Strawberry BBQ

Spring is fast approaching. With skiing only a few weeks ago, it seems weird, but I welcome it with open arms and open skin. Vitamin D and bronzed skin is coming!

We're kicking off the beautifully sick weather this weekend with a little BBQ at our place. Frisbee, bags and beer pong are going to be the perfect solution to sick doldrums. I hope there are strawberries!

The yellow is Lemon Fizz, the lighter blue is Sea Spray and the darker blue is Flyin' High, all by China Glaze. You may recognize this plaid technique from Candice's manicure. I switched it up slightly using diagonals, and after photographing it, decided to spice it up even more with some berry lovin'.


Pink Multi-Faceted

Yesterday's tantalizing micro tease couldn't have been easy to deal with. All that sparkle, all those colors! I'm sure the glitter welling up from your pedis to your manis was almost too much for a normal lacquerhead to handle. Well, breathe easy ladies, here's your first taste of Sally Hansen's newest line of Jewel Overcoats. This is Multi-Faceted over Something Sweet (China Glaze).

Righty models these colors together while Lefty licks its wounds. It's a fact that women can't help but look at shiny things and puppies. Maybe that's why we're terrible drivers or so bad at gambling. I was down $60 by the time we left Vegas on Sunday. Sally Hansen's certainly not doing us any favors by providing us with these overly-shiny overcoats. The size of these glitters are perfect! They're all the same size, but the colors range from black to blue to pink, though you'll mostly just catch the silver and black. They stand out without literally standing up (a problem I've heard of girls encountering with Color Club's Back Stage Pass collection). I haven't purchased many big-name polishes recently, but these went into my hands without even looking at the price (a measly $4.99 by the way).

The other colors in the collection that I picked up are White Veil and Ring-a-Ding!, though there was one more on display.

I have no clue how long these will be around, but if you're a fan of black glitter and sparkle, you better get to shoppin'!

Orange You Impossible to Get?

Enjoy that clever ravaged cuticle hiding technique I used there? Vegas did a number on my nails, and my immune system.
Yes girls (and are there any gentlemen blog readers?), that is a Nail-Venturous original you're seeing, Orange You Unique?. Its sisters Floam and Pinkerbell have eluded my grasp yet again, but this one was actually my favorite when it first showed up on Amy's blog just over two months ago. Since then, she's expanded her brand to include some of my other favorites like Flying Blue Jay, Robin Laid an Egg, and Humble Bee, seen here. They're unbelievably hard to come by, and rightly so! Look at them! In the time it took me to load 8 polishes into my cart for her Etsy store, all of her polishes were sold out. That was probably a whopping 30 seconds. After I brushed off the dust and wiped away my tears, I got up off the ground of the bar I happened to be at at the time and wrote to Amy. She was as shocked as I was at how quickly everything sold out, but it's honestly not surprising. The amount of stalking I did during that day was a bit embarrassing, so I'm sure there were hundreds of girls doing the same. I'm OK with not getting them because they're popular, but if there's someone out there buying up a HUGE amount of the stock just to resell, hoard or give away, I'll be upset. It's not Amy's fault she made such amazing polishes. is her fault, but that's in no way a bad thing. Thank you Amy! (Also, thanks to Ninja Polish for selling her stock when there's enough to go around.)

I wanted to pair Orange You Unique? with something else because there's plenty of swatches already out there. I striped it in between Flyin' High and Papaya Punch (China Glaze) and left it at that. I thought about adding some black dots to outline it, but the blending that's happening is a little to lovely to futz around with.

I also have some rather exciting sneak peaks to show you. I snagged these three colors at Walgreens today. Are those micro white glitters in the middle swatch? Why yes, I believe they are!

Looks like one of the big-name companies has been paying attention to what girls are buying!

Nail Shape Watermark Tutorial

I've received several questions through the various social outlets I participate in inquiring into how I get the curved shape for my watermark on my images like the one below. The technique is actually quite simple once you get the hang of the various tools needed for it. I use Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 to create the watermark for each image, so this tutorial will be based on the tools found in that version of Photoshop, used on a Mac-based platform. I'm unsure if the process is the same for older versions, other programs or different operating systems.

To get this shaped watermark, follow the Read More link.

Vegas Nails

We're on the road to Vegas. Should be there in another 10 hours!

I used Sinful Colors "Black on Black" then layered China Glaze "Champagne Bubbles" on top. (I usually italicizes the names of polishes but I don't believe iPhones have that capability.)

Have an awesome weekend everyone!!!!

Blue Alley Deals

For today I've got a glitter gradient gradating from a magenta glitter up toward a royal blue. I pulled out two somewhat dusty, unused colors from my Helmer to get this manicure. They both live in the same drawer, which is a hodgepodge of Essie, OPI, Wet n' Wild and a few other mismatches that don't have enough family members to buy their own Helmer drawer. Don't feel sorry for this drawer though, it's quite a party in there. The Kleancolor Chunky Holos and the entire Wet n' Wild Color Icon collection live in there. Solids and neutrals beware, this drawer's trouble!

I love the combination of these two royal, jewel toned colors paired together that comes across even more stunning in real life. Back Alley Deals and Saved by the Blue both come from Wet n' Wild. Saved by the Blue is one of those polishes that's always on the shelf, but you'll be lucky to find anymore Back Alley Deals. That collection was a limited time assortment of glitters only available at Walgreen's, and of course, only for a limited time. It's cruel how companies insist on creating the best polishes for only a limited time, and leave their less inspiring shades out year round.

Xhilarated Nails

I haven't mentioned this yet, but this weekend, I'm going to Vegas with some friends and Andy. We'll only be there for two days, but I'm sure we all expect to pack as many adventures into those days as we possibly can.

Ramping up for Vegas required some serious accessorizing, from sunglasses to bathing suits to outfits. One of the dresses I bought was actually designed as a coverup for a bathing suit, but the way it fits on me makes it a sexy dress.

Awesome striped zig-zag patterns totally inspired be when I walked by my closet today, so with White On (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear) and Four Leaf Clover (China Glaze), I created this manicure.

I'll keep working on my free handing abilities, if you keep promising to be so kind! Seriously, I had a less than glamorous day yesterday but reading the kind comments for the past couple of posts, seeing the amount of reposts and Likes, really brightened up a dreary day. I know I hardly ever respond to comments, but it doesn't mean I don't love them. I'd like you all to know that I read each and every one of them. So thanks guys!

Doodly Phone

I love doodling, and I love bright colors. I've also recently adopted an affinity for my iPhone, and its beautiful casing from Skinit. It's one of those designs that looks hand drawn and easy enough to do, so when inspiration struck, I decided to try my hand, or nail, at it. Two colors and a Sharpie later, I nailed it.

 Electric Pineapple from China Glaze is one of my favorite polish colors, so I was excited it pretty closely matched the case's color. The white blob was just done using Bad Chick from Sinful Colors and dotted using French White Creme from Wet n' Wild. Then, I just sort of freehand traced the outlines of the white with a Sharpie. It's not as thin and precise as I would've hoped, but I don't know if Sharpie makes anything finer than Ultra Fine Point. Is there an Uber Fine Point or Ultra Extreme Fine Point out there?

St. Patrick's Day Digits

You all saw Bree's nails yesterday. Today are the nails I wore out last night. After working so hard on Bree's, I wanted something more simple, and easy to do, and you can never go wrong with a glitter. No matter what anyone tells you in life, you can never go wrong with glitter. Rules to live by.

The base (below the glitter) is Cha Cha Cha (China Glaze). I really am not a huge fan of this color, but I knew it would come in handy for something! Hiding it is Here Comes Trouble (ORLY). Oh man I had a hard time covering that gorgeous green glitter with designs, but I just didn't feel right with only one color. The stripes were done with Bad Chick and Time Off (Sinful Colors) and Gold Digger (Color Madric).

I loved wearing this manicure last night, which turned out to be quite the adventure. From the fight breaking out in the bus line when we got off to the pepper spray that leaked into the bar we first bought drinks at, it was an amazing night.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This year's St. Patrick's Day is one of the first I'll be able to celebrate properly since it's on a weekend and I have no other responsibilities looming at the moment. My good friend Bree (who let me do her nails a few months ago when I was first starting out) also wanted to take advantage of this and asked me to do her nails. Of course I said yes! Her ideas were amazing too, and this is the result.

Obviously this took a mother load of polishes to create. I used Starboard (China Glaze) as the gorgeous Kelly green base. We thought about topping it with some Kleancolor chunky holos, but it was too stunning on its own. Her ring finger's base is Glitter in my Stocking (Nicole by OPI). That's also the gold in the pot of gold. The pot (done with Time Off by Sinful Colors) is only on one of her thumbs, and the other thumb is a continuation of the rainbow. The colors used for the rainbow include Be My Valentine (Sinful Colors), Papaya Punch and Happy Go Lucky (China Glaze), Lickety-Split Lime and Brisk Blue (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri), and I'm a Belieber (Nicole by OPI). This was my first try at my new MASH brushes, and I absolutely love the little one that comes in the set. I'm sure it'll wear out fast. I have big plans for that little guy.

Her ring finger was done freehand, using Artsy Crafty (Color Club) and Limelight (Ulta). She was absolutely tickled by the time I finished (even though it took quite some time), and we celebrated at The Sink and a Hookah bar I've never been to. She said she even got a compliment on her nails going into the bathroom.

Modern Leprechaun

Without even thinking about what tomorrow is, I made today's manicure St. Patrick's Day appropriate! I'd been thinking about the combination of these two polishes for a while, originally hoping to make a reverse gradient using the colors. When I finally got around to painting my nails last night though, I realized how much thinner Set the Stage (Sally Hansen) was in its glitter formula. It wouldn't have worked nearly as well as Crown Me Already did for my mermaid nails. (I think that post is actually my most popular.)

I didn't feel much like creating a huge, gloppy blob of glitter near the base of my nails, trying to reach the correct consistency, so I decided to paint the whole nail with the gold. It's done over Essie's Sew Psyched. I have a teeny weeny little sample bottle of that, and it's just about the cutest size I've ever owned. Unfortunately, after about 2 manicures with it, it's half empty. In the literal way, not the pessimistic way.

When I was putting the polish away, I noticed Glitter in my Stocking in the same drawer, and kind of kicked myself for not using that for the gold gradient. It has more reds than I'd like to go with the green of Sew Psyched, but it still may have been pretty cool. Next time!

Colors in the Face of Cancer

Jackie Clark, a writer and outreach contact for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance reached out to me several weeks ago, extending an invitation to partner and present a touching and inspirational story to the readers of my blog.

Please enjoy her insightful words below, detailing just one of the tough issues women face when diagnosed with a tragic and sometimes fatal prognosis.

Colors in the Face of Cancer
By: Jackie Clark

Are you a woman struggling with a cancer diagnosis who feels like she can use a new paint of coat on life? Or are you a daughter whose mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer? Why not try nail polish and enjoy having some cute cuticles, despite the circumstances you may be under.

As inconsequential as it may seem, a manicure can really brighten up your perspective. Let’s face it there is nothing fun about cancer. Yet, in the midst of your darkest emotions, brightness can be found in the form of gorgeous, silky nails. A simple act like painting her nails can refocus a woman on her femininity and innate beauty.

When facing a daunting diagnosis and the subsequent treatment options, it is easy for a woman to feel overwhelmed. One of the first things a woman allows to fall to the wayside is her personal upkeep and beauty. Yet maintaining ties with current trends in fashion and beauty can serve as a wonderful way for a woman not to lose herself as she faces the biggest battle of her life.

If the idea of a full makeover is overwhelming, there are small and simple ways for a woman to maintain a sense of style. The reason why a manicure is such a wonderful idea is because it an easy and time efficient way to pay a little attention to your own needs. A manicure may be the absolute last thing a woman has on her mind while battling cancer, yet it may be just the thing she needs to renew her sense.

Being pampered is a great way for a woman to ease back and allow herself to be treated as a princess, even as she struggles with one of the many cancers woman are faced with including mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.

If a trip to the salon for a manicure simply isn’t in the budget, then a woman can still enjoy the same blissful pampering at home. All it takes is a simple drug store bottle of nail polish and her husband, friend, or children to elegantly apply the nail polish as she sits back relaxes. The soothing human touch paired with adding bright, beautiful colors can be a truly transforming and healing experience. After endless appointments with doctors and treatments following the cancer prognosis, hands that provide a beautiful touch can be a refreshing change.

Painted nails are a sign to the world that a woman no matter how many struggles she may have faced, has not given up on herself or her fight against cancer. Remembering the importance of beauty no matter how small an act proves that she has not lost count of her value as a woman.

Painting your nails, getting homegrown manicures, and creating details on your nails truly is effortless with today's tools. As all of you know, I'm a huge fan of dotting tools, but an even more effortless tool available at low prices to almost every country are stamping plates. From Konad to Red Angel to Bundle Monster, these patterns take about two tries to master, and then you too could be creating beautiful designs such as this.

Confidence is key, and a beautiful manicure can empower anyone.

Jackie, thank you for your insightful, inspiring and beautifully written post!

Outlined Flowers

I was originally inspired for today's manicure by Gully Nails's post, Polka Dot Flowers. After looking at her design again, I know I kind of missed the mark, but I'm still sort of giddy about my own design. Sort of seems kind of Spongebob-esque.

The base color here is Secret Peri-Wink-Le (China Glaze), overlaid with Whimsical (Revlon).  The petals are a combination of Feeling Great (Sinful Colors) and Lightening (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri). Finally, I drew the inner pollen spots with Time Off (Sinful Colors).

I will try this again to get it closer to Becky's design, because I absolutely love it.

Sunflowers in the Sun

My nails are still not the right length and my cuticles are still dry and wounded in some spots. However, I couldn't bear bare nails any longer. Fed up, I posted on Facebook this morning, calling upon my fans for what design to create. The respondent asked for flowers or blossoms of some sort, and since it has been absolutely gorgeous and sunny all day, I decided to do sunflowers. I'm pretty pleased with the results too.

The base for this is Suzi Says Feng Shui (OPI). The petals were done primarily with Design Yellow (Color Madric), but then I added a tiny bit of Me First, a neon yellow from Sinful Colors. The seeds were dotted on using another OPI, Get in the Expresso Lane.

Black and White Glitters

I may not be posting my nails, but I am most certainly not going to abandon you guys.

I have some awesome news and exciting tips for you today.

One of the most coveted nail polishes available to lacquer heads today comes from Lynderella: Connect the Dots. It's a gorgeous polish that goes well over every single thing it's layered with. Check out some of these examples:

Unfortunately, this beauty of a polish is really hard to come by, and may be harder now that she has closed shop for a while and made her blog private. Sucks I know.

Luckily, there are opportunities out there to get dupes and polishes that are really close. I just ordered two of these from All That Glitters, an Etsy shop run by Kirsten. She has two glitter polishes that are similar to Connect the Dots. For the black, she has Spotty Dottie Dark.

For the white, she has Spotty Dottie Light.

I just ordered one of each, so I have no idea how the consistency and application is, but those beautiful solid glitters make me so happy.

There has also been another move on Connect the Dots from Ninja Polish. They sell polish from a polish creator called Cover Band Lacquers. Their almost perfect dupe is called Sticks n' Stones and is currently sold out. You'll notice though that there is a message to buyers near the bottom that reads:

Sticks 'n Stones is not a limited edition product. The creator is working furiously to make us more stock. We expect a lot of stock again within 2-4 weeks.

The Spotty Dottie's go for $8.00, and Sticks n' Stones goes for $9.00. While Lynn is clearly unhappy about theses polishes popping up, you'll be happy to know that you have access to similar polishes.   


Do you want to see some inflamed, red, nubbed fingers?

I didn't think so. So, I'll be taking a little time off until my wounds heal. Winter's tough on my hands, but Sunday's 60 degree weather was promising to say the least.