Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Yacht Is Yar

I loved this look even more than I thought I would! White nails have always made me think of junior high when kids used to paint their nails with Wite-Out. Now I love the crisp clean look. It makes me want to wear white linen pants. In reality I have a rule against white pants. I'm too messy and I know I would just end up with chocolate on my butt.

 I began with two coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. Once that was completely dry I used striping tape to mask off the nail,  and then painted the space with OPI Dating a Royal.

The next day I tried it with a matte top coat and I think I like it even more. Unfortunately some of the blue smeared, but I'm wondering if that's because I didn't put a top coat over the blue.

I have the feeling I will be sporting the white nails again in the near-ish future.

Monday, July 29, 2013

80's Lacquer Jewelry

When I first swatched Barielle Daring Dalia I thought of how 80's it looked so I looked for other polishes that did also. I swear my mom had some earrings that looked exactly like this! For some reason this mani really amuses me.

What I used:

Barielle Daring Dalia- fushcia
Ulta Ultra Violet Femme- purple
Ulta Boogie Nights- glitter

I decided to up the ante by adding a little Lisa Frank. My childhood is calling.. C'mon, I know you all had her Trapper Keepers in school too!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Patriotic Holiday Take Two

Happy Pioneer Day everyone! Yes, it's a real holiday. And after many years I have finally remembered that it exists. Since we have bbq's and set off fireworks just like a Fourth of July Jr., I tried out another flag inspired mani. I had the cutest chevron pattern in mind, in case you couldn't tell what I was going for. I thought I could free hand it. How hard could it be? Apparently it was a bigger challenge that I anticipated. Having a good concept is at least half the battle, right? Really I was just happy for a chance to use my new brush set.

The left hand was going so poorly that I didn't even want to attempt the pattern on my right hand. So I went with sparkles. It required very little skill, but it looks good!

What I used:
OPI Dating a Royal (blue creme)
OPI Red Hot Ayers Rock (red creme)
OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (white creme)
Sephora by OPI Be-Claus I Said So (red sparkle)

Be safe with those fireworks everyone. Adult supervision!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Striping Mani

I finally got my striping tape in the mail yesterday! Dang China, why are you so far away? Seriously it took over three weeks to get here. I've been wanting to play with it for so long now. What to do, what to do? There are so many options but I started simple, since I have no experience with it yet. I went with Essie Mamba and DJ Play That Song.

I did two coats of Mamba and tried to do a thick coat of DJ Play That Song since I had to take off the tape while it was still wet. I guess I should have used more opaque colors? It ended up a little too thick. When I went to bed I thought my mani was dry enough, but when I woke up there were dents all over. Either I used too many coats or I should have stayed up longer. I still loved the color combo. I got a lot of compliments too. They must have not seen it up close. Also I used Seche Viche top coat and really noticed the shrinkage this time, all around the nail.

Right hand:

I was somewhat surprised that my right hand didn't turn out much worse than my left. So that either means that my left-handed skills are greatly improving, or it's sad that I can't even do much better with my right hand. Either way...
I am really looking forward to trying lots more color combinations. Yay! I have hope that my skills will improve each time.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ulta Haul

Ulta is having a sale on all their Ulta brand polishes so I had to go and check them out. Not only had I never tried their polishes, but I had never been to their store. There's a reason I have never been before, which I found out when I got there. They have such a big variety of product! It's a good thing I went in focused on one thing. Another reason I know I will return, even though it's not very close to my home, is that it has good lighting. I get really frustrated at Sephora by their poor lighting, especially on their nail polish display.

The Ulta Salon Formula polishes were on sale for $2, regularly $6. I spent the most time looking at those. The Ulta Professional formula was in a different area, and by the time I got over there I was in a hurry because the store was closing. I decided on just two of those and they were on sale for $4, regularly $7.50. I'm interested to see if there's much difference in the formulas.

The colors are from left to right, top to bottom:

Blue Streak, Dance Teal Dawn, Boogie Nights, Little Black Dress,  Ultra Violet Femme, Peach Parfait, and Jaded
(Next row) Inline for the Crown, Cream of the Crop, Love Fern, Tutu Cute, Envy, High Roller, Chocolate Kiss, and Twilight.

This haul has really helped to expand my colors. Most of these I bought because I don't have any others like them. Now I'm starting to see a use of colors I would have never thought twice of before.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Barielle Swatches

Here is my first attempt at swatching! It was a little more work than I anticipated. So I don't know how much I want to do it in the future. I probably just need more practice. Also, some of the photos didn't come out like I wanted. I'll start off with the worst ones first :).

I had high hopes for Banana Drop and was a little disappointed. The color on the website and even in the bottle itself looks somewhat muted, which is what I hope for. It ended up being brighter than I wanted. It was also really goopy, as light colors tend to go. This took three coats.

Lilac Jelly Bean was also more goopy than I expected, but this only took two coats. I like that it has just a hint of the lilac in a greige color.

Slate of Affairs was hard to photograph because of the blue shimmer in it. The application was easier, I did two coats, and I really like the color. This was the best shot I took indoors.

This is with the flash, it shows the blue shimmer:

In the direct sunlight you can see how much the color changes:

Falling Star is fun. I don't have anything else like it. It is thicker than I expected, but didn't have any big issues with application. On the website it is described as "marine blue with gold glitter". As you can tell it is not gold, rather it is an obvious copper, which their picture even shows pretty true to color.

Soho at Night is a beautiful dark plum creme. It's such a romantic color. As soon as I put it on I wanted to go out on a nice date. Yep, it made me feel like that as I was lounging in my sweatpants watching t.v. reruns. The formula was nice and smooth. I did two coats which looked good in person but looking at the photo maybe I should have used three.

Blue Cotton Candy is another fun color. I think their description of it though is the worst out of the bunch. It's described as "frosted opalescent sea blue". Basically they really couldn't pin it down so they threw in some random adjectives. It's understandable because it does look so different. It has a really dense silver shimmer that makes it looks textured, but it's not at all opalescent. The formula was thick here too. Some of my fingers I only have one coat on, the others I did two just for good measure.

Indirect sunlight:

Direct sunlight:

Hidden Hideaway was another good formula, it was smooth and opaque in two coats. It's a vampy shimmery purple that really shows up in the sunlight.

Daring Dahlia is the one I am least crazy about. It was described as "deep fuchsia with shimmer". So I was pretty disappointed when it turned out to be just regular fuchsia. At least it had the best application out of the whole bunch. Two coats.

Indirect sunlight:

Direct sunlight:

So that was all of them. As tempted as I am to try  more of their polishes, I think I will wait until I see the swatches first.

Again I apologize for the inconsistent and lame photos. I'm still trying to figure out how to use my camera to take pictures of other things besides my kids.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Barielle Haul

So excited about these! This was my first package to arrive out of a number of various orders I've made in the last few weeks. I purchased these from their website which had a 30% discount on the whole order and free shipping. I'm going to try swatches for all of them. We'll see how it goes..

When my package arrived I was a little surprised to find eight bottles. I really only remembered five or six of the shades. In reality, when I placed my order I didn't even pay attention to how many I bought because I kind of didn't want to know :). 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Better Contact OSHA

I had an unpleasant start to my morning. Whilst I was still lying in bed my daughter comes near, grabs two polish bottles from the dresser and starts clinking them together. Then a chunk of glass breaks off one and flies INTO MY EYEBALL! Seriously, what are the chances? I was able to get it out right away, my daughter was unharmed. We'll see how my eyesight is doing in a couple of days... sheesh. This is a hazardous hobby people! Needless to say I will be doing all future manis wearing safety goggles and a hard hat.

Here's a simple manicure that I did to test out my new Essie Naughty Nautical. When this color came out I really didn't think I'd buy it. I generally shy away from green. But the more I saw it in the ads and at the store, the more I heard its siren song. For someone who is not a fan of green, I kinda have a thing for this color. 

The flaky top coat that's on my ring finger is  Nichole by OPI in Heavenly Angel. This is my first experience with a flaky and it's going to take some practice to get the hang of it I know. There were a couple of flakes that just didn't want to cooperate with me. Still, I love the dimension it added!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pastel Watermelon Gradient

This was my first attempt at a gradient and I love the colors I chose. I had been looking at these colors wondering what they'd look like together. I figured using a sparkly polish to experiment with gradients would be an easy way to start. The two I used are OPI Dazzle Me and Princesses Rule!.

I LOVE the way these sparkle in the sun. OPI Dazzle Me was the first "green" polish I ever bought. This is really one they should have kept around. It's a beautiful sea foam silvery green. I think the lighting it looks best in is under street lamps in the dark. I noticed that one time when I was driving at night and I looked at my hands on the steering wheel. Distracted much? I promise I didn't create any accidents!

In the shade.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue

The holiday is past, but I still wanted to post this mani. I had fun trying some things new to me. I love this red and was happy for the excuse to use it. It's the perfect summertime red. I thought the dots turned out fairly well.

On my right hand I was going for fireworks but it looks kind of blobby. It stood out even more to me when I was watching fireworks and realized how much it didn't look like that! Oh well. I like the glitter coat over it. It was good to practice doing more art with my left hand. 

What I have on:
Red Hot Ayers Rock OPI (red creme)
Dating a Royal OPI (blue creme)
My Boyfriend Scales Walls OPI (dull white creme)
Stars at Night Nicole by OPI (glitter topper)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sephora by OPI Haul

The reason I was able to contain myself and only buy one bottle of polish on that last trip was because I had a much bigger goal in mind...

I set a personal record for most nail polishes purchased in a single day! For a few weeks Sephora has been having a half-off sale on all their Sephora by OPI polishes. I had already bought a few on sale but today brought home the big haul. They are mostly all minis, so it doesn't look that big, and they were all half off so it's totally justified! I'm most excited about the Nailed It! set. I used to avoid buying minis because the application always takes longer with a little brush. But if I find a set that I love every single color it's hard to resist the great value.

The Sephora by OPI Nailed It! set included (from left to right, top to bottom): Nonfat Soy Half Caff, Already Famous, Havana Dreams, Break a Leg-Warmer!, It's Bouquet With Me, Bare To Be Different, Leotard Optional, Metro Chic, I'm Wired, and Mermaid To Order.

The colors in the Indian Summer set are (left to right): Paisley Attention To Me, What Aura Gonna Wear?, Seriously It's a Naan-Issue, and I'm So Sari! 

The colors in the Spice Market set are (left to right): I Think I Cayenne, Have You Met Rose Mary?, Justa' Pinch of Glitter, S-age Is Just a Number

The one full size polish I got is Looks Like Rain, Dear.

By the way, these are all on sale because the whole Sephora by OPI line is being discontinued. I really hope I don't fall too in love with any of these that I won't be able to replenish! Oh well, it was still completely worth it. :) Plus, I'm excited for their new Sephora X line!

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Few Items

A major reason I started this blog was to justify owning so many nail polishes. On the other hand, it's the perfect excuse to buy more. Win-win! I've order a number of polishes online but am still waiting for them. So in the meantime... I did a little shopping. I was also in need of other ancillary products, so I stocked up there too. Here's a look.

My first stop was Sally's Beauty Supply where I bought:
Orly Nail Lacquer Thinner $4.99
YYC Clear Plastic Cuticle Pusher $0.59
YYC Stone Eraser Cuticle Remover $2.29
All Season Glass Dappen Dish $1.59
China Glaze Fairy Dust $6.79

Next I made a stop at Walmart and picked up:
Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover $4.97
a Burt's Bees set ($14ish?) that included their Lemon Butter Cuticle cream, Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme,
Hand Repair Cream, and a pair of cotton gloves . I still haven't tried them on but I have a feeling they won't fit me. Women's gloves never do. :(

I looked at and tried on a number of polishes from both stores but was able to walk away with just one (gasp!) bottle this trip. That was the China Glaze Fairy Dust that I have one coat of on my ring finger. Mostly I was focused on products for my biggest concern presently, my cuticles. I'm really hoping I will see a visible difference soon.

Dress Inspired Nail Art

I did this mani a couple of weeks ago. It's my first nail art attempt ever! (Prediction: you will be seeing a lot of "firsts" from me in the months to follow.) I ordered a brush set off of Amazon, but I am still waiting for it to arrive. I'm starting to get really impatient! Since I was sans brushes I used one end of my cuticle pusher tool. I really love the mauve and grey colors in this fabric and they inspired me to create my own flowers. I didn't want my nails to look too busy using all the colors, so I simplified the palette and I was happy with the overall results.

The base color is Sephora by OPI Tweet You Later
The colors in the flowers are:
Sephora by OPI Pale is the New Tan (pale cream)
Essie Chinchilly (greige, love this color!!)
Essie Angora Cardi (deep, dusty mauve)
Essie Madison Ave-hue (bright pink)

My right hand was much more of a challenge. I just pretended like I meant it to look that way.

I'm looking forward to my next nail art attempt!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Blog is Born

Here it goes...

Hello fellow polish peeps! I am so excited and actually really nervous about my new adventure into the blogiverse. I've often been a late bloomer, but once I find something I love, I get really hooked. It wasn't until I was about 20 that my love for makeup was born. It was around this same time that I first bought OPI's Ecuadorable Coral, finally discovering a nail polish I just HAD to have. I've been on a slippery slope ever since. So naturally I've also been late on the scene with blogs. I had read plenty of miscellaneous blogs, but hadn't been loyal to any.

Then one day I stumbled upon My Simple Little Pleasures. I was mesmerized. I knew I was in for it if I kept exploring, so I restrained myself for awhile. When I gave in to my need for all things nails, I also fell in love with Chalkboard Nails and The Nailasaurus. Thanks to these uber talented ladies, and many others, I now have this urge to blog.

Truth be told I have a lot to learn. I'm hoping that this will push me to learn more and improve my skills. I'm super intimidated by all the blogs full of talent, experience, and gazillions of polishes I don't think I'll ever own. So I am doing this with the attitude that if I stay true to myself, this will be a satisfying experience. Crossing my manicured fingers! :)

The bottle that started it all!

Thanks for visiting my blog. Don't be shy. See you soon!

-Emiline Harris