Thursday, February 23, 2012

NOTD - Fun with Matte!

Okay, you guys, I seriously think this is one of my favorite manicures I've ever done. I've been dying to experiment with matte/glossy texture combinations, but I always forget until I'm already done painting my nails. Then I saw this mani, and I loved the design of the three colors. I decided to take the idea of the tri-color mani and translate into a matte/glossy texture design.

I started with two coats of Essie Bobbing for Baubles, a true navy creme. Then, I applied a coat of Essie Matte About You, a matte topcoat. I love matte topcoat because it allows you to turn any polish into a matte, however I have problems with it applying unevenly sometimes, leaving still-shiny patches on my nails. Solution? Create a design with glossy topcoat (I used Seche Vite) over the matte, covering the uneven spots! 

For my third "color", I used Essie Pure Pearlfection, a layering polish with fine purple and blue shimmer. Instead of making them super sharp lines like in the tri-color mani, I free handed the designs with an Orly detailer brush (partly because I'm too impatient to wait for my polish to dry and do the scotch-tape method of creating sharp lines!). I LOVE the final result. The contrast between the matte, glossy, and shimmery finish on the navy blue background is gorgeous, especially in the light. I am definitely going to try this again with other colors and effects.

What do you guys think of this mani? Are you as in love with it as I am?? :-D

NOTD - Flaky Sandwich

Glitter/jelly sandwiches are something I've been wanting to try for a while, ever since I saw the trend start popping up amongst other nail blogs. If you are not familiar with this term, it means a layer of a jelly (sheer) polish, a layer of glitter, and then another layer of the jelly polish. It creates a really cool effect, and makes the glitter less blingy, which is a little more my style.

I've seen a ton of glitter/jelly sandwiches using nice bright colors, but it's still winter so I wanted to do something more subdued. I have this really cool Ulta brand polish called Lav-ish, which is a murky, muted sheer lavender with a fine bit of gold shimmer to it. I did two coats of Lav-ish, and then decided to amp up the gold shimmer factor by doing a layer of Essie As Gold As It Gets, a gold flake in a clear base. Then another layer of Lav-ish on top of that to finish it up.

I love AGAIG straight-up layered over another polish, but adding a sheer wash of that murky lavender over the top really made it something different and interesting. What do you think of this combo? Would you try a flaky/glitter/jelly sandwich like this?

Monday, February 20, 2012

NOTD - Vintage Flowers For Audrey

Hi everyone! Sorry I've been MIA the past few days...I've been super sick. *cough* cough* I've almost kicked it though, and with that I have a wonderful treasure to show you (!), and some nail art (?).

I was browsing at Ulta a few weeks ago, and this lone light turquoise blue popped out at me from the China Glaze section. Internal monologue: "No, it can't be...I think it might way, that's impossible...HOLY CRAP IT IS!!" *snatches up polish, shifty eyes, runs to checkout*

China Glaze For Audrey is a highly sought-after polish that is the perfect Tiffany blue. I've been looking for it for ages but could never find it. But now I have it, yay! It's such a gorgeous turquoise, so springy. It covered beautifully in two coats. It dried very shiny but I think there may be some hairspray residue on my nails (lol) because it looks kind of dull in my photo.

I decided to try to play around with some nail art, and I knew I wanted to combine For Audrey with a pop of bright orange because I think turquoise and orange is such a beautiful color combination. I was experimenting with a zig zag pattern on the side of my thumb, and thought it kind of looked like bric-a-brac - remember that stuff we would use in arts and crafts as kids? So anyway, it looked very vintage-y to me, so I decided to do some old school flowers alongside the bric-a-brac. I topped it off with some light grey dots to fill in the empty spaces. It almost ended up looking like a vintage Hawaiian shirt to me!

Colors used for the design:
Essie Braziliant - a BRIGHT orange with hot pink shimmer
Sally Hansen Clearly Buff White (from a french mani 2 pack)
China Glaze Pelican Gray - a light grey with subtle shimmer

Do you have any nail polish victories - that moment when you finally spotted a HTF polish you'd been looking for? What do you think of my vintage Hawaiian shirt nail design?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

butter LONDON Spring/Summer 2012 Full Collection Swatches Recap

Trout Pout
 Here is a recap of all the swatches from the butter LONDON Spring/Summer 2012 Collection! I've already reviewed all the formulas and colors individually, I just wanted to get them all together in one post. Enjoy!


Disco Biscuit

Bossy Boots

butter LONDON Spring/Summer 2012 Swatches - Disco Biscuit

Happy Valentine's Day! My valentine and I both have to "work" tonight, so alas we won't see each other until tomorrow night. Oh well. His reaction was so funny when we decided it made more sense for both of us to see each other the day after V-day instead of be together for the real thing: *feigned disappointment* "'s a Hallmark holiday!"

Coincidentally, my last butter LONDON color from the Spring/Summer collection is a PERFECT Valentine's Day color! Disco Biscuit is a sheer hot pink jelly with tiny iridescent blue sparkles. The sparkles really come alive in the sunlight, although the bright blue freaked my camera out, as you can see. In real life, the blue sparkle looks like fairy dust :)

People who despise any form of transparency in their polish will want to layer this over a hot pink creme, but I personally like the way it looks after three coats. VNL is...well...visible...(redundant much?) but I think layering it over a creme would rob it of its lightness and make it less special. It applies really smoothly. It also dries really fast, which is nice, although it does dry gritty so you will want a good layer of Seche Vite or whatever top coat you prefer.

Whether you're having a hot date night with your honey, chilling with friends, or flying solo with Chinese food and a DVD, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

EOTD - Complementary Colors

I was watching this Wendy's Lookbook video yesterday, and was inspired to try some complementary colors in my outfit and makeup today. I wore khaki green cargo skinnies with a pastel pink sweater today, thinking it's still pretty wintery and not too spring-like. I was thinking of doing an all green eye look, but I was bored of that idea because I do the gold/green combo quite often. I decided to translate the color scheme of my outfit onto my eyes.

I started by prepping my lids with Urban Decay Primer Potion in Greed, which adds a touch of gold shimmer to the lids. I patted Urban Decay Free Love eyeshadow, a coral-pink shimmer, onto the inner half of my lid. I then blended Urban Decay Chronic eyeshadow, a matte bright grass green, into the crease. (This is why I used Greed to prime my lid - I did not want a totally matte crease color so Greed brought some depth to the shadow.)  I then blended Urban Decay Mildew, a darker olive-y green shimmer, into the outer V and on the lower lashline.

I lined my upper lashline with Urban Decay Blackout, and highlighted my browbone and inner corner with Urban Decay Virgin. To finish the eye, I coated my lashes with CoverGirl LashBlast mascara in Black.

For the rest of the face, I went with my new go-to contour of NYX Matte Bronzing powder in Medium, highlight of Benefit Girl Meets Pearl in Golden Pink, and NYX Creme Blend Blush in Glow. On the lips, I went with NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp, reviewed here.

Channeling my inner Taylor Swift
What do you think of my colorblocking look? Is this something you would try on your eyes?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

butter LONDON Spring/Summer 2012 Swatches: Slapper and Bossy Boots

Hi everyone! I have two different colors to show you today from butter LONDON's spring/summer collection. I had the pictures taken a couple days ago, but I had so much school work to finish this weekend that I haven't had time to post them. 

Slapper is a bright, but not neon, medium blue-green teal creme. I think it probably leans a little more blue than green. It applied wonderfully - no dragging or gloppiness. This was two coats. This would also be a really cute pedi color!

Fun fact: Slapper is slang for...something I won't say here. I almost wish I hadn't looked it up because now that's all I'm going to be able to think about whenever I wear this from now on. In any case, this polish didn't make me feel like a slapper. It made me feel ready to hit the beach!

After a quick trim to reign in my way-too-long (for me) nails...
Bossy Boots is a pastel pistachio green creme. I had a little bit of application issues with this one. Again because it's a pastel, it was a bit thick and gloopy, making it a little difficult to get an even coverage. This was two and a half coats - I say half because some nails were good after two coats, but some had little bald spots that I had to touch up.

You might be wondering if Bossy Boots is a dupe for OPI Stranger Tides. I know I was. I swatched them on a piece of paper side by side just to get a quick idea, and Bossy Boots is definitely a bit brighter and not as murky as Stranger Tides. I am definitely going to keep both of them because I adore how this color looks against my skin tone, and I think it's a gorgeous spring shade. If you're not nuts about how greyed out Stranger Tides is, you will love Bossy Boots. I can swatch them both on my nails if you would like to see how they look, just let me know.

Also, this is what I found when I searched "Bossy Boots." I love Spongebob! 

Alright folks, four down, one to go! Stay tuned for Disco Biscuit!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

butter LONDON Spring/Summer 2012 Swatches: Trout Pout

Hey everyone! I know you probably have been waiting in anticipation for the next butter LONDON swatch, already, dangit! I wanted to do a wear test on one of these colors because I know people claim butter LONDON always wear better on them than other brands. I usually get bored of a color after about 3 days or so, so I've never been able to attest to these claims. I wore Trout Pout for 7 days before I got so bored I absolutely had to take it off. At the end of those 7 days, I had NO chips and minimal tip wear. Bravo, butter LONDON!

Trout Pout is a gorgeous bright coral pink. It looked softer and more pastel in the bottle than it did on the nails. On the nails it bordered on neon! It was a bit difficult to apply because it was a little thick, which is a problem I've had with a couple other pastel butter LONDON colors. I believe I needed three coats to even everything out.

Fun fact: did you know that Trout Pout means horrible, bee-stung plastic surgery on the lips? Needless to say, this polish is a million times more gorgeous than that!

Next up: Slapper!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

EOTD - Naked 2 look & New Haircut!

Today I'm going to show you a very basic, pretty daytime eye look that I achieved using only colors from the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette. This is my go-to look because it is so easy and natural. It goes great with a natural rosy cheek and a pop of color on the lips! (I paired it today with Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Lollipop.)

I started by patting Foxy, a matte yellowish beige, all over the lid. It's pretty sheer and doesn't show up very well, and it's almost the same color as my skin, so I do this just to create a matte, even base. I then used Suspect, a shimmery warm taupe, to shade in the outer half of the lid and the bottom lashline. I blended Snakebite, a medium-dark shimmery brownish taupe, into the crease and onto the outer third of the lower lashline. 

I used a flat eyeliner brush to line my upper and lower lashline with Busted, a dark purplish brown shimmer. To finish, I used a small detail brush to add a small highlight just under the eyebrow and inner corner with Bootycall, a light beige highlighter. I finished the eye with two coats of Cover Girl LashBlast mascara in Black on the upper and lower lashes.

In other news, I got my hairs did today! I went to Kelly Cardenas Salon here in Chicago, where I've been getting my hair done by the amazing Nicole for probably almost three years. I haven't had it colored in about two years, and I decided it was time for a change. I wanted highlights to brighten up my face and add some dimension, and Nicole had the amazing idea to do an "ombre" effect - where the roots are my natural color and it gradually fades into a lighter blonde towards the ends. I also got bangs! They are so amazing, I love them!

What is your favorite every day neutral look?