Monday, July 29, 2013

A Crackly Audrey

If you aren't very familiar with China Glaze then I have a beautiful polish that I would like to share with you. It's called For Audrey and it's one of China Glaze's most popular colors. For Audrey is creamy, thick and opaque in one coat. It's super smooth, easy to work with and a gorgeous color. It's the perfect Robin's egg/Tiffany blue color. This color was made in dedication to Audrey Hepburn for her role in Breakfast at Tiffany's. I have worn this a few times now and I just LOVE the color and application. It's a must have in any collection in my opinion! 

I really wanted to try out my China Glaze crackle polish and thought that this would be a great duo to go with my black crackle, and I have to say, I think that the combo turned out pretty nice.

Sorry for the smudge on my pointer finger. Ack!

I had never tried a crackle before (although I've practiced a few times) and I really can't decide if I'm a fan or not. Crackle polish can really seem to be a hit or miss and honestly, the only reason I purchased any was because they were on super clearance at Sally's. I bought a black, white, and gold crackle and each cost me only $1.34. I've played around with all three and I can say the white one is really hard to work with. It dries fast and not very much product sticks to the brush which makes it difficult. The gold and the black aren't too bad though, but I do recommend practicing and trying different thicknesses first.

Obviously you paint your base color first, and although For Audrey was ready to go in one coat, I applied two really just out of habit. I let them dry for around 20 minutes and then I applied my crackle polish. There are a few different ways you can use the polish. If you put on a thin coat you will get very small, thin cracks. If you apply a thick coat (right thumb is the best example) you will get very large and wide cracks. If you put it on too thick it won't crack at all. My left middle finger has a big glob in the center because I got it on too thick there and it wouldn't crack. It still turned out okay though.

If you want to see what the white and gold crackle looks like let me know and I'll do some swatches and do a post about it. I like the colors together in this one though. In the right lighting the blue looked more green and turquoise-y and it kind of made me think of a turquoise stone. I thought that was cool. I think that if you can find a good color combo and if the formula is right that crackle polish can add some fun diversity to your mani. If it's weird colors or hard to work with (like the white) than I think it can make your mani look messy and unattractive. I'm sure it helps that I love For Audrey so much!

Disclaimer: All items shown were purchased with my own money. All opinions are my own and honest.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Manicure/Nail Art Must Haves!

This post is pretty picture heavy, there's a lot I want to share! First though, I want to mention that I have another post I really want to get done today, but these actually do take me some time, taking all the pics, editing them, etc. etc., and we are leaving for New Mexico on Friday and I have a lot to get done before then so I don't know if I'll have a chance to do it today. If not today though I will have it up tomorrow. So be sure to check back and check out that one! It'll be a review of a polish and the mani that I did.

I want to share with you some things I have purchased over the last couple months mainly for nail art designs. What's so amazing is how inexpensive these all are! Most items were purchased on Amazon and I will link everything for you so you can take advantage of the opportunity too!  Everything is priced so low because they are shipping straight from retailers in China and Japan. So the only drawback is that it can take a few weeks for you to get your items, but I'll take it!  Not to mention that sometimes it still comes really fast, I had my striping tape in 8 days. I was pretty impressed. I have tons of info, so let's get into it!

Dotting Tools

The questions I've been asked the most so far is, "How do you get those dots on your nails?" Dotting tools, that's how! People say you can use a pin or pencil or whatever, but you only get one size and it's hard to work with and a waste of time in my opinion. I got these bad boys on Amazon for just over $2 and now they are even listed cheaper, here. $1.67 with FREE shipping.

I love these and recommend them for any beginner or someone trying to get into nail art. Easy to use and a variety of sizes. I do have to say though that you only end up getting 6 sizes instead of 10, on one side they are the same size (you can see this in the photos). I'm still very pleased with them though and they make your manis look so professional and it's super simple!   

$1.67 + $0 shipping

Nail Art Brushes

This is a 15 piece brush set. There are way more in here than I will probably ever use. Fan brushes, stripers, angled and flat brushes and a teeny tiny dotting tool that has made painting my nails so much easier. I paid around $3 for this set and currently it is listed at $2.39 with FREE shipping on Amazon. Nail Art Brushes.  These have helped me a lot, especially the stripers. An important thing about these really remove all the polish when you are done using it you need to use paint thinner. You only need a little bit, but first I just tried using nail polish remover and it does NOT work. Paint thinner though cleans them like a champ! Even if you only end up using 3 or 4 I still think this is worth the couple bucks. Not to mention My Secret Weapon came from this bunch. 

$2.39 + $0 shipping

My Secret Weapon

I seriously love this teeny tiny dotting tool. I haven't really used it as a dotting tool because it is so small and I have my other set, but this has lots of other uses! 

  • I use this in place of a toothpick. Toothpicks have pointy edges that hurt and are small and hard to hold. This is round so no poking yourself and since it has a long handle it's easy to hold. 
  • It can scrape out unwanted polish that pools in your cuticle line or down the side of your nail. Before I would use my nails, but that was always hard if your nails were wet! Now I just wipe this off on my paper towel and it makes my cleanup a lot easier. If you get polish on your skin and it's still wet this will scrape most of it off.
  • Push chunky glitter around on your nail. Place that glitter anywhere you want!
  • Apply rhinestones or other small objects to your nails.
  • I'm sure you can find more uses!

$0 (included with brush set)

Striping Tape

This stuff has saved so much frustration and time!  You can really make a lot of cool designs with tape, but cutting scotch tape to make thin straight lines is impossible for me. If you are amazing and can do it, then great for you, but I have issues doing that!  You can lay them side by side for a thicker line too. But for chunkier designs or other shapes I would still use scotch tape. You get 10 rolls of different color tape so it should last a while. I purchased mine for $1.03 from Amazon and now they are showing up as $1.00 with FREE shipping. Striping Tape  

$1.00 + $0 shipping

So those are all the items that I consider MUST HAVES. The next few I'm going to show you are personal preference and are not essential, but I think they are nice add-ons.


There are TONS of different colors, sizes and shapes that you can find on Amazon. This set contains 3,000 rhinestones in 12 different colors. I purchased mine for $1.49!  To buy these at a beauty or craft store would cost you around $20-30. They are currently listed on Amazon for $1.39  Colored Rhinestones

Middle picture (left to right): blue, red, purple, green, clear, light pink
Bottom picture (left to right): light green, black, light blue, light purple, hot pink, yellow/golden

 $1.39 + $0 shipping

There is another set I purchased but I have not received it yet. It's a set of 1,200 with 12 different shapes and sizes that are all clear. I can't tell what some of them are from the photos, but it does look like you get moons, squares, hearts, butterflies, things like that. I paid $.59 plus $.73 shipping, totaling $1.32. They are still the same price right now. I've included the stock photo. Clear Rhinestones

$.59 + $.73 shipping = $1.32

Nail Wheels

This is something that no one really has to have, but I really like swatching my polishes. They can look so different after they dry and you never know how glittery or shimmery ones will look till you see it dry on a nail. I purchased mine for over $5 at Sally's and I wish I had waited and got them on Amazon. They are listed for $3.89 with FREE shipping. Nail Wheel

 $3.89 + $0 shipping

Different q-tips

These are pointed q-tips and I find they work a lot better than regular ones. I bought these at Wal-Mart for under $2. Again, this is just something I wanted to show you, you don't really need these. I couldn't find these online.

Under $2

Whew! That was a lot of info!

I hope I haven't fried your brain too bad, haha. If you were to purchase everything I mentioned (minus the q-tips) you would only spend $11.66!!!!!!  I think that is amazing. If you only wanted the must haves (dotting tools, brush set and tape) you would only spend $5.06. I don't know about you, but I think that's a fabulous deal. I was so happy I could get all of this for such a great price because now I can make awesome manis and not feel guilty about it.

I hope this was informative for those of you that read this!

Disclaimer: All items shown were purchased with my own money. All opinions are my own and honest.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Meet my Besties!

Today I want to share with you an ESSENTIAL item for long lasting manicures. 

I want you to meet my newest, bestest friends. I would like to introduce Seche Clear and Seche Vite. These are AMAZING products and I promise you if you try them you will never want to try anything else again. Seche Clear is the only base coat I use now and Seche Vite is the only top coat. Everyone raves about Seche Vite and is it very popular and widely used among any nail enthusiast. The base coat isn't as popular, but I still like it very much. A few months ago when I was just starting to get into this I went into Sally Beauty Supply just kinda looking around. I saw these on sale buy 1, get 1 free so I picked them up. It wasn't until a few weeks later that I found out these were super amazing and everyone used (and loved) them.

As you can see, they are sparkly, shiny, and amazing. 

This base coat has really helped against yellowing of my nails and staining from other polishes. This top coat is so thick, covers polish so well and is the first thing I've ever bought that is, in my opinion, chip resistant. Over the years I've bought so many different top coats trying to find one to make my manicure last and I've finally found one. I honestly think that finding this helped me get into nail art and things because now my design will actually last and I can enjoy it for a while without fear of it being ruined within 24 hours. Now, instead of having to take it off because it looks bad, I take it off after a few days because I get bored with it. I've had my gold and black design on for a week now and I only have one small chip at the back of my right thumb and that one was my fault. I had my 4th of July mani on for 9 days and didn't have one single chip. That was the weekend my mom was in town so I was painting a bathroom and using my hands a lot and still had no problems. These are totally worth buying!

  • Sally Beauty Supply has them on sale quite often. They have been at every Sally's location I've been to. They retail for about $8/ea without the sale.
  • Another good place is Amazon. Recently, I bought this Seche Vite ($8.25 for 2 bottles) and this Seche Clear ($5.27/ea).
  • I've seen them at select Targets and another beauty store called Beauty Brands, but were way over priced.

If you can get them for the right price, I think they are even cheaper than a lot of Sally Hansen top coats. Having said all this, there is one downfall to Seche Vite. Once you get about 60% or so done with the bottle the formula starts to turn very sticky and thick and it's hard to work with. However, you can buy Seche Restore ($5.03) on Amazon also. Restore is a thinner and makes the formula workable again. I haven't seen Restore in any retail locations, which is why I bought all these things online this time. I should mention too, that the places I listed didn't charge me any shipping either! Talk about a great deal!

I hope this was informative for you! Tomorrow I should have another post up mentioning different nail art supplies and how you can get them for next to nothing (seriously!). So be sure to come back tomorrow and read that one!


Disclaimer: All items shown were purchased with my own money. All opinions are my own and honest.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gold and Black(ish) Stripe Design!

I am so excited to share this with you! I took lots of pics this time so I can show you the whole process. The funny thing is that since I was taking so many pictures I took my time and painted a lot slower so the manicure as a whole came out a lot better than normal! I'll have to remember to slow down and then they should come out a lot better, ha!  This one did take me a little longer than I would have liked, but I think there are some things I can do next time to speed it up a little. Hope you enjoy this one!!

Obviously you can use any colors/glitters that you want with this design, I chose to go with a gold and charcoal color design. The first thing you need to paint all of your colors your base color, which I used a metallic gold. Even though you are applying a different color on top I would still recommend two coats of polish. After your base is down if you want to do an accent nail I would suggest doing that now just so that nail is finished and you don't have to worry about it anymore. I used two coats of a gold glitter polish and then applied top coat. Just a tip, whenever I do a nail that's all glitter I normally apply two heavy coats of your top coat. This helps seal in any bumpy edges you may have due to the glitter. After that, depending on your polish, you need to let your other nails COMPLETELY dry. I usually wait an hour or so (maybe even up to two depending on the polish I am using).

Once you are sure your nails are good to go then you can apply the tape. I am using striping tape, but you can use scotch tape also. The scotch tape may be trickier because you have to cut very thin, straight lines, so if you plan on doing a lot of this type of art work I would suggest striping tape. **You can get it very inexpensively on Amazon, and my next post is actually going to be about nail art supplies and how CHEAPLY you can get them all, so make sure you come back to read that!**  Anyhoo, back to nails... I would suggest cutting up several pieces at a time; it seems to go smoother and save time this way. I didn't have anywhere to really put mine, so I used my desk lamp....hey it works!

Once you have your strips cut, then go ahead and apply them to your nails in any direction/design that you want. You really can't mess this up. I think it's awesome because every single one of your nails can be different! After tape is applied, apply one heavy coat (since you can't do two) and give it about 30 seconds (or until it is slightly tacky) and then pull the tape off. I have an important suggestion here that I think will save you time. I've seen people use tweezers to pull off the tape and my response has always been, "Pshh, tweezers? Why would you need those, you have fingers!" Well now after doing a few manicures like this, I now say, "Use tweezers, it will save you time and frustration!!" Why you ask? When you pull the tape off you obviously have wet polish on it, and not to mention wet nails. The tape is sticky and sticks all over you and it's hard to get off and it can get stuck to other nails...and...and (see my point?). So use tweezers! I will never make that mistake again.

I totally have a type-o...Don't forget to take the TAPE off
...jeez Katie...

Once all your nails are finished make sure your top polish is pretty dry before applying top coat. The last thing you want is to apply top coat and make your polish run in all your pretty lines! Some of my pictures are portraying bumpy looking nails, I think the camera was just picking up the detail because they do not look like that in real life.

Polishes used are listed down below.

I hope this post was helpful to anyone who wants to try something similar to this. Let me know if you have any questions!  If you are inspired by this manicure I'd love to see a picture so tag me on Facebook! You can also email it to me: Also let me know if you have any nail designs you want me to try, I love hearing all the ideas other people have.

Oh, one more thing. In case you are wondering how I edited my photos I found a really awesome online photo editor that I will now be using. There is a free version (and a paid monthly upgrade if you so choose). Go check them out, picmonkey

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Epic Fail Ombre! + Why I am Starting This Blog.

Before we get into the nail stuff I just want to mention really quick why I decided to start a nail blog. First of all, I've always enjoyed blogging, but the last few years I haven't done it much due to school, work, my son, you know, life in general. However, I have been finding myself drawn towards doing blogs again. I recently started another blog about how I'm changing my lifestyle to be a healthy one and that blog is  Since I've become SO obsessed with polish and nail art I decided this would be a good way to document the different designs that I do, what polish I like/don't like and my overall progress (hopefully I will continue to get better with time!). If I end up being the only one who reads this...than cool. But I'm hoping that I will find some people along the way who want to watch my progress too and maybe even inspire a few people.

Okay, let's get started with the good stuff.

I. Am. So. Disappointed. I was so looking forward to doing my neon color ombre manicure and it didn't turn out well at all. I made two mistakes that I think made it an epic fail. This is only my second ombre manicure, so I think a little more practice would help also. The first mistake I made was using the wrong side of my sponge. I cut my sponge and then ended up painting on the longer side of my sponge and didn't realize it till I had already painted 7 of my nails. I wasn't getting any of my top color (purple) on my nails and I just couldn't figure out why! The second mistake I made was cutting my nails too short. I typically wear my nails on the longer side, but decided they were getting too long and so I cut them. However, I cut them shorter than I wanted them to be and I think that made it harder for me because I'm not used to doing nails designs on shorter nails. On some nails I didn't go a great job of covering up all the white either. Practice makes perfect.

Getting the true color of neon colors on camera is hard. I have tried so many different types of lighting and none of them really capture the colors. The colors are much brighter and very neon in real life, so please remember that while looking at the pics.

Now all of this being said I don't think they look horrible, but I don't think they look good either. Part of me almost took it all off because I was so upset, but I spent a lot of time on it so I decided to keep it on. I'll probably only keep this for a few days though before I decided to do something different. I don't know how long I'll be able to look at it and feel okay with it.

For those of you who aren't familiar with ombre designs I'll explain it a little bit for you. It's really just a gradient design with multiple colors. I've seen them done with 2-5 different colors, but in my opinion I think three colors works the best. First you need to paint your nails with a white base and make sure you use two coats. Do not skip this step! The white really helps bring out the colors in the polish (especially with neon colors) and make sure you have a nice thick coat of polish. And I actually want to take a second and talk about the white polish I used. I used China Glaze White on White and I can tell you I really don't know if I'll use this polish again. The end result (forgot to take a pic before ombre) was good, but I really dislike the formula. It was gloopy and uneven and hard to apply and work with. Just because it looks like white out doesn't mean it should be like white out!  I usually use Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On, but I think I'm going to try OPI Alpine Snow next time.

Anyway, once you get your base done then you take a makeup wedge sponge and cut it to the length and width that fits your nail bed. I cut a new sponge to show you since my other sponge I used got all messed up.

Then just paint on your colors that you want to use. Make sure you use a generous amount of polish since the sponge typically sucks some up.

After you filled your sponge with polish you then just sponge it onto your nail. Make sure you apply new polish for every finger that you do. And voila! if you did it right (unlike me) you will have a beautiful gradient design!

Here are the polishes I used:

                    (White)                        (Neon Orange)                 (Neon Pink)              (Neon Purple)     
                     China Glaze                      China Glaze                     China Glaze                 Essie  
                   White on White                Sun Worshiper                    Pool Party           DJ Play That Song

Again, like I mentioned, the colors do not pull well from the camera. The orange is a nice bright neon and the pink is a dark vibrant hot pink neon. Same things goes for the purple, it is very bright and pretty.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy (Late) 4th of July!

Hey everyone! I am starting a blog where I can post all about my nail polish obsession and share things with you all. I'm thinking of doing reviews and different fun things, so be sure to check back regularly!!

So, I know it's a few days past the 4th, but I loved how my manicure came out so I wanted to share with you all what I did!!

Please excuse the mess on my nails, I forgot to do clean-up before I took a picture (this was taken right after I finished). Anyway, I do have to say that I can't take all the credit for this idea. I've found a lot of fun ideas on Pinterest, YouTube and just random Google searching. So I took all the different things I found and mashed them all together. My husband did help me paint on the stars though, he's a much better artist than me. I really thought this was a cute and festive design and I have received so many compliments on it. Here are all the polishes I used:

Red- OPI Big Apple Red
Blue- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Pacific Blue
White- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On
Silver- China Glaze Cheers To You
Silver Glitter- Wet n Wild Fergie collection in You Know I Gotta Shine
White Glitter- OPI Lights of Emerald City

I also used some different size dotting tools and a nail art striping brush. Other than the stars (at least for me) this manicure was simple and easy. I had a lot of fun doing this one! Let me know what you think!