Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sparkles By Julie Bubble Gum

When I started getting into indie polishes, I was firmly stuck on clear based top coat glitter bombs to use for accent nails. Then my friend Sara at My Life in Polish ordered a few polishes from Sparkles by Julie (on Etsy) and I decided I had to have this. It was gifted to me by a lovely friend and I was so excited to wear it, even if removing it scared me a tad. What's a little time spent reading a book while your nails are wrapped in foil, anyway?

Here's 3 coats (you could probably do 2 but I wanted more glitter) of Sparkles by Julie Bubble Gum.

Here it is kind of shaded:

And a picture in full sun:
This does look chunky, but it does not feel as bad as it looks. :) I see a little VNL here but I think it's the extra lighting because I didn't notice it when I was wearing it. I love this polish and can't wait to wear it again!

This weekend coming up is the first of a few very busy ones. Hope everyone has a great one!



Monday, September 10, 2012

Jelly Sandwich - OPI Care to Danse, Pinata Yada Yada

Hi friends,
Sorry for the absence there. Between being busy and not feeling well, it's been hard to get to blogging. My nails were even naked for over a week once! So a quick post and run of one of my favorite techniques - the jelly sandwich. When I originally played around with these polishes, I swatched them over a medium pink cream. It was nice but, something about it just wasn't what I was looking for. Then I swatched without undies and I couldn't believe how much I loved it.

This is 2 coats Ulta Pinata Yada Yada (no undies, though I did do the Elmer glue peel-off trick, and this lovely mani peeled off within hours) with 3 thin coats of OPI Care to Danse and my trusty 0-60 top coat. I can't wait to wear this again. (I apologize that the focus fell on my index finger since I had very little lighting - to top off all my timing issues, we've had some very cloudy days here!)

Hope you have been well. See you again soon!



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Zoya Jolene with Sonoma Nail Art Sonoma Sunset

Pink and purple sunsets are my weakness - my husband proposed on the beach under a beautiful pink and purple sky at sunset in January forever ago. :) As soon as I saw this polish, I had to have it. I swatched it over Zoya Yummy, Zoya Malia, Zoya Caitlin, and Zoya Jolene - it looked amazing over all of them. But I really wanted to wear Jolene for this. Here's 3 coats of Zoya Jolene (why are newly produced Zoya creams so tricky?) with 2 coats of Sonoma Nail Art Sonoma Sunset on the tips and accent nail.
Hope you had great weekend everyone!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Stamping practice/comparisons - Konad Vs. Salon Express (and a Bundle Monster plate)

I have been trying to get into stamping. But it's hard to practice on a fresh mani and potentially mess it up. And I'm usually too excited to remove an old mani in anticipation for my next one to sit there and practice on something that's about to get removed. I have owned my Salon Express kit for a few months and I have tried a few times without much luck. I was ready to give up on stamping altogether but my lovely friend at My Life in Polish suggested I use her tried and true Konad stamper first. Which led to an idea about comparing the stampers and the plates.

I set out to practice - knowing full well I would have to repaint my nails several times. Luckily, this whole process only took about 11 painted/repainted nails. Not too shabby. These pictures show the brand of stamper used for each nail as written above the nail. The brand of the plate is written in the top corner of the photo.

First up we have Zoya Arizona stamped with Zoya Areej. I wanted to start with one of my oldest and thickest polishes and Areej has been worn a lot and never thinned. I practiced on about 4 nails and went for it. This is the Salon Express plate "SE22". While I need some practice with these full nail designs, and rocking the stamper to fit my curved nail, I really liked this design. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the Konad stamper gave a slightly darker result in real life. Since it's barely noticeable, and could be caused by the fact this was my first official set after little practice, I would probably call this one a draw.

Next is Zoya Caitlin stamped with Zoya Dove. Zoya Dove is not thick and has not been used much at all. Which was kind of the point in my test here. This is with the Konad plate m3. I randomly placed the stamper twice on each nail so the layout is not the same. But I did use the same 4 heart design each time. I probably had the hardest time with this plate. I'm not sure if it was the tiny designs or the Konad brand, but these hearts turned out terrible! And no matter how many times I tried, I could not get them to pick up any better. Could it have been the polish? Either way - the Konad stamper made more hearts that were actually filled in and shaped properly so I would call Konad the winner for this one.

The last comparison is Zoya Yasmeen stamped with Zoya Rory. Rory is a really great 2 coat polish that makes for a lightning fast manicure. I thought I had heard foils were good for stamping so I was excited to try it. This is the Bundle Monster plate 210. Now, I realize my pinky looks kind of terrible. This is the combination of a few factors. First, when I put the Konad design on it was so bad, I had to try and remove it quickly and salvage the paint underneath. In doing so, I think I compromised the final look. Second, placement was terrible and that is my fault. Of course this nail would look better if the design had been placed the way it was on my ring finger. But in the end - the clear winner is the Salon Express stamper. I actually really loved how my ring finger turned out and debated making an entire mani around it. But, I was kind of sick of painting my nails by the end of the process so I didn't follow through. Also - what the picture doesn't show is the eleventy zillion times I tried to load the Konad for this stamp and utterly failed. I have no idea why. I actually can't make sense of why the Konad would be fine for some of the other applications, then suddenly fail on this plate or polish?

  • My favorite plate is probably the Salon Express. I had the least amount of trouble with their designs.The Bundle Monster was pretty great with the Rory/Salon Express stamper. But since I had more trouble with the Konad stamper on that - I can't call it my favorite. The design I used from there though - love it!
The stampers are a draw for me.
  • What I like about the Salon Express is the big and small ends. However, the stamper ends seem to fall out kind of easily.
  • What I like about the Konad is the functional handle design. It's short but it seems easier to use with the contoured handle. 
The price point/kit angle:
  •  I like that I can get the Salon Express full kit and be on my way to stamping for $6-10 locally (Walmart, Big Lots, Ross, etc.). The selection of the kit plate designs is just kind of meh to me, but everyone has their different preferences. Being able to hold the kit in my hands to analyze it was a big selling point for me.
  • I like that I can buy a Konad kit on Amazon or eBay and have it all shipped to my door, and have the option to choose what plates I like. However, to a new stamper - all these choices can be a bit overwhelming. 
  • The scrapers were comparable with both kits, and I tried a credit card too. The biggest pointer I have here is to watch the angle of scraping so you don't scrape too much or too little. 
  • Seriously - you will need to file the stamper with a nail file to help it pick up the polish. It's scary, but I promise - just a little rough up, then practice, then rough up again if you still aren't having any luck. When it's working, you will just know. I can't describe what the polish does when it's working, but really - the clouds will part and a rainbow will shine when you have it figured out. :)
Overall, I am happy I started with the Salon Express kit. I remember being completely overwhelmed and unable to make a decision when I tried looking for a Konad kit that would work for me. Due to my difficulties with using it at first, I was worried it had turned me off of stamping. But it turns out I really just needed to file it with a nail file - and see how a "broken in" stamper should work to really wrap my head around the process.  Now that I know what I am doing a bit more, I feel more comfortable looking at the options online to choose more plates or experiment with different stampers for ease of use. I would suggest Salon Express to someone who likes to shop local, prefers to see before they buy, and wants an easy choice that is not too overwhelming. I suggest the Konad kits to those who prefer online shopping and want to be able to customize their choices.

Thanks for sticking it out and reading all of that. I hope you enjoyed my first small novel! :)


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

China Glaze Rare & Radiant - New Bohemian Luster Chrome collection

Good morning,

Today I have the other half of my two swatches from the latest China Glaze collection - New Bohemian Luster Chromes. This one is called Rare & Radiant. It's been on many blogs compared to Chanel Peridot and all the similar dupes. I mostly noticed gold and green, but had a hard time capturing the full green.

In the shade - a decent balance of gold and green.

A picture with not quite full sun.

Indoor with flash - just to show the metallic texture.
What's your favorite from their new collection?

Hope you are having a great week.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

China Glaze Swanky Silk - New Bohemian Luster Chrome collection

This week I have two colors for you that you normally will not see on me or my blog (you know how I love pink and purple by now, right? HAHAHA). My dear friend at My Life in Polish let me borrow two China Glaze colors from their latest collection - the New Bohemian Luster Chrome Collection. I am not a fan of duochrome, gold, or green - but I have been wondering what these polishes were all about. I also wanted to tackle the challenge of photographing them. For today I have my favorite of the two - Swanky Silk. I think the name is great. The color is mostly gold but it flashes a pretty warm pink that I really loved. I could almost swear there's a tiny flash of light green - but I can't tell if it's the polish or the lighting and I could not capture the full flash of pink or the suspected green on camera at all. I think this is a pretty gold and I love the glittery metallic of it in the brighter lighting. The formula was a little hard to use because I was desperately trying to avoid brush strokes - but for fans of metallics and duochromes, this seems like a great polish.

This is 3 coats of China Glaze Swanky Silk (but I think 2 would have been enough). This first picture is in the shade to try and get some of the pink flash.

Here it is in full sun:

Here's hoping you all have an awesome week ahead of you!


Friday, August 17, 2012

China Glaze Pink Plumeria, Julep Kate, F4 Polish Pink Cadillac

Hi all. I have a lovely polish today named after one of my favorite flowers. This is a beautiful shimmery almost coral kind of pink that is really beautiful. It changes depending on the light, but not in a duochrome type of way. The application was a bit tricky, but I find some polishes need a mani or two to thicken up to a better consistency. Also, it dries with the slightest matte finish so for me, top coat is a must. I also wanted to experiment with striping tape so I used that to create the design on my ring finger, then paint over it. I felt like I needed the glitter polish on top to kind of tie it all together. Maybe not my favorite combination ever - but it was fun. :)

Here's 3 coats China Glaze Pink Plumeria from the China Glaze Summer Neons 2012 collection, with an accent nail of Julep Kate and F4 Polish Pink Cadillac, with CC 0-60 Top Coat

Happy Friday!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Essie Carousel Coral and Candy Lacquer Surfer Girl

Here is my favorite coral cream - EVER, with a fun glitter indie top coat. This is 3 coats of Essie Carousel Coral (2 was decent, but I find brand new polishes are a little thin on the first mani). I used a few coats of the Candy Lacquer Surfer Girl to try and build up the glitter. I had some application issues with the thick base, but I'm going to contact the seller and see what she recommends. I have heard she is lovely to work with, and it could just be my climate that made the base thicken up so much.

It's been busy around the Heartfully household. New job, back to school, etc. So happy today has been a productive Saturday.

BTW, I have been meaning to ask - any tips on mastering the "glitter dabbing" application method? I'm not exactly sure what it is but I have heard it referenced for using with indies/glitters. Would love your feedback. :)


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Zoya Katy, Color Club Age of Aquarius, Dollish Polish California Gurl

I recently came across Dollish Polish California Gurl and HAD to have it. I missed out on two chances to get it because I sat and debated it while it slipped right out of my cart. Luckily, I had a great friend hook me up with it and I could not have been more excited to get it in my mail box this week. To be a total dork, I HAD to wear it over Zoya Katy, since I'm pretty sure it's a play on Katy Perry's California Gurls song. Also, just so you know - I googled Katy's birthday to see if I could be a total nail polish name nerd. She is NOT an Aquarius, but this went well with the aqua/teal glitters mixed into this beautiful magenta glitter bomb polish.

This is two coats Zoya Katy with an accent nail of 2 coats of Color Club Age of Aquarius (in full sun). My accent nail has a few coats of the Dollish Polish California Gurl, but the rest is just one generous coat.

Happy Wednesday friends!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Zoya Rekha, Zoya Raven, Sonnetarium Samurai Princess - ladybug party!

My daughter's 4th birthday was last week. Her theme was ladybugs. I wanted to coordinate, without trying to experiment with nail art whilst busy making centerpieces and wrapping presents. I have been wanting to use Samurai Princess for a while now but somehow, I wanted to wear it over so many things - that I never wore it at all. Please tell me this happens to you? LOL!

So here's my adult ladybug themed mani - 2 coats of Zoya Rekha and Zoya Raven with 1 coat of Sonnetarium's Samurai Princess. This polish is one of the easiest glitter topcoats I have ever used. The glitter is very dense and I did not have to fish for glitter or dab and smooth, etc. I added a little here and there where my brush strokes were not perfect and there was maybe a need for more white on the black nails, etc. - but I think that had more to do with the base color than the SP.

Also, if you can handle feet pics (sorry, I know some just can't) - I did manage to do a very simple ladybug on my big toes. Again, same colors - no SP, and China Glaze Ruby Pumps for some shimmer. I just painted a straight line using a skinny art brush, then dotting tools for dots. I also used a big dotting tool to dot the eyes and drag a smile on with the white (Zoya Snow White).

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. We had a blast at the party! I even rocked some red lipstick, and received a lot of compliments. Here's to a great week going forward, and more posts this week than the last few!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Giveaway! Julep Lip Gloss - ETA: Winner Announced!

This is because I have always wanted to know how Rafflecopter works. And because giveaways are fun!

The prize is a brand new in box Julep Lip Gloss in Zinnia. (Side note: I'm actually more of a lip balm/gloss person than I am a nail polish person, but much of the appeal gets lost in pictures of flavored lip balms.) This lip gloss is great because it's sheer enough to put on without a mirror, has a yummy light smell, and is not sticky. It also seems to last quite a while. I'm very impressed with it, and I would love to share with you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Zoya Mira, Zoya Malia, and Rainbow Honey The Element of Magic

I'm going shopping with the lovely Sara at My Life in Polish tomorrow and I am seriously excited. I'm on a quest for shimmer purples and I have these two specific creams I love the shades of, plus I have been dying to use my Rainbow Honey! Instead of hauling around bottles for color inspiration, I figured this mani would do the trick. I have been known to enter this particular store with 10 or more different colors on my fingers for a point of reference when I was trying to match something up. :)

This is two coats of Zoya Mira with an accent nail of Zoya Malia, and 2 coats of Rainbow Honey The Element of Magic on top of that.

Hmmm ... now I see how hard it is to photograph purples. It is less blue toned than this, and really deserves a better shot in the sun I imagine. Sadly, I went and played around with dotting and other combinations on my nails - so a do-over will have to wait for another day. :) Not an issue - I love this combo!

A note on Rainbow Honey - these mini bottles are really difficult to use. The brush is so short, you can barely dip it in to get polish and I can't imagine what that means when the level is low. Also, the big honkin' round cap dinged another one of my nails while I was painting. I may decant mine, even though I love the RH bottle so much. I'm not saying don't by a RH, I'm just saying - buy a full size LOL! The polish really is so lovely, it's worth it. (I got a peak at Sara's 20% Cooler and another friend's A Little Kindness, and they really are beautiful). Also, their flat rate shipping is pricey (I've heard it's because they choose to ship BY THE BOOK and disclose that it is nail polish?) so - save up for a big order to spread out the cost. **TOTALLY ENABLING HERE**
Happy polish shopping to Sara and me, and happy Tuesday to you!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Zoya Kieko and Elixir Lacquers With a K

Quick post for a quick mani - I painted my nails hastily on my bathroom counter with my 4-year-old running around. I can normally pull off quick jobs like this with a decent outcome - but this one was bad. Uneven application (my fault, not the polish), dust from nail filing and uneven edges, had to remove and repaint a few nails, ended up tainting my topcoat with a smidgeon of glitter that looks like bubbles on the nail ... hot mess. Anyway, it's still a fun mani and will last a few days anyway.

Here's 2 coats Zoya Kieko with an accent nail of Elixir Lacquers With a K (about 1.5 coats - I was trying to add more hexes without getting too much more of the sparkle jelly base on there):

Hope you have a great weekend. :)


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Poco a Poco and Once Upon a Polish Princess and the Pea

This is Rescue Beauty Lounge's Poco a Poco. Ji has a lovely story on her site for this. Not only did I love the color, and find it pretty unique, I really loved the story. It's about clouds and the sun and it reminded me of the the color in the sky when my husband proposed. This is a pinkish almost lavender color with warm pink shimmer that is stronger in the bottle than on the nail. I love the warm pink shimmer because it doesn't scream orangey gold WARM to me (which I do NOT like). The formula was pretty good.

My accent nail is Once Upon a Polish Princess and the Pea. I knew I had to have this the second I heard of it because my daughter's room is decorated in pink and green. So, long story long - here are the pictures!

At night using my flash bouncer. This pic is darker than I prefer, but I have yet to learn how to Photoshop and color adjust. (2 coats RBL, 1 coat P&tP on accent nail, all with top coat)

With the flash to show the shimmer.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I finished a final paper for one of my online classes (relieved!), and I thoroughly enjoyed the monsoon weather while driving through my first haboob!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Color Club Wild at Heart, Nubar Treasure, Zoya Malia gradient fail

Well, it isn't terrible - but it wasn't what I was looking for. I think my two colors weren't different enough for the look I was hoping for. And I just wasn't having luck with the various sponges I tried. I will try again, just need to get the right colors I think. Even though it's kind of a failure, I did want to follow up from my last post. Now I have an excuse to try one of my new polishes that have come in recently. Can't complain! :) (PS. It is true that you can't judge a gradient until you apply top coat!)

Color Club Wild at Heart "gradient" over Nubar Treasure over Zoya Malia.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Nubar Treasure with Zoya Malia

Today I'm wearing 2 coats Nubar Treasure over one coat of Zoya Malia for some good underwear. The Nubar is pretty sheer and does build to a decent opacity at 3-4 coats, but the Malia underneath adds the perfect base for a really solid purple - and saves me from having to go for that fourth coat. I love this polish for so many reasons - it's a nice purple that's not too light or too dark, it wears really well, looks amazingly glassy for days without a top coat, and it has just enough scattered rainbow holo for me without being over the top (I'm not a fan of linear holos at all).

So, it's not the best kind of weather to photograph a holographic nail polish. But I managed to capture a little bit of rainbow with indoor lighting (click to enlarge the second picture - the best rainbow effect is captured on my middle finger LOL). I'm hoping to recycle this mani in a few days by adding a gradient element. However, that requires practice AND this is probably one of my top 5 favorite polishes, so I would like a few days alone with it. :) First pic is outdoors but cloudy. Second is indoors under a light and near a window.

Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Zoya Angel, Black Cat Lacquer Let Them Eat Cake, Wet N Wild ColorIcon Jewels For Your Highness

Today I had a job interview. I didn't make time to paint my nails like I had wanted to, but with 15 minutes before I had to leave - I decided I could make it work. I painted 3 coats of Zoya Angel (I swore it was a 2 coater) because it's as neutral as I can handle. I don't love colors that match my skin. I was worried - 3 coats in 15 minutes - disaster waiting to happen. I was going to opt for my Zoya Fast Drops but they were buried in some pile of stuff I needed to put away - a few rooms away from my room. Since I keep my 'melmer' in my bathroom, I decided it was safer to not dig through a pile of stuff and just opt for the Color Club 0-60 Speedy Topcoat safely stored in there instead. Shockingly, I dinged my ring finger *while* grabbing the topcoat. HAHAHA. So I quickly fixed it with a Q-tip, put on the 0-60 and went to the closet for my interview purse (read: laptop bag that looks more professional than my mommy diaperbag/purse combo - stylish as it kind of is, all things considered). I told myself to be careful but I banged a finger on a purse, held my breath as I checked the damage, and literally giggled out loud that the 0-60 topcoat did it's job so well! My nails were smooth, glassy, shiney, AND not a mark on them. I am impressed AND amazed. Anyway, that was a long story to tell you how awesome that topcoat is. I don't even care if it causes shrinkage (I am still verifying if this has happened, because frankly I'm not sure HOW to tell).

When I got home, I wanted to dress it up a bit. Please forgive the hand shot without a bottle in it. I promise I have more poses (and more colors than light pink!) but I couldn't fit all 3 bottles in my small hand. I really think 1 is my max. :) Here's 3 coats Zoya Angel with 1 generous coat of Black Cat Lacquer's Let Them Eat Cake on all nails (you can find her on Etsy). Accent nail has 2 coats of Wet n Wild Coloricon Jewels For Your Highness, with one more coat of LTEC on top of that for good measure. CC 0-60 used on top of the Angel before and after the glitter, because I did this mani in 2 parts.

Click to enlarge, so pretty!

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zoya Flora, CND Violet Shimmer, China Glaze Snow Globe

This mani right here, started it all. Up until this point, I just liked polish. I collected it - sure. But I just liked one color on all nails - unless it was for a holiday or event. And then I discovered the accent nail - with glitter. And it was all a pleasant ride downhill from there. From a dozen or so polishes in my a carrier to a "melmer" with indies and more - welcome to my current hobby - nail polish!

Click to enlarge the picture. The CND and CG really sparkle when this is maximized.

This is 2 coats Zoya Flora with 1 coat CND Violet Shimmer and a top coat. The accent nail is China Glaze SnowGlobe. This is the moment where my heart fell in love with layering, glitters, and subsequently indies!