Sunday, July 31, 2011

My First Splatter Mani

Hi my dear readers! My post today is inspired by Jen, The PolishAholic. She made the splatter mani famous and this is my rendition, although she has many others that are much better than this first attempt on my part.

For my splatters, I used Misa Baby I Love You, Ulta Celebutante, and Claire's Fresh Water over Sinful Colors white. I had a bit of trouble with my technique at first (this was initially going to be a holo splatter, but my holos didn't want to cooperate and I didn't want to waste them) but I got it to work with some other colors and the results were pretty cool! Here's both hands so you can see what I got:

For some reason, my right hand has a lot more white showing, but maybe it's because I did my left first and had perfected my technique. I really liked both middle fingers (ironic). I didn't tape my fingers off and boy, did I regret that when it came to clean up!

All in all, a really cool technique! Love the abstract-ness and the variety of colors and combinations you can use. Thanks Jen! I got so many compliments on this when I wore it! Once in a while, people will compliment me but yesterday when I had this on at least five people commented how cool it was and asked how to do it! Guess it's a hit (and a great way to get through untrieds)!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Feather Locks

Hi girls! Today I decided to show you a little something different. Many of you may have heard of Feather Locks, which are the feathers that you can put in your hair. My sister works at a salon that does them, so I decided to have a few put in. I have a group of three on one side (with my deeper part), then one by itself on the other. These are the group of three:

They all have the black lines on them to look more like "natural" feathers, and the colors are off white, light salmon, and a lime green/yellow (in the center, kind of hard to see). They also come in solid colors, but I liked the black to make them more interesting, since the solid colors just look kind of like highlights. The cool thing about them is I can hide them under my hair if I need to look a bit more professional (like when I see older clients) but I can also wear them more out, like they are here. They stay in for as long as you want, although I have to go and have them moved up every so often as my hair grows out, but they are reusable (I've had these for about a month and a half now, but just added the greenish one - I can't tell a difference between the older or newer ones!).

Feather Locks clip in using a small bead that they string them through and then flatten the bead to hold it in place. My bead is blonde to match my hair color and help it blend in, but people don't notice it. (Most of the time, people think they're tiny braids.) The feathers can be washed, dried, straightened, whatever. I had them on my cruise too and they were fine in the salt water.

So what do you think, do you like having something different once in a while or should I stick to strictly nails? Do you like my feathers? :)


Thursday, July 28, 2011

OPI DS Extravagance vs. Ulta Material Girl

Hey again! :) How is everyone doing? My day is going rather craptastically, and I'm in need of some cheering up!

Today's post is a comparison I stumbled upon by accident. Dolores at Colorful Bottle and I have been in the midst of an epic cross-continent polish swap, and she requested OPI DS Extravagance for her friend. I went to Ulta to pick one up (I have it at home, but wanted to give her a new bottle), and happened upon Ulta Material Girl.

In the bottle at the store, they looked nearly identical in color and holo. Of course, I thought of you guys and doing a comparison post. The Ulta was on sale for $3 and OPI was about $9, so I scooped up two bottles of Ulta (one for me, one for Dolores or a giveaway if she didn't want it) and decided if she wanted the DS, I could send her my bottle. I quickly swatched both for her so she could compare and you can see for yourself: which one is which?

Answer: OPI is on the left. The only real difference was that OPI has a bit more holographic glitter, but other than that the colors are pretty much the same. The angle and lighting here may have affected the holo, but the colors are so similar! OPI could have been one coat but I applied two coats of each for uniformity.

In the end, Dolores decided Ulta was just as well and passed on the OPI. What do you think? Dupes? Similar? Totally different and I need to get my eyes checked?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink

Hi again my lovelies! Hope all is well with you guys! I'm up to 25 followers now: thanks everyone! It's so rewarding to see that people are interested in my polishes and what I have to say. :)

Many of you have probably seen the trend for nail bloggers to do pink nails on Wednesdays, thanks to I couldn't hold out on the trend much longer and I LOVED this polish, so I thought it was fitting to show everyone. I picked a polish I have been holding off on for a bit: China Glaze Outrageous. The title itself made me think it might be a stretch for work, but it turned out not to be as bright as I expected and I did wear it to work one day. It's a bright, corally pink and looked so squishy! (You can see my pointer finger still refuses to grow and has been collecting polish under him. Sorry for the smudge of polish I failed to clean up!)

I really loved everything about this color, and off it went to live in my favorite nail polishes bin with my other soulmates. For the next day, I added Claire's Bedazzled, which you've seen before in my comparison to Milani Gems. It's a little hard to work with (hence sparkles besides on my nails) because it's a bit thick, but it's definitely workable and worthwhile. I actually have been considering a backup bottle of this polish because I love it so much and I turn to it often (read: whenever my polish is chipping or boring me).

This is two coats of Bedazzled and it just looked so fun. It reminded me of Funfetti cupcakes, which are by far my favorite. Do they remind you of anything?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pixel Polishes

Hi all! Many people have been noticing the new brand that Ulta is now carrying, Pixel. A lot of these intrigued me on the website, so I ordered 6 of them while they were on sale for $1.99. Here are the ones I picked:

Left to right: Oh Pardon Me!, Ammazzin (not sure why they decided on that spelling...), Ouchy Wow Wow, Aqua-Escence, Oh Boy! (pink on the bottom), Oh Wow! (purple on top).

Below are two coats each except for Ammazzin which was one coat.

The shimmers: Oh Pardon Me!, Oh Wow!, and Oh Boy!

The solids: Aqua-Escence, Ouchy Wow Wow!, and Ammazzin.

I haven't tried them on the nail, but they weren't exactly what I was expecting. The shimmers all came out looking like holos on the website, and many of you may know how I feel about sheers: I dislike them. I think they might be pretty layered, but we'll see. I'm also disappointed at their size: only 5mL as opposed to a normal sized 15mL. I guess I should have read more closely! Ammazzin might be interesting since it's a one coater and I do like the color. They will have to work wonders on the nail for me to change my mind! ;)

In the meantime, I'm waiting on lots of fun stuff! My package from Dolores at Colorful Bottle should arrive any day now and includes Catrices, Essence magnetic nail polishes, holos, and glitters... all of my favorite things! And I broke down and bought 3 Nfu Ohs (63, 64, and 65/the holo pink, blue, and purple). So lots of goodies are on their way and I am excited to show you all! Which ones do you want to see first?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pedi of the Day, also known as "Caution! Feet!"

Hey ladies! How was your day? For those of you a little squeamish about feet, you may want to skip this post as I'm showing my recent pedi :)

I hate hate hate hate painting my toes. It's a sloppy process for me and uncomfortable, since my legs are long and it's hard to contort to reach my toes. Therefore, I go and get pedicures every so often to keep my toesies looking nice. Plus, I'm very loyal to my nail place since they are awesome. For what a pedi usually costs around here, they take their time (about an hour), the pedi lasts FOREVER (literally, once my pedi stayed on for over a month with no chipping! This pedi is about 2 weeks old and it still looks pristine), and they give massages while your feet dry. It's an amazing treat when I do it and just one more reason I like summer: an excuse to get pedis :)

This is my most recent pedi, OPI Do You Lilac It? which is a soft, pastel purple.

Even though I have this color at home, I decided to pick it at the salon anyway because it is such a nice, delicate color without being boring. Since I can wear sandals at work, I didn't want to do anything too crazy to look unprofessional.

What do you think: yes or no to pedi posts? Do you like this color on toes?


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Guest Posting!

Hello dears! Just wanted to let you know I have another post up at Clever and Colorful. Go check it out!


Friday, July 22, 2011

It's My Birthday and I'll Blog If I Want To!

Hi everyone! It's my birthday today so I'm just going to let this polish do the talking. I saved this polish for a special occasion and here it is: butter LONDON No More Waity Katie.

Sooo... I'm in love with this brand. The packaging is so cute and it applied really smoothly. My only complaint is the $14 price tag, but I guess that's what you get with imports! Anyway, I know this has been a controversial color but I love it because:
  1. It's purple.
  2. It's glittery.
  3. It's British.
  4. The packaging it came in smelled really nice (it came with Powder Room polish remover).
  5. My boyfriend bought it for me.
  6. It applied nicely.
  7. The name is my favorite polish name ever.
  8. And it's my birthday, so what I say goes!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nail De Royale

Hi ladies! As I mentioned some time ago, a company called Nail De Royale contacted me about reviewing some of their items and sent me some to review! Today I have some pictures of what they sent!

From left to right: purple star nail sprinkles by Isis, a "Hot Purple" nail striper, La Rosa black crackle, and Isis iridescent hollow heart sprinkles.

Here is the packaging for the nail sprinkles. They come in little handy plastic containers within plastic baggies. I love these little containers, they remind me of a lip balm container :) I was really impressed with how much attention they paid to packaging: the bottles of polish were wrapped in cling wrap to prevent them from leaking or breaking and then wrapped within bubble wrap.

And really quickly, I swatched their black crackle they sent and I really liked it. The coat on the left is very thin using my usual strategy of multiple swipes across the whole nail, which made tiny crackles. When I applied it like normal nail polish (from cuticle to tip in one swipe), it made the pattern on the right which I much prefer. Since OPI and China Glaze's crackles tend to require the first strategy, I was happy to see a brand that worked with the normal application. It dries quite matte, as most crackles do, but worked well with top coat. It also cracked really quickly, whereas some crackles take a while to crack.

What do you think? Will you be checking out

Tomorrow I'll be posting an extra special mani: my birthday mani! I'll admit, I haven't done it yet (my birthday is tomorrow!) so the pictures will be hot off the presses :)


These products were sent to me for review, but opinions are my own. For my disclosure policy, please click the link at the top of my blog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Franken Needs a Name!

Hi fellow polish fans! You may have read on my Twitter that I was creating a Franken the other day. I really wanted something similar to Deborah Lippmann's Happy Birthday but with a blue base, so I threw these polishes together:

To get something that comes out like this:

 (On the left it's 3 layers on its own, two layers over white, then two layers over the Petites blue I used to make it)

Below is the bottle shot. It's made up primarily of a blue base and the large glitter, but also has the smaller glitters in it. I haven't worn it yet because I need a name first...

That's where you come in! What should I name my first Franken? Tweet me at Amanda_NPE or leave a comment with suggestions!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ulta A Tail of Two Cities

Hi girlies! (Ew, "girlies"? I need new synonyms for my greetings) How is everyone's week going so far? This summer is killing me: every day it's nice, I'm working! Ugh. Anyways, today's polish is Ulta, A Tail of Two Cities (at least, I think it is. Ulta doesn't label the bottles so the packaging says the names from left to right on the back, so I figure it's left to right looking at it from the back, but other blogs have it left to right from the front... so who knows. It's the pink one! haha). This is one of the mini polishes I showed you from the Under the Sea collection.

Here it is indoors:

And outside in the sunshine:

As you can see, this polish (whatever it's called) is a pinkish-red with gold glass flecks in it, a la Ahoy! by China Glaze. I liked the base color of this better than Ahoy! but both are gorgeous.

What do you think?


Monday, July 18, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ulta Birthday Goodies :)

Helllooooo! (Said like Mrs. Doubtfire. Kudos if you grasp the reference.) Today I have part of my birthday gift from my boyfriend. My boyfriend is a lovely lovely man who gives me pretty much everything I want and has the manners of a saint (we've been dating for almost 5 years and he still opens the car door for me every time). So my boyfriend brought me to Ulta, and said "go crazy, I'm buying". No, seriously, he did. And the worst part? I had just ordered a bunch of stuff from so I couldn't even go fully crazy ;) Anyway, he did get me a bunch of goodies I was wanting including my first ever Butter London polish.

Behold, my birthday haul! Apologies for the picture's poor lighting and such. My boyfriend was over and I was trying to get a quick pic for you guys before he made me put everything away and go to sleep!

From left to right:
  • Ulta Material Girl: found quite by accident, Dolores and I are mid-giant cross-country swap and her friend requested OPI DS Extravagance. I found Extravagance, and then saw this. They are almost identical! I have a comparison post coming up for you guys so you can be the judge, but I honestly think the difference is so minute it's not worth paying the extra $5 for it.
  • butter LONDON No More Waity Katie set: This came with NMWK (my favorite polish name ever) and a bottle of Powder Room polish remover. It smells really nice, too, for some reason. (The packing, I haven't been huffing the polish remover, I promise.)
  • Yes to Cucumbers Eye Gel: I am one of those unfortunate people that cries a lot. And even more unfortunate is that if I cry one single tear, my eyes are puff city the next day. So I'm hoping this eye gel will help with puffiness. Review to come, perhaps?
  • OPI Glam Slam: Grape... Set... Match! and Serving Up Sparkle!: I know, I know. Another OPI purchase. I give up. I'm sorry, I can't resist. I just needed this. Although I will say, Serving Up Sparkle looks kind of boring and almost exactly like one of my Maybelline polishes, so I'm a bit disappointed I had to buy them as a set.
So, what do you think? This was a bit early since my birthday isn't until the 22nd, but isn't he cute?


OPI Stranger Tides

Hello again, my dear readers! Today I have the last of the OPI Pirates mini collection, Stranger Tides. This color was really... eh. It's kind of an ugly color, but it's pretty-ish, if that makes sense? I wanted really badly to like it (especially when Sparrow Me The Drama and Skull & Glossbones let me down) but it was like a khaki version of green and made me look kind of weird or diseased in some lights. However, I got a lot of compliments on it, so maybe I'm just paranoid.

 In artificial light.

With the light from outside.

As you can see, application wasn't awesome. The OPI mini brushes aren't the best but this is actually without cleanup so it didn't apply terribly, just unevenly. I didn't like it enough to keep it on for more than one day, so I kept it kind of imperfect, although nobody noticed except me (and probably you guys, since you're getting the super enlarged, in-your-face, up-close nail pictures).

What do you think? Was I too critical of the Pirates collection?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

OPI Planks a Lot

Hey ladies! Not too much to say today, so let's get right to the polish! I can't seem to get enough purples lately. Today I have one of my minis from the OPI Pirates of the Carribean collection. This is the purple, called Planks a Lot. My swatches below are two coats.

Color accurate photo above.

 In light above...

And without light or flash.

This color was much better for me than Sparrow Me the Drama (the pink I featured a little while ago). The purple went much better with my skin tone and I just liked the formula and overall application better. What do you think?


Monday, July 11, 2011

Organization Tactics

Hi ladies! Today I decided to switch things up and show you a little bit about what my stash looks like and how I keep my polishes in order. I'm always interested to see how people store their polishes and keep track of them, but I like to be a little outside the box.

I tried to keep up with an Excel spreadsheet, but I would forget to update it once and then totally forget what polishes I hadn't added. Or piles of unlogged polishes would stay on my desk, taunting me. Instead, I keep index cards with one coat swatches of all my colors. At this point, I've started a few cards for every color, but you get the idea. (I picked Pinks #2 because my handwriting is the nicest... which isn't saying much).

Next, I have strictly nail art stuff. Glitter, flakies, fimo canes, polishes for stamping, my plates, toothpicks for marbling... you get the idea. I keep these in little plastic containers that they sell marketed as shoe storage, but I think is perfect for nail storage :) I find these everywhere for a dollar, so it's a pretty convenient way to store. I also keep all my polishes in them (right now I have about 4 "shoe containers" full, with one being my favorite polishes, one untrieds, and two with polishes I tried but weren't favorites. I can take pictures of those if anyone is interested?)

Recently, I invested in a tackle box to hold all my nail essentials:

Here are the bottom two trays (the top two are base coats and cuticle oils- booooring). The top tray is all my glitter topcoats (a few missing, they're in my untrieds). Yes, I am fully aware that the right half is all silver holo glitter.I have a problem...

Below that is all my crackles, nail polish remover, and vaseline (more on that in a later post...).

What do you think of my outside the box (aka no Helmers and no Excel sheets) way of organizing? How do you keep organized?


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Yet Another Purple Mani

Hi all! Quick post for today. Sorry for the purple-overload lately but.. well, too bad. More variety to come I promise! (I solemnly vow that the next post will not be purple...) When I was picking up my Charlie Sheen polishes at the Icing, I had to take advantage since the mall was an hour away and trips to the Icing are few and far between. So I scooped up some of their Chrome polishes in hopes that the metallic finish would dry quickly and in one coat for a good on-the-go mani. This is "Chrome Light Purple" (interesting name, huh?) and it pretty much lived up to those expectations. I used two coats to even it out and one coat of NYC In a New York Color Minute Quick Dry Top Coat (whoa, long name much?).

Blurry, but very color accurate.

This picture shows the shimmer and the metallic finish. It dried really quick and the application was a breeze. Definitely recommend this line if you're into metallics!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

China Glaze Lemon Fizz + Haute Metal

Hey ladies! How's your week going? Mine is okay although my clients aren't showing up much due to good weather, and no clients=no money :( Anyway, today I have a crackle mani I did not too long ago featuring one of the China Glaze crackle metals: Haute Metal. I started with two coats of Lemon Fizz (which, on its own, would be 3 coats, but since I knew it would be mostly covered I stopped at 2) and then added Haute Metal, which is the pink shade of crackle metals. (Excuse my pointer finger, its trying to hide because it broke and is short and embarassing.)

And here's my rarely seen right hand!

I loved the look of Haute Metal. It was sooo shimmery and yet delicate, and the contrast with Lemon Fizz took it down a notch so it wasn't so bright. It was one of my favorite combinations with crackle I've done yet!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4th Mani

Hey ladies! As promised, here's what I really ended up wearing for July 4th/Independence Day. I started off alternating between red, white, and blue (OPI Red Dazzle, Pure Ice Super Star, and Ulta Blue Streak). I put the blue on my pinky only (since the American flag only has a small amount of blue, after all), then red on the ring and pointer, and white on the middle and thumb. (Warning: the picture below is with no cleanup yet, I wasn't done! Please be forgiving of my white messiness!)

Then I added some star shaped nail sprinkles, which you may remember from one of my first posts, to the white fingers (the white looked really stark against the red and blue and kind of boring). I store these by color in a pill organizer I bought at a local drug store.

And here is what resulted! I randomly added two each of blue, red, and iridescent stars to my thumb and middle finger. The iridescent stars look kind of pink in the picture, but in real life they were more clear.

Here's the middle and ring finger for detail. You can see the stars lift up a little off the surface, which is kind of annoying as they sometimes chip off. It's a good thing I only needed this mani to last for one BBQ because it wasn't going to make it much longer! For future reference, I would have placed them more deliberately on flatter areas of my nail and secured them with nail glue, but this was just a quick fix for my disaster mani earlier in the day. I also wanted you all to see Red Dazzle as I don't see it very often and it is by far my favorite red (and I don't really like reds). My camera is giving it kind of an orange tone, but in real life it's bright red.

What do you think? Did I do better my second time around? I loved this mani once I had it on. It's too bad Captain America isn't out for a few weeks, because it would have worked perfectly for that movie as well!


Monday, July 4, 2011

51st post: 4th of July Mani, Take One

Happy 4th of July, fellow Americans :) Hope you enjoyed the long weekend. And for all my international readers, how was your Monday? Tonight I'm going to show you my first take on my Independence Day mani, which was a complete failure, in my mind.

Let me start with my vision: red and white stripes with blue crackle over it. Then I decided I needed a blue on the base too with the crackle over it. So I started with a nail wheel experimenting with different colors and decided on OPI Red Dazzle (best red ever, hands down... a major dusty, but it's a beautiful, vibrant red with red glitter), Ulta Blue Streak (I know I've used this about a million times now, but it was perfect!), and Pure Ice Super Star (white) with OPI Turquoise Shatter on top. I tried using horizontal stripes, vertical, diagonal... all to see which one worked best with the crackle. On the wheel, it seemed diagonal stripes of blue, white, and red with the crackle applied vertically worked best. But on the nail: nope. It was just a gross, misguided mess. The Turquoise blended into the blue, the red clashed with the turquoise... yuck. Well, here you go, if you must see. It's not a sight I'm proud of.

Sigh. You only get one finger because cleanup was a beast (3 types of polishes, multiple coats, weird angles... you get the idea). This is the finger that came out the best, and I'm not sure why there's a shadow in the picture because it didn't show up on my camera *shrugs*. On the bright side, I loved Turquoise Shatter over white so that may become an option later on?

So what do you ladies think of this mani? I ended up taking it off immediately and I switched to another 4th mani... but I'll show you that tomorrow. :)


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Amanda does konad/fauxnad?! Well... not always well.

Hi ladies! Hope your weekend is off to a great start! I just came back from a Zumba class and I am exhausted! Have any of you tried it before?

Anyway, I was perusing my past posts and realized I very rarely, if ever, post manis with konad or fauxnad. Well, that is all about to change! I found this mani I did with BM-208. I was inspired from my friend Jamie on twitter who did a mani with that plate and this is what came of it:

So, this is not quite a nail fail, but pretty close. The pink is OPI Sparrow Me the Drama and the yellow is China Glaze Lemon Fizz. SPTD looks awful on me, I absolutely hated it. It's a weird pinky purple shade that is so light it nearly blends into my skin tone and makes me look sickly. Furthermore, it didn't stamp very well, as you can see on the ring finger that there are some bare spots where it didn't quite pick up the pattern. Plus, it was a little more sheer than I anticipated and from far away it just looked kind of orangey.

I wasn't very satisfied with this mani, so it barely lasted a day before I peeled, yes, peeled it off. *blushes* I am aware this is entirely against nail code to peel off polish, but I just could not help it. It started lifting and then suddenly I was peeling it all off. What's worse to you: chipped nail polish or peeling the remainder off?


Friday, July 1, 2011

"I'll be back... and I am back"

Hi all! Hope some of you caught "The Office" reference in my post title ;) Anyway, it's been a few days. My explanation? I have been so busy with work that I haven't painted my nails since the last post. Yup, you read that right. Epic Winning came off, and my nails became epic fail of nakedness. Since I'm trying to work some exercise into my daily life, it's been kinda hectic (although I can proudly report I learned to ride a bike this week!).

No more excuses though! I bought an orange no-name crackle from Rite Aid... I was feeling down, needed some retail therapy, and this is what called to me. It's Nickelodeon colored orange and pretty bright, but I kind of like it. Not sure I could do my whole mani in this, but it would be a good summer color crackle.

The brand is Republic Nail, never heard of them before but it came in packaging, much like mascara would (with the cardboard backing and everything!). Kind of weird for a polish.

These three are over Nina Ultra Pro Purple X-ing, ChG Lemon Fizz, and OPI Planks a Lot with NYC In a Minute topcoat over them.  This crackle actually worked pretty well. As you can see, it can vary in crack sizes much like the more expensive brands, but it wasn't clumpy at all. Even when the bottle was exposed to air for a little bit, there wasn't any sign of thickening. Kind of impressive!

Also, my China Glaze crackle Metals came in (!!!!) the other day, and I have been meaning to experiment more with them. I only bought the 3 colored ones (in order in the picture below: Oxidized Aqua, Latticed Lilac and Haute Metal) because I feel like the neutral colors are getting a bit overdone and I like my colors! I guess since the polish ends up looking predominantly the color of the crackle, I'm sick of having gray, black, white... it's a bit bland, to me. What colors would you like to see the colored crackle metals over?

(Did you notice I got an "oops" bottle of Oxidized Aqua? Instead of the Crackle Glaze logo, I got the normal ChG logo with "Crackle" stamped on the left side of the bottle, which you can see vaguely.)

Above, I stamped the ChG Metal Crackles over some skittle swatches. From left to right:
-Haute Metal over ChG Lemon Fizz
-Oxidized Aqua over OPI Planks a Lot
-Latticed Lilac over OPI Sparrow Me the Drama
-Oxidized Aqua over Ulta Blue Streak