Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Watercolor Floral Nails.

For today's manicure I decided to use the acetone watercolor technique for a floral design. I used all neon polishes which balanced nicely with the subtle design.

The polishes I used are Essie Boom Boom Room  (a perfect Barbie pink,) China Glaze Pink Voltage, China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy, and China Glaze Purple Panic.

I don't think the design ended up being quite my style, but I was happy with the results!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Green Saran Wrap Nails.

I first saw the saran wrap technique months ago and I wasn't sure that I wanted to bother giving it a shot. But eventually it grew on me, and worked its way up on my list of manicures to do. 

I decided to try it out for the first time and do a tone on tone green design. The colors I used are American Apparel Office and Essie First Timer.

I certainly appreciated the simplicity of the technique. Do your base color, let it dry, paint a coat of your second color on top and immediately mess it up with some saran wrap. As for how it turned out, I think I like it. It reminds me of a bit of a cross between this tie-dye technique and the watercolor nails. I'd have to say I prefer both of those techniques though, I don't think I'll break this one out much in the future unless I'm very pressed for time!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer Sunrise Nails.

I've had the idea to do a sunrise or sunset design based around a half moon manicure for a while, and after looking at pictures of pink and purple sunrises I had to give it a shot. 

This was a pretty time consuming manicure because there were different elements going on, a few of which required lots of drying time.  The first step of the manicure was painting my nails with Orly Spark, and then I used reinforcements to create the half moons. I created the gradient overtop using China Glaze Shocking Pink, OPI Ate Berries in the Canaries, and China Glaze VIII. The last part of the manicure was creating the sunbeams, which I did using striping tape. This was the part that took the longest, which probably is surprising if you've done a striping tape manicure before.

I don't think the design exactly screams sunrise, but that wasn't really the purpose of the inspiration. They're just fun and bright, and something different than what I've done before.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pizza Nails.

A reader on my facebook page recently asked if I could do a pizza design, and I thought it would be fun to try out. 

I decided I wanted a cartoonish look so I went for bright colors and simple shapes.

The base color for this manicure is OPI Sparrow Me The Drama, and the crust is OPI Don't Pretzel my Buttons. The rest of the design is done with acrylic paints.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ombre Leopard Spot Nails.

When I was deciding on a manicure for today all I knew was that I wanted a fun summer design that incorporated my two new neon polishes, China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy and Turned Up Turquoise.

I ended up deciding to do a design I've had in mind lately, a freehand leopard print where the spots create a gradient.

Flip Flop Fantasy was the base color for the design, and I did the spots using Turned Up Turquoise which I lightened and darkened with white or black polishes to create the gradient. The black polish I used to complete the leopard print was CND Oil Slick.

I love manicures that incorporate ombre or gradients, and I think this is one I'll be trying more!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Born Pretty Holographic Polish Review.

Today I have another product from Born Pretty to review for you, this time it's a silver holographic polish.

There are a bunch of fun color options available, but since a good silver holo was missing from my collection I chose the polish in effect #1. 

The polish bottle is pretty small, it holds 0.2 oz of polish. I found that the brush worked nicely. 

The polish is very sheer, but it is buildable. I was able to get it opaque (in the picture below) but I lost count of how many coats it took. I didn't let this dry, but I imagine it would be quite the time commitment because of how thick it ended up being.

The better option (pictured below) is to do a coat of a silver polish (I used Sally Hansen Silver Sweep) and then a few coats of the holo polish. It's much quicker and ends up looking just as nice.

I don't know a ton about holographic polishes but I thought the holo effect was pretty strong. It looks very pretty in the light. Holos tend to look the best in the sunlight but it was still quite fun to look at inside.

Overall I'm happy to have this polish added to my collection, a bit of holographic polish is an easy way to dress up a manicure!

The polishes are available for $5.59 each and you can get an additional 10% off using my coupon code.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Born Pretty Neon Studs Review.

When I saw that Born Pretty Store had new neon studs I knew I had to try them. I've had good experiences with all of the studs from BPS that I've tried in the past, but this was my first experience with a colored stud. And they're so much fun! They have 11 different color options, the ones I chose were the bright blue (#7) and light lime green (#9.) I also think the neon yellow (#1) is super cool and could make for some awesome summer manicures. (It was sold out when I chose which colors I wanted, but it's in stock now!) 

The studs come in little bags and there are 200 studs in each, plenty to create lots of different designs.

When it came time to put the studs to use, I chose a bright base color (China Glaze Rich & Famous) and went for a random design. As far as application and wear and everything else, these worked just as nicely as any of the other studs I've reviewed in the past.

The only real difference are the colors, which are of course awesome. On the nail I think they give off a kind of candy-esque vibe. You could get more of the colors and do a candy buttons manicure!

The typical metal finish studs create more of a grunge-y look, whereas these are more youthful and fun.

After testing the studs out for this design, I'm sure I'll continue to use them in the summer and spring.

If you want studs of your own, each color is $4.24. And you can get 10% off using the coupon code BRJ61!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Patriotic Explosion Nails.

Last year one of my 4th of July manicures was a freehanded firework design, this year I decided I wanted to use fireworks as my inspiration again, but take a different route. I decided to do a tape manicure and do the explosion design I've been planning to do for quite a while.

The polishes I used were Mary Kay Radiant Red, Sally Hansen Silver Sweep, and OPI Dating A Royal.

This design takes a bit of patience since there is a lot of waiting for layers to dry completely, but besides that it's pretty easy and I love how it turned out!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nail Care Discussion.

I recently checked out the messages I've received on my facebook page and answered a few of the questions I've been sent. 

One of the questions I received asked me about my nail care routine and what products I use on my nails, which I thought would be a good question not just to answer for one person, but to share for all my blog readers! 

I have a fairly simple routine when it comes to my nail care, thankfully my nails are naturally pretty strong and grow fairly fast, so I mostly focus on keeping my cuticles looking nice. 

When I thought about the products I use on my nails, three of the ones I came up with were cuticle products. No matter how nicely your nails are painted, bad cuticles can totally ruin a manicure.

The first product I use is Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover. I used Orly Cutique for a while, which is a stain and cuticle remover, but I like this one better. I'd say I use this once every week or to (and I almost always break it out before doing someone else's nails!) I just put it on my nails, wait around thirty seconds and then push my cuticles back with an orange stick and they look so much nicer right away.

The next product is Burt's Bees Cuticle Cream. This has a really nice lemon scent, and I like to keep it in my purse to put on whenever I notice my nails getting a little dry. It's the perfect size for taking around with you, and it works great.

The last cuticle related product is cuticle oil. This is critical in my nail care! I'm currently working on a giant bottle of it that I got at Sally's Beauty Supply, but I've liked all the ones I've tried about equally. I always put cuticle oil on when I'm completely done with a manicure. I usually clean my nails up with acetone, which of course is terribly drying, and it's very important to counteract that.

The only other product I have to talk about is Seche Retain. You hear a lot about Seche Vite topcoat (which I also love) but I never hear too much about their other products. This is a basecoat and treatment that promises to help keep your nails strong and durable. I often don't use a base when I'm doing nail art, but when I do use a basecoat, it is always this. I can actually notice a different in my nails when I use it, enough so to make my repurchase it multiple times!

Those are all the products I'm using to keep my nails looking and feeling healthy. I did take biotin for three or four months, but I stopped a couple of months ago and haven't decided if I'll start it up again. I had trouble deciding just how much of a difference it made in my nails, and I don't think they feel any weaker now that I've stopped taking it. You can read about what kind of biotin I took and what I thought while I was taking it here and here.

What are the most important products you use to keep your nails healthy?