Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rainbow Leopard Skittles (à la Chalkboard Nails)

Hey guys!

As many of you know, there's few things I love more when it comes to nail art than rainbow, animal print and neons. So, when Sarah posted this awesome skittle leopard print manicure using the China Glaze Summer Neons, I knew that I would eventually recreate it.

It's very rare that I fully recreate someone else's design - usually I'll put my own spin on it in some way or another, but there was not one thing about Sarah's design that I wanted to change. So, enjoy this complete copy of an awesome manicure!

The colours I used are obviously China Glaze Splish Splash (thumb), I'm With the Lifeguard (index), Sun-Kissed (middle), Orange You Hot? (ring) and Surfin' For Boys (pinky). For the spots I used Wet 'n' Wild French White and Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme for the outline.

I always get questions about my freehand animal print designs, so I'll direct you to my leopard print tutorial which shows you step-by-step how I do my leopard print. Trust me, it's a lot easier than it might look! Sarah and I do our leopard print designs slightly different, but it all comes down to personal preference. She also has a tutorial for her leopard print technique, so that gives you another option.

Hey look! I DO have a thumb! I rarely show my thumb in my photos, not because I have any issues with my thumb or thumb nail, but just because I prefer the aesthetic of my photos without my thumb included. But since my thumb nail is an entirely different colour in this design, I thought it best to include it in at least one photo!

This is my first animal print design is quite some time and I'm definitely missing them! So you might be seeing a surge of animal print from me over the next little while!

I hope you enjoyed this design and thanks to Sarah for the inspiration!

Monday, July 30, 2012

piCture pOlish Blog Fest 2012 - Demeter & Attitude

Hi everyone!

I'm so happy to be participating in this year's piCture pOlish Blog Fest! I participated last year as well and it was a lot of fun.

There are close to 80 bloggers from all over the world participating this year, so you're going to be seeing many piCture pOlish shades today! To keep up with all the fun, follow piCture pOlish through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

This time around, I've got two amazing and new piCture pOlish shades to show you. The ones I'm showing you are both very special and also very exclusive! They're called Demeter and Attitude and they're both shades from the new Collaboration Collection.

First up is Demeter, which was jointly created by the girls at piCture pOlish and Katie from Harlow & Co. Demeter is a warm chocolate brown polish with specks of holographic glitter mixed throughout.

In natural light, the holographic specks don't appear holographic - instead they look like little silvery-white specks. I really love this look and I think it looks like milk chocolate with rice krispies! MMmmmmm.

Believe it or not, this is just one coat of Demeter! I probably would add one more, but I wanted to show you just how opaque this is! The formula was stellar and Demeter applied beautifully.

The next photo is taken with the flash on so that you can see the holographic specks come to life. It's a subtle holo effect, but I think it adds something really special.

As I was looking through my piCture pOlish stash, my eyes landed on mask-a-rade and I thought it would look really cool over Demeter. I was right! It added a little bit more warmth with some gold sparkle, but it also added a great mix of blue and purple sparkle. I love these shades together!

As I said above, Demeter is a special and exclusive shade, so it's only available through the piCture pOlish website and the Harlow & Co. website.

Through piCture pOlish, Demeter runs for $11.50, and through Harlow & Co, Demeter retails for $14.50. Where you purchase your bottle will depend on where you live and how the shipping costs will differ for your country. So do your research to make sure you get the best deal!

Next up is Attitude, which was jointly created by the girls at piCture pOlish and Kim from Overall Beauty. Attitude is a deep indigo-purple shade with specks of holographic glitter mixed throughout.

Like Demeter above, the holographic specks in Attitude show up as silvery-white in natural light, which reminds me of denim stitching. But of course, the holo specks come to life under the right light, and I have a picture of that below for you drool over.

This is just one coat of Attitude and the formula was excellent. I didn't need to do any clean-up with either Demeter or Attitude, so that will tell you how easy they were to apply.

As promised, below is a flash photo of Attitude to show the holo specks in all their glory. Like Demeter, the effect is subtle, but gorgeous.

I tried to think of a fun way to add some extra "attitude" to this manicure, so I decided to add a fun metallic silver french tip to one accent nail. I think the silver goes really well with this shade and I love the overall look. This is definitely a funky french manicure that I'll be redoing soon!

Attitude is also a special and exclusive shade, so it's only available through the piCture pOlish website and the Overall Beauty website.

Through piCture pOlish, Attitude runs for $11.50, and through Overall Beauty, Attitude retails for $15.00. Where you purchase your bottle will depend on where you live and how the shipping costs will differ for your country. So do your research to make sure you get the best deal!

Something new and different that piCture pOlish is launching is that there are QR labels on all the new shades! What that means is that using your smartphone, you can scan the label and be taken either directly to the piCture pOlish website, OR be taken directly to one of the piCture pOlish network members, depending on where your polish was purchased.

For example, if I were to purchase a new piCture pOlish shade from Harlow & Co. (the Canadian network member), and then I were to scan the code on the side, I would be taken directly to the Harlow & Co. website! I think that's pretty neat and it's definitely original.

Thanks so much to the girls from piCture pOlish for putting this Blog Fest together and for allowing me to be a part of it!

The product(s) in this post were provided by the manufacturer or their PR in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Giveaway Reminder! Win the Entire China Glaze On Safari Collection!

Hi everyone!

Just a quick second post today to remind you about my China Glaze On Safari Giveaway! It ends in just a few days, so make sure you've entered!

Remember, the prize includes a brand new set of the China Glaze On Safari Collection. The shades include: Exotic Encounters, Kalahari Kiss, Prey Tell, Purr-fect Plum, Adventure Red-y, I'm Not Lion, Jungle Queen, Elephant Walk, Desert Sun, Man Hunt, Call of the Wild and I Herd That.

You can see my swatches and full review of this collection here.

And remember, you can use the "Tweet About the Giveaway" option to earn yourself 3 extra entries every day!
Click HERE to visit the giveaway page and enter.

Good luck!

Lush Lacquer - Birthday Cake

Hi everyone!

Is it Sunday already? This weekend seems to have flown by so quickly!

Today I have another Lush Lacquer shade to show you. This one is called Birthday Cake and it's a creamy off-white base with a heavy mixture of confetti-type glitter. There's hexagonal and bar glitter in all sorts of colours - pink, orange, blue, green, gold and purple.

Since I only have a mini bottle, I really wanted to conserve polish, so I layered two coats of Birthday Cake over a plain white creme.

The formula was a little thick - probably because there's SO much glitter, but I didn't find it difficult to work with at all. And the glitters flowed nicely and consistently with the base of the polish, so I didn't have to do any placing of the glitters on my nails.

The name of this polish is spot on because it really does look like the frosting on a birthday cake!

Birthday Cake can be purchased via Lush Lacquer's Etsy shop. It's currently in stock in the full (15 ml) size for $8.75 USD. You can also purchase Birthday Cake in the mini (5 ml) size.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pebble Beach - Ruby (Step 2)

Hi everyone!

Today I have a brand that is completely new to me and that I hadn't even heard of until a few days ago!

Pebble Beach is a line of super shimmery nail polish that is produced by the Cherimoya brand. The entire line is broken up into sets of four polishes and the point is to use those four polishes to create a seamless gradient on your nails. When I learned of this, the "Step 2" in the name made much more sense.

I picked up three of the Pebble Beach polishes, but since I wasn't aware of the original purpose of the polishes, none of the ones I have are from the same colour scheme (i.e. none of the ones I have are supposed to go together to create a gradient). Nonetheless, these polishes are amazing on their own!

The first one I'm showing you is Ruby Step 2, which is a stunning and super sparkly red glass fleck with a slight flash of pink. My first couple of pictures in natural light don't really do this polish justice, but take a look at the flash photos below and you'll see what I'm talking about!

My swatch is just one coat of Ruby Step 2. It super opaque and it really doesn't need a second coat! This makes me think that this one, and possibly the other Pebble Beach shades might be good for stamping. I'll do some tests on that and let you guys know.

The formula was pretty good - a little on the thick side but still very easy to work with. The brush is also sort of thick - about as thick as the OPI brush, but the shape is more similar to the China Glaze brush.

The Pebble Beach polishes aren't quite full size (if you consider full size to be 15 ml), but they're pretty close at 13 ml per bottle. And the Pebble Beach polishes are all Big 3 Free.

Are you in love yet? Well, prepare to be even more in love because guess how much this polish cost? $2.59! There's nothing I love more than an amazing polish at an amazing price. I'm actually going back and getting as many more shades as I can today!

As far as availability, I found my Pebble Beach polishes at an Eastern Canadian drugstore called Lawton's Drug Mart but I'm not sure where else these can be purchased. I found them on the Cherimoya website here, but there's no option for purchasing them. So, if anyone knows where else these can be bought, please leave a comment below!

Have you guys heard of the Pebble Beach nail polishes before? What do you think of Ruby Step 2?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pretty & Polished - Elvis' Pink Cadillac

Hey guys!

Today I have a really cool polish by Pretty & Polished to show you! It's called Elvis' Pink Cadillac and it's a light, sort of dusty pink jelly base with medium and large matte black hex glitters throughout.

I wanted to conserve polish, so I decided to layer Elvis' Pink Cadillac over OPI Sparrow Me the Drama, which is literally the perfect base for this shade. It's like these two polishes were made for each other! I've included a bottle shot of them next to each other below so that you can see just how close they are in colour.

My swatch is two coats of Elvis's Pink Cadillac over just one coat of Sparrow Me the Drama. It applied very nicely and I didn't have to do any fishing for the black glitters. I did have to push a few glitter pieces around on my nails to get them to be more evenly distributed, but that didn't bother me.

Some of the black glitters sit on top of the pink jelly base while others sort of sink in, which gives this polish a lot of depth. I love it!

Aren't they perfect for each other?! A match made in polish heaven, for sure.

Elvis' Pink Cadillac can be purchased in the full 15ml size for $9.00 US and the mini size for $5.00 US. I think that Chelsea has set up a new system for purchasing her polishes that involves pre-ordering. She outlines all the details here, so be sure to check that out if you're interested in this or any other of the Pretty & Polished shades.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Candeo Colors - Sprouse

Hi everyone!

Today I'll be showing you the third and final Candeo polish that I own (for now). This one is called Sprouse and it's the one I was most excited about getting when I made this purchase a while back.

Sprouse has got a lot going on - but in a good way. It has a clear base mixed with holographic shimmer, black and white hex glitter in small and medium sizes, black and white bar glitter, and finally, what makes Sprouse really unique is the addition of metallic blue and silver hex glitter pieces.

Most of the swatches that I've seen for this shade show it layered over a grey polish. While that is a great combination, I wanted to show you something different and test out the versatility of Sprouse, so I decided to layer it over Color Club Twiggie - a bright green creme.

I'm really digging the colour combination here. The bright green allows for all the colours of Sprouse to really show through and I think it makes for a very interesting and bold mani!

I've only tried three Candeo polishes so far, but Sprouse is definitely my favourite of those three. There's still a few others that I really want to get my hands on, but that's a lot easier said than done given that Candeo polishes usually sell out immediately. Someday I'll manage to get the others!

Candeo polishes can be purchased through the Candeo Colors website and they retail for $8.00 $9.00 USD each (the price seems to have increased since my last Candeo post). Everything on the site is currently sold out, but you can keep up with stock dates and other information via the Candeo Colors Facebook Page.

What do you guys think of Sprouse? Have you been able to get your hands on any Candeo polishes?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday - Pop Art Nails

Hi everyone!

Welcome to another nail art collaboration! Today's theme is Tutorial, so we'll all be featuring designs based on one of our favourite nail art tutorials!

I had a really hard time deciding which tutorial design to recreate because there are just so many great tutorials out there to choose from. In the end, I landed on this awesome pop art inspired tutorial by Beth of ProfessionalDQ.

To create this design, I started out with a base of Wet 'n' Wild French White on all of my nails except my ring finger, which started out with a base of Orly Spark. Beth used acrylic paints in her design, but I still haven't tried using paint in my nail art, so I stuck with polish.

The yellow and blue explosions were done with Orly Spark and Zoya Robyn and outlined in black using Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme. Finally, the red dots and the lettering were done with China Glaze Salsa.

This is a super bold and graphic design and I absolutely love the way it turned out. I wore this mani to a poker game last night and it got a ton of compliments! I'm really glad I chose this design to recreate!

Beth does some pretty funky designs that are always right up my alley, so be sure to check out her youtube channel for more tutorials.

What do you think? Did I do Beth's design justice?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Glitter Gal - Red Night Sky

Hey guys!

Today I have another of the new Glitter Gal polishes to show you!

This one is called Red Night Sky and it's from the Shade Shifters line of polishes. According to the Glitter Gal website, the Shade Shifters line include polishes which have an intense primary color effect which reflects a different colour spectrum when viewed at a different angle.

Red Night Sky's primary colour is a deep copper, but it shifts to a blue/purple/fuchsia when viewed from different angles. This shift is especially visible over black.

Here's a swatch of Red Night Sky on its own. This is two coats and the formula is stellar - very smooth and easy to apply.

I don't think this is something I would wear on its own becausee I don't think it suits my skin tone very well. But once layered over black, well that's a while other story!

Here I've shown one coat of Red Night Sky over a simple black creme. How amazing does it look?! I really love the effect over black!

I love how the purple/fuchsia peeks out at different points of my nails. For example, look near the cuticle on my index finger. It almost creates a gradient-esque look all on its own! Very cool.

Here's another angle to show you how this polish shifts back to its fiery copper colour when viewed at another angle.

The way this polish shifts totally reminds me of a red night sky. You know, when the sun is almost set so there's still some red peeking through, but the sky is mostly purple and blue. I'm not explaining this very well, so here's a photo:

See the resemblance? Glitter Gal did an awesome job naming this polish for sure.

Red Night Sky, along with the rest of the Glitter Gal range can be bought through Ninja Polish. The Shade Shifters line retails for $17.95 per bottle.

The product(s) in this post were provided by the manufacturer or their PR in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Most Affordable Nail Polish Remover Wipes

Hi everyone!

Recently I went shopping for some new remover wipes since I had run out of the ones I had been using (OPI Expert Touch - which I really didn't like, by the way). I hadn't bought any in a really long time because I was sent the OPI ones as a gift and before that I was using ones that came with my student's kit from when I did my manicurist course.

Well, I was completely shocked to see the prices that places like Sally's and Cosmoprof charge for their remover wipes! For a package of 200, it was anywhere between $14 and $20! And that's with my pro discount! Needless to say, I left without remover wipes.

So instead of paying those ridiculous prices, I went to Wal-Mart and picked up a package of felt. Yes, felt. I remembered that a few years ago when I was in a pinch for some wipes, I used some scrap felt that my mom had lying around. And it worked really well! I'm not sure why I didn't stick with that as a method of removing polish, but I'm sure I will be from now on!

This is what the felt looks like when you buy it. The package I got came with 6 sheets of felt for $1.96. In my experience, the colour of the felt makes no difference, so I just grabbed the first pack that I saw.

I take the sheets and cut them first into long strips. Each of these sheets yields roughly 5 strips. As you can see, you really don't need to be precise with your cuts. After all, they just end up in the garbage anyways.

Once I have all the strips cut, I then cut each of the strips into smaller squares. Each strips yields 7-8 squares, depending on how wide you want them.

You can store the squares in basically anything, but I use the box from my OPI Expert Touch Wipes. It's a convenient way to store them and it doesn't take up too much space.

So, for less than $2, I can get 210-240 remover wipes! That's quite a significant value, especially compared to the prices I listed above!

Aside from the value, these felt squares do a really good job at removing polish! They absorb acetone/polish remover really well and I can usually remove polish from 3-4 nails with just one square.

Have you tried felt as a polish remover wipe before? Do you have another method that you prefer?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lush Lacquer - Pink Panther + Meet Mr. Salty

Hi everyone!

Today's swatch is for another polish by Lush Lacquer! I'm slowly but surely getting through swatching all of the ones I purchased from them a few weeks ago.

The one I'm showing you today is Pink Panther, which is a clear base packed with several sizes of pink, white and black matte hex glitters.

My swatch shows one coat of Pink Panther layered over China Glaze Pelican Grey - a light grey with subtle shimmer from last year's Anchors Away Collection.

The formula was good, but the application was a little tricky - I had to do some placing of the glitters to make sure they were evenly dispersed on my nails. This isn't really a problem for me, but it's still important to mention for sure.

I really like Pink Panther! I can definitely understand why it's one of Lush Lacquer's most popular shades. I like the layering combination I chose for my swatch, but I can also picture this over many other colours!

Pink Panther, along with many other fun glittery shades can be purchased via Lush Lacquer's Etsy shop. Pink Panter is currently in stock in the full (15 ml) size for $8.75 USD. You can also purchase Pink Panther in the mini (5 ml) size.

What do you guys think of Lush Lacquer Pink Panther?

ALSO! Look who came home with us a few days ago!

Those who follow me on Twitter have probably already read about us getting a new hedgie, but I wanted to share the news here as well since I'm sure you'll be seeing more pictures of Mr. Salty in the future.

We still deeply miss our little Pepper, but we're hedgehog lovers and when we saw this little guy at the pet store, we knew he had to come home with us. He's a little shy right now, but he's quickly coming around and getting used to us!

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