My interwebz are down but my nails are painted!

It seems like I have been absent on my blog the last few days…. but the real issue is my internet service!  I’ve only had very intermittent internet connectivity in the last week… but don’t worry- I’ve still been painting my nails!  I have been extremely frustrated this week but there is some value to the saying: keep calm and paint your nails!!  If you don’t wanna hear all about my technology woes- then scroll straight down to my nail pics.  But if you want to be a shoulder for me to cry on… then keep reading!

Ya see recently I upgraded my Time Warner cable internet from standard to ULTIMATE!  Sounds great right?  Well, ever since hooking it up we have had a heck of a time connecting our month-old HP Pavilion desktop to the ethernet.  After much troubleshooting we have gotten it to the point where our wireless works fine on our tablet and WiiU console, but the hp desktop will NOT connect via the ethernet.  We have looked for malware and viruses, bought a brand new expensive modem/router, restored the desktop to factory settings, swapped cables, etc…  but to no avail.  I have had time warner internet come out to the house twice and have spent hours and hours on the phone with them and every other company I can think of.  Nothing works and it all seems to boil down to an hp (hardware?) issue.  I have already been on the phone for hours today, so I’m taking a break to update my blog and get the nail art challenge info rolled out.  But my next step is to call hp AGAIN and harass them- I won’t take NO for an answer this time.  I deserve some support since the desktop is new and under warranty.  Every other company I have called in the last week has attempted to help (especially Norton Security… this guy Norman went above and beyond to help me troubleshoot an issue that wasn’t even virus-related).  HP- now it’s your turn to be the hero.  Please don’t let me down this time!   The OMD nail art challenge starts today and I need my interwebz!  And if any of my readers have any recommendations or tips- I would love to hear them!!

Now that I got that off my shoulders- do you wanna see the nails I’ve been wearing the last few days?

Recently I have renewed my love for Zentangle®.  Have you heard of it?  It’s a cool trademarked drawing/doodling technique that is easy to do and is supposed to be relaxing and mentally stimulating.  I just love it!

The Zentangle® Method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas and is copyrighted. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com or view their blog- http://zentangle.blogspot.com.

I have the Zentangle 5 book which I ordered on Amazon a while ago…and I’ve been reading through it a lot lately.  When I saw the accordian design in my book I thought I could simulate that on my nails with a Sally Hansen nail art pen.  So here’s what I came up with. ↓

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And here’s another shot of my zentangle-inspired nail art. ↓

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Pretty cool, huh?  It’s sorta shaky looking, but not bad for my first try.  I like how my Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen doesn’t smudge under my topcoat. 🙂  The base color on this mani is gorgeous too!  It’s called Primrose by Funky Fingers.  It’s a pink shade with an amazing lilac duochrome effect.  Other swatches online don’t look as duochrome-y as mine.  Maybe I lucked out with this bottle?  I’m not sure, but my primrose is magical (it dried fast too)!   Here’s a swatch of Funky Fingers Primrose on its own. ↓

funky_fingers_primrose

Another design I’ve been excited to try is a 4th of July mani!  I had so many great ideas, none of which worked out for some reason.  I really wanted to try a watercolor design that looked like an American flag… but it turned out to be a fail.  So here’s a quick dotticure I threw together instead.  It wasn’t quite good enough to deserve its own Independence Day post… but if I mix it in with my zentangle pics maybe it will seem ok?  LOL!

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I also want to mention how happy I am to host The OMD Challenge with Brijit and Eeeek!  It’s going to be a blast.  Who’s joining in this July?  It’s almost time for DAY 1 (which is PINK) !

OMD NAIL ART CHALLENGE IN JULY

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Nail Art Challenge Starts now!!!!!!

Our July Nail Art Challenge starts now!  Even though it’s not July 1st in the US, it’s July 1st in some parts of the world… so here’s our kickoff!!  Welcome to what we call The OMD Challenge! Submissions run from July 1st 2013 >> Aug 5th 2013.

If you are ready to start submitting your nail designs for Day 1 (pink) you can access our reference page for the Inlinkz and the Rafflecopter links here: Nail Challenge Reference Page.   You might want to bookmark this page because you’ll be visiting it A LOT in July!

If you need more info on how the challenge works then please visit the full description (and prize info!) here: Description of The OMD Challenge.

Don’t forget our themes for each day…

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And here’s what you may win…

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Any questions?  Contact me!  If you’re participating and want to add a widget to your blog– I have one on my sidebar (or on the bottom of my web page if you’re on a mobile device)!  Feel free to copy the OMD image and add it to your website.  If your not participating but want to view the nail art designs each day- then come check my blog everyday or visit this page: Nail Challenge Reference Page.  Can’t wait to see all your pretty nails!!

♥ Jacqui

Flakie fun with my new Zoyas!

I was tipped off to a hot Zoya BOGO sale by Flight of Whimsy.  Thanks Eva for posting about it!!  I went to town on this sale and bought ten Zoyas for a total of $40 and free shipping!!   I picked up three creams for my mom which she loves (Wednesday, Arizona and Perrie) and she texted me last nite to ask if the sale was over.  Sorry mom, it’s over.  So if anyone hears of a new sale please let me know!  Cuz we need MORE!  (Have you seen that cute AT&T commercial with kids in it?  ‘You really like it, you want MORE!’ LOL)  Here’s a shot of my 7 new zoyas….

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5 out of the 7 are shimmery so I thought it would be fun to test out those 5.  I made sure to pick ones that were opaque.  Zoya’s website rates the opacity of each polish on a scale of 1 to 5 so I picked colors that were highest on the opacity meter.  I was surprised to find that all needed at least two coats and the light shades needed three.  Here’s what they look like:

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My favorite one is probably Mimi- that purple is so lush!!  Ivanka the dark green stands out too- it’s super glitzy and I’m sure I’ll be using that during the holiday season!!  My only other comment is about Emme, the light pink.  I heard it was infamously brush strokey, and I have confirmed that!  You can see all the strokes in my pics.  I didn’t love the formula either- it was thick and almost rubbery while drying.  I dinged it up real bad and had to re-do it.  That was annoying.

Now for the fun part!  I’ve had a bottle of Zoya Chloe flakies for a while now and it was calling to me.  Please pair me with your new zoyas!

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Here’s the shimmers with Zoya Chloe on top!  I think it definitely has the strongest effect over the darker polishes.  Now I’m wondering if flakies ALWAYS look better over dark polishes?  What is your experience with flakies?  Do they ever stand out over light colors?  I can barely notice Chloe over top of my silvery white Ginessa!  Hmmmm…

Holos: AVON Cosmic Collection

AVON recently released their new Cosmic Collection of nail enamels described as having ‘holographic pearl effect’.  When I saw them in the brochure I knew I had to have some of these new scattered holos!  At $3.49 a piece I was tempted to buy all 10 shades but managed to whittle my list down to four.  Here’s some swatches for you!

All photos are in natural sunlight and sans top coat. 

Celestial: A powder blue scattered holo.  It went on pretty sheer so I think you’d definitely need three coats.  I really love the cool glimmery effect of this one. ↓avon_cosmic_celestial

avon_nail_enamel_celestial

Starlight: Starlight is a funky yellow shade with an almost greenish tinge.  I needed 3 coats for opacity with this one.  I think Starlight is an odd shade but it’s a real eye-catcher.  I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a polish like this one!  ↓

avon_cosmic_starlight avon_nail_enamel_starlight

Radiant:  Radiant is a nice neutral beige-y shade.  In real life the holo is subtle and demure.  In indoor lighting it looks like a nude.  Like the others, I needed three coats for opacity.

avon_cosmic_radiant avon_nail_enamel_radiant

Aurora:  Aurora is probably my favorite of the bunch!   This purple holo was surprisingly streakier than the others, but it covered perfectly with the second coat.  Finally!  I was hoping to find a two-coater in the lot!  I think it’s just gorgeous.  ↓

avon_cosmic_aurora avon_nail_enamel_aurora

Even though the Cosmic Collection wasn’t quite as holo-rific as I anticipated… each one of these polishes is stunning in it’s own way.  I was a little bummed that most of them required three coats, but I am now realizing that the shades I picked were the lighter ones in the collection.  They also carry red, teal, black, etc and I have a feeling that those may be more opaque.  Removal of these was easy.  They don’t contain any glitter, so they came off with nail polish remover with as much ease as standard cream polishes do.  Considering the low price and range of colors… these Cosmics are a great way to add some more holographic goodness to your stash!  What do you think of these?

And here’s a quick reminder of the upcoming July nail art challenge that I’m hosting with Brijit’s Digits and Eeeek! Nail Polish!.  I sincerely hope you join us!  The challenge is called “Oh Mon Dieu! It’s the Rather Awesome 31 Day Challenge Giveaway!” and we have fondly nicknamed it the OMD Challenge :D. Entries open up on July 1st (my brithday hehe) and I don’t want to you to miss a second of the fun!  So please contact me if you have questions.  Check out our awesome themes!

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Sally Hansen Dry and Go Drops Review

sally_hansen_dry_go_dropsI love a good review!!   My ears always perk up when someone talks about whether a product lives up to it’s promises. Give me the scoop!! Lately I’ve been interested in those quick drying drops that we see on the market. So when I spotted these Sally Hansen Dry & Go Drops at Harmon store for $6.39 I decided to give them a go.  I have been impressed with Sally Hansen lately since their Maximum Growth Treatment has made my nails long and in tip-top shape… so let’s see how their drying drops work.  Dazzle me, Sally Hansen!

PACKAGING This product packaging claims that this is a fast nail polish dryer which helps prevent smudges and dings.  Your nails are supposed to be dry to the touch in 60 seconds, and completely dry within 2 minutes.  It also has vitamin E to moisturize the cuticles (this is the part I was most worried about- I definitely don’t want to dry my cuticles out from whatever quick-dry chemicals are in here).  The bottle is 11ml which is larger than many of it’s competitors (like Qtica).  It comes with a black cap that you remove and discard… and then replace with the included dropper cap.

APPLICATION:  It says to apply nail color and top coat and then wait 60 seconds.  Then drip 1 or 2 drops of this stuff on each nail.

I started with a completely dry base coat that was painted on the day before.  Then I applied one coat of this awesome neon from Color Club called Lava Lamp.  I waited for the first coat to dry completely- probably a good 45 min.  Then I applied two more coats of Lava Lamp (about ten minutes apart).  So essentially I had three coats of color.  Then I did one coat of Sally Hansen Nail Shine Miracle topcoat.  I waited 60 seconds as instructed….and I then applied two drips of the Dry & Go drops to each nail.  Here’s what my nails looked like last night right after applying the drops. ↓

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ACTUAL RESULTS:  Sorry, but this stuff doesn’t really work that well.  My nails still felt tacky after a few minutes.  If I very lightly swept the pad of my finger over the surface of my nail I suppose it felt a tiny bit dryish, sort of.  But definitely not dry.  If I wasn’t laying on the couch watching a movie I would have dinged up my nails for sure.  However, my cuticles were happy with these drops!  They really felt moisturized and conditioned (to my surprise).   I went to bed two hours after applying these Dry & Go Drops and uh-oh… here’s what I woke up to in the morning.  Sheet marks! ↓

dry_and_go_drops_sally_hansen

FINAL THOUGHTS:  This product doesn’t live up to it’s promises.  I would have had better luck drying my nails with my old trusty- Seche Vite. However, I did like how my cuticles were moisturized by the drops.  This product wasn’t a total wash.  I think I will still use it from time to time while doing nail art.  I hate waiting for my nails to dry before I apply nail guide stickers, or striping tape- so I bet this stuff might come in handy to cut down drying time a little bit.  It also works better with less layers of polish.  I know this because my sheet marks were really bad on my left hand with three coats, but my right hand only had two coats of my Color Club polish and they didn’t smoosh nearly as much.  So, I guess Dry & Go Drops could come in handy if your mani only has one or two coats of color.  Would I recommend this product?  Probably not.  But I think I can still get some use out of it!

Side note:  I love this Lava Lamp nail polish.  The formula is a little goopy- but the color is to die for!  It’s this crazy combo of red and orange and it’s as bright as the sun in real life.  My boyfriend says I can land planes with these nails!  Yeah, my nails sorta do share a likeness to air traffic control wands.  And I like it.   😀
Don’t forget about our OMD Nail Art Challenge in July!  Here’s a pic of our prize packs… does it tempt the nail polish hoarder within you?
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Purple Halfmoon Gradient

Hi everybody!  Hope your hump day is coming along nicely!

I have a pretty purple halfmoon to share with you today.  I am loving this manicure!  The contrast of the different purple shades is like WOW in real life! I hope I captured some of it’s WOW in my pics. 🙂

purple_gradient_halfmoon

I started out with two coats of a medium purple called No Hard Feelings by Sally Hansen Hard as Nails.  I borrowed it from my mom since it was just so pretty and I don’t have a shade like this one.  I don’t know how Sally made this purple muted and bright all at once…I just love it!   When my purple base was dry (the next day hehe) I used some nail guide stickers to tape off my nail in preparation of a halfmoon design.  Then I used a makeup sponge to do a gradient with Sinful Colors Dream On and Revlon Charming.  When I removed my tape I was stunned at how vivid the Sinful Colors neon magenta came out.  Then after adding some glossy seche vite topcoat it really came to life!  I love how neons look so great on their own and then you topcoat them and they look even better!

This design is so simple, clean and cool looking.  I would love to try this with different color combos too.  Teals and greens would look so hot!

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Talk to you soon!  Oh and here’s a reminder of our themes for our OMD Nail Art Challenge.  Will you be joining us in July 2013?  I sure hope so!!! July is right around the corner and it will be record-breaking fun!!  Email me at typojax77@aol.com if you have any questions at all!

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My guest post at Dizzy Little Digits- Dental Floss Nail Art!

dental_floss_nail_artHey nail fans!! Denise (the bloggerista behind Dizzy Little Digits) is in Ireland right now and I am so happy to put this manicure together for her blog while she’s away.  I created this Irish-inspired look using dental floss!  Have you ever tried that technique out before?  If you want to find out more please view my guest post at Dizzy Little Digits!!

If you don’t already follow Denise’s blog- you will love it!  She posts a lot and she always has the cutest nail art designs!  So please check her out or find her on bloglovin!

Have a great day!