Tuesday, October 30, 2012

some "Hooray I survived Sandy" swatch spam

WOOOHOOOO! Unless you live under a rock, I'm sure you heard about Superstorm Sandy and how shizz for us east coasters was all like:

well, I am happy to say my family and I made it through the storm. We lost power for a while and saw some trees out back come down (NONE of which came down ON us, thankmyeverlovingod), but we're good now. So, in celebration of our new lease on life, and also because I desperately need to clean out my "to post" folder, howzabout a ton of pics of lots of awesome recently released polishes? You down? Ok sweet. Let 'er rip!

First up, lets all admire the gorgeousness that is Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Twist of Lime, from the Fall 2012 Limited Edition Collection that started popping up about a month ago. This is 2 coats of Twist of Lime layered over 2 coats of Zoya Midori. On its own, this polish is really sheer so I definitely  recommend layering it and BELIEVE me, it is worth the layering. Freakin beau-dee-ful!! Gorgeous glass fleck yellow green that flashes either kelly green and gold depending on your angle of view. 

Next, we have another shade from the limited edition Diamond Strength collection. This one is called Blue Frosting and it is another multichromatic stunner. This one shifts from sky blue to lavender to a deeper purple and blue. I have2 coats of Blue Frosting layered over Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Lacey Lilac. Like Twist of Lime, Blue Frosting is painfully sheer on its own and definitely needs underwear to bring out its true awesomeness.

Moving on we have YET ANOTHER limited edition Diamond Strength shade (yea, I admit, I bought the whole damn collection when I saw it). This one is Moonlit Dance--gorgeous gold-flashing orange glass fleck amazingness. This is 2 coats layered over Sinful Colors Courtney Orange.

Here's the 4th Diamond Strength shade I have to show you today (I haven't gotten a chance to try the others yet). This one is called All Aglow. This one lacks the color shift that the others have but it is still a beautiful glass fleck finish polish. This one requires no layering--this is 2 coats of All Aglow on its own. Oh Sally Hansen, why you do spoil us so?!

(nail decals courtesy of Kiss)

Here we have Nicole by OPI If the Blue Fits, which is from ANOTHER amazing fall collection--this one Target Exclusive. Beautiful sapphire blue and purple flecks in a navy blue base. I am seriously loving the ubiquitousness (not sure if that's a word or not--meh...) of this polish finish this season as it is one of my absolute favorites. I love the depth & multi-dimensional shimmer  it lends. This is 2 coats of If the Blue Fits on its own--seriously glossy even without topcoat!

 Lastly, we have Python from New York Color. This polish is from their limited edition fall 2012 Fashion Predator collection. This is the only polish in this post I am "meh" about. It's pretty enough--nice olive green glass fleck polish but I've seen it done better. Also, the formula on this one was thin and runny. I'm wearing 4 coats in the pic. C'mon, NYC, I know you are capable of better!

Anyway, hope you all enjoyed my spam. And hoping all east coast peeps are safe and haven't experienced too much Sandy-induced drama!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Still kickin

Sup, homies? I know its been a while. Life keeps eating up all my time--damn you obligations and responsibilities!! Despite the fact that I haven't blogged about my nails, I HAVE been doing them and I've still created manis for the CNT Halloween Challenge. I just seem to be having issues with being able to get said manis posted on the days they're supposed to appear....sigh...oh well--better late than never, right??

So anyway, here's the mani I did for the "Bump in the Night (monsters, etc) " prompt of the challenge:

Yep, unoriginal mummy nails that 5 million bloggers have done 5 million times before.  But, hey, how many bloggers take pics of their mummy nails while holding adorable little tuxedo skeleton wind-up toys? Yep, that's me, always gotta shake things up.

This mani consists of:
Zoya Dove (the gray)
Wet N Wild Black Creme
Wet N Wild French White Creme
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear  Cherry Red for the pupils

Next up, I have the mani I did for the "pumpkins" prompt of the challenge:

outside shade

inside under swirly eco light bulb thingy

Yea I know, they kinda suck but, like I said, I'm still a newbie with all this free-hand nail art stuff. 

This mani consists of:

Maybelline Orange Blazes
Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Moonlit Dance
Wet N Wild Black Creme

Only 3 more prompts left in this challenge. Think I'll manage to post about 'em before Thanksgiving? Stay tuned and find out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More late Halloween Challenge nails...

Yep, once again, here I am posting for Crumpet's Halloween Challenge a day late...but honestly--at this point--do you expect anything else from me?

The prompt for this mani was "Freestyle Halloween" so I took the opportunity to experiment with a nail art technique I haven't tried yet: needle marbling. In orange and black, of course...

outside sun

outside shade

even more outside shade

So basically, I took Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sunkissed, painted my nails with it and let it dry. Then, going one nail at a time, I painted half Sunkissed and half Wet N Wild Black Creme--put them both on a bit thick and then I dragged a pin-point through them randomly. I decided NOT to attempt any sort of specific design within the needle marble since it was my first time with it. My aim was simply "lets see if we can do this without it becoming a hot and hideous mess." Once again, kids. If you set your goals nice and low, you won't be dissappointed. After the pin-dragging, I applied 2 coats of Seche Vite.

I admit, I am actually really happy with how my nails came out--even if they are super simple (see readers, I'm taking your advice and trying to be less hard on myself)...I'll definitely be experimenting with needle marbling again!

Oooooh Things that Go Bump in the Night is the next prompt! Ghost nails, here I come!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Depression Awareness

October is depression awareness month. Green is the ribbon color. Being that I have battled severe clinical depression pretty much my whole frickin life, I felt compelled to do a green manicure dedicated to raising awareness of this most insidious, relentless and ubiquitous disease.  

Mani consists of:
L'Oreal Project Runway The Muse's Attitude
Color Club Kiss me Under the Mistletoe
Bundle Monster image plate 
Seche Vite

For me, depression is very much a physical disease. Chemical imbalances (yes, friends, chemicals are physical things) cause it. For me, that is every bit as REAL and tangible as, say, a tumor is for a cancer patient. Depression has never been "all in my head." It's not simply a matter of "cheering up and getting over it." When those chemicals shift and I feel myself going down, there isn't a whole lot I can do. It's as if someone turns the volume up on gravity. My bones are suddenly made of lead. Getting up becomes pretty much impossible. As does concentrating. The space between my ears fills with static and even when I force myself out of bed & try to make myself engage in some kind of activity, I catch myself standing & staring into space. I hate it. It wastes me and there is nothing I wouldn't give to be rid of it. Depression has been with me since I was a small child. I can't remember ever being without it. And, no matter how many pills or hours of therapy I throw at it, it still remains with me and probably always will. I'll spare you the worst of the details; suffice it to say I am lucky to be alive right now because I know so many people do not win the battle that I stubbornly fight to keep going each day and there were too many times that I, too, came dangerously close to losing. 

If you suffer from depression, I'm sure lots of this rings true for you, too. If you don't, please take the time to educate yourself and please don't ever assume that someone who struggles with this disease does so willingly.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lame late witch nails

So yesterday was witch day in the halloween challenge I'm doing but I didn't exactly post yesterday.
I DID do my nails yesterday, just didn't get around to actually uploading, editing and publishing anything. Damn you, life...MUST you keep getting in the way of blogging?? And you think I could at least have a decent mani to post given my lateness, but nooooooo. I come straggling in with THIS crap:

My original plan for the witches prompt was to create a fun halloween-colored background and stamp the only witch image I have in my plate collection over top of it. However, since I had never attempted to use that plate before (it's from Bundle Monster's first generation of stamping plates), I had no idea the plate was not etched properly and therefore would NOT stamp the witch properly...so I gave up and reached for some lame witchy decals instead. 

I like to think the cute dotticure background redeems this crap mani but really I just hate the whole dang thing.

For this mani, I used:

Barry M Bright Purple as base
Sinful Colors Exotic Green 
Maybelline Orange Blazes
large & small dotting tool
Nail decals by Kiss
Gelous and Seche Vite topcoats

Lets hope that, since the next prompt is "freestyle Halloween," I can actually pull of something that doesn't suck. Til then, go join the Crumpet's Nail Tarts group on Facebook and go see lots of other much more competent witch-themed manicures! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Challenge Day 3: Zombie Nails!!

We have arrived at day 3 of the Crumpet's Nail Tarts Halloween Nail Art Challenge 2012. Day 3 belongs to the zombies!! I have quite an affinity for the undead--what with the glazed over eyes staring into space, the drooling on oneself and the tendency to communicate with grunts and growls, zombies and I have lots in common. I, too, desire brains--not so much for eating but for thinking more clearly and remembering things (I'm convinced the only thing I have between my ears is empty space)...

Anyway, enough yammering and onto the nails:

inside under lamp with swirly eco bulb thingy

outdoors under overcast sky

Zombies--heart--brains....get it? Yea I know, my brilliance is awe-inspiring.

For this mani I used:

China Glaze Immortal as a base
Wet N Wild Black Creme
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Cherry Red
LA Colors pink nail art polish
Wet N Wild French White Creme
Tiny flat, angled nail art brush
Detail/lining brush
Dotting tool

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crumpet's Nail Tarts Halloween 2012 nail art challenge day 2: Black Cats!

Hello and welcome to the second post for the Halloween nail art challenge I have undertaken. Today's prompt was "black cats." My personal goal for this challenge is to baby-step my way into more free-hand nail art so, once again, I chose a simple design that I felt I could pull off with nothing but brushes and polish. Here's what my nails ended up looking like:

Yep, little peeking black kitties. I know they're not perfect, but at least they actually somewhat resemble cat heads, right? That's right people, set low goals and you'll never be disappointed. 

So, for this mani, I used China Glaze Surfin for Boys for my orange base. Then I busted out my trusty Wet N Wild black creme and a flat, angled nail art brush (picture a mini version of an ecotools eyeliner brush) to do the cats' heads. The eyes were done with a lime green LA Colors Art Deco striper polish and the pupils with a a short striper brush and WnW Black Creme again. 

 So far I am loving taking part in this challenge! As you can see below, the next prompt is ZOMBIES!! You know, I have a great affinity for the undead so I can't frickin wait!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

China Glaze Cast A Spell

Just a quick post today to show you one of China Glaze's Halloween 2012 polishes. This is Cast A Spell:

Cast A Spell is made of orangey-gold, lime and emerald green micro-flakies in a blackened olive base. This polish is stunning! It's murky yet still glows--even in ugly gray, foggy New England fall weather (I like to hope that, one fine day, we'll see the sun again). 

Formula is is a little on the thick side--practically a one coater but I did 2 because apparently I like wasting polish (any one else a habitual multi-coater even when they don't need to be?), then topped it with my trusty Seche Vite. 

Well done, China Glaze! You can always count on this brand for some awesome Halloween nail candy!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Crumpet's Nail Tarts Halloween 2012 Nail art challenge--day 1 "Trick or Treats"

So guess who decided to finally join a nail art challenge....I figured since I want to do tons of Halloween theme manis for the month of October and could use a little impetus to keep me going, why not hop on board this nifty little challenge that starts today? I learned about it in this nail-related Facebook group I'm in and the minute I saw it I was like "I'm SO on board with this!" I love the prompts and I love that everything is staggered out over the month of October because I know for a fact I could NEVER keep up with any kind of daily challenge (too many kids and too short of an attention span for that kind of nonsense)...

So anyfrickinway, onto the pics!

Crumpet's Nail Tarts Halloween 2012 Nail Art Challenge Day 1: Trick or Treats:

(please ignore the chip in my index nail...I whacked it on the screen door on my way out to snap these pics)

So the prompt for today is 'trick or treats'--basically sugary candy goodness. We all know I am a stampaholic but I am massively inexperienced when it comes to other forms of nail art--especially anything free form, so I wanted to push myself to do more free form stuff. I figured I could pull off something nice and simple like a candy corn manicure, so that's what I went with. 

I started off with a base of Finger Paints Papier Mache. Then painted Maybelline Sunshine half way up each nail. Next I painted Sally Hansen Extreme Wear in Sunkissed a quarter of the way up. I guess it's not that bad...right? It could have been worse...

So that's my installment for day 1 of this challenge. I am SO excited for all the upcoming prompts! I LOVES me some spooky things and am looking forward to painting all manner of ghoul and gore on these 10 little canvases on the tips of my fingers!

Btw, is that dancing skelly not the awesomest thing you've ever seen? Seriously, I want to tatt it on me somewhere!