Monday, May 28, 2012

Holographic Caviar! YES!

This has definitely been a favorite manicure of my friends and co-workers (and my students!)! First of all, who doesn't love a good holographic polish?! Nubar Reclaim is gorgeous! Also, caviar manicures have been sweeping blogs and Pinterest for awhile now, though I like to think I was one of the originals to try it! :) Hahaha! I bought my microbeads at Michaels last year and I used them many times before I began blogging. The brand on the beads is Recollections, but I know Martha Stewart has some there, too! For this manicure, I mixed some green and silver beads together in a little ramekin. Everyone has different ways of applying microbeads. If you want to avoid having to put a top coat on them, you'll need to use nail glue on your nail before you roll your nail in the microbeads. As it so happens, I avoid using nail glue at all costs. Therefore, I subscribe to the top coat version. However, I did take a picture before I applied the top coat, so you could see what it looked liked before (the first picture). Top coat does change how it looks! I polished my nails with Reclaim, then when I applied a top coat, I quickly rolled my accent nail in the microbeads. I let it dry, then gently rubbed off the extra beads. I then used Seche Vite, which is thick enough that application was no trouble at all. The microbeads usually last three to four days, but I usually end up picking at them before that! :) The only annoying part about this manicure is that I kept forgetting to take pictures with my good camera during the day! I ended up taking both with my phone; one at night with flash and one in the car in direct sunlight.  Enjoy!

Holographic Caviar Nails


Nubar Reclaim

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Glitter Gradient

Sorry I haven't posted for a couple of weeks...my summer classes just started back up and I've been busy getting back into that groove! Anyways, here's my most recent manicure...a glitter gradient. These look much harder than they actually are. Sadly, using a sponge doesn't work like it does with the gradient I posted last time because the glitter just sticks to the sponge! The best part about this manicure was that I got to use my Zoya namesake! YAY! To achieve this look, I polished three coats of Zoya Heather and allowed it dry for as long as possible. Then I used China Glaze Prism from their amazing Prismatic collection! I polished the tips like I was going to make them glitter french tips. Then, I went back through and just polished from the tip backward until it looked how I wanted it to! Capturing glitter on camera is harder than most other polishes, so forgive my pictures. These were taken indoors, without flash, on a sunny day! Enjoy!

Zoya Heather

Glitter Gradient

Zoya Heather

Glitter Gradient

Monday, May 14, 2012

Easy Gradient Awesomeness

I've been thinking about doing a gradient manicure for a while, but the perfectionist in me wouldn't allow it. I'd tried free-hand gradients before, with terrible results. Enter: make-up sponge! Talk about a game changer, a sponge makes the world of difference. I'm sure you'll see many ways to do a gradient using a sponge, but I think this is the easiest way! Blending the colors is practically fool-proof and this manicure took me no time at all! I also wanted a spring/summery feel to my nails, so I used China Glaze Lemon Fizz and China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy. I know, I was shocked I took a break from my Zoya kick, too! (Although, I own very few Zoya creme's...hehehe!) Anyways, here's how to create a gorgeous gradient manicure:

Start with your lightest color. I polished two coats of Lemon Fizz (after Chip Skip and a base coat):

China Glaze Lemon Fizz

Then, polish your make-up sponge with your light color on one side and your darker color on the other. Make sure they touch or overlap just a little so the colors can blend to avoid having an obvious line where one color ends and the other begins. This is where I began using Flip Flop Fantasy. I used the same sponge for my entire manicure, but you may need more if the polish begins eating away at your sponge!

Gradient Manicure

Then, start at one side of your nail and just roll the sponge over your nail. I rolled it three or four times. The more you roll it, the more blended the colors become. I also used some dabbing action every once in a while. 

Gradient How To


Gradient Tutorial

Yes, you will have polish on your skin. Yes, the clean-up on this manicure is the only annoying, time consuming part of doing this. And I still couldn't clean them up as well as I usually do! UGH! Here are my nails, before clean-up! 

Gradient Manicure

Polish on a top coat (I used Seche Vite this time), which will blend the colors even more, and viola, gorgeous awesomeness! This is, by far, one of my most complimented manicures! Even some men at work complimented me on it! Many people have told me it looks like a sunrise or sunset, or a tequila sunrise! No matter what, it looks amazing and it's very eye-catching with the colors I used! I took these photos inside on a cloudy, rainy Florida afternoon (without flash)! Enjoy! :)

Gradient Manicure

Gradient Manicure

Gradient Manicure

Gradient Manicure


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Jelly Sandwich

Jelly Sandwich manicures are a new type of mani that I've heard about. Having just received the Birchbox Blogger Trio, I couldn't resist putting one of my new jellies to the test in the form of a Jelly Sandwich. I've also begun polishing the tips of my nails before I polish them completely. I'm not sure if there's a technical name for this, but I've been calling it "tip sealing". I just polish the very tips of my nail to help keep chipping to a minimum. Anyways, here's what my tip sealing looks like:

Tip Wrap Nails

The Jelly Sandwich is when you "sandwich" glitter between layers of jelly polish. For this, I used Zoya Kate, which is a grapefruity color. It looks really red in the pictures, but it really doesn't seem that red in person. The best true-to-color picture I got was the last one below, taken with my phone. After the compulsory Chip Skip and base coat, I polished two coats of Kate, one coat of Essie Set in Stones, and then one more coat of Kate. Of course, I finished it off with a top coat. I LOVE how the glitter looks, but then again, I'm a huge fan of matte-ified glitter, too. These pictures were taken indoors on a partly cloudy day, without flash.

Zoya Kate Birchbox


Zoya Kate Birchbox Jelly Sandwich

Essie Set in Stones

Essie Set in Stones Jelly Sandwich

Jelly Sandwich Nails

Also, my favorite part of this manicure was the staying power. This is what my nails looked like one week after I polished them! No touch ups AT ALL! Minimal tip wear and no chips! I only took it off because I was itching to change my nail polish! 

Jelly Sandwich Nails

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Zoya Carly & Zoya Zuza

Zoya Carly and Zoya Zuza are definitely on my list of favorite polishes! They're from the Zoya Surf Collection and I got them through the Earth Day Promo Zoya had. They are both gorgeous foils! I love these two colors together so I decide on this manicure to combine them. I polished my accent nail with two coats of Zuza and I let it dry completely. I polished my other nails with Carly while I waited for Zuza to dry. I then cut a piece of tape into thirds and stuck it to my palm twice. Then, I stuck it to my accent nail and pushed it down so it didn't have any bubbles. One coat of Carly went on top and then I pulled the tape off immediately. Here's what I ended up with! I used two coats of Carly on all of my nails except the accent nail, which was one coat. Carly could have been opaque in one coat, but polishing with only one coat makes me nervous for some reason! :) These were taken indoors without flash on a partly cloudy day!

Zoya Carly

Zoya Carly

Zoya Carly

Zoya Carly

Zoya Zuza

Zoya Zuza


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Essie Smooth Sailing and Zoya Kimmy

I know I've mentioned this to the endlessness that is the internet, but I'm a third grade teacher in Florida, which has a very important standardized test during April. Therefore, my life has been all but consumed with the FCAT for the past month. Additionally, I just finished my Spring semester of grad school. And those are my pathetic excuses for why I haven't been posting my manicures! However, I have been saving them up! I have two today and another one ready to go for later this week! For the first one, I used some of my Essie collection. My Essie polishes pale in comparison to my other favorite brands (Zoya, OPI, China Glaze). I just don't have very many colored Essies. I use her top coats and base coats for every single mani I do, but her colors have never really struck my fancy. Around Christmas, I bought the mini Summer set of Essie polish on clearance at Ulta. I recently began swatching my polish onto clear nails that a salon would have. I don't know how to explain them...apparently I need to take a picture. Anyways, having all of my colors swatched and ready to go makes it easier to "take my collection with me." When I swatched Essie Smooth Sailing, I knew I needed a full-sized bottle (Hello, Amazon!). I also received an Essie Set in Stones in my Birchbox in March, which I also used for this manicure! I got a lot of compliments on the color of Smooth Sailing. It's a periwinkle with purple undertones. It also shimmers subtly. I used two coats of Smooth Sailing, and two coats of Set in Stones on my accent nail. I tried to get different angles of Set in Stones. And I added the last one just because I love the glint I got off of the glitter! These pictures were all take indoors in sunlight. 

Essie Smooth Sailing

Essie Smooth Sailing

Essie Smooth Sailing

Essie Smooth Sailing

Zoya has been my newest obsession. I LOVE THEIR POLISH. It's an addiction (ha, like I didn't already have a polish issue before!). I recently purchased the Sunshine Collection for 50% off through a Good Morning America promo. Sunshine is a gorgeous collection of colors with gold undertones. Kimmy was one of those polishes. She's a beautiful red with the aforementioned gold undertones. And it doesn't hurt that one of my dearest friends is named Kimberli! :) For my accent nail (can you tell I love a good accent nail?!), I used OPI Your Royal Shine-ness (YRS). I polished my whole accent nail in two coats of YRS and let it dry completely. Luckily, it dries fast. I think I waited 30 minutes for good measure. Whenever I'm using tape, I get paranoid that my polish will peel, which means a whole nail has to be redone. I polished my other nails with Kimmy while I waited. Whenever I use tape, I stick it to my palm twice to make it less sticky. Then, I stuck the tape halfway across my nail diagonally, over the part that I wanted to remain silver. I then polished Kimmy and pulled the tape off immediately. When using tape, I try to paint the final color in one coat because the tape needs to be peeled off immediately to avoid pulling, so sometimes I use a thicker coat of polish to ensure full coverage. Finally, I used my dotting tool to add some Kimmy dots along the polish line. Two coats of Kimmy are on each nail. The pictures were taken indoors on a partly cloudy day.

Zoya Kimmy

Zoya Kimmy

Zoya Kimmy

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