Monday, February 2, 2015

Wallpaper: Striped

Happy Monday! I fully believe that is an oxymoron. Especially since I woke up to 10 inches of snow, this morning and it snowed all day.

However, that's not stopping me from bringing you my last look for the Nail Challenge Collaborative's January theme. Yes, I know I'm a couple days late but the past couple months, I've only managed to complete one or two looks. I putting this in the win column.

My last inspiration comes from thick-striped wallpaper. Simple but very chic. I used two Julep polishes that came in my February box for this manicure.

I started with three coats of Julep Carla-a pale pink with just the tiniest hint of lavender-on my middle and ring fingers and two coats of Julep Colton-a creamy, vampy dark purple-on my thumb, index, and pinkies. With careful application, Colton could be a OCW (one coat wonder). Then, on my middle and ring fingers and after my topcoat had dried, I laid down striping tape and painted Colton over it.

I feel really great about January's prompt and I can't wait to get started on February's. I gotta hurry, though. It's a short month ;)

Be sure to check out what the other ladies did to end the month!

xo, ali

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wallpaper-Luxe & Distressed

Happy Saturday! I have another wallpaper-inspired, stamped manicure for you today!

Today, my inspiration comes from my imagination-a beautiful mansion, left vacant for years. It was once the social center of the neighborhood at its height. The parlor was always full of ladies and gentlemen, dressed to the nines, drinking, dancing, and laughing.  Alcohol and music flowed freely and the walls were covered with luxurious wallpapers laced with gold threads.

Then, the family money ran out and they couldn't keep the staff to maintain their luxury interior decorations. Things started to fade and unravel. And the wallpaper lost it's luster in spots

To start this faded wallpaper, I started with two easy coats of NYX Moss.

Moss is a dark gray-tinged green filled with gold shimmer that gives it movement. 
This is only the second NYX polish that I've used and I was really impressed with the formula. Two coats covered evenly and smoothly. And application was a breeze!

Then, I stamped with OPI Love Angel Music Baby and Konad plate M79. I love how the stamp didn't fully transfer on all the nails, giving it the distressed look I was going for. I topcoated and that finished off my distressed wallpaper look.

Check out what the other ladies had to offer, below! I love being part of such a creative group!

xo, ali

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wallpaper: Quatrefoil

Hey! Happy Thursday night! I have a quick post for y'all tonight. It's another entry for January's theme of the Nail Challenge Collaborative-Wallpaper.
Tonight's manicure is inspired by this:

Indirect sunlight

Direct sunlight


I started out with two easy coats of OPI My Dogsled is a Hybrid and a quick-dry top coat. When I say easy coats, I mean easy. This is awesome to apply. It's a great polish to put on if you have to run out the door and don't have a lot of time. It's almost a OCW (one coat wonder) and if I were more careful with my application, it probably could have been. 
To create the quatrefoil design, I followed a really great youtube tutorial from Christabel Nails that you can find here. This was the first time I watched one of her tutorials and I really liked it! Her voice was so relaxing and she is a true master.

I dotted OPI Love. Angel. Music. Baby. in the quatrefoil pattern and then dotted My Dogsled is a Hybrid within the dots. I let everything dry a little bit before topcoating so I didn't smear. I love the gold peeking out from the aqua and I've been sneaking peeks at my nails, all day.

This whole manicure took under an hour; I was able to do everything while I watched Empire, which I love a little bit more with each episode.  Have you caught an episode yet?

Be sure to check out the decorating that the other girls did for their second manicures, below!

xo, ali

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wallpaper: Retro

Hey there! I'm trying to complete all of my January Nail Challenge Collaborative manicures. This month's theme is wallpaper. When the theme was announced, I definitely knew I'd be doing some stamping so I decided to kick off the month with some.

For this manicure, I started with three coats of Revlon Enchanting, which came out last spring as part of the Bubblegum Days/Urban Nights collection and has since been made a core shade. It's a lovely, creamy lavender with a hit of pink shimmer that is a little bit more prominent in the bottle than on the nail.
Once that dried, I used BM-404 from the 2013 Create Your Own set and OPI I Carol About you from the Gwen Stefani holiday collection. I Carol About You is a great dark grape shade of purple with red shimmer throughout, which you can see in the macro shot above. The more coats you use in a manicure, the deeper it gets. I love it. It's also great for stamping!

I really loved this manicure and I actually still have it on as I type. I'm taking it off tonight but it has really held up, since Monday night!

Be sure to check out what the other talented ladies are producing, below!

xo, ali

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Julep Margit

Hello! I just have a quick post for you tonight and it's a swatch!

 I am a Julep Maven and I probably skip about 90% of boxes because it's just not in my budget and/or the colors don't really catch my eye. Last month, it slipped my mind to skip and I ended up with December's It Girl box. It included three polishes-Janae, a charcoal gray, Shelly, a pale robin's egg blue, and tonight's feature-Margit, greyed out lavender with silvery-red shimmer running through.

Let's take a look.

Fluorescent lighting


Macro in full sun for all the red and silvery shimmery goodness.

This polish is really unique in my collection (of over 500). It's a great neutral and definitely office appropriate but the shimmer amps it up and makes it special.

Application was great. The Julep brush is really long because of the bottle shape and there is a definite learning curve when applying Julep polishes but Margit went on smooth. This is two coats.

If you're interested in becoming a Julep Maven, you can sign up here!

Talk to you soon!

xo, ali

Monday, January 5, 2015

Let's Go Buf-falo!

Happy 2015, Phalange fans! I took an extended, unintentional hiatus to recharge my blogging batteries and enjoy the holiday season with my sister and my boyfriend. I received tons of new polishes that I can't wait to share with you guys, starting with tonight!

My sister and I went to a Buffalo Sabres game, last week and my lovely boyfriend gave me Gridlock Lacquer The Aud in my stocking. The Aud, short for Memorial Auditorium, was the original arena where the Sabres played. It also hosted concerts and I went to many showings of Disney on Ice with my family, when I was a kid. It was closed in 1997 and the First Niagara Center opened, not too far from the Aud. Demolition was completed on the Aud a couple years ago and a brand new open-air ice rink opened in it's place, with center ice of the rink over the location of center ice at the Aud. I decided that this game was the perfect place to use Gridlock Lacquer the Aud to add some extra sparkle. I also got to test out a new toy that the boyfriend gave me for Christmas.

Check it out!

To get this party started, I used NYX Ridge Filling basecoat. I used two coats of Sinful Colors Endless Blue and three coats of Sinful Colors Let's Meet! on my ring finger and topped my ring finger with two coats of Gridlock Lacquer The Aud. I topcoated and I was ready to roll.

And the new toy I got from Jeff was a clip-on macro lens for my iPhone 5c!! I was so excited!

 Gridlock Lacquer-The Aud (shade)
Gridlock Lacquer-The Aud (sunlight)
Just look at that!! This glitter has everything-different sizes of royal blue holographic glitters, and round, square AND hex holo glitters in different sizes. And it went on so easy! Just a little bit of dabbing and I got this great coverage. It just sparkled and shone. I'm in love. I can't wait to try more of Gridlock Lacquer's glitters under the macro lens. 

I've got some other things lined up for this space, so stay tuned. Now that I have this lens, I really feel like blogging and taking pictures and putting time into my  nails again.

xo, ali

Monday, December 8, 2014

Deck the Nails!

Happy Monday! I'm finding it hard to believe that it's December, already! With a new month, comes a new Nail Challenge Collaborative theme and this month's theme is dots! Lots of possibilities!

I decided to kick off this month with a holiday design, using gold, green, and red.


Overcast daylight

I used two coats of OPI Love. Angel. Music. Baby. and topcoated it for shine and to enhance the shimmer in it. Then, I took my large dotting tool and dotted NY&Co Inverness and China Glaze Just Be-Claws from last year's holiday collection. A little bit more top coat and you've got a festive manicure!

Be sure to check out the other ladies and their first December manicures, below!

xo, ali