Category: Nail Art

Inspired By: Daisy Print

Inspired By: Daisy Print

Today Amy and I have something fun for you: we are doing twin manis inspired by an image and we used the Sea Glass Holo Trio from Seventy Seven Nail Lacquer. We both purchased this trio over the 4th of July weekend, and I’m glad to report that I enabled her to get it. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, and to be honest I don’t know if that is good or bad. Regardless, we are taking this opportunity to do something fun on our blogs. Let me show you the image that we used as our starting point:

2457e1c6153e46f2413e9335abe2e675Cute, huh? I could not believe how well this image paired with the three polishes that we are working with. I’ll have swatches of the individual polishes for you tomorrow, so for now this is what I came up with:

1 2 3 This ended up being more time consuming than I had anticipated because I made decals for the leaf design. Normally I hate working with decals, but I think it actually worked out well here even if they took forever and a half to make and apply. You know what sucks about doing complicated manis where you’re a blogger? You don’t get to wear anything for long. I literally did this mani and took it off after taking the pictures so I could get back to swatching. Womp womp. This seems a little too girly for my taste, but I do like the end result.

So what do you think? Do you like this mani? Don’t forget to check in tomorrow for a full review of the three polishes that I used today. Do you want to know how Amy interpreted this design? Head on over to The Fancy Side to see her mani. Thanks for stopping by today, and I will talk to you soon!

Watermarble Tips

Watermarble Tips

I will be the first one to admit that I have a really hard time with different nail art techniques. I really started out as a swatcher, so that is what I am most comfortable with. However, I don’t want my blog and passion for nails to stagnate so I do try to do things that are outside of my comfort zone. Stamping was one of the first things that I tried so it became something that I have continued to enjoy because I find it easy and fun. Enter watermarble. I have been dealing with trying to watermarble for probably a year if not longer. I went through phases where I tried, gave up for a while, tried again and gave up again. It was just so frustrating because it seemed that no matter what I did, nothing worked. Finally, I am here to tell you that you can master this technique because if I can, anyone can! While there is no one technique that will guarantee success, I will be sharing with you what worked for me.

Water

You would never think that choosing the right water would make such a huge difference. There are people who will say that tap water works just fine or that you have to use distilled water. I’ve tried both and tap water never worked for me. I guess it could be that tap water differs from region to region, but distilled water is the only thing that has worked for me. The temperature of the water was also important because only room temperature water seemed to work well.

Polishes

Once you have the water issue figured out, you have to figure out what polishes work well for marbling. This is all about trial and error because not all polishes work well and some don’t work well together. Personally, the best polishes for marbling that I have used are OPI cremes. They spread well, are very pigmented and don’t dry too quickly. I’ve tried some cheaper polishes and they seem to dry out quickly. Certain holos and shimmers work very nicely as well, but to be honest, you just have to play around with polishes to see which ones will work best.

Creating your design

So you got the water right and your polishes spread nicely into rings. YAY! This is where my next womp womp moment occurred. I could not, for the life of me, get a nice even design. The easiest and most common design is the flower design where you drag your needle from the outside in and join the petals at the center. Well, I could not get this right. I figured out that my issue was that I was trying to drag from the outermost ring which was already beginning to set so I was breaking up the rings and just ruining everything. This might seem like common sense, but I was constantly messing up on this. I also wasn’t cleaning my needle/toothpick in between each drag so the excess polish on the tool wasn’t letting me create clean lines. Why must this be so hard???

The Big Dipper

You’re almost there, right? WRONG. Now you have to figure out how to dip your fingers into the design and not mess it up. I also managed to mess this up time and again. It’s easy enough to line up the design, but if you dip your fingers like a dumbass, you can get a big old mess. I also always got a billion air bubbles on my design which would then pop and ruin the design. The only solution for this, in my experience, is to dip your fingers at an angle and pull out your fingers very slowly.

After all this, why would anyone want to even bother with watermarbling? Well because when you get it right, it looks awesome. Let me show you what I did for my last watermarble.

1First you will want to paint your nails a solid color. White works well most of the time so I’ve used one of my favorite whites: Sation Strumming My Nails (press sample) which is a dupe for OPI MBSW. I think the formula on this one is slightly better than the OPI.

2Then you are going to want to tape up your finger to protect your skin from all the mess. I also applied a little glue around my cuticle area that would still be exposed to make clean up easier–especially because the polishes I chose have a lot of shimmery particles.

4For this watermarble I used the three shimmers from the Zoya Delight Collection (press sample): Daisy, Leslie and Rayne which work beautifully. In fact, the cremes from this collection also work perfectly.

5Imagine if you didn’t tape up your finger…you would have all this polish on your skin.

6With the glue and tape, this is what my clean up job ended up being. Not bad, right?

78And this is the finished mani after all the clean up was done. This looks like Easter exploded on my nails, but I think it looks pretty.

So do you think this technique is worth all the fuss? Do you have any other tips that might help others who are watermarble challenged? Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I will talk to you soon!

 

Have you entered my giveaway? Click the image below to enter!

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Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

I’m going to tell you a story today. When I was in my late teens, I met one of my best friends in the whole world. We met the first day of college in 1997 (fuck we’re old) in French class. He walked in and I was reading a book. He asked me if this was French 200 and I looked up and said yes and went back to reading my book. Later on he told me he thought I was a total bitch. Hey, maybe I was but whatever–we became friends. In our early 20’s I got the idea what we absolutely had to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and it seemed like a feasible idea since we were both working for Air France at that time. We made plans to go before our 30th birthdays, but then life happened and we never made it. We’re in our mid-30’s now and still talk about going, but I don’t see how that’s going to happen. Daniel hikes and does a lot of physical stuff while I’m terribly out of shape and can’t climb a few flight of stairs without getting tired. So what did I do when I couldn’t get to Kilimanjaro? I reached for Everest…yes, my Everest of nail techniques: watermarbling. I’m a swatcher at my core so “nail art” has never been my forte, but I try to do some creative things which is why I am so into the Stamping Saturday series. I’ve been trying to figure out watermarbling for the last year–no joke. Every time I have tried it, it has been such a hot mess that I get frustrated and forget about it for a couple of weeks until I get the idea to give it one more shot and end up with the same horrible results. This has been my routine for the last year–isn’t the definition of insanity  doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? SHUT IT!! Anyway, something clicked last week. I did my first successful watermarble and documented it on Instagram:

I'm not saying it was Ancient Aliens that did this watermarble…but it was Ancient Aliens.

A post shared by Cynthia (@oflifeandlacquer) on

After that experience I got a little cocky. I thought I was a watermarble queen and decided that I would now try to do the decal method since I hate the clean up that is involved in the traditional method even when using tape, glue, latex, etc… If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this is a video from Yagala on IG that shows the method in action:

 

Pretty amazing, right? Well, it started it out well enough for me anyway. I used three OPI polishes for my watermarble because I have found that they work really well for me. In fact, I haven’t found a single OPI creme that doesn’t watermarble beautifully. This was my decal after I pulled it out of the water and let it dry: DSCN3212Pretty, right? Once I had my decal done, I basically cut it up into 4 pieces, painted my nails white, and lined up each piece on my nails while the polish was still tacky and kind of cut off the excess. After all that, I still had to do some minor clean up and then top coated everything with Seche Vite.

DSCN3222DSCN3223It’s not too bad, but I also don’t think it is that pretty or neat. I kind of smeared the design in certain areas while I was pressing the decal on my nails and that really annoyed me. I really wanted it to be perfect before I posted it on my blog, but I guess it just isn’t meant to be. I think that it looks nice from far away, but you can see all the fails up close. In the immortal words of Cher:

monet

For me, this is the equivalent of getting altitude sickness at Everest Base Camp. Womp womp. Watermarble, I don’t know why you hate me so.

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I don’t know if I’m done with you yet, but I think I am ready to move on for a bit. I can’t take the disappointment anymore. What are some of the techniques that you just can’t master? Do you have any tips for me? Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I will talk to you soon.

Inspired By: Rainbow Doodles

Inspired By: Rainbow Doodles

I’m currently enjoying the last day of my 4 day weekend so I hear the impending womp womp music in my head for tomorrow morning. I’m really enjoying the idea of keeping up these “Inspired By” posts because I hope it will push me to do more creative things. Last time I did the rose and chevrons mani that I really liked, so I hope that you like what I have for you today. For today’s post, I picked this fun rainbow doodle from Amy’s pinterest post and we set out to create our own interpretation of it.

rainbowdoodlesDoes this look like snakes to you? Like rainbow snakes….or maybe rainbow spaghetti?

12To start with, I used this arch design from MoYou London Pro Collection – 02 (press sample) and stamped with Mentality Opaque Black stamping polish. I think that this has replaced my love for my Konad Black stamping polish for a few reasons: 1) It’s cheap 2) It stamps very well and very opaque 3) It does not stain like the Konad!!!!! For my white base, I used my favorite white polish in the whole wide world: Jessica Sharktooth (press sample).

34Ok, so I’m super irritated with all the bubbling going on in this mani. I used all 4 OPI Sheer Tints (press sample) to fill in the design, but because they are so thick and gummy, it’s really hard to manipulate them. Since I applied them a little thick, bubbling was inevitable. Despite the bubbling, I still find the overall effect really fun.

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Lastly, I mattified the whole thing with my favorite Matte Top Coat from OPI (press sample). I think that the matte top coat hides the bubbles a bit so I’m all for that. I’ve had this matte top coat for a while, and it has not gotten gunky or weird at all.

So what do you think about this mani? Minus the bubbles, I really like how this turned out. Make sure that you check out the other manis below to see how the other ladies interpreted the design inspiration. Thank you for stopping by today, and I will talk to you soon!

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Chevrons and Flowers

Chevrons and Flowers

Happy Monday, ladies! Ghhhaaaaa! It’s the last week of the year, and I decided that I wanted to try something a little different today. While I admire all of the amazing ladies who do tons of freehand nail art, I am usually a big fat failure when it comes to anything more complicated than stamping. I got together with Amy and Siobhan to do a mani based off an image or pattern just to mix things up a little. Amy found an awesome pattern, and we decided to use it for today’s mani.

6Am I the only one who wants that shower curtain like immediately?

12I started off with OPI Angel With A Leadfoot (press sample) as my base. I’ve been using this white a lot lately for my manicures. Can you blame me? It’s so crisp and creamy.

345Since I always end up messing up something simple such as chevrons even with vinyls, I decided to use a stamp for this kind offset chevron design. This image is from plate MoYou London Pro Collection 18 (press sample) and I used my Konad special polish in black. For the flower design, I used a water decal that was sent to me by the lovely Jacqui last year after I mentioned that I had never used them before. She has a great post explaining how to use water decals which I referred to today before I used them. Check out her post here. It was super easy to use the water decal, but I did have to do some trial an error. It’s really important to trim them down do that you don’t have any overhang. Because my nails are naturally very curved, the decal did not lay all the way flat at first so I had to fiddle with it to make sure it was as flat as possible before top coating the entire thing. I really loved this design! Even better, I loved doing this with my girls because sometimes I feel like all I do is swatch. While I love swatching, it can sometimes get tedious so doing something like this can get my creative juices flowing.

Make sure that you check out Amy’s and Siobhan’s designs by clicking their links below. What do you think of this design? It was rather easy to create, and it turned out really cute if I do say so myself. I hope you’re having a great beginning to your week. Thank you for stopping by today, and I will talk to you soon.

Geometric Gumdrops

Geometric Gumdrops

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Does calling Wednesday “Hump Day” annoy you? It usually doesn’t annoy me but for some reason I cringed when I typed it out. Maybe it’s the fact that my pseudo-diet is putting me in a shitty mood cause I want to eat junk. So how is my diet going, you ask?

Yep, just like that. Now that I’m feeling a little better, I’m going to start incorporating going to the gym after work. I think that’s going to help me in a lot of different ways especially to relieve stress and just put me in a better frame of mind. Let’s hope that all happens and that I don’t end up sad and eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.

The other day I was talking with some friends about this bare nail design that Chalkboard Nails did with some Nicole by OPI Gumdrops so I totally wanted to do something in that same vein. This is what I came up with:

Geometric Gumdrops 1aGeometric Gumdrops 2aFor this design, I used Nicole by Opi My Cherry Amour and A-nice Treat and some stripping tape. All I did was to apply the tape in a criss-cross pattern and then carefully filled in the areas with the two polishes. Lastly I applied a silver stud in the middle because I felt that really finished off the look. I really like how this turned out! I’m getting more excited about doing more than just swatching so I hope that you guys like this.

So what are you up to today? I have work tomorrow so I’m getting ready for that…after being off/sick for the last 5 days, it’s going to be rough! My little nephew is coming over tonight so I’m excited to see him. On Monday he had his 2 month check up and he also got some vaccines. Here’s a recent picture of him:

1512341_10202356973818663_226788690_nHe’s being very scratchy lately so you can see the little nicks on his nose and cheek. Isn’t he freaking adorable?? Anyway, I hope you’re doing well today, and I’ll catch up with you later.

Born Pretty Store Review: Red Flocking Powder

I got past hump day! Woot! Tomorrow is Thursday which means that the weekend is upon us again. I’m probably going to have another swatch-a-thon and get my posts all lined up for the week. It’s just so much easier to do that than to try to do individual posts each night. I really admire all my fellow bloggers who work (or go to school–or both!!), have time to post almost every day and still follow up with other blogs. I am so bummed that I don’t have enough time sometimes to visit my favorite blogs daily to comment and support them. I am going to have a lot of catching up to do this weekend! One of the manis that I worked on over the weekend is this velvet man that I’m going to share with you today. I was super excited to get the opportunity to review the red flocking powder from the Born Pretty Store because I had been wanting to do a velvet mani for ages. Let me show you how it turned out.

Born Pretty Store Red Flocking Powder

This is the bottle of red flocking powder. It’s a very generous size!

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These are the three products I used to do my velvet mani.

Jessica Velvet Fantasy

As my base color, I decided to use my favorite bright red: Velvet Fantasy from the Jessica Glamarama Holiday Collection. This red is perfection in a bottle. It’s the absolute most perfect one-coater!

Velvet Mani Red Flocking Powder Born Pretty Store

 

Now, this is what my mani looked like after I applied the red flocking powder. Let me tell you that it was definitely messier than I anticipated because the red flocking powder will get EVERYWHERE if you are not careful.  I think that the most important step of applying the flocking powder is that you make sure that the top coat is still  fairly wet or else the powder won’t stick. Because of that, you have to do one nail at a time.  To tell you the truth, I love how this looks way more than I thought I would, but it’s not a manicure that you can wear for long. I wore it for a few hours and then I had to do dishes and stuff so that didn’t work out so well. It’s a “going out” mani that you can wear for the night if you’re not going to be doing anything crazy with your hands.

Velvet manis may be old news to you, but this look is 100% new to my nails and I’m super happy that I finally got to try it out. If you’re interested in getting some flocking powder from the Born Pretty Store, you can click here and see all the different colors that they offer. Don’t forget that if you use my discount code, JGL91,  you will get a 10% discount off your purchase. If you head over to the Born Pretty Store, make sure to look around because it is a nail art heaven.

Let me know what you think about velvet manis. Would you wear it? Have you tried it out before? Thanks for stopping by today, and I will talk to you soon.

 

 

Disclosure: The products featured in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR firm (except for the NYC Top Coat). For more information, please see my disclosure policy tab here.

On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur…

The very first book in French that I ever read is Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince. I was 14 years old and my French teacher was trying to slowly introduce us into reading something a little more complicated than our grammar books.  If you’ve never read this deceptively simple little book, I strongly recommend that you go out and get yourself a copy. Although it is a “children’s book,” it speaks to us adults on a different level. Even the most jaded and hardened amongst us will see that the story and ideas behind The Little Prince will remind us that too often we let ourselves get wrapped up in things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes the most simple of things are truly the most important. Before I show you my mani, here are the polishes and items I used to create my manicure:

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The polishes I used are all from Sation: Dance With The Drummer, Down and Dirty Flirty, Strumming My Nails and Lemon Pearl.  I am going to have to do a review of all of these polishes individually because they are gorgeous. I think I have found my new favorite white…it was seriously perfection.

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I also used three stamping plates and Konad stamping polishes in yellow, red and green. I used the black stripping polish for the details in drawing The Little Prince as well as the Winstonia nail art brush. The plates I used are: Konad M84 for the stars, Mash 36 for the rose and Mash 33 for the shooting stars.

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I started out by painting my nails with the base colors. As I said before, these colors are amazing–super buttery and smooth. Second, I stamped my three nails with the star designs and the rose before I moved on to my middle finger. I seriously redid that nail about 4 times–I just could not get The Little Prince to look right which kind of shocked me considering how simple the drawing is.

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I took these pictures out in direct sunlight so the colors warmed up a bit, but I liked how they turned out nonetheless.  I think that out of all the manicures I have done over the past year, this is the one I am most proud of not only because of the cuteness factor but because I adore The Little Prince.

Let me know what you think about this mani…and it better be positive or else we’re going to have some problems. 😛 Just kidding…sort of. I’ve been in a very bad mood lately, and I think I just realized that it’s due to all the bottled up anger coming from the situation with the mooch. Have you read The Little Prince? Anyway…thanks for checking in with me today, and I will talk to you soon!

P.S. In case anyone was wondering, the title of this post comes from one of my favorite lines in this book: “Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”

“Here is my secret. It is very simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

 

Disclosure: All Sation polishes and the Winstonia Store brush were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR. All other products featured in this post were purchased by me.  For more information, please refer to my disclosure policy tab.

 

Happy 4th Of July!

I was not feeling any kind of inspiration for a 4th of July nail look. None at all. I’ve been posting like a machine lately, and I’m trying to slow down. The thing is that I am working really hard to keep myself occupied. I have not been feeling very motivated lately, and I’m afraid of my anxiety getting worse. I thought Prozac was supposed to help with anxiety as well, but it’s not working very well lately. I’m having problems sleeping regularly and have started the stupid cycle of nightmares. It seems that my nightmares always center around my worst insecurities so they seem even more intense and leave me completely emotionally overwhelmed when I do wake up. I hate feeling like this but there isn’t that much to do about it right now except to keep my head above water and not let it get the best of me again.

As far as being patriotic, I don’t think I’ve ever been crazy patriotic. I am grateful for living in a country where I can say and write whatever I want without fearing persecution. We enjoy many freedoms that we take for granted so it’s worth taking a moment to be thankful for all that we do have. I always try to put things into perspective because in the grand scheme of things, we are almost living in paradise compared to other places in the world where war, extreme poverty and hunger are just something that is in their every day reality. I’m not trying to be preachy or anything; I just think it’s nice to have a day to spend with your friends and family even if you’re not all hyped up on Independence Day.

So back to nail stuff…

I used Adventure Red-y which is an amazing one coat red from the China Glaze On Safari collection as my base color and then used Man Hunt, also from the same collection, for the chevron tips. Using Konad plate M84 and their white special polish, I stamped the stars over both colors. Simple, right? This was actually the second look I tried today. The first one was a complete disaster–better as an abstract idea because it was horrid once I tried to execute it. Oh well…you live, you learn.

If you’re in the States, do you have anything fun planned for today? Stay safe whatever you end up doing!

Nails Inc. Tate

Tate is the color that I imagine Roxanne wearing: a beautiful, glossy harlot red that she would wear before going back to her “home on whore island.” Sorry ladies, I just couldn’t help myself. I am a creme finish lover (wow, that sounds inappropriate), so of course I adore Tate. It’s bold, glossy, creamy and absolutely gorgeous. I love to wear red nail polish because it’s so LOUD and immediately commands attention. I am very animated when I speak, moving my arms and hands all over the place, so I love to have strong colors on my nails for dramatic effect. Ready for some swatches after I have babbled on and on about prostitutes, whores, and creme finishes? Ok!

No, I wasn’t lying. This is gorgeous and it’s a one coater!!!! I used two coats because that’s what I’m used to, but you can definitely get away with one coat.

GASP! Glitter!!!! I know, I know. I keep saying that I hate glitter, but I’m starting to think that maybe I’m just lying to myself. I can almost guarantee that I will *never* pay over $5 for any glitter but I am open to anything under that price point. I just hate how hard glitter is to remove most of the time and the thing that bothers me most is that rough feeling that it usually leaves on my nails. I really do like sponging–even though I still can’t get the gradient sponging right–so I mixed two glitters to sponge on my tips: OPI Servin’ Up Sparkle and Wet N Wild Rockin’ Rubies.

How do you like Tate? Do you love wearing red on your nails or is it just too loud for your taste? How do you feel about the glitter mix on my tips? Let me know! I love to hear your opinions.