Saturday, October 29, 2011

NOTD - Essie's Brooch the Subject & Sephora by OPI's Traffic Stopper Copper

So after slowly taking off my swatches from all of my glittah polishes (glitter polishes are a pain to take off and the big glitter pieces kept falling off everywhere), I applied Essie's Brooch the Subject with Sephora by OPI's Traffic Stopper Copper at the tips.
Here are some pics in "daylight."  I put daylight in quotation marks because it's not that light outside today due to the freakishly early wintry storm.  Snow in October?!?!
Essie's Brooch the Subject was fairly easy to put on.  First coat was streaky but the second coat evened it out.  It's not the best application, but not the worst for sure.  It is a lot nicer in person than I thought it would be.  I mean it still gives me slight mannequin hands, but I think it looks a lot better in person than I've seen in photos (including my own).

Applying the glitter polish to the tips was a bit more difficult than I anticipated.  I had read that the way to apply it is to swipe a thinly polished brush down toward the middle of the nail but that didn't work for me.  What I did was I made sure the brush had enough glittah on it to appease my 10-year old girl in me and then I applied it to the tips going out and over the edge.  I then brought the brush back and spread the glitter down towards the middle, trying to keep the big glittah pieces near the tips.  Sometimes I had to go back to deposit more glitter in bare spots and then I used the brush to manipulate it around and spread it out so it wouldn't be to gunky.  After it was fairly dry, I went over everything with Essie's Good to Go top coat to even things out.  Otherwise, I could see slight streaks towards the middle of my nails from the glittah top coat since I only applied it towards the middle.  Phew, that was long.  Hope that made some sense.  Anyways, I think this is something that you can experiment with and see what works best for you.

I love my gradient glitter nails!  I want to try out all of them paired with all different kinds of base polishes!  But unfortunately I don't think I can wear these to the office, so it's just a weekend thing.

My pug really hates nail polish and computer time.  While she stays away during polish time due to the smell, she tries her best to disrupt my computer time.  If I don't position my legs like so, she will sit up and scratch and paw at my arm forever.
But how can I resist this sleepy face?  She just wants to snuggle during this cold and rainy/snowy day.
And then of course I take advantage of this situation and use my pug to help model my NOTD.


So after oohing and aaahing over pics of glitter gradient nails on Pinterest, I went a bit wild with my Sephora Friends & Family haul.  All my other stuff was boring basics I was restocking, and so the only part I was really excited about were these polishes.  And let me tell you, these made me way more giddy than I anticipated.  Something about glitter just totally appealed to the 10-year old girl in me.  I may, or may not, have actually squee-ed.

So from left to right we have the following Sephora by OPI polishes/top coats - Traffic Stopper Copper, Only Gold For Me, Good Tidings We Bling, and Flurry Up.  I normally don't use OPI polishes (I'm an Essie girl at heart), and I usually don't like the Sephora by OPI polishes compared to the regular OPI (they aren't as nice and long lasting as the regular OPI polishes in my opinion), but these are glitter polishes, so I wasn't really sweating it.  And I totally realize that Good Tidings We Bling is a holiday polish that I probably won't be able to use that often, but the crazed holiday tyrant in me demanded it.
My pug approves.  So long as they stay sealed.  As soon as I open any polish, she darts away.
So I was lazy and applied these on top of my existing polish which I was going to take off later anyways (Essie's Size Matters).  On my left hand I applied it only to the tips as follows: Thumb - Traffic Stopper Copper, Index - Good Tidings We Bling, Middle - Flurry Up, and Ring - Only Gold For Me.  Sorry it doesn't show up as well in the photos.  It's much more noticeable in person and you can clearly see the different colored glitter.

Sorry for the awkward pinky pose.  I had tested out another polish I got, a magnetic polish by Nails, Inc. in Trafalgar Square.

I'm still struggling with how to use it and will have to try again since I did such a crappy job of it.  See my lil pug in the background?

So anyways, back to the glittah.  On my right hand I painted the glitter polishes on my entire nails.  I think I like the look of just the tips better.
The glitter pieces range from fairly big to tiny.  Sometimes it was hard to make sure I got an even amount of glitter on.  It's not so much a big deal when doing the entire nail, but when applying to just the tips, I wanted to make sure I got enough and an even amount of glitter on there.  And now of course, some obligatory pug photos with me stupidly enjoying more illusion/size distortion photos.
My pug is A-OK!
Snip snip!
I will post my NOTD separately - to follow!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Essie's Size Matters

I've got on Essie's Size Matters with a little bit of nail art on my thumb using my Konad-imitation plate and Essie's School of Hard Rocks.  Jeez I think my nail painting skills are getting worse lately.  What's up with that?  Anyways, this was super easy to apply, very very pigmented and opaque.  I probably could've gotten away with one coat if I wanted to, but I always do at least two.  So this is two coats with Essie's base and top coats.
All while my lil pug sleeps.  Her eyes look open but she's really sleeping.  This is why the vet says I should apply eye drops every day.  And that's why I have so many scratches on my arms and legs.  Well that and the nail dremel.
I had to move the fabric away to show her pink tongue sticking out.
You might be wondering where she is.  Well, her favorite napping spot.  Behind and on top of my legs.
Sigh, makes for some very uncomfortable positions for me and numb legs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Essie's Bobbing for Baubles

Ok, I have a backlog of polish swatches so here's another one.  Essie's Bobbing for Baubles.  Again my skin and cuticles are a mess - I warned you.  This was a beautiful deep dark navy-black polish.  Amazing.  Unfortunately it's a little bit thicker and harder to apply than some of Essie's other winter 2011 polishes.  I could've just gotten a wonky one and will probably use some polish thinner next time.
I used Essie's Wrapped in Rubies and my Konad-imitation plate to add some flowers in a vertical line down the right side of my nails.  I should've done a lighter color but by the time I stamped these on, it was too late.  I wasn't going to redo my entire nail.
I had already messed up my nails before and had to take the polish off and redo it and let me tell you this polish is a pain to take off!  I think it has to do with how thick it was and it got into all the little crevices and under my nails.  At the end it looked like I'd slaughtered a bunch of smurfs.  Not pretty.
I think with polish thinner added, better skin condition, and a steadier hand, it could look amazing.  I've now put this on my toenails instead since that's a more forgiving area.  I just slather on the polish and then the mistakes on my skin eventually go away after a few showers.  Until then it looks like a mess, but it's cold out, not like I'm wearing sandals nowadays.  I love it on my toenails - it almost looks black and I love dark polish on my toenails.

And of course, obligatory pug photo.  One morning I woke up sleeping on my stomach with something heavy on top of me.  I realized it was my not so lil pug.  I carefully got my phone, trying to hide the fact that I was awake, and took some photos.  This is the only photo where you can't see my scary morning face.  You can see the state of my hair when I wake up though - not pretty.  
Do you see that giant eye booger in her left eye?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Painting My Lil Smug Pug

Painting my pug.

First her eye.
Then her nose.
Then a little pink for her tongue.
And lastly, her wrinkles.

Finishing touches...

Essie's Cocktail Bling

Ok, so my cuticles and fingers are in horrible shape but I figure you'll all overlook that in favor of seeing some swatches so again please excuse the mess.  I'm thinking of taking a polish break soon and treating my hands well.  I just never remember to apply hand lotion regularly and I'm a slightly compulsive hand washer.
This was super easy to put on.  Not creamy or as easy as School of Hard Rocks but this wasn't streaky or anything like that.  I put on two coats, with Essie base and top coats.

Oh and I also added a little nail art on my thumbs using one of my Konad-imitation plates.  I think I used Essie's Bobbing for Baubles for the design but can't remember for sure.
People at work rarely notice my nails but this time one of my coworkers complimented me on them right after I walked into her office and started talking (I talk with my hands a lot apparently).  At first I was a little nervous when she drew attention to them since the polish looks a lot bluer in person, but she thought they were perfectly office appropriate with a little bit of daring.  So I'll definitely be whooping this polish out again during the winter.  Loved it!

Oh and to include a pug photo so she doesn't feel left out...
My little pug was sniffing around on the floor and then sat and looked up at me with a piece of paper on her forehead!  She was confused as to why I was pointing at her and shrieking with laughter.  Sadly, it fell off eventually.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Essie's School of Hard Rocks and Konad (well Konad imitation) Stamp!

So for the weekend I decided to go with Essie's School of Hard Rocks from their winter 2011 collection.  I am in love with this color!  Such a beautiful deep and dusty green.  Great and easy application.
Look I'm picking up my pug with one hand!
Why I get so much amusement from my lame optical illusions, I don't know.  Now an obligatory pug sniffing the hand photo.
She approves.  This polish is awesome!  What more can a girl ask for?

Ah yes, Konad stamp kit.  Ok, this isn't real Konad, but a random Konad imitation I came across.

I bought two plates with very small flowery designs.  I am taking baby steps with this.  I didn't want anything too big or crazy (yet).
You're supposed to paint over the design you want (you really don't need much polish so just a light coat on the design will do) and then quickly scrape off the excess with the scraper (see below).  It works best if you hold the scraper at 45 degree angles, and not 90.  I also liked the scraper because it had a plastic edge.  I think Konad has a metal edged one that scratches the plates.  I know it doesn't affect the design, but I still don't like the idea of it.
The there's the stamp.  It's weird because it's way more slippery and rubbery than I thought it would be.  It kept popping out of the holder though which was annoying.  I may need to upgrade to a better stamp kit if I continue with this.  You're supposed to rub a nail file a few times across the rubber stamp before using it.  It helps it to pick up the polish.  After scraping the excess polish off the design you painted, you quickly roll the stamp over it (rolling really works best - don't just plop the stamp directly on top) with some gentle pressure.  Check to make sure the stamp picked up the design and then roll it across your polished (and dry) finger.
My first attempt at nail stamping.  I used a long flowery design diagonally across each nail and then added a few tiny stars.  I used Essie's Buy Me a Cameo for the stamp polish.  I didn't buy any Konad specific polishes but found this works fine with regular polishes if you find the right combo.  With dark base polishes I think a white or metallic color would show up the best.  Or an even darker (but it has to be significantly darker) polish.  Anything in between just didn't show up.  I'll experiment around though once I have a different base polish on.

Another hard part with the stamp is knowing where it is and how to place it in the right spot on your finger.  The stamp is so big it's hard to tell if you're placing it exactly right.  It's definitely something you get used to and get better at with time and practice.  And I was a bit rushed with some of the little stars so they varied in size depending on if I rolled it over properly or if I just plopped the stamp directly down.  And I found I had to clean out the design on the plate with nail polish remover every now and then to make sure I got the design properly stamped.

But other than those minor issues this was pretty easy and super fun!  I can't wait to try out more designs and styles.  I think during the work week I will keep it to just a small flower on my thumb (maybe my ring too).  But since this was my first attempt and it's the weekend, I went bananas and covered my entire nail on every nail.  Yippee!

Here's a few photos of when I was testing out the different designs on my old nails (painted with Essie's Power Clutch and Essie's Buy Me a Cameo, Carry On and Size Matters for the stamp designs)
And because I need to add my pug to almost every post, here's a photo of her first time at the local dog park.  There weren't that many dogs there but she still had a blast!
Now it's time for a bath because she STINKS.  She is not happy about it.
Sorry buddy, you stink.  Into the bath you go!