Friday, January 20, 2012

Nail Fail: Nailene Duracolour Nail Strips

My local Dollar Tree had several different styles of the Nailene Duracolour Nail Strips for sale back during the summer, so of course I stocked up. I'd been thinking about trying the Sally Hansen nail strips, but they are way too expensive. I figure this would be a cheap alternative, and even if they didn't work, I'd only be out a dollar. 

Here's a shot of the package and one of the strips on my left thumb:

Anyway, this is #77650, which is a lovely red color. The package contains 36 strips in 18 different sizes. However, when I applied these full-nail stickers to my nails, look what happened:

Apparently, my nails are shaped like marbles. I never noticed how round they are until I started putting these nail strips on. What a big ol' mess. 

Here's a shot of my right hand:

I only wore these a few hours but look at the damage. Maybe my nails are too short for these nail strips. Or maybe they have too much curve. Or maybe these Nailene strips are just crappy and "real" Sally Hansen ones would work better. No clue. All I know is that I have way too many packages of these nail strips, so I do believe I'll be hosting a giveaway soon to get rid of them. ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 12: Stripes - Color Club: Cold Metal and Silver Icicles

A lot has happened in the past week.

My dad, who is in Stage 4 of renal cell carcinoma, has gotten a lot worse. I was at my parents' house last Saturday, planning to just hang out with my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. Unfortunately, when the home health care nurse came to assess my dad, his blood pressure was WAY too low, and he had some other complications as well. We had to take him to the ER Saturday night, just a few hours after I painted my nails. The manicure is messier than normal because my two-year-old nephew just had to help his Aunt Tonya paint her nails. I actually let him try to paint my pinkie nail with the base coat, but I ended up with clear polish all over my finger. Then when we were at the hospital, I had to entertain my nephew, who kept whining about finding the damn basement at the hospital. I was like that tour guide from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure: "There's no basement at the Alamo!" Instead, we rode the elevators about a dozen times while my mom and the rest of the family helped get daddy registered in the ER.

Anyway, here is Color Club's "Cold Metal," a vibrant blue from the Foiled collection. This is just one coat.

Stupid me forgot to bring my nail polish remover with me to my parents' house, so I'm a little Smurfy around the cuticles.

Next, I used two silver polishes to create stripes, but I didn't want to do a traditional stripe design. Instead, I drew lines of different lengths to create the illusion of icicles. I used the brush from the Art Deco silver glitter dipped in Wet n Wild's "Silvivor" to draw the lines. Then I added a little of the silver glitter for a bit of added bling.

So, that's it for stripes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Valentine Kisses: The Valentine Kisses January 2012 Mega Giveaway! Win 65 Items!!!

At first I was like, "Valentine Kisses"? Seriously? But then I checked out her profile page, and her maiden name is Valentine, so I overcame the cuteness and took a look around. ;)

You've got to see this giveaway package to believe it. Over 65 items! Good luck.

Valentine Kisses: The Valentine Kisses January 2012 Mega Giveaway! Win 65 Items!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 11: Polka Dot Nails - Confetti: Belle of the Ball, Color Club: New Bohemian, NYC: French White Tip

I kept trying to think of what to do for my polka dot nails. Pink with black dots? Red with white dots? Hmm... Then I looked down at my feet:

DUH. These socks are amazing. They keep my feet warm and cozy without making my feet feel too hot or sweaty. Luckily, I had just received an eBay haul with the perfect purple color for the base: "Belle of the Ball" by Confetti. I used a dotting tool to apply "New Bohemian" by Color Club for the blueish-teal dots on all my nails, then added white dots to my ring fingers and thumbs for accents. 

Hey, look! That's my right hand! Here's another view of "Belle of the Ball" on its own, back in my left non-dominant hand:

And here's the finished product with the cute little polka dots:

I should have added a few more white dots on my ring finger. Oh, well. Here's another view of the dottiness:

The color is a bit better in this shot. Overall, I was very pleased with how well the polishes matched my socks. The colors were almost exact matches! And I received several compliments on the cuteness of these nails -- including from the cashier at a store I visited today! My friend Noura told the woman that I have a nail blog, and the cashier asked for the web address! I hope she (and you!) become an official follower using Google Friend Connect. I've got some new goodies I'm keeping for a 50 followers giveaway. Now I just need 50 followers! ;)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hauls: Two great deals from eBay

I have a confession to make: I'm addicted to eBay.

My husband always falls asleep before I do, so I wait until I hear him snoring, and then, BAM! I open up the eBay app on my iPhone and start shopping! This is probably not a good habit, since I already have too many nail polishes and other random crap, but I can't help it. I haven't gotten to the point of needing an intervention or an episode of "Hoarders" yet, so I think I'm doing OK.

Anyway, I have two hauls to share with you today from my late-night eBay sessions. Basically, I don't bid on nail polish unless (1) it's extremely cheap or (2) contains one of my long-time lemmings. In November, I found a deal by eBay seller "sexytrxy" for a damaged lot of Wet n Wild polishes. From the pictures and my communication with her, the polishes worked fine; they just had polish on them from other bottles. I bid on them, and won the auction for just $1.04. Shipping was $4.99, so I ended up with 10 Wet n Wild polishes for just $6.03!

This auction lot included "Limitless," "Flirty Rose Creme," "Femme Fatale," "Deep Wine," "Nail Fortifier," "Heart's Desire," "Inferno," and "Jade," as well as two unnamed polishes. I didn't have any of these colors, so I was happy to get them for about 60 cents a bottle.

More recently, I found an eBay deal for a collection of 12 polishes from different brands. At first, I was like, "Meh, I don't really need these," but I noticed a little gem in the picture from eBay seller "eskimooz":

Yup! Tucked in between a $1 Art Deco polish and a mid-price CG polish was "Ruby Slippers" by Essie! This is one of my top lemming polishes, so I just HAD to bid on this auction! Luckily for me, I was able to get this auction lot for just $7.99 plus $5 shipping. That means I got my "Ruby Slippers" and 11 other nail polishes, including 2 Sally Hansen Xtreme Wears, for just $12.63. Again, I got a dozen polishes for about a buck each! Woohoo!

Here's what I got in this second eBay haul:

I received two Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes in "Going Green" and "Twisted Pink;" L.A. Colors' "Rainbow Glitter;" Cover Girl Continuous Color "Copper-cino;" my first Confetti polish in "Belle of the Ball;" my first LaRosa polish, a crackle in "Hot Orange;" L.A. Colors Art Deco striping polish in "Bright Orange;" two more N.Y.C. polishes in "French White Tip" and "Empire State Blue;" my first two Shades of the Seasons polishes in "Black" and "Yellow;" and my first Essie polish, the fantabulous "Ruby Slippers." AWESOMESAUCE!

I've got another eBay haul coming from an auction I won this morning, and I think I can finally say that I don't need to stalk eBay for rare OPIs... I can't wait to share the results from that haul with you! If you've read my other blog posts, you should be able to guess which VHTF OPI I've finally acquired! Wooohooo!

Can't wait for the mail to come! ;)

Day 10: Gradient - Color Club "Shabby Drab" and "Rad Nomad"

My inspiration for this gradient manicure is an ornamental cabbage that my parents have. It looked like this back at Thanksgiving:

Now that it's January, though, the purple has faded deeper into the green, so the plant is almost totally purple even though there is still a hint of green. When I tried to recreate this gradient on my nails, though, I couldn't get the shading right. Here's what the first attempt looked like:

This photo was taken at dusk with a flash, but you can still see how pretty the purple leaves of the cabbage look. I started with a layer of Color Club's "Rad Nomad," a dark lavender from the Back to Boho collection, and then sponged on some OPI "Green-wich Village" at the base of my nails. I then sponged on some Color Club "Shabby Drab," a lighter lavender from the Back to Boho collection, and then more of the "Rad Nomad" at the tips. I wasn't happy with how the gradient looked, so I stippled on some no-name glitter mixture from that Pretty Woman set I got for Christmas. 

I re-did this design a couple of days later, but I think it looks worse than my first attempt:

I left off the green and the glitter and tried to fade the lighter "Shabby Drab" base into the darker "Rad Nomad" on the tips. Maybe I should have used different colors because I still don't like the end result.

What do you think? I had a hard time getting my gradient to "gradiate." Do you have this problem, too?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 9: Rainbow - Nyan Cat!

Since y'all don't know me in real life, you probably aren't aware that there are two things I really enjoy: random internet stuff and kitty cats. So when I happened upon Nyan Cat, it was a match made in heaven!

I knew I had to do a Nyan Cat design for the first rainbow challenge, but I had no idea it would be as difficult as it was. The final manicure ended up being a hot mess, which was a shame because I really wanted to wear this for a few days. Instead, the stupid thing ended up peeling off my nails the very next day.

Here's what I did. First, I used my Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in white to dot out the areas for the rainbow to make sure I had enough room for all the colors. I also drew in an area for the cat, but instead of drawing him like Cute Polish or Professional DQ and others have, I turned the kitty on its head. ;)

Unfortunately, I kept messing up the Pop Tart so I ended up removing the outline. I moved on to the rainbows. I used the following colors:
  • Red ~ OPI: Color So Hot It Berns
  • Orange ~ Wet n Wild: Everybody Loves Redmond
  • Yellow ~ Fake OPI I got from an eBay seller
  • Green ~ Another fake OPI I got from that same crappy eBay seller
  • Blue ~ L.A. Colors Color Craze: Static Electricity
  • Purple ~ Ulta Mini no-name from a Halloween 2010 mini collection
  • I added two coats of Wet n Wild: Hallucinate for some sparkle.

I wish I would have had some acrylic paints instead of nail polish because the colors went on too thickly and messily. I got so mad working on this design that I had to take a smoke break! But then I thought, "Holy crap, my nails are still wet so how am I going to light a cigarette? My hands will explode!" Grrrr. Anyway, that's what my rainbow mess looked like. I should have used a different orange since the two colors look too similar, making the yellow and green too bright; the whole thing looks more Rasta than rainbow.

What a mess. Like I said, the whole thing made me mad. After I (messily) painted in the rainbow, I mixed up some colors for the Pop Tart and for the cat. Here's what the final version looked like:

I used my Kiss Nail Art Pen in black to outline Nyan Cat. I used dots instead of solid lines to give it the 8-bit appearance of the original online graphic.

Anyway, what do you think? I love the way the cat looks, and I'm ok with the Pop Tart, but the overall effect is just blech. Blech, blech, blech, blech, BLECH. Working on this design reminded me why I prefer nail art stickers and stamping to freehand designs. I suck at it. 

Day 8: Metallic - L.A. Colors: Copper

Day 8 brings with it a metallic nail polish. This one is from L.A. Colors, and like the name says, it's a "Copper" metallic polish.

I bought this L.A. Colors polish from the Dollar Tree. I've been on a hunt for more than a decade now for a dupe for OPI's "Down to My Last Penny," which was the first OPI polish I ever wore, but alas, this color is still not what I'm looking for. It is a nice metallic, and for only $1, I don't feel like I made a mistake in buying it.

I printed off the name of the polish and it's ID using my handy-dandy Dymo label printer since most of the L.A. Colors polishes (especially the Color Craze ones) don't have a name tag on the bottom of the bottle. Luckily, this one does. See?

"Copper" applied nicely and was opaque in just one coat, but I could still see where the tips of my nails peel so I put a second coat on. It still didn't cover up the problems I have with my tips, though. 

Here's another shot of L.A. Colors "Copper" outside on an overcast late December afternoon.

Finally, here's a photo I took inside using a flash so you can see the shimmer better. It's really a lovely polish for just a buck, even though this last picture makes the copper color look more orange than it is in real life.

So, dear readers, do you have this L.A. Colors polish, or do you have OPI's "Down to My Last Penny"? It's such a VHTF polish, but I can't help wanting it, just because it was the first OPI I'd ever worn. Also, do you have any suggestions for products I can use to stop my stupid nails from peeling? They've always done this, regardless of what basecoat or strengthener I use. =(


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