Happy Halloween folks!

Remember my bleeding gradient tutorial? It's the perfect technique for some awesome Halloween colors.

The colors I used here were Neon Yellow (Savina), Pucci-licious (Color Club), and Black Onyx (OPI).

Reminds me of Frankenstein's monster's head.

Have a spoooooky night!

Black and White TV

Have you ever watched The Twilight Zone? You have to have seen or heard of it, and if you have, you probably immediately went to black and white. Those classic mystery shows were inspiration for this far-fetched Halloween theme tonight. Though it's certainly not your typical Halloween design, it still applies.

The ombre effect was continued onto each nail, pulling out the base color from each block of three on each nail. The colors used, from darkest to lightest, are Strumming my Nails (Sation), Carey (Zoya), Movie Star (Essence) and Black Onyx (OPI).

I'd also like to take a moment to thank everyone who supported me in the Tadashi Shoji nail art contest. Unfortunately, I wasn't the winner, but the talented Sarah at Chalkboard Nails did win, and I must say I'm thrilled it was hers that won. Her freehand skills were fantastic, and the colors were a unique choice compared to all the other entries. I can't wait to see what the clutch looks like! Congratulations Sarah!

China Glaze Holiday Joy Collection Gift Sets

Interested in the China Glaze Holiday Joy collection?

Polish Galore details the colors and names here. After seeing her post this morning, I ran over to my trusted China Glaze supplier,, and saw that not only do they have the colors, they also have the gift sets!  They've got some cute holiday fingerless gloves, scented candles, ornaments, shot glasses, and all sorts of other goodies. Here's a peak at what gift sets are being offered:

To get yours for an awesome price, check it out here.

Runway Stamp

After I stamped these nails, I realized how well the pattern would have gone with the Tadashi Shoji nail art competition. I'm still really glad I did my design freehand though, but this would have been a fantastic stamp alternative.

You can still vote for my entry here! I'd love your support!

With the winter weather whipping the windows and calling all chills, my nails have been both dry, brittle, and uninspired. Luckily I recently received my plates from Cheeky. If you've been thinking of getting some plates, get these! You can get three jumbo plates, including plate C, which I used in this design, for $19.99 here. Apparently there's also a steal of a deal on a 6-jumbo-plate set for $39.99. Uh...what?! That's unheard of! And these plates honestly rock. The designs are HUGE, and the only thing you'll be complaining about is the fact that your stamper is probably too small for them. Seriously...dang.

Don't you love the blue I used? It's Essie's Aruba Blue. The stamp is Silver Sweep (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri).

Halloween Cutouts

A bit ago I was asked to do some Halloween designs. The original source that asked for the pictures didn't pan out, so I had all these unused Halloween nail art ideas sitting around. I just remembered that I had one more, so I'd like to share that with you today, before it's non-Halloween season. (That's on Wednesday folks...put those costumes together!)

This design used two bottles of polish (similar to my NAIL ART COMPETITION THAT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY ENTER), Decoded from ORLY and Twiggie from Color Club. I also tried some new and interesting techniques.

The chevron pattern and "Boo" were both done freehand. No big news there. However, the scream face and ghost figure were actually something new I've never done. First, I got a makeup sponge and dabbed a small amount of Twiggie onto the sharpest corner of the sponge. Then, I lightly dabbed a rough outline of the shape of the ghost, eyes, and mouth. (It helped to draw the pattern out on paper first to get an idea of the shapes needed.) When Twiggie had dried, I used a small striping brush dipped in Decoded to draw a clean outline of the shapes over the patches of green. Without a topcoat, this looked strange, so you really need to smooth it all out with a nice layer of topcoat. With that last layer of topcoat added, it really pulls together nicely, wouldn't you say?

Trick or Transition

My lovely Saran Wrap technique has really hit nail lovers everywhere by storm. I have literally seen countless girls try it and love it! The pull-polish-off method only requires you to know how to paint your nails...that's it!

In honor of this now-popular technique, I wanted to do a doubled version, using the colors indicative of Halloween: orange and black, and green and purple.

The orange is Lava Lamp (Color Club), and it's paired with Black Onyx (OPI). The green is Twiggie (Color Club), and it is paired with Keiko (Zoya). Topping off those are three of the Finger Paints flakie polishes, Asylum, Flashy, and Flecked.

Oh...and please remember to vote for my nail art entry to the Tadashi Shoji competition! You can vote once a day, and every vote is greatly appreciated!

Lush Lacquer Swatches and Review

I promised some glitter swatches and if I do say so myself, I think I delivered.

To be fair, Lush Lacquer actually delivered. This little Etsy store has been around for a while, and is an old favorite on my list of indie sellers. I always love the polishes this mother-daughter team puts out, and they've always been excellent about actually keeping a very full stock of their colors. Over 6,000 sales and 100% positive feedback? Damn.

They have worked hard to create beautiful mixes of glitters which range in some great varieties. I have three to show you today. I have great things to say about all of them. Across the board, these glitters are both manageable and plentiful. The bases were not too thick to apply the glitter, but there wasn't a shortage of glitter on the brush either. I'm very pleased with that, especially considering these bottles were minis. Getting a mini bottle's brush to cooperate is probably comparable to getting an unwieldy cat into a carrying crate, but these were fine, purring happily with each stroke.

First up is Slummin' It, shown here over Pelican Grey (China Glaze). There's the faintest amount of shimmer in the base, so this isn't a clear base. I've layered it over this grey, which changed the color every so slightly. Over white, this would be more obvious. I used three layers, with some dabbing in between.

Next is Cruisin' 4 a Bruisin' over Under the Boardwalk (China Glaze). This pairing was made under poor light conditions that tricked my eyes into thinking this was a neon purple base, but it worked out well. You can see all the different colors, including the purple pieces of Cruisin' 4 A Bruisin' with it.

Finally, the most Fall-appropriate color, Afterall It's Fall. I paired this with a brown-red instead of a rich red. If I hadn't these colors could have easily morphed into Christmas colors. Afterall is versatile in that way. It's obviously fall-themed with the right colors too.

The right acorn leaf pattern also helps.

I used Papaya Punch (China Glaze) and A-Taupe the Space Needle (OPI) for these fall leaves.

So I've fallen for Lush Lacquer, and glancing at the store now shows that there are some Halloween colors currently up for grabs! I personally recommend purchasing from these ladies and think you'll be quite happy with your purchases.

These products were sent to me by Lush Lacquer. The reviews are based entirely on my experience with the products and were in no way influenced by anyone.

Color Wheel Collision

Tonight I was going to put together some swatches of one of the two glitter polish swatches I owe you and their creators, but time slipped away more quickly than anticipated. Those are coming soon though, and trust me, you'll be excited! Halloween and fall colored glitters...hell yes!

In the meantime, here's a really fun manicure that everyone can do. It's so easy and so striking. I love this. Ingenious in its simplicity!

To begin, I painted my pinkie, index finger and thumb with Happy Go Lucky (China Glaze). I painted my ring finger with Lavendairy (Lime Crime) and my middle finger with Keiko (Zoya). Then, I added some thicker striping tape over the yellow on the pinkies and index fingers in two evenly spaced lines. Then, it was just a matter of filling in the empty spaces with Lavendairy, Keiko, and Grape Pop (China Glaze).

How fun and easy is this? Try it yourself with some contrasting colors on the color wheel. Orange and blue, red and green. Or mix it up entirely!

Sation Glitter I “I Love Miss-self” Reality Show Swatches and Review

Say what?! Sation makes glitter now?!

Glitter's always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I always fell for the stickers in grade school that were either coated in glitter, or scented, and since the majority of scented polishes smell like rotten Jolly Ranchers, I've focused my guilty pleasures on glitter.

How appropriate that Sation's newest line, their Glitter I series, is called the "I Love Miss-self" Reality Show. Everyone everywhere has enjoyed at least one episode of a reality series, but also secretly prayed that no one would stumble upon the showing while it was in progress. It's like masturbation...everyone does it, but you never want anyone to know you are.

Over-the-top reality royalty is some of my most guilty,  so a diamond nail art design seemed wildly appropriate for this post. (Inspired by Chalkboard Nails's Day 22 mani)

More on this glitter later. First, here's the press release:

Miss Professional Nail (Miss) announces the launch of its Glitter I Series, the "I Love Miss-self" Reality Show, a sassy tongue-in-cheek spin on the sensation that has swept the nation off its stilettos. Sation's glittery gala puts the fun in dysfunctional by saying buh-bye to Brady Bunch banter, and hello to hi-def hair-pulling and backstage drama. Miss' Creative Director Staci Dao found inspiration for this collection by merging the glitz and glamour of showbiz with the opulent, jewel-toned gems of the season.

From fame-chasers to trophy wives, this humorous race to the Hollywood finish line is a fun, flashy ride into our pop-goes-the-beauty universe. "I Love Miss-self" joins the Fall lineup with a sparkling set of stars, including: Calorie Countess, Miss Pro-nup; Tall Dark & Has Some; Paparazzi Pet; No Rings Attached and Oh My Gaudy.

The 24-color collection features a cast of multi-glitter and foil finishes; holographic, flakey, bar, kaleidoscope and more. These glitters are ideal for layering over neutrals and staple colors, or simply to play up your signature style. Tune in to 'I Love Miss-self' on, and don't miss its September debut at your local beauty supply.

All Miss products are free of DBP, toluene and formaldehyde.

* Multi-glitters will be sold at a premium price point.


Now onto the review.

I have very mixed feelings about the following three polishes. Each gave me a very different experience than the last. Specifically:

The One & Phony - A very sheer pink-based polish with sparse holographic and black hexagon glitter pieces. It was not fun trying to capture the pieces of glitter on my nails, and it's definitely a glitter that requires the dabbing method. Anything else and you're going to go nuts. The sheer pink was much too sheer for me. It would be fine if the formula wasn't thick, but because it is so thick, three coats to get 1) a nice opaqueness and 2) good glitter coverage is going to be way too thick on the nail. You need to layer this over another polish, plain and simple.  

Rich in Opportunities  - I liked the consistency of this polish the most. I applied three layers in the swatches below and loved every one. And the odd mix of gold sparkle glitter and lime green matte glitter is really fascinating to me. Those colors are not going to work well with a lot of people but I simply love it. I do wish that I had chosen a different base coat for my swatches to show off the colors more, but that will have to be another night's showing.  

Midlife Miss-Tress - While this is thicker in consistency that Rich in Opportunities, the base polish isn't causing that problem as it is in The One & Phony. This thickness can be attributed to the unbelievable amount of glitter in the bottle. I mean my god! It's great! This is a glamour-puss polish at its best. It runs the risk of being unusable eventually though, simply because the glitter to base ratio may be too much. I can't even tell you how many bottles of glitter-based polishes I own that have somehow eaten the base polish, leaving a cave of glitter for the brush to live in. It's really strange, but that could very well be an environment problem.

So, with these thoughts in mind, let's watch these glitter-bombs in action!

 Midlife Miss-Tress over Fan the Flames Fuschia (Sation)

Rich in Opportunities over Almost Famous (Color Club)

The One and Phony over Lion Around (Essie).

Obviously, there are more colors you can choose from in the collection, and I'm really interested to see other swatches out there from this collection. With 24 colors to choose from, everyone's sure to find something they love!

You can get your colors online now, at the Miss Professional Nail online store.

These products were sent to me by Miss Professional Nail. The reviews are based entirely on my experience with the products and were in no way influenced by anyone.

Tadashi Shoji Nail Art Competition

If you've been reading about my shenanigans on Twitter, you may have heard some excitement over New York Fashion Week, and the designer, Tadashi Shoji.

In August, Jenny from the Tadashi Shoji Studio got a hold of little ole' me, as well as several other renowned nail art bloggers and offered me the chance to participate in a nail art challenge. The theme the contestants were all given was simple: the Tadashi Shoji Spring Summer 2013 Collection, A Modern Silk Road.

After watching the show and ruminating on the patterns and colors, I finally came up with a design I'm thrilled to share with you today.

The nail art competition is live now, on the Tadashi Shoji Facebook page. There, you can vote for entries by Liking the page.

You can vote once a day for the duration of the contest. Check out my design, as well as the other unbelievable submissions.

The winning design will serve as inspiration for a limited-edition clutch to be sold exclusively in Tadashi Shoji retail stores.  Can you believe it? I still can't.

Along with a care package that included some beautiful swatches and sketches, we were given a link to watch the show, which debuted at NY Fashion Week on September 6. Click here to watch the show yourself.

Admittedly, I haven't ever been a follower of Fashion Week. A lot of it is hard to relate to. I know it's not all meant to be ready-to-wear, but some of it is downright confusing.

The Spring Summer 2013 Collection was a refreshing surprise from these perplexing looks however.

I loved the colors and patterns. My jaw literally dropped when I saw the first dresses come out. The colors were not just bright, but vibrant, and the mixture of colors and textures was divine. There wasn't a single piece I didn't like something about. I loved the way the sheer fabrics revealed the nude below and the floral designs set in such structured lines.

Here's some of the pieces of inspirational material Jenny sent along.

Here are the colors I used for each pattern, which was patiently painted freehand with a sole striping brush:
  • My Boyfriend Scales Walls (OPI)
  • Sand Tropez (Essie)
  • Life Preserver (China Glaze)
  • Dutch Tulips (OPI)
  • Limelight (Ulta)
  • Four Leaf Clover (China Glaze)
  • Caribbean (Savina)
  • Secret Peri-Wink-Le (China Glaze)
So go check out the Tadashi Shoji Facebook page to see my designs. You will probably recognize the fingers of some fellow bloggers, and maybe find some new ones! Don't forget, you can vote once a day for the duration of the contest, so bookmark the page now!

Inverted Dots

Polish disorganization is a terrible thing. Bottles get shoved in awkward places, and they get lost in the shuffle of glitter and bottle sizing. I'm suffering from this malady right now and it's unbelievably frustrating. My visits to Micheal's aren't paying off, and I keep coming up without Melmers, as much as I'm dying for one. We don't have the space for a Helmer, so a Melmer would do just fine.

One good thing did come from this unorganized mess though. I rediscovered the cuties from Lime Crime, and paired Crema de Limon, the yellow from the collection, with Calypso Breeze (ORLY). Nothin' fancy, just some interesting dots.

Shoving such beautiful bottles into a plastic container beneath the entertainment center is a far cry from the beautiful polish rooms of girls like Cristina and Caitlin. So if anyone sees a Melmer at their local Micheal's, let's talk.

What a Load of Chat

A trip to Marshalls the other day revealed that Sation polishes are indeed in stock. You may remember a post about that earlier. It's not a complete stock, with only a few polishes here and there, but I couldn't help picking up a beautiful neon pink for just $2.99.

Mimicking a shirt I also picked up during that same trip, these stripes were created using Chatty Catty (Sation) and Load (Illamasqua). I love the way the accent nail looks. It's so subtle and difficult to tell there's a party nail in the mix.

Magazine...Nailed It!

I have some unbelievably exciting news!

My nails have been published in a nail bumper feature of UK magazine, Perfect Hair.

Not only are there 10 pages inside the magazine, but my colorful nails from the Striped Skittle Gradient post are featured on the cover!

Take a look!

Taken on my Instagram
I need to run out, grab a shadow box, and frame this immediately! In the words of Ron Burgundy...

Kidding of course.

It just goes to show what hard work can do. What a perfect ending to a year's worth of nail art!


Here's some Fall gingham nails, inspired by this pin. This is not to be mistaken for Gangnam.

Don't confuse those two. Your Google results will be very different if you search for one but meant the other.

I did this with two colors: Strumming My Nails (Sation) and Desert Sun (China Glaze).

It's really amazing what you can do with just two bottles of polish.

Oh...gee...speaking of two bottles...have you entered or thought about my nail art competition yet?

EDIT: 10/12/12

Now you can create this look yourself. Check out the tutorial below.

Click to Enlarge

Happy Plants

You've seen a few ColourLover-inspired designs here before. If you're new, or don't recall, ColourLovers is a fantastic site to browse color palettes and patterns. It's my go-to for inspiration.

Every Tuesday, an email to members is distributed, which they call Happy Huesday. They feature six or so popular patterns in the emails.

Yesterday, I liked one so much I decided to make it into a manicure.

Here's the manicure:

 And here's the pattern it was based on:

Image source:
It's pretty obvious which part of the pattern is being shown on the manicure, but if I hadn't told you, would you think they were tiny mustaches?

Here are the colors I used: Ancient Jade (ORLY), Load (Illamasqua), Get in the Expresso Lane (OPI), Pull Over (Sinful Colors), and Front Row Flasher (Sation).