Monthly Archives

May 2012

Simple Manicure

Zoya Charisma

May 16, 2012

This is the color I used in a gradient on my tips a little bit ago. Such a gorgeous neon color. The neon-ness that I see in the bottle doesn’t really translate to my nails, though. But I do like the true berry color. I love to wear colors like this.

Update on my Love/Hate relationship with Zoya

I adore the color range of Zoya polishes. Just can’t get enough of them. However, I’ve always had two kinds of trouble with Zoya: bad shrinkage with my favorite top coat Seche Vite ( I can only really wear the polish for one day before the perfectionist in me demands new polish), or lots of bubbling. When I try to not use Seche Vite and therefore have to wait an interminably long time for the polish to dry, I always get awful bubbling. This occurs whether I use the Zoya Anchor base coat or not.

However, I think I may have discovered a clue when it comes to bubbling while I was painting Charisma. I usually always use Nail Magic under my base coats in order to strengthen my nails. This time I skipped it all together and put the Zoya Anchor base coat straight on my naked nails. That seemed to help quite a bit. However, this polish does dry to a more matte finish (like neon polishes usually do), so it might be the quicker dry formula that prevented the bubbling, not the fact that I used only Anchor. More testing will be needed. :)

I used Zoya’s top coat Armor on top of Charisma as well.

The fact that I continue to strive for a bubble-less Zoya manicure shows how much I love the color range. Oh, Zoya, I want to love you but you make it so hard. Still trying, though. :)

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Favorite places to order nail polish online

May 15, 2012

Hello all! I’m still sporting my Black Rainbow Stripes nails from a couple days ago, but it’s coming off tonight. Until then, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite places to order nail polish online. :)

Great prices on China Glaze, Essie, and Color Club. Plus, they ship super fast. I love that for newer collections you can pick up the entire collection (plus store display!) for us nail polish junkies. It makes purchasing all the polishes in a collection fast and easy. I’ve ordered from them numerous times and have never had any issues. I believe they are located on the East Coast and even with the far distance (I’m in Utah), all polishes arrive safely.

I’ve only ordered from them once (when I ordered some Nfu Oh polishes), but it was a pleasant experience. Super fast shipping. Only one week from when I ordered to when I received it, and that included four days when it was held up at customs at the border. All polishes arrived safely. Great option for all of you in Canada. :)

You can find Zoya polishes locally at some Ulta Beauty stores, but I still prefer to purchase straight from Zoya because of the color selection. My Ulta only stocks current and brand new collections, and they usually receive them a few weeks after Zoya is selling them at their site. Oh, I’m too impatient. I’d rather order from Zoya (who includes freebies like travel size Remove+ bottles and other goodies). All polishes arrive safely as well.

For harder to find collections from years past or for nail stamping items, I usually turn to Amazon. I have to order from third-party sellers (so I don’t get my Amazon Prime shipping discount), but it’s still worth it. Usually, I’ll find the specific polish or polishes I want and then go to that third-party’s storefront page at Amazon to see if there is anything else I want to buy. That way, I get the most bang for my buck when it comes to shipping costs. Amazon is also the best place to order Bundle Monster image plates (although you can order from, too).

I had a little issue with them a while back (their backorder process is ridiculous), but they do have a wide range of polish brands. They also share a shopping cart with so if you’re picking up some allergy meds (oh, my itchy eyes!), you can throw in a couple polishes as well. :)

Sephora only carries a few nail polish specific brands (Sephora by OPI, Nails Inc, etc), but what they carry is good quality. I also love that I can pick up other beauty items at the same time. :)

Now it’s your turn! Where do you buy nail polish online?

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Nail Art

Black Rainbow Stripes

May 13, 2012

Hello, all! Happy Mother’s Day! I’ve been working on perfecting “tape manicures” where you tape off sections of the nail to create crisp, clean lines. It’s a bit tricky to master and I’m still working on it. Anyhow, today I thought I’d do a base painting of a rainbow gradient, apply some tape strips, and then paint black over it all. Really cool masking technique and I have to credit all the amazing inspiration I’ve been seeing on Pinterest. :)

How to do this manicure:

  1. First of all, pick a movie to watch because this takes a while. :)
  2. Paint two coats of white polish (China Glaze White on White). Let dry completely. Not just “to the touch” dry, but more like “I’m going to go do the dishes” dry. Bone dry.
  3. Create gradient nails using rainbow colors and this sponging method. I used four colors and a vertical gradient. I used a bunch of colors from Zoya: Kristi, Pippa, Breezi, and Mira. Let dry completely.
  4. Cut 2 thin strips of tape for each nail and set aside so all are ready before moving on to the next step (I placed them on the top of nail polish bottles with the ends coming off so I could grab them easily). I used regular scotch tape, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
  5. Working on each nail one-by-one, apply the tape strips. Be sure to press firmly, especially at the sides next to your cuticles. Paint black polish over entire nail. Immediately remove tape strips (removing them immediately helps you get crisp lines). Move on to next nail.
  6. Let all nails dry for 3-5 minutes. Finish with topcoat (Seche Vite).
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Nail Stamping

Gradient Neon Nails with Stamping

May 12, 2012

I attempted to do gradient nails again, this time with neon colors (which sadly my camera doesn’t pick up). The gradient is much more subtle in the photos. Believe me, it’s awesome! Anyhow, I skipped the glitter this time and went straight to stamping. I love how it turned out!

Base Colors: China Glaze Pink Voltage (Neon), Zoya Charisma
Stamping Color: Konad Special Polish Black
Stamping Plate: Cheeky XL Image Plate C (available here)

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Nail Stamping, Video

Video: Gradient Nails + Stamping

May 10, 2012

Base Colors: China Glaze Custom Kicks, Gothic Lolita, and Dance Baby; Essie Carnival
Stamping Color: Konad Special Polish White
Stamping Plate: Konad m57

P.S. For videos, do you like the camera angle in this video or do you prefer the straight overhead of previous videos?

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Simple Manicure

Nicole My Empire… My Rules

May 9, 2012

Another polish from the Kardashian Kolor collection by Nicole by OPI. I love this muddy wet-cement color. It’s neutral (sort of grayish-brown), but darker than the lighter grays I’ve worn. Application was a dream. I love the formula of the Nicole polishes. So smooth and creamy. :)

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Nail Stamping

Black with Silver Stars

May 8, 2012

Base Color: China Glaze Liquid Leather
Stamping Color: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep
Stamping Plates: Konad m84 & m3

NOTE: I did this manicure a while ago before I had this blog (last October), but I love it so much I wanted to share it here. :)

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Nail Stamping

Gradient with Lines Nails

May 7, 2012

Hi all!

I wanted to do another gradient with stamping yesterday. First, I attempted to use this method to create the gradient and it was just a big old mess. So, I went back to applying each color individually to a sponge and then sponging the color on. I felt like I had more control that way. There was also less clean up. :)

After the gradient, I put on a coat of glitter and then stamped in black.

Base Colors: China Glaze Aquadelic, Gothic Lolita, Fuchsia Fanatic, and Fairy Dust.
Stamping Color: Konad Special Polish Black
Stamping Plate: Konad S6

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