Friday, 28 December 2012

Snowy days

Hello friends, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and are enjoying your holidays! So we didn't exactly have a white Christmas, but it sure made up for it today. So much snow! It's only the beginning, and I already had a bit of trouble yesterday morning. My mom was driving me to the train station, and she swerved into a snow bank to avoid hitting a car in front of us. We were stuck. Luckily, no one was hurt, and thanks to the kindness of several passerby's that helped us clear the snow and push us out, I was able to make it to work only half an hour late.

While snow definitely adds some difficulty for us commuters, it can still be very pretty! I wanted to do a snowy manicure, and I knew exactly which glitter I wanted to do it with.
The base colour is Essie "Who Is The Boss", and the glitter is OPI "Pirouette My Whistle". It is so delicate and pretty, and simply perfect for a soft, snowflake effect. I painted the rabbit and the fox with acrylic paint.
Sorry about the dry hands. It was freaking freezing when I was taking these pictures - I ran in afterwards to slather cuticle cream and lotion on.
If these guys look familiar to you, it's probably because you've seen them on that cup holding your caramel brûlée latte (mmm yum). I always look forward to Starbucks' holiday drinks and cups, and I love the designs this year. The rabbit and fox are so cute!
Big fox, little fox
On my right hand, I did an accent nail with the Ciaté caviar kit my cousin gave me for my birthday. The silver is "Fit for a Queen", and the pearls are in the colour "Hologram". I didn't sprinkle the pearls on my nail fully, and I love the look so much.
I wore this over Christmas, but after one day, I was ready to take it off, because I couldn't stand having any more pearls falling off. Since I was going to remove it, I thought, why not experiment first and try putting some glitter and topcoat over it? Normally, you're not supposed to apply topcoat, as it'll cause the pearls to lose their colour. So I dabbed some China Glaze "Snow Globe" over top and THIS HAPPENED.
I LOVE this. The glitter over the silver and the pearls is insanely pretty. It looks like ice crystals, and as an added bonus, the pearls are now rock solid. I can go about using my hands without worrying about them falling off. I don't think I'll always get such a nice effect with other colours of pearls, though I'm willing to experiment.

So this turned out to be a really long post, and I need to go to bed. I'll definitely do a full Ciaté caviar post in the future. Hope you enjoyed these!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas plaid and CUTE DOGGIE

Bwah! I'm alive! Between a final exam and getting into a new routine since I started a new job, I haven't had time to do anything nail-related, and I felt so sad about leaving my blog neglected for so long. But I'm back, my friends!

Since my last sparkly Christmas nails, I wanted MORE, and I couldn't get the idea of plaid out of my head, so I put the two together.
I painted a little Scottie on my accent nail because when I think of plaid, I think of Scotties. It reminds me so much of my cousins' Schnauzer, Pizza. He is the sweetest dog ever, and I haven't seen him since I was last in Hong Kong over four years ago. Miss him so much!
Pictures courtesy of my cousin - look at that face

Found a picture of him in plaid - too perfect

All China Glaze polishes this time!

Left to right: China Glaze "I Herd That", "Adventure Red-y", "Velvet Bow", "Kalahari Kiss", "Exotic Encounters"
I started off with two coats of I Herd That as the base. Then I used a thin brush to paint the thick red lines with Adventure Red-y. I painted little squares with Velvet Bow where the thick lines intersected. Then using a really thin striping brush, I painted in the thin lines with Kalahari Kiss first, and finally Exotic Encounters.
Hope you guys enjoyed this post, and a big hello to all you new followers here! Super happy to have you, and thank you for reading!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Sparkly holiday nails with striping tape

After my first try with striping tape, while I liked the look, I was pretty sure I didn't want to subject myself to that experience again any time soon. But somehow, here we are. Whitney at Dressed Up Nails has definitely been an inspiration. She's done fantastic things with striping tape!
I began with two coats of China Glaze Prey Tell. It is the perfect, dark wine red shade that I've been craving. Then I laid down the tape, working one finger at a time, and painted a thick coat of China Glaze Twinkle Lights. It's a beautiful holiday colour, with tiny gold, red, and green glitters. I did my ring finger first as an accent, then my thumb, then ok I'll do my index too so they're kind of alternating, then what the heck, I'll just do my whole hand.
What I learned today: glitter looks best in natural light
I was a bit more adept in laying down the tape this time, but there were a few curse words along the way, and moments of wanting to bite and gnash the tape off with my teeth. BUT I love the end result so much, I'm sure I'll do something like this again. For the sake of my sanity though, I'm going to get thicker striping tape.

Reminder to my friends in Canada and the States to enter my holiday giveaway here!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mixed bag

Today's post is a bit of a mixed bag with several mani's that I felt didn't need their own post, for whatever reason. But they're like my babies; I still love each one of them in their own way.

First up is another Japanese inspired pattern. Kind of. I saw these fishies on the website of a Japanese restaurant, that counts, right? The thumb better represents how the pattern should look, as the fish are too lined up on my other fingers. I think they would go well with my previous wave pattern mani. I even did an accent nail that's supposed to represent waves!
I used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (finally snagged it on clearance!) as the base, the blue is Nails Inc Baker Street, and the grey is American Apparel Factory Grey.
Next up is a combination that looked super pretty in my head and it did look quite pretty in person, but it's a bit flat on camera, as you can't really see how pretty the glitter is. This is OPI My Very First Knockwurst as the base with Revlon Sparkling on top.
Last is another set of galaxy nails! These are very similar to my previous ones, except I reversed the colour scheme (purple and pinks as the main colour, blue and greens as accents), and used some different glitter. This time I used a black striper to paint my "big bang" and it worked out a lot better.
I had fun compiling these different looks together! I'll probably do this more in the future. How did you like this mix of mani's? Don't forget to enter my holiday giveaway!

Giveaway! Puttin' on the Glitz set by China Glaze

A little something to celebrate reaching (now over) 100 subscribers, and to spread some holiday cheer! This Puttin' on the Glitz set includes three full-sized colours from China Glaze's Holiday Joy collection: With Love, Pizzazz, and Cranberry Splash. They're all really great holiday colours!

This giveaway is open to Canada and the U.S., and ends on Dec. 31, 2012. I will email the winner, who will have 48 hours to reply before another is picked.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to all you wonderful readers so far! Starting this blog is definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made, because it lets me interact with this beautiful, talented nail polish community, and I am having an awesometastic time doing it. Love you all! 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

First winter mani!

Nothing says "winter is here", better than snow. I love walking in gently falling snow, I love the clear days right after a huge snowfall, and I love watching it snow while sitting inside, drinking hot chocolate...but if only snow could come without the cold!

I felt like doing something seasonal, so I painted this birch tree, bird, snowy pattern that I found on Shutterstock. It reminds me of something you might find on one of those blank Christmas cards that come in sets of fifty.
Left to right: China Glaze "For Audrey", "Snow Globe", Sally Hansen "Kook-A-Mango", Kleancolor "Mango"
I painted two base coats of For Audrey, and one coat of Snow Globe. You can't tell in these pictures because of the lighting, but the glitter in Snow Globe gives the effect of pretty, twinkly snow. I used white acrylic paint to paint the tree trunks, and went back with For Audrey to paint the tree markings. Then I painted the branches. Last, I  mixed some Kook-A-Mango with Mango for the birdies.
I'd also like to let you dear readers know that I will be holding a GIVEAWAY very soon! Partly to celebrate *almost* reaching 100 subscribers, but mostly just to spread some Christmas and holiday cheer :) Please look forward to that!

Monday, 26 November 2012

And I will eat them in a house. And I will eat them with a mouse.

And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!
I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
-Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Today I have another Dr. Seuss manicure! After my Cat in the Hat nails, I was excited to take on another one of my favourite Dr. Seuss stories.  

Left to right: Sally Hansen "Grass Slipper", "Blue Away", China Glaze "Lemon Fizz", American Apparel "Poppy"

In addition to these, I also used white and black acrylic paint. I love how Dr. Seuss books are illustrated in mostly primary colours. Simple is good! I painted two coats of my base colours first, used a thin brush to draw the outlines in black, and then filled them in with colour afterwards.  
Do I get the red glove thumbs up of approval? I am super happy with these, so I hope you like them! Let me know if you'd like to see any other Dr. Seuss mani's!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Jelly sandwich experiments turned dupe for Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light

I've been wondering what flakies would look like in a jelly sandwich, so I pulled several colours to see which I would like best. I put one coat of Essie Shine of the Times over two coats of each colour. I love how fiery the flakies look over the darker colours! When put over light colours, they give a subtle, opalescent effect.

Left to right: American Apparel "Summerland Beach", "Moonlight Beach", OPI "Don't Touch My Tutu", "Too Hot Pink To Hold 'Em", American Apparel "Pacific Beach"
When I went to put another layer of colour over the flakies, I saw that the Moonlight Beach sandwich  looks really, really similar to Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light! Ray of Light might be a tad deeper, but it's still pretty darn close. I was so amazed, I did a full mani of it.
I realize that if you were to buy both colours, the price would not be far from a bottle of Deborah Lippmann polish, but it's another option for people who might already own flakies, or can't get their hands on Ray of Light!