SquareHue Rio Box WINNER!

Hi all! Just popping in to announce the winner of the SquareHue Rio box! The winner is…

Tara Nixon Cox

Congrats, Tara! I’ll be emailing you about claiming your prize. :)

Dior Saint-Tropez + Gradient

I have a ton of polishes in two shades: red and aqua. And I also have only two Dior polishes as well–in red and aqua. I ADORE both polishes. (The red polish is the one I used in this video a few days ago).

Of all the aqua polishes I own, I repeatedly come back to Dior’s Saint-Tropez. Sadly, I don’t think you can find it anymore. I ended up buying it on eBay a couple years ago, and even back then it was hard to find. That being said, I just love it. The formula goes on like butter and it self-levels to a perfect finish. Just a lovely polish to work with.

(The red Dior polish I love, Rouge 999, is still for sale, though. The formula has been updated, but it’s the same color).

Anyway, this is Dior Saint-Tropez…

After painting my nails with Saint-Tropez, I thought I’d try another gradient. So I added Julep Monaco to the tips with the gradient sponging technique shown in this video.

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Revisiting Stripe Ombré Nails

One of my favorite manicures to go back and look at it is my Stripe Ombré Nails from two years ago. I thought it was high time to try recreating that look. :)

This time I chose a pale pink, light coral, bright pink, orchid, and dark burgundy color palette. Like the previous manicure, I painted my nails white first and then applied four strips of nail striping tape. Then I painted the different polish colors…

The result is a fun ombré look! I haven’t done a tape masked manicure in a while so I was a bit rusty, but I think by the time I finished up my thumbnail, the masking was working pretty well. I did discovered that the best way to prevent the colors streaking with a top coat was to brush on the top coat in the direction of the stripes.

So while time consuming, I really do love this look. :)

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OPI Alpine Snow

A lot of nail art begins with a white base coat, and this is the color I use most often: Alpine Snow from OPI. A lot of white polishes can be either super streaky or thick and gloppy. Alpine Snow seems to be the perfect medium between the two. White polishes in general are hard to work with because, like black, they are unforgiving. While I don’t tend to wear this color on its own, it does look very crisp and striking when left alone.

NOTE: For tips on painting a white manicure, I have a video HERE.

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Perfect Polish Tips – How to get the perfect manicure

One of the most common questions I receive here and at Instagram when I post a picture of my nails is, “How do you paint your nails so perfectly?” I’ve done a couple videos in the past on this particular topic, but I thought I’d do another one since so many of you keep asking. :)

The polish I’m using in the video is Dior Rouge 999. I have the old version, but a new updated formula is for sale now.

Base Coat: Orly Bonder
Color: Dior Rouge 999
Top Coat: Seche Vite

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SquareHue Rio Box + GIVEAWAY!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been subscribed to SquareHue for a few months. So I was super excited to receive an email from them asking if I wanted to do a short review of their Rio collection for May 2014 and also giveaway one of the boxes! Of course I said yes!

SquareHue is a monthly subscription where you receive three polishes each month. I love that the polishes are full size (as opposed to the smaller Julep bottles), and they are also 5-free (no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor or formaldehyde resin). They currently have a special where you sign up for their newsletter and receive a surprise box when you order your first box. So, if you’re new to SquareHue, you can get 2 boxes your first month!

So, I’m going to walk you through the box. First of all, they package them really well so that nothing is damaged during shipping…

And as you clear away the packing material, you get your first glance at the colors of the month. Usually I receive an email a few days before the box arrives that includes the “reveal” of the colors for the month. But sometimes I purposely don’t look at that email so that I can be surprised when I open the box. :)

The Rio collection for May includes three vibrant colors inspired by Rio de Janeiro, Brazil…

The first polish I tried is Ipanema, a shimmery gold-yellow. I’m not usually one for yellow polishes, so this didn’t stay on my fingers too long, but I can totally imagine it for some awesome nail art. One thing to note: I did have to do four coats of Ipanema to eliminate VNL (visible nail line).

Next is Copacabana, a sheer blue polish with glitter. Upon opening the bottle, I saw that this was a sheer polish. So I actually painted a couple coats of a SquareHue navy polish that I received a few months back before applying three thick coats of Copacabana. Like most glitter polishes, the removal was a pain, but it’s a striking glitter. I think I might try this one next time over the same navy polish, but apply it sparingly to just the tips of my nails for a bit of glitter. That would be so pretty!

And the last color is Leblon, an emerald green metallic polish. I’m also pretty picky about metallic polishes because I don’t like to see brush strokes, but I think this polish would be awesome around Christmas time. Maybe some white snowflakes stamped at the free edge of the nail?

All in all, a pretty fun box! As with any monthly subscription box you run the chance of not liking the selections they send you each month. I will admit there have been some hits and misses in the past, but I usually love most of the polishes and what I don’t love can be given away to family or friends. In this case, I think I’ll hold onto all three polishes because I think they’d be good to have around for different nail art looks, and I don’t have any colors or formulas quite like the Rio collection. :)

So do you want to win the Rio box? Just fill out the info below for a chance to win! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Square Hue P.C. Hooftstraat

I heard about Square Hue last fall and subscribed right away to find out what it was all about. Square Hue is a nail polish subscription box service and they release full-size limited edition polishes each month. I’ve received a few boxes since I subscribed and I’m super impressed with their polishes.  The last couple of boxes have been nothing short of perfection!

This color in particular was amazing! It’s called P.C. Hooftstraat from the Amsterdam collection. I don’t think you can buy it separately, but hopefully Square Hue will start selling their polishes outside of boxes at some point. In the meantime, you can subscribe and receive three new polishes each month! :)

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