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Monthly Archives: July 2012

I’ve got the China Glaze craze going on…/Review #002

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In light of recent events involving Revlon I have had to turn to other brands to feed my addiction. I live in a small town with one beauty supply store and a Wal-mart that carries your basic polish brands like NYC, wet n wild, Revlon, L’oreal, Sally Hansen, etc. Fortunately our beauty supply store has a nice stock of China Glaze which I have come to enjoy.

I bought my first three bottles of CG a few days before starting this blog and have really liked it since then. However, I’m not made of money so I try to conserve it when I can and this involves purchasing a lot of cheaper brands like Revlon, Insta-dri, NYC, and anything that shows up in TJ Maxx. I have “splurged” once in a while but generally stick to polishes that cost about $5 or less a bottle because I’m simply trying to build a base of my collection at this moment.

I now have over 50 bottles of polish when just a few weeks ago I only had a couple so I’ve already invested several hundred bucks in a short period of time. If I start purchasing brands like CG, Essie, “indie polishes,” Orly, and OPI on a regular basis I will have to cut back on the number of bottles I get and my collection will sort of plateau. Being the polishaholic I am this is a sad realization but I’m not budging from my promise to boycott Revlon after that whole debacle (see my previous post).

Long story short? I am not going to be buying as much polish as I was. Instead I’ll be buying bottles of polish that are of higher quality and made by respected companies. Although I am not planning on throwing my 30 bottles of Revlon polishes out, I do not intend on buying anymore. You will continue to see Revlon on my nails until I run out of polish because I’m not going to throw out something I’ve already paid good money for. You will, however, see a much larger concentration of differing brands in the near future.

Sorry, that was slightly tl;dr which tends to happen after a glass of wine… What I actually intended on doing was posting a few reviews.

Here are the China Glaze polishes I have purchased over the past two weeks. I apologize for the poor lighting.

L to R: Recycle, First Mate, VIII, Unplugged, Swing Baby, Sunset Sail, White on White.

I am going to start with just a couple of CG’s polishes for this review post and work my way through the rest in due time. First up is, well, First Mate.

Where do I begin… This polish is simply amazing! CG is really popular for a reason and that’s because they make polishes truly worth all the praise they receive. What you are looking at is just one coat of First Mate and nothing more. There’s no bottom coat or even a top coat. I am far from an expert when it comes to painting my nails (in case you haven’t noticed) yet it turned out this beautiful! In other words it basically speaks for itself. It applies like a dream and doesn’t streak. It isn’t watery (like NYC) but it’s also not thick (like Insta-Dri which isn’t thick to the point of being difficult but it’s certainly one of the thicker polishes I’ve used thus far). It’s the perfect consistency and nothing less.

As for the color it also speaks for itself. It’s a beautiful, bold midnight blue that’s definitely in style at the moment and will continue looking good through fall and winter. It can be used during any season in my personal opinion and it also matches a lot of different things. It’s pretty versatile to say the least which is an especially good thing when it lasts at least a week because you can change outfits and styles without having to worry about your polish looking out of place. I could go on and on but this post is already insane enough so I’ll spare you, haha.

One more thing: please excuse the fuzz on my pinky nail in the above photo! How embarrassing, haha. I am so guilty of not following my own advice and often not allowing my nails to dry long enough before using my hands. I’m just too excited to move on to the next review, I suppose.

Next up is Recycle.

Much of the same can be said for this polish which isn’t exactly surprising considering the who makes it. This color is extremely demure and fashionable. It’s not as versatile as First Mate in my opinion but it looks good with just about anything nonetheless. It too is easy to work with and applies like a dream.

Lastly we have Sunset Sail

Sunset Sail is probably my second favorite CG polish thus far. It’s very subtle and compliments just about any color of polish you might want to add if you’re thinking about using a stamping plate or painting any designs on it. Despite it being subtle it is not lost on those around you. I got plenty of compliments on this polish the two days I wore it. I wish I could say it will not chip with 100% certainty but I only wore it for about 48 hours so I can’t make that guarantee. I did, however, wash dishes and do other activities that normally chip polish and it stayed in place during those two days. I have no doubts it would have gone almost a week.

Well, if you made it this far all I have left to say is I freaking love you for sticking this out! I am genuinely hoping for some regular readers so please pass this blog along to any of your friends or acquaintances. I have received over 100 hits since I started this page roughly two weeks ago and I have done so despite not regularly advertising it. I take this as a good sign and hope it continues garnering readers! Thank you agan for visiting and please come back!

Sad day.

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I am sad to say I will no longer be buying Revlon products. It was recently discovered that they had not only stolen photos from other bloggers, they had even stolen photos that didn’t use Revlon products. They also lied to readers about how to achieve certain manicures, all while using photos of manicures that did not utilize Revlon polishes at all. I am frustrated for these other bloggers because they have put so much time, energy, emotion, and money into creating their blogs. In fact, the two blogs I am speaking of in particular (owned by two women named Mary and Jeanette) were some of the blogs that inspired me to start mine.

You can read more about this here:

Nail tutorial #002: Chic and Teak

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Alright, I’m in a mood to post today! I’m trying to make up for lost time. It’s my goal to post at least once every few days and have a couple of tutorials and reviews every single week. Hopefully I can really get the ball rolling with this blog and build a good “base” for everyone to enjoy.

I’m going to change up the way I write tutorials so this will be a little different than #001. Today’s manicure is called “Chic and Teak” and uses the following items:

White on White by China Glaze
Smoky Brown by e.l.f.
Quick Dry Top Coat by Revlon
– Bundle Monster plate BM20
– Konad stamper
– Konad scraper or old credit card (in this case mine is an old gift certificate).
– Q-tip with a point or a brush
– Acetone
(The q-tip and acetone are not necessary but help with cleaning up the edges of your nails. I know I need them after painting my nails and they make a huge difference! Simply soak the brush or q-tip in the acetone and swipe it around the edge of your nails.)

1.) Paint your nails with White on White. Use at least two coats but no more than three or else it will begin to glob up. Apply a quick drying top coat to speed up dry time and allow your nails to dry for at least 10 minutes.

2.) Dip your brush or q-tip into acetone and gently wipe it around the edges of your nails to correct all smudges. Do this immediately after painting each nail and the polish will come up MUCH quicker than if you wait until you’re finished with your entire hand.

3.) Take your credit card or scraper, stamper, and BM20 plate out. Apply Smoky Brown polish on top of the filagree image. I have found that painting over the image in all directions allows the polish to really sink into the plate and as a result the stamper will pick it up better.

4.) Be sure to do this step immediately after you paint over the image! Use the card or scraper and scrap the polish off in one quick motion. Do not press down too hard but firm while swiping in one direction. Immediately pick up your stamper and press it into the design. Roll it around while keeping it flat on the plate so that every nook and cranny will be included. As fast as you can, take the stamper and roll it over your nail. Be sure to follow the natural curvature of your nail or it won’t look right! If you press flat down the design will become warped or pieces of it will be entirely missing.

5.) Apply your top coat for protection and a nice shine. Let your nails dry for at least 10 minutes before using your hands.

Voila! A beautiful filagree design in two very chic colors.

Polish review #001

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I’ve decided to start doing polish reviews to mix things up a bit. It seems like nail blogs are usually one or the other and I want to incorporate both tutorials and reviews. Ultimately I would like to expand to other areas but will be sticking with this basic format for now.

Another thing I would like to start doing is holding contests. Unfortunately I have almost zero readers at this point so I have to wonder, is a contest worth it when only a few people would enter? In order to resolve this I would have to leave the contest open for a good while before picking a name. We’ll visit this idea more in future posts though! I’ve got some great stuff I would love to give away in order to A.) make people happy and B.) garner more followers.

Alright, onto the polish reviews. The first is Dreamer by Revlon. I’m a huge fan of Revlon products because they’re affordable (roughly $3-$5 depending on which type of polish you purchase and where you buy it from) yet they’re still as good as more expensive polishes. Side by side you cannot tell the difference between Revlon and brands like Essie, OPI, Orly, etc. At least I can’t! Then again I’m new to this so maybe my eye hasn’t developed well enough quite yet, haha. Anyway, this polish goes on smoothly and is very easy to work with. It only needs two or three coats and is shiny whether you use a top coat or not. It should also last for at least a week as long as you let it dry long enough.

Next one is a neon blue color by Cynthia Rowley (there is no name on the bottle). I got this in a set of two for a few bucks at TJ Maxx. I absolutely adored this color the moment I laid eyes on it. Application wise it goes on like a dream but once it dries it becomes sort of matte-like. Whether or not this is what it’s supposed to do I am not sure. It does not state it is a matte polish on the bottle. Regardless of this it still takes just two to three coats. I added Revlon’s quick drying top coat to make it dry faster and shine a little.

Lastly I have this lovely red color. It’s Cherry by Revlon and it is one of my all time favorite polishes! I have already used half the bottle. It pays homage to the classic red color that inspired people in the early 20th century. It goes with just about anything and looks beautiful no matter what kind of lighting it is subjected to. It applies better than just about any other polish I have tried (oddly enough it goes on better than any other Revlon polishes I have tried which amounts to about 25 in all). It lasts whether you use a top coat and it also looks good no matter how many coats you apply. Definitely my favorite polish I’ve used thus far!

That’s it for my first post with polish reviews. I leave you with another photo, this time of China Glaze’s Sunset Sail and Bundle Monster’s flower stamp from plate BM02. The white polish used was China Glaze’s White on White .

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

My first three Konad + Bundle Monster manicures!

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I would add a tutorial but it’s pretty self explanatory. Each of these manicures involved Bundle Monster plates and a Konad stamper.

So far I’m pretty happy with everything I ordered. However, as a beginner I was not privy to the fact that using a special polish is best when stamping. Konad apparently makes such a polish and I will be purchasing it soon. Until then I’ve figured out a few tricks to help make the stamping process better:
1. Do it quickly! It seems like “regular” polish dries so fast that it barely transfers (if at all) while stamping unless you do it within a few seconds.
2. Make sure to push down the stamper and roll it around really well so it will pick up the entire design.
3. When applying the stamp to your nail you need to do it in a rolling fashion from one side to the other in order for it to work properly.

Hopefully mine will get better with time and the proper nail polish. I am definitely satisfied though!

First manicure:

Second:

Third (and my personal favorite!):

Quick update.

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I got my Bundle Monster plates and Konad stamper in! I have played with it a little bit but not enough to get out a camera and take photos for this blog. I will get on that tomorrow. It has been a lot of fun playing around with it but it definitely takes a little practice and experimentation before you can get it perfect.

Check back soon!

What I’m working with.

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Here's a quick look at what I've amassed so far. Like I said before, this collection has been in progress for at least three years at this point but only lately have I really started adding to it. I'm looking forward to my Bundle Monster plates coming in sometime next week (even if I paid for 1-3 day shipping and they won't be here until a week after I ordered them but such is life).

Short post.

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This is going to be a short post. Yesterday I ordered 20 plates from Bundle Monster as well as the nail stamper and scraper from Konad. I absolutely, positively cannot wait. Honestly, I think it will be the beginning of the end when I get them tomorrow. I also got two bottles of polish today (Minted by Revlon and Fall Mood by Revlon).

Speaking of, although I have only done a few legitimate manicures in my life, I have somehow amassed a decent collection of polish. I probably have about 30 bottles in all kinds of colors. I started collecting them years ago and only recently began using them. Why that is, I'll never know. It was just one of those things where people would give it to me or I would see a color I loved and bought but never really used... until now!

Manicure #001: Mocha Delight

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Here goes nothing, my first manicure! In case you didn't read the introduction post, it is important to know that I am a beginner when it comes to anything nail-related. I'm being as honest as Mother Theresa when I say that in my 24 years on earth, I have never done so much as give myself an actual, honest-to-god manicure until one week ago. It's needless to say I have become addicted! Unfortunately there are some things that come with the territory. I will not be using a nice camera but instead my iPhone3 and because my nails have never been cared for and I create jewelry for a living, my fingers look awful right now! Hopefully they will improve in time!

One more thing before getting started: It is my hope that not only will I help others but that others will help me. Please feel free to leave suggestions, photos, links, tutorials, whatever in the comments section!

On to the manicure. I'll call it "Mocha Delight."

In order to keep this blog and its tutorials as simple and easy as possible I will be including lots of photos. With that being said, here is what you'll need:

From left to right: Top2 Bottom base coat by Orly, Quick Dry Top Coat by Revlon, Sand Tropez by Essie, NYC Quick Dry Polish (color not given but it is dark burgundy), and Diamond in the Rough by wet n wild.

1.) Apply one base coat. It does not need to be perfect.
2.) Apply two coats of Sand Tropez by Essie. (Here is a wonderful tutorial on how to paint your nails perfectly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_pBr1m9dKg (I wish I could directly link but it isn't working/I don't know the HTML... yet.) It is by far the best one I've found so far!)
3.) Let the first two coats dry for at least 15 minutes. The polish needs to be set before moving to the next step or you will end up peeling off parts of it.
4.) Use a generic white tip guide and place it a few millimeters from the tip of your nail.
5.) Apply a coat of burgundy NYC Quick Dry polish.
6.) Let this coat dry for at least two or so minutes. It does not need to be perfect but it needs to cover the nail tip as it provides a dark base color for the next layer.
7.) Apply Diamond in the Rough by wet n wild.
8.) Apply top coat. It does not need to be perfect.
9.) Use a q-tip to remove any renegade polish that made its way onto your cuticle or finger.
10.) Let everything dry for at least 15 minutes (longer is preferable as the longer you allow your nails to dry, the less likely it is something will smudge them!)

Another photo:

There you have it! I found this manicure to be extremely simple. It is, however, somewhat time consuming. It took me about 45 minutes from start to finish. It would probably take less time had I not made the mistake of not allowing my nails to dry 100% before applying the tip guides (obvious rookie mistake, of course). When I peeled them off they took plenty of sand Tropez with it and many cuss words ensued. Moral of the story? The more dry time the better! Pace yourself and you'll have a beautiful manicure.

Please keep returning for updates. Thank you for reading!

Welcome!

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Welcome, everyone! I'll keep this short and simple: For those of us who love nails and love looking at nail blogs, it can sometimes be frustrating when the designs we see and love are hard for us to achieve. Not everyone is blessed with the skills required to do some of these amazing manicures we see out there and that's not because people can't become that good but because, well, everyone has to start somewhere!

With that being said, I am actually one of these people. I recently started combing Google for nail blogs in hopes of finding tutorials on how to do my nails. So far I've tried about five or six manicures so I am very far from experienced. This blog will be a journey for me and hopefully some help for others who are also beginners when it comes to nails!

It is my sincere hope that people will find this blog and learn from it. I'm starting from scratch so bear with me but I'm a quick learner and have the time right now to dedicate myself to this. Please feel free to recommend manicures or post tips in the comment sections! I am open to trying anything and everything.

Thank you for browsing and stick around because there is so much more to come!