Rainbow Nails and my gradient technique!

rainbow_nails

Today’s nails were inspired by my inner child!  When I was a little girl (back in the 80’s) I just loved rainbows!  Rainbow stickers, rainbow spiral notebooks, rainbow earrings… pretty much anything that had a rainbow on it caught my attention.  Too bad it took me 30+ years to discover this rainbow gradient technique!  Well, this mani is dedicated to you, little Jacqui from the 80’s!  I know you would’ve loved these nails. 🙂

My first attempts at gradients were total fails- until I came up with this very effective way of using makeup sponges.  Here’s a pic of how I use my sponge for a gradient:

fool-proof_gradient_sponge

I start out with a standard cosmetic application wedge and use sharp scissors to cut it into 4 or 5 long skinny pieces.  I take one of the pieces, fold it in half, and dab it into a drop of nail polish on my work surface.  Then I sponge it onto my nail to create the gradient effect.  I think these folded over sponge strips work well since their surface is slightly curved, yet small-so you can dab, dab, dab away to get the paint just where you want it.  I use a different sliver of sponge for each color.  The small surface area of the sponge worked great to get the skinny lines of color for today’s rainbow gradient… but it also works well for a larger-scale gradient (like this leopard design where I only sponged on one color).  I think this technique is less messy and it’s fool-proof!!  I haven’t screwed up one gradient yet since I started doing it this way !

rainbow_sponged_gradient

WHITE BASE ♥ one coat of Sally Hansen Teflon Tuff in French White Tip

RED Zoya Carmen

ORANGE AVON Orange Creamsicle

YELLOW AVON Inspire

AQUA Wet n wild I Need a Refresh-mint

PURPLE Nicole by OPI I’m a Belieber

This mani makes me happy on this beautiful friday!!

Do you love rainbows as much as me??

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Perfect summer nail polish!! Sand Blast in SANDALS

la_girl_sandblast

WOW!  I am loving this new L.A. Girl textured polish called Sand Blast!!  Please excuse my immature slang- but this stuff is the bomb!!!!!!!!!!   This pink shade is called Sandals and it may be my new favorite for summer!  Shown here is one quick-drying coat.  Yup, you heard that right!  A textured one-coater that dries fast!  I applied one thick coat when I woke up this morning… then showered about a half hour later and got ready for work and I had no issues at all!  This is perfect for summertime when we’d rather be out enjoying the sunshine than sitting inside painting our nails forever.  Plus, the cool sand blast texture reminds me of the beach and the name Sandals is just so cute.  Oooh I should try this on my toes!sandblast_sandals

So if you follow my blog you may notice some changes today!!  Springtime is in full swing in New York and it really motivated me to do some spring cleaning.  So for starters, I shortened my nails!!  They have been growing like weeds lately and it became hard to type.  I have been using a strengthener from Sally Hansen called ‘MAXIMUM GROWTH DAILY NAIL GROWTH PROGRAM‘ as my base coat for about two months now and the results were amazing.  No breakages at all for the whole two months and my nails are long, strong and resilient!  I’d highly recommend any Sally Hansen product with the word GROWTH in it for you ladies that are wanting to grow your nails longer.  That Sally ain’t messing around!!  I miss my long nails a bit, but who am I kidding?  I guess they’re still pretty long!  Is there such a thing as fingernail dysmorphic disorder?  If so, I might have that… and I bet I’m not the only one.

I also updated my wordpress theme!  I really loved the old one (called Rounded) that I’ve had since I started blogging in Oct 2012.  The green, brown and aqua was funky and was just my style!  However, my old Rounded theme did not allow me to change my header image.  So- out with the old, in with the new.  What do you think?  I miss the brown and green but hopefully my changes are well-received and that they display well on mobile devices.

As for my new header image- if you google ‘free blog headers’ there’s a lot of graphic designers that offer free stuff on their blogs.  Just add your blog name to their jpg header template and you are good to go.  There’s so many cool ones- it’s hard to decide on just one !  Don’t be surprised if I change it again.

So what do you think of my changes???  Do you miss the funky brown and green too?  Or do you like this new clean design?  And does it display any better or worse on your mobile device?  Thanks in advance for the input!

Crafty xoxo

 

Weekend Nails

set_the_mood_cheeky_52

I spent some time with family this weekend and of course fit in some nail time.  My boyfriend’s mother pulled out some pretty Sephora by OPI colors and I fell in love with a pink called Set The Mood.  So I applied two coats and then stamped a swirly design using my old bottle of AVON Spellbound and Cheeky Plate 52 (CH52).  Then I used some nail guide stickers and painted my tips with NYC Black Lace.  The black studs from Claire’s Boutique made a nice final touch!

ch52_and_stud_avon_spellbound

I also painted my boyfriend’s mom’s nails!  She gave me free reign to do whatever I wanted so I came up with this cute ruffian with rhinestones.  I wish I was able to capture a good photo at their house because this mani was so WOW in real life!  I think it was the OPI Malaga Wine that did it!  It’s such a deep, glossy and luxurious red.  It’s shine factor is through the roof and I just love it!

malaga_wine_ruffian-copy

Hope you all had a great weekend!  Did you do your nails too?

Revlon Dreamer and Whimsical

blue_glitter_nails_whimsical

My mom came over to get her nails painted and brought a light blue Revlon cream with her.  It’s called Dreamer and I couldn’t NOT try it out!  To add some pizazz I topped it with two coats of Revlon Whimsical.  Whimsical is infamous for being very sheer so it was nice to pair it with a blue base.  These Revlon polishes dried pretty quick even though it’s very humid here.  I didn’t even have to use my seche vite to make ’em dry.  Say what???  That never happens.

So while I was painting my mom’s nails I asked if she thought I should file mine down a little.  She quickly said YES and that I’m starting to look like Edward Scissorhands!!  MOM!?! Hahahaa!  Is that how you should treat your personal (and free) manicurist?!

So next time you see me I might have an updated and shorter look!  We’ll see…

Jazzi NCLA Nail Wraps from NailPolishCanada!

jazzi_ncla_wrap

I’m so excited to finally share these nails wraps from www.NailPolishCanada.com!  This design is called Jazzi and they’re made by NCLA.  Aren’t they super bright and fun?  I have been wearing them for 3 days straight.. and for a nail girl like me – that feels like a really long time!  So let’s get to the review!

WHAT YOU GET:

  •  44 nail wraps – enough for two manicures and probably some toes or accent nails (and if you trim the remaining wraps with scissors you can get even more manis out of it)
  •  a nail file
  •  instruction sheet- with tips & tricks from the pros on the reverse side

ncla_jazzi_contents

HOW IT WORKS:

I like that this product recommends a base coat before applying the wraps.  I always try to protect my nails- so this was a thumbs up for me.

I am a total noob at applying nail wraps and I got a few wrinkles with these Jazzi wraps.  I imagine that these would be easier to apply on short nails.  My nails are very long at the moment so I had a lot of surface area to try to cover!  Luckily my boo boos weren’t too noticeable in real life.

Here’s a quick vid from NCLA that explains how to apply them:

WEARABILITY:

After 24 hrs I had a few edges lift up so I applied some more basecoat underneath, and some more topcoat on top.  This worked just fine to re-adhere the wraps and freshen up my mani.

Below are pictures at day 1 and day 3.  Not much difference at all!  It wasn’t until the end of day 3 that a few bits of wrap lifted off on my dominant hand- almost like a small chip on the tip of my nail.  I probably could have put on another topcoat to extend the wear… but I really wanted to test out the removal of these wraps.  You know how it is- when your nails start to peel you sometimes get this uncontrollable urge to peel it all off LOL!

ncla_wrap_day_one-copy ncla_wrap_day_three

REMOVAL:

If you dig under one corner of your nail wrap- the whole sticker should peel right off.  It was a lot easier than I expected.  It seems like the basecoat peeled off along with the wrap too because my nails were matte and bare afterwards.  There were a couple of bumpy ridges on my ring and pinky finger… but I was able to buff them out.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Applying the nail wraps wasn’t as easy breezy as shown in the video… I struggled with finding the right size for my nails, or sometimes I stuck them on crooked.  But as long as you didn’t press them down too hard you should be able to lift them off and try again.  I did that several times.  They seemed to last ok… 3 days for me.  But ladies with shorter nails may see more wear-time as their tips don’t take as much of a beating throughout the day.  I’d recommend re-applying a topcoat every day to help extend the wear.

I had a couple application issues- but even with the wrinkles my nails came out really pretty!  This design is so eye-catching.  I got a lot of compliments on them. They were fun to wear too- something different than regular old nail polish.   They’re great for a special occasion… or just for something fun to try!

These NCLA nail wraps were provided by Nail Polish Canada for my honest review.  If you’re interested in seeing the other ncla designs you can check ’em out here: Nail Polish Canada website.

Here comes the sun!

I have been recently nominated for the Sunshine Award!  Wow I’m so grateful to learn that I inspire other bloggers out there!  Four ladies nominated me and I faithfully follow each one of their blogs, so it’s wonderful to hear that the love is reciprocated.  Oh, blogosphere- you are so full of inspiration, friendship and warm fuzzies!  A special thanks to the lovely bloggers who nominated me:

Brjit’s Digits

Diary of a Beauty Therapy Student

Little Bits and Pieces of Life

Eeeek! Nail Polish!

Here’s the deets about the Sunshine Award: sunshine-award

-Thank the person who nominated you
-Post the award logo on your blog
-Share 7 facts about yourself
-Nominate 5 or more other blogs that inspire you

Who I nominate:

Ooh La La Nails–  Amy’s always inspiring me!  I wanna copycat her ruffian next 🙂

Upclose & PolishedI love Marthe’s feather nails!  Makes me want to dig out my feathers, for sure!

Nail Art for DummiesAre these nails inspired by Kill Bill or sneakers?  Both!  And I love them!

Sparkling Noisecheck out these raindrop nails! SOOO cool!

My Adventures in Nail Art– Months later I still remember this heart manicure of hers.  Amazing!

Seven facts about me:

1) Ya know how some people hate to see other people wearing pajama pants in public?  They think it looks sloppy and lazy I guess.  Well, it doesn’t really bother me.  I think hmmm, you look comfy.

2) I have a bread machine that I love and I use it all the time to make pizza dough.  Check out some of my creations (I get the side with eggplant n veggies, he gets pepperoni! And the white one is a chicken alfredo pizza).

SICILIAN MEGA_VEGGIE CHICKEN_ALFREDO
3) The reason I’m posting pics of food is because I’m currently on day two of the 3 Day Military Diet and I feel really really hungry right now!

4) I have two cats named Fergie and Aphrodite.  They’re the perfect combo of sugar n spice!

bad_fergie aphrodite

5)  I may not be the most patient person in the world, but I don’t really get road rage.  I figure some people drive stupid and there’s nothing I can do to change that. 

6) I’m looking forward to summer because I love getting tan, my hair gets blonder and I can go swimming!  When I was a kid I’d stay in the pool as long as possible.. or until my lips turned purple and my mom would make me get out!

7) I ordered some nail stuff from an amazon seller but they totally messed up my order.  Once they ship me the correct items I plan to organize a sweet giveaway.  One prize pack for US entrants, and another one for international!

Thanks again for the Sunshine Award!  All this sunshine brings a big smile to my face!

Lime Green Retro Dots

lickety_split_lime_retro_dots

I felt like something real funky today so I grabbed my Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in Lickety-Split Lime.  This polish has a retro feel- it kinda reminds me of the ugly wallpaper that was in my kitchen when I was a child!  I added some dots in Zoya Jacqueline (cream), AVON Inspire (yellow), and AVON Orange Creamsicle (orange).  Then I dotted some lime green over top of those dots for fun.  I like the effect of the double-dots.  My nails look like they’re right out of the 70’s!  I feel ready to attend a Tupperware party! lol

I used some Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Fast Dry Topcoat when I was done and I’m regretting it.  I haven’t used that quick-dry topper in a few months so I couldn’t really remember if it was any good or not.  UGH!  It ended up being goopy and bubbly.  Maybe I should add some Seche Restore because this topcoat is currently not one of my faves!  It also didn’t dry that fast because half an hour later I got a big smoosh on one of my nails.  Boo!

I may not post nail art for a couple days since I will be doing a review of my new NCLA Nail Wraps that were sent to me by Nail Polish Canada!  Yay!  I’ve never tried wraps before and I want to do an honest review where I show pics of the wraps after a few days wear.  Yippee!  I want to apply them right now but I really should get to work.  It’s monday afterall 😦

Til next time!