Holo Nails!

I was blogging about some rings over on my accessories blog, Bedeck, and I was asked about my nails. It seemed like the perfect subject to cover over here, too.

The base color is Zoya Song, which in itself is a beautiful blue color. The sparkle and dazzle, however, is from Orly. It’s called Be Brave, and it’s from their Pretty in Pink collection, which supports breast cancer research.

It’s a pink and blue holo bar glitter, but when light hits it, it’s all sorts of beautiful colors. It’s a little tougher to remove, but if you drench a cotton ball in remover and leave it on the nail for a minute or two, it comes off pretty easily. Plus, there’s very little tip wear; it will last a long time.

I’m really excited about the happenings over at Bedeck, so come visit me over at BedeckMe.Wordpress.com!

BOGO, Emphasis on the GO.

Once upon a time, I said that I would lay off talking about Zoya polish. We all know that’s not going to happen. I can’t stop. Now they have jellies, and frequently they have sales. And right now they’re having both. BOGO sale for those with an existing account! Here’s what’s on its way to Casa Freya:

More Zoya

The polishes are Ray, Song, Monica, Toni, Noot, Paloma, Katherine, Harley and Yara. Obviously fall and winter are on the way, based on my color choices.

My friends say I have an addiction. I guess there are worse addictions to have…

Love, Actually.

I just fell instantly head-over-heels.

As has been well-documented on this blog, since I started writing in my little corner of the internet, I have made the transition from raggedy, unpolished nails to constant nail polish use, nail art, nail stickers–you name it. My nails are COVERED.

Unfortunately, since my late arrival to NiceNailVille, I have some bad polish habits. Such as polishing my nails as I unwind in the evening. I am finding, more often than not, that I end up with gouges, sheet marks, hair marks (yes, it’s true) and chips on my nails from my poor timing. Not enough time to dry means that they’re never quite perfect, and I do a lot of “re-do” painting the next day. Or I don’t. I’m not Wonder Woman.

Enter Seche Vite. I’ve heard a lot about it on other blogs, but I’m coming from a “topcoat is topcoat is topcoat” kind of place–they’re all interchangeable, right? So my Ulta topcoat is just like any other, correct? NOPE. I bought Seche Vite today because my topcoat is running low, and I thought I had a 25% off coupon at CVS. (That’s another story–those coupons expire too fast!) I decided to splurge on the decidedly more expensive at $9.99 Seche Vite. (Yes, next time I’ll order it online for less money.)

I’m so glad I didn’t put it back! Polishing my nails this afternoon was record-fast, as the Seche Vite soaked through and dried my polish completely within ten minutes. I could absolutely have gone and taken a nap and not have a smudge. And it’s super shiny. Yes, it smells terrible; the chemicals are on overdrive, but I DON’T CARE. SHINY.

Rainbow Nails!

Oh, Zoya.

The fantastic thing about Zoya (well, one of them) is the amazing promotions they have. I never can say no. Especially to the really good ones, like a buy 3, get 3 sale. Which happens to be going on now.

As soon as I heard about it, I went to the site and started picking out my polishes. As I checked out, I noticed something interesting about my color choices:

Zoya Rainbow

Is it a spring rainbow, or what? I can’t wait to get my new spring colors!

Go take advantage of the promotion! It lasts until Wednesday night, March 14 at 11:59 p.m. EST, so act fast! Enter the code SPRING3 in the promotion code box to get your discount.

(Oh, and this is my first yellow polish ever! I am both fearful and hopeful. We shall see!)

How-To: Water Marbling Nail Technique

I’ve seen this tutorial here and there, and have wanted to do it. Lots of them have bitched about it being a huge pain in the butt. And I will agree to some extent. It takes a little time and persistence, and if you are extremely picky it will take even longer. I’m fine with some randomness.

Two tricks, both learned the hard way. First, cuticle oil on your fingers–anywhere that’s not nail that you’ll dip in the water. It will help with cleanup. Second, warm water. Cold water makes the polish congeal faster.

First, paint your nails with a light or contrasting color, to lay down a base. I just did one coat. It needs to be dry. Then you need a container of lukewarm water. Plastic is best, as you may ruin it. Then, 2-4 colors of nail polish.

I used all Zoya polishes; I almost would like to try this with OPI or other polishes, to see if you get better results. I used a purple theme: Zoya’s Mira, Arielle, and Marley. Marley was also my base color, as it’s the lightest of the 3.

I loaded up my brush so it was drippy, and dripped a couple of drops into the water.

Then I took the other two polishes and repeated the dripping. Hopefully your polish will float; if it sinks, you have to pick another color.

Now’s the part that it was too difficult for me to get a picture of while I was doing it. I took a toothpick and inserted it into the center of the polish and swirled it around to get the marbleized effect. I had a problem some of the time with the outer polish being congealed. Break through it and pull the polish that’s still flowing around. Then once you have it marbleized, dip your fingers into it, nail side down.

This is where the cuticle oil would have come in handy, but I didn’t do it, so you will notice the polish is ALL over my fingers. Also, some tutorials recommend doing one nail, cleaning up the polish scum, dumping the water, and then do it all over again. Forget that noise. I did as many fingers as I had polish for. You will likely have to skim the scum and dump water and start again a couple of times if you’re doing 2 or 3 nails at a time, which is what makes it a little tedious. I read a tutorial that said it took a TON of polish and had a lot of wastage. I didn’t find that to be true because I did multiple nails. I found it took no more polish than a normal manicure with two or three coats would take.

Once you’re finished, clean up and put a topcoat on. Voila!

In the interest of full disclosure, it didn’t ALL go so smooth.

My pinky is the result of polish that was no longer flowing. It ended up just being a string across my nail. It kind of looks good, but I’ll probably re-do it. I was out of polish and didn’t want to make more. So I went with the trendy “one finger different” thing.

All in all, I found it easy and love the results!

For a good tutorial, Refinery29 has a video here.

What do you think? Would you try this? Is there another design you’ve wanted to try that I can trial run?

Rainbow Shatter

How cute are my nails today?

I don’t think the pictures do it justice, actually. I was inspired by a video post on Refinery 29.

I used OPI’s black shatter polish with three Zoya polishes underneath: Zoya Rica (a sparkly coral), Zoya Brooke (a fuchsia shimmer), and Zoya Lisa (a sparkly red). Easy and fun!

Test Drive: OPI Silver Shatter & China Glaze Crushed Candy

After my failed attempts at picking up a bottle of OPI Silver Shatter right after the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides collection came out, I finally got a bottle! Ulta had a shatter display with all the different colors of OPI shatter. Except they were sold out of turquoise shatter. I got a bottle of the silver, and, on a whim, got a bottle of China Glaze Crackle Glaze, too.

All the colors in the Pirates collection are pastels, so I decided to lay down a pastel base coat and cover it will silver shatter. I used Zoya’s Marley, a pale purple shade. I put the silver shatter over it, and it just read as silver. I couldn’t really see the purple underneath.

I wanted more contrast, so I started over again. I wanted a color that was vivid, but still summery. I decided to try again with Zoya Brooke, a deep pink duochrome shimmer.

I really liked the outcome. The silver was visible, and went well with the pink. The silver shatter was more glittery than I expected, judging on the black shatter, I thought it would be more matte. But I like it even better than the black! It is a fantastic effect.

Even though my polish was holding up, a couple days later I decided I wanted to try the China Glaze. I started with a base coat of MAC Formidable, which was a limited-edition polish in the MAC Venomous Villains collection last year. It is a deep plum with a turquoise glitter in it.

Then I added the China Glaze Crushed Candy topcoat, which is a light turquoise blue. I’m finding that the secret to crackle topcoat is just to go quick and not to worry about how messy it looks. It starts to dry almost right away, so if you take too much time, it reduces the crackle effect. If you want lots of crackle, go for a thin coat. If you want a little crackle, paint on a thick coat.

I went with a thick coat.

Excuse the fact that this is totally not cleaned up.

And, being fickle, I did not like it, removed it, and started over. It’s my way.

Second time I decided to go with Zoya’s Akyra, a metallic teal shimmer, and a thin coat of Crushed Candy.

And…I kind of liked it! Enough to stop breathing nail polish fumes for the day.

In conclusion: I like OPI Silver Shatter better than China Glaze Crushed Candy; the sparkle makes it look a little less lumpy. Also, thin coat over thick coat. I also tried out Orly’s Top 2 Bottom base and topcoat, which seems to work very well.

Tried any other shatters lately? Tell me about your test drives!

Shattered

Remember when OPI and Katy Perry got together and made nail polish? And everybody over 12 was like, “ummmm…no thanks! I will take a pass on a nail polish called ‘Teenage Dream’, but thanks!” And then they saw this:

Black SHATTER polish. Oh, Katy, you wiley devil. You piqued interest with that shatter polish. Doesn’t matter that the black shatter was also part of the Serena Williams collection, it is all Katy.

Well, if you like the black shatter, May is going to be your month. OPI is coming out with SIX new shatter polishes! First, in honor of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, there will be silver shatter!

Serena Williams is determined to make the shatter her own, with a new red and a new white shatter. It’s part of her Glam Slam! France! collection, and they come in pairs. The white shatter comes with a silver glitter, and the name of the duo is Spark de Triomphe. The red shatter comes with a pink shimmer, and the duo is called Rally Pretty Pink.

Finally, they’re adding three more shatters to their collection: a navy, a blue, and a turquoise shatter.

I think that I’ll definitely be checking out at least one of the new shatter polishes–maybe the navy blue? How about you?