Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Keep Calm and....

I think I am going to have to have this on my wall... maybe in tiffany blue instead of pink.

Painting nails is my therapy. Keep Calm and Paint On.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Dressed Up Mani with Essie - A Cut Above

So I went about perking up my bland pink mani from this morning and decided to give it a sprinkling of glitter. I have said it before and I will say it again, glitter makes everything better! The base here is China Glaze's Dance Baby with Essie's A Cut Above from the Luxeffect collection, layered in a gradient over the top. To get this look, I painted a full mani with the base color (see my previous post for the results). Then, taking the glitter polish, I painted a french tip like line across the top making sure to glob on extra glitter and using the brush, gently pulled the glitter down the nail, stopping about halfway down. Make sure to work on only one nail at a time as you don't want your glob of glitter to dry at the top :)

I like this mani much better now! I also really love the Luxeffect polishes. I have this and I just got the silver glitter, Set in Stones. They are great for layering but are dense enough that, with a few coats, you could wear them on their own. I also really want Shine of the Times, an opalescent flake glitter so I am on the lookout for that. Hope you enjoyed!

China Glaze - Dance Baby

Today's manicure is from the new China Glaze collection Electropop for Spring 2012. I picked up quite a few of the colors from this collection, except the one I really really wanted, Aquadelic, was sold out so I am still on the hunt. I always love the spring collections, as I tend to be a pastel creme fiend. I am not gaga over this color, but it a slighlty different pink that an others that I own, and it doesn't give me lobster hands, which some pastel pinks tend to do with my pinkish skin. 

The Verdict: It is a nice feminine pink color, highly pigmented - this was only 2 coats, and easy to work with. Not one of my all time favorites, but I am sure that I will find occasion to wear this color occasionally. Check back again later today, I may try to dress this mani up a bit to make it a little more pleasing :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Essie - Haute as Hello

Today, I just wanted to share a full mani or the color that I used for the base color in my Turquoise and Coral  reverse french manicure. Essie's Haute as Hello is a bright orangy coral with an almost neon like finish. As I said in the other post, this color does not translate well into photographs. I tried indoors, outdoors, diffused light, direct light, pretty much everything and could not get the brightness of this color to show. You may want to check out this post by a longtime blogger Temptalia, as she manages to capture some of the brightness with her photos, particularly the one with flash. As a polish with a neonish treatment, Haute as Hello dries semi-matte, so make sure you have a high-shine topcoat on hand - Seche Vite, is always my topcoat of choice.This is another color that I love for spring and gets a lot of nail time during the warmer months.

Love and Nail Polish,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pinspiration Thursday - Turquoise and Coral

I don't know about all of you, but I am obsessed with Pinterest. Those of you who have never heard of it need to visit the site immediately. It is amazing! I spend more time browsing pins nowadays than I do on Facebook (THAT is a big deal). There is always more to see and it is such a great way to get ideas for everything from fashion to crafting and party throwing. A friend of mine pinned this great Polyvore creation a while back and I just love the colors! 

So, in a burst of what I am now referring to as "Pinspiration", I set to work creating a mani inspired by this outfit. The colors are not quite identical, but I really like the way that it turned out.

A really popular trend in polish lately has been the half moon manicure. Where you essentially use hole-punch reinforcers to recreate the natural coloring of a nail bed with your polish, let Lauren Conrad teach you how here. I simply do not have the patience to recreate this look. In order to apply the sticker to your nail, and have it not damage the polish when you remove it, you have to wait for your first color to dry completely - we all know how long this takes without a topcoat.. FOREVER. So, using the Half-moon manicure as part of my inspiration, I went for a bit of a different layering effect that can be achieved without the use of stickers.

For this look I used Essie's Haute as Hello, a bright orangy coral that is actually a bit neon (it turned out to be very difficult to capture the true color, it is much brighter than it appears here), as the base color. I painted two coats paying particular attention to making sure there was no brush drag near the bottom of the nail, as this is the area that is actually going to show, and trying to get good coverage without laying it on too thick. The thicker your polish, the more easily it will chip and with layering it is very easy to end up with VERY thick  nails.

I then layered on 2 coats of China Glaze's For Audrey, starting slightly above the beginning of Haute as Hello. This can be a bit tricky, especially if you haven't mastered the art of not getting polish all over your cuticles, but if you sit at a table and have a surface to prop and steady your painting hand, you can get a very smooth round edge. It has taken me a lot of practice, but I think I have gotten it down pretty well now.

I love this combo and today is actually my 3rd consecutive day sporting this mani, which, if you know me, means that it is a HUGE hit. I might actually try to stretch it until tomorrow (!!!), if the slight tip wear doesn't drive me over the edge before then.

I am getting very fond of these creative manis, so I am sure that this is the first of many Pinspiration posts to come! If you'd like to follow my Pinboards, click here.

Happy Pinning and Painting!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

China Glaze - Dorothy Who?

This gorgeous blue sparkler is from a few years back, the Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection in 2009, I believe, but I just picked it up for a friend and, in spur of the moment manis, got the chance to give it a go. Of course. I love it. What can I say? I'm a sucker for sparkles. The base is a cerulean blue jelly with an abundance of blue and silver glitter. It goes on pretty thin, but only took 3 coats to get the opacity you see here. I have, and love, Ruby Pumps from this collection and this is definitely it's amazing blue counterpart. Like Ruby Pumps, it is hard to capture the wonderful depth of the glitter and get a true feeling of how gorgeous this polish is. I also love that, even without a base coat, this polish didn't stain my nails at all! I am going to have to pick a bottle up for myself. Hopefully they still have a few bottles when I get the chance to head back!

Life is better with glitter, don't you think?

Monday, March 19, 2012

China Glaze Sugar High

You'll start to notice a trend here at MP3 (the nickname I have decided to use for my little blog)... I love China Glaze. At this point, CG makes up the majority of my nail polish collection. The truth behind this reality is that I simply love the color selection that CG offers, not to mention that they are slightly more affordable at my local nail polish haunt than OPI or Essie. I am a big fan of bright, cheery cremes and CG offers a plethora of these. 

Sugar High from the Up and Away collection is one of my favorites for Spring and Summer. A bright coral pink, this color just makes me happy. I took several photos in different lights and the color shows quite differently under these different circumstances. This first one is under diffused fluorescents and leans more to the coral end of the spectrum.

The second photo is under more direct light and I think the color reflects more as it appears in life, much more pink. Sugar High goes on very smoothly and easily and I love the flawless finish and shine that you get with a quick coat of Seche Vite.

If you're a fan of pink cremes, take this out and give it a whirl this spring. Happy painting!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Paddy's Day Mani

Green is not normally my color, especially green nail polish. For some reason I just don't like the way it looks. However, for St. Patrick's Day exceptions need to be made. I also don't own very much in the way of green clothing or accessories so I try to do the green thing with nails and makeup.

This year I went for for a green combo with Essie's Incognito as the majority of the mani and just a hint of sparkle on the index finger with Zoya's Riva. Combo manicures are very much the rage right now and while I am not usually a band wagon jumper, I think that this is a really fun trend. Manicures like this are perfect if you are just getting into polish and/or tend to be more conservative with your color choices. You can choose are more subtle or subdued color for the bulk of your nails and showcase a pop of a bright color, glitter, etc. on a single finger that you maybe wouldn't be comfortable wearing as a full mani. It is also just a fun way to ass some dimension and interest to your nails. This combo got a lot of positive attention and I loved the look, so I will definitely be doing more daily manicures like this!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and had a couple of delicious green libations!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

China Glaze - For Audrey: Everyone's Fav Polish

To kick this off, I would like to share with you one of my, and many other nail polish enthusiasts', absolute favorite polishes: China Glaze's For Audrey. Channeling that iconic Tiffany blue, For Audrey, is a gorgeous creme turquoise blue. It looks amazing on many skin types and is one of those eye-catching, comment-garnering colors that you will want to wear over and over.

I believe this is my third bottle of this polish, in the less than 2 years, and I sincerely hope that CG continues to make this brilliant color for years and years to come!

The formula on this can be a little tricky as it is a bit thick and can be streaky. The secret is to use very thin coats. I always use 3 coats with For Audrey and my fav top coat, Seche Vite. I love love love love this polish and think that it is a must have in every collection and a staple in mine.

Happy painting!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I Have A Problem

My name is Melissa and I have a problem. A pretty polish problem. A neon, pastel, glitter, shimmer, creme, jelly and holo problem. I am a nail polish addict. I change my nail color 4-5 times per week on average. Not only because I am a perfectionist and can not tolerate even one single smudge or chipped tip, but because I am always jonesing for the next color. The grass is always greener so they say, even though green polish is not my cup of tea. If I stick with the same color for 3 days in a row it is an accomplishment that my boyfriend and friends notice and the color is inducted into the hall of fame. By trading professional manicures for the at home kind, as well as finding a shop here in my area that sells salon brand polish at whole sale prices, I can afford to pick up new colors regularly and add to my collection.

Over the last few years, as this obsession has grown, I have relied heavily on the experiences of other bloggers. Their photos and stories have been a constant source of inspiration and a go-to before any trip to the nail supply store. Therefore, I have decided to begin sharing my own experiences with lacquer. Stay tuned for nail tips and polish swatches and, I am sure, the occasional beauty and fashion post.

In the name of love and polish, until next time....