Friday, February 28, 2014

Float Like A Butterfly

Hey guys! Happy Friday! Here I am with yet another (late) installment of Golden Oldie Thursdays. This week's theme was orange. Orange is probably one of the colors I have the least of in my collection. It's just not a color I am drawn to. It always reminds me of Halloween or Thanksgiving or high school homecoming. We were the Tigers so of course, our colors were orange and black.
Then, it hit me. It's time to try some nail art! I found a great tutorial from Adventures In Acetone.

I started with two coats of Ulta Bang!, which came in a pop-art themed mini-set a couple of years ago.
This pumpkin orange creme went on smoothly, with no problems and minimal clean-up. The formula was consistent and there really wasn't any worry of cuticle pooling.

Next, I followed with one coat of LA Colors Color Craze in Magnetic Force
This polish added a golden sheen and some visual interest, which I really liked. I got a lot of compliments on this combination

I topcoated and then used this tutorial with an LA Colors Art Deco black striper and a generic Sally Hansen white.

Here's the finished result:

I knew this manicure was a success when one of my co-workers asked me if that was a butterfly on my ring finger :)

I'm really proud of this manicure, also. I can tell that my nail art skills are improving, slowly but surely. It helps that it is such a fun hobby and skill to curate, too!

Be sure to check out what the other girls created for this challenge!

xo, ali

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Once Upon a Dream

Hey! Happy Tuesday! I hope it finds you all well and warm. I wish Spring would hurry up and get here!
I have a manicure that I really loved to share with you tonight, so let's look!

ooh there's a little sneak peek of one of my heart on my sleeve ;)

Sorry about the janky cuticles! I had to be quick to get the natural day light!

This is three coats of a polish I picked up from Forever 21's revamped polish line. They have a lot of unique colors this time around, but the names are still terrible. This was called "Blue/Pink" but, being a Disney fan, I've dubbed this:
Once Upon a Dream.
Sleeping Beauty is my favorite Disney movie, with the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast second and third.
This polish is a baby blue creme flecked with magenta and iridescent hexes and iridescent bar glitters. Props to Forever 21 for picking up on the indie polish trend. I absolutely love this and definitely look forward to wearing it again.

Once it was dry (thanks to Color Club 0-60), I used Cult Nails Time Traveler (inspired by a certain Doctor) and one of my best friend's Mash plates to stamp the swirly design. 

I really loved this. Once Upon A Dream applied well but it didn't last long, which might not be a bad thing when you have polish ADD like me!

What do you think? What's your favorite Disney movie, or polish inspired by it?

xo, ali

Friday, February 21, 2014

Steady on Stranger Tides

(or GOT: Chevron)

I'm late to Golden Oldie Thursday and posting it on a Friday night. I guess I'm really bad at time management. What had happened was...
I went to the gym and was murdered by a Nike Training Club work out and realized that the mani I did Wednesday night didn't qualify because I used two polishes I had picked out over the weekend.

So, I regrouped and redid and here we are! Let's look :)

I dug through my oldest OPIs and found Steady As She Rose (left) and On Stranger Tides (right). Both of these originated in the Pirates of the Carribbean: Stranger Tides movie tie-in collection that hit shelves in Spring 2011. That collection came out right as I was beginning to become the polish-aholic that I am now. I picked these up at Nordstrom Rack and Marshalls, respectively.

On all nails except for the ring finger on each hand, I did two coats of Stranger Tides On my ring fingers, I did two coats of Steady As She Rose. I topcoated with Color Club 0-60 and waited a few minutes.
Once everything was dry enough, I laid down four pieces of striping tape to make the criss-crossed chevrons you see here. I painted one coat of Stranger Tides over the tape, pulled the tape up and voila!
(this shot is not for color accuracy, but detail)

I really loved how soft and pretty this was. The gray tones in each polish really worked with each other and this was a feminine twist on army green.

What do you think?
And while you're at it, check out what the other ladies thought up and posted (on time)!

xo, ali

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pickin' Wildflowers

Good evening! I hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was a three-day weekend and it was spent on a wine tour, spending time with my sister, and saying goodbye to my parents. They moved to North Carolina today because my dad retired. I'm very happy for them to be able to start this chapter of their lives but I already miss them like crazy!

Part of this weekend was also spent getting a "professional" manicure. I use that term very loosely. I've had great manicures in the past and I even fell victim to the glamorous lure of acrylic nails. But, this weekend was, quite possibly, the worst manicure experience I've had. As you know, I rock square nails, or as square as I can make them. As you'll see below, they are now round. I actually had to request the manicurist to use a basecoat before she polished. I had to do clean-up when I got home.
I guess this is the catch-22 of being a nail polish addict. I may not be a licensed nail tech but I've become pretty picky over the years about my nail care routine and how my nails are painted. I know that this tech is just trying to do her job and doesn't bank on getting girls like me in her chair but your professionalism and customer service can go a long way!

Thanks for letting me get that out of my system. Let's get to the real reason you're here.
After my professional mani (OPI Cajun Shrimp) chipped the day after, I decided to do my own manicure.

I used three coats of Revlon Parfumerie Apricot Nectar and stamped with Color Club Wildflowers
I had a really hard time getting this to be color accurate and it was super-frustrating.  I need to get a different set up for my pictures and lighting. The most accurate color of Apricot Nectar would be the bottle shots. It's a pink toned orange and reminds me of orange Creamsicles. Wildflowers is a pink-toned red that stamped really well. Of course, I was also using a Bundle Monster plate, so that helped a little bit ;)
I can't wait to use Wildflowers as a full mani.

That's all from me, tonight. See you on Thursday for GOT!!

xo, ali

Friday, February 14, 2014

Wearing My Heart On My Nails

Hey Y'all! Happy Friday! We made it!
And Happy Valentine's day :) I'm spending it by going to the gym and hanging out with my sister, watching My Bloody Valentine.
Basically, Jensen Ackles is my Valentine and he just doesn't know it.
Yasssss. I can't wait. It's become a tradition. This movie was my gateway to slasher films.

I've done a few heart and Valentine's Day theme manicure this year and you've seen them on the ol' blog. Today I have one more for you.

Fluorescent Light


This is three coats of Sally Hansen Triple Shine in Slick Black. Slick Black is a black jelly stuffed with iridescent flakies that reflect in shades of aqua and pink. It's got a lot more dimension than just a flat black and I love that. It's a staple but with a bit more oomph.
Slick Black went on really smooth but needed the three coats to build up opacity. This is one of the two Triple Shines that I currently have and I can't wait to try more!

For the accent nail, I took Color Club Age of Aqua-rius and made three dots. All you do is connect the dots! I thought this was simple and cute. Plus I love the color scheme!

That's all for me!
xo, ali

Thursday, February 13, 2014

GOT: Valentine's Day!

Happy Thursday! Or the day we Parks & Rec fans know as Galentine's Day
Galentine's Day is the day to celebrate your girlfriends. I spent the evening with my mom and sister and two good friends for dinner.
I had the perfect mani to do it in, too. 

I started with two coats of Zoya Raven
 indirect light

Raven looks like your typical black but there is a hidden silver shimmer that gives it a pearly sheen. It definitely sets it apart from the pack.

The next part, I'm really proud of. I tried the plastic baggie decal method and it worked!!
While I was at the gym, I had my sister help me out and paint two squares of two coats each of Zoya Chyna, one of the first PixieDusts that came out.
When it was fully dry, I carefully peeled the squares off the baggie and, using a heart-shaped craft punch, I punched out a heart from each. I topcoated my ring finger and placed my hearts.
Here's the finished product
I'm really proud of this manicure. And even though I'm cheating a little bit because I haven't had the polishes for a year (sorry, Debbie!), this is my entry for the Golden Oldie Thursday challenge.

I have one more Valentine's Day mani lined up for tomorrow and I hope you'll like it!

Check out what the other talented ladies did for this week's challenge, below!

xo, ali

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

China Glaze Designer Satin

Happy Wednesday, y'all! I just have a quick swatch for you guys tonight. I hope you like it :)

This is China Glaze Designer Satin and part of their core collection.
-Two coats, no base or top coat.
Designer Satin is a rich berry-toned pink, perfect for Valentine's Day. While this was a little thin/runny and suffered from a bit of cuticle pooling, it covered well in two coats. This is definitely a go-to when I want a bright pink.

What do you think?

I'll be back tomorrow with another GOT installment!

xo, ali

Thursday, February 6, 2014

GOT Challenge: Green

Hello, and happy Thursday! We're almost to the weekend and I can't wait!

It's Thursday so you know that it means Golden Oldie Thursday. This week's theme was green. Green and I have always had a weird relationship. I've never had a lot of greens in my stash. It just wasn't a color that I thought of when I thought nail polish. Then I started giving it a try and I've built up a nice catalogue of greens.
Tonight, I'll be sharing with you China Glaze I'm With The Lifeguard from their Summer 2012 Neons collection. This collection was amazing. They weren't just straight, matte neons. Most of them had a vein of shimmer running through them, perfectly.
Let's take a look!

 Three coats with top coat. Flash photo.

Indirect light

Indirect light.

I'm With the Lifeguard is a neon lime green with shimmer throughout. It does dry down to a matte/satin finish, but that's because it's a neon. Topcoat will shine this bad boy right up.
This is in your face green and definitely not for the faint of heart.  That's why it's perfect for me ;)

Are there colors you've shied away from in the past? Everyone's got at least one!

Oh, and be sure to check out what the other ladies have dreamt up for this week's challenge!

xo, ali

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sweets for the Sweet

Happy Tuesday and Happy February! I can't believe it's February, already. But you know what that means! Valentine's Day nail art. Last year, I only had time to do one Valentine's Day mani but I have a few ideas, this year.
Let's take a look!

 Right hand.

Left hand.

For this conversation heart skittle, I used:
Thumb-Revlon Jaded
Index-Revlon Sunshine Sparkle
Middle-Revlon Cafe Pink
Ring-OPI You're Such a Buda-pest
Pinky-Color Club Evolution
Three coats of each and stamped with Kleancolor Metallic Pink and Bundle Monster 421 and 425.
I am absolutely "in love" with this manicure (hee hee hee) and I can't wait to do a few more.
I'll be back Thursday with another GOT installment. See you then!

xo, ali