Monthly Archives: July 2014

Sassy Polish & Scrubs Review Part 1

Sassy Polish & Scrubs just opened up shop this past April, and the lovely owner Danielle Nesbitt contacted me to do a review. I chose 7 of her polishes (she also sells body scrubs) for a nice discount. This post will feature the first 3 I chose: Beach Glass, Penny Lane, and Dandelion.

So here goes! First up is Beach Glass, which is a nude polish that has some pink iridescence and subtle shimmer/ glitter. It’s a very pretty color! However, the formula was not great. It was a bit gloopy and difficult to apply evenly, and it bubbled on me a bit. I didn’t try it with polish thinner yet, which I’ll have to try since I really like the color!

Sassy Polish and Scrubs Beach Glass nail polish swatch

And here’s a picture in direct sunlight that shows off the pink undertones more!

Sassy Polish & Scrubs Beach Glass nail polish swatch

Next up is Penny Lane, which is a gorgeous copper shimmery polish with a bit of subtle scattered holo. It also almost has a bit of duochrome to it, with some lights catching a greenish tint. I really like this polish! The formula was much better on Penny Lane, but there was still a bit of difficulty getting a nice smooth application. It evened out nicely with top coat though!

Sassy Polish & Scrubs Penny Lane nail polish swatch

And here’s a pic that almost captures that greenish tint:

Sassy Polish & Scrubs Penny Lane nail polish swatch

Last up for today is Dandelion. Now, when I shopped for this it was described as a “clearish off-white linear holo stunner with tiny yellow and green glitters.” Obviously from my pics, you can tell I did not receive that polish. I instead got a minty crelly with some subtle holo and little teal glitter. I really didn’t mind that since minty teal is my favorite color, but I did want to try the original Dandelion.

I contacted Danielle about this, and the conclusion we came to was that she accidentally sent me a one-of-a-kind mixture she made for herself. She likes to take the remnants of batches and add to them to make little one-of-a-kinds for herself. She thinks that this was a bit of the original Dandelion plus some mint green mica and teal glitter.

Anyways, here is my special one-of-a-kind polish:

Sassy Polish & Scrubs Dandelion nail polish swatch

This formula, like Beach Glass, was a bit of a pain. It was gloopy and difficult to apply in a smooth layer. Such a gorgeous color – I was sad that it wasn’t easier to apply. It was also a bit on the sheer side. I applied 2-3 coats and there’s still a bit of visible nail line. Again, I haven’t tried polish thinner yet which I’ll have to do since I really like the color.

Here’s another quick pic:

Sassy Polish & Scrubs Dandelion nail polish swatch

So these 3 polishes I just showed weren’t my favorites in the bunch, but they are stunning colors and I’ll have to try some thinner to see if that improves things. I told Danielle about the formula issues I had, and she did say that Penny Lane can be a bit temperamental with the mica and that perhaps the bottles I received just hadn’t been mixed as well as they should have.

Either way, she creates some absolutely gorgeous colors and I certainly don’t hold some formula issues against a new indie brand. I’m really hoping that some thinner will fix the issues I had!

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I highlight 4 more of her polishes that were my favorites of the bunch! Here’s a quick sneak peek of the others:

Sassy Polish & Scrubs review nail polish

 

Danielle is selling full-size (15mL) bottles for $7 and minis (5mL) for $4. Such good prices! Check her out:

Plaid Double Stamping Manicure

Here comes a manicure that I really was excited about… until it actually was on my nails. Despite playing around with nail stamping for awhile, I’ve actually never done double stamping. Every time I saw it on others, it was like a double rainbow of nail polish!

So I finally decided to try it out, and I picked some colors that look great together and a plaid image that I figured would look great. Sounds great in theory right? In actuality, it didn’t turn out as nice as I had hoped. I don’t hate it, but it’s certainly no double plaid stamping rainbow like it was in my imagination!

See for yourself:

Plaid double nail stamping manicure purple green white

See? Not awful, but not great… just meh. I think the image I chose was maybe too busy. The other double stamping manicures I’ve seen and loved have had less busy images. I think the white and green kind of overpower my pretty Zoya Charisma. Plus, I accidentally stamped the ring finger off-kilter for the base stamp.

Here’s another quick pic:

Plaid double nail stamping manicure purple white green

 

Manicure:

  • Base Color: my beloved Zoya Charisma, the stunning bright purple
  • Stamping Plate: Shany Cosmetics SH212
  • First stamp: Konad White using plaid image
  • 2nd stamp: Sally Hansen Mint Sprint using same plaid image
  • Topped off with the always great HK Girl, my favorite top coat for stamping!

I definitely want to try this technique again, but I think for the future I’ll use an image that doesn’t cover as much of the nail.

I also just received my very first semi-squishy stamper and a ton of great stamping polishes from Mundo de Unas, so I’ll be playing around more!

What do you think? Have you done double stamping before? If so, any suggestions to make it look amazing?

Neon Ikat Manicure

If you haven’t realized from my last few posts, I’m really into neon nails right now! I love a good, bright manicure that glows in the sun. A bunch of my admired nail bloggers from the Oh Mon Dieu challenge recently did ikat manicures, so I thought I’d try it out too. Let’s see how I did:

neon peach green ikat nail art manicure

Not too bad right? Ikat seems to be one of those designs that lends itself really well to slightly messy technique, which really works out for me! Here’s another pic:

Neon ikat peach green manicure nail art

And one last pic where I adjusted the color a bit to show how the peach looks in different lighting:

neon peach green ikat nail art manicure

Colors used:

  • Base: China Glaze Sun of a Peach (such a gorgeous neon peach)
  • Ikat: Zoya Purity (white), China Glaze Highlight of my Summer (neon mint), and Zoya Raven (black)

I really like this color combination and am overall pretty pleased with how this came out! I think if I do ikat again, I’ll make the triangular shapes more narrow and maybe use a smaller brush to make the black detailing look more “brushy.”

Have you done ikat nails before? What color combos do you like? Are you as obsessed with neons as I am right now?!

Tropical Flower Manicure

Ummm, I’m super excited to show you guys this manicure – I think this is probably my all-time favorite freehand manicure so far! Prepare to feel major nail envy!

Tropical flowers manicure freehand

I mean, right?! How pretty is that? I’m pretty proud of myself, if you couldn’t tell already! Instead of using nail brushes, I ended up using a small dotting tool for the details. I think using something that has such a firm tip (heh, heh, heh… yes, I have a prepubescent boy’s sense of humor) really helped in drawing nice, crisp lines and leaves. I then used a larger dotting tool (cause we all like larger tools, am I right ladies? 😉 ) to add the bright flowers.

Here’s a pic showing my mani at a better angle:

Tropical flowers manicure freehand neon

Colors used:

  • Base color: Essie Mochacino, a gorgeous darker nude brown with some subtle silver shimmer
  • Base leaves: China Glaze Four Leaf Clover
  • Top leaves: Models Own Flip Flop – one of my first Models Own! Part of the Polish for Tans collection, it’s a GORGEOUS neon yellow-green lime color! And it’s really opaque, so it doesn’t need a base of white to make it pop!
  • Flowers: OPI Koala Bear-y (the darker pink) and Models Own Shades – also in the Polish for Tans collection… such a pretty neon coral pink

So what do y’all think? Do you like it as much as I do? Do you find using dotting tools for nail art is easier? And is your sense of humor as dirty and prepubescent as mine? 🙂

Half Moon Recreation: July’s NCC #4

And lastly for the July’s NCC theme of recreating manis is a half-moon manicure! Unfortunately, this is also my least favorite of my recreations. I think I actually may prefer my original :/

Half Moon Manicure

My original was done back in October, so I was using darker fall colors. For this challenge, I wanted to do something more pastel-ish. So I chose some pretty glitter and a light green polish.

  • Base color: Colors by Llarowe Tazmo Kramer, a polish I got for free when ordering from llarowe on the owner’s bday – it’s like a light green-silver holo with some small teal glitter hexes in there
  • Overlying color: Zoya Bevin, almost like a dusty green/teal

I like it, but I certainly wasn’t thrilled. I used binder reinforcement stickers, and they didn’t work all that well for me this time – they would peel up all at once, smudging part of the half-moon so I had to repaint it afterwards. Do you guys use reinforcement stickers or nail vinyls? I think I might have to invest in nail vinyls for this one!

Here’s a comparison pic of my old vs new:

Half Moon manicures

My original used Zoya Carey (the light grey) and OPI Russian Navy (the gorgeous dark navy shimmer). My cleanup still needed work at that point, but I loved that color combo!

Ah well, you can’t win them all! Check out the other recreations:

Nail Inspiration from an Odd Place

My dog’s collar! That’s right, this manicure you’re about to behold got its inspiration from a dog collar. I picked it up recently from Target and loved the design. I then went out for some drinks with friends, got home, and decided to do what any sane nail polish addict/ dog lover would do – paint my nails to match my dog!

Here’s my dog, Kaiser (whose attention is currently directed at the mailman hopefully dropping off some nail goodies for me!), and his beautiful new collar:

Dog collar

And here’s my semi-tipsy recreation dotticure based on the design:

Colorful dotticure

Colors Used:

  • Base: Rica Whiteout
  • Yellow: Sally Hansen Lightening
  • Dark Teal: Color Club Baldwin Blues
  • Light Blue: Essie Mint Candy Apple

And here’s a close-up of the nail that came out the best:

Macro dotticure

 

I like how it came out! Maybe it doesn’t match Kaiser’s collar exactly, and the diamonds ended up more circular… but hey, I was a bit tipsy and I still like the end product 🙂 They kind of look like mosaic tiles. What do you think?

Recreating my first gradient manicure: July NCC #3

One of my favorite first posts was my first attempt at a gradient manicure. I called it an ombre mani, but I was almost a year younger and nail naive at that time. I’m older and wiser and know more in the world of nails at this point 🙂

This time, I switched up the colors and made it super bright and neon for summer:

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Mmm I love neon! I could wear it year-round; it just makes me stare at my nails all the time! Plus, when you wear neon polish in the NICU, it GLOWS near phototherapy! Phototherapy is a treatment we do for jaundice where we put blue lights around the baby to make the jaundice go away, and it acts similar to UV lights so the neons GLOW.

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I used 3 colors in this gradient: China Glaze Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Models Own Flip Flop, and Formula X Radioactive (Oh, and I also used Rica Whiteout for my white undies). I then decided I need to spice things up since the last 2 recreations i’ve done were basically identical to the previous manis.

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Spice it up – put a bird on it! (Any Portandia fans out there?!) I used one of my favorite MoYou London image plates, Suki 08, and stamped the bird design using Zoya Sailor (a nice navy blue creme).

Another pic:

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And here’s a comparison to my old mani:

1-Neon Yellow & Green Gradient, Bird Stamp

I really liked my old mani, but I think my gradients have gotten so much smoother and better-blended. And I really like the stamping over it too! What do you think? How else do you spice up a gradient mani?

And check out some other recreations:

 

Recreating my first stamped manicure: July NCC #2

Stamping was one of my first (and favorite) techniques when it came to nail art. I did a lot of stamping, and my second ever blog post showed 2 manicures where I was still getting the hang of things. For July’s NCC theme of recreating your first few manicures, I decided to stay pretty close to my original stamped manicure.

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After doing many stamped manis, I certainly don’t always get it right. But I think I’ve learned many valuable lessons. One of which is finding the right type of polish for stamping. If you want to use the polishes already found in your personal stash, look for ones that are nice and opaque – this will allow the thin layer from the stamp to really show up. Also, quick dry polishes are both great and a curse. They are usually good formula-wise and opaque, but you have to work quickly in order to get the full image on your stamper and then transferring to your nail.

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My first blog post showing a stamped manicure had a few issues. I used Zoya Valerie, which is gorgeous but not a great polish for stamping. It’s a bit too sheer to really show up well. I also was a bit slower in stamping, so I ended up with some patches. I tried to fix this by brushing on more polish, but this just resulted in really dark spots.

This time around, I used a different stamping color that was tried and true. But I used the same base color and stamp. Oh and obviously I got nubbinized again. I went canoeing and camping for the July 4th weekend, and it wreaked havoc on my nails. I came home with breaks all over. But I don’t mind nubbins 🙂 

  • Base color: Essie Tart Deco
  • Stamping color: Zoya Charisma
  • Stamp: GALS plate GA19

1-Purple and Peach Stamped

I think there’s a big improvement! Better stamping polish, a prettier color combination (in my opinion), better cleanup, etc. And geez does lighting make a difference! The recreation pic really shows the true color of Tart Deco.

Check out the other ladies’ recreations:

 

 

Recreating Manicures: July’s NCC

Happy July! And happy July 4th to my American friends! This month is also exciting for me because it heralds in my last year of my neonatology fellowship. I am one short year away from being a real grownup Neonatologist… so exciting! I am going to be working pretty hard in the hospital for the next few weeks, so I will try to schedule my posts in advance so y’all have something to read from me.

July also brings the next theme from the Nail Challenge Collaborative: recreating your first 4 nail art manicures. Such a fun way to take a look back and reflect on improvements in technique, photos, etc. My first manicure on this blog was a simple red and white tape mani – fits so well since today’s July 4th!

Here’s my recreation:

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I used my new favorite white creme polish, Rica’s Whiteout. Ashley from Plump and Polished suggested this when I asked about the best white polishes – thank you Ashley! For me (since I use pretty thin coats), it was a 2 coater – but so close to being opaque in 1 coat! I’m in love 🙂 I haven’t tried it yet, but apparently it’s a great stamping polish as well.

Then using striping tape I polished the base of my nails with Julep Cara, which is a beautiful cranberry red-pink shimmery polish.

Here’s another pic:

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And now a look back. My very first nail art post on this blog – picture is obviously on the left and my recreation on the right.

1-White & Red tape mani

I mean, everything from the cleanup to hand pose to photoediting – so much better!

Happy July 4th and check out the other ladies’ recreations: