Friday, September 13, 2013

Guess who's back, back again...

Hi all!

I feel like hugging this blog, it's been so long! So, quick update on my life now: as you may know, I graduated from my bachelor's degree in May but you (probably?) don't know that I am now working on my master's! As well trying to get everything in order to apply for a post-doctoral program in the fall of 2014. I'm busy, to say the least. I often feel like I'm drowning in coursework and just life in general. That sounds sadder than it is, lol. In fact, the only reason I'm blogging now is because I'm procrastinating doing some school work but today I just got an overwhelming desire to blog again so here I am! It helps that I really like this mani :D

Right, nails, that's why you're here. For this mani I started with a base of Illamasqua Jo'Mina and then saran-wrapped-sponged Illamasqua Nomad on top. Then I stamped with the silver Color Club holo and MASH 39. These even got the boyfriend seal of approval with a cheery "Ooohh look who's back!" when I showed him.

The pictures aren't perfect and I have to re-tweak the lighting because my setup changed since I wasn't using the lightbox but I'm just happy to have these up!

Sappy time: I am really happy you're all still following this blog and to show my gratitude, I'll be having a giveaway soon! Nothing huge, but I do have some things I've stashed away for an occasion such as this. As for the future of the blog, I do strive to continue blogging but I am definitely not pushing myself too hard. Sometimes I just have time to paint my nails in a single color and no nail art, and I'm actually still falling back in love with doing my nails since I was often naked during the break so I don't want it to become a chore again.

See you soon! :D

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

U is for uhhh....

Hey all!

"Once again, I must ask too much of you, Harry" - Dumbledore (And Kat. Minus the Harry. Unless there's someone named Harry reading this, in which case this must be a very personal post for you).

These past two weeks were uncommonly busy because of my graduation, family from out of town that was staying at my house and the boyfriend's birthday! Basically, it all rolled up into one ball of busy. On top of that, I did my nails for my graduation in what was probably one of my favoritest combos ever and they completely changed colors on me! They got all dark and murky looking, like they were stained. Its the second time this has happened to me with a particular topcoat but both times there were other factors that may have contributed to the staining. I'll be doing some further testing and will let you know if the topcoat was to blame.

Other than that, same story. Been super busy, had naked nails for almost a week and they're soul-crushingly short right now. Blah blah blah.

On the upside, you're all still here and I can't tell you all how much I appreciate it. Fret not, I only have about two weeks of this hell left and then I'll be back to my regular night owl nail painting routine. I actually have a few nail art ideas saved on my phone for when I finally have time to devote to my nails again.

Have I missed anything in the nail world? Any new collections you're lusting after? 

Missing you all,


PD: Sorry there weren't pictures in this. A monkey ate them.

Friday, May 24, 2013

ABC Challenge 'T' - a-England Tristam

Hi all!

Super short post, I'm very sleepy and have a massive headache at the moment but I really wanted to get this post up today!

I believe this was just one coat of a-England Tristam, which has been a lemming ever since it came out and it is finally mine thanks to Radha from The Polish Owl! Then, I added some holo stamping with Color Club Harp On It (because scattered holo + super holo = happy me at work) and a Pueen stamping plate (if anyone is interested in a review of these plates, please let me know).

I'm very sorry about the tip wear, this is another mani I've been wearing for almost a full week (still wearing it as I type) and last time I tried to fix the tips it looked all lumpy so I figured this time I'd show just how well its wearing. Needless to say, I love this mani to bits.

Have a great day loves!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ABC Challenge 'S & R' - The Red Angels are Sew Psyched

Hi all!

NOT DEAD! How about that? Sorry for my super extended absence, between work and getting everything done for graduation in two weeks plus my own personal down-time, it's been harder to get a post up. The biggest reason for my absence though? The sad sad state of my nails :'(. They've been peeling so badly recently and just brittle and dry that they're pretty nubtastic at the moment.

However, since I don't want to just disappear from the challenge altogether, I have a half-assed attempt to cram two challenges in one post! My base color is Essie Sew Psyched (for the S day) and I did a little accent stamp from RA-107 (for R day). I also stamped with Essie Good as Gold.

If the tips look weird its because I wore this for almost 5 days (!!) before taking the pictures and I had to retouch the tips a bit. Still, 5 days with barely any tip wear is pretty fantastic if you ask me! I never knew how to appreciate a long lasting mani until now.

Have a great day and (SPOILER ALERT) I'm actually wearing my 'T' mani as I type so be on the lookout for that post soon! (Could it be? Two posts in a week? EGADS).

Thank you for reading!

Monday, May 6, 2013

ABC Challenge 'P' & 'Q' - Pueen Q=17

Hi all!

So, since I missed two challenge posts in my absence, I decided to mash 'em up into one! I've known what I wanted to do for the 'P' challenge for a while but 'Q' was impossible, so I slightly cheated. I knew I wanted to use one of my new Pueen plates so I counted which letter Q was in the alphabet and decided I'd use that number plate. Luckily, the plate had a quilt-like image so it all worked out!

Started with two coats of OPI Russian Navy Suede (got really lucky at a beauty supply store recently and found 3 of the OPI Suedes!) then stamped my pointer and ring finger with PUEEN-17 and Essie No Place Like Chrome.

Tried going for a half-moon look with the stamp since the bottom edges on this plate are all half-moons. Not sure why, full review on the plates to come. I swear I did not like Russian Navy Suede until that macro. Just look at that depth and it's only one coat!! Only thing I'll say is that I didn't love the formula. Got thick fast and if you brushed one certain spot one time too many, it would pull the previous polish clean off, as seen on my ring finger macro.

See you soon for day R of the ABC Challenge! :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

ABC Challenge 'O' - OPI Gradient!

Hi all!

Getting the hang of this schedule.... I think. Not really.

Anyway, for about two weeks now I've been staring at three polishes on my table determined to do a gradient with them but I kept putting it off because I just didn't have time or was too tired. Imagine my joy when I sat down all determined to gradient it up and realized HOLY CRAP, this totally fit this week's ABC challenge prompt! That just gave me the boost I needed to get it done and I love the results!

All 3 polishes are from OPI, You're Such a Buda-pest, Can't Find My Czechbook and Eurso Euro.

My original intention was  to stamp over the gradient but I wanted to wear it on its own first. I wore it as is for maybe two or three days (because I was too lazy to stamp and afraid I'd ruin it) and then I had a bad-ish nail break on my middle nail so I had to remove it :'(. It was pretty while it lasted!

Have a great weekend loves! I heart you all for your comments, I really, really do.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ABC Challenge 'N' - Nails Inc. Sweets Way

Hi all!

Still being a pretty terrible blogger/nail enthusiast but I did manage to find a super old post that coincided with this week's challenge so here it is!

This mani was done in a rush for my neighbor's baby shower and while I truly enjoy the braided nails look, for the love of polish, don't ever use a sheer base glitter polish for the braid. This mani would have been so much better if I would have just used a solid white as an accent nail. Oh well.

Two coats of Nails Inc. Sweets Way, Essie Bikini So Teeny and Bettina Cotton Candy.

Thank you all for still being here despite my slightly irregular/sparse posting and I will answer all your comments soon, it annoys me to no end to have unanswered comments! I'm actually  pre-scheduling this and I'm nodding off as I type so I'm off to bed and feeling productive :D

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

ABC Challenge 'M' - Catrice Mint Me Up

Hi all!

Thank you all for your well wishes on my previous post about the new job! I've been working since Monday and it's good so far but getting used to the schedule is killing me. Its definitely an adjustment and I'm working on finding a new rhythm for blogging and doing my nails that doesn't exhaust me too much so posts might be random for a bit but I promise I'll be back to full force soon!

Today I have my first Catrice polish on the blog! I have four of these beauties to show you soon but I couldn't wait to wear this one in particular and, fortuitously, it was also great for a challenge post! This baby is Catrice Mint Me Up and it's like Butter London Two Fingered Salute's long lost sister. Very similar base color (from what I can tell in pictures) and coppery flecks but this has the added golden shimmer. The effect is very subtle and from afar it looks like a dusty minty green with pretty shimmer but I know it's more special than that :D. Many many thanks to Deborah from Love, Varnish for making me need these and then actually helping me get them!! <3

This was just ONE coat! I should have done two since I see the ridges on my nails a bit but time is SO sparse lately that one coat is really all I could do and coverage was fantastic at just one.

Doing this post made me realize I missed blogging more than I thought so I'm going to take another moment to thank you all for reading my blabbering, it really does make me happy to see all your comments (which I'll respond to soon).

Have a great day loves!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fancy Taffy Pants!

Hi all!

Today's post is for the ABC Challenge but I just had to go with that cute title instead of my usual "ABC Challenge 'L': blablabla".

This mani was actually completely coincidental. I painted my nails Friday with a new polish and kept it on until Tuesday (which is forever) but I had absolutely no idea or inspiration to do some nail art for today's post. It was then I realized that the mani I had worn all weekend had a polish starting with L so I used these pictures instead. I really didn't want to share this just yet for several reasons, which I'll go into later, but I didn't want to keep missing posts.

I started with two coats of China Glaze Fancy Pants and added accent nails of Lacquerlicious Tart Taffy, which had been a long time lemming ever since I saw Mimi's pics on her blog, so when a 25% off sale appeared, I pounced.

This looked so pretty but Fancy Pants chipped HORRIBLY. Within 24 hours I already had small chips at my nail tips and eventually it started peeling off in sheets. My mom had this same mani at the same time and hers didn't even last a full 10 hours, but she also has her hands submerged in water far more than I do.

Also, I ran into some issues with my Lacquerlicious polish. First of all, it's sinking :(. I can tell she's using suspension base and I know from several people that none of her polishes ever did this so it's probably a case of a bad batch. Either way, turning it upside down for a minute takes care of the problem right quick. The other issue is that it seems like some of the glitters stained my nails. It was very very faint and barely noticeable but I saw it and thought I had a rash on my nails. I am not very logical when it comes to nails. A very wonderful person indeed had the same two polishes and is trying out this combo as well to see if it stains the nails so I will update this post later with her findings and tell you if it was just me or not.

UPDATE: My very nice tester informed me she did not have any staining with the Lacquerlicious polish and she wasn't even wearing base coat! So it might have been an adverse reaction with my base coat (Nailtiques).

Small personal announcement: I'm starting a new job on Monday! That's pretty much the reason my nails have been so sad lately, I've been running around getting everything done before I start. I don't anticipate it will disrupt the blog too much but I will let you know if anything changes.

Whew! That was a much longer post than I anticipated and I didn't even go into the whole China Glaze/Vampy Varnish situation. Let's just say that as a blogger, I'm not happy with China Glaze.

Have a great day loves!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dirty Waters? (Illamasqua Cameo + Stamping)

Hey all and happy Friday!

You might be able to tell that I have no idea what to call this post. I think it's because I find the color combination a bit odd. Don't get me wrong, I loved this manicure lots and lots but its not a combo I would typically go for. Am glad I did though, I'm working on getting out of my comfort zone.

I started with two coats of Illamasqua Cameo, which is the most amazing vivid periwinkle I've ever had and want 25 bottles of it (I'll probably just settle with the one I have) but it was a bitch to photograph. This color really spazzed my camera out so I have to apologize for the swatches, I tried to color correct but I'm pretty sure I failed. For the stamping I used DRK-A and Color Club Beyond.

There are some color accurate swatches on Vampy Varnish and Ommorphia Beauty Bar.

I thought it looked like dirty water with oil in it and my mom said it looked like you were looking at the sea through a chain-link fence. She's very creative, lol.

What do you think? Agree that its an odd color combo or does it seem totally obvious to you?

Have a great weekend, loves!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

ABC Challenge 'K' - KIKO 400 (Silver Holo!)

Hi all!

So this challenge was a bit of a pain in the butt. Not because I didn't have a K polish to post, but because I didn't have time to do anything for it! Tuesday was a very emotional day here in PR as we were in the finals of the World Baseball Classic against Dominican Republic, with whom we have a very long history of competition so tensions were high all-around. We lost, whatever. ANYWAY, point is, I would've painted my nails Tuesday if I hadn't been busy and from then on I haven't really had a chance or motivation to do them (I'm actually naked as I type, GASP!).

All that explanation to say that the mani I'm showing today was one I did and posted on Instagram about 5 weeks ago but I never took lightbox pictures of because life happened, so today I'm showing my cellphone pics I had stored (which are surprisingly good, I can see why people use their phones for blogging sometimes).

I started with two coats of KIKO 400, the silver holo from their LE collection a while back and stamped with black and DRK-A on my pointer and middle finger.

Not a macro, just zoomed in on one of the previous pics.
I loved that mani so much I feel like wearing it again now that I see it. However, the idea for this mani wasn't just born out of nowhere, it was meant to mimic my new ring! My mom bought it as my birthday present and brought all the way from Morocco for me. It's perfect. If you know me a little bit, you know I love swirls too much so this is quite appropriate for me :D.

So that's it from me! I didn't realize this post would be so rambly.

Have a great day and check out the rest of the manis that were posted on time for the challenge!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Messy Fishtail Chevrons

Hi all!

Sorry for the later-than-usual post, I've been really distracted doing other things on the computer and kept forgetting to finish editing the pics. I'm sure I kept forgetting because I just don't like these pictures that much but I like the color combo enough to justify posting them.

I started with two coats of China Glaze Tart-y For the Party, then used OPI My Vampire is Buff and L'Oreal Not a Cloud In Sight, all from their respective spring collections, for the chevrons.

Overall, not that bad for a first try from someone deathly afraid of doing freehand, just not as clean as I would like. Both colors I chose for the chevrons required two coats to be opaque and streak free so the layers just kept building up and it looked too lumpy by the end. I do LOVE my pinky though, that's how all the nails should have looked.

Have you tried this technique before? There's a great video tutorial for it on Chalkboard Nails!

Have a great day lovelies! (As great as a Monday could be, anyway).

Friday, March 15, 2013

MASH Matte Topcoat Review

Hey all!

Today I'll be sharing my thoughts on the MASH Matte Topcoat. There's more pics than usual here so I'll just get right to it.

I started with two coats of KIKO 335 and added one sparse coat of Bokeh Effect by Makeup Withdrawal. I loved this combo, the base color of Bokeh Effect is very similar to the KIKO and I die for those copper glitters.

But this is a review! Get focused. Then I added the MASH topcoat to all the nails except my ring, on which I applied Essie Matte About You for comparison's sake since its the only other matte topcoat I own.


Both topcoats dried at the same speed but, as you can see, the Essie is more of a true matte while the MASH is more satiny. I personally prefer the MASH over Essie because the texture of the Essie was always a bit uncomfortable to me, I find it chalky. Also, the Essie appears to lighten the base color a bit and is very flat while the MASH one retains some sparkle and doesn't alter the base color.

All in all, another win from MASH for me! I really enjoy this topcoat so much more and the appearance it gives. I'm dying to use it over a gradient now, saw a matte gradient on IG recently and my eyes popped out of my head.

What do you think? Agree with me about the appearance and finish of these matte topcoats or do you have another favorite?

Have a great weekend loves!

Product featured was sent for review, all opinions are my own. For more information, refer to my Disclosure policy.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ABC Challenge 'J' - Revlon Jaded Night

Hey all!

I had a really hard time picking what to do for this challenge day. Originally, I wanted to do a really cool jelly sandwich but I figured I've already shown all my jelly polishes and I just wasn't feeling inspired when I sat down to do it. Then, I remembered I still haven't worn a very special (to me) polish starting with J but I knew I wouldn't get good pictures of it so I settled on this combo you're about to see. It's nothing too special but at the same time absolutely gorgeous.

I started with two coats of Revlon Jaded Night, this was part of a LE fall collection in 2011 (!). I remember this polish being one of the first that I semi-hunted for and as such will always be a bit special. Then I added another polish that was such a huge lemming for me, Essie Shine of the Times. Even though SOTT wasn't the lemming per se, it was Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure but OMG I remember to this day looking at the pics of those magical flakies and being so excited when a dupe surfaced.

Looking like nothing super special...
You start to see a bit of the magic...
Suddenly, BABLAM macro and it's magical and fiery and beautiful

Mmm pictures like that make me think I'm not so over flakies as I thought :D.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Monday, March 11, 2013

MASH Nail Art Pens Review

Hi all!

I know I never shared any Valentine's day manis on here because I'm just not that into that particular holiday but today I have some nail art that would be perfect for VDay or an anniversary or whenever you feel like wearing cute hearts. Got a lot to say so I'll get right into it.

I started with two coats of Orly Boho Bonnet from their Spring 2013 collection. Formula on this was weird, it seemed to thicken with use and wouldn't spread to the edges or self-level but it still looked good at two coats. It's also a close dupe of Zoya Kristen, not exact but enough for me since I can't get Zoya here.

After that was mostly dry, I used my pink MASH Nail Art Pen for the hearts and the black pen for the outlines. The consistency of the pink pen was great though it was a touch sheerer than the black one, I went over the big hearts twice for that bright pop of color and left the little hearts with just one 'coat'. If my base color had been white or lighter,  I doubt I would have needed the second coat. Finally, a little flick of white acrylic paint and topcoat finishes the look.

My favorite heart was on my thumb.

You'll notice I said the base polish has to be mostly dry to use these pens and that is because the tip of the pen is plastic and could dent the polish if it's too fresh. Also, if you're going to go over a part of your design twice to either deepen the color or make a line cleaner, it's best to wait for it to be mostly dry as well so you're not pulling up parts of the design or making grooves in it.

Aside from those tips, I found these SUPER easy to use and I'm in love with them already. I've always been mediocre with a nail art brush because of the abnormal way I hold them but with these pens I can make it work! I'm sure someone more talented than I would make amazing art with them but they're also great for beginners. They do take a couple of tries to get them going when they're new though. Nothing major, but worth mentioning.

These nail art pens can be found HERE on the MASH website and you can see the different colors they have (I'm dying to try the silver one now). Also follow MASH on Twitter or like them on Facebook for info, ideas or special promotions!

Product featured was sent for review, all opinions are my own. For more information, refer to my Disclosure policy.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rainbow Over Blurple

Heeey everybodah! IT IS FRIDAY.

I am very excited about today's post because it is one of my favorite manis that I have done in recent memory. Truth be told, when I get inspired I end up with things I really like, its only when I force myself to come up with something that I find they're lackluster. Now, if you follow me on Instagram (@hookedonpolish) then you've already seen it but now you get better pictures. If you don't, then you totally should because I post manis on there that never make it to the blog and I have a really cute dog.

I used two buttery coats of KIKO 337 (courtesy of mom, as you may have seen on my last post). KIKO 337 is a bright periwinkle/violet color that is an absolute pain to photograph. I *think* I got color accurate pictures by messing with the camera settings but it's so in between blue and purple and so bright that it really just confused the hell out of my poor camera. Next, I stamped with Mash-47 and Color Club Harp On It from their 2012 Halo Hues.

Obviously, this was way more holo-y than I could capture but you can see a tiny rainbow in that last picture. I really loved wearing this mani. Even as I type, I feel like recreating it. I won't because I have about a bajillion untrieds sitting there but I think it's very representative of my style and it was such a clean stamping job for me that I can't help but love it.

How about you guys? Any plans for the weekend?

Have a great day and I'm off to respond to comments on my last posts! *flies away*

Thursday, March 7, 2013

ABC Challenge 'I' - Barielle Island Breeze

Hi all!

For today's challenge I planned to do a quickie Illamasqua swatch but I found all my Illamasqua shades have been featured here already (some more than once). So, I went through my untrieds and found this little gem, Barielle Island Breeze! I don't have very many Barielles, just a few here and there that I've picked up at TJ Maxx (and the elusive Falling Star, which I totally should have posted for F day of the challenge but just figured it out now. GRR) but they really have some lovely colors.

Onto the polish! Island Breeze has a steely blue base between turquoise and aqua with a greenish shimmer that makes the polish look lit from within (I am really, epically bad at describing polish colors). I used three coats of Island Breeze, though it looked great at two I just wanted a third coat to saturate the color and shimmer. Then I did my very first glitter gradient with Jordana Cosmos.

The shimmer wasn't as apparent on the nail as on the bottle but it's definitely more shimmery than my camera captured. Looking back now, maybe the third coat was counterproductive and hid the shimmer. I have to add that the formula on this polish was just wonderful. Not too thick or runny but buttery and amazing. Also, I'm pretty happy with the glitter gradient! It still doesn't look as amazing as other ladies make them look but it's not bad for a first try.

What do you think? Any tips on how to do glitter gradients?

Have a great day!

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