Friday, October 28, 2011

Frankenstein Mani

Here is my second Halloween mani.  After a quick, unscientific poll of my co-workers, I decided to do Frankenstein.

 Left hand:

 Right hand:

Left thumb:

 Right thumb:

I forgot the nostrils on the right thumb, and I ended up liking him better that way, but I wasn't in the mood to do the other three faces over.  I don't know why I felt like the nostrils were necessary in the first place.  I used Sinful Colors Innocent as the base, China Glaze White-on-White for the eyes, and Julep Leighton for the neck bolts.  I used Wet'n'Wild Fastdry Black instead of my usual China Glaze Liquid Leather.  I didn't like the W'n'W as much as the CG; it smeared something awful!  I don't think I will use it for nail art detail anymore, but it makes a great base coat because it is a one-coater and, true to its name, dries very fast.

While taking the pictures, I also ended up with a pretty good picture of the tattoo on my right hand:

Finally, here is Maddie in her Howl-o-ween costume.  Her lasers are powered up and set to "wtf are you doing to me, woman?!?":

I have time to squeeze in one more mani before Halloween.  I'm going all out with a spooky stamping scene.  Hopefully it will turn out well.

xoxo, Natalie

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My First Halloween Nail Art!

Just a quick post to show you my first attempt at Halloween nail art.  Rins did a super-cute spider mani that I loved, but I just didn't think I could live with spiders on my nails - not even cute ones.  So I modified her idea using bats, which are one of my favorite creatures.

I think I may re-do them using some dark grey to define the wings a bit more.  They seem a little bit flat.  I do like the way the little fangs came out, though.

I used China Glaze Liquid Leather and White-on-White for the bats, and Cult Nails Quench for the bloody tips.

I can't decide whether to do Frankenstein or jack'o'lanterns next.  I'm leaning towards Frankie, and maybe his missus, too.  What do you think?

xoxo, Natalie

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Walk & Nails

I'm sure you all know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Yesterday the American Cancer Society had a BCA walk here in Memphis, and I participated with a bunch of other people from work.  One of the ladies I work with was just diagnosed with breast cancer last week.  She walked with us, so it was a very bittersweet time for all of us.  I kept thinking of Emily, my next door neighbor for many years, who died of breast cancer almost a decade ago.  Even today her positive energy and warm spirit in the face of that terrible disease stays with me.

I wore a pink t-shirt with this on the front: of course I did matching nails:


I used Butter London Primrose Hill Picnic (the darker pink), OPI Heart Throb (the paler pink), and Cult Nails Crusin' Nude for the base colors.  On the Crusin' Nude nails, I did dots of Primrose Hill Picnic, and then on top of those I did dots of OPI Princesses Rule.  On the Primrose Hill Picnic nails, I put two coats of OPI I Lily Love You.  And on the Heart Throb nails I did a ribbon and a heart in Primrose Hill Picnic and then accented them with Princesses Rule.

It was a great day and we had a wonderful time.  The day was sunny, cool but not cold; it was perfect walking weather.  We walked through one of the older, wealthier Memphis suburbs, so there were tons of gorgeous houses with fantastic landscaping.  I was really impressed with the number of men who walked to support the ladies in their lives, or just the ladies in general.  Men can get breast cancer, too, so I'm sure many of them were there to raise awareness of that.  I'm really glad I participated, and I will definitely do so again!

In closing, please remember to examine yourself every month, get yearly mammograms, and don't think that just because there's no history of breast cancer in your family, or just because you're a guy, you don't have to be concerned with getting breast cancer.  And also remember that any little bit you can give or support you can show could help save a life!

And seriously, f*ck cancer.  A lot.

xoxo, Natalie

Monday, October 10, 2011

Victoriana vs. Let Me Fly

Just a quick post to show you Butter London's Victoriana vs. Cult Nails' Let Me Fly.

Let Me Fly; Victoriana
 Let Me Fly; Victoriana
Let Me Fly; Victoriana

They both have nearly identical base colors, but the sparkle in each keeps them from being dupes.  Victoriana has tons of silver glitter, which gives it an overall lighter appearance.  Let Me Fly has sparser, finer glitter, in blue, pink and green.  If you're a fan of teals, I would recommend both.

xoxo, Natalie

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hello Again! Time for a nail growth experiment update!

It's been a little over a month now, and so far the experiment is going well.  First off, this is how my nails were before I began:

My camera doesn't take close-up pictures very well, but I think you can still tell how thin and weak they were.

For the first couple of weeks I used Nail Tek Xtra: For Difficult, Resistant Nails.  It has both formaldehyde for strengthening and ingredients to keep the nail moisturized (to help stop peeling).  It worked well on the strengthening front, however, possibly because of the moisturizing ingredients, it peeled off like crazy and took my nail polish with it.  Seriously, after a day or less of wear my entire mani would peel off in one piece, like it was just a nail sticker or something.  Sometimes it took a layer of my nail off, too, which went completely against the reason for the moisturizers (to STOP peeling), and defeated the entire purpose of using the Nail Tek in the first place.

So I switched to Nail Life Nail Revitalizer in Original, which has formaldehyde in it but no moisturizers.  It adheres to my nails much better (not to mention, it costs half as much and the bottle contains twice as much product as Nail Tek) and I am much more happy with it.  Here is what my nails look like now:

OMG they actually have a little bit of length!  I don't know if you can tell from the second picture because it is so blurry, but they are noticeably thicker.  They have almost doubled in thickness.  When I clip them, they actually make a little "snick" noise!  And I can tell when I am filing them that they are thicker.  They are about halfway grown-out from when I started (like I said before, they grow FAST) and I can see a little hump that goes horizontally across my nail, where the new nail growing in is thicker than the old nail.

I will be continuing the experiment, but I will try to post more often in between.  For now, here are some nail looks that I have sported since the last time I posted:

Cult Nails Iconic with OPI Sparke de Triomphe accent nail:

OPI Glacier Bay Blues, Konad Silver Stamping Polish, Bundle Monster and Konad images:

Half-moon Mani with Cult Nails Hypnotize Me over Awakening:
(this is one of my favorite manis ever!):

"Ruffian" mani with China Glaze Trendsetter and Midtown Magic:

A failed attempt at a sponged gradient using Julep Emilie and Sienna:
(If you are a cool-to-neutral skin-toned girl looking for a flattering gold, 
Sienna is awesome!  It has just enough silver to make it work on us,
but it is still obviously gold.)

Saint's Nails!  Or, a much better sponging gradient 
using China Glaze Liquid Leather and Julep Sienna
(also, I got an Ott Lite.  Much better, no?):

Lastly, I hit Ulta for the Butter: London BOGO, and the first one I had to 
try was No More Waity, Katie!  I did a Princess Di/Duchess Kate ring accent nail with 
Ulta Moody Blue and rhinestones from Born Pretty Store:

Here are all the lovelies I got at the sale:
Big Smoke; Blagger; Victoriana; No More Waity, Katie; Queen Vic; Primrose Hill Picnic.

I almost didn't get Victoriana, as in the store it looked like a dupe for Cult Nail's Let Me Fly, but upon getting it home and comparing the two I think they are different enough to warrant owning both, especially since blue is my favorite color!  Maybe now that I have a good light that shows colors more accurately, I will post a comparison picture of the two.

Whew, that about does it for me!  You are now up to date on what I've been doing, nail-wise.  In non-nail-related news, I am thinking of selling my house (it is just too much of a PITA to keep up all by myself) and moving into an apartment.  Moving is such an ordeal, though.  Sigh.  What to do?  Oh, well, til next time...

xoxo, Natalie