Thursday, May 30, 2013

May Tri-Polish Challenge Day 4 - Tuxedo Nails + Mini-Tutorial

Ok guys!  This is it. Today is the last day of the Tri-Polish Challenge for May.  I did it!  I'm done!  I don't know what it was about this month, but I feel like it was extra hard, but I did it! Go me!  

So, perhaps you have not been keeping up with the Tri-Polish Challenge and wonder what my SUPER GRUELING task was.  Let me tell you:

I picked three nail polishes (OPI - Quarter of a Cent-Cherry, Butter London Blagger, and Cover Girl Non-Stop Stone), for the three assigned colors this month - red, blue and grey and created four manicures using those polishes.  Want to see the other ones? Check them out here, here and here.

Anyhoodle, I felt like the colors I chose this month were really mens-wear-y so I decided to make some tuxedo nails.

Keep reading for the tutorial and more pictures!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Crumpets Nail Tarts: May Tri-Polish Challenge Day 3

Hey y'all, it's Lisl. So here is my third Tri-Polish Challenge manicure for May presented without comment.

Just kidding! I have so many comments! Read on!

Before I start the commenting, here's the deal with the Tri-Polish Challenge.  It's a challenge organized by Crumpet's Nail Tarts.  The rules are simple.  Every month there are three assigned colors.  This month it's grey, blue and red and I chose the nail polishes Cover Girl Non-Stop Stone, Butter London Blagger and OPI Quarter of a Cent-Cherry.  Now I just have to create four manicures using those three polishes!

For manicure #3 I was inspired by all the pretty rose manicures I've been seeing recently, like the ones on Polished Elegance and Nailasaurus. I started out using striping tape to make vertical stripes on each nail, with Sally Hansen White Out as a base.

Monday, May 27, 2013

NOTD: Neutral to Bright Gradient

Hey y'all! It's Lisl.  Today I'm showing a super simple and easy gradient manicure. I was hunting around on Pinterest last night for future inspiration for "I Can't Afford That" feature and noticed a lot of people had been pairing neutrals with neons.  I don't have any neon neon polishes, but I have plenty of bright ones, and thus this manicure was born.

Friday, May 24, 2013

As Seen on Pinterest: Stippling Gradient Nails

Arden: Hi everyone!  Greetings from Florida!  Today I'm sharing a manicure I did a few weeks ago.  I kept running across this style of dotted nails again and again on Pinterest, so I finally decided to try it.  Here's a picture of the original, from Quite Polished:

Super pretty, right?  Apparently, this technique is called a "stippling gradient."  Who knew?  (Until I actually read the post on Quite Polished, I was calling them "scatter plot nails.")

I started by painting my nails with two coats of a white, black, and grey polish. 

Colors used:
OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls
Milani Black Magic
Maybelline Color Show Impeccable Greys

Crumpets Nail Tarts: May Tri-Polish Challenge Day 2

Hey y'all, it's Lisl.  It's a little late now (I mean as I'm writing this, not as you're reading it. I don't know your life), so I'm going to keep this quick!  This is my second manicure for the Tri-Polish challenge this month.  

(Tri-Polish Challenge recap: there are three official colors for the challenge every month, I pick three polishes corresponding to those colors and create four manicures using those colors!)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Florida Nails

Arden here: Hi everyone!  I'm super excited to report that I'm headed out tomorrow to visit family in Florida for a week!  I can't wait!

To celebrate my impeding vacation, I painted my nails to match my destination!  After an extensive Google search for "Florida nail art" I discovered this design.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull it off, but I think I did a pretty good job.

I started by painting my nails with two coats of L'Oreal Not a Cloud in Sight.

I then cut up a make-up sponge into little pieces and used each on to sponge on a different color of the sunset.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Crumpet's Nail Tarts: May Tri-Polish Challenge Day 1

Hiya! It's Lisl.  So we are coming up on the tail end of May, which is absurd because I'm 90% sure that yesterday it was February, but whatever.  End of May means it is Tri-Polish Challenge time again, and this is great because challenges give my life structure, and I am a child and require lots of structure in order to be able to do anything.

Anyway. Challenges have RULES and the full rules for the Tri-Polish Challenge are here.  But the simple story is this:  there are three official colors for the challenge every month, I pick three polishes corresponding to those colors and create four manicures using those colors!

This month I chose OPI Quarter of a Cent-Cherry, Butter London Blagger, and Cover Girl Non-Stop Stone.

I started with a base of Quarter of a Cent-Cherry.

Two things about this nail polish.  One: when I was cleaning off the edges of my nails it bled all over my cuticles and then stained them bright red.  So that is what is going on there. Two:  it looks CRAZY different depending on what light it is in.  I started out all "this is a lot darker than I expected," then I went into the bathroom and it suddenly turned bright red.  Here is a very janky picture of my nails in the bathroom!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Doily (?) Nails

Arden: Again, I'm not too sure how to describe this manicure.  It's vaguely like lace, but maybe more like a doily?  (When I asked Lisl for her impression, she responded: "They do look like a doily, but doily's a funny word."  You heard it hear first! Lisl also suggested "art deco half-moons" but since I am never really sure what art deco is supposed to look like, I didn't feel comfortable with it.)

I started by painting my nails with two coats of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Celeb City.  I applied a coat of Seche Vite to dry the silver coat faster, and then I applied hole reinforcement stickers at the base of each nail.  (This time, I cut them in half, which I think makes them easier to apply and remove, plus you only use half as many!)  With the stickers in place, I painted a thick top coat of Essie No More Film.  I removed each sticker immediately after painting the nail.  This gave me some great reverse manicure/half moon nails!

Friday, May 17, 2013

I Can't Afford That: Peter Som for Anthropologie Zebra Dress

Hey guys, it's Lisl.  So a couple nights ago I was scanning Pinterest for more clothes that I can't afford, but can use as manicure inspiration.  I found this Peter Som for Anthropologie zebra print dress, which is amazing, because it is not printed with zebra stripes, but printed with ZEBRAS.  It was 12:30 AM at this point, but I could not be deterred: I would paint my nails with zebras too.  This turned out to be misguided.

I started with a base of my trusty Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White Out.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rainbow Vertical Gradient Nails

Arden: I've seen a couple of iterations of rainbow nails on the internet the last several weeks, so I decided to finally try it myself!  For mine, I did a vertical gradient, so instead of sponging on colors from the tip to the base of the nail, I sponged them on from left to right.

I used three colors on each nail: a darker shade of color A, a lighter shade of color A, and then a darker shade of color B (with the colors going in the order of the rainbow, ROYGBIV).  On a couple of nails I initially used four colors (adding a lighter shade of color B), but that didn't really look good, so I ultimately just used 3 colors on each nail.

I used A TON of colors in this manicure!  Here they are (in pictorial and list form):

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On the Dot: Dotted Half-Circles

Arden:  Goodness, I had a hard time figuring out what to name this manicure!  Curved dotted lines?  Funky dot pattern?  I guess dotted half-circles it is!

I started by painting my nails Essie Mint Candy Apple (one of my favorite light green shades!).

So pretty!
Then I dotted on large dots using the largest end of my dotting tool in Zoya Mira.  I tried to dot them in two opposing half-circle patterns.  Some of them turned out better than others.

Please excuse the smudged dot on my pinky.  I have no idea how I missed that!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nail Art Nail-Off: Matte Nails

This week on Nail Art Nail-Off, we're experimenting with matte nail polish!  Matte nails are pretty fashionable right now, and there's actually a lot of fun stuff you can do by mattifying (is that a word?) your manicure!

Arden's take: I started by painting my nails with two coats of Maybelline Color Show's Impeccable Greys.

I then added a thin top coat of Essie Matte About You.  If you want to read more about this matte coat, check out my review here.

I then cut 3 triangles out of Scotch tape and applied them to my nails leaving a star burst pattern visible at the tips.  I'm afraid I forgot to take pictures of this step, but I went back later and took a picture of the tape so you could get an idea of how to position it:

Monday, May 13, 2013

As Seen on Pinterest: Fish Scale and/or Mermaid Nails

Arden here: Today I tried something I've seen a couple of times on Pinterest, a nail design that looks like fish or mermaid scales.  This is one of the favorite ones I've seen:


I decided I'd try to model my fish scale nails after the most famous literary fish scales of them all-- yes, that's right, I'm talking about The Rainbow Fish.

I started by applying on two coats of Maybelline Color Show Shocking Seas

Then I took A BUNCH of colors and dotted on colorful scales!

Friday, May 10, 2013

NOTD: Gradient Fading Dots

Arden here: Aren't these nails super cute?  This might be one of my favorite manicures I've done so far!

It is also by far the most extensive dotting project I've ever taken on.  Previously, any time I saw a design that required an even distribution of dots, I shied away because I just didn't think I could ever possibly make dots that neatly.  But when I saw a similar fading dot design on My Nail Polish Online I fell so in love with it that I knew had to try.  (I also thought that the larger dots might've been easier to pull off than smaller dotting patterns.)

I started with two coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.  Then I sponged a 3 color gradient on each nail (white, light color, slightly darker color).  This was not a super easy process-- it took a couple tries to get each nail right, and that usually involved sponging on some extra white at the base of the nail.

Colors Used (thumb to pinky):
Essie Mint Candy Apple
Zoya Wednesday
Revlon Dreamer
Essie Bikini So Teeny
Essie Jangle Bangle
Zoya Mira
Essie Navigate Her
Sinful Colors Rise and Shine
Revlon Timeless
Maybelline Color Show Impeccable Greys

Whew!  That was a lot of colors!

Then I used my dotting tool to make even dots across my nails.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Can't Afford That: Valentino Ricamato Daisy Cap Sleeve Dress

'Sup, it's Lisl. Welcome back to "I Can't Afford That", my sporadically appearing feature where I paint my nails in the style of expensive clothing that I want so bad, but will never own.  Today I've got a manicure inspired by this beautiful white floral Valentino dress, which, should you have an extra 5,000 dollars lying around, is yours to buy and keep and probably spill ketchup on.  Huzzah!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

As Seen on Pinterest: Glitter Sandwich

Arden here: Oh my goodness, I had wanted to do a manicure like this for MONTHS and I'm so glad I finally was able to!  I spotted this manicure on A Girl and Her Polish a while back, and instantly pinned it to my Pinterest board because I wanted to try it some time.

Doesn't that look so cool?  I hadn't been able to try it earlier because I didn't have a good sheer polish to use as the "bread" in my "glitter sandwich," but I finally scored one and was so excited to try it out!

I started out with a coat of OPI Don't Touch My Tutu then I added a coat of Lush Lacquer's Clowning Around.  (For more swatches of Clowning Around, see our Lush Lacquer post.)  To complete the sandwich, I added another coat of Don't Touch My Tutu.

Then, to finish off the look, I added a bunch of brightly colored dots like confetti at the tips.  Initially I was only going to do a few colors, but then I got really excited about it and used a bunch of different ones to match all the colors of glitter in Clowning Around.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Essie Matte About You Top Coat

Arden: I did it guys!  I finally invested in a matte top coat.  I did a little bit of internet research, and it looked like most people's favorite matte top coat was the one made by Essie, so I decided to check it out.

For my first time out, I decided to just try a simple reverse triangle manicure.  I started by painting my nails Essie Navigate Her with L'Oreal Royalty Reinvented on my ring finger as an accent nail.  Then I used Scotch tape to tape of little triangles at the base of my nails and painted those in the opposite color.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Nail Polish Swatches: Mod Lacquer Southwest Spring Collection

Hey guys, it's Lisl! I am so excited to share the Southwest Spring collection from a relatively new indie nail polish brand: Mod Lacquer.  These collection as a whole is just wonderful: they're all packed with glitter in jelly bases, very easy to apply and super beautiful.  Ok! On to the first swatch, Salida del Sol.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

NOTD: Skittle Saran Wrap Manicure

Arden here: For today's nail of the day, we're going to learn some new nail art vocabulary!  Here are three nail art techniques that are often confused:

1. Gradient: when one color gradually gives way to the next on an individual nail.  Check out our gradient tutorial here.

2. Ombre: when each nail is a different shade of the same color (often going from darkest to lightest).  We haven't posted one of these yet on Casa de Polish, but maybe we should!

Eagle-eyed readers will notice this is both a Skittle AND a gradient.

3. Skittle: when each nail is a different color--- like a bag of Skittles!  We've shown a couple of these, most notably right after Easter.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

On the Dot: Peacock Nails!

When I first saw a version of this design online, I thought, "That looks so cool, but there's no way I could ever make dots that perfect!"  Then I looked at it again, and decided that maybe I could!

Full disclosure: The original version of this design DEFINITELY had better dots than mine that were actually in a pattern of perfect concentric circles, not weird concentric oval-ish shapes like mine, but I still really like how mine came out!

I started with two coats of Essie Midnight Cami. (Aside: Why do navy polishes ALWAYS photograph black?  It took a lot of finger contorting to get these to even look a little blue.)

Then I dotted a little flower pattern of 6 dots on each nail using Essie Good as Gold.  I used a dotting tool to make these dots, but they easily could've been made with a wall nail, toothpick, or basically any other household object with a tapered end.