Vampire Diaries and Glitterbombs

Happy hump day!  Ahh, Wednesdays – the halfway point of the race to finish the work week as quickly as possible.

I personally hate Wednesdays.  I used to love them (because I just like the word ‘wednesday’) but not they are the most busy day of my week.  I get to sleep in until anytime before 12:30 p.m., but then I have class from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. and then 4:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Then I have to do homework and get to bed as quickly as possible, because I have to wake up at 6:30 a.m. on Thursdays.  Boo.

On a side note, I am excited for this day to be over and tomorrow to be halfway over, because then I get to go home!  The season premiere of Vampire Diaries is on Thursday (YAY YAY YAY) and I’m going home to watch it with my sister.  Over the summer, we used our Netflix account to it’s full potential and caught up on several seasons of shows ranging from Breaking Bad to Gossip Girl, and luckily many of the shows are still on TV now and starting up again this fall!

I am OBSESSED with Vampire Diaries.  I love the story and the characters – and every episode breaks my heart and makes me want to keep watching.  So when I discovered that Dollish Polish sold a polish called “Team Salvatore” I rushed over to her website and placed an order without any hesitation.

20121010-123159.jpg

First I’d like to note how healthy my naked nails are looking right now.  I’ve been using Sally Hansen’s Triple Strong and it is working wonders on my nails.  They rarely break, they are so strong, and the yellowish tint from wearing polish so often is disappearing!  I absolutely love it – it’s definitely my favorite.

20121010-123209.jpg

I started off with a coat of one of my go-to fall polishes, OPI’s Black Cherry Chutney.  It is a dark, deep vampy red with a little bit of shimmer in the sun.  I chose it because it kind of looks black without being black, because there are black glitters in Team Salvatore and I wanted to try and show them off as much as possible.

20121010-123223.jpg

Here is the beauty – Dollish Polish’s Team Salvatore.  I spent thirty minutes on her website clicking the “add to cart” button until I had two bottles in there, because it kept telling me that they were sold old.  I knew it wasn’t true, so I kept trying and my dreams came true!

20121010-123228.jpg

A little bit closer up – there are fine silver glitters, small silver hexes, small red hexes, small black squares, and small red square glitters in here!  It is a mish-mash of vampiric colors that totally go along with the TV show.

20121010-123235.jpg

And…picture spam.

20121010-123241.jpg

20121010-123246.jpg

20121010-123250.jpg

Me taking pictures of my nails in three different environments: my room, the Alpha Phi house, and in class.
No big deal.

This polish is absolutely gorgeous.  I like how shimmery it is, and I love the red squares the most!  I want to try putting it over a white polish base, so that way you can see the black glitters too!  But…it’s fall and I’m trying to transition to dark colors, so I thought Black Cherry Chutney would be perfect.  🙂

How do you feel about this polish?  More importantly, are you Team Stefan or Team Damon?

TEAM DAMON ALL THE WAY!  😉

Advertisements

Jeweled Half Moons

I have too many favorite manicures.  I feel as if every time I do a look successfully, I rave about it like, “Oh I love it!!!  It’s my absolute favorite!!!”  Well guess what.  They’re all my favorite.  There is no singular favorite.  I don’t like picking favorite because someone always gets left out!  Anyways, after my nail fail yesterday I wanted to do something that I knew I would love but amp it up.  This look here…it’s my favorite.  (Kidding.)

20120709-223052.jpg

As you can see, I’ve started with a really messy two coats of Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet.  It is a dupe for Revlon Minted, but Mint Sorbet is more opaque and less streaky.

20120709-223058.jpg

Using hole reinforcement labels, I created this super simple half moon look (you can see my original tutorial here).  If you look very closely on the first picture of this post, on my pinky finger you will see the reinforcement label!  It was too hard to get a picture of because the labels I have are clear, but if you look at the original post it will make more sense.  The color I used over Mint Sorbet is another Sally Hansen, Coral Reef.  I’ve really been loving pairing a mint color with a brighter, more pink or coral color!  It is a really great mix.

20120709-223104.jpg

Here is where I really amped up this half moon look.  I made a thick streak of Milani Teal Glitter on a piece of paper, and using a dotting tool I meticulously picked out single pieces of glitter and placed them around the moon.  It was really time consuming and a little hard with my non-dominant hand, but I absolutely love this look.  It was definitely worth it.

Have you ever done a look like this before?  It might be really fun to do with neutral colors like nude and black, and then using rainbow hex glitters (like in Milani Gems)!  Now that I thought of that…I really want to try it.  This is a perfect summer look though!  I love it so much.  What is on your nails right now?!  🙂

Easy Triangle Tribal Nail Art

Before I start, I want to say that I’m in love with Instagram. If you have the app, you should follow me! I’m always posting funny pictures and lots of nail art! My name is schmoliviaaa 🙂

Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I am so happy with my nails right now, I can’t even explain. I haven’t had nail art go my way in a very long time, and finally something turned out absolutely amazing (in my standards). First of all, remember when I discussed Revlon Minted? How it was streaky and too sheer? Well, turns out that Sally Hansen’s Mint Sorbet is almost an exact dupe, and it only takes two coats! That was the first amazing find I made…a perfect mint color for spring and summer tan skin!

20120621-104031.jpg

Here is a swatch (in strange lighting) of Mint Sorbet!

20120621-104037.jpg

So what I wanted to do was divide each nail into three different triangles and have each triangle be a different color. This was pretty difficult to figure out, because as you can see on the thumb, middle finger, and ring finger, the two colors had to be right next to each other and there was no tape making a straight line. What I mean by that is that I had to physically paint the two colors next to each other and try to make them look as neat as possible. You will see!

20120621-104045.jpg

The other two colors I used were Sally Hansen Coral Reef and Sally Hansen Sun Kissed. While I was in the store the other day grabbing Mint Sorbet, I saw these two bright colors and decided that I really needed an orange (and Coral Reef was just a pretty pink/coral). Needless to say, I just grabbed them and bought them it was a good idea!!! Afterwards, some of the nails didn’t have very clean lines, so I used a black striper to separate the colors better. It’s unfortunate that you can’t really tell the difference between the orange and the coral in this photo. 😦

I absolutely love this design. It was pretty simple and can be done in SO many different ways. I wonder if there is a simpler way to do this? Do you have any ideas on different techniques?

I’ve been out of the house once today and every person that saw my hands told me they liked my nails! I love when that happens!!! 🙂

To Base Coat or Not To Base Coat?

Ever since I started keeping this nail blog, a lot of my girlfriends seem to come to me with their questions regarding nail polish and nail art.  It is kind of funny that now I am a source of information, because I learned everything I know from other blogs and from my own experiments.  One of the questions that I get most often is, “Hey, should I use a base coat?”

I know I touched on this in a previous post, but I figured I might go into some more detail here for anyone that might be wondering.  Also, I am just in a mood to write right now, so why not take advantage of it and get as many posts up as I can?  I like to talk and you guys obviously like to read since you’re reading this now! 🙂

Now if you go to any drug store, you will find dozens of base coats.  Every brand has their own base coat, and some brands even have several different types of base coats.  Here are a few examples:

  • Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Smooth and Strong Base Coat: This base coat is labeled as just a base coat (in comparison to a two-in-one base and top coat).  According to the description on the Sally Hansen website, it is a gel-like base coat that has a finish thick enough to fill ridges in your nails so you have a completely smooth surface to polish on top of.
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Shine Base and Top Coat: This base coat advertises stronger, healthier nails and a high gloss finish, hence the “diamond shine” part.  I personally do not like using the same polish as a base and a top coat, because I feel like it can’t really do both jobs since being a base coat and a top coat is two completely different things.  Based on the description of this product, I would suggest using it as a top coat because of its high gloss finish.  However, I am not speaking from experience, so don’t take the advice too heavily.
  • Sally Hansen Double Duty Strengthening Base and Top Coat: Here is another example of a base and top coat mixture that contain nylon.  What nylon works to do is hydrate and strengthen your nails, so as a top coat this polish wouldn’t really work too well.

A lot of girls I have spoken to really dislike using a base coat for a few different reasons.  However, in my experience, I would have to disagree with a lot of the arguments I have heard.

Argument #1:  “A base coat makes my nail polish chip faster.”

This really might be true, but I can’t say that I have ever had this problem.  Nail polish chips for a couple different reasons with the first being that it didn’t really adhere well to the nail in the first place.  I have noticed that when my hands are dirty or my nails aren’t perfectly clean before I start polishing them, the nail polish will not stick.  A few months ago, I painted my friend’s nails right after she had peeled an orange.  Within a couple of hours, her polish started peeling.  It was a complete disaster!  I always make sure to swipe my nails with some acetone and wash my hands immediately before painting my nails, and I don’t usually have a problem.  Secondly, nail polish will chip because the polish was applied too heavily in the first place.  If you paint two or three thick coats of polish in order to get full coverage, not only are you going to be waiting hours for it to dry but your polish will peel!  A base coat will help give a polish a nice surface to adhere to, that way you aren’t painting straight onto a smooth nail.

Argument #2:  “Base coats are a waste of money.”

This argument is something that no nail polish lover wants to hear!  Some people might think that buying nail polish in general is a waste of money…but I think that can be said for anything!  Anyways, a base coat is actually a good investment to make!  It can really protect your nails, depending on the type of nails you have and the type of base coat you buy.  If you have thin, fragile nails, there are several base coats out there for you that have strengthening qualities.  Dry brittle nails?  There is a hydrating base coat for you!  Damaged nails from acrylics or just from a plain accident?  The base coat mentioned above can fill your ridges and make a smooth, even surface.  Not only can base coats help heal your damaged nails, but they can protect your nails as well.  A lot of polishes, especially neon and darker colors can actually stain your nails.  Trust me, I have worn my share of bright oranges and dark blues that leave my nails looking like I had just tie-dyed!  No amount of acetone can undo that damage.  Also, if you are constantly changing your polish from color to color, your nails never really get a chance to breath and can actually start to turn a yellow color.  While it is possible to fix yellow nails, it is much easier to prevent than to treat.  By using a base coat, you can help eliminate the chances of getting any stains on your pretty little nails in the first place.

On the topic of money, buying a two-in-one base coat and top coat could actually save you money!  If you don’t need a special base coat for your nails, you might as well buy a top coat that can double as a base coat so you are getting the benefits without paying any extra for another polish.  🙂

I really just want to re-state that everything I am saying is from my own experience…so don’t get angry if you disagree!  I’d love to hear everyone’s ideas and opinions, so that way I can learn more as well.  I could be completely wrong and wouldn’t know it unless someone spoke up.  🙂

A Night of Disappointment

Funny title, huh? It’s not what you think. Even though that would probably be more entertaining than what I’m about to tell you.

The only time I can ever find to paint my nails is the time right before I go to bed. This is bad for many reasons. If I fall asleep before my nails are dry, I’ll get those sleep lines that just ruin the entire manicure. My eyes are already tired from focusing all day on reading and computers, so focusing on little nail designs can be difficult. And the worst – if I don’t like what I do on my nails and have to take it off, I don’t have time to polish them again because I have to sleep for class early in the morning. This is exactly what happened to me last night.

Like I mentioned in my OPI Germany Collection blog post, I had been planning a cool nail design for you all that I wanted to post by Thursday or Friday. Well…I kept getting a lot of compliments on my Vintage Rose nails and I almost felt guilty taking them off, so I waited until I was completely fed up with the wear and the growing out to take it off. This just happened to be last night at about 11 o’clock. I went through many ideas, trashing the nail design I had originally planned, and finally decided on galaxy nails.

I don’t think I even need to describe what they looked like. I don’t know if it was my technique, the colors I chose, or just my imagination, but they came out terrible. I deleted all the photos I had taken of my progress, but I wish I had saved at least one to show you. Do you have any advice on how to do galaxy nails and make them look decent? I tried the make-up sponging and I used a black background, orange, blue, silver, and magenta sponging, but it just looked like a mess.

I was throughly disappointed because by this time it was 12:15 a.m. and I was exhausted. I got into bed with naked nails (which I absolutely hate) and I remembered the Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail strips I had in my box! I tore them open and slapped them on my nails. The box comes with two sealed packages of nail strips, and let me just say that if you open a package just to do an accent nail, those other nail strips are as good as gone. They were dried out and completely useless. What a waste. Luckily, I had one package left and I made it work. There are a very large variety of sizes to choose from, so I didn’t have a problem finding the perfect size for my little nails (I’m sure if I had two complete packages, it would be even easier). I even got away with using one nail strip for two nails, very carefully ripping it off of one nail and quickly putting it on another. This is a really good idea if you plan on using the strips quickly, and by that I mean as soon as one manicure starts to wear off you immediately change it with the polish strips again.

So right now I have zebra print nails – a design I can’t do by hand. However, these Sally Hansen strips are a little too busy for my taste. If I were to do zebra print by hand, it would not be as crazy as these. But that is just me, some people really love eye-catching zebra nails! I was dying to wear Essie’s “Shine of the Times”, so I put it over my zebra nails, but this design will probably be coming off soon.

20120330-134929.jpg

Overall, I absolutely love the Sally Hansen nail strips. They come in so many designs that couldn’t be done by hand and look so clean, and they also come in plain colors or glitters that you could use in a jiffy! They are extremely easy and quick to apply, and I never have any problems (unless they are dried out). I will see how long these last for, seeing as I have only had them on for a very short time right now!

What do you guys do when you hate your nail design and have no time to change it? Do you have a quick go-to design? Also, if you have used the Sally Hansen Salon Effects, have you found a way to make them last longer? What is your favorite design that they have to offer?

L.O.V.E.

Valentines Day is just around the corner and even though I have no plans for myself, I feel like it’s be a nail polish sin to not do a V-Day themed mani!    Here’s a short little tutorial for what I’m rocking on my nails right now.  Simple but super adorable and lovey-dovey.  Hope you enjoy!

Cut, file, and shape your nails however you like them!  I applied Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, let it soak in for about an hour, then I washed my hands.  It really moisturizes your cuticles, especially after using an acetone polish remover.  Apply your favorite base coat and let it dry.  Right now I’m using Sinful Colors Basecoat.  The Sinful Colors Basecoat works very well.  I haven’t experienced any staining other than one incident with a really cheap lime green color.  I’m almost out of the polish though and I’d like to experiment!  What do you suggest I try?

Using a pink or purple (or a mixture of both like me) and paint all fingers but one.  I chose my ring finger this time.  On your chosen accent nail, use a light bubble gum pink (or a lavender if you chose the purple route).  For my glitter, I used Sinful Colors in “I Miss You“.  It’s a magenta and pink mixture of fine glitter suspended in a pink tinted base.  Two coats gave me full coverage!  In these pictures it looks very dark, but in reality it is a little more pink.  My camera didn’t want to cooperate today.  For my accent nail, I used Sally Hansen’s Xtreme Wear in “Bubblegum Pink“.  It is the perfect Barbie Pink with a tiny hint of shimmer!  So adorable.

Using a white nail polish and any tool you have on hand, write the letters “LOVE” in a pattern like shown above!  I once saw a picture with love written like that, and I always thought it was cute.  Why not put in on a nail?!  To make my letters, I used a bobby pin – super classy and college dorm like.  You could use a dotting tool, nail polish pen, or a really skinny brush as well!

I debated putting glitter over the nail, but I think I have enough glitter to spare on all my other fingers.  Top with your favorite top coat and show those beauties off!  If you attempt this manicure or have any other adorable Valentine’s Day manicure ideas, please comment and share!  Don’t forget to suggest a base coat too!  I’m getting low and I’m at a loss for what to buy next!  🙂

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?