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Nail Tutorial #004: Giddy for Green

Today’s tutorial is called Giddy in Green and has an overall fun, youthful feel. It is easy to do but a bit time-consuming. I have done a few other manicures like this (see tutorial #003) and get faster each time. This particular manicure took me about half an hour from start to finish.

The following items are what you’ll need to achieve this look:

Sassy by Revlon
First Mate by China Glaze
Nicole by O.P.I.’s My Favorite Gold
Lexington Yellow by NYC
– Silver nail studs
– Any kind of dotting tool (here I have used 12 gauge craft wire that has been cut to reveal flat, circular ends which are perfect for dotting)
– Tweezers (Pictured above is a tweezer/scoop combination that can be found at Michael’s or any other craft store. It is perfect for this manicure because not only can you pick up and place these small beads with ease, you can also use the back of the scoop to tap them which helps set them in place.)
– Q-tips and acetone for corrections (optional)

1.) Paint two coats of your base color and add a quick dry topcoat for optimal dry time.

2.) Take a glob of polish and place it on a piece of paper. Dip your dotting tool into the glob and try a few practice dots on the piece of paper before moving on to your nails. Place one dot at a time on your nails.

3.) Immediately after placing one dot of polish, use your tweezers to pick up a stud and place it in the middle of the dot. If it is not placed perfectly don’t worry. You can always use the tweezers to push it a little in one direction or another to achieve perfect placement. Be sure to do it while the polish is still wet though or else the stud will fall off easily.

4.) Clean your dotting tool off by dipping it in acetone and wiping it with a cotton swab or paper towel.

5.) Using two other colors of nail polish start placing more dots on each nail.

And there you have it! A manicure made of dots and studs in bright, playful colors. Be careful not to bump your nails into anything (use the bathroom before doing your manicure!) because the studs come off easily until they’ve finished setting. It also helps to add a topcoat to sort of seal them into place but this is optional. Be sure to wait to add the topcoat until everything else is dry though because the brush might drag a stud out of place. Fortunately this is easily fixable with tweezers but it might take some polish from your base coat and subsequently require doing the dot (or dots) over again.

Nail Tutorial #003: Preppy Pocks

Well, I promised a tutorial for my last manicure but this is going to be a tutorial for something entirely different. Today’s tutorial will be on polka dots! The cool part about my tutorial is that I can almost guarantee no one does it the same way I do and it looks just as good as any of the other polka dot manicures I’ve seen out there.

Here’s what you’ll need. (It goes without saying that you can substitute these polishes with whatever brand or color you desire!)

China Glaze’s First Mate
Revlon’s Sassy
Revlon’s Siren
NYC’s Lexington Yellow
– 12 gauge wire
– Scissors or nippers
– Q-tip and acetone for clean-up (optional)
– Quick-drying top coat (optional)

1.) Take your wire and nippers out. Cut off a piece of wire and straighten it out with your hands or a rubber hammer. In order to keep the ends even you will need to clip them perfectly. Try to keep from using your cutters in a crooked fashion and file the edges if necessary. (

Tip: The wire pictured here can be purchased at any Michael’s for no more than a couple of bucks. Wire of all sizes should be available in any craft store, Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Wal-mart as well.

2.) Apply a solid base coat in the color of your choice. Here I have chosen First Mate by CG as it applies smoothly and all around looks amazing. Apply two coats of polish and top it off with some quick-drying top coat if you’re impatient like me.

3.) Get out your first polish and dab a blob of it on a piece of paper. Do a few practice dots (as you can see in the above photo) and once you are sure you have a consistent size and shape begin to dot your nails in the first color.

Tip: After every couple of dots stick the end of your wire in some acetone and wipe it off so that the polish doesn’t begin to dry and clump up on the end. This will result in a messy looking circle instead of a nice, clean dot.

4.) Continue this process with each of your colors and in no particular pattern.

Tip: If you mess up a dot, soak a q-tip in a good amount of acetone (it should almost be dripping). Quickly wipe it over the dot you want removed. If this doesn’t take it off, try lightly wiping the q-tip in a circular motion. If you do it in a light, quick fashion it shouldn’t take your base coat off. Voila! No more messy dot.

5.) Apply a top coat of polish and you’re done! Allow your nails to dry for at least 15 minutes (the longer the better).

Please feel free to share your own polka dot manicures in the comments section below!

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!