4th of July Nail art

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Polishes used
Blue – Wet N Wild Fast Dry in saved By the Blue
Red – Zoya Carmen
Glitter top coats:
Dollish Polish It’s A Me, Mario! (The stars are so hard to get out! Really wish there were more stars in the bottle.)
Icing Glamourous

Stamping polishes used:
Konad Special Polish in White
A England Excalibur

Stamping plates used:
Bundle Monster stripes are plate BM 201
Stars are Pueen plate 44 (both stamped cleanly and easily. Maybe it’s the plate, maybe it’s the polishes, who knows. Winning combo.)

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Enjoy the BBQ y’all and please be safe when blowing up small objects for fun. Would be a shame to lose fingers in a tragic fireworks accident. Less nails to paint. 😧

Review – Ulta Nail FX set

The Ulta Nail FX top coat set comes with four different top coats to give you four different effects for nail art. It retails for $14 in Ulta stores.

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What’s in the box:
Color Enhancing Topcoat – Brightens and intensifies any nail enamel. pops in direct sunlight and glows under black light.
Matte Topcoat – Create a matte effect when applied over any shade.
Holographic Topcoat – Futuristic rainbow holographic effect when used alone. Silvery holographic frost when used over any colored nail enamel.
Smoky Topcoat – Gives any shade of nail polish a dark smoky effect. Extends wear and increase (sic) shine.

(Descriptions taken directly from the back of the box. All four are listed as Formaldehyde, DBP, and Tolulene free.)

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First impression –
Typical Ulta bottles. No minis in this set like their other sets usually have. All full size topcoats.
The color enhancing topcoat looks like a normal gloss top coat with a slight blue tinge.
The matte topcoat also looks typical for a matte. Milky semi clear in bottle.
The holographic topcoat has a grayish look to it.
The smoky topcoat looks……well…..black.

Ok, here we go. All 5 swatches are a blue polish (Wet N Wild Fast Dry in Saved By the Blue) with two coats and no Seche Vite.

From left to right
Base color with no top coat.
Color Enhancing
Matte
Holographic
Smoky

First, no flash.

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With flash.

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The Color Enhancing topcoat is glossy. Will update with shots in sunlight and under black light when I can. Otherwise it’s rather unremarkable.

The matte one isn’t very matte. It looked virtually identical to my base color with no top coat. Not glossy but not very matte. Meh. I much prefer Essie Matte About You or even the very economical NYC Matte Me Crazy.

The holographic. Wow. On its own it’s rather blah as a silver holographic polish. Spend a little money on a brand that uses high quality holographic pigment. Try FNUG or Layla. As a topcoat it’s way too thick to be used. Base color barely shows through even at one coat over a dark polish. For comparison, I went ahead and put one coat of my favorite holographic top coat My Private Rainbow from I Love Nail Polish on the originally non top coated swatch.

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Now that’s what I’m talking about! One coat of My Private Rainbow on nail one vs one coat of Ulta Holographic topcoat on nail 4. At two coats (not shown) the first becomes a holo queen while the fourth becomes…….silver. :/

Finally we have the smoky topcoat. It’s basically a black jelly polish. A very light black jelly polish. It changed the color, otherwise I can’t speak for its ability to “increase wear”.

As a fan of nail art and unique finishes, this kit is disappointing. If the color enhancing one works as described (and I’m not holding my breath on that one) it might be worth the purchase. We go to skating rinks and bowling alleys that love black lights so I would definitely use a top coat that could make my nails glow like crazy. Ulta probably should think about selling these individually but in my opinion, they’re pretty much junk. Save your money folks.

The products in this review were purchased by me. The opinions in this review are my own.

Update 7/14/13

Finally got to test out the black light responsive top coat.
Here’s two coats alone on my little one’s nails.

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And here is two coats over my regular mani of I Love Nail Polish’s Cosmic Barney, a very dark purple holo. I only did my pinky as this top coat does bubble and no way was I ruining my holo goodness for a few hours at the bowling alley LOL. But it works, and works well.

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October Round-Up (because I’m a slacker)

Ah October. What a sigh of relief. Cooler weather has arrived and with it comes runny noses and whiny kids (and husbands!). I may have slacked on posting, but I definitely didn’t slack on my nails! My biweekly manicures have remained consistent and fun, so here I go with a recap!

Fall means football in southeastern Louisiana. I’ll spare you the insanity and only show a few football inspired manis.

First up is my son’s school colors. (Geaux Gators!). I was only able to attend half of his games due to work sadly. The orange is one from SinfulColors’ line. The blue is Ulta’s house brand. Names escape me.

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I used a piece of striping tape to get the line. Simple, but not too simple.

Next up is another black and gold mani. My son and I attended the Sunday night Chargers vs Saints game in the dome. It was an amazing night watching Drew break the all time consecutive games with a passing TD record. That night I wore a base coat of A England’s original Holy Grail topped off with Barry M’s Croc Effects in black. Normally I hate crackle polish. It looks, I don’t know, sloppy? But this one is different. Instead of a shatter effect, it does this alligator skin effect that goes great with one of my handbags.

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Here are two more black and gold manis using striping tape. That stuff seriously is versatile! Blacks and golds in both are from A England (again). Best black polish on the planet!

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And an LSU purple and gold striped mani, just to show I do branch out occasionally. 😉

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Next up, but still in the gold family (purely a coincidence, I swear!!), is a new one from OPI’s Skyfall collection. This is Goldeneye. Application is nice, dries not too gritty, and sparkles like crazy! It looks like gold foil nails. I kept being reminded of the golden eggs that the geese lay in Willie Wonka.

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And now for the Halloween portion of today’s spamathon. This is China Glaze Riveting from the Hunger Games collection. Best orange ever. I used various Bundle Monster stamping plates and Konad Special Polish in black. They came out cute. My waitress at my favorite sushi restaurant insisted they were fake until I showed her where my thumb had chipped. Lol

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Last but certainly not least is from Ninja Polish’s Halloween 2012 collection. I picked up Candy Corn and Howling Blue Moon, both glow in the dark polishes. Seeing as this year my son is dressing as Walter White for Halloween, complete with sample bags of Heisenberg’s Blue Meth (rock candy dyed blue, it rots your teeth like the real thing though!), I had to have blue nails to match. Here is a pic showing regular light, semi-dark, and full darkness. It’s the best glow in the dark polish out there hands down. The holo sparkle goodness and crescent moon glitters make it a joy to wear in the daytime too. I’m in love!

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Well, that’s it for this month’s roundup! I left out a few manis that need to go with others in their line of polishes. I promise to get those and their yet to be swatched brethren up soon! Stay tuned and thanks for reading!!

Newsprint Nails

I’m baaaaaack!
What a summer this was! From floods to oppressive heat, we weathered it all. (ha, see what I did there?)
Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging. (As regular as I can with two kids in school, football games, various activities, and work. )

I bought several lemmings of mine this summer and now am on a non-self-imposed buy ban. (boooo-urns!) So now I get to show you the pretty pretty polishes I acquired on my summer hiatus.

I’ll start by saying that Pinterest is either a) the most awesome gathering of ideas and memes on earth or b) the devil. My answer all depends on if I can get my pin of the day to work in real life. I am sure you know what I mean.

After seeing the Newspaper Manicure on several blogs, I decided that it can’t be too difficult to try. And after a slight learning curve and two “erasings”, I have decided that today is an answer (a) day.

In my arsenal for today’s mani I have a section of newspaper (metro section) from my keepsake stash (what? You don’t keep newspapers as momentos?), scissors (for cutting, Duuuh), 91% rubbing alcohol, an old medicine measuring cup, a q-tip soaked in polish remover (henceforth known as my “eraser”), topcoat (Seche Vite), and my color of choice OPI’s My Boyfriend Scales Walls from the Spiderman Collection.

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First let me talk about this color. It’s perfect. I am not usually one to drool over a mainstream brand because, let’s face it, they’re about as imaginative as my last bowl of Corn Flakes. I prefer Indie polishes because they truly are an art form. This is an exception. This polish was white while not being TOO white. It didn’t look like I used White Out to paint my nails like I did when I was 8 years old. It went on easily, a tad thick, but easy to control. Three thin coats made it perfect with no bald spots and no dragging. Dry time was relatively quick. A tint of gray made this the perfect choice for this project.

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Now on to the learning curve. There are a few different instructions floating out there. This is what ended up working for me. Nails were dry for about an hour (I got impatient). I poured about an inch or so of alcohol into the cup. Working one nail at a time, I dipped my finger into the alcohol, covering the whole nail, letting it sit for a few seconds. I then dipped my tiny section of newspaper into the alcohol cup, also letting it sit for a couple seconds. (Note: cut the paper slightly larger than the nail. You can cut out certain words for fun, but they will be mirror image.) you want the newspaper saturated, but not so much so that it will fall apart when manipulating it on the nail.

Place the paper on your fingernail. Once you put the paper on there, don’t move it. Even a tiny shift will be noticeable and will result in blurry words. My first two attempts, the paper wasn’t wet enough. When I tried to make sure the paper touched every curve of my nail, I wound up with a double image. Enter my “eraser”. A few quick swipes removed the newsprint without damaging my polish.

Let the paper sit on the nail while applying slight pressure. You’re going to wait anywhere from 10-20 seconds, allowing some of the alcohol to evaporate. Slowly peel away the paper. If all went well, you should have success. If not, don’t blame me. Blame Pinterest! 😉

Here is the finished product, topped with Seche Vite. Make sure you load up your brush first, or else you run the risk of smearing the newsprint.

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I proclaim this pin a relative success. There are a few spots that aren’t exactly top notch, but for a first try I’m pretty happy. Next time should be even better now that I’ve seen what and what not to do. 😉

Oh, and here is the same shot alongside its mirror image. A few key words made it onto my nails, officially making this a Who Dat In The News manicure.

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My Polish Holy Grail

I’ve been waiting for my local Sally Beauty Supply to get a certain color back in stock. Every time I’d go in, I’d search the racks of China Glaze. It became a ritual. Even my 8 year old daughter would automatically check when she’d come shopping with me.

When China Glaze came out with their Summer Neons line, I made a trip to Sally’s to grab the two colors that had piqued my interest online. I was distracted by all the new pretty bottles when my daughter yelled out, ” Mama!! Flip Flop!!!!!”. I didn’t believe her. Surely it was a misplaced bottle. She flipped the bottle over and proudly showed me the name we had been searching for.

So here it is, my very own bottle of China Glaze’s Flip Flop Fantasy. I was so excited, I didn’t even do a clean up before grabbing a few shots. My bad.
This is with a white base, which I highly recommend for all neon type polishes. They just pop!!

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Stamping plate drk-b from ninjapolish.com yet again. It’s quickly becoming my go to plate. Very large images. I mean super large! This little owl comes in 3 sizes which is nice.

This was the beginning of a large nail polish shopping spree, but it was by far my biggest “get”. Happy polish addict!!!!

Who Dat Manicure

We have charged full speed into summer vacation this year. Between end of school madness and trying to keep my two darling angel children from murdering each other while daily thunderstorms flood our little part of the country, I have had no time for blogging. I have, much to my husband’s dismay, had time to continue my polish addiction by buying every pretty bottle that crossed my path.
I may or may not have worn everything I’ve recently purchased, but I can guarantee I have swatched them all on a nail wheel. Somewhere around here are several little bits of plastic with a gorgeous array of colors shining brightly, calling my name, begging to be worn. In due time my pretties, in due time.

Let me begin by saying I love nail stamping. It’s fun, simple, and the possibilities are endless. You know what sucks though? Stamping plates. There are just too many of them out there!! My bank account cries every time I browse the internet under the google keywords “konad” “fauxnad” or “stamping plates”. Yeah, I have issues. Intervention is knocking on my door with video cameras.

Ninja Polish now has two large stamping plates on their website. The first was beautiful. I resisted. Then came the sneak peeks of the images on the yet unreleased second one. I struggled. Line by line more images were shown. A sweat broke out. Then a fleur de lis showed up in there. That was it, pre-order button clicked. For that one image alone I was hooked. Resistance is futile.

In a show of support for our players (mostly fruitless) appeal to the NFL tomorrow, I am yet again proudly wearing my Who Dat Nation pride on my nails. No matter the outcome, I just want this summer to end and football season to begin already!

I must own a dozen different golds. Today I chose to wear a gold by Jade Holographic. Not available here in the states, I ordered this one from Llarowe http://shop.llarowe.com/, another great vendor for unique polishes. Holographic polishes are quickly becoming my favorite! In this case, it gave a nice punch to my Who Dat manicure. Polish applied smoothly, the unique bottle and brush shape felt good in my hands. Slightly transparent, this polish needed 3 thin coats for enough coverage. Drying time was fast. Topped with Seche Vite topcoat which didn’t take anything away from the yummy holo goodness.

First, sunlight.

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And now, flash.

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Whoa baby!

And a shot with Jade’s unique bottle.

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I’d still rate Glitter Gal holo polish as the top in terms of quality and opaqueness, but Jade ranks a close second.
My nail mail haul also included my first bottle of A-England, a Zoya freebie set, more Jade, some summer neons, and I finally got my hands on the elusive China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy! Stay tuned!!