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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Great Gatsby

Hello! November! It's flying by and I just spent the last week, digging out of 5 feet of snow! I live in Buffalo, as I've mentioned before, and we got SLAMMED, starting Monday night. Luckily, it's moved out of the area because my parents are getting ready to come up and visit, this week, for Thanksgiving!

This afternoon I have my first installment of November's Nail Challenge Collaborative theme: Inspired by Books! I'm kicking off this series of four with my favorite book-the Great Gatsby.

For this manicure, I took my inspiration from a symbolic object in the book and movie-the run-down, distressed billboard of Dr. TJ Eckleburg.

For this manicure, I started with a base of China Glaze Sea Spray, a shimmery, dusty blue. Then I sponged on Zoya Kelly and gilded the tips with Elf Pot of Gold from the Disney Villains polish cube. The rim of the glasses was done with Nailtini Champagne with Kelly and Sea Spray for the eyes.

I was really proud of this manicure. I think I translated Eckleburg's eyes onto my nails well, even if no one knew what it was. That was also one of my favorite parts of the manicure. From far away, it was a mash of subdued neutrals and gilded metals but you could see the detail up close!

Be sure to check out the first volume that the other ladies chose!

xo, ali

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Trick or Treat!

As promised, I have my final October entry for the Nail Challenge Collaborative. I wore this manicure for Halloween and it was all my boyfriend's idea. Let's look!

I started with three coats of Nicole by OPI Yoga then Yogurt and one coat of Funky Fingers Jawbreaker. Once that was dry, I taped off my triangles and free-handed the candy corn stripes in Sinful Colors Let's Meet (yellow), Ulta Bang! (orange) and Yoga Then Yogurt (white). I topcoated and then I was ready to hand out candy with my sister and my boyfriend. He also took the pictures you're seeing with his super-fancy DSLR! I'm a lucky lady :)

Be sure to check out the other (on-time) manicures that finished out October, below!

xo, ali

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Striped Angles

I am a terrible blogger. I didn't finish my posts for October's Nail Challenge Collaborative :( I am rallying, though and I have my last two October manicures AND November's first manicure, this week.

We'll start with a quick stamped manicure. I used three coats of Essie Too Taboo and stamped using Konad plate m95 and China Glaze Queen B.

(this is the most color accurate)

I love stamping manicures because they are such an easy way to jazz up a plain manicure :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blue is the New Black

Well, good evening! Just a quick post to show off another Nail Challenge Collaboration creation.

To start this manicure, I laid down three coats of OPI I Saw...U Saw...We Saw...Warsaw, a navy blue with a green tinge that gives it a little bit of a teal tilt. Once that was dry, I used striping tape to mark lines and painted each finger with OPI Alcatraz...Rocks. I painted one finger at a time and lifted the tape off, carefully. 
I didn't top coat after Alcatraz...Rocks because it's a Liquid Sand polish and I loved the contrast and the little bits of shiny polish peeking out.

Hope you enjoyed the glittery goodness. Every Monday is a little better with some shimmer and sparkle ;)

And don't forget to check out the second manicures from the NCC ladies for October!

xo, ali

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's the Holiday Season...?

Good evening and long time, no see! October has been insane!! I'm just now getting a chance to breathe. My sister and I returned from DISNEYWORLD, last week and well, I need a vacation from my vacation! I'm hiding my head in shame that this is only my first manicure for October's Nail Challenge Collaborative theme-Stripes

The manicure I have for you tonight would be a great one to wear to a Christmas party or family gathering.

I started with two coats of Salon Perfect's Ivy League, which is a brand exclusive to Wal-Mart. Ivy League was part of their 2013 back to school collection. It's a blackened forest green with tons of shimmer. Such a gorgeous polish!

I topcoated with Beauty Plus Salon. Once it was dry, I laid down striping tape at the tips and covered the rest of the nail with Scotch tape, before painting on OPI L. A. M. B. from the Gwen Stefani collection. L. A. M. B. is a pale, molten gold, with a satin finish. Flows like butter. I have used it in so many manicures. I love the contrast between the shine of Ivy League and the satin of L. A. M. B. so I left this without top coat.

I wore this on the first leg of our Disney World adventure. My sister and I drove to our mom and dad's apartment in Charlotte to bunk for the night. The next morning, the four of us journeyed onto Orlando and the Happiest Place on Earth. I picked up some polishes from the Beautifully Disney cosmetic line and I'll be sharing those soon!

Be sure to check out what the other talented ladies did for their first manicures of the month, below

xo, ali

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Light and Dark

Hey!! Happy Sunday! I'm sharing my last September manicure for the Nail Challenge Collaborative. I can't believe it's the last weekend of September, already! I'll be at Disney World in just about a week and a half!!

Tonight's manicure features a polish picked out by my boyfriend and some nail art inspired by the Nailasaurus. Let's look!

I used three coats of Gridlock Lacquer Delaware Park for my base and China Glaze Make A Spectacle on my ring finger. Once that was dry, I used striping tape to try out this manicure from Sammy and filled in my sections with Butter London Jack the Lad, an evergreen jelly base with green, silver, blue, and purple microglitter. I lifted the tape, topcoated, and voila!

This might be my favorite of all four manicures I did this month, with the very first one coming in at a close second. Got it? Okay, good.

Check out the final manicures for the month from the rest of the fabulous ladies in the Nail Challenge Collaborative, below

xo, ali

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Caramel Apples

Don't those sound good?! It's been awhile since I had one but I'm hoping to pick one up soon, with some apple cider! Those are a few things that I enjoy about fall. And the title of this post is exactly what my third NCC manicure reminded me of.

For this quick and easy angular manicure, I started with three coats of Zoya Tosca, red with gold and orange shimmer. Fun fact about Tosca-it's the second polish ever put out by Zoya. It's a classic. Unfortunately, it's not available on the website anymore. I found mine in the huge clearance bins at a local beauty supply store for $2!

Once it was dry, I taped off my triangles and used Gridlock Lacquer Barrel Through Niagara to create the tips. Barrel Through Niagara is such a pretty, sparkly bronze and I really need to get my tail in action, swatching the whole Niagara Falls collection from Gridlock Lacquer.

I will have my final September NCC post for you tomorrow, so get excited!

And be sure to check out what the other ladies did for manicure number 3!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Art-Deco Inspiration

Hey all! If you're reading this, we survived Monday! I'm back with another manicure for September's Nail Challenge Collaborative theme-Geometric.

When I first heard what the theme was, this month, my mind went to one of my favorite recent movies:

Baz Luhrmann's version of the Great Gatsby was everything I hoped it would be-a flashy, bright, tragic love story with Leonardo DiCaprio. 
Let's check it out.

I started with two coats of OPI All Sparkly and Gold, from the Holiday 2013 Mariah Carey collection. I actually wore it for a day, by itself, and I loved it!
I laid down striping tape and painted over it with NYC Black Lace Creme, one finger at a time, and pulled the tape up, leaving the ring finger and thumb as accent nails. The last step was to topcoat the whole thing for some extra shine.

This is what Cher Horowitz would call a Monet--good-looking from far away but once you get up close, it's a big ol' mess. The striping tape was near the end of the roll and I think it lost some of its stick. No matter what I did, it would not stay stuck around the edges and that caused the black to bleed a few times. I definitely would love to recreate this with some other color palettes. The possibilities are endless!

The color scheme was inspired by the Great Gatsby's logo and this is something I'd wear to a party at Gatsby's for a night of drinking, dancing, and debauchery!

I'm still thinking on my next two manicures for this month's theme, plus a few more posts for you guys!!

Be sure to check out the fine lines done by the rest of the NCC ladies, and thanks for reading!!

xo, ali

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Don't Know Much 'Bout Geometry

Hello! It's a new month and that means a new theme for the Nail Challenge Collaborative! This month's theme is fitting for back to school. It's Geometry! I'm having a lot of fun with lines and shapes, this month. Check out my first manicure!

I started with two easy coats of Formula X for Sephora Infinite. It's such a great fall polish--all sorts of plum and brown with golden shimmer. And it goes on so easy! It's a foolproof polish, great for putting on and running out the door. I topcoated with Pure Ice Girl on the Run quick dry topcoat and reached for the Konad m95 plate. I stamped using Julep Mahima. I topcoated once again and finito!

Gold will be a recurring theme, this month, so keep your eyes peeled for mani number two!
And be sure to check out what the other ladies did to start the month off!

xo, ali

Sunday, August 31, 2014

We're All Mad Here

Sunday! Long Weekend! I'm pumped-how about you guys?! I'm sharing my final NCC creation for August's theme of Tea Party and I decided to pay homage to a Disney classic, inspired by this:

I used a ton of polishes for the Red Queen's crown, the Mad Hatter's hat, the Cheshire Cat, and one of the Blue Caterpillar's mushrooms:
Nicole by OPI-Yoga then Yogurt (base)
Julep-Dawn (yellow)
Nicole by OPI-Challenge Red-y (red)
Icing-Jen's Pick (light green)
NY & Co.-Inverness (dark green)
Sinful Colors-Dream On (neon purple)
Sally Hansen CSM-Summer Lovin' (pink)
OPI-Sorry, I'm Fizzy Today (coral)

Everything was top-coated with Beauty Plus Salon quick-dry. I'm really glad I saved this one for last. It took a lot of time and patience to freehand each one and a lot of trial and error with which brush to use to give me the cleanest lines. My freehand game is not as up to snuff as some other nail artistes that I read, but I am working to strengthen my skills. I'm definitely looking forward to more freehand in the future!

Be sure to check out how everyone else in the Collaborative closed out the month, below!

xo, ali