Killing it in Killing Red by Layla.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I used to be completely obsessed with red nail polish. I went a good year and a half almost exclusively painting my nails some shade of red. (This was circa 2004-2005 when all the celebrities of young Hollywood–Mary-Kate Olsen, Nicole Richie, ect–were rocking bright red nails.) Now a days, I don’t wear red quite as often (except as a pedicure), but I do love to throw back to a classic every once in a while.

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For this manicure, the polishes I grabbed were:

  • Mariposa Mini polish in red.
  • Layla Ceramic Effect in shade 53 (which, I saw somewhere was called Killing Red.)

I applied a base color of the Mariposa, because I knew from experience that the Layla takes quite a few coats to cover. This Mariposa polish is a red jelly. I’ve never used it before–I grabbed it on a whim–but I must say it has beautiful application, even if there is still visible nail nail with it on it’s own. Next, I applied two coats of Layla 53–Killing Red, to get a full application of the flakies over my nail. Oh my god I love this polish. It’s such a step above your basic red. I finished it all off with a coat of Essence Gel-Look Top Coat, followed by Essence Nail Art Express Dry Drops. When that was dry, I finished with a coat of Icing’s “It’s a Matte World” Matte top coat.

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Such a gorgeous combination. Makes me remember exactly why I use to love wearing red nail polish so much. But it isn’t until you capture it with no flash that you can really see it’s true beauty.

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Can you see those beautiful golden flakies swimming in this red polish? I didn’t have the best natural light inside for taking pictures, but they still come through.

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I legit cant stop staring at my nails, especially in the sunshine. It’s making me realize I’m going to have to go out and get more Layla polishes. All the ones I have used already have all been winners, and they have such an awesome selection! First on my list is going to be some of their holographic polishes. I’ve seen swatches of them online, and I have to have all of them!

Simple Nails: purple & gold.

Sometimes I just don’t have time to get complicated with my manicures, for whatever reason. After rocking my Spiderman nails for two days, I needed to paint something new, but I was feeling under the weather so I had to come up with something quick, but still pretty.

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The polishes I used for this manicure were:

  • ACO by Ardene in Sea of Beauty — my gorgeous base color.
  • Layla in Golden Touch (from the soft touch collection) — golden shimmer.
  • Essence Gel-look Top Coat.

Oh man, I love the combination of these two together! Sea of Beauty is just the most perfect blue ever. And Golden Touch is one of my favorite polishes to layer over other polishes. It just jazzes up a manicure, and adds a nice shimmer. Love!

Also, you can see from my ring finger, I’m still having trouble with my Essence top coat–even though I applied the quick dry drops over the top coat, it obviously didn’t dry soon enough for me not to nick my nails. It makes me sad, because the top coat has excellent lasting potential–a good two days with no chipping, which for me is awesome since I work in retail and use my hands for 8 hours a day. =(

 

31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 19: Galaxy Nails.

 

I love the look of galaxy nails. Plus they’re fun to do. It’s been a while since I’ve done one, so I was excited to give it another try.

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The polishes I used for this manicure were:

  • Mary Kay Nail Lacquer in Blue Knight — dark background.
  • Color Institute in gold (no official name on it.)
  • Color Institute sparkles (no official name on it.)
  • Revlon in I’m Electro.
  • Revlon in Spidey Sense.
  • Revlon in Orchid.
  • Pure Ice in Get in Line.
  • Pure Ice in Over You.
  • Salley Hansen Diamond Flash Top Coat

These didn’t turn out exactly like I imagined in my head, but I think it’s because the polishes I used were very pigmented, and I was a little too heavy-handed. I wanted to use metallic polishes, because I’ve never tried using them for galaxy nail art before. Never the less, I loved the sparkle that it give my galaxies! And even though I wasn’t sure if they looked a lot like the galaxies I wanted them to, but I did get lots of compliments which always makes me feel proud of the manicures I’ve done.

What do you think of galaxy nail art?

And what to you think of my attempt at metallic galaxies?

31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 10: Gradient nails.

So you’ll recognize the base of my gradient from my swatch post of Rimmel Salon Pro in Reggae Splash.

I’ve just started doing gradients in the last little while. I got discouraged because I’ve never been the best at getting my colors to blend the way that I want. But I’ve been working on getting better at the technique, and my blend between colors seems to be getting more seamless.

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The polishes used were:

  • Rimmel Salon Pro in Reggae Splash — my lighter peach base color.
  • Relvon Nail Enamel in Siren — the darker orange gradient.
  • Layla Soft Touch Collection in Golden Touch — gold polish layered on accent nails.
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Flash top coat.

Not only am I really impressed with how my gradient turned out, but the colors totally remind me of a sunset–especially with the added gold on my accent nails. I thought about adding the gold to all the nails, but the boyfriend told me I should just leave it as accent nails. (He may, or may not, have just said it so I would come to bed haha.)

These were the perfect burst of color on what was a dreadful, grey day. It may have been raining like heck outside, but I just had to look at my nails and I was instantly somewhere warm and sunny. It makes me even more excited for what will (hopefully) be a gorgeous summer, full of bright colorful manis! Plus I love wearing orange–it brings out my Olive under tones, and instantly makes me look SO tanned.

So what’s your technique for getting gradients just right? I’m always looking for tips and tricks, so I’d appreciate any wisdom the internet has to offer.