Burberry Nails

May 6, 2012

I know this manicure has been done a million times before.  I sound like a broken record, but it’s hard to find fun stuff that I can also wear to work.  To make this a little less wild, I only did the burberry design on my ring fingers.  VERY VERY hard to do on the right hand! I’m still growing my nails out from years of acrylics (I’m almost there!)  Once they get a bit longer and stronger, I’ll have more surface area to work with. But for now, my right hand looks like it was applied during a seizure.  I had striping polishes in black and white, but not in red.  So for the red lines, I just used a striping brush.  BIG mess.  I need to learn how to work that thing!

I don’t love the Essie Jazz (the base color).  As a matter of fact, I can’t ever imagine using it again.  It looks kind of green and boring against my skin tone.  But overall, it’s not bad.  As long as I keep my right hand hidden!  LOL  I’m telling you, the Seche Vite topcoat can fix a multitude of sins!  This look would be fab on every single nail if you were going somewhere fancy with a little black dress on.  If you watch the tutorial, she shows you all ten with the design.

  • Polish: Essie Jazz, China Glaze China Rouge
  • Tools: Striping brush, White Striper, Black Striper
  • Inspiration Link: Burberry Nails

More Hunger Games

May 6, 2012

Hi, this is Annika and I finally get to talk! Yay! I really, really like Hunger Games (if you couldn’t tell by now) and we wanted to do something unique and challenging.  We found a great YouTube tutorial online, so we just had to try it.  We made some changes.  We painted the mockingjay pin on a plastic freezer bag instead of painting it directly on the nail.  By building up the polish really thick, we could get it the way we wanted and then peel it off and attach it to the nail.  We were nervous about messing up another mockyjay pin, so we put HG on the other ring finger instead.  The circly thingies are in the background of the cover of all the books.  I am really surprised by how they turned out because it really looked hard.  But luckily for me, it’s really easy…if you just have a mom who was a former college art major and professional nail technician…then it’s not so bad!  🙂

  • Polish: Finger Paints Where Art Renoir?, China Glaze Pelican Gray, China Glaze Happy Go Lucky
  • Tools: small dotter, sandwich bag, small brush
  • Inspiration Link: Hunger Games Nail Art

Ulta Haul

May 5, 2012

Okay, I have never been to an Ulta. I don’t know why, but I always assumed it was a low rent version of Sephora.  We only have a JC Penney Sephora in my town.  It’s fun, but teenie.  Plus, I’ve had bad luck with getting product home and it’s old.  Anyway, I went to Ulta today to see if they had the China Glaze Hunger Games Collection in stock.  Annika has some money burning a hole in her pocket and that’s what she wanted.

Wow. Is that place awesome! I’m actually kind of glad I’ve never discovered it before because I’d be broke.  I sort of went a little overboard.  The pro polishes were buy 2 get 1 free.  I figured we didn’t go to a movie as planned this weekend and we’d have easily spent as much on tickets and popcorn.  Fortunately, my hubby (we’ll call him Sheldon) is on board with our hobby in spite of the remover smell and random cotton balls in the kitchen.

So Ulta has everything! Including Annika’s requested polish.

Left to Right.  District 1 (Luxury) Luxe and Lush, District 4 (Fishing) Hook and Line, District 2 (Masonry) Stone Cold, District 5 (Power) Electrify

I picked up a few other China Glazes for a future Batman manicure and a few office worthy options.

Left to Right. Frostbite, Happy Go Lucky, China Rouge, Pelican Gray, First Mate (wouldn’t the grey and navy be cool together?)

Finally, I’m a sucker for purple and I needed a beige for the Burberry manicure I’m going to try next.  So I got three Essie polishes.  I also got some stripers and oil (since it was on sale too) and another Seche Vite topcoat since it’s the greatest thing out there.

Essie’s Left to Right: Jazz, Bahama Mama, A Cut Above

I know, I’m a crazy lady.

Annika and I went to Sephora looking for a matte topcoat after searching several drug stores.  I’m surprised there’s not a cheapy brand out there yet.  Maybe I didn’t look hard enough.  I wanted to try something with both matte and shiny.  I got my inspiration on Pinterest.

This is the same pastel purple Zoya (Kendal) I used on my last manicure, but with the matte topcoat it turned out gray (which I liked).  I used a dotter tool to dot two lines of dots on the side of each nail.  It was so easy.  Anyone can do it.

Again, I got some funny looks at work in meetings.  They must think I’m going through a near-midlife crisis or something!  I’m not telling them about the blog. I’ve been at the company for many years and there a few folks that know of my nail technician past.  Perhaps they think I’m moonlighting at a nail salon??

Here’s another picture with the flash on.  Hopefully I get better at taking pictures.  I’m using my iPhone.  If anyone has any tips, I’m open!

  • Polish: Zoya Kendal, Finger Paints Model Colour, Wet n Wild I Need a Refresh-Mint, Sephora by OPI Matte Top Coat
  • Tools: dotter
  • Inspiration Link: We Heart It via Pinterest


April 29, 2012

Annika wanted a Katniss inspired manicure and I wanted to try the scotch tape technique.  I found a perfect youtube tutorial and followed it to the letter (link below).  It’s an abstract rendetion of Katniss’ arrows.

This was time consuming.  First we polished two coats of a bronzy gold and let that dry completely.  Annika has such great nails.  We could have stopped there because it looked so good.

While she dried, I cut up about 30 small elongated triangles with regular scotch tape.  I should have taken a picture.  Be sure to stick the tape to your hands first to get most of the “sticky” off.  You can see what I mean in the video.  Then I applied about 3 triangles per nail, making sure to focus the points in a different place on each.  After sealing it all down, we applied two coats of a sparkly black.  Removing the tape is tricky.  Wait too long and you’ll peel everything off, don’t wait long enough and the black will flood.  Because we did two coats, our outcome was kinda chunky.  One coat may have been better.  But I still think it looks great!


April 26, 2012

This is so easy and cute.  Annika found it on Pinterest which linked to a simple tutorial (it’s so hard to find the originator of some of these ideas!)  We had to buy some supplies for this one, two nail art pens.  They are worth the money.  They write like a fine Sharpie.  All we did was polish her nails blue, then paint the white circles and draw on the eyes, beak and feet.  We finished off the ring fingers with a light sparkly topcoat.  It was a nice touch.  I think this is a better look for winter.  But not bad for our first attempt at an animal.

  • Polish: Revlon Dreamer, OPI Alpine Snow, Pure Ice Don’t You Wish
  • Tools: Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens in Black and Orange
  • Inspiration Link: Nail Art 101 Penguin Nails

So here we are…our very first manicure post.  Annika and her dad were going to a UFC Pay Per View/Hunger Games party (the dads watched the fights while the girls did their thing).  Annika has great nail beds!  Everything looks awesome on her no matter what.  We painted a hot pink background, two coats.  After it dried, we used gold sparkle (which we got free in our April Birchbox …yeah)!  Paint the gold polish on a makeup sponge, then lightly tap each nail about 3/4 the way down.  Reapply the polish to the sponge and this time lightly tap down to half the nail.  One more round – apply the final taps just at the tip and lay it on think!  Follow with a good topcoat.  Next time we do this, we’ll use a glittier glitter.  The Essie polish is too subtle.

Polish: Confetti Get the Party Started, Essie As Gold as it Gets
Tools: makeup sponge
Inspiration Link: Cute Polish Effie Trinket Nail Art (Hunger Games)

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