Friday, May 31, 2013

Matte Gradient Leopard Nails

Hey guys!

I recently saw this awesome nail design on Pinterest and I knew that I just had to recreate it. And I know others must like it as well because it received a pretty large number of repins!

I started off with a base of China Glaze Liquid Leather on all of my nails. The original design used acrylic paint for the leopard spots and since I don't own any myself, I had to search through my stash for some opaque polishes that would pop over the black base. Luckily, the Lime Crime Les Desserts d'Antoinette Collection features colours very similar to the original design colours AND they work great over black! The blue is Once in a Blue Mousse, the purple is Lavendairy and the pink is Parfait Day.

After freehanding all of the leopard spots, I added a coat of Seche Vite. I did this because I find most matte top coats drag any nail art and I wanted my spots to be protected before mattifying them. Once the Seche Vite had dried, I added OPI Matte Top Coat to all of my nails.

I should have snapped a photo of this before mattifying it because it's unbelievable how much better this looks matte! I don't know, there's just something about these colours over the black that makes them look super cool mattified.

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. If you've been lemming the Les Desserts d'Antoinette Collection, you're in luck because Harlow & Co. is restocking it tomorrow! Check out the Harlow & Co. Facebook page for more info. Best of luck getting them, they're gorgeous polishes. :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Emily de Molly - Cosmic Forces

Hi guys!

Today I have a very special polish to show you. It's one of those indies that seems to be universally loved and wanted. Of course I'm talking about Emily de Molly Cosmic Forces.

Cosmic Forces is a rich purple jelly base with large lavender holographic circle glitters, as well as smaller pink circles and hexes. It's very unique and looks gorgeous both in the bottle and on the nails. I've used three coats here, but for a more jelly-like look, stop at two coats.

The formula was super easy to work with, although I did have to fish out some of the larger dot glitters. I suggest storing this upside down for a few minutes before application to allow the larger glitters to distribute in the bottle.

A sister shade called Oceanic Forces was recently released and it's another must-have in my opinion. It's a beautiful blue version of Cosmic Forces, and we all know that I love blue! I don't own that one, but you can see swatches of it here by More Nail Polish.

I don't typically have much luck with getting super in-demand items from indie restocks. When there's a shopping frenzy and everything is sold out in seconds, I usually don't even bother because I hate the stress of it. But for some reason I decided to try to snag this during the last llarowe restock and by some miracle, I got through the entire checkout process without being cartjacked. I was astonished.

I don't think I'll be quite as lucky trying to get my hands on Oceanic Forces, but maybe I'll suck it up and try during the next restock.

Emily de Molly polishes are available in Australia from the Emily de Molly etsy store. If you live outside of Australia, you can get them from llarowe.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Floral Nail Art

Hey everyone!

I have some fun nail art for you today! I sat down to do my nails last night and didn't really have a clear plan, I just knew that I wanted to do a floral design. Take a look at what I came up with!

The base colour here is none other than OPI My Vampire is Buff. This polish has now been the base colour of four nail art designs I've done! Gah, I just love it so much. In fact, I know it's early in the year to say this, but this shade will almost definitely be at the top of my Favourite Polishes of 2013 list. I just can't see anything else being released that I feel the need to have at least 2 back-up bottles of!

Anyways, aside from the base colour, all of the other polishes I used are from China Glaze. The neon orange is China Glaze Surfin' For Boys, the neon purple is Beach Cruise-r and the neon green is I'm With the Lifeguard, all three of which are from last year's Summer Neons Collection. The tiny black dots on the insides of the flowers is China Glaze Liquid Leather.

The flowers themselves are just freeform ones that really aren't meant to look like any particular flower. The same idea goes for the leaves - each one is actually just a couple of flicks of my brush.

This is one of my favourite designs that I've done in a while. I'm really into floral print right now, and there's something about the colour combination that I'm really loving!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review & Swatches - Models Own Fruit Pastels Collection

Good morning!

I've been lemming the Models Own Fruit Pastels Collection since it first came out, but it sold out quickly from Harlow & Co., so I was (im)patiently waiting for it come back in stock. Nail Polish Canada started carrying it during that period, but I found out too late and by then two shades had sold out. You can imagine my frustration.

So when Harlow & Co. got it back in stock, I didn't hesitate to place an order. With all that said, today I'm showing you swatches of all five scented pastel shades!

Apple Pie is a light mint creme. This is a really pretty colour that's right up my alley, although the formula left something to be desired. It started off patchy, which can be the case with a lot of pastel cremes, but it continued to be patchy after each additional coat. On top of that, it didn't self-level very well. Needless to say, it took some work (and three coats) to get a smooth and even finish. I wouldn't say the scent reminds me of apple pie, it's more like a light green apple scent.

Banana Split is a light lemon creme. This reminds me of one of my all-time favourite pastel polishes, China Glaze Lemon Fizz. This one however is a little paler and milkier, which I really like. The formula was disappointing, though. It was patchy with every coat and took four coats to even everything out. The scent is a light and fresh banana one.

Blueberry Muffin is a light sky blue creme. The formula of this one was better than the first two, although still finicky and a bit patchy. I used three coats for my swatch. The scent is a light blueberry one, although not necessarily blueberry muffin-y.

Grape Juice is a light lilac creme. I like this one a lot - it's a very feminine colour. The formula was the best of the bunch, although it did still require three coats for full coverage. The scent is a nice grape one.

Strawberry Tart is a light milky pink creme. This was a surprise favourite for me! There's something about it that makes it unique in my collection. I think it might be the milky base. Whatever it is, I really like it. The formula was one of the better ones, although it was still a bit patchy and did take three coats. The scent reminds me of those marshmallow strawberry candies.

Even considering the formula issues, I still really like this collection. I just think the colours are so light and pretty! The fruity scents also add a cute touch.

The Models Own Fruit Pastels Collection is available online from many different retailers. For UK residents, you can get them direct from the Models Own website. They do ship internationally, but it's definitely more economical to buy from a distributor if you're not in the UK. Other distributors include Harlow & Co., Nail Polish Canada and Ninja Polish.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

piCture pOlish - Mallard by The PolishAholic

Hey there!

In today's post I'm showing you a truly awesome polish.

piCture pOlish Mallard is one of the collaboration shades and it's created by the lovely Jen of The PolishAholic. First of all, I should say how much I love the idea behind all of the collaboration polishes. I just think it's awesome that piCture pOlish is so connected with the nail polish community! Anyways, back to the beauty that is Mallard.

Mallard is a deep teal based green with a strong golden/green shimmer and a sprinkle of flakies that flash green and orange. I got that description straight from Jen's post about her polish. I figured that since she created it, she'd have the best description! If you're interested in learning about Jen's inspiration for the polish, check out that same post.

I think this polish is just stunning. I mean, I think it would have been stunning with just the shimmer, but the addition of the flakies make it something extra special. And it would have been easy to go overboard with the flakies, but it's the absolute perfect amount.

In regards to formula, Mallard is a big winner there as well. I've basically come to expect that from piCture pOlish anyways. My photos show two easy coats of Mallard.

I think this is one of the absolute must-have collaboration shades. It's gorgeous, unique, and it's always a pleasure to support a fellow blogger.

Mallard retails for $14.50 and can be purchased through the piCture pOlish store. They do ship internationally, but there's also many network members all over the world whom you can purchase from. Refer to the Network Members List for a complete list of where you can find piCture pOlish.
Personally, I bought this one from llarowe, but I've also purchased piCture pOlish from Harlow & Co. as well.

Have you picked this one up yet? You're truly missing out if you haven't!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Giveaway - OPI Couture de Minnie Collection

Good morning, fellow polish lovers!

Today I have an exciting post! A couple of days ago I showed you swatches of OPI's new Couture de Minnie Collection, and today I'm giving you the chance you win the entire collection for yourself!

Please be advised that because the prize has been generously sponsored by a Canadian PR firm, this giveaway is only open to residents of Canada.
All other rules for the giveaway can be found below in the "Terms and Conditions" section of the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Playin' With Polka Dots

Hey everyone!

Ever have one of those days when you want to wear totally awesome nail art but don't actually want to do said nail art? I had one of those days recently. I really wanted to have some cool art on my nails, but I was also feeling pretty lazy. The two don't really go together that well. So I settled for a happy medium with some pastel polka dot nails! There's still pretty art, but it was quick and easy, which satisfied my laziness that day.

I tend to stick with China Glaze polishes when I do pastel designs, but this time I decided to branch out a bit. The peach is Illamasqua Purity, the light purple is Orly Gumdrop, the light turquoise is butter LONDON Fiver and the light yellow is China Glaze Lemon Fizz.

Part of me wishes that I'd saved this design for just a couple of days because yesterday I received my order for the models own Fruit Pastels Collection and I know this design would look great with those. I guess I'll have to come up with something else entirely to do with them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review & Swatches - OPI Couture de Minnie Collection

Good morning!

Today I've got the new OPI Couture de Minnie Collection to share with you! Last year OPI released a Minnie Collection and very sadly, I never did pick up any of the polishes from that collection. I definitely want to get my hands on them some day, but for now the new Minnie Collection will suffice! Check out all five shades below.

A Definite Moust-Have is a medium pink with slight coral undertones and subtle, pearly silver shimmer. The shimmer is pretty subtle, but you can definitely see that pearly look at all times. The formula was excellent and I've shown two coats in my swatch.

Chic From Ears to Tail is a light pink with subtle silver shimmer. The formula was decent, albeit a little patchy. My photo shows three coats.

Innie Minnie Mightie Bow is a gorgeous candy apple red with gold and fuchsia shimmer throughout. Unless in direct lighting, the shimmer is on the subtle side, but it's definitely there. The formula was fantastic and it's almost a one-coater, although I did use two for my swatch.

Magazine Cover Mouse is another of OPI's Liquid Sand shades, which as you might know, I'm a big fan of. This one is a red-orange with lots of gold and fuchsia microglitter. It's similar to OPI Jinx from the Bond Girls Collection, but much more red. The formula was amazing and I've shown two coats below.

Minnie Style consists of red, pink and white hex glitters in a clear base. Style-wise, it reminds me a lot of OPI The Living Daylights from last year's Skyfall Collection. I've shown it below layered over Chic From Ears to Tail. The glitter payoff was really good - I only needed one coat to get the coverage you see. The formula was also good, but I did find that the glitters wanted to stick together, so I did a little pushing with the brush to get them to sit where I wanted them to.

Overall, I really like this collection. I'm not normally a red/pink gal, but OPI always seems to nail those colours so well that I can't help but love them all. I'm a fan of all five shades, but if I have to pick favourites, I'd go with Innie Minnie Mightie Bow, Magazine Cover Mouse and Minnie Style.

The Couture de Minnie Collection is set to release in June.

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

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'm a Nail Technician! + A Gel Rose Manicure

Hey guys!

I posted about it on the NbKS Facebook page, but for anyone who doesn't already know, I'm now a fully certified nail technician! I did my final day last Monday and then I took a little time off for myself to just relax and prepare for the opening of my in-home salon. It was nice to have a few days away, not just from blogging but really from the internet in general. But I'm so glad to be back now!

For the last day of my course, we were all required to be wearing gel nails ourselves. Of course, I had to add some art to my gel mani, so today I'm showing you the design I did!

The brand I use is called Entity 1 and for this mani in particular, I used the soak-off gel polish line called Color Couture. If you're not familiar with this brand, Colour Couture is similar to CND Shellac, Gelish, or any of the other soak-off gel systems that are now readily available. The Colour Couture line offers a huge variety of soak-ff gel shades, so I'm really glad that I trained with this company and have no need to go searching other brands for a particular colour.

After the necessary prep stages for gel nails, I applied two coats of Entity 1 Midnight Runway, a deep purple shade, to all of my nails. After that had cured in my UV light, I used a very small amount of Zoya Julie and a medium sized nail art brush to create the basic rose shapes. Then, using Entity 1 Spotlight, an opaque white, I used a smaller nail art brush to create the leaves, the finer details on the roses, as well as some dots. I cured that, added the Color Couture top coat, cured that as well, and then voila!

I love how protected my nails feel with gel on them! They're less prone to breakage because of the hard gel on them, which is one of my absolute favourite things about soak-off gel manis. But because I like to change my manis so often, gel nails are more of a special occasion thing for me. On top of that, I do a lot of swatching for this blog, so gel manis aren't particularly practical for me.

If you're interested in learning how to do this design, I posted a video tutorial for it not too long ago (sans the dots). Check it out here. And while you're there, don't forget to subscribe to my channel. :)

Oh and for anyone wondering more about my in-home salon, I'm currently working on a separate blog where I'll have all the information available for that. This blog is all about nail polish, and I really want to keep it that way. I'll post all of my clients manicures on the other blog, as well as all the info about the services I offer, pricing, etc. So if you're interested in following that blog, I'll post a link to it as soon as it's up and ready.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Leopard Print Colour Blocking Nails

Hey guys!

I hope everyone's weekend is going well while I'm studying and practicing for my upcoming course! It's weird because studying is so much different when it's for something you actually enjoy!

The design I'm showing you today is the one that I wore most of this week and it incorporates two of my current favourite polishes. One of them you surely already know because I've talked about it so much - it's OPI My Vampire is Buff, which I now have two back-up bottles of, making it officially the shade I own the most bottles of. And not surprisingly, I still feel the need to get even more back-ups. The other is butter LONDON Trout Pout, a gorgeous coral polish.

Anyways, I started out with a base of My Vampire is Buff on all of my nails and then I used a medium length striping brush with Trout Pout and a black creme to block off diagonal sections. I also did an accent nail of a simple freehand leopard print. I was going to stop there but decided to tie in the leopard print on the accent nail to the other nails by adding the same print to all of the beige sections.

I absolutely love this combination of coral, nude and black! When I was looking at the polishes lined up before I started the design, I had a slight concern that the colours might end up looking a little Halloween-y. But I went for it anyways and I'm happy that I don't get a Halloween vibe from this combo at all.

Thanks for stopping by! Talk to you guys in a couple of days!
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