Dienstag, 30. April 2013

The Nail Challenge Collaborative - Pastels - Week 4


On the last day of April, I want to show you the final manicure of this month's Challenge theme: pastels. Once more, I'm not sure if my colors are really pastel, but they're not bright either, so I guess it's fine. So for this last mani, I decided to tackle the One Stroke technique once more. My results so far have been rather mediocre, which I blamed on my acrylic paints for the most part. But maybe I was just too impatient and didn't practice enough... because I used the same paints this time too, and I think this time, it's a success. I watched a lot of youtube videos beforehand and praticed the brush movement on my palette. Should have done that earlier, huh.

So here's my newest installment of the one stroke... roses. Excuse the pic spam. I just really found it turned out pretty.

Of course, I noticed the stray hair too late...
For this mani, I once again used OPI My vampire is buff as the base. I'm still not convinced that I like this color on me, but as many others have written on their blogs, it's a great base for nail art. Except for the base and the topcoat, everything else is acrylic paint. I used an angled brush for the roses, a striper for details and a dotting tool for the dots.

Painting the roses turned out easier than I thought it would be. I didn't always manage at first, but you can just go over the whole thing and 'redo' it. I followed the brush movements like shown on the youtube videos and that worked fine. The brush movement for the leaves is still a enigma to me though. I tried. I really did. But I only manage half. For the 'downward' movement, I just can't figure out how to twist the brush. I need to pratice that.

All in all, this mani has a grandma-esque feeling to it, but why not once in a while. ^^ I took these pictures at dawn, when the sunlight was still soft. It added to the look, didn't it?
I enjoyed wearing this. I was constantly looking at the roses, still amazed by the smooth appearance and the details. What loading a brush with two colors at once can do, amazing. Hands down to all the ladies (and guys) who can really do this!

But it sure took some time to paint, so this won't be a technique for me to do on a regular basis, I think. And definitely no technique to just do on a whim. We'll see.

What do you think? Have you tried this technique?

Thanks for reading~

Montag, 29. April 2013

Asian Dragon

I went a little crazy painting my nails this weekend. But it was fun. ^^
I wanted to paint an asian dragon over all my nails. That seemed okay, but while I was painting I realized, that right now my nails are either too small for this kind of painting, or I simply drew too big. Maybe a little of both.

For my dragon manicure, I mainly used
- A-England Dragon (noooo, not the reason I drew a dragon at all...) body
- Kiko 395 body
- Flormar SuperShine 07 body outline
- Priti NYC Queen Victoria back
- China Glaze Riveting details on the back
- OPI My vampire is buff background

Since I really battled with my hand while trying to take pictures, I decided to take seperate pictures as well and just put them together... My hand is not flexible enough. ;( Wow! to all those ladies who can bend their hand to take proper pictures like that...

just the dragons body...

in cloudy daylight

I actually used polishes only (ok, except for the dragon's teeth)! I really like how the scales turned out. I ended up doing them differently from my plan, but it works. I just wish my nails were longer. I would have loved to paint more than one foot... and more~ tail.

So, what do you think of my excessive painting? Do you agree that a bit more space to paint on might have been good?

I'm going to upload my dragon to Kayla's indie polish contest. There are some really nice manis uploaded my close to 40 other nail artists. ^^

Ok, thanks for reading~ Tomorrow, I'll continue with my pastels.

Freitag, 26. April 2013

The Nail Challenge Collaborative - Pastels - Week 3

For the third mani I did for the Nail Challenge Collaborative's April theme "Pastels", I chose one of my untrieds as my base: essence madly purpled from their recent Floral Grunge collection. It was the only polish that still interested when I found the collection in store... and it's also the only one that mostly got favorable opinions from other bloggers. Well, it's a little different from what I expected, but it served its purpose for this mani.

So, I decided to paint a couple of flowers again. I'm always looking at Maria's flowers in awe and I haven't tried painting some in awhile... Her daily flower posts really inspire me a lot. I just wish I would have the patience to paint them more often! :D If you don't know Maria's blog yet, please take a look! It's definitely worth it!

What I painted in the end are these:

I'm under the impression that I used to be able to control my striping brushes a lot better last year... Some of the lines turned out a little thick, but all in all, I was satisfied. I just need more practice.

The base turned out to be darker than I thought. The polish dries darker than it looks in the bottle, but since I only used black and white acrylic paint to paint the flowers, the contrast is still there. But is this still 'pastel'? Not sure. Anyway, since I used acrylic paint, I obviously had to use topcoat to seal it.

Lastly, a picture of essence madly purpled on its own. It's actually supposed to be a matte polish - at least, that's what the bottle cap says. In my opinion this is not really matte. But it's not suede either. I tried a couple of my polishes and found it closest to the finish of Orly Plastix polishes - just with a hint of shimmer.

This is two coats. It applied just fine, but looking at my pictures, I think some of my nails could have used a third coat. No topcoat here.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading~

Donnerstag, 25. April 2013

China Glaze - Dorothy Who

Since I still have a ton of older manicures sitting in my picture folder, I decided to post one of these before continuing with the pastel manis. I finished my third though and I'm probably going to do my fourth today. :D

Anyway, at the end of last year, I ordered some polishes from the states and part of that order was China Glaze Dorothy Who. I love blue polish and glitter is always gorgeous! I wasn't disappointed in the polish. But I was disappointed in my camera, because the pictures don't really show how pretty it was in person. All pictures, except the last, were taken underneath my daylight lamp.

I decided to bling it up a bit. I still have a ton of those spacer rings here, that I originally bought because I wanted to make a couple of earrings. Since I didn't have anything better at hand, I thought these would pass as nail stuff too. But well, they're not meant for this, so they're no perfect circle and are not entirely flat either. Not very noticeable from afar though.
In each of these rings, I also placed a clear rhinestone.

Well, on these close-ups you can obviously tell that those are spacer rings, haha. I topcoated them rather generously, so they were actually quite smooth. They didn't catch on anything, even though they're not flat. All of them stayed on until I changed my polish three days later.

The polish itself was nice and workable too. But it's a jelly to let the glitter shine... which also means that any staining can peek through and I think that's the case with my nails. They're not stained as badly anymore, but I guess I'd still wear some camouflaging base coat underneath next time... ^^;

What do you think of this embellishment experiment?

Thanks for reading and until next time~

Dienstag, 23. April 2013

The Nail Challenge Collaborative - Pastels - Week 2

Hello everyone!

I'm getting closer to catching up with everyone in the Nail Challenge Collaborative~ yay~

Today, I'm continuing with the second mani for the current challenge theme: pastels. I didn't really have something specific in mind, except for doing something that would involve striping tape. I have to admit that the mani didn't work out exactly like I had hoped, but I still liked it.

I started this mani with two coats of a sheer white polish by MNY, a discontinued brand. I didn't want it to be a stark white. Looking at it now, a stark white might have been better though. I let that dry over night, because I tend to be too impatient and ruin the base when applying the tape.

The next morning, I grabbed my favorite set of pastels - probably the first ever edition of polishes that I bought a whole set of - essence Blossoms etc. from spring 2011. My absolute favorite yellow polish was part of this collection and I'm soooo glad I bought a backup.

Before sponging those colors onto my nails, I applied the striping tape. That worked better then last time! The tape came of with ease and the taped lines were nice and crisp. I topped it with a generous coat of essence BTGN Top Sealer to smooth it out and make it shiny.

As you can see, the white underneath looks like a pastel itself. A stark white might have provided the better contrast here. But I'm not going to  complain. This way, it's a subtle striping tape mani. To me it looks like a field of spring blossoms with a fence or something in front?

What do you think? What would you have done differently?

Thanks for reading!

Freitag, 19. April 2013

The Nail Challenge Collaborative - Pastels - Week 1: p2 adorable

Hi there~

last week I was out with my sister and mother for some shopping. We also came across a dm store I don't usually frequent and there I found the one p2 sand polish that has always been sold out in the stores I usually go to: p2 adorable. It's the baby pink one and apparently the most sought after. Well, they're just refilling the display, so I obviously grabbed one.

I really like this color. I wasn't sure about it at first, because the color is so light and my skintone is kind of yellowish, but I really fell in love with this one. At first, I wanted to wear it for one day only, but in the end, I decided to turn it into my first mani for the April theme of The Nail Challenge Collaborative (the group that came up with the four seasonal challenges I have been participating in).

This is three coats of p2 adorable, but two would have been enough. I just broke my index nail while wearing it that first day and decided to add one more layer after filing down. Yes, I was lazy. I stamped the plum flowers with black polish and did not seal it with topcoat. The black started to wear off a lot on my right hand... but topcoat would have ruined it.

And this is why:

top coat on ring finger nail

no top coat

My pictures didn't capture reality well enough... but this polish turns into a weird kind of pink once you add topcoat. I really didn't like the color. It's also loosing its blingy character. It just turns boring. I tried two other sand style polishes by p2 and I liked them better with topcoat, but this one... nah, best to leave it as it is. I also tried with matte topcoat - no good either.

So, that's my kind of boring first pastel mani. But did I mention that I like this polish..? <3

Thanks for reading!

Mittwoch, 17. April 2013

Let it Snow! Challenge 16: Late St. Patrick's Day

Hey everyone~

With this final post for the Let it Snow! challenge, I'll be done! :D Then, I can finally catch up with everyone else!

So without much further do, here's my "St. Patrick's Day" mani. I was a bit at loss for this one. I just felt like wearing the green polish from the essence Fruity LE from last spring. I think it was called kiwi something? So I went with that and just added a couple of dots and clovers with p2 green palm tree. Dots seemed to be appropriate because of the glitters in the base polish.

Nothing spectacular, really. It was too green for me after one day, so I removed it for another untried. But I wore the kiwi polish ;) It's just kind of sad that my camera was so shy picking up those glitters. They were a lot more prominent in real life.

And two pictures of the polish on its own. I remembered taking them before continuing, haha.

So, with this, I'm finally done with the winter challenge. I basically only finished it 3 weeks late, but oh well. On to the next~ pastels~

Thanks for reading!

Dienstag, 16. April 2013

Let it Snow! Challenge 15: Longing for Summer


after showing you the beautiful and summery p2 green palm tree yesterday, I'm going to continue with the second to last Let it Snow! challenge manicure. And this one is probably the first manicure that's out of season, hehe.

Longing for Summer was the theme to work on and I had a couple of ideas. I wanted to do something colorful, but not too bright. I ended up using a couple of neons, but combined them with a French to make it more wearable at work.

I started with four coats of Catrice Cotton Candy At Eiffel Tower. Ridiculous, but that's the closest to the perfect soft white I'm still looking for. The polish behaved very well though! I applied it at night and continued the next day to make sure it's really dry.

I freehanded the tips with a couple of Woo neon polishes I got from my colleague who went to Turkey last year. They are a bit sheer, so the tips got a little thick, but I think that makes those polishes promising for neon jelly sandwiches.

On my middle finger, I used the same neons and a piece of saran wrap (Klarsichtfolie) to create the marbled nail. I placed a couple of dots and lines of each color on the nail and smudged them together by placing the saran wrap on top of the still wet polish. Since the polishes are so sheer, I had to do that three times to achieve what you see. Sadly, the green doesn't really show up. Too weak ;)

That mani was kind of fun to wear. It was so colorful and yet not too much for work. At least at my workplace. What do you think? Could you have worn this to work?

Thanks for reading today as well~

Montag, 15. April 2013

p2 - green palm tree (Summer Attack)

Good morning!

I'm not continuing with the two manicures left for the Let it Snow! challenge, but with a simple swatch. I was so fascinated by this color over the past weekend, that I just have to share it first!

The polish I want to show you today is p2 green palm tree and it belongs to the current Summer Attack collection. In case you don't know, p2 is an in-house cosmectics brand by German drugstore chain dm. p2 hasn't really been on my radar in the past months, but with the last rearrangement of their core line, they introduced a couple of nice polishes. I'll have to show those to you too!4

The Summer Attack collection consists of various cosmetics. Among them are five polishes of which I got two (so far). One of them is the aforementioned green palm tree. It was the only polish I knew I really wanted to buy when p2 published press information about this collection. ^^ I really like the color, so here's a little bit of pic spam (compared to my last 10 or so posts).
indirect sunlight
Green palm tree applies very nicely and is surpsingly opaque. This is three coats, but you only need two for coverage. I applied the third to make it more shiny, because I took pictures on day 2 and hadn't applied any topcoat. Drying time is what I expect from p2. They're not exactly fast, but not slow either. I didn't dent my right hand after painting, even though I forgot to take care of it after a little while.

Green palm tree seems to have two sides. In the sunlight, it's a really rich grass green polish with golden shimmer. In indirect sunlight/indoors, the golden shimmer takes over and the green looks more yellow and slightly lighter. It also looks a lot more like a foil indoors. But whether in- or outdoors, it's a bright glowing green that caught a lot of people's attention while I was wearing it.

In another swatch post for this polish, I saw it compared to Zoya Ivanka. I don't own that one, but I'd love to know how it's compared to Zoya Apple from their summer collection 2011. Apple has been on my wishlist ever since! I just love its sisters Faye, Rica and Tancy!

What do you think of green palm tree?

The Summer Attack collection will be available in dm stores until August. The polishes contain 8 ml and cost 2,25€ per piece.

Thanks for reading!

Sonntag, 14. April 2013

Let it Snow! Challenge 14: Winter Blues

Hi everyone,

until last week I sure had the Winter Blues, namesake for Let it Snow! week 14. But this past week, spring finally has arrived here in Germany. Every day, when I take my dog for a walk it's becoming more and more evident to me. Finally!

But well, there's three Let it Snow! manicures left to show and I'd like to make it one less by showing your my Winter Blues mani. I wanted to do something in wintery colors, but not exactly winter themed. I really liked the concept of the pastel check mani I did past fall and decided to use that as the base. But instead of three colors, I only used a single one.

I used Anny Sporty Snowflake as my base. It's a shimmery grey polish, rather sheer, but thus delicate enough. Then, I picked essie Bikini so Teeny and painted stripes in one direction, waited a little bit and continued with painting the crossing stripes. Bikini so Teeny is quite sheer as well, but once you add a second coat, it builds up nicely. So it's a lot darker where the stripes cross each other. Using Catrice Nautica, I added the halfmoons, dots and thin stripes. I finished with a thick coat of essie good to go and placing a couple of rhinestones.

I liked this design quite a lot and even got nice comments from my family who's still not very fond of my hobby. I just wish my nails had been a bit longer... but they're even shorter now, so I shouldn't complain.

If you look closely, you might notice a little mistake I made on my index. I was rather impatient in doing my right hand and ended up denting my left index nail. I even ended up doing that nail a total of four times. When I noticed my mistake, I just didn't feel like doing it again... Well, for one of the strokes, I seem to have grabbed the other light blue I had picked, essie Lapiz of Luxury. That mistake is a first for me. ^^;

What do you think?
Thank you for reading~

Donnerstag, 11. April 2013

Let it Snow! Challenge 13: Winter Ombre


here's number 13 from the Let it Snow! challenge. I decided to do an ombre instead of the other possiblity, gradient, because I'm obviously doing too many gradients lately. I love gradients, because there's not much effort involved for an awesome effect.

But I think an ombre mani is interesting too. Especially if you have a crazy amount of polish. Finding the perfect shades can actually take a little bit. Hehe.

Sadly, my pictures turned out like crap, so there's only one decently presentable one.

I wanted to do some cool colors. If I'd do it right now, I'd probably do pinks?

But hey, for this one, I actually remember what I used!

thumb: p2 590 who cares?
index: Kiko 389 Mint Milk
middle: unnamed Color Club
ring: p2 620 artful
pinky: mix of p2 artful and Catrice Be Pool 

On top is one coat of another unnamed Color Club, an iridiscent white glitter. That made some of the colors almost neon looking. Especially Kiko Mint Milk. p2 who cares looks quite grey, but it's not. It's a really nice light mint creme, but sadly didn't go all too well with my skintone. (My family even hated it on me ;__;)

So that's it! Three more to go and I'll start posting my pastels :D

Have a great day and thank you for reading!

Montag, 8. April 2013

Let it Snow! Challenge 12: Winter Wonderland

Hi everyone,

I'm still catching up with the Let it Snow! Challenge, so here is my take on the theme for week 12: Winter Wonderland. By the time I finally did this theme, I didn't really feel like winter wonderland anymore even though it was still snowing here.

I ended up compromising between winter and spring somehow.

This is about 4 or 5 coats of Orly Winter Wonderland. It's a sheer polish and probably not really meant to be worn on its own, but I really wanted to wear it solo at least once. Also, since it's called Winter Wonderland, it was the perfect polish for this theme, isn't it?

At the tips, I added random dots in light and dark purple (essence), as well as yellow (beauty uk), to represent a scene quite frequently seen around that time. There were a lot of crocus flowers in those colors peaking through the snow. For me, seeing crocus flowers means that spring is slowly starting up. Hence the compromise.

It was a nice mani. I liked wearing it and got a couple of nice comments on it. I really love Winter Wonderland~ So worth finally having spent the money on it. It was a pain to take off though. Those flakies were quite tenacious. Also, the light purple shows up really well on my pictures, but it was not as obvious in real life. It turned out to be really close to Orly Winter Wonderland in indoor light.

What do you think? Are crocus flowers as common in your country as they're here in Germany?

Thanks for reading!

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