Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

From my nails to yours....


I'm using this collage of my nail art to bid adieu to fall and autumn nail art! 

I'm thankful for this blog and all the ladies I've met through the nail blogging world! I just love geeking out on nails with you all. 

Don't forget to sign up for my Reader Appreciation Giveaway and have an awesome Turkey Day! 

I'm spending the morning with friends at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in San Jose and then having relaxing afternoon/evening off with just my parents (Mike is headed to his parents' for the weekend).

I braved Trader Joe's last night to give my parents a semi nice meal tomorrow night, well nice enough for the three of us!

Here is what I got (even though I won't eat any of this except for the cranberry sauce).


I hope you all have fun weekends with family and food aplenty, and of course nail polish!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Painted Polish #PSL with Nail Stripes

Today I'm showing off the lovely glitter bomb #PSL, which is short for Pumpkin Spice Latte, which every one has a love affair with this time of year (or a few weeks ago before Starbucks brought out the red cups and peppermint lattes).

Anyway, I was seeing swatches of this left and right on Instagram and I just knew I had to have it!

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This glitter bomb is packed with gold, burnt orange, copper and holo glitter pieces. It is a gorgeous mix of sparkly autumn. I loved it. I used four coats to obtain this opacity, and then used a double coat to top coat to make it smooth and sparkly!!!

So shortly after getting this polish in the mail, I saw a beautiful manicure Serene at Copycat Claws did with some sparkly gold polish and I knew I had to recreate it with #PSL! I used nail vinyls to get this look!

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I knew that Zoya Pepper would make the perfect paring with #PSL and I just totally loved this manicure! I was working my mom's show while wearing these nails. Apparently when you are cashiering, people really notice your nails. At least a lot more than my day job as a writer. But so many asked if they were stickers. Grrrr. I don't know why that irks me but it does!

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It's also gorgeous in the sun as you can see above!

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I also wanted to say thank so much guys for sticking with me as my blog posts are a bit sporadic! I'm currently starting a Holiday Nail Challenge, and I can't wait to show you all I'm going to be working on. And so I'll leave you with a shot of my cat Patty, hogging my light box while I was trying to shoot these nails!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Chevrons

I'm not going to lie everyone, Thanksgiving has never meant all that much to me. Because of all my various food restrictions, I've never been able to eat the turkey, stuffing, gravy, pumpkin pie etc.

But it has never really meant much to me anyway. I'm usually working for my mom that weekend, so I spend the day watching the parade (alone while my parents are setting up the show and my husband is visiting with his family out-of-town) and then have some low-key set up with my parents.

So this year I didn't really feel much in the mood for Thanksgiving nails, also because I don't think I could top last year's nails.

Oy my photos skills were so bad back then!
Those were some super cute nails. And since I did so many fall leaves manicure, which is really my favorite part of this season, I was getting a little tired of the warm color motif. But try I did put something together last night, because I couldn't not do something this year.

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I'm still not excited about this design, but I showed it to my MakeupAlley friends and they were super sweet about it. Calling it turkey-reminiscent without actually being a turkey. One person said it was like a sweater design for a turkey.

If you haven't joined the MakeupAlley Nail Board community, I suggest you do. They are all so nice and supportive and helpful and sweet! So this is definitely a shout-out to the sweet ladies over there!

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I started with two thin coats of Zoya Dove and then used chevron nail vinyls and added a coat of ORLY Rockin' Rocket (seriously the only thing close to a brown I own), Zoya Channing and Zoya Goldie for the colors chevrons.

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Then because I thought the grey was too overwhelming, and not super Thanksgiving-esque, I added the black designs. I think this sort of gives it a more Native American vibe as well.

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So what do you think? Like I said, I'm still so-so on it, but it's what I'll have on for the weekend show with my mom. I know you're all probably a little curious to why I am doing this so far ahead of Thanksgiving. Well by Thanksgiving I'll be working my mom's show again, and that will be definitely time for some holiday nails, so this is the last of the fall/Thanksgiving nail art for the year I'm afraid.

And because I think sweater shots just make every manicure look cozy and nice, I'll add one more shot!

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Please sign up for my giveaway, it doesn't end until Dec. 1!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

LynBDesigns Reader Appreciation Giveaway

You guys, I'm super sorry I've once again gone a week without a new post! I guess I'll begin this post with an explanation of why.

Each year around mid-November my life gets a little hectic. My mom, who owns her own business crafting personalized goods, comes to town and I work her Northern California circuit of Harvest Festival Craft Shows. I do this in addition to working my normal day job as a journalist. So for the month of November, I am pretty much working EVERY DAY.

My life at the moment, is a bit intense.

But at the same time I love this time of year because I get to spend so much time with my parents, who I don't see as much as I'd like to, and I get to see a lot of hand crafted goods in the meantime.

And a bonus, since my mom's business mainly involves Christmas ornaments, we dress up as elves to sell the stuff, and while it's a little embarrassing, I thought I'd share with you some shots from the last show.

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That is me and my mom at the booth before the day started. Last weekend was her best show ever, we are talking Black Friday proportion success here. She's been at this biz for 21 years.

And to show you just how cute/humiliating the outfit is, her is a closeup of me with that hat (that was originally intended for dogs).

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Anyway, if you are a bit more curious as to what she makes, here is a cute nail ornament that I thought my readers would get a kick out of. And this is some holiday nail art I did to display it last year!


And now on to my reader appreciation portion of this post. Since I might be a bit sporadic for the next few weeks (after my mom leaves post Thanksgiving weekend, I'll be busy volunteering at the Kiwanis Tree Lot, which I'm sure is a post for another day), I thought I would host a little mini giveaway to make up for it!

I recently tried LynBDesigns nail polish for the first time after seeing The Mercurial Magpie review her Robin Williams inspired collection. So I snatched up three polishes, and I've decided to giveaway one of the polishes.

So to begin, I'll share a manicure I did with Make Your Life Spectacular, a gorgeous light purple with pink flashes holo.

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I started with three thin coats of Make Your Life Spectacular. The formula was great, thin and easy to work with.

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I have nothing like this in my collection of polishes, and was pleasantly surprised I liked it so much. It is a bit girly for my taste, but so girly that it makes me really love it. I think this polish is girly and proud of it. I tried for a bit to get a unicorn stamp on top of the design I used here, but I just couldn't get it to work. But I still think this polish would be great with a unicorn motif.

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The stamp I used here was Lily Anna 09 stamping plate for the image and used Essie No More Film to stamp with. I really loved the Make Your Life Spectacular polish because of its bright pink flashes and holo glam that really came out to play in the sun, above.

Now on to the giveaway. Because I have been a polish purchasing machine lately, and I still have two untrieds from my LynBDesigns order, I thought I'd spread the love and giveaway one of the two. So I will be gifting Phenomenal Cosmic Powers. And Kirby, The Mercurial Magpie, was kind enough to share her swatch of it with me so you can see the beauty of what I'm giving away!


Isn't it gorgeous!?! This giveaway is for US residents only 18 and up. I'll run the giveaway through Dec. 1, when my mom's Northern California shows are over! Thank you readers for sticking with me while my posting is sporadic and not on its usual Mon-Wed-Fri schedule. I truly love you all to pieces!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Random Nail Art

You guys ever have a night where you are staring at your polish collection and just can't get the creative juices flowing? I can tell you that happens to me on more than one occasion. When I am at a loss for what I want to do, I spend some time getting sucked into the world of Random Nail Art.

Random Nail Art

Random Nail Art is an amazing website that cycles through different nail art entries from a number of different bloggers, myself included. 

To begin, visit randomnailart.com and you will see this page:


And after that all you have to do is click through. It will take you through an endless amount of posts, which I am sure will get your creative juices flowing!!!

Random Nail Art is the brainchild of Alessandra, also know as The Sparkle Queen! She has been a great advocate of connecting bloggers and nail art enthusiasts and has a weekly nail art share post every Thursday. 

The great thing about Random Nail Art is it only gets better as more and more people share their nail art! Anyone who has nail art posts can share and Alessandra works hard to add new links all the time! So this is my invitation to you, to browse or join the community

I hope you find this post helpful and spend some time clicking through these links. I love this site when I need that extra jolt of inspiration!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Ultimate Fall Leaves Gradient Nail Art

You guys, I love fall. And I love the fact that I get to work in a town with the most beautiful trees. I mean take a look at my background on my iPhone, I truly love these trees.

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These trees are the Chinese Pistache, and Los Altos is full of them. They are green most of the year, and then every year in November, the leaves turn from green to yellow to the most magnificent neon orange-red. So in honor of these trees, I created a matching manicure.

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I mean I love this manicure so much, not only am I currently wearing it, I was originally going to wait to show you all this until Wednesday (to stick to my normal posting schedule). But I literally could not wait to share with you the amazingness that is this manicure. I think this might be my most favorite nail art ever!!!

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To start this manicure I did two coats of Sally Hansen OMGhost (which has a great formula, except for some minor bubbling, and is especially great for stamping). After that I sponged on a gradient of Zoya Shawn, Kiko Melon 356 and OPI Red Lights Ahead Where (which is I think my most favorite coral creme of all time, see my blog header).

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And then, because I still am super critical of my gradient, I added a layer of China Glaze Fairy Dust, because Fairy Dust covers a multitude of mistakes. To finish it all off, I stamped my favorite fall stamp ever, Bundle Monster BM H-11. I still feel like my gradient skills need some work, but practice makes perfect and I just truly love this manicure to death!

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I never want to take this off, I am so in love with it! What do you guys think? I know a lot of us are all working on holiday nails in preparation for the fun holiday season, but I just can't get over fall. I haven't quite accepted winter is coming, because really in California, does winter ever really arrive?


Monday, November 10, 2014

ILNP Black Orchid and Negative Space

I've been seeing negative space manis a lot this year and I thought it was high time I tried it out!

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When I saw ILNP Black Orchid, I just knew I had to have it. I was looking for the perfect vampy holo, and this totally fulfilled what I was looking for!

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To create the negative space, I used nail vinyls from the variety pack I purchased. I just love nail vinyls, they are the best.

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To begin I started with a base coat, and then waited for that to dry. Then I placed the nail vinyls on my nails. Then I applied two quick coats of Black Orchid. You have to work fast with the nail vinyls, because they remove the best when the polish is still wet. It's not too difficult, but it is a bit of a learning curve.

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Application: Black Orchid applied perfectly in two coats. It was a little tricky doing this manicure with the nail vinyls, and really properly judging the application, but I was still impressed as I usually am with ILNP polishes.

Where to Purchase: You can purchase Black Orchid from the ILNP website. It retails for $10. ILNP just redesigned their website and got new bottles, but just because they have a new look, doesn't mean they've changed their quality. You can purchase the Nail Vinyls variety pack on their website for $36.90 and it includes chevrons, chevron minis, chevron maxis, single chevrons, straights, french tips, lightening bolts and half moons.

Looking Ahead: I've got an amazing mani that I've been dreaming about doing for awhile now on my nails as we speak and I do think, if I have the time this week, I will be editing photos so you can see it on Wednesday!