Friday, December 30, 2011

Inspired By: Monarch Butterflies: Pink

This is so much fun. HERE is the tutorial.  Remarkably easy for the non-artist that I am.
Monarch Butterfly nails
 I SHOULD have done orange, but I really wanted to try out this pink. It went on really well!

Pure Ice Black Rage, Super Star, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Hot Magenta, Art Deco Black

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Inspired By: converse Shoes

This manicure was a lot of fun and surprisingly easy with nail art pens. It would have been better if my nails had rounder tips, but it's all good.

Inspired by Converse Shoes

Cute, huh? It took a lot of different nail polish but it was fast and easy. Just take it step by step.
Wet N Wild Everybody Loves Redmond, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Crushed, Pure Ice Excuse Me, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue Me Away, Wet N Wild Wild Shine Eggplant Frost, Pure Ice Super Star, Sally Hansen art pens

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fun With Dots: White/Teal/Orange

Did everyone have a great holiday? I did! I got a lot of new polishes to show off too! Here's today's fun manicure:
Fun with Dots!
I did two coats of Nicole Do The Right Thing. I got these great Mash Dotting Tools for Christmas and couldn't wait to break them in! I used them using Nicole My Lifesaver (the teal color) and Pure Ice Super Star (white) to add the fun dots. Super easy.
Nicole by OPI The Right Thing, My Lifesaver, Pure Ice Super Star, Mash dotting tool

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Inspired By: Holiday Braid white/silver/blue

This braid technique is something totally new to me, but lots of fun! The next time I do it I'll try to stick to nice creme colors so the overlapping won't show. I found a fantastic tutorial over at Rebecca Likes Nails.  All of our holiday decorations are blue and silver so I thought I'd try out these colors:
The holiday Braid.
First I started with a base coat of Pure Ice Super Star (white). Then I carefully used my Pure Ice French Kiss (the blue) which is phenomenal. I also used Wet n Wild Fast Dry Silvivor. Fun fun!
Wet N Wild Fast Dry Silvivor, Pure Ice Super Star, Pure Ice French Kiss

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pink Wednesday: Fun With Dots

I'm starting a new thing called Pink Wednesday. Every Wednesday (or thereabouts) I'll be posting pink polishes! Where did this come from? Mean Girls. I'm not mean--but from now on, on Wednesdays We Wear Pink!
Fun With Dots, China Glaze Purple Panic (Neon)
This isn't just ANY pink! This is pink of LOVE! One of my lovely friends online sent this to me. I LOVE it. I did a coat of white under it (to avoid any staining) and it went on great. Then I used my Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens to add some fun dots. Another friend (RevMo) sent me a black Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen so now I have both white and black! Love love love wearing polishes from friends!
China Glaze Purple Panic (Neon), Sally Hansen in white and black

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Zebra stripes: Gradient: purple and silver

Weee! Another crazy zebra stripe gradient! I started off with two coats of Wet N Wild Eggplant Frost. Next, I sponged (using the edge of a cosmetic sponge) a layer of Wet N Wild Fast Dry in Gray's Anatomy, followed by the tips in Wet N Wild Fast Dry Silvivor. I LOVE Silvivor. After the job was done I used my Art Deco thin tipped brush in black and made some fun free hand zebra stripes.
Zebra stripes gradient
See? Pretty easy and WILD looking! Ha! fun fun!
Wet n Wild Fast Dry Silvivor, Gray's Anatomy, Wild Shine in Eggplant Frost, Art Deco in black

Monday, December 19, 2011

Funky French Freestyle

Speaking of the Funky French's a lovely springy version (and yes, this IS my right hand...the Christmas version is on my left hand. Don't judge.). My lovely California friend, whom I affectionately will refer to as RevMo (the darling behind Morawk Creations) sent me some Nail Mail! She sent me two super cute minis of Sephora by OPI (It's Hippo To Be Square and Natural Environ-mint) and a black Salley Hansen Nail Art pen! Hot diggity! This shade of violet makes me swoon--so it was first to be used! This is Hippo To Be Square.
The Funky French Freestyle
I started off with two coats with Sephora by OPI in Hippo to Be Square. It's a pretty thin formula, but oh the color! Love love love it! Normally I would have tapped off for my funky french, but this was a quickie job! I just eye balled it this time and then took my Art Deco nail polish and added a swipe of white. I did do a final coat of Pure Ice Oh Baby, a beautiful iridescent polish. This nail art just screams Spring to me!
Art Deco white, Sephora by OPI Hippo To Be Square,  Pure Ice Super Star and Pure Ice Oh Baby.

Inspired By: Holiday Funky French Freestyle

How's THAT for a name? This is actually an Amanda original! It's fun, different and easy enough for even my left hand.
The Funky French Freestyle
This was a quickie. I started off with 2 coats of Wet n Wild Wild Shine in Red Red. Next, I just eyeballed a funky french with Pure Ice Super Star (white). Normally I would have taped, but I was in a hurry and I knew i would use the glitter to cover up any "whoops". I then added a swoop of Bright Green by Art Deco and then a swipe of Art Deco silver glitter. Quick and fast!
Wild Shine  Red Red, Art Deco in silver glitter and Bright Green and Pure Ice Super Star

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Scotch Tape: Checkered Manicure: black and duo-chrome

Here's another fun one! This is called a checkered manicure. It looks hard, but it's more or less just labor intensive. HERE's a great tutorial for it.
The checkered manicure. Never mind the horrible pain smudge on my pinky
I started with two coats of Pure Ice Black Rage and then I got to taping! Be sure you put the tape on the palm of your hand a few times so it's not too sticky. I used Wet N' Wild Fast Dry in Gray's Anatomy--a beautiful duo-chrome (meaning it's purple, or green depending on how you look at it.). Alone it's pretty sheer, so it use it over something and you can really see the color change. This pretty was only $2 at CVS.
Tape, Wet N Wild Fast Dry in Gray's Anatomy and Pure Ice in Black Rage

Friday, December 16, 2011

Inspired By: Holiday Patchwork

I wasn't thrilled with my first Scotch tape patchwork manicure--but I like this one! It LOOKS complicated, but it's not. There are two tricks to working with tape (I just use a no name brand): 1) Always let your layers dry all the way before taping and 2) always stick the tape on the inside of your hand a few times to get rid of the mega-stickiness.
The Holiday Patchwork Manicure
I did two layers of Wet N' Wild Fast Dry in Everybody Loves Redmond. I love this polish! It goes on so well and not a single brush stroke. Once that was dry I taped off and used the fabulous Super Star white by Pure Ice. Last, I did the bottom of my nails using LA Craze silver glitter. Wet N' Wild Fast Dry can be found at almost any CVS, Dollar General or Walmart for about $2. Pure Ice is $2 at Walmart. LA Craze can be purchased at Family Dollar, Dollar General or even Dollar Tree for $1! Fun!
Wet N Wild Fast Dry in Everybody Loves Redmond, LA Color Craze, Pure Ice Super Star and tape!

Inspired By: Holiday French Glitter

I like the simplicity of this french manicure done with a glitter polish. Simple, but with a punch.

Glitter polish is so tricky. Either it looks well placed or just terrible. This wasn't so bad. I used that same "swamp green" from yesterday's manicure (also known as Confetti's My Favorite Martian). This was about a million coats. I did the base coat and then took my glitter polish and just made sort of a sloppy French manicure style strip on the tip of my nails. I let that dry and then went back very lightly about 3/4 of the way down my nail.  Here's what I used:
LA Color Craze (found at any Dollar store $1)  and Confetti My Favorite Martian (from CVS for $2)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Inspired By: Holiday Half Moon manicure

I hesitated to even post this or not. I bought this nail polish at CVS yesterday on a whim. Big mistake. The application was watery and just funky. I tried my best to work with it, but alas, it was not what I was needing. At any rate, I persevered through this nail polish for you, dear reader. I'm also going to switch around the order of my photos--finished product first and then what products I used second.

Holiday half moon manicure

I kind of wish I had a photo of it before I added the streak of glitter--but eh. I used this tutorial HERE for the half moon manicure (that's so popular!). So easy using the Reinforcement labels (available in any office suppyl section).  I just did a million layers of the green--which my 5 year old referred to as "Shrek Swamp Green". BLAH. I must have done 5 layers to get it that dark. Once dry, I put the reinforcers on and painted over with the red. Again, a majillion layers required. Once that dried I used my LA Colors Deco Art in silver glitter and just did a quick cover up job. Here are the culprits it took to make this look:
Reinforcement labels, Confetti Red Carpet, Confetti My Favorite Martian and Art Deco silver glitter

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Inspired By: Holiday snowflakes

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I had a few minutes yesterday to did my nails! Here's what I used:
Pure Ice French Kiss, Pure Ice Oh Baby and Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen

This was actually much easier than I had anticipated. First step was just one coat of the amazing Pure Ice French Kiss (a phenomenal creme nail polish!) and then I got to work with my nail art pen. HERE is a tutorial. After drawing on the snowflakes I did a quick coat of Oh Baby to add a little shimmer.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hoping to win at Necessary Nails!

I entered another awesome giveaway over at Necessary Nails!  These nail polishes are so cute! I've never seen the snowman nail polishes before so I hope I win! thanks for the chance, Necessary Nails!

Awesome Appreciation Giveaway!

I'm entering this awesome giveaway over at Irsada's Beauty-full World! Check out what you can win!:

Woohoo! Fingers cross I can win it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Inspired By: Tiffany & Co.

I promise, I'm not brand loyal or usually swayed by advertising. But, Tiffany and Company has had my heart for a long, long time. ONE day, I shall have some sweet little treasure wrapped in Tiffany Blue. One day. Not only do I have fantastic taste in jewelry, I also have fantastic taste in friends. One especially lovely friend, Rox, sent me some amazing China Glaze nail polishes. She was so sweet to send me For Audrey, a China Glaze crackle and an awesome China Glaze Purple Panic. I'd never used China Glaze until today--and can I just say, love them?! LOVE THEM! Rox and I share a love for Tiffany's so she went on the hunt to find China Glaze Just Audrey (a dead ringer for Tiffany's blue boxes).
China Glaze For Audrey, Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen
 I've been wanting to do some kind of Christmas-y manicures since it IS the season and all--so I declare this one "All I Want For Christmas". Or, Inspired By: Tiffany and Company. I've terribly sorry this was a janky job--I was SO excited to have this color I did my nails while waiting in my car for my five year old to get out of school! Thank you so much, Rox!

Fun With Dots: White/Black/Grey

This was my first manicure with so. many. dots. It was kind of gutsy for not having a real dotting tool (like THESE).  Like most things in my life, I had to improvise to get what I wanted. In this case--it was bamboo skewer cut in half. Here are the colors I used:
 Pure Ice Kiss Me Here, L.A. Colors Art Deco and Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen.

The first step was 2 layers of Pure Ice Kiss Me Here. Part of me is so torn with grey nail polish. I love some tones of grey and others just make me feel like I have "morg fingers" or I look kind of...dead. I like this shade though. Next, I randomly dotted flowers on my fingers using a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen. This stinkers are EXPENSIVE, but worth it for dots. It sort of just looks like a glorified white-out pen to me though. Then I took my rigged-up bamboo skewer and dipped it in my Art Deco black for the centers. Not too shabby!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Crackle Manicure: Black and pink

This was my first time using a crackle polish. I just happened to be lucky enough to grab it for free from Savemore. It's a no name crackle from and may contain chemicals that will slowly kill me--but I like it! I painted my nails with two coats Wet n' Wild Wild Shine in Lavender Creme (?)...a very bright pink. Then I applied a very thin layer of the black crackle polish. It dried in a matte black in about 2 seconds!
Wet N' Wild Wild Shine Lavender Creme and no name crackle
Overall I've been happy with it! Here's the finished product. And today I was able to get Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle remover to help my nappy, dry cuticles.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Zebra stripes: Gradient: purple and turqoise

Yesterday I decided to finally get brave and use a L.A. Color Art Deco thin brush nail polish. They can be found at practically any "Dollar" store (Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar... you name it!) for .99. I love the peacock gradient but I wanted a little something MORE on it--so this is what happened! I'd never done a zebra/tiger strip before but I like it! HERE's a tutorial on youtube if you want to see how easy it can be!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sponge Mani: Gradient: purple and turqoise (peacock!)

Right to left: Wet n' Wild Wild Shine in Eggplant Frost and Caribbean Frost. A gnarly cosmetic sponge.
Have you ever seen those super cool gradient manicures and wondered how they did it? Thanks to YouTube.. I now know! The secret is a cosmetic sponge (or any sponge really)! I applied 2 layers of Wet n' Wild Wild Shine Caribbean Frost. I waited for mine to dry.. accidentally. I think it would blend better if you did it all in one step, really. Then, I took my Eggplant Frost (I love this color) and Caribeean Frost and tabbed a little of  both on some waxed paper and mixed them with a qtip. I'm sure a toothpick would have been more ideal. Meh. Then I cut off a corner of the sponge--to avoid a line sponged on--and gentle applied the mixed color to 2/3rds of my nail, leaving some of the Caribeean frost in view. Next, I did the same technique, but just plopped some of the Eggplant Frost to the sponge and sponged the tips. Voila! A beautiful peacock gradient is born!
Sure, it could have been blended better, but from a distance, this is a cool mani.
Thanks for stopping by! What colors for a gradient mani would you use?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Scotch Tape: Funky French Mani: Red and Black

This looks is referred to the Funky French. It's a French manicure...almost! I love doing Funky French manicures to cover up any chipped tips a few days after I give myself a manicure. It's a whole new look plus it stretches your old mani a little bit longer. On to the stars of this manicure:
Left: Pure Ice Black rage, Wet & Wild Wild Shine Red Red, cheap tape
I used Wet & Wild Wild Shine in Red Red as my base coat. I'm not crazy for red--but the application of this one is beautiful! No brush strokes, 2 coats and full coverage. Lovely for .69 on sale at CVS. I added the tips in Pure Ice Black Rage. LOVE this black. Full coverage in one swipe most of the time! In case you are new to Scotch Tape manicures, it's very simple--but there are two rules you must follow: ALWAYS put the piece of tape on the palm of your hand a few times to make it less sticky (or else it will totally rip your base coat of polish to shreds) and number two: only work on one finger at at time. It's very tempting to want to tape off all your fingers at once--don't do it! Paint your base coat and let it dry. Add a top coat and make sure it is GOOD and dry. Do not rush this step. In fact, I've been known to do my base polish at night and the next day add my other layers. It's all good. Next, use the tape that you've "de-stickified" and tape off where you want to add your other color. Paint quickly and use a polish that will coat in one coat. Take the tape off as soon as you're done not wait for it to dry! Voila--the Funky French!
The Funky French. I have the diagonals going the other way on my right hand.

Scotch tape Patchwork Manicure: white/pink/glitter

Have you ever used Scotch tape for a manicure? It's so much fun and easy! There's one trick to keep in mind: always put the tape on the palm of your hand a few times to make it not-so-sticky before placing the tape on your nails. Also, be sure to work one nail at a time and to remove the Scotch tape as soon as you are done applying polish (so, don't wait for it to dry!). Here are the stars of this time-consuming but easy, manicure:
L.A. Colors Nail Lacquer with Hardener in Cotton Candy, Pure Ice Spit Fire and Pure Ice Super Star (and some no name tape)
 First step was to apply a base coat of clear and then 3 layers of L.A. Colors Nail Lacquer with Hardener in Cotton Candy. You can find L.A. Colors Nail Lacquer in just about any Dollar Tree or Dollar General for .99.  They're not great, I'm not going to lie--but they get the job done. Cotton Candy is extremely opaque, more so than I had planed on. Oh well. It would make a good classic French manicure color. Once the pink was dry I got out the tape and went to town! Working one nail at a time, I taped off small patchwork sections of my nails and filled in with Pure Ice Spit Fire. I then applied a clear layer (I used Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri) and waited for that dry very well. Next, I taped off ANOTHER section and filled that in with white. You can see in the photo that a few of the white lines are not so great--the tape wasn't all the way down.  So, in other words, if you're going to attempt this, have some time on your hands! I finished with another layer of Insta-Dri and voila! Not exactly what I was expecting (The white was just too much of a contrast for me), but fun!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pure Ice: French Kiss/Cheatin'/Strapless

From left to right: Pure Ice French Kiss, Cheatin and Strapless

Okay, let's let this party start, already! I'm terribly sorry about it taking so long! I LOVE nail polish and I love blogging--but photography is NOT my strong suit! Feh. Any road, I'll be getting better as we go I'm sure. Bear with me. I actually painted my nails about three days ago, so there are three days of wear on my nails at the moment but I love these colors together! Since I am just now rebuilding my nail polish collection, it contains mainly Pure Ice and Wet and Wild Wild Shine (which both are under $2 a bottle at Walmart or CVS). My goal in this blog is to show some fun techniques and simple (emphasis on the simple!) do it yourself nail art that any one can do with just a few basic, cheap nail polishes.

I totally bought cuticle cream today--time to get that mess cleaned up!

On to how I "did" my nails! I did two layers of Pure Ice French Kiss, which is a beautiful creme blue. I had big plans to use my white nail art pen, but then I remembered my matching Pure Ice Strapless. Strapless totally surprised me! I was ready for spotty-application glitter nail polish--nay nay! It was a nice thick glitter that covered very well! I had a few extra minutes and wanted to add another color, so on went one layer of Pure Ice Cheatin'--a lovely deep purple glitter (MUCH more sparse than Strapless) with hints of blue as well.  One layer of Sally Hansen Ista-dry and I was done! For how hard I am on my hands I'm always happy with Pure Ice's staying power. Hate taking off glitter polish? Soak a cotton ball in Acetone (or just nail polish remover), put the cotton ball on your nail and wrap it in strips of aluminum foil. Let it stay for about 5 minutes and it just comes right off!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Stash--January 2012

Here's the stash so far! Honestly, there are a LOT of "duds" in this collection as it stands. There are a few dollar store bottles that just are no good, at least 5 Art Deco (I found a pink and a black after I took the shots) that are only good for nail art and a few that are SUPER old, but still work. Without further ado...the January 2012 collection:
The Reds
The massive collection of pinks
2 Oranges? And one I bought today!
Many, many blues
It may LOOK like a lot of purples--but a few are just no good.
Pretty Duo chromes
ONE brown? And black and a black crackle. I also have a black Art Deco skinny tip.
OoOoOooh, iridescent and flakies.
White and off white. I need more neutrals!

 And there it all is! I really need to get rid of about 10 of them---but it looks like I may need to do some Birthday shopping!