Monday, February 27, 2012

A fresh start

Hello loves! It's a new week and I hope you're not too upset that it's Monday. Today I started a new rotation at school and hopefully a better period in my life. The last semester really sucked. I'm very glad it's over now and looking forward to this one because I have high hopes for it. I can't wait to do something I like and remember why I chose medicine in the first place. Today's manicure is one that I did this weekend, inspired by spring and my new blog theme. I was thinking to post this on the first of March, as a welcome to spring, but I couldn't wait to show you. I really like this one a lot! 

This week's Adventures In Stamping challenge was "using 3 colors". So I got inspired by spring to do this. It also coincides with the theme of the Nail Art Stamping Contest Spring 2012 on Enamel Girl's blog so it will be my entry there also. I'm not skilled enough to win this by judging, but I sure wanna be entered in the awesome draw. You should check this contest out and enter! 

To create this I've used Essie Navigate Her from the spring collection (individual swatches and review coming soon). I then sponged a bit of China Glaze Lemon Fizz on some areas of the nail. Finally I stamped with OPI Don't Mess with OPI and plate m61 from Born Pretty. 

I took some shots of my left (dominant) hand too. I usually don't do that but this time it came out pretty good. Unfortunately I'm not very used to posing with this hand so it feels pretty unnatural holding the bottle. I did my best. 

I also want to welcome my new followers! I'm past the 100 mark now and I have to thank all of you for supporting me and looking at my posts. I really appreciate each and every one of you! Thank you so much! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fun Sunday: YouTube

Hello loves! Fun Sunday is back! This week I want to talk about YouTube. Now I'm sure you all watch music videos and whatnot on there, but my favorites are nail videos. I love to watch tutorials to find inspiration and learn new techniques. I have a bunch of channels that I love and I check everyday to see if they posted new videos. So I though I would share them with you. If you know of other awesome channels that I didn't list, feel free to leave me a comment and I'll be sure to check them out. I also added a few of my favorite makeup gurus.

*image source*

General nail art

  • cutepolish - This might be the most famous nail art channel on YouTube. Her tutorials are easy, well explained and her voice is so soothing. And of course the designs are so cute!
  • Creativenailart - A European channel! This talented girl from Holland has amazing nails and does the best designs on them! 
  • IHaveACupcake - Another famous channel with cute and easy designs. These tutorials are always so fun to watch! 
  • TotallyCoolNails - She always comes up with the greatest ideas for nail art. Her designs are very original! 
  • IndigoNova1 - Again, we have a very original nail artist here! You must check this channel out! 
  • Pixie Polish - Cute short nails and a toothpick. This is all you need to create amazing nail art! 
  • LuvableNails - A fresh channel with breathtaking freehand nail art.

Stamping nail art 

  • soguesswhat11 - The ladies who are into stamping regard her as the ultimate stamping guru on YouTube. She has lots of tutorials and has reviewed pretty much every plate set available. 
  • DandyNails - I listed her in the stamping section but she also has freehand nail art tutorials, hauls and reviews. I found this channel 2-3 weeks ago and had so much fun watching almost all of her videos. 
  • PlasmaSpeedo - She recently made a tutorial for stamping using acrylics. She is also the author of the awesome "Sh*t Nail Polish Addicts Say" video.
Makeup gurus

  • julieg713 - This was the first channel I subscribed to on YouTube. She also has a lot of nail videos! 
  • emilynoel83 - Emily has the most thorough reviews on makeup products and a lot of them are drugstore brands that are accessible over here too. Plus she's such an amazing person! 
  • DulceCandy87 - Her videos always cheer me up. I love her fashion and makeup hauls! And we're exactly the same age too!

I hope you will check some of these out! Have a fun and relaxing Sunday!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Essie Mesmerize

Hello my lovelies! Hope your weekend is going great and you are having lots and lots of fun! I have a very special post for you today. It's a blue, my favorite. But honestly, this is the greatest blue ever. Enter Essie Mesmerize! 

Essie Mesmerize, indoors, artificial light
Now this is an older shade, from the 2009 spring collection, I believe. It's the most amazing cobalt blue creme ever invented. Seriously, you need this in your life! This shade makes my heart pound. 

This polish is very pigmented. It actually reminds me of the vibrant blue color paintings used to have long time ago. I tried to do only one coat but was not that careful, so some of the nails needed another coat. The ones that only have one coat show my beautiful ridges. But I didn't mind too much because I knew I was going to do something on top. There is also no top coat, so you can see that this dries very very shiny.

Polka dots! I had this design in mind a few days and kept picturing it over Mesmerize so I had to do it. I also wanted to use my brand new dotting tools. I chose one of the larger ones for this design. The dotting color is OPI No Room for the Blues. I think these two work very well together. 

Of course my dots are not identical. I'm still practicing with these. I do think that this came out great though. I had this on for about two days without any chipping or tip wear. A curious thing was how easily this mani came off. Mesmerize doesn't stain at all! Amazing color with great pigmentation and no staining. This is a major winner in my book! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Another adventure in stamping

Hello my dears! It's Friday again. My week was off so I'm kinda sad that it's Friday because that means my week of vacation is over. But I still have a great weekend ahead so it's not that bad. As you have seen, I've changed the look of the blog and made it a little more springy. I'm in desperate need for spring to come soon because this was a very long and hard winter. With the help of my sister (who I thank), I also have a matching header. What do you think?

Today's manicure is a stamping I did for last week's challenge on the Facebook group Adventures In Stamping. The challenge was "plate ending in 3". Here's what I came up with.

I only have one plate ending in 3, namely the m73 from Born Pretty. Since I've used my favorite design on that plate for the blue challenge (showed here), I wanted to use a different image. The other ones don't work that well though and I really had a hard time doing a decent manicure. I had a great image in my mind with a multicolored manicure using one of the designs, but it didn't come out great at all. Then I went and bought a Konad stamper and scraper and things started working better. 

The base color is Essie Cocktail Bling and the stamping color is China Glaze Awaken, a dark silver/charcoal from the Romantique collection. This collection is made entirely out of foils and they all stamp very well. The image I chose, from m73 of course, is a french tip made out of hearts. I had to stamp about 3 times on every nail to get the full nail design. I don't care much for stamping that doesn't cover the whole nail. 

I think, in the end, this came out pretty well. I made some mistakes while stamping, but did my best to correct them. The Konad stamper and scraper are definitely better than the Born Pretty ones. So if you have trouble with your stamping, consider upgrading your tools! 

P.S. I now have a tumblr too. If you wanna follow me the link is: If you are on tumblr leave me a link so I can follow. I also have all the links to the places where you can find me (facebook, twitter, google+ etc) in the left sidebar of the blog, so definitely check them out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

China Glaze Magnetix - first look

Hello my lovelies! Today I want to talk to you about magnetic nail polish. I'm sure most of you have heard of it already and seen a lot of swatches. Some of you have also tried it. But for those that don't know about it, it's a type of nail polish with magnetic particles in it. By placing a magnet with a certain pattern over your nail, the particles gather to form a beautiful, effortless design. It's the most accessible form of nail art in my opinion, because it doesn't require any special skills. It also looks great and the metallic finish of these polishes is really edgy. I'm really glad that this trend is getting popular because famous brands are jumping on the magnetic bandwagon more and more. This means it becomes accessible to a lot of people. The China Glaze Magnetix collection is the first collection I had access to in terms of magnetic polish. I was so excited to finally be able to order these! 

L-R: China Glaze Magnetix Instant Chemistry, Drawn To You, Pull Me Close, Cling On
The collection has 6 shades but I only got the 4 above. The other ones Attraction (silver) and You Move Me (brown) didn't seem that unusual to me. I almost didn't get the purple one either, but I'm glad I did now because it ended up being one of my favorites. 

Unlike other brands, China Glaze has only one magnet that has to be purchased separately. If you have magnets from other brands you can use those and not purchase this one at all. What I do love about it is that it has 3 designs: diagonal lines, chevron and star. This way you only need to purchase the magnet once and get 3 designs that can be used with all the magnetic polishes you have. 

Here are the 3 magnets with the different designs on the U-shaped holder. Each magnet has a little plastic ledge that rests on your cuticle, making it easier to hold the magnet over the nail without touching it. What I don't like about these magnets is the fact that they are flat. My nails are very curved and the sides are not close enough to the magnet, so the design only shows up on the middle part of the nail. I have not found a solution for this problem yet, but I'm still practicing. 

These are my first attempts using the Magnetix. It's the first time I use magnetic polishes in my life, so the results are less than perfect. I do think they turned out pretty well though. The polishes are: 
  • index - Cling On with chevron pattern - a green that needs at least two coats to be opaque
  • middle finger - Drawn To You with diagonal lines - a gorgeous purple that could be opaque in one coat
  • ring finger - Instant Chemistry with star - maroon/dark purple, the most opaque of the bunch (one coat) 
  • pinkie - Pull Me Close with chevron pattern- silver/blue that could be opaque in one coat

China Glaze claims that these require only one coat, but you have seen above that it can vary a lot. Instant Chemistry is the only one opaque enough to be a one-coater. With the others it depends on the thickness of your coats (except for Cling On that needs at least two coats). I held the magnet for about 15 seconds over each nail. I don't have other magnets, but I've read on other blogs that these magnets are not as strong as others. I'm waiting for magnetic polishes to show up on the local market and then I'm gonna do a comparison. I'm also going to swatch these separately and do a different post on each. What's your take on magnetics? Have you tried them and if so, is it love or hate?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Orly Au Champagne

Hello my lovelies! How's your week going so far? I'm enjoying my vacation with rest, nail art and reading. I have some fun stuff to show you this week, but first I'm gonna start with a true palate cleanser. It's also a polish that very much resembles snow and we've had quite a lot of that lately. 

Orly Au Champagne, indoors, artificial light
This pretty comes from the Holiday Soiree collection for winter 2011. I love that Orly designed a color as perfect and delicate as snow. It's a great canvas for any nail art, but can be worn on its own for an elegant look. I thought that this will be more of a pearl finish, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it's almost a shimmer. I prefer a larger shimmer in my polish! 

The formula is a dream. You might get away with 2 coats, but I did 3 here because there was a tiny hint of visible nail line. I didn't mind though because it applies like a dream and dries very fast. I'm not very pleased with doing 3 coats of a polish because I'm not a patient person, but this beauty deserves a little sacrifice. The brush strokes are almost invisible, especially after top coat. I think it does require a top coat because it dries to a semi-matte finish. 

I'm really glad I got this because it's not something I would usually go for. The raving reviews and gorgeous swatches on a few blogs convinced me. I also have Androgynie from this collection, which I will be trying soon. 

So what do you think of white polish? Is it something you would wear or is it just too out there for you? 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Silver glitter tips

Hello my lovelies! It's Saturday and many of you will go out tonight. For a night out you need a bit of glitter. This is actually a mani I wore a few days ago when we went out to celebrate the end of exams. I usually don't like french manicures, but I think the glitter makes it totally different. I chose to do the tips over a clear pinkish base, but this can also be done over a colored base. 

To do this manicure I've used the loose glitter from my previous ebay haul. I love this glitter because it's so so sparkly. Another advantage is that it's easier to remove than regular glitter polish. But if you are afraid of glitter getting everywhere, you should not try this. It's very fine and very hard to manage and I ended up using the vacuum cleaner to remove it from my worktable. The good thing however is that soap and water usually make the excess glitter from your hands disappear.

I was afraid that the yellowness of my nails would show trough, but the pinkish base concealed it pretty well. I actually find this manicure very delicate and a great way to wear glitter without it being over the top. 

Next time I do this I will use a colored base however because french manicures are just not me. I did enjoy wearing this very much, though! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Barielle Slate of Affairs

Hello loves! It's Friday! I hope everybody is excited about this weekend and I hope you have great plans. Even if you just want to take it easy and relax for a few days, that's still pretty awesome. That's what I'm planning to do! 

This post is a little out of the ordinary for me because I want to show you a polish that I didn't like. I usually choose my polishes carefully and see a lot of swatches before I pick them out, so I mostly end up loving everything I get. But I was really disappointed by this one because I just didn't receive what I expected. You can look at the swatches Michelle posted on ALU or the comparison she did with MAC Blue India. The resemblance with Blue India was the main reason I wanted this polish, but here's what I ended up getting. 

Now please tell me if this looks slate blue to you. I was surprised to see how purple this looks. If you put it next to a purple it looks blue and next to a blue it looks purple, so I guess you could call it a blurple. But slate, not so much. The tiny blue iridescent shimmer is still present, although not too evident on the nail. Many would call this color beautiful, but this is not what I've ordered. 

close-up of the shimmer
The polish is also pretty sheer. I did 2 coats and it ended up looking like it needed one more. I didn't want to waste anymore of it though, because I already knew I didn't like it and I was layering something over it anyway. It doesn't dry quick either. I knew I was just looking for reasons not to like it at this point because it really bothered me that it was nothing like Blue India. 

I really don't know what the deal with this polish is. Maybe the swatches online are not accurate (I highly doubt it though, because it's always described as slate blue-gray and it is nothing like that color) or maybe they changed the color in the newer bottles. I looked for other Barielle colors to see if maybe it was miss labeled, but I didn't find anything relevant. Either way, it has already found a new loving home.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Orly Fowl Play

Hello my lovelies! Today is finally my first day of vacation! I haven't had a proper vacation in such a long time and I had to study even during the winter vacation. I'm so happy that I finally have a week and a half all to myself! 

Today I want to show you what I wore on Valentine's day. Now this is not a holiday we celebrate in our country. It got here recently following media influence. I really don't care about reds and pinks or girly stuff, so I wasn't inspired to do nail art for this occasion. I just painted this on because I wanted to paint my nails and it was a lovely choice. 

Orly Fowl Play, indoors, artificial light
This polish is a festival of flakies! It is honesly one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a long time. Here's a bottle shot. 

The base color of this one is purple. It looks much more purple with two coats, but I did 3 coats because the result was richer and more opaque. This way it looks darker, but you can still see the purple and it doesn't look black. The flakies are mostly orange/copper and blue, but they shine different colors depending on the light. There's also small silver glitter in the mix. It's really hard to describe. So you should just see for yourself. 

Sadly, I had to remove this last night because of my exam. I had no time to make it matte like I do with all polishes. But I will make it matte one day and I'm sure it's gonna be glorious! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eveline Holografic Shine 413

Hello my lovelies! How was your day? My exam went pretty well and I celebrated with a really awesome manicure. But that's a story for another day. Today I have for you an amazing holo from the brand Eveline, that is mostly available in Eastern Europe. 

Eveline Holografic Shine 413
Isn't this lovely? I really don't know how to describe the color of this polish. It's neither pink, nor purple, maybe magenta? It has an amazing holo effect and I was able to catch a glimpse of the sun to photograph it. So all the photos in this post are in the sun! 

Application was easy, in two coats. Unlike my other Eveline holo (previously shown here), this is more opaque (it's also a darker color, of course) and dries faster with two coats. I did apply a quick dry top coat to make it dry even faster. 

I don't remember how much I wore this because it was some time ago. I have to start writing these things down! I'm pretty sure it didn't chip and only showed minor tip wear after a few days. I really like the quality on these! 

The holo effect is amazing in this one, as you can see. It's a really great polish for a low price. I've been told that there's a black one in this collection, but so far I haven't found it. I will keep searching, though. I like these a lot. What do you think? 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Max Factor Fantasy Fire matte

Hello beauties! Just a quick post today to show you a few pictures of this great polish with a matte top coat over it. If you missed it, you can find the original post featuring Fantasy Fire here. I'm still pretty busy preparing for my exam on Monday. I can't wait for this to be over so things can return to normal again. I have a ton of polishes to swatch, a lot of nail art ideas and a whole lot of photos to edit. 

I haven't seen any photos of this with a matte finish online, so I thought I should give it a try. I really like how it looks, although the multichrome effect is almost gone. It's a very subtle and elegant look. A lot of people don't like the matte look on their nails, but I'm still in love with how my hands look with a matte manicure. I especially like matte shimmer and glitter. 

So what do you think? Are you a fan of matte or not so much?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Max Factor Fantasy Fire

Hello loves! Today my blog is 5 months old. I'm so glad I'm celebrating it with this post! Where do I start? Here's a pretty bottle shot for you! 

So this is what we are talking about today. This tiny pretty bottle of heaven is supposed to be the new dupe for Clarins 230 (aka unicorn pee). If you don't know what that is, well, it might be the most wanted polish of all time. It is discontinued and runs for crazy (I tell you, you wouldn't even imagine how crazy) prices on ebay. From what I know, the Max Factor is only available in the UK so far. My lovely friend and fellow blogger, Esther from Fab Fingertips kindly sent this to me. Thank you so much, Esther! You are really the best! 

This is a little macro shot of my nail with the polish on (in the sun). This is sheer and the bottle only holds 5 ml, so it's definitely a layering polish. I gave a lot of thought and research in order to decide on a base color. I finally went with purple and I chose China Glaze Grape Pop, a great medium purple creme. Here's a shot of it alone. 

oh look how shiny! (no top coat)
I took a lot of photos of this one. Like really a lot! I was waiting for a sunny day to swatch it and of course that while I got home and painted my nails, the sun decided to fade. I tried my best to use different light settings to capture as many aspects of this as possible. Hope I did a decent job. 

Max Factor Fantasy Fire - light box (indirect light)
Fantasy Fire is a red/copper shimmer in a sheer purple base. The color of the shimmer shifts from red/copper to gold to green. You can really see a lot of colors in this depending on the light. Keep in mind that it also can look a lot different depending on the base you layer it over. Most of my photos are without top coat, so you can see it's really shiny. I did put on some top coat later on and some of the pictures are with top coat, although I can't tell which ones. 

Max Factor Fantasy Fire - natural light
Max Factor Fantasy Fire - artificial direct light
Max Factor Fantasy Fire - artificial light
Max Factor Fantasy Fire - artificial light
I'm not one to comment on how close this is to the Clarins. I don't have that one to compare this to, but rumor has it they are close dupes. I really hope this will be available in more countries so everybody can enjoy it. I'm so grateful to Esther for sending it to me! Hope you liked my pictures and talk to you all soon! 

Max Factor Fantasy Fire - artificial light

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