Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Manicure #4

December 24:

So I wore my gingerbread/candy cane manicure for 5 days this week! What is up with me keeping my manicures on for a long time now? It could do with the fact that I was knitting up a storm this week, I finished a sweater and some leg warmers. So finally, when I was all done with my crafting, I pulled out the polish and sat down to paint. This manicure is so simple because I am planning to do a more intricate manicure today in preparation for tomorrow! My sister is now sporting presents on her nails so I think I might do something like that.

This was just two coats of China Glaze's "Peace On Earth" (I love the name!). This is an olive green/gold that reminds me of fancy Christmas decorations, anyone else? I could have used only one coat with this polish, another super pigmented formula from China Glaze's Christmas collection, but I did two because that seemed better. Since I figured I would keep this one on for only a day I topped it with Out The Door instead of Seche Vite and I was promptly reminded of why I love OTD so much! Great top coat!

That is all I have for right now, who knows though, I might sneak one more post in before Christmas. If not, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Manicure #3

December 20:

5 days till Christmas! Anyways, yesterday was Mr. Nailventuress's Family's annual gingerbread decorating party. This is one of those things that I have only been doing for 4 years but I already consider it a locked in Christmas tradition. I help his mom bake gingerbread houses sometime before the party and then the day of we decorate, snack, and have lots of fun!

The first year we did a viking long house, the second and third I did jazzed up gingerbread houses and this year I found a picture of a Thomas Kinkade cottage and made that!

It only made sense to do a mani that would compliment this party. I had been thinking about a
gingerbread mani for days and I finally decided to do this. I started off two coats of Sally Hansen's Xtreme Nails "White On", OPI's "20 Candles on My Cake" and Essie's "Going Incognito". Then I poured some 20COMC and GI on my makeshift palette and drew on the candy cane stripes.

For the little gingerbread men I mixed Essie's "Mink Muffs" with WO to get a more gingerbread colored polish and then with my Essence styling pen I drew on gingerbread men. This was easy enough on my left hand but of course it was a bit harder to do on my right. They all came out alright though. Lastly, I added gumdrops to the gingerbread men. On my left hand I have Essie's "St. Lucia Lilac" and China Glaze's "Lemon Fizz" and on my right I have Essie's "Lapis of Luxury" and "Van d'go".

Everything was topped with Seche Vite and then the day of the party I put on China Glaze's peppermint cuticle oil to make all my nails smell like candy.

Here is the picture I was basing my house off of...

And the actual house...

That's all for now! Any ideas for other Christmas manicures? I have 5 days, I have to fit in as many as I can..

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Manicure #2

December 18:

Seeing as it is one week before Christmas I figure it is the perfect time to post about my second Christmas manicure of the season. This one was inspired by a snowglobe...though I don't get that effect so much when I look at my nails. Instead it looks like it is snowing at night on my nails. Basically a fun holiday manicure!

I used two coats of China Glaze's "Little Drummer Boy" as the base. This polish was extremely pigmented and would have been fine in one coat but I used two jut in case. Unfortunately the formula in this one sucks. It was kind of thick, though not gloopy, and was just hard to work
with...hence the uneven edges at the cuticles.

To add a snowy effect I decided I would have to use a glitter on top of LDB. At first I was going to use SOPI's "Flurry Up!", which is a silver hexagonal and small round glitter top coat, but that was too much for this manicure so instead I pulled out Wet and Wild's "Hallucinate/Hallucination". I bought this polish thinking it would be a good white/silver glitter for topping on polish but I didn't realize how awesome this glitter in this was. It is a mix of dark and light blue glitter along with clear/white glitter and silver and gold glitter. None of this is visible in the bottle, instead it just looks like a milky looking polish. When I swatched it over LDB I fell in love! It is so gorgeous and over a dark blue looked like snow! I used one coat and it dried smooth.

To complete the look I used two Cina Snowman appliques. This was my first time using Cina products and I was very impressed. They were easy to use, laid a lot flatter than I thought they would, and lasted while I had them on. I just now noticed I am missing two stones, one on each snowman, but it is not noticeable. Instead of leaving a round indent there is the silver backing so it looking like they were designed like that.

Overall I am very happy with how this turned out! It is too bad that I chipped it a lot today while Christmas shopping/wrapping, but I am making gingerbread houses tomorrow so I figure I need a new manicure for that.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Friday, December 17, 2010

More Nail Spam...

December 17:

I am back from vacation, hence the 5 day break from blogging, I needed time to adjust to getting back home. Doesn't mean I haven't been painting my nails. I have done four-ish manicures in the past few days so I will just post them all here for you to see and then tomorrow I will have Christmas manicure #2 for you.

First up was Essie's "St. Lucia Lilac". This color looked like it was going to be boring on the nail, but I had it on for about 5 days, which is unusually long for me. I got a lot of compliments and it lasted almost the entire time with little wear. The color itself looked great against my skin and didn't remind of easter eggs like I thought it might. This was three average coats and one coat of Seche Vite. I own a lot of light lavender/lilac polishes but this one might be my favorite. It is so light that I might consider it a mannequin hand color even though it is purple. (Gotta love "The Two Towers"!)

After that I had one Milani's "HD" which I scored on clearance at Meijer a few weeks ago. Thiscolor is from their Holo 3D polish line that I thought would be long gone. It applied mostly opaque in three coats though I had some visible nail line. The polish itself was easy to work with and it lasted without chipping for the 2 days I wore it. The holo effect of this polish is really neat. It looks more 3D than Color Club's "Fashion Addict". There seems to be two kinds of holo glitter/foil in this polish that gives it that neat effect. Also, for some reason the holo effect seemed to be more noticeable in low inside lighting. Outdoors it was just a pretty silver polish with some sparkle.

My "Back to Chicago" mani had to be Illamasqua, seeing as I bought so much of it in Puerto Rico. I had a hard time choosing between "Baptiste" and "Viridian", though eventually I decided on "Viridian". Unfortunately I had a wonky brush which made it harder to apply the polish with, but it was opaque in one coat. I did two just to be safe. When I got home I trimmed down the brush, it was really long, and now it is the same length as its siblings. Just like all of the Illamasqua's I have used, it is great, long lasting, and gorgeous. "Viridian" is a dark teal that fades to almost black on the edges. Lovely!

The next day I sorted through mail and saw I had received my bottle of Nubar's "Nubar 2010" that I had ordered while in Puerto Rico so I swatched it on one nail. Originally my intention was to take off "Viridian" and do a Christmas manicure. However, "Nubar 2010" looked so good on top of "Viridian" that I put it on all of my nails and wore it for the rest of the day. Doesn't it look neat? "Nubar 2010" is a clear base full of iridescent flakies. They change from red to green with some gold and occasionally some blue. This is a must have!

Well, now I finally have another Christmas manicure on my nails and I am very happy with it! I will have pictures tomorrow.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

P.S. Here Is my current pedicure. Essie's "Lapis of Luxury". It was a surprise hit with me for a pedi color, I am still wearing it and it has not chipped once. No top coat, three coats.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sawan's Giveaway!

December 13:

So I usually just enter into blog giveaways once without posting on my blog but this one seemed too good to just enter once! And when I say too good, I mean it is EPIC.

Just look at it! You can enter here at Sawan's blog and the giveaway ends December 19th so hurry up.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!
The Nailventuress

Sunday, December 12, 2010

From the Archives: Color Club OPI Water Marble

December 12:

I have pictures of today's manicure but I thought it would be fun to post this manicure first.
I did this for the last day of finals as a fun kick off to winter break. The manicure started out as two coats of Color Club's "Fashion Addict", but I got a bit bored (I blame finals not the could a holo get boring?) and added some marbling. Basically an hour spent dipping my nails in water was better than spending it studying.

Color Club's "Fashion Addict" is such a pretty color purple. I love how it looks against my skin, actually the polish I have on now is the same shade of purple. It was easy to apply and took little effort to clean up.

When I went to marble it I used OPI's "Funky Dunkey" as the complimenting color. This color is so gorgeous! I bought it about two months ago and I've used it a lot with other polishes, though never on its own. I like to think of it as a bright electric purple, and I think "Ogre the Top Blue" is the blue counterpart to FD.

My sister had stamped Fashion Addict over Funky Dunkey a little while back so I took my inspiration from that. I dropped FD, then FA, then FD, then FA then FD, and lastly FA. Since I already had FA on my nails it provided enough base for the marbled FA to show up. It was still holographic after marbling!

I would do this manicure again in a heartbeat...though I also want to try it out with Color Club's "Revvvolution". Holo water marbling is so much fun!

Up next I will have for you pictures of my current manicure, Essie's "St. Lucia Lilac". I love this color so much on my nails that I have had it on since Thursday...that is four days, quite a stretch for me.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On Vacation With: Nail Polish Spam

December 8:

I have been painting my nails too often for blogging so I figured the best way to catch up was to post them all at once. It has been nice painting my nails at the end of each day but I think this weekend I will stick with just one color...well, we will see how that goes.

First up is Illamasqua's Rampage. This is two average coats and one coat of Seche Vite on top. Lovely forest green jelly. I am so glad I picked this one up. The jelly finish was fun to look at and I loved seeing how the polish changed in different lighting. Probably the best part was realizing that dark green polishes look pretty good on me. As far as I can remember I have never had a solid dark green manicure, but I am sure this will not be the last!

Next is Hot Topic's Teal Glitter polish. I looked for a name but I don't think it has one. It took three coats to be opaque but the dry time was good and the color/sparkle pay off was worth it. This is small teal glitter that really pops on the nail and it dries almost smooth. Topped with one coat of Seche Vite. This polish really impressed me, I thought it would be terrible after the first coat and the bottle design looked awful (tiny tiny tiny cap!) but it was just the opposite. I am thinking of going back for the other glitters (Hot Topic has a buy one get one 1/2 sale). This glitter is a must try. It was easy to remove as well (I didn't even have a bunch of glitter all over my fingers either).

Last is Sephora by OPI's Worth My Weight. I bought this thinking it was Looks Like Rain, Dear, and when it rung up at $5 instead of $9 I was surprised. As it turns out, I like this one more. My cousin bought LLRD and I think both are very similar but WMW has more glitter. This was two coats and both were very chunky. I love the color and the glitter but I hate how chunky it looks on the nail. Apparently it is not that noticeable but I still found it annoying. I topped it with two coats of Seche Vite and it dried almost smooth (though not as smooth as the teal glitter from Hot Topic). Great gold polish for the holidays! I would wear it all year round, I love gold polish and holo glitter, this was a great combination.

Up next I might have more Illamasqua's for you, or perhaps a haul blog.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Monday, December 6, 2010

On vacation with: China Glaze's "Shocking Pink"

December 6:

What better a way to celebrate a new layout then with a fun mani? After an hour or so of messing with Blogger this layout is what I came up with. I don't care too much for the background color but I like my header and the layout of the gadgets. When I get home I am hoping to get a picture up as the background.

Now for the mani. After I had taken off Illamasqua's Scarab I wanted to paint my nails with some polish I had brought with me. An internal debate followed and after a few minutes I came up with "Shocking Pink". This is a neon that I bought a while ago but I haven't tried until now. I wanted to do something fun and tropical seeing as in 9 days I will be back to full on winter.

Neon's are so much fun and I have not really worn them in the past, but I do own a few. Pink is definitely not one of my favorite colors but neon pink is a total exception. "Shocking Pink" is so in your face that the fact that it is pink seems to fade away.

This was three average coats and on my left had the color was perfect. On the right it was a bit streaky but I am sure I was the only one who noticed. Dry time was good, I could tell when the
polish was ready for the next coat after it matted. For some reason I have found that neon dry matte. (You can see what I am reading in this picture, yes I am a Lord of the Rings fanatic!)

The China Glaze bottle is one that I have seen used with other brands (Gelous Base Coat; Icing Nail Polish) but I like how it looks and it is easy to use. The Brush could be slightly larger, though it was easy enough to work with, and the wand is a good length for the bottle.

With a coat of Seche Vite on top I was ready to go...literally. This manicure was so clean after I applied it that I didn't even need to clean up.

Unfortunately, it was only on for a few short hours. I bought some new polishes that I wanted to try, and finally got my hands on Illamasqua's Rampage, so off it came. It was not a moment too soon though. While at the mall my nail polish chipped off in a large chunk on my right thumb. I could blame the polish but in this case I think it was from earlier in the day when I had to clip my nail to even out an edge. I am sure I will be wearing this polish again so we'll see how it holds up then.

Up next I will have a post about Illamasqua's Rampage. Let me just say that this polish is impossible to photograph. It is really one of those polishes you have to see in person, though it still looks absolutely gorgeous in the pictures.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Checking back with Illamasqua's Scarab

December 6:

So I do not have Illamasqua's Scarab on my nails today, but I had it on up until yesterday so this is close enough. After wearing this polish for five days I am happy to report that it performed beautifully! There was barely any tip wear and I had only one small chip on my right ring finger.

The color stayed true the entire time, though the last night I had it on I put on bug-spray and got some on my nails so they got a bit tarnished, and looked as good as day 1. I was so impressed with this formula that I decided to go and grab not only "Rampage" but "Baptiste" as well as their base coat. Perhaps I might even buy "Phallic" if I get the chance.

I truly cannot believe I managed to go five days without painting my nails, but then again this color was so gorgeous.

Right now I am sporting Illamasqua's "Rampage" which I should be wearing for the next few days. I am testing the lasting strength of Illamasqua's base coat as well. So far on my left hand I have no chips but on my right I have three tiny ones. I think they are from my nail being weak at the tip and not actually the polish. I'll keep my right hand in mind, but for now I think I'll just see how the polish lasts on the left.

Up next, however, I have an in between manicure that I did yesterday while waiting to go to the mall. China Glaze's "Shocking Pink" of course! I don't think I have ever reviewed China Glaze before on here so I might do that as well.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

P.S. How do you like the new layout? I am still playing around with it but this will do for now...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First Chirstmas manicure!

December 4:

So I actually did this manicure during finals week to kick off the Christmas celebrations, but I haven't posted it until now. Good thing it is early December and not January when I am remembering it.

The reason why I am not posting another vacation manicure is that I still have on the Illamasqua Scarab mani. Can you believe it? I've lasted 5 days without one change to it, this is the beginning of a long and loving relationship. I am planning to get to Sephora sometime within the next few days and pick up a few new nail polishes, of course Illamasqua is on the list. From the feedback I got, I think Rampage is definitely one of them.

This manicure was pretty easy to do and looked great, though because of the glitter was a pain
to take off. I started off with two coats of Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear Hard as Nails "White On". After that dried I did one thick coat of China Glaze's "Party Hearty". The end result was a Christmas party on my nails. Perfect for those final hours of studying, right?

Apparently I had not used SH's Xtreme Wear polishes in a while because I forgot how awful the formula is. It was so runny that even though I liked the brush, there was no way to control the polish with it. It looked like milk running all over the nail. Eventually I worked out a system but it was still messy. On a more positive note, it was opaque in two coats which for a white is pretty good, and the dry time was fair.

The China Glaze glitter was great. It was not terrible to work with, the base was not too thick or thin, it was overall a great polish. Just when it came to taking it off I had issues because all the glitter seemed to grab at the cotton ball. I know I could try the foil method of removal but my nails beg me not to.

Up next I think I shall do a short post about the Illamasqua Scarab mani. Sometime today I will take off the polish and put on a fresh one, but for now I am still loving this manicure!

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On vacation with Illamasqua's Scarab

December 2:

Yay! It is December! Of course you could never tell by looking outside my window right now, but in 13 days when I step into Chicago I think December shall smack me in the face. Oh well.

Today's mani is actually what is on my nails right now. This is a polish that I picked up from the giant Sephora they have down here in Puerto Rico. At first I went in with the intention of picking up a SOPI polish since I have never tried one before. I ended up with SOPI's "Flurry Up!" from their winter collection, and supposedly it is a dupe for Deborah Lippmann's "Today was a Fairy Tale."

Than, after wandering around the store, I cam across the Illamasqua section. This had me squealing since I thought it was only available online. Immediately I grabbed Viridian, a color I had wanted for a long time, and then kept going back and forth on Scarab. Eventually I paid for Flurry Up! and Viridian, but I came back and bought Scarab figuring it was cheaper this way (no shipping costs if I wanted to order it online later).

I am so glad I bought both of the Art of Darkness colors! Scarab looks wonderful on my nails. I have not stopped looking at it since I painted my nails November 30. That is quite a long time for me to go without changing my polish, especially while on vacation! On top of that I have no major chips or fading of color, just a tiny tiny tiny on my right ring finger. It is so small it is barely worth mentioning.

At first I thought the brush might be tricky to handle since the cap is square, but my fingers found the right position and I had no issues. Also, this polish was a one coater! Yes, a one coater. I did two just because doing one coat felt weird, and with two coats the color popped even more.

When I had finished my manicure I was not too happy with the result. It was one of my sloppier manicures (not the nail polishes fault) and I should learn not to paint my nails in dark rooms. Anyways, as I woke up the next day and showered, the nail polish seemed to fix itself, so now I have one o my most perfect manicures and most of it was not my doing. The edges evened out, the cuticles look clean, the tips are flawless. Illamasqua has just shot up to the very top of my favorite nail polish brands and this is just my first time using it!

Needless to say I am going back to Sephora for Illamasqua's base coat and at least one more bottle of polish before I leave. Any suggestions? I am thinking Rampage, Baptiste or Phallic, but I am not sure just yet. I also think I am going to pick up 212-Sephora from SOPI.

Up next, I think I shall have more vacation manicures, unless I don't take this one off! Then it will be another archive mani. Let's see how long this manicure lasts.

Until next time,
Happy Painting!

The Nailventuress

(Here is Scarab next to Viridian)