Wednesday, September 30, 2015

#31DC2015 026 // Inspired by a Pattern

This is another one of those wide open sort of prompts. If I would've had the time and a little more fortutiude, I might have attempted a freehanded plaid. But. It was not that kind of day. Instead, I went for stamping a PATTERN I hadn't used before...

Blue & Coral Nails

Pattern Nails

Coral & Blue Nails

Pattern Nails

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
3 Coats SinfulColors Soul Mate
Born Pretty Store Stamping Plate M98
Sally Hansen Pacific Blue
1 Coat Seche Vite

When I took off my negative space nails, I thought about using the same base for my PATTERN nails. I decided that I was in the mood for something a little bit more pink, so I chose Soul Mate from SinfulColors. It's a great mid-toned coral leaning rose pink, a gorgeous shade on any skin tone!

I resisted the urge to use gold for this stamping and chose Sally Hansen Pacific Blue. It did so well in my Water Marble that I figured it would stamp well, too. No complaints at all, but there was definitely a little bit of user error while rolling the stamper. Some patterns show that more than others, and with this one, it's really noticeable! I could definitely use a little more practice, and probably an upgrade in plates and stampers! I've been eyeing up the Secret Garden collection from Bundlemonster for a while, now!

But for now? I'll just stick to finishing the rest of the challenge...


#31DC2015 025 // Inspired by Fashion

Happy Wednesday! I am now more than a little bit behind with the 31 Day Challenge, but that's okay. I got a lot done this weekend and took a day or two to just breathe a little, you know? I forgot how intense this challenge can be, and it all sort of caught up with me this weekend. But I'm back, I'm rested, and I'm bringing you nails inspired by FASHION...

Negative Space Nails

Negative Space Nails

White Negative Space Manicure

Negative Space Nails

Negative Space Manicure

Polishes Used: 

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
2 Coats Wet n Wild Private Viewing
1 Coat SinfulColors Pink Glass
2 Coats SinfulColors Snow Me White
1 Coat Hard Candy Mattely in Love
1 Coat SinfulColors Snow Me White
1 Coat Seche Vite

When it comes to this prompt, I kind of feel like anything goes! I mean, there's always solid trends for the season and everything, but lately, it seems like there are more designers really pushing the envelope and creating something totally bold and different.

Enter the Negative Space mani...

I absolutely love, Love, LOVE the way these manicures look. But, since I polish my nails so frequently, they've got a not-so-attractive yellow vibe going on. I'm sure there are whitening treatments out there that could remedy my situation, but honestly? It was a lot faster painting my nails with a nude shade. Then I had to add a little shimmer, because that's natural or I obviously have a problem?!? So... I guess I'm calling this Faux Negative Space? Yep. We'll go with that...

One day I will learn how to make white nail polish look ah-mazingly clean on my nails. This is one of those times when my nails looked really great in person, but as I'm looking at the photos... Eh. Not exactly thrilled. I was so excited to be able to finally do Negative Space, too!


I chose Private Viewing as my base coat because it was sheer and decently close to my skin tone. In hindsight, I probably could've used 2% Milk or OPI Bubble Bath. Both are sheer and a lot less pink than Private Viewing. But I needed to cover the yellow, so I turned to something a little bit more opaque. Rather than leave it looking like a natural nail, I added a hint of shimmer with SinfulColors Pink Glass. I didn't take pictures, but those two polishes looked really cute layered together.

To create the negative space, I used chevron nail vinyls. It took a little while to get them on all my nails, so if you're going to give this a try, make sure you've got a decent amount of time set aside! I wanted to be extra sure that the dip of the chevron was centered, and that the negative space was consistent across all of my nails.

When my guides were all good to go, I painted 2 coats of Snow Me White. At that point, I still had streaking, so I added a coat of Mattely in Love in an attempt to smooth things out. I followed that up with a third coat of Snow Me White. Using tweezers, I carefully removed the guide after the 3rd coat on each nail. I waited about 10 minutes and sealed everything up with a generous coat of Seche Vite. 

I wouldn't mind trying another Negative Space mani, but I think I'll try it in another shade. Don't get me wrong, white definitely catches the eye, but it's probably the least forgiving shade around the cuticles. Like I said, I'm not the biggest fan of the pictures, but I did love wearing this mani! 


Friday, September 25, 2015

#31DC2015 024 // Inspired by a Book

Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do. There's nothing better than getting absolutely lost in the universe of a good book! I love how a great story can pull you from wherever you happen to be and drop you in a fantastic, exciting place where anything can happen! Then there's that little thrill everytime you reach for the book, followed by that little bit of sadness when you finish the last page. I've got a lot of favorite books and authors, but the most recent series to lure me in? The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. 

The series is set in Gatlin, South Carolina, a town that's a hotbed for paranormal activity. It's not a real southern town, but you would never know it. Anyone who has visited the Southern States will nod their head as the scene is set in the small town. Dar-ee Keen, Link's Baptist Mama, Bottle Trees, Amma... the list goes on and on. Don't even get me started on how you can feel the searing humidity and smell the lemongrass and mint! 

I could rave about this book all day, but we're here to talk about nails, so I'll cut to the chase. The Caster Chronicles tell the story of Light Casters and Dark Casters. Light Casters are good, Dark Casters are evil. When a Caster turns sixteen, they choose what type of Caster they will be. Unfortunately for Lena Duchannes, she comes from a line of cursed Casters. Rather than choosing, the sixteenth moon claims the women in the Duchannes line for Dark or Light. Lena's cousin Ridley was her best friend until she turned sixteen and went Dark. Lena is terrified that her fate will be the same. 

In the BOOK, Light Casters have green eyes that glow when casting. Dark Casters eyes' glow gold while casting. I know that my shades are off, (more than a little) but I drew COPPER and the thought of pairing these polishes just jumped into my head and I went with it...

Nails Inspired by a Book

Beautiful Creatures Nails

Nails inspired by a Book

Nails Inspired by a Book

Polishes Used: 

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
3 Coats Essie Leggy Legend
3 Coats Wet n Wild I Moss Have It
1 Coat SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

Is it just me, or are these polishes just meant for each other? I thought so! They're both bold metallics with a lot of depth. I swear, I Moss Have It gets better every time I use it, and Leggy Legend is just bright, shiny, and awesome! 

Both of these polishes have excellent formulas. And both could probably have been opaque in two coats. I went ahead with a third because it just felt right! 

In the photos, you can see that I painted my left hand green with a "gold" (copper) accent. I took the whole Light and Dark thing one step further. Rather than paint my right hand green with 2 "gold" (copper) accents, like I normally would. I reversed it. I painted my thumb, middle, and ring fingers with Leggy Legend, and my pointer and pinky were painted with I Moss Have It. My left hand represents Light, while my right hand represents Dark. Sadly, my right pointer finger chipped while I was getting ready this morning. I somehow managed to scrape it on my zipper? Where there's a will... O.o 

Despite the fact that righty wasn't in the mood for a photo shoot, and the fact that my polish chipped, I still LOVE this mani. These two colors paired together are just sooooo magically Fall right now. I could definitely see pairing them again for a gradient, french tips, possibly even an Autumnal Seriotype? 

I can't begin to describe how insanely delighted I am that it. is. Friiiiiiiiday! It's just been enough of a crazy week that I'm ready for a little bit of relaxing this weekend. Just a little bit, though. I've definitely got plans to attack my clothing in a modified KonMari sort of way. With all the moving around in the past two years, I have clothing all over the place. It's beyond time for a big cleanup. Last week, Mr. Sparkle and I cleaned up our Pantry, and I'm loving how organized it is! It's really nice to be able to see everything you have, and that's what I'm going for in Le Boudoir. 

What are your weekend plans? I know it's probably another week or two until pumpkin patching is a thing around here, but maybe not in your neck of the woods? Any other Fall cleaners/organizers out there? Whatever you get up to... I hope you have a great Friday and an even greater and more fabulous weekend! And if you are cleaning out your closets like me... Good Luck!!! 



Thursday, September 24, 2015

#31DC2015 023 // Inspired by a Movie

There haven't been too many movies that I've watched since last year's challenge. I was torn between going with an oldie, but then I remembered a great movie Mr. Sparkle and I have watched with Sparklegirl over and over and over... She likes it so much I bought the soundtrack so we can listen on my iPod in the car. It's the story of a girl named Tip and how an alien invasion by the Boov turns her world upside-down. She befriends a Boov named Oh after he upgrades her mom's car from frugal to fabulous! Slushious, as he calls it, is where I drew my inspiration for today's MOVIE manicure...

Nails Inspired by Slushious

Nails inspired by Slushious

Manicure Inspired by the movie Home

Nails based on the movie Home

Slushious Nails

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
OPI Pirouette My Whistle
Pure Ice Busted
Pure Ice Rose
Pure Ice Twisted
Rainbow Honey Juicy Orange Pop
Rainbow Honey Just Sugar Coat It!
SinfulColors Amethyst
SinfulColors Dream On
SinfulColors Feel the Vibe
SinfulColors Happy Ending
SinfulColors Just Glisten
2 Coats SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

Slushious is powered by three different slushy flavors, Grape Escape, Tangerine Twist, and Busta Lime. My neon collection is lacking a little, so I tried to pick the closest purple, orange, and green shades for my principal colors. Those polishes were SinfulColors Amethyst, SinfulColors Feel the Vibe, and SinfulColors Happy Ending.

When I originally brainstormed this look, I was thinking that I'd do gradients on all of my nails. At the same time, I wanted to add a little bit of the bubbly fun of Slushious by way of shimmer and glitter. It seemed like a lot to have going on over all of my nails, so I decided on accent gradients instead. One on my left hand, two on my right. That would leave me with three skittles on my right hand and four on my left. I decided to repeat purple on my left hand, because I love purple and SinfulColors Amethyst is an almost-perfect match for Oh's shade of purple!

Once I had the base colors down, it was time to paint and gradient. I think I sponged over each gradient nail five or six times before I got the opacity I was looking for with Amethyst and Feel the Vibe. I did have to dab a little Happy Ending on my tips. My VNL was a little too visible for my taste!

After that, it was just a matter of adding in coordinating shimmer. For my skittles, I cut up cosmetic sponges and used those to dab coordinating shimmer polish in random patterns. For the gradients, I used the same cosmetic sponge I used for the base colors. I painted the coordinating shimmers directly on the sponge, then dabbed the polish onto my nails.

Finally, I was happy with the amount of shimmer and brightness of the color. I topped everything off with a coat of Pirouette My Whistle. That was followed up with two coats of SinfulColors Clear Coat and Seche Vite for some serious shine!

I didn't really realize it while I was painting, but this is a very Halloween-esque manicure. I like it well enough, I just wish my green were a little bit closer to the neon green of Busta Lime...

Slushious - Tangerine Twist, Grape Escape, Busta Lime

If you haven't seen this movie, you should definitely watch it. Whether or not you have kiddos, it's a great movie! Singer Rihanna voices Tip and Oh is voice by Actor Jim Parsons. I love him on Big Bang Theory, and he's equally great in Home!

Next on the schedule... Nails Inspired by a BOOK will blend with Fishbowl Friday 047... I've got a couple of ideas in mind, but it all depends on which prompt I pull! Fishbowl Friday has been a fun wild card to throw into the mix so far. I'm hoping that trend will continue!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#31DC2015 022 // Inspired by a Song

When I like a song, I typically listen to it non-stop until I learn all the words, melodies, everything. My brain is seriously full of song lyrics. I don't really forget them once I learn them! This particular song has been on heavy rotation lately. It's been one of my faves for a while, and it's the perfect inspiration for SONG nails... Beam Me Up by Cazzette.

Tractor Beam Nails

Beam Me Up Nails

Nails Inspired by Cazzette's Beam Me Up

Tractor Beam Alien Nails

Polishes Used: 

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
2 Coats SinfulColors Hit the Dance Glow
1 Coat OPI Indigo Motif
1 Coat Seche Vite
China Glaze Deviantly Daring
Essie Leggy Legend
KBShimmer Pigment Of My Imagination
Pure Ice Oh, Baby
1 Coat Seche Vite

Since the song title is Beam Me Up and mentions going "higher than a supernova," I figured tractor beams set against a nighttime sky would be appropriate. 

Hit the Dance Glow has been staring me down since I brought it home, and it looked like just the right amount of sparkle for my base. Two easy coats and done. Really nice formula for such a loaded shimmer polish! Next, I added one coat of Indigo Motif. It really popped over the sparkles! I looooove how it glows!!! I topped everything with a coat of Seche Vite and waited for my polish to dry. 

After about 10 minutes, I applied skinny nail vinyls in an upside-down V on my left ring and thumb fingers, and on my right pointer and pinky fingers. Commence tractor beams! I dabbed on a coat of Deviantly Daring, but that was a bit too green. So, I tried to mute it down with KBShimmer Pigment Of My Imagination. That worked a little too well, so I needed to add contrast. Oh, Baby from Pure Ice wasn't enough, Leggy Legend from Essie was a little bit too much. Finally, I mixed Pigment Of My Imagination with Leggy Legend and got a fun rusty colored sparkle that I dabbed on with a sponge, creating my beams. Then, I removed the vinyl guides from my nails. 

As my tractor beams dried, I noticed that my other nails seemed a little sparse in comparison. I added random dots around the edges of my nails. I'll let you decide if they're constellations or some sort of alien code! My tractor beams were nice and dry by the time I was done dotting, so I hit those nails with a thick coat of Seche Vite. After waiting about 10 minutes for my dots to set up, I added Seche Vite to my remaining nails and called it a night. 

Up next... nails inspired by a MOVIE. Hmmmmm...


#31DC2015 021 // Inspired by a Color

Immediately after removing my WATER MARBLE mani, I sat down to do this one. Getting to this part of the challenge is always fun, because the prompts allow for a little wiggle room and a lot of creativity! This year, I turned to the experts at Pantone for a little help with my COLOR mani. I chose Amethyst Orchid as my inspiration...

Pantone Colors for Fall 2015

As I was looking over the colors for Fall 2015... I noticed a recent SinfulColors acquisition on my desk. When I bought it, I went straight in for color and didn't really look at the name. I've been wanting to wear it since I bought it, and when I turned it over...


Now, when something like that happens, you don't think twice about it, you just go with it. Maybe it was my treat for sticking with the WATER MARBLE? Coincidence or treat, I happily painted Amethyst onto my nails and then skipped off to bed. Here they are, my nails inspired by a COLOR...

Amethyst Orchid Nails

SinfulColors Amethyst

SinfulColors Amethyst

SinfulColors Amethyst

SinfulColors Amethyst

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
3 Coats SinfulColors Amethyst
1 Coat SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

It's not often that I come across polishes in shades that I don't already have in my sparklestash. But this one... it's definitely unique. It's a gorgeous purple shade that's not a mid-tone, but it's not dark either. A mid-dark tone? Honestly, when I was wearing it, there was a brightness to it that was a little surprising. It's a great shade, and while it might be sorightnow because of the Pantone status and everything... I'm pretty sure that it's core SinfulColors. Easy to find and affordable!

Application was great. Same wonderful formula that I expect from SinfulColors! I probably could've used two coats, but I didn't remember to wrap my edges on the 2nd coat. Boo... I felt like I was really turning a corner with that! You might notice a little bit of cuticle flooding in the photos, but that was all user error on my part. I was a little tired after watermarbling, and I'm definitely not used to painting more than one mani per night!

This is another one of those shades that I didn't really want to take off... but the challenge presses on! I'm not too far behind, and I'm hoping to catch up this weekend. Of course, that's only if my Fall cleaning goes according to plan!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

#31DC2015 020 // Water Marble

Hey guys! Guess what?!? I fought the WATER MARBLE and I WON!



A little bit...


Polishes Used: 

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
2 Coats SinfulColors Snow Me White
1 Coat Seche Vite
Orly On the Edge
Sally Hansen Pacific Blue
SinfulColors Savage
Wet n Wild Beat of a Generation
1 Coat Pure Ice Oh, Baby
1 Coat Seche Vite

Can we just stop for a moment and appreciate the fact that I actually managed to WATER MARBLE not just one, not two, not three, not four nails, but all five nails on my left hand? That was enough of a miracle on its own, so I couldn't really risk it by trying out the technique on my right hand! Sorry, I am nawt sorry!!!

When I sat down to paint this mani last night, I was fully ready to spend a lot more time on it. Thankfully, I didn't have to, and that's because of this fabulous tutorial from Hanna Rox Nails. Something about the way she explained the process definitely clicked last night. Using her tips, I was able to correct some things I didn't even know I was doing wrong! If you're struggling, her video really might help.

After watching the video, I felt a little bit better about my last failed attempt. Last year's WATER MARBLE (which shall not be linked) had a lot of flaws.

  • No base coat
  • Colors were too dark
  • My water was too cold
  • I didn't clean the toothpick in between each drag
  • Pretty sure I was pulling the polish out instead of pushing it in towards the center
  • Didn't make sure polish on the surface of the water was dry
  • Pulled my nails out of the water at weird angles
  • Used vaseline to protect my skin rather than tape or liquid latex (I'm not sure that was a thing back then, haha!)
Like I said... I was doing everything wrong and I really had no idea! Plus, it doesn't help that there's all this animosity around water marbling. It's scary and intimidating before you even try it! 

How did I tackle each of those issues? Glad you asked! This time around, I chose bright, pigmented colors for my water marble. Then, I painted on a white base coat to allow those bright colors to really show up! To protect my skin, I used Proclaim Super Bond Dark Hair Glue...

I picked it up from Sally Beauty ages ago, and it's been sitting on my nail desk unopened ever since! It's waaaay cheaper than a lot of the other options out there, and the stuff seriously works. Also, I noticed while grabbing the above image, Proclaim makes a white version. I'm not sure if that dries clear, but I'm intrigued enough to give it a try. The dark version is an almost-black charcoal color when it dries. I used a nail brush to apply mine, but I definitely understand why some girls prefer it in a nail polish bottle. Familiar territory and all that! 

Enough about Hair Glue, though... back to the WATER MARBLE! Using slightly warmer than room temperature H2O, I added drops of nail polish and created my bullseye. Using a toothpick, I carefully pulled the polish into the center of the bullseye, starting at the 3rd ring from the outside. I was practically giggling at the sight of this... 

Water Marble Bullseye

Oh so very carefully, I placed my finger in at a decent angle. I'd say it was about 45 degrees. While my finger was still in the water, I gently blew on the surface of the water, drying the rest of the polish. Using a clean toothpick, I carefully pulled the now-dry excess nail polish away from my nail and off the surface. When I was happy with my cleanup, I pulled my nail out of the water at the same angle that I had put it in at. About 45 degreesish...

Seize the Sparkle does Water Marble!

I was ECSTATIC, y'all. The black stuff on my nails is that Proclaim Super Bond Dark Hair Glue that I was going on and on about. I'm so excited to try it with a Seriotype or Gradient mani! 

After waiting about 30 seconds, I used tweezers to pull the latex off my fingers. It pulled off cleanly in one swoop! In hindsight, I would definitely paint the latex down further. At least to the bottom of that top knuckle, if not further! 

Once I had one nail done, I repeated the same steps for each nail. I cleaned up the excess polish on the fronts of my fingers before adding a coat of Oh, Baby by Pure Ice. I'm not sure that I really needed to give the marbling that much time to dry, but I didn't really want to smudge it all over the place! Next, I used a coat of Seche Vite to top everything off. Then, I cleaned up as best as I could. 

Truthfully, my immediate cleanup skills need a lot of work. Typically, I go to bed right after I polish and worry about cleanup in the AM. Also, I usually wear every mani that I paint on my nails (both hands!) for at least one full day. I was such a mess at the end of painting my left hand that I just couldn't see how painting the right hand was going to work out. And then there's the fact that while I was happy with the way this turned out, it just wasn't meant to see the light of day. Again... sorry, not sorry! 

Remember how I wasn't sure exactly how long this whole thing was going to take? It took about 45 minutes from setup until I was ready to photograph. I know that's just for one hand, but I feel like that's not bad! All in all, my experience with water marbling was way better this year. I definitely improved my technique and cut down on clean up time a little bit. That being said, I wouldn't start expecting another WATER MARBLE anytime soon! It's just a messy process and I really don't enjoy doing it or cleaning up after it! Give me a Seriotype or Jelly Glitter Sandwich aaaaaany day of the week!


Monday, September 21, 2015

#31DC2015 019 // Galaxies

It's funny how #31DC2015 can mess with your head a little. I went into painting my GALAXIES last night with a lot of confidence. But the idea in my head just was nawt transferring to my nails. Still, while these aren't as vivid as I might've liked, I think they turned out really well. They're just a bit more subtle than I had originally planned...

Green Galaxy Mani

Green Galaxy Nails

Galaxy Manicure

Galaxy Nails

Green Galaxy Nails

Polishes Used:

1 Coat Fingerpaints Smooth Over Ridge Filler
1 Coat SinfulColors Glass Pink
2 Coats SinfulColors Calypso
SinfulColors Blue La La
SinfulColors Cream Pink
SinfulColors Dream On
SinfulColors Let Me Go
SinfulColors Snow Me White
SinfulColors Teal Midnight
2 Coats SinfulColors Clear Coat
1 Coat Seche Vite

For a couple of days now, I've had the idea of dark green GALAXIES in my mind. I feel like blue, purple, and black have been done so many times before. Why not green? Also, I have been wanting to do an exclusive SinfulColors Seriotype/Galaxy mani for some time. Mainly to show that it's totally possible to do cool nail art and elaborate layerings on a budget!

Not figuring in base coat or either top coat, the polishes used in this layering will set you back seventeen bucks. Shop during a Walgreens sale, and it would be half that price! If you're just getting into nail art and building your collection, SinfulColors is a great place to start. It's also a great way to amass a huge amount of colors and finishes at a fraction of the cost. (Fangirl over he-ere!)

I used Glass Pink as a base for my nails. I've never used Calypso before, so I don't know if it's a stainer. But polishes this color tend to do that, regardless of what brand they are! Two coats of Calypso followed, giving me a nice dark teal base.

Using cosmetic sponges that I had cut up into smaller squares, I dabbed Dream On, Blue La La, Snow White, Cream Pink, Let Me Go, and Calypso over my nails. When I was happy with the level of colors, I added some small dabs of Teal Midnight to add a little sparkle. Two coats of Clear Coat melded all my colors together nicely, and a coat of Seche Vite set everything into place.

In hindsight, I probably should've started with Snow Me White over Calypso, rather than Dream On. It's been so long since I did a proper galaxy manicure that I sort of forgot how to build one! This layering definitely leans more towards a Seriotype than a proper Galaxy manicure. I really like how it turned out. Bonus points for the fact that Calypso is practically a dead-on dupe for Pantone Reflecting Pond. It definitely takes me back to the early 90's era of mini back-packs, that's for sure!

As much as I would love to leave this on for another couple days, that wouldn't change the fact that the next prompt is WATER MARBLE. No lie, I have not attempted one since last year, and I probably won't attempt another one until next year. Think of me while you're settling down for sweet dreams tonight. I'll be battling the dreaded WATER MARBLE... hopefully not all night! (I totally get a reprieve if I can't do it by midnight, right? I mean, I need my sleep, and you'd much rather see a gorgeous seriotype than a water-marbled failicure, right?!? I knew it!!!)