Monday, June 30, 2014

The Lacquer Legion: On Holiday

This month, us fine folks at The Lacquer Legion decided to use summer vacation as inspiration and take our nails on holiday.
This theme can be interpreted so many ways because everyone has a favorite way to kick back and relax while on holiday (or maybe not relax and just shop,) so I am looking forward to seeing all the nails today!

I recently picked up a mini set of Orly's summer collection, Baked, and the colors were already arranged in a perfect sunset gradient and I just had to translate it onto my nails ASAP. Bonus points for it coincidentally being at the right time for this LL prompt!

The four colors in the set are: 
Orly - Tropical Pop (yellow)
Orly - Ablaze (orange)
Orly - Hot Tropics (fuchsia)
Orly - Saturated (purple)

The two middle colors have a really heavy gold shimmer that was a bit of a pain to deal with in the gradient because if you dabbed too much, all the shimmer would come to the surface and overpower the gradient. It took more effort than I am used to to get the perfect effect, but I worked it out! 

I decided that I wanted to add the sunglasses stamp from Cheeky CH37 to make it a bit different from a typical sunset-and-palm-tree mani. Buuuut I also had to add a palm tree just because. It was too pretty not to.

I freehanded the lil' tree with acrylic paint and a super small brush.

Hope you guys like this mani! Can't wait to go stalk Instagram and Facebook for all the great manicures from you lovely folks. Don't forget to use the hashtag #LLonholiday so everyone can see your masterpieces! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

copycat polka dots

Sometimes my bestie Chalkboard Nails will post a mani and I'm like "BRB doing it now." That happened recently when she posted these awesome jelly gradient polka dot nails!
I hunted for a dupe for the blue she used, pulled out the same purple, and away I went!

I love how it turned out! And it's ridiculously easy to do gradients with jelly polishes. You just keep layering it to build color towards the tip. Once you add topcoat, it's practically seamless. I've previously done it a whole bunch of times including here with a little tutorial, and here and also here.

The blue base is Color Club - Bright Night.
The purple jelly is the appropriately named China Glaze - Are You Jelly?
My go-to white for stuff like this is Color Club - French Tip

My stupid camera is giving me mad grief lately and I couldn't get it to really take a warm enough photo (and I don't have Photoshop on this computer) but the above photo from my iPhone shows the colors much more accurately! The jewel tones really go great together and the polka dot pop makes it even better.

Do you often see a picture of a manicure and feel the intense burning desire to create it instantly? Let me know which manicures had you running to grab your polishes and start a masterpiece!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

spotted at winners - OPI Black Spotted!

Hey everyone! I've been in a bit of a nail-rut for the last 3 weeks, barely even painted my nails. But it's turning around... Especially with the stroke of luck I had at Winners last night!

Of course when I peruse the polish section at Winners, I obsessively read all the labels. I saw a bunch of black bottles and I was like, "Oh look a bunch of Black Onyx." But I picked it up anyway... And to my HUGE surprise, it was the elusive Black Spotted!
If you're not already familiar with this polish, it was released 2 years ago with their Spiderman collection, but only in France. What?! They deprived the rest of us because I believe it was not FDA approved, or whatever. Anyway. People on this side of the pond were paying obscene amounts of money to get their hands on it. I didn't bother to hunt it down, but I was curious to try it. And then I stumble upon it for $7.99 at Winners?! YES PLEASE. (The only downside being that they had none of the little Spotted hang tags on the bottles... But that's just my polish OCD complaining.)

Basically I've been dying to post about this all day since I did my mani with it this morning but I was working! Now's the time!

OPI - Black Spotted (over China Glaze - Too Yacht To Handle)
As with other special effects polishes like shatter etc, you apply this over dry polish, and it works its magic instantly. I hear it can be a bit finicky to get the look you want, but I was really stoked with how it came out on the first try!

You need to apply a seriously thin amount, it should feel like you're not even going to get any on there at all. Swipe quickly, and then it applies perfectly! It is a little annoying to get off your cuticles, so try and apply it nicely.

I had previously tried the "bubbly" effect polishes from Layla and could not get any sort of effect at all. I'm not sure if I had bad bottles of those or what, but I'm so happy this one isn't a dud!

It is a really different look, and I'm diggin' it. Should I do a giveaway for one of these bad boys? Or has everyone who wanted this pretty much got it? Hooray for Winners! (And for those of you in the US, try your TJ Maxx stores, because they are the same company.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

OPI - Don't Touch My Tutu!

Tonight I'm gonna share an oldie-but-a-goodie. It's not even that old, but the nail world just moves so fast these days, we often forget about polishes from a year or two ago. I find myself reaching for older polishes a lot lately. Call it polish-nostalgia, if you will.

OPI - Don't Touch My Tutu!
This is the perfect sheer white polish, which you can use so many ways. You can of course wear it on its own, and build it up however you like - I'm wearing three coats here.
It works amazing for creating glitter sandwiches, like this one. Or you can use it as extra undies for other sheer polishes, like this one. So many uses!

I just really love the name too. I need a tutu.

What oldie-but-goodie polishes have you been rocking lately? I wanna know!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure VoxBox from Broadway & Influenster

Thanks to the fine folks at Influenster, I recently received something in the mail that I had never tried before - press-on nails.

A few friends of mine have used press-on nails in the past and I have never been a fan because I can always tell they're fake, until one day I complimented a friend on her nails and she told me she was wearing imPRESS nails. I literally couldn't tell they weren't her own nails. That alone had me seriously interested, plus the imPRESS nails at the drugstore have always called to me because of their awesome designs! So yeah, you can say I was a little excited when I found out I was gonna get some complimentary from Influenster.

Do you think they knew to send me these? Or was it divine nail intervention?
Also I have to mention that I love how they come in a little polish bottle case. Totally portable!

In one pack you get 24 nails, that's two each of 12 different sizes. I did see some people complaining that they used say, two of one size while doing one hand and then didn't have the right sizes for their other hand. But for me, it was just logical not to use both size 8 nails on one hand because chances are, your nails are the same(ish) size on each hand.

The sizes go from 0 (biggest) to 11 (smallest) and that's a good range because usually packs of nails and tips will either be 0-9 or 1-10.
My pinky nail, however, is like a 12 or 13 so I would love for there to be more sizes but that's not a big deal because I just filed the smallest one down a bit.

Application is really simple. Once you've selected your sizes, you should lay them all out in order to make it simple when you start applying. The nails come with a cleansing pad you can use on your nails to prep the surface, but I had just removed polish so mine were already clean and oil-free.
You peel off the backing from the adhesive and then line up the nail and press down! You don't have to hold it in place for very long because it really just sticks on and holds. No drying time like nail glue. Simple as that!
It's best to apply your thumbnails last because you'll want as much dexterity as possible when peeling the backings off because they can really be stuck on there sometimes.
You'll want to run the included mini nail file over the free edge because there is a bit of a sharp edge remaining from production. 

I didn't find them uncomfortable to wear, and really I didn't notice them at all. Totally comfortable and felt pretty much as if they were my own nail. Occasionally a hair may wrangle its way under the edge of the nail or something, but nothing major.

But how do they wear, you ask? Amazing. I did take them off after 2.5 days (mostly because I wanted to complete my review) but I am positive that you could get a week out of them like the packaging suggests. Mine had not started to lift, hitch, or feel at all loose.  And I was not gentle on them. On the first day I took a really long, hot bath in my new bathtub and didn't keep the nails out of the water. I worked two 8-hour shifts while wearing them and I was doing stock and packing up boxes and being overall rough. And no issues. None. Oh and I went to a party, too!

Removal is equally as easy - just peel them off. You can put some polish remover around the edges to help loosen the adhesive but I just went for it. It feels a bit intense (because DAMN these are sticky) but it doesn't damage the nail. If any adhesive residue remains on the nail, remover will take care of it.

The nails are not re-useable because you will buckle them and ruin them when peeling them off. But you will have nails left over so there are total accent nail possibilities in the future! (Or maybe a friend with differently sized nails can get a full mani out of your leftovers!)

Don't these seriously look like something I would do myself?! And check that shineee. Gah I love them.
And I legitimately got more compliments on these than any nails I have ever done, ever. Period. Should I be offended?
I work in retail so a lot of people see my nails on a daily basis, especially when I am ringing them in and folding clothes right in front of them. Pretty much every girl I served was like "OH MY GOD I LOVE YOUR NAILS" and I was like a walking advertisement for Broadway/imPRESS.

The overall verdict on the imPRESS manicure? Amazing. Everyone probably makes this joke but I am very imPRESSed. Totally. Totes magotes.
I would definitely buy these myself and have a few pairs on hand, for anytime wear and especially for those moments when you literally need to do your nails on the way somewhere because you have no time. They take less time than polish strips and are more user-friendly I believe, especially for non-experts.
The designs are amazing and this one in particular is sooo beautiful. Can't wait to try my zebra ones too!
I would 100% recommend these to anyone. F'reals. Thank you Influenster!
Product provided for review.

Monday, June 2, 2014

a-england - Hurt No Living Thing & Excalibur Renaissance

Hey everyone! Recently my best pals over at Nail Polish Canada offered up some new a-england polishes for me to try out, and really, who would say no to that?
While I was in Florida, these babies landed at my house and patiently waited for me.

One of these is a re-release of an older polish, and one is brand new. We'll start with the new one!

a-england - Hurt No Living Thing 
This is a sheer polish, a gray jelly base with strong pink shimmer. Definitely a change from the usual holos and stuff we've come to expect from a-england. I gotta say I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't an opaque gray with shimmer! But obviously you could layer it over a similar gray for that effect.
I've shown three coats above to give an idea of what it is like once built up, but of course layering opens up many more possibilities.

a-england - Hurt No Living Thing (over OPI - Jade is the New Black)
I decided to show it over a jade green polish because that combo was just calling to me, and I think it looks great! The shimmer added is really strong even with just one coat. The gray base does cloud over the color a bit though, so keep that in mind when choosing base colors for this polish. 

a-england - Excalibur Renaissance
I just loooove this silver foil. One coat could be enough, but I did two just to even out the finish.
It confuses me a little what they did with the naming of this polish, though.
I owned it before, simply called Excalibur. And now they have a new and different version of Excalibur. And this re-release of the original Excalibur is Excalibur Renaissance.
Check out the swatches of the new Excalibur on Ommorphia. Dayyummm, the new one is sparkly.
So who knows why they did what they did, but if it means we can have both versions at our fingertips, I'm down!

Aaaand one more shiny picture for good measure!
You can get these polishes here for $13.50 on NPC! (And free shipping in Canada! WOO)

Products provided for review.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

may haul 2014

Yoooooo. So do you wanna see my haul from Florida? It wasn't too bad! I mean, shoes excluded.

That's a fun picture huh? I spy Betsey bags! I love laying out stuff when I buy it to look at it. You do that too right? Don't answer that.
I mostly bought OPI while I was there because I found them on BOGO clearance at a few different Sally's. And the SOPI was 95 cents at Marshalls. 95 CENTS.
OPI - Taupe-less Beach
OPI - Gaining Mole-Mentum 
OPI - Pop The Cork!
OPI - 50 is the New Fabulous 
Sephora by OPI - Caught With My Khakis Down

I got the Gwen polish from Ulta for $7 which was cheaper than I could get it at my own pro store. And then more Sally's clearance. 2 OPI for $4.50? Yes plz.
OPI - Over & Over A-Gwen
OPI - I Sing In Color
OPI - Don't Bossa Nova Me Around
OPI - Next Stop... The Bikini Zone
OPI - Toucan Do It If You Try 

I splurged at Ulta on these two beauties because I can't help myself when it comes to UD. I pretended for a minute that I wouldn't get them. And then I picked them back up.
Urban Decay - Chaos
Urban Decay - Bang

I didn't take a picture, but I picked up two Essie polishes with the coupon Ulta gave me after I bought those UDs.
Essie - I'm Addicted
Essie - Chills and Thrills

These were waiting for me when I got home from the lovely folks at Nail Polish Canada, and swatches will be posted tomorrow!
a-england - Hurt No Living Thing
a-england - Excalibur Renaissance

Not so bad right? Shoe haul... Different story. :)