31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 11: Polka Dots!

I love polka dots.

Maybe it’s the girlie girl in me, but I’m all about the polka dots.

I actually ended up doing two polka dot manicures. I started one the day before, and my manicure idea ended up being cut short. Because I didn’t really feel like I gave Day 11 a fair shot, so I decided to the prompt over again. I figured I would feature both manicures, just because I do love the colors I used for attempt #1 (purple, yey!), and it wasn’t a BAD manicure, just a little simple.

allpolkadots

Dot nail art is a really easy way to spice up an otherwise bland manicure. I got my first dotting tool almost a year ago, and it was one of the best $3 purchases I ever made. Over the years, I’d tried doing polka dot manis with tooth picks, and bobby pins, but never found they would turn out how I wanted. However, buying a dotting tool changed all of that–I could finally attempt the manicures I never could before! Flowers! Roses! Leopard Print! And Polka dots.

purplepolkadots

The polishes I used for polka dot manicure #1 were:

  • Essie’s We’re in this Together — the pink base on my accent nails.
  • China Glaze Flying Dragon — dark purple thumb and pinky finger, and some polka dots.
  • China Glaze What a Pansy — lighter purple on index finger, and some polka dots.
  • OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls — white dots.
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Top Coat.

I did like this manicure, even if it wasn’t what I had intended to do when I started. However, even though it was fairly simple, I can’t help but love purple nails. Flying Dragon has to be one of my all time favorite polishes–I just wish it wouldn’t chip so bad at work (even with base coat, and regardless how many coats of top coat I apply.)

 

polkadots

The polishes I used for polka dot manicure #2 were:

  • Mariposa nail polish mini — the teal (my base color), dark pink, and light pink polish (dots on accent finger.)
  • Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Audacious Asphalt — base color of my accent finger.
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Pacific Blue — polka dots on accent finger.
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Top Coat.

I tried to go somewhere different with this second manicure. I grabbed the most spring-like colors I could find and just started dotting. I also put some dots on the base of each of my non-accent fingers. I’ve been seeing that look around a bit from different nail bloggers, so I wanted to give it a try. I’m not sure if I like the color combinations I chose, but besides that I like the look of the single dot. It’s almost like a jewel resting on your nail.

Also how gorgeous is that teal color!? It’s from one of the mini sets my roommate gave me for Christmas. None of the polishes have names, but it has a really awesome formula that makes painting your nails so easy.

So which manicure do you like better–the more simple purple dotticure, or the bright and colorful and crazy dotticure?

ACO by Ardene nail polish in Bow Chicka Wow Wow and Tea Party

With it being Easter this upcoming weekend, I thought I would take a pause from the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge. I’m actually going to review some polishes by Ardene which I think are the perfect colors for Easter. For those who don’t know Ardene is a Canadian Clothing and Accessories store (similar to Claire’s). However in the last couple years, they’ve recently been expanding their nail polish collections, now including Sugar Effect polishes, and feather polishes.

I’ll be upfront and honest before–I work for the company. However, I’m not going to let this make me bias in my review. They have not provided me with the polishes–I went out and bought them on my own. That’s the reason why you see a lot of the ACO polishes in my manicures. I’ve accumulate quite the collection over my years with the company on my own accord. I’ve also found in the last year or so they’ve REALLY upped their nail polish game, with fantastic colors, and different effects.

coffee

The polishes I’m going to talk about today are two speckled polishes–Bow Chicka Wow Wow which is a baby pink polish (on my middle, and ring, fingers) with tiny matte black glitters, and Tea Party (on my pointed and pinky fingers) which is a baby blue polish with tiny matte black glitters. Unlike some of the speckled polishes I’ve seen online by Model’s Own and Illamasquathe glitters are all uniform size and shape.

pink

Bow Chicka Wow Wow

blue

Tea Party 

The first thing I noticed about both polishes is that they are very sheer. It took me three coats to reach opacity on each nail and I still feel like it’s not fully opaque. My guess is that they are so sheer so that when you apply multiple layers, you can still see the black glitters underneath. However, because the polish is so sheer each coat dries quite quickly, which is a bonus. I had no bald spots with application, which is always something I like in a polish (nothing worse them having to go back and fix spots on your nail where it didn’t smooth out properly.) The black glitters do leave a little texture on the nail, but that is easily fixed with a coat of top coat or two.

bottles

I was quite impressed with these polishes. They gave me the speckled egg look I was coveting, at a very reasonable price. (You can pick up ACO by Ardene polishes at Ardene locations, 3 polishes for $10.)

I can’t say anything about wear, as I’ve only had my polishes on for a couple of hours, but from experience Ardene polishes tend to hold up pretty well for me without chipping for 2-3 days–and I use my hands at work A LOT so chipping my manicure is always a fear. I’m also not sure how removal is going to go–Glitter is always a pain to get off. But with the foil method, I’m sure it will be no issue.

So if you’re looking for a fun, but not too expensive, polish to wear for your Easter festivities, I’d recommend hitting up your local Ardene and picking these up. I can’t wait to apply a matte top coat to these, and really upping the level of my mani!

 

 

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.

gradient

gradient3

gradient2

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.

 

Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Moss — Reggae Splash

Remember how I said I really love orange nail polish?

I present to you Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish in Reggae Splash.

splash3

This super soft peach polish is from their Kate Moss collection (or, so the internet tells me). I picked it up at my local Shoppers Drug Mart on a whim while on the look to fill my stash with more Summer-worthy colors. According to the description, it has a gel-like finish, with no top coat needed, and is resistant to chips for up to ten days.

splash

Continue reading “Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Moss — Reggae Splash”

31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 9: Rainbow nails.

I’ll start by saying this nail art was inspired by my three year old nephew.

I was babysitting the other night, trying to decide what I was going to do for my rainbow nail art challenge. I thought about doing just rainbows, but as you might have noticed, I don’t always going typical with my challenge prompts. My little nephew was looking at my stash the other night–he is adorable when it comes to my nails. He always asks to look at my nails, and is very vocal when he doesn’t like them haha–and asked him what colors I should do on my nails. And he listed them off–blue, yellow, pink, red, green. He might have just been listing off the colors he knew, but never the less I did what he told me!

rainbow nails

The polishes used were:

  • OPI’s My Boyfriend Scales Walls — the white base.
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mellow Yellow— the yellow.
  • ACO by Ardene in Techno Green — the green
  • ACO by Ardene in Lagoon –the blue
  • ACO by Ardene in Sunkissed –the orange.
  • ACO by Ardene in Strawberry Blush — the red
  • ACO by Ardene in Ardene’s Secret — the pink.
  • Stripe Rite striping brush in Black — the black outline.
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Flash top coat.

I love these nails because it looks like a coloring book to me.

This manicure was not as difficult as you’d think. After applying my base coat, I started with a blank canvas of My Boyfriend Scales Walls, then added top coat. After that had dried, I started with my black striping polish, creating a different pattern on each nail (you could also do the same pattern on each nail, but I like to shake things up a bit.

mosaic

After my outline was created, I then went with a small nail art brush (from Icing), and colored in some of the shapes with my variety of chosen colors. I did have to go back with my black, and touch up some of the lines were the colors had bled a little bit. When that was all finished, I topped with my trusty top coat and tada! Rainbow coloring book nails!

I think my nephew would be proud.

 

 

 

31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 8: Metallic Nails.

Okay so for day 8 of the challenge, I may have cheated a wee tiny bit. Technically, these aren’t really metallic. I had just picked up three of the new Amazing Spiderman 2 polishes by Revlon, and really, really wanted to try them out! So I grabbed two of them, Superpowered and I’m Electro, and got started.

(The third one I bought, Spidey Sense, was also gorgeous, but it’s a reddish color and didn’t really fit into the manicure I was going for. I will have to do a swatch post soon with all three!)

metallic

 

The polishes I used were:

  • Revlon’s I’m Electro (from the new Amazing Spiderman 2 collection) — Lighter blue color on accent nails.
  • Revlon’s Superpowered (from the new Amazing Spiderman 2 collection) — Darker blue color.
  • ACO by Ardene in Golden Luxury –the gold accent’s on my accent nails.
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Flash top coat.

I had to take the picture with my flash off because it was so shiny I couldn’t take a picture well enough to capture the nail art. I really love these two colors. Each one is a duocrome, shifting between colors, although it’s not as evident on the nail as much as in the bottle. Of the two I think I’m Electro is my favorite.

Also, how much do you love the quatrafoil look? It’s another nail art technique I’ve never tried before, but have been seeing around on youtube, and pinterest. I will definitely need some practice for it to look right though. While these Spiderman polishes are awesome, they’re a little thin for application which made getting the pattern right a little difficult.

Plus Superheroes! I am a huge Superhero fan girl–usually for the DC Universe (I have a Batman tattoo). I just watched the first Amazing Spiderman movie the other night with the boyfriend, so I can’t wait for the next one to come out. You can count on me to be there opening night, no doubt rocking some kind of Spiderman themed nail art.

 

 

31 Day Nail Art Challenge — Day 7: Black and White.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the black and white day of this challenge.

I started trying to figure out what I was going to do a couple days in advance. I wanted to try something different. Tuxedo nails? Nail stamping? What the heck was I going to do! Thank god for pinterest, huh? I could get lost on there for hours looking at nail art ideas (and quite frequently do). Once again, my inspiration came from a  pin on there: these geometric square nails.

blackandwhite

The polishes I used were:

  • OPI’s My Boyfriend Scales Walls — White Base.
  • ACO by Ardene’s Tuxedo — Black base.
  • Stripe Rite Striping Brush in black.
  • Stripe Rite Striping Brush in White.
  • Sally Hansen diamond Flash top coat.

Obviously you can see, mine turned out a little different from my inspiration. I didn’t really figure out I shouldn’t cram as many squares until I got to my black nails (I did the white base first). Even though they’re not perfect, they look different and made me not dread the black and white prompt quite so much. Even though I used to wear black nail polish frequently, I don’t as much any more. With the exception of Halloween, I can’t actually remember the last time I wore it as a full mani.

What do you think about these geometric nails? Which look do you prefer–lots of squares, or only a few?