Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEARS! Party Manicure!

Just got off work and in a rush to get ready for tonights party but figured I'd have time to post the party manicure anyway! I started with maybe 5 design ideas, narrowed it down to the 2 I thought would be fastest to make and ended up running out of time and doing none of them but a even easier design that still looks festive and more complicated than it is! I'm wearing all black and thought white nails would be a nice contrast.

Left Hand
I'm a leftie so this naturally isn't as nice as the right one

Right Hand

Thumb Close Up

For this I started with 3 coats of Essie Blanc, the only white polish I own. Then I used a black nail art liner and outlined the petals, filled them with Zoya Trixie. Did the dots using Color Club Black and a dotting tool. I really need to buy a smaller dotting tool, could barely touch the nail with it or the dots would be too big, but I used what I had! You can tell I was in a hurry cause pretty much all the dots got dragged in the topcoat :( On a good note it isn't as noticeable in real life as in the pictures.

Hope you all have a great day and evening!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

NOTD: China Glaze Channelesque

A while ago I managed to get my paws on some discontinued shades I had been lemming. Here's one of them, the gorgeous China Glaze Channelesque. I'm not sure what to call this colour. Purple'ish taupe? Taupe'ish purple? Super dusty, toned down purple? It's like a more purple version of OPI YDKJ. It's gorgeous none the less, I love these murky, dusty, mushroomy (is that even a word?) colours. They have a special place in my heart.

China Glaze Channelesque

China Glaze Channelesque with flash

China Glaze Channelesque - bottle

I love this color, been wearing it for almost 3 days now which is super unusual, I normally get bored in less than 24 hours and feel the need to change my polish colour. There's no chips or tipwear and would keep wearing if it wasn't for the fact I have to do my new years manicure tonight after work. As most China Glazes the application was great, took 2 coats to get it opaque. It was really late when I applied this so I was a little sloppy and some got stuck in my cuticles and it was surprisingly hard to remove. Not sure why that is, but I couldn't get it all off as you can see in the pictures. Very odd for such a light color, maybe it's because my cuticles were dry after all the swatching and removing I had been doing right before. We'll have to see how it goes tonight when I'm removing it all. Anyway, I love this color. And if you as me like muddy colours and find this somewhere, pick it up! It has been discountinued for quite a bit now but there's still places online to buy it.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Remaining Eyeko Swatches

I got 4 Eyeko Polishes in the mail a while ago. I was really excited about them, pretty colors and I love the new bottles. Way better than the old ones although the old bottles were cuter.

L to R Vintage Polish, Lilac Polish, Purple Polish, Cosmic Polish

Decided to wear Vintage polish right away. You can find that post by clicking here. And here's the remaining three!

Lilac Polish

Lilac Polish with flash
Lilac Polish is exactly what the name says, a pretty lilac creme. It took 3 coats to get it opaque but not even. It's like the formula was a bit gooey and it didn't want to flow out on the nail. The brushstrokes kind of stuck in the polish and it took a thick coat of Poshé to even it out. I always wear topcoat anyway so it wasn't a big problem, just odd, maybe some thinner could fix it up.

Purple Polish

Purple Polish with Flash
Purple Polish is a dark purple neon, it reminds me of Essie perky purple. Impossible to capture on camera. It's bright as the flash picture but dark as in the first picture. It took 2 coats to get it opaque and it went on alot smoother than Lilac Polish, had no application problems what so ever. Really fun and pretty color!

Cosmic Polish

Cosmic Polish with flash
Cosmic Polish is a black jelly with multi colored glitter. The glitter pops alot more in the bottle so I was a little dissapointed after I had applied it. There's loads of silver glitter in the bottle that doesn't show on the nail at all. It's still a pretty polish even though it wasn't exactly what I had expected. It took 3 coats to get it opaque and application was a dream.

These polishes, with the exception of Lilac Polish, are way better than Eyeko's old collection, both formula and bottle shape. Think I can fix the Lilac one up though. All my old Eyeko's are dried up cause the caps wont close tightly, don't think I'll be having that problem with these bottles though. Good job Eyeko, think I need to buy the remaining colors soon :)
Monday, December 28, 2009

Tip and Toe Care: Part 3 Natural Nail Care

Time for part 3 of my nail care series. This time it's natural nail care tips and a list of good-to-have products!

Natural Nail Care
Now that we fully understand the nail structure and how the nail grow it's time for some nail care. There are a few things you can do to improve the health of your nails, some of which I've mentioned earlier. I wont be explaining much in this post as I feel much have been thoroughly explained before and some things are for an upcoming manicure post, where it will make more sense. This post is more to prepare for the real manicure.
If you have any questions just post a comment or send me an e-mail and I'll answer it as fast as possible :)

Finger Nail Care
Keep your hands moisturised, the skin and nails are constantly bathed in natural oils and moisture but excessive hand washing, using cleaning detergents, weather and other every day factors will dehydrate the skin resulting in dry skin and split and peeling nails.

Wash your hands and nails regulary, using a brush, to remove any dirt or bacteria that might be under your nails or around your nailfolds. Remember to moisturise afterwards.

Wear protective gloves while gardening, doing dishes or cleaning to protect your hands and nails from strong detergents.

Regulary use cuticle oils or cremes. My own favourite is to heat up some olive oil and massage in to my cuticles, it will absorb fast into the skin and the warmth from the oil feels great.

By pushing the cuticles back you remove dead cells and make the nail plate look longer.

Use a nail file instead of clippers when trimming the nails as clippers might cause the nails to crack or weaken. To cut a bigger length off the finger nail use scissors and file the last bit. More about filing in the upcoming manicure post.

Do not use your nails as tools!

When removing polish try not to rub as that will disturb the nail plate. Moisten a cotton ball or pad with remover and gently press down on the nail plate. Hold until the polish is dissolved and swipe toward the free edge. For glitter polishes, nail art, as bullions or rhinestones, or other hard to remove nail polishes and items I soak a cotton pad, place it on the nail. Wrap the finger tip up in aluminium foil and leave it for a minute. This will prevent the remover to evaporate before the polish is fully dissolved. Then just swipe towards the free edge and the nails should be nailpolish free. And the best of all, no pesky glitter stuck on the surrounding skin!

Toe Nail Care
Toe nails aren't much different from finger nails. They need TLC too!

It's important to keep the toe nails clean as bacteria are more likely to grow on the feet than on the hands.

Scrub the feet once a week to prevent skin build up and to make them smooth and nice.

If you already have build up, use a wet pedi rasp in the shower after the scrub. More about this is an upcoming pedicure post

Apply foot cream or rich body cream right after showering. The skin will absorb the moisture better while it's still a little damp.

Toe nails are harder and can often handle the pressure from nail clippers, but it's more gentle to file and it will strengthen the nails further.

Don't forget the toenail cuticles. Push them back regulary and make sure you massage the foot cream around the nail walls and cuticles, not just on the soles of your feet.

Tools, Implements and Products
Things that are good to have at home and what they are used for

Finger Bowl
To soak your fingers and nails, softens the cuticles and cleans the nails. This can also be used for hot oil manicures. If you don't want to buy a professional contoured finger bowl (they're pretty cheap on e-tailers) you can use a regular glass bowl or dish that fits the size of your hand.

Liquid Hand Soap
To use with the finger bowl. It's a good idea to use a soap with anti-bacterial properties.

Nail Brush
A small brush designed to clean your nails. Use with warm soapy water and scrub the surface and underside of the nails to remove dirt, bacteria and pathogenic organisms that won't come off when only washing the hands.

Exfoliator or Scrub
Using a scrub will remove dead skin cells and make your skin look younger and fresher. I like to make my own with salt and olive oil or a rich creme.

Cuticle Creme or Oil
Used to moisturise your cuticles and surrounding skin. I personally prefer oil as I refuse to use silicones and mineral oils on my skin which are common ingredients in cuticle and hand cremes, but each to their own. It's best not to listen to much to others and just try different products until you find what works best for you.

Orange Stick
Orange sticks are used to push back the cuticles, but also for correcting imperfections when applying nail polish or cleaning under the free edge of the nails. They are normally made of orange wood, but there are also plastic ones to buy.

Cuticle Nipper
The nipper is used to remove excess cuticles or hang nails without pulling or harming the surrounding skin.

Nail Clippers and Scissors
Nail clippers has a cruved cutting edge and are designed to quickly cut the lenght of your nail. Nail scissors have a small curved blade and are mostly designed for use on finger nails. It doesn't apply as much pressure on the nail as clippers do.

Nail Files
Nail files come in many shapes and sizes, for natural nails it's best to use a glass/crystal file or a emery board with a high grit number. The higher the number the smaller the grit. If you use a file with a too coarse grit you might shred your nail plate, causing it to split. Many emery boards you can find at your regular drug store have a grit of 80 which is way too coarse for use on natural nails. It's recommended to use a file with a grit number higher than 240 for natural nails.

Same thing with buffers as files, they come in various grits. Don't use one with a lower number than 240 on your natural nails. The regular '3-way buffers' normally have a grit higher than 3600 and are safe to use on the nail plate to smooth it out and give it a glossy surface.

Pedi Rasp
Used to gently remove skin build up and soften hard areas on the soles of the feet.

Links to previous articles in the Tip and Toe Care series:
Part 1 The Nail Anatomy
Part 2 Nail Growth

My own knowledge
Marti Preuss -
Minnie Matsumoto -
Various other websites where no author or sources were mentioned,
therefore I do not know who to credit.
If you recognize any of the material posted here as yours don't hesitate to contact me.
Sunday, December 27, 2009

NOTD: Essence All Access

Today I'm wearing one of the colors from the swap with Kirsten. It's the Essence polish I was the most excited about and it sure lived up to my expectations! This is officially my new favourite green! It's so deep and gorgeous! Even had a customer walk up to me at work complimenting on it and wanting to take a closer look.

Ooh. Aah. Can't stop looking at my nails!

Was a little worried about the quality of Essence polishes, but this was great! Applied smoothly, completely opaque in 2 coats. It lasted a whole day through work without even the slightest hint of tipwear. Me like! It definitely gets the Nail Nerd stamp of approval! Just wish the bottle was bigger cause I have a feeling this will be used alot!
Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nail Art: Birthday Manicure, Star Gradation

Hi guys!
Hope you all had a great christmas! I'm still wearing my birthday manicure. There's been alot of glitter gradations on blogs lately, the ones that start by the cuticles. Think they're so pretty and got really inspired by those but decided to try something different. I did Konad stars instead of glitter, there are a few things I would have done different if I'd do it again, but I was still happy with how it turned out.

I used the "star cluster" pattern from the m3 plate, but did one star at a time to get bigger ones at the top and then smaller ones towards the tip.

Used Viva la Diva #74 as the base and China Glaze Sci-Fi for the stars. These Khrome polishes are great for Konad!

I just broke a nail, like 2 minutes ago, trying to cut a tag off a pair of jeans I bought today. Completely missed it and cut into my thumb nail instead. It's not completely off so I'm not sure if I should try and fix it with a wrap or just file them all down. Love the lenght of my nails at the moment, they're my perfect comfort lenght but hate uneven nails and not a big fan of wraps. I'll have to think about it :(
Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

No nails today as I messed up my christmas manicure, the konad gods just wasn't with me! :( But I still wanted to post and wish you all a merry christmas! Tomorrow is my birthday so I'm probably not around to post anything then. Hopefully my birthday mani turn out better and I'll have pictures of it later this week!

I'll be back in a couple of days!
Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a great holiday and get lots of great gifts!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

NOTD: P2 Dangerous

Just a quick NOTD post. Had to try one of the new polishes, had a hard time deciding which one but finally settled on P2 Dangerous, a nice dark dusty teal.
It was super shiny and pretty this morning but after a day at work it's far from as shiny. But it didn't chip and there's no tipwear so it definitely wears well!

It's more teal in reality, the bottle color is more accurate. Snapped this picture after work so imagine it being much more shiny :P

This polish was really pigmented, could have gotten away with only one coat. But it was kind of thick and didn't apply that smoothly. Since it's my first time using a P2 polish I don't know if its only my bottle or if it's the formula, will add some thinner before I use it next time though. Had to do 2 coats to smooth it all out. I liked the brush, it's a little wider than a regular brush, but not shaped as the OPI brushes. Still a nice brush though, easy to work with. Overall I'm happy and surprised by the quality of this drugstore polish. Seems to be long wearability too, since I can hardly tell I've been at work other than the shine is pretty much gone but that could be fixed with some topcoat and it'd look like new!
Monday, December 21, 2009

WAAAH Awesome Overload!

Today I got a swap package from Kirsten from Een Minder Mutsig Nagelblog! My first ever swap and it was great! It started as a one bottle swap and totally got out of control with 10+ bottles going each way :P
Of course the mailman came like 5 minutes before I had to leave for work, so I haven't had time to play around with them yet. But here's pictures!

Nfu-Oh #52 and #55

P2 Glory, Dangerous and Rich

Essence All Access, Groovy and Most Wanted

Essence Spicy, Spotlight and Iced Chai Latte

Last but not least: Goodies!
Cuticle Oil, Lipgloss, Essence Stampy Kit and Dutch Babbelaars
which are hard butter candies, super yummy!

These are my first Nfu-Oh, P2 and Essence polishes so I'm super excited! They all look great! Thank you so much Kirsten! If you're curious to see what I sent her, click here! I'm definitely looking forward to hopefully doing more swaps in the future, had alot of fun!

NOTD: OPI Suzi Skis In The Pyrenees Suede

For you who are waiting for it, the Tip and Toe Care post that I normally do on mondays will be a little delayed as I'm not done writing it yet and about to head to work. But no fear, I'll post it as soon as possible!
Until then rest your eyes on this beauty, OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyreness Suede. Whew, longest name ever! I'm just gonna call her Suzi Suede. This is a gorgeous charcoal shade with silver flecks/shimmer. It has a matte suede finish which is really pretty but since I'm wearing it to work I added topcoat to hopefully make it more durable and chip resistant, the top coat also darkened the color a little and added some dimension to it. Beautiful!

This was the first time I used a suede finish color and application was alot easier than I had expected, thought it would dry faster than I could apply it and it'd be streaky and messy with bald spots. But it wasn't! Probably thanks to the OPI wide brush, can almost coat the whole nail with one stroke. It was really opaque and if I had been more careful I might have been able to get away with only one coat, I did get a couple bald spots though after running the brush over some nails one too many times so I did 2 coats to even it all out. Know these suede polishes don't wear as well as normal polishes so I'm excited to see how it holds up at work today. I need to wear it on it's own too at some point to see the difference between topcoat and no topcoat.
I only bought 2 of the suede colors but now I think I need to get the rest too, they're just too pretty with the silver flecks in them! Definitely makes them different and interesting.

Update: After a day at work I only had some minor chips, not all that bad. Would say with topcoat it wears almost as well as any regular polish.
Sunday, December 20, 2009

NOTD: Eyeko Vintage Polish

I got some Eyeko Polishes the other day, they have change the design of their bottles to the better, yay! My old Eyeko's keep drying out cause the cap wont close tightly and it's uncomfortable to hold while painting cause it's so small. I got Vintage Polish, Lilac Polish, Purple Polish and Cosmic Polish.

Today I'm wearing Vintage Polish, which is supposed to be a jade green color if you believe what it says on the bottle. However I think it has too much blue in it to be a jade. It's still a pretty color though, soft and very nice for spring

This isn't really color accurate, it's a tiny bit more green. Look at the bottle picture above.

Eyeko did the same "mistake" as Essie with Mint Candy Apple, added a little too much blue for the color to be perfect in my opinion. Vintage is how I expected Turntable by L.A. Girl to look but it's more like if Turntable and MCA would have a baby it'd be Vintage Polish. They all ended up on one of my green wheels, even though they're too blue to really be green!

Enough about the color, on to the formula. It was a bit sheer, maybe even jelly'ish. It took 3 thick coats to get it opaque but the application went smoothly. They have definitely improved their formula, bottles and brushes. Looking forward to trying the rest of them!
Friday, December 18, 2009

NOTD: OPI Merry Midnight

Happy Friday!
Today I'm wearing Merry Midnight by OPI. I've had a love/hate relationship to this polish, first when I saw swatches of it i thought it was great and I NEEDED it! So I bought it, it arrived and it looked great in the bottle with pretty flakies and glitter. Painted it on a plastic nail tip to see what it looked like and my first reaction was 'meh, what was the hype about?'. This was well over a month ago, probably closer to two and it been untouched since. Until now, and I'm glad I picked this bottle up, it looks great once on the nails! The flakies pop more than it did on the tip, not as much as I would have liked, but In most lights you can see them as hot coals under water. I was dissapointed the green flakies you see in the bottle wont show on the nails, but it's no biggie. Merry Midnight is a gorgeous deep purple polish with glitter AND flakies! *squee*

They wont show much in the picture but there are blue glitters in there with the flakies somewhere!

See the green flakies towards the sides of the bottle? Maybe it's just an illusion in the bottle? Wish they showed up like that on the nail though.

As expected it was pretty sheer, otherwise the flakies wouldn't show up through the base color. It took 3 thick coats to get it opaque, which isn't all that bad. It was easy to apply, I just love the OPI pro wide brush, a tad bit runny though and some got stuck in my cuticles and like most dark colors refused to come off when I tried to clean it up.

I've been looking at my hands all day at work today, its soooo pretty and festive! Hope they will make more flakies in different colors. If you don't own this you need to buy it! NOW!
Thursday, December 17, 2009

TNNOTW: China Glaze Calypso Blue

As usual on thursdays it's ninja nails! Today she's showing us China Glaze Calypso Blue, a pretty dark blue creme. Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I didn't bring my lightbox with me so we made a makeshift one with a kitchen lamp and a single sheet of white paper. The pictures turned out decent considering!

This is pretty color accurate, it is a dark dark blue but not so dark it looks black in any lighting.

This color was very pigmented, used 2 coats for the pictures. It was a little bit runny which made application tricky which is sad cause blue polishes are always hard to clean up. The color seem to want to get stuck in your skin and give you smurf fingers. It is a perfect dark blue color, really dark but not black as some dark cremes tend to look, especially in low light. This wont be mistaken for black in any light setting though. Awesome!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NOTD: Essie Mink Muffs

I totally have a crush on Jaques, as in You Don't Know Jaques by O.P.I. The.Prettiest.Taupe.Ever. I do not own it though.. yet! What to do? Use the next best thing of course, Mink Muffs by Essie! It's more brown than YDKJ but still a pretty good substitute in my opinion. I absolutely love it!

This was a tough cookie to photograph, it's slightly more grey in real life but I just couldn't get the camera to capture it.

Think this bottle picture might be a little more color accurate.

I don't know what to call this color, it's not really brown and it's not really taupe, it's somewhere in between. Brown'ish taupe? Taupe'ish brown? It's gorgeous anyway, can't believe it's been sitting in my Helmer untried for so long! I got the whole collection right as it came out and just now grabbed this bottle for the first time. What was I thinking?! It applied really well, but was a little bit sheer, it took 3 to 4 coats to get it opaque. I'm sure I could have gotten away with only 3 coats but I'm a perfectionist and had to do 4.

That's all for today!
Have a nice day and thanks for reading!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Headboard and NOTD: Nubar Conserve

Hi guys!
The headboard is DONE! YAY!
It's a pretty basic padded headboard in black faux leather, was going with fabric first but there's just gonna get a bunch of dust stuck in it, and I realised wouldn't be able to take the cover off to wash as it's attached with staples on the backside of the wooden frame. The reason I decided to build my own was cause they are insanely expensive to buy! Atleast over here they are, no matter where I looked they were far over my budget. Making it myself cut the cost down to 1/8th of the store prices. Totally worth the extra time, it was fun too!
This is how it turned out:

Going for the hotel look in my bedroom, lol

When the headboard was done I could paint my nails!
I went with Nubar Conserve, which is a really pretty green shimmer with a tiny hint of blue. I was a little dissapointed though as it looks more blue toned and kind of teal'ish in the bottle, but it's still a gorgeous shade of green!

See how it looks more blue in the bottle than on the nail? It's even more apparent in real life.

This was 2 coats, and I had no application problems what so ever. I really like Nubar polishes, they have a good formula and goes on smoothly. Great brush size which makes them easy to control. The only thing I don't like is the bottlecaps, they're not that comfortable to hold, had hoped they would have a rubber coating like Orly does, and they are slightly too light. I think the brush would be even easier to control if the cap had a little more weight.

Thats all for now! Thanks for reading!

Would you want to get 5 new nail polishes for christmas?

I know I would!
Head over to Happyberrynaiad and enter her awesome Christmas Giveaway where 3 winners will walk away with up to 5 polishes each! How awesome is that?!

What are you waiting for? Click >>> HERE! <<<

or HERE if you prefer that, just do it NOW! :P
Monday, December 14, 2009

Haul Pic Spam

Exactly what the title says, just some picture spam of things that recently arrived in my mail box!

From Cherry Culture:

Milani Fairy Tale and Whimsical

L.A. Girl Turntable, Electric Guitar and Paparazzi

From ebay:
100 pots with various nailart items in 10 different colors.

WOO! Gonna have a lot of fun with this!

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Nail Nerd by day, Ninja by night! My favourite things are informercials and thumb tacs... NO! It's nails of course! and ninjas. Nails and ninjas.. yup!
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