Sunday, April 29, 2012

China Glaze Skyscraper

Hello my lovelies! It's been quite a while since my last post. I'm currently studying for a very important exam. You can't imagine the volume and difficulty of information I have to ingest. So basically I've been doing nothing else (besides sleeping and eating) for the last 5 days. I wasn't able to post because frankly, I hardly can bring myself to think about polish. I'm so stressed out! So this will be the last post for another few days. The exam is on Thursday and I will be back after that. Ok, now let's get to the fun part. 

China Glaze Skyscraper indoors, artificial light
This polish comes from last year's fall collection and it's been in my stash for a while now but I didn't get the chance to post swatches. I even wore it for New Year's and I think it's a great festive polish: sparkly and elegant at the same time. 

Skyscraper is a blue jelly packed with blue and silver glitter. And I do mean packed! It's one of those glitters that can easily be opaque in 2 coats. For the swatches I used one thin and one medium coat and it was perfection! It does require a few coats of top coat to be smooth but I don't mint a little grittiness. 

I would have loved to photograph this in the sun but it was very rainy back when I wore it. Either way, I think this is a gorgeous polish and I know I will wear it again and again with every chance I get. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Blue gradient with a twist

Hello gorgeous readers! I'm writing from this new Blogger layout that honestly feels like writing a letter. I like it a lot! Today was my first exam and it went pretty well. I've been studying a lot these past days and didn't feel like writing a post. I have pictures to edit and no time. Luckily I still have some manis from last week that need to be posted. This one is a gradient I did for last week's Adventures In Stamping theme. It was a first in this group's history, namely there was a tie in the weekly poll. So everyone could either do a gradient or stamp with two images or both. I first did this gradient but wasn't too crazy about it so I did the lace mani (post here) the next day. I then posted both in the challenge album and funnily, this one had the most likes. 

I didn't like how the gradient came out on some of the fingers. I feel the transition is not smooth enough. The base color is Golden Rose 132. I sponged the bottom half with OPI No Room For The Blues and a makeup sponge, trying to blend the colors together. Here's how it looked without the stamping. 

I still have to work on my gradient skills. If you wanna try this I recommend you watch this tutorial by Pixie Polish. It's amazing! I then chose a small image from M76 to stamp. The stamping polish is a-england Excalibur. I still have to post swatches for this one (and Ascalon) but it truly is great for stamping. 

As I said, I didn't like this manicure very much. I guess this kind of stamps are not my style. What do you think? 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Golden Rose Care+Strong 109 and 169

Hello beautiful polish lovers! How are you doing today? I'm still studying a lot and very behind with reading blogs and stuff, so forgive me for commenting so late on your posts. Today's post is about two polishes from the Care+Strong line from Golden Rose. I got these around the same time and decided to review them in a post together because they were the first polishes I got from this line. The problem is that it took me nearly 2 months to wear the nude one so the pictures of the glitter (169) are very old. Let's start with 109. 

You might have seen this as a base for my lace nail art here. 109 is a light nude with a hint of peachiness to it. Of course that wouldn't show up in my photos so you'll have to trust my word. I would say this is the perfect nude creme for my skin tone and it gives me the "manequin hands" look. These are 3 coats shown in the pictures. Application is pretty good although the polish is a tad thin and the first coats are streaky. I would say that the final result is satisfying. 

Drying time is not that great so I added a coat of fast drying top coat to speed up the drying so I could stamp over it. I really like this polish as a base for nail art and I would definitely wear it if in need of a neutral and elegant manicure. 

Then we have 169 which is a pretty interesting glitter. I'm showing it over Barielle Slate of Affairs (post here), which I wasn't too crazy about and wanted to somehow cover. I think it did the job of adding a little extra to this manicure. The pictures are in direct light to show the color shifting quality of the glitter. I got this on a whim because I really liked how it looked in the bottle. 

Basically it's a larger hex glitter and a small round glitter suspended in a clear base. The color shifts from gold to blue to green. It even looks pink in some extreme angles. Of course that is more evident in the bottle because my nails are not multifaceted unfortunately. As far as the application goes, it's not that great. The base is thick an gloopy and the glitter doesn't stick to the brush. I had to apply two good coats for the look in the pictures. 

Drying is also very slow considering the thickness. You absolutely need fast drying top coat. I'm not sure about 109 because the ingredients are NOT on the bottle or on the site of the brand, but 169 certainly contains toluene. The smell is really bad and reminds me of my ELF Golden Goddess (that also claims to be 3free). So if you are sensitive to smells, stay away from this one. If not, this is a great glitter and totally worth the low price (around 2$). 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Easter mani

Hello gorgeous readers! It's been a few days since my last post. I don't like to complain again but basically exams are starting next week so I'm busy with studying again. I will still try to post regularly in the next 2-3 weeks, but it won't be as much as usual. The past weekend was also Easter weekend for us so today I want to show you what I wore on my nails for the occasion. I was kinda bored of pastels so I decided to go for bright instead. 

This is what I came up with. The base color is China Glaze Sunshine Pop from the Electropop collection. I wasn't going to get this but after seeing swatches of it online, I suddenly needed it. It's a shimmery yellow color that is very bright. It was hard to photograph because it tends to come out more neon than it is in reality. It's actually like an egg yolk yellow with just a hint of shimmer. 

The application is not too bad for a yellow. It needed 3 coats for opacity and it did show some brush marks because of the shimmery/frosty finish. I'm not sure I would wear this alone because it clashes too much with my skin tone. It needs some nail art to balance it out. 

So for my nail art I chose the big flowers on plate QA16. They remind me of Hawaiian flowers so they go well with the bright theme of this mani. For my stamping I used purple because yellow and purple are complementary colors. The polish is a stamping polish from the brand Opoola that I found in a local shop. 

I had a bit of trouble while stamping because I had used hand lotion and didn't realize that until I had struggled with almost all my nails. So to make everything look nicer I used one coat of INM Northern Lights top coat. Here's a shot that shows the holo glitter. 

I liked this mani a lot and I still have it on my nails after 3 days of wear. Needless to say it hasn't chipped and still looks great. It just screams holiday and summer to me. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Laced up

Hello lovelies and happy Friday! Today's post is about a manicure I've been wanting to do for a long time. I love lace and I find it very elegant and sexy. When I saw the Sally Hansen Salon Effects strips in Laced Up I was immediately hooked. But we don't have Sally Hansen products over here. Luckily this manicure is pretty easy to recreate when you have the right plates. And after yesterday's plate haul, I finally do! 

The first few pictures are without top coat. I think the extra texture of the stamping is really similar to the lace effect. But I did add some top coat later to protect my design. 

To create this look I started with 3 coats of Golden Rose Care+Strong 109, a nude polish that I will review soon. I then stamped with two different stamps and China Glaze Liquid Leather. First I used the small flowers  from plate QA8 and placed them randomly on the nails. It really doesn't matter if your stamping is neat with this step. You pretty much have to fill the surface of the nail with random curvy shapes. Then I stamped the fishnet design from plate QA13 on top of the random shapes. 

with top coat
This manicure is pretty easy to do but you do need a bit of patience because of the small shapes that you have to stamp over and over again. I did like the outcome a lot tough and I think it's totally worth it! 

with top coat
My only regret is the way it photographed. It think it looks much better in reality and especially from a distance. I love how my hands look with this on! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

LightInTheBox QA stamping plates review

Hello my lovelies! I hope your week is going great! I'm on a little vacation but not for long because next week I have to start studying for my exams. I was kinda in a rut with my nail inspiration these days when finally today some of the new plates I've ordered arrived. I got these from , an Asian website I discovered through the Adventures In Stamping facebook group. I can tell you that since I've joined this group my stamping has gotten a lot better but I also found out about a lot of plates. My wishlist keeps getting longer and longer! 

The plates are from the QA series and are also available on ebay from various sellers. They can be purchased as a bundle but I liked that on this site you can choose the plates you wanna get and don't have to buy a whole lot of them. I got 5 plates for about 6.5$ and the shipping was only 0.7$. It took 3 weeks for them to arrive. Let's take a look as these plates, shall we? 

The plates are octagon shaped but I don't mind that too much. They don't have a backing so the corners may be sharp on some of them. You have to be careful especially when removing the plastic film they come with. I had to use my scraper on some of them to get the edges of the film to lift so I could peel it off. The full nail images vary in size. Most of them are 16x14mm but you can see that on some plates there is an image in the middle that is smaller (14x12mm). Now let's see how they stamp. 

Forgive the messiness of these swatches. Most of it is user error because I was in a hurry and wasn't wiping everything properly. I tried to use some of my best stamping polishes. As you can see, plates QA13 and QA18 stamp very well. 

Plate QA16 is one of my favorites because of the flowery designs but I did have trouble with the small ones. These tiny animals have very fine lines and don't seem to stamp well. Also there's the larger one with a lot of dots that don't seem to show up at all. My swatches of plate QA8 are very messy but that's only because Awaken is such a pigmented polish. I swear it shows up on paper even when you don't see it on the stamper. Finally, plate QA17 that I got for the starry design. I'm not sure who the girl in the images is. Maybe some of you know her cause I sure don't. 

All in all, I'm very happy with these plates and I think they are a great deal. The site also has other plates (A series, B series, G series) and recently they added the M series (Konad dupes) from which I also have some on the way to me. Hope you enjoyed this review and if you have any questions don't be afraid to leave them in the comments! 

*Disclaimer: These products were purchased by me with my own money. I'm not affiliated in any way with the company above.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Subtle stamping love

Hello guys! It's been a few days since my last post and I'm very sorry. I've been away this weekend and then I had two busy days with school and all. I'm very tired when I get home and can't bring myself to edit and post stuff but I finally did today. Also I'm so sorry for not commenting on your blogs. I have read a part on my phone but Google Reader doesn't allow comments so I have to revisit those. I hope to have more time in the next days but I also have to clean for Easter. We are celebrating next Sunday! 

Today's post is a short one. I've enjoyed last week's subtle stamping from this post so I decided to do another one. 

The base color is Illamasqua Faux Pas, previously shown here. I stamped the roses from Born Pretty plate m65 with China Glaze Awaken. It stamped great but the top coat smeared it a bit. 

I enjoyed this look a lot! I'm very much into stamping right now and can't wait for my new awesome plates to arrive so I can play a lot more! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter eggs

Hello my lovelies and happy Saturday! I'm away this weekend to see my grandparents but I wanted to do this post for you. Many of you are celebrating Easter this Sunday and I wanted to get an appropriate design up on the blog. Our Easter is only next week. So forgive me if I will be posting Easter nails next week too. Ok, on to the nails! 

I chose a stamping mani because I wanted it to also count as this week's Adventures In Stamping entry. The theme was Easter, naturally. I don't have any Easter themed plates so I went to decorate some skittles, also known as Easter eggs. This time I've been a good blogger and photographed the polishes I used. They are all pastels. I don't know about you, but pastels just scream spring and happiness to me! 

These are the polishes. And here are the nails without any stamping. 

The colors are: pinkie - China Glaze Lemon Fizz, ring finger - China Glaze Kinetic Candy, middle finger - China Glaze Light As Air and pointer - Eyeko Vintage polish. The stamps are all from Born Pretty as follows: pinkie and ring finger - m79, middle finger - m78 and pointer - m77. 

Whew! I hope I explained everything. And I do hope you like this mani! Happy Easter to you all! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

W7 Metallic Jupiter

Hello my lovelies! Just one more day to go and it's the weekend! A lot of you will celebrate Easter this Sunday and I'm sure it's gonna be fun. We only celebrate it next Sunday so it's just a regular weekend for me. Today's post is about the second polish from the W7 Metallic Planets collection. This beauty was the first one I put on when my ebay order arrived. See for yourself why! 

W7 Metallic Jupiter indoors, artificial light
Isn't this amazing? But it's so much better in reality! When I first put it on I was thinking there are no good swatches of it online. And then I understood why. Its beauty is so hard to capture on camera! The particles in this are larger than in Metallic Neptune. While Neptune is a shimmer, Jupiter is more of a glass fleck. And the duochrome effect is a lot stronger. So much that you can see teal and pink/purple flecks mixed on the nail. I tried to capture that in the following bottle shot and macro shot of my thumb. 

Feel free to click them to make them bigger! The polish applies very well and it's opaque in two coats. Drying time is also pretty fast. The only complain I have about these is the wear time. The tip wear is pretty evident after one day of wear. Of course my top coat also decided to shrink it (it was the top coat's fault) so my tips look pretty awful in these photos. 

I think this is my favorite from the collection from what I've experienced so far. Stay tuned though because I have two more to show you! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Aqua Leopard

Hello gorgeous readers! Hope you are doing fine and staying healthy. I'm feeling a little under the weather today and I'm very tired so I'm gonna keep it short and sweet. This is a mani I did using my China Glaze Aquadelic mani as a base. To see swatches of it alone click here

I wanted to try a leopard print since I just discovered animal prints for my nails. This time instead of using a nail art pen or stamping I used a small dotting tool. Let me tell you it isn't so easy to control and while it might be the perfect tool to make perfect dots, it's kinda hard to draw lines with it. 

The color for the leopard spots is Color Club Gossip Column. It came out more navy in the photos but it's actually a blue-teal. I didn't use any top coat because this was made around the time my China Glaze Fast Forward decided to thicken up and smudge every design. I came to the conclusion that it's useless to invest in top coats from abroad because they become unusable after half the bottle is gone. It's better to use the cheap local stuff. 

So what do you think about this mani? Is the color combo just right or too out there for you? 

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