Friday, July 30, 2010

Obsessed with this color.

I have a serious love affair with China Glaze - Cowgirl Up. Right now in my mind there aren't a lot of things prettier in the world than this nail polish. I know it's completely not summer-y in the traditional sense, but ever since I got it 2 months ago all I've been thinking about doing is wearing it for a full mani, haha. These are swatches from a few days after I got it and earlier today I finally gave in and put it on so it would stop haunting me! It's going to rain for a few days here anyway so I won't be able to swatch - this is a perfect opportunity. :) Check out this beauty!

Look at that shimmer! Perfection in a bottle. I got this and Let's Groove at the same time and it was like sensory overload trying to decide what to wear first haha. Another thing that made me ridiculously happy today was the layering combo I put together for Wednesday for you guys... just wait til you see it! And on Thursday I've got some more nail art from Alexandra to show you.

Also... I all of a sudden started to really like OPI - Glitzerland today, from the new Swiss collection. I originally liked three or four of the colors, but Glitzerland never appealed to me; until today. For whatever reason, the two pictures I saw of it on MUA today just made me want it so bad! Has this ever happened to you? Where you really weren't into a polish and then all of a sudden something made you love it? What polish had that effect on you?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fun With Layering Wednesday comes on Thursday this week.

Shiny! Glittery! Possibly close to a hard to find OPI color?! Purple! Today's (day late) Fun With Layering Wednesday combo has everything I could possibly want. And I actually don't know for sure if it's close to the OPI..but we'll get to that in a minute. I'm pretty jazzed about this mani, so there's a lot of pictures. Prepare yourself accordingly.

What wonders lay ahead? China Glaze - Light As Air with Sinful Colors - Purple Diamonds on top. Looking at all these pictures makes me want to wear this again ASAP.

ohhhh the sun makes it looks so nice!

outside in the shade


Now, let's chat. I found a slightly used bottle of OPI - Vio-Let's Surf in a local nail salon a month or two ago. I haven't swatched it yet. (It's going to be a part of Hard To Find Week that I'll be doing in the future) But once I put these two colors on, it made me think about Vio-Let's Surf. So I grabbed my bottle and took it outside to hold next to my nails to see if it looks close in the bottle or not.

So it could be close. It intrigued me enough that I may need to swatch Vio-Let's Surf sooner than I had planned and compare these. Wouldn't that be cool if they were close? Those pictures make my hands look huge too, which is strange because I have really small hands in real life haha. But I digress. Would you guys want to see a comparison of this layering combo and Vio-Let's Surf soon? I could make that happen :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blue because I'm blue.

So sorry I haven't posted in a few days guys. I lost one of my kittys on Thursday night. We had to put him to sleep :( I had him for 16 years and it was pretty heartbreaking. His name was Starlight. I posted on MUA asking for suggestions for nail polishes with the name Star or Starlight and got a lot of great ideas, but if you have any - please let me know! There was even a really wonderful NBer (nail board-er) who is sending me a bottle of the new Revlon - Star glitter topcoat. How amazing and kind is that? I love that there are such sweet people out there! So hopefully I will be using that soon for a Fun With Layering Wednesday post.

What I do have for you today, on a lighter note, is a nail polish I bought on a whim and haven't fully decided if I am going to keep or not. It's FingerPaints - Add & ABstract. A nice blue with slight green flashes. It was a kind of overcast day when I took these pictures so I have two inside and one outside, I tried my best to capture the green flash for you!

It's a really nice and I like it a lot, but I think it is close (but not a total dupe) of Rimmel - Marine Blue. I think I like Marine Blue a little more so this Finger Paints may end up in my swap pile. I'll have a comparison of the two and a swatch of Marine Blue up soon for you guys to make your own decision!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Busy Days and an Interesting Polish

I feel like I have 800 things happening all at once right now. Ugh, I am not a fan of that haha. But one thing that de-stresses me when I get really busy like this is painting my nails...or just rearranging my stash! It's nice to have some pretty on your nails to look at during the day too :) One thing I did get to do though is help someone fulfill a long time lemming! (A lemming is something you really really want) She had posted about trying to find an older China Glaze color that I recently saw in a nearby nail salon, so I'm going to pick it up for her and send it to her tomorrow. I love doing this!

Today I have a really pretty OPI nail polish for you, called "Sheer" Your Toys. Oddly enough, it's not a sheer polish at all haha. It's a very wearable gray color (even on my ridiculously pale skin tone!).

sunlight! (looks longingly out the window while it rains.. when will the sun come back?)

Shade.. see how shiny it is in the shade? That's without top coat!


Here's a different angle outside to showcase the copper pieces that are in this. (click and enlarge to see it better)

Amazing how shiny "Sheer" Your Toys is without a top coat! From some angles this looks like just a creamy gray color but then you can see the copper bits when you move your hand. It's really nice, I was actually suprised how much I liked this. When I first got it from a blog sale, I was kind of meh on the copper part, and waited to try it for a couple of weeks but then voila! Magic! In my opinion, this is a color you could wear year round and to a myriad of different events. What a versatile little polish this one is haha. So what do you think? Like it? Hate it? And how weird is it that the name Sheer is in it when it's actually a really opaque color? Pretty, but strange haha. I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nail art, a tutorial, Paradoxal swatches.. oh my!

Hello lovelies! I'm all kinds of out of wack today. Why you may ask? Well, I've been up since 4 am (on purpose!) to watch golf. The Open Championship in Scotland started today and TV coverage started at 4 am EST, so I'm rocking 2 hours of sleep and have happily been watching golf all day. Yes, I am very aware that this is insane behavior; but I love it! My sports addiction might be a wee bit out of control haha.

But since I knew all week I was planning to do this, I figured today was the perfect day to introduce you all to my friend Alexandra and show you all the wonderful things she has in store for us. First up Paradoxal swatches! I asked Alexandra if she would mind taking a couple of Paradoxal swatches inside because, 1) I can't get enough of this polish! and 2) I feel like every picture highlights the shimmer in Paradoxal, but most of the time the shimmer isn't very visable. So Alexandra indulged me and took pictures of Paradoxal to show us what it normally looks like :)

Ahhh, I can't get over how pretty this nail polish is!

Are you up for some nail art? Alexandra provided an incredible step by step tutorial to create some really really pretty flowers. Here are her instructions:

Basic Flowers
Level: beginner
Materials: Rhinestones, tooth pick and 2 small bottle caps. If you don’t have rhinestones choose another color for the center.


1) Start by getting a table lamp or getting close to a well illuminated place. Add 1 coat of the nail polish you like to all of your nails.

2) Add a generous second coat to only one nail, it is costumary to start with an average size finger, because you can get a sense of the layout.

3) Fill a little container with water and dip the toothpick, this will help for picking up the rhinestone, although you can also get a “picker-upper” at a beauty supply store.

4) Place the rhinestone on the nail while the polish is still wet, and press slightly.

5) Make sure the rhinestones follow a curved pattern, and not a “/” or an “L” pattern, a “moon” shape looks more subtle.

6) Place a drop of a contrasting color of nail polish in a small container, I use a bottle cap. Dip only a tiny portion of the toothpick and “touch” the surface of the nail, the color will transfer much like a refrigirator magnet, there is no need to press or sink it in. Some people use dotting tools and press on to make an effect, but usually for bigger flowers. Nail art brushes also work well, some even come within a bottle of nail polish.

7) Work each nail one by one, or add the rhinestones to all your nails and then start the dotting process. Add top coat.

One last thing, don’t be afraid to try it, the previous picture was made very cautiously to show the detail, but the following ones show flowers made really fast and not so perfect. The big picture is what matters, the overall look is still very good, even if the close-up shows some flowers are missing petals and some dots are bigger than others.

Tips: - to keep a more together look, draw flowers on the outside corners only, meaning the flowers on the right hand will be on the right side and the ones on the left hand will be on the left side.

- try on one nail first, with just clear base/top coat, or on a fake nail, so you can get a sense of the separation of the rhinestones.

- the polish used for dotting dries really fast, since it is just a drop, so you must work fast and use a new drop when it does. However, when I first pour the drop it is too watery, not optimal for dotting, I wait about 20 seconds. It takes practice, but it’s a good idea to always try the first flowers on a piece of paper.

- when in doubt, make very tiny dots first and put your hand about two feet away to see the overall picture, and if the flower petals need to be thicker, just dip in the polish again and dot over it.

Colors used for this tutorial: Chanel 509 Paradoxal and OPI Alpine Snow.

How pretty is that?! Thank you SO much for the tutorial and swatches Alexandra! What do you guys think? Are any of you going to try this? I think I am, hopefully soon. I'll be sure to post pictures when I try it. I think it looks so classy and professionally done... I hope mine turns out just as nice!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More Layering fun, and exciting things coming!

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday! I'm back with another new layering combo for you :) And after I show you that, I've got cool news- new stuff debuting here tomorrow! The excitment is radiating off this blog post, I know you can tell, haha.

So today I've got a green and some glitter for you. I was rummaging through my nail polish boxes last week trying to figure out what layering things would be interesting for you. I'm trying to mix it up, I don't want to show you the same colors or finishes each week. Plus I want to mix it up between easy to find, hard to find, inexpensive, etc so that there's something for every taste. (Well, unless your taste is yellow - I look awful in yellow.) Last week I gave you flakies, so this week - glitter!

I give you, Sinful Colors - Rise and Shine

Sorry it's a little messy, wish I had noticed before I took the pictures :) haha, oh well! That's two coats, with top coat because it dried a little matte. I like shiny.

Now, Rise and Shine, with Color Club - Hot Couture over it!



Ah! Extreme close-up!

I really really like this combination. I was worried this might turn out looking awful, but I had a feeling it might be cool. Lucky for me it ended up really pretty! Hot Couture is from the Pardon My French collection and is still pretty easy to find in case you want to try this for yourself.

Do you want to know a secret? Until about two months ago I almost never wore glitter nail polish. I read too many horror stories online about what a pain it was to remove, so I figured there were plenty of other glitter-free nail polishes in the world that were easier to deal with. Luckily I wised up! I still don't really go full-on glitter yet, but I'll get there. (Yes, I know about the foil method for removing..but it just seems like a lot of work haha) I'm really into glittery top coats right now though.

The one good thing that came out of me not wearing glitter was that I got really into holos! I'm going to be doing a holo week pretty soon to show you my favorites, which include an incredible frankened holo from a really amazing Make-Up Alley (also known as MUA) friend, Alexandra. Which bring me to my really really exciting news! Alexandra and I got to talking, and she is going to be doing guest posts here for the amazing nail art she does! Tomorrow I have the first post from her, which gives us cute nail art, a tutorial for it, AND Paradoxal swatches!! I'm not great with nail art, all I do is Konad, but Alexandra has such pretty and creative nail art - I'm so honored that she wants to be a part of Jeweled Tips! So be sure to check back tomorrow afternoon for it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Wonder of the One-Coater.

The one-coater is a mythical, magically creature. Spoken of in hushed, reverent tones. Find a true, opaque, no visible nail line (or VNL as it's referred to) vibrant color in one coat and you hold on for dear life! But I have found one. Actually I think I have 5 or so in my stash, but that's just not as dramatic to say. I'll show you those eventually in less dramatic posting fashion.

Our one-coater is SpaRitual - Must Be Lust. I've heard only good things about this brand, but sadly this is the only one I have. So today, not only are you getting a one coat polish today BUT you get to see my ENTIRE SpaRitual collection. Wooo, exciting!


(outside on a cloudy day)

The day I swatched this the clouds kept coming and going. Eventually I threw in the towel and you guys got shade pictures and no sun ones, sorry! Pretty color though, right? Applys like a dream! This looks so strange to me though. Why you ask? I never wear red on my fingers. I'm very pale (practically translucent) and I always feel like red just makes that more apparent. I wear it on my toes all the time though, go figure. But this red seems a little softer, more pink-ish so it might be something I can pull off. If you look hard, you can see a little VNL in these pictures, but you can't actually see that in real life. And it was so easy to take off. Most of the time I feel like reds never get completely off haha but this was nice.

I really need to get some more SpaRitual polishes one of these days. Do you have any? Let me know what you think!

Oh and a little tidbit I find exciting. (And the word tidbit makes me happy.) I already have four polishes, well three and a treatment, together for a giveaway! When I get some more followers I'll be ready for one! Yay! I probably will add another one or two polishes to this. But I'm pretty stoked on it. And I'm up to 27 followers already, so cool :) Thank YOU for that!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away...

It's been raining the last two days in New Jersey. I did catch a pocket of sunlight for like 25 minutes yesterday and got two swatches in. But allegedly, it's supposed to be sunny the next two days before raining for a few more. So I'm going to swatch like crazy for a few days haha. I like to stock pile swatches because I've got ridiculous back problems, so I never know when I'm going to have a day where I can't get out of bed. This way I won't get behind on posts! Everybody wins (well except my back, but it's not a team player anyway so it shouldn't win.)

Anybody up for a nice little purple creme? I sure am.

Today I have for you the very simple, yet very pretty Color Club - Uptown Girl. This a polish I got at Bed Bath & Beyond when Color Club displays magically started appearing there. Last week I discovered a whole wall full has sprung up in one of the aisles - yay! Color Club is one of my favorite brands of nail polish. I've never found one that gave me application trouble.

I think this is photographing a little darker than it actually is in real life, but still pretty close. There's something kind of soothing about this color in my opinion. And I feel like it's appropriate for pretty much any setting. What do you think about it? Is it a color that you might where to work? Sometimes I think it's something I'd wear, sometimes I think it might be too much. So I'm appealing to you all!

One of the many things I'm putting together for the blog is a list of work appropriate colors from my stash. I want to post the pictures all in one place so that people can reference it when they need something for interviews or just something new to wear to work.

Also, another fun little thing I have for you today is my Google Spreadsheet with all of the nail polish and konad plates that I own. It's broken down by brand and it has a brief description of each color, the collection it's from, and any other miscellaneous notes I have about the color on there. There is a link on the right side of the site, right under my contact information. Feel free to take a look and email me with any colors you want to see, comparisons, etc that you'd like!

And don't forget the giveaways I posted a few days ago are ending soon! I've got one more for you to check out: rmcandlelight is giving away a few polishes over at her blog; so go enter now! :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fun With Layering Wednesday!

It's Wednesday already again... I feel like that week went by so fast! But I think I've found the only color that Sally Hansen - Hidden Treasure does NOT look good layered over. Yes, there actually is one. And I'm going to show it to you.

Essie- Sag Harbor with Hidden Treasure on top

Sorry I had to squish my fingers up to get the light to hit my nails in the right way to really show Hidden Treasure. This manicure kind of looks scaley right? Not such a good look in my opinion. What's weird is that Hidden Treasure looks good over other light colors... over white it looks like Opals! And I wore it over China Glaze - Something Sweet for a wedding I was in last month. (Demure enough for a bridesmaid but interesting enough looking to keep me happy haha).

I really thought this was going to work. In theory it was an awesome idea. Sag Harbor is one of my favorite polishes of all time. Hidden Treasure is chock full of flakey goodness. Maybe it was too much of a good thing to put these two together?

But since those pictures weren't very exciting, here's some bonus Sag Harbor pictures! Yay bonus pictures!

This is inside and yikes did I catch the worst possible angle for it haha, excuse my hasty and not so hot clean up here.

Like I said, Sag Harbor is one of my favorite polishes. I like it so much I went and bought it's L'oreal counterpart, High Tide, so I'd have a back up bottle. The Essie North Fork Collection is what really started my nail polish addiction. When I googled it to find swatches I discovered the wonderful world of nail blogs and never looked back :) I have the other two polishes from that collection (Shelter Island and Greenport) which I will show you all together at some point in the future!

I hope everyone is staying cool; it's disgustingly hot still in New Jersey. Now I'm off to finish two articles for the hockey site I write for!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Color Club neons and what I learned about neons in general.

Double post today to make up for my little hiatus! I told you in the last post that I would "kind of show you neons" today. What did I mean by kind of? Well I have pictures of three different neon polishes. But the kind of part comes in because they seem to make my camera crazy so they aren't 100% accurate. Also, I learned that most neon polishes look absolutely horrendous on me. Almost everything is going to get swapped haha.

Okay the first polish I have to show you is Color Club - Electro Candy.

Outside in direct sunlight

Outside in the shade

Inside, artificial light

So...Electro Candy. What a pain to photograph! None of these three pictures fully show how BRIGHT this color is. Think hot pink highlighter bright. But you can see how different the color looks to my camera in different light. And it sort of made me look like a corpse, so this is going in the swap pile haha. I'm super pale, but I imagine this would look awesome on someone tan (aka most people in the summer).

Next up: Color Club - Ultra Violet!

I thought I was going to love this, but was kind of meh on it. But here are pictures for you to decide for yourself...

Outside direct sunlight

Outside in shade

Indoors, artifical light

Normally I'm a purple fanatic but this I didn't love. Liked, yes.. but it was a little bright for me too. The actual color is closest in real life to the first picture. Again, these pictures don't come close to capturing how bright it is and you can see the different ways the camera thought it looked, just like Electro Candy. This has a fairly strong blue flash which you can definitely see in the sunlight picture (the first one).

Last but certainly not least, Color Club - Pure Energy

Pure Energy was my favorite and the only one I'm going to keep. This is supposedly a dupe for China Glaze - Towel Boy Toy, but I don't have that to compare them.

Outside in sunlight

Outside in shade

Indoors, arificial light

So pretty! Still a little brighter in real life than in pictures, but not as blinding as the other two colors I showed above. Pure Energy is much more flattering on my skintone, but still a color that I probably will mostly use on my toes. Perfect for summer though! I've had Towel Boy Toy on my wishlist for a while but I think this will be a very good (and cheaper) substitute for me.

All three of the swatches were done with 1 coat of OPI - Alpine Snow and then 2 coats of color. I've read that it makes the colors more vibrant and uses less coats if you use a white underneath them. I'd also heard that neons are notoriously streaky and tough to work with for the most part; but all three of these were a dream to apply- very easy! The first coat was streaky but it evened out nicely after the second. Oh, and don't forget you can click on all of the pictures to enlarge them if you'd like.

I got these at Ross in the Electro Candy set so it was an low-risk way for me to try out neon polishes. So the verdict is that I don't like how neons look on me (with Pure Energy as the exception.) And they make my camera crazy haha. What do you guys think? Love neons or hate 'em? If you have found ones you love, let me know your favorites - maybe I will get brave enough to try some more one day :)

I hope everyone is having an amazing day/night - it's over 100 degrees here in New Jersey.. ridiculously hot. So I'm hiding out inside and eating ice cream!

Some amazing Giveaways are happening in the blog world!

Hello world :)

Sorry that it's been a few days since I posted. I went on a mini road trip with my best friend. We went back to our old college - neither of us has been back since we left 2 and a half years ago; I went on a medical leave (stupid back problems, grrr) and my friend transferred after I left. So it was kind of weird to be back, it felt like it had been lifetime ago, but it was really nice to be there again too. If someone had told me four years ago that all the things that have happened to me, were going to happen... oh man I would've had a nervous breakdown haha! So it was a busy few days with that and two Independence Day bar-b-ques (yum!).

But now I'm back! I've got some really cool giveaways to tell you about in this post. Then I have some neons to kind of show you next. And tomorrow is Fun With Layering Wednesday again, already!

First up... an anniversary giveaway from BabblingBrooke!

Brooke writes: "Babbling Brooke celebrates its 2nd Birthday/Blogaversary (aka: Blog Anniversary) on July 14, so I'm having a HUGE giveaway to thank all my wonderful followers! Blogging has been awesome these past two years and I am really looking forward to many more to come. Thank you to all my long-time, recent, and brand-new followers!!

There will be TEN winners total!
Total value of ALL prizes: $648!!
42 Nail Polishes in all"

How good does that giveaway look?! I'm entering nad I highly suggest you do too! Also, keep an eye on her blog all day July 14th because she will be giving away even more prizes throughout the day - so there are a ton of things to win!

Enter here:

And the other giveaway I want to share with you is from The Hungry Asian for her birthday and blog anniversary.

She is giving away 7 Color Club polishes, 6 Eyeko polishes (which I'd love to try!), a set of Nailene fake nails, China Glaze- Black Magic, a Hello Kitty polish, and two of her frankens! What a collection of things to win! You can see all of the items pictured at the link to the giveaway below - go check it out.

Enter here:

Both of these end on July 14th, so be sure to enter within the next few days!