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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The 12 Days of X-mas Mani's Day 12: Freestyle Christmas


     It's Christmas Eve and Also the last day of the 12 days of X-mas Mani's Challenge. The theme is freestyle Christmas.


     I have had so much fun with this challenge and am a bit sad that it's over. I hope you have enjoyed seeing all the nail art the lovely participants have put together for you. For today I had so many ideas running through my head but decided to stick with simple.  I went with a base of Zoya Dakota. A deep red bordering on burgundy jelly polish. I then stamped with Konad stamping white and Bundle Monster plate BM 323.

     It's pretty cold here in Mn today and I live in a basement apartment that never seems to be really warm so I had a few issues with my polish. It was a little too cold to get good stamping results but still worked enough to get an image. Besides not every snowflake is perfect or exactly the same right?


     So what did everyone else do for the last day? Check the links below. I also wanted to let you know that I will betaking a short break from blogging for the next week. So I can enjoy the holidays with family and ring in the new year with friends. I might get one post in but that would be about it. So until next year..... Happy Polishing!






Saturday, December 21, 2013

The 12 Days of X-mas Mani's Day 11: Christmas Trees


      It's the second to last day of the 12 days of X-mas Mani's and today's theme is Christmas Trees.


     I cant believe the challenge is almost over! Ive had a lot of fun with this challenge and I hope you have too. Today's post is going to be a quick one because I still have lots of things to do to get ready for Christmas. Leave it to me to be out last minute shopping. So without further ado, I give you my Christmas tree nails.

     Not my best work but considering the rush I was in to get this done I'm pretty please with how it turned out. I'll be back in a few days with the last manicure of the Challenge but in the mean time, why not check out what the others came up with for today.







Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Nail Art Party

     Ive got a quick post for you today compliments of The Sparke Queen. It's a Holiday Nail art party!!!


     Everyone is welcome to share ALL of their holiday nails and manicures. You don’t have to be a blogger to enter either, as long as you can link to your holiday nails, you can enter. So if you are sharing your pictures on Nail Art Gallery, uploading to Pintrest, Instagram or Twitter, or anywhere else, you can enter too. You’ll just need the URL of where your pictures are shared.

   Party Details:

*You can enter as many holiday nails as you like, but they must all go to a specific page, they can’t just go to your home page.
*Link as many entries as you want.
*The link party will stay open till shortly after the New Year so any new year’s inspired nails can get added too.
*Nails must be holiday related one way or the other. Maybe the polish you are wearing for Christmas, or your snowy nail art scene. Any and all are welcome.
*Video tutorials are OK as well, as long as you can upload an image for the thumbnail.

Make sure to check out the other entries and show some love to your fellow nail ladies!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The 12 Days of X-mas Mani's Day 10: Santa


     It's the 12 days of X-mas Mani's time again. It's day 10 of the challenge and today's theme is Santa. That's right, the jolly old man himself is making an appearance. Or his suit is anyway.


     I took some inspiration from a tutorial I recently came across and also repeated part of a manicure I did last year. I wanted to see if my nail art skills had improved.


     For the red I used China Glaze Ruby pumps. The base color on my ring finger is China Glaze Heaven. I used my striper polishes in black and white for the little details. And then decided to throw in some nail studs I purchased from the Born Pretty store for a 3d effect. 

     Santa's hat was inspired by the tutorial and his suit is a recreation from my manicure last year. I cant believe how long this took me. I really wanted to do a good job and patients has never been my strong suit, but I tried to wait until everything was dry before moving on to the next step. Unfortunately I started this later in the afternoon and the process went through making dinner (smudged a nail) cleaning up after dinner (smudged another nail) and getting my kids bathed and into bed. Thankfully the nails I smudged were my pointer fingers so they were easily fixable. Needless to say this manicure turned into a labor of love. Its a good thing I don't have to work on another manicure for tomorrow because I plan on wearing this one for a while. Well at least twice as long as it took me to create it.

    And I think I made some progress on my Santa suit from last year.  What do you think?




     And what did the other lovely bloggers come up with for today's theme? Let's have a look shall we....

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The 12 Days of X-mas Mani's Day 9: Snowmen


      It's that time again!  It's day 9 of the 12 days of X-mas Mani's challenge and today's theme is Snowmen.


     I was really looking forward to today's challenge because I thought painting snowmen would be easy and I could rock some awesome nail art on my nails. Ummm yeah, not so much. To my surprise I had a very hard time painting circles on my nails. What I ended up with was something that looks a lot like the snowmen my kids make, very lopsided and uneven. But that's ok right? There's something really cute  and heartwarming about my kids getting all excited, running in the house and begging me to come out and look at what they made. With that in mind I dedicate this manicure to my 3 children, and the memories we create not only during Christmas, but all year round.


         I started with a base of Maybeline Mystic Green and then did the seran wrap technique with Maybelline Bold Gold and Zoya Trixie. I wanted my background to have a slight texture look to it while also letting my art stand out. I then went in with my white striper and drew in my snowman shapes. I filled those in with Orly Dayglow. I added the feet, hat and Buttons with my Black striper. I used a red and gold striper's for the scarf's and China Glaze Sci-Fly-By for the eyes. For the nose I used Revlon Captivate.

      Not perfect, but you can tell what they are supposed to be so I'm happy with that. Besides my daughter giggles and told me they were cute so that put a smile on my face. Now how did everyone else's snowmen turn out.... let's take a look by following the links below.








Monday, December 16, 2013

Hobby Polish Bloggers Winter Giveaway! {Closed}

     It's that time of year again, the time for giving! And this time around there will be 3 winners! It's been far too long since Ive had a giveaway on my page and this group of ladies are amazing, How could I not join in? Good Luck everyone!

The Hobby Polish Bloggers are having their second multi-blogger giveaway! To enter, please allow the Rafflecopter widget to load below. All Terms and Conditions may also be found in the widget. Please visit the following Hobby Polish Bloggers members who are bringing this to you! You may enter using Rafflecopter from any of the below blogs but your entry will only count one time. You may, however, tweet about the giveaway (the last option) once a day for the duration of the giveaway.

Hobby Polish Bloggers
A far from perfect mom
Be Happy and Buy Polish
FashionFooting
I Feel Polished
Imperfectly Painted
Jen Likes Polish (and some other things)
KellieGonzo.com
Love. Varnish, chocolate and more...
Lucy's Stash
Lustrous Lacquer
MandysSecrets
manicure addict
Pamper with Polish
Polarbelle
polish insomniac
Polish Obsession
Polished and Glittered
PolishGalore
PolishNV
pretty tough nails
Refined & Polished
The Dalai Lama's Nails
The Mercurial Magpie
The Sparkling Hoard
TrailerHood Chic

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, December 15, 2013

The 12 Days of X-mas Mani's day 8: Holly


     Hello again.  We are 2/3's of the way through the challenge! It's day 8 of the 12 Days of X-mas Mani's and today's theme is Holly.


     Thankfully I had a small break in my schedule and I am finally able to be back to posting on time. Fingers crossed I can keep it up through the rest of the challenge.

     For this manicure I wanted to go with something light and delicate. I started off with a subtle gradient of Milani White on the Spot and Zoya Trixie. I then went in with really fine point sharpie markers and drew in the holly.


     I really really like the way this turned out. I think it might be my favorite out of all the manicures from this challenge so far. Sometimes I surprise myself with what I can do when I get the time to really sit down and work on it. But that's enough of tooting my own horn, let see what everyone else came up with for today's theme.. Thanks for stopping by.




Saturday, December 14, 2013

The 12 Days of X-mas Mani's day 7: Christmas Animals

 
      It's day 7 of the 12 Days of X-mas Mani's Challenge and today's theme is Christmas animals.


     I am again behind of this challenge and trying to squeak this one in under the wire so that I can say I completed all 12 days. My manicure I threw together in 5 minutes and it wasn't even dry when I photographed it. I decide to try my hand at some quick freehand art again. This time trying to create a reindeer and a penguin.


     Not my best work and the reindeer sort of looks like a brown pig with horns. But I still think he's cute, especially with his little baby antlers.

     Now let's see what everyone else came up with for today's challenge...




Thursday, December 12, 2013

The 12 Days of X-mas mani's day 6: Decorations


     We are officially half way through the 12 Days of X-mas Mani's  challenge and today's theme is Decorations.


     I am a day behind on the challenge and needed to do something quick. Originally I had the idea to do a different design on each nail and really challenge myself with my free hand art but my life had other plans for me.

     I decided to go with a simple stamped manicure that was slightly nontraditional in color. I used Zoya Storm as my base. A black based polish with strong scattered holo. Gorgeous on it's own but also a great base for nail art. I then used Maybelline Bold gold with Bundle Monster plate BM-SE1. The effect is a subtle stamped image with lots of sparkle. I topped the whole thing off with Simply Quick top coat from nailcarehq.com.


     This manicure was hard to capture with my camera. The holo in storm kept wanting to over power the image and made my camera freak out. I wish I could have gotten a better picture because this manicure really is pretty in real life.


     The macro shot captured the depth of this mani. I like how the gold plays well with the holo making it look like the decorations have formed like constellations in a night sky. Not too shabby for a quickly thrown together last minute idea!

     So what did the other talented ladies do for this days challenge? Check out the links below for their creations and thanks for stopping by.






Put Up Your Dupes: Orly Miss Conduct vs China Glaze Infra Red


     For today's comparison post I have Orly Miss Conduct vs. China Glaze Infra Red. I was recently going back and rereading some of my old posts and noticed my comment stating that Infra Red sort of reminded me of Miss Conduct so I decided it was time for a comparison.



     Both polishes are a deep, sparkly shade of pink. Both polishes were fully opaque in 2 coats and had smooth application. But that's where the similarities end. Miss Conduct is a scattered holo, while Infra Red is a linear. The sparkle is far more intense in Miss Conduct, on the nail and in the bottle. All that intense shimmer gives Miss Conduct a slight texture when dry, while Infra Red is smooth to the touch.


     Final verdict is that these 2 polishes are obviously not dupes. I would have to say that the base color is the same with 2 completely different looks. Do you need both in your collection? That all depends on you. I personally like having both polishes. They both would make great bases for nail art or worn on their own.

     As for a favorite... well Miss Conduct eeks out Infra Red with all it's sparkle. Which one is your favorite? Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Vinegar and Listerine Foot Bath Test


     I'm sure by now most of you have seen the pin on Pinterest about soaking your feet in vinegar and Listerine. If you haven't come across this gem yet you can view it here. I was talking with one of the girls at my local nail salon about this and she wrinkled up her nose and said she didn't think it would work. So I decided to give it a try. Don't worry I'll be keeping the feet photos tasteful and to a minimum. By the way did you know it's kind of difficult taking photos of your own heels...



Photo of my heel before soaking
     To make sure I had enough liquid to cover my foot I used a mixture of 4 cups warm water, 1 cup vinegar and, 1 cup Listerine. Then according to the directions I soaked  for 10 minutes. My daughter wanted to help me out with this little experiment and had to soak her feet too. She said the listerine in the water tickled her feet and giggled the entire time. <3

 

     I have to say this isnt the miracle pinterest makes it out to be but it did help. After drying my feet off and waiting 15 minutes to make sure my feet were completely dry this was the result...

Photo taken after soaking and dry time
     The soak didn't remove everything but it did a pretty decent job. I have a feeling if Id used my pumice stone while soaking all the dead skin would have been removed. Or maybe even soaking for a little longer would have done the trick.  And here's a shot of the before and after for an easier comparison of the results.


      What do you think? Is this something you've tried yourself or are going to try now? Have you had good results with a different kind of foot soak?

     By the way I feel I should tell you I do have 5 toes, my little one just decided to be camera shy today and I didn't notice it until I started putting this post together.

     As always thanks for stopping by. Id love to hear your thoughts about this. Pleas feel free to leave me a comment and Happy Polishing!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The 12 days of X-mas Mani's day 5: Bells


      Well It's days 5 of the 12 days of X-mas Mani's Challenge and today's theme is bells.


     My manicure is horrible and I don't like it one bit, but work got busy and I haven't had a chance to do a 2nd try. The picture I had in my head didn't transfer to the nail so well or at all really. That never happens right? It seems like that happens to me more often than not. I did tell myself that I was going to do every day in this challenge and for that reason only, I'm going to share this disaster with you.

     My idea was to have the green background look like the frost patterns on windows and the bells to look like it was ringing across my nails. Once again placement of the image seems to be my enemy. And I wish the green had shown up just a hair more.

     I used Orly Dayglow as my base. I then stamped with Maybelline Mystic green and plate RA-107 from Red Angel. For the bells I used Maybelline Bold Gold and Image plate BM-223 from Bundle Monster.

     I hope my next manicure for the challenge turns out better than this one did. While you wait for that  why not check out what the other ladies did for day 5.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The 12 Mani's of X-mas Day 4 : Festive Colors/Glitter


     Hello again! It's day 4 of the 12 Mani's of X-mas challenge. I hope you have been enjoying these post as much as Ive enjoyed creating the manicures. Today's theme is Festive Colors/Glitter.


     For this manicure I tried out a new technique, the fan brush manicure. This technique has been on my must try list for quite some time and I figured what better time that during a challenge! It was a little harder than I thought it would be but by then end of my first failed attempt I got the hang of it. My second attempt turned out much better, but I still have a few quirks I need to work out to get it right.


     What do you think? Pretty festive right! For this manicure I used Wet~n~wild Poison Ivy, Deadly Dose and, Caught Red Handed. Milani White on the Spot and then added a little sparkle with my Red striper.

     Now let's see what the other ladies have done for today's challenge... 



Friday, December 6, 2013

Studio Gear Cosmetics Review



    Welcome back fellow polish lovers. Today's post is different from any other post Ive ever done before, Why you might ask? Well thanks to Brand Backer I was given the opportunity to review Studio Gear Cosmetics new Holiday Smokey Eye palette.

*Warning this post is going to be very pic heavy*

Studio Gear Smokey Eye Palette

     This was a wonderful and scary opportunity for me. As you may have read is a previous post I don't normally wear make-up. But when the opportunity presented itself for this review I jumped on it. Specifically because I saw that instructions for application were printed right there next to the colors.


     I really like that there's a diagram included with the instructions for novices like myself. It made the application process go smoothly. And the colors were fun to play around with. Even though I don't wear make-up except for special occasions I do own quite the collection of eye shadow. Mostly shades of brown and a few pinks, so this was a nice addition and quite a change from my very neutral look.


      Still going with a neutral theme these colors blend together for a smokey eye look that I didn't know  could create. Because I don't own any eye primer the colors weren't as vibrant on me as they would be on some but I was still happy with the look I got and can't wait to play around with this some more.


     You'll have to forgive my expressions in these photos. I wasn't completely comfortable taking pictures of my face this close up. Her is my completed look using only the colors provided on the palette. I opted for a softer smokey eye look to start out with. The blush is pinker than I would normally wear, but still a decent color for my skin tone.


     I only did one side of my face so you could see the before and after shots all at once. Not a dramatic difference but I still like the results.




     And one more angle to show the colors on my lid. I think I might go for a little heavier hand next time just to get a more dramatic look. What do you think?

     Now for the fun part... Studio Gear Cosmetics wants to give you all a chance to try out their product at a discounted rate. Simply go to their site and use code SGHOLIDAY
 to receive 10% off your entire order. And guess what, the code doesn't expire!

     Thank you all for stopping by and reading my post. If you've got any tips on make-up application I'm all ears. What did you think of this eye shadow palette? Have you used any of Studio Gears products before?

This post was sponsored by Brand Backer. The products shown were sent to me for my honest review, Any Opinions and Photos are my own and were in no way influenced by an outside source.





Thursday, December 5, 2013

The 12 Mani's of X-mas Day 3: Food


     Well here it is day 3 of the 12 Mani's of X-mas Challenge. How have you been enjoying the challenge so far? Haven't the ladies been doing a great job! We are officially 1/4th of the way through and today's theme is food.


     When I think of Christmas food I think of all the candies that are specific to the season, but trying to recreate those candies on my nails turned out to be quite the challenge. In the end I decided to focus on candy canes and a gingerbread man.


     For my base I used my go to white polish Milani White on The Spot. I added the red striped with a stripe rite striper. I made the little gingerbread man with my smallest dotting tool and Milani Dark Coffee. The eyes are China Glaze Sci-Fly-By and the mouth was done with an old NYC red polish my mom recently gave me.

     I have been having so much fun with this challenge so far, be sure to stop back on the 7th for the next theme. But in the mean time, don't forget to check out the other participants manicures from today's theme and Happy Polishing!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Messy Mansion Image plate review


     Hello everyone. I'm kind of excited about today's post. Why? Well I was sent some image plates from Messy Mansion for review and I can't wait to share them with you. These plates can be purchased online at http://www.messymansion.com.au/. I received 3 plates to share with you.

     My package arrived in pretty rough shape with a letter from the post master stating they had an accident with my package and an apology. The edges of the plates got slightly bent, but I was able to bend them back for the most part. I wanted to let you know that because you will see it in my pictures and I don't want you to think that's how the plates are. And I also want to let you know that mine is a rare experience and your plates should arrive safe and sound.

     First up is Lilly Anna 08.  A rectangle shaped plate with 12 full sized images and 2 longer images. There is a variety of images on this plate, from geometric patterns to snowflakes.

Messy Mansion Image Plate Lilly Anna 08

     If you follow my blog or facebook page you know that stamping is not my strong suit but I'm getting better. This plate was really easy to work with. I wanted to try images with a delicate pattern and a wider one. And I was in love with the snowflake image from the moment I opened my package.


     I used China Glaze For Audry as my base and Konad White to stamp with. Every image I tried transferred to the nail with ease. And I was able to cover the entire nail. The one I'm most impressed with is my ring finger. I thought all those line so close together would be tricky, but I had nothing to worry about.

     Next up I have plate MM18. A round plate with 4 full nail images, 6 individual images and a long image.

Messy Mansion Image Plate MM18

     I used the bee theme as my inspiration for testing this plate.


     I used Sinful Colors Pull Over stamped with Konad Black. Again I was able to transfer the complete image to my nail on the first try. I love the little bee inside the honeycomb pattern.


     The last plate I have to show you is MM14. Another round plate with 4 full nail images, 3 individual images and 2 half nail images.


Messy Mansion Image Plate MM14

     My nails are short enough that the half nail image ended up filling up pretty much my entire nail. For this plate I wanted to see how it would stamp using a regular polish instead of my Knoad stamping polishes.




     I used Orly Dayglow and stamped with Essie Blue Rhapsody for these cute birds. I knew I wanted to try out the peacock feathers and the little bird cage right away when I saw this plate. And as you can see my ring finger in completely covered by the birds on the branches image.  The peacock feathers are a little big for my small nails but I still really like that image. I'll have to play around with the placement a little bit to make it work for me.

     I found all 3 of these plates easy to use and the images all transferred very well. In fact Ive already added a few more plates to my Christmas list.

     To keep up with all the latest news from Messy Mansion be sure to check out the facebook page, and the shop.

     Which plate was your favorite? Are there any others I should check out? Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!


*The products shown were sent for my honest review. All opinions and photographs are my own*



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The 12 Mani's of X-mas Day 2: Snow/Winter


      Hello again my fellow polish lovers!  It's day 2 of the 12 Mani's of X-mas Challenge and today's theme is... snow/winter.


     I had a hard time coming up with an idea for this since I didn't want to do the typical stamped snowflake manicure. While looking at the prompt picture for today inspiration struck. Who doesn't love the look of fresh fallen snow on the tree branches? It really is a magical sight, especially when it's the first one of the season.


     For this manicure I started with a gradient of China Glaze Sci-Fly-By and Milani White on the Spot. For the trees I used my black striper and Rimmel Rags to Riches for the pine tree. Then I went in with my white striper to add the fallen snow. Finally a sponged on some Essie Shine of the Times to the tips for a glistening snow effect.

     This manicure actually turned out pretty close to what I had pictured in my head and I'm pretty proud of that. I don't do a lot of free hand nail art so this was a bit of a challenge for me. How do you think it turned out?

     Make sure to check out the other entries for day 2 of the challenge and stop back in a few days to see what I came up with for day 3. Happy Polishing!


Monday, December 2, 2013

What's in a finish? - Glass Fleck


    Hello everyone. Today on the what's in a finish series I have the Glass Fleck finish. A glass fleck polish has small particles of glitter often mixed in a jelly base. The small particles give the illusion of pieces of glass floating in the polish.

     A flakie top coat is an example of a larger particle glass fleck finish. Although it is not the only type of polish to be classified as a glass fleck.


     Glass fleck polishes have a very smooth finish with lots of sparkle. Usually sheer , they can have a duo-chrome, a multi-chrome or iridescent look. 

China Glaze 108 degrees
China Glaze 108 degrees from the Island Escape collection summer 2011
     I have heard quite a few bloggers describe a glass fleck polish as having an almost 3D look to them and I would say I have to agree. The particles seem to be suspended in the polish as if they were frozen in time.

     Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Be sure to check out past posts in this series. Happy Polishing!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The 12 Mani's of X-mas Day 1: Presents


      Hello everyone! I'm taking part in the 12 Mani's of X-mas challenge hosted by Nail Art Novice. If you'd like more information about the challenge, check out the Facebook group for all the details, inlinkz codes and support from fellow participants.



     Every one is welcome to participate and do as many or as few of the days as you'd like. I am going to challenge myself and try to do all 12. Fingers crossed I can fit it all in as this will be the start of our busy time at work. 



     Day one of the Challenge is presents. I had all sorts of ideas running around my head with what I could do. In the end I opted for a simple stamped manicure making each one of my nails look like a wrapped present.

     I have to tell you I have an obsession with wrapping presents and can easily spend an hour on each one. I like them to be colorful with bold intense colored paper and lots of ribbons. I used my personal wrapping preferences to inspire my color choices for this manicure.

 
    For this manicure I used Wet~N~Wild polishes in Lethal Injection (Burgundy) Root of All Evil (blue) Deadly Dose (gold) and Poison Ivy (green). For the stamping I used Zoya Trixie and Konad Black. Image plates are BM06 for the bow an BM 205 for the present.

     Thanks For stopping by and checking out my post. Don't forget to check out the other manicures from Day 1 below. Happy Polishing!

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