As promised, this is my homemade Halloween costume of this year.

Photo courtesy of www.fanpop.com.

I am Yoshi, and my boyfriend Andy is Mario. No...he did not ride around on me.

It took me a day to go out, buy everything, and put it together. I think it's worth it though, and it's something I won't outgrow, so if I ever get lazy when it comes to costumes, I'll be set already.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Two Free Zoya Polishes

If you haven't done so already, make sure you get your two free Zoya polishes today. You get the polishes for the price of shipping ($6.95). Make sure you enter the code ZOYATREAT at checkout to get the discount. Make sure you get your order in before 11:59PM EST.

Thanks to my sister for telling me about this!

Seeing Spots

Sorry for the missing posts the past few days. Halloween costume making took up all day yesterday. When it was time to hit the bars, I was barely finishing the costume. It turned out great though, and I'll post pictures of it tomorrow.

For today, I painted something I've been thinking about for a while. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, which I partially blame on having short nails. I also blame it on taping the wrong side of my nail. Oh well, here it is.

As you can see, it got a little blotchy at the base of my nails. I'm wishing I had just left it with the stamp, and not the additional black bottom. It was a little too ambitious.

In the picture below, you'll see my nails painted in the opposite way. The top half of my nails are adorned in black on my right hand, which looks a little more sexy. As I'm typing this, I'm favoring my right hand. If I had done it on my left hand, it would've looked better for sure. I'm not ambidextrous, but I'm working on that.
Should've wrapped those tips huh?
It still turned out okay though, I can't beat myself up too much. You're seeing Black on Black (Sinful Colors) as the stamp on top of Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Lightening. (It actually is spelled that way...not like lightning that comes during tumultuous thunder storms.)

Overall, pretty tasty, but it looks a little too leopard print. The image on the plate (BM 211) doesn't come across that way, but it's probably the color combination that's turning it into that. Oh well, enjoy, and keep an eye out for my costume post.

Ghost Fingers

Does anyone reading this believe in ghosts? Do you think those little orbs that show up in photos are spirits trying to communicate? Do you spook yourself when the lights are off? Do you get nightmares for days after watching a scary movie?

Well try not to get nightmares after viewing these horrifying nails. Truly...terrifying.

Rotated to be upside down for better viewing. Awkard?
See? Terrifying? Not in any way adorable or cute.

For this one I used China Glaze's Secret Peri-Winkle as the base, Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Whirlwind White for the stamp (BM plate 223), and Time Off from the Sinful Colors Nail Art brush for the outline. It was tedious to say the least. And my right hand suffered. But it's worth it, and I'm happy to share it with you all.

Who's ready for Halloween?

Don't forget...

Hey guys,

Just wanted to remind all of you sweet followers that I am offering a free custom made graphic to all new followers. I made my current blog header, and also these images shown below. (The images shown were made in Paint Shop Pro, but I can definitely recreate them now with the more advanced Photoshop. I'm still working on mastering animation in Photoshop, but if that's what you really want, let me know and I'll do my best to make it happen.

That's me on the right, from prom. Don't judge the duck face.

I used to create graphics on LiveJournal, and here is my examples page.

Wicked Witches Digits

Ding dong the paint is on! I was going through my stamping plates and realized I had a witch I wanted to use. But I didn't want to reuse orange from last manicure's palette, so I went with green. But I've never seen five witches together, have you? Witches fly solo (except the Hocus Pocus girls). So I drew motivation from my personal favorite, The Wicked Witch, and her poor, poor sister. So here it is, the witch, her socks, and those ruby red slippers.

Click to expand.

For the feetie fingers, I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White as the base. Then I taped off the top white portion of my nails and dabbed on a little Hey Sailor from China Glaze. Before I took off the tape, I put on some Mrs. Claus (also from China Glaze).  Finally I took off the tape, and SLOWLY striped on some Sinful Colors Time Off. If you're looking for a good way to get black stripes or small accents, I suggest buying this small Nail Art brush (I got mine at Rite Aid).

For the witch herself, I used some Lickety-Split Lime (from Insta-Dri) and then stamped the witch from my Bundle Monster #13 plate with Sinful Color's Black on Black.

This whole thing took me a few hours, but I love it.

Inspiration from Colourlovers

Looking for some new inspiration for a nail design? Try out Colourlovers.com, and discover the inner designer in you.

Pumpkin Pickin'

Growing up in California both in the desert and along the coast, I didn't really get to experience seasons quite like the rest of the country. When I was younger, I lived in Utah, but I was so young that I didn't appreciate what happened right around October. All I really cared about was which kind of candy I was going to get on Halloween, and what I was going to be that year. I was Captain Jean-Luc Picard three years in a row. But I digress.

Now that I live in Colorado, I'm getting the whole fall/autumn fever that comes with the pumpkin pies and falling leaves. These leaves are right outside our yard.

Yep...they're as crunchy and fun as they look. I have tested them and approved them.
Along with this fever comes the fever for pumpkins. So some friends and I (after recovering from last night's outing to the bars) went pumpkin picking. I had to sport some appropriate nails for the occasion. Originally I wanted to do a Konad/Bundle Monster of the Jack O' Lantern stamp I have, but I don't have an orange polish that stamps really well, so I bailed on that idea. Instead, I just went with a pumpkin-y colored polish from China Glaze called Papaya Punch and some Nubar 2010.  Here's the result:

In-the-shade shot.
Pretty damn close huh?
I picked a perfectly round pumpkin at the second patch we went to. The first was so picked over only the rotting ones were left. I will give the first one some credit for being more family-fun friendly though. They had tractor rides, a corn maze (albeit a pathetic one that even my short-ass self could see over) and a petting zoo (with kittens?). Usually the petting zoo would win me over, but we already had an animal with us, so I was happy.

Hey there gold!

Who doesn't love sparkle? I do, especially after rewatching Gossip Girl.

This manicure just feels so luxurious, and I'm almost mesmerized watching myself type by all the sparkle and the contrasting black. It's fun and...well...sparkly! It's Konad's m57 plate with Sinful Color's Black on Black (again...it's the perfect black stamping polish for an unbeatable price). I layered Color Club's Gingerbread (from the Holiday 2011 collection) on top of Antiquated (from the Foiled collection).

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Doesn't this remind you of Sally Hansen's Salon Effects Misbehaved? Personally, I like this better, but I'm biased.

Pastel Blue with Gold

Late post tonight! Or...early post for the morning? I haven't decided.

I don't have a name for today's manicure, but it reminds me a lot of basically every piece of jewelry available at Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Anthropologie. All those pastels and golds. It's something we see everywhere, but I honestly can't remember seeing something like this one someone else's nails. I absolutely love it though. I think is my favorite manicure so far. You'll see some of its sister manicures in upcoming entries. Pastel pinks and teal will both be mixing with this gold glitter, Set the Stage, from Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear. Is it stupid that I forgot Rite Aid was a good source for the cheaper polishes (Revlon, Wet N' Wild, Sally Hansen). This XTREME polish is one that I picked up today there. XTREME!

Click for better quality.
Seriously love that. You're looking at Savina's Light Mist under that XTREME glitter. Mmm mmm pretty!

Post Party Pavement

It's getting cold! I just got back from a walk with Riley (our puppy) and damn! My fingers are almost too cold to hold a brush. I held it long enough to bring you guys today's manicure though. I call it "Post Party Pavement." Ever walked out of a club, a party or some other glitter-filled event and looked at the ground? It'll look something like this:

I used China Glaze's Pelican Gray (one of my favorite colors) and NYC's Starry Silver Glitter. I dulled it out with China Glaze's Matte Magic because frankly, I wasn't feeling shiny today. Like I said...too cold!

Don't forget to request your free graphic

Edit: This is my little blog and nail helper, Nugget. She thinks it's getting cold too.

For my love, Joe.

I have lived in California most of my life. In California and other west coast (and for that matter, east coast) states, there is a man who brings me so much joy and so much pleasure. He has been there for me since high school and we've watched each other grow. He has changed a lot throughout the years, but I'll always love him. Moving to Colorado was one of the hardest things I've had to do. It meant leaving him. But I always think about him.

So this post is dedicated to him...Trader Joe. I miss you Trader Joe, and your silly Hawaiian-print shirts. I miss your frozen gyoza and egg rolls. I miss your orange mango pineapple juice and your dried mango strips. I miss your spicy cheese crunchies and your pasta sauce. But you know what I really miss TJ? Two Buck Chuck. Damn do I miss Two Buck Chuck.

Photo courtesy of http://www.snopes.com/business/market/shawwine.asp
So here's to you Trader Joes! May you soon make your expansion into Colorado.

Before adding tips.
After adding tips.

This manicure In memoriam is brought to you by Bundle Monster plate 221, China Glaze's Hey Sailor and Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear White On.

Entered my first giveaway...

So, I'm not the luckiest girl in the world. In 8th grade, I decided to ride my Razor scooter down a huge hill, only to wipe out and scar half my face (I have since healed up nicely). I also got pooed on by a seagull during a field trip to the aquarium.

BUT...I'm hoping in the virtual world, my luck will pick up, so I've entered my first giveaway over at Let's Get Nailed (how harmonious is that blog name with mine!).

Wish me luck, and feel free to enter yourself if you follow them.

Scrapbooking Nails

My family is great. My sister started a nail blog first, and is really the one who turned me onto the whole nail polish art thing, and in particular, Konad.

My mom just linked me this site, which is a new take on the newspaper print nail art you may have seen. The ladies over at The Hybrid Chick, a mainly paper crafting blog, were clever and creative in coming up with the idea of nail art through scrapbooking paper! GENIUS! And the results speak for themselves.

Scrapbooking nails from TheHybridChick.com
I know I'll be trying it. I've been dying to find a good damask print in the Konad plates or Bundle Monster plates, so maybe this will be the solution I've been looking for.

Also, as a side note, if you're thinking about buying some Bundle Monster plates or other products, feel free to use the coupon code I got in the mail from the haul I just got. Type in "thanks" at checkout and get 15% off.

New Follower Gift

EDIT 2013: I am no longer offering this gift. If you request one, it will not be filled.

In addition to the love of painting and designing my nails, I've also always loved designing graphical work. Remember LiveJournal? I had a design request community there where people could request graphics they wanted made. I only had Paint Shop Pro back then, but I've recently upgraded to Photoshop and I'd like to share this with you all. I've had a good amount of experience, but it's always good to get more practice, so I'm offering up a gift.

All new followers can request one free graphic from me, just for following my blog. That's it!

So if you're interested, feel free to request one at this page here. (You can also access this link by clicking on the "New Follower Gift" link at the top of my blog.)

Feel free to tell your friends about it too.

I can't wait to see what people request and test my skills to meet their needs.

Pink and pinker

Hey guys.

So today I started watching The Walking Dead for the first time. Somehow, it managed to inspire today's manicure. There is a lot of...pink...colored things in that show.

Click to expand and see some better holo effects.

Ok ok. I really just wanted to try my new pink polish from Savina, Bubble Gum. Aptly named. On top of that is Electra Magenta. All polished off with Essie's Good to Go.

Also, helpful tip I just figured out. I was the base of my nails on my left hand, the switched to my right. In the process I screwed up my pointer finger and had to take the polish off. In the meantime, I topped the base color (Bubble Gum) with some Good to Go. It worked great with the scotch tape I had. No peeling up of the base color. EXCEPT for my pointer, which I forgot to apply Good to Go on. So after I taped it off and put on the Electra Magenta, peeling lifted up half of the Bubble Gum. So I had to redo it again. Frustrating, but also a good lesson. When doing a taped off manicure, apply a top coat to your layers as you go, so subsequent layers don't lift up.

Hope that helps someone, if it wasn't already common knowledge.

Also...WEEKEND! What're your plans? My boyfriend, Andy, and I are going with some friends to see Wolfgang Gartner. He's an awesome DJ and I can't wait to dance my ass off. It's in town too, so we can walk no problem. Watch this video, turn up your speakers, and picture it. Picture dancing to it. Yup...it's gonna rock.

Blog inspired design

One thing you should know about me. I love bright colors. Always have, always will. When it comes to nail polishes, I try all sorts of shades, but the neons and the bolds will always have a place in my heart. Just look at the socks and sports bras in my laundry.

Spot the kitten.
So I designed my beginning blog layout with bright colors. I love the colors so much, I decided to do a manicure mimicking those brights. So here it is: China Glaze's Electric Pineapple stamped with Konad's plate m60 with Sinful Color's Black on Black. Pretty perfect color combination if you ask me!

Still playing with the watermark choices and hand positions.

Biotin: Vitamins for Keratin

So I've been looking at other nail blogs and other girls' nails, and they always seem so long and thick. (Oh god...THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!...Couldn't help myself.) At work, I Googled a quick query of "natural nail thickener" and came across this site. One of the major things I took away from it was that nails benefit from biotin.

WTF is biotin? It's in cauliflower, and it's good for hair, nails and rhino horns alike.  I am not a fan of cauliflower, and I don't feel like eating it EVERY day to strengthen my nails or my rhino horn. So...to Wikipedia! Turns out, biotin supplements are available at most pharmacies.

So consider adding that to your daily vitamin regiment.

Matted Swirls

Click to expand and see better coloring.
 Today's manicure is brought to you by China Glaze's Matte Magic. I used that to top off my Bundle Monster stamped fingers. I think it looks pretty awesome. Definitely different than your normal glossy coat finish. It's like looking at my nails through a fogged up camera lens rather than a clean one. Definitely a big difference than the original nail polish colors.

The white is Sally Hansen's Diamond Strength Sheer Magic. The blue is OPI's Swimsuit...Nailed It! (How appropriate for my blog name!) Like I said, they look totally different in the bottles than they do with a layer of Matte Magic put on top. Much less shimmering, but no less stunning.

Here's how they would all look alone without a top coat of anything, and paired together with a glossy top coat.

Click to Expand

See? Totally different looking. Damn that blue is stunning.

I absolutely love the design from the BM 19 plate though. Still need more practice covering my whole finger.

Have an awesome night!

The Only Holo I Know

One of the most sought-after polish any girl (or awesomely flamboyant guy) can own is a really good holo nail polish. The China Glaze OMG collection immediately comes to mind...then disappears...because at this point no one is willing to spend $225 for this collection. Seriously. There's an eBay auction that starts the bidding for a 12-piece set of the OMG collection at $190, with a Buy It Now price of $225.

 Ouch. That collection will remain a pipe dream.

BUT! In the meantime, I find myself totally satisfied with my $3.97 polish from Savina (at Nordstrom Rack) called Fairy Dust. It's so pretty, and so sparkly. And so perfect over everything. This is it over black (Black on Black from Sinful Colors).

See? Brilliant! It really is just like a fairy came to my apartment while I was doing my nails, sneezed and covered my very boring black manicure. Thanks Fairy!

So if you're ever looking for a holo you can afford and adore, I recommend this as a good start! Like I said, I found mine at Nordstrom Rack. They also sell a ton of OPI there if you're looking for those polishes.

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Lace nail beds

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These decorated nails beds were quite a hit last night. It's a bit of a change than the normal half moon nails. I stamped the beds rather than the tips, but it wasn't easy. I love the design, but the application sort of sucked. I'm still mastering the stamping technique. I had to go over the stamps right near the beds with a small paint brush to cover the whole nail.

For the base I used Sinful Colors Easy Going. I absolutely love the color of this polish. It's the palest of pinks without any shimmer. Just a nice solid pale pink. It took 3 coats to meet my standards, but 2 would've sufficed.

For the design I also used Sinful Colors. Black on Black is the best black I've found for stamping. The transfer works every time.

I used Bundle Monster plate #10 for this design.

Sorry about the image. I realized after I took posted it that it really needed more of a closeup, but the camera setup I use doesn't do that well. I need to get a tripod and a light box, then the pictures will be great.

Hello and welcome

Hello there and welcome to my blog. I'm Katy, and I'm blogging to share my nail polish past time. I'm a novice, I'm not certified, but I do love the creativity of the whole hobby. It's something I can really dig my claws into. (Crappy puns will not be an ongoing occurrence.) 

You're reading this if you like nail polish, designs and new ideas. I live in Boulder Colorado, so this certainly isn't polish central. I don't (always) run out to stores to buy the newest polish, and I try not to spend too much on polishes. I'm more about the designs of the day. There is an awesome blog I was inspired by that provides the latest and greatest swatches almost daily. Check out Scrangie's blog if you want swatches of polish and makeup.

So I'm just starting, and I'm really excited about it! My nails aren't the best, but I thought it would be interesting to blog about what I learn and grow from rather than wait until I'm "good" to start posting. So for this first post, you get me...naked. My nails, without any of the shades of pinks and blues I gravitate towards. Freshly manicured and moisturized, but bare.

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I've just recently started learning the basics of taking care of your nails. I must say, it makes a huge difference in the way the final manicure turns out. A healthy base nail makes for better application and better results. Plus you get the added bonus of soft hands free of obnoxious and sometimes painful flaws. As a young girl, I was a chronic nail biter and had issues with actually ripping the skin on my fingers. So it feels good to post a picture of my bare nails I can be proud of.

This is only the beginning, and I really can't wait to share the rest of this little hobby of mine with everyone.