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

Posts tagged “Funky Nails

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

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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


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


Magnetix II: a new collection from China Glaze

China Glaze Magnetix 3-in-1 magnet, magnetic nail designs, green magnetic nail polish

China Glaze is back at it this fall with “Magnetix II”, a whole new collection of Magnetic Nail Polishes and another 3-in-1 Magnet with all new designs.

Fall 2012 Magnetix Collection by China Glaze

This magnet has a bullseye/circle design, a striped design (straight vertical lines this time) and a square patchwork design.circle, square and straight line magnet by China Glaze

circle, square and striped magnetic nail designs by China Glaze (Magnetix II fall collection 2012)

As for the nail lacquers, this collection is much brighter and more vibrant than the original Magnetix Collection which was quite muted.  What I love about Magnetix II is that is has a great variety of shades, some are darker where some are super vibrant and rich.  So whether you are wanting some fresh new fall shades, or are clinging on to the last moments of summer this collection likely has something for you.

Take a look at these swatches from China Glaze:


Gold Fusion

Positively In Love

Bond-Tastic

Get Charged

Sparks Will Fly

Con-fused?

You can currently pick up these polishes in store at a Sally Beauty Supply location, at your local salon, or on-line at Ebay.  At Sally Beauty Supply, they are $6.99 CAD (magnet sold separately at the same price).  Today, I grabbed Bond-Tastic and Con-Fused? but I must tell you that in store I had a super hard time deciding which shades to pick.  They are ALL so pretty.  And remember, they don’t need to be used with the magnet, so it is always good to pick up a shade you see yourself wearing by itself too.

magnetic nail polishes in green and orange

Con-Fused? is a rich emerald green shimmer polish and when used with the magnet a deeper darker shade of green is brought out creating a very cool 3D effect.

green magnetic nail polish by China Glaze

China Glaze Magnetix 3-in-1 magnet, magnetic nail designs, green magnetic nail polish

Whereas Bond-Tastic is a rusty brown/burnt orange shimmer polish with steel grey undertones (this is actually a hard colour to find as a regular nail polish, so this one will be performing double duty for me).  The magnet brings out the lighter orange/steel undertones found in the polish.

orange magnetic nail polish by China Glaze

For a full tutorial on how to create these magnetic designs, please click here.

What I like:

  • Always creates a fun and unique look, the magnets can be twisted and turned to create different patterns every time.
  • The colours in this collection are so pretty, I’d be happy wearing them with or without the magnet.
  • If you screwed up a nail or aren’t crazy about how the pattern turned out, throw on another coat of polish and try again, it isn’t necessary to start from scratch.
  • These polishes are much more opaque than the ones in the previous Magnetix collection.   While the instructions have always said to do one coat of polish and then immediately apply the magnet, the original Magnetix Collection was too sheer to get nice results.  With Magnetix II though, one coat is all you need.
  • I absolutely love the bullseye design and I found I had the most consistent results with this design.

What I don’t like:

  • The natural curvature of my nails result in only the centre of the nail changing under the magnet.  The pattern generally doesn’t reach the edges of my nails (unless I angle the magnet more to one side than other, but then the other side won’t get any design).
  • It takes some messing around to get the patterns to come out nice and clear.  I had a hard time getting the patterns to come through as prominent as they show in pictures.  You have to hold the magnet as close as possible to the nail, without touching it.  I wish the magnets were stronger (which I’ve heard is the case with some other brands).

Important Tip: Be fast getting the magnet over your wet nail.  If you take too long, no pattern will appear at all on your nail, or it will be very faint.

How do you feel about magnetic nail polishes?  Are you a fan?  I want to hear about your experiences!

Thanks for reading!

xox,
Shannon

Con-fused? and Bond-Tastic magnetic nail polishes with new 3-in-1 magnet, by China Glaze


White and Green Shimmer Gradient Nails

A few months back I did a tutorial on how to create the gradient nail effect.  For that tutorial I used a neon pink and purple by China Glaze and wanted to see how the technique held up with glitter/shimmer polishes.  (For gradient manicures I like to use two contrasting colours to create a more dramatic effect, but of course you can use similar shades for a more subtle effect.)

I started with Orly’s Winter Wonderland polish, a white shimmer polish, heavy with tiny silver glitter.

Orly's Winter Wonderland nail polish

Then, using a cosmetic sponge, I lightly dabbed on “Watermelon Rind” by China Glaze on the upper half/two-thirds of the nail. gradient nail tutorial

Then, I began adding a second coat of Watermelon Rind, but this time, starting further up the nail.  (Leaving the lightest part of green untouched where it meets the white)

how to create gradient nails

Repeat with a third coat, starting even further up the nail this time, focusing on the tips of each nail.  At this point, you should really notice the gradient effect.  (Don’t worry about it getting all over your skin, that is normal!)

how to get gradient nails

Then, you simply take a q-tip with nail polish remover and clean up the skin around the nails.

Watermelon Rind Nail Polish - gradient nails

A gradient manicure like this is really fast and easy to do.  And because the coats of polish you are applying are so thin, it dries very quickly.   gradient nails with Watermelon Rind and Winter Wonderland nail polishes

Have you tried out gradient nails yet?  Do you have a favourite colour combination?  Or a different method you prefer?

xox,

Shannon


Del Sol: a nail polish that changes colour in the sun

Summer is the perfect time for bright colours, short shorts, sandals and a golden tan.  It is also the when you get to break out all of your fun nail polishes that just don’t suit fall or winter.  Del Sol Nail Polishes help you experience two colours at once in a super fun way.  They have a line of nail polishes that change colour in the sun.  I bought some last summer and really want to share them with you.

Spike, Electrik! and Sassy nail polishes by Del Sol

I purchased:

Spike – which changes from a light pastel metallic green to a dark pinkish purple metallic shade.

Electrik! – which changes from a metallic baby blue to the same metallic green that Spike starts out as

Sassy – which works for occasions where you want your indoor nails to be a little more neutral (perfect for work).  This polish changes from a light pastel pink to a richer medium metallic coral/pink.

Spike, Electrik! and Sassy nail polishes by Del Sol

There are 22 different combinations available at delsol.com and they also have over 100 store locations in 23 different countries worldwide. Del Sol also carries a variety of jewellery, clothing, hair clips and other accessories that change colour when outdoors soaking up at that Vitamin D.

I decided to showcase Spike for this post and I’ve taken a few progress shots in an attempt to show the polish making the change in the sun.

1. Inside:

"Spike" nail polish swatch
2. Just stepped outside and its starting to change:

colour changing nail polish (sun activated)

3. Fully changed in the sun:

sun activated nail polish

How fun is that?  It’s like having two different manicures at the same time.

Spike Nail Polish swatch by Del Sol

The Del Sol nail polishes in my experience are a really great consistency that make applying multiple coats quick and easy.  Although they are slightly sheerer than one might like (I do 2-3 quick coats), I find that it takes the same amount of time to paint your nails because you don’t have to worry about a goopy consistency when layering the polish.  They dry quite quickly and still glide on as smooth as the day I bought them.  These polishes leave your nails feeling soft, silky and with a shiny finish.

green nail polish by Del Sol

Has anyone else tried these?  Does anyone know of any other brands that have a line of polish that changes colour in the sun?

Thanks for reading!

xox,

Shannon