Thursday, February 28, 2013

Watermelon Nail Art

 All of the summery colors that I've been using lately make me long for spring. Seriously ... I can't wait for this awful on-again/off-again weather to go away and take my cold with it.

After my bumblebee manicure earlier this week, I decided to go the fruit route and do this cute watermelon nail art. It was surprisingly simple and I love the bright, cheery colors.

The base is two coats of OPI Kiss Me On My Tulips (although the formula is thick enough that one coat would have worked). After that dried, I used my large and medium dotting tool to randomly place black dots of polish over the nail. Next, two coats of OPI Gargantuan Green Grape, followed by one coat of OPI Green-Wich Village just below, leaving a small strip of the lighter green. Once the darker green dried, I used a striping brush to add lines to the rind, adding definition.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

OPI Pastel Stripes

I was feeling lazy again so I did another quick, simple manicure.

For the base, I used two coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls ... my bottle is halfway gone so it's almost time to go out and buy more! Using my striping brush, I added three stripes from the OPI Euro Centrale collection. On the outsides is You're Such A Budapest, and the center is Can't Find My Czechbook.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bumble Bee Nails

Sometimes all I feel like doing is just posting photos ... and today is one of those days. I've been sick all weekend, so today's post will be short.

This was a simple, easy manicure (and I needed a break from OPI!). The base is three coats of Sinful Colors Firefly, and using a dotting tool I created the bumblebee design.

Friday, February 22, 2013

OPI Glitters: and Pink Yet Lavender

So I caved and decided to go ahead and (kind of) swatch from the Euro Centrale collection. I was in a very glittery mood after swatching The Living Daylights the other day, so I just went for it.

I love, love love this glitter! The application was a little thin (this was three coats), but the end result is a really pretty, sparkly glitter using some of my favorite colors. Below is three coats of over two coats of A Grape Fit.

I also created a jelly sandwich mani using OPI Pink Yet Lavender from the Mariah Carey collection. Using two coats, layered between Do You Think I'm Texy?, it creates the perfect, subtle shine.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Euro Centrale Flowers

I decided to give one of the darker shades from the Euro Centrale collection another chance, after having mixed feelings in the first round.

I can't say I'm a huge fan of Vant to Bite My Neck, even on this second swatch. For me, it just falls flat of being an amazing plum/eggplant shade. I do, however, like the combination of the dark and light purples in the collection. For the outer flower petals, I used You're Such a Budapest; the center was done with Can't Find My Czechbook.

Not sure I'll ever be in love with the color, but the contrast is awesome and the aqua adds a nice touch to the dark and light hues.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

OPI The Living Daylights Glitter

I'm just a little bit (a lot) in love with this combination. I picked up OPI The Living Daylights a while back when I bought the mini Bondettes set, but hadn't had a chance to try it out. I layered it over three coats of OPI So Many Clowns ... So Little Time.

What I think I loved the most is how different it is from other OPI glitters that I own. The multicolored glitter pieces are great and add a lot of depth without being overwhelming.

The formula was even thick enough that I could easily spread the glitter over my nail without a lot of trouble.

But most of all, I loved that there were no pieces of microglitter or irregular shapes. While I do appreciate the dimension and complexity that microglitters offer, sometimes there's nothing I want more than a simple glitter polish that looks clean yet colorful, which is what The Living Daylights offers.

It's up there on my list of favorite OPI glitters of all time. What are some of your preferred glitter polishes?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

OPI Euro Centrale Swatches

Finally, the OPI Euro Centrale swatches that I've been promising for a week! I only picked up some of the creme shades, as I'm getting into a phase where I'm not so into the shimmers. They're great for a more subtle glittery hue, but they make a mess and I feel like they just don't look as polished as mattes, glitters and cremes. Some other blog reviews that I've read have described a few of the polishes as shimmers, but I just didn't see it, so I'm classifying them as cremes.

First up is Can't Find My Czechbook, which I've featured in a few past posts, including my aqua quilt nails from just a few days ago. As I mentioned before, Wendy and I can't get enough of this color! It's a crisp aqua blue, a few shades darker than Tiffany blue but not quite cerulean or teal. It did take quite a few coats to get full opacity (three to four, depending on the finger), which I was a little disappointed in, but I've yet to find a polish that has this specific color, so it's definitely worth picking up if you're only purchasing one or two bottles in this collection.


Suzi's Hungary Again is a pink-coral hue. In some macro swatches from other bloggers, it looks like it has a really subtle shimmer to it, but to my eye (and camera) there wasn't any. Again, I was a little disappointed in the formula, since I needed more than my standard two coats to achieve opacity, but in the end it looked great (with three coats). I used a different bulb for my lightbox for these swatches, so the colors turned out a little off, actually. While it definitely takes on a peach/coral tone in some lighting, this shade is really more vibrant in sunlight.

You're Such A Budapest is a soft lavender, and of the three pastel shades in these swatches, definitely had the thinnest formula. Even with the three coats below, the application was a little thin and streaky. From a distance though, it looks great and has a very soft, feminine appeal.

My Vampire is Buff actually had a bit too much yellow in it for my tastes (I prefer darker beiges like Did You Ear About Van Gogh), but it complements the other light shades in this collection really well. The application was really streaky, however and reminded me of Alpine Snow's formula—streaky but gets smoothed out with the use of a good top coat.

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I swatched I Saw...U Saw...We Saw...Warsaw, but I was definitely underwhelmed. I've never been a fan of navy blues, and I can't say that this one was an exception. It's a navy blue creme but instead of the rich, thick formula that I was expecting, it was actually rather thin and somewhat streaky ... something I'd expect out of a jelly-based polish. Below is two coats, and I still didn't achieve the opacity that I hoped for. I hate layering on the darker polishes because it makes them more difficult to remove, so I can't say this is one that I'll be using very often.

The final polish I bought from this collection is Vant to Bite My Neck?, which is a dark purple eggplant creme. The formula and application are decent on this one; not too streaky and full opacity is possible with just one heavier coat. It did apply darker than it appears in the bottle, however.

That's it for the OPI Euro Centrale collection swatches ... a friend just gave me a bottle of, but I probably won't be swatching it separately.

Were there any colors that stood out to you? I immediately fell in love with Can't Find My Czechbook, but also really liked Suzi's Hungary Again and You're Such a Budapest.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunset Gradient

I actually started out this mani with the intention of adding a Chicago skyline, paying homage to my hometown. I did add the skyline after I took these photos, but was so disappointed with the results that I just couldn't post them. The only building that turned out decently was the Sears (Willis) Tower, but my Tribune Tower and Trump Tower were unrecognizable. 

Anyway, I thought the sunset gradient looked nice by itself, so I decided to post anyway.

I started out by sponging two coats of OPI A Roll in the Hague on the tips of my nails. I worked my way up with Essie Big Spender and then OPI Dating a Royal. Since the colors weren't as vibrant as I was going for, I waited for the first layer to dry and then worked my way back down, adding another coat of each starting from the cuticles down in order to better blend it.

The colors are so vibrant and bright and I love the way they look together—with or without the skyline!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Aqua Quilt Nails

So here's yet another OPI Euro Centrale manicure. This one features Can't Find My Czechbook, which Wendy and I are both in love with at the moment. She was down for a quick visit from LA last night and as I was sitting at the counter with my make-up mirror, she threw a couple coats of this polish on. Pictured below on my nails is two coats as well.

For this funky quilt pattern, I used both a striping brush and my small dotting tool. The white dots were made with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and I used a silver Stripe Rite brush from It's So Easy Nails for the lines.

I don't think I'm ever going to get tired of using these Euro Centrale colors! More to come.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

OPI Euro Centrale Splatter

I am absolutely in love with the lighter creme polishes in the OPI Euro Centrale collection. At one point or another in my life, I think the lavender, aqua, pink and beige shades were my "all-time" favorite colors.

Over the next couple of weeks, you'll probably be seeing a lot more manicures using these shades, starting with today's post: a Jackson Pollack drip-painting inspired splatter.

Materials you'll need: a light colored polish for the base, two to three vibrant complementary shades, two to three straws, an air duster canister, a brown paper bag, a paint palette of some sort (I use a paper plate for easy clean-up) and a husband who's willing to humor you for a few minutes.

I really, really tried to do this one on my own. And when I say tried, I mean that I was about two puffs of air away from passing out because I was blowing the polish through the straw so hard. My husband, who had been silently watching me make a big mess for several minutes, finally gets up and hands me a Memorex canister labeled "air duster."

With a little help, I moved my nail polish supplies over to the kitchen counter and set up the "painting station"—a brown paper bag and my paper plate with little pools of each color. Once my three coats of OPI My Vampire is Buff had dried, I was ready to get down to business.

I really recommend rubbing some Vaseline on your hands to protect your cuticles and fingers. For an even easier clean-up, I know some people put strips of tape along the three sides of your nail so that the polish doesn't get on your finger. I personally don't have the patience for this or the desire to use that much tape, so I choose to use the Vaseline method. I find that there is a bit of a mess, but it's much easier to wipe all of the excess polish off your fingers without using a lot of acetone. Either way, this is a messy manicure, hence the brown paper bag to catch the overflow.

While I held my hands inside the bag, the hubby scooped up some polish on the end of the straw and used the air duster to blast the polish onto my nail. As you can see, I ended up with a few large blotches of polish because it is an imperfect process.

I did the colors one at a time: Don't Be A Budapest (lavender), Suzi's Hungary Again (pink) and Can't Find My Czechbook (aqua).

The first two photos are actually of my right hand, which doesn't often make an appearance on the blog. The effects were so different on each hand that I had to do photos of both.

Personally, I like the right hand better, but overall I just love the way the colors blend together!

Friday, February 15, 2013

New Look (and a New Home):

So while I've been out of commission after the flat iron burning/nail breaking incident that will forever be my worst Valentine's week in history, I decided it was time for a new look and URL for Glitter and Gloss Nails. In addition to changing the URL to, I migrated the site over to Blogger so all you Google users can easily join the site with Google Friend Connect.

Things are a little different here, but so far I'm loving the changes and hope everyone else does too. Plus, the fact that I no longer have to deal with the [.net] is just icing on the cake.

In the right sidebar, you can check out some of the more popular categories of nail art that I do, like gradients, glitters, animal prints and florals. For swatches, you can either select from the dropdown menu to the side, or visit the top navigation bar and click on the Swatches page. As always, Sunday Swatches have their own page where you can view thumbnails and see various close-ups.

I'll be back later this week with new posts featuring my chipped nail (apologizes in advance) and OPI Euro Centrale swatches!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Nail Art 2013

I seriously can't believe that it's been more than a year since we started this blog ... time flies! Some of our first posts were actually Valentine's Day manis, so it's really exciting to post some new (and improved) designs this year.

First up is a girly-girl pink scalloped edge nail art design. Pink is my favorite color, so I love all combinations of different shades. For my base, I used two coats of OPI Pink Friday. I had a couple rounds of trial and error before I could get the scalloped edge right, but I finally found a technique that mostly works for me. I'll probably fine-tune this a few more times before finding one that I love, but using my large dotting tool, I created a row of same-size dots across my nail. Originally I was putting them too close together and then painting the tips (an unnecessary step), which created an excess of polish that pooled and looked terrible. I picked a white polish that was thick enough to need just one coat, since I found that it was hard for me to have a steady enough hand to place the second coat exactly enough -- OPI Alpine Snow worked perfectly for this.  Using the same size dotting tool, I layered my third color (a raspberry/fuscia Essie color -- I peeled the label off and can't remember which color it is!)  on top of the white scallops and then quickly painted each tip to finish.
Although I'm now married, I can definitely appreciate the anti-Valentine's sentiment surrounding the day. I decided to add a dark twist to Wendy's EKG heart mani from last year. Behold ... the flatline EKG.

I started out with two coats of OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous, a dark microglitter that makes a mess when you take it off. I'm not sure how other people are doing their EKG lines, but I have a very unshaky hand when it comes to drawing straight lines. I used my pointed dotting tool to sketch out the lines ahead of time before using my striping brush. Before painting the white EKG line, I wanted to jazz up the bottom part of the mani. It's hard to tell in photos, but I used a matte polish -- one coat of China Glaze Stone Cold -- to create a contrast next to the shiny OPI polish. After drawing the EKG line with a white striping brush, I added a small red heart with China Glaze Ruby Pumps and a dotting tool. I used the pointed end of a dotting tool to poke "holes" in the heart ... all this did was create some dents rather than make a cracked look, but it definitely added some dimension.

And a couple more, just for fun:

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Crackle Abstract Colors Mani

I've realized recently that I have a strangely shaped index finger. In all of my photos, it looks like I have a really bad acrylic nail that's pointing the wrong direction -- I promise this isn't the case.

Anyway, today's mani is a two-part inspiration. I just picked up the new OPI Euro Centrale collection, so I wanted to try out some sort of mani that used my favorite shades (swatches to come). I looked back on the blog and found this old Easter mani of Wendy's from last year. 
For my base, I started with two coats of OPI You're Such a Budapest, a light lavender creme. Using three other Euro Centrale colors, Suzi's Hungary again (the coral pink), My Vampire is Buff (beige) and Can't Find My Czechbook (aqua), I painted random blobs all over the nail.

I wanted to add my own twist to Wendy's mani, so I dug up my China Glaze Black Mesh Crackle polish. Before I apply any kind of shatter or crackle polish, I always, always put a layer of top coat to seal in the base colors. If you don't do this, you run the risk of the crackle applying unevenly. Every time I've forgotten to use top coat, the crackle goes on very streaky.
I was actually inspired to add the black crackle by a lavender, beige and black sundress that I bought a few years ago at Macy's in Chicago with the same pattern -- it was miserably hot and even my shorts and T-shirt were too heavy. I think that's why I love these nails so much ... they remind me of cool, breezy relief on a hot summer day!