nail art

The Totally Doable I Have A Life April Nail Art Challenge: days 1 and 4

I’ve always loved those daily nail polish challenges that float around the blogosphere, but I’ve never had the time to join in on a daily basis…which was why when I saw this challenge over on Beauty by Arielle, I immediately wanted to join in. This was originally posted on Instagram by Beauty By Krystal, but since I’m not on Instagram I’ll just post my shots on Twitter!!

I’m a day late to the challenge so like Areille, I’m combining days one and four. Day 1 was “flowers” and Day 4 was “swatch”. I made little accent nail flowers using Flower Beauty Nail Lacquers in Gorgeous Gerbera and Thistle Or That? and Zoya nail polish in Marley.

The swatch is L.A. Colors Color Craze polish in Fiji Purple, which I picked up at a local dollar store. I have to admit, I’m not loving this polish. It was thin and runny, and it took forever to dry, even with reasonably thin coats; I smudged multiple nails on my fingers and toes and had to redo them. I’ve had other L.A. Colors polishes that haven’t given me this much trouble, but it was only $1, so que sera. Next time I’ll grab a Wet n Wild polish.

Inspiration Saturdays: tribal nails

I find inspiration in the oddest of places. Case in point: I’ve seen tons of cool tribal nail art, but I didn’t really get around to doing any myself until I looked down at my Mukluks this morning…

…and realized that I was already wearing a nail polish that matched the blue stripe, setting me up for a perfect piece of tribal nail art.

I’m no nail art pro but it was fun trying to mimic a pattern from a piece of clothing in a nail art design. (And yes, I realized as I was posting this that the orange and copper stripes should have been switched. Oops! Points for originality.)

Inspiration Saturdays: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! I did some quickie nail painting while I was on the computer today. It’s definitely not the most creative but I thought in lieu of something fancy, an Irish flag always works!

And here is the weekend nosh. You see correctly. Those are Rice Krispie treats made with lime marshmallows (weird, but kind of tasty) and liberally dosed with green food coloring.

A pretty low-key celebration on the whole, but for me, it works. How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Or do you skip it? I have a hubby and friends with Irish roots, so ignoring it altogether is kind of impossible! Besides, you kind of have to love a holiday that requires you to wear green, aka my favorite color!

Product review: Kiss Nail Dress

So, I’m slowly but surely getting back on track with blogging, and trying to finish off the last of the reviews from my Influenster Holiday VoxBox. One of the niftiest looking products in the box was the package of Kiss Nail Dress stickers, which I finally got a chance to test out this week. Want to find out if they turned out to be as cool as I hoped? Read on. (Disclaimer: I received this product complimentary of Influenster for testing purposes. However I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.)

The product: Kiss Nail Dress ($6.99); in 21 designs (I sampled “Chemise”)

The claim: On in minutes and off in seconds without remover. No dry time. Built-in topcoat. Fits all nails and lasts up to ten days.

I tried them: Upon opening the package, I noticed a very strong plastic smell. This smell faded in seconds but it was very harsh and unpleasant. (I’m guessing this was the adhesive.) The package contains an instruction booklet, 28 strips to fit a variety of nail sizes, and a small file.

Applying the strips couldn’t be easier; just select the strip that fits your nail, press on and fold over the end of the nail, then use the file to file off the excess. You can do each nail in a matter of seconds. Once the strips are on, you’re done; there’s no need to apply a topcoat. If you move quickly, you can literally have your mani done and be ready to walk out the door in less than five minutes, which was my goal on Wednesday when I decided at the last minute I wanted a mani for movie night. I did choose to file and clean my nails with polish remover ahead of time, which added a minute or two, but even so it’s a quick deal.

The wear with these strips is impressive. I kill, and by kill I mean demolish, my manicures. I’m tearing open packages all night at work, so my manis rarely last more than a day or two. These strips lasted through a solid four days of wear, including three nights at work, with no chipping and almost no tip wear. If you’re not horribly hard on your nails (as I am), I don’t think it would be unreasonable to expect these to last a full week without visible damage.

 
 
 
 
Honestly, though, I really didn’t care for the design, which is why I took the strips off after only a few days. The 3D blingy black strips and gold fishnet design were just too much for me. I could see wearing these for a girls-only weekend in Vegas, but not for everyday activities. And they’re obviously not work-appropriate! My other gripe was that there were fewer gold strips than black; I wound up doing an accent mani because of the imbalance.
Another thing: I didn’t like the bumpy design. It just weirded me out, and between the bumps and the slightly rough ends of my nails after filing, I felt like I was constantly snagging things: cotton balls, my sweater, etc. I just can’t get behind textured nails! I like my super-smooth nails!
However, design issues aside, things were still cool until I removed the strips. Kiss isn’t lying when they say you can peel the stickers right off without using remover; mine came off just fine. They do leave some adhesive behind which is easily removed with polish remover. Afterward, however…
 
 
 
 
…my nails are TRASHED. They’re dry, peeling, and splitting–and on my other hand (not shown in the photo), I have two nails that tore off completely at the tips. I know my nails are not at their healthiest in the winter, but they’re not in such bad shape that they should be tearing off and peeling like this. I guess the adhesive was very damaging to the nail beds. I’ve trimmed them all down to nubbins now and applied a thick layer of repairing base coat to try to strengthen them.
My verdict: Meh. I’ll give these strips points for lasting so long, since very rarely do nail products last as long on me as the package might claim. But the damage is a real turn-off and I’m just not enthralled enough with the design to consider repurchasing them.
Check out the Kiss website here or see what other Influensters have to say about this product on the Kiss Influenster product page here.

Nail art idea: gradient glitter with Zoya Feifei and Wet n Wild Fergie Mermaid Curves

I’m really into teal glitter and shimmer right now, though I don’t know why. I was playing around with some polish combos and created this gradient glitter manicure using Zoya Feifei for the base and Wet n Wild Fergie Mermaid Curves for the glitter topper.

It’s really hard to capture Feifei on camera. In the bottle it’s a steel blue with gold microglitter. On the nails, it can look icy blue or it can almost take on a mermaid-esque quality, with the microglitter giving it a blue-green holographic look. It just depends on what light you’re in at the moment! It’s intriguing, that’s for sure, even though I’m not normally a “blue” person.