Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fun Sunday: dog pictures

Hello my lovelies! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend and a relaxing Sunday. The weather is sunny and pretty warm over here. For today's Fun Sunday post I have something for all the dog and animal lovers out there: my doggy. His name is Freddy and he is 3 years old now. 

He resembles a border collie, but his legs are much shorter. Of course he's an important member of the household, he's full of energy and everybody loves him.

It's very hard to keep him still for a picture though. Here's one from last year. I made a flower crown and this picture is about how long I managed to keep it on his head before he started shredding it to pieces. 

Hope you enjoyed my doggy spam. Have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spooky Halloweeen tutorial: creepy creatures

Hello my beautiful polish lovers! I've promised you another Halloween design and tutorial so here I am with these scary faces. I didn't really know how to call them, but I guess that's not very important. Here's how they look:

the light kept reflecting on my ring finger and there was nothing I could do about it
You don't need a lot of colors for this design and the glitter is totally optional. I just thought it would add a little something and add to the creepiness of the nails. Let's get this manicure started!

what you'll need
You will need a black polish and an orange polish for this design. For the glitter I've used ELF Golden Goddess, but you can use a silver glitter also if you want. You will also need a base and a top coat. I have used a detail nail art brush, that can be easily replaced by a toothpick. 

Step 1: Paint all your nails a dark color. You don't have to use solid black for this. Remember to put a base coat underneath because dark colors can stain your nails.

Step 2: Using the orange polish, draw two small square or triangular shapes for the eyes. 

Step 3: Draw two lines for the eyebrows

Step 4: Draw the mouth. To do this easier draw two parallel curved lines and connect them at the edges. Then fill in the space. 

Step 5: Using black draw some lines on the mouth to separate the teeth. Draw these lines in a diagonal manner, so they create orange triangles between them. Then do some black dots for the pupils. 

Step 6: Wait for everything to dry and then add a coat of glitter. If you don't want glitter you can just add top coat and you're done! Another great idea would be adding some glow in the dark polish to the eyes and teeth before the top coat. Sadly I don't own such a polish, but I'm sure some of you do.

I hope my explanations were clear enough and you will try to recreate this fun and easy look! If you aren't that good at nail art you can still use the combination of black with glitter like I did on my left hand. I think it still makes for a pretty halloweeny look. 

I wish you all a very fun and happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cute Halloween tutorial: owls

Hi everybody! I haven't been posting that often lately, mainly because I'm so busy with school and I come home so tired that I can hardly hold a brush in my hand, let alone paint neatly with it. I'm so thankful for all my new followers and hope you will all stay with me even if I don't post every day! But enough with the blabber, let's get to the nails!

This is my first Halloween nail art and my first tutorial. I plan to do at least one more manicure before Halloween, I just hope I'll have the time. So let's start doing these cute owls! 

what you'll need
You will need a bunch of polishes: a white one, light grey, dark grey and black. It doesn't matter which brands you use, but the more opaque the better. You will also need a nail art brush and some dotting tools. I didn't have dotting tools so I've used the head of a pin, a bobby pin and a toothpick. If you don't have a brush you can also use a toothpick instead. 

Step 1: Paint your nails a light grey color. After that you have to wait for it to dry or you can slap on a coat of fast drying top coat to get to the next step faster.

Step 2: Using the largest dotting tool make two dots for the eyes. You can make them very close or even make them touch. 

Step 3: Using white and the nail art brush, a toothpick or even the polish's own brush (if you are skilled enough) draw the belly of the owl. My polish wasn't opaque enough so I had to do two coats.

Step 4: Using the dark grey and the small brush or toothpick draw the eyebrows, a triangle for the beak and two small feet. Also make some random, messy lines on the sides to act as wings. 

Step 5: Using the medium dotting tool (bobby pin) make two black dots for the pupils. 

Step 6: To add a little dimension to the eyes make some white dots with the toothpick. Finally, seal your design with top coat. You have to wait 10-15 minutes for all the polishes to dry before adding the top coat. Please don't do like I did! I was too impatient and made some parts of the designs bleed by adding the top coat too soon. 

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and you will be trying this design. Let me know how it turned out and show me your results if you do try it! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Revlon Smoky Canvas

Hello my lovelies! Today is finally a sunny day around here, after many days of ugly clouds. I thought I would show you the second polish I won in a giveaway on the wonderful blog Fab Fingertips: Revlon Smoky Canvas. 

Revlon Smoky Canvas, artificial light
 I've been thinking a lot about what to tell you about this polish and the truth is, I was lacking the patience to properly apply it. First of all, Smoky Canvas is a greige creme. It looks more grey in bright light and starts leaning towards beige in dimmed light. It's the perfect neutral shade for fall, but not at all boring. I truly love this color and could see myself wearing it a lot. 

I started applying this without any previous research and made a terrible job. I then read Esther's post on Fab Fingertips here, but it was too late. The polish is more on the thinner side but still very pigmented. You will need 2 coats for opacity though. The thing is that it dries very very fast and that makes it hard to work with. I found myself making thicker and thicker coats when trying to level it out. The result of this were a series of bubbles on some of my fingers. 

you can see some of the bubbles on my middle finger
Considering the awful job I did with my application, I couldn't leave it on for very long, so I can't tell you anything about wear time. All in all, I think this is a great color that is a little harder to work with but I sure will know how to handle it the next time. I already have some ideas of looks I can do with this so be sure it will be back!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fun Sunday: nail tag

Hello my lovelies! It's Sunday and I was thinking of doing something fun from now on every week. It should be something different from the regular posts and what better way to start than a good old nail tag. You are welcome to suggest other tags or subjects for Fun Sunday posts from now on. 

I found this tag here and decided to just do it myself. I don't know where the tag originated or who invented it so if you are the starter of this tag please tell me and I will link to you in my post. So here we go.

How many polishes do you have in your stash?
I currently have around 55, but constantly growing.

Which brand do you own the most of?
Just checked the list and it's ELF (no wonder considering the recent haul) followed closely by my beloved China Glaze and the local brand S-he Stylezone.

What colors do you own the most of?
From the top of my head I would have to say blues and purples.

Do you have a color/texture you do not own? 
Unfortunately I don't have any flakies (sigh) and also no frost/pearls because I hate them.

What's the one polish you always pick up to lift your spirits?
Ok this is a hard one. Usually something new that I've never worn before.

What polish do you keep looking at and wondering why you haven't gotten rid of it yet?
S-he Stylezone 399. It's a very sheer, yet goopy blue jelly. I just can't work with it as much as I love the color.

Franken me? or I'm nervous to try it?
Well I'm not into wasting polish at the moment. With my color matching skills I know I would if I would franken.

Do you franken for new/original polish ideas or franken for polish you won't be able to own?
I don't franken. But if I would it would probably be for original ideas. I know I would never be able to achieve a certain shade.

Go-to Base Coat?
I don't have one yet. Trying to find it though.

Go-to Top Coat?
INM Out the door. Cheap, fast-drying and not thick at all.

What's your sexiest polish?
Revlon Facets of Fuchsia for sure!

Nail Design:

Stamping vs Free Hand?
Hard to chose one. I like them both. Probably free hand because it has no boundaries.

Bling me, baby? or No bling for me, please!
If we're talking rhinestones no because they are not my style. But glitter, yes please!

I consider my nails basically nekkid if they don' t have some kind of design?
No because there are a lot of polishes out there that are just too beautiful and don't need a design.

My favorite plate/tool/technique?
Sponging looks amazing and is very easy to do. I think it's the look I love most at the moment.

What I haven't tried and want to within the month? 
I have some free hand design ideas that I want to try. Fingers crossed they work out well!


The one elusive polish you want and can't seem to get?
I don't have a specific polish. I'm only hunting for flakies at the moment.

What was the last nail related thing you bought?
Nail polish from that hasn't arrived yet (mostly China Glaze glitters and holiday collection).

How many nail related hauls have you bought in the last 7 days (on-line/in-person)?
Only one haul. And it's gonna be the last one for a while.

If you've ever been on a no-buy, how long did it last? Is that what you planned?
Well I'm currently on a no-buy and it's been about a week. Hope it goes well.

(and one question to grow on) Hobby? Addiction? Compulsion? Passing Fancy? Love?
If we're talking nails, I guess it's all the things above (although I wouldn't call it a compulsion really). Other than that I love reading, but I don't seem to have enough time to do it.

So that's it. For all those reading this, you are all tagged. You are free to do the tag on your blog or in the comment section, but make sure to send me a link so I can see your answers. Waiting for your suggestions for the next Fun Sunday. Have a great day!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Eyeko Cosmic polish

This is one of the discontinued Eyeko polishes that can currently be bought only on ebay ( I wrote about this here). I wanted to get this last summer, but since it’s a dark color I postponed getting it till fall. And just when I wanted to order it, Eyeko stopped selling it, however I still managed to get my hands on a bottle. 

trying to catch the last rays of sun of the summer


This is a black polish with silver holographic glitter. It has a certain dept to it which makes for that galaxy type effect. It is especially nice in the sun and in the light, but I have found that the holo in it is not that holo after all. It’s more of a discrete holo, very wearable and not crazy at all. 

in the sun again, you can see the holo effect better here


The Eyeko brush is a medium width and pretty long one. I wouldn’t mind if it was thinner, because I’m a true fan of the thin China Glaze and Essie brushes. The length goes with the tall bottle, but you have to be careful while polishing because drops of polish will run down the stem and get on your nail. Other than that, application is no problem and the polish is opaque in two coats. 

artificial light


Eyeko polishes wear very well usually. This one started to show tip wear after two days, but I guess it’s normal considering the horrors I put it through (house work and whatnot). I wore it for 4 days and that's when it chipped. But now I remember that all this might be also because of the crappy base coat I've used with it.

macro, artificial light


So the question with this polish is: is it a real tragedy that Eyeko discontinued it or not? Well, I have found that it is very easily dupe-able. I just added some Northern Lights Hologram top coat over a black polish (Moyra 35 in my case, but it can be any black) and there I had it. This combo however has a bigger holo effect than the Cosmic polish. You can see this from the comparison pictures.

Eyeko Cosmic (left) versus black + Northern Lights (right) in the sun

Eyeko Cosmic (left) versus black + Northern Lights (right) in artificial light


Eyeko Cosmic is a good quality, easily appliable polish. If you are looking for a galaxy nails type polish with a more subtle holo effect, this one is for you (hurry because it’s not gonna be available for long). But if you’re looking for an intense holo effect, just get yourself a holo top coat and you’re all set.

Friday, October 21, 2011

ELF brightening eyeshadow quad in Brownstone

It's Friday! Sadly today is a really grim day because it's raining right now and we haven't even had a tiny glimpse of the sun since yesterday. But I'm still glad it's the weekend and my cold has almost passed too.

Today I'm stepping out of my beloved nail zone again to talk about an eyeshadow quad from ELF that I just got this week. It's officially called Brightening Eye Color and comes from the Essentials line. It's 1 dollar in the USA, but here in Europe we pay around 2,5 bucks for one of these. I chose Brownstone because I wanted some neutrals I could use for everyday looks in the fall. I'm not big on browns but I find they work better in the fall than the golds and shimmery pinks I've been using last season.

ELF Brightening Eye Color in Brownstone
The small case contains 0.09 oz or 2.5 grams of product (almost two times the weight of a MAC or Urban Decay full sized shadow). ELF claims the shadows are long-lasting, easy blending, crease resistant and that they have a safe, gentle formula. 

Ingredients (from the ELF website, also available on the packaging): Talc, Mica, Zinc Stearate, Kaolin, Paraffinium Liquidu(Mineral Oil), Petrolatum, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, MethylParaben, Propylparaben, Iron Oxides (CI 77491 , CI 77492 , CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow No.5 Lake (CI 19140), Red No.40 Lake (CI 16035), Ultramarine Violet (CI 77077), Blue No.1 Lake (CI 42090) 

 I don't know what to say about the ingredients because I'm no chemist, but I can see that the product contains parabens, so if you are against these you should avoid getting it. Other than that, the eyeshadows are soft and blendable, but not that pigmented and vibrant when used without a primer. I have swatched these both without primer and with the NYX Eyeshadow Base (that comes in a jar) to show you the difference. 

without primer
with NYX eyeshadow base
Now about the creasing and lasting power, I first have to state that eyeshadows usually crease on me after a several hours of wear time. I don't have the Urban Decay Primer Potion and I should probably invest in one, but I have still tested these with two different primers. First I've used the ELF Essentials Eyelid Primer and the colors weren't very blendable and they creased really bad. The next day I went for the NYX primer and blending was a breeze. They still creased after many hours of wear, but not nearly as bad as with the ELF primer. 

I would have showed you an eye look I did with these, but I'm not very familiar with photographing makeup and can't seem to get the pictures right. I think all in all this is a good everyday quad for its price. I love the colors and I think they are great basics everyone should have in their collection.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

ELF haul and swatches

I wanted to get some of the ELF (eyes lips face) polishes for some time now (especially the glitters) and couldn't say no to the free shipping offer that ELF UK had about two weeks ago. Here's what I got: 

from L-R: Smoky Brown, Dark Glitter Purple, Glitter Glam, Twinkle, Golden Goddess, Lilac and Brightening Eye Color in Brownstone
First of all, these aren't my first ELF polishes. I've already tested and reviewed Desert Haze here. The packaging of these claims that they are all big 3-free. However, I'm not very convinced of that because some of them (not all) have a very strong smell. I don't mind the chemicals in the polishes but if you are allergic or something like that you should be very careful with these. I also got the eyeshadow quad, which I will be reviewing in my next post. So let's get to the swatches. 

Smoky Brown and Lilac
Smoky Brown and Lilac
Dark Glitter Purple and Golden Goddess
Dark Glitter Purple and Golden Goddess
Glitter Glam and Twinkle
Glitter Glam and Twinkle
The last 3 are obviously layering polishes. Golden Goddess has small golden glitter and some larger hex glitter that gets stuck to the bottle and is very hard to get on the brush. Glitter Glam is a silver glitter and Twinkle is a multicolored glitter that is actually holographic. My favorites until now seem to be Dark Glitter Purple, Glitter Glam and Lilac. Which one do you like?

About nails and nail blogging

Hi everybody! I was thinking  about updating the "About me" tab of the blog today and wanted to express some thoughts about my blogging and nails experience. Since many of you won't be probably checking that page out, I thought I should also do a quick post on this subject. I will have a haul post later, so feel free not to read this if you are not interested in the subject.

It's been now about a month and a half since I've started this blog. I posted 30 posts and have already many sweet followers. I also have a lot of people following me on Twitter and Facebook. It's amazing to know that so many of you are reading by blabbers every day, you view my pictures and comment on my posts. I have met so many amazing friends trough this blogging experience and I'm so thankful for all of this. A big hug to you all! 

The thing that I don't seem to get straight is reuniting my blog/internet life with my real life. The only person that knows about this blog is my boyfriend (who has been very supportive and I thank him for that!). I haven't told my family or friends, not to mention people from school. I'm afraid they will be mean and judge me, call me shallow or whatever they can come up with. But the truth is very different. 

For me, painting my nails is more than a weekly routine. It is a hobby, something I love to do and became obsessed with lately.  I'm kinda a geek in real life so I became a geek with nails also. I love nail art because it's a way I can express myself. I don't sing, paint, dance or perform any kind of art. But by doing this I feel creative and inspired for the first time in my life.

To the people who consider this shallow or who think that changing your nails so often is a weird thing to do I say: Did you ever find something you liked very much to do? Do you have a hobby or a passion? Did you ever have the courage to pursue your passion and to do something more than admire it from outside? If not do it now! And to those who have been laughed at, talked behind your backs or criticized by those around you: Do whatever makes you happy! If what you are doing makes you feel inspired and glad to be alive, stop listening to all the haters. You will find people like you that will appreciate what you are doing and make you feel valuable!

So from now on, I will try to show more people my work. I will try to explain the difference between playing with paint out of boredom and having a hobby. And I will ignore the haters. I encourage everyone to do what you love no matter what. You have no idea of the great satisfaction that comes out of it. Thank you for reading! Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bring in the sparkle: Flormar U33

Hello my lovelies! These past days have been pretty hard on my nail habits, as I've been pretty sick and thus unable to paint my nails. I actually went around with naked(!!) nails today but I'm feeling better now, so I've been able to polish without having to blow my nose every second. Naturally I used the color most of you voted for in my poll, a color I've been dying to show you since I bought it. 

Flormar U33 in artificial light (lightbox), 2 coats, top coat of Out the Door
U33 is an amazing duochrome shimmer that flashes from green/teal to purple depending on the light and angle. Of course I had some trouble photographing it in its full glory. Just imagine it's much sparklier in reality. 

you can see the different colors better in this bottle picture
This one was my first Flormar polish and I have to say I'm blown up by the formula. It's pretty opaque, but you still need 2 coats to cover properly. It went on like butter and dried very quickly. The only problem I have with this polish is the brush. Dear nail polish and cosmetics companies, please stop making these huge mops! Not all of us have wide fingers and the fact that the humongous brush is not curved at all makes it so hard for me to get a nice cuticle line. The bottle has a nice shape and the cap is easy to hold, but it's too tall to fit in my polish box (not that there's any space left in there).

the teal again
the purple
I've also included some non-lightbox pictures to give you a better idea on how this looks. The light is still artificial though because the sun is long gone by now. 

So what do you think?

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