Friday, May 22, 2015

Hawaiian Sunset Gradient with BPS Stamping

Happy Friday everyone! I'm so ready for this three day weekend after suffering through a terrible migraine for a good portion of the week, I'm ready to kick back and relax finally.

I got my new KBShimmer polishes in the mail Wednesday, but was too ill to play with them until last night! First off, so excited with what I got, after receiving a birthday gift certificate and holding on to it I used it all on the summer bleached neons! I got Bahama Drama, Leggo My Mango, For Sail By Owner, In Yacht Water, Sarong Place, Sarong Time and What Are Your Wading For? I also got three of their new mani shots, which I intend to use very soon!

Anyway, let's get to the first creation using these shall we? I showed these too my husband when I finished and he promptly said, "It looks like a calendar of Hawaii, let's go to Hawaii!" He's too funny!

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I started with a base of Bahama Drama, the very first KBShimmer neon I knew I needed. It is a gorgeous creamy coral neon that is so bright! Formula wise, I found it to be on the thick side. It was a little streaky by the first coat, but the second coat covered it all up for the most part. Since I knew I was going to gradient the nails, I decided not to do a third coat, but normally I probably would have. The polish dried pretty quickly though, and was a satin almost rubber like finish without top coat!

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So after my two coats of Bahama Drama dried, I took out Sarong Place, Sarong Time which is a beautiful magenta-leaning purple neon polish and applied it and Bahama Drama to a make up sponge and applied the gradient. I topped off the gradient with my new favorite gradient topper: Spectraflair 35 Top Coat by Spectraflair4U and then set off to add some bold stamping to the look!

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*Press Sample*

I had gotten behind on some of my Born Pretty Store reviews, admittedly, so I broke out one of my nail stamping plates provided for review and decided to go to town with it! I chose this plate specifically for that bamboo looking image I used on my nails with a sunset-esque look just like this in mind.

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This plate is the Born Pretty Store Plate BP-18 and I had zero issues with it! Now that I look at it again, those feathers look like they would be an awesome stamping design as well, looking forward to trying that in the future too! This plate retails for $2.99, but you can use my Born Pretty Store discount code of TRAH10 to save 10 percent off your purchase (on items not already discounted). I've been pretty pleased with the nail stamping plates I've tried from them, and they keep releasing new images all the time.

To stamp with I broke out Rica Blackout, my most favorite black stamping polish. It is opaque, not gooey and easy to work with! And as you can tell the results are stunning!

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So what do you think of this look? It definitely makes me want to go back on vacation that is for sure! I think it is super happy and a great way to break in the KBShimmer Neons I just purchased! Hope you all have a fantastic three day weekend ahead of you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Neon Stripes using Indigo Bananas

Hey guys, I have the best news ever! Thanks to a new friend of mine, I am back up and running with my friend's old iPhone 5! So incredibly happy at the moment, you have NO idea!

Today I have the most awesome look using Indigo Bananas Neon, The 10th Element polishes.

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Most of these were sent to me as a press sample, but when I the collection went live, I knew I just had to order the missing pieces to complete my neon set! So here they all are, side by side!

For the base of this polish, I used Indigo Bananas Aether Or, a light grey linear holo which is the perfect backdrop to really make these neons pop!

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I thought it might be really helpful to see these colors side by side, so you can really decide which are your favorites. I must admit, these nails have been a total hit. Everyone has been noticing them, some people saying they remind them of the twirly lollipops you can buy at Disneyland, while others saying they remind them of Fruit Stripe gum. Either way, they are super happy and bright nails and have been bringing a smile to my face all week long!

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Using these awesome macro shots I'll go over the which stripe is which (from bottom stripe to top)! Most of these are color accurate, especially now that I have an iPhone 5 back and running!

Top left: Carbon Dallas, Phlogiston Paradise, Zinc Industries and Neon, The 10th Element.

Top right: Rhubidium Rhod, LiLoo (Lithium Loo), The Uranium Evil, Sulfur Green.

Bottom left: Sulfur Green, Diva Plumbum, Carbon Dallas, Plogiston Paradise.

Bottom middle: Phlogiston Paradise, Zinc Industries, Neon, The 10th Element, Rhubidium Rhod.

Bottom right: The Uranium Evil, Sulfur Green, Diva Plumbum, Carbon Dallas.

These stripes cover the entire neon creme selection of the Indigo Bananas Neon, The 10th Element collection and I think it is very helpful to see them side by side. You can tell that Zinc Industries is the warmer of the purple colors (leaning more magenta), while Phlogiston Paradise is a bluer leaning purple (which leans a tad more blue in these photos than in real life, curse you purples!). Side by side with Carbon Dallas (the blue in the collection) you can really see that Phlogiston Paradise is truly a bright purple!

You can also see that the most neon polishes of the collection are clearly LiLoo (orange), The Uranium Evil (yellow), Sulfur Green (green) and Neon, The 10th Element (pink). All the other colors are bright and totally belong in the collection, but these I've listed I feel are the most neon.

To make the stripes, I used KBShimmer Connected Thick/Thin lines nail vinlys, and painted the stripes over three thin coats of Aether Or.

You can now purchase the entire neon collection at the Indigo Bananas website. For the neon cremes mini bottles (8ml) are $6.25 and full size bottles (15ml) are $10.

Which of these do you want to get your hands on?!!? I am so happy I have the complete set. I can't wait to play even more with these. And also I am so truly happy to have an iPhone 5 back, my blog didn't even skip a beat and for that I am so very thankful! :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

My Vacation Nails

Hey guys I'm back! Thanks so much for not minding my hiatus, I had a wonderful week off and it was a great break and a wonderful reset. Unfortunately, I ended the trip on a rather awful note when I dropped my iPhone 5 in salt water and it totally died. My wonderful photo taking device, which somewhat cripples my blog.

But onto brighter things, I had several nail art pieces stored in the cloud, so I'll be updating my blog with that in the meantime while I wait to get my hands on another used iPhone 5. Because let's face it, my iPhone 4 (I switched back to) just won't cut if photo quality wise, and using my husband's iPhone 6 somehow distorts the colors a bit. Oh geeze, the trials and tribulations of a nail blogger are so silly. I'll hopefully get this sorted out soon!

Here are my lovely vacation nails! I wore these for the majority of my vacation until I spent a day in the beach and the sand and saltwater just ruined the mani and made it chip like crazy!

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I showed you guys a sneak preview of these awesome nails before I left, but I thought it was only proper if I showed them to you in the full. On the thumb, middle and pinkie nail I have a gradient of Indigo Bananas The Uranium Evil (neon yellow), Diva Plumbum (teal) and Carbon Dallas (blue), which were all sent as a press samples, and then did a holo top coat of Spectraflair 35 Top Coat by Spectraflair4U. Then using my new favorite nail stamping plate, MoYou London Doodles 07, I stamped fun sea creatures using KBShimmer Eyes White Open (my favorite white stamping polish)! And no vacation is complete without a bit of holo in your face courtesy of Painted Polish's Drunk on Holo, which I applied with a makeup sponge for that extra glittery holo look!

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The nails were perfect on the dolphin cruise I took around Hilton Head Island in South Carolina (where I took my vacation). I had so much fun on my trip. It was a true girl's weekend which I spent with my mom and one of her closet friends!

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So I hope that you enjoyed these nails as much as I did! They were the perfect accessory for my vacation!

Moving forward just understand I'll be a little crippled in the photo quality department as I try to figure out how to properly adjust to having unfamiliar photo equipment! I have a ton to review in the next few weeks, but I might wait on that until I can properly get my hands on an iPhone 5 again.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Introducing Indigo Bananas Neon, The Tenth Element

Ok guys, I know I said I was going away for a week, but I had epic nail mail I knew I needed to share with you all, especially since this Indigo Bananas collection is release today! :)

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*Press Sample*

This is the Indigo Bananas Neon, The Tenth Element collection, minus two polishes. As I am just headed out of town, I only had time to do a quick skittle look before having to prepare to leave town so I'll just tease you with these quick photos!

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From thumb to pinkie we have: Rubidium Rhod, The Uranium Evil, Diva Plumbum, Carbon Dallas, Phlogiston Paradise and I am holding Zinc Industries. Not pictured, but in the first shot, is the orange – LiLoo (Lithium Loo).

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Now I didn't have time to do anything but watermark these photos, but most are color accurate. The hardest to capture was Diva Plumbum (the teal) and Phogiston Paradise (the purple). Diva Plumbum is color accurate in the center shot (the other two make it look too light) and Phogiston Paradise is the most color accurate in the sun shot, though it is a little brighter and less blue than that. Seriously though, I have been dreaming of Phogiston Paradise for awhile now, so happy to have a polish like this.

The formulas on these are much better than other neons I have worked with. Most are two coaters, Rubidium Rhod (red) and Phogiston Paradise could almost be one coaters. The sheerest were The Uranium Evil, yellows are always notoriously bad and Diva Plumbum. Diva Plumbum still looks pretty good in two coats, I added a third for good measure. The Uranium Evil was opaque in three thin coats. 

Right after I did these nails I of course changed my plans for my vacation nails and added in some of these awesome Indigo Bananas. I also just got a macro lens for my iPhone and so this is the first of many macros you'll see in the future! For this gradient I used The Uranium Evil, Diva Plumbum and Carbon Dallas – with a holo top coat. 

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These babies will be available May 9 at 10 a.m. EST on the Indigo Bananas website. There are a few other polishes coming out (a neon pink and green are also a part of the neon set) as well as some other goodies (crystal flakies, holo and a super mega multichrome flakie). So go check it out.

For more details on the release and the new collection, visit the Indigo Bananas Facebook page and if you are an Indigo Bananas lover, you should totally join us in the We're Bananas for Indigo Bananas Facebook fan group, the more the merrier!

Under the Sea Nails and a Giveaway

Hey everyone, I'm currently prepping to go on vacation. I'll be gone a week, so I won't be posting next week and for that I'm truly sorry. My original intention was to post while I was away, but I won't have my laptop with me and I think I'd have a hard time with social media and stuff while I'm away, so rather than half-ass my posts and quickly put them together, I'm going to take a week hiatus! This is my last post, and to make it up to you I have some AWESOME nails to show you today and a GIVEAWAY at the end of this post, so stay tuned!!!

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First off I am going to begin by saying these are by far some of my most favorite nails I have created so far this season and much of it is thanks in large part to the plate I used. For this look I used MoYou London Doodles 07 plate, and it is full of THE cutest sea creatures and crazy designs all over!

Just take a look at those designs, so many possibilities. At first I was overwhelmed, I didn't know where to begin. But when I finally set out to use the plate, I just focused on the creature I wanted to feature on each nail and scraped away. No matter what you choose to do, the design will come together!

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Take a look at that narwhal, could anything be cuter?!?!! Let's take a quick look at the full look in different lighting. I seriously could not stop staring at this look, it brought me such joy and happiness. I even got to share it with my niece (who is two and a half) and nephew (who is seven months), and believe it or not they really like them, well I like to think so!

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Honestly there is nothing happier to me than these nails. I am currently scheming what to do for my vacation nails. I'm headed to Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia for a little Southern Beach Vacay with my mom and her friend. It is going to be a total girls week! I definitely want to incorporate this plate in some way, maybe the turtle since Hilton Head is a safe harbor for sea turtles!

So on to how I achieved this look. I started first with two coats of Picture Polish Lakodom. This is one of two new Picture Polishes I got, and I have to say, I'm less than impressed. I just thought for the price, the formula would be a little better. I have SUCH a hard time spending over $13 for a polish and when I do I guess I have really high expectations. With this polish and Honey Moon, I found the formulas a bit thick to work with. It's a shame because I covet so many PP polishes, but now not so much I guess.

Anyway, I do like Lakodom the color, it is a white jelly polish with holographic shards throughout. After adding a quick dry top coat and letting it dry, I added a gradient of stamping. Like I said, I had no idea how to tackle this plate because I was so overwhelmed with the awesomeness of it all that I just went to town with it. For the colors I used to stamp, I used a quick swipe of Zoya Edie, Zoya Alexa and Essie the More the Merrier. I just love this gradient combo and will most likely be using this again in the future real soon (who knows maybe even for my vacation nails!).

I finally got some good advice for my Creative Stamper and I primed it with a Mr. Eraser and use it with a light touch in a rolling motion (both for application and picking up the image) and it works great!


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Now on to the giveaway. I teamed up with some other lovely bloggers from The Nail Polish Blogger Connection Facebook group for a chance to win a $250 prize, and a runner up gets a $60 prize!




Prizes:
• $250 grand prize that can be sent either as an gift certificate to your favorite e-tailer or directly through paypal.
• $60 runner up prize that can be sent either as an gift certificate to your favorite e-tailer or directly through paypal.  

Sponsors:
The Mercurial Magpie
Manna's Manis
Manicured And Marvelous Tales Of Coffee, Lacquer and Beauty
PolishandPaws
BruisedUpDollieNails
Lacquer Or Leave Her!
The Polished Hippy
Delight In Nails
The Procrastinating Polishr
Doctor Crafty
Curb Appeal Nails
 Les Essais Beaute De Schette
Newsie Nail Novice
Lauriestrode's Fun With Nails
Moni's Mani
Lacquered Geek  

Rules & Info:
• The giveaway is open internationally.
• The giveaway will run from today until midnight on Monday, May 18th. The winner will have only 48 hours to respond to my email claiming the prize, after that a new winner will be selected.
• You must be 18 or older to enter.
• No giveaway-only, empty or spam accounts, those entries will be disqualified. All winning entries will be verified.
• No following and unfollowing once the giveaway ends. Unfollowers will be banned from future giveaways. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Indigo Bananas Sea Quake Holo

Today I have some more swatches of another amazing holo flakie polish courtesy of Indigo Bananas.

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*Press Sample*

This lovely polish is Indigo Bananas Sea Quake Holo. This polish is filled with green to teal to purple to magenta chrome flakies floating in a sea of holographic polish. It takes three coats for this opacity. I just love these chrome holo flakies, beautiful in the sun and in the shade – perfect on their own or as toppers (see later in this post). 

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The formula on this is great, easy to apply, no sponging required. The flakies lay flat on the nail and removal is a breeze as well. Let's see some more swatches in the wild shall we?

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As promised, I have a side-by-side comparison quick swatches of the three Indigo Banana Holo Mega Chrome Flakies as toppers over Zoya Chantal (my holy grail nude creme polish). These look great as a topper, especially over this nude polish. I bet though, there could be some awesome combos over different colored creme polishes as bases. I'll definitely have to try that out in the future!

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From left to right, we have A Field Trip with Butterflies Holo, Color of the Fire Holo and Sea Quake Holo. They look so gorgeous side by side, a Mega Chrome rainbow!

Indigo Banana's Holo Mega Chrome Flakies are available now on the Indigo Bananas website and retail for $12 for full size (15ml) and $7.25 for a mini (8ml). 

You can look for Indigo Bananas news on their Facebook page and Instagram account, and if you are an Indigo Bananas lover, you should totally join us in the We're Bananas for Indigo Bananas Facebook fan group, the more the merrier!

So which of these flakies are your favorite?! I really love them side by side, I will definitely be rocking that look at another time in the future. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bright and Fun Skittle Nails

Hey guys, today I have a fun look I put together a few weeks ago and I think it's great to post now that the weather is getting warmer all over. I think this look is super bright and happy and I know when I wore this look it brought me so much happiness while wearing it.

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It's probably a little bit silly that I derive such happiness from my nail art, but I tell you, on a stressful deadline day, where it feels like I will never really meet my deadline, let alone step outside and see the daylight, looking down at my nails truly brings a smile to my face. I don't think I'm alone either!

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Anyway, on to the details of the look. I hope you don't hate me, but both of these polishes are no longer available. :( They are both special batches from Smitten Polish. The coral one is The Second Lobster, which is a lighter more spring-like version of Smitten Polish The First Lobster, which might be one of my most favorite nail polishes ever. The chartreuse polish is a one of a kind, didn't really get a name, but it was titled SP 2014 12.

The stamping was done using the Born Pretty Store plate BP-L005, which was sent for review. This plate is awesome, it has 20 different images on them, and each is unique out of my every growing nail stamping plate collection. I've been very impressed with the BPS nail stamping plates, they haven't disappointed me yet! The images are well etched and work very well. Feel free to use my discount code – TRAH10 – for a ten percent discount! I'm not exactly thrilled with the color I used to stamp on this – Zoya Heidi – it turned out more orange than I had intended it to.

For the dots, I just used a dotting tool and Essie The More the Merrier.

Anyway, I hope this look brought a smile to your face as it did to me! Do your nails make you as happy as mine do? Are you lucky enough to work in an office that doesn't care what color you wear on your nails?!