeds under. I tried so many ways and it's literally impossible to make them lay flat on my nail bed. I had to go back and correct most of them with a brush! Too bad too, in theory I like the idea but on my nails it just doesn't wanna happen!

The brown shade is Revlon Stormy, the pale dove grey is Revlon Cloud, and the beaks and feet are OPI The "It" Color. And of course there's black and white which don't really need mentions.

 Regardless of issues with the hole reinforcements, I love how these little cuties turned out! I was inspired by some cute owl artwork I'd seen in a craft pin in Pinterest. Which, by the way, is my new obsession. I know I'm a little late on that train but whatever, I let all the good stuff build up on there before I got into it! I've been pinning tons of recipes, a few of which I've made. And also lots of decorating and DIY stuff... I started decorating my place for Halloween much earlier than usual and so far I'm loving it!

This is my mantle... mini and peewee pumpkins painted with black and white acrylic paint, some pinecones, candles (cinnamon scented!) and little cutout ghosts and "Boo!" signs! And of course and awesome DIY bat garland. Love it! I want to do a bit more with this but it's a good start!

Bat, owl and skull cutouts over the couch! I also want to add something else here, maybe some ghosts in between.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

NOTD Sep 22/12 - hearts and roses

This design is from an upcoming nail wheel I'm working on, which is all more complex patterns to challenge myself a bit. A lot of them, including this one, are based on vintage patterned fabrics I found online! I loved this pattern with roses and rosebuds and cute little hearts interspersed among them!

I made these using the DIY nail decal tutorial I made, which is a pretty fun technique if you've never tried it! Perfect for designs like this that are difficult to paint on your own hand, especially with your non-dominant hand.

There were many colours used in this design (the white, two greens, four to five pinks or something like that) so if you really are dying of curiousity about what any of them are, feel free to leave a comment and let me know! Otherwise I'm going to go the lazy, tired route and just leave that part out for today! LOL! Hope you like this design, thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

NOTD Sep 20/12 - apples!

I wanted something really cute and simple this time - I had started another design but it just was not turning out so I started over and didn't want to do something else time-intensive! I hadn't checked out anything on the CutePolish channel on YouTube in a while, so I looked at it and she had posted this adorable apple manicure about a month ago! I thought it was so sweet so I decided to replicate it!

I followed all the steps in the video, using Wet n' Wild Wild Shine in Red Red, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Green With Envy, and Cherimoya Melon for the apples. I used Revlon Chocolate Truffle for the stems and Sinful Colors Envy for the leaves. She didn't include this in her tutorial, but I added some white reflection marks on the apples to make them look really shiny and juicy! I love these, they're so cute to look at! I haven't done a "fancy tips" style manicure probably since I did a Hello Kitty mani around a year ago!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NOTD Sep 18/12 - matte mixed

I always feel like I'm never doing enough matte manis! I love the way they look and I really love the way they feel (so soft!) but I never seem to make them happen. I especially like how glitter looks mattified but I didn't want to do an all-glitter matte mani because that's all I've ever done with the texture before. So I went for a mixed mani with glitter incorporated for this one!

I painted my ring finger with Revlon Impulsive, and the rest with Revlon Dreamer. I painted Milani One Coat Glitter in Lavender Fizz on my ring finger. Then I used Impulsive to paint on the dots and stripes on the blue nails (I alternated on my other hand, so the dots were on the thumb and so on), then I added highlights of the glitter on each nail as well, and then mattified with GOSH Matt Effect top coat!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

NOTD Sep 15/12 - vertical dots and glitter tips!

Sometimes I get a random idea for an abstract nail design that I haven't seen anywhere (to my knowledge anyways, if this design has already been done by someone, I either haven't seen it or I have but it went straight to my subconscious mind). When I do, they either turn out NOTHING like what I pictured in my head, or really cool. In this case, I think it falls into the really cool category!

The design itself is simple. Vertical dots on the nails, in alternating colours, with different sized dots and different length rows. And then glitter on the tips. I wouldn't mind trying out other colour combos, but I love how this looks the first time around!

 The blue dots are Nicole by OPI in "Baby" Blue, the pink dots are Revlon Pink Lingerie, and the silver glitter is LA Girl Glitter Addict in Explosion.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NOTD Sep 12/12 - peachy pink and gold glitter gradient

I just got all those glitters in from my Cherry Culture order, and it had been so long since I did one of my favourites, a glitter gradient!

First was a couple coats of LA Girl Nude Polish in Dainty, then I sponged on Sally Hansen
CSM in Gilty Pleasure
to start the gradient. I topped that with a sponging of LA Girl Rock Star in Live On Stage, and I had planned to stop there but it didn't quite look finished to me, so I added a thin coat of Milani Jewel FX in Gold over the tips and spilling down into the other part of the gradient and then it was perfect!

I've been lemming the Jewel FX for aages, so glad I finally got my hands on it!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Halloween and femininity, new at my Etsy!

I've completed two new sets for my Etsy shop that are up for sale as of today! One is based on a manicure I wore last month which I really loved. I tweaked it a little bit and I'm so happy with it, I think the gradients were a great touch!

The second set is ready just in time for Halloween!! It's pretty cute if I don't say so myself :p I love the little candy corns on the pinky, and I'm really happy how the jack o' lanterns turned out too!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

NOTD Sep 8/12 - pastel yellow and vines

This is a girly and pretty design that I saw on a nail wheel done by Look At Her Nails! and just loved! Mine isn't quite so delicate as hers but I still like how it turned out very much!

I started with a couple coats of NYX Salon Polish in Pastel Yellow, which you may have noticed in my haul post yesterday! Then I used a medium striper brush to paint on the little vines, dots and leaves and such in Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear's White On.

Friday, September 07, 2012

September haul!

I recently received an order I placed with Cherry Culture for a whole bunch of nail polishes, all glitter except for one! One was a repurchase and the rest are brand new!

Top row L-R: LA Girl Rock Star in Double Platinum, Milani One Coat Glitter in Lavender Fizz, NYX Salon Polish in Pastel Yellow, Milani Jewel FX in Gold, LA Girl Rock Star in Live On Stage

Bottom row L-R: LA Girl Glitter Addict in Animate, LA Girl Glitter Addict in Uninhibited, LA Girl Glitter Addict in Purge, LA Girl Glitter Addict in Explosion.

These are my first two Milani polishes ever, very excited to try them out since I've heard great things about both of these polishes!!

Etsy newness - studs, skulls & chains nail art

Brand new design in my Etsy shop today! Based on two different designs I'd done on nail wheels which I realized would work well together for one set! Love how these look, and I hope you all like them too! :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Nail Wheel the Eleventh

It's been a bit of time since I last showcased a completed nail wheel on here! I have all of them up in my custom listings on my Etsy shop if you're interested in seeing all of them, and here is the newest completed one! I think soon I will do a post consolidating all of them in one place!

Monday, September 03, 2012

FOTD Sep 3/12 - NYX One Night in Morocco warm smokey evening look

Technically, this is only an eye of the day, but that's my favourite part anyways! :)

The first two looks I did with the NYX One Night in Morocco palette were more daytime looks (see here and here), but this palette is also great for creating darker, more nighttime appropriate looks too! I went for a warm, brown toned one this time, but with this palette you can also lean towards the cool greys and even one that's mostly in the taupe family. I'll post evening looks with those colour families some time in the future as well!

This look used no eyeliner and no false lashes, but you could amp up the drama a lot more by using one or both of those with this look. I really liked how it ended up looking without both though, so I stuck to just the shadows and mascara for this one (with the obligatory tightliner).

Here's a breakdown of what shades I used where.

First I applied e to the inner half of the lid, bringing it down to the inner corner and also applying it on the browbone. Then I added a bit of a to the browbone and inner corner to lighten it up even more. I applied g into the crease all the way to the inner corner, keeping it distinct from the lid colour, and also blended it onto the outer half of the lid, fading it into e in the middle. I used g again to smudge under the lower lashline, from outer corner to just before the tear duct. I used d to blend out the crease colour up into the browbone, and smudge out the lower lashline a little more. I used a teeny bit of h to bridge the gap between the lower lashline colour and the highlight on the inner corner. Last but not least, I deepened the outer V area of the eye with f, blending it out well.

Hope you liked this look! If you haven't already, this is a great palette to get - lots of versatility for anyone who likes neutrals!

ALSO - weird side note, but I'm blown away by what a difference lighting makes to colour... you can see in most of the pictures I post that I take them outdoors, and my eye colour comes out as really green. In real life it's a little less vivid, more brown toned - a true hazel eye. But in these indoor pics, my eyes look totally different, almost with an earthy teal colour to them! Not at all what they look like in real life but kinda cool eh?

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Review/NOTD Sep 2/12 - Lush Lacquer's Salt n' Peppa over gradient

I went back and forth in my mind a lot about what to wear under this polish! Since it's a black and white glitter you can wear pretty much anything with it, so it was hard to narrow it down! I thought about some shades, then I thought about doing a different colour on each finger. Then it was a matter of whether to do brights, pastels or ombre from thumb to pinky. I had settled on a selection of colours for each nail, but as I sat down and was about to do it, it hit me that I hadn't done a gradient in a while! So I picked out two of the shades I was going to use and gradient-ized them instead!

I had kind of forgotten the power of a gradient to really give impact to a design and make it look more interesting with minimal effort. I've tried different techniques, but my favourite is still the most basic - paint your nails with the bottom colour (the one closest to your cuticle) and then sponge on the upper colour(s) with a makeup sponge. I also like to go back with the bottom colour to sponge in the middle and blur the line a little better, and then paint a little bit of the tip colour with the brush from the bottle right on the ends to make sure the colour is really opaque there.

Then I topped it off with a coat of my second fantastic shade from Lush Lacquer, Salt n' Peppa! It's an awesome black and white glitter topcoat with all kinds of shapes - bar, hex, square, even vaguely rectangular ones. And there's also some iridescent silvery microglitter tossed in there too, so this has a nice sparkle to it as well as being very graphic and bold looking! It's nice and full of glitter
 just like Mr.Bubble, also no need to fish around for glitter. I did 1.5 to 2 coats anyways to get the coverage I like. The base is not quite as thick as Mr.Bubble too, which is nice.

Colours used for the gradient are Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Lacey Lilac and Barielle in Blossom.

FOTD Sep 2/12 - soft and warm, Victoria's Secret inspired

Soft and warm... mmmm does that ever make me want to curl up in bed with my soft and warm blanket for some TV or reading! You may think this sounds like me looking forward to fall, but I really like that kind of thing year round! :p

This eye is kind of inspired by that classic "Victoria's Secret" style eye you see various incarnations of. Appropriate for day but slightly smoky, warm toned with hints of shimmer. Very subtly sexy and easy to do. Eyeliner optional (but I rarely go without) so it's also quicker than it seems.

This look would also be great with nude lips. I'm wearing gloss but my lips are naturally pigmented really pink. MAC Lip Erase has been on my wishlist for years! LOL!

 I started with blending a warm medium matte brown shade into my crease and down under my lower lashline (Urban Decay's Buck). Then I took a warm, shimmery medium pink with brown tones (Urban Decay's Toasted) and blended it on the outer half of my lids. Then I added a slightly lighter shimmery taupe shade with strong gold tones in it - I wanted an effect that wasn't bright gold but wasn't the greyer side of taupe either (Essence Eyeshadow in Party All Night). I also pulled this colour down to the lower lashline to blend out Buck a little more and add a little shimmer. Then I used a pale shimmery nude beige for the highlights on the inner corners and on the browbone! (Urban Decay's Virgin). I pressed a dark brown eyeliner close to the lashline, thickening it and winging it out just a teensy bit at the outer corners. I intentionally made the liner thinner than I normally do for this look.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Review: Neo Hair Tools Twister Curling Iron 25/32 mm

I learned the hard way over the years that when it comes to heat styling tools for your hair, it pays to pay. Meaning: cheap hair tools suck.

I'm a HUGE fan of saving money where possible and getting a lot out of a cheap item, but all my experience with heat tools showed me that even the priciest curling iron or flatiron from the drugstore would barely curl my hair, and even if I unloaded half a can of hairspray on it, and then tried my best not to touch it, it would all flatten out and straighten within an hour or so. If I was lucky.

After noticing how much better the style would stay after a hair stylist in a salon did my hair, with presumably far superior tools than my cheapy $40 Revlon curling iron, I decided it was time to invest a bit. So first, last year, I bought my first "big girl" flatiron. It's a Sephora Collection Tourmaline Flatiron, hot pink, and it set me back about $60-$65 or so. Still not expensive really, but WOW what a difference! The girl at the store warned me that this wasn't the greatest hair straightener they had (appreciated her honesty!) but I knew even the cheapest one there would work for my almost straight hair anyways. And boy, did it! The difference was night and day! I can see this not working for girls with wavier hair than me, but if your hair is mostly straight anyways, this is all you need!

So next on my wishlist was a proper curling iron. I am the biggest sucker for that Victoria's Secret, big loose curls, bombshell look. But damned if I could get that going on with my cheap curling irons. If I managed to make anything even approximating that look, it collapsed within hours. But then, as luck would have it, HauteLook had an awesome sale...

I picked out the Neo Hair Tools Twister Curling Iron 25/32 mm. It's a clampless iron (essential for creating big, loose wavy curls as opposed to ringlets) that tapers a bit at the tip. The iron is normally $280, but thanks to HauteLook I got it for the amazing price of $49! I know I sound like an infomercial, but seriously, that's good. Also, it comes with a handy glove to protect your hands from the heat. But I don't like wearing those, so I burned my hand several times! Hehehe, oops....

It arrived a couple days ago, and when I tested it out, once again, I was floored at the difference between it and cheaper models. It curled faster, and it held WAY longer. And I used far less hairspray than I normally would. I even slept in my curls, and woke up with them still looking quite formed and defined, maybe a couple rumpled spots where it needs a touch-up but still obviously curly - never happened before, usually sleeping in curled hair=waking up with straight hair again for me!

There were some cons about this iron though, which you may want to know about. For one thing, there is no dial to adjust the temperature. It doesn't bother me since I usually don't anyways, but it's worth knowing.

 Also, you have be careful because for some strange reason, there is no indicator light to show that it's on. You can look at the on/off switch of course, but just being able to quickly glance to see if there's a light on would be an easy feature for them to have added. Other than that, I really love it and can see myself curling my hair a LOT more now! Whoooop!!