Sunday, September 30, 2012

Girly Girl Nail Art Challenge Day 5: Gotta Love Chick Flicks

Hello lovelies! Today's theme for the Girly Girl challenge is chick flicks! Now I must admit I watched quite a few of these in my life and my guiltiest pleasure is a little movie called The Devil Wears Prada. I know this is not a very deep and meaningful movie, but it sure is fun! And Meryl Streep did a great job in the role of Miranda Priestly. After all, she did get an Oscar nomination for it. So this is my manicure inspired by the movie. 

The ring finger is the famous shoe from the poster of the movie. The rest of the fingers were inspired by Miranda's outfit in this photo and her hair. 

I used Orly Au Champagne as a base color and freehanded the shoe using Rimmel Stand To Attention and a nail art brush. For the other fingers I masked triangles on the base of the nail with tape and painted China Glaze Liquid Leather. Finally I applied some Seche Vite and that's it! 

I really liked the edgy look of this manicure but I won't be using so much black anytime soon. Cleanup was painful and messy! This black is ok for stamping but it's just too pigmented to be used in large quantities. 

Don't forget to check out what the other ladies have come up with for this challenge! 

Polyvore Collage Day: Favorite Character From a TV Show

Hello lovelies and happy Sunday! It's time for another Polyvore collage! I must admit that I do enjoy making these although fashion is not my thing and it takes quite some time for me to find everything I want to put in a collage. I hope I have time to do these kinds of posts every week. This Sunday's theme is "Favorite Character From a TV Show". People who know me are aware of the fact that I watch a lot of TV shows. Some even think I'm a little crazy for following so many. And one of my favorite shows of all time is Bones. I love Emily Deschanel, so I chose her character, Temperance Brennan, as an inspiration for this collage. 

Temperance Brennan inspired outfit

I think Temperance would totally rock this outfit. The skinny jeans and the boots are a must for her character! She often wears a trench coat and I chose a red one for a pop of color. Another must for her character is the ethnic jewelry, so I included this lovely necklace by Christian Lacroix. She keeps her makeup simple with an earth toned smokey eye and nude lips. I could not leave out the nail polish and since I've never seen her wear color on her nails, I chose this nude from Nails Inc, called Basil Street. I love this outfit and I could totally wear all this stuff myself! Of course you are supposed to take these items as a general guideline because the total cost of all this stuff is way over any budget ever imagined.

Check out these other collages for today's theme!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Beauty Blogazon Weekly Roundup 9/29/2012

Nails Inc Spitalfields Fishnet Magnetic and my first YouTube video

Hello my beautiful readers! As you might have seen from the title, this is a very exciting post for me. I finally filmed something publishable on YouTube. I've had my attempts before but they were total disasters. Of course now that I started to get the hang of it, one of my nails broke and I had to nubinize them all. So I don't know when I will be able to film again. I really want to film a tutorial for Halloween though. But first, I have a polish to show you. 

Nails Inc Spitalfields Fishnet Magnetic indoors, artificial light
The story with this polish is kinda complicated but it does have a happy ending. It's my first Nails Inc polish and I was very excited to find it on sale on Asos. But the main reason I bought it was the magnet. I have a few magnets but none of them has this lovely pattern on it. So imagine my sadness when my polish arrived without a magnet. It was literally missing from the cap. I emailed Asos and they were really great about it. They sent a replacement with no extra charge and the second one had the magnet in its place. 

Nails Inc Spitalfields Fishnet Magnetic indoors, artificial light
Spitalfields is an emerald green magnetic polish. It has a lovely shimmer in it, which you can see in the sun pictures. It's opaque in 2 coats and applies wonderfully. The magnet is flat and because my nails are really curved, the pattern didn't show up on the sides of the nails. I'm used to that from other brands of magnets, so I won't blame the Nails Inc magnet for it. 

Nails Inc Spitalfields Fishnet Magnetic in the sun
One thing that impressed me about this polish is the fact that it dries extremely fast. And also the pattern doesn't get smudged when you put top coat over it. Even if the magnet part takes a little more time than a regular manicure, this still has a very fast application. 

Nails Inc Spitalfields Fishnet Magnetic in the sun
I decided to film a basic video while applying this polish because I've been asked many times about certain aspects of my manicure like what I use, how I get a clean cuticle line and so on. The video shows how I do my manicure with all the steps and also has the magnet part as a bonus, for those of you who don't know how easy it is to work with magnetic polish. It was also something easy to get me started. Keep in mind that it's my first video and be gentle with me. I'm working on my lighting and angle cause I know they are bad. 

I hope you liked this post and my little video. Please comment below and tell me what you think! Thank you for reading! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Essence Time For Romance

Hello loves! I have a pretty glitter for you today and it's another of the Essence Colour & Go polishes. This one seems to be very popular lately because I've seen a lot of people posting swatches in the last few weeks. So I do hope this post won't bore you too much.

Essence Colour & Go 72 Time For Romance indoors, artificial light
Time For Romance is one of the few old Colour & Go polishes that is also available in the new packaging, so you can still get it if your store switched to the new line (mine hasn't yet). The color of this glitter is very hard to describe. It's sort of a pinkish brownish red. There's a sheer jelly base filled with tiny glitter and larger hex glitter. 

Essence Colour & Go 72 Time For Romance indoors, artificial light
I really wanted to wear this polish by itself to capture the real color so I worked to make it opaque. The glitter is not that dense and the jelly base, although colored, is very sheer, so I did 3 thick coats to achieve this look. Even so there is still a bit of visible nail line but I love the squishy transparent look. It went on very smoothly and dried fast, so I really didn't mind the extra coat. 

Essence Colour & Go 72 Time For Romance indoors, artificial light
This was the first time I used my new light box and I took a lot of pictures. There was no sun at the time so all pictures are in artificial light. I used one coat of Seche Vite over this and it wasn't totally smooth, but I'm sure one more coat would have fixed that. 

Essence Colour & Go 72 Time For Romance indoors, artificial light
I love this polish and I have loved every single polish I've tried so far from this line. I can't wait to layer this over some cremes. Any suggestions? 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where In The World Challenge: Israel

Hello my lovelies! I'm finally catching up with the Where In The World challenge and posting my Israel nail art today. I had this idea in my head for over a week but was so busy with other posts that I didn't have the time to put it into practice. I must admit that today's approach is a bit abstract, but I did my best to do something original and interesting. 

Here's the story behind this nail art. I had a little trouble coming up with something for this challenge so I started researching Israel on Wikipedia. I found out about this flower, named Anemone coronaria or poppy anemone, that grows all over Israel and is a popular tourist attraction. Instead of painting complicated flowers on my nails, I took inspiration from a photo of a field of Anemone coronaria. Here's the picture in question. 

*image source*
The base color of this manicure is Essie Navigate Her. I've already posted about this color here, but I'm still going to include a picture of this on my longer nails because I love it. Seriously, this polish is so gorgeous that I would need to grow one more hand so I could wear this all the time on it. 

Essie Navigate Her indoors, artificial light
 This is just 2 coats of awesomeness! The "flowers" are random spots that I drew with a nail art brush. I used Sleek Geisha's Seal for the red flowers and I tried to create an opaque lilac by mixing Sephora Let's Dance with some white for the other flowers. Of course the lilac is still too purple and should be lighter but it seemed light enough in real life. 

This came out pretty weird in the end but I still like the effect of the random dots on my nails. It actually looks more like one of those color blind tests rather than a poppy field. 

Thanks for reading! Here are the other posts from the ladies participating in this challenge: 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Blues: Kiko 398

Hello my lovelies! Another Monday, another blue. This time I'm showing you a gorgeous limited edition Kiko polish. This is actually my first Kiko and I was very excited to try out this brand because I've heard so many good things about it. Needless to say that it didn't disappoint! 

Kiko 398 indoors, artificial light
Kiko polishes usually have numbers on the bottle and the name is only listed on the website. This one is no longer available since it was a limited edition, but I did a bit of googling and it seems that it's called Infinite Indigo. The duochrome in this one is not that strong and although I did my best to capture the purple that shows up in certain angles, it just wouldn't come out properly. You can catch a glimpse of the duochrome effect in the following pictures. 

Kiko 398 indoors, natural light
Of course the sun wouldn't cooperate very well either for these pictures. The formula of this polish was not spectacularly good, but still pretty manageable. It's on the thin side and the first coat went on kinda patchy. I experienced a bit of dragging, but the second coat made it opaque and took care of the bald spots. I applied some Seche Vite on top to make it dry faster and make the brush strokes disappear. 

Kiko 398 indoors, artificial light
This beauty can definitely be worn by itself. It's perfect for fall because it's a jewel type color that can liven up a neutral toned outfit. However, I couldn't resist and did some stamping over it. I chose a design from plate CH16 and stamped it with China Glaze Liquid Leather. I really like the look of this because it brings that extra something without covering the base color too much. 

I hope you like it too! Please take a moment to check out the other Monday Blues by these lovely ladies: 

Gosia from Life in Color!
Marisa from Polish Obsession
Joanna from The Treasure Chest

Have a great week! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Girly Girl Nail Art Challenge Day 4: Inspired by the Runway

Hello my lovelies! Today I'm continuing with the Girly Girl challenge and the theme is "Inspired by the Runway". I have to say that I'm not very interested in fashion and I'm not into fashion trends. I usually wear what I like and how I like. But I do follow nail trends and something that has been really big on the runway lately are the half moon nails. So I decided to do some half moons with a twist for today's theme. 

These might seem like regular half moon nails at first, but the moons are actually duochrome! I used Essence Where Is The Party? from the Colour & Go line, which has a very strong duochrome effect. Let's take a look at this polish by itself. 

Essence Colour & Go 43 Where Is The Party? indoors, artificial light, no top coat
Where Is The Party? is one of those awesome duochromes that doesn't really need a lot of moving around to get the color to change. The different colors just show up naturally. You can see there's a purple color and a dark silver in the first picture. There's also a green color in there somewhere and I managed to capture it in the following picture.

Essence Colour & Go 43 Where Is The Party? indoors, artificial direct light, with top coat
Pretty spectacular, right? The formula is not too bad either. I did 2 coats for these photos and it turned out pretty opaque. It photographs more streaky than it is in real life. You can see in the first photo that the streaks are more evident without top coat, but the top coat partially take care of that. I had a few bubbles on my nails though after applying it, and I'm not sure where they came from. The durability of this polish is not that good. This manicure started chipping on the second day of wear. I'm pretty sure it's the Essence's fault since it was the base. 

Essence Colour & Go 43 Where Is The Party? indoors, artificial light, with top coat
I used some round stickers as guides to mask the moons and painted China Glaze Grape Pop on the rest of the nail. It was the first time I used these kind of stickers and I definitely need practice with them. The one on my middle finger was placed a bit too low, but I guess it's not that bad since that nail is also bigger than the other ones. 

I really enjoyed this manicure and I can't wait to try it again with different color combos. Here are the links to the other blogs participating in this challenge: 

Polyvore Collage Day: Autumn nail trends

Hello lovelies and happy Sunday! I have an exciting post for you today! My friend Joanna over at The Treasure Chest had the idea of reuniting beauty and fashion bloggers through this thing called Polyvore Collage Day. We have a theme every week and each of us creates a collage with whatever fits the theme and posts it on Sunday. If you want to find out next week's theme and join in the fun head over to Joanna's blog for details. This week's theme is Autumn and since mine is a nail blog, I created a collage with some of my picks for fall. 

Autumn nail polish
Top row L-R: China Glaze First Mate, Deborah Lippmann Superstar, OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow
Bottom row L-R: China Glaze Swanky Silk, Nails Inc Spitalfields Fishnet Magnetic, Essie Lacy Not Racy
Here's a little breakdown of the collage:

  • China Glaze First Mate: I could not leave out my favorite polish of all times from this season's picks. This glossy navy creme is a perfect match for that warm brown and copper clothing. 
  • Deborah Lippmann Superstar: It's copper and it's glitter! A great way to have the autumn leaves' colors on your nails.
  • OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow: I swatched this a few days ago and you can see the post here. Vampy colors are a must for my nails in the cold season! 
  • China Glaze Swanky Silk: The New Bohemian collection combines the metallic trend with a duochrome effect. If you are looking for a neutral with a twist, this is your polish! 
  • Nails Inc Spitalfields Fishnet Magnetic: The best way to have an edgy design on your nails without any effort is magnetic polish. This emerald green shade is just perfect for this season. 
  • Essie Lacy Not Racy: Oxblood! The hottest color of this season. With this staple color and Essie's top notch formula you can never go wrong! 

Thank you so much for reading and please check out the other collages of this week! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Beauty Blogazon Weekly Roundup 9/23/2012

Born Pretty nail foils review

Hello everybody! I have a review for you today and it's something I've been putting off for a long time. I decided to finally test these almost one year after I received them because I thought my review could be useful for some of you. What I want to talk about are some foils or nail wraps from Born Pretty, which you can find here. I got this in sort of a giveaway promotion thing they had on twitter last fall. Since they were sent to me for free, I couldn't pick the design and was sent just a plain colored one instead of the patterns. Mine would be number 03 on their picture, I think. 

This picture is so old! I posted the manicure I'm wearing here in November of last year! So you can see that the ones I got are just plain red/orange ones with no design. I still think they are pretty cool because of the finish. They do have the metallic or minx kind of finish. What put me off in the first place was the fact that they are so thick. They are honestly thick and rigid stickers and I was sure that they couldn't apply smoothly on the nails. Here's my result. 

You can see in this picture that my application was far from perfect. First, the shape near the cuticle is sort of weird. It's rounded but it also has a straight line in the middle, which leaves a triangular gap between the foil and my cuticle. Then, because of the thickness, it is very hard to make them adjust to the curves of the nail. You can see I have some wrinkles that were just impossible to get rid of, even with a cuticle pusher and a lot of patience. But the biggest problem is with the edges of the nail. I used scissors to cut the excess off and then began to file them in order to get a smooth edge. But because they are so thick, it is impossible to do that. And I had to stop at one point because I didn't want to file into my own nail. 

These are advertised as fast and easy to apply, but the truth is, it took me about 40 minutes to get them on all my 10 fingers. Even after I finished with application, they were unbearable to wear. The tips were sharp and were getting caught on everything. But I really wanted to test them out so I went out to run errands with them on. Let me tell you, they were not pleasant. You're supposed to wear these for 11 days, but it was hard even for a few hours. Here's how they looked 4 hours later. 

Born Pretty foils after 4 hours of wear
You can see in the picture that they started to wear at the tips and began to show part of the nail. These are supposed to come off with soapy water, but I did take a shower to test them out and they stayed on pretty well. I finally ended up peeling them off after I took the picture above. They left a really gross glue residue on my nails, which I had to remove with acetone. 

All in all, I wouldn't purchase these for myself. The only pros are the nice patterns and the fact that they stay on if you keep your hands in the water. However, for the price of over 5$, they are not even worth purchasing for a night out or special occasion. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Liebster Award questions part 2

Hello lovelies! I'm finally getting around to answering the rest of the questions I got from the lovely bloggers who nominated me for the Liebster Award. To check out all the details and the first set of answers you can go here. I have quite a few questions to answer today so I'll dive right in. 

Mishka's (Lacquer or Leave Her!) questions: 

1. What is your favorite polish?
China Glaze First Mate is my biggest love.
2. What is your favorite movie or book, and why?
Oh this is a hard and complex question. I couldn't choose one movie or one book because I have many favorites. Some of my favorite movies: Forest Gump, Love Actually, Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, Life Is Beautiful, Saturno Contro and Dirty Dancing. If I had to choose a book, it would be Ernesto Sabato's "Before the End". Why? Because it gives me hope.
4. What is your favorite manicure, and why? Link please. :)
Another hard one! They are all my babies and I can't pick. I really enjoyed this one from a few weeks back.
5. Pick one word to describe yourself.
6. List 5 things within arm's reach of where you sit.
My phone, a bottle of acetone, a few polishes, my camera, my nail wheels.
7. Who is your favorite artist, and why? (not nail artist, but painter, sculptor, etc.)
Leonardo Da Vinci. Because everything he did was revolutionary and unique.
8. What should you be doing now, instead of blogging?
Nothing. I'm on vacation.
9. Indoor or outdoor person?
10. Name one thing you have or would have on your bucket list.
Visiting a bunch of countries in South America.
11. List 3 things that make you happy, other than nail polish.
Books, music, dogs.

Gypsy Moon's (Jibber Jabber) questions:

1. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
A lot of nail polish, a house and a trip around the world.
2.  If you could meet any one person (from history or currently alive), who would it be?
John Lennon
3.  What book are you currently reading?
"A Feast for Crows" by George R. R. Martin
4. The last thing that made you really laugh out loud?
This comic.
5. Describe yourself in three words.
Above I only had one word. I will add trustworthy and introvert to organised.
6. What is something fun you are going to do today?
Maybe go to the movies. I'm not sure yet.
7. Favourite book/movie when you were a child?
I can't really remember. I used to love Karl May books.
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
9. Have you ever won a trophy?
10. Do you touch-type?
Had to google that one. But yes, I do!
11. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person. Well I don't like to wake up very early but I can't function properly at night at all.

Jezzica's (Little Miss Nailpolish) questions:

1. What do you work with? (Or study or such :))
I study medicine. So I work with people.
2. What's your favourite polish of all times?
Already mentioned above that it's China Glaze First Mate.
3. How many polishes do you have in your collection? (It doesn't have to be an exact number ;))
About 200.
4. What makes you really really angry?
People. Specifically jerks.
5. What is your favourite flower?
Haven't given that much thought. I will say rose. Pretty boring.
6. Who and what would you bring with you to a desert island? (One person and one object)
My boyfriend and a book.
7. Coke or Pepsi? :)
Coke forever!
8. What is your favourite saying/quote?
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." (William James)
9. If you were a character in the series "Friends", who would you be and why?
Probably Monica. Because I'm organised and obsessive.
10. Which famous person would you like to date?(If you were single if you're not)
Jim Carrey because he's so funny.
11. What is (or once was) your nickname?
I never had a nickname. Some people call me Miha or Mihi, which is short for Mihaela.

Nada Najafi's (Penguins Left Green Polish) questions:

1. How often do you blog?
It depends on my free time. When I was off from school I did 4-5 posts a week. During school it's about 3 a week.
2. What is the brand of nail polish that you hate?
I don't really have one that I totally hate. Every brand has good and bad parts. I had a bad experience with Barielle once, but I really can't judge because it was just one polish.
3. Is there any nail art you cant do?
Well I can't draw faces and complicated stuff that requires shading skills.
4. What polish is on your wish list?
Nails Inc Baker Street. And many others...
5. What nail trend do you wish you could master?
I wish I could do really perfect, airbrushed gradients. I'm sure I'll get there someday with practice.
6. How often do you manicure and fix your nails up?
If you mean filing and stuff, I do that about once a week.
7. Where do you store your nail polish?
Plastic bins.
8. Would you ever take a course in nail art?
Not sure. It would have to be something really special.
9. How often do you paint your nails?
It depends again on my free time. On vacation I do it every other day. During school about 2-3 times a week.
10. What is your most hated nail invention?
I can't stand acrylic nails.
11. When you have a nail 'block' how do you inspire yourself?
Pinterest, blogs, tumblr.

:wipes forehead: Ok, that's it! I really hope I covered all the questions that were sent my way. Thank you again to all the lovely ladies that tagged me!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Where In The World Challenge: Spain

Hello my lovelies! It's time for another installment of the Where In The World Challenge. I forgot to mention yesterday that I got a new light box from Ebay last week. My photos are better now and I do hope that you like them too. I chose the black background because it makes the nails pop. It also makes the blog look more professional. What do you think?

Today's stop on our little journey is Spain. Here's what I came up with.

Even though Spain is a common holiday destination, I've never been there myself. However, a few people close to me have been there and brought me souvenirs. From these I chose my inspiration. And I'm talking specifically about some gold jewelry my aunt brought me from Toledo. These traditional pieces are made with a technique called Damascening or damasquinado in Spanish. Basically it consists of carving certain shapes in steel and filling them in with gold. Then the steel is oxidized and it becomes black. The result is something like this. 

earrings and pendant made with the Damascening technique
I don't think many people know that this technique is practiced in Toledo and they probably have never seen this type of jewelry. I wanted to do something original for this theme and I think I did. I used yesterday's OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow manicure as a base for this nail art. It was so fortunate that I had this polish from OPI's Spain collection and it perfectly fit the theme. I stamped with Golden Rose Nail Art 108 on top and there it was. A very simple damascening manicure! 

Since I didn't have a bird image, I chose the flower image from plate M73 from Born Pretty. I think this design is pretty similar to the flowers and stems around the bird. Because of the thin stems, this image doesn't stamp perfectly, but I guess the flaws aren't too visible. I just love how elegant this manicure looks. It also goes great with the baroque fashion trend from this season. 

I hope you liked my Spain manicure and please go see what the other participants in this challenge have come up with!

Thank you for reading! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow

Hello loves! We've had some sun here today but the weather is definitely on the chillier and cloudier side. So what better way to welcome the fall than a dark and vampy polish. I just love these so much! They look great on me because of my very pale skin and there's something so delicious about them. Of course I wear whatever I want, regardless of season, but in the colder months I tend to gravitate towards dark colors. And this one will be on my nails a lot for sure this season! 

OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow indoors, artificial light
This little baby came home with me yesterday as part of a "buy one get one free" deal. I was very excited because we rarely get these deals here, especially on OPI and it's really hard for me to have access to this brand. Even with the deal, I still ended up paying about the price people in the US pay, instead of the whooping 15$ we usually have to pay for OPI. So, long story short, I picked this one because I love colors like this and because I needed a good dark green. 

OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow indoors, artificial direct light
Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow comes from the 2009 Spain collection and is a dark hunter green polish. I always thought this was a creme, but I was surprised to see a tiny shimmer while I applied it. Because of the dark color, this shimmer gets lost on the nail and is only visible in bright light. You can catch a glimpse of it in the sun pictures below. This color is definitely not for everyone. It does look black in lower light but I love it just the way it is. 

OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow in the sun
The formula on this one is on the thin side. After 2 coats there were still some visible nail line and a few bald spots, so I did 3. I didn't mind that though, because the polish goes on smoothly and dries very fast and shiny. I did add a coat of Seche Vite because I wanted to make it extra glossy and I had a bit of shrinkage at the tips. 

OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow in the sun
My only regret with this polish is that it didn't photograph as good as it looks in real life. It's just so shiny and yummy and I wish you could all see it. It's also a tad lighter in reality and has a lot more dimension. If you are a lover of vampy polishes, I highly recommend this. Stay tuned because tomorrow I will show you the nail art I did using this as a base! 

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