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Tutorial #005: Ombre Nails

Ombre nails are some of the most awesome patterns a person can do. You wouldn’t know it by looking at them but they’re easy to achieve, even for a beginner. In fact, they’re hard to mess up as long as you use the right polishes and good sponges.

Keep on reading for the actual tutorial and tons of photos of other ombre manicures!

Read the rest of this entry

Manicure #002

My last post that included manicures featured three different styles. However, this is my second post dedicated to a manicure and as such it will be considered number two. I mention this because I’m slightly O.C.D. when it comes to how I format each post. Each post needs a theme so it can be applied to the appropriate category on the menu to the right. This will allow for easy searching when I one day have readers.

This manicure is referred to as an “ombre” manicure. It can be achieved in different ways but mine has been done by taking a makeup sponge (the kind you can buy an entire bag of for no more than $2 at most big stores like Target or Wal-mart), painting several lines of different color polishes, and sponging them on an already painted nail. It helps if you paint your nails a light color like white or the lightest color you want to use so the fade effect really pops. However, you can go as crazy as you want from there!

I, however, stuck to a pretty demure set of colors. For this manicure I used White on White by China Glaze as the base coat and Chic, Dreamer, and Timeless, all by Revlon. As much as I hate to admit it at this point all of the Revlon polishes transferred easily from sponge to nail.

One thing I love about ombre manicures is that you can easily correct them by adding more or less of any one color. They’re also great because you don’t need much time to create a very cool looking manicure that will surely grab peoples’ attention.

I will post a tutorial on ombre nails either tomorrow or sometime later on this week. Thanks for reading!

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!

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.

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!):