Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Movember (better late than never!)

I'm so sorry this post is late, but between holiday travels and being sick, I couldn't get my act together and Movember it up until after work today.

Movember is a moustache-growing movement that is geared toward raising awareness for prostate and testicular cancer.  You can learn more about Movember and its goals here:  Being knowledgeable about cancers you and your loved ones are susceptible to, how to detect them, and what to do if you do think you've found something, is critical, so any time I can promote health initiatives I'm happy to do it, even in a small way like a Movember manicure!

I busted out my prized holos for this one; Layla Coffee Lover and Gosh Holographic Hero.  A nice, aged, distinguished silver moustache makes this Movember mani complete!

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Jelly Sammiches!

Jelly sandwiches are pretty simple; jelly polish, glitter, jelly polish, done.  Jellies are arguably a new way to classify sheer polishes, but they do tend to come in more interesting colors than a sheer polish.

For today's Jelly Sammich, I used Essence's White Secret, a white jelly, and Ulta's Pinyata-yada-yada for the glitter.  2 coats of White Secret, 1 coat of Pinyata-yada-yada, and one more coat of White secret, and you've got a charming little party on your nails!

I probably could've added a fourth coat of White Secret, but I wanted a little of the reflectivity of the glitter to remain visible.
The nice thing about a Jelly Sammich is you totally change the look of the two polishes you use; your glitter is transformed by the color of the jelly, and your jelly gets some more depth and life with the addition of glitter. Quite the manicure style!

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Drag Marble

You guys are going to have to excuse the slightly crummy pictures today; it's been raining like crazy, and my old junky Nikon doesn't like my lightbox, so my lighting options have been limited.  On that note, what kind of camera do you like to use for close-up photos?  I could use some recommendations!

Anyway, back on track, today's Artsy Wednesday is a drag marble.  A drag marble involves slathering a thickish layer of a base polish on, then dabbing a bit of another color and dragging a needle through it to make designs.

I had Pretty & Polished Pretty as a Peacock on, and didn't want to take it off because it's so pretty, but didn't want to cover it up either.  Jelly polish to the rescue!  Zoya's Frida was a perfect base for my drag marble, and Julep's Sienna (the perfect gold polish), was a nice accent to the teal base.  My technique could use refining, as I basically just made little sunshiny splats, but it was a pretty neat process.

You do end up with a lot of polish on your nail; even after a 30 minute dry time and a fast-dry top coat, I wrecked both my thumbs :(  So, set aside a lot of time for a drag marble!

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Indie Spotlight: Pretty & Polished Holiday Polishes

One of my favorite things about indie polishes is that when you buy a bottle from a reputable indie maker, and get to see it in person and on the nail, there's always a little something special, a little extra, a surprise about the polish that makes it seem all the more fantastic to own.

When I was given the opportunity to purchase some of Pretty & Polished's holiday polishes, I chose polishes that I knew I didn't have in my collection, so I expected them to feel pretty unique to me.  But I really was surprised at how fantastic and unique these polishes were!

S'no Mans Land is a pearlescent white with satiny white hexes and tiny iridescent glitter.

I chose it because I only own creme whites, and wanted a pearly white to add to my collection.  Little did I know that this polish had these fabulous larger hexes that look like pearls on your nails, and that the iridescent glitter would really evoke the fresh-snow-in-the-sun look.

As for application, I did put the bottle on its side while I put on my basecoat, just to make sure the larger hexes were available to the brush when I polished.  I do this with pretty much all of my polishes with larger glitter, and it's a technique that has served me well.

The polish is thickish, to suspend the glitter, but not gloppy.  It isn't brushstrokey or too frosty either.  It really is more of a pearl finish than a frost, and is a nice soft white, instead of being stark or harsh.

Next, I chose Love Always, Candy Cain (what a fabulously sassy name!).  This polish contains white, red and silver glitters of various sizes in a clear base, obviously invoking the imagery of candy cane colors.  I don't have any larger red glitters, and have wanted one for a long time, so I figured it'd be a good choice.  Here, I layered it over S'no Mans Land:

When it arrived, I was thrilled by the mix of glitters; big white matte hexes, red hearts, white hearts, big, medium AND little red hexes, red and silver microglitter etc.  It's fabulous, but it's also a very thoughtful mix; it doesn't look like a glitter pinata broke over a bottle, it looks like a really appealing glitter topper.

The consistency of the polish isn't globby like some glitterbombs, but the thinner polish meant I ended up doing my "bottle on the side during basecoating" trick just to make sure I'd get a good blend of glitters.  Application was easy, and I found one coat sufficient, although going to town with 2 or 3 would be a lot of fun.

Overall, I was really impressed with these two polishes.  The colors fit the holiday theme, but they don't scream CHRISTMAS at you.  I know for a fact I can wear these other times of the year and not feel unseasonably elfish.  Application was pretty easy, especially for polishes with such large glitter, and the glitter itself is obviously well chosen and well thought out.  Dry time was surprisingly quick; I expected it to take longer, but with a good coat of Poshe I was all set!

The Pretty & Polished holiday collection is launching tomorrow, and can be purchased at the Pretty & Polished Etsy store.

Disclaimer: I purchased these items with my own money, at a discounted price for use in a review on my blog.  My opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way by Pretty & Polished.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Creative with Crackle

I have never owned a crackle polish, until yesterday.  I never actually liked them, but the whole point of my wanting to participate with Artsy Wednesday was to try new things, right?  Right??

I ran out to Sally's to snag one of the China Glaze crackles that are practically always on clearance there, and picked up Haute Metal, a rosy metallic crackle.  I figured "creative" required more than just crackling the whole nail, so I did oblique stripes per nail, over Orly Ingenue.  Thus, a fairly pretty, candylike manicure was born!

Upon staring at my nails and trying to think of other ways I could use crackle, it occurred to me that it looked like a similar texture to a lipstick print.  I may try using this on valentines, to make little lip prints on my nails.  We'll see!

I'm really honored to be able to participate in Artsy Wednesday, and you should all DEFINITELY check out these other, very talented Artsy Wednesday participants.