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Work nails and life update part 2

Hey guys! I’m so sorry again that I haven’t been around, but I’ve just finally started to feel like I’ve gotten settled in to my new place. Half of my stuff still isn’t unpacked, and I still have barely any furniture, but I’ve at least more or less gotten a routine down with my new job. At times I feel like I’ve finally got my life under control, but the other half of the time I realize I’m completely clueless about how to be a real adult. Transferring car registrations? Setting up a 401k? What?

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With all the changes, I’ve only managed to find time to do my nails once in the past few weeks, and even then it was a bit of a struggle. As I’m sure a lot of you already deal with, the nail art I do now has to also be work appropriate if I’m going to wear it for longer than the night or weekend, which puts a bit of a damper on creativity sometimes. If any of you have any suggestions for work appropriate themes, I’d love to get some more ideas! The mani I did is nothing special, and I just snapped these photos quickly with my phone since I have yet to set up my lightbox and camera, but I thought I may as well share it with you anyway.

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Anyway, now that I’ve gotten a bit of a routine going with the rest of my life, I’m going to aim to do my nails regularly once a week so I can be back in the community for good again! Thanks for sticking around and hope to talk to you all again soon! 🙂

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Dress Inspired Nail Art

Hey guys! I said in my last post a couple of days ago that I was waiting for the dust to settle a bit before getting back into blogging regularly, but when ModCloth contacted me and asked if I was interested entering their Nail Klub challenge (be sure to check it out for more dress inspired nail art!) by doing nail art inspired by one of their dresses, I couldn’t say no!

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I thought the rows of different sized dots on the Promoting Elegance Dress in Bubbles were just so cute and unique, so that’s what I set out to create on my nails.

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I first painted all of my nails a cream colored base. Then I used different sized dotting tools to create the dotted stripe patterns. Toothpicks or bobby pins would work just as well if you don’t have dotting tools though! The best part is that the dots don’t have to be perfect because the charm of the pattern is the different sizes among the dots in the stripes.

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Thanks so much to ModCloth for inviting me to join in with this challenge! And I’m so sorry about the quality of the photos– I’m still in between moving and haven’t gotten a photographing setup at the moment, but I had so much fun recreating the look on my nails and I hope you enjoy it too!

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Life Update!

Hey guys! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Almost two months since I was last on here– I’m sorry! If you remember, last I posted I was in my senior year of college, and extremely busy with my senior design project. I thought everything would calm down soon, but the exact opposite happened. I definitely do plan on getting back into blogging once my life has settled down a bit. I miss the community and seeing everyone else’s gorgeous nails! But until then, I figured I’d just give you all an update on everything that’s been going on in my life.

At the end of May I had my senior show, which (finally!) marked the end of working on my senior project. If any of you have an iPad air and are into maritime history, we made a free iPad app that can be downloaded here!

In June I graduated with a BS in digital media. It felt so good to finally walk across that stage and watch all the people that I’ve been working with for the past 4 years do the same!

Around the same time though, my nails started breaking. For the past few months beforehand, I’d really been neglecting nail care because of how busy I was. I’m sure all that soaking in acetone over months without any strengtheners or moisturizers really took its toll on my nails. I tried applying acrylics as a makeshift fix, but that ended up weakening my nails even more. So as of now, I have my nails trimmed down all the way with no polish so that they can recuperate.

I debated writing about this at all, but I figured most of you knew about him from some of my previous posts anyway. In June was also the end of an almost four year relationship. I’m not going to go into details, but suffice to say, it was a difficult time. We were living together, so I moved back in with my parents after that and started working in earnest on the job hunt.

And that brings us to today. After about a month of applying and interviewing, I finally accepted a job offer. Within the next few weeks I’m going to be buying a car and moving two states over to work there.

Over the course of two months my life has completely changed, and I’m sure there will be more changes to come with the moving as well. If you’ve made it this far in the post, thank you so much for sticking with me and reading! I promise that once I get unpacked and set up a lightbox in my new apartment, there WILL be more nail art!

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Blind Mani – Mermaid Vines

Hey guys! I was so excited to do this mani because after my first Deborah Lippmann polish, I’ve been wanting so much to get another one!

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I got a mini of Mermaid’s Dream from (surprise) another one of Sephora’s Favorites collections. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I am so addicted to those things because anything mini is instantly cuter.

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Mermaid’s Dream has a pearly light blue base that’s loaded with green microglitter and small blue hex glitters. The glitters in it make this polish a teeny bit textured, but not enough that I would consider this to be a true textured polish.

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This is two coats on my nails. It’s a little bit sheer still, so it may have benefited from an undercoat for full opacity, but I kind of like how the slight sheerness adds to the watery feel of it. And this polish did not disappoint– it dried reasonably quickly, and lasted a full week with just minor tip wear. Yay Deborah Lippmann!

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And since this polish is so complex on its own, I just added a bit of green stamping to the tips with Sinful Shine’s My Kryptonite. What do you think of the polish? It’s definitely one that I can see myself wearing to the beach a lot this summer!

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Essie Lots of Lux

 

 

Hey guys! It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve been on WordPress. For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, you know that I’m a senior in college at the moment, and I’ve been crazy busy working on my senior design project, as well as now looking for a job for after graduation. Eep. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry I haven’t been around that much lately, but hopefully that will change in a couple of months once I’ve gotten settled into a less chaotic life schedule, and thanks to all of you for sticking around with me through this!

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Anyway, onto what you’re really here for– the nail polish! I don’t usually look at Essie polishes at the drugstore, but this one really caught my eye as I was walking past. In the bottle it’s a gorgeous glittery blue that’s kind of reminiscent of a starry night.

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This polish was an impulse buy, so I had no idea that it was from the 2013 holiday collection…or that it was a textured polish. I’m not particularly upset that it turned out to be textured, but it would have been nice if there was some indicator on the bottle. I had planned on doing a blind mani with this as a base color and some silvery stamping on top of it, but the surprise texture kind of ruined the stamping plan. Oh well. The color turned out to be just as gorgeous on the nails as it was in the bottle, so no biggie there!

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And would you believe that this is just one coat? Seriously! Now that I look at the photos, I probably would have gotten a more even texture distribution with a second coat, but since I was in a bit of a hurry when I was doing my nails, I kept it at just one. And of course, as with most textured polishes, this was relatively fast drying. However, this polish’s one downfall is how easily it chips. I did my nails around noon, and I noticed the first chip at 6pm that day in class. By day two I had chunks coming off my nails, and by day 3 it was so chipped up that I had to remove the polish. I’m not sure if it wore so badly due to some mistake on my part, but for reference I don’t do a ton of things that are hard on my nails, so I can usually get at least 4 days out of a polish before it starts chipping on me. Have any of you gotten that fast chipping with this polish, or is it just me?

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Blind Mani – Chocolate Waterfall

Hey guys! I recently found out that I won a giveaway that Dove was having for two chocolate-themed Nicole by OPI polishes….AND I took the plunge and bought a set of nail art brushes, so I thought I’d attempt a waterfall mani.

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The two polishes I received are Better After Dark and Promises In The Dark. Both are basic brown creme polishes. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I love getting neutral colored polishes in sets and giveaways. Nudes and browns usually get passed over when I’m shopping for polishes because they’re not as bright and exciting, but yet they are a staple in any girl’s collection.

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My base color is the lighter polish from the Revlon Silhouette duo, and the waterfall stripes are Better After Dark and Promises In The Dark, as well the other end of Revlon Silhouette and ORLY Rage. Both of the Dove polishes applied nicely. I have several Nicole by OPI polishes, and the quality is consistent with those.

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My camera always makes light nude polishes look kind of….baby diarrhea? I’m not sure what’s up with that, but the colors of these polishes do look much prettier in real life. Does anyone else have that problem? And also, anyone have any tips on cleaning brushes? I dipped mine in acetone a few times and wiped them dry, but they still got a bit stained from the dark brown. No big deal, but I do like to have clean looking brushes!

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And on a slightly related note, I fully intended for this to just be a waterfall mani with a neutral palette, but once I showed this to my boyfriend, he immediately said it looked like one of our cat’s fur and dubbed it the “Leelu mani” named after her. Here’s a photo for reference…what do you think? XD

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Blind Mani – Spring Color Block

Hey guys! So now that spring has finally arrived for real, I thought I’d do a bright color blocked mani to celebrate.

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Of course, I also had some new mini polishes that I got from a Sephora set too, so I thought this would be the perfect mani to try them out on.

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The first is Deborah Lippmann Girls Just Want To Have Fun. Aside from this being a super springy bright coral, this is also my first ever Deborah Lippmann polish!  This was easy to work with– I used one coat over the yellow areas and two coats over the purple.

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Next up is Nails Inc. Devonshire Row. This one was also easy to work with, and what you see is one coat.

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I wish my lines had turned out a bit cleaner in areas. I made the mistake of painting all of my nails yellow first (Sinful Shine Bananappeal) and then taping off the color blocked areas instead of starting at the cuticle and working my way out. But nevertheless, I’m happy with how bright and cheery this turned out.

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Blind Mani – Yacht Trip

Hey guys! A few days ago there was a university-wide research day event where my senior project team and I showed off the iPad app we’ve been making of a digital re-creation of a historical ship. Think glorified science fair with more technology and business wear. I wanted to keep my nails professional looking, but at the same time still add in a bit of a nautical element because the ship theme. And since I just got a couple new polishes from a Sephora kit, I thought I’d give this nude polish a try.

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The Formula X polishes have been out at Sephora for a few months already, but this was the first time that I got to give one a try.

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And the verdict? Invincible was not fun to work with. I’m not sure if it was just an issue with this particular color, or even just with my bottle, but I found the formula to be very thick and difficult to use. At the same time, the coverage wasn’t great either. What you see below is two coats of Invincible. Note the bubble on my index finger and the overall streakiness. To get even coverage on this, it took 4 coats on most of my nails, plus a coat of Seche over top. I will say that it dried pretty quickly, especially for how thick it was, but still– four coats!

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Have any of you had a similar experience with these Formula X polishes, or is this one just an anomaly?

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Blind Mani – Candy Factory Explosion

Hey guys! If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a nail polish buying spree lately. And after seeing Sabrina from Polish Alcoholic‘s gorgeous gradient mani with the Rimmel London Sweetie Crush collection, I had to have them for myself!

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And the best part is that these were only $2.25 each, so I had to have them all! From left to right: Sherbert Sweetheart, Fizzy Applelicious, Blueberry Whizz, Candyfloss Cutie, Violet Swizzle. These are all iridescent textured pastel polishes that are just perfect for the spring and summer.

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Have you ever noticed that a lot of textured polishes have candy-themed names? Sally Hansen has Sugar Coat, Julie G and Nicole by OPI both have Gumdrops, Zoya has Pixie Dust, and now these Rimmel ones are Sweetie Crush. With the candy theme in mind, I wanted to do a spun sugar mani with with these polishes, but it turns out textured polishes (at least these ones) don’t really get to that sticky, goopy consistency that you need to get the spun sugar effect. I ended up having to just blob and splatter the polishes on.

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All of these have good pigmentation in the thicker blobs, but it seems like Sherbert Sweetheart and Fizzy Applelicious are a bit sheerer than the rest. I can’t wait to wear Candyfloss Cutie and Violet Swizzle on their own though, and I love how these are a smoother, more iridescent textured polish than the more gritty and glittery ones that are so common. Are you going to be getting this collection? What’s your favorite out of all of these?

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Blind Mani – Marbled Holo

 Hey guys! If you follow Jacqui from Craftynail (and if you don’t, you’re missing out!), you will have inevitably seen the LA Girl 3D polishes on her blog. She just recently completed her collection of the polishes, and once I saw that purple, I knew that I had to do the same! And of course, once my package of nail mail arrived, I couldn’t decide on just one of these gorgeous scatter holos to wear– I just had to use ALL the colors! (heh, see what I did there?)

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I admit, I squealed a bit once I put all the colors in my completed collection together. From left to right: Dazzling Pink, Brilliant Blue, Sparkle Ruby, Purple Effect, Black Illusion, 3D Silver, Electric Coral, Teal Dimension.

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Ready to see some them on my nails? How pretty are these polishes? I used two coats of each for opacity.

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And despite how much I love these on their own, it wouldn’t be a blind mani without some nail art. I tried water marbling a few months ago, and I’m pretty sure my tap water was too hard because the polishes refused to spread. Luckily though, I didn’t have that problem this time. I wanted to do a black and transparent glittery water marble with Black Illusion and 3D Silver, but it turns out that glitter polishes don’t really marble well, so I just went with a plain black and clear marble.

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And holy cow, when people warn that water marbling is messy, it is messy. I thought it would be about as hard to clean up as a spun sugar mani, but this took me 3 hours of scrubbing with acetone-dipped cotton swabs just to get to the moderately cleaned up state that you see in the other photos. Next time I try a water marble, you can be sure that I’ll be taping off my fingers.

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   And also, does anyone know if bubbling is normal with water marbles? Or how to prevent it? 

But anyway, I am super happy with all my new lovelies, and I’m pretty pleased with how my first ever water marble turned out. I thought that Purple Effect would be my favorite, just because I love all things purple, but Sparkle Ruby is definitely a contender as well. I just can’t pick! Which one of these is your favorite?