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6 May

Sale Alert!

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Tag: The Seven Deadly Sins

29 Jan

The Seven Deadly Sins – minus Brad Pitt, sadly. What the hell is that? It’s a blog tag I was invited to do via gingerlovesmakeup (click the link to check out her blog) and it just sounded like too much fun to pass up.

ImageHere’s Dulce showing us what the sin of Sloth looks like.

Greed: What’s your most expensive beauty item?
That is a really hard question to answer… I don’t tend to buy expensive stuff, just a lot of it! If I had to pick a single item, it would probably be OPI’s Marah Carey Pure. I think it was around $30, which for a single polish is a little nuts!

Wrath: What item do you have a strong love/hate relationship with?
This one is easy. Any glitter polish ever made by anyone. It doesn’t matter brand, color, indie or corporate. They are all so amazing, and  yet so terrible to remove. I hate, hate the feeling of scrapping off glitter polish. The cotton ball gets all caught in it… it’s just bad. (But they’re so shiny!)

Gluttony: What brand takes up most of your collection?
OPI for sure. 85% of my collection is OPI polish, with some other polishes sprinkled in. When I started nail art, I wanted a good variety of nail polish colors to do designs I wanted. OPI is a solid brand that rarely has issues (application, bubbles, etc.) so it made up the majority of my nail polishes. Recently however, I’ve been branching out into indies for the sheer variety. (Thermal nail polish? Yes, please.)

Sloth: What product do you ignore the most due to laziness?
Makeup. Any type of makeup. I love makeup, don’t get me wrong, but I tend to go to work all natural. Do I have the natural beauty to pull this off? No, not at all. Lucky for me, only a few coworkers see me a day, and they’ll just have to deal with my hideous face! :D (Just kidding guys!)

Anyway, if I’m going someplace other than work, I put on makeup. Eyeliner is the product that gets sacrificed if I don’t have the time or energy.

Pride: Which product gives you the most confidence?
Well, do you mean gives me the most confidence, or I have the most confidence in? Well, the answer is sort of both. I love eyeshadow. When applied right, it makes such a dramatic difference, and I like that it brings attention to my eyes. It’s one of the most noticeable makeups too. The product I have the most confidence in is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer. I can sleep (trust me, I know) and my eyeshadow stays on, and not just a little dab on, but the full smokey eye.

Lust: What item is at the top of your list?
Any Deborah Lippmann polish I don’t own! Ugh, they’re all so interesting!

Envy: Which makeup product/look looks great on others but not on you?
Bright lipstick colors. Maybe I just view myself through a different filter than the rest of women, but I think bold, red lips look completely out of place on me!

Phew, that wasn’t too bad, was it? You all know me so well now (even if you didn’t want to)! What are your 7 deadly sins?

Tune in next time, for my next Game of Thrones’ manicure! (Spoiler Alert, the House sigil is a lion. :) )

The Jolly Vox Box!

28 Jan

So I joined this crazy site called Influenster and managed, somehow to nab a Jolly Vox Box, which is a small box of goodies you get sent to test and review. They don’t pay for any of my reviews and I’m not obligated to be nice. While this is a nail art blog and I had hoped to review something along those lines, I was still thrilled to be included. Therefore, I figured I’d do the review on an off-day and hope no one notices.

So anyway, I didn’t really think I was going to get anything great in this box. I am a strict, “if it sounds too good to be true, it is!” girl through and through. Surprisingly though, everything in the box was a hit!

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This unassuming package came for me over the holidays, but I didn’t want to do a review until I had actually tried all the products. I’m not going to lie to you because I got some freebies. So let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

ReviewBox2Starting from the upper left and going clockwise, Skinny Cow divine chocolates (peanut butter creme!), NYC HD Color in Long Beach Sands (781) eyeshadow, DuckTape, Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer, and Puffs Tissues (Plus Aloe). And these weren’t tiny little samples either, these were full sized products. So, how did they do?

Skinny Cow Divine Chocolates (Peanut Butter Creme): I was really skeptical about these. I’ve tried ‘diet’ chocolate before and they can taste kind of waxy, or have that weird not-quite-sweet flavor. I put off eating these for quite awhile until late one night I had the unsatisfiable desire for candy! I popped open the box and offered one to my fiancé. He saw they were ‘diet’ and passed. I was very, very happy he did.

These, in a word, are amazing. Imagine a peanut butter cup, but instead of fluffy filling, a gooey caramel-like creme of peanut butter. The chocolate was perfect in flavor and it had just the right amount of firmness. There were two in each package, and quite a few packages. As someone watching what they eat, that is a lot of bang for your caloric buck.

Seeing my enjoyment my fiancé changed his mind and tried one himself. He loved them as much as I did and I regretfully had to share. I will be trying out more of these in the future for sure.

NYC Long Beach Sands Eyeshadow: Who can go wrong with eyeshadow? Of all makeup (that doesn’t include nail polish of course), eyeshadow is my all-time favorite. You can go super bold with pops of bright color, or just do a nude color and add a little brightness to your eyes. So many options, so little time.

I tend to use only Sephora/MAC sold name brands when it comes to makeup, such as Urban Decay and Bare Minerals, but I was really pleasantly surprised by the quality of NYC. I have never heard of it before, but it went on smoothly and the color palette was a great nude eye. I can see it working with nearly every skin tone and was the perfect color to wear to work. As with most eyeshadows, it wore off by midday without a proper eyeshadow primer. With a primer it lasted to the end of the day.

Ducktape: I’m going to have to confess that I haven’t gotten the chance to try this out yet, but I plan to! I mean, what isn’t to love about ducktape? You need something taped together, ducktape is there for you. This had an interesting twist by sporting a fun, bright pattern. While it’s a little bright for my personal tastes, I could foresee using this colorful tape to wrap a picture frame, or something similar. I feel like more crafty types than I could find really creative uses for it.

Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer: This was one of my favorite items in the box, but I am guilty of loving lip glosses of all types. This one in particular went on really smoothly, like a gloss would, but had a really nice, rich color. It latest longer than most lip glosses I use, but with the nice color, I have to put it on in front of a mirror! I found it to be no better or worse than most glosses.

Puffs Tissues (With Lotion): These were my favorite item in the box and do you know why? I received this box right before I came down with that terrible cold. These were a godsend. And let me tell you, the lotion tissues were amazing. Have you ever stood in the tissue aisle and debated whether the extra 50 cents or whatnot to get the fancy tissues with lotion is worth it? I have. I know the answer now. It’s yes. Yes it is. When the Puffs lotion tissues were gone and I was back to toilet paper, I was pretty disheartened. I picked up some more of these to keep in my purse. Does that make me a mom? (They always have tissues with them!)

So what do you think? There’s some winners in the bunch. If you started a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, I’d recommend Skinny Cow. Need a natural eyeshadow for the office? NYC Eyeshadow. Got a cold? Just get the Puffs Tissue with Lotion. You deserve it.

Birds of a Feather

9 Dec

Hello there nail art fanatics. How have you been? Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Eat lots of food? Good, good. Well, let’s not beat around the bush, let’s get to this week’s manicure – FEATHERS!

I know, it sounds a bit odd. I saw this kit in the mall the other day (long story) and decided to give it a go.

NailPolish1222013 (8 of 8)Having used the kit, I can confidently say that all you really need are feathers. I’d recommend heading to your nearest craft store and picking up some colorful feathers that you think would look nice on some fingertips. :) Stick with feathers that have some sort of contrasting color design (dots, stripes, alternating colors, etc.) for the best effect.

It looks a bit crazy, but it’s actually a very simple technique. First, clean up and shape your nails. Mine are looking a little sickly again, so try to ignore those little bumps in my mani ok? Moving on…

Paint your nails as you would normally; a base coat and two top coats of your choice of color. The kit included a very pretty pale shimmery pink, but I think any color would look good, including neutrals. If you want the feather to really POP, use a dark polish for a light colored feather, and vice versa. How easy is that? RIDICULOUSLY SO.

Ahem. After your nails are completely dry (I say that a lot, don’t I?) it’s time to apply the feathers! Are you excited? I’m excited. Let’s do this.

Apply a thin coat of a fast drying top coat. I used the one provided in the kit, but any fast drying topcoat will do. As soon as you apply a coat, take the feather and place the tip onto the top of the nail. Be sure to leave a gap near the cuticle so that your polish can be seen. Press it down firmly so that it all sticks down. This step is important! I was afraid of messing up my coat of color polish and lightly pressed. The result? The ends of the feather stuck up and drove me batshit crazy. Don’t let your nails drive you batshit crazy; press that feather down!

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Now you’ll have a super stylish feather sticking off the end of your finger. Not very practical. So, take some very sharp scissors (the smaller the better imo) and snip off the excess feather bit, leaving only the part on your nail behind. Don’t worry about a little bit hanging off, we’ll take care of that next.

Now that all the excess feather bits are taken care of, it’s time to file off the tips. Take a course grit file and file in a downward motion across the top edge of the nail. In other words, you’re using the file to trim off the rest of the feather that’s hanging over the edge of the nail. It make take a few strong strokes of the file to get the hangover feather, but don’t worry, the feather can take it. (You can use a finer nail file, but I think it would be harder.)

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Now you have a nicely shaped feather stuck on your nail. Here’s the last step, and to me, the most challenging. Apply a layer of topcoat on top of the feather, but brush it towards the cuticle. It feels weird and I didn’t like it, but it had to be done. By doing this, you’re helping to seal in the feather/tip and you’re following the feather’s natural grain. You don’t want to ….ruffle your feathers do you? Eh? Eh? …Sorry, I’ll see myself out.

NailPolish1222013 (1 of 8)So here’s the final result. Aside from my sickly nails, I think it came out rather nicely. I liked that it was a super quick mani, that looks like it took a lot more time than it actually did. I’m eager to try different (ahem, better) feather/nail color combos than the kit came with. Don’t get me wrong, the feathers and the polish are beautiful, but together? Eh, uninspired.

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Difficulty? 5/10 This mani was really simple, it just needs a few more supplies than a normal mani. After the watercolor mani however, I don’t think this one is particularly challenging! Hell, go grab a feather out of one of your pillows for practice!

Final Thoughts? Easy, quick, and trendy. The perfect mani to wear walking down Fifth Avenue. Feathers add a really interesting texture to the nails and texture seems to be very trendy in the nail art world at the moment. The only real negative I really had with this manicure is, well, funnily enough, the texture. Since I didn’t really push that feather down into the topcoat, the ends stuck up and caught on EVERYTHING. Washing my hair became a very painful experience. After wearing the mani for a week however, the ends have softened and I don’t find myself catching on everything I touch. Despite this, the mani has really held up well; the accent nails outlasting the plain ones by far. The feathers protect the underlying polish and you don’t notice tip wear as much either. Crazy, huh?

Turquoise Stones

18 Nov

Hey there faithful nail artists, it’s been awhile. Life has really been kicking my ass lately and I’m not sure it’s finished yet. I’m apparently a pretty fun target. No one wants to hear what this lady does outside of nails however, so lets get right to this week’s mani and not dwell on a few mysterious weeks where I disappeared. Or the fact that I posted this late at night because life kicked me in the gut today. Moving on.

So lately I’ve been favoring simpler manis that focus more on color use than any fancy techniques. I decided it was time to spice things up and try a new method for creating pretty fingertips. Let’s start experimenting again! Who’s with me?

I want everyone to close their eyes- well wait, maybe not. Ok, just imagine this with me. Resting in your hand are beautiful turquoise stones with vibrant gold vines running along the grain. Throughout the stone are flecks and flakes of a rich gold, contrasting oh-so-perfectly against that pale, milky blue.

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How’d I do? Is it close to what you were imagining? I hope so because I thought I did pretty well myself, and I have a fragile ego, thank you very much. Shall I show you how I did it? Ok, since you asked so nicely. (I didn’t invent these techniques, so if my instructions aren’t clear enough, youtube some videos. :) ) Let’s get all of our supplies together!

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  • Acetone, Brush, and small jar for clean up
  • Nail cutter, file, and cuticle nippers for shaping
  • Base & Top Coat
  • Q-tips
  • Small Cup
  • Filtered, room temperature water
  • Cling-wrap, crumbled into a few small balls
  • Turquoise colored nail polish
  • 2 Gold polishes, preferably of different textures
  • Hair Spray

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That may seem like an intimidating list, but it’s really not too bad. Most of this stuff is normal household items after all. The secret for having a successful mani here is to be prepared, so make sure you have everything you need before you start. Nothing is worse than juggling water with wet nails while trying to stand up to grab more q-tips because you only grabbed one or two like there’s some kind of q-tip shortage. Spoiler alert: there’s no q-tip shortage so don’t hold back. Live life like a king and grab a dozen q-tips.

Step one is pretty simple. Shape and neaten up your nails. I’d recommend an oval shaped nail to compliment the manicure, but as you can see below, I like my squared edges too much to change for this mani. Step two is to paint your fingertips with two coats of your favorite turquoise shade. Remember, there are a lot of different shades of turquoise that range from a blue to a sea foam green, so pick whichever appeals to you (or matches that new purse you got on sale).

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Ok, now we have our foundation. A good base coat and two (very dry) coats of our creamy blue. We’re ready to get to the fun stuff!

Of the two gold polishes, start with the one with the most texture or glitter. For me, I’m using OPI’s Goldeneye. It’s a terrific shade of gold, and just the right texture to look like flecks of gold. Take your polish and brush a small bit onto a crumbled up piece of cling-wrap. Click any of the images if you want to see them in more detail.

SONY DSC SONY DSC

Now lightly dab onto your nail. No blending or worrying about placement! You want random, blots of the gold. Nothing too big or it’ll cover up all the turquoise, then where would we be? You’re aiming for something like this:

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Now for the challenging part; the water marble step.

Fill your small, disposable cup with room temperature water that’s been filtered. Generally this is where most people have their issues when water marbling. Cold water or too warm of water affects how the polish dries on the water’s surface. Or something. I have no real sources for that, but that’s what I think anyway. Just trust me on this one.

Now take your second gold polish, preferably a smoother, creamier gold, and unscrew the cap. Also feel free to use a dark color, like black. It also mimics the veins in turquoise, but it’s not quite as shiny. Now gently drop several drops, one at a time, onto the water’s surface. If it turns into a ball and drops to the bottom, you’re dropping the polish from too great of a height, or using too much polish per drop. …. Sigh, I should probably warn you that you shouldn’t use a Styrofoam cup for this step as the polish eats a hole right through the cup causing a massive flood you have to panic-kingly deal with. Not that I would know.

SONY DSCExcuse the crappy photos here, I wanted to show you how the surface of the water looks after our next step. Once you’ve built up a decent amount of layers on the surface of the water, we need the hairspray. Yep, hairspray. (I tried body spray and it was a just charming failure.) Spritz a bit onto the nail polish and watch as it bubbles apart the polish. I found a short, drippy, angled spray was the best approach.

SONY DSC SONY DSCNow find the part of the design you like best. I went for thin lines and nothing with too much polish. Dip your nails in and use a q-tip to wipe away excess polish off the water’s surface while your fingernail is still in the water. Once all the polish has been cleared away (I find a swirling motion works best for me) you can safely remove your finger. Use another q-tip dipped in acetone to clean off any reside polish that got on your skin. I recommend keeping a trashcan close by so the q-tips stay as mess free as possible. Use your clean up brush for clean up needed on the cuticles.

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Difficulty? 8/10 I don’t think this mani is extremely hard as there’s no real steady hands needed and even ‘mess ups’ look fine. I gave it such a high score because it can be a little time consuming and requires a lot of foresight so it doesn’t become a stressful affair. It needs two different techniques as well. I think it’s worth the effort though. And don’t limit your color choices; they’re endless. Try to match your granite countertops!

Final Thoughts? There are so many color choices out there I would love to do it again soon. Imagine Christmas Red & Green on a white base color; what a elegant answer to the christmas mani! Go wild!

Team Spirit

7 Oct

So, as a University of Florida alumni, I had to show a little team spirit for this weekend’s big game. If you don’t happen to know, our colors are orange and blue, and I had just the colors to do this mani justice.

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Both of these beauties are an OPI Designer Series polish and the glitter bottle is from Mariah Carey’s new OPI collection. From left to right is I Snow You Love Me, DS Magic, and DS Luxurious. I can’t say enough good things about the OPI Designer Series. I notice that despite having a rather impressive collection of polishes (if I do say so myself) I always find myself gravitating towards the OPI DSs. One of my dearest ambitions is to get my hands on a Japanese OPI Designer polish, but at the prices they’re fetching, it won’t be for a long while.

Now that I found two perfect colors for my mani, I needed to think of something fun to do with them. I instantly thought of cheerleader preppy types and envisioned a smart, striped tie. I also thought about a polka dot hair-tie that I’m certainly in love with. Thus, the mani was born.

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As you can see, the first step was to paint all fingernails with Luxurious and let them dry completely. I waited an entire day in fact. Now on your accent fingers, whichever those happen to be for you, put a thin coat of I Snow You Love Me. I used a toothpick to place the glitter exactly where I wanted. The same effect could be made using silver hexagon glitter or circle glitter, but I enjoyed the holographic glint and the nice shape in the glitter polish.

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For the other two fingernails, I used striping tape and taped off a close-knit stripe design. One quick (and thin) coat of Magic goes on and then quickly peel off the tape.  You should be left with fairly crisp lines. If not, you can use a tiny dry brush to scrape out any polish that went where you didn’t want it to. Be warned, the under-polish has to be extremely dry for this to work.

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Difficulty? 6/10 Nothing is particularly hard in this mani besides perhaps the striping tape. I tend to get frustrated with the stuff, so go into the mani with some patience. Before painting double check that all of the tape has remained firmly on the nail. I can’t tell you why, but sometimes it takes me 2 or 3 stripes of tape before one sticks. 

Final Thoughts?  I certainly felt full of team spirit with this mani. I’m also proud to say that my team won their Saturday night game. Go Gators! Anyway, I thought this was a very fun and clean mani that didn’t take too terribly long. It would look good with other school colors, if you don’t happen to go to my old university. The best colors would be high contrast ones, so keep that in mind when choosing colors. If you happen to have a lot of time on your hands, you can always make more intricate patterns with the tape and experiment with the designs. Have fun with it!

OPI Mariah Carey Pure Swatch

2 Oct

So, I was strolling in the mall, ogling all the nail polishes I’ve yet to buy (so many!) when I came across a pretty silver/chrome looking bottle in an enticing pale gold box. I inspected further and realized I’d never seen it before, and it had a $30 price tag! I liked it, but that was too rich for my blood.

I got home and did a little investigating and found that it’s a new 18k white gold flake topcoat out by OPI. Personally, I prefer white gold to yellow gold, so I was super excited. I did some online hunting and found one for much less than $30. After a few days of waiting by my mailbox, here it is.

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Oh, so regal!

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What do you think? Let’s check some swatches. The last is blurry, but if you click the picture to enlarge it, you can see the gold flake in detail. For reference, this swatch is two very thin coats. It applied easily and there was no hassle getting the flake onto the nail. In fact, I found it easier to work with than glitter.

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I enjoy the gold flake, but to be honest, I was underwhelmed. The white gold ends up looking like silver (I guess this is obvious, but I expected… I’m not sure. More pizzaz maybe?). I think this would look well over dark colors, but light colors will cause it to just blend right in. Over a black base color though, well I think that’d really pop.

I don’t regret adding it to my collection, but I feel like the yellow gold flake top coat, OPI’s The Man With the Golden Gun would have been more versatile.

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