Thursday, May 30, 2013

OPI Black and White Tips and Dots

Since its almost Memorial Day, I figured it was appropriate to bring back the bright white nails. If you're ever looking for a manicure that really pops, use a white hue for your base!

I'm trying to practice more with tape so I can perfect the super crisp lines that look great in colorblocking, and I think I've almost got it.

I started with a base of OPI Alpine Snow, the brightest white polish that I own. One of the perks of summertime is the abundance of neons, brights and out-there colors that aren't so appropriate during the other months out of the year.

After applying top coat and tape, I painted the tips (and dots) using OPI Lucernetainly Look Marvelous, a microglitter that's inky black in some light and a metallic gunmetal silver in others.

I actually used three different size dotting tools to create the dots, but I think it could be done with just one using the right pressure at each point.

Even though summer doesn't technically start until June, I just wanted to wish everyone a happy start to the season! Expect more colors than ever in the coming weeks.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

'Girls' Floral Print

I swatched the Deborah Lippmann "Girls" collection last week and decided to create a manicure using all four of the colors. I'm not sure which of the girls' styles this is most in tune with but it reminds me of those really ugly floral print dresses that I wore back in the 90s and are now (kinda?) back in style.


I started with a base of Shoshanna; the flowers were made with Jessa and Marnie, and the leaves with Hannah (that may be one of the strangest sentences I've ever typed on this blog). 

I don't love it, but it'll do (please ignore my cracked up cuticles).

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Deborah Lippmann 'Girls' Swatches

Annie got me hooked on "Girls" a little while back, so when I came across this nail polish set on the Neiman Marcus website I did a little happy dance as I added it to my cart.

This is actually my first time using a Deborah Lippmann polish. More than anything, I think I'm most in love with the adorable packaging. The bottles are pretty yet substantial, and the box features cute quotes that were on the show. I don't agree with all of the color choices, but this was a really fun find! Read on for some of my notes/thoughts on each polish.

Hannah: As a 20-something myself, Lena Dunham is a god. "Hapless hunger green" is the perfect color for self-obsessed Hannah, however. The formula, however, was just short of perfect. The color is beautiful, but I found the polish to be slightly thin—even with the three coats pictured here, there were still some sheer patches and it wasn't quite opaque.

Jessa: I wouldn't quite call this color "Bohemian burgundy"—it's more of a bright, vibrant red—but either way, I think it reflects Jessa's personality. I had some of the same problems with this polish as I did with Hannah; the formula was thin and a little streaky.

Marnie:  This "prim and proper pink" is my favorite from the whole collection. Pictured below is three coats, but the formula was even and surprisingly opaque. If you've seen the show, this is exactly the kind of color I can picture Marnie wearing.

Shoshanna: I have a huge problem with this purple/lavender being Shoshanna's color. Shoshanna is the definition of all things girly, feminine and cutesy—I know they're going with the whole muted color palette for this collection, but this purple is seriously anything but "vivid." The formula was fine—somewhat sheer even after three coats, but not streaky like Jessa—but the color is just so off for the character that I'm a little disappointed.

Overall, I wasn't overly impressed with my first Deborah Lippmann polishes. I got this collection using a promotional gift card I got in the mail for buying my wedding shoes at NM last year, but I would have been really disappointed had I paid the $50 retail price.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mint Candy Apple Fireworks

Wendy has been doing some fun nail art designs lately, and with her dental school break coming up soon hopefully she'll be able to do a few picture posts in the upcoming weeks! Until then, I wish her the best of luck on her finals and have a fun new tape mani to share today.

I've been slightly obsessed with tape manicures lately, and while I don't have the technique down perfectly yet, each one is definitely an improvement over the last. For today's firework mani, I started with Essie Mint Candy Apple, which is Annie's most-requested shade when we do our nails together.

Next, I carefully placed pieces of tape and used Sinful Colors Black on Black for the outer part of the firework shapes. With a coat of Seche Vite, I was ready to apply OPI Alpine Snow 10 minutes later.

I would really recommend one-coat polishes, since you want to remove the tape before it starts to dry. One thing to remember though is that if the polish is too thick, you'll end up with smudges and/or heavy pools of polish at your tips.

I think I could have done a cleaner job with the lines, but I'm pretty happy with the design — which would also be great for just an accent nail on a lazy day.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Two-Tone Blue Liquid Sand

I've been a bad blogger lately. In hopes of redeeming myself, I have a couple of new posts coming up, including today's that features a new polish from the OPI Bond Girls collection.

I should probably start out by saying that the texture of the Liquid Sand polishes is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard to me. The texture when it first dries makes my skin crawl. I literally had goosebumps after running my fingers over the polish.

I powered through though because this color is a-mazing.Yes. So amazing I used it needs a hyphen.

First I started with a standard white (OPI Alpine Snow), layering it with OPI Lights of Emerald City. This is the only color from OPI's Oz: the Great and Powerful collection — I just wasn't feeling those other polishes, especially not the "taco" glitter. Lights of Emerald City is great though; my only complaint is that it's very hard to get those white squares of glitter to stay on the nail. 

You can see the square glitters faintly here, but they don't really stand out against the white.

I ended up layer two shades of blue over the white since it was so "blah." The top is Tiffany Case from OPI's Bond Girls collection, featuring the liquid sand finish that I find so unappealing. The bottom color is a typical creme, OPI Can't Find My Czechbook.

The colors look great together, but I'm not sure if I'll be using Tiffany Case again. Then again ... second chances and all, so who knows!