Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pirate Nail Art Challenge: Oceans

Hi everyone! Today for the Pirate Nail Art Challenge from Challenge Your Nail Art, the manis all must be ocean-inspired. I decided to do a coral reef design after seeing this fabulous mani from Nail Polish Society, so naturally I took a ton of inspiration from her work. For this mani, I started out with a base of piCture pOlish Ocean, and then used acrylic paints for the sand, anemone, seaweed, corals, and starfish. I've always wanted to do a coral reef themed mani, and adored the way this turned out!

What do you think of this ocean-inspired look? Be sure to check out what all of the other ladies have in store for today's challenge! Thanks for looking everyone!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pirate Nail Art Challenge: Sea Creatures

Hi everyone! Today I have my first post for the Pirate Nail Art Challenge that is being put on by the Challenge Your Nail Art Group. September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so from the 15th-19th we are going to be doing sea and pirate themed nail art. For more details on the challenge, see this post by Be Happy and Buy Polish.

Today's theme is "Sea Creatures", and I did a bit of an unusual interpretation of that theme. I was really inspired by the girls doing the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge to do a different take on an animal print, and I wanted to do some nail art inspired by my absolute favorite shell...the shell of the abalone! While they look pretty plain on the outside, the inner lining of the abalone shell is coated in mother-of-pearl and the beautiful iridescence displays a rainbow of colors.

For this mani, I started off with a base of KBShimmer Eclipse (black creme). I then randomly dabbed on some multichrome holos from Darling Diva Polish including We Will Rock You, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and Fischy! Fischy! Fischy! Finally I used a fine nail art brush and black acrylic paint to create the pattern of the abalone shell. I finished the whole thing off with a coat of Darling Diva Polish's Pryzmatic Performance Enhancing Topcoat.

And I just had to pose with my beautiful abalone shell necklace. I'm so pleased with how this turned out!

So what do you think of this look? Did I got too far out of the box for the sea creatures theme?

Be sure to check out what everyone else did for the challenge! Thanks for looking everyone!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Falling Into Fall: Colors by Llarowe Burnt Sugar

*Purchased By Me*

Hi everyone! I've told you all over and over again that I'm so into browns this fall, and this one is no exception! I've had Colors by Llarowe Burnt Sugar for a pretty good while now and I've just been waiting for fall to wear it. Burnt Sugar is a lovely brown linear holo. The holo effect of this polish is stunning and super linear. Formula was nice too, with great coverage in 2 coats. On the subject of brown holos, the color of Burnt Sugar is a more neutral brown, while Smitten Polish Seasonal Lattes, (that I reviewed here) is much more warm toned. I figured since those are the only brown holos that I owned, it was worth mentioning because they are definitely different and it is worth owning both if you love browns.

Colors by Llarowe polishes are available from Llarowe as well as Harlow & Co. They are restocked regularly (they sell out pretty quickly) and Leah Ann also opens up for pre-orders sometimes to make acquiring them easier. There is now a Facebook page for Colors by Llarowe, so check there for lots of swatches and updates on Colors by Llarowe happenings as well as on Llarowe's main Facebook page and Instagram. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Chaos & Crocodiles Spam Part Deux

*Some of these items were press samples, some were purchased by me*

Hi everyone! Today I have a bit of random Chaos & Crocodiles swatch spam to share with you! These are all just delicious, so let's get on with the pics!

Party Games (over OPI You are Outta Lime) is a crazy glitter mash-up including all sorts of finishes (matte, holo, metallic, translucent neon) and shapes (squares, hexes, dots, stars) of blue, green, and yellow glitters (with a few silver glitters sprinkled in). I used 1 dabbed coat over my base color for this mani so I could evenly spread the larger glitters. Party Games will also require a thicker topcoat to smooth out the glitters since there are a lot of larger glitters including the shapes. This polish is definitely a party on the nails!

Narwhals Are Unicorns Too is a dusty light blue crelly filled with yellow and blue glitters (including some holo sparks) and blue shimmer. Formula was very opaque for a crelly and only required 2 easy coats for full opacity. This combination is so ethereal and pretty!

Reconnaissance (Secret Agent Collection) is a grape purple super linear holo. This polish is SO HOLO! The color is rich and gorgeous with an amazing rainbow arc on the nail. Formula was smooth and opaque at 2 coats. Gah, eventually I must own this entire collection because they are just fantastic holos!

Bluebeary (July Holo Grail Box Exclusive) is a beautiful creamy aqua blue holo. Formula was top notch and it was perfectly opaque in 2 coats. Because it has a creamy base, this polish isn't as whammo holo as the Secret Agent Collection, but it still has a nice flame. Bluebeary is just gorgeous and just looked dreamy on my nails.

Of these four, the only one that I know is permanently discontinued is Bluebeary, which was an exclusive to the July Holo Grail Box. Reconnaissance is part of the Secret Agent Collection which is a newer collection, so I'm sure we will see it again in the Chaos & Crocs shop as well as at her other e-tailers. The other two may make future appearances in the Chaos & Crocs shop because creator Sarey is always pulling oldies back in the shop for restocks, so just keep up on her blog to see if/when these babies might make a reappearance.

Chaos & Crocodiles polishes are available from their Big Cartel shop as well as from Llarowe, Mei Mei's Signatures, and Norway Nails. You can keep track of info on restocks and releases by following their blog and Facebook.

Aren't these just gorgeous? Which is your favorite? Thanks for looking everyone!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Born Pretty Store Full Nail Green Lotus Water Decal Review

*Press Sample*

Hi everyone! Today I have a mani that is quite a departure from the fall inspired looks that I have been favoring lately, but it is totally refreshing and beautiful! I recently received some full nail water decals from Born Pretty Store for review. I have only ever used the smaller decals in the past, so this was a new experience for me. I was a bit nervous to try them, but I was pleasantly surprised with the finished result.

The water decals come in a full sheet that you have to cut apart and there are 10 decals in sizes to fit all of your nails. I was worried that they would not be wide enough for my nails when I first saw them, but it turns out they were pretty darn close (and I have wide nails). I would recommend to paint on a base color that is similar to the background of the decal you are applying just in case there is a sliver of nail on either side that doesn't get covered (I used KBShimmer Honeydew List with these). The decals I used were the Green Lotus Pattern (item XF1420). You apply them similarly to regular water decals in that you soak them in water and then lift them onto the nail and position them how you want them. While they are still damp, you can use your finger to smooth out any wrinkles that might occur (but be careful and try to avoid wrinkling them if at all possible). You can then you trim off the excess bits that are hanging over the ends with nail scissors, but to really finish off the ends and around the cuticle, use your clean-up brush dipped in acetone and the decals will "clean-up" just like polish to create a clean line and it will also seal the tips. Top with a topcoat and you are done!

Here is a close-up of the thumb. It really is such a gorgeous design, almost like a painting.

For my other nails, I also used KBShimmer Honeydew List as the base and then lightly sponged on KBShimmer Stonewashed (that I had thinned out with acetone) to create a subtle mottled look. Of course you can pick up KBShimmer's fabulous cremes on their website.

Overall, I really liked using the full nail water decals much more than I thought I would. I will have to say that they are a bit more time consuming and finicky than regular water decals just because you have to trim them and be more careful with positioning, but they were still pretty simple to use. And you can't argue with how gorgeous they are! I have some more that I will be wearing very soon that very different than these, but just as pretty.

Be sure to check out Born Pretty Store for all of your nail art supply needs (you can use my coupon code JCX31 for 10% off your order).  I've always had great experiences with ordering from them at very reasonable prices. Also, you can't beat free worldwide shipping! You can also follow Born Pretty Store on Facebook and Instagram.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pretty & Polished October Beauty Box Review

*Press Sample*

Hi everyone! Today I have Pretty & Polished's October Beauty Box to share with you. This box is full of fun polishes and products that are perfect for fall and Halloween!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Darling Diva Polish Pageant Collection Swatch and Review

*Press Samples*

Hi everyone! Today I have the amazing Pageant Collection from Darling Diva Polish that was inspired by one of my favorite "dumb comedies" ever. "Drop Dead Gorgeous" is a comedy from the late '90s that I remember as being one of the first "mockumentary" type films I ever saw. This has turned into one of of my favorite forms of movie and TV comedy today (like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Modern Family). It is set up to be a "behind-the-scenes" look at a beauty pageant in a small town in Minnesota, but then things start to take some pretty crazy and terrible turns along the way. Pretty much...you get to see the worst incarnation of a "pageant mom" ever. So many people have never seen this movie (it's definitely not Oscar-worthy stuff!), but if you have, you will totally get all of the crazy references of the names of this collection. Some of them are more than a bit crass (and I'm going to censor some of them a bit for the blog) but they are totally "Drop Dead Gorgeous". So if you are easily offended...YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Just look at the pretty polishes. :D If you haven't seen it, no worries...I have gifs and pictures for you (please indulge me a bit, I had a lot of fun with this post!)