Sunday, March 31, 2013

Nail Art Nail-Off: Happy Easter! (Part 2)

Happy Easter, everyone!  I hope you enjoyed Lisl's Easter nails and decal tutorial!  Here is my take on Easter nails. 

I started by painting my nails with Revlon Dreamer.  Then I sponged on OPI Did it On 'Em  for grass.  I carved an egg shape out of a pencil eraser (no picture cause I'm a little embarrassed how makeshift my egg stamp looks).

I used the erase egg stamp to stamp eggs onto the nails using L'Oreal Creme Puffs,  Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Pink Blink, L'Oreal Royalty Reinvented, and Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant Coral Silk.  I used the same colors to decorate the eggs using a "dotting tool" (read: a super small wall nail).  I also stamped some Revlon Snow Flurries onto the remaining eggs for some sparkle.  (Disclaimer: I have had Snow Flurries since I was in 9th grade or something, so I have NO IDEA if they still make it or not.)

Please excuse the cut on my pointer finger

Nail Art Nail Off - Easter, Part 1 + DIY Decal Tutorial

Nail Art Nail-Off: Two Takes on One Nail Art Technique!

Lisl here:  Today Arden and I are going to show you our Easter themed manicures! Since I have a long tutorial, we're splitting it up into two posts!

So when we first started talking about our plans for Easter manicures it became very apparent that, over several days of scheming, we had both come up with the exact same idea for manicures: a blue background with "grass" on the tips, and Easter eggs peeking out.  We haggled and brainstormed and tried to think of alternatives, so that we didn't end up doing the exact same thing, but we couldn't come up with any better ideas and figured that y'all could just deal with it. 

Turns out that even when we're trying to do the exact same thing, the outcome is totally different!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

NOTD: Holy Week nails

Arden: Just a quick one today.  I just wanted to show everyone the manicure I wore all week for Holy Week!

For Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, I wanted to have darker nails, but also with a hint of springtime pastels.  I ultimately decided on a brown base with dots of pastel.

Colors used:
Essie Little Brown Dress
Essie Bangle Jangle
Revlon Dreamer
Essie Mint Candy Apple

This was far from my best dotting job; I definitely wish I'd done a better job making the dots look randomly scattered.  Next time, I'll do better!  But I did really like the combination of the pastels with the deep brown.  Has anyone else tried that color combo?  Let us know!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

As Seen on Pinterest: Decorative Squares

Ok, so this idea is kind of pseudo-seen on Pinterest.  I was initially going to try out this design that I'd pinned a few months ago:
But then, I clicked on the pin, and noticed this design in the header of the Coewless Polish blog, and decided I just had to try it out instead!

I started by painting my nails with two coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.  (As you can tell, this is my new go-to white polish.  I've been disappointed with Essie's Blanco for quite some time and just picked up My Boyfriend Scales Walls at 40% off.  So far, I've found it to be much more durable than the Essie!)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nail Art Nail-Off: Saran Wrap Nails Tutorial

Nail Art Nail-Off: Two Takes on One Nail Art Technique!

Arden here: Today, both Lisl and I are going to show you our own unique versions of the same nail technique: the Saran wrap marbling effect.

We're starting with me, because I went through A LOT of trial and error to perfect my technique.  First, we have my very flawed attempt at using NOT Saran wrap.  When I first sat down to do my nails, I couldn't find any Saran wrap in our apartment, and decided (erroneously) that we didn't have Saran wrap.  I put on my MacGuyver cap, and decided that surely I could just use a Ziploc perfect portions bag (basically the consistency of a produce bag from the grocery store).  Fun fact: this does not work as well as Saran wrap.

Here's my first attempt using this less effective form of kitchen plastic:

Index finger: This was with one coat of the base color (gold), then the top color (turquoise) immediately on top of it.  As you can see, a LOT of the polish was pulled off.  There's a lot of natural nail shining through!

Middle finger: Two coats of base color, then top color.  This worked better, but there were still a couple of holes.

Ring finger and pinky: Two coats of base color, one layer of fast-drying top coat, then the top color.  This was definitely the best way to do it, but it still didn't look quite as good (and marble-y, if that's a word) as Saran Wrap nails are supposed to look.  MacGuyver might've been able to make a bomb out of Windex and a coat hanger, but Ziploc bags really aren't a good replacement for Saran wrap when it comes to nail art.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: Nailene Perfect Tip Stickers, Part 2

As promised, I'm back with pictures of how the Nailene Perfect Tip stickers work when you're using them to do a traditional French tip manicure.

If you missed part 1, check it out here.

I started by applying the stickers to clean, bare nails, then painted two coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls to the tips.  When I removed the stickers, here's what I was left with:

Not exactly what I was hoping for.  There was some messiness around the edges of the nails, plus a fair amount of polish seems to have bled under the stickers.  (Obviously a lot of polish also got on the skin around my nails, but that was wholly my fault, and the fact that I'm pretty messy.)

I then used a small brush dipped in acetone to clean up all the edges.  That resulted in:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Nail polish swatches: Lush Lacquer neon polishes

Arden: A couple of weeks ago, Lush Lacquer was having a sale and we bought four mini bottles of their polish, three neons and another glitter.  They are so unique!  I love their neon pieces of glitter.

But before we get to the polish, let me just stop and tell you about the great customer service we received from Lush Lacquer.  After we Gchatted for over an hour about which polishes we wanted to buy, Lisl asked me to place our order.  As Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman, BIG MISTAKE.  HUGE. Cause I'm always doing things like referring to our blog as "Casa de Nails." (Or, y'know, setting up our Facebook account under that name.)

But in this case, what I did was set up our order, hit "send," and then in the next instant realize I forgot to use their coupon code.  I messaged Lush Lacquer asking if they could cancel my order so I could re-submit it with the code, and they responded within an hour telling me there was no reason to re-submit, they'd go ahead and apply the code and send me a refund.  How great is that?

And now, onto the polish!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nail Polish Swatches: Color Club Art Club - Nail Art Primaries Collection

So a while ago, we found out on the internet that stores like Marshalls, and Ross and K-Mart sell nice nail polish for cheap.  So, never one to pass up a deal, Arden intrepidly went on a scouting trip and called me to say that this set of striper polishes from Color Club/Art Club was being sold for $9.00.  I've never tried any striper polishes, plus it seemed like a good deal so I decided to test it out!

I spent one day practicing different patterns on the back of the box.  Then, over the course of about a week and a half "swatched" them in different patterns over Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out, and White Out.

I started out with a manicure inspired by a mug Arden gave me for Galentine's Day, my favorite holiday of the year.  For the uninitiated, Galentine's day is the day before Valentines day and it's the day we celebrate our female friendships!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nail Polish Swatches: Revlon Moon Candy

Arden: I don't know about you, but it seems like for the last month or two I haven't been able to walk into a drugstore without stopping by a display like this (and only partly because Emma Stone seems like one super cool lady):
Now, the Neon nail art duos don't seem that interesting to me (they're just a white polish and a neon polish-- I'm fairly certain I could duplicate that effect myself using my own white and neon).  The Nail Art Expressionist brushes seemed pretty neat, but what I was really attracted to was the Revlon Nail Art Moon Candy.

Now, I am a bit of a sci-fi nerd, so it's possible the interstellar name attracted me, but I also thought that idea of pairing polish with a matching flakie polish.  But for a while there, they're $9 price tag was too steep for me.  But then I was able to grab one at Rite Aid for 40% off, and later was able to snag one for Lisl and one of the Expressionist duos (stay tuned for that one!) on a buy one get one sale at CVS, plus a $1 off manufacturer's coupon. (It's possible we might be a little too proud of our deals here at the Casa de Polish.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review: Nailene Perfect Tips stickers

I've seen this image bounce around the internet for the last couple of months:

I think it might've originally been from an ad for Maybelline Color Show nail polish (or possibly a different brand?  If anyone knows for sure, please let me know!)

Anywhooooo, ever since I first saw it, I desperately wanted to do some nails with colorful French tips.  Unfortunately, I don't (yet!) have the skills necessary to freehand such French tips.

Enter: Nailene Perfect Tips stickers.

I'd been looking for something like this for a couple of weeks (Amazon has a couple options), but they always seemed a little expensive (especially for something bought online, sight unseen).  Then, on the same chance visit to Rite Aid when I got scored the marked down Cover Girl nail polishes, I happened upon the Nailene Perfect Tip stickers.  They were something like $1.99 for 96 stickers, so I figured they were definitely worth a shot.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nail Art Nail-Off: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Nail Art Nail-Off: Two Takes on One Nail Art Technique!

Our theme for today: St. Patrick's Day!  Let's break out the green polish!

Hi!  It's Arden here.  For my St. Patrick's Day nails, I went with a simple gradient, plus a crosshatch pattern on my accent nail.  (Lisl: it's just so amazing).

This wasn't my first attempt at gradient nails, but it was definitely the most successful!  This time, I followed the instructions from the Nailasaurus' gradient tutorial and they worked like a dream!  I definitely recommend swirling the two colors together before putting them on the sponge-- that might be the secret to making it work!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Nail Polish Swatches: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - Commander in Chic

Ok y'all, here it is: first post ever, first swatch ever.

So I bought this Sally Hansen a long time ago in a two-for-one deal at Walgreens - as Arden said, we cannot resist a nail polish sale - along with a polish I call "Sally Hansen: the Perfect 49ers Red." It languished on my nail polish shelf at work (story for another time: why I keep all my nail polish at work) for a long time because I bought it just as the weather was turning spring-ish and all I wanted to wear was bright colors and sparklies.

Then, fortunately/really-not-so-fortunately, it started to rain and I really needed something that said "precipitation-sophistication."

And here it is:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

As Seen on Pinterest: Reverse Dot Manicure

Welcome to the first post in our recurring feature: "As Seen on Pinterest!"  Today, I've got a nail art design that I've been admiring on Pinterest for quite some time.

This design was originally blogged by Emerald Sparkled.  Here's her picture, that I stumbled upon on Pinterest:

I don't own that many pink polishes (for some reason, pink nail polish just never seems like it looks good on my nails), so I decided to do mine in shades of orange!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nail Polish Swatches: Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss

When Jennifer Lawrence got up to the microphone to accept her Oscar at the Academy Awards a few weeks ago, I instantly tweeted:
Seriously, look how beautiful her nails were that night!
I took to Google, and the internet gods smiled on me not once, but twice: not only had the 24 hr news cycle already reported on what nail polish she used (or more accurately, her manicurist), but it was a brand I could get for $6 at the drugstore!  Since I'd been in the market for a good nude polish, I stopped by CVS on the way home from work the next evening and bought a bottle of Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss (what a mouthful!) in Forever Frosted (#115).