Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pink and Teal Geometric Striping Tape Design

This manicure inflated my ego to about ten times its normal size. It may not be the greatest or most inspired nail art ever, but I've received more compliments on this design than on all of my other nail art put together — maybe that's a sign of improvement? 

I really fell in love with the color combination here and how fun and funky the design looks on my nails. I've had these on for nearly a week, which is practically a lifetime. I used a mish-mash of polishes and brands here: I started with two coats of OPI My Vampire is Buff for the base, which I actually like a lot better this time around. I topped it with a layer of Seche Vite, and once it was dry I used my striping tape to create the design. The black portion is Sinful Colors Black on Black; next was China Glaze For Audrey and Sally Hansen Rosy Outlook.

Take a look and let me know what you think!

Monday, April 22, 2013

White and Blue Chevron Stripe

Sorry (again) for my mini hiatus ... April has been an incredibly busy month so far. This was actually a manicure I did about a week ago, but haven't had a chance to edit my photos and type up a post.

For this design I used striping tape, but it looks more freehanded. I don't think I removed the tape fast enough, so some of the lines got a little distorted.

Pictured below is two coats of OPI Alpine Snow with two coats of OPI Can't FInd My Czechbook for the stripe.

Not a total failure ... I'm definitely getting better at using striping tape!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Contest Spring Color Block

As you all know, I absolutely "<3" nail art. Today I entered the Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art contest for April, showing off my best color blocking manicure (significantly improved from yesterday's disaster!). The grand prize is a trip to NYC and I'm dying to go back ... so if you have a spare minute and want to help send me to the Big Apple, click here to vote— I promise it's really simple and will just take a second if you have a Facebook.

This color block nail art features some of my favorite spring shades from Sally Hansen. Growing up, I loved the "baby" colors: pink, blue and purple. I wanted to stick with these colors, which in my mind are associated with spring, but make the manicure bolder and brighter.

I started out with two coats of Gilty Party, from the Complete Salon Manicure line, topped off with a light coat of Seche Vite to quick dry.

Using striping tape, I sectioned off parts of my nail to do the color block. The pastel colors used for this nail art were Fuchsia Flare and Blue Away from the Insta-Dri line, and Lacey Lilac from the Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear collection.

The trick to color blocking is to make sure that your base color is absolutely dry before applying the tape; also, when removing the tape, make sure you do it immediately after you apply the colors to each section, or else you'll end up smudging polish.

That's all for today, but please, please, please help me win this trip to New York! Remember to vote once a day until the end of the month — if I don't win, I'll be back next month to a participate in the next challenge!

Products in this post were provided for review (Gilty Party, Fuchsia Flare and Blue Away) and purchased by me (Lacey Lilac). See my disclosure policy for more details; press samples do not influence my opinions or thoughts on the polishes provided.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pink Color Blocking

Sorry for the double posts today; I finally had time to sit down and do my nails and was really excited to try this mani after swatching a ton of Sally Hansen polishes recently. I actually may attempt these again because they didn't quite turn out the way I wanted them to, but wanted to show my first try.

This color blocking nail art actually wasn't supposed to have silver stripes separating the colors. I failed so hard when taking the tape off so I had to do something to "save" the manicure ... this was my quick improvisation, and though it's a little messy, it's a good example of something you can do when you're painting your nails and something goes horribly wrong.

Here are the colors I used, clockwise from top left (all Sally Hansen polishes): Fuschia Flare, Shell We Dance, Rosy Outlook, Shell We Dance.

It's color blocking month in the Sally Hansen I <3 Nail Art campaign, so if you go to their Facebook page you can enter to win a trip to New York. Check it out and good luck!

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Spring Swatches

I have a few spring swatches today from the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear line that are bright, colorful and great for the season. The brushes on these polishes don't have the same Precision Brush that some of the other polishes do, like the Complete Salon Manicure line, but it doesn't affect the application too much, especially with the glitters. Check out the swatches and some of my thoughts below.

Supernova over Rosy Outlook (a Complete Salon Manicure color)
Supernova is one of those "tried and true" glitters that I've seen done many times over the years. The glitter pieces don't vary in size, so you won't get a lot of the depth and complexity that you find in newer polishes — but on the flip side, you pretty much know what you're going to get when using this polish. Supernova has a clear base with small, circular glitter pieces in blue, purple and pink. The formula was on the thinner side, which was a little surprising considering how densely packed it looks in the bottle. It's a nice color combination, similar to the shades you'll find in OPI's Polka Dot Com, but the glitter here spreads a bit easier than with the OPI polish (which also has varying sizes of glitter pieces).

Perky Pink over Sally Hansen Shell We Dance
If I follow Annie's rule of picking colors solely based on the name, I'd fall in love with this color in an instant. While it's not as "perky" as its name implies, Perky Pink adds a tint of pink to whatever color you wear it over. It definitely brightened up the muted Shell We Dance and offers a subtle sparkle with its foil glitter pieces.

Breezy Blue
I'd prepared myself not to like Breezy Blue because I've never had much luck with this particular shade, but was pleasantly surprised. It's an icy sky blue and I achieved full opacity with two coats. A subtle shimmer with frosty undertones livens it up and I think that's what helps even out the polish upon application.

Coin Flip
In the bottle, Coin Flip looks like a brown/bronze shimmer, but after application it takes on more of a golden hue. It's very sparkly, but lighter than you would imagine based on the color in the bottle. Pictured below is two coats. Beware though — upon removal, it makes a giant mess on your fingers (see my index finger for example; I had to remove and reapply and despite rubbing vigorously I had little microglitters all over my finger).

Overall, my favorite shades from these spring colors were Perky Pink and Breezy Blue ... can't wait to try Perky Pink in some nail art I have planned in the upcoming weeks! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Purple Glitter Stripe

This NOTD is a quick and simple one I threw together last minute. I actually wasn't planning any nail art when I started, but my nails looked so plain that I needed to add some glitter. It's a bit sloppy since I was in a hurry, but the colors complemented each other really well.

I started with two coats of OPI Anti-Bleak and added a swipe of OPI Getting Miss Piggy With It for a pop of sparkle ... nothing fancy, but it was a fun one-day mani until I could sit down over the weekend and do something more creative.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pink and Green Gradients

It's been a little while since my last post, but it's been a crazy couple of weeks with a Vegas trip, lots of work and catching up with old friend. Wendy was home on spring break from dental school, so we had a couple of girls' nights where we got together and painted our nails — those are really the best kind of reunions! Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to take photos of our Vegas nails, but one thing we're all excited about is that Annie did some nail art for the first time! She's picked up the art of using a dotting tool and did some fun aqua and white nails for our whirlwind Vegas evening.

I'm back today with a couple of gradients that I've been wearing recently. I've had difficulty mastering this technique in the past, so it was fun being able to practice with two different color palettes.

The pink gradient pictured below uses a base of two coats of OPI Pink Friday from the Nicki Minaj collection. With a make-up wedge, I sponged the gradient on using Pink Friday, OPI Japanese Rose Garden (which has a slight hint of a shimmer) and OPI Hoodoo Voodoo.

The green gradient didn't photograph as well — no matter how hard I tried, the top color didn't quite show up as it does in person. The bottom photo is probably the closest representation of the gradient. For this one, I began with a base of Essie Mint Candy Apple, and sponged on Essie Where's My Chauffeur (middle shade) and Sinful Colors Rise & Shine. In person, the Sinful Colors shade is rich and dark, but isn't photographing properly.

Gradients are great because they're simple, quick nail art that you can do in 30 minutes, if you have the correct supplies handy (some sort of paint palette, two to three complementary nail colors and a make-up wedge). There's a lot you can do with them — layering pieces of striping tape before doing the gradient like in this laser tape mani from Chalkboard Nails, for example, or even doing something as simple as adding a subtle micro-glitter on top.