September 2013 Nail Art Ideas Linkup

Have you heard about our nail art challenge*?  Brijit’s Digits, Eeeek! Nail Polish! and I are hosting a monthly challenge* called Nail Art Ideas Linkup!

Why is there an asterisk by the word challenge?? Even though Nail Art Ideas Linkup (NAIL) sounds like a regular ol’ nail art challenge…. it’s actually more of a way for us to share our nail art!  So Brijit, Jemma and I prefer to call it a Linkup. 😀  We’ve got four nail art ideas (themes) per month… so you’ll never run out of inspiration for your next manicure design!  It’ll be fun to share our NAIL pics with eachother each week so join in whenever you’d like!  It’s not a challenge per se, so you don’t have to do each week if you don’t want to.  Plus, after each weeks’ links close up- you can cast 3 votes for your favorite NAIL Genius Of The Week!

Each theme will have links open for one week.  Example- Theme 1 is Back to School.  So you can post your ‘school mani’ anytime between Sept 2 and Sept 8 by accessing the inlinkz on my Nail Art Ideas Linkup Reference Page on the menu of my blog.  Your submissions will need to be a URL from your blog, Instagram, Facebook account, etc.  All we ask is that you post a unique design that you created with the Linkup in mind.  And if you happen to win NAIL Genius Of The Week we’ll create a cool little brag badge for you!

Here are the dates & themes for September 2013……

Theme 1- BACK TO SCHOOL: Sept 2 – Sept 8

Theme 2- SPORTS: Sept 9 – Sept 15

Theme 3- GAMES & APPS: Sept 16 – Sept 22

Theme 4- ASTROLOGY: Sept 23 – Sept 29

Are you ready for some September nail art inspiration?  Do you think you’ll join in?  Drop a comment!

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Nail Art Ideas Linkup (NAIL)- A GREAT READ

 mockingjay_nail_art

The final week of August’s Nail Art Ideas Linkup (NAIL) challenge is A GREAT READ.  If you’d like to do a manicure for this theme here’s more info and you can submit your design up until Sept. 1st!  Oh, and did you vote for last week’s NAIL Genius yet?  Everyone gets three votes!  Cast yours now!  

Catching-Fire-SymbolTeaserWD-dropA Great Read?  Well, my most recent favorite book is from the Hunger Games trilogy.  It’s book #2 called Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.  It usually takes me a few months to finish a book.  But not this one- I whipped right through it (just like with the Hunger Games)!  After I finished book 2 I started book 3, but I stopped. Duh, right?!  I dunno, sometimes I like to wait to read a book ’til RIGHT before I see the movie.  It’s fun to have it fresh in my head when I go to the theater.  But that’s kinda dumb- I should go read Mockingjay like right now!!!!

I started this manicure the night before by preparing DIY nail stickers.  I’ve never made my own decals before- but I’ve been itching to try them and they’re perfect for a night when you wanna play with nail art but don’t wanna do an entire manicure from start to finish!  It turns out that these DIY nail decals were a lot of fun and they applied so much better than I expected!  Here’s how I did it…

diy_nail_stickersI taped a plastic snack baggie to a heavy piece of cardstock so the bag wouldn’t move around too much.  Then I painted some mockingjay emblems on the baggie using a detail brush and cheap black nail polish.  I also tried gold, but that didn’t work well as you can see (there’s wiped-up gold smudges in the above picture).  Anyway, when I was done painting my mockingjay symbols, then I painted over top of them with enough clear topcoat to cover the design and maybe a little extra around the corners.  I let it dry overnight.  The next day I was afraid they’d stick… but instead, my stickers lifted right off the baggy.  They peeled right off without a hitch!  Then I cut them with scissors a little bit ’til they looked like they’d fit my nails well.

Once I had my nails all clean and bare, I was ready to paint them and test out my diy stickers.  I used one coat of Nail Envy and then three coats of L.A. Girl 3D Effects Nail Polish in Electric Coral.  When my thumbs were still tacky I placed my stickers on top of my orange polish.  Because my stickers were big they felt kinda wrinkly when I tried to wrap them around my large curved thumbnails.  But after a couple minutes they seemed smoother somehow.  Go figure?!  Then I covered them with a coat of seche vite and they looked so nice & shiny.  WIN!  For my other 8 nails- I stamped a flame design using Cheeky 52 plate (it only seemed right given the name of the book- Catching Fire).  I think they look wicked.

catching_fire_nails

I can’t wait to try my own DIY stickers again! Weeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Check out the other manis for this theme here:

A Great Read- links open ’til Sept 1

My first-ever Ulta haul!

While on my summer vacation in Oregon I was excited to take my first-ever trip to an Ulta store. The nearest Ulta back home is a 40 min drive each way which seems like a big waste of gas to me. So it was great to have one right around the corner from my friend’s house out west. I was expecting it to be similar to Sally’s Beauty Supply, not realizing that it’s more of an up-scale beauty retailer. I scoped out the store for good deals but the only good prices I found were on their clearance items so I grabbed a few discounted Ulta polishes. Most of them had gunk around the tops because they’ve been opened and messed with… but for $1.99 I figured it was a good way to test out their products without much of an investment. I found that their prices for other top brands were a little too steep for me. OPI was $9.00 at Ulta but I have a beauty store near me back home that sells OPIs for $3.99 and they’re often on sale for $3.49! So I decided to make a bee-line for the more affordable Essence display. Can you believe that I’ve never tried Essence before? I just can’t seem to find them near me! Supposedly Target sells Essence, but I’ve never found them there. Unfortunately, the Essence display at Ultra was wiped out… so I grabbed almost one of whatever they had left… mostly some Colour & Go polishes, and a French tip striper, some nail art kits and some cute adhesive nail stickers. OK, then I got really psyched when I found their Butter London display. Spend $25 and get a free full-size bottle of a red glitter called Chancer. So essentially, it was buy two get one free. I couldn’t resist that deal! I walked away with Tea with the Queen, Royal Navy and Chancer. Can’t wait to try those babies out! Here’s a pic of everything I bought!
haul
I am glad that I finally tried out Ulta… now I know that I don’t need to go out of my way to get there! If I lived really close I would love to check out their sales quite often (especially since they started emailing me coupons). But I think I can get better deals at some other stores or online. What do you think? Where do you find good prices on nail stuff?

Nail Genius- Sea Theme of Nail Art Ideas Linkup (NAIL)

Hey ladies! Sorry this is late – 24 hours after votes closed ! It’s a bit tricky to get these posts on time (as, obviously, they can’t be scheduled!) – so we’ll mix the time scales up a bit for the September themes 🙂

Big congratulations to Vic and Her Nails, who was voted “NAIL Genius of the Week” for the second theme of our linkup – sea (that was a hard theme, huh!)

Voting for the third theme is open, so you can vote here 🙂

Vic; if you would like, you can use this badge for your blog (but you don’t have to!)

August NAIL Sea Genius

Guest post at Lucy’s Stash

Hi all!! I’m back from my vacation- and back to the grind tomorrow at work! So bittersweet!
Today my guest post for Lucy’s Stash was published and I’d love for you to see it! Lucy’s nail art blog is huge- she’s an amazing talent! It’s so exciting that she asked moi to create a nail art design to grace her web pages!  I went with a fun, bright manicure… it’s a black scattered holo base with a cool rainbow splash design over top!   Ya gotta check it out here >> HOLO RAINBOW SPLASH

rainbow_splash_nails_guest_post

Nail Art Ideas Linkup (NAIL)- Sand Theme

sand_inspired_nails_godiva_ncla

Today I’m sharing my SAND-inspired manicure for our Nail Art Ideas Linkup for August.  Sand makes me think of my beige bottle of Zoya Pixie Dust called Godiva.  The textured finish really reminds me of beaches so this was a great choice for this theme.  To jazz up my Godiva I paired it with some NCLA Nail Wraps called Ally En Vogue..  These wraps were provided to me by Nail Polish Canada and I reviewed another set of them back in May- Jazzy Nail Wraps.  I painted 6 of my nails with Godiva and covered the other 4 in the NCLA wraps.  Here’s a better shot of the wraps…

ncla

I’m enjoying wearing Godiva while on my vacay- it’s holding up better than my other polishes were.  Much less chips.  The nail wraps didn’t last that long, they started peeling rather quickly, but I like the look of them….I have no idea why the pic below keeps showing up sideways…. but I have plans to go see our friend Amanda in WA and I don’t have time to fiddle with the photo editor!  lol

zoya_pixie_dust_godiva_nails

If you’d like to join in on Nail Art Ideas Linkup here’s the info!

N.A.I.L. Theme 3 – Sand :

Nail art that never made it to the blog!

Greetings from Oregon! I haven’t been doing much nail art since I’ve been on vacation. My nails are a hot mess right now! Is it just me… or are your nails hard to maintain when you are traveling? Any polish I put on chips in less than a day, and I’ve broken three nails too! What’s up with that? I brought all the essentials with me- nail file, buffer, cuticle butter and nail strengthener. I’m trying my best to always keep polish on them and to moisturize, but I’m getting chips and my nails feel weak. I filed them down quite a bit last nite but they grow like weeds in the summer… so luckily, no one will even notice. 🙂

In lieue of some new nail art, how about some old pics that never made it to the blog?? I wasn’t happy with them at the time….but they may be worth another look-see! Here we go….
halfmoon_black_teal

↑ Here we’ve got a cool halfmoon design I made with some nail guide/french mani stickers.  And it’s my rarely seen right hand!

metallic_nails

↑ Just messing around with my bronze nail striper.  I have a few of those special bottles of striping polishes… but I don’t use them much.  Some have gotten goopy, others have wonky brushes, and I’d rather just use regular polish and a nice nail striping brush.

owls_nail_art

↑ I tried out an owl tutorial but I think the colors I used didn’t highlight the design so well.  I ended up re-doing it here and I think the second try came out better.  But still, this one’s kinda cute!

rainbow_striping_tape↑ With this one I was going for a sheer rainbow design using striping tape and a sponged gradient on top.  But I didn’t use a base color- I applied the tape on my bare  nails.  It looked pretty, but when I removed the tape there was too much bare nail showing where the tape strips met on the right side of my nail.  So I tried covering it up with glitter stars.  But the stars were more transparent than I expected…so I kept adding more stars.  And then a flakie topcoat.  I tried too hard with this one, and it didn’t exactly pay off!  lol

I’m curious… how do your nails hold up when traveling?  Please tell me I’m not the only one with issues!

And hopefully soon I can post my SAND-themed mani for our Nail Art Ideas Linkup!  I think I have enough supplies with me to pull something off!  Til next time!