Friday, June 29, 2012

Pretty Purple Post (Comparisons)

Wee! It's friday!

I've been feeling exhausted lately, just sleepy all the time, so I'm happy I'll get to sleep in tomorrow. Side note: I changed my bed sheets last night and slept so amazing! Nothing like getting into a clean bed with your favorite sheets. Also, nothing like a brand new bottle of Seche Vite.

Back to the nails, today I just have another simple comparison. Sorry it's been a bit boring around here but most of my creativity has gone to my challenge manis and, even then, sometimes its lacking. Hopefully someone out there wondered how these shades compared and this will help.

Up for comparison: Barielle Expressive, Milani Violet Dash, Essie Play Date and Illamasqua Jo'Mina. As you can see, none are really dupes so yay! I get to keep them :D. Jo'Mina has much more blue in the base, Violet Dash is darker and Play Date is somewhere in between, also a bright color. Expressive leans way more pink when compared to the other shades. Formula was good on all of them, Expressive is the only shade that might need 3 coats depending how you apply it. All the others could easily be one coaters if you applied thicker coats.

Hope this helps and have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Fun Challenge Day 4 - We like it Hot, Hot, Hot!

Hey all!

So I had no idea where to go with this mani. I thought of doing some type of needle marbling for a melting sunset illusion, a nighttime stars mani, but they all failed. Finally, I thought to do something with neons since they're the hot trend of the summer so, still without a plan, I got to work.

I started with a base of Essie Blanc, then applied Pop Beauty Mandarin and sponged with China Glaze Surfin' for Boys. When I was done I thought it looked 'sunsetty' so I used black acrylic paint and my new brushes and just did some palm trees. In real life, the effect is quite stunning, not because of my sad little palm tress, but because of the sharp contrast of the black on top of the neons.

Is it just me or are the edges of the palm trees glowing? They're neon I tell you!

I think my little palm trees look like dreadlocks for some reason. Makes me giggle. 

Hopefully I'll have something better for you next round, and as always, remember to see what the other ladies did! (It's most probably better than mine)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Fun Challenge Day 3 - Pool Party

Hey all!

I'm back with day 3 of the Summer Fun Challenge by Lindsey at Neverland Nail Blog and it's sure to go swimmingly! Get your floaties and join us for a Pool Party. Be sure not to hold your breath!

Let's dive right in! (I promise that was the last bad pun, couldn't help myself). Today's mani was inspired by pool water (err duh) and one of my favorite bathing suits (which I am currently trying to fit back into). I did a pretty subtle gradient with Revlon Dreamer and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Blue Me Away then I stamped with an unnamed American Eagle mini and plate DRK-A and layered Hits Hefesto over it. Because I can. For the 'pistol accent' nails I started with a base of Essie Blanc and used a couple polishes to recreate the design on the bathing suit. If you want to know any particular color let me know and I'll happily oblige!

I took a tiny bit too many pictures so you know the drill, collage first pics later!

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's a Blue Jelly Smackdown! (Comparisons)

Hey everyone! I survived the night of San Juan so I'm back with another posty post for you!

Today I have the blue jelly battle royale. I'm comparing the whopping 3 blue jellies that I own in an effort to remind myself they are indeed different and I do need them. Ok, technically I'm comparing only two that might have sort of been dupes and two that were similar for different reasons, but let me flow with it, I was excited to sound like a wrestling announcer.

I'll be comparing Nubar Blueberry (BB) vs. China Glaze Ride the Waves (RtW) vs. Revlon Royal (r) vs. Nails Inc. Baker St. (B St.). I know Royal isn't even close color-wise, but it did earn it's place here for (possibly) being my all-time favorite polish. Baker St is also different since it's a creme and not a jelly, but the vibrancy of the color also merited inclusion into this comparison.

Onto the show:

As you can see, Royal is definitely darker but I also wanted to compare formulas so that's why it's there. Baker St. is fully opaque in two coats and I feel it has a hint of more purple to it? Like it's SO BLUE it's right next to the purplier shades. The two worth noting are Nubar Blueberry and China Glaze Ride the Waves. Although they're definitely not dupes, one might be enough if you can't find the other (and aren't a blue jelly collecting fiend). Blueberry is a tad more opaque than Ride the Waves and RtW is also a straight up jelly, while Blueberry is tad more "creme-y". Not quite enough to be called a true hybrid but a difference that makes Nubar's formula superior to China Glaze's

In this close up you can see the slight differences better, especially in the VNL. I used three coats of Blueberry and Ride the Waves while I only needed two for Royal and Baker St. Overall, do I have a favorite? Hellz to the nah. Royal is a little higher up on the list maybe but I couldn't in good conscience say I prefer one above the other. I guess the difference comes down to availability, pricing and personal preference of course.

I hope you all had a great weekend and enjoyed this post! I'll see you tomorrow for a nice pool party!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ride the Waves on a Copper Sandwich

IT'S FRIDAY PEOPLE!! Which means tomorrow is Saturday June 23, which means it's Noche de San Juan :D.

'Noche de San Juan' or Night of San Juan is a celebration of St. John the Baptist as well as the beginning of the summer solstice. I believe we're the only ones who celebrate it this particular way, but other countries do have traditions for this night. What we do is go to the beach at night (some people prefer pools to the possible dangers of the beach) and at the stroke of midnight jump backwards into the water 7 times. It's supposed to wash away either your sins or your bad karma, depending who you ask. Either way it's almost always a fun time (filled with drinking) and it's also my second one with my boyfriend, which is always nice.

History lesson over, nail time! For this look I used China Glaze Ride the Waves and Jordana Copper Blaze. I did one coat of RtW, one of Copper Blaze, one of RtW, one more of CB and a final coat of Ride the Waves. These were soo hard to capture because they were just so dang shiny, but I'm digging the finished look. Unfortunately these never really dried and got all kinds of messed up, but they were pretty while they lasted!

Before the final coat of blue jelly goodness:

And the finished look:

Ehh? Ehh?! I love this color. I would have passed on this if I hadn't seen it was a jelly on swatches beforehand. I have a slight blue jelly addiction. I regret nothing. I'll try to get some comparisons done this weekend so I can show you guys!

Have a good and safe weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Fun Challenge Day 2 - Summer Lovin'

Hey all!

For today's Summer Lovin' challenge we were supposed to do a lovey-dovey manicure. Problem is, I'm not great at being lovey dovey (just ask my boyfriend). I had planned to do some stamping but I couldn't really come up with anything great so I scrapped it and revisited my laser tape mani idea.

I applied one coat of Milani Beach Front, applied the striping tape and did one coat of Dutch Ya Just Love OPI. I don't know what took me so long to get this particular shade! When I saw the previews for the OPI Holland collection this pretty purple was at the top of my list but, when it actually came out, it never came home with me for some reason. I finally got it though! And best of all? There was a BOGO 1/2 off on OPI polishes when I went :)

Alright enough chatting, picture time.

V (boyfriend) <3 K (me). Subtle lovey-dovey is more my style. I do admit I'm a bit proud of how the rhinestone heart came out. I also knew not to wreck it with flakies like I did last time. Props to Sarah at ChalkboardNails are in order though, I got the idea for the color combo from her Laser-Tape Manicure post.

Hope you guys enjoyed my second post for the challenge and remember to see what the other ladies have done!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Swatchtime: China Glaze Sun Kissed and Spoiled I'm So Jaded

Doesn't that title move you? I know, it speaks volumes. So complex, so deep!

So as if you couldn't guess, today I'm showing you China Glaze Sun Kissed and Spoiled I'm So Jaded. I'm almost 92.6% sure I'm So Jaded is a dupe for I'm With the Lifeguard, the neon green in the China Glaze collection. I can't be 100% sure because I don't have both to compare but they just look so similar in pictures I can't justify buying the China Glaze one just yet.

This might look a bit boring as is, (as if neons could be boring) but that's because this was the base for some serious awesomeness that I can't wait to show you. What has two thumbs and loses pictures? THIS GIRL!

Onto the show:

"What in the world is that mess" you might ask, "why are you such a slob Kat?" Well, A) that's mean and hurtful and B) I might have had a little accident while polishing. Thankfully not a lot of precious liquid was lost and I just cleaned up after the pictures. Why didn't I do it before you ask? Well stop being nosy and asking questions, I just liked it that way.

Have a good day and see you tomorrow with some Summer Lovin'!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Fun Challenge Day 1 - Grill Master

What is this?! Me posting on a Tuesday?! ANARCHY I TELL YOU!

I'm back with another challenge, this time thanks to Lindsey at Neverland Nail Blog! This go around it's called the Summer Fun Challenge and we're kicking it off with 'Grill Master'. I still haven't decided if I'm going to post daily on the regular but, for the time being, you can expect daily weekday posts from me since we will be posting challenges Tuesdays and Thursdays and I will keep my regular posts.

I have to admit I completely forgot about this challenge until tonight when I saw the email, so I took inspiration for this mani from my dinner! I made some pan seared salmon with white rice and some vegetables. Was all that necessary? Probably not.

So I took the salmoniest color I could find (Essie's A Crewed Interest) and did some grill marks on my salmon and for my accent nails I just did the actual grill. Now that I'm typing this I'm coming up with cool and different ideas I could have done instead but I kind of like the ones I have! They're kitschy. I don't think that's an appropriate word but I've never used it before. As always with freehand stripes, mine are not perfect but, when I tried to do this with striping tape, it looked too neat. I like the more organic feel of these.

Here's what you can expect during the rest of this challenge:

And here are the lovelies participating:

I hope you guys enjoy this and have a good day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday's a Day for a Color Club and Stamping Fail!

Hi, it's Monday. I feel like I haven't rested in a while, I need my alone days in my house just vegging or I get cranky.

This is another really old mani that I never got around to posting. The fail here was with the fact that I wasn't expecting the polish to be so sheer and then the stamping. Dear Lord, the stamping. It wasn't great. It was kind of crooked and hurried and I just didn't like it when I was done. One of those "doesn't-look-like-it-did-in-my-head deals".

This is Color Club Hydrangea Kiss. It's a very pretty blue but it was just a runny and streaky mess while applying which made me lose my polishing patience. I then stamped with Sally Hansen Silver Sweep and BM-221 for the misplaced mess.

I also wanted to take a minute (paragraph) to say thanks for your comments on my Cupcake Gradient post, I haven't had a chance to respond yet but it really meant a lot to hear the nice things you all said and to hear from the ones that are usually lurkers and made themselves known :D. You're all the reason I blog. Well, that and I don't really have much else to do with all the polishes except shove them in other people's face and be like "ISN'T THIS PRETTY?!".

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend and your father's day celebrations!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Yellow Can-Pattern Stamping

Happy father's day to all of you that celebrate it! I personally celebrate "my mom was a good father('s) day" and "older brother is closest thing I have to a father('s) day", so to all of you with unconventional families, happy day to you too!

Nothing super exciting here, just a fun experiment I had to try. I'm reaching into the vault of unposted manis for this one. "The Vault" is just manis I didn't post for some reason. Nothing wrong with 'em, just didn't love them so you never saw them.

Months ago I was at my mother-in-law's house and she had this cute little yellow can with a blue pattern that caught my attention and I realized I could recreate it with my stamping plates and so I did. I used Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow and L'Oreal Jet Set to Paris and random plate to stamp with. Either Red Angel or Bundle Monster since those are the only ones I have.

Like I said, nothing wrong, just didn't love it so I never got around to posting it.

Also, you might have noticed/read on other blogs about the problem with the malware warnings. I haven't had a warning yet and I hope none of you guys have either! I did a scan on the site and took down my blogroll for the time being just to be extra safe. 

Not a lot more to say, I'm headed to the beach to eat a LOT of food with the fam. Have a good Sunday everyone!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cupcake Frosting Gradient & Stamping (And Some Questions For Ya)

It's FRIDAY! You know what else that means? It's my mom's bday!! Happy birthday mom!! (Yes, my boyfriend and mom's bdays are a week apart. And yes, I'm broke).

I had a hard time naming this particular combo I did. It looked so sweet and more springy than summery but I really didn't want to take it off. You might have seen a preview of this if you follow me on Instragram (hookedonpolish) or Twitter (@polishedkat) but chances are you didn't 'cause barely anyone knows I'm there :P. I post pics of nails, dogs, cats and occasionally food. If that sounds like your cup 'o tea then you know where to find me!

I used Essie Lilacism as a base and sponged with Wet 'N Wild I Need a Refresh-Mint using my regular gradient method of brushing both colors directly onto the sponge. I have to give props to Carolina from Colores de Carol for this, she posted this awesome gradient and I fell in love. I didn't have the same colors but I improvised and still loved the result! Then I stamped with Sally Hansen Whirlwind White and Konad m78. This is also my first time using a true blue Konad plate and I love it! I only bought the plate for this particular design and I can tell I'll be using it a lot.

Sorry about the mess, I was not in the mood to do double clean up for the pics :(

I freakin' loved this I tell you! The only reason I took it off was because not only was it chipping already, I got something pretty exciting in the mail and couldn't wait any longer to try it! (It's also on Instagram :D)

Now about the questions. I've been toying with the idea of posting daily but don't want to exhaust my very limited creativity for nail art so I ask, would you be interested in my adding different posts? Be it food related, make up reviews, plain swatches of polishes or specific requests (tutorial, comparisons, etc) or would you rather I just keep my current posting schedule (monday-wednesday-friday-random weekend day)? Also, if you have any suggestions about my current posts I'd love to hear that too. Let me know in the comments!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Glow in the Dark Flakie Lasers

'Ello you!

Today I'm gonna show you another little late night experiment I did. This is my first attempt at using striping tape and I'm hooked! It's so easy and loads better than pretending I can cut regular tape in a straight line so you'll definitely see more of these in the future.

For this I started with two coats of OPI I Have a Herring Problem and topped it with two coats of Blackeart Bright Night, a cool blue glow in the dark polish in A SKULL BOTTLE! I'm still deciding if I like holding bottles in the pictures or not but I of course had to show you the pretty bottle though it was a bitch to hold :D

I kind of loved the color this turned into. Application of Bright Light was the tiniest bit streaky but otherwise no problems. This is the best picture I have where I could capture the glowing in the dark effect:

It's much brighter than this, trust me, my camera just wasn't cooperating. You can check Chalkboard Nails for better pictures of this polish and the effect. After this I taped off my nails with the striping tape and added one coat of Essie Bobbing for Baubles and one coat of Finger Paints Twisted for the flakies

I liked the final result but the flakies turned out to be too distracting and you couldn't see the tape work beneath it. It also had special meaning because I added a V on my middle finger and a K on my ring finger for my boyfriend's and my initials. Yes, I'm a sap sometimes. I was going to mattify this to see if it helped but I couldn't find my matte top coat :(

What do you think? Do you have striping tape yet or no? I'm definitely looking for different color combos to use for my next tape mani so suggestions are always welcome!

EDIT: I forgot to mention that, though I couldn't get a good picture of it, the effect with the glow in the dark polish under the taping and flakies looked really cool when I went to bed. I really want to try this again and get a better picture!

Have a good day and remember: the weekend is only 2 days away!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday's a Day for a Spun Sugar Fail!

Hello all and welcome to another installment of my mini-Monday fails!

In this case the fail wasn't monumental, it was just too time consuming to do both hands by the time I started to try this mani and the results weren't as perfect as I wanted.

I did the Spun Sugar mani, though it has other names like thin lines or dripping polish I like 'spun sugar' best since I think it more accurately describes the effect. Either way, to do this you plop down some polish onto any random surface you don't mind getting ruined, your boyfriends favorite shirt that you hate for example, and wait for it to get stringy and annoying and sort of drape it over your nail for a cool effect.

I started with two coats of Essie Bikini So Teeny, a beautiful clean shade of blue (cornflower maybe?).

I really like Bikini So Teeny (aside from the fact that the shimmer in the bottle doesn't really translate to the nail). It had a good two coat formula and the color is just so...pretty!

This technique is MESSY. Or maybe it's me. Either way, you were warned.

Look at all those bubbles!

I have top coat on my pinky and ring finger and just left the natural texture on my middle and pointer finger so you'd see the difference. I used Sally Hansen Hard to Get for the white and it just did not want to get stringy! Every time I use this polish for nail art it strings and frustrates me and the one time I needed it to annoy me, it didn't want to! Touché polish, touché. I'll get you back though.

I'll definitely be trying this technique again with more patience and consider doing maybe less lines and a different polish for sure. What about you guys? Something you're wanting to try or have done?

Have a nice Monday! (As nice as a Monday could be)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tutorial: A Different Clean-Up Option for your Manis!

Helloo readers! Happy friday! Thanks to the lovely ladies who wished boyfriend a happy birthday, he was mighty excited about having some more polished crazies sending him birthday lurve :D.

Today I have a little something different. I've never done a tutorial and I cannot even pretend I know what I'm doing, but I gave it a shot anyway. Usually people mention the holy grail of cleanup on manicures to be a brush and acetone and, while this is def going to give you the cleanest cuticle line, sometimes polish can seep into your cuticles or be extra stubborn and you need a little more force to remove it. That's where this comes in handy.

This could get kind of long so I'll place most of it under the jump and hope you follow me there :D

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Some Grungy Neons

Well helloo you!

Before anything else, I want to wish my boyfriend a very happy birthday! We had only started dating this time last year so I didn't really do anything for his bday, heck I barely knew him! But now I do know him, and I do know how lucky I am to have him, so happy birthday hon :)

Now onto the nails! I finally got me some neons to play with. I've been craving neons for the first time in my life (probably all the bloggers' fault for posting pretty pretty swatches) so I got some of the new China Glaze neons and some random ones. When I sat down to polish, however, I could not decide how to wear them! I really think I short-circuited from all the pretty colors, it was just too much for my poor brain.

I tried using two that were close in color for the two-accent-nail look, but it was still too bright for my unaccustomed eyes. I tried layering it over white, not layering it over white, thought of a gradient, you name it, I did it.  Finally it was getting late and I was cranky knowing I had to work the next day, so I just sort of applied them all on a nail. My intention was to recreate this mani by Rebecca but my watercoloring skills are disappoint. Then I just started brushing everything on with my paintbrush, unintentionally using this tutorial from Nails Adored.

My pointer finger is a bit of a *spoiler alert*!

So...yeah, that's pretty much what I ended up with. I haven't decided if I love it or not, I'm actually still wearing it as I type. It's definitely fun and different. The pointer looks different because I stamped with Essie Blanc while experimenting, then switched to Whirlwind White when I decided to go for it. I just wish my stamping would have been straighter, still can't get the placing perfect. 

Next time I'm definitely wearing the neons on their own, eye searing be damned!

Oh, the polishes I used were:
  • China Glaze Sun Kissed 
  • China Glaze Surfin' for Boys
  • Spoiled I'm so Jaded (or Permission to Proceed) 
  • Pop Beauty Mandarin
  • Bettina Jeans Over Dyed 
  • BM 201 and Sally Hansen Whirlwind White for stamping

Is there anything specific you're craving this season? Is it a different style for you?
Have a good day!
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