Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Collection in Swatches # 2

Happy Wednesday! As promised, I have swatches of my collection for you today, specifically yellows and greens. Actually, when I break it down I only have 1 yellow. I have used another as a yellow orange before, but standing it alone today I realized it really belongs with the oranges, so I'm saving it for that post. Be warned that this is another picture-heavy posting.

Up first is my 1 lonely little yellow, LOL. This is Sinful Colors 1442 'Yellow Spotted'. Just looking at the bottle you get the impression of a bright, sunny shade. The pictures here are 5 coats with no topcoat. This is still not fully opaque, but I didn't want to keep layering because the polish was getting gloopy. The formula was nice for 2 or 3 coats so I would suggest layering this over white or something.
 It does have a gorgeous shimmery finish. As far as the color it really is a beautiful spring or summer shade. I am not a huge fan of yellow myself so I probably wouldn't wear it alone, but I love what it brings to a fun water marble design.

My second offering brings us into the green family. This is Sinful Colors 944 'Innocent'. I don't think I could say enough good things about the formula of this polish, it really was that good. And, it was a one-coater! In my experience, most lighter colors need 2-3 coats for full opacity, but not this one. I will say though that these pictures are 1 thick coat, no topcoat, so if you prefer thin layers of polish, you may need 2.
 Another beautiful Spring or Summer shade and this one I would wear on its own. It has a gorgeous cream finish and no streak-y-ness :-)

The next polish also comes from Sinful Colors, # 946 'Happy Ending'. This color reminds me of leprechauns and pots 'o gold! The pictures here are 3 coats, again no top coat.
 The formula was nice and thin. It does need the 3 coats because I found that 2 left it a bit patchy-looking. There is a subtle shimmer to this polish as well. Overall, I really like it.

Last, but actually my favorite of the bunch is Sinful Colors 1398 'Pine Away'. The pictures are 2 coats, no topcoat. The formula was perfect and very easy to apply.
 You can see on the bottle pic that there is a silver shimmer running through the polish. The effect that has on this beautiful, Christmas-green color is an almost foil-like appearance. However, unlike an actual foil polish, it doesn't show the brush strokes and unlike foils applied with glue, a topcoat won't wrinkle and destroy the shine. I heart this polish!

That's all for today! Let me know which one was your favorite down in the comments. Thanks for stopping by :-)

P.S. I will be out of town celebrating a belated Christmas and New Year's with my extended family so there will no new posts until next Wednesday. Stay safe this New Year's Eve and I'll see you in 2015!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Collection in Swatches # 1

Hey Y'all! You might remember in my last post I mentioned being fairly busy til after the New Year, but I don't want to neglect my blog either. So, I looked through my list of blogging ideas and decided now is the perfect time to show off my polish collection swatches! I have a video on YouTube that shows off the collection as it sits prettily on my wall shelf, but I had some requests for swatches. I think the best way to do that is going to be by color family. Today we will look at grey polishes.

First up is #330 'Grey Area' from Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear line. These pictures are 3 coats + topcoat.
No flash

With Flash

No Flash
This is a warm grey cream polish with a hint of brown. The formula is very nice and smooth. It did need 3 coats to avoid streaking, but that could have been poor application on my part.

Number 2 is also from Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear, #310 'Gunmetal'. This is one of my favorite in my whole collection. It is pictured with 2 coats and topcoat.

This slightly blue tinted grey has a lovely soft shimmer finish. The first coat goes on very sheer and you think you will need 3-4 coats, but it is fully opaque in 2, which was a nice surprise when I first starting using it.

Next is another favorite of mine (can you tell I really like darker colors?) and is also Sally Hansen. This is from the Insta-Dri collection, #300 'Grease Lightening'. Pictures are 2 coats with a top coat.

This is a beautiful dark grey creme with a satin finish. The formula is magic! The only downside, in my opinion, is the brush. All of the Insta-Dri polishes have a wide, flat brush that I just don't care for but maybe I just need practice.

Last but not least is NYC's Long Wearing Enamel # 145 'Rock the Party!'. This is a beautiful shade, in the bottle at least. But I was very disappointed actually using it. This polish is so sheer I'm not sure you could ever achieve opacity without layering it over another color. The pictures are with 5 coats plus a topcoat and you can still see visible nail lines.

This polish does have 2 nice qualities despite of the lack of opacity. First is the dual iridescence. It looks grey in some light, green in other lights, and even purplish at the right angle. Second thing I really like is the nice shimmer finish. I am going to have to try layering this over another grey or black to see if that resolves the opacity problem without losing the iridescence.

That is all my grey polishes. Next will be green and yellows so come back on Wednesday to see those! Thanks for reading and have a Happy Monday!

Friday, December 26, 2014

It's a Quickie!

Hi Everyone! I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas! I had a wonderful, quiet Christmas with my hubby and brother-in-love. We'll be spending New Year's out of town with the rest of my family and I'm super excited! Of course, that means I also have a ton of things to get done before then and between that and Christmas I did not have time for a long, involved manicure. But I wanted to do something quick, easy, and fun!

I used Sinful Colors 'Clear Coat', Sally Hansen Magnetic 'Graphite Gravity', and Sinful Colors 'Let Me Go'. I also used black micro-bar glitter. I started with my base coat and then a single coat of the magnetic polish on each nail except the accent nails. On the accent nail, I used 4 coats of the 'Let Me Go' which is a really soft, iridescent polish with a purple tint. It still wasn't completely opaque after 4 coats, but since I was putting glitter over it, it was enough for what I wanted.

Then I applied another coat of the magnetic, one nail at a time and used the magnet. Now I have a confession to make here. There will be a full video review going up to my YouTube channel after the holidays, but I purchased 2 magnets from the Born Pretty Store that were supposed to give my magnet polish a different shaped effect than the magnet that came with it. One was star-burst shaped and the other was chevrons. I tried both of these new magnets several times, but they just did NOT work. I got either NO movement of the polish or extremely little. I finally just gave up and went back to my original magnet, which worked like a charm.

Then I put some of the bar glitter (which were matte glitter, by the way) on a piece of parchment paper and added a few drops of the 'Clear Coat' from Sinful Colors. I used that as the glitter coat on my accent nails. Then I covered everything with a coat of Seche Vite and voila! Quick and easy, but pretty manicure!

Sorry for the messy look. I had smudged the polish and had to reapply. Since I was in a hurry, I forgot the clean up :-(

As always, thanks for reading and I'll see you soon! Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Nails!!



Merry Christmas, Dear Readers! Now, I know not every faith celebrates Christmas and my intention is not to offend anyone. However, since I am writing this blog, I am greeting you with an appropriate greeting to my faith. That being said, I wish all of you reading best wishes and good cheer for whatever holiday you choose (or don't choose) to celebrate! This is the look I created for my Christmas Eve manicure! 

 From left to right, the colors I used are pictured above: Sinful Colors 'No Text Red', Sinful Colors 'Pine Away', Kleancolor 'Pearl Silver', Konad Special White Stamping Polish, and Kleancolor 'Silver Glitter'. I also used 2 stamping plates: Bundle Monster 014 and Winstonia W222.

I began with a thin coat of Elmer's glue on both thumbs and pinkies, since I knew I wanted glitter on those nails and the glue is supposed to act like a peel-off basecoat. This is my first time trying this so I will let you know how it worked out! Then I applied my regular basecoat as normal. I painted both pinkies, middles fingers, and thumbs with 2 coats of Kleancolor 'Pearl Silver'. Both  index fingers and ring fingers received 2 coats of the Sinful Colors 'Pine Away'. I gave it about 7 minutes to start drying and then applied a thin coat of Seche Vite fast dry top coat.

Then using the Winstonia plate and the Konad special white, I stamped the cute mitten design over the green polish. I had intended to put a christmas tree from the same stamping plate on my middle fingers, but I tried for about 5 minutes and just could not get my stamper to pick up that image (I tried a few different polishes and 3 different stampers too!). So I used the Bundle Monster plate and the holly 'n berries image instead and I like the way it came out! I stamped the whole image in the green and the used a small dotting tool and Sinful Colors 'No Text Red' to go over the berries. So cute!

Then I used 2 coats of the Kleancolor Silver Glitter over the thumbs and pinkies. Finally I sealed everything in with a generous coat of Seche Vite.

Left Hand

Right Hand

While the colors of this manicure may not be quite as 'eye-catching' as my red and gold look, I think the green is a perfect color for Christmas Eve. I hope you enjoyed this look as much as I enjoyed coming up with it and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with family and friends!


Monday, December 22, 2014

I'm back! And with a new holiday design!

Hello My Lovelies! I have missed you! I did get a lot of knitting done though. Unfortunately, I did not manage to get all my Christmas knitting finished, but I still have a couple days to try!

There are a few color combinations that I think just shout Christmas: red and green, blue and silver, red and gold, and green and white. What I have for you today is a lovely Christmas design done in red and gold.

 Polishes used from left to right are Sinful Colors 'Under 18', Kleancolor 'Gold Bright', Sinful Colors 'All About You', and Kleancolor 'Sugar Coat'. I also used a double base coat of Nutra Nail Strengthener and Beauty Secrets Base Coat and for topcoat I used Seche Vite.

After starting with base coat I put 2 coats of the red on both pinkies, middle fingers, and thumbs. I put the 'Gold Bright' on both index fingers and ring fingers. I also used the 'Gold Bright' to stamp the middle fingers with this scrolls and balls design from Bundle Monster plate 018 (their revised 2010 collection), which reminded me of wrapping paper.

Then I used red striping tape to mimic the ribbon on a Christmas present on my ring fingers and used the glitter gold from SC on the index fingers. The 'Sugar Coat' I used on my thumbs and pinkies. Then I placed a 1.5 mm clear rhinestone where the 'ribbon' meets on the ring finger and a trail of 2 mm red rhinestones down the gold glittered index finger. Last, but certainly not least, I covered everything with a generous amount of top coat to add some shine and seal in my embellishments.

I was really happy with how this design turned out! It was exactly how I had envisioned it. It was also my first time using the striping tape (which I bought on Amazon) and the rhinestones (which I bought from Born Pretty Store). I was very happy that they were easy to use.
Left Hand

Right Hand

Thank you all for reading, as always! It is good to be back and I will 'see' you on Wednesday!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Knitting Frenzy!!!

Hi everyone!

I know I usually post a new blog entry every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but this will be the only entry this week. The purpose of this entry is to apologize for not posting this week and to let you know why!

As you know, the purpose behind my blog is to have a place to chat about my hobbies - the focus of which seems to be my nail art :-) But that is not my only hobby. I have mentioned and posted progress updates about my knitting as well.

Now I have a confession to make. I'm not a very 'good' knitter. This comment has nothing to do with my skill level, by the way. As far as skill goes, I would consider myself to be a intermediate knitter. What I mean when I say I'm not a 'good' knitter has more to do with habits. I belong to a few knitting groups on Facebook, which I love! Most of the 'good' knitters (meaning good knitting habits, not skill level because ALL these knitters are amazing and I stand in awe of them) start their Christmas knitting in January. They have all year to figure out what they what to gift and to whom. If they get sidetracked with a bonus project or two, it's all good. They have a whole year after all!

Those are good knitting habits. Now, here is what I do. Once I finish my Christmas knitting, I'm worn out. So I put knitting aside for a couple of months and focus on other hobbies: cross stitch, paint by number, READING (which is all caps, cuz I love it so), etc... I'll pick up the knitting needles every once in while for some 'light work': a new washcloth or two, maybe a pair of socks, whatever small easy project I feel like.

Then somewhere around Halloween I start panic mode knitting trying to crank out Christmas gifts in time to actually be given on Christmas and not sometime in the new year. I tell myself I'm good on time because I only plan to give one or two hand knits for Christmas this year. But inevitably, I keep tacking on new projects til I 'have' to spend every spare moment feverishly knitting myself silly to keep up with it all and have it all completed by Christmas. That is the point that I am at this year.

I have only 'completed' 2 knitting projects. However, they are not really 'complete' because they still need to be washed and blocked before they can be labeled, boxed up, and wrapped! I have 3 projects still on the needles in varying stages of completion, and 1 project that hasn't even been cast on yet! And only 10 days til Christmas Eve! Yikes! I am seriously worried for this year, guys!

It is due to this knitting frenzy that I must take a hiatus from my blog this week. I am hoping (fingers crossed for me, please!) that adding the time I spend thinking up a new design, giving myself a manicure, taking and editing photos, and writing my blog post in to my spare knitting time will give me the extra hours I need to finish my Christmas knitting! And I apologize that my blog has to suffer for my bad knitting habits :-(

I shall try to do better next year! And you can help! If a few weeks go by and all I talk about is nail art, call me on it in the comments! "Jessica, why haven't we seen a knitting update? You are knitting, aren't you????". I will no doubt chuckle nervously as I reply, "but of course, I am" and then sheepishly pull out some yarn and needles.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. I will miss you this week and will get to posting new nail art designs and pictures of completed holiday knitting as soon as possible!   
Without giving away any surprises, this is all the yarn currently being used!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Look # 2: Candy Canes

Is it beginning to feel like Christmas yet? Here in Central Texas the weather is still in the mid-sixties most days. I don't know about you, but I have a hard time getting in the holiday spirit unless the weather is cooler. It doesn't have to be frigid or anything, but at least cold enough to make me want to curl up with a hot chocolate and a space heater! So, I thought a dose of iconic Christmas candy on my nails might help get me in the Christmas mood!

This is the color palette I chose, all from Sinful Colors. From left to right we have 'All About You', 'Snow Me White', 'Pine Away' and 'No Text Red'. As usual I started with a base coat and then 2 coats of the white. You really want the white polish to be opaque which for me meant 2 coats, but if you can do it in less then go for it.

While I waited for that to dry I grabbed my tools for water marbling: a dixie cup filled with room temperature distilled water, an orange stick for drawing my design, a q-tip for cleaning the surface of the water, tape to make clean up easier, and a paper towel to wipe off my orange stick along the way.

You can make your bulls-eye any way you want, but the way I did it was red, green, red, green, red, gold, red, and lastly green. I really wanted the red and green to be most prominent. Also, I was using a gold glitter polish, so the white shows through adding to the candy cane effect while still giving it a little glitter shimmer! 

Then I drew a quick stripey pattern by going up and then down from the center. Then I went from side to side starting each line at the opposite side of the cup. For wider stripes, leave more room between them. For thinner stripes, make your lines slightly closer together and just barely running into the last one as you reach the other side of the cup. Then just dip your taped up finger into the water where you like the design the best! Use your q-tip to clean up the surface of the water so you don't drag your beautiful design through all that mess and remove your finger. Voila! Repeat with each finger and you're done! Just remove your tape and clean up around your cuticles (or anywhere else in need of it). Here are my finished results!
Left hand

Right hand

Once again, I had problems getting a good picture so I had to resort to this camera angle, apologies! It's probably that I'm a crap photographer, but let's blame it on my camera instead, shall we? :-)
I hope you all enjoyed this holiday manicure! Thanks for reading, as always and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Snow Day!

Hello All!

As promised I have my first holiday manicure of the season for you today! I used both stencils and stamping to create this fun mix of snowmen and snowflakes!

Below are the polishes I used from left to right:Sinful Colors 'Midnight Blue', Sinful Colors 'Snow Me White', NYC 'Black Lace Creme', Konad Special Polish in white, and Kleancolor 'Pearl Silver'. I also used smART Nails P103 Snowman stencil and Bundle Monster image plate 014 from their 2010 revised image series.
To get started I applied my basecoat and then 2 coats of the Midnight Blue. After about 8 -10 minutes I used one layer of quick drying topcoat and let that dry. The stencils are applied in two parts; the main body of the snowman is part one and the eyes and accessories are part 2. You need to let the body of the snowman dry for at least 15 minutes before you reapply the stencil for part 2.

What I did is apply the first part of the snowman as soon as my topcoat had dried on both hands. Then I did all my stamping while I waited to finish that little guy. I started with the Pearl Silver and stamped all 10 fingers. Then I used the Konad Special White and did all my snowflakes in that color. Finally, I went back to the snowman. I lined up the second part of the stencil (at least as well as my shaky hands would allow, LOL) and painted on the accessories with the Black Creme Lace. I gave that a few minutes to start drying and then applied a final layer of top coat to seal in my design and make it all shiny! I was a little disappointed that my topcoat smudged my snowflakes just a bit, but maybe I was a little more heavy-handed than I thought. I'll have to keep that in mind next time.
Left hand

Right hand
And that's it! My first holiday design! I hope you enjoyed this look and I'll 'see' you next time! Thanks for reading as always and don't forget to subscribe!

Monday, December 8, 2014

First Time Stamping!

Hello Everyone!

I had thought ahead for once and had today's manicure completely planned. And then I checked the mail and discovered my stamper had arrived! (The image plates arrived a week ago, but were useless without a stamper and scraper, LOL.) So I changed up my plans and decided to do my first stamping manicure :-)

These are the polishes I used. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri 'Grease Lightening', Konad Special Polish in White, and Sally Hansen Big Matte Topcoat. This isn't my best manicure since it is my first time stamping, but also because I am still adjusting to the short, flat, wide brush on the Insta-Dri polishes.

Since my original plan had included a monochromatic look with white and shades of grey, I decided to keep that part of the design. I started with basecoat and then did 1 coat of Grease Lightening on every nail. The Insta-Dri formula is great and the color is very pigmented, so 1 coat gives good opacity. Once that drys you can stamp! In my case, I used 1 coat of Seche Vite quick drying topcoat to help it along. I did that mostly because I am impatient, but also because I wanted to have a layer of protection if I made a mistake while stamping.

I picked 10 images I liked, all from the same set since that is the only set I have right now, LOL. I used the original Bundle Monster set from 2010, but revised edition with 23 plates instead of 21. From what I can tell, it's the same images, but they changed the shape of the plate to circle, instead of hexagonal, and put on a paper backing. The new plate shape meant few images per plate, which is why there are 23 instead of 21. The plates I used were 010, 008, 013, 014, 002, 005, 009, 003, and 001. I did all my stamping with the Konad Special Polish is white.

Left hand

Right hand
 I need some practice with my technique (obviously), but I was really happy with how well the stamper picked up and transferred the images. The only problems I encountered were user not product related :-) When I was finished, I used my Big Matte Topcoat from Sally Hansen. I thought this would be a cool color combo in matte and I'm happy to report that I was right, LOL. Seriously though, the matte does really make this pop in my opinion.

Thanks for reading and I promise that my next post will be Christmas related! See you then!

Friday, December 5, 2014


Hello all!

Today I did 2 takes on splatter nails. On my left hand I did an actual splatter with acrylic paints and on the right hand I used a glitter topper to get a splatter effect. I had so much fun with these! I started with a basecoat and 2 coats of white polish on every nail. I used 'Snow Me White' from Sinful Colors, but any white is good.

On the left hand I used a set of acrylic paint I picked up at WalMart for around $3. This set has red, yellow, blue, white, brown, and black. Since this was my first time using acrylic paint on my nails, I thought I'd start with an inexpensive set with basic colors. Of course, since I like how it turned out, I can mix the primary colors to get more 'fun' color combinations!
 For this look, I used red, yellow, and blue paint for the splatter. I used a small amount of each paint and keeping them separate used a little bit of water to thin them out. Then I put down a couple of paper plates to help make clean up easier. I dipped a clean, old toothbrush into the thin paint (I started with yellow) and then kind of fanned the tooth brush with my thumb to 'spray' the paint onto my nail. I repeated that with each color I wanted to use. Once it was all dry, I added my topcoat. Finally to clean up all I had to do was wait for the topcoat to dry and then wash my hands. The acrylic paint came right off! Score one for easy clean up!
On my right hand I used another Urban Lacquer polish that I won in a giveaway. This is called Reply All and is a beautiful clear base with matte black and white glitter in fine, medium, and large circular sizes.

I used one coat on each nail. I don't have much experience with glitter polish so I probably could have gone a little more sparse for the 'best' splatter effect, but I'm still very happy with the final look!
Another 'easy' look, but I am a big fan of nail art that looks like you spent a lot of time on it, but is nice and easy to create :-)

I will be doing some holiday nail art soon, I promise! Until then, check out my new YouTube video featuring my nail polish collection and see what polishes I list as my favorites!