Monday, July 28, 2014

Serious, Very Serious... from Sweetheart Polish and Literary Lacquer

I came upon a beautiful swatch on Instagram of a new-to-me indie brand called Sweethart Polish, who had teamed up with Literary Lacquer to offer a beautiful blue holo and purple glitter duo. Holo and glitter?? Yes please and thank you! :-)
This is Serious, a beautiful blue holo bySweetheart  Polish and Very Serious, an equally stunning purple glitter/holo by Literary Lacquers. Serious applies like a dream, no clumping or streaks and dries well. The picture here features two coats of Serious, and I used one coat of Literary Lacquers Very Serious over Serious on my ring finger, and Simply Quick Top Coat . As you can see, the two go amazingly together - I'm excited to see how Very Serious does on it's own, I think it will be an easy 2 coater.
 And the sun was out, so duh, I had to have a sunlight shot! Look at those babies go!!

I can most assuredly say that Serious will not be my only Sweetheart Polish, I will be hard pressed to stay away with polish like this. I'm also fairly sure I will not be able to resist some more Literary Lacquer polishes either! Stay tuned for a review of Very Serious in full effect!
Happy Monday everyone! xoxo

Monday, July 21, 2014

Maybelline Summer 2014 Bleached Neons, and MoYou London Stamping

Happy Monday everyone!

I have a lovely stamped gradient today with the Maybelline Summer 2014 Bleached Neon set, which was given to me by my lovely friend Tracy, who is in my local Facebook polish group. I totally missed the train on this set when they were out, and Tracy was so sweet to send them to me! This happened to be excellent timing as my new MoYou Bridal Plates had come in the day before - so naturally I had to use them together!
The Maybelline polishes are, from left to right: Citrus Collide, Bleached in Peach, Coral Heat, Pink Punch, Ultra Violet, Lime Accent, and Day Glow Teal.

To start my gradient, I used a base coat of Cult Nails Tempest, which is in my opinion, one of the best whites to be had.
Cult Nails Tempest

Then I tried out the glue method for reduced clean up around my cuticles and finger, and used a latex-free makeup sponge to apply the gradient effect. I was really happy with the glue, it definitely helped cut down on clean up time and was easily removed. 

This is after a complete clean up. 

I almost stopped there. I mean, common, how awesome are those colors!?!? Tracy wasn't kidding when she said this was one of her favorite sets, I'm pretty sure they're going to be mine too!
But, my MoYou plates called to me, and I couldn't ignore their songs!
Let me pause right here and give a HUGE thank you to Beaching Nails who is my stamping superhero. Thanks to her video on YouTube, How to pick the Perfect Stamper for you I was able to figure out which stamper I work best with, and also a new way for me to stamp. Instead of rolling like I usually do, I decided to use my marshmallow stamper and apply my nail to stamper and press down that way. Let me tell you, it was a nail stamping life changer for me, kids. Hands down this is my best 'most consistent' and 'lined up' stamping attempt for me yet. Not gonna lie, I totally squealed when it worked out. 
The plate is Bridal 06 and the stamping polish is Sinful Colors Back in Black. 

I still need lots of practice, but my stamping came out really well for me, especially on my left hand (which of course I forgot to photograph). 
I topped this off with a few dabs of Wingdust's Dancing Queen and Poshe topcoat. 
So yeah, this mani's pretty much made my whole week! 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Red Carpet Gel Polish Application

Hi everyone!

Today I'm going to share something a little different. Now I love nail polish and nail art, and I typically change my mani a few times a week (depending on my school/work/home life and schedule) but I've always had fairly weak nails. I'd get them to the length I love, and inevitably something would happen that would leave me with shorties again. Then I met a fabulous lady, Ana, on a local polish Facebook group who was the creator of Bliss Kiss Pure Nail Oil. The Bliss Kiss alone has been a nail life changer, and better yet, Ana's site, NailCareHQ is positively jam packed with info on nail care and health. After reading many of the articles on NailCareHQ and applying a great deal of the advice from Ana, I decided to try gel polish, and put to use Ana's article for Fab Five Polish Wrap technique and gel polish removal. Since I've started using gel, I'm able to keep my nails as long as I want them for the most part, and they've held up pretty well against all the abuse I tend to put them through. The removal process seems to me, to be the key to using gel polish successfully with healthy nails.
 I started using Red Carpet Gel Polish a few months ago to see if it would improve the overall strength of my nails. But don't mistake my meaning for 'strength' as using gel as a nail strengthener, (Ana has an article on that too), but rather using as topical 'armour' for my ails. My nails having been growing faster and longer since I've learned how to take better care of them, but I'm also kind of rough on them, so they still break and chip from time to time. Being a do-it-myself kinda gal with an ego that usually drives me not to wait for my hubby to fix/do/repair something (and sometimes my pride just gets the better of me and I'm determined to do it to prove I can = ego), I'm constantly knocking or bumping them or manage to get them snagged on something that results in some kind of breakage.
I've tried about 3 different kinds of gel polish products, KISS, Sensationail and Red Carpet - so far, I found that Red Carpet is the best for me, with Sensationail a very close second. Removal is faster with Sensationail, however, I feel that Red Carpet holds up better against my abuse. I'm also still able to change my polish/art a few times a week without having to reapply the gel each time. Usually it lasts about 10 days for me, and I usually remove it by then because my nails have grown out enough that the gel line bothers me. Yes, the application takes longer than just applying non-gel polish, but for me, the extra time once every 10 days or so is completely worth it.
Here is a video on the application process that I do, it's pretty much just the manufacturer's instructions, minus the color polish application, with a few of my own tips/tricks thrown in. I'll have a video up on removal another time.
Have a great day everyone!!

These products were purchased by me for personal use and enjoyment. I was not compensated in any manner for this review and all opinions are formed from my personal experience. My experience with these polishes/products are unique and may not be shared by other consumers. Applications vary from person to person along with the products used in conjunction with this product. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July Manicure - Independence Day Mani InLinkz

Happy Independance Day!!!

Today is the day that we celebrate the Declaration of Independence of the United States. The U.S. Congress had actually adopted the document on July 2nd, but the final, revised version was adopted and signed on July 4th.
This final draft of the momentous political statement declared that the U.S. would not longer abide by the unjust rule of King George III.
For 8 long years after that day in Congress, our country fought tenaciously for the right to be free. Subject against crown, friend against friend, and family against family; these men and women drew lines in their loyalties, breaking all bonds of old to forge a new home and government that would honor their mutual beliefs and foundations. And today, we enjoy the rewards of their sacrifice and perseverance.

My mostly Independent polish, 4th of July manicure. (on my Cinderella hand, no less!)

I used one coat of Snow Me White over all my fingers, then applied one coat of Evil Queen on my ring finger, one coat of Sting on my middle then stamped that with SMW and Pueen Buffet plate #60 and used the MDU stamping polishes on my thumb's and pinkies. Then I applied another coat of Sting over the stamping and stamped it again with the same polish and plate. I made the red and white stripes over opposing colors by cannibalizing some of my half empty NailVinyls outskirts and turning them into straight line guides. Everything is topped off with a coat of Poshe topcoat. 
I did a better job of offsetting the stamping layer on my left hand. 

The Star-Spangled Banner
Francis Scott Key
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner - O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,” 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Happy 4th everyone! Be safe and hope you have a wonderful weekend!! Don't forget to check out the amazing manis in the links!