Friday, December 20, 2013

Guest Post! Kissed by a Rose

Lisl here! It's been a long time since either Arden or I posted (long story short: life happened), but Casa de Polish will not be neglected.  I'm super excited because my two best friends from elementary school guest posting today!  Take it away Karebear and Sher!

Hello, Casa de Polish followers, minions, and fans!

Karen and Sarah here, two of Lisl's longtime bffls. We are both beginner nail artists, with more passion than practice, and today we set out to try out this pink mani with black rose accent nail from one of our other favorite nail blogs, Pshiiiit.

We went through Sarah's collection to  find colors that closely matched the original and came up with:
Base coat: Essie - Feed Me
Main Pink: Unforgettable Moments - Pink Lai
Dark Pink: Essie - My Place or Yours
Light Pink: Essie - Blanc
Main Green: Julep - Courteney
Dark Green: Butter London - Thames
Gold Highlight: Nail Rock - Venus Gold
Top coat: Seche Vite


1. Base coat, pink coat with a black accent nail
First, I painted my nails with Essie - Feed Me. I don't think this is actually a base coat but I've been using it as one. Next, I painted all but one of my nails with two coats of Essie - My Place or Yours and then the accent nail with one coat of the very solid, very mysterious Noir polish of unknown origin. I've never had a decent black before, so I was very excited to find this in the cupboard under my sink!

2. Roses.
I started by dotting two dots of Unforgettable Moments - Pink Lai where I wanted to paint the basic flower shapes. I then filled them out into irregular blobs, and waited for them to dry. Protip: Make sure the pink flowers are small enough so that you can add leaves around them.

I then added shadows in the darker pink My Place or Yours with a dotting tool. While the roses dried, I added leaves in the main green color, also with a dotting tool. I finished off the roses with white highlights (light pink would work well as well). 

As you see from the photo, I started out with a dotting tool, but ended up using a mechanical pencil to do smaller dots because it had a more precise tip. I then shaded the leaves with dark green, and added gold highlights to make them pop.

Here is a handy gif if you are more of a visual learner than I am:

3. Top coat & Cleanup
Seche Vite is arguably one of the most useful polishes in my opinion, as it makes everything super shiny and smooth to the touch. I ran out a few weeks ago, so inviting Karen over was very strategic on my part.

4. Admire
They are so, so pretty!

We hope you enjoyed this rose mani. Try it yourself and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

33DC: One Manicure Three Patterns/Slow Swatching: Girly Bits Cosmic Ocean

Hi Y'all It's Lisl! I'm playing maaajor catch-up with the 33 Day Challenge right now, I think this is last Friday's challenge prompt? Anyway, here it is!  The prompt was "three patterns."  Obviously, in the picture above I have not shown my three patterns yet, but just you wait! It is coming.

I first wanted to slow-swatch (my special word for when I very lazily swatch one polish at a time) of Girly Bits Cosmic Ocean, which Arden got me for my birthday like a million months ago!  Oh my goodness, guys, it is just amazing.

It's like this blue-green shimmer wonderfulness that, here, I layered over Sally Hansen X-treme Wear Black Out, but you can layer it over anything! Arden layered it over dark blue and it was so, so great. I couldn't get all the beautiful facets of the color to come through. Sometimes it is super green and it looks like the parts of space where bad guys live, sometimes it is blue-green and it looks like dragon scales, sometimes it is blue-blue and it looks like the sea!

So for my three patterns I chose zig-zaggy, stripey, and whatever you would call the pattern on my ring finger.  You can read more about how I did it after the jump!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

As Seen on Pinterest: Koi Goldfish Nails

Arden: Hey everyone!  Today's prompt in the 33 Day Challenge is to create something inspired from Pinterest, which means it's time for a new installment of my series "As Seen on Pinterest."  The manicure I have for today is one I did several months ago (seriously, I think it was back in September) and for some reason never posted on the blog.  It was inspired by this manicure by Elizabeth of Did My Nails, which I found on Pinterest and instantly had to try!

*Full disclosure: I did these nails so long ago, I don't remember all of the polishes I used.  I'll try to guess as well as I can!*

I started with a base coat of Sally Hansen Barracuda.  Then I used Saran Wrap to dab on several other blue/blueish green polishes to make the water for the koi pond.  I added a layer of Revlon Snowflurries and ended up with this:

I liked it, but felt like it might be a little too busy for the background of my fish, so I added two layers of one of Lisl's new birthday polishes-- Girly Bits Cosmic Ocean.

Then it was time to paint on my fish!  Using our set of acrylic paints, I painted a little koi fish on each nail.  Sadly, my fish were not nearly as beautiful as the originals (mine look a little like goldfish with turtle bodies), but they still looked pretty cool.

I was pretty proud of myself for my ability to draw koi using my non-dominant hand, so here's a picture!

What do you think?  Like the koi? Think they don't look anything like fish?  Weigh in in the comments!  And be sure to check out everyone else's entries today below.

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Technique: Marbling without Water

Arden: Hey everyone!  Today's prompt in the 33 Day Challenge is to try out a technique that is new to you.  If I were a person who embraced adversity, this probably would've been the perfect opportunity to try out water marbling again.  But everytime I've ever tried to do water marble nails I've ended up wanting to bash my head into the wall.  I've just never gotten it to work.  So instead of suffering through the same crushing defeat again, I decided to try out this marbling without water technique by Robin Moses.

First, watch this tutorial video.  It is super great!

 I started by painting my nails with a base coat, and then two coats of OPI Don't Touch My Tutu (whenever I do nude nails, I always start with this polish, because I feel like it helps me work up to a nice opacity quicker).  Then I applied a very thick coat of Julep Layne (a more pinkish nude) to my first nail.

I dabbed on white (Julep Bunny), black (Sally Hansen Black Out), and sparkly tan (Julep Cynthia) polish and used a small nail art brush to swirl them together.  I will say that I don't think my nude coat was as wet/thick as the one in the video, because my colors did not swirl that well together.  When i try this again I will definitely try to make the base coat thicker.  But the polishes still swirled pretty well.

When I finished with each nail, I went back and dabbed on some gold glitter polish using my Color Club gold striper.  I added a top coat and voila!

Obviously, not as totally awesome as the original, but still pretty good!  I'm gonna call this new technique a success.  (And not nearly as maddening as water marbling.  Which I will try again someday.  Maybe.)

Be sure to check out the rest of entries in the 33DC below!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Geometric Watercolor Nails

Arden: Hey everyone!  I'm playing catch-up today; this manicure is using Wednesday's 33 Day Challenge prompt: geometric nails.

Much like Monday's manicure, I started with a base coat of Julep's Nicolette and then applied striping tape, this time in a diamond pattern.

Then I used small pieces of sponge to apply little patches of different colors.  I used too many colors to list here, but ask in the comments if you really want to know about a specific color.

This manicure was very similar to the multicolored striping tape nails I did a couple of months ago, which I loved, but I think I might've liked these even better!

Be sure to check out all of the other geometric nails below!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Three Color Gradient + Pattern

Arden: Today in the 33 Day Challenge, I was tasked with creating a manicure using a 3 color gradient plus a pattern.  Since I still am a total novice at stamping, I created my pattern using striping tape.

I started with a white base (Julep Nicolette) and then added strips of striping tape to make rectangles.  (If you want all the details, I started by applying two long strips on my nail from base to tip, then added three shorter strips horizontally.)

I then sponged on a gradient using one regular polish (Julep Joanna) and two liquid sand polishes (Julep sea salt finish Tracy and Zoya PixieDust Liberty).  After sponging on the gradient on the first nail, I immediate removed the tape before moving on to the next nail.

For accent nails, on my thumb and ring finger I painted each taped-off square/rectangle with one of the three polishes.

Since I was using texture coat polishes, I did not add a top coat at the end (though you certainly could if you wanted to!).

I think these turned out pretty well, though if I were to do them again I might sponge on another coat on the gradient nails-- they look a lot lighter than the accent nails since the texture polish wasn't as densely applied.  But oh well!

As always, let me know what you think in the comments and check out all the other entries in today's challenge below!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

33DC - Euro Nails!

Hey guys!  It's 33DC time again! Today's theme was European nails so I (this is Lisl, by the by) decided to go for Euro nails, literally.  As in, I used actual Euros left over from my trip to Greece to do my nails!

I started out with a base of Butter London Bit Faker, which I stole from Arden.  It is an excellent, excellent polish. It took me three coats to opacity, and though I dabbled a little to fill in patches with the third coat, it honestly wasn't necessary. I am just obsessive. 

Then, to get the Euro prints onto my nails I followed this coin stamping tutorial that I found on YouTube, with a few adjustments.  For those of you who don't want to watch the whole tutorial it was pretty simply. I used:

1. Euro coins
2. A stamping kit scraper
3. A stamping kit stamper
4. Essie Good as Gold

I painted Good as Gold on top of the coin, scraped it off with the scraper (it took a few light scrapes to get all the excess polish off) and then transferred to the stamper, just like regular stamping. Then on to my nail it went!  I don't know what happened with middle finger up there. Just ignore that I guess.

Overall I thought it looked really cool! The technique was a little messier than normal stamping. Coins aren't really designed to be used in this manner exactly, but it was fun and cool and on theme!  Europe is a huge huge place so there were a lot of places to draw inspiration from, and the manicures that came out of this theme were super cool and very diverse. Check out the other manis below the jump!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

33DC - Wave Nails (A Pattern From My Wardrobe)

Hey y'all! It's Lisl!  Today's 33DC prompt was "a pattern from your closet."  I chose to base it off the white stripe in that dress I'm wearing up there!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ladybug Nail Tutorial

Arden: Hey everyone! Today's prompt in the 33 Day Challenge is to follow someone else's tutorial.  I chose to create these cute ladybug nails, following a tutorial from the blog Swatch and Learn.

And since I haven't done one of these in a while, I decided to create my own step by step tutorial as well!

I started by painting my nails with a base coat, then two coats of Julep Jackie (aka the best red polish ever).

As you can tell in the photo, I didn't get full coverage from two coats, but knew I was about to paint the tips black so I figured it would be fine.

After that, it was really easy.

1. Paint a black line with a striper brush to help mark the face of the ladybug.

2. Fill in the tip with a black polish (I used Sally Hansen Black Out).

3. Paint another black line down the center of your nail.

4. Add black dots on either side of the line using a dotting tool.

5. Add white dots at the tip using a dotting tool.

6. Add small black dots on top of the white to finish the eyes.  (This wasn't in the original tutorial, I just thought it would make the eyes cuter.)

Here's the finished product:

I love these little guys!  They're so cute!  And for a 100% freehanded design, these were pretty quick and easy!  Definitely a good manicure design for a beginner to try.

Let me know how you like them, and check out everyone else's entry in the 33DC today below.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

33DC - Citrus Nails (My Favorite Brand: Butter London)

Hey y'all! It's Lisl. This is a day late, but today/Wednesday's theme for the 33 Day Challenge is your favorite brand!  I happen to love Butter London.  I have had really excellent customer service experiences with them, plus their polishes are uh-may-zing.

Monday, October 28, 2013

South American Favela Painting Project Nails

Arden: Hi everyone!  Today we're supposed to create "South American" nails in the 33 Day Challenge.  Goodness gracious-- that's a whole continent of inspiration to choose from!  It was quite a difficult task.  I ultimately decided to use this picture for inspiration, created by an artist duo who've painted these awesome enormous mural on the walls of a favela in Rio de Janeiro.  To learn more about the Favela Painting project, click here.  (And if you're interested in how art has flourished in the slum favelas of Brazil, might I recommend the excellent documentary Favela Rising?)

I created these nails by painting the lighter shade of each color on every nail.  I then painted strokes of the darker color on top of each nail using the cloud/stairs method.  Next, I added white jagged lines using our Color Club white striper polish.  Finally, I made little black dots/lines for the windows on the buildings using the Color Club black striper polish.  I added a top coat and they were good to go!

Colors used (thumb to pinkie):
Sally Hansen Barracuda
Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant glosstini Blue Hawaiian
Revlon Minted
OPI Did It On 'Em
CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Coral Silk
Essie Geranium
Sally Hansen Pink Blink
Essie Pink Daquiri
Julep Leila
Sally Hansen Butterscotch

Ok, so these are obviously not in any way a super realistic depiction of the favela murals, but they were bright and fun and geometric, so I still think we can call them a success.

As always, be sure to check out the other entries in today's 33 Day Challenge group after the break.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

33DC Coral (Animals) Nails

Hiii! It's Lisl, and I am super pumped to share my manicure for the 33 Day Challenge "Animals" theme.  I decided to do a manicure based on my favorite animals, the animals I'm basing my Ph.D. research on - corals!  So, my BFF Steph's husband Jonah refuses to believe that corals are anything other than rocks or plants, but I promise you, Jonah, they're animals!  And they're awesome! Which is why I am manicurifying them.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Abstract Nails

Arden: Hey everyone!  Sorry for my absence last week-- I was hanging out at the beach with my family!  Today's prompt in the 33 Day Challenge is "abstract nails."  Wow, there were a lot of different ways to go with that one!  For inspiration, I googled "abstract art" and found this neat painting:

I started by painting my nails with two coats of Revlon Timeless.  I then dabbed on a bunch of other gray polishes using Saran wrap, before moving on to adding the blue splotches.  I then added a top coat of Essie Good to Go and voila! 

Colors used:
Julep Stevie
Maybelline Color Show Impeccable Greys
Julep Annette
Julep Faye
Butter London Blagger

What do you think?  The blue in the nails doesn't really match the teal in the painting, but I still think these nails can count as abstract.  Up close they do look a little more like swirls than actual paintbrush strokes, but I worried that if I used a brush they would come out all funky.  At least I knew Saran wrap nails would look cool!

Please excuse the chip on my pointer finger-- Saran wrap nails always chip so easily!

Let me know what you think of these nails in the comments, and as always, check out the other entries in today's challenge below!