Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ABC Challenge - "P" is for Pacific Blue

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Quick post for me this week...but first, I want to thank everyone for the wonderful comments last week.  I love the technique (thanks again to Lisa @ LOZLOSA), and I am pretty pleased with those results.  I will definitely be using the process again.

On to this week...I had so many choices for P  - purples, indie polishes by Pahlish or Polish Addict, a pirates theme with OPI and stamping, but what won out is Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear in Pacific Blue. 

I have read stories of what polishes started everyone off, and for me, this is one of the two.  I just LOVE this color.  As much as I could have just done this color alone, I got some nail mail, and decided to use this pretty glitter as a topper.  Since there is pink & blue glitter in this, I chose pink for my accent nail. 

And yet again, by the time I am ready for photos we have cloudy skies and rain.  I got about a two minute window today - in my car, no less - so I got a couple of photos, but nothing great.  These photos make this color more blue than my eyes see it in real life.

Colors used:
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Bubblegum Pink
Different Dimension Squarey Hexy

Again, still more blue than in real life.

My weekly thanks to Kimber @ Kimber's Lacquer Korner for starting off this challenge.  Even though we are in the back half, this part of the alphabet is a little more of a challenge...plenty of time to join in.  Go to Kimber's page, click on the ABC Challenge tab under her header, and shoot her a request to join.  Everyone is welcome, but you gotta ask first.

It's hump day!  Hope everyone has a great rest of the week...but before you click off, take a look at all the other's ladies in this challenge.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Autism Awareness Mani #3

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Been a little under the weather, so I'm a little late posting this week (I like to post these on Friday's).  Here is my 3rd blue Autism Awareness manicure, and I chose another pair of drugstore brand polishes that I found.  I LOVE the combination of these two - the glitter topper is unusual for this brand, so I snagged up the only bottle of this I have ever seen at any Walgreens.  And let me tell you, I can easily find about 20 of them within a 5-mile radius of my work and home.  Add to that, my work is about 40 miles from my home, and you could probably add another 10 that I pass on the way...we have a LOT of Walgreens in the area.

Neptune is a denim blue, with a really nice silver shimmer to it (the bottom picture is more true to color, not the lighter periwinkle-leaning top photo).  This would have been beautiful on it's own...

...but I needed some bling.  I am not sure what color those bars actually are. They change from aqua to gold to pink and even green, all mixed up with dark purple-blue micro glitter.  And FYI - I did not experience any curling with this bar glitter, but they are pretty small pieces.

We FINALLY get some sunshine in the area, and I get laid out by the nasty flu bug that is going around.  The only good thing is that it was a little chilly - we traded 60-70 degree rainy weather for 40-50 degree sunshine.  I'll take it; I can at least still see the sun out the windows!  I'd almost forgotten what it looked like.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ABC Challenge - "O" is for Orly, OPI, and Optical Illusions

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Step right up, step right up!!  I feel like a carnival barker...and I am beyond ecstatic about this week.  Now, before we get to the pictures, keep in mind this is not perfect work.  And, I need to give credit where credit is due.  Last week, Lisa @ LOZLOSA posted a FANTASTIC "newspaper" mani, with instructions (link to it HERE).  I loved this enough to try it this week.

Like I said, not perfect.  I was nervous because of the images I picked - very black heavy.  And a LOT of paper fiber left behind on the nail, some of which I didn't get because I was afraid of wiping off the black (yea, I should not have worried).  On top of that, my allergies are into overdrive, and trying to paint my nails with a staining red while coughing and sneezing, well, lets just say I did NOT color well within the lines.  I'm using my chitty cuticle pass this week.  Overall, I am SOOOO pleased with this - the options are truly limitless with this technique.  (The Orly red was crazy shiny, and pictures were taken at night.  Weather forecast for the next 3 days - rain.  I may update later if I can get something that resembles daylight, but otherwise...sorry, you will have to suffer through with the crappy photos).


Here are the original images I used.  I ended up inserting them into a Word document, and adjusted down the size from there.  They had to be drastically reduced, but the 12 original images I picked easily fit on one page.

Finally, colors used:
OPI - My Boyfriend Scales Walls
Orly - Unlawful

I SO wish I had better photos to do a little justice to how this turned out.  Thank you so much Lisa for the inspiration.

As always, Kimber at Kimber's Lacquer Korner is responsible for the group you see below.  If you want to join, visit her website, click on ABC Challenge, and drop her a request.  And no cheating...if you haven't signed up, please don't link.

Good night all, but before you leave, check these out:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

ABC Challenge - "N" is for Nicole by OPI

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Hello everyone...only 4 days late on the post.  No inspiration this week - work has me beyond aggravated, and when I finally got home each night, I had no energy or will to polish.  It's unthinkable, isn't it??  Finally, I am ALMOST caught up, so I feel like I have some breathing room, and my creativity is coming back.  I was a little nervous there...crazy as it is to some, doing my manicure is soothing and fun to me.  I figure if you are reading this, you feel the same way.

Soooo... N. Had no idea what to do.  Neon came to mind - too quickly - and I figured it would be an obvious choice this week.  That made it a pass.  I assumed (rightly so, seeing the posts up already) that others would do it much better than me.  So, here is my contribution this week for N:

This feels a little like Barbie goes Goth...The pink dries matte, which I why I bought it.  There is a shimmer in there that gives it a little 'something' that I can't really describe.  The black has a shiny glass flecked finish to it.  I like the combo - and the scrapbooking scissors design when I taped it off gives it just a little bit of an edgy look.

What didn't I like?  A couple of things.

1) I can't topcoat this sucker.  I did put an extra matte top coat on the pink first before taping off for the black (it did not change the finish - polish looked pretty much the same with and without it), but the black is kind of left on it's own.   This is one day - a rough day, albeit - but only 1 day.  Already seeing tip wear.  

2) The formula on these sucked.  I swear half the bottle stuck on the brush.  It was thick and goopy.  Both applied very streaky, and felt like it dried on the brush as I was polishing.  I could deal with it with the pink, since I was polishing the whole nail, but the black - had to do 2 coats to get full cover.  Not ideal when you have tape to remove.  I had to make the second coat pretty thick, so it would soften up the first enough for me to pull of the tape relatively cleanly.  Because of this, it took FOREVER to dry.  Definitely need to introduce both to some thinner before I use again.

Colors used:  Nicole by OPI  "Still Into Pink" and "Totally in the Dark"

Now I have to get ideas going for "O".  What to do, what to do....Until next week.
As usual, a shout out to Kimber @ Kimber's Lacquer Korner for starting us off.  We have a new person joining the group, so it goes to show you - it's never too late.  Go on over to Kimber's page, click on ABC Challenge tab, and find out how to join.
And, check out all the other "N" inspirations.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Autism Awareness Mani #2

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Hey all!  It has been a very busy, busy week at work, and I have had no time to do anything, let alone my manicure.  So, when I got home at 10:30, I pulled out the polish so I could post my week 2 Autism Awareness mani.

I have been working with papers and filing all week.  Add to that the forced air heat, and...yea.  Continually having to washing my hands has left them very dry, cracked and pained, so my cuticles were in no mood for any real clean up.  Just kind of ignore the angry redness and dryness, and focus in on this beautiful blue.

Photos are kind of...bad.  It's after 2:30 am, and I wanted to get this post up because the weekend is jammed up with everything I couldn't get done during the week.  So, that meant taking pictures in the middle of the night.   Probably not the most ideal time for taking pictures.

Color is Blue Funk by Studio M.  Really loving this brand...last weeks mani went 6 days with very, very minimal tip wear, and no chipping.  Add to that the $2.99 price tag - this week was also 25% off, so I had to add quite a few colors to my collection.

By the way - that shine is from the polish.  No top coat used.

The glitter used was Sweet Dreams from the Selena Gomez collection by Nicole by OPI.

Really need to call it a night...or morning??  Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Great blog find and Autism Awareness Mani #1

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This is my first non-challenge blog post, and it will be a relatively short one.  I should be house cleaning, but that is just no fun.  I was doing some indie brand searches - alright, lets just face it, I was shopping - and through random searches and links, I came across a blog - xoxo, Jen - that floored me.  I haven't looked at any of her posts yet, that's coming next.  So, what floored me, you ask?  She has a listing of Indie polish brands, with links to sites, that total over 375!

Obviously, I have not checked out the links yet, and who knows if some of them are still in business, but the time it took to put all that together? Amazing!  Link to her website HERE...  I plan on using it myself.

Since April is Autism Awareness month, I am jumping in and doing at lease one blue manicure each week.  This is the first.  I wanted to start off with a lighter blue, but what I got was eye-popping.  This polish, irl, has got a micro shimmer in it that looks to be greenish, but what it does is make this aqua blue just completely glow.  It is so bright!  I'm not usually a blue-wearer, so wearing blue this month is a big deal.  I wanted to start off with a penlight, and ended up with a spotlight instead.

Both polishes are from Studio M - big box brand for a chain here in the midwest.  The aqua blue is called "Total WOW", and the glitter is "Sexy Siren"  You'd think they were made for each other.

This blue is just beautiful.  It was a little sheer, so I did 3 coats, but application was good. Hardly had to do any clean up afterwards.  Cuticles definitely need some work though - sorry.

Hope you enjoyed the extra post this week, and I hope everyone has a great weekend!  It really is FINALLY starting to feel like spring around here in Chicago - yea!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

ABC Challenge- "M" is for Magic Attraction

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Back for another week - wow, they are coming fast.  I had originally planned for this week to do a cute manicure of the funny little guys from the animated movie "Despicable Me" - Minions. 

But, I didn't feel like cute.  Holidays are still hard, and the depression still sets in, though not quite as badly as Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I needed something pretty and...girly, hoping that it would help lift my mood (trust me on this - cute and juvenile would have made things worse).  So the little twinkie guys had to go, but they are still a possibility somewhere down the line. 

While I was out shopping, I always take a walk down the cosmetic aisles - not that I need to, mind you - I just can't help but make a pass through.  I wanted to pick up another bottle of the fabulous flakie I used last week, and came across the beauty I have used this week - Magic Attraction.  Here is the finished product:

I had to take photos of this before I did the striping on it - check out the bling:  Had to take a blurry picture to get the colors flashing off the glitter.  Sorry that photos are so washed out - with flash too bright, and without too dark.

So, I used the following - all drugstore brands this week (from left to right in photo):
1. Sinful: Starfish /  2. Pure Ice: Superstar!  / 3. Sinful:  Folly /  4. Studio M:  Magic Attraction

I'm pretty happy with the final effect.  Lines were free-handed - not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  And it did perk me up - mission accomplished.  Oh, and had to share this photo - I put this box on the futon next to me, and turned around to pick up a couple of bags of things I wanted to put in the box.  When I turned back, this is what I was greeted with:

AND her name is Maize - she fits in with the letter this week!
So again, big thanks to Kimber at Kimber's Lacquer Korner for organizing this weekly challenge.  
If you are interested in joining, just head on over to her page, click on the ABC Challenge link under her banner, and get the info to e-mail her your request to join.  This is a closed group, so you will need to get the OK to be added, but anyone & everyone is welcome. We still have half the alphabet left, so plenty of time to get in.

Please stop and take a look at all the other ladies in the challenge, and enjoy the rest of the week.  Only 2 more days till the weekend starts!