31 July 2013

Foxy Paws Purple Rain

Hi everyone! I'm back with day four of eight days of Foxy Paws polishes. But before I get into the polish, I wanted to point out that this blog has a new look! You may remember that a site redesign was one of my monthly goals, and I'm very happy with how it turned out. If you read my posts through a blog reader, I encourage you to visit the site. I'd love to hear your feedback. And if there's any issues with the redesign, and/or you have problems navigating the site, please let me know! :)

Foxy Paws Purple Rain

Purple Rain is another polish from the 80s collection, this time named after a Prince song (check out the video here). It's a warm-tone purple linear holo. The holographic effect is very good - a bit stronger than you see in these photos - but it's not full-blown in-your-face holo.

Foxy Paws Purple Rain

Foxy Paws Purple Rain

The polish has a good formula, I found with the first two coats it didn't exactly level out completely, but with the third coat everything looked great. I needed three coats for full coverage and the finished look was very smooth and even.

Foxy Paws Purple Rain

I know there are lots of indie brands that make holos, but if you love this kind of colour, I encourage you to check it out. I find purples like this to be very flattering and beautiful. And a very good formula doesn't hurt either!

Foxy Paws Purple Rain


Foxy Paws is available from Foxy Fingertips (European and International buyers). Follow Foxy Paws on Facebook and Instagram.

*Product provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

31 Day Challenge: Day Six, Violet: Roses and More Roses

Hi everyone! I meant to have this up last night but my photo-editing software crashed at the ninth hour, of course taking with it my unsaved photos. Also I've been feeling some anxiety about how I watermark my photos - I'm not happy with my usual system and I need to figure out some sort of solution. Anywho... what I'm trying to say is that I was totally distracted and preoccupied - these are the types of things that keep me up until the wee hours of the morning!



About this design: I know I just did roses last week - for Day Four of the challenge - so hopefully you don't mind them again so soon. Instead of stripes I combined them with some sort of fractured pattern. It sort of resembles stained glass, although I didn't fill in all the spaces. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about this, but now I really like them. The fractured pattern has a bold look and I like the contrast to the more delicate roses.



To get this look: I started with a base of Lime Crime Milky Ways for all nails. My thumb and pinky were topped with one coat each of Jindie Nails A History of Violets - I hope to have swatches of this soon.



The roses I painted with China Glaze That's Shore Bright as my mid-toned base colour, NOPI Back in My Gloria Days for the darker strokes, and Essie Full Steam Ahead for the highlights. The leaves are Sally Hansen Lickety-Split Lime.



For the fractured pattern the darker outlines are a mixture of black polish with NOPI Back in My Gloria Days. I filled them in with Back in My Gloria Days, piCture pOlish Metallic Mush, and Essie Full Steam Ahead.

What do you think of this design? Are you tired of roses?
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30 July 2013

Update: piCture pOlish Blog Fest Voting is Open!

Hi everyone! First, I just wanted to thank everyone for all the sweet, amazing comments on my nail art for Blog Fest yesterday, I'm still trying to respond to everyone, but I've read all your comments!



This is just a quick update to let you know that voting is now open for piCture pOlish Blog Fest - but only for a short time, less than 24 hours. I mentioned in my last post that there were three awards, each winner gets the chance to design a collaboration shade with piCture pOlish. Of course I'd love your vote - it would be an amazing opportunity. But I'd also just like to see people voting period, there's so much amazing talent in this year's Blog Fest. :)

The link to the voting can be found on the piCture pOlish website. You just have to fill out a simple form.

Voting for non-participants of Blog Fest 2013

Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks so much everyone for your support!

Update: Voting is now over for the piCture pOlish Blog Fest. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote!

29 July 2013

piCture pOlish Blog Fest 2013: Art Deco Stained Glass Nails + Tutorial

Hi everyone! I'm so happy to be participating in this year's piCture pOlish Blog Fest!! I'm sure you have already seen other posts today, but basically Blog Fest is where a bunch of nail polish bloggers (over 130!) around the world put together a post featuring polishes from the Australian brand piCture pOlish. The event is organized by piCture pOlish and they provided the polishes and the instructions. I've seen piCture pOlish Blog Fest posts from previous years by bloggers much more established than me, so I'm extremely honoured to have been chosen for this.



The theme for this year's Blog Fest is "Year of the Blogger", and it's about celebrating what bloggers do. We were instructed to make our most amazing nail art ever and to create a step-by-step tutorial of our design. Even though it seems like a lot of pressure, for me it was the perfect opportunity to challenge myself and to create a design that would push my abilities.




About This Design

I was given three polishes from the Metallic Shades collection: Bombshell (a vibrant blue metallic with shimmer), Goddess (a copper metallic), and Metallic Mush (a pale gold metallic foil). I've been wanting to do intricate stained glass nails for some time now, and these three polishes really suggested the Art Deco era. Art Deco design was influenced by the machine age, and it's known for it's streamlined aesthetic and geometric patterns and shapes. The designs on each nail were taken from Art Deco stained glass designs that I found online. My thumb is a duplicate for my middle finger.



Keep reading for a step-by-step tutorial on how to do stained glass nails. While this design took quite some time, six hours in fact (yikes!), you can use these instructions to do simplified stained glass nails.


Art Deco Stained Glass Tutorial


Here's what you'll need:
  • black nail polish
  • a detail nail art brush
  • various coloured polishes to fill in the design - shimmery polishes look best for that stained-glass look
  • nail polish thinner
  • lots of patience!

Step #1

Step #1: Apply base coat and let dry. Using black polish thinned with nail polish thinner, draw your outlines on your nails. At this point, use a very light touch and go slowly, but don't worry if you make a mistake, you can fix those later.
Optional: Apply a base colour - perhaps white or nude, but nothing too dark - after your base coat. If your coloured polishes are very sheer or you're worried you won't be able to cover the whole nail, having a base colour will help hide those imperfections.


Step #2

Step #2: Reinforce your lines by going over them a second time. You want to make them darker but also you can fix any mistakes made in Step #1. You don't want your lines to be too light or it will be hard to see them when you apply your colours.
Tip: Use a bit of nail polish remover and a detail brush to "erase" any mistakes made. You're going to be covering over any mistakes with the coloured polishes so you don't necessarily need to do this, however, if having an incorrect line is going to mess you up in future steps, it might be good to try and take it out.


Step #3

Step #3: Start filling in the shapes with your coloured polishes. I started with Metallic Mush and filled in all the intended spaces on each nail before moving to the next colour. However, you can complete each nail before moving on to the next.
Reminder: Since you will be moving your hand around a lot to get into small spaces, be careful not to smudge the work that you have done on your other nails! I'm talking from experience here. :)


Step #4

Step #4: Fill in all the shapes with your colours, making sure to paint up to the cuticle (leave a tiny gap!) and on the edges of your nail. You will probably need two coats for good coverage.


Step #5

Step #5: Go over the black lines again, the same as you did in Step #2. Fix any mistakes with touch-ups.


Step #6

Step #6: Clean up your edges with a fine eyeliner brush dipped in acetone. Seal with top coat and you're done! I used KBShimmer Clearly On Top, I love it because it doesn't smear your nail art!


Tips and Tricks:



Tip #1: When doing any complex or intricate nail art, make sure to do a sketch first, preferably with some of the polishes you'll be using. Here's a look at my sketches along with my mock-up of the final design. I played around with the designs I wanted on each nail. When that was settled I drew my final design and filled it in with the colours I intended to use. This acted as my blueprint when I was working on my nails.


Nail art brushes: liner brush (top) and detail brush (bottom)

Tip #2: When doing fine lines like this, use nail polish thinner to make the polish more fluid. This will also prevent it from drying out right away. Also, work very slowly. I find it helps to paint a very light line - using more thinner - then go over it again to darken the line - using less thinner - rather than trying to do the line all in one go.

Tip #3: For painting straight lines, I find that it works best to pull the brush towards me. Also, I tend to move my hand around and try painting at different angles in order to get the best angle and brush direction for the line I'm trying to make.

I hope these instructions were helpful. I went into a lot of detail because I wanted to cover as much as possible. Unless you are working with a very intricate design, or wanting to get very fine lines, stained glass nails are not very hard to do.


The piCture pOlish Blog Fest Awards

This year there will also be Blog Fest Awards. Here's the details from piCture pOlish:

There is 3 (only) awards that will be voted and chosen as follows via our special Pinterest Blog Fest 2013 board:
  • 1 x Award - as voted by PP friends and fans
  • 1 x Award - as voted by all (you) participants of Blog Fest 2013
  • 1 x Award - as voted by Jules & Megs of piCture pOlish
The winners will get to work with piCture pOlish to make a collaboration shade, so it would be very awesome if you took the time to vote. It doesn't have to be for me, but if you do want to throw your vote my way, that would be greatly appreciated. :)

I believe the special Pinterest Board is HERE. If that changes, I'll update this post.

Voting is on the piCture pOlish website, there you will also find a link to the Pinterest board. Link is HERE.



About piCture pOlish

You can follow piCture pOlish through the following links:

Facebook    
Twitter    
Pinterest    

For ordering from piCture pOlish check out their Shipping, Network and Everyday Deals pages.

What do you think of this design? Have you been checking out other designs for piCture pOlish Blog Fest?

*Polishes were provided by piCture pOlish for Blog Fest. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

Contrary Polish Color Context Collection, Swatches and Review

Hi everyone! When it comes to indie polishes, I have a special place in my heart for Contrary Polish. I love that Carrie, the maker, focuses on cremes with gorgeous shimmers. While many other indie creators are making glitter bombs, holos, thermals, and neons, Contrary Polish has focused on a type of polish that is often overlooked - that's changing of course, but you get the picture I hope.

When I saw this current collection, I made sure to get it as soon as it became available. It's not too often that I do that! I was really attracted to the vibrant and rich colours, and swatching them only confirmed how awesome they are. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Contrary Polish Color Context Collection

About the collection: The Color Context collection is a trio of polishes that are cremes with vibrant shimmers. They play off the idea of simple colour theory: red + yellow = orange, blue + red = purple, and blue + yellow = green. It's possible to place two colours next to each other so that they are optically mixed by the eye. That was the whole idea behind the art movement Pointillism and the work of artists like Seurat. So basically, the shimmer "optically mixes" with the base colour to change the overall colour of the polish. I'm not sure if I needed to explain all that but I've read other reviews that say this idea is "complicated", but it's not really. Just read on...

Contrary Polish Color Context Collection

Blood Orange has a vibrant red base - a red that leans towards magenta - as well as a gold-orange shimmer. The overall look of the polish is a vivid burnt orange. The shimmer in this one is gorgeous, it has that "lit from within" look when the light catches it. Also, the shimmer really does change the overall look of the polish - it's quite neat actually.

Contrary Polish Blood Orange

Contrary Polish Blood Orange

Contrary Polish Blood Orange (direct light)

Greenhouse is hands down my favourite of the collection. It has a teal blue base with a gold shimmer - the overall look of the polish is a beautiful green, almost an emerald green. It's stunning because you can see the blue base peaking out, especially around the edges. Like Blood Orange it has that "lit from within" look and it just glows when the light hits it - swoon! :)

Contrary Polish Greenhouse

Contrary Polish Greenhouse

Contrary Polish Greenhouse (direct light)

This polish is so gorgeous it deserves and extra picture... :)

Contrary Polish Greenhouse (direct light)

Indigo Rose is a dark blue indigo base with a pink/purple shimmer. Overall, it has a bit of a purple look to it, however, the colour change on this one is not as noticeable as the others. It's still a gorgeous colour and gorgeous shimmer, I just think the shimmer is more vibrant with the other two.

Contrary Polish Indigo Rose

Contrary Polish Indigo Rose

Contrary Polish Indigo Rose (direct light)

About the formula: The formula is the exact same on all three. I used two coats plus top coat for all swatches. I found the formula on these to be a tad thick, but still manageable. I did a thin first coat, and a thicker second coat and that seemed to work out well. But overall they level well and I didn't have any issues with streaking or patches.

What do you think of this collection? Have you tried Contrary Polish?

I bought these from Llarowe, but check the Contrary Polish blog for links to other retailers.

28 July 2013

Foxy Paws One More Night

Hi everyone! I'm kicking off day three of eight days of Foxy Paws polishes. If you are not familiar with this indie brand, check out my intro post.

When Charlotte of Foxy Paws sent me the package of her polishes, I oohed and aahed over every one of them, but this one in particular really caught my attention. Wearing Foxy Paws One More Night only confirmed that this was my favourite out of the bunch.

Foxy Paws One More Night

One More Night (named after the Phil Collins song) is a purple and blue duochrome set in a dark blackened base. It's very shimmery with a scattering of small silver holographic glitter. The formula was good, and I needed two coats for full coverage. It starts to set fairly quickly so you need to work fast when applying but otherwise it goes on very evenly. In some of the photos it looks a bit uneven in spots, but it's not noticeable in person.

Foxy Paws One More Night

Foxy Paws One More Night

One More Night looks like a galaxy mani in a bottle. That's why I used it for my galaxy nails that I did for The Nailasaurus - the effect was really amazing and it added a lot of shimmer to the design.

Foxy Paws One More Night

I'm also happy to say that it looks great under all kinds of lighting - direct sunlight, low light, even grocery store lighting (because, yes, I check out my nails while waiting in line at the grocery store). And even though it looks like the purple is not very prominent in these photos, it's just very camera shy and more visible in person.

Foxy Paws One More Night

Foxy Paws One More Night

What do you think of this one? So far what is your favourite Foxy Paws polish that I've shown?


Foxy Paws polishes is available from Foxy Fingertips (European and International buyers). Follow Foxy Paws on Facebook and Instagram.

*Product provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

Foxy Paws Just Can't Get Enough

Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying your weekend. I spent my entire Saturday doing one nail art design that took about six hours - yes, just one - so I'm a bit beat. But I'm not tired enough to show you another cute polish from indie brand Foxy Paws! Make sure you read more about Foxy Paws in my first post about this brand.

Foxy Paws Just Can't Get Enough

Just Can't Get Enough is from the 80s collection and is named after the Depeche Mode song - if you don't know which one I'm talking about, well, that's a complete travesty! Watch the video here (btw, don't you think they look a bit odd dancing in that empty room?).

Foxy Paws Just Can't Get Enough

Foxy Paws Just Can't Get Enough

This is a clear-based glitter topper with matte neon pink square glitter, tiny neon pink glitter, and tiny silver holo glitter. I layered one coat over Avon Vintage Blue and I love this combination. The formula is perfect, there's great glitter payoff and I didn't need to fuss at all with the placement of glitter.

Foxy Paws Just Can't Get Enough

Foxy Paws Just Can't Get Enough

The mixture of glitter is fairly simple, but I'm quite enjoying it. It's a very fun polish that would look good layered over white, pinks, purples... well I'm sure you can think about more possibilities!


Foxy Paws polishes is available from Foxy Fingertips (European and International buyers). Follow Foxy Paws on Facebook and Instagram.

*Product provided for review, all opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for more details.*

27 July 2013

31 Day Challenge: Day Five, Blue: Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

Hi everyone! The nail art I did for day five of the 31 Day Challenge was inspired not by wanting to represent something, but rather by a polish in my collection. Blue is by far my favourite colour, and I have no shortage of blues in my collection, but when I was thinking about today's challenge, one in particular stood out in my mind.

Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

About this design: What inspired this design was both the beautiful colour of Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise, and the idea of sunrises in general. When I think about sunrises, I think of gradients. My goal was not to depict a literal sunrise, but rather to do some beautiful gradients that evoked changes in light and colour.

Gradients with Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

To get this look: I started with a base of Arctic Sunrise - a sheer baby blue with a gorgeous pink and iridescent shimmer. I needed three coats for (almost) full coverage, so if wearing this as a stand alone mani, you might want to wear it over a base colour.

Gradients with Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

On my ring finger, using a makeup sponge, I did a gradient using several colours from the Zoya Irresistible collection: Bobbi (magenta foil), Amy (orange foil), and Hazel (blue foil). The foils don't allow for the smoothest gradient, but they do create an interesting effect.

Gradients with Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

On my other nails I did a glitter gradient using China Glaze Liquid Chrystal - a stunning glitter bomb with lots of silver micro-glitter and tiny silver and multicolour hexes. On my middle finger I added a few flat-backed crystals. I use a dab of top coat to fix them, and then seal them with a generous layer of top coat.

Gradients with Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise

I really love the combination of gradients in this one. And the light reflecting off the base polish, the foils, crystals, and the glitter is pretty cool. I'm looking forward to seeing how this looks when the sun rises - which is soon if I don't go to sleep!

What do you think of this design? Do you like gradients or not so much?
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