Sunday, February 19, 2012

Black and White Floral Print Stamp

Wendy here again with another nail art look! For this one, I used nail stamping to print a floral design onto my nails.  There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube on how to do nail stamping... I'll be honest, it's not that easy, but once you get the hang of it, it definitely turns out looking awesome! (wayyy easier than trying to paint a design on by hand!!)

OPI Skulls and Glossbones, LA Color Art Deco in Black

In order to achieve this look, I used two coats of OPI Skulls and Glossbones (from the Pirates of the Caribbean collection) and used stamping plate #m73 with black polish to print on the cute floral design. Make sure the base color has completely dried before doing any stamping!  One of the tricky things with using polish plates is finding polishes and colors that will print well--- I find that using polishes that have thicker consistencies (maybe older polishes) tend to work better than ones with more watery consistencies. I love using Skulls and Glossbones as a base color, almost any color will stand out on it, and I would highly recommending using it for Newsprint manis.  Hope you enjoyed this look!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Abstract Girl on Fire Mani

So, after doing a Valentine's Day mani, I felt really inspired by the black and red color palette. As a base, I used OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous, a great black shimmer that reminds me of coal in the sunlight. I frosted my fingertips with a red glitter, OPI's Gettin' Miss Piggy With It from the Muppet's Collection...and the result looked so similar to a flame that my Hunger Games-obsessed mind  immediately knew I had to do a mani inspired by Katniss' 74th Games tribute costume, designed by Cinna.
For those of you who haven't read the Hunger Games, the main character Katniss Everdeen donned a black bodysuit and a cape that was set ablaze by her stylist as she rode into the arena. She literally (and figuratively) became The Girl On Fire. It's hard to tell in the photo, but I topped my original "bleeding black heart" Valentine's mani with a "pa" nail polish I picked up from a Japanese market. It's a gold glitter that looks like it changes opacity in different lights. This is the first time I've used it, and I'm pleasantly surprised.
The result was a subtle gold shimmer atop the black and red, like an abstract flame. I could never rock a bold red and yellow flame on my nails (just not my style), but the glittery flames suit me, every time I look at my nails I'm reminded that there's just a little more than a month until the Hunger Games movie comes out—AND that the China Glaze Capitol Colors will be out soon too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day 2012

Last Minute Valentine's Day Nail!

A cute and flirty look! I put two coats of OPI Suzi Sells Sushi on my thumb (not pictured), index, and pinky finger nails.  Then, I used OPI's Alpine Snow on the middle nail, and one coat of Pinking of You on the ring finger nail as a base color for the glitter (OPI Teenage Dream) that goes on top.   Using a dotting tool, I drew the hearts in with three colors (Pinking of You, Do You Lilac it,  and Four Leaf Clover).  Feel free to use what ever colors you want and have fun with it!   Finished it off with Seche Vite Top Coat to give it that extra shine.

I always love putting the glitter on the ring finger, adding the extra sparkle really makes it cute and sassy, don't you think? :)

Pictured (left to right): China Glaze Four Leaf Clover, OPI Alpine Snow, OPI Suzi Sells Sushi by the Sea Shore, OPI Pinking of You, OPI Teenage Dream, OPI Do you Lilac It?

Have a lovely night everyone!

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Have a Herring Problem

Where do I even begin?? I love, love, love this color. I don't have a lot of blue lacquers, and not only is this a great shade, but it also has the same shimmer to it as some of the others in the OPI Holland Collection. It goes on smooth, achieving full opacity with just two coats. I topped it off with a coat of Seche Vite, and now I'm ready for a night out!

In a few weeks, I'm participating in a Patriot's Day Parade where we have to dress up in red, white and blue-themed outfits. I think I've found my blue for my manicure that weekend! I haven't thought too much about what kind of nail art/design I'm planning—something red, white, blue and glittery—but I Have a Herring Problem has me head over heels!

If anyone has any ideas for a patriotic-themed mani, please share!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

EKG Heart - Valentine's Day Nail Art

Hi everyone!!

Super brief introduction---I'm Wendy and I love nail painting. I'm a big fan of brights and pastels, and with Spring and Summer coming up, it's my prime season for fun colors.  Though I'm still working on my skills, I have many ideas for nail art and I'm always trying to experiment new things!

So leggo! First nail art post!! I thought I would put up a Valentines Day nail, appropriate for the upcoming holiday.  Cute, girly, and nerdy (was a Bio major in college) all in one!  

OPI Panda-monium Pink, Sinful Colors Pinky Glitter, China Glaze Ruby Red Slippers, LA Color Art Deco Black

I used two coats of Panda-monium Pink as the base color (from OPI's HK Collection) and then put one coat of Sinful Colors glitter on top.  Those two colors alone look great together for a polished girly look, but I took it a step further and painted a heart onto my ring finger, using China Glaze's Ruby Red Pumps (one of my favorites!).  The EKG signals were done using a black LA Color Art Deco polish which has the longer skinny brush to draw in lines.  I find it easier to draw parallel lines first and then connect the other lines in later.  Finally, I placed three rhinestones on my thumb finger nail.

Hope you enjoyed this look! Happy Valentine's Day girls (and guys)!

Friday, February 10, 2012

How to NOT Stain Your Nails

Picture I’m usually a meticulously tidy polisher, but in my great excitement to swatch the OPI Holland Collection I got sloppy—and paid the price. My normally clean nails are nails are now stained an unsightly pink.

In the interest of reminding myself (and our readers), here are a few quick and easy tips to keep your nails looking neat and color-free while polishing:

Tip 1: I can’t stress enough the importance of base coat. I never, ever skip my basecoat—until yesterday. If there’s one thing I learned from my mistake, basecoat really does protect your nails. Make sure you cover your entire fingernail, getting as close to the cuticle as possible even if you don’t normally polish that close. This will help ensure that there’s no overflow from your color onto the nail itself.

Tip 2: When removing nail polish, use a different cotton pad for each finger. Yes, it sounds wasteful, but when you use the same piece of cotton for several fingers you’re spreading the old polish around the skin surrounding the nail. The result is usually a light staining of the cuticles, plus a bigger mess to clean up.

Tip 3: Did I mention to use basecoat?? Especially you’re using a darker polish.

Tip 4: Finally, try to avoid nail hardeners with formalin (formaldehyde solution—it’s not true formaldehyde) and polishes with toluene. It’s really up in the air if these are bad for your nails since there’s such a trace amount, but I’ve read that they can cause staining. I abide by the writer’s philosophy of “when in doubt, leave it out,” and this applies to my polish techniques as well. There are so many great toluene-free polishes (OPI, for example!) out there that it’s easy to find colors you love and not have to wonder if they’re bad for you.

All I can say is, lesson learned.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just Released: OPI Holland Collection (part 1)

As OPI’s new spring collection hit salons yesterday, you could find me at my favorite local beauty supply store scooping up as many of the Holland Collection colors that I could score! I’ll be back on Friday to get the rest once they re-stock, but I just can’t wait to share these awesome colors—an assortment of vibrant hues mixed with spring-y shimmering polishes.
Sorry about the photo quality—working on getting a better camera!
A Roll in the Hague: I’ve kept my fingertips bright and cheery this winter, but this fun orange offers a burst of color that lets everyone know my mind is already on summer. (Please excuse my shiny cuticles and sloppy polishing on this one!)

Did you ‘Ear About Van Gogh: I just picked up a bottle of Skull and Glossbones after seeing it on Wendy’s toes, so when I laid eyes on this polish it looked like a dupe (but I had to have it anyway!). I was pleasantly surprised when it came out to be a lighter beige—sandy bisque, as described by OPI.

Gouda Gouda Two Shoes: I just have to say, I am in LOVE with the shimmer in this rosy-brown polish. It’s a little more muted than I usually like in my pinks and reds, but the shimmer kicks it up a notch with just a hint of gold.

Kiss Me On My Tulips: A bright, bright pink, and my favorite to apply—the lacquer goes on completely smooth with a glossy finish. I’ve heard that this is very close to a Nicole by OPI shade, All Kendall-ed Up, although I don’t personally own that one. Check out the The PolishAholic for some photos and a side-by-side comparison.

Pedal Faster Suzi: I’m a sucker for all things pink and love the pastel-y shimmer in Pedal Faster Suzi [Sidebar—how cool would it be to name nail polishes named after yourself??]. Similar in color to a couple coats of Princesses Rule, but without the extra sparkle for a more toned-down look. It took two coats to achieve opacity.

Red Lights Ahead … Where?: Sorry for the terrible doesn't do the color justice. Personally, this is my least favorite of the collection so far—it's a harsh red that I don't usually wear. The formula also seemed a little thin for me; two coats still left sheer patches on some nails.

Wooden Shoe Like to Know:
I wasn't expecting to like this color, but now I'm hooked—it's a muted, earthy brown/taupe with a great golden shimmer

Still anxiously waiting to buy Vampsterdam, Thanks a Windmillion, Dutch ‘Ya Just Love OPI, I Don’t Give a Rotterdam and I Have a Herring Problem—more reviews and swatches to come!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Half Moon Mani

Picture I'm still learning how to do the crazy awesome nail art that some of the pro bloggers have done, but this is an early attempt at a half-moon mani that didn't come out half bad.

I started out with two coats of a sheer nude polish over the entire nail. I used China Glaze, but my new favorite is OPI "So Many Clowns ... So Little Time." I waited overnight for the first coat of polish to dry, but with a quick-dry top-coat you should be okay after about an hour. Now for the fun part---there are pre-cut stickers out there that you can buy  for French manis, but I prefer the DIY method.

After cutting ten small pieces of Scotch tape with a rounded edge, I taped over the bottom portion of my nail, making sure that the edges were sealed off. When you use Scotch tape for nail art, I've found that it helps to tape it a few times to the back of your hand so that it takes a majority of the adhesive off. Otherwise, you end up with goop all over your nail (or worse, it takes the polish off).

I used three coats of China Glaze White Ice for the tips, pulled the tape off after about 40 minutes and voila---a half moon mani! Line the polish line with a color of your choice (bronze glitter pictured), seal with top coat and you've got a great twist on a classic French manicure.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Welcome to Glitter and Gloss!

We're so excited to launch our brand new blog! We'll be sharing everything about nail polish, from tips and tricks for the perfect mani to some of our favorite lacquers.

Each of us have our own areas of expertise when it comes to manicures, but one thing we have in common is that we all love nail polish! Whether it's O.P.I, China Glaze or essie—or a little-known brand with a great color—we hope to polish, review and join the growing community of nail polish enthusiasts.

- Allison, Annie and Wendy