Sonntag, 28. Oktober 2012

Fall into Autumn 9: Fall Gradient

We really had the first snow yesterday! Until Friday, I doubted that it would snow in my region, because it is considered one of the warmest in Germany, but apparently... not warm enough anymore. So due to the rain and snow this weekend, huge amounts of leaves fell down and I'm starting to feel all wintery... Meh.

I didn't feel a lot like red leaves today, when I was thinking what to do for the gradient mani. I decided to turn it into another Halloween mani of sorts. I wanted to create a sparkly gradient and it turned out to be incredibly sparkly... at least, when the sun hit it.

I wanted to use China Glaze Zombie Zest again and started thinking of other colors from this one. I chose two Milani polishes, Hi-Tech and HD from their 3D Holographic line. Since Zombie Zest is really sheer, I started with painting my nails with three coats and let them dry shortly before moving on. At three coats it still wasn't opaque, so I did it a little differently on my right hand. I didn't take pictures though.

It's interesting how strong the silver looks, even though I barely used it. Hi-Tech is a really nice light green scattered holo and I thought it would be nice for a gradient, but it seems to be kind of overwhelmed by the other two. Totally different story when I look at my nails though. It is green and the gradient is quite smooth. I guess it's my camera again. It seems to hate holos... I really mean that. It turned strong holos like Make Up Store Greta into plain silver polishes. Boo.

Next, I cut a piece out of a kitchen sponge that approximately had the size of one nail. I let it soak some water, so I wouldn't soak up the polish. Whenever I use more than to colors, I usually paint the polishes directly onto the sponge, lightly press them on some paper to mix the colors and then move on to my nail. That's how I did it this time as well. I find it easy this way and it's not very messy. I didn't have a lot of clean-up to do afterwards.

I finished it with one coat of essence BTGN Top Sealer and went to bed... thinking I would be done. But the next morning, I suddenly felt like trying the impossible again. I felt like stamping. I don't know why, but to me, stamping is difficult. I just can't seem to get it right. So I feel that my stamping today was a huge success. Since I'm not much of a stamper, I have no idea what brand the plate is from, but it is called A-37. I used a white stamping polish by Misslyn for the stamp.

The spider didn't transfer very well and was barely visible, so I outlined it with acrylic paint and a fine brush to make it stand out more. I don't like spiders in my house, but I find them quite fascinating when they are outside. I love watching garden spiders, for example. They make the most beautiful spiderwebs! Most of the garden spiders around the house got eaten by birds already, so there is not much to watch anymore.

What do you think? Is the gradient fall worthy even though it's not orange/red? :D

Donnerstag, 25. Oktober 2012

Fall into Autumn 8: Halloween

Haha... it's really fall here now. The flu got its first victims, me among them. Hence a week of no posting... Germany is expecting the first snow this weekend and that feels off, because I have still been wearing short sleeved shirts 5 days ago! Oh well :D

Anyway, I did one more mani for the Fall into Autumn challenge before I got sick and I'd like to show it to you! There are two versions of the challenge, so some participants did a different theme for theme 8. On my challenge chart, theme 8 is Halloween. So here is my Halloween mani, inspired by a design I saved to my inspiration folder last year. I don't remember who did it. If it's yours, please let me know!

Last year, I really wanted to do this design, but didn't have a nice lime monster green in my stash... and okay, I wasn't at that stage yet where I go to buy a polish just to do a design I have in mind! But this year, I have a polish in my stash that seemed fitting: essence Colourbration from this year's spring edition Crazy Good Times. It's a lime green with golden flecks in it. Quite bold on its own, so I haven't worn it solo yet.

On top of two coats of essence Colourbration, I applied one coat of p2 black explosion, a simple black shatter. It didn't break up very well, so I moved some of the black pieces with a fine brush. I'm always surprised how well that works!

The next step would be applying those flat fake eyeball thingies. I didn't have them, which left me with painting them using acrylic paint. Painting those circles was more difficult than I expected due to the uneven shatter surface. Some topcoat on and that's it. Pretty easy, but I still love the effect. I was looking forward to Halloween season just to finally do this mani! :D

I didn't wear it for very long, because I found it not very work appropriate. There were so many people sick last week, that I constantly had to help out with customer service... it just didn't seem very fitting. What do you think? Would you wear it at work?

And on a sidenote. I expected it, because I experienced something similar after swatching this essence polish... but... I just have to mention it: This one is a very very bad stainer! I had lime green nails even though I applied basecoat and wore it for a single day. I moved on to turquoise nails yesterday, but that's a different story. :D

Thanks for reading!

Mittwoch, 17. Oktober 2012

W7 - Metallic Saturn (Swatch + Comparison)

Today I have a swatch of a brand for you that was new to me before I wore this polish. I found a set of three in my local TK Maxx and decided to give it a try... especially because it looked like the polishes belonged to the Metallic Planets, a collection of duochrome polishes. For the price, I thought I couldn't do anything wrong - even though I knew that there are good and bad reviews about these polishes. (Especially recently in the German nail polish blogosphere :D)

When I went back home, I had this feeling that the set was close to another set I had bought about a year ago. I wasn't wrong and I'll compare those polishes to each other, to show how similar/different they are.

So the polish I want to compare first is W7 Metallic Saturn. It's a shimmery olive metallic polish, very nicely suited for fall in my opinion. It's supposed to shift from green to gold... does that remind you of something? Well it did remind me of model's own Golden Green from the Beetlejuice collection. Hence, I'm going to compare those two.

I applied two coats of the W7 and three of model's own. They are both on the thin side, but both are managable. W7 might look better with a third coat, because, depending on the angle you're looking at it... it's not 100% opaque. I was fine with two coats though. My pictures show the W7 on three fingers, model's own on one - my ringfinger.

I find them quite different. model's own Golden Green looks what it is called when compared to the W7: a golden green, while Metallic Saturn is more of a golden olive. Right now, I like the W7 better colorwise... I don't know, I think I'm getting into those muddy shades lately and Golden Green is definitely too bright to fit in this category.

Well, both are supposed to be duochrome... and I (still) fail at seeing this duochrome effect in those two polishes. There is a golden glow around the edges, but it is not very strong. If I didn't know that both of these polishes are from duochrome collections, I wouldn't even think about putting them in that category. Both are nice metallic shades... but certainly no duochrome polishes. I don't know where other swatches got the blue and teal shift from...
Okay, back to the formula. Drying time for both polishes was about the same. Nothing special here. They are rather on the slow drying side than the fast drying, but it's not bad and you can always put a quick drying topcoat on. I didn't use a topcoat, because I was going to swatch the other two polishes afterwards. Also, Golden Green tends to be more streaky than Metallic Saturn.

One of the major points or critique voiced in the recent German reviews is the stench of the Metallic Planets polishes. Actually, I don't think it is all that bad. Compared to other nail polishes, it doesn't smell very pleasant, indeed, but I find my model's own or Kleancolor polishes way worse. I can't put those on without having the window open. A thing to mention is, that W7 polishes are not Big3 free... as are model's own. They contain Toluene and I wonder if that's why they stink...

So, final verdict? If you are looking for a nice green duochrome, you are not going to be very happy with either of them. If you are looking for a nice metallic green with an edge, you might be happy with either. I find Metallic Saturn a more wearable green. It is also less streaky than Golden Green, and it's more opaque. Pricewise, the W7 polish is cheaper. You can buy them for £1.95 here, while model's own retail for £5.

Do you need both? Depends. I find them different enough that I'm not feeling the need to sell one of them, but if you don't have either, I'd recommend to choose the green you like better and leave the other well alone.

Sonntag, 14. Oktober 2012

Rainbow Stripes

I can't believe this is the last day off work... I've to go back tomorrow! No more painting nails daily... boohoo. The next few weeks are probably going to be a bit tough, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to do a lot of nail art... We will see.

For today, I want to show a mani, I have been inspired to do by a post on Pinterest. I'm pretty sure most of you have seen it! It's not difficult to do, but takes a little bit of patience. I finally had the patience last saturday, sat down and did some rainbow nails!
 I did these in two steps. First, I painted my nails with the rainbow, let that dry over night and continued with the taping the next morning. That's what I mean with patience. I'd normally start taping the same night, eventually do it too early and end up pulling the base off with the tape. Hah! Didn't happen this time!

Rainbow on my left hand

Rainbow on my right hand
I used nine different polishes on my left hand, following the suggested shades from my Pinterest inspiration. I wasn't sure if it didn't end up being too much on the pink side, so I skipped those two shades on my right hand. Totally different, right?
I didn't try to do perfect stripes. They are going to be covered up mostly anyway.

This is how my right hand looked after finishing with the taping. It's bolder, less delicate than the my left hand. I still liked it better than my left hand though. It kept looking too pink to me. Well, until I felt like mattifying it.

After I mattified this mani, I suddenly liked my left hand a lot better! It's like the pink took a step backward. And, overall, I definitely liked this mani the best after I mattified it. Both hands, I mean.

I certainly have to practice with the tape, alignment and stuff. And I should get a new bottle of p2 eternal. Lots of the mistakes in this mani are due to the fact that it got a bit old... stringy... and just wouldn't do what I wanted it to do.

Lastly, there's another rainbow here. They just looked so pretty when I had them all next to each other while painting my stripes. I couldn't resist taking a picture the next day. :D

I hope everybody's week gets off to a good start! Until next time!

Freitag, 12. Oktober 2012

Fall into Autumn 7: Pumpkins

Hello everyone~ Today, on this wonderful cold rainy day, I'd like to add another manicure belonging to the Fall into Autumn Challenge to this blog. Theme 7 is Pumpkins and how could I not think about creepy halloween pumpkins... But since theme 8 is going to be Halloween, I tried to think of something that contains pumpkins and only a touch of Halloween feeling. So~ I got to use one of my favorite color combinations: purple and orange!

For this mani, I applied two coats of essence passion for fashion, a very vivid purple creme. Next, I pre-painted my moon using white polish as a base for the two coats of OPI Fiercely Fiona I applied next. Next, I did the same procedure for the pumpkins. First white as a foundation. Then I used p2 notice me!, my favorite orange, to color the pumpkins. The vines were painted with green and black acrylic paint.

I love taking pictures of notice me! in the light of a beginning sunset. It really starts glowing... But I thought I should also take a picture in daylight. Isn't this a nice purple!?

I noticed one thing about this mani, that really made me laugh while looking at the pictures. I didn't notice before, when I was actually wearing it! I did these one nail after another... the pinky first, because it didn't involve any further polish after the base color. Do you see it too?  xD

Please take a look at all the other awesome pumpkin manis:

Donnerstag, 11. Oktober 2012

From the Vault: Flowers...

...well, they were originally supposed to be cornflowers, but since the colors are the other way around, they don't really look like them. I did this mani even before the other one I posted this week - maybe in March or April. I don't remember what I used for it too. Except for OPI Catch me in you net. But for the rest... no clue.

I still kind of like this design and that's why I decided to post it even though I don't remember much about it. The middlefinger nail didn't turn out that pretty, but the rest looks fine.

Does it remind you of Christmas too?

Dienstag, 9. Oktober 2012

From the Vault: Dragon!

One challenge done, the next post for the other not quite due yet... and loooots of old manicures sitting in the photo folder. So it appears to be obvious to work on getting those manis out~

This spring, I won the 300 follower giveaway over at Charlottes-Nails. The prize was an a-england polish of my choice and after going through a lot of swatches online, I decided on Dragon - my first a-england polish! It's a gorgeous green polish with a light holographic effect and copper shimmer. Just like what I imagine dragon scales to look like. So when it arrived at my house (shipping was really fast!), I immediately had to put it on my nails... which have been extremly short back then. It must have been very shortly after my major nail breakage.

I wore a-england Dragon solo for a day and got a lot of comments at work. People recognized the beauty without knowing that it is a special polish indeed. I forgot to take pictures that afternoon though. But because my nails were so short, I somehow ended up with crazy tip wear when I got home from work the next day. Some simple nail art had to cover up that fact, so I turned it into a framed mani. For the frame, I used Flormar SuperShine 07, a pretty copper shade that is very opaque. I decided on this shade, because it seemed to pick up the underlying copper shimmer in Dragon. The copper shimmer is barely visible in my pictures, but it's there.

Have you tried a-england polishes? What do you think of this particular shade?

Thanks again to Charlotte for hosting this giveaway and thus, giving me the chance to win this beauty. I'm very happy with it~

Montag, 8. Oktober 2012

Fall into Autumn 6: Autumn Leaves

Today, I'm returning to the Fall into Autumn challenge with the sixth theme, Autumn Leaves. I was postponing this theme a bit, because there wasn't much of an autumn feeling around here. No falling leaves! But last week was quite rainy and windy and all of sudden, there were lots of leaves on the ground and I finally felt like thinking about this mani.

Two years ago, around this time, I was still in Japan and we waited and waited for the leaves in the mountains of Tochigi prefecture to turn red. 2010 was a very hot and long summer in Japan and, in Tochigi at least, the leaves barely turned red. They turned brown at the end of October, when it started snowing a little bit. So sadly, we didn't get to see the burning mountains... But we did a little bit of sightseeing in the region. We were visiting Nikko, for example. I don't remember if I really saw it there, but I remember seeing beautifully painted paravents with fall scenes on them. That's what inspired me.

For this mani, I finally got to use my essie Good as Gold. I'm really glad it dries fast, because I was a bit impatient that night, hehe. On my ringfinger, I used H&M "Blue" as my base. But I guess there are a lot of "Blue"'s out there... I applied it over one coat of Good as Gold, because I wasn't thinking when I was painting my nails... and I was too lazy to remove it...

The branches and leaves were painted with acrylic paint.

The next day, I found my ringfinger a bit too dark, so I re-painted the leaves with essie Good as Gold and Orly Solid Gold to brighten it up. Also, I mattified the mani to make it less shiny.

Which version do you like better? I really like the essie mattified. It looks very pretty that way.

Even though I liked this mani, I consider it a part fail, because half of the people I showed it to, wouldn't recognise my leaves. "Oh, red cherry blossoms! Pretty!" Why would I paint cherry blossoms in October... I wasn't sure if I really needed essie Good as Gold, but after this mani, I'm glad I bought it.

Do you recognize the leaves? Do you live in a region where the leaves turn to a bright red? I don't... just yellow and brown.

Sonntag, 7. Oktober 2012

LDTTWC Day 8: Let's do the time warp again!

I hope everybody is having a great weekend so far (and is busy painting their nails) :D Today, I'd like to show the final mani for the Time Warp challenge. For this one, we are supposed to recreate a mani that has been done for this challenge, done by another participant. This task was harder than it seemed, because there are sooo many awesome manis to choose from! But I decided to recreate the "Lights! Camera! Action!" mani by Nicole gets Nailed. This mani was Grease inspired and I just found the pattern lovely.

It certainly looks different on my nail shape than on the Nicole's oval nails. I think I like it better on oval nails... The blue turned out a bit too strong.

Aside from the black, I used acrylic paint for this mani to have enough time for swirling the colors. That I think worked out well. It was very fun swirling while watching a documentary on storms ;)

So this was the last of the Time Warp manis. It was a fun challenge and I got to see a lot of awesome nail art ideas. Found a couple of new blogs to follow too!

And now, I'm going to hike up a close "mountain"...

Donnerstag, 4. Oktober 2012

LDTTWC Day 7: You're timeless to me!

Hah, only two days behind now with the Time Warp Challenge! So today, I'd like to show my mani for the seventh theme in the Time Warp Challenge: You're timeless to me! Since I'm a bit late with my mani, some of the ideas I had were already done by other participants. I don't have a problem with doing the same thing again, though!

So here I was thinking about something that has been popular throughout time. And yes, I ended up thinking about ancient times again and there are things that have been popular since then! We all know about things of value like gems, gold and silver. But I started thinking about furry things. Nowadays, we wear animal print and fake fur because it's fashionable, but before people wore fur(-lined) clothes, because they kept people warm. It was also a status symbol.

(none of these pictures above are owned by me! All rights belong to their respective owners)

And since I hadn't done an animal print themed mani in a while, here are some leopard patternd nails.

Again, there was not much material used for this mani. The blue polish I used as my base is essence Cool and the Gang, a gorgeous blue jelly, that has been discontinued last year. Then, there is my unnamed white Color Club. The spots consist of essence Rock'n Roll and black acrylic paint. The lace was painted with white acrylic paint.

Not much more to say about this! I hope you like my laced leopard mani :D

Mittwoch, 3. Oktober 2012

Fall into Autumn 5: Football

So today, I would like to show my football nails... I did them for the Fall into Autumn Challenge, and well, are supposed to be (American) Football nails, but I decided otherwise. I'm following a fellow challenge member who had the same problem I do: We can't relate very much to the sport. It's not a big thing here. I have never watched a game at all. It's different with football aka Fußball aka soccer though. I'm not a fan either, but I can relate to this sport. It's inevitable here in Germany. :D

What I came up with is still not very creative, but it was fun doing.

My pinky doesn't like to be photographed lately. It likes to hide or bend away from the rest. :D

Products I used for this mani include a grassgreen beauty uk polish (from my untrieds, yay), the every so often used and still unnamed Color Club white, some black acrylic paint and my beloved essence BTGN Top Sealer. I'm on my 7th bottle now!

And because I was asked to do some tutorials on how I do my nail art, I'll try to remember to take pictures while I'm painting. For this one, I remembered, but honestely... there's not much to explain. Hence, just three pictures.

Left: Paint your nails with base color of your choice
Middle: Paint the half moon white. I freehanded, but you could tape it off too
Right: Using black acrylic paint, add the pattern and seal with topcoat

Okay, I'll try to do a better job next time. ^^; This is new to me and I'm not very good at explaining...

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