A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Other Manicures

Collage Overlay by Seche

Seche Collage Overlay

My wishful thinking led me into my third Sally Beauty Supply in hopes of finding a couple of rare colours from the China Glaze Cirque du Soleil Nail Polish Collection…and although they were sold out in the specific shades I was looking for, just like everywhere else…I saw something I didn’t even know existed.

Seche Collage Overlay Nail Polish topcoat
Seche came out with a limited edition topcoat called “Collage Overlay”.  It’s made up of medium and large sized hexagon glitters and string glitters.  Almost all of the glitter chunks are mainly rose in colour, but there is also the odd large white hexagons as well.  All of them are hugely reflective and make for a very fun and flashy manicure.

Seche Collage Overlay

It’s so unique looking, I knew I had to add this to my collection.  If you feel the same way, you can pick this up at your local Sally Beauty Supply for $8.99 CAD or $6.49 US, it is currently not available on their website.

Collage Overlay topcoat by Seche

Application was easy and you don’t have to worry about getting a good variety of glitter on each nail.  Here you can see one coat of “Collage Overlay” layered over top of “Liquid Vinyl”, a basic black nail polish by Orly.

Collage Overlay over top of black nail polish

I’ve absolutely loved this mani ever since I first did it.  It’s so reflective and flashy I can’t help but constantly check out my nails!  What do you think of this new topcoat “Collage Overlay” from Seche?  I think it is perfect for ringing in the New Year!  What will you be wearing on your nails when the ball drops?

I also wanted to let you guys all know that my husband and I are heading out today on our much belated honeymoon and will be gone until the middle of January.  So you won’t see any posts around here for the next couple of weeks, but I look forward to getting caught up with all of you soon.  🙂

So please have a Safe and Happy New Years Eve!

xox,

Shannon

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Penguin Nail Art

I came across this adorable Penguin Nail Art video tutorial and knew I just had to try it!

Here was my final product:

Penguin Manicure Tutorial

I took some progress pictures so you can see them coming together:

First, I painted all of my nails with a basic black nail polish.  I used Liquid Vinyl by Orly.

Black nail polish by Orly

Then, using my new dotting tools, I did my best to create hearts on top of the black using a white nail polish.  I used Paper Mache nail polish by Fingerpaints.  This was definitely the most difficult part of this manicure, especially when working on my right hand with my left.

How to: Penguin Nails

The little penguins start to take shape once you start the next step and begin adding the orange on.  I didn’t have a nail striper in yellowy-orange like she does in the video, so I decided to use my nail dotters and a basic orange nail polish (I used Hi Def – Sephora by OPI).  I did my best to add little feet and beaks similar to what she did in her tutorial.

penguin manicure tutorial

Next up was the eyes.  I started with black dots, gave them a minute or two to set…

Penguin Mani

…and then added the white dots on top.

Penguin Manicure, nail art

Part of me actually prefers them without the white dot on top.  They are so cute with the big fat black eyes.  Either way though, they are very adorable and I was so happy I found this tutorial on youtube.

Here is the complete video tutorial I followed, I hope you check it out!

This kind of nail art was totally new to me and definitely a challenge.  But I found it very rewarding because of how fun they looked afterwards.  I’m looking forward to trying out something like this again soon.

What are your favourite Winter/Holiday inspired nails this season?

xox,

Shannon


Nail Dotting: my new set of tools and my first mani

Polka Dot Manicure

There are so many bloggers out there that create amazing and beautiful designs with the help of “nail dotters”, or “dotting tools”.  I’d looked around for them at Sally Beauty Supply, Wal-Mart, drugstores, etc and was never able to find any sort of set that offered multiple sizes.

So I turned to my trusted friend Samira who let me in on the secret of where she got her set of nail dotters…Ebay!

I paid only $1 (“Buy it now”) for the below set of nail dotting tools a couple of months ago and received free shipping to boot!  Good luck beating this deal anywhere, I think it’s safe to say that you won’t.

$1 Nail Dotters - Ebay

They shipped this nail dotting set from China and it arrived about a month after placing my order.

I checked out Ebay just now and this set is a common sale item from multiple sellers, with various prices ranging from $1-$2 including shipping.  So if you are looking for a set like this and not in a major hurry, this could be a great solution for you.  It certainly was for me!

A set like this one helps you create different sized near-perfect circles with no hassle.  You can also use the small tips to create more detailed designs if you struggle like I do with using a brush to create free-hand art.  I find the latter especially taxing when using my left hand to create the designs on my right hand.

A common alternative to nail dotting tools like these, is the use of toothpicks and bobby pins to create a similar effect.  But you won’t have access to the same size range that you would with a set of tools like this one.  So for $1, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. 🙂

Seeing as this was my first attempt at nail dotting, I wanted to do a very simple manicure to begin with.  I basically just wanted to test out the different sizes and see if I could get used to using them.

Bubble nails, dot cluster manicure

I used Turned up Turquoise (neon nail polish by China Glaze) as my base and then created small dot clusters using black and white nail polishes (Liquid Vinyl by Orly and Paper Mache by Finger Paints respectively).

Polka Dot Nails

This manicure was super easy and quick to create.  I had everything done in just a few minutes!  I look forward to getting more creative with these nail dotters and stretching my limits when it comes to nail art.  If there are any pointers or secrets for using these, please let me know!

Dot Cluster Manicure

What is your favourite design or way to use nail dotting tools?

xox,

Shannon

Bubble Manicure, Nail Dotting Design


nail GLITTER

Sephora by OPI nail glitter swatch in purple

Quite a while ago I purchased some nail glitter made by Sephora by OPI.  It was on clearance for $3.00 so I figured I had to try it.  From what I can tell, they don’t have them any more.  But I have seen this product at local drug stores, made by other brands such as Smashbox and Quo.  So it shouldn’t be difficult to find something like it if it looks like your cup of tea.

Nail Glitter, Sephora by OPI

It was very easy to use and I had my full mani done in less than five minutes.  I do have to warn you though, this glitter, like all glitter, makes a mess.  It gets everywhere!  I laid paper towel down which caught most of it, but it was all over my hands and subsequently everything and anything I touched thereafter.

How do you use it?

how to apply nail glitter

You simply paint your nail with one coat of nail lacquer and then dunk your nail face down in the container of glitter.  When you pull it out, the glitter will be stuck to the polish.  The excess glitter on your skin brushes off easily with the brush of a finger tip (but it will now be everywhere lol).  I think a damp cloth would’ve been better as it would’ve picked up the glitter instead of sliding it around or transferring it somewhere else.

nail glitter, Sephora by OPI

 

Repeat for all fingers and then seal with a top coat.

Once your top coat has completely dried, you can give your hands a wash to get the remaining excess glitter off.

***I recommend not using your favourite topcoat.  You are bound to get a small amount of glitter in your topcoat.***

Because this was my first time using this product, I wanted to test something out.  I was curious how heavy the coverage was and if it mattered what shade of polish you used underneath.  So I did two fingers with white and two with dark purple to match the glitter.  You can see here that the nails with the white are certainly a bit lighter in colour.  The nails I used the purple for have a deeper and more vibrant look.  I definitely recommending using either the same colour as the glitter you are using, or slightly darker, in this case a black would also work.  This will ensure your nails wear nicer as the excess falls off and any missed or imperfect areas will be less noticeable.  

nail glitter tutorial, how to apply

How long did it last?

As far as the actual manicure itself, it held up better than I expected, but still showed tip wear after 24 hours.  Keep in mind though, I was fussing with them more than normal.  The texture of this manicure is very gritty and they look crazy intense – so I couldn’t stop messing with them!  With that being said though, this manicure will likely only last you 2-4 days.  So keep that in mind when giving this a go.  They are super fun for a special occasion, but given how long it lasted me, its not something I would do all that often because I don’t change my nails that frequently if I can help it.

Is it hard to Remove?

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to take this off.  I couldn’t tell if it was going to chip off, slide off nice and easy or require my foil fingertips like actual glitter nail lacquer.  But it was really quite easy, for the most part, it came off just like regular nail lacquer would, plus some dry glitter transferring around.

Have you already tried out this style of manicure?  What did you think?

xox,

Shannon


Matte About You

I’d heard a lot about matte top coats for nails, but was never able to find any in stores when I was looking.  So I was recently placing an online order at nailpolishcanada.com and needed to spend a couple more dollars to get free shipping.  I decided that it would be a great time to finally get a matte top coat.

I opted for Essie’s Matte About You which states:

“Instantly transforms nail color from high gloss to matte in seconds.  Use with any shade from light sheer to dark creme to create a smooth matte finish.”

matte top coat for nails

matte top coat by essieessie matte top coat

I found that it does just that!

I wasn’t overly in love with my fall mani of green and brown, but after I applied the matte top coat it really came together.  With such earthy tones, the shine seemed out of place.  But with the matte finish, it was like a whole new manicure – AND I LOVED IT!

Simply apply this finisher like a top coat over your nail polish and viola!

matte about you, top coat by essie

Take a close look at the difference:

matte about you top coat by essie

There is a huge difference with the amount of light reflected.  This matte top coat completely changes the look.  Other brands do offer matte top coats as well, so take a peek for it next time at your local drugstore/beauty supply store!

"matte about you" matte finisher by essie

Note: In case you are wondering…if you don’t like the matte top coat and want your nails shiny again, simply put a normal top coat on and it will be like it never happened.  (I had to try because I was curious!)

How do you feel about the matte look for nails?

xox,

Shannon


How to remove glitter nail polish – the easy way!

I have a love hate relationship with glitter nail polish.  I love them because they are sparkly, fun and downright beautiful.  Glitter nail polishes are great for spicing up a mani that is a couple of days old and they also act as a great top coat to make your mani really last.  BUT I hate them because they can be absolutely impossible to get off.  You end up slaving away trying to get rid of these beautiful, little, pain in the ass sparkles – shredding cotton ball after cotton ball and seemingly getting no closer to your goal – it drives me nuts!  It drives me so nuts, that I actually go out of my way not to use them, simply because I find myself dreading the removal stage.

I mean really, look at what this ONE COAT of Mermaid Tale by Orly is doing to my cosmetic pad.

tired of glitter nail polish?

It is a constant battle, with every finger.

tips for getting off glitter nail polish easily

Just imagine if this was a full manicure of glitter polish…I would literally be at this all day.  So, I’ve been one to use glitter nail polish sparingly, or at least I was..before I stumbled across this useful tip…

Cotton balls, tin foil and polish remover!

how to remove glitter nail polish

You will need one cotton ball for each finger and a fairly small strip of tin foil.

Doing one finger at a time, apply some nail polish remover to the cotton ball, in a large enough circle to cover your entire nail.

tutorial for removing glitter nail polish

Press it down onto your nail and wrap your finger tip in tin foil to hold it in place.

how to easily remove your glitter nail polish

Repeat for all your fingers.

how to easily remove glitter nail polish from your nails

Wait about 5 minutes and simply pull off your little alien finger tips.  Any glitter or colour remaining on your nail is just floating on the surface and comes off with a simple, single swipe of a cotton ball.

how to easily remove glitter nail polish

This method is SO fast and allows you to do all of your fingers at the same time…with no frustration and no headache!  So wear those glittery polishes without fear and enjoy them!

Do you have a secret method for removing glittery nail polishes?  If so, please share below – the more tips the better!

Thanks for reading everyone and GLITTER UP!

xox,

Shannon


Nails fit for a mermaid

I was playing around with some polishes on the weekend and wanted to do something fairly bright, seeing as summer is practically over.  😦   I’m in denial and am trying to get used to the fact that I’m going to have to get used to more muted, darker shades soon for the course of fall and winter.   I also wanted to use a couple of new shades that I haven’t tried out yet.

green glitter nail polish, baby blue/aqua nail polish

Club Prive is a baby blue (with an aqua tint) from L’Oreal and is a part of their permanent collection.  It is sheer but milky and I found that it required about 3 coats to be perfectly opaque.

Club Prive Nail Lacquer by L'Oreal - swatch

I used Club Prive as my base and then layered on a generous coat of Mermaid Tale, by Orly, from their Flash Glam FX Collection.

Mermaid Tale nail polish overtop of Club Prive

Click me – so you can REALLY see my glitter!

Mermaid Tale is a full on glitter polish with a clear base.  It is made up of both small and medium sized glitters in a variety of green and blue shades.  

mermaid tale nail polish over a blue polish

I had a lot of fun with this manicure and am really looking forward to trying out “Mermaid Tale” in a Jelly Sandwich!

Tell me, are you still clinging on to summer colours?  Or have you already made the transition into fall?

xox,

Shannon

mermaid nails