Racing Stripes

This weekend I decided that Julep’s Isla and Cover Girl’s Grapevine should meet. I think it was a pretty good collaboration and that the sheen of these two polishes work well together. I decided to paint the purple on in two blocks leaving a clear strip down the middle for Isla to fill in. I thought about using strip tape but didn’t bother as I didn’t have the patience (working with tape makes me cranky too).

Cover Girl's Grapevine in two blocks on each side of my nail.

My husband said they look like racing stripes, hence the title.

In some light Isla looks like a shiny white.

While Cover Girl’s grapevine is very forgiving with the brush strokes I didn’t find it to be the case with Isla even though I was working with such a small area. I have a feeling on a full nail it would show all kinds of horrors — that being said, I would like to try it as a french tip with a dark blue or matte black for kicks.

Grapevine is pretty true to color with what I see in the bottle.

When I ordered Isla I actually thought it was a silver chrome but it looks more like a mother of pearl white to me. If you are interested it is currently on sale at Julep for $4.99. It looks like Grapevine is still available from drugstores and I found it on Amazon and linked it below.

My racing stripes nail art in natural light.

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Topic Links
* Get your Grapevine from Amazon
* Get Isla from Julep

Smokey Taupe

I have been wearing a lot of dark colors lately because those are the colors I usually gravitate to but I do like to mix it up so I am glad I picked up this Cover Girl Smokey Taupe (#215).

My nails covered in Cover Girl's Outlast Smokey Taupe nail polish.

I used two coats to get the opaque look you see. It went on really nice and has a super shine.

I love to dabble in neutral colors like taupe nail polish.

It is quite a bit darker than nude and much lighter than brown.

Under some lighting it looks like a rosy taupe.

It has a slight pink hue to it which really shows up against another beige.

My smoky taupe nails against different backgrounds to show off color variance.

I might jazz it up in a few days with some black stripes or geometrics. We’ll see how my mood goes, at the moment I am enjoying the simplicity of taupe.

Are you a taupe fan? How many do you have in your stash?

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Topic Links
* Get Cover Girl’s Smokey Taupe from Amazon.com
* Get Cover Girl’s Smokey Taupe from Amazon.ca

Deep French manicure

While I was watching television the other day I saw a French manicure with pale pink tips flash by, sorry I don’t remember what the actual commercial was about but it certainly wasn’t nails. The main thing I noticed about the mani was that the usual white tips of a french manicure were really deep into the nail, almost half. She also had some stone accents but that is above my patience level.

I decided to use circular white adhesive labels, I picked up from the Dollar Store 300 for $1.25, to get a even but curved edge–the model’s actually went straight across the nail and in hind sight I wish I had done that because I kind of liked that too (next time). Anyway, here is the labels in place:

White circular labels in place on nails as marker and protection.

I could have gotten the donut kind that people use for protecting the holes in 3-ring paper but I figured these would give better coverage and protection.

For the base I used Julep’s Marie, a very pale lavendar glaze and for the tips I used Cover Girl’s Pink-finity (One of my favorites. You can see the full pale pink mani on one of my other sites.) And I finished off with my Revlon top coat:

Pink tipped french manicure.

I am happy with how it turned out but I do wish I had used a darker base, perhaps a sheer white. I contemplated adding tiny dots to the seam but could not decide on a color–a bright pink or blue or something else. Maybe in a few days. But overall I am not disappointed.

Over the week I ended up playing with this look a little bit. I could not help myself. First I added a red line between the base and the pink nail tip — as you can see I need a bit more practice with horizontal line drawing. I think it would have been a more interesting effect had my original base coat been a bit darker.

I added a red polish accent strip with a slight sparkle.

For the red strip I used Finger Paints Restoration Red which has a fine sparkle to it and a drawing brush for line drawing.

A close up of the sparkle in the red strip nail tip.

After a few more days I decided as cute as it was it was perhaps too harsh a transition and added a top coat of allover sparkle with Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails Xtreme wear in Supernova (235). I love this sparkle top coat — it has a mixture of purple, pink, and blue. It looks great over lavender nail polish too! My nails kind of remind me of strawberry shortcake like this.

Pink french manicure with sparkle top coat.

Which way do you think was the best?

Constant Caribbean

One of my favorite colors this summer came about when I did the Gradient Sunset nail art for the Shoppers Drugmart contest. The last coat applied was Cover Girl’s Constant Caribbean. This rich green hue made the sunset and I was looking forward to trying it on its own.

A bright green iridescent polish from Cover Girl called Constant Caribbean.

I just could not capture how pretty this polish is with a photo so I made a very quick video. Is this beautiful or what?

I am looking forward to mixing this bluey green with other colors in the near future. I wonder how sharp it would be color blocked with black polish? I think it would make a great color come Christmas time too — dab on a few red dots — boom!

Fuzzy Coat Nail Polish

I had fun this summer testing Sally Hansen’s textured nail polishes, the first being the Fuzzy Coat in wool knot. Before I knew any better I applied the polish over a base coat. I was not completely pleased with the results. To get an even-ish coat you have to apply thin coats or else it clumps oddly. Here is a quick video I did showing it. It’s different but I did not love it.

As you can see this heavily textured polish has little worm like flecks in clear polish so you can see the nail bed underneath. It is not a bad look but it did not make me go, “wow!”. Here is what it looks like with the different layers to get an idea of the coverage you get:

Three coats of Sally Hansen's Fuzzy coat with clear base coat.

If you are going to try the fuzzy coat I found it looks best over a contrasting color. I eventually redid the look with a dark blue polish underneath, Cover Girl’s Out of the Blue (one of my faves). Two coats of the fuzzy coat are best, three is over kill and chunky looking.

Three coats of Fuzzy Coat with colored base coat.

Here’s a closer look of the three coats on a base color. I just think it is too many layers and two coats are definitely better if you have a base color.

The final fuzzy coat result with three coats.

Of the two textured polishes I tried I liked this one the least. It felt the most foreign on my nails and I just don’t like the wormy appearance.

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Topic Links
* Check out Sally Hansen’s other Fuzzy Coat colors
* Now check out my Sally Hansen’s Sugar Coat nail polish

Sunset Gradient Nails

I learned to do this nail look during Shopper’s Drug Marts nail art contest. This was my second entry. And while I love the look of this process, it took a little longer and required a little more thought than what I would want to do again. I love the color combinations though. There was a Youtube video featuring Paige Dzenis’s (from fashionmagazine.com) tutorial video for the Sunset Gradient Nails (they call it tropical sunset) but it has been deleted.

And here is my final look. Not bad, right?

My gradient summer sunset nail art look.

The polishes I used were:

The nail polishes I used for my sunset gradient look.

  • Ceramic Glaze — Exotic Dragonfruit (substitued for L’Oreal’s Member’s Only)
  • Cover Girl Stay Brilliant — #250 My Papaya
  • L’Oreal Nail Color — #111 Not a Cloud in Sight
  • Cover Girl Stay Brilliant — #295 Out of the Blue
  • Cover Girl Stay Brilliant — #290 Constant Caribbean

Personally, I think Cover Girl’s Constant Caribbean makes this look!

It is an easy process really, just a bit time consuming with figuring out placement and applying so many different layers. My favorite part was learning to use a make-up sponge for the first time — I will definitely experiment with this technique further to see what I come up with.

For my protective base coat I used Revlon’s base/top coat, which I cannot say enough good things about, and finished off with Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat (getting low on this stuff and need to get more of it because it rocks).

You know when you add some nail art and it always looks better on one hand than the other? That was not the case with this project. I worked on both hands simultaneously to keep the color balance and I think that helped a lot. This nail art project is definitely worth trying at least once.

Faux Saran Wrap Nails

So there is this Saran Wrap nail art tutorial where you put on a one color and let it dry and then put on another color and let it try a few seconds before tapping it with crumpled up piece of plastic wrap. The result is an awesome two tone mottled look, in theory; but totally above my messy tolerance level. If you want to go the Saran route here is a great video by Mattania from QT Place.

Today, I put on a base coat of Cover Girl Outlast in “My Papaya” (#250) and let it dry completely. I topped it with Ceramic Glaze “Watermelon Cooler” (#402). I let each nail dry a couple seconds then tapped down on the second layer with the tip of the nail brush after excess polish was removed. It worked really well with this Ceramic Glaze nail polish because it is kind of goopy to begin with. I then topped with my favorite top coat, Juleps Freedom Polymer. Here’s a final look at the results:

Saran wrap look nail art in pink and green.

I am happy enough with the results and process to try this again. Have you tried the Saran Wrap nail art process?

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