Monday, August 29, 2011

50 Follower Appreciation

**********This Giveaway is Closed**********

I would like to thank you once again for your loyalty and love.  As an expression of my appreciation, I got this small gift together for one lucky follower.
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Rimmel London Rags to Riches, Revlon Carbonite, Revlon Vixen

These are some of my favorites for fall & I wanted to share them with you:)
Please read the rules & fill out the form below to enter.

  • Open to US Residents only (Sorry International followers I love you, I really do. As soon as I get the hang of this you will be included)
  • Entrants must be a follower of my blog through Google Friend Connect.
  • You must provide your email. (I'm the only one who will see the form)  This is so I can contact the winners.
  • All links must be valid, any links that I cannot see or are not valid will not be counted.
  • Duplicate entries will be deleted.  If you don't remember whether you entered or not comment below/email me:)
  • Total of 5 possible entries BUT there are 7 possible entries for my original 50 followers:)

**Disclaimer:  All items for this giveaway were purchased new for this giveaway by me. I paid for these with my own money.**

This giveaway ends September 30th at 11:59 EST.

Monday Manicure

Today's theme at Polish-aholics Anonymous was *Galaxy* Manicure.  This encompassed sky, space, galaxies, nebulas, etc.

And here she is:
Have you ever tried a galactic manicure before?

Friday, August 26, 2011

It has happened...

I have amazingly reached 50 followers on GFC.  Wow.  I am stunned that 50 people want to read my ramblings & look at my beginner nail art!  I am so grateful for every single one of you!  Each of you mean so much to me.  I thoroughly enjoy reading all of your wonderful comments.  Thank you so much!

To thank you, I am going to hold a very small 50 follower giveaway.  I wish that I could send each and every one of you a gigantic gift to show my appreciation!  However, that is quite unrealistic as both my husband & I are students & I work full time.  So I will have to shower you with love in a small but gracious way. 

I have already documented followers' GFC names, as you will receive bonus entries for being part of the original 50.  I hope to post my giveaway tomorrow, as I still have to iron out some deadline details, entry specifics, take pictures, & such:)  Look out for a giveaway post this weekend or on Monday!!!

**WARNING: I have already entered the original 50 followers but only 48 showed up on GFC, PLEASE make sure you're really signed in to GFC or you will be missing out on your bonus entries!***

Playing with Polish

My husband has crazy work hours at times. Like yesterday, his birthday, he left home at 6:30am and got back at 11:30pm. The result was birthday cake for breakfast:)

It's times like these where I find myself experimenting with my polishes. Yesterday, while staring down Dr.'s Remedy Tranquil Tangerine and mustering up enough courage to swatch it, I became inspired. I'm not someone who owns much orange, personally I do not find it flattering on me. And when I see orange I think Halloween or pumpkins & changing leaves.
I know, you're probably annoyed with seeing mountains of candy for trick-or-treating before Labor Day. Haunted houses will be popping up and costumes will occupy commercials & storefronts.

BUT in my defense, I was bored. REALLY bored. Here is the result of playing with polish:
I'm not sure I would ever wear this for more than an accent on a finger or two, but it's fun.  The spider was the hardest part, by far.  I think I might have to try putting a web on an entire finger next, but maybe I'll wait a little longer for that.

What seasonal manicures are you looking forward to in the upcoming weeks/months?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Manicure

This week's Monday Manicure theme is:
Creative Layering

This is one of the themes that is more open to interpretation.  All of the manicures I saw were different & gorgeous in their own right.  There were gradients, sponging, stamping, crackles, glitters, fun layering polishes, and some layering of more sheer and jelly polishes. Everyone did a phenomenal job.

Looking at the submissions always stuns me and has me in complete awe of the others in the Polish-aholics Anonymous fb group.  And as usual I was stumped on what to submit.  I sat there staring at my polishes for a while creating layering combos in my head.  I finally decided to give the "syrup" manicure a try.  This is not exactly CREATIVE layering, but it sure is layering:)

***Sorry I'm so boring guys:-\ I'll eventually get bolder with my color choices & manicures. I just don't like the look of having nail art & bright colors on all of my fingernails yet. It just isn't me & overwhelms my small fingers and nails. I have VERY small fingers, like I can't wear gorgeous statement rings because even the adjustable ones are usually too big.

FUN FACT: my wedding band & engagement ring are a whopping size 3.75 and they slip on and off quite easily***

Let me know if you've ever tried a creative layering manicure.  Feel free to leave the link so I can check it out.  I love looking at manicures & getting new ideas:)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Manicure

The theme for Polish-aholics Anonymous' Manicure Monday was...


My first thoughts were less than enthusiastic when I found out this won the most votes.  I knew it would be messy, it would be my first shot at it, and I had no straws whatsoever to try it with.  Most of last week went by and I avoided it.  Then on Thursday I mustered up enough gumption to attempt.  I did it without a straw and used tape to block my skin from splatters.  Let's just say it didn't work at all.

I was discouraged & thought "no one will care/notice if I just don't do it this week."  Today arrived & I started looking at the incredible manicures that everyone else created.  I was in awe.  They were all amazing!

I figured I would give it one last shot & do an alternative French manicure with a splatter accent nail.
This manicure was not without its headaches, but it did turn out pretty nicely.  My biggest problem was that my base color, Sally Hansen's Sheer Nude, wouldn't dry.  When I went to use my french tip guides it pulled the polish off of my pinkie.  This meant that I had to freehand the tips, which is why they're a tad sloppy.  Overall, I'm quite pleased with how this turned out.

Have you ever done a splatter manicure?  What did you do to make it successful?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Manicure

This week our Monday Manicure theme for Polish-aholics Anonymous is: Animal.

It could be animal print, animal drawing, animal tracks, you name it!  I REALLY struggled with this manicure.  I've seen so many amazing "animal" manicures out there that I wasn't sure I could measure up.  And let's be honest, this manicure was out of my comfort zone.  I'm not exactly someone to don loads of animal print or go "all out" on my nails.  I don't know if my novice self is quite ready for that.  But I did it...

I tried 5 different "animal prints" on my nails, all in black and white.  Thumb to pinky: leopard, dalmatian, zebra, giraffe, "snake."  This manicure lasted 30 minutes.  I just couldn't handle it.  A couple of days later I was just playing around with my polish and taught myself how to really make snake print.  I forgot to take any pictures, but maybe I'll redo this mani (or parts of it maybe as an accent) some time.

I was really glad I got to try this.  It was kind of nice to do something outside of my comfort zone. I cannot wait to see what the theme/challenge is for next week!

What is your favorite type of animal/animal print manicure to do?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Food And Nails

Today marks the first ever FFAN (Friday Food And Nails) post by Liquid Jelly! It's a really cool way get a glimpse into the lives of some of these bloggers that we see. And what better way to do that than to see what someone ate. It's also a really neat way to find some new blogs. Check it out for yourself:

You may even see some hands you recognize;)

If you would like to give this a whirl and do it for next week check out this post explaining FFAN.  I cannot wait to see what next week's "episode" of FFAN brings:)

Any exciting plans for the weekend?  I hope you have a good one!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hand-painted Lace Tutorial

Many of you remember this post featuring  my hand-painted lace manicure.  I have received a few requests for a tutorial on this manicure so I put one together the other day.  This post does contain MANY PICTURES and the tutorial will be mostly picture with little commentary. Tutorial, go!

When I originally posted this manicure it was done with greigey taupe and white.  While this is my favorite combination for this manicure, this can be replicated with anything from neutrals, to bold hues and beyond.  For this tutorial I changed the colors for 2 reasons:

1. it's easier to see black & the contrast would be picked up better on my camera

2. I used a french manicure brush (see above) and I wanted to show you that you can do this with everyday items you have at home.  This is a manicure EVERYONE can do, not just the person with 1 million nail art tools:)

This is what you will need:
-base/background color
-another color of polish to create your "lace"
-small old makeup brush or paintbrush (mine was from this brush kit with for $1.99)
-skewer, toothpick, or pin to make the fine lines
-remover pen for cleanup

***I apologize for any blurry pictures, I was having trouble focusing my camera in macro***
Step 1: Prep your nails, use your basecoat, etc. Let dry completely. 
Step 2: Paint your nails in your base color.  I used Sinful Colors Easy Going ($1.99).  Make sure you achieve the desired opacity in as few coats as possible.  I used 2 coats. Let dry completely.(I apologize for my chipped nails--this mani was old)
Step 3: Get your fine brush.  Unscrew the lid of your layering polish and scrape the polish off the brush onto your brush.  My layering polish was Sinful Colors Black on Black ($1.99).
Step 4: Pick which finger you are accenting with this design (if you were REALLY ambitious you could do this to all your nails...) and draw a backwards slight "c" shape on your nail.
Step 5: Draw another line closer to your cuticle with the same shape.
Step 6: Starting near the middle, but not exactly centered, draw a backwards "j" shape.
Step 7: On the left side of your nail make another backwards "c" shape.
Step 8: On the opposite side (the right) make a "c" shape following the curve of your "j" you made in step 6.
Step 9: Your last stroke with your fine brush will be by making an "n" shape at the tip.
Step 10: Put your fine brush in remover to remove the polish and pick up your skewer/toothpick/pin.  Pick polish up off of the brush and onto the very tip of your implement.
Step 11: Begin in the middle and draw squares, "t" shapes, lines, or "x" shapes.
Step 12: Continue doing this between the thick lines in the center of your nail.
Step 13: Continue making these fine lines on one side of your nail, then the other.
Step 14: Make your fine lines between your backwards "c" shaped lines. *You can stop here and skip to step 16 if you are looking for a half-moon lace manicure.*
Step 15: Make the remaining hatch marks on your lunula (the semicircle area near you cuticle where you paint contrasting colors for a half-moon manicure)
Step 16: After it completely dries. Finish with your favorite topcoat.  This not only helps your manicure to last longer but it also tends to even out the texture.

There is absolutely no right or wrong way to do this design.  Make it your own by changing the design to suit your taste.  And it's better than nail strips because you can do the colors you want.  I would LOVE to see what you come up with!  If you end up doing this link, facebook, or email me your picture! I cannot wait to see where you take this:)

Monday, August 1, 2011

FREE Birchbox!

Neely at A Complete Waste of Makeup is giving one of her lucky followers a year subscription of Birchbox!

This is what Birchbox's website says:


What is Birchbox? 

Birchbox delivers the best products and the best insider secrets, without any fuss. Every month Birchbox members will receive a curated box of luxe beauty samples. Each box will span beauty categories and deliver exciting products that fit into both your day-to-day routine, and into those days when you want to turn up the drama a notch.

Co-founders Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp met at Harvard Business School. They created Birchbox to help women cut through the clutter of the beauty world to find products that really work for them.

Check out Neely's giveaway:

Monday Manicure

This Monday Manicure is FULL of firsts:
  • My first time doing a Polish-aholics Anonymous Monday Manicure theme
  • My first manicure with scotch tape
  • My first manicure using decorative scissors (pinking shears)
 I think it's a pretty good first shot.  I thought that ALL of my nails might look a little crazy so I only did 3.  Not too sure I like it.  Next time I'll have to add lots of color.  Sometimes I think my nails look goofy & overwhelmed when I do nail art on all of them in lots of color.  I need to get over that.  But that's what I'm here for, learning.

Have you ever done a scotch tape mani?  What are some of your "tips"?