Monday, February 25, 2013

ABC Challenge - "H" is for Holographic

This is going to be semi-short and sweet.  I had a lot of different ideas come to me for H, but once I started each one, I discarded.  The Color Club Halo Hues were calling to me...  Black base on all fingers, and each finger has a diagonal tip of color.  OK, "tip" may not be the right word, but you'll get the idea from the photos :).

I took the indoor night pictures because I love the way the holos look with the flash.  Still not a good camera...I may end up going through this whole challenge without one.  This is still just a fun little hobby for me, so a new camera unfortunately is not on the financial radar anytime soon (sigh).

Now for the daylight photos:

Here are the colors I used, and let me tell you there is not one color that I don't LOVE:

The original 6 Halo Hues are (in order of the photo):
     Angel Kiss:  minty green
     Halo-Graphic:  pink
     Harp On It:  silver  (this is the only color I did NOT use - ran out of fingers)
     Blue Heaven:  light blue
     Cherubic:  nude/beige
     Cloud Nine:  lilac purple

The new 6 darker Halo Hues are (in order of the photo):
     Over the Moon:  blue
     Miss Bliss:  pink
     Kismet:  lime green
     Cosmic Fate:  orange
     Eternal Beauty:  dark purple
     Beyond:  Black  (far and away my FAVORITE)

Again, many thanks to Kimber at Kimber's Lacquer Korner for hosting this weekly challenge.  It is open to anyone - professional or novice (I can attest to that!).  If you would like to join, shoot her a request under the "ABC Challenge" tab on her blog.  And FYI - any attempts to just add your blog to the challenge WILL get you booted off the inlinkz group.  There are eyes watching, and the gatekeeper knows....muah ha ha ha!!!!!

Here are the other ladies participating...take a look at their great submissions for the letter "H".
Until next week!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ABC Challenge - "G" is for geometric

Hello, hello!!  I'm cheating a little bit with this post - I am "drafted" and ready to go here on Sunday, but holding off the PUBLISH button until Wednesday, make that Tuesday; I didn't want to wait.  I am in a mood, and can't seem to want to keep a manicure for more than a couple of days, no matter how long it takes me to do, or how much I like it.  I'll probably have my "H" post done before the weekend!

Anyway - focus, focus.  This week in Kimber's hosted ABC Challenge, is the letter G.  Last week's manicure was an issue for me - every day I woke up wanting to like the colors, and every day, it did not happen.  I figured I would go to the other end of the spectrum in colors this week, and I did....sort of. 

I got a little inspiration from Jenni at I Relish Nail Polish and her Fish braid mani last week.  I also commented on FB about walking by a display at a local store that was packed full with ESSIE dark colors.  I picked up my first 3 from the brand, and planned on using them this week also.  The detour I took was in the base coat.  With three dark colors I planned to use, I had no choice but to use a very light base.  I remember Kimber using a taupy base color back in week E, so I went that route.  Yes, you women are inspiring me - giving credit where credit is due.

So...I painted three coats each of my Essie colors onto a sheet protector, and let them dry overnight.  I peeled them off and decided to cut them into squares/rectangles and triangles.  Easy, right?  Not so much (for me, anyway).  These suckers seemed pretty strong, until I got a TINY little nick in one, and tore it almost in half.  OOPS!  Also, the scissors I was using to cut the shapes created JUST enough static electricity that I couldn't get the little pieces of polish to let go.  It was pretty comical - and it got the attention of one of my kitties.  Bad got worse really fast. 

I ended up, for sanity's sake, making the shapes quite a bit bigger than I had originally planned.  1)saved time, and 2) saved my sanity.  I was going to do circles with a dotting tool, but with the size of these cutouts, it just would have been too much.

On to the pictures...I'm doing my camera research too, but these seem to be a little better than usual.  Maybe because it turns out there really is a sun out there - haven't seen it in what seems like forever.  The down side?  It's like 15 degrees outside, so the photos are taken inside near a sunny window.

The colors:
OPI Skull and Glossbones (light grey) LOVE this - I already know I will be using again at least one time in this challenge
ESSIE Stylenomics (green)
ESSIE No More Film (blue)
ESSIE Carry On (burgundy/wine?)

I have to say, so far in this challenge, this is my favorite that I have done.  The top coat I used made the colors bleed (until I figured out a way around it, at the end, of course), and the shapes did morph a little out of proportion, but all in all, I am happy.  The photos magnify every "flaw", real or imagined.  IRL, this looks good - because I say so. (And no one will tell me different - ha!)  Now, it I could get all my nails the same length, life would be good.

Thanks for stopping by...please stop and look at all the other amazing ladies that are participating in this challenge below.


Monday, February 11, 2013

ABC Challenge - "F" is for Flower

Another week is here...can't believe they are going so fast.  Are these posts getting longer?  They feel like they are...maybe because I am only doing this once a week, I don't know.  Feel free to tell me - I won't be offended.  Really.

I had another choice for "F" this week - flames.  What I wanted to do would have taken me a while, and I may still do it later in the challenge, but I ran out of time and this was my fall back. 

Flower is a new line of cosmetics by Drew Barrymore, and it turns out it is being sold exclusively through Walmart.  The new line is pretty small, since it is just starting.  The colors in the nail polish are not my usual - I think there are about 15 colors, and only 3 of them are my favorite darks.  The vast majority are in the pinkish range, and many are soft and pale.  Since I couldn't do my other choice, I got lazy and picked some up to try.

I ended up buying two colors.  Most of the polishes are cremes, but they did have one that looked like it might be a duochrome, and these two that I picked up were shimmers.  I desperately need practice with my stamping, and with Valentine's day coming up, I thought I would use that as the theme.

I found a plate from Cheeky - CH15 - that had 4 different heart designs, with a bonus cluster of hearts.  Perfect.   Sorry for the photo being so bright, but I wanted to get a close-up of the designs, and this was the best photo I got that didn't completely glare back the flash.

So here are the colors I used:

SPOILED Shuffle the Deck (glitter)
FLOWER Budding Romance (red)
FLOWER That's Just Dan-De-Lion (nude)

I tried to capture the shimmer on the nude color - it isn't just a glass shimmer, it is multicolored, which was unexpected.  You can't see the colors from the swatch stick, but I think you do get a hint of the shimmer. 

So, the stamping is...meh.  Not too bad, but nothing to write home about.  Considering it is my 2nd time stamping, I gotta say it's not THAT shabby.  The nude color is DEFINITELY not anything close to a go-to color for me.  Not with my skin tone; but the photos really wash me out and make me look even paler than I am.  That being said, I kind of like this mani.  I don't think I'll be doing another light one anytime soon, but it doesn't hurt to change things up a bit. Oh, and FYI - still no decent camera, and no decent weather for any natural light photos. 

Thanks again for taking the time to stop by, and while you looking, be sure to check out all the other ladies in the challenge hosted by Kimber's Lacquer Korner below.

Until next week ladies!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ABC Challenge - "E" is for Egyptian inspired.

First off, I wanted to comment on something that was brought up on the Facebook page.  I just wanted all the great ladies involved in this challenge to know - I know I don't reply to any of the posts made on my page, but with my limited time, I would much rather spend it looking at what you all have come up with and commenting on your pages than replying to comments on mine.   Be assured, I read every single one (and not just because the "Publish" option forces me to).  I really, really appreciate all the comments and words of encouragement that you leave every week.  Now, on to the mani...

My mother was a huge fan of anything Egyptian.  I don't know why, but she was.  I wish I had taken her to some of the exhibits that made their way through Chicago, but she had issues going in to the city, among other things.  So when "E" came up, I thought I would do something related to it.  My inspiration picture is this:

Not just for the picture, but for the colors.  Gold, coral, and turquoise seem as if they are a primary part of all the images I was looking at.  I also thought it would be a good example to see if I had any of the images in this photo on any stamping plates I have.  Well, that didn't pan out really well, but I did have a couple.

Next, the polishes I used:  I decided to go with drugstore brands.  Partly because I couldn't find a coral and turquoise in my collection (Sinful Colors had them both), and partly because I was anxious to try something from the Wet 'n Wild Fergie collection.  I had tried Wet 'n Wild before - it was disappointing.  But new marketing, new packaging...why not give it a try?

The colors are:  Sinful Boogie Nights (coral), Sinful Mint Apple, and Wet 'n Wild Gold Album.  The gold?  1 coat = full coverage.  Very happy with this polish for $3.99 a bottle.  There are a few other colors in the collection that I wouldn't mind getting.  If they all apply like this, I'm going to watch the new Wet 'n Wild a little more. 

I know I am VERY long winded this week, but this made me think of my mom...anyway, here's the mani.  Again, night pictures.  I had intended to take them during the day, but the last two days have been cold, wet, windy, dark, snowy, wet, get the idea.  I don't think I was able to go 10 minutes without having to put lotion on my hands, it has been so bad.  Plus, moving files and handling paperwork all day for the last two days were VERY hard on my hands.  Three days in, and it still doesn't look too bad, if I do say so myself.

I had a choice of doing something more time period authentic, or have a little fun with it.  I decided to have a little fun.  I didn't have patience for authentic...  Oh, I almost forgot to mention - this is the first time I ever tried stamping...EVER.  Although these were just single images, I totally see myself doing this a LOT more.

So, there you have it.  One more week down - time is really flying with this!  Thanks again for the look see, and be sure to see all the other ladies' take on the letter "E" below!!

Until next week!